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Maskmonk

Death and a Zanpakutos’ Judgement

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There was so much to ask and do yet so little time. By now the sun has completely set and the only light was from the moon and fires around them.  Surely those back at the previous village nervously waiting, hoping for some sort of good news. Even so the hellion before them had the audacity to speak of manners and take a stab at telling a joke. Or at least that’s what it seemed he was doing.

 

Even in the face of great terror the Kido Commander is able to return a sly remark of his own followed by his name. For a moment Yoshirou thought about cutting Metabee off, stopping him from revealing his name. But a person like Sama’el could easily find out that much if he really didn’t already know it. Deciding as much Yoshi simply bit his tongue [(just a figure of speech, not literal)] allowing the introduction to happen. Despite the grim situation Metabee did manage to bring a smile to the Noble’s face with the bit of flare he used when stating his name. It was the first time he’s used a surname but he stated it proudly and naturally. Although it was not Kyoraku it was still beautiful.

 

“I know the Kyoraku wouldn’t surround himself with fools but to think that at some point you both willingly gave me your names. How powerful the gods of death must feel. Pride and arrogance are the biggest killers you know,” says Sama’el as if simply giving advice to a child.

 

“You talk all high and mighty but you’re just a more sinister version of evil than the last guy. If I remember correctly last time I killed the Togabito with you and took your arm…” says Yoshirou but cut short before he could finish.

 

Sama’el takes a step forward, “You killed guards that do not know the meaning of death. Such a thing is like killing a few locusts in a swarm… hopefully meaningless.” Sama’el takes another step increasing the pressure and tension between them. “You took an arm and I took a thousand fold. Do you really brag while we talk over a mound of your dead brethren??? We’re not so different after all then.” He finally stops a few feet away from the Shinigami and while in reality he was a little shorter than Yoshirou his presence felt the size of a mountain. He then reaches out his right hand, “If that’s true, come and join me.” The Demon was initially speaking to Yoshirou but the offer was the same for Metabee. He merely asked for your soul in return. 

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Metabee    241

Once he said his name the demon quickly made a comment that they were both too proud and arrogant to give away their names just like that. Metabee chuckled at this. While this of course made perfect sense since they were the ones in danger but this also made a contradiction with his previous statement. The Captain spoke,'You contradict yourself, Demon. First, you say we are rude but when we introduce ourselves culturally you berate us. Make up your mind!'

Then Yoshirou and Sama'el had a small exchange. They have met before so they had things to talk about unlike Metabee who could only make sly remarks here and there. Once again it was like sticking his nose into somebody elses business. He could only stand by his friends side and support him. They talked about their past encounter and even though Yoshirou's actions could be applauded as remarkable achievements they were shot down by Sama'el as meaningless. The demon took a step closer and compared them to him which was far from the truth before asking them to join.

Would he kill them if they refused? Would he destroy Seiretei? It was impossible to tell what was going on in his mind especially since he was the manipulating type. Either way, his mind would not change. Metabee spoke first,'I refuse. There is nothing for me on that side.' His home was here, in Seiretei, so he had no reason to go to Hell. Besides, she wasn't there so that would be the opposite of his goal.

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Oh if only Metabee could see the decrepit smile on Sama’el’s face. The sight would be so ghastly that it makes you wonder if a mother could even love a face like that. Sama’el knew from the get go he was being contradicting but that was his intent. For the last few eons his greatest sin has been acedia which also his biggest weakness. So instead of action he used his sly tongue and word play to manipulate those unfortunate to come across him. “Well, aren’t you astute,” Sama’el says replying in a manner that made it impossible to tell if he was mocking you or complementing you. “But tell me this Metabee Ainsworth… what type of person shows manners to a demon?” He left no time for the Kido Commander to respond though as continue speaking. “We can only use the hand that we are dealt. And while killing you to would be fun it would be more entertaining to let you live and further struggle.”

 

“Is there meaning to this?” asks Yoshirou. The intruder didn’t seem the talking type yet he now rambled on; was he up to something?

 

It was then that Sama’el extended his offer to the pair of death gods. Immediately Metabee speaks up and shoots him down while the Noble simply grunted in disbelief at what he was hearing of course his answer would be no and he felt no reason voicing such an obvious answer.

 

“Metabee do you really believe that to be true, that I have nothing to offer? Hear me now and know that I only speak truth. What I offer is far more precious than most imbeciles pretend it to be… Immortality is nothing to scoff at. Whether its in chains or not. By his side you could have everything you ever desire. I can picture it now you two serving as apostles by his side.” Sama’el says pausing only for a moment. The two veteran Shinigami before surely knew what loss was and the weight behind his offer. It was easy to see why weak willed humans always struggled with this and often ended up losing their souls. “Know this I will not give you this opportunity again.”

 

“And here I thought I might have to reject you a third time,” replies Yoshirou joking while also inferring that it was still a no. He then gave Metabee a moment to reply though he highly doubted his answer would change; after which he continued. “But since your so talkative mind telling us who ‘He’ is that you keep referring to???”

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Metabee    241

After Metabee's first comment, Sama'el called him astute and asked what kind of person would show manners to a demon. Surely, only a madman would think of doing so, yet the Captain simply smiled as if saying 'Me'. The demon also said that letting them live much more fun which once again showed that he had no intention to kill them, at least for now.

Sama'el then offered them both to join him which may have been his true aim but he likely knew their answers. He refused straight away while the Yoshirou simply grunted in refusal. Of course, the demon has lived for a very long time and so he knew that humans can be easily convinced if one tried hard enough. The demon continued trying to entice them with the gift of immortality, even if it would bring thousand years of suffering and torture with it. He also said that they could have everything they ever desired if they bowed their head to someone and that this was the only time the offer applied.

Metabee started laughing like a madman at those words. There were many who would fear the entity before him. There were even more who would take the offer. But not him. In the face of Death himself, he stood tall and laughed as loud as he could in that voice. His resolve would not break. He already knew what he had to do. It had been decided on that very day. The Captain spoke,'Immortality?! Is that the best you've got?!' There was a wide grin on his face as his voice echoed throughout the now dead town. If falling into insanity meant that he would stay true to himself then he would gladly do it,'We Shinigami live long enough to be considered immortal as it is. I have no need for such a meaningless thing. One lifetime is enough for me! I am my own person and I bow to no one! Begone to the dephts of Hell, Demon!'

His answer would not change now, nor in a hundred or a thousand years. His duty was to continue to watch over the world that she loved so much with all her being. He would not stray from the path of light, even with all the darkness inside him.

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The gaze emitted through the small holes in Sama’el’s mask was as cold as ever. Their answers had pretty much been what he had expected, so why did he bother asking? Because the thrill of the role play was just too much to resist and after a proper show it was only fitting that it had a proper ending.

 

Sama’el lifts his right hand, palming his face while crossing his left arm. Clank, clank, clank… his chains rattled like an annoying ticking noise you couldn’t get out of your head. “I’m not in the least bit surprised but it is still disappointing. Those who haven’t experienced multiple lifetimes nor his presence can truly understand the graciousness of such a gift,” he said relaxing his arms once again. He then turns to Yoshirou cocking his head to the side, intrigued by his question, yet in reality it was exactly what he was expecting. Hell flames emerge from all around him as he makes his final declaration. Yoshirou retreated backwards. While he could devour the flames the intense heat they gave off was unbelievable; of course they weren’t called Hell flames for nothing. “He has returned, he has risen from his slumber to rule again. The Lord of the Abyss, the Emperor of the Underworld, the true sovereign ruler of Hell, 'Baal the King of Sins.' Take a careful look around you and know well the side you have chosen for the destruction you see here is only the tip of the iceberg. There will not even be this much left when he is done. And when true despair sets in remember this well... you had a choice.”

 

The flames explode around him and just like that there was no longer any sign or evidence that he was even their. If either of them had been alone the whole thing could have been mistaken as an awful nightmare. Yoshirou releases his bankai, falling to his knees. The pain from his broken collarbone immediately returned. Blocking it out he strikes the ground with his uninjured hand. “Ahh curse it, it’s always something.” It was uncharacteristic of him but only his good friend was around who probably felt the same way. Regaining his composure Yoshirou stands up, gripping his left shoulder. His attention is turned to Metabee though he doesn’t know what to say yet.

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Metabee    241

After the two Shinigami gave their answers, the demon stated his disappointment but that it was as he was expecting. It was like when asking a question to which you already knew the answer but somewhere deep inside you hoped for a different answer. However, they would not change their mind. Even though Sama'el was this strong he seemed very reliant on this person he spoke of. Was that person even stronger? He didn't even want to think about such an idea.

Yoshirou asked who this person was but before the demon answered he summoned the red flames of Hell around him causing both of them to retreat. Between the flames of the destroyed village and the flames of Hell it was obvious which ones were hotter. Apart from their appearance, there was nothing more. No attack or other surprises. Instead, Sama'el answered the question that the Noble asked. This person was Baal the ruler of Hell which none of them heard of before nor did there seem to be any records of his previous appearance.

The demon's final words were a threat to Soul Society and perhaps even the whole world but it didn't feel like it would happen any time soon. The Sinners of Hell rarely left so there was no notable movements in build up for this plan. Once Sama'el finished speaking, he disappeared in a flashy explosion of flames which left the two of them alone. Any remaining threat was gone and the tension in the air disappeared too.

The Noble released his Bankai and fell to his knees more likely out of despair than fatigue since he kept absorbing energy. He punched the ground and cursed but Metabee was indifferent to it. The Captain sealed his Zanpakuto before sheathing it and then fixed up his clothing with spirit energy. He looked to Yoshirou who seemed to have lost all confidence,'Come on, let's go. I'm starving.' It was now night time and they hadn't eaten anything since the morning but a long journey back still awaited them before they could do so.

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As Yoshirou should have expected, it never fails, Metabee’s carefree attitude. It had started to become refreshing or reassuring during the tough times. Nodding he stands up, “You’re right. Its been a while since we’ve last ate,” he says right has his stomach moans out in agony. “Haha. I’m pretty hungry myself.”

 

As hungry as they were they couldn’t just up and leave yet. The nearby fires were still burning brightly, lighting up the sky. Yoshirou rolls his left arm stretching it out. It was about eighty five percent healed, now the pain and tenderness was his worse injuries. “Allow me to do the clean up I could use the energy from the remaining fires and debris,” he says as he finishes his light stretching.

 

As long as Metabee didn’t object Yoshirou would take care of things. Using his Shikai he quickly devour all the remaining fires in the nearby area as well as minor ruble and debris. This whole process took about five minutes thanks his ability to reshape and manipulate his  Zanpakutos from afar. But there was still one important thing to figure out. After finishing the Nobel regrouped with the Kido Commander to discus what to do with all the bodies. Should they burn them, or bury them or should the leave them and see if they have family alive to claim them. Yoshirou did not know right off hand what step they should take at this hour, he was tired, swore, hungry and mentally fatigued. 

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Metabee    241

It seemed that Yoshirou wouldn't be feeling down for too long as he quickly accepted Metabee's proposal. As the Noble's stomach let out a a whale's mating call the Captain patted his stomach,'Surely, the cooks have a feast ready for us once again.' He said so with a smile as he thought about what could the cooks have made for them. However, before they could leave Yoshirou wanted to clean this place up which he didn't have anything against but he thought of it as a bit pointless. Surely, no one would ever live in this place again after knowing that it was destroyed by an Arrancar and the people of the Rukongai simply didn't have the materials to rebuild.

In the end, he left the Noble to it while he himself started healing his left arm which still had light burns on it. Yoshirou was much faster at cleaning up the place than anyone could be as his Zanpakuto simply devoured all the flames and destruction in sight. For a second he thought that the the village would be cleaned faster than he could heal but that was not the case as he had to wait a minute or two for Yoshirou to be done.

Once that was finished the Noble then asked about what they should to with the bodies. Metabee thought for a second,'Burial would probably be the best option. With the state they are in I doubt some can be even recognised. Also, I don't think anyone will come here knowing that it was attacked so if we left them they would simply rot away.' He stated his opinion and waited on the Noble's. Burning them would probably much simpler and easier with many limbs scattered about but it didn't seem very respectful since their village was raised in flames.

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Yoshirou smiled and nodded as well, he hoped Metabee was right and that the cooks had something prepared for them. It was honestly a fifty-fifty shot. They could have very well prepared something out of consideration. But at this hour there was also the chance that they were tried and sleeping, keeping watch in shifts.

 

Of course the Commander didn’t object and used the spare time to heal himself further. Although it was unnecessary they both had the same idea, which was to heal a little before trek back.

 

The Noble finished his task so frighteningly fast that it makes you wonder if he wasn’t the real monster in disguise. Rejoining Meta they now decide what to do with the bodies. “Ok we will bury them. It’s the least they deserve,” Yoshi says. They have already been raided and cut asunder there was no need for their bodies to be decimated. “But we will not do it tonight. I’ll have a couple different teams return once we get back to the Manor.” There was no point in doing a ‘half ass’ job now. They were both tired and mentally fatigued not to mention how dark it was. As such the possibility of missing a body or limb was high further disrespecting the dead.

 

If they both agreed then they would start their journey back to regroup with the others; surely the others were worried and concerned for their well being. If not then they would further discuss the situation until they reached a consensus. 

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Metabee    241

The two quickly came to a decision that the victims should be buried as it was the least they could give them. Although, they couldn't be saved maybe now they were in a better place than Rukongai. It was the only positivity that he could think of in these conditions. Even though the decision was made it would not be implemented straight away. Yoshirou suggested that they do it tomorrow and Metabee nodded his head. It would definitely be better if they came when they were fully rested and it was bright unlike now.

The two Shinigami would then start heading back to where the rest of their comrades were waiting for them in anticipation of some sort of news. While they wouldn't be able to give them any good news the least they could say is that the two of them made it back. Surely that was better than nothing. However, this event itself might have repercussions on their visit. While the Shinigami came to Rukongai claiming that they wanted to help, a powerless village was completely eradicated. Would some assume that it was part of their plan? Distract the bigger districts while an assault was carried out on the smaller villages? There could be many thinking those exact thoughts right now. He didn't know what would happen. They could only keep trying to gain their trust.

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It was decided. They would head back for now and finishing things here during the daylight. Venturing back to the original village didn’t take long; for Shinigami’s the distance was close enough to be considered nearby though the average soul would beg to differ.

 

They immediately met up with the volunteers and their comrades that tagged along for the initial mission who were more then happy to see their return. With Metabee’s help, Yoshirou quickly explained the necessary details to the village elders and chief. It took a little convincing but they were ultimately able to a sure them that they were safe for now and out of harms way. In the end they left behind the four security guards that came along as simple volunteers. The men weren’t order to but felt the need to provide the villagers with this curtsey…

 

After a few hours, a satisfying snack, and endless conversation on the events of the night, the caravan finally made it back to the industrial district of the Kyoraku Manor. The majority of the group went their separate ways. Yoshirou had already made the necessary plans with Kenlaw, on the journey home, so the dead would certainly betaken care of. With nothing more to do Yoshirou headed back to the mansion with Metabee. There were only a few hours until dawn but they both would most likely be sleeping in and this time they’ve actually earned it.

 

“What a night!” Yoshirou says as they approached the main house. “I almost fell asleep on the walk over here,” he retorts but didn’t necessary need a response, he was simply thinking out loud. The pair enters the building, Yoshi pauses for a second. “You go on to bed. After the day we had rest will do you good. There’s still a thing or two I must do before hitting the sack myself.”  He spoke in a reluctant tone but there were responsibilities he had no matter the hour. 

 

ooc> leaves thread

Edited by Yoshirou (Kyōraku)
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Metabee    241

Once the two came to a decision, they quickly started to head back to where everyone was waiting for them. It didn't take them very long but both would rather be in a soft bed sleeping and resting rather than sit in a caravan for the next few hours. Everyone was happy to see them return but before they could leave they had to talk with the village chief and pass on the news to him. Obviously, the first emotion that appeared on his face was fear but once they left four guards his confidence level seemed to greatly increase.

Soon afterwards, they got on the caravan and left on their long journey back to the Mansion. Luckily, they had a few snacks that they could have so at least they didn't have to go on an empty stomach though it was far from the luxurious food the maids would serve. Everyone was talking most of the journey but somewhere along the way Metabee managed to fall asleep, surely earning himself a few chuckles and laughs at his occassional snores. In the end, he didn't sleep for long but it did help to reduce his fatigue. With only an hour of the journey remaining he rejoined whatever conversation there was until they had arrived.

Once they got out of the carriage, it didn't take long for everyone to scatter. They were tired so it wasn't unusual for them to rush to bed nor would he blame them. Before the two started heading back, Metabee made sure to take his coat and vest that he left in the carriage but didn't bother to put them on again as he would be going to bed soon enough anyway so he resorted to carrying them in his left hand.

After a short walk the two Shinigami reached the main building which made Yoshirou comment. The Captain didn't say anything and simply let out a big yawn. Contrary to his expectations, there were no maids awaiting them to jump into their arms and hug them while saying 'We were so worried!' The Noble then told him to go ahead to bed because he still had some things to attend to. Metabee nodded,'Don't stay up too late. I need you at 100% for the training.' He then waved and headed to his room where he quickly took off his shoes and undressed so that he could jump in bed and sleep.

Before he did actually fall asleep, Metabee's mind wandered a bit. It was quite the long and eventful day. First, it was their meeting with the group of bandits then it was helping the Rukongai district, telling Yoshirou about his past and Elena as well as his condition and finally the fight with Monk. There were quite a few things he had to sort out in his head so that he will be able to continue the next day.

His consciousness began to fade and he fell asleep but instead of dreams he found himself in a wasteland. This was his inner world. An empty wasteland that was full of vast open space but at the same time was filled with many rocky mountains and cliffs. Metabee briefly looked around but there was no sign of either his Zanpakuto or his Inner Hollow. That was quite unusual as even in this big space they would always be in sight when he arrived.

Without any warning black flames exploded in front of him and at the same time a mad laughter could be heard from within the flames as they took a more human shape. It was not a voice that he had heard before and it was impossible to tell what the person actually looked like as the black flames only showed a sillhouette of a person. The flames did not give away any distinguishable features and on the face appeared two vigorously burning bright yellow flames where the eyes should be,'So it's you.' As the flames spoke, more yellow flames appeared on the face in the place of a mouth. The figure spoke as if they knew Metabee for a very long time but he had no idea what this thing could be.

The black flames revealed a yellow grin,'You put on a great show! Defying Death himself! Truly, the Lord of Darkness!' The mad laughter resounded once again,'However, it seems that you are still resisting. Keeping my powers at bay, perhaps you really are worthy.' Metabee didn't understand,'Who and what are you?' The flames didn't stop grinning,'This wasteland dooesn't really suit you anymore, does it? It did for the longest time but today, today you find yourself a sort of new hope. Coming to terms with everything must not have been easy.' The flames then increased as if the person was smiling so widely that all their teeth showed,'But how long will it be before you fall into despair again? Oh, how I long for that day!'

Black flames appeared at their feet and rose until they enveloped the whole of his inner world causing Metabee to shut his eyes. It felt as if he was stuck in one big inferno but once he felt the flames were gone he opened his eyes once again. However, the wasteland was no more. The sky was now completely dark as if in the middle of the night but yet it was filled with countless bright stars. Similarly, at his feet there were countless flowers that gave out a bright white/bluey light to illuminate the darkness. There were also trees that lacked leaves but were blue in colour and gave off a dim light. Finally, the last thing that his eyes fell upon was the structure in the distance. It resembled that of a small castle which looked beautiful being illuminated by all those lights. However, the castle itself did not have anything that gave off any light.

The silhouette of black flames remained in the same place as it was,'With your perception changed this is how you now see the world. Do you know what it means? In this dark world there are still many things that give you hope which are represented by the lights you see. Do they represent your friends? Your loved ones? The Kido Corps? Who cares. It will all be meaningless in the end. The more you fall into despair the more of this worlds lights will fade. Of course, should you want to voluntarily give yourself over to me then simply head inside the castle, into the throne room and sit upon the throne. The flames will do the rest.' The flames laughed madly once again but Metabee only had more questions. Who was this being and how did they get in here? Why did he only appear now? What was his objective in coming here?

Before the Captain could ask, the silhouette began to fade and for the first time it showed irritation as it clicked its tongue,'It seems that I am still weak...But know this- I will reclaim what is mine!' With that done the flames disappeared and Metabee was quickly returned to his peaceful sleep.

New Inner World:

 

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Maskmonk    331

Chapter Two: The Second Blade

 

A young girl travelled though the villages of room and the lands in between. Her silver hair flowing behind her in a single ponytail. Heiwana Ketsumatsu and for a long time she had been on the same quest. Searching for a single man, but for all her time, she had never found him. But she refused to give up the search. That man was her older brother and he had been missing from her side for a long time. She remembered the last time she had seen him, only because she saw it in her nightmares. Consumed by a beast that here in soul society was known as a hollow as for her she had been saved a seconds after she had watched her brother eaten a shinigami saved her life and she would forever be grateful to them and if it came to it. She would extend her search to Seritei. She had search the areas of Rukon for almost two years and it had been a long time, not a lonely two years. Heiwana was always making friends where ever she went, admittedly maybe not always the right friends as she had often help kids steal from others so they could eat, but she couldn’t bare to watch them starve, when she could though she paid and took whatever she had purchased with grace. One of her first purchases in her life in Rukon had been a foolish one and a lesson well learned. A sliver silk ribbon was what held her hair in its form. However the mistake she had made was the fact she needed food to sustain her power, power she only realised she had as her stomach started eating at her reserves to survive. But it was a lesson well learned and now food was always on her mind and where it would be coming from.

 

Money certainly isn’t easy to come by in Rukon, in fact most bartering is done with valuables alone. Tools, fabric, food, clean water. Whatever one could trade. In the outer district Heiwana had discovered people forced to sell themselves just so they could have a meal or a roof over there head for a night, but sometimes even that wasn’t enough. Not everyone was kind out in the rough end of Rukon. Thieves and murders and worst roamed streets looking out for now one but themselves. This had lead to one of Heiwana’s most regrettable purchases a small kitchen knife she kept wrapped in a blanket underneath her shirt. However technically she had no need for such a weapon as she had something far more valuable. Something that swung gently around her hips, but not something she flaunted. A curved crystal blue sheath gently swayed. The guard of the blade depicted two waves rushing away from one another and the hilt a darker shade of blue to then sheath. This was Heiwana’s Zanpakuto, but although she was proud to have such a gift, she feared it. Strangers in districts whispered when she past by and some shops refused to serve her. Which is why she attempted to stay closer to Seritei in the richer districts, closer to where the Shinigami’s live. 

 

Her Zanpakuto had appeared after several reoccurring dreams... no nightmares. A four legged creature made of rushing water approached her, giant in form and whenever it drew close it threatened to drown her, forcing Heiwana to back away. After a few of these dreams, Heiwana had discovered that the being meant no ill will and instead held the beast at arms length so it would not drown her, but close enough so she could feel the soft flow of the water that acted as the creatures skin. It often tried to lead her, but Heiwana refused, she felt she couldn’t trust the beast and follow it into the depths of her dream. However it was much more welcome than the other nightmare that clouded her mind. At night she would remember the last time she saw her brother. Ghosts chained to their home refusing to say goodbye to the world they had come to love and the parents that could never see them again, both of them had spent days moaning. It was after a week that they had been found by hollow. Her brother had instantly taken action, he could do very little, but he acted as bait for as long as he could. Heiwana’s brother had always been protective of her, if not a little over protective sometimes, she could never scold him though, his heart was always in the right place. The saddest thing about the day though wasn’t only the fact she’d lost her brother to hollow. It was that a Shinigami was seconds away and was capable of saving Heiwana. If her brother had chosen to wait he might have joined her in Rukon. But every time this dream came to mind, the thought of becoming a Shinigami came more appealing. Perhaps her brother was trapped as a hollow and she would be the one to save him. Such thoughts filled her with hope and a smile was brought to her face as she came to the next village and found refuge for the night. 

 

The next morning came with a rumble. But only from Heiwana’s stomach, she had dreamt last night, of her water beast. It had once again tried to lead her away, today far more aggressively as usual, trying to force her out of her comfort zone and into the depths of who knows what. But she couldn’t understand the spirit so there was no point in prying to much. So instead Heiwana made her way out of the shabby porch she had slept under and began to search for food. 

 

Already the market stalls where out and about and the civilians of Rukon were trying to make their living. Heiwana couldn’t afford much, so she bought herself some bread, that by the feel had begun to grow stale. But it was all she could afford and she needed to eat. So she found somewhere quiet to eat and tore of a healthy chunk. Then while in the middle of breakfast Heiwana heard footsteps of the creaky boards of the hut she was hiding inside, so peering though a rotten plank of wood she saw a large man, gross in appearance and clearly drive by instinct rather than his brain. Heiwana decided it would be best to sneak out quietly than cause a ruckus, with a Zanpakuto she would be portrayed as the guilty one. Especially in Rukon. So she hopped out of the window and as soon as she felt she was out of the mans ear shot she rushed into a sprint into the woods. The next village was quite a walk away, but it would give her more time to think on what to do. 

 

She clearly had the power to become a Shinigami, her Zanpakuto was proof of that. Whether she’d be a good Shinigami was a whole other story, the very occupation had Shinigami’s dancing with death each day. Could she really risk her own life. However her cowardice was pushed aside by shame as she remembered her brother fearlessly running towards the hollow. He wouldn’t have hesitated for a second if it was him, he would have become a Shinigami to save her. So now she will for him. Gripping her Zanpakuto handle for the first time with pride filling her veins, she walk towards her new destination. Seritei and the Gotei. She wouldn’t rest until she had become a Shinigami. She figured it would be a long road. But at the end was a prize unlike any other. 

 

Soon it would be several hours after Heiwana left the village she had rested in for the night. She had also know the direction to the next village or at least the general direction. When she got close enough she often tried to follow the sounds of voices as even though it was a few hours after lunch, it should still be busy in the village, but it was completely silent. After some time, Heiwana smelt burning, a crisp stench came though the trees and made her hold her nose. What could be going on? She had thought as she followed her nose towards the village and the stench got worse with each step. When she came to the edge of the trees. She saw the first culprit of the smell, many of the houses, shacks and building had at one point being alight with flame and now were black and smoking embers. But it wasn’t just burning. Heiwana ventured further into the village to her horror. A mountain of corpses stood before her. One could nearly call them bodies as they were ripped into pieces. “What manner of monster co-“ Heiwana begins but it caught up by the smell that she now knows is bodied and goes behind a building to release her breakfast from her stomach. 

 

After a while of gasping and trying to regain her composure Heiwana notices something else. Something beyond her burning of the building, the smell of corpses and the blood, soaking into the sand. It was something she had never noticed before as it had never caught her attention. Walking over to the mountains of bodies again, totally oblivious to the smell. She holds out her hand and a warm feeling travels up her arm. Spiritual pressure or remains of it. She could sense it. But Heiwana couldn’t understand why this had caught her attention. For a second Heiwana closes her eyes and the final memory of her brother flashes before her eyes and the spiritual pressure grows in nostalgia and her eyes well up with tears as she looks at the bodies. “No...” she moans though tears and she pushes them away from her eyes. She didn’t want to believe that one of these bodies could be..... behind her! Heiwana rushes over to a crater in the ground. Mixed with other spiritual pressure, the nostalgic one was still present, in fact if she concentrated she noticed it all around the village. There must have been a hollow attack. ‘Could my brother already be a Shinigami?’ Heiwana dares to imagine only increasing the want to become a Shinigami herself. Her goal was undoubtedly set in her mind.

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