4. Gillian Days

The sun was setting, and the night was slowly taking over the endless blue mass known as the sky. Streets were getting emptier hour by hour, as the warm evening breeze sang about the story of the summer. Dark shadows danced from one place to the other, slowly dying away from the lack of sunlight.

Sitting in a corner of the dead-ended street, two figures cuddled close to each other.

"Grimm…" the ginger breathed.

"Let's do it" he replied.

It isn't necessary to say that the blue-haired male was anxious; you could clearly read it from his eyes, which raced from one point to another, his lightning-fast heartbeat, and his fastened breath. The ginger got up as well. She put her hand on his shoulder, and closed her eyes, making a deep sigh. He clenched his fists.

"Grimm…If we're really gonna do this…Then…We have to get into it with our heads cool. We can make it, I know it. D-Don't you think?" she murmured, trying to hide her trepidation for the umpteenth time.

Grimmjow suddenly turned around; Erika flinched. He looked deeply into her eyes, examining their every bit. A soul full of fear and worry, but a loyalty that surpassed far beyond the limits. That's what he saw.

"Just relax" he grinned and punched her shoulder. Now it was her who looked into his sky-colored eyes. A soul so cluttered with a desire for mass-destruction and an insane proportion of blood-thirst and obstinacy, yet with a hidden, far more friendly and nice side, that only those closest to him have permission to experience. That's what she saw.

Grimmjow was the one to finally break the silence. He gripped his chain tightly, ready to rip it out once and for all. Erika did the same.

"Okay, on three. One…" Grimmjow started counting. The ginger gulped. She didn't have the strength to keep her head straight anymore. All of her old memories she tried to suppress were coming back to her as she was tightening the grip on her chain.

"Two."

Her eyes were watery, and the memory of her mother burnt up inside her like a forest fire, and it spread out throughout her body.

I must not give up.

She bit her lip to prevent her eyes from turning into waterfalls.

I must stay strong.

"Three!"

Erika pulled as hard as she could, and after a few strong pulls, the Chain of Fate separated from her body. Her verdant eyes widened as she observed the metal cable fall to the ground in slow motion, with a loud clank.

And in that moment, everything went completely blank. Colors passed around her with blinding speed, whirling and sparkling, disintegrating and blurring. The ginger felt dizzy, but she didn't collapse or fall.

Suddenly as it started, the expeditious motion stopped. Erika found herself in a vast, grey desert. It was night, and the moon was the only light.

"This must be…"

"…Hueco Mundo."

The fairly familiar, manly voice gave Erika a tingling sentience. But, in terms of appearance, it wasn't him at all. He was taller, with a long white nose and in a black tone. He also had some bone-like structures perking out of his neck.

"Grimm? What happened to you?" she asked stupefied. He turned his head and looked at her with his once sky-blue eyes, which were now replaced with empty, black tunnels.

"Like you're the one to speak! You look just the same!" he said in a defensive way. Erika gasped; looking downwards, she saw a black mass, the same one Grimmjow was formed of, and that was now her body. She stared in disbelief.

"Don't worry, I saw more guys who look like this. This's the Gillian phase, and Gillians are all annoyingly damn alike, so this's normal. Don't get your shit wrought up just yet" the male said confidently, turning away. Erika wasn't sure how much time did she need to calm down, but you surely couldn't have a sense for time in a place like this. She felt disoriented and lost.

Suddenly, Grimmjow started to move, without a word. The ginger decided to follow him, although, it didn't look like they had anywhere to go. They kept walking towards the Moon, and not a single soul was there to greet them or even attack. It all seemed so pointless to the verdant-eyed girl, but she knew Grimmjow would get angry if she spoke a word against his plan. And thus, she owes him a favor, so she better keep her mouth shut and obey.

Lost in thought, she hit her friend's back.

"Hm?" she stepped back, observing Grimmjow's blackened figure, who was now still. He didn't reply; he kept staring in front of him. Erika stood beside him, and flinched upon the picture in front of them.

A horde of night-colored masked creatures such as their selves was marching by. They didn't seem to notice the pair.

"Let's join them" said Grimmjow.

"Are you s-sure? T-They don't seem v-very friendly…" Erika's voice was clearly shaking.

"Do you want to become Vasto Lorde with me or not? C'mon!" said the male in a truculent manner. Without a choice, Erika finally agreed and they both merged into the army of Gillians. Nobody, not even the Gillians, knew where and why they were going, but they just kept their heads and sharp noses up, advancing forward.

In all the commotion, Erika lost sight of Grimmjow, and was now surrounded by unknown fellows. She gulped and kept glancing at each of them with fear, praying to get out alive. And then, without a warning, one of the Gillians jumped up with its mouth open, going straight for Erika. She gaped and froze, not knowing what to do for a moment. The ginger jumped out of the group and the attacker followed her. They were in an open field now, and there was no place to hide.

"I must give praise to your reflexes, they are truly admirable" the Gillian suddenly spoke, with a lunatic grin. Erika kept staring at him, shaking form head to toes.

"But…How will they help you against my Cero?!" the creature cried out, opening its mouth, and a small, red sphere formed inside. It was pointed straight at Erika's head. She froze yet again, ready to be blown up to bits.

"Not on my watch, scumbag!" yelled an angered voice. Another Gillian jumped out of the army and kicked off the attacker. In a few swift moves, the Hollow lied dead in the sand.

"Grimm!" Erika yelled, realizing it was her friend who saved her. But he didn't reply just yet; his back turned to hers, and his head was low. When he finally faced her, blood was dripping down his jaw. The ginger's happiness faded upon seeing that. And thus, her attacker was gone.

"W-What…?" she attempted to ask, but her voice crashed. She could sense Grimmjow's soul shaking from excitement again.

"I ate him. I devoured his soul. And I gotta keep doing that if I wanna progress. You as well. Remember what that Shinigami prick said? Only a few Gillians have a mind of their own and are aware of what they're doing, and those few can become Adjuchas! Look at us, we're talking! And there are many here who can't do that. They're a joke, and we're gonna get 'em all!" he explained in his usual tone. Erika smiled to herself.

"I'm glad you're okay…" was her comment. It phased Grimmjow; at a time like this, when she should worry for her own evolution and gaining more power, she still cared about his well-being.

"Yeah…" he smirked almost silently. The ginger nodded.

"I still need to beat some damn confidence in you, you're still so annoyingly soft…" he thought as he turned his back to her yet again. He leaped up and fell in the middle of the Gillian group, and started devouring each of them, soul by soul, no exceptions. Erika watched him in awe; he was really something. No matter what, he kept advancing in skill and power. He's gotten a lot stronger. He, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, was surely worth following.

Soon after, at least it seemed like it was soon, Grimmjow was done with the nasty horde. He ate almost all of his fellows, and left a few for Erika to eat. She wasn't really sure how, but she imagined it being like eating candy or any other food. When she finally got the hang of it, the ginger walked up to Grimmjow.

"Thank you for saving me a few…" she bowed.

"Tsk! C'mon, we're friends, that's a normal thing to do!" he scolded.

"Yeah…'Friends'…" she added in a dream-like manner. But then she noticed some blue energy covered up Grimmjow in whole, and it was making him stronger by every second of its presence. Within a few minutes, there was no black masked-figure in front of Erika; instead, a panther-like creature was had replaced it, and it glared at her with sky-blue eyes that once belonged to a Human. The panther's claws were big and sharp, and it remained in a stealthy stance.

Erika gaped; Grimmjow had finally become an Adjuchas-class Menos.