And I have, at long last, reached the 200+ reviews mark!
I'm so happy ^_^
Though, at the same time, I'm a little disappointed in my readers, as only one, ONE, person emailed me about getting this chapter done. As a reward, I made them one of my Betas ^_^
So, everyone please welcome Zanthraxone!
I also didn't have an AN last time, so I wasn't able to announce another Beta who has recently joined me, Reaper74Kill, welcome aboard!
Besides that I really don't have anything to say, so I'll finish this up with the one thing I absolutely cannot forget, a mentioning of the woman who has kept this story alive, as I wouldn't have ever been able to write past the first couple chapters without her continued support;
['Maverick14th', Make sure you PM how grateful you are to her!]
It was another perfect day within the walls of Seireitei. The sky was blue, the sun was out, birds sung, wispy clouds lazily drifted above them, and nothing, absolutely nothing, strange was going on.
With tremendous force the Shiba Cannonball (patent pending) slammed into the barrier that had for so long protected the city of Shinigami from unwanted outside forces. Many stopped to stare, quite a few worried, but a large group simply laughed and pointed, completely confident that the wall was impenetrable. Never before had they been invaded and that spotless record wasn't going to end today.
Okay, so it wasn't completely spotless, but that one time a horde of angry women marched up and through the gates unchallenged didn't count.
Leaving their pissed-off wives alone at home to stew longer in their anger would have been stupid;
The barrier actually groaned as time passed, plainly stating the stress it was forced to endure. It was proving to be too much, but at the same time the cannonball's momentum was rapidly decreasing, all kinetic energy dispersing into the shield. In the end, it came down to who could hold out for just a split second longer.
Due to the barrier's old age and the cannonball actively being supplied with Reiryoku, the Shiba invention emerged victorious.
It had all of one one-billionth of a second-commonly called a Nanosecond- to enjoy said victory.
Because afterwards it promptly collapsed, spilling it's occupants into the unstable energy that crackled freely within the immediate area. Luckily it kept them from falling to their deaths.
Unluckily, it didn't last for long, and soon six figures, in groups of two, plummeted to the ground.
Those who had been laughing wiped the nervous sweat from their brows; the record was safe.
It most definitely did NOT count if the invaders were dead.
Undead, on the other hand, would without a doubt.
Zombie invasions were a very real possibility in Seireitei, after all.
"Haha! See, I told you I'd save us, Shinigami! Now you owe me, the great Shiba Ganju, your life, grovel before me in awe and reverence!" Proclaimed the younger brother of Kūkaku victoriously.
"No way, you brainless ape, thanks to you I now have sand in places sand should never be!" Declared Karin, shooting a venomous gaze at the grinning man. Said grin immediately vanished, replaced by something between a scowl and a pout.
"It was necessary to save ou- I mean- Your life." He huffed, crossing his arms. Mentally, he patted himself on the back for his save. 'Yeah, great job, Ganju, you're the man, now this Shinigami will have no choice but to grovel at the feet of Rukongai's self-proclaimed number one Shinigami hater!' He was too busy congratulating himself to notice her incredulous stare.
"You didn't do that to save my life, you were only saving your own skin! Had I been falling and you were safely on the ground you'd have done absolutely nothing!"
"Besides watch and laugh as I splattered on the ground!"
"Erm, well, that doesn't matter! I still saved your life, even if it hadn't been completely on purpose, so you at least have to refer to me as 'Ganju-Sama' from now on!"
"Like hell I will, if you keep this up I'll have Ichi-Nii rip out your fat stomach and feed it to your ugly pig!"
"She's not ugly and I'm not fat!"
"She's still better looking than you, but you're at least three times her size."
"Take that back!"
"Make me, Bacon!"
"Oh, that's it, it's on, little girl!"
Turning to his companion with a look of obvious confusion upon his face (Which happened to be upon a bald head), Ikkaku asked a question about socially acceptable behavior, which was completely normal for a member of Division Eleven to inquire about. They had very bad people skills, but even they knew first impressions were important.
"Should we interrupt them? I mean, I don't want to be rude, but aren't they being rude by ignoring us?"
"It would be rude….." Answered Yumichika. "But this squabbling is just soooooo ugly, I can't take it for much longer, you're going to have to stop them."
"Alright, here I goooooo!" Without a moment's hesitation he jumped into the brawl, happy to join in.
The other two didn't even seem to notice the addition of two hands, two legs, and a hundred percent more area to inflict damage upon.
Yumichika just sighed.
"And it was such a beautiful day, too."
"And over there is the Eleventh Division. I'd avoid it if I were you, Ichigo-Sama, they tend to fight anyone they lay their eyes on and your suit would no doubt get damaged or dirty should they engage you in combat." Hanataro wouldn't normally be able to speak so calm and confidently, but the gaze of a Vampire Lord/Noblesse tends to change people. As long as they're enthralled, anyway, who's to say how he'll act when let free of Ichigo's influence?
Oh, yeah, that would be me.
Ah, it's good to be a god.
Back to the characters!
"Hmm?" Inquired Ichigo, turning slightly to the side. "What's that?"
"That? Well, it sounds like a hyperactive green-haired child in search of candy but hopelessly lost to me."
Three seconds later the medic was proven wrong, the child had pink hair. Still, props for being so accurate about the course of a strange sound, it was damn impressive.
"Hey, Broom-kun! She greeted enthusiastically, seeming to teleport over his body as she patted him down in search for treats. "Do you have any candy for me?"
"Not today, Yachiru-Fukutaichou, sorry."
"Aw." She pouted cutely "I was hoping you'd have some, I thought I could smell it."
"Was it this you smelled?" Asked Ichigo, holding a box of chocolate Pokki. Her eyes immediately brightened as she bounded over to the teen.
He kneeled down to her level, handed her the box, and was nearly choked to death by her happy embrace. When she released him, after planting a great big kiss on his cheek, she skipped off, happily munching on her treat. Just before she made it out of sight she turned back and waved. "Thanks for the Pokki, Cross-Kun!"
Silence reigned supreme.
He wanted to be irritated that the symbol was still popping up to bother him, but he really couldn't, not when mention of it came from a cute little girl.
"I love kids." The Noblesse stated simply after a while, Hanataro spoke a few moments later with a nod.
"Me too. Now, if you'd follow me this way, I can show you to your temporary accommodations while we find a place suitable for you to stay for the duration of your visit."
In another part of Seireitei, hidden within a warehouse, another group was preparing for the most crucial part of the mission…
"Uniforms!" Squealed Orihime in excitement, holding up the Shinigami robes they had pilfered. Without a moment's hesitation (or any sense of decency) she immediately stripped down and began changing. Of course, Uryu was lucky today, and turned to face her as she was bending down to pull up her hakama pants, her large bust almost spilling out of her bra.
It took exactly two point three seconds for him to gain a nosebleed strong enough to slam him against the wall of the warehouse…
Twenty feet away.
He wouldn't wake up for another five hours.
It turns out he was truly unlucky as, moments after getting dressed, Orihime decided that she shouldn't wear anything beneath her new uniform, immediately stripping down without shame.
Though one might argue it was perfectly acceptable, there was no one there to watch.
After all, the presence of unconscious, closet-pervert Kuinshi didn't count.
Now, if it had been an unconscious, closet-pervert Kuinshi ROBOT, then it would have counted, and she wouldn't have changed.
But Ishida wasn't a robot, so she was fine.
Or was she?
Could it be?
Yes, that had to be the case;
Uryu was a robot!
And people said she wasn't smart, she was a friggin' genius!
"What are you even trying to sing?"
"It's my theme song, of course!"
Uryu's face became well acquainted with his hand, which seemed to be happening frequently while in the company of Orihime. Soon they would be considered friends, but he had a feeling both his hands would be married to his face before this was over.
Oh, yay, he had polygamous body parts that were marrying each other, wasn't he special?
Don't answer that.
Despite his common sense, Uryu actually decided to ask about it.
"Why do you have a theme song?" He inquired, immediately regretting doing such.
"Because I'm a secret agent, sent here on a mission to infiltrate Seireitei and rescue a fellow operative, Kuchiki Rukia!" Well, she was somewhat right, it was good enough, so he'd let it drop for now. Whatever helped her focus on the task ahead of them.
"And you're my faithful robot companion, here to aid me in my task!"
"Hey, wait a moment, I'm not a ro-"
"Activate silent mode, Kuinshi-bot, you'll give away our position!"
"Now see here,..!"
"Not now, Kuinshi-bot, we'll have time to look at whatever you found later, right now we're on the lookout for agent Rukia!"
Oh, how he wished he was a hollow right now. The Shinigami would storm in, purify him, and release him from his suffering!
"Kuinshi-bot, make me a cappuccino and hand me your laser-blaster arm attachment!"
Soul King have mercy upon him and end it all now, please! He'd become a Shinigami, proudly serving Seireitei if that's what it took, just anything besides this!
Silence, there was silence.
Sado didn't talk.
Cats couldn't talk.
"I have candy!"
They shared a look, and then came the pink.
Like a missile the excited little girl rammed into Sado with a solid, resounding 'Thunk', yet she still managed to land perfectly on her feet, completely unconcerned.
"Wow, you're strong, not as strong as Ken-chan, but still really strong!" She beamed at the silent giant. "Most people fall over when I run into them, they're weak. I don't like weak people because Ken-chan can't have fun fighting them." She continued to ramble on, but something caught Sado's attention.
"Is that Pokki?" She stopped mid sentence, something about a light-bulb, and smiled brightly. "Yep, Cross-kun gave the box to me, do you want some?"
He nodded. "Yes, please."
She placed a few sticks in his hand before her eyes were drawn to Sado's companion.
"Is that a cat?" She questioned hopefully, hands twitching as she barely kept herself from rushing over to pet it.
"Yes, would you like to hold it?" She nodded eagerly in response, fingers twitching furiously in anticipation of the soft fur.
Yoruichi was going to complain about not being a pet when Sado effortlessly picked her up in one giant hand, but Yachiru's fingers drove that thought far out of her mind as she melted into the Fukutaichou's hands. She was in heaven (Both literally and metaphorically).
Immediately Yachiru plopped down upon the road, leaning against the wall as to take full advantage of the slight shade it provided, and Sado lowered himself next to her, watching half aware;
He finally had Pokki!
All was right in the world.
He completely ignored the loud, terrified screams of a nearby Ganju, mercilessly hunted by an angry Yumichika.
"We're nearing the Fourth Division now, Ichigo-Sama, I'm afraid you'll have to use one of our guest rooms for the time being, but I should have you in a proper room before the week is up."
"Ichigo-Sama?" He asked when he received no response.
"I…..Smell…Tea…" Hanataro just smiled.
"It's probably in the kitchen, I'll go place your things in one of the rooms while you have your tea, I'll be back to guide you to your temporary room later."
Ichigo vanished immediately, not even a blur to show his movement, he simply ceased to exist in that location.
It didn't make his destination any kind of secret, however, but I doubt he minded much at all.