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*Morcyth - Indeed. Something happened to him.
Chapter 19: Heldenklau (Shining Hybrids)
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
'Inner hollow/Zanpaktou speech'
At the same time in a different part of Seiretei
The Captain of the 5th Division narrowed his eyes and extending his arm forward, he grabbed his Vice-Captain's shoulder. With a small pull, he forcibly dragged her backwards. Ignoring her protests, he spoke to her.
"Calm down, Momo."
His Vice-Captain opened her mouth to protest more but when she saw his mouth forming a straight line, she quieted down. Despite knowing Shinji for only a few months, she knew one thing. If Hirako Shinji wasn't grinning, things had to be bad.
"I don't like what I've just seen. We don't know how she repelled those attacks. That's the first thing we need to figure out." He commented in a steady voice.
"You should listen to your Captain, young girl. You don't want to end up getting stabbed by your own friend like the last time you participated in a fight, isn't that right?"
Shinji mentally cursed and for an instant, he closed his eyes in annoyance. Of all the things their opponent could say to them, the Quincy woman chose the worst thing. With a slight worry, he opened his eyes and glanced at his Vice-Captain's face, to see a dark shadow looming over it. It seemed, however, that the Sternritter 'N' wasn't completely finished.
"Yes, Aizen Sosuke had informed us how magnificently he had deceived the Gotei 13 during the battle of the Karakura Town and made them almost kill you instead of him." Nadja heartily laughed and slowly pulled down her hood to reveal an attractive woman in her forties with short black hair and a fair skin.
"…Momo…" Shinji said, trying to keep his Vice-Captain calm. However, to his pleasant surprise, Momo raised her head and showed the Quincy her determined expression. Her hands were trembling a little, but there were strong flames burning in her eyes, even more brightly than the flames on her Tobiume.
"Cap-…. Aizen did many things. I will always cherish the happy memories I share with him but that's all. I will not let your words shake me up." Momo firmly stated and the zanpakuto she held in her hands glowed with reiatsu.
In his mind, Shinji thanked the certain orange-haired substitute once again and proudly stared at the girl. It was almost mind-boggling just how much her behavior had changed during these past few months. Following her example, he brandished his own zanpakuto and slowly formed a grin.
"You heard her… Aizen is the past for her. And I think it's time we get this party going. Collapse, Sakanade." He exclaimed and slowly rotated the blade, using the pommel that transformed into a ring.
"Now, Nadja-san, don't you think something smells nicely around here?" Shinji casually stated while walking towards the woman, keeping his Vice-Captain behind him so that she wouldn't get caught up within his Zanpakuto ability.
To his irk, Nadja just smiled and deliberately took a deep sniff of the air around her.
"Why yes, it smells kind of sweet."
"Really? And you don't feel anything out of the normal order?"
His voice suddenly came from behind her as he stared at her back, his body hanging upside down from the air. The woman's smile widened and she addressed the Captain without even turning her head.
"Sakanade, it has certainly an interesting ability. However, I hope you don't think we came here unprepared? Your ability to invert the world was contained in the Daten made by his Majesty. Aizen Sosuke added extra details. Don't even bother to try and unsettle me." She said with her head tilted to the side, still looking at Momo who, unflinchingly, returned her gaze.
"I see. And by showing me your cool attitude, you're trying to convince me that you're fine. Or is it yourself that you're trying to convince? Even if you know everything, you cannot train your brain to counter the inverted directions of everything." Shinji replied and casually flashed next to her and swung his blade at the back of her neck. Feeling the movement of his blade coming to a complete stop just half a meter from her skin he frowned at the translucent barrier that formed around the woman.
'So it doesn't matter how strong the physical attack. Her barrier can stop both Momo and mine slash easily…' He thought and jumped back a little.
"That's why I was sent to fight you, Captain. For me, it doesn't matter from which direction your attack comes, I can negate all of them without moving any of my fingers." Nadja calmly commented and took a wobbly step forward. Visibly looking uncomfortable, as soon as her foot touched the ground she stopped moving for a moment.
Shinji observed it with a curious expression and then his grin returned.
"So you say, but from the looks of it, my Sakanade makes it hard for you to move freely. And if you want to successfully invade us, eventually you'll have to move again. You can't just expect me to waste my time on you if you just-" He was forced to stop talking and flash to the side to evade a barrage of arrows coming from within the woman's barrier.
"Well then, that just means I'll have to kill you, doesn't it?" Nadja retorted a bit coldly.
Shinji narrowed his eyed and touched his shoulder, where one of the arrows grazed his skin.
'Her arrows are fast.'
His eyes found his Vice-Captain, who was fortunate enough to evade those few arrows that had been sent her way. It seemed that Nadja's focus was mostly on him. He couldn't find any faults with that. He was a Captain after all and perceivably a bigger threat than any Vice-Captain. Right now, it also played in his cards. Rotating his blade one time, he called out to the girl.
"Momo, while she's concentrating on me, try to find a way how to break through her barrier."
His Vice-Captain looked at him with wide eyes and glanced at their opponent, who was looking at them with confused eyes.
"It's okay, she can't understand what we're saying. I was able to find a new way to use my Sakanade and now even the words people say in my vicinity are inverted. Everything we say is practically gibberish to her." Shinji said with a grin, which increased as he saw Nadja shaking her head, clearly annoyed by something.
Using Shunpo, the Captain of the 5th Division positioned himself in front of the Quincy and from the corner of his eye noticed as Momo cautiously went around, so that she could try something from behind the woman. He knew he needed to keep Nadja's attention on him. If he failed and she would shift her focus on his Vice-Captain, the girl under his command wouldn't be able to fend off the fast attacks. Keeping that, along with what he knew about Nadja's abilities so far, in his mind he threw away his grin and concentrated.
'Okay… she was able to negate Momo's zanpakuto abilities and physical blows. Hm, but there has to be some sort of a limit to her barrier. If there wasn't, she would be easily the top fighter in the Quincy army. And the strongest fighter in their army wouldn't spent his time trying to kill me. As highly I think of myself, I'm well aware there are people stronger than me in the Gotei 13.' He wondered and raised his hands.
"Bakudō #21: Sekienton." He muttered and a large cloud of red smoke emerged from his palms, obstructing his opponent's view of him. Within the smoke, Shinji pointed his index finger at where the woman should have been and gathered his reiryoku.
"Bakudō #61: Rikujōkōrō." He whispered. The cloud around him was blown away and six thin, wide beams of light appeared all around Nadja, flying towards her to complete the Kidō spell. Without any visible surprise on her face, Nadja remained motionless and let her barrier block every beam. Not even a fireball sent at her from behind managed to penetrate it. Shinji watched it all with grim expression.
'So she can block even multiple strikes at the same time-' His thought were cut off when a large arrow almost blew his head off and he had to heavily lean backwards to avoid it. Cursing loudly, he saw a similar arrow fly towards his Vice-Captain. When Momo forced the projectile to explode using a few of her fireballs, he sighed in relief.
'…we're running out of options. This is a stalemate battle. We can't leave her go but we can't defeat her either. It seems we need to use brute force.' He grimaced and gathered his reiryoku again.
'This is the strongest Hadō I can use safely…'
Shinji raised his right arm forward and outstretched, gripped it at the wrist with his other hand and concentrated. When a few sparks of electricity began to burst out from his palm, he exclaimed.
"Hadō #88: Hiryū Gekizoku Shinten Raihō!" An immense beam of electrical and spiritual energy shot from his position and crossed the distance between him and wide-eyed Nadja in a matter of an instant. Along with a barrage of fireballs, the attack hit the Quincy woman head-on, creating a huge explosion upon impact and forced both the Captain and his Vice-Captain to shield their eyes. As the flash of light and a burst of wind passed them by and blew their hair, pieces of debris flew everywhere, tearing bits of the both shinigami's clothes.
When the explosion finally died down, Shinji slowly lowered his arms and glanced at the place where Nadja stood. His eyes widening, he groaned and cursed.
The barrier around the woman was flickering in and out of existence and the person within it was completely unharmed.
Looking behind the woman, Shinji noticed his Vice-Captain hitting the few light arrows that seemed to protrude from her leg and shoulder, dissolving them upon impact. The girl cried in pain but despite that, she forced herself back on her feet.
He closed his eyes for a moment and sighed.
'Screw the Central 46. I won't let people die because they are a bunch of bigots and are afraid of our power..' He mentally growled and put a hand in front of his face. Resolutely, he pulled the hand down while emitting his hollow reiryoku from the fingertips, creating his pharaoh-like hollow mask.
"It's time to fight seriously, Quincy." He spoke and for the first time, he noticed the woman grimacing.
She could understand his words again, as using his mask was making it hard for the Vizard to maintain all of his zanpakuto abilities. However, it looked like his words weren't the reason for her grimace.
"So you finally take your hideous mask out, huh?" She stated and cursed when she saw Shinji raising his arm and forming a red orb of energy at his fist.
"Yeah, I do. CERO!" Shinji exclaimed.
Hoping Momo would notice his intentions and run away, he released the crimson red Cero. The wide arc of the attack destroyed the surroundings of the battleground and, with a devastating force, stroke the Quincy woman, creating an explosion even bigger than the one from the Kidō spell. His clothes fluttered because of the shockwave from the attack and Shinji watched through his mask as the woman's barrier blocked his Cero in the same manner like the rest of his previous attacks. However, there was one distinct difference.
The translucent barrier around the woman was slowly corroding under the energy of the Cero. It was slowly repairing itself soon after that but it was all it took for Shinji to realize something. He grinned.
In an impressive show of Shunpo, he flashed close to Nadja and, recalling Ichigo's Getsuga, he poured some of his hollow reiryoku to the blade of his zanpakuto. Bringing it down, he slashed at the woman from her right side. His blade was stopped but the force of the blow sent the woman skidding down the concrete surface. With a satisfied smirk, he noticed that the hollow energy on his blade created a small opening in the previously impenetrable barrier.
As the Quincy woman cursed, she was forced backwards when Shinji repeated his heavy blow, this time from the front and instantly followed it with a bright red Cero. The energy strike slipped past the opening in the barrier and hit the woman dead-on. The following explosion blasted her backwards. She crashed into the nearby building, demolishing the whole structure.
"MOMO! NOW!" Shinji yelled and together with his Vice-Captain they jumped above the battlefield and released a barrage of attacks.
Fireball after fireball, Hadō after Hadō rained upon the Quincy woman lying somewhere amidst the rubble, creating a chain of explosions large enough to blast even the two Gotei 13 combatants backwards. Not convinced of their victory, Shinji finished the onslaught with another Cero, blasting half of the battlefield into nothingness. Grabbing Momo, he hastily flashed to a safe distance and together they watched as the smoke from the explosions slowly died down.
Through it, a pillar of light suddenly rose, hitting the Shakonmaku barrier from within and dispersing sideways.
"I have a bad feeling about this." Shinji muttered and together with Momo hurried back to the battlefield, just in time to see their opponent kneeling on the ground with a pair of translucent wings protruding from her back. She was horribly injured, lacerations and burns covering most of her body, blood was flowing from deep wounds but despite all that, she was slowly getting back on her feet. Through gritted teeth she spat on the ground.
"D-Damn you shinigami. Don't… don't think this is over." She muttered.
"It is over. You're half-dead." Shinji retorted with a frown. While he didn't like to execute enemies that couldn't defend themselves, he would do it if it meant weakening the enemy army. His frown deepened when Nadja's dry laughter entered his ears.
"Exactly… I'm still only half-dead. Until I'm completely dead, this won't be over." She stated.
When glowing spirit particles started to gather around the woman, Shinji narrowed his eyes and flashed to her to finish her off but got blasted backwards instead when the translucent barrier around the woman explosively pulsed outwards. As he rolled over in the air, Shinji saw the spirit particles slowly covering her whole body and forming multiple thin strings of reishi, connecting it with her head.
"Quincy: Vollständig… Quincy: Ransōtengai…" Nadja muttered and straightened her back, staring at Shinji with determined eyes.
"Round two, Captain."
"Hm, I'm glad my first opponents look strong. The Superstar, the best hero, can at least show his might to his fans!"
Iba stood slightly behind his tall Captain, both of them still staring at the Quincy in front of them with confused eyes. Neither of them moved. They were trying to solve the riddle called Mask de Masculine, a bizarre person trying to pose as some sort of a justice hero. The fact that he was a part of an invading army, however, only made him look more grotesque.
"Let's go, villains! Star Dropkick!"
Komamura swiftly raised his arms and putting them forward, blocked an attempt of the Quincy to drop kick him in the chest. But the strength of the attack surprised even the large Captain and he had to support himself with one leg so he wouldn't get pushed back.
Behind him, Iba maneuvered to the side and with his Shikai released, he jumped in the air and tried to strike the Quincy with his sword. He was unsuccessful as his opponent grabbed the blade with his bare hand and threw him away.
With a little difficulty, Komamura sent the Quincy flying backwards, only for the man to skid along the ground and stop after a few meters.
Kicking the dirt, Mask de Masculine jumped forward again, faster than before.
"Star Eagle Kick!"
Only his enhanced senses and reflexes allowed the Captain of the 7th Division not to get overwhelmed by the kick. He managed to bring his gauntlets-covered forearms in front of him in time to lessen the impact of the sudden knee kick to his guts. Gritting his teeth, he felt his feet leaving the ground. Even the lessened attack had enough force to send him flying backwards and he noticed small dents in his gauntlets.
'These were able to block strikes from Zaraki Kenpachi long time ago… just what monstrous strength this person possesses?' He wondered and seeing the Quincy closing on him again, he grabbed the hilt of his zanpakuto and when the enemy was close enough, he slashed from the side. His blade didn't penetrate his opponent's skin, but the blow was powerful enough to force him to fly to the side.
"Naiburēdo!" A loud yell came from the side and Komamura watched as a volley of small knives flew from Iba's position straight at the Quincy. Although they hit the man right in his back, they were unable to hurt him and only shredded his clothes.
Komamura narrowed his eyes and when the man shot forward, heading straight towards his Vice-Captain, he used Shunpo to intercept him.
"Roar, Tenken!" He exclaimed and brought his Shikai blade down at the enemy, slamming him into the ground. As his body was forced to sink into the concrete surface and a small shockwave resonated through the area, the man grunted and stayed down for a moment.
There was no blood and the man's fingers twitched. Komamura raised his sword and with a bit of regret prepared to execute his enemy.
'No… no regret. They are invaders, trying to destroy this world. We cannot allow them to survive.'
But as his sword was falling down, the small man who came with the Quincy hammered the gong and yelled at the top of his lungs.
"…s-stand… Please stand up, Superstar!"
Without having any idea on what was going on, Komamura felt a knee in his guts and found himself crashing into the building on his left. Slightly growling, he shook off the surprise and stood up, the debris falling down from him. And just in time to see the Quincy flying towards him, head first.
"Star Rocket Headbutt!"
Komamura cocked his fist back and punched the air in front of him at the same time as Mask's head entered his range. His fist and the man's head collided and for a moment both of them fought for dominance. The Captain gritted his teeth when he felt his bones almost breaking and so, using his other arm, he elbowed the man in the back. This time, man only hit the ground and bounced back on his feet, instantly pushing forward. He slapped away Komamura's arms and grabbed his head.
Komamura groaned and felt like his skull was splitting open. Next attack hit him in the abdomen and he was sent backwards once again.
"Captain!" Iba exclaimed and using Shunpo, he appeared behind Mask, holding the pick-like protrusion on his blade and aiming the tip of his sword at the Quincy's back.
"Naiburēdo, Naku no.2!" From the end up his zanpakuto, a small blast shaped like a knife shot forward and sank a little in the Quincy's skin, causing the man to snarl. Before he turned around and slapped Iba away, the Vice-Captain managed to shoot another two blasts, drawing a bit of blood.
"Unforgivable, villain! To injure a Hero, unforgivable!" Mask yelled and putting his index and middle fingers to the points of the star on his mask, a star-shaped beam flew at Iba in high speed.
"The beam of a Hero will…" He trailed off when Komamura flashed from behind him and intercepted the beam just before it could hit his Vice-Captain. Stopping it with the back of his blade, the Captain stared at Mask.
"What are you, Quincy."
Mask returned his gaze with a confused look, a question mark forming on the forehead part of his mask. He tilted his head to the side and spoke.
"Hm? So you finally say something, villain?" His mouth opened widely, a loud laughter escaped his throat.
"It seems you still haven't noticed it! I'm 'S', the Superstar and the audience cheers are my power!"
Keeping a calm expression on his face, Komamura narrowed his eyes.
'It's unbelievable he is simple enough to give away the explanation of his power so easily. He's almost like a manga character…' He thought and glanced at his Vice-Captain twitching on the ground and trying to will himself back from unconsciousness.
'…but I shouldn't complain. If what he says means what I think it means, once that small person is out of the picture he should be powerless.'
"I see. Thank you for the explanation." He retorted and raising his zanpakuto upwards, a giant arm formed above him. The increased range of his attacks made the Quincy narrow his eyes.
"That is an intriguing trick, villain." He stated and when the blade fell on him, he evaded it by jumping to the side. However, he noticed too late that it was only meant to scare him off and that he wasn't the true target. With a horizontal slash, Komamura bifurcated the small man next to the gong.
"M-mister…" The small man said in a frightened voice as his legs flew in a different direction as his torso did.
Mask quickly turned around.
He glanced at Komamura and raised his clenched fist.
"You coward! How dare you harm a simple fan?!" He yelled, enraged.
Komamura sighed and suppressed the regret he was feeling again.
"You didn't give me another choice, Quincy. He was the source of your power. Without him, you are powerless."
He raised his zanpakuto once more and prepared to strike Mask with the giant's arm, when a loud voice caused him to widen his eyes.
"You can do it Superstar! Don't give up!" The small man, James, was still alive and able to loudly cheer for his partner.
Glancing back at the larger man, Komamura saw the star-shaped mark manifest on the back of his fists. In the next instant, however, the man disappeared from his view and reappeared right in front of him, his fists flying at the Captain.
"Striking my dearest fan? You have just angered me, villain! Die with my… Star Killer Punch!"
Moving fast, Komamura managed to block the first punch but felt few bones in his hand break, making him unable to block the rest of the strikes. He felt the hits connect with his stomach, shoulders and jaw, forcing him to spit blood and fly backwards, where he crashed through the wall and continued flying further. Destroying two more concrete structures on his way, he finally came to a stop at the third one and a large amount of blood escaped his mouth. He fell on his knees, supporting himself with the uninjured hand.
As the blood dripped from his mouth, he mentally cursed.
'T-this is too much… I never expected them to be this strong…' From the corner of his eye, he saw Mask rapidly approaching and he gritted his teeth.
'I can't fail here! I will protect Soul Society just like Genryūsai-dono taught me!' He thought and ignoring the pain in his body, he forced himself back on his feet and released a large amount of reiatsu, stopping the Quincy in his tracks.
"Ban-kai! Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō!"
A giant figure rose from behind Komamura, demolishing the rest of the building he was in and causing Mask to widen his eyes.
"Let's continue, Quincy. It seems you're hell-bent on claiming you're a hero and I'm the villain. I will change that opinion."
"It had been decided that we should deal as much damage as we can, so you should prepare yourself, former Captain."
Rose didn't answer and watched as the Quincy in front of him, Quilge Opie, drew out his sword and pointed it upwards. Without a warning, half a dozen reishi arrows dropped from the sky at the Vizard's position. He was forced to use his Shunpo to flash sideways and so he took his zanpakuto out of the scabbard.
"I can almost feel the unartistic aura around you, Quincy and it makes me sad. It makes me very sad." Rose stated with narrowed eyes and quickly put his sword and its scabbard in front of him, levitating it with his reiryoku to from a cross shape. With a small twitch, his fingers began to slowly move up and down, as if he was playing on a piano.
He knew he didn't have much time before his enemy would attempt to strike him again and so he increased the speed of his fingers. His eyes glued to the movements of his own hand, he couldn't see the wary expression on Quilge's face when the man heard a real piano music being played. The sound coiled around him, creating an illusion of feeling constrained.
"Yes, this is nice, don't you agree? Arpeggio." Rose whispered and moved his fingers even faster.
The music of his illusion gave birth to countless wires, wrapping around the Quincy's body, squeezing it tightly. The Vizard was slowly increasing his rhythm further, falling into a musical trance, while the wires began to constrict his opponent more and more.
"It is pointless, Vizard. We have been given Daten from his Majesty. I already know this ability of yours."
Rose awoke from his daze to see an intricate pattern showing on the back of Quilge's hands before the said man tensed his limbs and broke out of the constraints. Feeling the reishi accumulating near his opponent, Rose hastily grabbed his levitating zanpakuto and brought it in front of his face, just in time to stop a harsh slash at his head.
"What is wrong? I've been given an impression you hybrids prize yourself to be quite powerful." From behind the blades, Quilge provoked him. Straining his muscles, Rose pushed the man off of him and gathered his reiryoku.
"Do not worry, Quincy. This is still just the first act of my play. Here comes the second part: Play, Kinshara." He exclaimed. In an instant, his zanpakuto transformed into a golden whip, its tip flying forward. It hit Quilge straight into abdomen, causing Rose to frown.
'He didn't even attempt to evade it.'
His eyes widened when the robe, the man was wearing, tore at the point of impact and showed his completely intact skin.
'Not even a scratch?' He thought in disbelief and cursed when an arrow tore a bit of flesh from his calf.
"You're too careless, Wizard… or was it Vizard? My Heilig Pfeil bears barely an average power and yet you're getting torn like a butter." Quilge continued his provocations and corrected a hair that fell in his face.
Rose schooled his expression and resolutely swept his whip-like sword, forcing Quilge to block it with his own blade. Flashing to the right side, Rose spun around, his zanpakuto flying in a broad range and with a small waving move he attached the tip of the sword to his opponent's back.
"Golden Sal Tree Sonata Number Eleven – Sixteen Day-Old Moon Rose." He tapped his end of the zanpakuto and a tiny vibration travelled across the whip, intensifying with the distance. When it reached the opposite end, a sound of a strummed guitar string sounded in the area and created a shockwave that blasted the Quincy head-first into the nearby building. Rose shielded his eyes from the burst of wind and jumped backwards, to avoid the flying debris.
In a fluid motion, he swung up and down his zanpakuto, destroying all arrows that shot from the destroyed building. Safe from the harm, he frowned.
"I commend your attempt… but I will repeat myself. It is all but for a naught."
When a figure emerged from the cloud of a swirled dust, Rose grimaced. His opponent was barely injured. The clothes on the upper half of his body were mostly ripped apart but the skin underneath was only slightly singed. Light burns; that was all his attack was able to do to him.
He saw his opponent raising his sword again and so he flashed behind him, intent on striking him up close. It wasn't a very artistic thing to do but the time was calling for attacks like that. He had no other choice. But when his blade touched the skin on his opponent's back, it only slid along it, unable to penetrate it.
Quilge spun around and caught him off-guard by slicing his mid-section with his own, shorter blade. Small amount of blood sprayed the air before the Vizard realized what was going on and jumped backwards, holding his abdomen with a free hand.
He glanced at the wound and narrowed his eyes.
'It's not very deep… but he's getting too troublesome. Ah, that was such an inartistic word.' He thought and trying to keep his opponent in a safe distance, he smoothly waved his whip, causing it to wrap around the Quincy. The man carelessly let this happen with a laugh.
"I told you, it's useless. You cannot pierce the Blut I have received from my Majesty."
Ignoring the provocative words, Rose concentrated on the movements of his fingers. He squeezed his end of the whip and waved it sideways, sending a small wave through the zanpakuto.
"Golden Sal Tree Sonata Number Five – Summer Eggplant Rose." He exclaimed and a sound of violin filled the air between the two of them. When the wave in the zanpakuto reached the other end, the blade glowed.
Rose mentally congratulated himself when he noticed the uncomfortable expression on the Quincy's face. Small amount of blood dripped from around the places when his zanpakuto was enveloping the man.
Quilge looked down and widened his eyes.
Rose took a deep breath to mask his relief.
"I have developed this attack after I had become a Vizard. I push a tiny bit of my hollow reiryoku through my zanpakuto and the blade reacts by erecting a set of thorns in the place where it's connected with my opponent's skin." He answered calmly.
Quilge narrowed his eyes and tore the whip from his body, letting more blood drip from the small cuts on his skin.
"I see. I was under the impression you hybrids couldn't use your hollow powers unless you don the mask."
"We can use only a tiny amount, which is usually not enough to form any kind of attack but it proved to be just enough to create this one. I noticed you've been trying to provoke me with the word hybrid and I just couldn't shake the feeling that it means something. I think this proved it. You are afraid of us, Vizards, as our hollow reiryoku can wound you." He stated and with a sweep of his hand, he donned his mask.
"Afraid?! Nonsense! But… it seems I have probably underestimated you. It won't happen again. I shall have you die quickly after this." Quilge retorted and raised his hand on which he was wearing a black glove with some sort of a symbol on it. It rapidly began to glow and a column of energy shot from the man, upwards into the air.
"That friend of yours over there is lucky Quilge took him away."
Hacchi listened to the words of his opponent, a tall girl with light-colored hair, with a slight worry in his eyes. So far, she hadn't attack him at all, reacting to the actions of her colleague with just a short scoff. Other person could think it was a good sign, but the large man knew otherwise. From the energy he could sense within his opponent Hacchi realized there was a difficult fight waiting for him.
He mentally wished his fellow Vizard, Rose, a good amount of luck and closing his eyes for a moment, he prepared himself for the imminent battle. In that moment, he heard something flying towards him. He sighed; it had begun.
"Bakudō #81: Dankū." He calmly stated. When he opened his eyes, a tall, translucent barrier that stopped a large reishi arrow stood in front of him.
Hacchi was aware of his own limitations and just from the few minutes he spent studying his opponent, he realized his only chance to fight was Kidō. He was in possession of a zanpakuto, however, his Shunpo skills were insufficient to keep up with the Quincy. Knowing all this, he decided he could not let her play her own game and he clapped his hands. A bright green light escaped from within.
"Roppō Fūjin." He said and the green light expanded outwards, reaching the girl in an instant. It swiftly enveloped her and formed a tri-dimensional, horizontal and vertical cross-shaped barrier, sealing her within. The Quincy raised her eyebrow and looking around her, she calmly smiled.
"That is an interesting barrier, hybrid. However, I'm afraid something like this won't be enough to stop me!" She exclaimed and with wide eyes, Hacchi watched as his barrier slowly began to dissolve, to break down to simple spirit particles.
'It's just like the fight with the Segunda Espada…' He thought and alarms went off in his mind when he felt a good amount of his reiryoku reserves disappear.
'What? I'm sure Roppō Fūjin doesn't take so much energy…'
A sharp pain in his left shoulder forced him to turn around and quickly erect another Dankū spell. His eyes twitching from the pain, he glanced at the wound. The arrow from behind tore some flesh from his body, leaving a hole between his shoulder and neck which showed the whiteness of his collarbone. For a normal person, it could easily be a serious injury but for a shinigami of his caliber, the wound only hurt a bit and was at most a hindrance. Although, even he couldn't afford to take many injuries like that before it could become life-threatening.
After all, his life-force wasn't as strong as Hiyori who survived being bifurcated.
"Hadō #4: Byakurai." He pointed his finger at the girl who flashed around his Dankū and was now in the middle of preparing another arrow. His spell caught her in mid-air but when she emerged from the small cloud of smoke unharmed and irritated, he frowned. When he saw the girl creating an even larger arrow than before and firing it at him, he hastily clapped his hands again and made a step forward with his left leg. Moving his hands in a flash, he manipulated his energy that took form of another barrier.
"…seeking redemption, Ryūbi no Jōmōn." He finished chanting and felt another good amount of his reserves being drained. As the barrier in front of him was his own creation, he knew the girl wasn't trying to maneuver around it and instead decided to dissolve it like the previous one.
With that in mind, his mind-wheels spun in a furious manner.
'My barriers can only slow her down and that's only if she decides to go through them… Byakurai was ineffective. I'll have to switch to stronger Hadō spells…' He thought and raised his palm in front of him. Generating a yellow orb of energy he stayed still and waited until the girl dissolved his barrier. When a hole, big enough to let his spell go through it, appeared he opened his mouth.
"Hadō #63: Raikōhō!" He exclaimed and a massive concentration of energy shot forward in a form of a single lighting strike, hitting his opponent dead on. This time, the impact created a bigger cloud of smoke. However, nothing changed. The girl emerged unharmed from it, the expression on her face showing a clear annoyance.
"It seems you don't get it, hybrid. Your little spells cannot harm a Quincy from his Majesty army, not to mention somebody like me, a Sternritter." She scoffed and reached behind her to take out a thin, long reishi knife. With wide eyes, Hacchi quickly summoned his zanpakuto and blocked the strike, aimed at his left arm.
With some effort, he pushed the girl back and dropped his sword. Raising both of his palm and extending them forward, he quickly gathered his reiryoku.
"Hadō #87: Sōren Raikōhō!" Twice as strong as a simple Raikōhō, Hacchi's spell hit the girl in the stomach, forcing her to fly backwards. This time, he didn't wait for the confirmation whether his attack did any damage and prepared his next spell.
In a quick succession, he clapped his hands and repeated the same process he did just a moments ago. The memory of his fight with Segunda Espada gave him an idea.
"Ryūbi no Jōmōn."
A small bead of sweat formed on his forehead, but he never stopped waving his hands.
"Kokō no Jōmōn."
A barrier in a shape of watermill appeared next to the first barrier, around the place where his opponent crash-landed.
"Kigai no Jōmōn." A honeycomb-like barrier formed next and Hacchi felt the beads of sweat on his forehead multiplying.
"Hōyoku no Jōmōn." An obelisk rose next to the cloud of smoke, from which Hacchi could see a silhouetted of the girl slowly standing up. Ignoring the fatigue, he moved his hands and let multiple planks appear around the tip of the obelisk, creating a lampshade. The four barriers in place, Hacchi took a deep breath before raising his middle and index finger together and pointing them at his barriers.
"Shijū no Saimon!"
He felt his legs wobble and fell on one knee. The reiryoku expenditure were slowly approaching his limits.
"Impressive, hybrid. If I recall correctly, this is the same thing you used in the battle with one of Aizen Sosuke's Espada. Too bad you don't have the Captain of the 2nd Division to back you up, though. This will only slow me down and from the looks of it, you're reaching your limit." The girl commented form within the barrier.
In a distance, the two of them noticed a large explosion. Within, Hacchi felt Shinji's reiatsu and narrowed his eyes. Not far from them, he felt Rose's reiatsu too. He recalled what Urahara told him when they were discussing how they ended up being a Vizards.
With wide eyes, he understood. Seeing the girl slowly dissolving his immense barrier, he knew he had to act quickly. Slashing with his hand, he formed a hollow mask on his face. The boost in strength allowed him to stand up and flash next to the barrier. When he observed the girl warily looking at his mask, he sighed in relief.
'It's this or nothing.' He thought and with his right palm, he touched the barrier.
"What are you doing?" The girl asked cautiously.
Hacchi didn't answer and instead concentrated on his remaining reiryoku reserves, carefully adding his hollow energy into the mix for his next spell.
"Seeping crest of turbidity. Arrogant vessel of lunacy! Boil forth and deny! Grow numb and flicker! Disrupt sleep! Crawling queen of iron! Eternally self-destructing doll of mud! Unite! Repulse! Fill with soil and know your own powerlessness! Hadō #90: Kurohitsugi!" He chanted and watched as a large coffin, constructed with a black energy, slowly enveloped the girl.
As the spell faded away, his mask crumbled and the Quincy fell from within, multiple cuts and gashes all around her body. She was barely conscious and blood oozed out of her mouth. Her clenched fist hit the ground.
"You will… pay for this… hybrid. Quincy: Vollständig." She wheezed and a torrent of energy shot upwards. With a painful expression, she got up and glared at Hacchi, who felt he was slowly losing the rest of his reiryoku.
"I am his Majesty Sternritter 'P', the Parasite! I will not let some hybrid kill me. All of your little magic tricks… I will suck your energy out of it all!" She yelled, her pretty face distorted with an angry grimace. She let dozens of small projectiles shoot from within her body and hit the barrier that was still around her. As soon as it happened, the Shijū no Saimon began to dissolve at incredible speed.
However, Hacchi put his hands on it and let his remaining reserves flow into it.
"Ha! Even if you try to reinforce it, I'll still destroy it!" The girl laughed but then she stiffened and a pained expression appeared on her face. She turned to Hacchi and with wide eyes noticed the mask back on his face. Through it, she couldn't see the tired smile on his face; he was approaching dangerous limits of his reiryoku reserves.
"I know… but I understood your power. You don't just dissolve my spells, you absorb my energy from them. The small connection between me and my spells allowed you to suck some energy even from me… at least while the spells existed. That's why I'm out of reiryoku. However, you can't choose which energy you absorb when the spell is made out of more than one. Now, you're absorbing not only my shinigami energy, but even my hollow one…" He said. The girl fell back on her knees, vomiting a large quantity of blood. Her limbs began to shake and she fell on her back.
"It seems that right now, you can't even stop yourself from absorbing more energy… I apologize, Meninas McAllon, the Sternritter 'P', the Parasite. The victory is mine…" Hacchi trailed off as he pumped the last bit of his hollow reiryoku into the barrier and promptly lost his consciousness.
Kensei let the Quincy retract his fist from the Captain's grip, using the moment to quickly study the man. The punch Kensei caught with his hand had been powerful enough to push back even the physically impressive Vizard. That made him wary of his opponent. He released his reiatsu, causing the ground below him to crack.
"I'm not really a patient person, Quincy. That's why I'm going to end this quickly. Bankai, Tekken Tachikaze!" He exclaimed, revealing his zanpakuto true form with an angry glare aimed at his opponent.
Flashing around the man, Kensei appeared behind him to deliver a devastating punch to his back and launching him straight towards a nearby building. The man's flight didn't stop there and his body crashed through several concrete walls before his momentum eventually ran out. Without missing a beat, Kensei followed the trajectory and dodged a reishi arrow while doing so. Never looking back to see where the projectile headed, he landed next to a hole in the last wall and tried to see the man's silhouette through the dust cloud. Punching upwards, he smashed another arrow targeting his body and with a growl, he reached into the cloud. As his fingers grabbed the fabric of the man's clothes, he strained his muscles and threw him out of the rubble.
His eyes followed the path Driscoll's body travelled in and when the man landed on the ground, he instantly flashed to him and tried to deliver another heavy blow. The knuckle blades on his fist connected with the Quincy's knuckle bands, creating a small shockwave which forced the two combatants to jump backwards. Driscoll was obviously in some pain yet he laughed.
"Finally! My excitement slowly returns when I'm fighting you, Captain. You even forced me to use my Blut Vene; your punches pack a lot of strength. However, seeing as you're using a Bankai against me, I think it's only polite to return the favor."
Kensei frowned, not completely understanding the implications of his opponent's words. Cautiously, he watched as the man reached inside his robe to take out a round, metallic thing. It looked like some kind of a device and Kensei decided to focus his eyes on it. His opponent noticed his stare and laughed.
"Don't worry, Captain. I'm not going to use this on you. Even if I could store two Bankai on it, right now, the conditions wouldn't allow me to do it."
Now this made Kensei finally realize what he was looking at and the temperamental Vizard gritted his teeth. His opponent laughed once more.
"Indeed, here I have the Bankai I usurped from that Vice-Captain. I was quite surprised to find out just how powerful it is. I think it was called Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū. Watch." He stated with a grin and in a flash, a dome of lightning formed high above his head, fastened to the ground by a large numbers of lightning pillars. A single lightning pillar also reached from the dome upwards to the sky. The powerful reiatsu that filled the air the very moment the Bankai had been released caused Kensei to raise his eyebrows.
Truthfully, not once while he was a member of the Gotei 13 had he witnessed the Bankai of the Vice-Captain of the 1st Division. He didn't even know Yamamoto's subordinate had one. He never cared for things like that or for people he didn't know. However, looking at it right now he had to admit, the power emanating from it was incredible. Quite easily on par with an average Captain-class shinigami's Bankai. He pressed his lips together; this fight just got troublesome.
'Shit!' He mentally cursed when with a flick of his wrist, the Quincy sent a lightning bolt flying straight at his head. It was large enough to make even Kensei think twice about just tanking it and so he flashed away.
His opponent was most likely able to follow his movements as he waved his hands and sent many more lightning bolts at him. Kensei rolled to the side and instantly after getting up, he used his Shunpo to maneuver through the multiple attacks and appear inches before the large Quincy. Cocking his right arm backwards, his fist shot forward and hit the man's abdomen with destructive force. It caused him to stop using the stolen Bankai and fly backwards, crashing through multiple concrete walls again.
This allowed Kensei to take a short breather and he looked around at the marks the stolen Bankai left on the landscape.
'Is this really a Bankai of a Vice-Captain? It's incredible.' He wondered and cursed when a large arrow flew his way. Barely evading it he flashed forward to follow after his opponent but as soon as he landed he was struck by a lightning bolt.
"Heh, you're good, Captain… but you're also predictable. An easy target after one… analyzes the pattern of your movements." Driscoll panted and emerged from the cloud of dust, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth.
In front of him, Kensei was being electrocuted and after an instant he knew that anyone who was into kinky stuff like that simply had to be an idiot. The burning sensation within his muscles was unbearable, making him feel sore. The spasms within his muscles made him feel like the very fibers, tendons, tissue in his body were getting torn at a painfully slow rate. He felt itches all over his body but the convulsions made it impossible to scratch anything. Even if he could, he wouldn't have been able to scratch the flesh an inch deep in his skin. His jaws were clenched, forcing his teeth to smash together. He almost felt like they were moving, digging themselves into the gum. Twice, his body was hit with the lightning bolts.
And then it was over.
The breath escaped his lungs in a form of a groan and his limbs felt a bit numb. He managed to open his previously closed eyes and before his opponent could sent another attack his way, he ignored the weird feeling in his muscles and jumped forward. He noticed the Quincy's right arm rising to deliver a counter punch but a chain enveloped it and prevented it from moving towards his head.
'I almost thought he would just stay down.'
Driscoll cursed and tried to move his hand, intent on throwing the person holding the chain away from him when a masked person appeared above his hand.
"Mashiro Kick!" The Super-Vice-Captain's mask-enhanced kick forced the Quincy's arm backwards, allowing Kensei a clean aim at the large man. Which he immediately did. His fist connected with the man's abdomen but he controlled the punch so that the man didn't get blasted backwards. It just knocked the wind out of him.
Still having the time to follow through with another attack, Kensei tightly gripped the knuckle blades. They slowly changed form and turned into brass knuckles. With a yell, he pumped reiryoku into his arms and released a series of hard punches to the man's guts, finally allowing his feet to leave the solid ground.
The two Vice-Captains landed next to their Captain, heavily panting. Kensei was faring better but even his breathing was a bit accelerated. The two hits from the stolen Bankai sapped a good amount of strength from his body.
'Speaking of the stolen Bankai…' He thought and glanced at the ground, where the medallion, containing the said Bankai, innocently lay. The Quincy dropped it in the moment Kensei's punch sent him plummeting backwards. While his two Vice-Captains tried to catch their breaths, the Captain walked closer and stared at the small device. When he sensed some movement in the distance, within the cloud of dust from his opponent's crash-landing, he growled and cocked his fist back.
Resolutely punching downwards, the brass knuckle on his right hand hit the medallion and after a brief moment of resistance, it smashed the device into pieces. In a small shockwave, the constricted reiatsu within the medallion exploded outwards, disappearing into the air. Maybe it was just his mind playing tricks on him but Kensei was almost sure he heard a whisper entering his ears.
This short distraction, however, cost him greatly.
A torrent of energy shot upwards from within the dust cloud, dispersing it instantly. A large figure of Driscoll Berci with a pair of reishi wings protruding from his back stared at the group of three shinigami with one of his arms cocked back, preparing a monstrous arrow. In a flash, he released it and the projectile travelled the distance so fast, the Vice-Captains were unable to intercept it.
Kensei was trying to shake out the surprise of hearing the whisper when a sharp pain forced him to loudly groan. He lost his balance and fell on his back. He knew he was probably injured but his mind was in shock, unable to determine what happened.
It was only when he heard Mashiro's scream that he widened his eyes and, supporting himself on his elbows, looked down.
Most of his left leg had been blown away, leaving him only a part of his thigh. Everything else was all around the place in a form of small pieces of flesh and a pool of blood. His mind finally realized what had happened to him and the pain intensified, forcing him to grit his teeth. He saw his two Vice-Captain hurrying to him and so trying not to cry in pain, he yelled at them.
"Idiots! We're in a war. Forget about me and focus on the opponent!"
A small shockwave resonated through the area when Driscoll Berci landed in front of the group, his feet shattering the concrete ground.
"That was a bad idea, Captain. By destroying the medallion, you actually helped me. Without it, I was finally able to release my Quincy: Vollständig." The man laughed and began to surround himself with spirit particles.
Kensei glanced at his nervous Lieutenants and then at his injury.
End of Chapter 19.
This chapter focuses mainly on Vizard's fights. Unlike in the cannon, where most of them got cut down pretty quickly, I decided to use their advantage as they should have. If the hollow reiryoku is poison to Quincy, why the f shouldn't they use it?
Also, the next chapter will be probably last battles of the first invasion... well, at least... nah, I won't spoil anything.
Heldenklau - "snatching of heroes" (aimed at Superstar and his mentality)
Naiburēdo - crying blade (an ability where Iba slashes the air and a volley of short knives fly at the opponent)
Naiburēdo, Naku no.2 - crying blade, cry number 2 ( an ability where Iba hold his zanpakuto by the protrusion and shoot an energy blast in form of a knife at his opponent)
Until next time folks ;)