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Kaz

Return of the King

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Impatient was the hollow as he and his Arrancar servant moved through the darkness of the Garganta in silence. A stupid smile remains plastered on his servant's face as he moved behind his master, eager to deliver the wonderful news. The sound of shattering glass could be heard as the Garganta opened in Tsukishima’s temporary throne room. As he emerged, he saw three Arrancar standing to his left. Two of them, a male and female, carried on a conversation before stopping upon Tsukishima’s arrival. The third, a male, stood stoically with a large device in hand. He’d never seen them before so why would Tesla allow them access to this area? A punishment befitting such a show of disrespect would have to be given later. A low growl escaped from Tsukishima as he moved past the trio before sitting on his throne. Stabbing the staff in the ground, he spoke. “Are these the so-called guests you spoke of? What do they want?” Tsukishima’s voice boomed. Irritated would be an understatement. “My Lord. Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience. Allow me to introduce Kazuma, Jugo, and Ayumi. These three Arrancar are loyal to our cause.” Kazuma bows towards the skeletal Lord, quickly forcing his two companions to do the same. The woman does so immediately while the larger male grumbles before doing so. Kazuma walks towards the skeletal hollow and kneels down, presenting the device in his hand as a trophy of sorts. “Lord Tsukishima. It is a prestigious honor to meet you. The three of us once served under your regime long ago. At the time, we were just Menos. We’ve long awaited your return to purge Las Noches of the vermin that claim it as their own. When your servant informed us of your eventual return, we began searching for a way to assist in your efforts. Our travels led us to a dimension-hopping being known as Narutaki who agreed to help us if we dealt with a problem of his. As we learned that your resurrection had already occurred, we decided to speed up the process. In my hands is reiryoku in its purest form, stolen from an incredibly powerful individual. Once you take this, your already tremendous power will skyrocket. No one will be able to challenge you. Please accept this as a token of our undying loyalty.” Tsukishima picks up the device and examines it, quickly noting the potency of what is inside. “My Lord. To ease your mind, I have run tests on this while you were out. I took a small sample and did a little experimentation on Kaori. She is beginning to evolve as we speak. You need only say the words and I will ensure that you receive the same.” The words his servant spoke intrigued him to no end. He had wondered where his newest creation was and was pleased to hear that she was evolving. His army was growing and he would need powerful forces. If this reiryoku was as potent as they claimed, his power would be immeasurable afterward.

“Intriguing. Kazuma was it? If this reiryoku infusion does what you claim, you will be rewarded tremendously. If not, you'd better hope that either it kills me or I do not find you.” A lump formed in the Arrancar's throat, an action surprising his two companions. They have never seen such fear, such raw emotion, come from their leader. This spoke volumes to the power of Tsukishima. The skeletal hollow rises from his seat, handing the device back to Tesla as he moves out of the room. “You have my word, My Lord. After the transfusion is complete, may I ask that my partners and I head back to the World of the Living? We've unfinished business there.” Tsukishima merely waves his hand as he exits the room, Tesla following closely behind. It didn't matter where the three Arrancar went as they were unimportant to the plans. If the infusion didn't work, the head-start would serve them well. They'd need it to escape his wrath. The skeletal hollow sits down in their makeshift laboratory, meticulously watching Tesla prepare for the infusion. The smile was still plastered on his face, so pleased that he would be able to better serve his lord. All of the preparations were complete, it was finally time. “Alright, my Lord. We are done. Just need to directly insert the port into your body and then we wait. Should I put it in your.....bones?” The Arrancar says hesitantly. As his master no longer had skin, he did not know where he would insert it. He fidgets as he hears a low growl escape from Tsukishima. He pauses in fear as Tsukishima raises his hand, terrified that he would be punished for a slip of the tongue. To his surprise, Tsukishima merely moves a piece of his robes aside to reveal the red orb beneath his chest. “In the orb...” he says with an irritated tone in his voice. The Arrancar quickly complies as he injects the device into the orb. The red light in Tsukishima's skull begins to fade as the hollow begins to drift.

WC: 859

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Darkness engulfed his entire line of vision; whatever he lay on was damp and cool. It felt gritty and wet as the sound of waves crashing could be heard in the background. Tsukishima slowly picked himself up, finding himself in a strange world near a large body of water. The sky was a pale purple color, with gray clouds in the background. The air had a certain thickness to it, quite unlike the atmosphere that the bowels of Hueco Mundo produced. The hollow Lord knew exactly where he was. This area was the physical manifestation of his mind. What surprised him, however, was the fact that he was once again in his old body. His frosty white hair dangling down near the small of his back, his piercing yellow eyes staring out in the distance. It felt good. Before he could enjoy his old body, a sudden and powerful roar shook the ground. The sheer sound it produced was deafening, the hollow scrambling to get his bearings. As he glances up, he sees it. A dragon-like beast of immense size soaring through the air. The beast was black in color, easily one of the largest things he's ever seen. Though, it was odd that he had never seen it before. Just where exactly did this thing come from? It swooped down from the sky like a bird, its eyes locked onto its prey. “It would seem that I need to teach the inhabitants another lesson. I, alone, am the King of this domain.” Opening his hand, Tsukishima begins to charge a cero but is shocked to find out that nothing forms. He tries again but is swiftly met with the same result. It was only then when he realized that as of that moment, he was as powerless as a human. Seeing no other alternative, he turns to run, pushing his body to the limit. His legs pounded as his blood coursed through every part of his body. He huffed and glanced back, seeing the dragon-like beast coming nearer still. Just when the situation seems bleak, the hollow finds his salvation in the form of a small cave. 

Seeing this, he began to run faster, feeling the beast breathing down his neck. When he reaches the cave he dives inside, the beast's snout closely following. He scurries to the back as the enraged beast continues to get inside, moving about. As he scurries, he slips on the wet rocks, getting in the striking range of the beast who quickly takes advantage. He locks his powerful jaw around the hollow’s leg, instantly breaking the bones. He screams in pain as he attempts to get free, the beast dragging him back into its territory. Seeing the only thing to do is to fight, Tsukishima fights through the pain and picks up a sharpened stick to perform one attack. With every fiber of his being, he thrusts it with all of his strength. With a roar, he strikes the creature with the stick in the dead center of its eye. Pain courses through its body as it howls, releasing Tsukishima who moves deeper into the cave. The beast stumbles backward and quickly flies off in a daze, blood dripping from its wound. Tsukishima moved into a safe but decently lit position in the cave and went to examine his injuries. His leg was bloodied and battered, broken in three places. His vision became blurred. The pain was unbearable; it took all the strength he had left not to pass out from it. None of his hollow durability seemed to apply this time around. Quickly exhausting his options, he turns to his side, sees a few sticks and begins to formulate an idea. Picking up two of the sticks, he places them on either side of his leg before removing a piece of his shirt. He takes a deep breath, knowing the worst of this is about to come. A sharp, resounding pain comes as he puts the splint together, testing out its durability. It throbbed greatly but he had taken care of it for the moment. What coursed through his mind was why. Why was he now so powerless that he had to run away from something he could have easily killed at full power? With a sigh and a groan, the hollow turns to his side and attempts to rest, intending to explore the area later. 

His eyes were heavy when he awoke, his body felt heavy and immobile. It felt as if he had as he had a Menos Grande sitting atop his chest. Glancing at a small puddle of water, he could see that his eyes were red and bags formed under his eyes. Regardless, he had to trek onward and gain what he knew to be rightfully his. If this was some sort of test, he would pass it, regardless of his new limitations. He was the former Lord of Hueco Mundo after all and he would not go out like this. With a mixture of groaning and slight yelping, Tsukishima limps his way out of the cave and to a nearby tree. He leaned against it and huffed in pain, gripping what he could with a fierce intensity. Not even forty yards and he felt as if he were going to die. His reiatsu reserves were nearly depleted, a bad situation he found himself in. With all of his strength, he continued onward, staying low in the event the dragon creature from before decided to come back for another piece of him. His vision grew progressively worse, a fire burning in his lungs. The heat began to wear on him, sweat dripping from his face. “I will not die from this,” he repeated in his head. Continuing his slow walk, the ground suddenly begins to shake. The shaking became rhythmic, almost like the sound of footsteps. Realizing what it is, The hollow reluctantly huddles underneath a nearby tree just in time to see another large winged creature walk near. It sniffs the air and roars, flapping its great wings to propel it upward. Either it didn't know he was there or it decided to take pity on him and leave. Whichever the reason was, he had lucked out for the moment. Hours passed and things were still not looking up for him. Just when he thought all was bleak, he sees a giant structure in the distance. It was a cream-colored building so large that it actually dwarfed the immensity of Las Noches itself. He wondered just who, or rather, what could be inside. It was at this point, the hollow had a choice to make. Either he could stay outside and attempt to contend with the new winged beasts that roamed about, or he could venture inside and deal with whatever was in there. Granted, both seemed more or less like a suicide mission but he would rather deal with what he couldn't see than what he could. With some effort, Tsukishima manages to make his way inside, ready to deal with whatever he found...or what would find him.

WC: 1,182

1,182/1500 Completed

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The seconds passed by like minutes, the minutes like hours and the hours like days. The different periods of time seemed to run together, he didn't know how much time has passed. He had been in this area for nearly a week, and his body showed it. His body was weak and he ran on fumes and instinct alone. He was hungry, as he only drank what water he could, and tired but he persevered; he was determined to see this to the end. Pushing his way through to a clearing, the hollow found himself staring up at the base of the building. The building was even larger than he first anticipated upon closer inspection. He was like an ant in the dirt looking up a fully grown human. Soft roars could be heard inside, a sure testament that something was inside. His mouth dry and the sun beaming down on him, the former Espada heads in. The inside was unsurprisingly empty and dark, though oddly enough, he expected something more. Continuing his walk, he had the sinking suspicion that something was watching him. Little did he know, his suspicions were correct as a pair of gleaming golden eyes followed him from the shadows up at the ceiling. After a few hours of walking, Tsukishima found himself in a large, dark chamber. He began to take a few steps inside but stopped almost immediately. He could faintly sense a large amount of reiatsu, and it was near. The ground shook, a low but loud growl came from within the chamber. A set of red eyes stare at Tsukishima, gradually growing in height. Soon, they towered over the man as a big gust of wind knocks him over. The room lights up, revealing a massive black-winged creature quite unlike anything the man has ever witnessed. The winged creature that attacked him earlier was a mere small fry compared to this one. Its roar alone was enough to make the ground shake and the walls crumble around them. Another roar startles the hollow as he glances up to see two other winged creature swoop down from the sky, To this right, he sees another creature in the water, looking almost if it was comprised of it. He begins to back up but is stopped by a hard figure behind him. The figure was yet another creature, this one being roughly double the size of the seven-foot hollow himself. Though it was the smallest of the beasts that assembled, its ferocious was ever-present. The beasts sat around him, glaring and growling menacingly. “It's about time you showed up, Lord Tsukishima.”

“So you know about your place then?” Tsukishima said with a grin. “Please don’t mistake our kindness as a form of weakness. Just because we acknowledge you as our master does not mean we cannot and will not strike you down if need be.” This had the adverse effect of shutting Tsukishima right up, though with a scowl on his face. He knew that in his current state, he could not hold a candle to any of them. Even the weakest of them would crush him underfoot as if he were trash. He was in a tight situation and he needed to get out of it as soon as he could. “If that’s the case then why not end my existence now? That is if you can even muster the strength to do so.” The eyes of the head beast became stern and narrowed, staring dead into the very depths of his master. His words before were not for show, they were true. He could, at any moment, destroy Tsukishima in an instant. The only problem would be is if he died, so would they. He was their anchor to this plane, his power stems from them and vice versa. In the world that was basically a physical manifestation of his mind; its inhabitants were the things that made Tsukishima who he was. The weak feeble-minded creatures were his vulnerability; the strong fierce ones were his courage. All made up a fraction of his overall power, all of them made him and he made all of them. At the time, Tsukishima had not realized this and they all knew it. It was a part of the true test. “What good would it do if you were destroyed? What would it accomplish? You are letting your mind and feelings cloud your judgment. You should know what we are but we suppose there is no harm in showing you.” The creatures all open their mouths, as orbs of energy respective to their color begin to form in their mouths. Red, Black, Blue, Brown, and Violet all ebb and twist in their mouths. Tsukishima turns to run but stops himself. He places his head down and thinks, silently annoyed with the human emotions he found himself with. “I am a hollow, born out of hatred and rage. I have ascended to Godhood, the pinnacle of hollow potential. No beast can destroy me. No Shinigami can stop me. I alone am at the pinnacle of perfection and nothing and no one will stop me from completing the Great Campaign. Try to kill me; I’ll take on anything you can throw at me.” The creatures nod as they all fire their attacks, rocketing off like cero. The former Espada gives off a deranged laugh as their attacks come from all sides. The rainbow-colored energies swirl around him, yet he, strangely enough, feels no sort of pain. Instead, he is met with a warming sensation. The energy from the creature’s combined attack revitalizes the hollow. His body shifts, showered in energy as it turns back into its skeletal form. As it dissipates, all creatures bow towards their master. “It seems you have finally understood. We are you and you are us. You haven’t been able to access the immensity of your powers because you have been afraid. You disappeared for millennia only to reappear in a new body and new powers. That took its toll on you but you refused to acknowledge it. Call it pride, call it arrogance, whatever it was, you were scared and it eventually manifested into something more. A lock holding you back from what you are truly capable of. You’ve finally come to realize it, and now that lock is broken. Spread the fear. Make them all fear our name once more. Make them fear Tsukishima Higurashi.”

Suddenly, Tsukishima finds himself back in the laboratory as he sees Tesla staring at him inquisitively. “My...Lord? Are you alright?” he mutters as he slowly moves towards Tsukishima. The skeletal hollow nods in approval as he slowly moves from his seat. “Give me a status report..” his voice booms. “You have been out for a few days but it seems that the transfusion was a success. Your power has spiked tremendously. If we had to gauge it, you are at the Vasto Lorde level. Your current level of power is higher than anything you've put out previously. Befitting of you, my Lord.” He could feel a significant change in his power as it soared to new heights. The Arrancar's words were true after all. Perhaps he wouldn't be killing him after all. “Excellent. It is nearly time to execute the second part of our plans. Lead me to Kaori.” Tesla nodded as he ushered his Lord towards their companion, eager to see what his Lord's next plan was. 

WC: 1,243

2,425/1,500 Completed [Vasto Lorde Achieved]

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As the two hollows walked in silence, Tsukishima was deep in thought. The culmination of the first stage of his plans was rapidly approaching. The Great Campaign was beginning to take shape. In time, he would have to meet with the false leaders that called themselves Espada and govern what to do with them. He was not interested in taking any seats, though he would do so if necessary to prove a point. He would only gauge their power and see if they would be worthy to join the cause. Those he deemed worthy would stand at the front lines alongside him as hollow brethren should. Those unworthy would be cast aside as the fodder they were. Nothing personal as it was just the law of their world. He had hoped that this Yamashiro Gazami the others spoke of would be worthy of such an honor. Before meeting him, there would just be one final goal for this stage he would have to accomplish, Arrancarization. He was more than confident that he would complete the task, even more so given that he had already done so twice now, but it still plagued him. Throughout his lifetimes, he learned the hard way that it was better to be cautious. An unknown, regardless of its importance, should be handled with the utmost care. One slip up and it would be all over.


As the two entered the next room, he saw her. A slender woman dressed in pure white. Raven hair traveled down to her back, partially hiding a large pair of blackened wings on her waist. Ivory horns adorned each side of her head as she turns towards Tsukishima. Her golden eyes seem to light up as she bows towards him. “My Lord. I am pleased to see you’ve awakened.” “Kaori?” The Vasto Lorde asks inquisitively. It had not been long since he last came across her. During that time, she was a lowly Adjuchas leveled hollow. To see her now in the form of an Arrancar, with incredible spiritual pressure, was remarkable. Her growth, even by hollow standards, was terrifyingly monstrous. Her potential could surpass even his own if left to her own devices. She would become a cornerstone of his plans. “Yes, My Lord. You were asleep when my Arrancarization finished. I hope my new form and power pleases you.” “Your power is most impressive. Now, it is down to the next stage of our plans. Tesla. Do you happen to have some of the pure reiryoku left from Kaori’s test?” The Arrancar nods in agreement and points back towards the makeshift laboratory. He left some from Kaori’s treatment just in case, figuring his master would have a use for it later on. This sort of forward-thinking has kept him alive for so long. “Excellent. Take Kaori back to the lab and use it on yourself. It is time you see the front lines.” The Arrancar’s face lit up with joy. For so long, he yearned to be on the front lines fighting side by side with his master. His power, as impressive as it may be, was never on par with the forces that opposed his master. He would always attempt to strengthen himself but could never quite reach that level. Instead, he opted to help his master with his mind, tailoring that to be his greatest asset. “I will follow your wishes, my Lord. If I may ask, what will you do during this process?” Tsukishima moved forward and raised his bony hand, summoning forth a Garganta. “Evolve.”

WC: 591

591/1,500 Completed

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As the former Lord walked through the darkness of the Garganta with mind racing. His plans were advancing at a frenzied pace. It was almost time to reveal himself to those who claimed they were in power. He pondered how the meeting would go and how they would react to him. If this happened during his youth, he probably would have killed them on sight for no significant reason. His arrogance had been his undoing many times. This time, he sought a different approach. Taking in the darkness, Tsukishima knew it was time. Arrancarization this time around would be different; he wouldn't be able to just remove his mask. “It's time...” he mutters as he drops a small container given to him by Tesla and clutches his golden staff. He moves a part of his robes to the side, revealing the glowing red orb in its entirety. With a sharp grunt, he stabs the end of his staff into the orb as black streak of energy begins to seep out. Intense pain, the first he has experienced in his new body, begins to spread throughout his entire body. His vision began to blur as he glances towards his hand, seeing it slowly disintegrate. Resigning to the pain, Tsukishima lets his body disintegrate entirely, giving way to evolution. 


Nothingness. There was an abyss of nothingness spread out as far as the eye could see. No movement, no light. There was only emptiness. This was more or less a physical manifestation of what he felt on the inside, or rather, what he had felt on the inside. Tsukishima could not move, he felt as if his body was all over the place. He didn’t know where he was or how he got there. The pain as gone, replaced with a slight tingling feeling. He tries to talk but the words won’t come out. “Is this hell?” No reply. Hours pass, and still, there is only the same darkness. Tsukishima had given up; resigning to the fate life had thrown him once more. He begins to feel himself slip away thinking as he thinks back to his life, both human and hollow. When Tsukishima was a human, he was more or less an outcast, even though his brother was there. He had no father, and while his mother did all that she could for them, it just wasn’t enough sometimes. His friends would use him, and the only time he felt peace was when he slept or hanging with his brother. The moment he died was the happiest he’d ever been. It was the first time that he was free, no longer having to worry about anything. Nothing and no one could stop him, however, it was the first time he experienced true fear. He had not known it at the time, but their deaths were no accident. The latent spiritual pressure they had within them was a beacon for hollows. Two of which managed to do the job. The one that dealt the killing blow to him went after his brother while the other hollow loomed after his soul. He tried to run, he tried to hide, but it always found him. It was like a cat playing with a cornered mouse, waiting for his prey to finally just give up. When he had finally given up, he was devoured and assimilated into the abyss of souls that dwell within the hollow. For the first time, he wasn’t alone anymore. Though he had no control and no free will, but he wasn’t alone. He quite enjoyed it, until the time came when the hollow that devoured him began its transformation. Once a hollow progresses to the level of Gillian, there is an opportunity that one of the souls that make up the hollow can take control. All the souls struggled to fight for the right to once again obtain a body, all but Tsukishima. He enjoyed where he was, he did not want to once again endure all of it. Unfortunately, it was he who took over. They all become one, unified under his control. As expected, he did not like this and went on rampages. He ate both hollow and human alike simply for the chance to once again be assimilated into the masses. Little did he know, he was only doing the opposite of what he needed to do. He didn’t realize this fact until a good while later, by that time it was already too late. He had progressed into an Adjuchas leveled hollow. Over time, each hollow he ate changed him. He began to forget about all of that, reveling in the power he had. He rose among the ranks, from lowly hollow to one of the seats of the Espada. He was a feared individual and his arrogance grew. His confidence was renewed; his drive to be the best and rule over all was ever-present. He struggled to keep hold of himself, to not let him slip off into the abyss.

A Garganta opens up in the desert sands, smoke billowing from inside. The smoke began to swirl faster and faster, kicking up sand and whatever else is in the general area. Lightning crackled in the distance, the sky began to darken. Suddenly, everything just stopped as if time froze. A giant surge of lightning struck the ground, oddly enough setting some of the area aflame. Through the dust and flames, an Arrancarized Tsukishima emerged. “So this is my new body?” Tsukishima replies. While his hair was still white, it was significantly shorter. A thick white beard lined his visibly elderly looking face. He adjusts the tie on his new clothing, tossing the container they came from on the ground. It was black formal attire, completely different than the standard Espada attire he wore previously. This was fine. It was time for a change. He as puts on the last piece of clothing from the container, a white pair of gloves, he sees the number one tattooed on the back of his hand. “Seems that this remained from back then. Fitting.” Covering it up with the glove, Tsukishima senses large amounts of spiritual pressure in the area. The intensity of it is stronger than anything he has felt since his return. Could this be the so-called Cero? A smile spreads across Tsukishima's face as he holds his right hand out. Black energy crackles around it as his golden staff appears, taking a condensed form of a cane. With a chuckle, the Arrancar heads towards the energy he sought, eager to see who is waiting. 

WC: 1,097

1,688/1,500 Completed [Arrancarization Completed]

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