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Kaz

Sins Of The Past II

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The Prologue: 

It had been far too long since the Primera cut loose. To defeat the Shinigami as soundly as he did, to break his spirit, sent a wave of euphoria through him. He could hardly wait to deliver that same divine punishment to another hapless Shinigami who clung to their false sense of justice. The sound of shattering glass could be heard as the Garganta opens within the Primera quarters. He had dropped the Cero off elsewhere in the palace earlier so he could be alone with his thoughts. The last thing he wanted was to listen to more of his accomplice's naivety. To be honest, the Primera had felt slightly unsettled since arriving back to Las Noches. The effects of the Shinigami's poison had long since worn off but there was something else bothering him. An unsettling surge of power swelling inside, ready to explode outward but was held back. It seems that there was still hidden depths to his already enormous power that he had yet to obtain. He wondered just how much stronger he would become. Tsukishima steps out and takes a look at the surroundings. The area had begun to look as it did during Tsukishima's initial reign all those years ago. He moves throughout the barracks, stopping once he sees his throne. Tesla and Kaori, immediately after sensing their master's arrival, knelt down to bow. Tsukishima walks between them and sits atop the throne. He gently taps the bottom of his cane on the ground as it transforms back into its original staff appearance.

My Lord. We welcome you back to Las Noches. I received word of what has happened. Congratulations on subduing that Yamashiro and reclaiming Hueco Mundo. I...” Tesla attempts to continue speaking but is quickly silenced when Tsukishima raises his hand. “I've not the time for pleasantries. The message has been sent to the Shinigami. We'll see if they are as vicious as they once were and attempt to retaliate or if they will bide their time. For now, I must rest while we continue to prepare for The Great Campaign...” As he says this, his voice begins to trail off, immediately alerting Tesla. He had been with his master for so long, he knew all of his little quirks. He could sense the same disturbance within his master and had devised a way to deal with it. “My Lord, I have been with you for as long as I can remember. I know when something is amiss. My sincerest apologies for speaking out of turn but I believe I may have a solution to what is bothering you. You know that the Shinigami use Jinzen to have a conversation with their Zanpakuto. I believe the same can be done for the Arrancar to an extent. We basically seal the nucleus of our powers inside our Zanpakuto; I believe if you perform Jinzen, you can release whatever is holding back the surge you feel.” The words Tesla spoke seem to ring true; it was more or less the same, regardless of his feelings of obvious bias to doing anything similar to what a Shinigami does. What could stop him from gaining the desired effect if he didn’t try it? He clutches his staff and closes his eyes, his mind quickly beginning to drift. “When I wake, we will proceed with the next phase.” The two Arrancar bow once more as Tsukishima's mind wanders back to the depths of his core.

When the Primera opens his eyes, he finds himself standing in a void of pure white with four black pillars surrounding him. A look of irritation spreads across Tsukishima's face as he comes to realize the source of his prior turmoil, The Remnants. Millions of years after Creation, the world existed without the barriers of life and death. There was no Soul Society, no Hueco Mundo, nor even no World of the Living. All was one, humans and souls existed in a self-contained cycle. Eventually, hollows came into existence, disrupting the cycle by devouring souls. Inevitably, the first Menos soon came into being too, slowing the cycle of souls, and ultimately leading to a future where all souls would be eventually consumed into one Menos. But almost in response to its existence, the Soul King was born. The Soul King vanquished the Menos, and the self-contained cycle of souls continued once more. However, getting rid of such a powerful being is not as simple as it seemed. The combined hatred of the souls that dwell within the Menos manifested as the Remnants who wished for the unity of all dimensions once more. To that end, they manipulated events to bring that goal to fruition starting with Kazuma Kuwabara. Through his legacy, they found the one to usher in their Great Campaign, Tsukishima Higurashi. Tsukishima has always known of their presence but kept it largely hidden, making his actions seem to be fueled by his immense lust of power. However, it was finally nearing the time to reveal their machinations to the World. The Great Campaign must come to pass. One of the pillars begins to glow red as a voice emanates out. “We welcome you, Tsukishima Higurashi. It is time for you to gain the power necessary to cleanse this world."

Another pillar soon rises up as an orange glow appears. “You know of your lineage. The beings that paved the way before you and those that did so after you met your demise in the Soul Society. You must harness their power before you can take on the might of what lies ahead.” The other two pillars quickly follow suit, a green and yellow glow emanating from them both. “The World as a whole is a lot stronger than when you last faced it. Beings have risen to power far beyond our expectations. Some, even humans, have a power that rivals the one who defeated us.” “If you attempt to attack the Soul Society now, their Captain-Commander will strike you down without a second thought. An all-out attack on the World of the Living will draw the ire of two who have a power that exceeds your own. Only the lineage of Kazuma Kuwabara will help you.” A black portal, similar to a Garganta, appears off in the distance as the pillars move behind Tsukishima. “Angelus, Akira, Abraham, Erik, Jo-Jo, Ryu, Kaname, Makoto, Sicarius, and even Kazuma himself await you inside the portal. Go forth and master what lies ahead.”

Tsukishima sneers as he begins to walk forward, his footsteps booming within the void. “We have the same goal which is the only reason I follow your plans. The Great Campaign will come to fruition. A word of warning... It would be unwise to assume that I am completely in your servitude simply because you revived me.” The Espada chuckles as he heads into the portal, eager to see who would be the first he'd come across.

WC: 1,158

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Part I: The Tortured Soul

As Tsukishima exits the portal, he finds himself in an empty classroom. As he walks around, he begins to feel a sense of familiarity as if he has been here before. The ringing of a loud bell stirs him from his thoughts as Shinigami begin to file inside. Tsukishima prepares to defend himself but watches as the Shinigami harmlessly walk through him as if he wasn't there. To his surprise, the Espada sees Kaname walk inside the classroom and sit towards the back. In that instance, Tsukishima realized what was going on. This was a memory of Kaname's. Kaname Ishigawa was...an experiment of sorts. During his original reign as Lord of Hueco Mundo, Tsukishima was always fascinated with the Vaizard. While he believed them to be abominations, he respected the power and abilities they commanded. With the help of his then accomplice, the Quincy Haschwald, Tsukishima sought to achieve that power. The two found a way to implant Tsukishima's DNA onto a soul, effectively becoming the soul's inner hollow. This also had the extra effect of allowing Tsukishima to cheat death. If not for that invading force, the Tris Andre, Tsukishima would likely still be using Kaname as his vessel. Deciding to sit back and experience the day, Tsukishima rests his cane against his leg and moves to the back of the class as the instructor enters.

Good Afternoon everyone! Welcome to today's Kidō Training Session. Today, we will discuss and learn about the Bakudō side of Kidō. Bakudō are Kidō spells that can immobilize an opponent or can block attacks. In a fever pitch battle, a good Bakudō spell could potentially save your life. We will talk about the inner workings of today's lesson, Bakudō #9. Geki.” The instructor turns to face the dummy and begins to draw the symbols for the spell in the air before shouting its name. “Bakudō #9. Geki!” The test dummy gains a reddish aura before it becomes stiff. “This is the power of Geki. It causes complete paralysis to your opponent. A fierce technique if used correctly. Today, we will begin training to use the ability. You all will have to use the incantation you learned during the last class if you truly want to harness the full power of it. In time, you will all get to the point where you can draw out the full power of the technique even without the incantation. So one by one you all will try out the technique. Who's up first?” Many hands shot up as nearly the entire class volunteered for the lesson, Kaname, however, was not one of them. Tsukishima remembered that Kaname always hated this sort of thing. He preferred to be a loner, even more so once he discovered Tsukishima within. All the man wanted was to be accepted. A pity that was never realized. It wasn't long before the instructor called up Kaname in order for him to perform it. The room went silent as he slowly walked to the front, all eyes following him with great intent. He looked those he passed with a humbled stare, focused on the goal. When he reached the front of the room, he stopped to glance at the dummy before taking a deep breath.

Now if you remember the incantation, recite it and concentrate your power towards your fingertips.” He had only seen the incantation once but he knew it, the perks of having a photographic memory. Charging some of his energy into his fingertips, he begins to draw the symbols into the air, saying the incantation as he does so. “Disintegrate, you black dog of Rondanini! Look upon yourself with horror then claw out your own throat! Bakudō #9. Geki.” A bright light illuminates the room, dimming as the red aura slowly forms around the dummy. “Excellent, simply excellent. Great job on a masterful performance. Now whose up next?” It wasn’t long before the class was over, everyone departing with a respectful bow. After the class was over, Kaname slowly walked out before being stopped by the instructor. “I have a job to ask of you if you're up to it that is?” Kaname raised an eyebrow, showing the instructor that his interest was piqued. “Head to the Rukongai District and send this letter to a Shinigami from Squad 11 stationed there. He should be easy to spot. Thanks, I'll owe you big for this.” Kaname retrieved the letter and departed towards the Rukongai District, Tsukishima following closely behind. As Kaname gets closer towards the outskirts of the Rukongai District, he suddenly stops. His spiritual pressure rapidly increases as the sky turns dark. “You!” Kaname spat as he turns to face Tsukishima. He draws the Zanpakuto sheathed at his side, pointing it towards the Espada. “Your form is different but those eyes. Those eyes are the same!” “Oh? So you can see me? This is unexpected. It's been a long time, vessel.” Kaname slashes towards Tsukishima who easily avoids the strike. He roars in anger as he continues to slash, each strike missing. “Do not call me that! You took everything from me! My life was a lie. Everything manipulated by you! Even in death, I can not have peace. You continue to torment me. I know what those Remnants have planned and I don't care for that. They can destroy the World for all I care. But I am grateful for one thing. They have given me the opportunity to take my revenge. This time, I will kill you Tsukishima. Sever, Kokutō” Kaname's blade turns black as his spiritual pressure takes a dramatic increase. A smile spreads across Tsukishima's face as his cane peels back and reveals his Zanpakuto. “Come vessel. Show me your power.”

WC: 956

956/1,000

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The two exchanged sword clashes, neither giving the other the upper hand in that regard. The looks on both of their faces had said it all; this was beginning to annoy them. The two separated, standing opposite of each other in the darkness of the now crumbling world. The Shinigami sighed, his spiritual pressure increasing slightly. In a split second, the man was gone. He did some flashy footwork in order to confuse the Primera but he saw every move. He appeared behind him, whispering slightly in the darkness. “You’re too slow.” “Am I?” Said the Arrancar in an extremely calm and collected voice. The Shinigami attempted to deliver a powerful backhand to the very center of Tsukishima’s back but is surprised to see that it was only an afterimage. A sharp pain shoots in his back as he is launched forward. He manages to gather his footing as he slides back, glancing at the Primera in front of him with fresh blood dripping from his white gloves. “Come now. I know you are better than this.” The Shinigami sneered and rose to his feet, the incisions in his back soon closing. He knew how Tsukishima operated. He knew how calculated the Arrancar was. It didn't matter to him. He'd get his revenge. The battle resumed. The two charged towards each other once more, each with malice in their eyes. When Kaname was about a centimeter away from hitting the Arrancar, he raised his foot connecting with his forehead. The force of the blow sends the Espada’s body flying upward in the darkness. The Shinigami attempted to swing his bloodied Zanpakuto to impact Tsukishima’s right side in a gentle and smooth motion. Tsukishima twirled his body around and brought up the back of his right leg to literally sweep away the force of the Shinigami's attack, knocking the sword away. Attempting to follow up, Tsukishima directed all his weight into his left leg in order to slam it down. Kaname, however, expected this and caught the leg before glaring the Arrancar down. “Hiryu” he mutters as black energy swirls around his right hand. With a quick thrust, he strikes the Primera in the rib cage as the sickening sound of a bone snapping could be heard.

The two hopped back from one another, creating a sizable distance between them. Their eyes locked for a moment, each knowing what the other was planning on doing. Kaname’s spiritual pressure took a dramatic spike, the energy around himself and his sword grew to massive proportions. Tsukishima’s hand ebbed with a fiendish glow, a black ball of energy with white spots forming in his hand. The energy in the Espada’s hand began to crackle even louder than before. Both of them muttered the word of their respective attacks, the resulting energies culminating with devastating force. They seemed dead even with one another before the darkened cero completely took over and dominated Kaname’s fierce attack. The leftover wave of energy brushed passed the Shinigami, knocking him down. “That was no normal cero?”, Kaname says. Uproarious laughter could be heard echoing throughout the area, the source being none other than Tsukishima. “That was but a taste of my true power, not what you held during our time together. It's time to face facts, my dear vessel. You are nothing without me.” Kaname drops to his knees, amazed by the sheer power that Tsukishima possesses. He was toying around with him and he knew it. Their power was as different as heaven and hell. He could have easily crushed Kaname in an instant yet he chose to have the Shinigami figure this out for himself. To further prove the gap in their powers. It was not going to end like this. He refused to have it end like this. If it took every fiber of his being, he would kill Tsukishima. “Bankai...” the Shinigami whispered as he is quickly engulfed in energy. The energy rockets up towards the sky and slowly takes on a more humanoid form. In seconds, a massive being with the appearance of a samurai emerges. A Tengu mask adorns its face as it draws its massive sword. Kaname, floating in the middle of the construct, glares down towards the unimpressed Tsukishima. “Kokutō Arahoshi: Sanzen Sekai.”

WC: 712

1,668/1,000

712/600

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Tsukishima stares up towards the immense Bankai with a grin on his face. It had been quite some time since he last experienced it. The true form of Kaname's Zanpakuto spirit. While its power was indeed impressive, nothing could compare to his own power. White energy begins to form around the construct's sword as it lifts the weapon high above its head. “Go to hell Tsukishima! Kokutō Kogetsu!” Kaname screams as the construct swings its sword and sends a large crescent wave of energy barreling toward the Primera. The crescent wave explodes as it nears Tsukishima, covering the entire area in smoke. From within the construct, Kaname drops to a knee as he struggles to catch his breath. “Enjoy hell you son of a bitch..” he mutters. “You know as well as I that the Gates of Hell would not be able to contain me.” To Kaname's horror, he sees Tsukishima standing within the construct beside him, completely unharmed by the last attack. He goes to strike the Arrancar but finds himself unable to move. “Vessel. Have you learned anything during our time together? Such parlor tricks will not be able to defeat me. Allow me to give you another small glimpse of my true power. Erode, Senescencia." Black miasma rapidly escapes from the Primera's body as he is engulfed by dark violet energy. The miasma quickly spreads throughout the construct as it begins to dissipate. In a matter of moments, the immense construct is destroyed as the energy around Tsukishima slowly recedes. Standing in his pre-released state once more, he begins to address the defeated Kaname.

“Do you finally understand, Vessel? No matter what you do, it will never be enough.” The Shinigami finally makes it to his feet and withdraws his sword, conceding his defeat. His Zanpakuto, Kokutō, manifests her physical form beside him with a begrudging sign of respect. “Why? Why can't I kill you? After all this, you still continue to toy with me. All I've ever wanted was to have a good life. To be free. Why me?” “You misunderstand, vessel. All I tried to do was give you the life you sought. As you have said, I have watched you throughout your entire existence. I wanted to show you how cruel this world really is. For instance, do you know the truth about your master, Gotetsu? Do you truly know how he died that faithful day?” Kaname perked up at the mention of his master. He wanted to believe that this was just another one of Tsukishima's mind games but these words sounded so sincere. “Gotetsu was a powerful man, so much so that I even made a point not to challenge him directly. I wanted the entirety of the Soul Society under my thumb before I even dared to best him. A testament to his power as you know how much I despise your kind. As revered as his strength was, he was mainly sought after for his knowledge. He knew the truth of the world, the secret behind that Soul King. The other Shinigami knew of his knowledge and sought to learn it for themselves to gain a measure of political power. As the righteous man that he was, he immediately refused. They, obviously, did not appreciate that. The trash fear what they cannot control so they decided to dispose of him. Using your feebleness as bait, they were able to catch him off guard. Eventually creating the scene that you witnessed so long ago. The man who murdered him was acting under the command of the then Captain-Commander, an ignorant woman who knew nothing of the truth. They killed your master purely for not joining them. This is the true nature of the Gotei 13. The story they fed you of it being the work of a rival was a lie. A lie to keep from you going down the path of revenge against the entire organization. A lie to keep you in line as they want everyone to be. When they realized they could not keep the wool over your eyes, they abandoned you. You see that no one helped you during the Tris Andre invasion. They allowed you to die alone and miserable. I have been the only one to not lead you astray. Come vessel. Come and help me create a world where there are no lies. No more death. No more pain. Come obtain all of your desires.”

Tsukishima holds out his hand in support as the man thinks for a moment before turning around, his mind racing with this new information. His growing rage was beginning to overtake him. All of this, everything that had happened in his life, wasn’t due to Tsukishima and his machinations but the Shinigami and the Soul King they protected. They had set all this in motion. They had killed the closest thing he had to a father in cold blood. They would be the ones to repay this debt in their own blood. They would know true pain as their entire world crumbled around his feet. Kaname glanced at Tsukishima in disgust before grabbing his hand as a show of unification. A bright light illuminates them both as Tsukishima finds himself transported in a small city. Taking in his surroundings, Tsukishima walks forward with anticipation. Just who would be next in the line of Kazuma Kuwabara?

WC:896

2,564/1,000 Completed

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Part II: Sternritter B - The Bombardment

The Primera walks through the ice-encrusted city, his cane echoing throughout the area. Thunder roars in the distance, a creepy stillness is present throughout the dimension. Tsukishima knew exactly where he was and who he had come to see, though he'd never met the individual. During his time, he heard rumors of an extremely powerful Quincy who had mysteriously come from another dimension. This particular Quincy was foretold to have unparalleled power. Tsukishima had always longed to meet this individual and sway him to his cause but never could. It was this failure that led him to forge an alliance with Haschwald instead. At any rate, he was sure that this meeting would prove to be beneficial. Before long, Tsukishima found himself outside the base of operations for this dimension, the Silbern. Heading inside, the Espada could hear sounds and decided to investigate. A group of soldiers, known as the Soldat, marched in order towards the grand ballroom. They take their spots and began to chatter among themselves, trying to figure out why they were all assembled here. Two of them, however, did not say a word. They stand beside each other near the throne at the end of the room, remaining quiet for different reasons. For one, it is out of respect for the Emperor. He has no time for useless side chatter. If the Emperor requested their presence, then he received that. No questions asked. He was Sternritter C; Jürgen. The other one, however, remained quiet out of spite. He had plans in motion, things that needed to be carried out to the letter with the greatest of efficiency. Every detail needed to be laid out. He was the one Tsukishima sought. His name was Akira Otomo, Sternritter B. The rank is due to power alone, secretly, he had no admission towards the Emperor. He wanted power, he felt as if he deserved it. It was his birthright. All of this was just a means to an end. A way to bide his time before he could accomplish what he desired. Each of the other people in the room, he considered trash. None of them could stand up to his might. Gentle footsteps could be heard echoing down the hallway, all talk immediately came to a halt. They stand upright as a figure walks among them, stern-faced and focused. He was the King of the Wandenreich, the father of the Quincy. He made his way past Jürgen and Akira, taking a seat upon the throne with a small yet sharp sigh. He hadn’t yet regained his immense power; it was beginning to weigh on him. The opening that Akira wanted was approaching.

I do not like to give monotonous speeches. It serves no purpose in the end so let us get down to business. The twenty-three of you were all called here because your immense potential allowed you to stand out among the other soldiers. You have all have earned the privilege to join both Akira and Jürgen as members of the Sternritter.” Instant pride appears on their faces. The joy to directly serve under their Emperor was overwhelming. The chance to even fight alongside him in battle once the fateful day arrived. Akira looked at them all in disgust. How foolish they had to be. There was no joy in serving someone who would eventually die off anyway. Their joy was meaningless. One by one each of the newly crowned Sternritter drank the blood of the Emperor to earn their Schrift. One by one they received their power. D all the way through to Z. It wasn’t long before the Emperor sent them all on their way, leaving only Akira and Jürgen behind. The transference of power had weakened him greatly; it wasn’t long before it was time for him to rest once more. It is almost time for the Auswählen. Every mixed-blood Quincy will give their lives to their King as per the Kaiser Gesang. After that, it won’t be much longer until we regain the world. Each of the races will fall and we shall stand victorious. Akira, Jürgen, I leave things in your hands for the time being. Although I will be asleep, the full effects will not take place until much later, before we begin our crusade. Until the time comes, I leave the Wandenreich in your capable hands.”

He bids the two farewell as he prepares, both Jürgen and Akira leaving in opposite directions. In that brief moment, Akira knew that he would be sorely outmatched if he tried anything this early. The Emperor was weak but currently still more than enough. No, he’d have to be a bit more cunning than that. He needed to be at his best to cripple an Empire from within. A smile spreads across Tsukishima's face as he continues to follow Akira. He was content to see how this ordeal played out before he made his move. 

WC: 822

822/1000

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Where had it all gone?” Akira asks as he sits in a darkened cell, alone. His plan had gone perfectly, every bit of it was in place. Every thought, every action, had been carried out to the letter. So why? Why did it not end as planned? The only logical explanation? The King. He hadn’t foreseen that the King had been playing him for a fool this entire time. It was all a trick, a set-up that he fell for perfectly. He could sense the other Wandenreich members departing for their dual front of both Hueco Mundo and the Soul Society. Even the King himself had gone to participate in the invasions. This would have been the perfect time to strike, however, he was more or less powerless. The attack from the King still bled, his body still weakened. Even the weakest of the Sternritter could have their way with him right now. His laboratory had been inspected and destroyed. The only pieces of it left was the mainframe he carried within his locket and two tubes he planned to use to at a later date. He hunches over and stares out into the darkness, reflecting on what brought the once heir to the Wandenreich to this pitiful state as Tsukishima patiently stands in the corner. This Quincy amused him to no end.

A few months had passed since the last meeting with the King, all was quiet within the Wandenreich headquarters. Their king slept peacefully, his power steadily arising. Nothing would wake him, the absolute perfect time to strike. Akira's body tensed with anticipation, relishing the chance to claim what he considered his. Years of planning, years of training, all came down to this moment. He stood in front of the door to the King's quarters, his heart pounding out of his chest. He wasn’t afraid nor nervous, he just wanted to claim what was his. It was finally at his fingertips. Slowly, he reached for the door when he glanced up to see two shadows looming overhead. He sighed then chuckled, turning around to who he expected to see. Jürgen and his “little buddy” Rosuto beside him. I know what you are planning to do Akira. I won’t allow that.” “Won’t you now?” Akira chuckles. He had known Jürgen had been on his trail for quite some time now, each waiting for the other to make a move. He could see a lot of himself in Jürgen, one who craved the power and drive to be King. However, they both had different methods to go about it. Jürgen preferred to work his way up the ladder and patiently wait. Akira wasn’t that type of person. The other one, Rosuto, was just a leach. Kissing up to the strong in order to prove himself. Trivial. “I thought Jugo was pulling my leg when he said what you were doing but boy was I wrong. That’s lame Aki. Really lame. Now we gotta take you in so the King can pass his judgment.”

A smile forms across Akira’s face as he completely turns around, facing both Jürgen and Rosuto. Mindless drones following their leader. “You expect me to give up all I have worked for, all I have accomplished? I’m done following orders and protocol from the old man. I’m done playing the mindless patsy who does what he is told. There isn’t such a thing as a hero. You two have become addicted to the illusion of what a “hero” really is. If I have to cut you two down and use you as stepping stones to accomplish my goals then so be it.” Jürgen quickly summons his weapon and Rosuto immerses himself in ice. Both of these are things they would use if pushed far enough in battle but both of them respect the power of Akira. He didn’t gain the Schrift of B for show. They’d soon find that out. He quickly removes two guns from underneath his jacket, aiming them at their heads. They were twin guns, everything about the elegantly adorned guns were the exact same, aside from the color. One was an Ivory while the other was Jet-Black. A bead of sweat dripped off Rosuto's face. In a blink of an eye, all three disappeared. They reappeared a good distance away, already locked in combat. Their attacks were dazzling, blast after blast, and strike after strike. The tide wasn’t in anyone’s favor, however, Akira sought to change that. A large explosion rocketed off in the distance, distracting all but Akira who knew of the source. Those loyal to him had begun their attack, the perfect time to get rid of an unwanted guest. Using the peaks of his Hirenkyaku, he appears directly in front of Rosuto, catching him off guard with a fully charged shot from his guns, severely wounding him. One down 'Jugo'. I wonder how many more will fall before I claim what is rightfully mine.” The Sternritter said nothing, merely continued his assault, their battle once again moving. It raged for what seemed to be hours, members of each side falling with each passing second. In the end, it came down to only two, fighting at where it all began. It was at this point that his memory began to fade. It was fuzzy. At one moment, he seemed to be on the verge of victory. The final blow seems to be in sight. The next, he lay on his knees, blood dripping from a wound created by none other than the King himself.

Did you really think it possible that I would not know what went on within my own domain? That I would simply just allow your attempted Coup to go both unnoticed and unchallenged? This brings a great deal of pain to my heart, Akira. That I would have to bring my down my sword on one of my own, the once heir to my throne.” Jürgen spoke, asking his Lord if it was time to deliver the finishing blow. Akira tried to move, tried to finish his plan since his target was so close. His body just felt numb. Was this the true power of the King at his fullest? He could only watch as a few Sternritter approached from behind, fastening his hands and feet with special equipment made specifically to block its wearer from manipulating the reishi. The King looked on with a stern look, though a hint of sadness in his eyes.  He’s mocking me…” Akira says, the prolonged flashback now over. Alarms begin to ring outward, the footsteps of numerous soldiers marching to their place echo. Akira still sits within his cell, head down. He knew what this alarm was for, the invasion of the Soul Society had begun. Soldat and Sternritter were preparing to make their arrivals. He hoped they failed, fall on their faces. Perhaps then, it’d serve him some enjoyment. “It could have been you out there.” A voice says out in the distance. Akira instantly recognizes the voice, his blood beginning to boil. “Have you come to revel in your victory? I never pegged you for such a type, Jürgen” The Sternritter emerges from the darkness, showing that he’d been promoted to “B” as Akira assumed. It didn’t matter, rankings meant nothing anyway. “I did not come to gloat, only to ask why? Was it really all worth it?” “You come down here and pander to the lowly prisoner with a question like that? Was it worth it? I can see it in your eyes, we are a lot alike. Our goals are the same, our ambitions are similar. Tell me, with the power you possess, with the ideals you truly harbor, how are you able to let yourself be ruled by him?” “Is that what you believe? How interesting.” Jürgen chuckles to himself and leaves to exit the room, presumably to join the rest in their invasion. He ascends to the top of the stairwell and stands, glancing back towards Akira who had already begun to rid himself of the memory of their conversation. “His Majesty will deal with you once we’ve reclaimed what is rightfully ours.”

An hour passed, the battle on both fronts had already begun. The causalities were on both sides, the Shinigami taking most of the brunt. Although Akira despised Shinigami as much as any full-blooded Quincy who knew of their past, it felt empty to feel their lives depleting. He struggled with the thought of actually helping them, take down a greater evil, only to stab them in the back later on. However, as long as he was within this cell, he’d be of no trouble nor help to anyone. Lamenting, Akira resided to his fate, slumping up against the wall with head down. However, Tsukishima chuckles, echoing throughout the cell. “So the great Akira has been reduced to this? An empire that was almost placed upon your lap turned against you. The same empire which is currently burning any and all bridges you may have had to help you. And here you are. Sat with your head down, sniveling like a whiny baby. You could be so much more.” Akira glances over towards Tsukishima, shooting the Arrancar a telling glance. “So, you aren't just a figment of my imagination. I suppose the voices I heard earlier were correct. I am dead. Are you the one they spoke of?” “I am. You are an interesting individual Akira. Like myself, you've seen the truth. The truth of the World and the dirty little secret the Shinigami have hidden. You wished to destroy it and create a world in your own image. Admirable but destined to fail. Join me. Join us and we will grant all your desires. In death, everyone will know your name. Or don't and rot in the purgatory you've resigned yourself to. It's your decision.” The Arrancar holds his hand out, beckoning the Quincy to accept his plan. In an instant, the Quincy stands up and places his hand upon Tsukishima's shoulder. “Let us replace this world with a better one.” A bright light engulfs the two as Tsukishima finds himself transported yet again. Two down, nine to go.

WC: 1,700

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PART III: The Spider

A light strikes against the darkness as a cigarette begins to burn. A man takes hold and takes in a long drag, his lungs filling in with the toxic substance. He goes to exhale, letting the smoke escape from both his mouth and nostrils. The drag sent a warming sensation throughout his body, a godsend with this frigid cold. “We hate it when you do that,” a few kids around him say. The man looks at them and smiles, quickly inhaling and exhaling another drag. They settle in around the trash can fire, hovering their arms in order to get warm and comfortable. “You guys have all the fire. I have to keep warm somehow.” Storytime!!” The kids all giggle and turn their attention towards the man, who puts out his cigarette after a few more drags. He looks around at all the destruction caused earlier this month, wondering just why all these natural disasters have occurred. They were near the epicenter on this cold and dreary afternoon. None of the kids here had a stable home and most usually huddled together with other giving families in order to survive. He was the only thing keeping them out of jail or worse. This “story time” as they called it, gave them something to look forward to. It was the one good thing in their lives that was constant. The man settled in near the fire, rubbing his hands together to warm them from the numbing cold.

“Alright, do you guys remember what I told you about Fullbringers the last time? The supernatural beings that were attacked by those hollow creatures before they were born? Well, this is the story of one such Fullbringer in particular. An interesting story you guys will probably like and it’s supposedly based on a true story. This is the story of Makoto Nagano. Now you see Makoto’s life was pretty ordinary as far as ordinary goes of course. While he was still inside of his mother, they were attacked by a powerful hollow. They both survived but their lives would be forever changed by that. The boy was imbued with some of the hollow’s power. For most of his life, he was just as normal as you guys before all the natural disasters happened. Living life free of care and worry. It wasn’t until he was sixteen years old that he began to change. The hollow’s power that lied dormant within him began to awaken. It gave him unimaginable power, which he eventually mastered. A golden ring his mother gave him served as the focus for this power. With this great power, he began protecting those around him from whatever tried to endanger them. However, on his twentieth birthday, his life was forever changed yet again. The hollow that attacked but he and his mother all those years ago wanted to finish the job. The man, who had since mastered his abilities, went to confront this threat. The two met in an epic clash, all like what you would see in anime all those years back. It was bloody and brutal but after a long fight, the man came out the victor. But the man went down for the final blow, something amazing happened.”  The man took a short pause with his story to glance at the kids, all of whom were at the edge of their seats. They listened to every word he spoke, imagining the battle taking place right in front of them. Each move the man in the story made, they mimicked. Each strike he took, they took in stride, giggling as they did so. The man gave off a slight chuckle and decided to finish his story off with a twist, a stark contrast to the happy endings he usually did. They would understand, besides they all wanted a change in the stories anyway. “Since the creature he fought was the same one who gave him his powers, their energies began to resonate. The energy of one began to call to the energy of the other, urging it to become whole again. There was a bright light that flashed then…. Nothing. The hollow was gone and Makoto felt different, almost empowered. The hollow had fused with him. Mind, body, the soul had all merged in one perfect union. The man wondered if it was just his powers that had changed or if he had changed as well. He had become one with a powerful beast, which can take a lot out of a man. He vowed to find the line that truly separated man from beast.”

The kids all clapped as the story came to an end, the story-teller taking a quick bow and briefly smiling. They had been entertained for the day, his good deed was done. One of the kids perks up and speaks to the man, a question burning in his mind. “So whatever happened to him? Did he ever find the line?” “Well, that’s the unfortunate part. He gives in to the urges inside every now and then. Sometimes, when he activated his full powers, he can’t control himself. It’s his gift and also his curse.” The kids understand the meaning of the story and thank him for telling it. An hour had passed since the beginning of the story. The sky was beginning to darken even more; parents were calling their kids inside. This town was dangerous before, but even more so now at night. As the kids all began to depart, collectively, they turned around. There was something on their mind, a question they had been dying to ask for quite a long time. “Hey, Mister. You never told us your real name. Calling you mister all the time is lame. We want to know.” The story-teller eases back for a moment, taking a sharp glance towards the fire which reflected in his eyes. The body was rigid but had a calming stillness to him. He had not told them for a reason, but since he was leaving, it wouldn’t hurt. My name you asked? It’s Makoto.” All the kids seem happy with their answer and turn to leave, only then do they realize that the name of the man in the story is identical to his. Was the story truly about him? As the majority of them turn to ask, they find that he has disappeared. They call and search for him but eventually give up and return home. The man, now identified as Makoto, hovers above them with a solemn look on his face. He did not want to leave them but knew it was for the best. As he turns to leave, Tsukishima's voice stops him. “Riveting story but seems to be lacking details to no fault of your own. You've been spun a lie. A lie to cover up a rather grim truth. Tell me, boy, would you like to know what you really are?”

WC: 1,155

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The man takes a leap back, creating some distance between himself and the elder being he saw in front of him. The energy radiating from the man was monstrous, unlike anything Makoto had ever experienced. It seemed familiar almost as if it was like his own. He had to be one of the Arrancar Makoto had heard about. While he knew they were stronger than the average hollow, this level of power was asinine. His heart began to race and his hair stood on end. He was terrified. Just being near this man caused a primordial fear to emerge from within him. Every nerve in his body screamed the same thing. Get the hell out of there. The Primera quickly picked up on this fear and smiled, the man was in the palm of his hands. “Dear boy, there is no need to be afraid. I mean you no harm. I'm only here to talk and to give you an opportunity to be something more than what you have resigned yourself to. Even in death, you can't possibly want to exist in this purgatory forever...” The Primera was many things but a liar he was not. The man could tell that there was truth to his words and slowly began to relax. Instinctively, he fidgeted with the golden ring on his finger just in case things got hairy. “Who are you and what did you mean by what I really am?” A booming sound could be heard as Tsukishima quickly appears by the trash can fire as he hovers his hands above it. “He's mocking me...” the man thought to himself as he slowly descends towards the ground.

“What you've been told about the origin of your power is only half correct. The truth is much more disturbing. You, much like the rest of your kind, are a mistake. A cardinal sin due to the Shinigami's machinations. The Shinigami's God, the Soul King, was brought into existence long ago. His creation was a response to regulate the hollows who sought to disrupt the cycle of souls. While he completed his task, he was a glutton and could not stop killing. He continued to kill and kill until 'they' had to deal with him. This is where it gets disturbing. His body was violated and mutilated by those he sought to protect. What remained of him was crystallized and installed as the foundation of the dimensions. The rest of the pieces, or fragments, were scattered. For whatever reason, certain individuals came to inherit these fragments. Some of the age, others while still in the womb. Hollows, either drawn to the fragment or likely seeking revenge against the Soul King, attacked those who possessed such a fragment. That encounter acted as a catalyst to activate the power within them thus creating what you all refer to as Fullbringers.” Makoto struggled to process the information that had been revealed to him. He had some knowledge of the Shinigami as he encountered them a few times during his past. They seemed to be benevolent individuals who were dead set on protecting the weak. He had even become friends with a few of them. This seemed...highly unlike them. “You are wrong. I know a few Shinigami. I was even friends with a few. They would never do anything like that.” Makoto yells as he moves towards the Primera Espada. “Your friends? Is that what you believe they are?” Tsukishima sighs as he removes his hands from above the fire, letting them freely dangle at his sides. Another booming sound could be heard as he appears mere inches in front of the man's face. Makoto goes to move backward but finds himself unable due to the Primera's overwhelming spiritual pressure. The Espada raises his hand as if preparing to strike but instead rips at the air beside them. The area around where he ripped begins to distort before shattering away and revealing three Shinigami, Makoto's friends. Makoto's eyes widen when he sees them as the Primera's voice echoed inside his head.

“Your 'friends' kept tabs on you constantly. Either they knew the truth of what you are or they were simply afraid of your power. The Shinigami fear what they don't understand or what they cannot control. Boy, I wonder. How did you die? Was it in a fight? Or was it from behind? An unknown assailant? I do believe the Shinigami have a stealth force for such jobs. I believe they operate under the control of the Second Division's Captain.” The man drops to his knees as he hears this, staring blankly at his friends in front of him. During their conversations, one of them mentioned that they were from the Second Division. All this time, they were watching him. Was everything all just an elaborate lie? The man's sadness slowly turns to rage as tears stream down his face. Tsukishima places a hand on Makoto's shoulder as a smile forms. “We are kindred spirits boy. Perhaps it's the hollow that you've incorporated into your being? Perhaps it's the simple fact that we have both been manipulated by the Shinigami? Join me. Join with me and let us create a world where this does not happen. No more betrayal. No more pain. No more fear. A paradise without the oppressive rule of the Shinigami or even their Soul King. A place where those kids you sought to protect will never have to worry again.” Tsukishima extends his hand as the man quickly grabs it, a bright white light enveloping them both.

WC: 928

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Part IV: The Idiot Captain

The deathly wails echo throughout the night sky; the citizens of District 65 flee in terror. A small horde of hollow begin their attack, leaving a trail of blood and destruction. Their bodies move on pure instinct alone, pushing and clawing their way ahead. Tsukishima walks through the horde with a smile on his face. This brought back fond memories of the past. Memories when he would launch offensives on the weak purely for the fun of it. As he wonders just who he would discover this time, he sees it. A young boy, perhaps no more than 5 years old, taking shelter underneath a fallen fence and starts to cry. His sobs attract the attention of one of the nearby hollows who begins to stalk its prey. It licks its teeth in anticipation, eagerly awaiting the chance to consume the flesh. The boy sees the shadow of his approaching attacker on the ground and begins to cry louder, not wanting to meet death’s hand again so soon. The hollow removes the fence up with the greatest of ease and glares down at the boy, teeth bared and ready to strike. As he moves down to take a bite, a metallic silver stick is jammed through his throat from behind. The hollow begins to choke, shaking violently before succumbing to his wounds and disintegrating into nothing. With tears in his eyes, the boy looks up to see a Shinigami Captain standing above him, furiously wiping the blood from his metallic stick with a cloth. “Should have whacked the bitch on the head instead of stabbing it. Blood is so hard to get out this damn thing.” A frown spreads across Tsukishima's face as he instantly recognizes the man in front of him, Jo-Jo Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. A man who was just as ridiculous as his name suggests. He became Captain of the Kidō Corps shortly before Kaname fell in battle against the Tris Andre. While Tsukishima did not have any direct contact with him, he knew of his exploits. Incredibly powerful yet overwhelmingly stupid.

The Shinigami looks downward at the young boy as he finishes cleaning, sticking the weapon back in place behind him. “Little mofucka, you almost died. When the shit goes down, you got to stand and fight. You gotta be a man and become stronger.” “Don’t tell him that. You’ll get him killed” A voice rings out behind him. The Vice-Captain of the division, Tsukiumi, appears behind Jo-Jo with two Kidō Corps officers and a scowl on her face. She was, as she typically was, annoyed with her Captain at the moment as she smacked him upside the head for the comment before going towards the little boy. “Don’t worry little one, you are safe now. Go with these two gentlemen and they’ll take you away from this.” The boy smiles and wipes the tears from his eyes as he goes to depart with the two officers. As he turns to leave, he stops and looks back at Jo-Jo. “Thank you for saving me mister and thank you for the advice. I’ll do my best. I promise!” Jo-Jo gives the boy a thumbs up as he departs, turning to look at the other hollows attacking buildings in the distance. “There is a shit ton of them today.” “I don’t even see why we are doing this. This is obviously a job for the main branch of the Soul Society or even the Onmitsukidō.” Jo-Jo sighed and nodded his head as Tsukiumi had a point though he hated to admit it. There were rumors of an individual performing illegal hollow experiments in the Soul Society. The individual was last sighted within this district. It was pretty straight forward, bring it back alive or dead. “Yeah, that’s true. I owed the head bitch in the Onmitsukidō a favor for overlooking some of the shit I did during that party I threw last week. Think they blamed it on a hollow attack. Anyway, this was her mission but she had some appointment today so here we are.” Tsukiumi sneered in annoyance, rolling her eyes as she walked towards the hollows in the distance. “So all of this is because you are a drunken dumb ass? Lovely, let’s get this over with please?” Jo-Jo rubbed his head and smiled as he ran forward to catch up to her, both charging in as they went to combat the hollow threat. Off in the distance, a cloaked figure watched. His eyes narrowed at the sight of Jo-Jo, inquisitively watching the Captain work. “So it’s not Commander Cain who came after me. I’ll have to tweak a few of my surprises but that’s fine. This bumbling idiot does not frighten me at all.” Tsukishima notices the cloaked figure and instantly recognizes who it is. “Tesla? So this is what he was doing after Kaname fell against the Tris Andre. This will be interesting after all.” With a smile on his face, Tsukishima follows the Captain and his Vice, eager to draw him to his cause.

WC: 836

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Jo-Bojitsu style: Bitch Slap” the Captain screams as he delivers a powerful backhand that instantly beheads the incoming hollow. His Vice and Tsukishima from a distance look on in annoyance. They ranged in various sizes and shapes, each with one common goal in mind: Kill anything that moves. “Do you have to give your moves such ridiculous names? They are utterly stupid and you aren’t impressing anyone with that.” His Vice-Captain says as she quickly destroys a hollow. The Shinigami Captain stops what he was doing and stands with mouth agape for a few seconds before attacking a nearby hollow with renewed vigor. Each punch dealt with much more force than the last. The poor hollow receiving the beating disintegrated under the pure power behind those shots. “Jo-Bojitsu is a way of life. My attack names are awesome. Don’t you start hating, you little shit.” “More like they are just shit.” She mumbles with a smirk on her face. She knew that he would get upset if she decided to poke fun at his fight style and in turn, he would fight harder. The more serious he took the fight, the sooner they would be done with this errand. From the previous horde, there remained only one hollow left. It was a small humanoid hollow who was more preoccupied with mindless destruction to realize that it was the only one left. The two of them glanced towards one another and nodded, both taking off towards it at blinding speed. Jo-Jo reached the target first, peppering it with a barrage of punches, kicks, and strikes from his metallic stick. Each hit left a deeper and deeper indentation on the hollow’s body and mask, nearly caving it in. With the final hit, Jo-Jo delivered an impressive uppercut, lifting the creature from its feet and sending it high in the air. Quickly turning around, Jo-Jo extended both of his hands as a platform for Tsukiumi to stand on as he launched her in the air with all of his strength. As she charges in the air towards the hollow, she reaches for her sword sheathed to her right-hand side. Quickly pulling it out, she gets into the perfect position and prepares her attack. “Inin”, she says calmly. With one slash, she bisects the hollow, sheathing her sword once more before she lands safely on the ground. “That was shit!” Jo-Jo yells from a distance, a late jab for her earlier comment. She knew his reasons and disregarded it as nothing more than senseless prattle as she went back to discuss their next plan of attack. As the two near one another, booming footsteps begin to shake the area. They both stand on guard as the source of the footsteps emerges from behind the ruined buildings. A massive construct of what looked to be bones, blood, and flesh in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus, towered over the building as it unleashed a primal roar. Hundreds of razor-sharp teeth lined the inside of its mouth with a lone eye in the back of its throat darting back and forth. Both Captain and Vice stood in amazement of the hollow beast before quickly coming to their senses and running away. The Primera smirks at this as he realizes the origin of the new massive construct. This was the result of one of the many experiments Tsukishima and Haschwald made deep within the bowels of Hueco Mundo. As the two Shinigami dart down a narrow alley with the beast in hot pursuit, eventually getting the creature off their trail for a moment as they went inside a building. “What the hell is that?!” Tsukiumi whispers in a loud tone, trying to stay low. “No fucking idea. That shit is insane.” The Captain mumbles to himself. This was completely unexpected. He figured it would be just a simple and routine mission. Kill some hollows, smack a few bitches around, the usual stuff. He never expected a beast like this to appear and he knew that in the back of his mind, there were probably many more like it. “Do you have a plan?” Tsukiumi asks. “Could you distract it for a moment? Twenty-five to thirty seconds tops?” Jo-Jo says in a surprisingly serious tone. The power of this rudimentary construct was impressive and something that should not be taken lightly. The vice-captain nods in agreement as Jo-Jo continues on with his plan. “If you can do that, I can bind it with Bakudō and finish it with Kidō. We only have one shot so we’ll have to be quick about it.” Jo-Jo stands up, cracking his knuckles and beginning to walk outside as he sees the hollowed creature fire a massive green cero towards the mountainous area behind them. Upon impact, the ground shakes by the tremendous force. “If it fails, then I can trust you to set it up for the finish.” She sighs briefly but complies, getting up and darting outside towards the beast. As Tsukiumi runs down an alleyway, she charges up a Kidō in her hand before firing it at the beast to get its attention. The blast does little to the beast as a whole but the desired effect of getting it to notice her works. As it turns its attention from mindless destruction to the complete destruction of the Vice-Captain, she continues to charge forward, releasing her Zanpakutō. “Purify, Mizu no Tsurugi!” Her blade takes on a blue hue as she begins to count down the required thirty seconds in her head.

One...

She runs at an increased speed towards the hollowed creature, dodging an initial strike with its tail as she runs up its back. She knew that she had to be quick and precise. There was little room for error. Once she reached the middle of its back, she leaped up, her blade alight with blue reishi. "Mizuiwai" she utters as a large torrent of water emerges from her blade. The sheer force and volume of the water are enough to send the hollow reeling back once hit, slamming it into a nearby building. The beast quickly rises up from the wreckage, charging towards Tsukiumi as a cero forms within its mouth. The beast leaps up in the air, releasing the fully charged cero downward in an attempt to cause as much destruction as possible. This was the norm for mindless beasts such as this.

Fifteen...

Knowing that her speed alone would not be enough to dodge the blast, she fires another torrent of water towards the ground to boost her overall speed. Narrowly she escapes the blast range, as the cero touches down, incinerating each building that had the unfortunate displeasure of being caught in the area. She lands atop a building, a good distance away, seeing the hollowed beast already charging towards her. “It doesn’t give up.” She exclaims in her head before turning to lead it away. As she turns, she winches in pain. She looks at her leg, only now realizing that it is a bloody mess. She had not fully escaped the blast radius. The adrenaline allowed her to ignore the pain temporarily, she needed to take advantage of this and continue to move while she could. She takes a quick glance in the area where Jo-Jo was, hoping that he would finish his Kidō by now. Their survival rested in his hands. One mistake, one screw up and it would be all over.

Thirty...

Coming out from the area, the Shinigami Captain sees a fleeing Tsukiumi followed closely by the beast. She was injured and it was gaining on her. Now was the perfect time to strike, to finish this once and for all. Holding his palms away from him, he quickly clasps them together with his fingers intertwined intricately. “Bakudō Number 99, Part 1, Kin!” The buildings around the hollowed beast begin to break down into its base reishi components, quickly reforming as a spiritual fabric that wraps around it. More and more fabric, now accompanied by iron shafts wrap around the beast, eventually pinning it down. Tsukiumi, now able to momentarily catch her breath, looks on in amazement. He was maintaining control for now but she knew that she had to get out of there. Things were about to worsen. The hollowed beast roars with anger, attempting to wiggle free of its binds. Some of the fabric begins to tear and the iron shafts start to crumble with its sheer brute strength. “What a monster.” She whispers before glancing towards Jo-Jo who seemed to be in control. With a silent nod towards her Captain, she leaves the area, leaving the two of them alone. Once Jo-Jo knows she is out of the area, he proceeds with the second part of his strategy. “Bakudō Number 99, Part 2, Bankin! Prologue - Halting Wraps” The Kidō Captain slams his fingers into the ground and releases white spiritual energy, which coalesces into a thick white fabric. The white fabric wraps tightly around the beast, strengthening the bonds around it. “Refrain - Serial Hundred Bolts” The Captain yells as hundreds of metal bolts rain down from the sky, impaling the beast. Blood oozes down from the wounds as the beast lets out a pained cry, still trying to wiggle its way free. “What an amazing creature. I’m almost sad I have to kill it” Jo-Jo mutters. As the Captain moves to finish off the captured creature, he suddenly finds himself unable to move. Time around them seemed to stand still. Tsukishima's cane could be heard echoing throughout the area as the Primera appears beside the hollowed creature. “I understand now why Tesla decided to unleash this beast upon you. Your power is most impressive. Perhaps even above my own in some ways. There is a pretty good chance that, even within this purgatory, that I'd lose a fight against you. I must admit, I am glad you are no longer among the living. Throughout these sequences, I've managed to gain a handle on what I can do. Stopping you like this is child's play.” The Primera moves closer towards the Shinigami, the smile on his face widening. Black miasma begins to seep out as his form begins to shift into that of his released form. The dark red light within his eye sockets begins to flare outward. “Who the fuck are you?!” the Shinigami manages to etch out. “I am your better.” The Espada grabs the Shinigami's head as miasma covers them both, a terrified scream echoing.

WC: 1,757

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Interlude

 

The Primera opens his eyes once more, seeing his throne room empty. He assumed his body needed to adjust to the assimilation of the four before he would be able to gather the rest. He hoped to test out his new power and see just how far he could go. Tesla was an option but he knew he would not receive any real growth from battering him around. Kaori was an option as well but he knew her powers were not suited for such an ordeal. There was only one he could truly cut loose on, Yamashiro. He rises from his seat as Tesla bursts into the room. The Arrancar instantly spots his awakened master and kneels. “My Lord, you are awake. Has everything gone to your liking?” “Where is Yamashiro?” Tsukishima's voice booms. “That's...actually what I came in for. Yamashiro has been attacked by a worshiper of the Red Scabbards, Privaron Espada who have attempted to reclaim their title. While I know you would not care about them, there is something of interest to you. The leader of the Scabbards has ties to the Grim Reaper. He may know where he is.” The mere mention of the Reaper piques the Espada's interest. He had hoped to confront him at some point and settle their millennia-old score. These 'Red Scabbards' could be the key to doing so. Testing his power against Yamashiro and a potential reunion with the Reaper excited him to no end. “Where is Yamashiro?” Tsukishima asks again, his voice deeper and more demanding this time around. “I believe he is in his quarters.” Removing his staff from its resting place as it slowly returns to its caned appearance, he heads towards the Cero's Chambers. It was finally time to subjugate the Cero.

WC: 296

 

Continued in: The Nine Scabbards of Old

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