Bleach: An Espada's Tale: Act Two

June 13, 2013
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Act Two: Battle

Launching a dozen arrows at once, Uryu took down some of the Exequias, but there were simply too many. He wielded his energy blade with deadly precision, taking down two more. He was surprised at how easily they went down. Apparently, numbers took precedence over skill. He was about to be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers when he launched himself into the air.

“Licht Regen!”
A hundred bullet like arrows slammed down onto the warriors, cracking the skulls in two. As Uryu fell, he let loose another barrage of arrows, slaughtering even more of the Exequias. Only their leader, Rudbornn, and a handful of others were left. Uryu was surprised how easy that was. He’d expected to be killed in the first move. Rudbornn hardly seemed to care, however. He motioned, and the two holding Chad dropped him like a rock. Uryu’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly.

“Come now. He’s already dead. What should you care?”

“Nothing good ever comes from playing with the dead. But then again, you don’t look so healthy yourself.”
If the Hollow had a functioning mouth, he would have snarled. But he didn’t, so he settled for drawing his sword instead.

“Enough small fry. You take on me now.”
Quickly, Rudbornn flash stepped behind Uryu. Not nearly as quick as Acelerar, but still quick enough to catch Uryu off guard. Just barely blocking Rudbornn’s blade, Uryu was forced into the path of the Exequia soldiers. One blade nicked his elbow, and Uryu promptly sliced his in half. Pulling back his bow with lightning reflexes, he skewered the rest. Whirling to meet Rudbornn, his blade connected with…nothing. Too late, he pulled back his bow. He’d been duped, and couldn’t release his arrow in time to stop Rudbornn’s strike. Luck was on Uryu’s side, however. His arrow flickered with reiatsu as it shot to one side of Rudbornn, stinging his face and disrupting his blow. He missed Uryu’s heart and his blade plunged through his shoulder instead. Uryu grunted in pain as his useless blade clattered to the floor. Performing a quick flip to it, he retracted his bow, picking up his blade with his one good arm. Rudbornn relaxed his pose, sword at the ready.



“Fair enough. But a bow is of no use with one arm.”

“Now that you’re cronies are down and out, I don’t think I’ll need it.”

“Are they, though?”
On cue, over a dozen new Exequias appeared out of nowhere. Uryu felt despair creep in. How many could there possibly be? He was in absolutely no position for more fighting. The army took up stances, and charged. Uryu prepared for his last moments. But they never came. A massive black wave disintegrated all but Rudbornn, who just managed to jump over it. Both turned to look at the source. Ichigo and Rukia stood in the entrance, Ichigo’s blade still smoking.

“Hah! Found you!”
Uryu sighed in relief.

“You’re late, but I appreciate the rescue.”
Ichigo scoffed.

“Late, my butt! You were getting yours handed to you!”
Rukia was much more in control of the situation. She flash stepped four times, landing to Uryu’s side before Rudbornn could take advantage of the distraction.

“Focus, the both of you. We’re not out of the woods yet.”
She turned to Gin and the Espada, who had barely moved throughout Uryu’s battle. No, they had been trading reiatsu pressure. Much like two bucks sporting their antlers to their opponent, the warriors had been releasing small amounts of reiatsu to try to intimidate or frighten the opponent. Acelerar’s reiatsu was indeed fearsome, being a former Espada, and would have paralyzed anyone in the room. All except Gin. His reiatsu was startling and unfamiliar to Acelerar. The only other person with reiatsu this malicious was Aizen himself. He didn’t know what Gin was hiding, but he was eager to find out. Perhaps it would give him a challenge. Gin broke the reiatsu contest first, either a sign of weakness or bold courage.

“Hello again, Rukia dear. Fancy seeing you and Kurosaki here. Come for a fight?”

“Not today, Gin. Just trying to reclaim stolen property.”

“Oh, don’t say it like that. She came of her own free will.”

Everyone in the room turned to Ichigo, whose outburst had come out of nowhere.

“Ulquiorra told me everything. He forced Orihime to come here. She had no choice in the matter, and you’re all going to pay for that.”
Rudbornn scoffed in disgust. Acelerar chuckled under his breath. Gin’s smile widened to one almost of pity.

“You? Oh, are we doomed. You and Rukia together couldn’t put a knick in me, Quincy boy over there is missing an arm, and you think the three of you are going to take on Aizen’s most feared warriors?”
Acelerar turned back to Gin, a quizzical look on his face.

“Aizen’s warriors? Oh no. You and Rudbornn, maybe. I’m not one of Aizen’s. Don’t make that mistake, Gin.”

“My apologies. Now, where were we? Oh yes, I was going to teach Soul Reaper boy over there a lesson.”
He turned just in time for Ichigo’s sword to connect with his face. But Gin was not so easily fooled. He flipped onto his hands, and then back onto his feet, propelling Ichigo right to Acelerar. In a lightning quick motion, Acelerar whipped out with his hand, only for Rukia to barely block the blow. Ichigo landed behind Rukia, then leapt up and fired another Getsuga Tensho at Acelerar. He launched a Cero from his other hand, and the two attacks slammed against one another, neither one breaking through. Behind Acelerar, Uryu swung his blade at his unprotected back. Rudbornn was there, however, locking swords with the Quincy.

“Ah ah, boy. You and I aren’t through.”
Behind Uryu, Gin flash stepped into Rudbornn’s line of sight and fired Shinso at Uryu’s head. Rudbornn, not showing any telltale sign, forced Uryu into the line of fire. Ichigo saw it at the last moment.

“Uryu, behind you!”
A sentence taking two seconds to speak was one second too late. But that first second wasn’t wasted. Uryu’s lightning quick reflexes saved his life yet again. He twisted to the right, Shinso plunging into his unhurt shoulder, out the other side, and through Rudbornn’s skull, cracking it in two. Gin retracted his blade, and both figures fell to the ground. Gin looked down and shrugged.

Acelerar risked a glimpse over his shoulder.

“Slick, Gin.”

“Now now, the Quincy didn’t allow him to get away. He was holding Rudbornn’s hilt.”

Ichigo stared in stunned silence at Uryu’s fallen form. Uryu tried to rise, but fell, panting with exhaustion. Gin looked down at him in surprise.

“Oh? Still going? My, how you ryoka are resistant. No matter, you’re dead anyway, you poor fool.”
He leveled his blade at Uryu’s struggling figure. Ichigo tried to run to help, but Acelerar forced him into locking blades. Rukia leapt past Chad’s fallen form, but Acelerar let go of his hilt with one hand to draw another sword from a sheath on his back. Rukia, taken off guard, was also forced into a sword lock. Both Ichigo and Rukia were shocked. Two Zanpakuto!? It wasn’t possible. It was unheard of! But they both had bigger problems to worry about.

“Shoot to kill, Shinso.”

“No!” Ichigo shouted.
There was no suffering. The blade passed through Uryu’s heart, stopping it instantly. He flinched once and was still. Acelerar clucked in distaste.

“That was beneath you, Gin. Killing a fallen warrior?”
Ichigo was so furious and shocked he couldn’t move. Rukia could only focus on blocking Acelerar’s blade. There was so much power in just one arm!

“You think so? Well then, you’re gonna love this.”
Another flash, and Shinso shot at Acelerar’s unprotected back. With both hands occupied, Acelerar could only perform a spectacular flip, sending both Rukia and Ichigo flying and shooting another gold Cero at Gin. Shinso never made it to the opposite wall. It retracted instantly, allowing Gin to block the Cero with ease. It careened into the walls of the room, sending rubble everywhere. Rukia and Ichigo raced across the short distance, and Gin shot his blade at the Espada in mid air. Now, however, with his hands free, the Espada blocked with ease. Gin smiled even wider. Now things were getting interesting.

Szayelaporro Grantz was enjoying his show. But maybe he needed to get on with it. This was taking a while, and it wouldn’t be very long before Aizen came knocking at his door. He tapped two buttons in quick succession on his wristband.

Rukia and Ichigo froze in mid step. Neither could force their body to move! Rukia’s mind raced. They were incredibly vulnerable now. Hadn’t that mad scientist Szayel promised to leave them be?! Gin saw it too, but he didn’t show it. There was no need to let the Espada see it. The rules of Aizen didn’t apply to him, and Gin would take the heat for it if Kurosaki died. That simply wouldn’t do at all. He retracted Shinso and shot it again in a split second. Acelerar blocked again, but in doing so, he was thrown back by Shinso’s force. He landed into Rukia and Ichigo, just as Gin had planned, and threw them both to the ground. Now, it would simply look like they were unconscious or taking cover. Gin flash stepped over to Acelerar, and the two began a war of clashing blades. Gin stepped back an instant, and shot his sword at an opening in Acelerar’s defense. But Acelerar had not been an Espada for nothing. He twisted his body in midair, and Shinso sailed past. Gin’s grin widened. With a flick of his hand, Shinso curved and raced back towards Acelerar’s exposed back. Blood splattered the floor. At the last moment, the Espada had hardened his reiatsu, but Shinso had still plunged almost halfway into his back. No vitals had been pierced, and the wound was not fatal in the slightest. But Acelerar had not been injured this badly in a long time, and he didn’t like to remember the feel. He whacked Shinso out of his body with his sword and leveled it at Gin. Gin had seen this before, and he remembered all too well what came next. He held Shinso at his chest and shouted

Quicker than the speed of sound, the blade shot at Acelerar’s heart. Quicker than that, his other blade blocked Shinso. The blade retracted quicker than even the Espada could track and Gin opened his mouth to say the second step in his technique.

“Too slow.”

“Buto Renjin!”

“Sprint, Guepardo!”
Two things happened at once. First, a hundred blades erupted from Gin’s chest, slamming into Acelerar. Second, a mere instant before Gin’s technique hit him, a blast of air surrounded Acelerar and encased him in a wind column. The tunnel turned gold and closed in on him. Gin turned to Ichigo and Rukia, still playing possum.

“Forget the act, kids. Run or be killed. I can hold him off until Aizen gets here. Yes, he is coming.”
Rukia was the first up, grabbing Ichigo off the floor. She had no idea why Gin was helping them, but she was ready to take his advice.

“Good luck, Gin.”

“I don’t need luck. That’s why I was a Captain.”
Then the column disappeared and Gin saw what he was up against. Rukia and Ichigo ran to the far exit of the room and watched from the sealed doorway. There was no way out. In Acelerar’s place stood a humanoid cheetah. Very much like Grimmjow’s release, except he was solid gold. Acelerar looked at Gin with cat’s eyes.

“Too slow.”
Gin’s smile was forced. This was going to be very tricky.

“I can go faster.”

“So can I.”
And he was gone. Gin had enough time for one heartbeat before he was slammed from behind. Knowing full well what had hit him and having a decent idea of what was coming next, he drew Shinso in a circle around him. That action saved him from Acelerar’s next attack, but opened him to three more. His leg snapped, his chin was whacked back and he was impaled from behind, a tad right of his shoulder. Gin, with lightning reflexes, grabbed the hand protruding from his chest and whipped Shinso over his shoulder. Not even Acelerar could dodge Shinso at such close range. The blade curved, neatly severing off the Espada’s arm. He pulled back so quickly Gin lost his balance for a second. He turned to look at the Espada. A look of shock on his face, Acelerar stared at his bleeding appendage.

“What’s wrong? Never lost a limb before?”

“What? Oh no, it’s just been so long since I’ve been hurt like this!”
Gin noticed the wound on his back was gone and he sighed.

“Oh no…”
The arm regrew in an instant, and the Espada cracked his arm.

“Ah, that’s better. Now, where were we?”
Seeing Gin’s tired expression, he shrugged.

“Forgot I could do that?”


“Alas, I have to end this. Sorry, Gin.”
Gin prepared for the worst. This was it, he supposed. And why? Because stupid Aizen had sent him as the cannon fodder. But to Gin’s surprise, the pain of his wounds ebbed. Indeed, it felt like he was filling back up with energy! And as he looked, his wounds were closing. How on Earth…? Acelerar was as shocked as Gin was.

“High-speed regeneration? Are you a hollow too?”

“No. I wouldn’t dream of it…”
It hit him. Damn it, Szayel! This was not going to bode well for the 6th. However, at the moment he was grateful.

“It would appear I have some help from my fellow Espada.”

“So it’s who can kill who faster, then.”

“Looks like it.”
He was gone. Gin opened one eye fully. Countering Acelerar’s blade, he drove his hand at his stomach. Lightly leaping over Gin, he fired his Cero in a rapid barrage. Gin rolled aside and shot Shinso at lightning speed. Tilting his head, he dodged the blade and shot another Cero. Gin sliced right through it and bolted at Acelerar. Vanishing, he slashed Gin from the side. Gin retaliated by ripping him down the side with his hand. Both injuries closed immediately and the two resumed fighting. Both Ichigo and Rukia watched with shock and awe. This was some battle! Neither could really even see the two, none the less track them. All at once, both went stiff as a cold, evil, familiar reiatsu hit them from behind. They both turned to see Sosuke Aizen and Kaname Tosen walking towards them. Neither had any idea what to do, but the two walked right past them, not interested with them at the moment. Aizen nodded to Tosen and he drew his sword. Both combatants caught the motion and leapt aside as Suzumushi’s sound wave hit the spot they had been just moments ago. Acelerar skidded to one side and Gin leapt to his comrades.

“My my, you’re ruthless, Captain! Am I that expendable?”

“Nonsense, Gin. I knew you’d dodge it. Forgive me, I wasn’t expecting him to fight you so harshly. You don’t even have a scratch.”

“Well, that’s a problem. It would appear Szayel has injected us with a drug that prevents us any harm. However, it gives him control of our actions.”

“Tosen, maybe. I would love to see him get within three meters of me, Gin. I guarantee you no experiment has been performed on me.”

“Of course, Lord Aizen.”
He turned to look at Acelerar and even the Primera shivered. It would appear the head honcho was still as fearsome as ever! And if the other two were to get involved, that would be problematic indeed. The ryoka were of no concern, they were just trying to take cover. With Gin regenerating, Tosen maybe injected as well, and Aizen, this would not be fun.

“Are you still planning to kill me, Sosuke?”

“I just wanted to check up on you to see that the ryoka weren’t disturbing your nap.”

“Bull. The almighty Lord Aizen doesn’t come to see me with his goonies just so he can give a hello.”

“Too clever for me, I guess. You’ve been problematic ever since you arrived, Acelerar Corviste. And now I think it’s time to relieve you of duty.”
He drew his own blade and smiled happily. His vile reiatsu shot across the room, engulfing everything. Gin swallowed nervously, Tosen began to sweat involuntarily, Rukia and Ichigo began to hyperventilate, and even Acelerar’s eyes widened in fear. Dear lord, his power had gone up even further! This was going to be a nightmare!

Everything sensed their lord’s reiatsu. Any hollow not seeking cover from before had their skull cracked by the sheer weight of it. Arrancars dropped unconscious left and right. The Espada looked up in shock and even Nnoitora and Grimmjow decided to sit it out. Even stoic Ulquiorra flinched at the power, merely meters from the fight. His limited emotions raced, and he made a decision. As for Szayel, he was sweating bullets in his chair. Not good at all. His fun was not going to be for much longer. Lord Aizen knew now, and he was not happy about it. This was going to go down as either the cleverest scheme in history or the worst crash and burn/execution Las Noches had ever seen.

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