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Battle Of The Degenerates

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Masato was not surprised by Arthur’s desire to continue seeking answers; he didn’t seem the type to rest easy knowing a threat still loomed over Karakura. A threat that still struck fear in a hollow who accepted their death mere minutes ago. However, despite resolve in Arthur’s voice, Masato would inform his ally of their next destination, partially to prepare him to make the trip, but mostly to ascertain that he didn’t drag Arthur blindly to a place he didn’t want to go. "We are heading to Karakura High. She, the orange haired bitch, can most likely hear us right now. So there's no point in being discrete." 

Just as he spoke, several bandages emerged from his coat and wrapped around every wound visible on Arthur's body. The wrapping was tight enough to prevent the loss of blood, as Masato intended it to. Additionally, the bandages began to stitch the wounds together. Depending on Arthur's sensitivity to touch, he might’ve felt thin insertions into his skin from the miniscule threads that sew him up. "I hope that didn’t hurt too much.” Masato remarked as he tended to the wound on the hand he directly block Arthur's ferrule with. "Let’s go."

Masato took off in a fast but comfortable speed for both himself and Arthur, who repurposed a takeaway box to carry the parasite. The prospect of which, the cyan clad Fullbringer found very humorous. But out of fear of being too insensitive, he would hold back his laughter, seeing the hollow's disgruntled face as it marinated in the residual food juices of whatever was served in the takeaway box. Instead, Masato would offer to hold the box before initiating a conversation with Arthur. “If you don’t mind me asking, what motivates you to do this?”

wc: 295

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Before they made a move, Masato first told Arthur where they would be going and that was Karakura High School. While the two of them were a bit too old to go to a school but at this time there shouldn’t be anybody around so it was unlikely that any trouble would be caused by this. He also said that the previously mentioned orange haired woman was able to hear them right now. Therefore, she was the mysterious person who helped them locate the parasite. More and more things were falling in place,’Alright.

After saying so, the cyan coat reached out for him but as Masato wasn’t possessed anymore Arthur had nothing to fear as the threads formed bandages while tending to his wounds. It did the job for now as it prevented him bleeding out though he wouldn’t exactly call this satisfactory treatment,’It’s fine. We have someone who can do proper healing, so I’ll stop by later anyway.’ This made him realise that he should appreciate Liz’s skills more as her healing got rid of his wounds completely while with these stitches there was still a risk of his wounds opening up if he was to get into another fight.

They started moving along and Arthur took Masato’s offer to let him hold the Hollow while he was asked about his motivations. He expected the question, but it was also part of their growing bond as after what they went through it was very likely that this wouldn’t be their last meeting,’I wouldn’t call it motivation. My faction is called Duality and our saying is ‘to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves’. Though it’s a thankless job so there isn’t any reward for it. I don’t especially care for the individual people either. People die every day of various reasons but if I can prevent further deaths then I will. I just want to keep the town safe to make sure that no harm comes to my loved ones. What about you?

Word Count: 335

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Masato listened to Arthur's answer with his gaze directed ahead, lest he crash into anything in his path. Initially, Arthur's words were humble, and illustrated how noble his sacrifice was; but his motives would take a quick 180, as did Masato's impression of him, when these words were uttered. "I don’t especially care for the individual people either. People die every day of various reasons"

Masato perceived and took offense to Arthur's lackadaisical attitude towards the everyday victims of the terror brought on by hollows. Indeed, people do die every day, but none should have to suffer the fate Asuna did. Mankind, subconscious of this fact or not, naturally inherit a belief in karma. Good actions are rewarded, bad actions are punished. When observing the misfortunes of others, we are quick to justify it; only empathizing with their suffering once it befalls us. Masato was no different, he too believed in karma, but no matter how he contemplated, the fate of his wife was disproportionate to any sin humanity was capable of committing. How many lives like hers must end due to such a negligent mindset? The thought that someone as capable as Arthur could think such a way irked Masato to his core. The Quarterer dismembering Asuna, could that have been avoided if those capable of its prevention showed more initiative? "People die, so what"? Was the philosophy Masato derived from Arthur's words, and it undoubtedly boiled his blood the more thought he gave it. His deep seated anger swelled within, and quickly began to surface as his grip tightened around the food box holding the parasite, threatening to squash it should he let his anger fully consume him.

"What about you?"

Arthur's inquiry snapped Masato out of it, for which he was thankful, as he eased his hold of the parasite. However, even now recollected, Masato couldn't reply to the very same question he posed to Arthur with a thoughtful and honest answer. He feared the more complex his answer, the most likely it was to be malicious or combative with Arthur's view point, in effect, defeating his intentions of sparking a lighthearted conversation. Instead, he forced a faint smile and scoffed as he faced his company to reply, "Same", electing to compartmentalize his new judgments of Arthur with hopes that a bad misinterpretation was the cause of their new found differences.

-Karakura High School
Masato continued to guide Arthur, taking as many shortcuts he could to reach the female restroom of the second floor of the school. This included the destruction of a few door locks barring their entry. Upon reaching restroom, the parasite would finally comment. “This is definitely the same school I dropped the package at, but I don’t sense anyone but us here.” “That’s the point.” Masato addressed the hollow’s concern and proceeded through the restroom’s door. “Don’t panic, if she swallows you whole, you won’t get hurt.”

In a dark room, lit only by a wall of white monitors, an orange haired girl bit her left nails in a panic, while simultaneously scratching her scalp in aggravation. She heard Masato’s command to grant them entry from one of the lower monitors that broadcasted the happenings of the bathroom her visitors resided. “Shit.”

-Back in the bathroom
“Uh, Who are you talking to?” the parasite asked. It tried to indirectly voice its skepticism regarding the presence of anyone within the school. But seeing as Masato seemingly missed the hint, he decided to air his doubts bluntly with a question. However, Masato wouldn’t provide an answer; partially due to his annoyance, and partially due to the self-evident answer that would arise as the ground beneath himself and Arthur softened. The square shaped, marble tiles of the bathroom’s bright blue floor quickly shifted color to a strong red. Large yellowish teeth circled Masato and his ally individually as they emerged from the ground. Suddenly, the teeth would rise even higher, now connected to black jaws the collapsed with the two humans, and hollow in them. Seconds later, the very same jaws emerged from the floor of the black room Shizuka sat in. “Oh, there she is,” the hollow quipped lowly as Masato began to walk towards her, as she spun her chair around to face him. She chuckled weakly before speaking just as he reached her. “Ha ha, how’s it going boss, what brings you-“Suddenly, before she could finish her final clause, her stomach was met with Masato’s left fist, which knocked the wind out of her. She gripped her stomach in pain and wheezed for breath as her Boss looked down on her. He would then face Arthur and offer him a chance to vent his frustration the orange haired Shizuka inflicted upon them both. “You’re welcome to take a few shots. It won’t make up for your injuries, nor time wasted. But it might be cathartic.”

Wc: 800

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The two continued on their way keeping a good pace throughout. After their short chat ended, Masato directed him to the school and they moved through various doors and hallways until they got to the second floor and to be more precise, the female toilet. Coming to a school was already suspicious enough so he thought it couldn’t get any worse but now… Arthur looked at the Fullbringer with judgement in his gaze,’Why a toilet?

The parasite also informed them that he recognised the place but just like Arthur he didn’t seem to feel anybody else’s presence. Masato mentioned something about getting swallowed whole, but he wasn’t really connecting the dots to their environment. A password was spoken so there must be an entrance here. At least they wouldn’t have to flush themselves down the toilets to teleport like in a certain movie.

A few moments later the floor beneath them started changing into what looked like a mouth. Is that what Masato meant by swallowing? As the teeth rose and he found himself in the jaws of ‘something’ like any normal human he panicked and tried to get out but was dragged down. When he could next see, Arthur found himself in a dark room full of monitors showing various locations of Karakura Town as well plenty of other information he did not understand. This must be how she could see everything and clearly it was superior to what they have in Duality.

Sat in front of all that equipment was the orange haired woman that was involved in this weird case. She seemed to be nervous in the face of Masato who punched her in the stomach before she could even finish her sentence. The Fullbringer then invited Arthur to do the same to ease his frustration. However, he shook his head,’No thanks. I don’t take pleasure from such things.

While the reason that brought them here was stupid, he didn’t see a need to beat her up over it. He never found fighting to bring him satisfaction whether it was against a man or a woman. Though seeing that his friend may be getting a bit carried over Arthur took over and spoke,’We’ve brought the culprit of all of this with us. He wasn’t telling us the full story though which brought us here. Now, both of you explain yourselves.

Word Count: 393

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The hollow's gaze bounced from Arthur and Masato to Shizuka, as if asking for her approval to speak. Shizuka pondered briefly before coming to the conclusion that Masato knowing a secret existed, defeated the entire purpose of hiding it from him. Besides, she was confident in her ability to persuade others, especially those she deemed to be idiots, like Masato. She sighed a heavy breath of defeat before giving the hollow permission to tell his full story. “I can’t guarantee he won’t kill you, but you might as well talk, filth.” Shizuka remarked with a grin, still holding her pained stomach.

“Bull shit! You’ve already tried to kill me twice. You never meant a word you’ve said to me.”
“Well, obviously situation changed. You told us you wouldn’t be missed in Hueco Mundo. How were we supposed to know your hollow buddies would pursue you this much? If they force you to talk, the cover of our guy is blown. So yeah, you were a loose end that needed tying.”
“That wasn’t the deal.”
“No it wasn’t. The deal was we let you live, you keep your mouth such and stay out of Hueco Mundo.”
“I haven’t broken it.”
“YET! How long do you think you can evade Tsukishima’s lackeys?” Shizuka quickly shifted her attention to and addressed Masato. “You just met some of them not far from this piece of shit’s hideout. When they eventually find em, they’ll force em to talk, then kill em. He’s as good as dead, us doing the job saves years of planning and our element of surprise when the time comes to face the Primera.”

WC: 270

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Arthur listened to the conversation and tried to take away as much from it as possible though he still didn’t fully understand the reasoning behind it,’I don’t fully understand what’s going on here. What makes this Primera so special that you would spy on him and collaborate with Hollows? In my whole year as a Fullbringer I’ve never heard of him or seen him make any sort of move. The Hollow did tell me a bit about him, but I just don’t have any evidence for it you know?

From the gist of things, it seemed that this has been going on for some time though with only the two of them involved he didn’t really know if it could be called a ‘large scale operation’ though it was definitely a long term one. However, he saw a flaw in the plan,’And you,’ he shifted his attention to the Hollow,’If you wanted to hide why not get a fake body? Kind of like the Gigai thingies that Shinigami use? Maybe even a realistic looking puppet or something.

The reason he suggested this is that when the parasite possessed a human, his reiatsu increased and made it easier to detect him. However, if he was to possess a body which wasn’t living to begin with then maybe they could have prevented that and made it easier for him to hide all this time. Perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to find him if that was the case.

Word Count: 246

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The hollow would quickly reply once Arthur addressed him. “I don’t know what a Gigai is, but I’ve tried many objects. Humans and Hollows are the only beings I’m able to possess.”

If Arthur bothered to notice, he would’ve found Shizuka staring at him, dumbfounded by his ignorance of the influence The Primera title possessed in Hueco Mundo, and by extension, the world they currently resided. “What makes him special? I don’t expect much from my boss here, but it appears that everyone out there is stupid.” She crossed her arms and sighed. “The Primera, or more broadly, the Espada they command, turns random and petty hollow attacks on our world into organized and well thought out massacres, sometimes killing hundreds in a single attack. So yeah, if we can have someone willing to leak those plans to us, and risk their life to take the most influential hollow in Hueco Mundo down, we’re gonna take their help, human or not. As for proof that he’s a real threat, have you read the news lately? ‘You never find the absurdly high amounts of natural disasters and terrorist attacks reported in the news odd? We are certain of 3 major incidents that occurred since Tsukishima has been in power. The attack in front of the general hospital, the conference massacre, and the third is actually ongoing.”

wc: 225

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Despite Arthur thinking that he had a good idea, the Hollow quickly refuted that he was only able to take control of Humans and Hollows which explained his current behaviour up to now,’Ah, it was worth a try.’ Even if he was a soul it seemed that the parasitic powers were limited to organic beings just like any normal parasite.

Then to his previous query Shizuka looked at him an accused him of being stupid which he frowned to. He didn’t really want to take that from someone who was holed up in a toilet for high school girls and observed the daily life of many people without their knowledge. However, for the sake of finally finishing this case he let it go and listened.

Tsukishima was the one responsible for making Hollow attacks on Karakura Town more organised and with this even more lethal. Though it didn’t seem like this Espada has been around for a long time either, so all of these were recent developments. The orange haired women also mentioned the news and some previous events of which he was aware of due to his habit of watching news on a recurring basis,’I know that it was done by Hollows but not like they wear armbands which make them easier to identify and connect to Tsukishima and spiritual beings can’t be captured by a normal camera either. We do not have the same intel gathering capabilities as you do. What is the third attack?'

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(Don't feel bad, no one does.) Shizuka thought proudly to herself upon hearing Arthur admit his organization's intel gathering was inferior to her own. The cocky grin she suddenly brandished caught Masato's attention. Nothing good comes out of her mouth, much more so if you stroke her ego. "Of cour..." Shizuka suddenly restrained herself from saying what was obviously going to be a snarky remark. Above her was a glaring Masato who had long since grown tired of hearing her speak. "Just, answer, his questions." He commanded her as a menacing aura emitted from his body, and he raised his right fist for her to clearly see. Beads of sweat began to drip from her forehead as she forcibly chuckled in fright. "ha ha, um..." She redirected her gaze towards Arthur, "I don't know much about the ongoing attack as its too far from Karakura High; out of my reach. The plan was to send him..." she quickly gestured to Masato with a nod of her head, "to resolve the problem. But he hasn't gotten used to his complete Fullbring. Killing your new hollow buddy should've been a great opportunity to warm Masato up, but it couldn't even pull the full potential of his coat out. Pathetic." "So there is an ongoing attack from hollows, and you sent me to catch a panty thief?" Shizuka turned to Masato as he spoke to her, only to notice the menacing aura's sudden increase in intensity. "eek!" she shrieked in terror.

WC: 245

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It was clear that Shizuka wanted to show off more by the expression on her face, but Masato quickly halted that and told her to get on with the answers. However, contrary to how she wanted to show off there was not much she could tell them about the current attack as it was outside of her area. Furthermore, she was treating Arthur’s battle with Hollow as mere training for Masato which annoyed him as both of them were at risk at the time.

Either way, the parasite Hollow was pretty unrelated to Tsukishima’s threat but at least he was useful to Shizuka and her spying so sparing him was probably the right decision,’I guess that’s case closed? I’ll be leaving then.’ One case might be closed but that did not mean that it was the end. There were 3 attacks and surely there would be more until this Tsukishima gets what he wants,’I’m not going to rush to my death, but I will participate in the battles that I can. So, if you need my help with anything you know where to find me. Now, let me out.

After being returned to the girls’ toilet, Arthur sneaked out through the window and went to the rooftop. He took out his phone to check the time and saw that it was already past midnight. His breath turned into vapour as he felt the cold February breeze through his ripped clothing. Like he told Masato before, his first stop was to get his wounds properly treated so he looked around and once he had the direction, he travelled through the air using Bringer Light.

Arthur arrived at Liz’s house and woke her up so that she could begin her magic. In the beginning, she used to be very grumpy about this, but she got used to it by now. She said it herself that she’d rather lose a bit of sleep than let him walk about injured. He used this time constructively and called Layla to tell her of the conclusion and situation. It was clear that they should be on guard more against Tsukishima’s movements. Furthermore, this event had shown them how their intel gathering was lacking so it was probably high time to build up on that.

While he didn’t return with what could be called ‘concrete’ evidence, but it also made sense that the big Boss wouldn’t be showing himself until everything was set. These attacks won’t be small scale forever and eventually the whole of Karakura Town might get involved. What could they do to prepare themselves? There probably wasn’t much currently but if there were more groups Like Masato’s who were aware of Tsukishima’s intention then they wouldn’t be alone. It wasn’t like Shinigami would sit by and watch either, or so he hoped as he didn’t know their intentions either.

Once his treatment was over, Arthur could finally return home after what felt like two long days. In the house, everything was dark and quiet, and he too tried to be as quiet as possible. He took off his shoes and coat and headed to his and Iris’ room. As soon as he stepped through the door, she spoke to him,’Welcome back.’ Arthur always told her that she shouldn’t wait since he didn’t know what time he would come back, but it always ended like this anyway. She simply worried about him and didn’t want to be asleep in case something happened,’Yea, I’m back,’ he said and started undressing,’I finished up the case and got my wounds treated so we can rest easy.’ Arthur then got into bed embraced Iris and both of them soundly fell asleep in preparation for the next day.

Word Count: 618

Attempting to leave thread

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Upon receiving the answers Shizuka provided, Masato could tell that Arthur wasn't completely satisfied, and understandably so. After all they went through, half answers were unacceptable. What’s more, Shizuka's repulsive presence made even Masato feel unwelcome. "I guess that’s case closed? I’ll be leaving then." Arthur announced, his tone conveying little to no enthusiasm. Before demanding Shizuka to let him out, he would extend his help to Masato in the future. It wasn't an offer Masato sought to use, as he was comfortable managing his small team and working missions alone, but having access to some emergency backup never hurt. "Likewise, feel free to contact us if we're ever needed." "Speak for yourself." Shizuka quipped lowly to herself, but loud enough for others to hear. The same jaws that swallowed Arthur in the rest room would do the same here, only Arthur was less worried now as he understood their functions and purpose. 

Shizuka turned to and observed through her monitors, Arthur leaving the school through the bathroom’s window. She sighed with relief, knowing she could let her hair down now that only Masato and a, soon to be dead, hollow were in her presence. “Seems like that’s over with. You can stop playing Mr. goodie goodie and kill this hollow. We have no use for him.” Masato was observing the monitors surveilling the school himself, this distraction caused him to miss her comment. She elected to call for his name aloud in hopes of now catching his attention, “Ma~sato!” 
He faced her before replying plainly, “What is it?” 
Shizuka then extended her right hand outwards, palm side up, with the tip of her fingers pointing towards the parasite hollow, still in a takeout box. “Can you give me that hollow so we can be done with him?”
“I was serious when I said I wouldn’t kill him.” Masato replied after he turned his back to her and began to walk away.
"..."
“Wha… Why?!” Shizuka was initially perplexed as to how her boss suddenly became compassionate towards the creatures he loathed. Rather than answering her, Masato remained silent and kept walking. Though their relationship was fairly new, Shizuka and Masato had an equal understanding of how to enrage one another; and seeing how her boss was ignoring her, she would resort to taunting him to force an answer. “I guess Tomoe must’ve turned you into a hollow sympathizer.”

Just as Shizuka finished speaking, the air pressure in her pocket dimension suddenly grew heavy, forcing her flat to the ground. Subsequently, the various monitors she watched Karakura through began to crack, then shatter into small particles of Reiatsu. “Nooo, please stop!” Though Masato ceased his walking, he still kept his back to her, and allowed his spiritual pressure to destroy even more of her monitors. “PLEASE!” tears began to pour from the corners of her eyes, and formed a small puddle on the ground, where her face was firmly planted, despite her attempts to resist the pressure. She relied on those screens, conjured from her Fullbring, and the secret room she hid in to protect herself from what she feared the most, reality. Even while physically disconnected from the material world, she only felt secure being absolutely aware of her surroundings. And now, shatter after shatter, Masato was eliminating that security.
Following a brief pause, he broke his silence with reply a to his subordinate. “If you’re supposed to be the smart one, Shizuka…” He turned his head back to eye her, gasping for air as he slowly let up his spiritual pressure. “Then get the hint that I’ve had enough of you for one night, and send me home.” A familiar mouth would emerge from beneath Masato and bring him into the ground, leaving Shizuka whimpering as she tried to collect the broken shards of her Fullbring.
_____________________________________________________

 

In Masato’s apartment, the parasite hollow was finally released from the box Arthur placed him in… and put into a glass container. “Uh, is this really necessary?” the hollow questioned through the glass, as Masato was taking off his cyan coat, and hanging it behind his door.
“For now. Just because you’re innocent, doesn’t mean I trust you. Prove to me that sealing the container isn’t necessary by being there when I wake up.” Masato replied as he switched the lights of his apartment off and laid on his futon.
“Ahem, since you’re keeping me alive, I guess I should tell you my name, its Cagada. It was given to me by some Vasto lordes back in Hueco Mundo. Is it okay if I just call you Masato?”
“Sure, just go to sleep. It’s already late.”
“Actually, Hollows don't really need sleep.”
“Well humans do. Please be quiet."
“Right, sorry.”

Later that night, Cagada stared at the blue night sky through the open window of the apartment. The act of staying put with nothing to do was as boring as it sounded, but as of current, Masato was the only reason he remained alive, Thus Cagada felt he owed it to the human to do as he was told. “So you’re really not going to escape? Lame.” A masculine voice spoke behind the wall which had the apartment’s only window. Upon hearing the voice, Cagada was overcome with panic as he recognized it as non-other than Arrancar spy Shizuka spoke of. Cagada contemplated running for his life, but there was no place safer than right next to Masato. Perhaps he should wake the human up for his protection. “Don’t even think about it. I’m not here to kill you, but if you wake my boss up, I might just snap!” The mysterious Arrancar paused his words with a snap of his left fingers, revealing their sharp black nails in the window frame. “…and kill the both of you.”
“Its hard for me to take you word seriously, after you've gone back on it so many times already.”
“That’s fair. Though since you’ll be working with us, I was hoping we could at least build a little trust.”
“…”
“You’ve proven to be quite resilient, and with the protection of our human friend there, you might prove to be more of an asset than liability.”
“I don’t want anything to do with your operations”
The Arrancar chuckled, “You don’t have a choice. You think he’s keeping you alive out of the goodness of his heart? Shizuka’s told me all about him. He’s going to use you…” The Arrancar’s head suddenly popped into the window frame, though the back light of a full moon managed to shade his facial features. “…most likely to enter Hueco Mundo. He has some personal business with Einarr.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Well, I want you to know that as long as you don’t transport him to Hueco Mundo, you’ll be safe from me and Shizuka.”
“What if he forces me?”
“Don’t ask questions you know the answers to. Say, do you think he’d ever protect me the same way he does you, if I end up getting chased out of Hueco Mundo?”
“Maybe not, how many humans have you eaten to reach where you are?”
“Oh… You’re probably right. I guess I should be making my way back, before my absence is noticed. For both our sake’s, let’s not meet ever again, Cagada.” 

Wc: 1210
 

OOC: Thread completed

 

Edited by Mumen Writer
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