Warning, beware of long authors note! Now if you haven't skipped this then listen, reason why it took so long to update is while I finished moving into my new house a few days ago I didn't get internet brought in till a few days after so my apologies for the delay. But hey, I did get time to work on the story at least to make up for the delay its been made extra long! Fair warning, since its so long grammar mistakes may be a bit more eh whats the word...numerous? I'm not sure I've gone over it as much as I can though, but still if you see any mistakes then please point them out and I'll correct them.
Anyway here we are Chapter 22! ^^ I've done all I can with the original chapters added new detail, back stories and new details. So we can FINALLY get to the new chapters! Now before you go and ignore the rest of this authors note please keep in mind the new details and changes made will be making their debut in these future chapters. So if you have yet to read them you will be confused.
This and the next few chapters will be continuing on with what dude932 had planned until we hit the last of his ideas. From there I will be implementing my own for the plot, but the chapters will be implementing the new details put in overall throughout the chapters release.
Now with that please, Enjoy!
The Leaf's very own Soul Reaper
''And that's another one that breaks'' Ichigo commented with a scowl as he looked ahead of him to see his two students standing infront of him both panting with a number of cuts, bruises and gashes on their body while he showed no signs of tiring out or a single cut on his body. The three stood out in the forests just outside of Konoha's walls in the same training ground he and Anko had been using for her training. However his eyes were narrowed in annoyance as he looked upon Yugao who was holding yet another blade that was an Anbu edition only it was snapped it half. Honestly he was losing count at how many blades he was breaking on his students part because they couldn't keep up with the strain against Zangetsu's power and sharp edge.
''Well pardon me for not having a sword that can stand up too Zangetsu.'' Yugao huffed as she too was beginning to get annoyed with all the blades Ichigo was breaking during their training.
''I told you~'' Anko stated with a cheshire grin making Yugao gave a small glare at Anko ''Oh shut up!'' and thus the two students of Kurosaki Ichigo began to bicker while the man himself just sighed at their antics. Taking a moment to just let them bicker Ichigo looked up to the sky as he thought about the results of Yugao and Anko's training.
'It's been about a week since we returned from the mission to Aid Mei in the rebellion and so far Yugao and Anko's been show good results. While Anko is a bit ahead in terms of experience with my training Yugao is older so her body is more mature and can handle more of the strain.' Ichigo thought only for a frown to come to his face when he remembered the first day Yugao arrived for training he warned her of the difficulty of which he would put her through and she accepted at first, but when she arrived on the first day she was prepared for her punishment concerning how she acted in the Mission with the Rebellion...
Flashback: 5 Days Ago
Anko winced as a purple blur was sent past her crashing into the ground opening her eyes slightly she looked to her side and felt a surge of pity take hold. She took in the sight of an extremely haggard and bruised Yugao who was struggling to stand up. Her sword stabbed into the ground as she used it to try and pull herself up. The older woman spat out a glob of blood as she stared ahead of her weakly making Anko turn her gaze back. Right then she felt a cold shiver go down her spine once she saw her sensei standing ahead of the two with a impassive expression. Zangetsu stabbed into the ground a few feet from them while held in his hand was a simple stick, but the glint in brown eyes was all that was needed to be said.
He was disappointed...
''Get up Yugao, we haven't even begun yet, show me who you really are on the inside. Are you that child that acted up so horribly on the mission or are you the woman that is striving to be one of the greatest swordsmen in the world. Stand up and show me your resolve, Uzuki Yugao.'' the woman in question did just that standing up on her shaky legs before she charged Ichigo. When she was within feet of him she swung only for him to move to the left dodging her attack before the stick in Ichigo's hand hit her abdomen making her gasp before she was sent rolling back again.
Catching herself Yugao looked up to meet Ichigo's gaze ignoring the dull aching pain all over her body it had been going on like this for a full hour now ever since she showed up for the scheduled training time. She knew her first day wouldn't be having anything to with training and more of a punishment and it was painful. The bruises, cuts and gashes proved as such on her body and it showed Ichigo did not discriminate between male or female he would do what he intended without hesitation. For the last hour he forced her to face him down with all she had armed with only a simple stick on his part in favor against her Anbu katana.
And yet he simply batted her away not needing to use Zangetsu on her which grated on her nerves and dampened on her pride. It was both humiliating for her as a swordsmen that favored the way of Kenjutsu only for her blade to be bested by a simple piece of wood and enlightening since it showed her the most simple of objects could be as deadly as any blade if wielded in the hands of a master. Every time she was hit by it she felt as if she was being hit by the blunt edge of katana yet the blunt force in Ichigo' swings always sent her tumbling away each time.
''I-I am not a child!'' she spat only for him to narrow his eyes before he vanished and all she saw was darkness before she felt her body hit the ground back first. Her eyes wide as she stared up at Ichigo who had his stick mere inches from her face. However the steel edge in his eyes made her shiver which only worsened when she heard him speak.
''If you are not then why are you on your back, helpless like a newborn and about to be impaled by a simple stick?'' Impaled? What was he...
Then she and Anko saw it, it was for a moment, but the end of the stick inches from her face glowed a orange aura which formed into the apparition of a katana which was millimeters from Yugao's forehead. Sweat began to trickle down her face as she looked at the blade before it dissipated leaving her only to look from the end of the stick up to see Ichigo's impassive brown eyes from the shadows of his orange fringes.
''Do you see now Yugao? Look as well Anko, if I was ever serious, if I was ever your enemy you would be dead on the ground. If you want to be my student then you will learn discipline as your profession when it comes to being a swordsmen. I may show a level of disrespect, but that is my nature I do not give respect to those that have not earned it. Outright disrespecting others out of spite I will not tolerate and I will beat it into you, the both of you.'' he said making Anko nod as Yugao could only look up at Ichigo with a nervous look.
Keeping the stick directly between Yugao's eyes he pushed her head to the ground as he kneeled at her head. ''As for you Yugao, I hope I've made myself clear on this if you ever act that way again, I will personally take you, bind you, and throw into one of the ravines in Hi no Kuni and leave you there for you to pull yourself out, am I clear?'' he said, with almost a demented grin that made his hollow feel pride swell up in his chest. This had the adverse effect on Yugao to feel a fearful shiver go down her spine once she saw that grin, it wasn't one she had ever seen Ichigo use before it just promised an incredible amount of torment if she didn't comply with his teachings.
Okay it was official, Ichigo was literally insane! Smart, handsome, brave and strong, but most definitely insane!
Oh Yugao felt sorry for those two boys, Naruto and Sasuke, always wanting Ichigo to teach them, they had no idea what they were in for!
Keeping that thought to herself, Yugao closed her eyes for a moment trying to calm herself before she opened them to look up into Ichigo's brown eyes, his expression waiting for her answer. With a small smile she gave a nod, ''I-I am sorry taicho...I-'' she was halted when she felt the stick lightly tap her forehead with just enough force to make her wince with a red spot forming. Looking up at Ichigo with a questioning gaze. ''Don't apologize to me, your gonna apologize to Mei the next time you see her and I don't care how much you hate it. You will swallow your pride and apologize to her, got it?'' he said once he saw her sour expression, but reluctantly she gave a sigh.
His grin turned into a smile before he threw the stick aside making it lodge into the ground before he reached out with his hand. ''Good, now let's begin your training!'' he said
Since then he was seeing the results of that day baring fruit, while Yugao still had her moments they were growing a lot let less frequent. When they appeared they were mostly brought from Anko teasing her most of the time and even then she was being more respectable well at least to him and especially when he was seen with Kushina at times. He liked to think he was able to beat some sense into her, and because of it he was glad to say he was seeing some results in Yugao bearing fruit now with her becoming his second student.
But there posed a problem...Yugao didn't have a sword capable of standing up to Zangetsu...
'While Anko has the Kusanagi, Yugao doesn't have a blade strong enough to be at least on par with Zangetsu so she won't get far without one.' he thought with a frown the problem with finding a blade that can stand up to his zanpakuto was incredibly difficult. The blades of this world just didn't stand up to Zangetsu or perhaps it was with all Zanpakuto in general he wasn't sure.
Though he did find it interesting that Anko's Kusanagi could stand up to Zangetsu and from what he could feel when he clashed blades with it. The blade was abnormally powerful and held some form of sentience not unlike that of a Zanpakuto. He could feel it trying to reach out to Anko, but could not do so as of yet. That had been an ability he discovered with his training with Zangetsu and his Hollow he couldn't exactly explain it, but he was able to determine the emotions within not only in a blade that held some form of sentience like Anko, but overall when he fought against others if he make contact with them he could determine their emotion.
Zangetsu theorized it had something to do with the the natural energy that's been melding with his reishi body which may have caused more changes then just an increase in his overall power with another result of it being in the form of gifting him with an ability to feel what the soul of a sentient lifeform wishes for the most. If he came in physical contact, for example his Kenjutsu spars with Anko he could feel what the soul of Kusanagi wished for. He wasn't sure how it would work on humans as he's yet to try but kept the thought on trying on hold with the need to helping Anko and Yugao in their training.
Which made him wonder if there was a blade like it Yugao could use?
Then his mind went to other things that happened in the week he had yet to go check up on Tazuna and Kaiza with his project but its been little over half a year now since then. That alone was worrisome enough due keeping the entire foundations a secret from the eyes of everyone. Thankfully, when he bought the deed and had it approved by the Damiyo by purchasing part of his land to build the home. As a safe precaution he had put jup a small kido barrier during its construction so only those he allowed inside would be able to pass through the barrier. All others wouldn't get pass it even if they had seen the barrier. He wanted it a complete secret from everyone, especially from the family he's made here in this new world.
Kushina, Mikoto, Naruto, Sasuke, Anko, Jiraiya, Yugao and Kakashi all of them had become people very precious to him some more so then others. They were still his family in this world and he would do anything and everything he had to keep them safe. Now being engaged to Kushina he would need the home all the more now since the apartment just wasn't going to suffice now it just wouldn't do for them anymore. A small smile made its way onto his face as he thought about his life here, one moment he was fighting a War against Aizen and the next he's summoned into a whole new world where he's spent the next 6 years being the big brother to a young boy and making a family in said world. A sigh escape him, was it bad that was enjoying this time of peace while he had it, just letting the wind pass him by in a light breeze enjoying the cool wind on his skin.
Rest sounded very enticing right about now...
''Ano~, sensei?'' Anko called out making the Kurosaki open his eyes and he looked towards Anko and Yugao. Both had curious expressions on their face as they looked at him causing him to blink a bit from their intense stares.
''Uhm, yeah?'' what Ichigo didn't realize was that the two caught him in his state of ease and were captured at how...peaceful he seemed. It was just strange to see him like that and in some deeper part of themselves they found liked that face when it was just so serene when it wasn't usually scowling or just in a calm demeanor.
''We asked what you want us to do next since Yugao's sword is broke and all.'' Anko pointed out as the purple haired woman frowned at her broken blade as she took hold of the other piece that snapped off during battle and lunged itself into the ground nearby. Ichigo taking heed of this thought about it for a moment before he looked to Yugao.
''Well we do need to find a blade for you Yugao, but that would prove to be a difficult task itself seeing as Anko's Kusanagi was ripped from Orochimaru and all.'' he said not seeing the point keeping it a secret from Yugao about how Anko got hold of such a weapon. Yugao knew every weapon due to her interest in everything sword related so it would have been useless to even try. Of course Yugao kept it a secret since Ichigo didn't really want anyone knowing of how she got the sword and it was why Anko had the sheathe made too also keep it hidden from the eyes that knew Orochimaru like the Sandaime Hokage or Jiraiya.
Yugao looked a bit pensive and a bit hesitant, but looking down at the broken sword in hand and the drive to get stronger made her speak. ''W-well I know one weapon that might be able to stand up too Zangetsu.'' she said getting Ichigo and Anko's attention.
''Oh, Where would it be?'' Ichigo asked only to frown when Yugao averted her gaze back at Konoha in the distance.
Sensing there was more to it, but keeping silent about it Ichigo nodded before he turned to Anko. ''Alright, Anko I want you to stay here and practice using Jinzen and try connecting more with Kusanagi. Despite what you've said about it baring no results I sense the blade is trying to reach out to you so keep trying while Yugao and I go to check out this blade.''
''What?! But this blade won't even try connecting with me I've tried but it just doesn't work!'' she growled in frustration only for Ichigo to flick her forehead only with added strength this time. She yelped in pain as she was sent rolling back till she a tree. ''Itai~'' moaning in pain she glared at her sensei who just stared back at her with a calm expression despite the amusement in his eyes. ''Anko just trust me if you keep at it you will eventually connect with the Kusanagi just try searching deep inside the blade pour yourself into the blade. When you feel a pull, grab it and take hold, only then will you find that connection, okay?'' he said as Anko glared at him as the red bump on her forehead bulged from his flick.
''F-fine'' taking hold of Kusanagi she sat down indian style and laid the blade across her lap exactly like Ichigo showed her before she closed her eyes. Watching this Ichigo smiled a bit before he turned to Yugao and put a hand on her shoulder. ''Alright, take me too it, and we'll see if it can stand up too Zangetsu.'' Yugao gave a slow nod before she and ichigo began to walk out. Looking over his shoulder the Kurosaki spoke. ''Remember Anko, steady your breathing and calm your mind! Don't think about anything else just ignore your surroundings and focus on the blade!''
''Yeah yeah! I get it already!'' she said with a huff
Seeing this he nodded before he and Yugao vanished headed back to Konoha leaving Anko alone in the clearing of their training ground. The young pupil took in a deep breath calming her nerves before she laid her hands on Kusanagi and let her consciousness fall into the depths of the blade. Because of this her body on the outside started to give off a slight green hue outlining her body.
'Okay calm yourself Anko Ichigo has never led us astray before and he won't now so just remember his words. Pour myself into the blade, search for it...feel for the grabbing sensation...and once you do...' a gasp escaped her once she felt something pass her hands it was a gentle breeze of wind, but the sensation of grabbing onto an object flickered by her mind for only a second. Her hands went out to grasp it only for it to escape through her fingers at the last second, biting back a curse she relaxed and stayed calm.
'I can do this...I can do this...' remaining completely motionless in the perpetual darkness that engulfed her surroundings. Anko felt a breeze pass her by rustling her purple hair and rushed by her sides within moments too quick for the trained eye to catch. However once the sensation of the cool wind began to circle her front and begin to touch her fingers and enter her palms.
'Grab it and take hold!'
Her hands clenched on the wind which caused the breeze to stop before a pillar of wind shot up around Anko as her eyes snapped open revealing her brown obs to be glowing a slight greenish hue.
'I...I did it...'
'That you did young one...' a voice echoed within her ears coming from all around her. Her eyes trailed up looking past the wind to see through the darkness a single hand made its way through the wind not even wounding it in the slightest.
'Take my hand, you, who has passed their test to be worthy of my power.' Anko narrowed her eyes before she took hold of the hand. Then her vision went white as the darkness bled away into a flash of light. Only when it ended and Anko felt her eyes begin to open wa she awarded to a sight that left her in a state of shock. What was once pure darkness was now an immense grassland with far in he distance great mountain ranges and forests as far as the eye could see. She squinted a bit due to the sun that hung overhead from its sheer brightness that lit up the grasslands.
''Welcome, Mitarashi Anko, pupil of Kurosaki Ichigo.'' Snapping in the direction the voice from earlier came from Anko saw a few feet from her was the apparition of a figure. A man from what it seemed in a traditional set of samurai armor with his eyes peering through the eye holes of his helmet in a emerald glow. His body was not entirely there merely composed of wind due to his body shifting and letting off streams of wind around him.
Anko for her part stared at the apparition with a frown on her face, the adrenaline of achieving the connection still rushing through her body. Still she took a step forward with her eyes staring straight into the green blowing orbs of the man before her. ''...Kusanagi?'' she stated as both a statement and as a question. The figure just tilted its head before it nodded its head.
''Kusanagi? Yes and No, it is my name and yet it is not. That will be for you figure out child, but you have already proved yourself far more perceptive then that of my previous wielder, Orochimaru. The tests you shall face to begin wielding my true potential will come in time but for now you have earned this reward. Use it wisely and should you ever wish to further your connection with me, come and speak with me again.'' he said before he reached out with his hand allowing a small glowing green orb to form in the palm of his hand. Hesitantly Anko reached out with her own without anything needed to be said she felt honored to even be in the presence of whom she guessed was Kusanagi, but to be given a reward for her work and a chance to further her training was so much more then she could hope for.
She watched as the orb floated from the palm of his hand before it drifted toward her own which is soon floated down into her hand. Only when it did it let out a flash of green light which was near blinding, but she watched as the orb expanded in the palm of her hand into the shape of a sword as Kusanagi's voice rung in the area around her.
''Behold the true potential of Kusanagi...''
With Ichigo and Yugao
''So you want to tell me about this blade, Yugao?'' Ichigo asked as he and Yugao made their way through the residential district of Konoha. The two felt the stares on them from some of the villagers. Some children staring up in awe at Zangetsu strapped on Ichigo's back to the stark contrast of purple and orange hair of the two walking through the street. Yugao for her part stayed silent for a moment before deciding to respond.
''Well the blade is something of an old family heirloom that's been passed down from generation to generation throughout the centuries we've held it. The Uzuki family is not a Clan, but we do have a history of a long line of swordsmen and samurai that predate even the birth of the Shinobi era and that of the Rikudo Sennin's era. The sword itself has a legend that's been passed down to each Head of the Uzuki family whom would pass it onto their children and son on and so forth. However I do not wish to speak further of it until we have reached my home.'' Ichigo just nodded with her more intrigued by this blade Yugao speaks of. If such a blade held such a long and rich history then it must be quite the ancient blade and one that could hopefully handle against Zangetsu.
Bypassing a small tea shop the two never saw the two cloaked figures sitting inside watching every move Ichigo made from beneath their cowls. Sipping tea in one hand they watched Ichigo walk with Yugao going deeper into the district until they were gone from sight. Only then did the smaller of the two nod her head to her companion. ''He looks different from the last description of him''
''Yeah and even though his reiatsu is suppressed his reiryoku is the same only it feels a bit different. However that orange hair gives him away that's definitely him no mistaking about it.'' the taller female spoke just as the smaller one responded. ''Well we've found him now we need to report back.'' The taller female nodded her head from beneath her cowl.
''Right'' and with that the two left the small tea shop and turned into an alleyway before vanishing in sonido leaving only the sound of static in their wake.
With Ichigo and Yugao, the Kurosaki found himself standing before what he assumed was Yugao's home which was a simple apartment building. He walked inside with Yugao letting her close the door behind them.
''Well, welcome to my home its not much to look at, but it works.'' she said as Ichigo nodded. It was fairly simple with 1 bathroom, a kitchen and living room with at least two bedrooms. Turning his gaze to Yugao he asked, ''Well let's go see this sword...'' he noted the hesitation in her body, but followed her as she went to her bedroom. Not seeing the slight embarrassed flush in her cheeks from having her Taicho and Sensei seeing her room.
''A-Alright'' walking through the hall she turned to the right and opened her door showing a simple if a bit spartan. A queen sized bed, two dressers with one having a mirror with a window at the side of her bed, there was a nightstand at her bedside with finally being a closet. ''Nice room'' Yugao just nodded as she welcomed him inside and once they were in there Ichigo turned to Yugao who looked a bit hesitant. Seeing her hesitation ever since she mentioned the blade made him wonder if there was something wrong with the blade in particular. ''Yugao you alright you've been acting a bit nervous for awhile now.''
''Y-yes its just...the blade is very important to my family Ichigo and no one has ever been able to wield it due to its nature. There is a reason why its been kept guarded by my family because no one in our family down to our first ancestor has ever drawn the blade.'' she said as she kneeled down at her bed side with Ichigo doing the same. Listening to her story intently, ''You see, the blade is like Kusanagi I've done research on Kusanagi and the blade is exactly like my families own in terms of history only where Kusanagi or as it is officially called the Kusanagi no Tsurugi. The blade was originally found by the elder god Susanno when he cut of the fourth tail of the great monster called Yamata no Orochi he found the blade inside the fourth tail. That's the official legend, but unofficially the Kusanagi was actually the blade wielded by another deity who forged it from a piece of his soul, a piece of his flesh and from the contents of his trinket.'' she continued as she knocked on the floor with her ear to the floor.
When she found the hollow end she raised up and began to pick up the piece of floor revealing a slight opening about 8 foot in length. ''You see it says that the Kusanagi was actually the blade of the Wind God, Fujin, who forged the blade from pieces of himself and from the bag of winds he carried over his shoulder. To hide the blade from the greedy eyes of Susanoo he hid it in the tail of a sea serpent which soon became the Yamata no Orochi. When Susanoo found the blade he gave it to his sister Amaterasu as a gift and as an apology for killing one of her handmaidens. Not much else is known to the fate of the sword later, but somehow it survived and reached the hands of Orochimaru possibly due him being the Hebi Sennin and was given as a gift by the head Snake summon.'' she said a she prodded the opening up from a series of locks that opened up revealing a bunch of hay which she dug her hands into.
''I see, you sure know your stuff Yugao but how does this fit in with the blade of your family.'' he asked, a bit overwhelmed by the amount of history the Kusanagi actually held.
''Because Ichigo, the Kusanagi at its very core is a blade forged in the hands of a deity therefore it is a Blade of Celestial Power. The one my family has guarded is the very same because you see like the Kusanagi.'' she said as her hands seemed to grab hold of something and with a heft Ichigo watched with a wide eyed expression once he saw Yugao pull out a nodachi roughly 8 feet in length. His eyes found Yugao's who's were looking upon the nodachi in her hands with hesitation bfore she met his brown eyes with her own.
''This blade like the Kusanagi was forged by Gods, weapons of celestial status. This blade is called the Raiden no Ken, the sword of Raijin who was said to have been slain by Susanoo in a attempt to take the role as the Storm God. This blade was forged from the bone of Raijin, a lock of his hair and was said to have been tempered in his personal Thunder Forge in the sky. The sword itself from my families records was taken by a servant of Raijin and taken to his personal human worshipers who were charged with safeguarding the blade. Those worshipers were my Ancestors.'' she said as she and Ichigo looked down at the blade.
It was a 8 foot nodachi with a grey/green sheathe with a black ribbon tied around it. The handle of the sword was a foot and a half alone. The pommel gold while the handle was wrapped in a fine black cloth with 19 yellow diamond-shape designs weaved into the handle. The guard alone was gold as well with a circular design. It was incredibly well made though Yugao had yet to draw the blade itself.
''I see, but I remember reading in a book that the Nidaime Hokage, Tobirama Senju wielded a blade with the similar name, the Raijin no Ken?'' Ichigo commented only to get a frown from Yugao. ''That blade is a cheap imitation of the real thing. That blade was crafted solely through the use of Fuinjutsu, Raiton chakra and above average forging and was given the name Raijin as a way to make itself more striking then it really was. I can promise you this, this blade is the true Raiden no Ken and the blade my family has kept safeguarded for so long.'' Ichigo just nodded before he looked down at the blade.
''With such a history then this blade may be able to stand up to Zangetsu. May I?'' he asked which she hesitated for a moment. However knowing this was the only man she trusted to such a degree as too teach her she felt it was only right to let him hold the sword. Gently she placed it in his palms where Ichigo upon looking at the blade closed his eyes.
'Raiden no Ken, the blade is definitely like Kusanagi its not made by normal metallic alloy it feels otherworldly perhaps some form of celestial alloy? However it would definitely be able to go up against Zangetsu no question about that. Plus I do feel a soul within this blade like that of Kusanagi but it ignores me in favor of reaching out to Yugao, hm.'
''Ichigo?'' Yugao called out in worry only for Ichigo to open his eyes and give her a small smile as he gave her back the blade. ''No worries Yugao, this will be able to hold up against Zangetsu and like Kusanagi I feel a sentient spirit in this blade and it is trying to reach out too you.'' he said making her eyes widen before she looked down at the nodachi in slight awe. But Ichigo just looked at her and her form, the nervousness in her form and the trembling of her hands were a dead giveaway at how nervous she was.
''Yugao, listen to me for a moment. I am going to speak to you the very same words I told Anko when she first became my apprentice. Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate.'' those words stopped her in her tracks as if she was struck by lightning. ''I can see your hesitation to even hold that blade, Yugao I've learned that if you even hesitate the slightest your sword will dull and you will die on the battlefield. If your resolve weakens then you will be be overtaken and killed, if you hesitate even in the face of adversity your sword will break. If your overcome with complete fear then your own sword will strike at your hands for daring to be held by a wielder overcome by hesitation and fear.'' he explained to the purple haired Kenjutsu user.
Unknown to him he never saw the slight smiles of pride from Zangetsu and his Hollow.
''B-but...no one in my family has ever drawn the blade and I-'' she was stopped when Ichigo placed his hand on her head. Looking at him she saw his face in a calm smile, ''Yugao, I've been your Taicho for 6 years now and I've seen your abilities for myself and your resolve on the battlefield is as strong as the most durable of blades. While you've had your problems and some I've needed to beat them out of you, you still show incredible talent and potential. Will you really let the hesitation of using this blade no matter its history hamper you from achieving your dream?''
She went silent at that switching her gaze from him to the blade which she gazed at the blade for the longest moments. She bit the inside of her cheek thinking and thinking on what she should do, but the words of her Taicho sounded off within the depths of her soul. It struck a cord in her more then she ever thought it would plus seeing the look in Ichigo's eyes she felt reassured. Because he believed in her, he believed in her to be able to wield a sword forged by a God. Her brown eyes narrowed in resole seen only in her taicho and sensei before she took hold of the nodachi.
Ichigo seeing this smirked before he placed a hand on her shoulder getting her to look at him, ''Good you found your resolve, now I want you to do exactly as I have taught Anko in performing Jinzen. You and Anko are about equal in skill, but she's advanced more in contacting with Kusanagi and you've only gotten hold of your weapon. I want you to use this time to work on speaking with Raiden no Ken's spirit. Tomorrow you and Anko have the day off so use the time wisely, alright?'' Yugao only nodded which Ichigo stood up and turned to leave.
''By the way Yugao, as an incentive for you and Anko if you two can contact and get a grasp of your swords spirit and abilities. I'll be willing to fight you two a bit more seriously. I may even start thinking about training you two in my arts.'' he said causing her look up at him in shock. Waving his hand he walked out leaving to her thoughts as she looked down at the nodachi in hand. Soon her expression turned into one of resolve and she got into the same posture Ichigo taught Anko and thus she began her new exercise of tryin to tap into the spirit of her families sword.
On the other end as Ichigo left Yugao's home he felt his spirit come into contact with him.
'Ichigo, despite what you've promised those two their chakra network wouldn't be able to channel Kido with their chakra due to its nature of being the combined energies of physical and spiritual energy. Plus I'm sure you've noticed it by now but not only those two, but those that have been in close contact of you have been absorbing pockets of your reiatsu. Resulting in them gaining more spiritual energy then physical energy and if this continues they could very well grow to be spiritually aware and could possibly gain powers because of it.' Zangetsu said making Ichigo frown as he mentally nodded with his zanpakuto.
'I know that Zangetsu, but I'm thinking with Anko and Yugao wielding the Kusanagi and the Raiden no Ken respectively their reiryoku may possibly skyrocket. Thus allowing them to safely use Kido, but that's just a theory and if not they may very well as you've said gain powers specifically useful to their soul's nature. If the others start too show signs of gaining powers I'll deal with it when the need arises.' he said only for his hollow to to give a grunt.
'It would be so much easier to make them Shinigami...' he said causing Ichigo to stop before he looked down a bit with slight guilt.
'...The thought has crossed my mind but as I've told Kushina I will never risk them or anyone I care about becoming something like me. I'm not normal hell I don't even know what I am anymore and I won't risk anyone else becoming like me. It's better off if they stay like they are. Besides I don't know how to safely turn them into Shinigami without killing them.' he thought missing the pointed look his hollow gave Zangetsu who closed his eyes with a pained look on his face.
'I see, but Ichigo when you reach the apartment come and meet with us tonight so we can begin your training to see how far you've come since being transported here.' Zangetsu making Ichigo nod since he felt the seriousness in his zanpakuto's words. That had been a problem he was looking forward to solving to see how much power he had and the limits of it were something he needed to learn before he ever released more of it and not accidentally hurt someone close to him.
It was a few minutes later Ichigo found himself at home, upon opening the door he spoke, ''Oi I'm home!'' he said kicking off his shoes at the door as he heard a series of footsteps heading his way. Looking up he felt a smile cross his face once he saw Kushina standing infront of him with a happy smile on her face. ''Welcome home Ichigo, how was training your two cute little students?'' she asked with a grin making him chuckle lightly before shaking his head. It was funny seeing how Kushina referred to his students as if they were children and really they were when it came to her. If Ichigo had to really put a scale on Kushina's overall skill he could really say she was on the level of a Kage because of her skills in Taijutsu, Fuinjutsu and Kenjutsu. In addition with her temper with her overall skill made her a force to be reckoned with and a woman he had to put more effort in facing.
The thought of making her a Shinigami...actually brought a shiver to his spine, truly a force not to be reckoned with...
''It was fine, broke another sword from Yugao, but I think we've found her a suitable blade and I think Anko's training is progressing well enough all things considered.'' he said walking into the house Kushina in tow. ''But they still have a ways to go, their form can be sloppy under times of stress and they need to learn not to hesitate in battle as much as they do. There's also the fact that both of them share a similar problem of trying to out maneuver me ending up with them getting dropped on the ground or slamming into a tree because they can't focus on their surroundings.'' he said as she listened to him as the two ended up in the living room with both sitting down on the couch.
''Well you are a speed demon Ichigo, you're quite possibly the fastest person in the Elemental Nations bar none I think you may even be faster then Minato-san's Hiraishin. And that's not considering you still holding back so its to be expected no one would be able to actually keep up with you.'' she said making him chuckle, he learned of the Hiraishin was Minato's signature ability which allowed him to travel at speeds that couldn't be perceived by the most trained eye. To travel at any marked location instantaneously was quite the feat and would be quite the skill to have. However with Shunpo, Ichigo could literally move at any distance he wished with only the limitations were how far he could make the steps needed to get to Point A to Point B. And being the speed combatant he was moving at speeds faster then what anyone could perceive came to him as natural as breathing.
That wasn't even considering him using Bankai which compressed all his reiryoku into his Bankai form which multiplied his speed by leaps and bounds and he wasn't entirely sure how fast he was now since he hadn't used his Bankai since coming to this new world.
Letting out a sigh, Ichigo leaned his head back on the couch cushion letting his eyes rest for a moment, ''Yeah well, I've yet to find a reason to actually let loose so that's still up for debate.'' he said making her nod. Keeping her gaze on him Kushina felt a smirk form on her beautiful face, ''You know Ichigo, your sounding more and more like an old man with the way you keep coming home and sighing like that.'' teasing him was possibly her and Mikoto's past time now that is when he did rarely get back at them which always left the two in a stuttering blushing mess.
The Kurosaki just chuckled, ''When I start to have a beard which won't be happening anytime soon then you can call me old.'' he said missing the way her eyes looked at his face for a good long moment her eyes taking in his facial features before the apparition of him having a stubble appeared for a moment making her eyes go wide as she pictured him, his long spiky orange hair shadowing his intense brown eyes with a orange stubble on his face.
''I think you would look pretty sexy with a stubble...'' she absentmindedly stated this making him snap his gaze in her direction a surprised expression. His face going completely red at her words before she finally realized what she said. ''A-ah! I mean uh...um...could you please forget I said that, ttebane?'' she said blushing as well while scratching the back of her head in a sheepish manner. She felt herself sinking into her chair as he kept his stare on her before he just chuckled as he shook his head.
''No worries Kushina...'' he making her nod with a nervous chuckle while his eyes looked around, ''Naruto and Sasuke still at the academy?'' he asked noting it was a bit quiet. Kushina regaining her composure nodded. ''Yeah, they still have two hours and Mikoto's gone to get some groceries so she won't be back for another hour or so either.'' she said making him nod. However her eyes lit up with recognition which made her straighten up.
''Ah, I almost forgot, you got something in the mail today.'' Ichigo rose an eyebrow as Kushina stood up and walked into the kitchen. Soon she came back and gave him an envelope where he looked down at it, ''Do you have any idea who its from?'' she asked, curious to who or what it was. Ichigo just looked at the envelope before seeing its sender and upon seeing it from Nami no Kuni a smile graced him before he begun to open it. Doing so he pulled out a letter which he read while easily weaving from Kushina's attempts to look over his shoulder.
It's me Tazuna, since you were gone after our projects completion I decided to write this letter since I was needed back home. It took a bit longer, but we finally completed the construction of your home and I have to say it is my finest creation yet second only to the bridge back home. Gotta admit kid, for someone as simple as you that project was quite advanced are you sure your not some noble? Eh, anyways not my place to judge, just letting you know its been done and minor finishing touches here and there. Now it only needs to be furnished and such.
I hope you like it, and live a long and happy life with your family, and hey come visit us sometime when you get the chance.
Tazuna, The Awesome Bridge Builder!
Ichigo chuckled as he finished reading the letter before folding it up and placing it back in the envelope. ''So what was it?'' Kushina asked making Ichigo look her way before looking back at the parchment. ''A reminder, by the way when we have the chance tomorrow I'd like to take us all for a small outing, have Naruto and Sasuke get the day off from the Academy and take you and Mikoto out for a little bit.'' Kushina looked at him with surprise before looking up in thought.
''Hm, we could do that the boys are doing well enough to miss a day of the Academy and plus I think we can do with a bit of time together as a family, neh?'' she said purposely leaning her hand on his shoulder causing him to look down at her playful violet orbs which made him chuckle before his eyes traveled down to her hand, specifically her ring finger which reminded him of another project he needed to work on.
''Yeah as a family...'' he added in, with that the two fell into a comfortable silence enjoying each others company all the while their hand were held together, fingers intertwined.
Ichigo sat alone on the roof of the apartment building he was living in, the cool breeze washing over him as looked over Konoha with a calm gaze. It had been a few hours since the rest of the family had returned home and while Jiraiya had yet to return he knew the old man was probably busy with finishing up his work on his spy network station here in the village. Dinner had been eventful to say the least with Kushina and Mikoto talking about their day or teasing him at times as always. Sasuke telling him the day was boring as usual, but he was annoyed with the fangirls that wouldn't leave him and Naruto alone it was driving the young Uchiha absolutely up the wall.
Then Naruto was telling him of his day at the academy although much more quietly once he got the firm stare from the Kurosaki making him use his inside voice. He told him of his day at the academy and how it was pretty much a 'cake walk' for him, but one thing he did take notice in what Naruto said more seriously was how he said the teachers, one with silver hair called Mizuki was glaring at him, his little brother, along with other teachers.
Again, it seemed the hate for his little brother ran far deeper then he anticipated. This had always been a problem he's had to deal with, most of Konoha's prejudice against Naruto since he was the Jinchuriki of the Kyuubi no Yoko. It's been an issue he's brought up to Hiruzen at least three times and after the third time of no repercussions and the same old excuse of the villagers needing time. He took it into his hands to deal with it, the first villager to glare at Naruto he'd glare back ten times the intensity. If a hand was put on his little brother well...Ichigo had always been known to be a delinquent in his younger days and proved as such when he put at least 5 full grown men in the hospital for trying to hurt Naruto. Last he heard they were still in there for another scheduled year for breaking most of their bones and putting them into minor coma's.
Hiruzen had called him in that day and asked him why did such a thing and Ichigo simply told him, Protecting Naruto at all costs plain and simple. Hiruzen didn't question him further on it either which was pretty wise considering the hell it would bring and the increase amount of paperwork. That particular Hell would be Kushina, who wouldn't stand for it and would go on a rampage on Hiruzen if she heard of it. The fact Naruto's had to be under the hate of Konoha because of Minato making him into the Jinchuriki had implemented some hate into Kushina for the man after what doing he did to her baby boy.
And he had to agree, if he was ever given a choice to either protect a village, but at the cost of damning a few or protecting his loved ones and ensue chaos unto thousands. Then he would have chosen both by giving his all to repel and crush the threat to make sure they were both safe. From what he knew, Minato could have killed the Kyuubi that night by sealing all of its power into the stomach of this worlds Shinigami at the cost of his life yet he made Naruto into a Jinchuriki and subjugated him to Konoha's hate.
And for what reason, that's something that's bugged him...Why did he do it? Was it to prove a point? Did he entrust Naruto with the Kyuubi? What was the reason Minato had to justify damning his son's life which would have been a lot worse if Kushina wasn't alive right now? Yeah, Ichigo would admit to being a bit pissed with the late Hokage as well.
He shook his head of those thoughts and went to other things. When it came to the Shinobi populace they mostly didn't dare to try anything due to a number of reasons, reasons the villagers seemed to lack in common sense. First off, Uzumaki Naruto was the son of Uzumaki Kushina, the woman who didn't hesitate to reduce anyone that said or touched a hair on her sochi's head into a bloody smear on the ground. Second, those that knew of his situation respected him for being the container of the Bijuu and rightfully treated him with the respect he deserved for being its jailer. Third and final reason was pretty simple...
He was Kurosaki Ichigo's surrogate brother, and Ichigo had made quite the impression on the shinobi populace, his total of 6 years now in the Anbu had made him a legend due to all the mission's he's undertaken some more bloody then others and some that's put him in the favor of quite the few strong political figures around the continent, plus he was the sole reason a majority of alliances were brought to Konoha's doorstep. Ichigo wasn't clueless to the fact a lot of Shinobi looked up to him due to his nature and skills in Kenjutsu and respected him. He would have thought with that kind of figure behind Naruto most shinobi that didn't like Naruto would back off, but it seemed he was wrong.
'Maybe I should pay a visit to the Academy, Naruto can handle simple bullies, but full grown adults? No I don't think so...'
He let out a sigh as he let those thoughts be pushed down for now, he had something he had to do tonight with Zangetsu laying across his lap he sat. His eyes taking in the night with the stars brimming brightly in the sky while under the illuminating gaze of the full moon just before he closed his eyes. His body going into a Jinzen posture before he let himself delve into his inner world.
Ichigo's Inner World
Opening his eyes, Ichigo saw the familiar sight of his inner world however it was completely different to the many tall buildings and skyscrapers that once littered the entire area of his world. Due to being gone and living in this new world his connection to nature of the world had changed his world into one he'd grown far more accustom to then he at first thought. What was once a field of skyscrapers was now a vast land of grassy fields and forests dotting the landscape, rovers and mountains could be seen in the far distance. Stretching as far as the eye could see was just immense woodlands and forestry with the bright sun hovering over head.
However his gaze softened once he saw far back was the city of his old home, Karakura Town, far far back in the background of his inner world. As much as his inner world had changed he could never forget the home he was born in and grew up for his first 16 years of life.
''Beautiful isn't?'' Releasing a sigh, he turned his head to the see the dual aspects of his power before him. Zangetsu in all his black clothed glory while his hollow giving a sadistic smirk as usual.
''Yeah...'' he agreed, if there was one thing he shared with Zangetsu and his Hollow it was that they all enjoyed this peaceful nature atmosphere around them. Zangetsu once told him long his world used to be like this, but over time it faded to become the skyscrapers that resembled his old home where it always used to rain. But coming to this new world and been given a family had brought that old world back and Ichigo had come to enjoy this new scenery far more then the endless skyscrapers.
''Anyway, we're here for a reason so we should get started...'' he said getting a serious look from both which was surprising since his hollow was never that serious unless it was to beat some sense into his skull. Of course, this situation called for it after all it was tim to see how powerful he'd become and see how dangerous it was if released and the effects of all his training have changed when he released to his maximum.
Nodding, Ichigo took a deep breathe as Zangetsu and Hichigo took a few steps back from Ichigo. The orange haired Kurosaki began to build up his power. Releasing every morsel of reiryoku from his body, Ichigo exhaled just as the ground beneath him suddenly cracked and cratered as his immense reiatsu which began to saturate the area around him. Grasping Zangetsu over his shoulder Ichigo inhaled again as his body began to reach its maximum in his shikai state. The sky of his inner world began to blacken as Ichigo exhaled again resulting in his body releasing another shockwave causing the crater beneath him to grow bigger as outside of the crater the earth ruptured and upheaved from the countless tremors.
Zangetsu and Hichigo watched impassively as Ichigo's body began to let off an aura of reiryoku in the shape of blue flames licking off every part of his body. The density of his reiryoku was incredibly powerful so much they could feel it burning the air even from where they stood. Hichigo looked down at his shihakusho only to frown once he saw the edges begin to burn.
The most interesting thing though to their eyes as the reiryoku began to build up to its completion the bandaged on the Zanpakuto began to turn dark crimson with a tint of black. The changed finally ended at the end of the long cloth coming from the handle of the Zangetsu. Taking notice of this Ichigo pulled Zangetsu forward while grasping his forearm. The changed cloth began to wrap up his right arm as he looked up staring resolutely into the eyes of both aspects of his power. However what he didn't notice was the change in his eyes, his brown orbs now glinted with a sharp crimson edge that made both spirits eyes narrow.
Then it happened...
Zangetsu and Hichigo were not prepared for what happened next, they knew a lot would have changed over the course of the 6 years of Ichigo coming to this new world. That his training with them had upped his power far beyond what was expected, but they never did take into account at just how much it changed him and with the natural energy he's absorbed so far would further increase those changes. So it was with great shock that they were instantly blown away by the massive shockwave that was released when Ichigo said the initial word 'Bankai'. They dug their feet into the ground as they forced themselves to keep ground as the shockwave rippled through the ground for miles on end. They looked up only to see a vortex of jet black reiryoku swirling in the air which was growing bigger by the second. Soon enough the two were engulfed by the debris and dust being shot out in waves masking their presence.
The black sky seemed to flash before the storm got even worse, the giant black vortex seemed to get bigger and more fierce threatening to suck up everything in its path. Bolts of lightning shot and rumbled through the sky untamed and wild from the immense release of such power. However just as the sky began to open to form hundreds more of swirls in the sky threatening to unleash even more devastating vortexes and tornadoes. However when it was about to become even worse it suddenly the storm began too compress before it destroyed more of the inner world. The storm began to lessen while the eye of the storm became calm until soon enough the rapid winds began to dissipate as the storm in the sky, while it stayed, became much less chaotic. Standing in the epicenter of the phenomenon was a lone figure, a single shadow gracing the middle of what was a giant vortex of pitch black ebony. When the dust began to settle and the winds began to finally wisp away the figure finally emerged.
It was Ichigo or at the very least it looked like the man whom was Kurosaki Ichigo. Standing where once was the Kurosaki was a man standing 6,0 wearing something similar to the Shinigami of Seireitei, a black shihakusho with a white tabi. However the similarities ended their for draped down on his lower back was a tattered remnants of a black cloak with white tatters underneath with it nearly touching the ground. Where the chest would be usually closed up it was opened to reveal a black and white shirt that went up with a black and white collar that went around the mans neck. On his collarbones were two white bands going over his collarbones before connecting with his black/white shirt. In addition to this was around his neck was tattered ends of his shihakusho.
The black sleeve on the right arm was now gone, revealing his entire wiry muscled arm from the shoulder on down where on his right forearm was a strange white metallic gauntlet firmly grasping onto a blade which was the length of roughly 5 to 6 feet long. It was a longer then average katana, the guard was fully straightened out on both sides of the Zanpakuto revealing a red gem in the guard itself. At the pommel the small black chain link that was once there was now much longer with it wrapped fully up the length of his white gauntlet.
However upon looking at the man himself, his face, you would see it was most definitely Kurosaki Ichigo by the shade of his bright fiery orange spiky hair however it was completely changed, from its long hair that reached past his necklace now went down to his lower back with two long bangs of his hair framing the sides of his face. Their was still a spike to his hair, but it was mostly on the top of his head with the rest being straight the lower it went. Across his face and the bridge of his nose was a white band that seemed to be unfinished with another trying to form. Finally, where once was Ichigo's brown eyes were now a shade of pure ruby red.
But then that was not all the changes discreetly across his right arm were black flame like markings connecting from the white gauntlet going up in a intricate manner to his shoulder while his left hand with the sleeve remaining, but still being in tattered remains had the same markings detailing the back of his hand. The markings didn't stop their as they seemed to try and connect with his eyes, but were still a few inches away from connecting.
Ichigo's face was void of any emotion as his blade gleamed with a blue and red light, but soon his eyes soon began to light up with some form of recognition. He looked down at himself absorbing the changes of his Bankai with a look of surprise. His gaze looked down at his zanpakuto only to be even more shocked at its significant change. Looking around himself he scanned the damages of his Bankai release and gave a small sigh.
''Well glad I was able to suppress most of the effects, but still this is a bit...catastrophic...'' his voice was different, it was so calm one could bring the entire Militia force of the Elemental Nations before him and he wouldn't have blinked an eye. But it was more then that, it was also more deep and carried a vast amount of...power.
Power laced in every word he spoke, power that was enough to even leave a small echo around him.
''No shit Kingy...'' Hichigo spoke causing Ichigo to merely glance to his side only for the slight widening of his eyes that showed his surprise once he laid eyes on both Hichigo and Zangetsu.
Standing a few feet from him inside the giant crater was both spirits; Hichigo was different wearing a similar version of Ichigo's bankai form only inverted to be mostly white and less black. However on his wrists and ankles were black tuffs with his fingers and feet were now claws while on his was the very same mask he unleashed during his fight with Ulquiorra so long ago. It was mostly black with two straight white lines going down the eye holes and jagged teeth and finally down to the chin. The two curved horns gleamed with a deathly light as they gave off slight residue of red reiryoku in the form of sparks.
''I concur, that was most definitely unexpected..'' then came the other surprise, Zangetsu whom was once an old man was now much younger around the same age as Ichigo himself. Dressed in a full body cloak with black knee high boots with a hood which Zangetsu pulled down to reveal his his wavy black hair was slightly less longer then before while his usual sharp black eyes stared at Ichigo with his usual serious expression only now there was a gleam of curiosity in his eyes.
Ichigo gazed upon his two spirits for a moment, if he was still young he would have questioned their change in appearance and even asked who they were. However looking at them now and thinking back to the word of Bankai he could only show a slight smile. ''So that's what Bankai means, this must be your true appearance, Tensa Zangetsu...'' the changed Kurosaki stated getting a small smirk from the normally stoic spirit. ''It's good you've deduced as much, but what I am more curious about is your change in appearance.'' he said while looking upon Ichigo's new appearance with a slight curious expression.
Hichigo just slid his mask to the side of his face as he too looked upon Ichigo for a moment before a sadistic smirk crossed his face. ''Heh, you look more hollow like to me and that's a plus. Perhaps that natural energy stuff can do miracles even with you, Kingy. But I wonder if that energy did more then just change your looks and Bankai?'' he questioned, and while he ignored the slight remark from him, Ichigo had to nod as did Zangetsu with what Hichigo said. It did seem the Natural energy that's melded with his reishi body had been doing far more then they at first thought.
''Yeah, I can't really explain it but I feel so much more calm now and then there's the power I feel. It's feel so different from the last time I used Bankai, it feels more cold yet hot its a weird sensation and yet I feel at my fingertips more power coursing through me then I ever did when I used bankai all those years ago.'' looking down at his zanpakuto he raised it up letting his red gaze sweep over his changed Tensa Zangetsu. His grip on the katana tightened as the blade of ebony gleamed dangerously within his inner world.
''I...I feel so strong'' the emphasis in his voice made Zangetsu narrow his eyes as Hichigo's face changed into one of impassiveness.
'Perhaps since the Natural Energy has been fusing with his reishi body it's not only been enhancing his overall power and abilities, but it seems as if its...mutating him like some form of evolutionary chain. Yet from what I can feel...its almost like its been slowly melding me and Hichigo's energies into Ichigo and if that is the case...' he shared a quick glance with Hichigo who seemed to be thinking along the same lines.
''Kingy, how about we spar and see exactly the limits our power has grown?'' Hichigo suggested causing Ichigo to look up before he nodded. Gripping his zanpakuto he swung it down which caused the entire right side of him including the mountain in the far distance shattered from the power of what appeared to be a nonchalant swing. Looking at the two spirits, Ichigo stared them down with a pair of strong eyes. ''Very well, come at me when your ready...''
Feeling a bead of sweat drop from his face, Hichigo smirked as he and Zangetsu shared a nod. Then to Ichigo's slight astonishment Zangetsu and Hichigo's body started to break down into blue orbs of reiryoku before they fused into one being. This formed a single humanoid who upon being fully completed revealed a kneeling figure. The humanoid, a man, stood up revealing the same height as Zangetsu. He wore a fusion of Zangetsu and Hichigo's clothing of a fully body white cloak with black tuffs for the collar along with white boots. His hair was wavy but it was bleach white as well was his skin. On the left side of his head half of Hichigo's hollow mask with a single horn and a corner of the mask on his head with his left eye being that of a hollow eye with the whites of his eye being black and the iris being gold while his right eye was pale blue, but his eyes just looked up to Ichigo with complete seriousness.
''Tensa?'' the Kurosaki questioned
Standing up he reached out forming a completely white version of Ichigo's own zanapkuto and he pointed it directly at Ichigo as he stated.
''Gaze upon me, Ichigo, this is the fusion of all your power, your Shinigami and Hollow powers, this is the first time we've ever revealed this to you so burn it into your mind. We shall be testing the limits of your power. I just hope...by the end of this you learn...the meaning of wielding us.'' he said confusing Ichigo slightly.
''Tensa, what do you-'' his eyes widened before he brought up his zanpakuto in time as Tensa blurred only to appear infront of him already in mid-swing. The two blades clashed creating a massive shockwave and being caught off guard Ichigo was sent sailing back with Tensa flying after him. Coming up to him, Tensa just stated stoically as he swung his sword down.
''As I just said, its been made clear to me that while you've grown considerably in power and the limits of that power have yet to be tested you still lack the understanding of wielding us. When you have learned that...'' he trailed on as his sword clashed with Ichigo's own which before it sent Ichigo flying caused the Kurosaki's blade to form a blue crack causing Tensa's eyes to narrow just before he blurred infront Ichigo who reacted in time to guard against Tensa's swing the clash causing yet another shockwave around them destroying much of the area around them and cratering the ground beneath them.
''Then you will truly begin to master your power, Ichigo!'' Tensa finished, and with that the two began their deadly dance of swordplay across the inner world.
''This is so cool, isn't Sasuke? We got a day off from that boring old Academy!'' Naruto said practically jumping in joy as Sasuke himself gave a 'hn' as the two young boys walked along the Konoha's Trade District. The two boys were wearing a pair of kimono's since it was a day for relaxation for them which were both made by their mothers respectively. Naruto's was a mix of mostly red with orange linings while he had the Uzumaki Clan swirl etched on the back proudly honoring his long gone Clan. Sasuke's on the other hand was mostly black black with dark blue linings with the Uchiha red and white fan symbol on the back of his own.
''You're just happy to be away from the boring old lectures.'' the Uchiha stated getting an annoyed frown from the energetic blond just before he glanced at his best friend before a downright evil grin stretched across his face.
''Yeah, and more so to get away from the, oh my Kami, FANGIRLS!'' he shouted getting an alarmed look from Sasuke who turned to look. ''Where!?'' he looked left to right, down and even upwards looking for any sign of those horrible creatures that plague every nightmare he has. Only to fall short of not seeing any before the sound of Naruto erupting in laughter got his attention which sparked Sasuke's ire.
''Naruto-dobe that was not funny!'' Sasuke shaking the blonde back and forth who was too busy laughing to even care.
Watching this from behind the two boys was three adults, two of which were obviously female from their sheer beauty, it was the two mothers, Uchiha Mikoto and Uzumaki Kushina both of which were smiling at their children's antics. Both women were wearing yukata's of respective design; Mikoto's was mostly dark blue with black lining. She had her tabi tied up in a bow behind her which was purple. The Uchiha Clan crest was on her back, but strangely enough it was tangled up in another design in the background which resembled a black blossom. The yukata only enhanced her hourglass figure leaving only enough to imagine, but not enough to reveal much. Her long raven hair fell to her mid-back with two long bangs framing her face with her midnight black orbs glanced to her right side only to shine in amusement and appreciate for the male at her and Kushina's side. Her arm was lopped in the males much bigger and stronger arm which she leaned her body against his own as they walked along the streets.
Speaking of Kushina, like Mikoto, she was wearing a yukata only it was mostly crimson with orange linings which seemed to hug her form just as much as it did for Mikoto. Her dark blue tabi was tied up in a bow behind her as well. Etched onto the back of her yukata was the Uzumaki crest in a deep rich blue with black linings, but much like Mikoto she had the strange black blossom tangled up around the crest in a way that it only served to bring out the crest and its relation to the black blossom. Her long beautiful red hair fell even longer down to her ankles with two long bangs framing the sides of her heart-shaped face with her signature gold hair clip on her left long tress of red hair. Her violet gems absolutely twinkled in glee as she watched her sochi and Sasuke play before she looked up at the man on her side with appreciate and no small amount of love in her eyes. Like Mikoto she too had her arm lopped up in the male on her left side, but her hand was in his own showing a display of their closeness.
''I swear those boys act more and more like brothers then best friends.'' Mikoto commented causing Kushina to nod with a happy smile on her face. Her face leaned against the shoulder of the man beside her while she let out a content sigh.
''That they do, they act like we did when were around their age, but we were a lot more fierce.'' Mikoto nodded in agreement at that. When she and Kushina were that age they were already at each others throats and pulling at each others hair. However as time progressed they got over their ire and rivalry for one another and began to see each other as sisters with their similarities and the rest was history. Mikoto always found it funny that when she and Kushina were mentioned to be seen together it spelled doom and was seen as an ill omen on the battlefield.
''Hm...'' hearing the small hum, the Uzumaki beauty Looked up only for her smile to grow more bright if it was possible. She and Mikoto looked upon the man both were tangled together with as the group of 5 walked along the streets of Konoha. The man in question being Ichigo himself, however like the rest he wore a kimono, but from the small frown on his face and the number of stares of awe, jealousy and some from both women and some men being lust which freaked him out even more.
Due to Kushina and Mikoto's constant interference it was they that outfitted him in his current kimono and the biggest eye catcher from the group, not because of the fact he had the two most beautiful women hanging off his arms nor the fact he was practically raising not only the Uchiha Heir, but the Jinchuriki of the Kyuubi no Yoko. No it was because of what he was wearing. Ichigo literally looked like royalty with his full black kimono with his dark blue undershirt. Two full moons were etched on both sides of his kimono on the front. His hakama pants were in tatters which Kushina found to be very exotic while the collar was puffed outward with it being in tatters as well. Finally over his shoulders was a long mostly white haori with the inside being a royal purple. Etched onto the back of his haori was the Kanji for 'Head' while the bottom of it was in tatters as well. It flowed freely without it being tied by his white tabi allowing it flutter slightly in the breeze. He hadn't brought Zangetsu with him or at least that's what appeared to their eyes, but thanks to his training last night Ichigo was able among other things able to summon Zangetsu now without the need of taking him everywhere he went because he was apart of him, apart of his very own soul.
Apparently it was Mikoto's idea that since he was technically the head of the Kurosaki Clan he should represent himself as such and Kushina was all for the idea. Thus they pushed him into making him a kimono that fit him and represented him as the head of his Clan. While the symbol or crest for the Clan had yet to be officially made Ichigo did take to making the skull engulfed in black flames and outlined in blue to be to his liking the most. However as some form of way to tease him the two women took to making the black cherry blossom as a way to tangle up with their respective clan crests and with the majority of it to be with Ichigo's own crest as a way to show their relationship with him.
So it could be said Ichigo was the center of attention and he did not like it one bit...
Not. At. All.
''How you two were able to make me wear this I will never know.'' he said only to go wide eyed when he felt two pair of lips from the two who kissed his cheeks which brought a healthy amount of red to his cheeks. His gaze found their own which he found amusement and a bit of appreciation in their eyes.
''Call it a woman's charm, Ichigo we have that power even over someone as powerful as you. Besides...'' Mikoto trailed on as her eyes looked over his body loving the new look.
''You look very handsome the way you are, back then you had a rugged aura of a bad boy, but now well I'd say you're every young girl's fantasy come to life and every woman's dream man.'' Kushina finished with a smirk making Ichigo just sigh as he shook his head. He was used to Kushina's antics, but the way her eyes seemed to hold his own spoke volumes that she was expressing much more through eye contact.
''Thank you for bringing us out here for the day though Ichigo, I believe the boys have enjoyed this time for relaxation and I know we both enjoyed it even more.'' Mikoto said, seeing Ichigo and Kushina's eye contact for a moment before deciding to speak her mind. However her cheeks did flush a bit when his intense eyes landed on her. Kami! Why did he have to have such strong, yet handsome brown eyes?!
''Your welcome, we all needed it and we haven't had time to spend it together as a family. I missed Sasuke's birthday and I've been gone for over half a year so we needed the time together.'' his response made her smile. True he did miss Sasuke's birthday, but a few hours into the small outing he gave him a late birthday present which was in the form of a wooden chokuto, but also a gift for both him and Naruto which was a protective charm he made if the two were ever in any danger it would protect them from. It was vague, but they liked it nonetheless and that's what counted the most.
''I agree, this has been one of my happiest days, and one you've given me so thank you very much for this, Ichigo.'' Kushina agreed however they blinked in confusion when he chuckled before he looked at the two with a small smirk.
''Glad to hear it, but I think I've got a little surprise for all of you, c'mon lets go.'' he said and walking with a little more step in his walk he led the two confused women along with the two boys soon following him.
It was a few minutes later they found themselves in the Clan District of Konoha, but they were soon leaving Konoha's walls and heading deep into the thick forests of Konoha's outside walls. Naruto and Sasuke were utterly confused by the sudden detour in the trip, but Kushina and Mikoto were even more confused. The trip had taken them all the way from the Trade district, through the Clan district and even outside the walls of Konoha itself and it was a good long trip. And even they kept trying to ask, prod and drag out why Ichigo brought them out so far they had yet to get a peep from him sides a chuckle or smirk.
''C'mon Ichigo~ Please tell me why we're out here~ For me~?'' Kushina pouted at him with her bottom lip quivering, her eyes bulged and glistening. Clearly Kushina was a master of the Puppy Dog Eye no Jutsu, but after it being used on him countless times by his sisters when they were younger and Kushina a few times he was immune to one of the most deadly techniques known to mankind. Still as his eyes caught the end of them reaching the near end off the trail he decided to give them a hint.
''I can't tell you yet Kushina'' he said making her hang her head in defeat ''However think of this as a new...change in our life's together from now on.'' he said making her perk up. Her brain quickly began to think of what he meant, they were to be wed, they were going to be together for the rest of their life's and...
Her eyes widened as a budding light of realization began to appear in her eyes...
'Oh my Kami...did...he really?'
''And you Mikoto, I've known the apartment has been growing less spacious and you've been thinking of moving out. I couldn't let that pass so I've found a way for you two to live with us without having to ever worry about space or privacy ever again.'' he said making Mikoto frown before she looked down in thought before she slowly came to the same conclusion as Kushina.
'Ichigo...did you...' she couldn't finish the thought as the group finally came to the end of the trail and they were all, but Ichigo a bit blinded by the sudden ray of light from the sun. But when they could all see their eyes widened as Ichigo's face formed one of content.
''Sugoi...'' Naruto muttered in awe as they beheld the sight of an open area a very spacious amount more then Ichigo at first remembered seeing. However before them was a dirt path that led up to a foundation reaching a pair of wooden gates that were built into two cement walls that stretched far across the clearing. They stood tall and mighty with their almost pearl white sheen with a brown roofing built ontop of the walls. The gate itself was made entirely of firm wood polished with two cement columns supporting it along with a roof tile. The gate stood high shielding their sight from seeing the rest of the foundations, but it was very clear to both Kushina and Mikoto who were both nearly in tears as they made their way closer to it that is was exactly what they thought it was.
Ichigo discreetly looked to see his Kido Barrier taking in their energy signatures as the only ones that were able to come and go. Freeing himself from the two women's limp arms he walked by ruffling both Naruto and Sasuke's hair as he did before he pushed open the gates be he turned to look at them with a slight smile.
''Welcome, to our new home!''
''Oh my Kami...'' Mikoto uttered as both Naruto and Sasuke went wide eyed as they raced inside only to see the building, their young eyes taking in every building with complete and utter amazement. It was so big, the walls seemed to stretch on for miles as they were welcomed to a long pathway that had two rows of sakura trees that welcomed them. On their left and right was two plots of land for gardening. Then infront of them was the main building which looked like a traditional japanese compound from Ichigo's knowledge of the feudal era. The path way split up into three paths with the left and right leading up to left and right wing of the compound with the middle leading to a opening. From the looks of it the main compound looked to be at least 4 levels high with 4 porches that allowed free walkway to get around the compound.
Mikoto stood there in silence as the two boys, but as Ichigo watched them he felt a frown form on his face when he saw Kushina with her head low with tears falling from her face. Walking up to her he reached out, ''Kushina-?!'' he asked only to blink when all he saw was a red blur before he felt a weight slam into his chest. Instinctively his arms wrapped around Kushina's back as her arms draped around his neck. Looking down in worry, he rubbed her back as he spoke. ''Kushina, what's wrong? A-are you unhappy?'' he asked only for her pull back before her hands grasped the sides of his face making her look directly into her firm yet watery eyes.
''No you baka, I'm just so happy, doing all this for us ontop of everything else you've done for me and sochi...I know now, without a doubt in my mind that I love you. I love you, Kurosaki Ichigo, I love you I love you I love you.'' she repeated before she leaned down and captured his lips with her own into a searing kiss. This made Ichigo's eyes bulge in surprise not only from Kushina's words and declaration, but from her action. He stood there shock for a good few moments, but as he felt her grip on him tighten and her about to pull back he just...reacted.
He arms tightened and pulled her closer getting a slight gasp from her before he returned the kiss with gusto. Pulling her body flush against his own he felt her hands tighten on the cloth of his kimono. He didn't know came over him, but the urge to caress this woman, to hold her, embrace her and never let her go became so overwhelming the need for her became too strong. Her kiss sent a shock throughout his body in a way it never did for Mei, her touch sent a tingle to his body that sent his instincts roaring at him. Soon the need to breathe came and the two pulled back although reluctantly, but as Kushina's face was flushed crimson her forehead leaned into Ichigo's as his eyes stared deep into hers. A true smile adorned his face as his hand went up to cup her cheek.
''W-wow...'' she said, breathless from their kiss and a bit surprised with herself but more so with how Ichigo responded. It gave her the comfort she needed that he did indeed love her like she did him. Letting her hand land on his own she looked to see him smiling at her in a way she'd never seen him show, it was a true smile that melted her heart on the spot and made her soul practically begin to sing.
''Yeah...wow...'' he responded before catching her by surprise as she let out a quiet eep before he pulled her in for another kiss. Her toes curled in pleasure his fingers went into her hair going through her long red tresses as his other hand went up and down her back in a soothing manner. He pulled back again a flush adorning his own cheeks, but only this time he leaned into her ear his hot breath tickling her ear and sending another tingle down her spine.
''I love you too, Uzumaki Kushina.''
Ichigo didn't think there was anything that could wipe the smile from his face, the days events had opened up a whole new level for him to explore. That level was with his fiance, Uzumaki Kushina, her kiss when she saw their new home had sent him over the edge. His instincts roared at him to take control, his body reacted faster then his brain could comprehend, and his heart answered in the only way it could or would.
He kissed her back...
Kissing her back showed him that he did indeed cared for Kushina on a deeper level then he knew, the year's they've shared made him realize that Kushina had been the first one to bring him happiness she was his first light in the darkness of his doubt and anger at himself for failing his friends. Her bubbly personality reminded him of his old friend Orihime, her fiery personality reminded him too much of childhood friend Tatsuki and her somewhat innocent 'teasing' reminded him of his old instructor Yoruichi. Her smile, her laugh, her grin, her eyes, her beautiful red hair everything about her...
It drove him crazy and soon his hand covered his eyes as he laid down on the couch. He let out a long sigh as he tried to calm himself it wouldn't do him any good to go overboard.
'Okay calm down Ichigo, you may love her, but we don't know each other as much as we should. She doesn't know what I am, of my whole past, who I was before I came here and I know nothing about her except her being a former Kunoichi of this village, best friends with Mikoto and a Fuinjutsu Genius and a Kunoichi legend. Before I even begin to think of taking this further we need to learn more about one another...perhaps a Date?'
'That would be most wise...' Zangetsu agreed with him on that point just before Hichigo chimed in with his own two sense.
'Ah what the hell Kingy?! I's pretty fucking obvious you two want to start making some noise so why are you hesitating? Is her touch so strong it's making your instincts go beyond even your control?' he teased and again Ichigo cursed his hollow enhanced instincts that made him more akin to an animal. It made him far more sensitive to the touch, scent and sight of what he felt was important to him all the more precious. To caress her smooth porcelain skin and run his fingers over her body and fondle-
'Cut that shit out!' he slapped his eyes in frustration as Hichigo roared in laughter. Feeling the need for himself to calm down he let his thoughts wander to other things.
The boys had taken to the house and thankfully they hadn't seen him and Kushina's action. Mikoto however had been grinning for the next few good hours as she gave the two amused glances making Kushina blush in embarrassment while he scowled, but resolutely held Kushina's hand with a small blush of his own.
He led them down into the house showing them all the rooms and the interior which measured up to a number of 10 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a massive living room, foyer, kitchen, a den, a master suite, 3 training dojo's, and to Kushina and Mikoto's utmost delight a hot spring. Then there was the 3 separate buildings connected to the main compound which one was for storage with a total of three levels worth of space. The second building was for guests accounting for 6 more rooms along with a second kitchen and 4 bathrooms. The third building was just massive with it being mainly for training.
Then he showed them the backyard which was pretty massive because Ichigo did buy a piece of Hi no Kuni from its Damiyo so he was able to make that piece of the country literally his personal backyard. Leading out the back of the main compound which spanned from the main building to two separate additional buildings, there lay in the middle of this space was a small koi pond near the balcony. The walls surrounding his new home spanned far into the forests before stretching out a bit into the woods. He showed them a few trails one that would lead them to a waterfall/spring and another that would lead them to a massive training ground a mile or two from the compound while very far away from Konoha. Now Ichigo had written in detail of how he wanted it made with the outside looking traditional, but the inside a bit modern from his world and gave the plans to Tazuna.
He knew it was impossible to replicate everything from his old world, but carpet, counter tops, cabinets and such was easy to bring in and luckily this world was advanced enough to make modern day furniture and some form of electricity. But to Ichigo's own surprise he did find at his master suite two statues of Tengu armored creatures seemingly standing guard at his door, and even a small shrine that made him scowl when he saw that the shrine was dedicated to him. The Hero of Nami no Kuni!
What the serious fuck?! Was that some kind of joke or running gag?
A chuckle escaped him, as he let his eyes begin to droop, the compound was nice and he would have to thank Tazuna and Kaiza sincerely for such a well done job. His family loved it and that's all that mattered, but since it was such a big compound it was going to need to be furnished and he would leave most of that to Kushina and Mikoto since it looked like they were going to go crazy on that part.
'Yeah, keeping my mind off about the situation with Kushina helped...' he thought to himself as his eyes began to drift, but just as he felt sleep overcome him he heard quiet footsteps heading in his direction. The familiar scent of lavender and roses filled his nose and he bit back a curse.
''I-Ichigo, are you awake?'' Kushina's voice cut through the darkness and he just gave a small sigh to himself before he adjusted his gaze on her.
''Yeah, what's up Kushina?'' he asked only for to remain silent as she made her way closer till she was at the couch. Her scent was strong now and he had to hold his body back from reacting against his own wishes.
''Can I sleep with you?''
Okay seriously, did he do something in a previous life to deserve this torment? Was their some higher power up there laughing at his torture? But then he decided to bite the bullet and against his own wishes nodded his head.
''Sure...'' he shifted so that he lifted the covers for her, but when he thought he would feel that overwhelming urge again he felt something else. When Kushina's body slid into the couch flush against his own he only felt a constant wave of calm wash over him he let out a shuddering sigh as this calmness poured into every part of his being and soothed his very soul as her arms wrapped around neck as she pulled herself closer. He opened his eyes to meet her violet eyes which seemed to be the only light he had in the darkness. He covered himself and Kushina up without even noticing he had as his arms wrapped around her lower back.
The rise and fall of her chest soon began to equal in sync with his own, her breath tickled his nose before she spoke.
''Ichigo, you know I love you that much I made pretty clear today...'' the embarrassment in her voice was clear to him but she continued on. ''And we are to be wed that much I know, but before that...'' her lips met his own with a light kiss. ''I want to know the man that's stolen my heart. He, who holds it in his grasp.'' she did it again only this time it was a bit longer. ''He who holds my heart and makes my soul soar with happiness.'' she did it again only it was longer and deeper with it she pulled back which Ichigo tried to hold it a bit longer. ''I want to know everything, about the man I will and want to be spending the rest of my life with, who he is, what he is, what makes him tick.'' she did it again with Ichigo able to catch it after a second only for her to pull back so their foreheads were connected. ''I want to know Kurosaki Ichigo through and through...and fully and completely love the man he is, now...Love me Ichigo.'' she finished before Ichigo reacted by reaching around the back of her head before pulling her in.
''Kushina...'' he said just before their lips met into a searing kiss.
Her hands went up to his hair just as his hands went to her butt, she gasped a bit when he squeezed her butt cheeks which he took in stride by entering his tongue into her mouth before catching her own. Thus the two entered into a deep make out session through the night. Her slight moans from under the covers being the only sound in the silent apartment.
It seemed as life was going to be getting far better for Kurosaki Ichigo...
Or it would if life was perfect...
For in the dead of night a single black cloaked figure stood overlooking the apartment building as a grin made its way onto the figures face revealing a whale like grin.
''I've found ya, Ichigo...''
The sun was least to say the mortal enemy of every person in morning, but to Ichigo he dearly wished that he could jut unleash his most powerful attack on the big ball of heat just to blacken it forever as its blinding rays came through the blinds hit him. He gave a small grunt before his eyes adjusted to the light but then as his hands went to squeeze his pillow his eyes widened when he felt it was much more firm and also because a small moan escaped his 'pillow'.
Then the memory of what transpired last night hit him like a freight train and looked only to go even more wide eyed when he saw that Kushina had his face wedged in between her bountiful assets. His right hand firmly on her right breast while he other somehow was fondling her left. How?! Just FUCKING HOW?! How did he end up in these type of situations?! Quickly he felt around only to sigh in relief to know he and Kushina were still dressed so they didn't exactly do the deed, but from the memory they were close.
Slowly he removed himself from Kushina's grip before replacing himself with a pillow which she squeezed as Ichigo slowly got off the couch and before he looked down at Kushina. For a moment he marveled her, her long red tresses was a mess with it being sprawled out on the couch. Her silky smooth porcelain skin and a body most women would kill for. Her violet gems twinkling with warmth and joy flashed within his mind and her smile that could light up the darkness of his heart
'Damn Kushina really is beautiful, an angel in mortal form...'
'Gotta admit King, you're right your Queen really is quite the beauty...' Hichigo commented as Ichigo himself shook his head before he covered up Kushina. Going towards the door he decided to check if anything had been dropped in.
'That she is...'
Grasping the door knob Ichigo possibly didn't think anything could go bad for him for a good long while, but as he opened the door and breathed in the morning air he felt his foot hit something causing him to look down. And it was then, only then, that Ichigo felt that thought quickly shatter into a million pieces as his eyes widened considerably he gazed down at the object laying at his doorstep. He kneeled down and grasped the object with trembling hands as if the object was too important to risk dropping.
The object in question, was a bone white mask that resembled a mummy or of a ancient Egyptian Pharaoh with a hood that drapped from the back of the mask. Its black eyeholes stared back up into Ichigo's terrified brown orbs as if mocking him that life was always the cruel bitch it always was.
''…It's Shinji's Mask...''
Booyah! Long chapter over and done with! I tell ya this is a very rare occasion for such long chapters so yeah hope that helped with the long wait. As you can see a number of new details have sprouted up and all the feedback on them would be much appreciated. Your questions, theories, ideas and most importantly constructive criticism would be much appreciated.
Ichigo's Bankai before anyone asks is an experiment of mine so just wait and see but those that have already figured out half then, Congratulations, here is a Cyber Cookie! I will also be having Ichigo's current Bankai form linked on my profile if you want a visual description of it.
I also have Yugao's Raiden no Ken and Anko's Kusanagi linked on my profile
So...cliffhanger much? Yeah this was dude932's original idea so I've heading in its general direction along with my own so be prepared for the next chapter!
So, yeah, until the next update have a wonderful day!