A/N: So this is my first original chapter of A Hollowed Existence. I have, for the sake of easier visualization for me, decided to make Ichigo look like a Hichigo version of his older form, the one he got after his Dangai training. The main differences from that shall be him being a solid foot taller, (putting him at a height of 6', 11") with an additional 100 lb. of muscle mass, making him about 245 lb. of muscle, and hair about a foot in length, still orange in color, with red markings on his face like with the second-form full hollow form's mask. Now, lets see how this coming chapter goes, eh?
P.S. This story will have NO lemons in it, so be aware of that. Not to say there are no suggestive scenes, but no lemons.
Zzz-Zzz-Zzz -Signifies sleep. (This chapter only)
Long lines will indicate a scene transition.
Ichigo opened his eyes after hearing a voice, a voice that had never spoken in his mind before now. He immediately took in his surroundings, his eyes flicking back and forth as he mentally noted the position of anything major in the new environment. The key features were number pillars surrounding him in a semi-circle, each one gaining in height as they neared the center-most pillar. Outside the ring of pillars he could see the walls of a massive cavern, with no visible light source to speak of, and yet there was enough illumination for him to clearly see the entire area. The walls, floor, and ceiling of the cavern all seemed as if they had been carved from glassy obsidian, reflecting the light and rendering his surroundings with a certain sharpness. Then, his attention was finally drawn to the center of the room when his ears registered a low, rumbling growl.
There, on thetallest of the pillars, lay a part of Ichigo that he had never yet searched for; a second blade, and he immediately recognized it as the being that made up the other half of his powers. The entity stood before him, a grim smirk stretching across his face, if that was what one could possibly call it. The beast before him was a Nue1, and it seemed as if it was amused for some strange reason. It strode forward, and a black, snake-like tail whipped through the air as its fur shone with a brilliant crimson color. The being's piercing golden eyes flitting around like a nervous criminal looking for his pursuers, taking in all they could. Then, before Ichigo could try to identify the thing any further, the beast melted away into a dark shadowy mist, seeping past him before solidifying as it reappeared behind him.
"It is finally about time you sought me out as well, King. It hurts that you went for your Shinigami power before your own hollow strength. I hope you realize what this means, right?"
"Of course I do. You mean to fight me, to get back at the pain my neglect has wrought upon you, is that it? If so, lets get this over with, I have no need to prolong this currently meaningless talk." As if on command, the Nue before him srtuck out with his tail, the appendage flashing by so fast that it was almost invisible to the eye of a normal hollow, only to have the strike blocked by his partner as he slapped the tail harmlessly to the side. Refusing to let the chance slip by, Ichigo lunged at his dominant side, only to be foiled as the creature turned into the same black mist as before, reforming itself behind him and making an attempt to bat him away with his cat-like legs.
Ichigo dodged the blow and retaliated as the crackle of Sonido echoed in the air, trading blows with his opponent, nicking the hide of the hollow before him.
"Pretty weak, creature," he taunted. "Kind of surprising, considering how we should be sharing the same soul." A laugh erupted from the Primera at the look of anger flashing across his foe's face.
"You think I want to kill you kid? I am your greatest power, so I haveno need to dominate you. Right now I am just relieving stress!"Disappearing into mist yet again, the Nue appeared before Ichigo, its snake tail thrusting out in a distraction as it landed its open jaw on Ichigo's throat, its teeth resting there solely to let him know that he had lost.
"Well played, hollow, but I have to ask; would losing your neck have been worth it?" Ichigo inquired, and pointed with his left hand to an unseen area. Confused, the Nue looked over to where he had pointed, before letting out a bellowing peal of laughter. While the Nue had struck, Ichigo had brought his blade up to its neck, giving him a clear shot to spear its throat.
"Well played Ichigo, well played indeed. I now know for sure that you are the perfect wielder for me, so take me proudly. Now, take me in hand, and wield me with pride, for my name is Kougekiteki Shouhisha2."
"Thank you, Kougekiteki, for lending me your powers. Are you ready to further survive amongst the top of the line?" He paused. "Wait, I just thought of something: why did you not tell me your release incantation?"
"That is because of the shinigami influence inside of you. Because of Zangetsu, you do not have to declare anything in order to activate your Resurrectión. Instead, you just say my name, Kougekiteki Shouhisha, in your own mind, and that alone will activate our strength. Try it now, if you wish."As he spoke, Kougekiteki Shouhisha circled around Ichigo, both of them having ceased their attacks against each other. Then, he slowly dissolved into the same misty cloud as he had before, flying up to a nearby pillar as he watched his master pondering his words.
"Might as well get used to the form that I'll gain, but I do have to ask; can you make me it possible for me to use Zangetsu even when I release my Resurrectión?" Nodding his consent, Kougekiteki agreed that it would be for the best of their survival in a battle, the silent mental communication slightly surprising Ichigo. With that in mind, Ichigo narrowed his mind's focus to the task at hand. Shadowy wisps of Reiatsu began forming and swirling around him as he concentrated his power into the words he spoke in his head; "Kougekiteki Shouhisha!"
The energy that Ichigo had formed around himself immediately exploded outward in a violent whirlwind, creating a maelstrom of power that formed around his body, kicking up a cloud of dust that obscured him from view. As the dust finally settled down, he slowly became visible, the dust lowering as if it were a curtain dropping. The first feature that became visible was a coating of orange hair, formed in a matter not entirely dissimilar to a monkey's fur coat. For some reason, his face had been left alone, with no changes having been made. Then, the largest changes to his form became visible; his arms and body were covered in a bristle-like orange fur, cloaking the corded muscles that lay underneath. The arms retained their original form, but retractable Reishi claws now adorned them. His legs had completely changed in form, taking on the shape of a lion's hind limbs, which, judging by some mild stretching, allowed for excessive speeds to be attained in mere instants.
The final and most impressive change was the prehensile tail that he had obtained, a crimson jagged-edged blade extending from the tip.
"Wow. I have to say I am impressed with this form, Kougekiteki. This will work perfectly for me."
"I am glad that you are impressed with this form, partner, but it is time you left. The damage that is being caused outside of your body right now is starting to create quite the panic for everyone else."
Feeling himself drifting out of his inner world, Ichigo let himself be tugged back into his physical body, only to see the fearful faces of a few arrancar that were a standing few miles distant from him. When he looked around to see what had caused so much fear, all that he could see for some time was the charred surface of a shallow crater made from black, heavily tempered glass that had most likely been formed from the pressure and energy he had expelled during his meditation.
Brushing it off with a simple shrug, he took off towards Las Noches, making his way towards his own wing as he silently took note of the sun's position, noting that it appeared to have made no movement from when he had last seen it whatsoever. As he walked through the bland halls of Las Noches and towards his palace, Ichigo was stopped by the sudden appearance of Ulquiorra as he stepped out from behind a nearby pillar.
"Lord Aizen wishes to see you, Primera." the pale Espada said in his usual monotone. "He awaits you, along with the other Espada, in the meeting room." Once he had delivered his message, the green-eyed man seemingly disappeared in the direction the meeting was taking place at. "Might as well not make himwait" Ichigo thought as he rushed over to meet his boss. "I've probably created enough of a ruckus as is."
"So glad you could make it here, Ichigo. We have been waiting for you," Aizen greeted his arrival in a tone of voice that Ichigo found to be almost sickeningly false. "Now, everyone have their tea, for we have some business to deal with." The Espada did as told before Aizen spoke once more.
"First of all, during the last few hours, there was a surge of power that I am sure everyone felt. Also, during this surge, our Primera here was absent. Would anyone care to fill us in on this matter?"
"Well, as I am sure all of you did not happen to know, I had not yet achieved use of my Resurrectión when I defeated Barraggan." There was a round of soft mutters at this, and he could have sworn he heard the word traitor uttered once.
"So, I decided to go off into the deserts to meditate with my Hollow blade, to try see if my powers could be dragged out of me. Upon meeting and then defeating my hollow-spirit within the blade, he allowed the use of such form. I am quite certain that the surge was the result of all of this, since a similar one happened the last time I meditated in such a way, though at a much higher level."
"So that is it then, Ichigo? Well, thank you for informing us on that situation. Now, with that matter out of the way, let us talk about our plans. Because of our loss of the Segunda espada, Barraggan, we will have to put off our attack on the Soul Society for a time and search for another hollow to Shinigamify that would be an adequate replacement for his power. Neliel, I have chosen to put you in charge of this task, as you are the least blood hungry Espada here and the most likely to bring a candidate back unharmed." With a brisk nod, Nel was off to begin searching the endless landscape of Hueco Mundo for the most powerful reiatsu signature she could find.
"Now, for the next topic of discussion; the next step of the war. Most of you are unaware of this, so I will be stating this now; the Hogyokou has awakened with the help of that Inoue girl. With this fact in mind, as well as the knowledge that the Soul Society is roughly aware of when my plan is going into effect, we will be attacking soon and targeting Karakura town. As to how they know, I am somehow unaware. I will inform the individuals who will be accompanying me when the time comes, so everyone may relax for the time being. For now, everyone is dismissed." Aizen waved his hand, at which everyone besides Grimmjow and Ichigo took their leave.
"Yo, Aizen, what are we gonna do with that girl now? Can we kill her?" Grimmjow said, boredom running thick in his voice.
"Well, this war is soon to be won, and as such we have no further need for that girl. Do what you like Grimmjow, it is entirely up to you. Her life is in your hands, so enjoy." With a smirk, Aizen sent Grimmjow off, while Ichigo left last, carrying a heavy heart in tow.
Apacci was lying on her bed feeling bored, with no idea what to do. She had been able to sleep in again, much to her glee. After that, she'd already spent an hour bathing, another bickering yet again with Mila-Rose, followed by a few hours of comfort when she felt the large burst of her master's spiritual energy radiating from the desrt. Now, however, she had nothing to do. She knew that Sung-Sun was reading quietly in the next room, though she had no cluewhatMila-Rose was doing and didn't really care anyways, so she resigned herself to lazing on the small couch in her room. As she relaxed, she dozed off into a fitful sleep, Ichigo's presence resting heavily on her mind.
The sounds of hollows could be heard all around a small child as she clung to the fur of a young deer, the roars heavy and loud as the creatures rampaged through the forest. The sounds of battle echoed through the trees as the beasts fought for dominance over one another, feasting on souls as they went along. Tears slid silently down the child's face as she watched her parents being felled and eaten by some kind of invisible force, kicking and screaming in pain as they were consumed. The deer the family had kept as a pet was desperately running away, trying to keep her last master safe from harm, dodging left and right around the wreckage of the small village.
Then, in a manner that was unavoidable, the deer was side-swiped by a hollow's fists, rider and beast sent sprawling along the torn up land beneath them. The girl cried out to her steed, crawling over to it, only to realize that there was no way of saving her beloved pet. As it slowly bled out, a single, solitary tear fell from deer's slowly closing eye and onto her hand. Grief-stricken, the girl cried out in her last moments, right before the teeth of a hollow came down on her tiny form, ending her life instantly.
With a small scream, Apacci shot up from the couch as the nightmare ended, panic stricken and confused. Looking around, she saw that nothing was there, and that all she'd seen was nothing more than a dream. Pushing herself up from where she had slept, Apacci decided to go and walk around. Opening the door still deep in thought, she slammedinto something solid, snapping her attention back to the world around her.
"Well, deep in thought, are you?"
Humiliated, she looked up to see that it Ichigo was she had run into. Backing away, she muttered apologies and rubbed the back of her head sheepishly.
"So what was with the scream? Is something wrong?" Embarrassed even further, Apacci's face heated to a bright shade of red as she stuttered, trying to make up an excuse for her outburst.
"I..uh...I had a bad dream, is all," she muttered, before swerving around him in an attempt to run off. Grabbing her shoulder for a moment, Ichigo spoke to her with a tender tone.
"Hey, if something is wrong, you can come to me. You know that, right? My door is always open for you." Then, he switched up and spoke in a cheery tone. "Oh yeah, and training is back up tomorrow, so rest well!"
After feeling great respect for her leader, Apacci fell quickly to anger as she processed what he'd said. Shouting obscenities, she stormed off so that she could pick a fight with one of her fellow Fraccion. As he watched her leave, Ichigo felt a sad mood coming over him. 'I have to make them strong, and soon. I don't have a good feeling about this coming war, and I don't want to lose one of them.'
Wave after wave of ceros and Getsugas flew across the desert sands of Hueco Mundo as four people engaged in what appeared as some kind of suicidal battle. Shouts and cries could be heard as three of the blurs ran around to try get out of the path of the destructive blasts.
"Fuck you, bastard!" Apacci yelled as she dodged yet another of the slower ceros, giving herself a moment's breath before a Getsuga shot at the place she was standing. Out of breath, she was getting more and more worn out as each attack came. Finally, she thought she could see an opening in Ichigo's attacks. Gripping her own blade, she launched herself forward with the rest of her remaining energy.
The situation seemed so perfect; His back was facing her and he was focusing on another one of her teammates. At least, it seemed perfect. Just as she was about to make contact with her blade, he seemed to just barely move, dodging her blade as he turned and looked back. With a small grin, he revealed a small-sized cero in his open hand, pointed directly at her.
Sung-sun and Mila-Rose rushed to help, firing a combined cero right into his own to try and destabilize the red orb, giving Apache enough time to swing her blade to the side, slicing into his clothes yet bouncing off his thick hierro.
"Looks like we finally earned that sponge bath, eh, Primera?" Apache said with a cocky smirk, before noticing that everything had a red hue to it.
'Oh ba-' She was cut off when an explosive force knocked all three of the fraccion back into the sand below them.
As they flew downwards, they could see the form of Grimmjow rolling around in the air, laughing so hard that it looked like he was going to lose a lung soon. His fraccion beside him looked like ghosts, so pale that they would seem as if they had no blood in them whatsoever.
"Thanks for letting me watch, Kurosaki. Mwah hah, this was a so much fun to see. Hey, guess what were are doing tomorrow boys?" He said smirking, as almost every one of his fraccion passed out from sheer fright.
Chuckling to himself, Ichigo dropped down onto the deseret sands to pick his team up. "You guys have come a long way now. I really am proud of you. And Apacci, I could take you up on that offer later, but we have to focus on this war first. Now come on, let's get all of you back to your rooms."
He stopped first by Mila-Rose's room, gently laying her on her bed so as to not aggravate her injuries, before moving off to Sung-sun's. As he laid her down, Ichigo leaned over. "You guys really have done much better than you did in the past. Good job." Sung-sun fell asleep with a smile on her face, happy that she made her savior proud.
Finally, he stopped in Apacci's room. By this point, she was so tired that she was semi-delirious. As he laid her down, her hands suddenly wrapped around the Primera Espada's neck, pulling him down to her face.
"And here is your punishment." Pulling him down a little farther, she kissed him. And not just a simple kiss on the cheek. No, she pulled him into the act of stealing his first.
"G'night." was the only other thing she said after releasing him as she quickly drifted off to sleep.
1: Kougekiteki Shouhisha: Roughly translates into English as 'Aggressive Consumer', which I believe ties in well with Ichigo's aspect of death.
A/N: So yea, he has two inner worlds he can visit. The spirits themselves can travel in between the worlds, but Ichigo goes to the world of the one he has to talk to. Also, I am terribly sorry. From now on, the chapters are going to be much shorter because I am incapable of doing a long chapter without it feeling messed up or prolonged. Sorry about that.