Chapter 18


Author's Note: Hello everyone and welcome to chappie 18! I have gotten a sound card, but I am at my dad's house right now and can't use it. Hopefully, I'll be able to use Dragon next time, but for now please enjoy this chapter.

Quick afterthought, while writing this chapter I listened to Hannes Johansson on YouTube. Go check his music out, it's truly inspiring.

Pairings: Hichigo x Ichigo, Unasaki x Urahara, and Byakuya x Renji

Warnings: cussing, OOCness, violence, and yaoi

Disclaimer: I in no way own Bleach or the Linkin Park song "Numb". I do not in any way own the characters from Bleach and am not making a profit off of this fic.

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Ichigo's Thoughts

Hichigo's Thoughts

"Now what Asashin?" asked Ichigo as Hichigo released his grip on the other male.

Asashin sighed and rubbed his forehead.

"You two never give up do you?"

The two of them smirked at one another.

"Nope." they said in unison.

Asashin sighed and grabbed the folded up paper from his pocket. His hand clenched the worn note as he scanned it over.

"A piece of metal from an item able to pierce through the toughest skin." read Asashin. [1]

He looked up from his paper and stared at the two identical confused expressions on Ichigo's and Hichigo's faces.

"That one's…a bit odd." stated Ichigo and Hichigo scoffed.

"They're all a bit odd."

"I needed them to be a bit odd. If someone found my book of recipes, I'd be done for." said Asashin as he placed the crumbled piece of paper back in his pocket.

Ichigo sighed and turned to ask Hichigo if they should go talk to Unasaki again, but when he turned to look at the male, he was lying on the floor.

"Hichigo, what the hell are you doing?"

"I'm thinking."

"Do you have to lie on the floor to think?"

"Of course."

Ichigo sighed again and turned back to Asashin.

"Do you mind if we stay here to think? Apparently, Hichigo thinks your floor is extremely comfortable." said Ichigo and Asashin laughed.

"Stay as long as you please." he said and left the room to attend to other matters.

Ichigo turned back to his lover and noticed he was very concentrated. He's likely to burst a vein. Ichigo chuckled to himself and went around to Asashin's counter full of his potions and other chemical wonders. He sat himself on the stool behind the counter and fiddled with the glass test tubes as he thought over this riddle.

I know this one.

I just know this one.

Hichigo was determined to figure this one out. He had a feeling about this one. Something was tugging at the back of his mind just trying to come to the surface, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't figure it out for the life of him. Over and over he replayed the riddle in his head like a personal mantra.

A piece of metal from an item able to pierce through the toughest skin.

A piece of metal from an item able to pierce through the toughest skin.

Hichigo stared up at the ceiling to Asashin's throne room and narrowed his eyes. The word was on the tip of his tongue. He wanted to cry out in frustration because the answer was so close yet so far from him. He refused to make even one movement though for fear of losing that little piece in the back of his mind that declined his offers to help him. He curled his fists up at his sides and closed his eyes. He listened to his beating heart which reminded him he needed to remember for Ichigo. Concentrating, even harder, if that was possible, he tried once again to bring that thought to the surface.

A piece of metal from an item able to pierce through the toughest skin.

Suddenly, it all came to him. A sword! His frame shot up from the ground and he grinned with total satisfaction. They had to take a piece of a sword. It was so simple!

"Ichigo! I've got it!"

"Hmm?" said Ichigo as he looked up at Hichigo while still playing with the test tubes with his fingers. [2]

"I said I've got it!"

"Really?! How did you figure it out so fast?" asked Ichigo as he stood up from the stool.

"I'm not too sure. The words just reminded me of what it was. I had to concentrate to figure it out though."

"Well, what is it?"

"We need a piece of a sword."

"We could cut up Zangetsu!" exclaimed Ichigo. [3]

"I don't think that's a very good idea…maybe Asashin has one we can cut up." said Hichigo.

Ichigo blushed.

"Sorry, I got a little excited."

Hichigo smiled.

"And that's why I love you."

"A sword ne?"

"Yes, Asashin. Do you have one?" asked Ichigo bouncing on the balls of his feet.

Asashin rubbed his chin with the palm of his hand.

"I may have one. Follow me."

Asashin led the two of them down a dark hallway almost like the one you had to take to come to the throne room, however this one was much shorter. They walked until they came to a large, wooden door that was taller than Asashin. He opened the door to reveal a magnificent room filled with treasures. Golden trinkets, silver coins, ancient artifacts, and silk fabrics lay everywhere. Asashin led the two of them past the treasure to the back of the room where two twin swords hung on the wall.

They were elegantly crafted and the hilt was a light purple with a few cherry blossoms painted on. They curved into each other and looked like the perfect pair. Ichigo could only imagine the kind of skilled warrior these swords had belonged to.

"Are you sure it's okay to break one, Asashin? They look too lovely to break." said Ichigo as he moved past Asashin to run his fingers over the edge of one of the blades.

"I think you're right. These swords seemed to have gone through so much…they almost tell a story…" Asashin trailed off as he too ran his fingers over the blade and wistfully stared at the set.

Ichigo looked over at the king.

"Are you alright?"

Asashin turned to the teen and smiled. He slowly lifted his fingers from the blade and put his hand back down at his side.

"I'm just a silly, sentimental old man is all." said Asashin with a playful smile.

Ichigo smiled back at him.

"If we can't use these, what will we use?" asked Hichigo.

"There has to be another older and not as well made sword lying around here somewhere." said Asashin as he dug through a pile of ornaments.

"Let's start looking!" exclaimed Ichigo as he practically dove into a pile.

Hichigo laughed before sifting through one as well. Coins, jewels, apparel, accessories, and trunks were all found, but not a single weapon. The trio grew hopeless after a while and Ichigo sighed.

"Perhaps we will have to cut those up."

"Nonsense! We shall continue looking!" said Asashin.

"This room is huge. There has to be one somewhere."

Hichigo sighed as well, but still continued looking albeit a bit lazier. Ichigo seemed to hunt with a newfound vigor and Asashin wore a grin on his ace as he searched.

"This is hopeless!" yelled Hichigo as he laid in a pile of treasure that he had searched through for the tenth time.

Asashin sighed and scratched his head.

"Perhaps our search is in vain."

"Where's Ichigo?" asked Hichigo not seeing or hearing his orange-haired lover.

"Where did he go?"

They looked around and saw a pile that was shaking. Soon they heard a cry of victory and Ichigo popped out on top of the pile raising a rusted sword up in victory. He laughed and slid down the treasure pile, which caused gems and coins to be thrown everywhere. Ichigo made it to the ground and presented the sword to Asashin. [4]

"Feeling sentimental with this one?"

The sword was obviously worn. It was rusted and unlike the twin swords on display, it was straight and came to a sharp tip. The hilt was not special at all, but merely a bland grey color. Clearly, this sword was meant to kill not to impress. It wasn't an oriental sword like the twin ones on the wall.

"No , this one will do nicely."

Asashin took the sword and gave it to Hichigo to hold. He withdrew the saw he had used to cut Ichigo's chains out of his pocket and turned it on. A slight buzzing filled the air like last time as Asashin cut the very tip off of the sword. It came off with a slight clang and Asashin gripped the piece in his hand before cutting the saw off. He examined the piece very meticulously before nodding his head and smiling.

"This piece will do just fine."

[1] Anybody wanna guess before they finish the chapter?

[2] He's not thinking that hard~

[3] Not ZanZan D:

[4] This reminds me of Aladdin for some reason…

Author's Note: Well there you have it! Another ingredient down. Also, I hope you enjoyed this longer-than-the-last-one-but-not-very-long-at-all chapter! And please check out Hannes Johansson on YouTube. He has some very inspiring music that made my fingers twitch with the urge to write!

RQOTD: Who thought I would have them cut Zangetsu?

I thought about doing that, but then was all nah. I can't do that to Zanny!

Leave your answer in a PM or review!

Hope you enjoyed~

*Continues listening to Hannes Johansson*