Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Naruto.
"Name of an attack or zanpakuto release"
'Thoughts or people speaking via communication'
Karakura Town, Japan
All was quiet to the people of Karakura, well for the average human anyway. The spirits that refused to pass on the other hand were not nearly as lucky.
In one of the many deserted areas of the city a human soul could be seen running. The soul was that of an average man, well as average one can get when they have a chain hanging from their chest. The man appeared frightened and was running as if his life depended on it. Every so often he would look fearfully over his shoulder just to make sure that whatever was chasing him had stopped.
"Got… to… get away, Can't let them catch me! Not when I've finally escaped that horrible place." He thought in his head frantically.
He looked behind his shoulder and slowed down long enough to look over his shoulder and sighed in relief when he saw that whatever was chasing him had finally disappeared. Of course it is in these types of situations that when the person being chased thinks he's escaped, that's usually when the bad thing happens.
The man suddenly fell to the floor and clutched his neck and started to scream in pain. He looked on in horror as his skin started to darken, his voice became static, as if two people were speaking at the same time and his eyes turned the color of an evil yellow with a black sclera. Severe pain shot through his body as he cried tears of blood, which started to drip down his face. He yelled desperately clawing the street and his body leaving his body scarred and bloody.
"WHY…..WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME? MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP!"
The soul got his wish, but not in the way he intended. Soon after his outburst, a large shadow loomed over the man and a primal growl reached the man's ears. He froze and slowly turned his head to the sound of the growl and his yellow eyes widened to their limit as he saw what was behind him. Its body was humanoid, except that it was over ten feet tall, had oversized hands, a sandy colored body and a mask that looked like a frog. It stared at the man with a look akin to hunger and licked its lips.
This monster was known as a hollow, an evil spirit that was once human, but turned into a demonic beast after losing its soul chain and now it wondered the earth to still a never-ending hunger.
The man trembled in fear before he realized that the monster was not alone, from the corner of his eye he spotted two more monsters. One looking like some sort of demonic bird with the mask of a vulture while the other looked like cross between a spider and a human, with a spider-like mask to complete its look.
The three hollows roared in unison, but it was almost non-existent compared to the fear filled scream that the soul made.
Not too far from the soul's location, an orange haired teen that looked about sixteen, was walking with a group of people following behind.
This teen was Kurosaki Ichigo, a high school student and substitute Shinigami in charge of Karakura town.
"Man things have been so boring since Aizen and his forces have been defeated." ichigo stated with a blank look on his face.
"Are you saying that you would prefer if Aizen were still around to make all our lives a living hell?" snarled a red haired teen that was his age. His hair was styled up in a ponytail and had tattoos on his forehead that were covered by a white hair band. This was Renji Abarai, lieutenant of the six division of the Gotei 13.
"Of course not teme! I just meant that there isn't much to do and that all we've done recently is hunt down hollows."
Rukia Kuchiki, a member of the thirteenth division, slapped Ichigo's head.
"Baka, you of all people should not be complaining about this. In fact you're even lucky to be able to hunt hollows at all!"
Ichigo scoffed in annoyance at Rukia. Eversince he defeated Aizen with the Final Getsuga Tenshou he should have permanently lost his powers. However, quick treatment from Urahara and regular doses of Orihime's Santen Kesshun, allowed him to keep his shinigami abilities. But he had lost the power he had before performing the Final Getsuga Tenshou.
"I agree with Rukia, Kurosaki, you really should not test your luck. Just be glad that there is not much for you to do." commented Uryuu Ishida, the last quincy.
"Come on even you guys have to admit that it's gotten kind of boring. Right Chad?" Ichigo replied asked the giant man standing next to him. Yasutora Sado was quite large for someone in high school and had tanned skin which gave him a rather unique complexion.
"…" was Chads response.
"Translation: Not everyone has incredibly high reiatsu or a low intelligence like you." stated Uryuu with the other members of the group nodded their heads in agreement.
Ichigo looked athem with angry comical expression. "Nobody asked you Ishida."
Orihime the final member of the group decided to step in She was the same age as Kurosaki and was of average height, she had long orange hair and a curvaceous figure along with a larger than normal bust. " Come on everyone; let's not be so grumpy with one another. Why don't we go back to my place and I'll make us a delicious dinner."
Before anyone could decline the invitation to eat Orihime's unusual cooking, Rukia's cellphone started beeping. From that moment, everyone adopted a serious expression and swallowed their mod soul pills as Rukia checked her phone.
"I'm getting a signal, looks like there are four signals in the area. Three of them are hollows and …. I think maybe a soul." Rukia explained though the last part sounded uncertain.
"What do you mean maybe a soul?" Ichigo asked as he placed his combat pass against his chest and causing his soul separate from his body, which soon went limp and allowing him to transform into a shinigami.
"The signal is definitely that of a soul, but it looks … morphed in some way. Wait... somethings happening." Rukia said.
Suddenly the area around them started to feel heavier, as if gravity had increased three times over.
"I'm getting numerous readings! a large swarm of hollows are heading this way." She yelled and soon the entire sky was filled with hundreds of black holes with hollows emerging from them.
"This is just like when I used that soul bait! Where are they coming from?"Uryuu asked
"I think they are after the soul, they seem to be converging towards it." Said Rukia
Ichigo got a serious look: "We will have to split up into two teams. Rukia, Renji and I will head towards the soul the rest of you keep our backs clear.
"Right "everyone agreed.
"What about me" Said Chapi, Rukia's mod soul.
Ichigo gave her a blank look. "Just stay here and look after my body, Okay?"
Chapi stuck out her tongue at Ichigo, "I don't have to listen to you. Big meanie."
A tick mark appeared on Ichigo's forehead and Rukia decided to intervene, "Chapi, please do as he says." The mod soul saluted Rukia, "Yes, mam."
With that over with everyone split up into different directions; each heading their own way.
The three shinigami soon arrived in a deserted storage house area and drew their zanpakuto keeping an eye out for the hollows as well as the soul they were chasing.
Renji broke the tension. "Where is the soul Rukia?"
Before the petite shinigami could answer her, all three heard a blood curdling scream of fear. The turned to their left and saw a group of hollows chasing a soul.
"I'm guessing right there" Ichigo said before he sprang into action and shunpoed right in front of the hollow before swinging his giant cleaver blade upwards, effectively killing the hollow which disintegrated into dust.
"Hey, are you alri…" he started to ask the soul before said soul slashed his claws across Ichigo's chest.
Dumbstruck Ichigo stared in shock at the dark skinned and demonic looking soul.
'What the hell? Is that the soul Rukia mentioned?'
Before the soul could do anything else, Renji appeared behind it and restrained the soul, preventing the soul from attacking Ichigo further.
"What the hell is wrong with you are you crazy or something?" Renji shouted all the while struggling to keep the soul from breaking free. The soul was much stronger than he looked.
"This feeling…YOU'RE THE SAME AS HIM!"
All three shinigami stared in shock at the man before them.
Renji continued to question the soul." What are you talking about?"
The soul just continued to shout not even acknowledging Renji's question.
"YOU'VE GOT THE SAME FEELING AS THE ONE WHO DID THIS TO ME! YOU BASTARDS, JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! I DID NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS! I JUST WANT TO PASS ON IN PEACE, WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME LIKE THIS?" he yelled.
"YOU WILL NEVER TAKE ME BACK AND I WILL NEVER BE SUBJECTED TO THAT PSYCHO'S EXPERIMENTS."
It was the soul's next statement that caught the attention of the three shinigami.
"I WILL NEVER SERVE THAT MADARA GUY!"
'Madara? Who the hell is that?' Ichigo thought
"Renji keep him still I'm going to cast a kido on him."
"Bakudo #1: S…" However before Rukia could cast the sealing kido the soul in Renji's arms suddenly went limp, an expression of fear on etched across his face.
"W..why did he stop" Rukia asked
It was Renji who answered for her."Rukia, Ichigo… you guys might want to take a look around"
When they did their eyes widened. Surrounding the entire area was a huge army of hollows all glaring hungrily at the soul. Ichigo cursed. 'Dammit, we were so preoccupied with that crazy soul that we didn't notice them coming.'
Then as one the hollows all released a unified roar. It was so loud that the shinigami and the mutated soul were forced to clutch their ears in pain.
The hollows then jumped towards them, their only desire to eat the soul.
Recovering from their shock, Ichigo , Renji and Rukia recovered from their stupor.
'Crap, they are after the soul', Ichigo mentally cursed.
"Rukia make sure the soul is safe. Renji keep to your side and cut everything that tries to eat you." "Baka don't tell me what to do!" the red haired teen yelled in frustration with a comical look of anger on his face.
He then placed his fingers on the flat of his blade and slid them along the blades length as he shouted his shikai release,"Roar, Zabimaru." Renji's sword was enveloped in flash of red light as it transformed into his shikai, a large blade composed of multiple segments and at the beginning of each segment, parts of the blade protruded outwards, making it look like animal fangs.
"Just make sure that you stay out of my way or I'll slash you up like one of these hollows".
The orange haired teen smirked, before raising his blade to the oncoming swarm of hollows. He gathered his spiritual energy, before swinging the giant blade ." Take this Getsuga Tenshou!"
For everything in front of ichigo the world turned bright blue as an arc of condensed spiritual power burst forth and cut through the swarm of hollows and reducing a large number of them to dust.
Ichigo then flash stepped in front of a hollow and proceeded to slash the creature in half. Another hollow roared and swung its fist at Ichigo, who raised the flat end of his blade and blocked the strike. Flexing his shoulders he pushed the hollow back before entering the hollows defences and raised the sharp end of the blade and performed a vertical diagonal slash, severing the hollow in half.
A hollow appeared behind him with the intent bringing both arms down in a hammer motion. Before the hollow could attack, Renji appeared in front of it and swung his sword which extended and moved like a whip, cutting through the monster along with two more hollows behind it.
"Stop letting your guard down, baka" Renji said, which caused Ichigo to grin.
Meanwhile Rukia was having a little trouble protecting the soul from the hollows. It really isn't easy to protect someone from a group of hungry evil souls when the soul you're protecting is constantly running around trying to get away from you and the things that are trying to eat him.
"Stay still, do you really want to get devoured by these hollows" Rukia yelled. But the soul's only answer was to dash toward Rukia and attack her with his sharp claws.
"SHUT UP! YOU'RE JUST TRYING TO TRICK ME! TRYING TO GET ME TO GO BACK!"
Rukia performed a flash step causing the souls eyes to widen in disbelief. Feeling a presence behind him and looked to see Rukia with her blade stabbed right into the mask of a hollow who had attempted to eat him..
"I can assure you we are not with who you think we are. We only want to help you and if possible find whoever did this to you." She spoke with a calm voice and a determined look on her face.
For once the soul seemed to look at her with reason, instead of the hateful look he had moments ago. "You really mean it? ... You want to help… me?" the mutated soul asked
Rukia nodded her head and held out her hand urging the soul to take it. The soul reached out to take Rukia's hand. Just as he made contact the souls eyes widened and he pushed Rukia and yelled: "LOOK OUT!"
"What are you...?" Rukia's eyes widened when she saw the spot she had been standing previously, cracked and from that spot erupted a hollow with a spider like mask and an upper human body and the lower half of a spider.
The hollow snatched up the soul and proceeded to crush it with its jaws. As the soul screamed Rukia charged forward hoping she could save the soul, but deep down even she knew that the soul would die.
Sensing her intentions the soul yelled out his final words. "No, it's no use I'm a goner! If you really meant what you said, then please help the others! Don't let anyone else suffer the same fate as I did. You have to stop the mad men who did this. Before more people get hurt." The soul let his last smile grace his lips and despite his monstrous appearance, he never felt more human. "Farewell, kind strangers."
Rukia, Ichigo and Renji could only stare in horror as the hollow crushed the soul in its jaws and the started to devour it. In a few mouthfuls, the soul was gone in the hollows gullet.
Before any of the three shinigami could do anything something even more terrible happened.
(Bleach: unseen enemy theme)
The hollow's body began to pulse and a dark aura surrounded it. For a moment all fighting stopped, then the hollow released an incredibly powerful roar that reverberated around the area. They could only watch in horror and profound curiosity as the hollow began to transform right before their eyes.
Dark zigzag like marks started to cover its mask which began stretching becoming larger and longer and the hollows eight yellow eyes turned into slits. Its entire body began to grow in size and change in form. Similar marks that were on its face started to cover the entirety of its body, its teeth started to sharpen into points and soon after its jaws started to elongate outward and pincers grew from the sides. Horns grew all over its mask and back in outward directions, its shoulders and elbows sprouted spikes of white bone and its claws grew sharper than before.
Soon the transformation was completed and the three shinigami could only stare in horror at the transformed hollow before them. The hollow glared at them and roared again sending chills down their spines.
"What the hell… this thing's spiritual pressure just went through the roof" said Ichigo.
"This creature is nothing more than an average hollow, yet it has the same level of reiatsu as a Menos Grande.
"Ichigo, Rukia don't let your guard down! Even if it has changed this thing is still a hollow, so keep your guard up." Renji yelled.
The two other shinigami shook themselves out of their stupor and resumed a battle stance. The hollow grinned evilly as it vanished in a burst of static, shocking all three of them.
"Sonido!" they all shouted mentally before they instinctively jumped away as the hollow brought its arm down on them.
A large shockwave tore through the ground leaving a 10 foot long trench. The hollow retracted its arm from the smoke and the threes surprise grew even more when they saw that the hollows arm had transformed into an axe like weapon.
"What type of hollow is this thing, I've never seen a hollow change its body mass like that." Rukia spoke in disbelief.
The hollowed screamed and charged again. Renji rushed forward ignoring his comrades demand to stop.
"Take this, Teme!"Renji roared as he shunpoed in front of the hollow, momentarily catching it off guard, and swung Zabimaru in an upwards slash. The blade extended upwards and cleaved right through the hollows face.
The hollow fell to its knees and Renji turned around and smirked at his victory. But Rukia's eyes widened and yelled:
"RENJI, BEHIND YOU!" Renji instinctively turned and jumped back, only to feel a burning sensation run from his right shoulder to his left hip. Renji looked down in shock as he stared in utter shock at the large gash he had just received. He stared at the one responsible for his wound and his eyes widened for the umpteenth time that night in horror and shock.
Renji's attacker was none other than the hollow he had just killed or he thought he killed. The hollow's transformed arm was now in the form of a long blade and it was covered I Renji's blood. The death blow it should have died from was slowly healing and the two halves of its head slowly reconnected. It roared in triumph and licked the blade of the shinigami's blood. Before Renji could recover, the hollow delivered a swift kick to his gut, sendiing him rolling across the ground, before he finally came to a stop and remained motionless, knocked uncounscious from blood loss and the powerful kick.
"Kuso! What is the meaning of this? Renji's attack should have killed it ….. And yet it just got back up as if nothing happened." Ichigo cursed mentally.
Rukia furious at seeing her long-time friend injured, unleashed her shikai. "Dance, Sode No Shirayuki!"
Rukia held out her blade and as she turned it counter clockwise, her once normal katana transformed into a pure white blade with a long white ribbon flowing from the pommel.
"Ichigo get Renji out of there." Ichigo nodded and shunpoed in the direction of the hollow, already used to the technique, the hollow proceeded to attack Ichigo.
"Hado, number 30: Shakkaho", a blast of red energy crashed into the hollows face, causing it to roar in fury. Ichigo, looked over to Rukia with her palm out. Ichigo nodded to her and then performed a flash step.
Seeing her friend safe, Rukia turned towards the hollow, which had just recovered from Rukias attack, its wounds already healed. She then punctured the ground four times in the shape of a semi-circle and lifted her blade, the point directed at the hollow.
"Tsugi no Mai, Hakuren" an avalanche of snow and ice rushed towards the hollow. Rukia smirked knowing her victory was assured. The hollow then opened its mouth and a ball of pure red energy formed. "A cero?" Rukia yelled in shock. The attack formed and collided directly with Rukia's attack and an explosion of steam erupted from the point of contact. Ichigo reappeared next to Rukia. "Come on that definitely had to have killed it."
The smoke cleared and the hollow emerged parts of its body frozen, but they were already healing at a rapid rate. "It used the cero the moment my attack collided and reduced the damage by a considerable amount." Rukia gritted her teeth in frustration. "Rukia I didn't even know that ordinary hollows could perform a cero."
"They can't. Only those of that are the level of Menos Grande can use the cero."
"Well I'm pretty sure that isn't a Menos level hollow." Ichigo replied.
"Somehow, by devouring that soul, this hollow has managed to force evolve itself to a level similar to that of Menos class." Rukia, replied as she analysed the hollow. "I don't know how, but this forced evolution also seems to have made it immune to the powers of our zanpakuto. We cannot kill...we have no choice, but to retreat."
Ichigo glared at the hollow. "Rukia take Renji for me." Rukia stared in disbelief as she was handed the red head. "Wha…What are you trying to do?"
"Relax I'm going to fight and make sure I cleave it in half."
"You fool don't do something so recless. Our zanpakuto have no effect on that thing, just retreat."
Ichigo ignored her and brought his hand up to his face before bringing it down his face in a ripping motion. Black energy rimmed with a red glow formed on his face before taking on the shape of a mask. The mask was white with two thick black lines that were on each half of the mask. The mask had a set of razor sharp jaws that were closed and two eye holes, which showed Ichigo's eyes, which now had black scleras and golden irises. The mask looked like a menacing skull.
Ichigo spoke to Rukia defiantly. "Rukia you should know me by now. I never run away from a fight."
The hollow roared before its spiritual power level sky rocketed and dark violet energy surrounded its body. Ichigo also responded in a similar fashion and black energy with red outlines surrounded him. The hollow charged forward, its arms transforming into giant axes and Ichigo vanished in a flash step and brought his blade down on the hollow. The creature raised its arms and blocked the attack which caused a massive shockwave. The creature pushed off and dashed towards Ichigo who raised his sword just in time to block the creatures attack. The creature soon sent barrage after barrage of attacks, with Ichigo matching its speed and retaliated with quick swings and jabs at the hollow who countered every move Ichigo made. Ichigo and the hollow clashed one more time and were sent back by the force the two had put into the blow. Ichigo was breathing heavily and was covered in bleeding gashes.
"All right I have had enough of this!" Ichigo yelled, "This next strike will be the last one." The hollow roared at the substitute shinigami's challenge and its spiritual power increased and started to swirl around it. Ichigo also charged his power, storing all the pent up energy within his zanpakuto. With Zangetsu held high over his head, he leapt toward the hollow prepared to deal the final blow as the hollow shot towards him with the intent to kill. The fighters clashed in an explosion of reiatsu that covered the battle field in a white light. Rukia shielded her eyes from the intensity and when it died down she saw both Ichigo and the hollow back to back. After what seemed like an eternity, the victor of the battle finally emerged.
Ichigo's mask crumbled into shards which dispersed into dust, blood dripping down the side of his head. The hollow remained motionless... before blood spurted from its wound as it began to split down the middle,
"A valiant effort Ichigo, but its useless our Zanpakuto can't…." Before Rukia could finish the hollow let out a final roar before it was envelopped in a dark light. Once the light died down, the hollow returned to its form before it ate the soul and then it turned grey before evaporating into nothingness.
Rukia stared at the scene and couldn't help but stare at her friend impressed by what he had done. "What was that you said about me not being able to beat it", he responded with a grin on his face.
Before Rukia could respond, she was interrupted. "Seems like everything's taken cared of hear." A male voice spoke out.
Ichigo and Rukia turned and saw a black cat, which had been the source of the voice.
"Yoruichi" Both shinigami exclaimed.
"Come, we must get to Kisuke's immediately and get you all patched up. We've been called by the Gotei 13, apparently something big is happening."
"Dammit Ichigo..." Ichigo looked down at the red haired man, who looked ready to faint from exhaustion, "You just had to go looking asking for something to happen. Next time be careful what you wish for." He said before passing out once again. "Renji...", Ichigo took Renji from Rukia and draped his arm over his shoulder, making sure that he would not fall off.
Ichigo and Rukia nodded before vanishing along with the cat, unbeknownst to them, that a figure had witnessed their battle and its outcome.
A figure emerged from the shadows. His face was covered in a black cloak, which masked his face. When he was sure that Ichigo and his friends were far enough he thrust his hands forward and muttered a type of incantation under his breath. When he finished a mirror formed out of thin air showing another man whose face was also hidden.
"The field test was successful. In fact, the results yielded were much better than anticipated."
"I see. This means that we can proceed as planned. All we need is for the subjects to finish their 'preparations'."
"Also, may I ask what we will do now?" The cloaked figure asked.
"The Gotei 13 will now be aware of our every move. Also Yamammoto and his captains will not simply stand idly by while we do as we please. Also, that boy Kurosaki Ichigo, He is able to destroy our hollows."
"Do not take me for an idiot. You let me deal with that old buzzard. As for his captains, they will have their hands full dealing with mutated hollows. As for Kurosaki Ichigo … I have an idea as to why he is capable of destroying the mutated hollows. Hmmmm, Aizen purposely withheld this information from us. But I guess that no longer matters."
"You realise that the others like him will..."
"Please, I've already dealt with the others. Whatever you do next, try not to kill the boy. He is the key to leading them to us."
The figure was silent for a while before he sighed.
"You really enjoy taking risks. But I'm really not one to talk. So I will just have to trust you…..Lord Madara."
Two pairs of red eyes shone in the darkness. "Make sure you don't fail me or you will know a fate worse than death."
The man replied with a nod of his head and then cut the connection. "So it finally begins." He said, before vanishing into the shadows.
Unknown location, spirit world
On a cliff overlooking a vast expanse of forest, a figure in a sand colored cloak, which fluttered because of the strong winds, was sitting down a piece of stone gazing at the scenery before him.
"I was wondering where you were." The cloaked figure turned around and saw a man who looked to be in his mid-twenties. He had the same type of cloak, but his hood was down showing his face to the world. He had emerald green eyes surrounded by black markings, pale skin, red hair that went down to his shoulders and a tattoo was visible above his left eye that had the kanji for "love'.
"Is something bothering you?" the red haired man asked.
The figure was silent for a long time before he replied back. "Do you feel that ominous sensation in the wind?"
The red haired man nodded, "I do... A storm is fast approaching."
The cloaked figure stood up, his hood falling and revealed his face. He appeared to be the same age as the red haired man and he had spiky blond hair that went down to his neck. He had sapphire blue eyes and three whiskers like marks on each cheek. His gaze held a sense of authority and power. The kind that was evident in a leader. But if one looked more closely, they could see a hint of sadness.
"Gaara", the blond addressed the red haired man. "We must go rejoin the others; we will be having company soon." The blond man responded cryptically.
Gaara nodded his head in agreement; "Understood... Naruto".
Naruto and Gaara then vanished into the wind to go and prepare for the inevitable confrontation that would come knocking on their door.
Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter.
Till next time please read and review and Happy Holidays :)