Chapter 25-Deeper In
"Where do you think you're going slit eyes?" Gin whipped his neck around upon hearing a voice from behind him. His eyes widened upon finding a blonde haired kid standing horizontally on the surface of the gate, piercing his soul with his cold glare.
'Heh...that bastard, when he substituted with that Ichigo, he transformed himself into rubble while making his shadow clone substitute back here. He really is serious about this,' Anko thought as she smiled while staring at the gate.
"Who are you?" the silver haired captain quickly composed himself as he opened his eyes into narrow slits while Naruto, who was using chakra to stick to the surface of the gate- only smirked coldly at him.
"Uzumaki Naruto sends his regards. Wants me to kick your ass, and step on it again when I'll be returning with Rangiku-chan in my arms."
Silence reigned in the area for a few seconds as Gin took in the blonde's features, his eyes noticing his whisker marks before they widened in realization.
"I see...you are Uzumaki Naruto huh?" he uttered with a sinister smile while putting his hand on the hilt of his zanpakutou.
"Are you dumb? I just said that," the jinchuriki deadpanned as he jumped off the gate to land fluidly while Ichimaru smiled deeply, in that creepy way of course.
"I should have guessed, the way you fought for her. Of course you would come foolishly to rescue her," the silver haired captain mused while stroking his chin before his hand left the hilt of his zanpakutou, confusing the blonde.
"Well, since you went to such a length to rescue her, I guess you deserve some reprieve huh?" Naruto narrowed his eyes when the captain turned on his heels to start walking away.
"What are you planning?!" the blonde snapped as Ichimaru just waved lazily over his shoulder.
"Nothing, was just checking on something. You better start planning on what you want to do, cause I won't be letting you go the next time we meet. Most of our reiryoku was sealed when you fought us in your world. That won't be the case here, so y-"
"STOP RIGHT THERE!"
An explosive burst of reiatsu radiating off of the blonde stopped the captain as he turned his head to glance at the shinobi behind him.
"Why?" Naruto's cold, unforgiving gaze was like kunai stabbing him right in the eyes as Ichimaru turned to face him.
The blonde shinigami gritted his teeth, clenching his fists white as he glared at the captain in front of him.
"Why did you do that to her?! You're... you're supposed to be most important person for her! Just sending her to her death like that...HOW COULD YOU?!" he yelled, his reiryoku sky rocketing for a second while Gin had a solemn expression on his face.
Fourth Division's Prison
In the darkness of the jail sat a figure in the corner, her back slumped against the wall as she rested her head on her knees, her elbows hugging her knees. Her usually bright wavy blonde hair were dim due to the darkness; her pink scarf now loosely hanging by her back neck in the front.
Her head snapped up suddenly, her blue eyes widening in shock for she had just sensed someone's reiatsu, someone who she loved with all her heart.
She couldn't believe it! That idiot!
Taking a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart, Rangiku clenched her eyes shut as she lowered her face in her soft hands.
'No...God no...I told you to stay there!' she thought, inwardly cursing her own heart- which was about to jump out of her chest in elation. He really had come all the way just for her. She soon sniffed, taking in a deep breath as wet streams flowed down her cheeks.
'I can't believe this! What is Teuchi-san thinking?! What is HE thinking?!'
But that was her mind thinking.
'Yes dammit YES! I knew you would come! I love you so much Naruto! Please! Take me away from here!'
And that was her heart screaming.
Rangiku quickly wiped her cheeks in the confines of her scarf as she lifted her head, blinking a few times to get rid of the moisture.
"Rangiku-san?" a soft voice came from outside the jail as the blonde ex-lieutenant recognized the person to be her regular visitor since she was brought here- Isane Kotetsu.
"Here, it's your meal," the fourth division lieutenant spoke in a poignant tone.
"Hai, arigatou Isane-san. Just place it there," she responded quietly while the silver haired vice captain bent to place the plate just inside the prison. The lieutenant remained bent as she lifted her eyes to observe her ex-comrade.
"What...happened Rangiku-san? You...have changed, a lot. What happened out there?" Isane asked a bit hesitantly as the blonde averted her gaze, her thoughts again filling with her blonde lover.
"Love...happened," she answered, her full lips stretching slightly into a small smile while Kotetsu just looked at her in confusion.
"But...it was just another mission right? In the couple of decades since I got to know you, and...as far as I know you, you...you were never in a relationship. You yourself...seemed to make fun of it all the time, saying that there is no such thing as love. You just didn't seem to need it, always happy, drinking...not having a worry in the world," Isane was sitting cross legged just in front of the jail now while Rangiku rubbed her cheek against her left knee.
"I don't know Isane-san, it just happened. I said all those things because I honestly believed it would never happen to me. Men were just...men to me, nothing special at all. Seeing them just staring at my breasts, and them just seeing me as a thing to achieve...I guess I soon came to a conclusion that no matter what, I'll just be a prize for them," silence reigned for a few seconds as sadness began to cloud her blue eyes.
"In a short time, I just gave up. I felt that of course, there are things other than love too. Like friendship...yes...friends, this place. I cherished Seireitei, I still do. I just, I think I...just gave up on love. Used to just being seen as a piece of meat by men, the focus of woman's jealousy...I stopped caring. I made casual friends, started drinking and just tried to be...happy all the time," she explained, her voice barely audible.
"Rangiku-san..." Isane muttered to herself in surprise, finding it difficult to believe that the person in front of her was truly Rangiku Matsumoto.
"And then he came...that boy," a fond smile took birth on the blonde's face, an affectionate look in her eyes as she kept staring at the wall- as if his face was being projected on it.
"That man...I just didn't have a chance. He's like...no one else I've ever encountered. It was like those stories we used to hear in Rukongai, the shinigami prince charming...coming to rescue you. Even the most simplest of his acts...his idiotic acts, made me fall for him deeper and deeper. The way he carries himself, the way he lived his life...that smile of his, it was all magical. He was...just so honest, so innocent," Matsumoto muttered, her eyes half-lidded- as if in a day dream while Isane listened to her, strangely enraptured by what she was saying.
"Even his flaws made me fall for him. There's nothing superficial about him, and we had just...so much fun together. It was a crazy ride, I was swept away. That's all. I couldn't resist him...any other man I could avoid without a thought but not him. Oh definitely not him, I couldn't, can't...even if I want to," her eyes were shining in the darkness as a light giggle escaped her lips.
"And even when he ogles my breasts, instead of feeling revulsion, insecurity...I feel myself being turned on, I feel secure," Matsumoto uttered while Isane sat there breathless, before releasing a shaky breath.
"You really fell in deep huh? It just happens I guess, you can't see it coming," she murmured before standing up.
"You called him a boy earlier...? I guess you slipped up but, how old is he Rangiku-san? In that world, he must be a shinobi right?" the silver haired vice captain asked curiously as the blonde smiled to herself, now glancing at the lieutenant.
"Yes, he's a shinobi, fresh out of the academy though. He's twelve years old by the way."
Sereitei: Ten Hours Later: Midnight
In an empty small compound, in the confines of its darkness was laying a sleeping blonde- about to wake up, if judging by the way he was scrunching his eyes a bit.
His eyelids fluttering slowly, Naruto gazed at the dark ceiling with half-lidded eyes- trying to remember what was going on. His pools immediately widened as the events- just before he fell unconscious flooded his mind.
"Damn it!" he sat up abruptly, rubbing the grogginess out of his eyes as he observed his surroundings.
'Where am I?'
Standing up, the blonde walked towards the exit door. Just as he was about to slide it open, he stopped himself before looking around to find a broken window on the upper right corner.
Using chakra, he quickly climbed the height before getting out of the compound. Seeing that it was night time, he couldn't help the string of curses that came out of his mouth- towards one silver haired captain.
'Bastard! I told him to let me be...what was he playing at anyway?'
Now standing on the roof of the abandoned compound, and noticing that he was not too far from the gate through which he entered- Naruto observed the peaceful atmosphere of Seireitei. A small gust of cool breeze leisurely grazed his cheeks as he kept staring in front of him at the hill- known as Soukyoku.
'So that's where they plan on executing Rangiku-chan and that Rukia woman,' he thought solemnly. Sighing to himself, the jinchuriki sat down- resting his cheek in his palm as he thought about what to do next. He was now finding, determination aside, what Gin had said was true.
"Even if she did break the rules, just killing her is really crossingthe line. And seeing that smile on your face makes me think that it doesn't even bother you one bit! How can you be so heartless?!" Naruto exclaimed while glaring at Gin, who by now was staring seriously at the blonde.
"Oh, that's a rather harsh thing to say. But maybe, I am heartless," there was that frustrating smirk again on his face as the jinchuriki clenched his fists.
"Is this all just a game to you bastard? Or do you even care about her. Perhaps she was wrong in saying that you two were close to each other. She is innocent after all, but atleast she now knows your true colors huh?"
"Or maybe, you are just too dumb to see what's reality," Ichimaru commented smoothly, a neutral look on his face.
Stepping forward, Naruto pointed a finger at him.
"I can see reality, and I know that you're hiding something. I can see behind that smile of yours, in those eyes of yours whenever you open them. That's why you keep your eyes closed right? So no one can read you?" he asked as Gin opened his eyes in what seemed to be surprise.
"I know you're planning something, something to protect her. I know it. But it will be all for naught if you try to do this alone! Heck I was trying to come here alone to rescue her, well maybe that was eagerness to see her if she's alright, just to rescue her, and save her from pain and anguish. But I know, and you should know that too that we can't do this alone. We need to work together. The only reason I don't want to fight you is because you are precious to her," the blonde tried to reason with him while the silver haired captain lowered his head, now staring at the ground.
"For a puny twelve year old, you show an awful lot of maturity," lifting his head, he smiled widely.
"If you are here to rescue her, let me give you some advice. This, is a dangerous place, a very dangerous place. You don't know what's going on here, and I'm sure by now you know that you'll only be creating more enemies if everyone gets to know who you are. And what may seem to you first, it may not be that way necessarily. It would be better if you don't stick your nose in other people's business and keep yourself, and her...away from whatever unusual is going on here," Naruto remained quiet as he stared at Gin seriously.
"You are strong, but there are monstrously strong warriors present here. And they can crush you in an instant, so just be wary of where you're crawling into," opening his eyes a bit, he stared into the blonde's eyes before he started to walk back.
"You still haven't answered my question!" Naruto exclaimed as he took out a kunai when Ichimaru suddenly flash-stepped to appear in front of him, his open palm just in front of his surprised face.
"It may be a good idea to follow the medics...Inemuri (Forced Slumber)," he muttered while Naruto began to feel himself losing consciousness immediately.
"Beh, that stuck up asshole. I was careless," he muttered to himself, ruffling his hair lazily with his hand as he pondered on what to do.
'Follow the medics huh? I guess I'll do just that,' Naruto stood up, putting his hands on his knees for support before he gazed at the vastness of Seireitei. Sighing to himself, he pulled his hands in a familiar position.
'But to pull the medics out, we need some casualties,' he thought to himself when he noticed a sudden bright glare coming from above. Whipping his head, his eyes widened upon spotting a large glowing sphere struggling against what seemed to be an invisible spiritual wall- the Shakonmaku.
The alarms soon began to go off throughout Seireitei while the glowing sphere cracked through the wall as it began to glow brighter by the second.
'Holy...is this what Neko-chan was talking about? They were going to invade like this? By alerting everyone of their presence? What kind of stupid invasion is this?!'
His plan was now ruined, so much for trying to sneak in and finding Rangiku.
The glowing sphere soon spread into several lightning streaks like fireworks, and Naruto could spot people in those lightning columns as he jumped off the roof.
'Well, might as well go with the flow and help them with the distraction,' landing on a taller builder, the twelve year old teen grinned with a hint of mischief as he pulled his hands in a familiar criss-cross position- building huge amounts of chakra.
"Time to flood this place..."
"GAAAAAAHHHHH! DO SOMETHING ASSHOOOOOOLE!" Ichigo screamed, clinging onto Ganju's back as the two of them descended blurrily towards the ground.
"I MIGHT IF YOU STOP SCREAMING LIKE A WHORE!" he yelled with shark like teeth.
"Ahunhaaaaaaa! Do something Anko-chaaaaaaannnn!" Orihime wailed like a little girl as she hugged the snake user tightly to her, almost crushing the air out of the kunoichi as the two of them continued to fell.
"Gah! You're killing me here! GET A GODDAMN GRIP! SHIT...NO! LOOSEN YOUR GRIP DAMMIT!" Anko had a freaked out look on her face, both of her arms trapped in the auburn haired girl's death hug.
"Kurenai-san, we're going to die...aren't we?" Chad asked calmly, his hair fluttering wildly as he calmly faced the approaching ground. The genjutsu specialist looked at him awkwardly as she thought of ways to cushion their landing. Of course she would think of something, she was a jounin, for a good goddamn reason.
"Fuck! I guess we are."
"Shiba-san could've warned us about this," Ishida spoke, holding onto his glasses as he continued to fall along with Ayame- now hearing sirens and bells going off all across Seireitei, seeing black dots down there, which he could tell were shinigami coming out of their barracks.
"Hold on to me Ishida-san," Ayame uttered as she unsheathed her zanpakutou in a flash. Sliding her fingers on its flat blade gracefully, she muttered to herself.
"Zoufuku Suru: Sazanami Se-"
"TAJUU KAGE BUNSHIN NO JUTSU!"
A faint scream resounded throughout the Court of Pure Souls as enormous amounts of smoke covered the majority of the place.
'There he goes again...' Kurenai, Anko and Ayame thought simultaneously- their eyes closed, the trio not even bothering to look for they knew this place was probably flooded by orange by now.
'Holy mother of all fucking shinigami/quincy!' Ichigo and Ishida thought simultaneously with funny looks on their faces as some of the running kid blondes soon began to gather where they were going to crash.
"Waaaaahhhhh! Naruto-kun is our heroooo!" Orihime squealed happily as she released Anko, the latter catching onto her breath.
"I guess, we're meant to die another day," Chad muttered while Kurenai accidently noticed '007' written on the back of his T-shirt.
"What the hell is going on here?!"
"We've been invaded by an army!"
"Gah! I never thought I would live to see this place invaded! Finally! It was getting boring in here!"
A huge commotion had been caused by now, every single shinigami of every squad now out of their barracks- gazing into the sky as if fireworks were being presented. Many of them couldn't believe their eyes- for they had thought Seireitei was impenetrable.
"What's all the ruckus!"
"Taicho!" some of the shinigami of the second division exclaimed as Soifon walked through, slinging on her haori.
"We've been invaded taicho! It seems they have breached through the security!"
Her eyes narrowing, she looked up- noticing several lightning streaks, which were fading slowly as they descended towards the ground.
"Quick! Trace their landing sites and capture them immediately! " she ordered as they gave a firm salute before scurrying off in the general directions of the descending invaders.
'So...it has started,' Aizen thought, adjusting his glasses as he gazed at the invaders while shinigami from his squad were rushing for the emergency procedures.
"Heh! This is going to be fucking fun!" Kenpachi landed beside him with a maniacal grin on his face, Yachiru on his shoulder before jumping off towards who he knew to be the strongest.
"Over here berry boy!"
"STOP CALLING ME THAT!"
Ichigo yelled as they consequently landed on the group of clones- the impact of landing being absorbed with some of the clones being dispelled.
Jumping to land on his feet, Ganju looked around in disbelief as his vision was filled with countless orange wearing blonde kids jumping around towards different parts of Seireitei.
"What is this? What... type of technique is this?" he asked to no one in particular as one of the clones landed beside him, with Ichigo too landing beside him.
"It's my clone technique. It will be good for diverting their attention while we try to find where they have kept Rukia-san and Rangiku-chan," the clone explained as Ganju stared at him with wide eyes.
"Yeah, I know what you're thinking. He's the one we told you about- Uzumaki Naruto. He got in sneakily before. What I am wondering right now though is WHAT he has been doing for the past ten or so hours he was here?" Kurosaki questioned while giving the blonde beside them a pointed look.
"Ahehe...well, let's just say that things didn't exactly go my way and I was unconscious the whole time," he grinned while rubbing the back of his head.
"Okay, so let me get this straight. Things didn't exactly go YOUR way and all the time you gained was wasted?" Ayame asked with a twitching brow. A clone smiled at her sheepishly as he just grabbed her hand before pulling her with him.
"Aaaah well! Let's just forget the past and move on!" he exclaimed while she just sighed in exasperation, Ishida closely behind them as he took in his surroundings- that is, his orange surroundings.
'This is...unbelievable. Even if it's a shinobi technique, to create an army like this in a matter of seconds, this must be something really advanced. And to think this kid can pull it off just like that,' the quincy thought, adjusting his glasses as he gave the blonde in front of him a calculative look.
"Anyway, be on the lookout for any medics Ayame-chan, Ishida-san," the clone informed with a serious expression as they stopped for a moment.
"Why?" both Ayame and Uryu asked simultaneously.
"Shit! We have to get out of here! Fighting this many will be wasting my chakra," Anko cursed, currently standing with Orihime and a couple of clones- surrounded by several shinigami.
"Don't move!" one of them explained, all of their zanpakutou pointing at them.
"Uh...what do we do?" Inoue muttered as she stood frozen in her place when a clone tugged on her dress.
"Inoue-san...just stick with Anko-san," the clone spoke in a low tone.
"You, what are you whispering?!" a shinigami threatened as they slowly advanced towards them.
"Get out Anko-chan!"
The clones dispelled suddenly, resulting in puffs of smoke- creating a smokescreen in the process as the shinigami began to cough.
"Let's start searching for others," Chad said, now standing with Kurenai with a clone tagging with them just like other groups.
"No, it's better if we spread out. This way it would be difficult for them to catch us," the genjutsu mistress spoke making the clone nod.
"She's right. That's why I created so many clones, we need to create a distraction...and this many clones will definitely distract them. While they take out my clones, we investigate regarding the whereabouts of Rukia-san and Rangiku-chan," he informed making the giant nod.
"Oh Neko-chan, what are you doing here alone?" one of the clones landed on a wall just beside where Yoruichi was observing the madness that was taking place in Seireitei.
"A good move Naruto-san, there's definitely more to you than meets the eye," the black cat spoke while looking over the 'scenery' as the blonde grinned sheepishly.
"Anyway, hop on. We should sneak our way in and look for Rukia-san and Rangiku-chan. You seem to be familiar with this place, so...do you have any idea?" he asked as Yoruichi jumped swiftly to land gracefully on his shoulders.
"Yes, I think I may have an idea...let's go."
First Division Headquarters: Captains Meeting Chamber
"All of you can probably guess why I have called this meeting. The situation is simple, we have been invaded by some ryoka. We follow the usual emergency procedures. Catch them, dead or alive. They have disturbed the peace of Seireitei, and they will be punished...harshly," Yamamoto spoke, opening his eyes just a bit to get his point across, the other ten captains standing in front of him in two columns- facing each other. Though a certain bloodthirsty captain was busy in his own pursuit, and a white haired captain called in sick.
"From the reiryoku patterns that I gathered the moment they broke the Shakonmaku, it seems this group includes some shinigami," Kurotsuchi uttered, surprising all of them.
"How is this possible?" Soifon questioned with narrowed eyes.
"Are you sure Kurotsuchi-taicho?" Komamura asked.
"Hn! If I SPOKE what I just spoke, then I'm hundred percent sure. If I wasn't sure, I wouldn't have said that in the first place," he replied plainly, folding his arms in front of his chest.
"Perhaps Gin taicho would be able to fill us in about their appearances?" Aizen broke the tense silence as the silver haired captain opened his eyes into a slit.
"Yes, you did prevent them from entering through the west gate right? Can you describe them, atleast the ones who are shinigami so that we don't confuse them with our forces?" Yamamoto asked as the silver haired captain began describing the invaders, except for one certain blonde.
"Are you certain that's all to it?" Genryuusai spoke, staring at Gin who just shrugged in a nonchalant manner.
"I'm just describing what I saw, if there are more of them...I don't know, and neither did I detect any reiryoku signatures of someone else there."
"It's possible that these ryoka are here to rescue either Kuchiki Rukia, or Matsumoto Rangiku," the captain commander articulated as Hitsugaya stood there with his eyes closed, not giving any visible reaction.
"Whatever their motive is, capture them immediately. Dismissed!"
With Ichigo and Ganju
"Gah! I did not come here to run away dammit!" Ichigo yelled as he along with Ganju and several of Naruto's clones ran in a random direction, a hoard of shinigami chasing them.
"Neither did we come here to fight an army!" one of the clones screamed when Ganju hollered at them comically.
"WHY THE HELL ARE YOU RUNNING WITH US! YOU'RE JUST CLONES, GO DISTRACT THEM!"
One of the clone's eyes widened in realization.
"Ah! You're right dattebayo! Hey you guys, dispel yourselves to create a smoke screen!" he exclaimed making others nod.
"You can run but you can't hide fuckers!" one of the shinigami exclaimed as they rushed into the smoke screen while the one remaining clone escaped the smoke screen with a grin.
"Heh! This is fun! Create, dispel and run! Huh?!" a confused expression crossed his face as he skidded to a stop, noticing Ichigo and Ganju absent from his sides.
'Where'd they go?'
"GAH! I CAN'T SEE A THING!"
"WHERE ARE YOU GANJUUUU!"
The clone sweatdropped as he heard Ichigo and Ganju's screams coming from inside the smoke screen.
"What the...hell? This never happened before?" the clone scratched the back of his head awkwardly.
"DON'T LEAVE ANY PIECE OF 'EM ALIVE!"
The clone sighed upon hearing shinigami's yells coming from the smoke cloud.
With Kurenai and Chad
"It seems they all have been alerted of our invasion," Chad observed, hiding in an alley as he watched a group of shinigami from eleventh division scurrying after a group of Naruto's clones.
"It's just that, we were supposed to sneak in, not barge in. We just announced our arrival to the whole of this place, things have gotten complicated. There's only so much time Naruto-kun's clones can buy us," Kurenai spoke seriously.
"No, like I said, we should just follow the medics and see where it leads us to. That captain seemed to know where Rangiku-chan is held, I'm guessing they are holding her and Rukia-san at the base of operation of these medics," the clone tagging along them uttered, looking around to make sure no one saw them.
"And as you said before, to pull out the medics...we need to create casualties," Chad muttered, deep in thought.
All of their eyes however widened upon feeling a spiritual pressure slam on them.
"You can forget about that," turning their heads up, they saw a female standing on the roof in front of them. A frown graced her delicate features as she took out her zanpakutou.
Her hair was pulled into a bun, which was covered in a white clothe, as she increased her spiritual pressure.
"Hajike: Tobiume (Snap: Flying Plum Tree)"
'Shit! She's a fucking lieutenant,' Naruto's clone thought in alarm as Hinamori's blade straightened out, producing two jutte-like prongs along its length.
"Guys, I think it's time to run," the clone spoke in a low tone as he began to back down while Hinamori landed in front of them, a serious expression on her face.
"She's alone, we should be able to subdue her," Chad uttered as he activated his Brazo Derecho del Gigante (Right Arm of the Giant), a black-ish liquid covering his right arm, upto his shoulders before solidifying.
Kurenai and Naruto stared at him in surprise, more specifically his arm- with Hinamori sporting a startled expression too.
'His spiritual pressure is quite impressive...' Kurenai thought as she turned to Naruto.
"I think we should be able to handle it...besides, we won't be able to slip past her with just cheap tricks," the genjutsu mistress worded making the blonde shrug.
"Fine with me then," he muttered as the trio now stood, facing Hinamori.
With Anko and Orihime
"Damn, they just keep coming out of nowhere. There's only so much time the clones can provide us," Anko huffed, currently crouched on the roof of a building with Orihime standing aside her.
"I haven't seen a single medic up until now," Orihime said with a sigh, hiding behind a wall as a horde of shinigami passed them by from below, chasing a group of clones.
"It's like they're playing a game of tag...looks like fun," she muttered to herself. Anko sweatdropped at her as she sat down, resting her back against the wall.
'Now that we've come so far...' she thought, massaging her temples- a thoughtful look on her face.
"Anko-chan, can I ask you a question?" Inoue asked, sitting on her small feet as she looked at Anko with a childish curiosity.
"Why...can't I sense your spiritual pressure? Ever since we've met you, even when you used those ninja tricks, I couldn't sense any reiatsu coming from you, neither Naruto-kun or Kurenai-chan. But...I can feel Ayame-chan's reiatsu," her expression adorably confused while Anko just sighed.
"Yeah, I'll te-"
Her kunoichi reflexes kicking in, Anko kicked Orihime-eliciting a surprised cry from her as she slid back; the purple haired kunoichi too sliding back due to the recoil force.
Orihime steadied herself to see the concrete blasted off, where she and Anko were sitting just a moment ago.
Having flipped herself into a crouching position, Anko looked up to see a blonde haired shinigami standing in midair.
"You couldn't detect his reiatsu too?" she asked Inoue pointedly making the latter blush in embarrassment as she stood up.
"Um..." she fidgeted as Izuru Kira, who was standing above them, landed on the roof.
"I guess chakra sensing device works after all...gotta hand it to Kurotsuchi-taicho," Kira muttered, staring at the sleek rectangular device in his hand- looking similar to denreishinki.
"What?" Anko asked with narrowed eyes as Kira glanced at her with half-lidded eyes.
"This..." he waved in mid-air, "...helps detect chakra. We had a hunch that you guys must be trying to rescue Rangiku-san, and since you are the only one who possess chakra, let's just say you have no chance of sneaking in," he muttered making the purple haired kunoichi curse under her breath.
"Just fucking great..." seeing a clone passing by through the corner of her eyes, she yelled.
"Hey Naruto! Over here!"
Kira raised an eyebrow as he saw an orange wearing blonde kid land beside the kunoichi in front of him.
The clone, recognizing Kira from earlier narrowed his eyes as he glared at him.
"You..." he whispered harshly, his expression suddenly serious as Anko gazed at him in confusion.
"What about him?"
"He was the one of the shinigami who came for Rangiku-chan," Anko's eyes widened as she glanced back at Kira.
"I see...I'll see what I can extract from him. But, he just told me, oh so idiotically, spilling out their advantage, that they have a chakra sensor device. I need you to inform the others about it. Now shoo, go dispel yourself," she uttered nonchalantly making the clone nod as he dispelled himself.
"And what does that achieve in trying to inform the others?" Kira questioned making the kunoichi grin.
"Hey, I'm not an idiot like you. Don't expect me to spill our lil' secret here."
"Or maybe you're not confident enough?"
With Ayame and Ishida
"Dammit! Ayame-san, I can't see a thing!" Ishida exclaimed in panic as he looked around fervently, not even being able to see his own hand in the pitch black darkness.
"Calm down Ishida-san, just stay where you are," Ayame uttered, her voice nearby. The quincy clenched his hands into fists as he stood his ground. Faintly hearing the sound of a katana being unsheathed, he heard Ayame whisper something incoherent when suddenly; the darkness was lifted blurrily like a curtain.
Looking around, he found her standing just a few inches from him, the duo standing alone in a street- exactly where they had been just a moments ago before the strange darkness had engulfed them.
"I'm...impressed. That is the first time I've seen a shinigami, except the captains get out of that one," Ishida snapped his head when someone appeared via shunpo behind them.
His eyes widened upon inspecting the single figure, wearing a typical, white captain's haori.
'Damn it! He's a captain!' he thought in frustration, not believing they had already faced two captains up until then.
Ayame kept her right hand gently on the hilt of her sheathed zanpakutou, eyeing the dark-skinned captain in front of them.
"Trespassing this sacred territory like that, you've disturbed the peace of Seireitei. And I, cannot forgive you for this. The captain commander has ordered us to capture you as soon as possible, and that's what I'm going to do...to ensure there is no unnecessary bloodshed," Kaname Tousen articulated, standing calmly in front of them as he unsheathed a small bit of his zanpakutou.
"Nake: Suzumushi (Cry: Bell Bug)"
Fourth Division Headquarters
Returning from the captain's meeting, Unohana calmly walked into the compound- zoning out the footsteps of her division's healers as they scurried around to heal the incoming injured forces.
She was reeling in her own thoughts, her outward expression exuding nothing but calmness. Inside however, that was not the case.
Soul Society was in danger, more so than ever. And they didn't have much time left...
'If only I had realized this sooner... Central 46... Sousuke Aizen... Kuchiki Rukia... the vizards... Urahara Kisuke... Yoruichi-san... Kurosaki Ichigo... Kurosaki Isshin... Kurosaki Masaki... and...' releasing a shuddering breath, she opened the door to her office.
Sitting on her chair, Retsu put her elbows on the desk heavily- resting her head back as she breathed in deeply.
"We're too late..." she muttered to herself, a lone tear escaping past the closed eyelids as it trickled down her cheek. She was feeling grief, grief for the place she had come to love. And although there was nothing more than fighting that she enjoyed, still...Seireitei was her home.
And even while she was the strongest Kenpachi to ever walk in Soul Society, she felt powerless here. This was not a territory to just march in like a powerhouse, it...
"Enter Isane," she spoke softly as the door shortly opened, the silver haired lieutenant entering with a serious look on her face.
"We're doing the best we can, though they are being injured at a tremendous pace...still we are managing to heal all of them," she said making the black haired captain hum gently.
Unohana opened her eyes as she gazed at her vice-captain lazily, a sense of hope rising in her eyes.
She had never gambled in her life, ever. But now, in desperate times- it was time for her last ditch effort—an effort to save her home.
"Isane, can you lock the door?" she asked as a look of confusion crossed Isane's face before she closed the door gently, locking it afterwards. Turning around, she looked at her expectantly as Unohana stood up wearily.
"You know I'm a captain right? I've been a captain since Seireitei was formed..." she stated as Isane stayed in her place.
The fourth division's captain stared into Isane's eyes intensely, her face set into a neutral expression. A cold bead of sweat trickled down the side of Isane's face as she stared back into those black pools.
A tense silence settled between the two, when finally, Unohana muttered.
"You can reveal yourself...Uzumaki Naruto."
Isane's eyes widened in shock as she took a startled step back before quickly composing herself.
"W-What are you...saying taicho?" she gulped nervously while Unohana turned to look outside her window.
"I know why you're here, to rescue Matsumoto-san. You're probably here in regards to where she is right now, and I would've told you and let you go. But... it seems things are getting out of hand, and I'm placing my hopes on the child of prophecy," she spoke, taking in a deep breath.
Unohana didn't react visibly upon hearing a puffing sound behind her, her mind whirling like a twister.
Turning around, she came face to face with a blonde of short stature, staring nervously at her.
"Shit...h-how did you know?" Naruto cursed under his breath, also now noting the large spiritual pressure that was slamming on him right now. He knew, there was no way he could run away.
Something was going on with this captain, she seemed...did she really just say what he thought she said? She was willing to just let him go and rescue Rangiku like that?
"You're not trying to run away, that's a good start," she articulated, slowly walking towards the blonde.
Naruto stayed rooted on his spot, his system on high alert as Unohana lifted her hand. His heart thumped against his chest that moment...when she rested it gently on his head.
"I know what she means to you, and what you mean to Rangiku-san. I talked with her the moment she was brought in," she spoke softly as the blonde's eyes widened a bit at that.
"Y-You talked to Rangiku-chan? Is she okay?" there was a certain anxious rush to his voice, the jinchuuriki for a moment forgetting the position he was currently in.
Unohana, seeing the innocence, inside the shelter of his maturity, smiled at him gently.
"As I said, I don't mind that you're trying to save her, it's unfair to her, and you. But, I hope you can forgive me...the burden that you already carry on your little shoulders, and under these grave circumstances, I have to place another huge responsibility on you. I think...that you're the only one, who can do this," she spoke, not looking him in the eye. Naruto looked at her in confusion before his oceanic pools quickly narrowed.
His hands moved in a blur, thumping the skull symbol against his chest. Unohana stayed still as the body of the young blonde slumped to the floor.
"I don't know what game you're playing, but I'm having none of it," she stayed still as the whiskered blonde flash stepped a meter behind her- his right hand already on the hilt of his zanpakutou—now in his shinigami form.
"I'm not playing anything, as I said...no, just know that Soul Society is in deep danger right now. And in the very, very near future, I can see it being destroyed from the inside. I, can't just sit here and do nothing about it. There's a huge conspiracy going in Seireitei right now, as you invade...and I, the only one who knows- is powerless to do anything. That's why..." she bowed her head down, her eyes moist.
"I...don't understand. I can sense your reiryoku reserves, and they are huge. I can tell that you're an extremely strong fighter, and you can kill me in the blink of an eye...then why, why are you telling me all this? I'm no part of this, I'm just here to save Rangiku-chan and get the hell out of here," he said resolutely, the black haired captain nodding with him.
"Of course, you have no responsibility for this dimension. You don't belong here, and I'm sure most of the people here will hate you. However, as I spoke before, I'm pleading with you. It's not a matter of how much stronger I am than you, it's rather the potential that you hold. I'm asking you this because you're the only one who has even a remote chance of saving this place," she muttered while he shook his head with a frustrated sigh.
"Listen, I've gotten through a lot of shit to know that when people are trying sugar talk you, there's a whole lot of something they are not telling you," he verbalized, feeling himself more confident regarding the vulnerable situation he was.
"It will take time to tell you something of...that magnitude. I'm not sugar talking you, you know what you hold inside yourself. You yourself know the potential you hold, I'm sure of that," she spoke making his narrow his eyes.
"If I told you to summarize what you want me to do in one line, what would you shoot?"
Unohana pursed her lips as a tense silence settled between the two, the blonde looking at her with an unwavering gaze. Glancing at the floor, she appeared to be deep in thought before looking back at him- her gaze hardening into glacial orbs.
"I want you to kill the captain commander of Seireitei, Genryuusai Shigekuni Yamamoto."