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Bleach: An Espada's Tale: Act One
Everyone knows the tale of how Ichigo Kurosaki and his comrades raced into the dreaded Las Noches to save Orihime. And everyone knows of the legendary Espada, feared for their power and strength. Some even know the stories of the Privaron Espada, like Cirucci, Dordoni, or the better known Nel. But there exists a tale forbidden to be told within Las Noches, a tale not to be told by surviving Arrancar or Hollow. This tale will be told today. Now that Aizen is gone, I have no need to hide the legend. This is a tale of a legendary Privaron Espada, former number One, whose power was so great Aizen banished him in fear of a rebellion. This tale takes place long before Ichigo’s final battle with Ulquiorra, but not much prior to his battle with Nnoitora. The tale starts not long after Ichigo’s friend Chad defeated Gantenbainne Mosqueda and was in turn defeated by Nnoitora.
Yasutora Sado, better known as Chad, raced through Las Noches. He had miraculously survived a battle, if he could call it that, with a dreaded Espada. He had thrown his most powerful punch, and nothing had happened. His punch had crumpled the Espada like a tin can, but that monster hadn’t even flinched. He in turn had been sliced almost in half and left for dead. He knew he should have died, by all means. Even if he didn’t, couldn’t, die yet. They had to save Orihime. But for some reason, he had regained consciousness unhurt. It was as if someone had healed his wounds while he was out. But he could not feel his reiatsu at all. He knew that Ichigo, Rukia, and Uryu would immediately worry now that his reiatsu had disappeared. He had to find at least one to let them know he was okay. And so he pushed through the seemingly endless maze, the home to the Espada and Arrancars alike.
Rukia Kuchiki came to in a puddle of water. She knew she had been mortally injured by that slime Aaroniero, but she couldn’t feel her wound anywhere. Her reiatsu was gone as well. That was troublesome. The others would obviously worry. She got up, wondering why the filthy Gillian was dead, but yet she was unharmed. Had she hallucinated her injury? Pushing the thought aside, she rushed down the hall to continue to find Ichigo, or even better, Orihime.
Ichigo Kurosaki was worried. Both Rukia and Chad’s reiatsu had vanished, and he had no idea what to do. He could only hope they were okay and continue to search for Orihime. He had miraculously survived a battle with that Espada, number 4, Ulquiorra. The supreme warrior had made a hole in his chest, and left without another word. He had survived, however, without a scratch, curiously enough, and he was at full power again. He continued his search for his friends, Nel at his side, back actually.
Gin Ichimaru was in a foul mood, unusual for him. He had not been too phased at all when he had been informed of Number 9’s death, and couldn’t care less about the Privaron’s deaths. Rudbornn would take care of the bodies. What had peeved Gin, however, was the fact that Aizen had sent him to look after their banished prisoner. To send someone in Aizen’s army to him was suicide, and Gin wasn’t too confident on taking him alone. Aizen had not given a reason, merely demanded that Gin looked after the prisoner to make sure the intruders hadn’t met him, and left. Gin sighed, and grinned. It looked like things were going to get interesting. Ignoring a figure in the hallway next to him, he opened a Garganta and vanished inside.
Ulquiorra Cifer watched Gin disappear into the portal. He watched the Garganta close behind his superior. With a look of complete apathy, hiding his emotions and thoughts, he turned and walked down the endless hallway of Las Noches.
Act One: Discovery
Chad was lost. He had been running for almost a half hour, and he had gotten nowhere. He could have sworn he had been running in circles. He stopped and rubbed his face. He almost never got frustrated, but now he was close. He had to find Orihime before the Espada or that creep Aizen did her in. He wondered if he could make his own path. No, that would make too much noise. That and the fact that the place seemed to be alive. Who knows what it could bring his way? He decided to continue on and forget about his worry. She would be all right.
“She’ll be fine. I know she will”, Chad said to no one.
“Will she?” a voice answered back.
Chad whirled. Behind him, in a seemingly empty passageway, now stood a lone figure. He was average height, not freakishly tall like that Espada. Chad didn’t see a bone fragment on him, but then again, he hadn’t on the Espada either. Chad tensed himself. If this guy was an Espada, he’d obviously need another tactic. The one shot kill was not going to work. The figure waved a hand dismissively and slowly walked toward Chad. He almost looked as if he were studying a new species. Chad waited for a chance to surprise the stranger, looking as if he couldn’t care less.
“Hmmmm… Human, obviously. Your right arm is covered in armor. But your left arm. Is it a machine, perhaps it’s a new power. You must tell me, what is it?”
“Hollow. I’m part Hollow.”
The figure stopped, then broke into a fascinated smile.
“Hollow? Incredible. Ulquiorra would have a fit. I simply must have a sample. Would you be willing to donate some of it? It’s for a good cause.”
The figure turned and reached into his pocket. Chad sprang. Now! Fire shooting from his arm, Chad flung his mightiest punch at the figure. The punch never missed. And indeed, it didn’t miss. It just never connected. A massive crater burst into the ground. The figure was now standing just to the side of the crater, still searching for something.
“Now now, that’s no way to treat your savior. You should be thanking me, ooh, or better, letting me take some of your arm.”
He straightened, a scalpel and beaker in his hand. Chad was suspicious. He knew he couldn’t kill this guy. He was obviously an Espada to have that kind of speed.
“What do you mean, my savior?”
The figure rolled his eyes.
“Humans are stupid. Your savior, you know, the one who, I don’t know, saved your life from that stuck up Espada who gashed you all down the side!?”
Chad was stunned. He knew that no one else had been at his fight, and this was not the Espada’s assistant that had blocked his first punch.
“Who are you?”
“Me? Espada number 6, Szayelaporro Grantz, at your service.”
A device beeped on his arm.
“Oh? That’s the bell. It’s been fun, but I must go. Ta.”
With that, he was gone. No Shunpo, no teleportation, no puff of smoke, gone. As if he had never existed. Chad had no idea what to think of this. He could only be relieved that the Espada had no interest in fighting, or he would be on the ground again, maybe not in as good shape as he was now. He turned, still wondering why the Espada had saved his life. He rushed down the hall, hoping that the maze would decide itself.
Rukia was rushing down a particularly creepy hall when she ran into someone. She stopped dead as she turned the corner into a figure. Apparently, the lone opponent was as startled as she was, as he instantly drew his blade and flash stepped a yard or so back. Rukia’s blade was instantly out as well, and leveled at the newcomer. The figure came into the light, and Rukia drew in a breath as the traitor was recognized.
“Gin, you snake!”
Gin grinned as he, too, recognized his former Soul Society member.
“Oh, Rukia, how nostalgic. How long has it been? You startled me, my dear. You’re alive, so where is your reiatsu? I didn’t sense you at all!”
“I’m wondering the same.”
Gin sheathed his blade. He started forward, only for Rukia to move with him.
“What? You think I’m just going to let you walk away after what you did to Soul Society? I heard about you, Tosen, and Aizen. I’m going to make you pay, Gin.”
“You? Make me pay? Don’t make me laugh, Lieutenant. You can’t even achieve Bankai, and you’re challenging me? Not you’re wisest move. But then again, you’ve never been to wise, have you?”
Rukia bristled. Quicker than the eye, she lashed out with her sword. She never even saw Gin move, yet he was behind her in a heartbeat, her sword hitting nothing. She whirled. Far too late.
“Shoot to kill, Shinso.”
She braced for the sword to penetrate her. But she merely heard a clash of metal on metal. She found herself facing an unexpected hero.
Gin’s grin didn’t even waver.
“Kurosaki? How nice of you to join. Perhaps now I will have a moderate challenge.”
Ichigo, using raw power, pushed Gin backward. Without breaking his stance, he spoke to Rukia.
“What happened to you?! I was worried sick!”
“Don’t yell at me, ya big moron! My reiatsu’s gone! That means Chad’s still alive, too.”
“I hope so. And maybe your reiatsu is gone, but his isn’t. We’re gonna be seeing reinforcements soon. We gotta rap this up quick.”
“My my, how you two bicker. You really oughtn’t get distracted while your opponent is ready to kill.”
Both tensed as a blur of movement extended from Gin’s sword. Only by sheer instinct did Ichigo block the blade. Rukia leaped onto his shoulder and lunged toward Gin. Without missing a beat, Gin flipped backward, dodging Rukia’s swipe, retracting Shinso, and shooting it at Rukia at the same time. Rukia parried as Ichigo came at Gin from the side. Ice froze Gin’s blade to Rukia’s, a nasty smile on her face. Gin’s smile wavered. This was unfortunate. He didn’t want to kill Rukia, and he was forbidden to kill Kurosaki. But sacrifices had to be made. Quicker than both could react, he flash stepped past Rukia, shattering the ice. Ichigo turned only to see Rukia get impaled by Gin. Ichigo rushed to Rukia, only for her grab the blade protruding from her stomach, and yank forward. Completely unprepared, Gin let go of his beloved sword, leaving him defenseless. Ichigo, Hollow mask on, leaped above Rukia and, his sword burning, launched a Getsuga Tensho at Gin. Gin sighed. Aizen hadn’t said anything about mortal wounds. And he most certainly could not reveal Shinso’s ultimate ability. Aizen could be watching. He flipped easily over the black wave, grabbing his sword hilt. Ichigo could only watch as Gin began a flip over Rukia. It would split her in half! Gin leaned to Rukia as he somersaulted.
“My apologies, darling. Tough luck.”
With that, the job was done. But as he turned, Rukia was unharmed. Even the hole in her stomach has disappeared! Gin’s smile failed altogether. What was this? No Kido healed, and Rukia was not in possession of any ointments of this magnitude.
“Tut tut, sir. Killing a comrade in only the first act? Poor show.”
All three turned to a passage behind them. Only Gin recognized the figure in it, though.
“Szayel? What is the meaning of this?”
Szayel walked forward without a care, much to Gin’s annoyance.
“To think I’d live to see the day where Gin Ichimaru’s smile vanishes. Grimmjow’s gonna love this. Oh, and I see we have company!”
Gin’s grin reappeared, but it was a stretch. He was clearly ticked off.
“You still have not answered my question, Espada. Is this your doing? I know how much you love a good show.”
Szayel spread his arms.
“Guilty as charged! But no spoilers yet. I can’t let down my splendid audience.”
Ichigo lost his patience. He swung his sword at Gin’s back. But halfway through his swing, his body froze. Gin hadn’t even turned, his hand poised to impale Ichigo. But he was as puzzled as Ichigo was.
“No no. No killing a protagonist until the second act. Everyone knows that!”
Gin’s already tight smile took on a nasty tone. Rukia shuddered at the reiatsu he released. He was ready to kill.
“Are you assisting them, Espada? They are intruders and must be dealt with. Aizen’s orders.”
Szayel’s face took on moderate amusement.
“Aizen’s orders? No “Lord” in there? You are quite the rebel, Gin. No, I am not helping them. But I am not helping you, either. My apologies, intruder. That position must be getting uncomfortable.”
With a wave of his hand, Ichigo dropped like a rock. He got up, rather undignified, but still eager to slice someone in two. Gin, on the other hand, was at the end of his rope with all of them. He had work to do.
“And what are you in possession in that can freeze someone in their tracks, Szayel? Not another nasty little toy we don’t know about? Do you have a healing solvent, too? What are you hiding?”
“Ah ah. A magician never reveals his secrets. But if you must know, promise our visitors survive until, oh, let’s say… 3 hours.”
Gin tilted his head in curiosity.
“I’ll make sure they do. But no guarantees. Ulquiorra has it out for Ichigo here.”
“Excellent! Carry out your mission, Gin. I’ll be seeing you, then.”
As he made his leave down the hallway, Gin flash stepped in front of him.
“No no. I want an explanation, Szayel. Or so help me I’ll hand them over to Ulquiorra myself. We know how much he loves humans.”
“Tough bargain, Gin. Fine. As they were all dying, I injected them with a special antidote I am testing. It heals all wounds, preventing injury, and essentially gives me full control of them through hormone signals. All I have to do is think, and they respond. Ingenious, no?”
Rukia and Ichigo listened in amazement. Gin, however, was not as impressed.
“And we are sure that this is only in the intruders?”
Szayel looked offended,
“Would I betray the Espada and my beloved superiors?”
“Fine. Take my word for it, these are the first to be tested upon. But I really must go now. See you all later, or not, depending on how your day goes.”
With that, he was gone, leaving the three with separate thoughts. Gin turned to Rukia and Ichigo.
“I hope for all our sakes Aizen didn’t see all this. He wouldn’t be too happy, would he? But I am a man of my word, so I will leave you be. Be careful though. The Espada do not know of our bargain, so they will not hesitate to kill. I’ll be seeing you.”
With a salute, he disappeared in a puff of dust. Ichigo turned to Rukia.
“The hell was all that?! Control my actions through his psycho thoughts! What a nutjob.”
“I agree. He’s clearly mad. Most everyone here is. However, he did save us from Gin.”
Seeing Ichigo’s sour expression, she added
“Admit it, he was creaming us. I would have died if not for that Szayel person. I now owe him a debt. Perfect.”
A voice piped in.
“What should we do, Ichigo? I’m scared! This place is scary!”
Rukia’s sword was instantly at Ichigo.
“Behind you, Ichigo!”
Ichigo just sighed.
“Relax, Rukia. I picked up a friend on our trip. Rukia, Nel. Nel, Rukia.”
A head poked itself over Ichigo’s shoulder.
“Oooooh, I’m scared, Ichigo. These guys are rough. And she stinks at fighting, too!”
Ichigo’s expression turned to one of complete terror. Rukia’s was one of complete calmness. Ichigo had only seen Rukia like this when Kon was looking in places he shouldn’t. Ichigo grabbed Nel off his back and faced her. Rukia slowly began walking toward them.
“Nel, you have to apologize now! She’s twice as scary as any Espada out there!”
He realized his mistake too late.
“No no no! I didn’t mean it like that!”
“She’s twice as ugly too!”
Gin was intrigued. As he raced through Las Noches to his destination, he couldn’t help but think about his battle. The intruders he couldn’t care less about. The Espada would deal with them if Szayel let his guard down. Rukia was a pity, as he did, excuse me, had found her company enjoyable. Kurosaki was Aizen’s problem. Let the sourpuss deal with Szayel, too. But Szayel was a problem to be dealt with. Traitors were not tolerated, was Tosen’s motto. The irony was too much. But if Szayel was indeed helping out the intruders, Aizen wouldn’t be too pleased. He knew Aizen knew about it, too. He saw all, the hawk. But let Aizen deal with Szayel. He had other work to do.
Uryu Ishida had felt the burst of reiatsu from the dark corners of Las Noches. It was an unfamiliar reiatsu, though. And he had not sensed any other in that vicinity. So why had a reiatsu been released? It was a slightly troubling thought, yet it brought some hope. Maybe Rukia, Ichigo, or Chad’s reiatsu had simply been depleted, and they were escaping that unknown foe. Out of nowhere, Chad’s reiatsu flamed to life. Uryu stopped dead. Chad’s reiatsu wasn’t even close to depleted. So why now did it choose to come alive? It might be a trap. But then again, his reiatsu was very close to Uryu’s. Let it be a trap, then. He could most likely take them. Uryu ran forward, desperate to find his friends and get the heck out of here.
Chad was close to exhaustion when he finally found a different hallway. This hallway led to an enormous room. Chad was cautious. He didn’t know what was inside that room, and frankly, he didn’t want to find out. But as he turned, he saw that the hallway had closed behind him, forcing him into the room. Slowly, he looked inside. The room was bare and empty, save for a chair at the far end. And upon closer examination, a person in the chair! Chad instantly stepped back, behind the opening. But peering out, the person hadn’t moved. Had he not seen Chad? Was he dead or injured? Chad decided to risk stepping into the room. The person didn’t move. Chad froze, hearing some odd sound. Then he placed it. The person was snoring, dead asleep. Chad silently crossed the huge room. The person was sprawled at an awkward angle in the chair, obviously in dreamland. Chad didn’t see another opening in the room, so no escaping. The person in the chair seemed to be the only answer to his problem. But as Chad examined the figure, ready to wake him, he noticed two Hollow holes on his hands. He was an Espada! This was the perfect moment to strike down the enemy. Chad did feel guilt and dishonor at killing him while he slept, but an advantage had to be taken in a fight. He leapt at the enemy, delivering a crushing blow. Chad knew without a moment to prepare, no one could survive his punch. As the dust settled, Chad saw the chair had been completely wrecked. But the person had disappeared! Chad had been duped.
“I say, attacking a person while he sleeps. Very, very poor show. I mean, what did I ever do to you?”
The same person who, a moment ago had been sleeping, was now to the right of the wrecked chair. Chad was confused. So he had landed a hit. But why was he unharmed? Were the Espada really so hard to hurt?
“Aw, that was my favorite chair too. Too bad.”
He turned his head.
“Hmmm, I’ve never seen you around here before. Are you one of the intruders everyone’s talking about?”
Chad was beyond cautious. He didn’t even want to speak, lest he draw an attack from this obviously superior warrior.
“Strong and silent, huh? Fine, I’ll buy that. Well, I don’t like trespassers, and I really did like that chair, so prepare yourself. You’re about to die.”
Szayel grinned. In the monitor, he could see everything. Time to put Phase One into action. He turned to his wrist and pushed a small button on a band. Sacrifices had to be made for the main characters to progress deeper into the story. He leaned back in his chair. Time for the show to start.
Chad whirled. Faster than he could blink, the figure had disappeared. As he turned, he glimpsed a blur behind him. As he looked, the figure appeared at the end of the passage. Impossible. It had taken Chad almost a minute to get to the chair, and the figure had flash stepped there in a heartbeat. Even Ichigo couldn’t move that fast. The figure lifted a hand, fingers tapering off into a point. Chad could simply watch as the figure dropped two fingers, leaving his index and middle up, which he then leveled at Chad.
Confused, Chad started to move, only to feel an empty, hollow feeling in his stomach. He knew all too well this feeling. He looked down as a hole opened in his gut, blood splattering on the ground. Impossible.
“Two, three, four.”
Chad instantly felt his lungs, both of them, and his throat get ripped open by an unseen force. Chad coughed blood as his mind churned. No Espada was this fast! It was simply…
Chad jerked as he felt his liver and spleen rupture and tear. Six perfect holes were leaking blood everywhere.
“Seven, eight, nine.”
Chad started to fall as he felt his kidneys, appendix, and heart obliterate. He would be dead before he hit the floor. He never did. The Espada appeared behind Chad’s falling figure. Chad’s body stopped mid fall and his chin snapped up as his body was flung in the opposite direction, over the Espada, slamming into the wall, leaving a human shaped crater.
As the Espada looked at Chad’s pitiful figure lying on the ground, Chad’s blood suddenly covered his hand. He lifted his hand in surprise, almost as if he were surprised at how fast he was, for the blood to only now cover his hand.
“Tch. You even fall slowly. Miserable Shinigami.”
He looked almost regretful as he turned to the wreck by Chad’s fallen figure.
“Darn it, now I gotta find a new chair. Maybe Coyote has a recliner I can have.”
He chuckled at his own joke.
“Like Aizen would let me near his precious warrior. I could totally kick that guy’s…”
Caught by surprise, and unhappy by it, the Espada turned to see Uryu standing in the doorway.
“Another? I thought your friend here was the only one. I do suppose they said multiple…”
Uryu was already in motion, his bow forming out of nothing, and quicker than any human, an arrow was launched at the murderer. Obviously, the Espada was not a human. The arrow slammed into nothing. Uryu sensed movement behind him. Being much quicker than Chad, Uryu had just enough time to drop as the Espada’s ridiculously fast hand sliced through, where a moment ago, Uryu’s head had been. However, Uryu could not dodge the Espada’s lightning quick kick. As he flew through the air, he was genuinely shocked to find the Espada directly behind him, launching another slice. Uryu was not fooled twice. To the Espada’s surprise, the bow launched an arrow from the opposite direction, point blank into the Espada’s face. The Espada tilted his head to one side, the arrow flying past. This motion brought him into the range of Uryu’s energy blade. The Espada rolled his eyes. A blinding light filled the room as a marvelously gold Cero shot out of the Espada’s mouth, countering Uryu’s blade, the explosion sending them both to opposite sides of the room.
“As are you. I’m surprised. No one usually survives my first attack, let alone my second. Tantamount to your deceased friend, no?”
Uryu’s face showed no emotion, but then again, it rarely did. He couldn’t let his emotions take hold against an opponent so deadly. That would be suicidal. And this was not like the Privaron Espada he’s faced before. She’d been easy. This guy, though, was a different story. His spiritual pressure was incredible, nearly as massive as that Kenpachi fellow from Soul Society. He was obviously an Espada, judging by his Hollow holes, and Uryu could not afford to fight an Espada so rashly. He could only hope to hold off the Espada until reinforcements arrived, then perhaps they would stand a chance.
“Cold and calculating, huh? Interesting. Ulquiorra would like you. Alright, since you have an energy bow, I’m guessing you’re a Quincy?”
“Neat. Szayel would love to get a sample of you. He is such a suck up when it comes to…”
Uryu wasted no time. A monologue like this provided a perfect opportunity to strike, even if he had a hunch that his attack would fail. He was right. Flash stepping behind the Espada, Uryu let loose a barrage of arrows, leaving no way to dodge them. Uryu was still on his guard. He expected that even if the attack connected against an opponent so fast, it wouldn’t do much, unless this Espada was all speed and nothing else. The arrows slammed into the wall in a perfect cross shape, the Espada right to the side.
“Holy cow, what is it with you and letting me finish a sentence?”
Uryu’s suspicion was right. That meant he was still in a fight we wasn’t sure he could win. He had to wait a little longer. His reiatsu was active, and that meant someone was going to come, foe or not.
“Well, I’ve wasted enough time here. Let’s rap this up and get it over with.”
Uryu tensed. He let his instinct take over. Rapid firing arrows, he let loose in another barrage. The Espada flash stepped behind Uryu, almost the length of a football field in less than a second. Uryu’s bow saved his life. As the Espada swiped at Uryu, his bow crackled, sending a small spark onto the Espada’s hand. It was just enough to make the Espada snap his hand back. Uryu took the chance. Launching an arrow from behind him, he calculated his position, and swung his blade directly in front of him. He was correct. Flash stepping in front of Uryu, the Espada could not counter Uryu’s blade. Uryu smirked as he let a trickle of reiatsu enter his blade, sending it into a blinding arc. It connected with the Espada’s face, sending a blinding burst of light in all directions. Uryu leaped backward. He knew a simple slash wouldn’t finish off an opponent so powerful, but he hoped for a decent injury. As the light receded, he was shocked to see the Espada standing stock still, hand on his face. As he removed it, Uryu was shocked to see his face unscathed. No, a small burn had appeared on the Espada’s eye. That was better than Uryu had hoped. Now he was at an advantage. The Espada looked up at Uryu, and his throat almost closed. The reiatsu the Espada released for a split second was more vile and powerful than anything Uryu had ever felt. He knew in that split second he was going to die here, and he made a mental note to hurt this guy as much as possible before that time.
“You hurt me. Interesting. Either you are much more powerful than I thought and I underestimated you, or I’ve gone soft in my old age. Either way, I’m impressed. But now I’m pissed. And no one lives to see the end. Say your prayers, Quincy, you’re going to die here and now.”
Uryu tensed as the Espada drew a sword out of a sheath on his back. The reiatsu was so thick Uryu couldn’t breathe properly. He knew he had to keep calm and focus, but he was out of options and panicking. Then, a voice sounded through the room, startling the both of them.
“As much as I’d love to see the end of this, I’m afraid I can’t sit back and watch this.”
The Espada turned to look at the newcomer and Uryu shifted his gaze ever so slightly. The Espada smirked and shook his head in exasperation.
“Gin. The boss too lazy to come check on me himself?”
Gin’s smile widened.
“Why yes. You read my mind. Now while we’re still on a good foot, why don’t we put away our sword and leave the intruder to Aizen?”
“Not happening. His friend trashed my chair, and he tried to kill me. Can’t let that go, can I?”
Uryu thought it wise to keep his mouth shut, lest he attract unwanted attention. He knew neither could be trusted, but if worst came to worst, the creepy “Gin” was his best bet. As if reading his mind, Gin turned to Uryu.
“No no, I’m not helping you. I’ll get you out of this mess, but nothing more. Then you’re at the mercy of Aizen. And he is quite merciless. Now, to get you out of here…”
Uryu witnessed a blur of motion as the Espada flash stepped behind Gin. Uryu didn’t even have time to open his mouth to warn Gin. Gin’s grin widened even more and he whirled so quickly the Espada didn’t have time to react. He grabbed the Espada’s outstretched hand, and flipped over him. A quick flick of Gin’s wrist would now decapitate the Espada with his own sword. Caught in an awkward position, the Espada’s demeanor changed completely.
“Now, now, what was that about putting away our sword?”
Uryu was shocked at how quickly Gin had reacted. His eyes weren’t even open!
“Don’t fool around with me, Ace. I know just how you operate. The split second I turn, you gut me like a trout. I’ve watched you fight countless opponents. I know very little about your abilities, but I know all about your style. You, on the other hand, know nothing about me. Just let the both of us go, and nothing bad happens to you. Deal?”
Uryu sensed a sudden reiatsu in the room. He turned to see another Hollow in the room. He had a skull over his whole head, and he was kneeling toward Chad’s mutilated body.
“Stay away from him!”
The new figure barely glanced his way.
“Pick your fights wisely, child. I would not trifle with me if I were you.”
And just like that, an army of identical soldiers appeared behind the figure. Gin shook his head and the Espada cringed as the motion pushed the blade into his skin.
“Rudbornn. I should have known that you’d be the first to flock to the kill.”
The Exequia straightened and turned toward the three. Two of the soldiers picked up Chad’s body. Uryu knew he should do something, but against such numbers, he wouldn’t stand a chance.
“It is my duty to dispose of intruders. Seeing as Acelerar has done the work for me, my job is almost over.”
He turned to look straight at Uryu, and a slight chill ran down his spine as he looked into two empty sockets.
“Now, there is simply one more to dispose of.”
Gin frowned, a feat that looked almost unusual on his normally grinning face.
“Hold on. Aizen wants the intruders to be delivered straight to him. We cannot deny our leader, can we?”
“We most certainly can, as long as we are doing our sworn duty. My job is to dispose of intruders, and do that I will, regardless of Lord Aizen’s orders.”
Uryu’s bow flared, sending reiatsu pulsing through the room.
“Come and try it, then.”
The soldiers formed behind Rudbornn. He drew his sword, along with the entire army. Uryu began to think this wasn’t his wisest move. A clash of steel on steel caught his ears, and everyone turned to look at Gin and Acelerar. He was now free of Gin’s hold, a slight trickle of blood running down his neck. Gin stood nonchalantly to the side, hand on sword.
“How reckless. But now the real battle can begin. To quote Coyote “Buckle your safety belts.”
As if in a Hollywood, every person in the room sprang into action at once. Reiatsu cracked the walls and exploded outwards, into the palace of Las Noches.
Ichigo and Rukia froze. They had sensed Chad’s reiatsu appear and disappear just as quickly, and had run after the trail. But the reiatsu emanating from the corner of Las Noches was intense beyond anything. Obviously, there was more than one battle going on in there. Both could sense Uryu’s rather clearly, a very toned down Gin’s, and two evil, malicious reiatsus. Looking at each other, without words, they sprang down the hall, toward the battle.
Kaname Tosen and Sosuke Aizen looked up sharply as the reiatsu hit them like a ton of bricks. Both recognized all but one, and they didn’t like it one bit. Aizen lazily stood, shaking his head in disgust.
“Gin causes mayhem wherever he goes, doesn’t he? Shall we go check on everyone down there?”
“Indeed, my lord.”
They both turned and walked out of the room.
The reiatsu filled the halls, spilled out, and washed across Hueco Mundo. Hollows ran and hid. Arrancars retreated into solitary patches. The Espada recognized one reiatsu in particular and decided to stay far away. Coyote Starkk wanted to go check it out, but simply didn’t feel like it. Nnoitora and Grimmjow, eager to fight, were forced into submission by the smarter Tiel and Baraggan. Yammy was still recovering from his fight with Urahara and Yoroichi, and Aaroniero was, well, deceased. Two Espada, however, were intrigued by the reiatsu. Szayel was unprepared for Rudbornn’s intervention, and other numerous variables he had not accounted for. But an experiment was an experiment, and this was much more entertaining than he’d thought. As for Ulquiorra, he was already near the room, and deciding against reason, he stalked toward it, interested but showing nothing. He never did.