Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach
Sorry, I haven't proofread this chapter and so there may be mistakes. I will go over it again tomorrow and fix up any obvious errors.
Arrancar Saga – Arrancar Invasion arc – Chapter 10 – Grimmjow Attacks!
Kurosaki Clinic – 7th of September, 5:30pm
"So that's why it can move." Renji muttered curiously after he pulled the pill out of the lion plushie, "It's an Artificial Soul. For a second I thought it was some fancy wind up doll."
"Hey!" Ichigo said dully.
"I've never seen anyone use Soul Candy on a teddy bear before." Rangiku said interestedly, "I didn't know that it worked with stuffed animals. Those at the Research and Development guys do some crazy things."
"You guys!" Ichigo shouted annoyed.
"What?" Renji questioned him after stuffing the pill back into the lion plushie.
"When are you guys leaving anyway?" Ichigo asked them.
"We're not." Renji replied, "We're staying here until the Arrancars are defeated."
"What?! Where are you all going to sleep and stuff!?" Ichigo shouted incredulously, "There isn't enough room here!"
"What?!" Rangiku shouted in horror while the others, except Rukia, looked at him with wide surprised eyes.
"Not even for me?" Rangiku pouted at him.
"You?! Especially not you!" Ichigo retorted, "Did you think that you could just make yourselves at home here?!"
Rangiku looked surprised before she began undoing the top button of her shirt that was struggling to hold in her large breasts. Everyone, but Rukia, had a blush on their faces at what Rangiku was doing.
"Wh-What're you doing?!" Ichigo replied in shock, "Button that up! What are you trying to do?!"
Rangiku accepted Ichigo's request and so she tried lifting up her skirt to entice him. Ichigo covered his eyes with his hands except for the slight opening in between his right hand that allowed him to see with his right eye.
"Aw, come on! No fair! Geez!" Ichigo protested with a blush still on his face, "I won't give in! I-I'm m-made of s-steel! N-No way! My will is strong!"
"Then why are you peeking?" Rukia asked him dully.
"I'll stay at Orihime's." Rangiku said happily a few minutes later outside of Ichigo's house. Ichigo had shooed them all out of his house through his window so his family didn't see them. His father was bad enough after meeting Rukia; he didn't want to see his reaction when he met Rangiku.
Amazingly Kon, who had been listening in, nose began bleeding at the thought of a naked Rangiku and Orihime together.
"Orihime?" Ichigo asked her surprised, "Have you asked her about that?"
"No, but she won't turn me down." Rangiku grinned at him.
"What a forbidden garden!" Kon shouted lustfully and he jumped towards her, "How would you like a... mascot—ugh!" Rangiku gave him a swift chop and Kon crashed painfully onto the ground.
"You want to come with me, Captain?" Rangiku asked cheerfully.
"No way." Tōshirō told her as he began walking away with his hands in his pockets.
"Oh, come on! It'll be fun!" Rangiku pouted.
"For you." Tōshirō replied indifferently.
Ikkaku turned to Yumichika, "Let's go."
"You all got somewhere in mind?" Ichigo asked them.
"Of course not," Ikkaku replied and he and Yumichika began walking away, "but don't worry. We never intended for you to take care of us. We'll find our own beds, thank you very much."
"I'd keep that wooden sword hidden if I were you." Ichigo called out.
"I'm going to go to Kisuke Urahara's." Renji informed Ichigo and Rukia.
Ichigo raised an eyebrow, "Are you planning to mooch off him?"
"Yeah, right." Renji scowled at him, "I just want to ask him a few questions, that's all. I'll see you both later."
After Renji had begun walking away and before Ichigo and Rukia could head back inside, Isshin popped his head outside of the front door and he yelled, "Ichigo! Rukia, my adorable third daughter! Dinner is ready!"
"Is there anyone more annoying than him?" Ichigo asked rhetorically, "I better not become like that when I'm older."
Rukia frowned momentarily as she followed Ichigo inside. Every time that she saw Isshin Kurosaki's face she could have sworn that she knew him from somewhere but she could never place it. Even the name Isshin was familiar.
Karakura Town – 7th of September, 9:00pm
A figure shrouded in darkness sat comfortably on the ledge of one of the biggest buildings in Karakura town when he heard the sound of the air ripping behind him. He turned his head slightly to see five Arrancar exit the Garganta.
"Did anybody see you?" the man questioned them.
"Of course not." The one that backed him up in his argument with Ulquiorra spoke up, "I have felt several strong spiritual pressures on the way here. That doesn't match up with Ulquiorra's information."
"Start a full-blown search." The man known as Grimmjow ordered his Fracción. They closed their eyes and they began to sense all of the people that had any spiritual pressure.
"It's just as I thought, they really are multiplying!" Grimmjow growled opening his eyes, "So they called back-up from the Soul Society? If he wasn't so full of himself and had just killed them to start with, it wouldn't be such a pain in the ass now. That's why you are stupid, Ulquiorra!" Grimmjow spat.
He turned to his Fracción and he commanded, "D-Roy, Shawlong, Edorad, Ilforte, Nakim! Let's take over this area! Kill everyone, no matter how little spiritual power they have! Everyone locked on to one of them?! There's no holding back or worrying about gender! Kill anyone with the slightest shred of spiritual pressure! Don't let a single one get away! However the Shinigami with the orange hair and Hollow mask is mine! NOW GO!"
Grimmjow's Fracción vanished immediately at his order and the blue haired Arrancar grinned and he felt out the strongest spiritual pressure in the area.
"I'm coming for you, Shinigami!"
Kurosaki Clinic – 7th of September, 9:00pm
Rukia scowled down at the bed that Ichigo had led her to. There were three beds in the room and on the one closest to the door had a sheet of paper on it that said, 'Rukia's bed.'
"They put me with your sisters..." Rukia murmured.
"Yeah..." Ichigo looked away dully, "That would be the normal thing to do."
"But I was going to stay in your closet!" Rukia protested.
Ichigo rubbed the back of his head in annoyance, "Hey, don't talk to me. Talk to my dad."
"I even brought some things to clean up that dirty little closet of yours." Rukia exclaimed, "A comfy chair, lights, a bell and a wicket!"
"Absolutely not!" Ichigo retorted, "Wait! Did you just call it my 'dirty little closet'?"
"Yes, I did." Rukia smirked at him, "I was coughing up dust for hours every morning because of how dirty it was."
"Bitch." Ichigo muttered annoyed.
"You shouldn't use such language, Ichigo." Rukia told him with her fake innocent voice, "Just imagine if your sisters heard you."
Ichigo sighed; there was just no winning against her sometimes. He had to change the subject.
"What else do you know about these Arrancars, Rukia?" Ichigo asked her seriously, "What are their abilities?"
"I don't know much," Rukia admitted, "I know that they have strong skin. They call it Hierro and from what I have heard, it is tough to cut."
Ichigo remembered how little damage he had done to Ulquiorra when he hit him head on with a Getsuga Tenshō while in Bankai.
"Who told you all this?" Ichigo asked her.
"Captain Kurotsuchi supplied the information to Captain Hitsugaya and he told us before we came here." Rukia answered him.
"Is there anything else that you know?" Ichigo questioned her.
Rukia was about to inform him of the Arrancar's most dangerous weapon however she didn't get the chance as they suddenly felt a large brunt of spiritual pressure hit them.
"This spiritual pressure!" Ichigo growled furiously, "It's them! Rukia!"
"I know!" Rukia snapped at him as she quickly checked her Denreishinki, "One... two... six of them? That's too many!"
"Are they coming this way?!" Ichigo demanded to know. He would check his own Denreishinki but it was across the hall in his room.
"Not yet." Rukia replied, "They just seem to be probing for spiritual pressures at the moment."
"How come?" Ichigo asked her.
"Ichigo, this is bad!" Rukia told him worriedly, "They're making a hit list... they're going to kill anyone that has a hint of spiritual pressure!"
Ichigo had to think quickly. He knew that Rangiku had headed to Orihime's place and no doubt Tōshirō went with her despite not wanting to. That meant Orihime should be alright. Uryū could take care of himself, and Ichigo doubted that Uryū would appreciate his help. Chad would be fine as well, his arm had upgraded after all and Chad had told him that he had a theory about the power in his other arm. Ichigo just had to believe that he would be alright. He needed to focus on the people that couldn't fight back. Guys like Keigo and Mizuiro. Not to mention Karin and Yuzu and suddenly Ichigo had an idea.
"Come on, Rukia." Ichigo shouted and he dragged her towards his room, "I've got an idea!"
When they got to his room, Ichigo immediately used his badge to exit his body while Rukia used her soul candy to leave her Gigai. They leaped out of Ichigo's window and they flew down the road. Ichigo came to a sudden stop, high in the air and he stood a few metres above the houses.
"What are you doing, Ichigo?" Rukia asked him curiously.
"Hollows are attracted to large amounts of spiritual pressure, right?" Ichigo asked her, "I assume that Arrancars would be to, wouldn't they?"
"Yes –" Rukia tried to explain but she didn't get the chance as she was cut off when Ichigo suddenly unleashed a large burst of spiritual pressure.
It only took a few moments for Ichigo's bait to draw in an opponent.
"I hope that isn't all of the spiritual power you have got, Shinigami!" Grimmjow said cockily when he arrived on the scene with his hands calmly in his pockets. In retaliation, the Arrancar unleashed his own spiritual pressure onto them.
'What's with... this guy's spiritual pressure?' Rukia thought fearfully, 'This spiritual pressure is easily as strong as my brother's... if not a little stronger!'
Ichigo smirked in reply, "Don't worry, Arrancar! This is just the tip of the iceberg!"
Grimmjow laughed loudly, "That's good to hear, Shinigami! I am Arrancar 6, Grimmjow!"
"Rukia... I've got this guy covered." Ichigo told her, "I need you to go help the others, especially if one of these Arrancars goes after someone that can't defend themselves."
"Are you sure, Ichigo?" Rukia asked concerned.
"Their lives are worth more than mine." Ichigo informed her, "I won't be able to fight this guy at full power if I am concerned about the others."
Rukia nodded, she believed in Ichigo's power and she flash stepped away.
"What makes you think I am just going to let you go?" Grimmjow said incredulously at the sight of her retreating form.
"So you are one of those weak trash that only attack people that are weaker than them." Ichigo called out mockingly, "Are you to afraid to take on someone your own size?"
"What did you say?!" Grimmjow snarled at him and he completely took his attention off Rukia which caused Ichigo to smirk in victory.
"I'm Ichigo Kurosaki and I am the one that will defeat you, Arrancar!" Ichigo spat and he pulled Zangetsu off his back and he charged the Arrancar.
Chad's Home – 7th of September, 9:10pm
Chad had detected the multiple amounts of large spiritual pressure and he had immediately left his house in order to engage the Hollows that he had sensed. Judging from the feel of their spiritual pressure, Chad assumed that they were Hollows like the ones that had appear four days ago, but apart from one, they all seemed weaker.
"Oh rats. You are not a Shinigami." A bored voice suddenly entered Chad's ears. "You're no good."
Chad didn't get a good look at him until his activated right arm caught the hand that attempted to pierce his chest. Currently, Chad didn't have his right arm in its true form and instead it was a lot similar to his previous form except the colours were like his arms true form.
"Let go!" the Arrancar snarled at him and he tried unsuccessfully to pull his hand away. Chad had a quick moment to get a good look at opponent. He had a bulky helmet similar in shape to a hammerhead shark, the right-hand side of his mask is wrapped in bandages and his Hollow hole was in the centre of his chest.
'If it wasn't for my training with Yoruichi, I would have died.' Chad thought, the speed that the former Captain of the 2nd Division was far greater than this Arrancar's. 'He would have killed me without a single thought.'
Just as the Arrancar was about to withdraw his Zanpakutō in order to break free, Chad instinctively swung his left fist into the Arrancar's chest, just above his Hollow hole and they were both enveloped in spiritual energy.
When it subsided, Chad was left holding onto the arm of the Arrancar and the upper body of the Arrancar had been completely destroyed. The lower half fell lifelessly to the ground and Chad dropped the arm onto the ground as he took in the sight of his new arm. The armour that surrounded it was white, with a red stripe running down the length of the center. His fingertips have red diamond shaped marks on them and a spike protruded from the shoulder. Two more, resembling claws, extended over his chest.
'I remember what you told me, Abuelo.' Chad thought, 'I remember that my large fists are only to protect people, however I have realised that sometimes in order to protect others... I need to attack. This is what my left arm is... my will to attack. I couldn't protect Tatsuki from the Arrancar because I didn't have the desire to attack and I only tried to defend. I could've protected her if I had attacked them with real killing intent. This is my attacking power... it is the...'
"Brazo Izquierda del Diablo... the Left Arm of the Devil." Chad murmured out loud.
"Chad!" Rukia shouted hurriedly when she arrived onto the scene and her eyes widened at what she saw. She had felt his spiritual pressure spike sharply and now she could see why.
"Rukia..." Chad blinked in surprise, "You're back."
"Not just me." Rukia smiled at him, "Soul Society has sent some reinforcements."
"That's good." Chad approved before he sensed the strong spiritual pressure in the direction that Rukia had come from, "That's Ichigo's spiritual pressure!"
"Don't worry about Ichigo." Rukia assured him, "He will fight a lot better if he knows that the others are safe. We should go and help the others."
Chad nodded and they prepared to go off and help the others.
"My, my... here I was hoping to find a Quincy." A smooth voice interrupted them and they turned to see a man leaning against a brick wall at the corner of the street. He had short brown hair, which fanned up at the ends, and a large goatee. He was dressed rather formally, wearing a white button-up shirt, a tie, and a light vest. Chad and Rukia also took noticed of the golden snake with black stripes.
"Who are you?!" Rukia asked startled by his presence and she withdrew her Zanpakutō. She didn't even sense his spiritual pressure.
"I was hoping the rise in spiritual pressure that I had detected would be Uryū Ishida." The man said with a bored air around him. "We had been doing such a good job remaining undercover. I better kill you two then. Are the preparations complete, Fried?"
Rukia narrowed her eyes at the name and her and Chad's eyes widened when they saw a snake approach him from his left before it slithered up to his shoulders.
"Yes, they are. They will pounce whenever you're ready." The snake answered him.
"Rukia..!" Chad muttered worriedly as they both noticed that they were surrounded by a few dozen snakes.
Rukia held her Zanpakutō out in front of her, "Dance, Sode no Shirayuki!" the petite Shinigami called out and she turned her Zanpakutō it in a circle counter-clockwise direction. While she turned it, the blade, hilt, and tsuba turned completely white. The tsuba became a hollow snowflake-like circle, and a white ribbon formed from the pommel.
Chad shivered from the sudden cold that emitted from Rukia when she activated her Shikai.
"Some no mai, Tsukishiro!" Rukia swiped her Zanpakutō across her body and a large white/blue circle appeared under her and Chad's feet. The petite Shinigami quickly grabbed Chad's arm and she flash stepped away just when the snakes pounced on her. Out of the circle, a large pillar of ice that descended high into the air appeared and it froze all of the pouncing snakes. The pillar shattered a moment later leaving nothing but flakes of ice falling to the ground. All of the snakes that had been frozen had all crumbled away into nothing.
"Where did he go?!" Rukia demanded when she saw the man had vanished.
"I don't know, but who was he?" Chad asked her.
"I'm not sure," Rukia answered with narrowed eyes, "but what is more worrying is that I didn't even sense him arrive. Did you?"
Chad shook his head in denial. Rukia sighed, and said, "I'll talk to Urahara about this later. Right now we have to go help the others. I can sense that Renji is struggling... can you go and assist him?"
Chad nodded, "What about you?"
Rukia could sense that Captain Hitsugaya was struggling along with Vice Captain Matsumoto, but Rukia knew that they would be alright when they released their Gentei Reiin. Orihime was with them but the rest of Ichigo's friends weren't in any danger.
"I'm going to go back and help Ichigo. The Arrancar that Ichigo is fighting is extremely strong. I'm hoping that he will be so distracted in his fight against Ichigo that he won't notice me." Rukia informed him.
Ichigo vs. Grimmjow – 7th of September, 9:15pm
Grimmjow quickly ducked under the slash that had been intended to cut if off and he followed up with a quick punch to Ichigo's stomach. However it nothing but air as Ichigo flash stepped away and the Substitute Shinigami reappeared behind the Arrancar and he sliced at his back with a downwards swing. Grimmjow quickly spun around and he fired a small red ball of spiritual energy into the incoming Zanpakutō. There was a small explosion on impact and it allowed Grimmjow to use his Sonido to gain some distance.
"Not bad, Shinigami!" Grimmjow called out with a wide grin, "You're not too bad! This could be fun! However you're not at the level that I want to fight you at!"
"I take it that you're referring to my mask." Ichigo retorted, "I'm not going to bring out my mask against someone who is too arrogant to take out his sword."
"Very well Shinigami, but know that I don't need it to beat someone like you!" Grimmjow smirked and he withdrew his Zanpakutō from its sheath.
Ichigo just ignored his taunting smirk and he shot towards Grimmjow much faster than the Arrancar had anticipated and they locked swords. The Substitute Shinigami began pushing harder and if forced Grimmjow to start being skidded back. The Arrancar was momentarily being overwhelmed by Ichigo's power but this just seemed to make him even more excited.
"You were holding back a bit, weren't you Shinigami?!" Grimmjow shouted in realisation. "That's good! I was worried there for a moment that you wouldn't be worth the time coming here!"
Grimmjow forcefully threw Ichigo off his blade and as Ichigo flew back, Grimmjow charged towards him and slashed at his waist, but Ichigo flash stepped high in the air to dodge. Using his Sonido, Grimmjow appeared right in front of Ichigo and he aimed a punch to Ichigo's face. Ichigo ducked under the punch and he swung his Zanpakutō up towards the Arrancar's left shoulder but Grimmjow bent back to evade it but the tip caught of Ichigo's Tensa Zangetsu nicked a bit of his skin. Grimmjow's eyes widened at the feeling and he Sonido-ed away and he quickly glanced at the small cut. It didn't hurt at all, of course, but considering that just as few days ago, the boy could even cut through Ulquiorra's hierro in his Bankai. To see that his hierro, that he believed to be just as strong, if not stronger, cut was quite shocking. To further anger him, he had only been nicked with the tip of the blade.
"You really have gotten stronger since your fight with Ulquiorra!" Grimmjow smirked widely at Ichigo and the Substitute Shinigami didn't have anything to say about it. Grimmjow's smirk quickly disappeared. This is why Ulquiorra is such a fool. This brat had to be put down immediately. In the space of a few days he had increased his power immensely... who knows how powerful he could be a few months from now when the Hōgyoku was finally ready?
With a quick burst of Sonido, Grimmjow appeared above and behind a startled Ichigo and he swung his Zanpakutō down at the Substitute Shinigami's head. However Ichigo was able to block the attack by lifting Tensa Zangetsu above his head with his left hand holding the flat side of the blade for extra support. Ichigo quickly pushed Grimmjow off before he swiftly spun around and he kicked Grimmjow hard in the waist. The attack didn't hurt Grimmjow that much, but the force was enough to knock him off balance slightly. This gave Ichigo the opportunity to hit the Arrancar with a wordless Getsuga Tenshō and that attack sent him crashing into the concrete road. The impact caused a large crater and Ichigo knew that there was going to be some massive road works to fix that. Ichigo could feel a stinging pain in his leg from the result of kicking Grimmjow's hierro. This Arrancar's hierro was tough.
A hint of red light covered by the dust caught his eyes and a large red beam of spiritual energy burst out from the crater. Ichigo quickly slashed his blade downwards releasing a wave of black spiritual energy to counter the Cero that Grimmjow unleashed. They exploded on contact which caused Ichigo to hold his left arm in front of his face to protect is eyes from the light and rubble. Ichigo's instincts screamed at him to move just as Grimmjow's Zanpakutō flew out of the crater in an attempt to pierce though his head but he was able to dodge at the last second. However, Grimmjow had anticipated that and he Sonido-ed behind Ichigo and caught his Zanpakutō in his right hand. The Arrancar quickly slashed at Ichigo's head but the Substitute Shinigami evaded it swiftly. Ichigo countered by stabbing Tensa Zangetsu at Grimmjow's torso but the Arrancar dodged to the right and he fired a kick at the Substitute Shinigami. Ichigo blocked it with his left arm and the blow almost broke his forearm as he grimaced in pain.
The two warriors continued to exchange attacks, but neither could slip through the other's defences and eventually they came together into a blade lock. However Ichigo was holding him back with two hands on his Zanpakutō while Grimmjow was only using the one. Grimmjow, with his free hand, quickly fired a small but speedy ball of red spiritual energy straight into Ichigo's stomach. Ichigo flinched and he lost his footing and it weakened the strength that he had been using to hold back Grimmjow in their blade lock. This allowed Grimmjow to break the lock and he punched Ichigo hard in the face. The punch broke Ichigo's cheekbone and it sent him crashing into the side of a building. The people inside no doubt heard and freaked out and Ichigo hoped that they didn't come out to investigate. They wouldn't be able to see them, but he didn't want anyone getting hurt in the crossfire. Ichigo's eyes flashed yellow and he summoned up enough Hollow spiritual energy to heal his broken cheekbone. He looked up to see that Grimmjow had landed on top of a building opposite of him and he had his Zanpakutō pierced into the rooftop so both his hands were free and they each had red spiritual energy enveloping them.
Once again, Grimmjow fired the small balls of spiritual energy at Ichigo and the Substitute Shinigami was forced to block them so they wouldn't break through the building behind him. Ichigo was forced to continuously block and even cut through the balls of spiritual energy as Grimmjow kept firing a barrage of them. Usually Ichigo would simply fire his Getsuga Tenshō to take them all out but he couldn't because it would crash into the building that Grimmjow was standing on and it would kill the people inside. He was a protector, not a murderer.
"What's wrong, Shinigami?!" Grimmjow laughed loudly as he watched Ichigo continue to block all of his Balas with his Zanpakutō. Just when he was about to charge up a Cero that would certainly catch Ichigo off guard, he was the one that was hit off guard.
"Tsugi no mai, Hakuren!"
Grimmjow was suddenly hit by a large amount of cold air; it was so cold that he was frozen within a large case of ice.
"Rukia!" Ichigo shouted in surprise looking up to Grimmjow's far where his friend stood in mid air. He thought he had told her to go help his friends.
"Your friends are fine, Ichigo!" Rukia shouted hurriedly, "Now hurry up and attack him before he breaks out of my attack!"
Ichigo hesitated for a moment. Having Rukia freeze Grimmjow unexpectedly just so he could get a clear opening to attack went against the way he fights. It wasn't honourable. However, the image of a dead Tatsuki flashed in his mind and the fact that if Ichigo had either dodged or fired a Getsuga Tenshō against Grimmjow's Bala barrage, people would have died. These Arrancar didn't fight with honour. Protecting people was more important than his own personal honour.
Ichigo quickly ripped on his Hollow mask. He knew that he should have used this from the get go so that he could have ended this quickly. However, even after Tatsuki's death, there was still a part of him that wanted to test out his powers instead of going for the killing blow because deep down, he enjoyed fighting. Rukia's appearance though had snapped him out of those instincts and he was now ready to end this match.
Ichigo flash stepped quickly to where Grimmjow was and the Arrancar burst out of the ice just when Ichigo got there. Grimmjow's eyes widened when he saw Ichigo in front of him, with his Hollow mask firmly on his face, and his Zanpakutō enveloped in black spiritual energy. Ichigo swung his Zanpakutō across his body and Grimmjow just managed to bring up his own Zanpakutō up to deflect it. Unfortunately for the Arrancar, the difference in power was so staggering that he was sent flying. Ichigo managed to execute an upwards swing when their blades connected to Grimmjow went sailing high into the air and that got him off the building. Ichigo shot up after Grimmjow quickly, and slashed his Tensa Zangetsu towards the Arrancar's chest. Grimmjow once again blocked it with his sword but this time, Ichigo kept it in a blade lock and the strength behind Ichigo's sword forced Grimmjow to keep skidding higher into the air.
Ichigo released a blood thirsty smirk behind his mask, it was very much resembled the one that his Inner Hollow wore, and he raised his left hand and he placed it onto the back of his blade.
"You're finished, Grimmjow! Getsuga Tenshō!" Ichigo snarled and he released the large wave of black spiritual energy that completely enveloped Grimmjow. It looked very similar to what Ichigo's Inner Hollow had done to him in their battle except Ichigo was facing upwards. The remnants of the attack flew higher into the air harmlessly.
"You bastards!" Grimmjow seethed when they saw him in sight. His upper uniform had been completely destroyed in Ichigo's attack and he had burns covering his torso, arms and face. "A sneak attack..! You will both pay severely for this!" He held his sword up, like the start of a low sweep stroke, with his right hand and the sword begun to glow blue as he put his left hand on top of it. "Now Shinigami, you will taste the power of my Resurrección!"
"Resurrección?! What the hell is that?!" Ichigo asked in confusion.
"Ichigo! We have to stop him!" Rukia yelled at him urgently.
"Too late! Grind Pant –"
Just as he was about to rake his left hand over his blade, it was grabbed which caused him to glance behind him and he saw that it was Tōsen much to his, Ichigo's and Rukia's surprise.
He had dark skin and pupil-less eyes that were pale lavender. He wore similar clothing to the Arrancar with a single longer, white robe, a band-like visor and his Zanpakutō was suspended from a string-like attachment on the left of his robe.
"Sheathe your sword Grimmjow." Tōsen told him coldly.
"Why the hell're you here?!" Grimmjow shouted angrily.
"Why, you ask? You really don't know?" Tōsen asked him incredulously, "You take it upon yourself to invade the real world, mobilize five Arrancar and then lose them in battle. You are in violation of your orders." Tōsen told him as he walked past him, "Lord Aizen is furious, Grimmjow."
Rukia's eyes widened as she realised that according to what she sensed the battles were well and truly over. 3rd Seat of the 11th Division, Ikkaku Madarame's spiritual pressure was extremely low but she could no longer sense his opponent's. Renji's, Vice Captain Matsumoto's and Captain Hitsugaya's spiritual pressures were in similar condition and their opponents spiritual pressures were gone.
Tōsen tapped the air and he opened a Garganta and he told Grimmjow, "Come. Your punishment will be given in Hueco Mundo once Lord Aizen returns from his trip."
"Whatever." Grimmjow scoffed as he began following Tōsen into the Garganta.
"Hey! Where do you think you're going, Grimmjow?!" Ichigo demanded furiously.
"Shut up!" Grimmjow said in annoyance with his back to Ichigo, "We're going back to Hueco Mundo."
"You can't just come here and attack us and then just leave! You have got to be kidding! Come back here! We're not finished yet!" Ichigo yelled furiously at the departing Arrancar.
"You're damn right we aren't finished yet!" Grimmjow snapped angrily and he turned back to Ichigo, "Don't forget my name, Shinigami and pray that you never hear it again. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez... the next time that each of you hear that name... you're dead meat!"
With that parting comment, the Garganta closed over Grimmjow and Karakura town was safe for now.
"Rukia... what is a Resurrección?" Ichigo asked his friend after he removed his mask when the Garganta closed.
Rukia looked at him seriously, "Basically from what Captain Hitsugaya told us, a Resurrección is the Arrancar version of a Shinigami releasing his Zanpakutō."
"And you didn't tell me this before because..?" Ichigo asked her dully.
"I was about to, you fool!" Rukia retorted, "However we became more focused on the arrival of the Arrancar."
"Yeah, alright." Ichigo conceded. It was pointless arguing over this. "Let's head to Orihime's and see how everyone is doing."
"Good idea." Rukia acknowledged and she flash stepped towards Orihime's house. Ichigo followed immediately after he dropped out of his Bankai.
Karakura Town – 7th of September, 9:25pm
Uryū Ishida had been hurrying towards the spiritual pressures that he had been sensing all over town and he could sense that many of the Shinigami were struggling. He might not care about the Shinigami and due to his vow he wasn't supposed to help them but he couldn't risk not interfering. Tatsuki had been an innocent person that had been caught in the crossfire. It wasn't just Orihime, Chad and Ichigo that shared the guilt from her death. Uryū couldn't help but feel guilty as well. It wasn't a rational guilt, he knew that, but he believed that he could have helped save her if he had been in the condition to help. He wouldn't allow another innocent to get in the crossfire.
Suddenly a beautiful melody hit his ears and Uryū could feel the spiritual pressure within the sound of the voice. No doubt if he had been an average human he would have been affected by it, however he was easily able to shrug it off. He couldn't say the same to a woman that was walking towards an alley way in a trance. He had a bad feeling about it and he quickly followed the woman.
Once he arrived in the alley way, he saw another woman embrace the trance woman and the young Quincy had a bad feeling that she wasn't going to do what most men his age would be hoping.
"Stop!" Uryū shouted and he summoned his bow. "Release the woman immediately!"
"Very well." The woman that had put the other in a trance said smoothly and she ended the trance. The other woman was startled at what had happened and she fearfully ran out of the alley way.
"What were you ending to do with that woman?!" Uryū demanded and he finally got a good look at the woman.
She has long, soft brown hair, parted on the side and she wore a large-collared shirt with a vest over it that fanned out at the bottom, giving it the appearance of tails and black pants. She had a red tie and she wore a bracelet on her right wrist and claw on her left hand index finger.
"That woman had two purposes." The woman answered him, "The first was my main objective and that was to lure you to me and if it didn't work, then I was going to suck out her soul to eat."
"What are you?!" Uryū questioned her harshly, "Why are you after me?! Is it because you want to devour the soul of a Quincy rather than an ordinary human?!"
"So many questions," the woman smirked at him, "you need to remember your manners, Uryū Ishida. It's rude not to ask someone their name before bombarding them with all kinds of questions."
"How do you know my name?"
The woman sighed, "Alright, I will get down to business then. My name is Yoshino Sōma, I am one of the few remaining survivors of a race known as the Bounts and the reason why I am looking for you is because you are in danger."
"Danger from what?" Uryū asked with narrowed eyes and he kept his arrow firmly aimed at the female Bount.
"The rest of my kind and I want to help you." Yoshino informed him.
Orihime's House – 7th of September, 9:45pm
Ichigo sat on a cushion inside of Orihime's house. It was the first time that he had been in here since he had helped her deal with her Hollowfied brother. Around a large circular table were the members of the Karakura Town Protection Division and also Chad and Orihime. Renji, Ikkaku and Tōshirō had been in really bad shape when Ichigo had arrived, but it didn't take long for her to heal them all.
"Okay, so we have all fought against some of these Arrancar and I need reports on all of the fights against them." Tōshirō ordered with a scowl on his face, "It is vital we give the Soul Society as much information as possible. Ikkaku, you first."
"I fought Arrancar #13, Edrad Liones." Ikkaku reported gruffly, "He unleashed his Resurrección and it gave him the ability to use fire based attacks. It took everything I had to defeat him."
Considering how powerful the Arrancar that he had fought was, Renji knew that Ikkaku must have had to use his Bankai to win.
"I fought Arrancar #14, Nakeem Grindina." Rangiku informed them all, "I managed to kill him before he could use his Resurrección thanks to my limiter being removed."
"I didn't get the name of the one I fought. It ended very quickly. He clearly wasn't at the same level as the other Arrancar." Chad inputted.
"I battled against Arrancar #15, Yylfordt Granz." Renji reported, "His Resurrección gave him incredible brute strength and he managed to overpower me with my limiter on and while using Bankai. Chad arrived and he managed to buy me an opening once my limiter was released and I was able to kill him with my Bankai."
"I don't have anything to report about the Arrancars but when I went to help Chad initially, we were attacked by an unknown person." Rukia informed him, "He said that he was looking for a Quincy."
Tōshirō palmed his face in frustration and he muttered, "Now what..? Can you give me anymore details?"
Rukia nodded, "He was able to completely hide his spiritual pressure and we didn't even notice him until he spoke up and he seems to have the ability to control snakes."
"Snakes?" Ichigo said incredulously, "That's a strange ability."
"I'll have Captain Kurotsuchi look into it." Tōshirō decided, "Kuchiki, go ask Kisuke Urahara about it tomorrow."
"Yes, sir." Rukia accepted.
"What about you, Captain Hitsugaya?" Renji asked the silver haired Shinigami curiously.
"I fought against Arrancar #11 Shawlong Koufang." Tōshirō said in frustration, "Even a Captain class Shinigami was unable to beat a Gillian Arrancar without using Bankai and releasing their limiter. These Arrancar are powerful. What about you, Ichigo Kurosaki?"
"I took on Arrancar #6, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez." Ichigo informed him and the Vizard was startled at the anxious look that suddenly appeared on Tōshirō's face.
"The 6th Arrancar?! So you were the one that fought against one of the Espada! Tell me everything!" Tōshirō demanded to know.
"What is an Espada?" Ichigo asked him in confusion.
"My opponent explained to me about the numbers that are tattooed on the Arrancar." Tōshirō explained impatiently, "From #11 and onwards simply represents the order that the Arrancar were born. However the Arrancar that had the numbers 1 to 10 were ranked in order of strength. 10 being the weakest and 1 being the strongest. So it is important I know how powerful the 6th strongest was."
"He could keep up with me in my Bankai easily without having to use his Resurrección." Ichigo admitted, "He isn't as strong as Ulquiorra, the one that arrived a few days ago." Ichigo had a nasty habit of forgetting names to go with faces but he knew that he would never forget his name or face for as long as he lived.
"This is really bad." Tōshirō looked over at his division seriously, "We all need to pick up our training immediately. There will be no slaking off or going to the mall to buy stuff, do you understand, Rangiku?!"
Rangiku nodded seriously, as playful as she was at times, she knew that this was a moment where Tōshirō wouldn't appreciate anything but professionalism.
"We will also have to keep an eye on Uryū Ishida so we can discover what this other man wants with him. I will leave that to you, Orihime, Chad and Ichigo." Tōshirō requested of them.
Chad nodded, and Orihime released a small smile, "You can count on me."
Seeing how exhausted and frustrated Tōshirō was, Ichigo came up with a suggestion, "I know a group of people that may be able to help us."
The group looked over at him in surprise except for Orihime who knew what he was going to suggest.
"Are you serious?" Tōshirō asked hopefully. Any allies that they could get would be critical.
Ichigo nodded tentatively, "It's possible however they aren't exactly eager to help out the Soul Society. So I'll request them to help out with this man that Rukia and Chad saw, so you and the others won't have to worry about anything but the Arrancars."
Tōshirō nodded, "Very well, I won't ask questions about them. I will contact the Captain Commander about the mysterious man and see if Captain Kurotsuchi knows anything. It will take a huge amount of pressure of my shoulders not to have to worry about it."
"I agree." Ichigo replied.
They all departed to the places that they were staying for the night, Ichigo and Rukia headed back to the Kurosaki clinic. Renji headed to Kisuke Urahara's shop and Chad headed home. Tōshirō and Rangiku stayed with Orihime and Ikkaku and Yumichika headed over to Keigo's. They had helped Ichigo's friend from the Arrancar in exchange for a roof over their heads.
As Ichigo and Rukia headed back, Rukia asked him, "What's with that look on your face?"
The look on the Vizard's face was one of guilt before it vanished when he scoffed at her, "What are you talking about?"
"Don't brush it off!" Rukia snapped, "You just had a pathetic look on your face!"
Ichigo sighed, "I should have used my Hollowfication from the start. If I ended that fight quickly we would have one less Espada to deal with."
"I wouldn't worry about it, Ichigo." Rukia assured him, "Yumichika ordered the Soul Society to set up spatial freezes around the battles in order to prevent the humans from being affected by the spiritual pressure. However if you used your Hollow powers and he managed to release his Resurrección, it would have broken through the spatial freeze and then it could've had disastrous consequences on the humans."
"If that's the case... then how are we going to fight them?" Ichigo asked her in concern. "We can't fight all out in Karakura town."
"You're right. It would have to be in either in the Soul Society or possibly in Hueco Mundo." Rukia answered him, "Ichigo, can I ask you a question?"
"Who are the people that you said that could help us?" Rukia asked him curiously.
Ichigo hesitated for a second but he knew that he could trust Rukia more than anyone, "They are a small group of Shinigami that have Hollow powers like me. They call themselves Vizards. They've been helping me train my Hollow powers."
"Judging from what you told Captain Hitsugaya, I take it the Soul Society didn't take too kindly to the fact that they had Hollow powers." Rukia assumed.
"Yeah, they didn't get them voluntarily though." Ichigo explained to her, "They were all tricked by Aizen and they were forced to undergo Hollowfication. Aizen then framed Kisuke for the crime and Kisuke went into exile and he discovered a way to help the Vizard."
"I see... If they're your allies Ichigo, then I will also consider them allies." Rukia told him, "After all, I know better than anyone to be used in Aizen's sick schemes."
"Yeah," Ichigo nodded, "I just hope they agree to help."
End of Chapter
If you like, please leave a review. If you don't like it, then don't read it!
So the Bounts arc begins in the next chapter. Like I have said previously there will be many changes in the Bount arc. First off it won't be as big as it is in the anime, Uryū already has his powers so that cuts down a lot and he will play a bigger role in the Bount arc than in the anime. Also the Vizards will get involved in it.
Also Tōsen said that Aizen currently wasn't in Las Noches and I wonder where he went.
There were some minor changes in the Ichigo/Grimmjow fight compared to the one in chapter 3 of Tensa Zangetsu's True Power. What do you reckon? Was it better or was it worse?
Answering the Readers:
Q: One inconsistency though. Rukia arrives and Ichigo's family welcomes her, and then you see Karin finding Yuzu and Isshin upstairs spying on them saying that Ichigo brought a girl home. Wouldn't Karin already know that since she was there at the time?
A: Nice find, thank you for pointing that out. I'll clear that up. Yuzu simply didn't see Karin enter the living room and so she thought that it was just her and her dad.
Q: Or you simply he (it) is irritated by the fact what the old man took his place?
A: Hollow Ichigo is extremely pissed that the old man is suppressing him along with the fact that Hollow and Quincy powers aren't compatible.
C: So Shinji is stronger with just his sealed Zanpakutō than Ichigo with bankai and mask...that's very disappointing. I can only hope you will eventually make him an overpowered badass.
R: Ichigo has the potential to become a transcendent, so Ichigo will become very strong but it will take time. It would kind of be boring if Ichigo suddenly became the strongest being and started kicking everyone's ass.
Q: I'm confused by the real Zangetsu here. Why is he keeping up the charade with the whole "I'll devour him" thing? That was just to motivate Ichigo to grow strong. Old Man Zangetsu knows what he really is and his intentions. So Zangetsu shouldn't act like a mindless hollow around him.
Not bad, though Zangetsu isn't like that. He never loses his cool with Hollow Ichigo, even when he talks about taking him over; heck, he KNOWS that Hollow Ichigo, when it comes down to it, is an important part of Ichigo.
A: I was hoping somebody would bring up these points. Hollow Ichigo/Zangetsu currently has only one goal and that is to devour Ichigo and to take control. Why? Since Ichigo's Zanpakutō isn't created with an Asauchi like all other Shinigami and was created by his Hollow/Shinigami powers kind of like the Arrancar's swords. Without an Asauchi to balance out his Hollow and Shinigami powers, the Hollow side of Zangetsu is more dormant. He tells Ichigo what he has to do in order to win and if Ichigo proves that he can do it, then Hollow Ichigo is happy to step aside and let Ichigo in control. If he fails, he won't hesitate to take over. Since he technically is Ichigo, just another part of him, he has the same desire to protect like Ichigo but he has his own way of doing it.
As for Old Man Zangetsu, right now because he is the Quincy side of Ichigo's powers and he wants to be the main source. In order to do that he has to suppress Hollow Ichigo as much as possible. The reason why he lost his temper with Hollow Ichigo was because Hollow Ichigo's taunts hit the mark. He knows that he is slowly losing the power to hold Hollow Ichigo back the stronger Ichigo gets using his Shinigami and Hollow powers. So he is in his own way protecting Ichigo. This will all be explained in detail further into the story and you will see a lot more of Hollow Ichigo's and Old Man Zangetsu's point of views than you do in canon.
Q: Will Old Man Zangetsu or Hichigo reveal the truth earlier than the Quincy War Arc; specifically around the time of the Zanpakutō-Arc where Hichigo might make the appearance instead of the Old Man?
A: I don't want to give much away, but there will be a need to change something in Ichigo's Inner World for him to get stronger.
Q: What'll happen when Ichigo gets stronger? What'll he do in his battle with Ulquiorra? And what about Zangetsu and his Hollow?
A: I'm not going to give away much about 'Zangetsu' and Hollow Ichigo. A lot of things will happen when Ichigo gets stronger and because of his strength there will be changes from canon. As for his fight with Ulquiorra... let's just say that I am excited to write it.
Q: Why on earth would Toshiro lead that group, when they haven't had anywhere near enough adventures and time together with Ichigo to form any sort of connection or positive relationship? Yes, I know, it happened in canon, but it could be assumed to have happened after they'd done more together, fought together more, than they have in this story.
A: At the moment, Soul Society doesn't know what Aizen's true goal is. All they know that for whatever plans Aizen has made he needs to get past the Soul Society, so they are preparing their defences. They also know that he has taken an interest in Ichigo Kurosaki and the reason why they sent Tōshirō is simple, because out of all of the Captains, he is probably the weakest... or the least experience. Plus unlike, Komamura, Tōshirō can at least fit in the living world.
C: I hope you don't shaft the Arrancar, like what Kubo did. He went from making them badass who could CASUALLY stomp most Captain level combatants without using Resurrección to, well, a sideshow that beat up on the Karakura gang, but just made the Captains look cooler.
R: I like the Arrancars, so I will make them tough to beat and there will definitely be some fatal injuries on the Shinigami side of the war unlike in canon.
Okay the previous chapters have been extremely exciting!
I am ecstatic that we get to see little Yachiru finally unleash her Zanpakutō. It looks interesting enough.
Renji – How amazing is his Bankai now! It is so much better than the one that he had wielded previously. I'm not ashamed to admit this but I hated Renji's previous Bankai and I had planned on skipping a lot of Renji's fights in this story because I didn't want to write that Bankai. However I love his new Bankai and I so need to incorporate it in this story and for him to get it much earlier. So the reason why he didn't get this Bankai form initially was because Zabimaru only half acknowledged him... that makes sense. Renji's previous Bankai was simply a large snake; it didn't have any of the baboon in it. I think we can all see where I can get Renji his proper Bankai.
Ichibel – So he is the one that knows the true name of pretty much everything in the Soul Society including the names of every Zanpakutō for each Shinigami. That's pretty interesting.
As Nödt – He had an interesting power and I absolutely loved the design of his Vollständig. I'm sad to see him go.
Byakuya – I'll admit that I was one of the people that were furious that he had survived. I had thought that his character development was done and dusted and that his death could progress Rukia and Renji's development. Now I am extremely glad that Kubo didn't kill him. To see that his greatest fear was Rukia dying and the only way to overcome it was to put his faith in Rukia to beat the opponent that he couldn't. For him to acknowledge Rukia as a warrior to her face after he had suppressed her chances to move up in the rankings was truly remarkable to read.
Rukia – Okay... this is where it gets a bit tricky. First of all, I am in awe of her true Zanpakutō abilities. Her Shikai is seriously awesome and it helps it get out the shadow of Tōshirō's Zanpakutō. I guess Rukia's Zanpakutō is more of a cold type Zanpakutō instead of an Ice type Zanpakutō. All of this Below Zero scientific stuff just goes straight over my head, so it is easy for me to accept the nature of her powers. It's kind of fitting that Kubo made Rukia the only Shinigami that could actually make her body 'dead'. Also her Bankai is beautiful and I love it. The only problem that I have is how Kubo has revealed all of this. He hasn't explained when Rukia achieved Bankai and he hasn't given any real hints on why Rukia's Zanpakutō is s powerful. Of course, he may reveal it all later, but if he doesn't I will be most disappointed. Either way, I have already come up with a good way to explain the reasons why Rukia has such a powerful Zanpakutō and I will explain it in detail later on in the story.