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  1. Typically, the Shin'ō Academy dormitories were quiet and peaceful places of respite. Tranquil havens to which the students retreated after long and arduous days of training and study. They were places to contemplate and rest. However, today was not a typical day. Deep within the dormitory halls a cluster of students had gathered in front of the quarters of one Kirigari Yomune. Kirigari was a classmate of theirs who'd recently begun to distinguish himself as an up and coming prodigy. Particularly, after the events of a field lesson gone terribly awry. Under mysterious circumstances Kirigari, a first year, managed to not only achieve the Shikai release of his Zanpakuto, but he also defeated two powerful Hollows. Furthermore, the captain of the Ninth Squad, Monchue Jōnetsu, apparently was so impressed by Kirigari's bravery and skill that he wanted to personally recruit the student into his squad. It was safe to say that Kirigari was a "big deal"; and, of course, with that status came both adoring fans and hateful detractors. Clamoring before Kirigari's room was a mix of both. The uninformed among them argued as to the nefarious nature of the cryptic message scribed across the room door in red paint, "I'm Comin' 4 You, Kirigari Yomune! - G A" However, sprinkled throughout both camps were the few who were familiar with such antics as this. Noticeably, though they may have disagreed on the topic of Kirigari the person, their expressions all read of either annoyance or frustration. Some read the initials signed on the message and simply walked away, groaning or complaining as they departed. To them, there was no mystery behind the vandalism, the signed initials were evidence enough of that. There was nothing nefarious about the message or its meaning. No Kirigari fans looking to give him even more attention or Kirigari haters hoping to intimidate him. The message purely and simply marked the unwanted, yet inevitable, return of the infamous Asagu Hagiwara. --------------------------- [11:59PM, Four Days Later] ...ASAGU HAGIWARA stood confidently, arms crossed, in the center of the academy courtyard. Illuminated by the lustrous light of the full moon and a few lampposts. The light reflected nicely from his white plastic mask which was shaped in the image of a Gillian class Menos. On this evening the mask seemed to contrast especially well with the black robe he wore over his academy uniform. Together the mask and robe completed Asagu's Gillian costume, although, at the insistence of a pair of thugs under the employ of one Kasumiōji kid, Asagu had been forced to shorten the length of his robe to just below the knees. This way students were less likely to --somehow, bizarrely-- mistake him for an actual Hollow. As the one unnamed Kasumiōji kid had. To be precise, the thugs had demanded Asagu cease his peculiar extracurricular activities entirely. Asagu, however, would compromise no further than the aforementioned shortening of his robe. Though the cost was some authenticity in the role, being held captive against his will in a secret Kasumiōji dungeon cell for the past three months had weakened his resolve. But only a little bit. Asagu's own Zanpakuto, Kanryūmaru was conspicuous not on his person at the moment. After all, Menos grade Hollow did not carry Zanpakuto. Although, Asagu noted, there was potentially a case to be made for a Hollow like Jetz B Lade. Jetz B Lade technically wielded an edged bone katana and even fought like someone trained in Zanjutsu. Asagu pinned that thought for another time. Presently he awaited the arrival of Kirigari Yomune; a promising student in his own right, but still one Asagu believed was in dire need of being "checked". Luckily, Kirigari Yomune would arrive very shortly, Asagu was sure of it. The message he'd left on Kirigari's door days before was just a warning Kirigari could have heeded or not. The letter Kirigari would have found in his uniform pocket this morning was the real deal. It had read: "Kirigari Yomune, I have something you desperately want. Meet me in the academy courtyard tonight, at midnight. Come alone and come prepared to fight. Or don't come, but then bad things will happen. - GA" Admittedly, it wasn't Asagu's best work. It was a little rambly, he thought. Nevertheless, it would have to suffice and Asagu was confident it would be enough. He'd spent the last couple weeks studying Kirigari, watching him from the shadows. When Kirigari was in Zanjutsu class, Asagu watched him from the back of the class. When Kirigari practiced on the Kido range, Asagu had been there, disguised as a target dummy. When Kirigari was on lunch break, Asagu watched him, perched up in a tree. When Kirigari moved from one facility to another, Asagu had followed closely behind from the rooftops. Even when Kirigari went to the restroom, Asagu had been there, listening in from the neighboring stall. His dedication and cunning would have impressed even Baron Quadhorn, but that wasn't the point. What mattered was that Asagu had observed Kirigari thoroughly enough to know he would not fail to appear tonight. When Kirigari arrived at the academy gates at this late hour he would find them already cracked open. The space just wide enough for him to slip through unimpeded. --------------------------- --------------------------- WC: 870 ------ OOC: ACADEMY STUDENT - ASAGU HAGIWARA [ NPC Controlled By: Rash]
    3 points
  2. Thursday afternoon, The sun was setting and the street lights were starting to glow and luminate the streets. A young man no older than 20 was walking down the street at a slow speed while holding a letter addressed to him. Opening the letter again the young man decided to read it out loud just to make sure of the contents and the plan. “Dear Kai Hunter, We humbly invite you to an Alumni Reunion to speak to your younger Kohais about your life after graduation and where you are now. We will also host a separate hall so all the Alumni like yourself can enjoy yourselves with some food and drinks. I’m sure you all are excited to meet one another again and catch up. The time shall be this coming Thursday at 7:30pm. Looking forward to seeing you all!. Best Regards, Your Past teachers.” Kai lets out a large sigh as he finishes and reaches the gate of Karakura Highschool looking up at his old classroom remembering how shit his life here was. Everyone thought he was crazy or possessed by some evil entity as he would often talk to “thin air” or “to himself” but in reality he was speaking to the recently deceased spirits who he would often talk to as others would often avoid him because of his past of being a slum rat or his abusive father would spread rumors about him and his mom cause they left him for a better life. Slowly he placed his hand on the gate and pushed it open as he did. A few of his former class members saw him from a distance and shot him with glares as if he was a freak and shouldn’t be there. Kai simply laughed it off as he was used to it after so many years. Entering the designated classroom he was assigned to speak in he looked around to not see many students but 3 out of the many that showed up. Kai shook his head and laughed as he knew exactly why there weren't many there. The other Alumni probably spread the rumors and how he was to all the current students. He knew something like this would happen too though he didn’t mind. Why? Because it would just mean less work for him to do and the sooner he would be able to leave this place. After all, why would he stay in a place he wasn’t wanted in?. Though one thing did intrigue him, Why did these three show up? Surely they too should have heard of him and the rumors. It was strange he wanted to know more, he always did have an overwhelming sense of curiosity. Placing his letter down with also a small notepad of notes he looked up to the students and took a closer examination of them. One of them was a young male with white spiky hair, silver eyes and had what looked like a lollipop within his mouth. The other two were young girls, twins in fact. One of them had Blonde hair and the other had a dark red similar to his own, both had extremely light blue eyes. He assumed that one of them probably dyed their hair to help tell the difference between the two of them. Kai nodded and stood in front of the teacher's stand and leaned upon it and crossed his arms in a relaxed manner. And began to speak in a comforting tone. “As you are probably aware, My name is Kai Hunter. I am an Alumni of this school and I welcome you to my session. Since there are only three of you here, would you like to tell me your names before we start?” The young man put up his hand first this gave Kai the impression that he was probably the straight forward and confident type of person. Kai nodded towards him to show that he had the go ahead to speak. “My name is Kudo Ryota sir, It’s a pleasure to be here.” Kudo spoke in a well mannered way which was very surprising to Kai as it wasn’t normal for him to be spoken to in that way. Next the girl with the blond hair would put up her hand not as confident but more of a relaxed manner. Again Kai would nod to show that she could speak “Kanai Yasu’s the name sir! I hope we get along tonight!” She spoke in a cheerful tone, something again he wasn’t used to. What was happening? Surely they heard the rumors so why were they acting this way? Kai shook his head slightly but not enough for the others to notice. Slowly and shyly the girl with the similar hair would raise her hand. Kai smiled and nodded his head towards her. “T-Toma M-Mi” She would shortly hide behind Kanai’s back. Kai became confused why two girls who were near identical have different Family names? Kai decided to hold off asking any personal questions. At least for now as he did come here to speak about his life after school after all. An hour would pass while being quite uneventful talking about his past and current situation and avoiding talking about any of his ghost encounters. Kai would end the talk and smiled at the students before placing the chalk from the blackboard down. “Now would anyone like to ask any questions? Before we go into the next session?” Kudo almost instantly placed his hands in the air in anticipation of being picked. Kai nodded like usual. “Sir, I know you might not want to talk about it but the three of us are here because we need to know about your ghost encounters.” Kai looked confused about what he was talking about and how would he help them? “Sir, We know you can see ghosts or at least that’s what the rumors going around are saying with you being crazy talking to nothing.” Kai didn’t know how to feel about this anger, disappointment? No he knew it was going to happen after all it was just like the people his fellow classmates were like. Kai simply sighed and shook his head. “I’m sorry Kudo, I’m just as crazy as they say I am. I would just talk to myself constantly just so they would leave me alone. They never liked me so I would try my best to avoid them.” The three students would look saddened and their faces dropped low in disappointment. “I understand if you wish to listen to the other Alumni for the next session, Sorry to have wasted your time you three.” The bell would then ring for the break and all of them would leave to head to their break rooms. Most students and Alumni would leave to go back to work or head home early during this time. Entering the Break / Reunion room of the Alumni there were only 3 of them there that hadn’t gone home. Rika, The popular one of his class back when they were still in school, Sora was next he was the one who didn’t care much for everyone elses shenanigans and just did his own thing mostly. Unlike Kai he never got bullied but he also never stood up or accepted Kai’s requests to know each other. He didn’t blame him however since it would have meant that he would be a target too and Kai knew that after the fact. Last but not least there was Jin, he was the ringleader of Kai’s bullying and boyfriend of Rika at the time. Kai simply laughed seeing them but kept it under his breath. “Well look who it is you two, Our little ghost whisper is here.” Jin would slowly walk up to Kai while Rika was giving him a look which obviously showed that he was a freak. Sora was just eating food not caring he was only there for the food anyway. Kai couldn’t blame him, the food looked delicious. “Hi Jin, What do you want?” Jin laughed louder than anyone naturally would without trying to make a scene. “Look at you Kai, Growing some balls for a change?” Kai would just look at Jin unimpressed and do a small yawn before walking right past him towards the food Sora was eating. Before he got very far however, Jin grabbed his arm. “Know your place, Freak. Talk to me when spoken to or do you want to end up like you did on your last day?” Kai would simply shake his arm and get out of Jin's grip and grab one of the food items that was there and would simply eat it without a care. “I don’t blame you Sora, Also I forgive you for not standing up or being my friend during school. I understand why.” Sora would shed some tears but quickly wiped them away as Jin walked and grabbed and turned Kai around. “I Told you Freak to know your place.” Jin then would throw a punch which would hit Kai’s cheek however, It would do little to nothing as Kai stood there. “You done?” Both Jin and Rika would look surprised. Shortly the teachers would walk in to see what the commotion was about. Jin quickly pulled back his fist and smiled like the weasel he was and told the teachers that there was nothing wrong and everything was fine and dandy. Sora on the other hand turned around and for the first time ever stood up to Jin for Kai. Sora would explain to the teachers about all Kai went through as a student and how Jin and Rika were treating him tonight. Kai simply smiled at Sora before shaking his head. Kai then offered for him to leave early so there was no more drama for the students to hear. Upon leaving the Teachers would apologize Kai told them it was alright all in the past. Walking out the gate the 3 students from earlier noticed him and decided to follow him to make sure he wasn’t lying to them back in the classroom. WC: 1688
    2 points
  3. Kirigari was caught back at the mention of Rimiri... How had this man even known about her? After she had been expelled, they had only met occasionally in the woods near the academy to help her train. Kirigari had already laid out his plan to vouch for her to Captain Jonetsu, and ask his permission to allow her to join the 9th Division with him. She hadn't seemed that thrilled initially, but they had become fast friends over the past several months, Rimiri pushing Kirigari even further then most other students here could. He had been planning on seeing her again this weekend, but if this Asagu had done something... "Fine then, Asagu. You want to see what I have up close and personal?" Kirigari answered him. He didn't know if the threat to Rimiri was real or not, but the audacity to even imply the threat was enough reason for Kirigari to play along. A shadow of doubt crept into his mind as he considered the consequences if he lost. Could Asagu stop him from joining the 9th division? Would he be willing to join still if he did in fact lose? Kirigari wasn't willing to wait 6 more years though, so he knew one way or the other, he could not lose. Kirigari took grip of both his Zanpakuto and slowly, but very deliberately drew them holding one wide and one pointed straight at Asagu. He shifted his position, letting two fingers from his right hand fall from his hilt and point at Asagu. “Bakudo #1: Sai!” Kirigami shouted, as a golden kanji of reiryoku went flying towards Asagu, slightly smaller than his torso – Kirigari wasn’t some Kido master after all. Flashstepping behind Asagu, Kirigari quickly and smoothly flipped the grip of his sword, so the attack would connect with the dulled back of his Zanpakuto, as opposed to the deadly blade. That said, Kirigari held nothing back in his swing. He had no issues knocking this kid around if it meant he would clarify what he had said about Rimiri. The followup attack to the kido spell was aimed directly at Asagu’s head, Kirigari was hoping to shatter the mask in the first attack, ending whatever game this person was playing. Whether Kirigari connected with the first attack or not, it was a feint for the real attack he had been planning. Using one of the more advanced Hakuda techniques he had learned, he made an attempt at Asagu’s legs with a sweeping kick, followed up but a hard downward strike, again with the back of his blade. He got to his feet and leapt away, putting several feet of distance between himself and Asagu, wanting to assess the situation before attacking again. WC: 457
    2 points
  4. There was a feeling in the pit of Sibylle's stomach since he reached Japan that something was just off. There were just too many coincidences going on around her for her to ignore. The plane, grandmother's training, getting put with Frieda for further training, and the fight with the hollow over at the school. Each one of these things had been pushing her beyond anything she felt was realistically possible, especially looking back to how unaware she was of it all before coming to Japan. Monster spirits fighting death reapers in the land of the living was way beyond anything she had saw for herself in her younger years. Why was this happening to her? What did she do to deserve all of this chaos? The continued questions plagued Sibylle's mind as she listlessly walked the pathway that snaked through Karakura Park. She passed couples having picnics or walking, joggers brushed past her in a hurl, the kids played on the hill she just walked by, and so many other things. All of this noise was being drowned out by her own thoughts and concerns. The winds picked up for a moment blowing her hair in front of her face. She quickly caught the strands of hair and pulled them back over away form her vision. Noir. That was the next big step for her as Sibylle knew that the so many different things were leading to her inevitably having to start working for her cousin's company. Frieda had already given her a run down while training with the various ginto that Quincies use in combat. Those Quincy tools were interesting and had a variety of uses, but primarily to take down the hollows that made it into the material world. Memories of the training with Frieda caused her to make a displeased face in annoyance at how she was treated. The teenager knew she was learning things very quickly, but it was almost like Frieda did not want Sibylle to have a day off. They had basically been training every single day since she had made it to Frieda's house after being in the hospital. Mere weeks ago she did not get all of the talk about Quincies, Reishi, Ginto, and hollows. Now she was spending her free time trying to decompress all of this life changing knowledge. She would never admit this aloud, but she was becoming overwhelmed with the prospect of her uncertain future and all of what was being demanded of her. Rather... COULD be required of her. Sibylle was no fool, she was being bred for a war of some kind. She had an aptitude and skills that this organization required to be successful. Otherwise, they would not have wasted their time with exposing her to their combat methods and tools. This was a calculated move from someone far above Frieda and that was something she was not okay with not knowing. The question was when was that going to change? Or would it even matter if she did know the truth? She was having fun with all of this training and learning about something so different than the boring life she thought she was destined for. Destiny. Fate. The future. Things that Sibylle did not bother to think on as most of her future had been planned out since before she could remember. This opportunity to change course was too great. Almost as if the plane was a catalyst for the future she could be meant for all along. Really all she could do was keep shattering expectations and then maybe, one day, she could get to see what all of this was for. Maybe. The time seemed to accelerate as she eventually found herself back where she started meeting up with Frieda once again. Their conversation is relegated to sarcastic jokes of each other getting lost and blaming the other for the lost time. This was the new norm for now, but she felt that was not always going to be the case. Time would tell.
    2 points
  5. "Zaius! You cannot sleep all morning. You know your father has chores for you to do and you WILL NOT find some clever way to get out of your responsibilities, young man." The youthful soul rolled his eyes as he proceeded to retort, "I know, mom...I know." The restless adolescent begrudgingly sprang from his bed and proceeded to get dressed. Zaius exited his room and made his way into the kitchen; standing there was the progeny's mother, who was in the process of cooking breakfast. "As soon as you're finished eating, it's straight to completing your chores, understand?" the youthful soul's parent aforementioned. The young adolescent peered in his mother's direction just as she was turning her attention towards her son. The startled progeny gazed upon his parent's face, which was translucent and its features indiscernible. Bewildered by what he was seeing, Zaius was about to inquire about the woman's appearance. It was at this moment when the youthful soul's father strode into the kitchen from a side door leading into the backyard. The flustered progeny surveyed his father's face as he spoke, horrified that it appeared both of his parents were faceless, "Good morning, my son. Make sure you get plenty to eat; you will need your strength if these chores are to be done." In a complete state of disarranging, Zaius observed his kin interacting with one another unaware of what their son was seeing. It was at this point at which the puzzled soul would endeavor to find out just what the hell was going on. Nonetheless, before the young adolescent could utter a word...the confounding scene vanished and Zaius awoke. "That damn dream again," the youthful soul thought to himself. Releasing a beleaguered sigh, the exasperated youth reposed against the slatternly wall he was fettered to. The youth's hands were bound by a thick chain that was connected to the ceiling. Moreover, Zaius' feet were also delimitated by a broad chain that was connected to a sturdy steel plate on the floor. Furthermore, the youthful soul's neck was covered by some sort of odd collar which housed a tiny box with a green flashing light. Two things were painfully evident: the unquestioning youth was being held captive here. Additionally, whoever was detaining Zaius in this basement did not want him to leave. It was at this point that the youthful soul's mind began to wander, landing on the day in which he became imprisoned in this place. The impassioned adolescent had no family that he was aware of, no place of residence, no money, and a temper that would rival the highest level of anger possibly attained. Due to these indisputable facts, Zaius grew up with no sense of right or wrong. The youthful soul had no parents to chastise him when he broke the rules or made a mistake; the energetic adolescent did not even know what the rules were. Zaius' existence was governed by one rule and one rule only: do whatever it takes to survive. The youthful soul was without a home, so his day usually consisted of pickpocketing Rukongai citizens, hoping to acquire enough kan to procure a room at a very seedy motel lying in the slums of district eighty. The young adolescent did not have the greatest sense of time. However, he was aware that years and years had passed as Zaius spent the better part of each day endeavoring to get enough kan to keep from having to sleep in an alley on the frigid concrete. When the brazen soul first injected himself into a life of crime, his attempts to unknowingly pilfer money or belongings from unsuspecting people rarely went as planned. Many times, the youthful adolescent would have to swiftly egress and for those who were quicker on their feet, a chase would lead to an altercation more often than not. As time continued to pass, Zaius became more and more proficient in his thievish ways. When attempting to pickpocket someone, most would consider acquiring the items they were venturing to misappropriate without incident or their victim's knowledge a success. Despite this, the young soul found that as his disputes became fewer and farther between, the youthful adolescent came to the realization that he was constantly craving battle; Zaius' fighting skills were also continuing to ameliorate over time. The young soul's hunger for dispute would eventually overtake his desire for a roof over his head. The youthful adolescent's talents continued to grow, along with a fervent and unequivocal belief in his abilities. With that in mind, Zaius' goals had shifted; instead of making money being his main motivation, the young soul would now seek out opponents deemed worthy of his exponentially growing skillset. Unbeknownst to the youthful adolescent, the decision to indulge his desire for a contest pitted against a strong opponent is one that would swiftly shift the path his existence was currently on. The young soul would scout out someone deserving of being his opposition. The focused adolescent would use all abilities at his disposal to find a suitable opponent. After close to a year of the day after day reconnaissance, the eager adolescent had refined his ability to seek out particular individuals based on their presence or the pressure they would emit. Aware of his spiritual pressure, all Zaius would have to do would be to seek out someone whose spiritual pressure was comparable to his own. Notwithstanding, the young soul wanted a challenge. Therefore, it was his decision to find someone who was not only as powerful as himself...but stronger. With a clear goal in mind, the budding adolescent commenced the process of elimination; at the end of this process, Zaius would likely find himself in a predicament where death was a good possibility. With all that in mind, Zaius proceeded to begin scouting the competition at dawn the next morning. The amount of skirmishing the young soul had been subjected to over the past few years had bolstered his spiritual pressure to the point where it was becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone amongst the wandering spirits who was in the arrogant youth's league. Days passed by and Zaius was growing increasingly frustrated due to the fact that locating a suitable challenger was becoming more and more arduous by the minute. The fledgling soul could not help the rate at which he was progressing, though perhaps he was taking the wrong approach. It never donned on the inexperienced being that maybe it was feasible for someone to possess the ability to disguise or conceal their energy signature; it was just a thought. All the same, if Zaius' hunch was correct, perhaps choosing his opponent could be simpler than even he thought it could be. After another hour or so of searching, the puerile soul's eyes locked on a tall gentleman through a large horde of ordinary citizens. The man appeared ordinary enough. The stranger was garbed in all black and his clothing did nothing to make him stand apart amongst the crowd. That being said, there was one thing that turned the young adolescent's attention towards this being; a katana was tethered to the man's hip. "I do not witness ordinary citizens ambulating with deadly weapons. I do not feel much power emanating from his person. Still, there is something about this stranger...something I cannot put my finger on," Zaius speculated, a wry grin now creeping across his lips. "That's my target. If nothing else, the fact that he is brandishing a sword might make things interesting for an opponent that is unarmed," the eager youngster ruminated. Following days of seeking strong opposition, the youthful adolescent had acquired his target. Much like a drug addict who feels a strong need for his substance of choice, Zaius' desire for conflict was equally powerful. The budding soul knew the area very well and when he witnessed the path the towering gentleman was taking, he sprang into a full sprint in order to cut the stranger off in an alley that was directly behind the structure the fledgling adolescent was standing before. Delighted at the possibility of a battle to the death, Zaius hastily dashed around the right flank of the building. The young soul was expecting to meet up with the katana-wielding stranger in the aforementioned alleyway. Upon arrival in the narrow passageway, the inexperienced youngster was taken aback; the man was already there, casually leaning on a large trash receptacle. Now turning his attention in Zaius' direction, the gentleman spoke, "Well hello there...Zaius Koji." the youthful soul was now in a state of shock; not only had this stranger reached the alley before him somehow, but he also appeared to know the young adolescent. Hesitating slightly, Zaius began a dialogue with his would-be opponent, "I have never met you before today. How is it that you know who I am?" Wearing an ear-to-ear grin, the man responded to the young soul's inquiry, "While I do not know you personally, I know of you; you are a rather prominent figure amongst local law enforcement. Their lackluster effort in apprehending criminals amidst the more lawless districts has made this quite an advantageous situation for me." Further confounded by the gentleman's comments, the youthful adolescent would retort, "What situation is that, exactly?" The stranger straightened himself out as he stood upright, moving off of the dumpster. "That is a simple question to answer; the situation, young man, is that I believe you can be of some use to me. Over the past few months, I have kept a close eye on you. While you are no match for me, I believe your skills could be useful to me and my business," the man disclosed. Zaius began to chuckle, which elicited a response from the gentleman, "I fail to see what is amusing here." the inexperienced soul entered a combat stance just as he was replying to the man before him, "While I appreciate the offer, the only reason I am still talking to you is that I am itching for a fight; so let's get started!" The rangy gentleman proceeded to cackle uncontrollably. "Oh, so you are in control of the situation then?" the stranger interrogated. The man would then reach for his blade, presumably to assault the youthful adolescent before he had a chance to make a move. With that in mind, Zaius resolved to attack in the hopes of surprising his opponent. The boisterous being launched himself at the gentleman in black. When within 2 steps of the stranger, the youthful adolescent planted his right foot into the ground and swiftly circled the man in an attempt to strike from behind. Zaius would then cock his leg back to dispatch a roundhouse kick to his opponent's ribcage. Just as the inexperienced soul's attack made its way towards the gentleman's side, his opponent vanished. Before the budding adolescent's leg could return to its original position, the stranger appeared behind Zaius and placed his still sheathed katana at the young soul's feet. "This is the only way you stand a chance in hell against me...take it," the man pronounced, just before precipitously vanishing and coming back into view in his previous position. The youthful soul was unsure if what his opponent had just done was an ability of some kind or if he was just that fast. In either case, the young adolescent had now come to the realization that this man was on an entirely different level; the fact that he was willingly handing over his weapon told Zaius more than words ever could. Still, in a momentary state of stasis, the young soul endeavored to will his body into movement. Having never experienced genuine fear until now, the burgeoning adolescent was unable to move and did not have the faintest idea why. "Well, I was hoping to see some level of what you are capable of. Unfortunately, it would appear that you are now aware of your ineptness in my presence and that is understandable," the stranger expounded with a heavy sigh. The mysterious man spent a few moments in thought before continuing, "Still, since you will somewhat be in my employ from now on...I think it's best for you to see what a monumental mistake it would be to cross me." The stranger could then be seen beginning to focus, as he closed his eyes and bowed his head. Like an explosion in close proximity, Zaius was instantly brought to his knees as his opponent released his complete reiatsu. The surrounding area began violently shaking while the youthful soul was pinned in place by the immense spiritual pressure. "I...can't...move," the young adolescent thought to himself. Now standing over Zaius, the mysterious man slightly raised his hand. "Now...take a little nap for me," the gentleman ordered. The stranger then brought his hand down in a chopping motion, landing a swift blow on the back of the young adolescent's neck; the force of the blow knocked Zaius unconscious. The strange man reached down and retrieved his scabbard, attaching it to his hip once more. Afterward, the gentleman picked up the sleeping young soul at his feet and draped the youthful adolescent over his shoulder, and began walking. "Well now, it would appear that my manners have escaped me once again," the mysterious man stated. Despite Zaius' state, the stranger continued to speak, "You are always supposed to introduce yourself to your opponent as a sign of respect, are you not? I will forgive you for attempting to sneak attack me and show you this courtesy. My name is... TO BE CONTINUED... WC: 2,266
    2 points
  6. Enaza stood motionless, yet subtle attempted movements could be seen by those with sharp enough vision; it was almost as if something was holding the academy student back. Zaius gazed up at Kanore and spoke softly to the Shinigami trainee, endeavoring to avoid alerting Haragita who was parked in the corner of the room, yet still within earshot, "Enaza, what seems to be the problem?" the young man veered closer to the youthful soul and cautiously replied, "This is just...wrong, isn't it? I mean, when Master Umekuda approached me at the academy, he made it seem like I would be doing some specialized training that would help me get stronger at an exponential rate; I expected to be training against Hollows, not against a fellow innocent soul. Not to mention, I did not agree with Ashiharu's terms so that I could contribute to his plans for world domination. I...I cannot do this." The imprisoned youngster sighed heavily and nodded. "You are a kind-hearted soul, Enaza Kanore; that much is indisputable. However, I need you to listen to me and listen well. You have witnessed for yourself what happens to those who do not go along with Ashiharu's plans. I do not wish to see you in shackles sitting next to me here or worse. Therefore, I want you to do whatever you have to do in order to survive; right now, that means inflicting as much punishment upon me as you are capable of," the youthful adolescent countered. "Zaius, I..." Enaza began to say, before Zaius hastily disrupted him, "I understand, alright? I do. Still, the moment you cease being useful to these two, what do you expect to happen? I can tell you with one hundred and fifty percent certainty that they have no intention of letting you go back to the academy if you are uncooperative. Their ambitions dictate that those who they recruit must maintain the illusion of training to become members of the Gotei Thirteen. However, knowing what you know now, your only hope for survival is to get with the program. Or if nothing else, make them believe you have; appearances are everything in your particular situation." Kanore acknowledged the youthful soul. Curious as to why nothing was happening, the former Vice-Captain postponed his meditation and lifted himself from the chair in which he had been sitting. "Is there a problem here, Enaza?" Motonoru catechized. the brash youngster nodded at the academy student. Exhaling sharply, Enaza retorted, "No, Motonoru-san...no problem." Haragita smirked. "Master Umekuda mentioned that you just recently learned the name of your Zanpakuto; let us see what you are capable of," the former Vice-Captain stated, as he motioned Kanore to begin. The academy student appeared somewhat confused. Scratching his head, Enaza expressed a concern, "This room is too small to be using release abilities, is it not?" Motonoru placed his hand upon the young man's shoulder and addressed his inquiry, "I thought you would never ask. This particular area is quite special; Master Umekuda has enchanted this area from ceiling to foundation, which allows for one to use the full power of their release abilities without fear of explosions, blowback, or elemental attacks damaging the structure. Perhaps a quick example will suffice to clarify things for you: let us say that your Zanpakuto uses fire abilities. Moreover, you possess an ability that is capable of producing a wall of flames three stories high; obviously, utilizing such skill in this enclosed space would prove very dangerous for any occupying the space, as well as the structure itself. However, thanks to Master Umekuda, here is what would take place: your blade will become covered in energy or enveloped in the element associated with your attack. Then, you simply strike your opponent with the blade and they will feel the full power of your assault as if you had used the proficiency in a wide-open area. More to the point, he found a way to scale down the size of the ability without losing any of its potency in the process; it is quite ingenious. Now, unless there are any other questions...you may proceed when ready." Kanore nodded as he grasped the hilt of his katana and slowly removed the blade from its sheath. The academy student peered at the shackled youngster once more and mouthed the words, "I'm sorry." Enaza rotated his weapon one hundred and eighty degrees before driving the tip of the katana into the ground. "Surge, Ikari no nami!" A buoyant cerulean aura began to flare around Kanore and his weapon for a few moments, eventually giving way to a much more cumbersome azure glow, which now had enveloped the academy student's blade. The confined adolescent could not help but smirk. Zaius could feel the reiatsu emanating from Enaza and while it was not yet on par with his own, the initial release made the gap between the two somewhat closer. Using his exceptional ability to perceive what might have been unseen to others, the young soul discerned a minuscule bead of sweat slowly trickling down Kanore's forehead. Furthermore, the academy student's hands were trembling slightly. "He is not yet in full control of the release and it stands to reason that Enaza's abilities more than likely do not pack the kind of punch that they would have he mastered them. Still, I do not want him holding back on my account; if he does, Haragita will surely notice and I cannot afford to lose the only ally I have in this place," the perceptive youngster internalized before deliberately rising to his feet. The youthful adolescent could also hear Enaza's breathing, which had become slightly more erratic and labored; Kanore appeared to be a bit frightened. Zaius did hold the edge when comparing the academy student's spiritual pressure to his own, though the difference between the two was not so much that Enaza's attacks would not cause him damage. The young soul wanted to put Kanore's mind at ease, if possible. "Enaza, come at me with everything you have. Remember, Haragita can mend me if need be. It's alright...do what you have to do," the intuitive youngster proclaimed as he dropped both arms to his sides. The academy student gripped the hilt of his blade firmly with his left hand and lifted it towards the ceiling. With a slight grin, Enaza replied, "Be careful what you wish for...Kasukēdokurasshu!" Water began to encircle Kanore's sword, progressively swirling around the blade more and more violently. The academy student's voice blared as he brought his blade down across the youthful adolescent's midsection; the strike was incredibly well placed and sliced a broad lesion across the center of his stomach. Zaius was bracing for the attack, but Enaza's raw strength caught him off guard. Though he was staggered on his feet, the young soul remained upright. Kanore's attack tore the shirt the ensnared youngster was wearing and made the wound visible; blood was leaking down the youthful adolescent's pants and beginning to pool on the ground below him. "Okay...that hurt......a lot...where on....earth...that power..." Zaius struggled to internalize, as he was now coughing up blood as well. All of the sudden, the academy student leaped back several feet and gripped the base of his weapon with both hands. Upon landing, Enaza turned the blade down and away from himself. "Takashio!" as his voice bellowed, activating the technique, the bottom of the blade was becoming bathed in a blue aura. As the energy began crawling up the steel, it spread out from the blade on both sides, creating a funnel-like emission. Kanore gripped the hilt of his weapon securely and swung it in an upward diagonal motion, discharging the energy collected around the blade and sending it in the young soul's direction. The injured youngster had just enough time to brace for the attack, though that would do little with no method for actually defending against it. The mass of energy crashed directly into the youthful adolescent's chest and blew him backward to the end of his chains, just before Zaius was shot forward by the resistance of the shackles binding him and was sent face-first upon the foundation. From underneath the young soul, a pool of blood began to seep out and spread around him. The academy student casually strolled up to the battered youngster, stoic in his approach. "Zaius, I had to be convincing. I'm sure you are just as aware as I, that this is only the beginning," Enaza thought silently as he gazed down at the youthful adolescent. Zaius writhed in pain as he attempted to bring himself to his knees, plunging his hands into the pool of vital fluid in order to brace himself. The young soul managed to lift himself to a kneeling position and proceeded to cough up blood as he did. The plasma-soaked youngster's shirt had now been sundered, revealing his entire upper body; Kanore's last assault left a massive laceration from the youthful adolescent's left hip to his right shoulder, which was also feeding the growing puddle on the floor below. "The last...strong...er...than...the...fir...st...ribs......bro...ken....bleed...ing....inside...dizzzyyy..." Zaius struggled to gather his thoughts amidst the massive blood loss he was experiencing. Nonetheless, with his legs wobbling and incredibly unsteady, the young soul gradually rose to his feet once more. The academy student was simultaneously stunned and impressed that the beaten youngster was able to get to his feet in his condition. Clutching his ribcage and with his vision starting to blur, the youthful adolescent stood fast and addressed his attacker, "Is....that..." Zaius was disrupted, as he coughed up blood once again before continuing, "...all...you...got...?" The young soul grinned, for he did not wish to show even the slightest hint that he was defeated or discouraged. Enaza grinned himself and peered at the confident youngster before him. "Oh, certainly not. Having said that, I think you need to be healed before we continue in any capacity," Kanore stated, as he began motioning to Haragita, who was still meditating in the corner of the room. With blood continuing to pour from the youthful adolescent's wounds and mouth, he retorted, "I...am...fine......let's......see......" Zaius was cut off by the academy student, "Zaius, another undefended attack could certainly kill you. You have lost quite a bit of blood and continue to do so as we speak. Please, just let Haragita heal you. Once he does, we will proceed." The young soul snickered slightly, which caused him to cough up more blood. "What's....the....mat....ter....are....you....sc...scared...?" the bloody youngster inquired. Enaza shook his head and sighed as he turned his blade towards the ground and angrily jammed his steel into the stone. "Jigoku no kanketsusen," Kanore uttered the words softly, so quietly that the youthful adolescent only heard part of it. Without warning, a blue ring materialized at Zaius' feet; just as he glanced down at the sphere under him, a torrent of water surged toward the ceiling, carrying the young soul with it. Once more, the beaten youngster was brought to the end of his chains. Still, the flowing liquid continued to push his body, bending his wrists against the metal shackles confining him. The young adolescent then felt both wrists snap simultaneously, causing him to scream out in agony. The stream of water now having subsided, caused Zaius to come careening towards the earth once again. The academy student looked on, wanting to rush in and catch the young soul. Though he could not risk Haragita or Umekuda thinking that he and the injured youngster were friendly with one another or plotting against them in any way. With that in mind, Enaza knew he had to let the youthful adolescent hit the ground; Zaius, barely still conscious, endeavored to brace his fall with his hands. While he did stop himself from falling face-down once more, the young soul shrieked in anguish. The accumulation of blood loss and pain he was experiencing from broken bones, powerful attacks, and lengthy falls had now caught up with the young soul; unable to keep himself cognizant any longer, the exhausted youngster fell out of consciousness. Kanore genuflected to the youthful adolescent. With Motonoru never too far away, the academy student had to be careful of his words and his actions involving Zaius. If either Umekuda or the former Vice-Captain was to become aware of Enaza's intentions to help the young soul, they would surely kill him...at least. Even so, Kanore could not help but acknowledge the resilient youngster's ability to take a beating. The academy student nodded his head and reached his hand down to the youthful adolescent's neck, placing his index and middle fingers on it. "He's alright...just passed out, is all," Enaza announced, just as Haragita sneakily approached from behind. Motonoru cocked his head to the side as he quickly examined Zaius. Turning his attention towards Kanore, the former Vice-Captain replied to the academy student's announcement, "You would say he is...alright? Another couple of minutes and he would have been beyond my ability to heal. Cutting it awfully close, hmm?" Enaza turned back towards the young soul and countered, "I told him to get healed after the second attack...he insisted." Haragita began to laugh as he placed his hand on Kanore's shoulder. "Lighten up, Enaza. Master Umekuda has been very eager to see what you can do; needless to say, he will be thrilled with what you did here today. So, relax," Motonoru proclaimed. Kanore nodded, as the former Vice-Captain kneeled at the unconscious youngster's side. Haragita placed both of his hands over the youthful adolescent's body; they rapidly began to pulse with verdant energy, which moments after gradually enveloped Zaius' entire body. Following a short time under Motonoru's healing technique, the young soul regained consciousness, awakening with a large gasp and sitting up immediately. "Time to wake up, sleepyhead," the former Vice-Captain declared with a disingenuous smile. The budding youngster frantically checked his body for the injuries he had before passing out, unable to find a single scratch. "Am I...dead?" the youthful adolescent wondered aloud. The academy student stood and offered a hand to Zaius as he replied, "No. Still, you certainly could have been." the young soul extended his hand to Enaza, who subsequently pulled him up to a standing position. "I should have been more careful..." Kanore proclaimed before he was delayed by the inexperienced youngster, "No, Enaza. I did egg you on a bit. If I am being honest, your power surprised me and I was trying to see what my limits were. If either of us should have been more careful, it was me." Haragita rose to his feet and acted as if he was about to regurgitate all over the floor. "Enaza, this filth is not your friend; do not treat him as such," Motonoru announced. Enaza retorted, "No, he is not my friend. However, he is, for all intents and purposes, my training partner. Whether he is hereby his own will or not, is he still not helping the prospective soldiers for your army become stronger? Furthermore, you have seen the punishment he is capable of withstanding. Even if he is expendable, he is still an asset...is he not?" Staring off into space while he digested what Kanore was saying, the former Vice-Captain slowly began to nod in agreement before his reply, "I cannot contest your words, young Enaza; what you say certainly has merit. It is indeed a shame that this one could not be convinced to see our side of things. I believe he is an asset, as you mentioned. Even so, you are the cornerstone of the army we are amassing. While I believe your actions here today have shown where your loyalty lies, if either myself or Master Umekuda have any reason to suspect anything to the contrary, you will be destroyed...along with your mother, Tomita; your father, Naegi; and your three sisters, Kanda, Sugita, and Haruno. I assume we have an understanding?" The academy student remained stoic and aloof, despite hearing such terrible threats from Haragita. "Yes, Motonoru-san, we understand one another," Enaza countered. "Very well. Now that we have that out of the way, feel free to proceed, Enaza," Motonoru stated, as he began making his way back to the corner of the room where he had been previously. With an affirming nod, Kanore swiftly reacted to the former Vice-Captain's statement, "As you wish, Haragita-san." The academy student leaped away from Zaius, creating a moderate gap between the young soul and himself. Enaza peered at the young soul as he took up an offensive stance once more, gripping the hilt of his weapon in preparation for an attack. "Are you ready for round two, Zaius?" Kanore inquired with a slight grin. Returning the academy student's grin with one of his own, the brash youngster answered with two simple words, "Bring it." TO BE CONTINUED... WC: 2,804
    2 points
  7. Chapter 1: The First Lesson The sound of the bell rang out for all to hear signalling that class would not begin and yet the chattering of students continued as they couldn’t contain their excitement and the last minute arrivals took their seats. This was going to be their first lesson and so the most social students already began forming their friendship, though if they would last was another matter entirely. Not even a minute after the bell rang their Instructor entered the room in the standard black robes that Shinigami were clad in and silence befell the room. The students themselves wore a similar outfit though their colours were mostly white and blue or red depending on the gender. The Instructor first put down all the documents that he carried with him on his desk that was next to the podium though he kept one of them for himself. He opened the document and began calling out the names of the students one by one. Naturally, he had to check who was present first as the Academy had a strict rules regarding attendance. The class was quite large so this process would take at least five minutes as after every answer the Instructor would leave his mark with his black pen next to the student’s name. About 6 names in the Instructor called ,’Sylvia Barlowe,’ and awaited a response. As usual there was silence followed by a response ‘Present,’ answered one of the female students. Sylvia was a student that neither came from a noble family or a poor one and in terms of appearance she was quite beautiful with her bright blue eyes and her hair that was tied in a ponytail in the colour of grey and blue. Despite her beauty, she seemed hard to approach and so before the Instructor entered she was in the minority of the students that was completely silent. The register continued until the last name was called out and with it complete the Instructor closed the document and moved from his table to the podium where the lecture would be taking place. Their current location was the Shino Academy where any Soul from Rukongai could enter granted that they passed the entrance exam which would require one to have the sufficient energy level called Reiryoku. The ultimate goal of this academy was to become a Shinigami, though most of the students have seen the being clad in black robes at one point in their lives, they hardly knew what it meant to be one. Their knowledge amounted to Souls that wear black robes with katanas at their hips with considerable strength but of their duties they knew nothing. How many would persevere and how many would remain? None of the students would be able to answer that question. This also applied to Sylvia, who was our hero that joined the Academy recently just like the other 39 of her peers. The lecture began and the students opened their notepads, ready to absorb the knowledge of their Shinigami Instructor. This was their first lesson so it served as an introduction but at the same it set the standard that was required from each of the students. The Instructor spoke,’I welcome all of you students to the Shino Academy. As you may already know your course will take a total of six years and upon completion you will become a Shinigami. We Shinigami are protectors of the balance and we have two main tasks; maintaining the balance of souls through the means of Soul Burial which sends stray spirits to Rukongai which lets them begin their afterlife and the slaying of Hollows, evil spirits who endanger innocent souls by devouring them.’ Right from the beginning, Sylvia took notes of what the Instructor said as it was better to note down all information and then determine later whether it was useless or not. However, since there were many exams ahead of them surely they would be tested on the basics of basics, even if the question was worth two marks. The Instructor continued,’Shinigami specialise in four styles of fighting: Zanjutsu, Kido, Hakuda and Hoho. You must obtain a passing grade in all four in order to become a full-fledged Shingami so keep this in mind. You will be taught these four styles by different instructors so please ensure you do not miss any lessons. Upon completion of your six year course each successful student will be assigned to one of the Gotei 13, the faction of Shinigami that resides in Seiretei and each squad has different responsibilities.’ Amid the classroom most students chose to write information down so apart from the sound of the Instructor’s voice was the sound of pen writing on paper. However, not all students were equal as not all choose to write. Even though they were one class, their skill ranges were all over the place as well as their social classes as it ranged from the lowest districts of Rukongai to nobility though most knew naught of the four Noble Houses. The Shinigami Instructor paused in order to give the student’s some time to write before continuing,’While I am your Tutor, you will have different instructors for each respective style. As a formality, today you will all receive an Asauchi, the base form of the Zanpakutou that the Shinigami all use. Even though they are all shaped liked katanas I assure you that they are living beings and form a part of your soul. The Zanjutsu Instructor will tell you more about this. Once again, if you have read the student handbook you will know that while you are expected to take care of your Asauchi you are not allowed to carry it around the Academy premises unless it is for classes and authorised by an instructor.’ The Instructor continued by explaining what each squad’s responsibilities were and that each student may apply for each of the squads. However, as the squads specialise in different fields, they must pass the relevant tests with the specified grades or depending on their talents the students may receive an invitation from a squad with special conditions or otherwise. The two-hour introduction continued and near the end of the lesson several assistants came in carrying as many Asauchi’s as they could which where then handed out to the students. Each row would approach one by one in an orderly queue in order to receive their weapon. According to their next lesson their next class would be Zanjutsu. Word Count: 1,079
    2 points
  8. Kirigari yawned obnoxiously as the man opposite, who had introduced himself as another student by the name of Asagu Hagiwara, explained the rules of this supposed duel that Kirigari was being challenged too. The wind was whipping through the courtyard, making the academy shirt and gillian robe of his opponents flap in the wind. Kirigari let the silence hang between the two of them as the wind whipped. He considered the duel for a few moments, he wasn't particularly keen on proving his strength to another student, upperclassman or not, and he knew his Zanpakuto were tired of being paraded around but so was Kirigari. The only reason Kirigari was here was because of the mention of something bad happening initially, but now this comment about returning what Kirigari desperately wanted intrigued him. What do you think? He mentally asked his Zanpakuto. Hmmm..... Their response began stoically, emotions hidden behind a mask of calm We are your tools, Kirigari, pieces of your soul infused within these swords. The choice is yours, we will follow you. Kirigari rolled his eyes, they hadn't actually helped him decide one way or the other at all. "You have roughly 10 seconds, Asagu, before I get bored and head beck to bed." Kirigari crossed his legs and sat down, not particularly worried at the moment. "You've offered me high stakes, yet shown me no reason to actually go after them." Kirigari still wasn't sold on this duel quite yet, but he would give Asagu a chance to force his hand. After all, you didn't typically summon strangers at midnight without sufficient motivation.... Kirigari just wondered what it would be. WC: 274
    2 points
  9. ...ASAGU grinned ecstatically as he watched Kirigari approach. "Just on time!", he noted. Through the round eye holes of his Gillian mask, Asagu watched the first-year size him up briefly before he addressed him. "Who are you and what do you want from me?" Kirigari asked. Admittedly, in his heart of hearts, hearing that question asked in that matter stung Asagu a little. After spending so much time intimately familiarizing himself with Kirigari's daily life --albeit covertly-- Asagu had held out a little hope that the first-year would have considered him an acquaintance. Or, at the very least, acknowledge him as his senior. Asagu elected to state as much verbally. "Oh, c'mon, Kiriyo-kun. Is that anyway to address an upperclassman?", he murmured with a hint of bitterness in his otherwise affable tone. However, Asagu had barely spared a moment for Kirigari to respond to that before he answered his question anyway. "Asagu Hagiwara, one-hundred and seventy-six years old. Height, five feet, eleven inches. Weight, eighty-seven kilograms. Blood type, B+. Academy student. For how long? No one can really say. My admission documents mysteriously went missing some years back." Asagu jabbered in a single breath. He would offer no further elaboration about the missing the admission documents. [Actually, Asagu Hagiwara had in fact been an academy student for eight years now. Also, he has potentially delayed his own graduation at least two times by missing exams.] "As for what I want from you-", the costumed academy student uncrossed his arms and pointed his right index finger directly at Kirigari. "Yomune Kirigari, I hereby challenge you to a duel!" Asagu proclaimed. Asagu lowered his arms to his sides and stood in a neutral but still what he at least imagined to by an imposing stance; giving Kirigari his right shoulder. He took a moment to let Kirigari respond and he also fished for the academy student's unspoken reactions, if there were any. "The rules are simple." Asagu lifted his right hand and raised his index finger. "One, you are free to use any means at your disposal, including that fancy Shikai of you... both of them, if you will. Fight me like you would fight a Hollow as a full-fledged Shinigami. Should be easy enough for you, given your recent experiences." He raised a second finger, "Two, You win this fight instantly if you manage to break this mask of mine. That rule is mostly for authenticity" Asagu smiled, pleased with his own commitment his key role, before he raised a third finger. "Three, the battleground will be limited to just this courtyard and will go on for no more than ten minutes. Lastly-" Asagu raised a fourth finger, "Win or lose, I return the thing that you desperately want back to you. However, if I win, you have to turn down Captain Jōnetsu's recruitment offer, well at least for now. Let's say you have to put it off until you've completed a full six years in the academy." Kirigari couldn't see it, but Asagu was beaming behind his mask. He felt extremely cool, completely within the moment. There was something about counting of the rules of the duel, it always gave him goosebumps no matter how many times he'd done it. Getting a little beside himself, Asagu cleared his throat and leveled his enthusiasm. "So, what do you say. Kiriyo-kun?" --------------------------- --------------------------- WC: 500 ------
    2 points
  10. Kirigari had paced throughout the day, mostly uninterested in the going ons of the Academy. He hadn't attended any classes but Zanjutsu and Hakuda recently. Even the 6th year Hoho class had been a let down, Kirigari's flashstep far improved compared to that of the other Academy Students. He was on his way to Zanjutsu now where he had become a regular amongst the 6th years, despite the difference in experience. After the group of students had seen his Shikai in person, most of them had stopped levying such personal hatred towards him and tried to befriend him. Kirigari suspected this had something to do with them trying to call on favors down the line, so he kept his distance for the most part. Unfortunately for Kirigari, the instructor once again had the students focusing on communicating with their Zanpakuto. Kirigari already knew that the dragons were avoiding him. He had learned to enter the valley by force, and had spent countless hours training with the dragons, learning their skills and techniques. However, once he had mastered their usage, the Dragons refused to teach him further... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kirigari stood at the edge of the lake, sweat dripping down his brow as he panted. "Once more, Kirigari." The boy grimaced, as he raised both of his Zanpakuto again, focusing his energy to form a large javelin of condense lightning and reiryoku. The dragons raised a target of clay and mud on the opposite shore, and Kirigari slashed forward, sending the attack away at blinding speed as it crashed into and erupted, destroying the target. Kirigari collapsed to his knees, huffing and puffing from the strain. It had been his 3rd day straight within his own mind, training the techniques that his Zanpakuto has shown him. He could perform them all on command now, and was getting used to their limitations, but it exhausted him to train so rigorously. That said, it was the only training worth his time at this point. The academy meant well, but it had a strict course students were expected to follow, a course that Kirigari had left in the dust. Now, this training would be what further improved him. The swords disappeared from his hands, fading and floating into steam as the dragons landed on the shore of the valley next to him. "You have once again surpassed our expectations, Kirigari." They spoke. Kirigari was still panting, and waved his hand in thanks while he struggled to regain his breath. Once Kirigari wasn't a mess of a spirit struggling to get oxygen in his lungs, he fell backwards onto the grass and looked at the dragons. "So, what next?" Kirigari asked simply. He knew the dragons wouldn't go for it - he had been training here too long in one go. They would send him back before allowing him to train any further. "Unfortunately, Kirigari, there is nothing else we can teach you here." The dragons spoke as Kirigari's face twisted in confusion. "What do you mean? This is where you've taught me everything. What's changed?" The Dragons had refused to answer him, not clarifying what they had meant, only saying that Kirigari must learn of and take the next step on his own. Kirigari wasn't sure how that worked, but he trusted the dragons not to lead him astray. "Fine then." Kirigari held his hands up in defeat "I'll take that next step somehow. I won't disappoint you." Kirigari made a mental note to ask Captain Jonetsu after the graduation ceremony, and see if he could offer any guidance. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kirigari hadn't realized how much time he had wasted reminiscing over his last interaction with the dragons. He read the note again and got dressed. This wasn't the first challenge he had received since news got out that he would be joining the Gotei 13 after only his first year in the Academy. Pulling on his Academy shirt, he got both of his Zanpakuto and stuck them into their rightful spots before heading to the academy front gates. He found them spread open just enough. Squeezing through, he made his way to the lit courtyard, where he found a lone individual wearing a Gillian's mask. Since his encounter with the Hollows, he had attended a few lessons in terms of their evolutions, and was aware of the differences between the classes of hollow now. "Who are you and what do you want from me?" The individual who was now opposite of him had his ankles shown, which was, in Kirigari's opinion, entirely unnecessary. Menos were hulking monsters towering over humans, not 5'something leaving taunts for Academy students. Kirigari had a wrist wresting across the hilt of one of his Zanpakuto, his other hand tucked into his pocket, generally looking bored. WC: 792
    2 points
  11. Many Hours have passed since the destruction of the settlement, Not even a small lizard hollow could be seen. From miles on end there was no-one other than the two who survived, Yuki and Misa. All that could be heard was sorrowful cries of a saddened hollow mourned those she had lost and failed to protect. It’s echo flowed through the Chasm like a wave which never seemed to stop in its path ever growing louder. Yuki hugged Misa tightly, comforting Misa during this moment not letting go helping her cope with the new reality that they had almost lost everything but it was also reassuring to them both that they still had each other. They both still had something to care for, someone to protect. Eventually the crying of Misa ceased, the deafening silence which followed was eerie to behold and send shivers down Yuki’s spine. Misa, exhausted from both fighting for days without rest but also crying her eyes out, passes out in Yuki’s arms knowing she was finally able to rest knowing she would be safe. Yuki slowly and carefully stands up carrying Misa through the now rubble of a settlement, dead bodies of hollows littered the ground both from the attacking and defending sides. Yuki was grateful that, In this moment Misa didn’t have to see this, It would have been too much for her to bear. Upon reaching the surface of the sandy dunes of Hueco Mundo once more she laid Misa on the ground and looked around to get her bearings. So much had changed in the many years she was trapped within her own mind. The sand dunes had shifted, the Trees had been moved or broken, the white towers seemed to be nowhere in sight. This all interested Yuki. How long had she been trapped for all these changes to have taken place and how long had she left Misa alone waiting for her to return? All these thoughts roamed her mind before slapping herself and picking Misa up again and started to travel once again in hopes to find a new place to call home. Hopefully find Gozira along the way. Days had gone by since she had started walking, Misa was still out cold but she was in no danger as she was slowly healing and recovering. Healing was never her strongest suit so it made sense for her to to be taking so long to heal she did have an amazing defense though which is how she could fight for so long in the battles that had ensued the days prior. While walking Yuki noticed something about herself, She no longer felt hungry. No that wouldn’t be right, no it was more she didn’t feel the urge to eat all the time anymore. Was this the form or evolution Tanji told her about? Has she become a Vasto lorde? If so, what would she do next? She had achieved what she set out to do. Where will her path take her next? These thoughts flooded her mind as she walked. Eventually she came across a small shack of some kind which looked like it had been abandoned for some time and walked in with Misa and placed her on a makeshift bed that was there. “Rest Well Misa, You deserve it. I won’t willingly leave you again so make sure you heal up so I can see you smile once again.” Misa Slowly opened her eyes and looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings she started hyperventilating as she started to enter a panic attack as all the memories of the fighting started to flood her mind all the pain and death that had surrounded her and the crumbling of Yuki she screamed frightened feeling alone and fearful of the hollow that almost killed her. Yuki quickly ran over and embraced her in a tight hug. Misa would try to escape Yuki’s grip but to no avail trying to run away not realizing it was Yuki holding her. “It’s okay Misa, You’re okay. I’m here for you so please breathe.” Yuki would say softly in a calming tone in her ear still holding her tight. Misa stopped trying to escape and a fountain of tears started rolling down her mask struggling to hug back. She slowly and weakly managed to hug Yuki back, shaking as her body was still reacting to the panic attack and shock of the ordeal. “Y-Yuki?.. Is it really you?” Misa would softly ask with hope in her voice. Yuki would simply nod and hug her tighter and also start crying a waterfall of tears. “Yeah, It’s me Misa. I’m so sorry I wasn’t around when you needed me, or to protect what you love. But I’m here now, I’m here by your side. So please if you need me or if you are ever scared just call out my name, grab me by my arm. Whatever you need I’ll be here.” Misa let’s out a deafening cry in Yuki’s arms letting all her sadness out, all her grief and torment. Yuki just held her silently stroking her head helping her let it all out and making her feel comfortable, safe and wanted. Time moving forward a few weeks, Yuki set off once again with Misa next to her for another journey. Their objective is to look for Gozira. Before setting off however, Yuki looked around the abandoned for anything to cover herself with and found a large fabric sheet that looked pretty banged up and threw it over herself making a makeshift cloak to hide her humanoid features so she wouldn’t scare other friendly hollows. After this they had started to walk the same path Yuki did in years prior but not fully knowing where it leads any longer since the times had made everything new and changed. North, south, east and west none of those mattered anymore since Gozira could have gone anywhere in the time she was trapped in her mind. The only option Misa and Yuki had was to follow their gut instincts and attempt to find Gozira. While traveling Yuki realized that her path was to be with the ones she cared about not to get stronger but just to be with the ones she loved and if they made her stronger while doing so all the better. -Part 2 End- Wc: 1057 Total WC: 3317
    2 points
  12. This Story takes place within and after, Date 2XXX, ??, ?? (2) - Date 2XXX ??, ?? (7) in the thread. Yuki's Travels: Journal Edition. -Within Yuki’s mind- Darkness, That’s all Yuki could see. She couldn’t understand, was she dead or was she still alive? This was unlike any dream she had while asleep. If she was asleep, she had no form in this ‘world’ nor did this place have any form of shape in of itself. Just an empty void, nothing to form emotions from, nothing to touch and feel, nothing to hear and react too. Nothing. The stay in this emptiness felt like an eternity alone with her own thoughts driving her more and more to the brink of insanity. Was this what regression is like? She finally regressed and failed to hold onto her form and was about to become a mindless beast once again? One with no sense of self or emotions? One without a purpose in their life?. Yuki couldn’t accept that she tried to yell out but nothing, not even a sound came from what she assumed was her mouth. She tried reaching out but there was nothing to reach out with, she tried to run but there was nothing to carry her forward with. She was alone with herself with no way out. Time didn’t stop moving forward every second getting longer then the last, nothing happening for hours, days, months and eventually years. She finally conceded this was no dream she had finally regressed or so she thought. But if she regressed, where are all the other souls that she had to fight and consume the first time and all the times afterwards? Wouldn’t they be back like last time? Nothing made sense. Red, A red like blood light started to appear underneath her slowly rising swallowing the darkness, What was this? Yuki started to get away from it as it grew to no avail as she had no way to escape with no form to take her anyway slowly and slowly she would slowly be consumed by this light, as she did she could heard dreadful screams of those she loved, of those she hated of those she saved and of those she killed. But this wasn’t her no this was all happening while she was trapped in this world listening to the horrible screams of the outside world. It was deafening, then she saw what she didn’t ever want to see herself, consumed by her instincts, her madness, her wrath. She tried looking away but couldn't. She had to watch and face reality. This was her, this was what laid in her soul. This was her at the deepest root of her soul. This was her natural born Instinct. “Accept it.” An unknown voice rings out from within the red abyss beyond the images. “Accept me, Accept who you are. Stop trying to hide behind a mask.” “Shut up! Make it stop please!” Finally after years of torture, Yuki spoke and yelled out as loud as she possible could. The images stopped and all returned to black darkness. There was nothing again, Yuki cried for hours, days, months before the same light appeared but this time in the form of an unknown figure it stopped in front of Yuki with a Smile on its face. It had no distinguishing features, a blank slate of pure dark red light. “Accept who you are, Who I am. Together we can become whole, Together we can be ourselves. Two halves rejoined.” The light spoke while it continued to smile and chuckled away waiting for a response from the emotional Yuki. “I’m not this. I’m not this bundle of anger, this hatred I hate hurting others if I don’t have to, I don’t like it when those I care about are hurt, I want to protect them but that doesn’t mean I’m all this anger..” Yuki spoke in a soft tone trying to still wrap her mind around all that she saw, and what the light figure spoke to her about being two halves of one soul. The light faded once again leaving Yuki all alone once again with her thoughts, Was that entity right? Was she truly like that deep down? Is she just some mindless monster who loves killing and eating others out of pure rage and enjoyment? Yuki couldn’t accept it no matter what she had never been aware where she had ever shown any of these traits of hers. Surely the light entity was just trying to play a trick on her… right? Time passed again, this time so many years of nothing that she nearly broke from hearing only her thoughts she instinctively screamed out in anger and rage towards the light entity that was no longer in sight. “LET ME OUT, I KILL YOU WHE-” Yuki stopped too stunned to continue. Did she really just prove the light right? Did she just show her anger that she was always too scared to show to accept she had? The light entity returned slowly rising this time not smiling but had a saddened expression on their face as if it was feeling what Yuki herself was feeling. Slowly it raised one of its hands towards Yuki waiting for Yuki to accept it, to accept that part of herself. Finally after so long her body started giving form it wasn’t like her old body but one that was humanoid in nature one that was vastly smaller then her old one one that felt like it was truly her own however, Like the Red light entity this one was also indistinguishable from the other only difference was unlike the Red she was a shining white like glistening snow. As it formed she also raised one of her hands to meet and match up with that of the light entity and softly spoke while a saddened smile on her face as she finally accepted reality. Slowly both of them fused to become one and spoke in one voice. “You are me, I am you. I am your heart while you are my instinct, We are one in the same.” The endless Void which she had been in for years had lit up there. She was in a meadow filled with all kinds of red and black flowers which were melting the slowly falling white snow from the blue sky. “This is the true form of my heart.” -Meanwhile In Misa’s Settlement- Screams were heard from miles away as hollows were slaughtered one by one, Chewing sounds from masks being broken and eaten and explosions from ceros hitting the many walls around the chasm causing many of the homes and bridges to fall, sending many hollows to their deaths. Within the Leaders cave home where Misa lived, there were sounds of fighting that echoed throughout the halls of the home, No the Chasm heard it there leader was fighting tooth and nail to protect Yuki with all their might. Her determination not to lose was felt throughout the whole settlement. The fighting lasted hours at first but then more and more hollows arrived and it became days even weeks. Finally the sounds stopped with only three hollows remaining Misa, Yuki and the leader of the attack who was not even harmed. The Leader chuckled as he slowly turned his gaze away from Misa to Yuki and started to charge up a Cero with immense power. Without thinking, Misa ran and jumped in front of Yuki to protect her. The Cero shot off and Misa was able to stop it, holding it back with all her might however, to deflect it safely away from Yuki she had to sacrifice one of her arms. Gasping in pain and exhaustion near the brink of collapse Misa looked up as she saw the enemy slowly walk towards her as he got there he was holding up his palm aiming it at her head charging another Cero in preparation to kill her in one smooth shot. “What do you see in that Broken hollow, You could have been a challenge given you didn’t protect them. What would you sacrifice for someone like that?” The enemy hollow asked casually and curiously interested in her answer. “She was the one who rescued us, rescued me. She brought us hope when there was none and helped us find this place we now call home which you destroyed. But more importantly she was the one I fell in love with. Who knew a Hollow like me could feel something like that huh?” Misa laughed, finding one last jest in her sentence while starting right into his eyes still filled with her immense determination. The enemy hollow just shook his head and grew a displeased smile thinking she was taking him for a fool. A broken husk of a hollow able to not only save but also guide people? Impossible he thought as he let out a low grumble under his breath and finished up charging the cero bout to fire it. “Sorry I couldn’t protect you Yuki… I guess I’m still as weak as ever.” Misa chuckles as she slowly closes her eyes preparing for her soul to return to the dust, for her to return to nothingness. Suddenly an Ice cold chill surrounded the inside of the room and the cracking ice that was surrounding and holding Yuki together turned a blood red color as if flood was flowing through it. Red snow petals started to flow from the ceiling drawing the enemy's hollow’s attention. As one of the snow petals falls it lands on the cero pointing at Misa freezing it over. Misa opens her eyes shocked to see the enemy trembling in fear confused as what was happening she looks over the Yuki who was now a red ice statue which was crumbling. Starting to tear up, Misa tries to drag herself over to Yuki. “Please no, Don’t Go, don't leave me again… I couldn’t bear it.” Tears falling down her mask freezing as she crawled ever closer to Yuki. The enemy is still shaking in fear knowing what’s about to happen as he feels an unbelievable amount of bloodlust flowing through the air but also immense spiritual pressure purely aimed at him. As Misa reaches Yuki, Yuki crumbles into a pure red dust of ice. Misa's eyes widened and Yuki was gone. There was nothing left but ice left, she tried to pick up the ice but it just fell through her claws. Feeling absolute dread and sadness she starts bawling her eyes out trying to gather all the ice in one last ditch attempt to save Yuki. “Yuki…” After a moment there was just a deafening silence, not even the sound of sand falling from above the chasm could be heard. There was nothing. Suddenly the enemy hollow starts charging up another cero but this time it was more dense and was heavier then the last. Misa looked back with defeated and broken eyes full of tears. Time seemed to stay still for a while before the ice which Misa was trying to collect started to form into a vortex and slowly clump together tighter and tighter before exploding and revealing a new hollow one that was humanoid in figure that had small wings behind her lower to mid back, Green hair and a mask that had black and red petals down it and was completely naked. The Enemy fired off his cero in a desperate attempt to kill the new hollow knowing what she had become, the new hollow simply raised her hand and dissipated the cero using her own of the same quality. Fearful of his life the hollow jumps back and tries to escape hoping that she would spare him. While this was all going on Misa on the ground was speechless, who was this person she saw in front of her? And how were they so strong and what happened to Yuki? As the Hollow was in the air about to fly away the new hollow formed a single icicle shard in her hand no larger than own hand and simply threw it at the hollow without any effort. The Enemy hollow, unable to react in time, gets impaled by the shard which suddenly grew inside to be that of a large lance in size impaling him to the wall behind him. Slowly the new hollow held out her hand and placed it over the neck of the hollow and slowly froze him till there was no sign of life left within him before shattering him into a snowy dust. Misa couldn’t believe her eyes. The hollow that was wiping out the majority of the settlement without a single scratch was taken down so easily by this new hollow that showed itself. But suddenly the situation about Yuki flowed back into her mind and she finally closed her eyes and let it all out screaming her sadness out with tears flowing down her mask. Slowly the new hollow walked over and kneeled and hugged her as she cried. “It’s okay Misa, I’m home, I’m back” The new hollow whispered into Misa’s ears, Misa stops screaming and slightly pulls back to look the new hollow in the face and with some hope in her eyes and tears rolling down her faces to make sense of what they just said to her. “Yuki.. Is that really Yuki? Please, Please don’t lie to me if you’re not. I couldn’t take it…” Yuki Slowly nods and holds Misa close as she continues crying but this time not out of despair but joy, Joy that she still had Yuki despite losing everything else. -Part 1 End- Wc: [2,260/1,500] Vasto lorde Evolution Completed.
    2 points
  13. Kirigari couldn't process what was happened, but steam erupted from his Zanpakuto as they shrank down to their normal sizes once again, his Shikai coming undone as he fell forward, onto his knees and then his face, unconscious. The two newcomers examined him quietly, unspoken questions left in the air as they gathered up the remaining students and made their way back to the Academy. It took several hours for Kirigami to come to consciousness, and when he did, he was surprised to find himself in a small office, resting on a couch, instead of the academy infirmary. "Ahh, well good morning young Kirigami" Came the voice of the Captain who had arrived towards the end of the battle. "You sir, are one scary individual." Kirigari sat up, his body protesting with intense soreness throughout his muscles. Rubbing the back of his head, he was still unsure of the situation, but he knew a Captain of the Gotei 13 was deserving of respect. "Thank you for your assistance, sir! You saved my life!" The Captain, and Dean of the Academy, both chuckled at that. "Well, if Captain Jōnetsu here is telling the truth, apparently you were able to hold off both of those hollows, and were on the precipice of victory when he and his lieutenant arrived." Kirigari's cheeks flushed. He had let two people die because he had been following the rules of not engaging unless necessary. He didn't feel deserving of this praise he was receiving. The Dean spoke up again "Because of the situation, we find ourselves in a unique position. First though, is it true that even as a first year, you have already bonded with your Zanpakuto to the point of learning Shikai?" Kirigari nodded mutely, not surprised that the Dean knew about it, it would have been in the Captain's best interest to report it as such, however, the next part truly caught Kirigami completely off guard. "Well, because of that, Captain Jōnetsu here is making quite the strange request. I told him we would wait to hear from you." Kirigami turned towards the Captain, who held a small, kind smile on his face. "How would you like to join the Gotei 13, Kirigari Yomune?" The Captain of the Ninth Division stood, his hair falling down his shoulders and back as he offered Kirigari his hand. "And more specifically, my division?" Kirigari was dumbstruck. He had never heard of a first year Academy Student being recruited into the Gotei 13 so early. His eyes shot back and forth between the Captain and the Dean, almost as if asking permission. The Dean chuckled and raised his hands in the air. "The Academy exists to prepare willing and able souls to become Shinigami. Monchue and I have been going over your accomplishments since enrolling, and he is impressed enough to believe you ready. The choice is yours Kirigami." Kirigami nodded, and thought about everything, the mission, his resolve to become a Shinigami, and the two paths ahead of him. What he lacked wasn't what the Academy could give. He rose to his feet, and once again bowed low to the Captain. "It would be an honor to join your division, Captain." The two looked at each other and grasped hands firmly. Kirigari hoped he wouldn't come to regret this decision. "Very well, Monchue, old friend, I must ask you leave now. You have gotten your answer, and Kirigari must still have a graduation ceremony, along with rest from this trying experience tonight." The dean spoke, a sense of finality in his voice that even the Captain knew there was no point in arguing. Dismissing himself, he thanked both before leaving. The Dean walked Kirigari back to his doors, making small talk along the way. When they arrived, he paused a moment. "For what it's worth, Kirigari, the student you did manage to bring back alive will make a full recovery. The young girl classmate of yours too." Kirigari's eyes shot open, of course the Dean knew! "Sir! You can't expel her please!" The dean frowned, his lips tight. "Unfortunately, Kirigari, that ship has sailed. She was expelled from the moment she snuck on that trip. That said..." The dean looked around quietly. "Captains have final say in who can join their divisons, full stop. Dont make an argument on her behalf to me, make it to the one who can make it right." WC: 737
    2 points
  14. The hollows went rolling head over heels backwards, blasted away from Kirigari by the fierce eruption of spiritual pressure. So this is Shikai... He thought to himself. He could feel the difference in the air, it was palpable. He looked at his Zanpakuto for the first time in this state, and was surprised to find them quite different indeed. He hadn't know what to expect, but the Scimitar shaped blade surprised him. The dragon-clawed hilt was fitting, and Kirigari couldn't help but smile as he thought about the dragons he had just met. Your body isnt yet strong enough to withstand any of our attacks, to win this, you must use what we have given you here, Kirigari. We are here with you. Kirigari nodded, it was comforting, having his Zanpakuto with him in such a more literal sense than ever before. He wasn't alone facing in down these beasts. That said, it was clear they weren't giving up. Kirigari steeled himself for what he must do. This wasn't an academy training drill, or spar with a classmate. This was kill or be killed, life or death. If he made a mistake, if he faltered... It wouldn't just cost him his own life. He looked back at the two he was protecting, and his resolve was solidified. The dust settled between Kirigari and his enemies as they saw something had changed, but like mindless beasts, they charged forward regardless. The clawed Hollow was lifted into his ally's hand, and thrown at Kirigari quite fast. The student stood his ground - Rimiri was behind him, he couldn't dodge this attack. He held up one of his Zanpakuto, Watatsumi specifically. Despite the blades being near identical, Kirigari could simply tell, as if the blade truly was apart of him, which in a way it was. He braced it with the other and caught the Hollow dead on, stopping all of his forward momentum in the clash. "YYyYyyyyYYYOOOOoooOOOuuuuuuUUUUUuuu!!!!!!!!!" The Hollow roared into Kirigari's face "MMMmmmUuuuUUUuuuSSSssssssSSSTTTTTTtttT EEEeeeeEEeAAaattTT SssOOuuLL!" It was then that Kirigari understood why the Shinigami existed. These were misguided souls, torn to shreds by their own darkness with no control. "You poor thing..." Kirigari pressed back against the hollow, pressing both of his blades in opposite directions, blasting his opponents defenses wide open. "Find peace in death." One single downward slash left the clawed hollow split in two, slowly fading into ash as it's spirit was cleansed and sent to the Soul Society. Kirigari swiped both of his blades through the air as he faced the lone remaining hollow. "My, My, My, an Academy first year managed to achieve Shikai?" came the layered voice of Monchue Jōnetsu. "That is quite impressive. And scary." Kirigari looked around to see where this new voice was coming from. He saw a new pair enter the clearing, an older man, appearing in his late 60's with a full gray beard and long gray ponytail, he appeared wise beyond his many years. Kirigari took note of the Captain's cloak draped over his shoulder, the kanji on the back of it symbolizing the man to be the captain of the Ninth Division. The lone remaining hollow let out an ear piercing roar as it charged the group that was now 3. "Renchi, won't you please deal with that. I don't won't to sully my wonderful blade on such ilk." The young woman who donned a lieutenants badge on her bicep rolled her eyes at her Captain's eccentricities, but carried out her orders faithfully. Kirigari didn't even see the fight take place, Renchi seemed to have flash stepped away for a half second, maybe less, before she was back, re-sheathing her Zanpakuto as the hollow fell apart. "Done." WC: 619
    2 points
  15. Kirigari sat, reading the notes for the Bakudo spell he was meant to be practicing. The students had been paired off with specialized Kido training dummies developed by the academy, ones that would flash blue and emit a beep when a spell landed succesfully, but Kirigari was one of only a small handful of students who Hadn't succeed in using Sai. It frustrated him to no degree, and the instructors didn't have much in terms of advice. When Kirigari had asked for direction, he had been told that any jurisdiction of Kido; be it Bakudo, Haod, or Kaido started with the mind. So, Kirigari did exactly that. Standing in front of one of the Kido practice dummies, Kirigari tried to clear his mind, his thoughts slowly trailing out as his breathing steadied. Opening his eyes, he looked at the dummy in front of him, and pointed two fingers towards it "Bakudo #1: Sai!" Sighing, Kirigari kicked the dummy away in frustration. Still, he couldn't get anything to happen. He wasn't sure why, but he just simply couldn't get the spells to do what he wanted. He could feel it within him, the ability to master this all. He could feel his spiritual pressure, and he decided to try focusing on those things. He retrieved his dummy once again, and sat it back upright, facing it so that he could try to cast this stupid spell one final time... Kirigari stood several paces from the dummy, he raised his arms high above his head and slowly lowered them in front of himself, releasing a breath simultaneously. He repeated the breathing technique twice more, bringing his heart to a steady thump in his chest. He kept his eyes closed, not daring to move yet. He forced his mind empty, arriving at a state of true meditation, of nothingness. This was a start. In his minds eye, he could see the spell just out of reach, if only he could get to it! He dismissed the thought. Kido wasn't something to chase, no. It resided within oneself. Kirigari snapped his eyes open, and heard his own voice call out the command of the spell as he watched two tendrils of golden reiryoku blast forward from his finger and wrap up the dummy, as it let off a dull beep and glowed. The instruct came voer and congratulated Kirigari, dismissing him for the day. WC: 400 Learn Bakudo #1 Sai: 350/350 END
    2 points
  16. The young soul sat upon the unforgiving concrete floor of this dank dungeon he now found himself in. The walls were comprised of brick and mortar, reinforced with rebar. A single lantern burned overhead, the flame within flickering periodically. The air was heavy with the smell of dust and blood. Upon inspection of the foundation, one could see several pools of dried plasma all around the expanse; much of this vital fluid came from Zaius himself. The youthful adolescent had spent years in this hell; if he was being honest with himself, the inexperienced teen's spirit had been partially broken during his years in captivity. Moreover, while the budding soul still clung to a minuscule aspiration of possible liberation from this nightmare, he had largely given up on the notion. The solitude alone would be enough to shatter the spirit of just about anyone. However, Zaius preferred seclusion. The green youngster made his best attempt to prevent his mind from re-living the horrors he endured in this prison. Nevertheless, dead silence and extreme isolation made it nearly impossible for one to distract themselves from their thoughts. With that in mind, the young adolescent could not help but remember the atrocities he experienced. There was one way into this basement and there was only one way out. A single stairwell in the northeast corner of the room led to a bamboo door; if the inexperienced teenager was to be presented with an opportunity to make a break for it, this would be his pathway to freedom. As Zaius was in the process of assessing his situation and a potential escape from it, the mysterious man who brought the youthful soul to this place entered the room. Withal, the lanky stranger was accompanied by two other individuals; this was the first time the strange man did not arrive in the cellar alone. The small group proceeded in the budding teenager's direction until the trio was standing over him. The enigmatic figure addressed the imprisoned youngster, "Mr. Koji, I am pleased to see that you are awake. I apologize for the manner in which you were brought here; I sincerely doubt you would have come along willingly, so I simply did what needed to be done..." Cutting the strange man off mid-sentence, Zaius discontinued as he deliberately rose to his feet, "Who the hell are you and what the fuck am I doing here?" An evil smirk enveloped the man's mouth as he chuckled slightly, just before answering, "Well now, that's quite the filthy mouth you have, is it not? Come to think of it, you were unconscious when I introduced myself before." Placing a hand upon his chest and bowing marginally, the stranger continued, "My name is Umekuda Ashiharu." Ashiharu then moved his hand onto the shoulder of the gentleman to his left. "This is my assistant, Haragita Motonoru; he is here to ensure that you do not die on me," Perplexed by his captor's statement, the young soul wanted to know what he meant. However, the youthful adolescent would remain silent and listen for the time being. The stranger would then turn his attention to the remaining member of the triumvirate and proceeded, "The gentleman to my right is Enaza Kanore; this young man is in training at the Shinō Academy to become a Shinigami. Enaza has begun learning the process of communicating with his Zanpakuto and was hoping to engage in some additional training using his Zanpakuto abilities. For a nominal fee, I provide this service." Much of the information being presented to the inexperienced youngster only served to further confuse him. Shinō Academy? Shinigami? Zanpakuto? What was the meaning of all this? Moreover, how am I supposed to aid in someone else's training while I'm bound by these chains? For the time being, Zaius would remain in the dark as it pertained to obtaining answers to his queries. On the other hand, using his deductive reasoning, the youthful soul finally understood the situation he had been thrown into; it would appear that the budding youngster was nothing more than a training dummy for those willing to pay Ashiharu's price. Furthermore, these chains made it impossible for the young adolescent to defend himself. The gravity of this hellish plight was not lost on Zaius, though he was in no position to do anything about it presently. While awaiting his imprisoner's next move, the inexperienced soul continued to ponder the knowledge he had been granted, "So, there is an academy where these Shinigami are trained? Trained to do what? Is being a Shinigami a career? Is that why they are training? They all appear to be wielding blades; what kind of job requires sword to complete?" In mid-thought, the curious youngster was disrupted, "I have had my eye on you for quite some time now, Zaius Koji. You have immense potential; the street fights I have seen you engage in have told me as much. With that in mind, I would like to present you with a unique opportunity." The tall man hesitated, presumably giving Zaius a chance to acknowledge him. "I am listening," the youthful adolescent pronounced. At this point, Ashiharu's tone changed and a very stoic look washed over his face as he spoke, "Before I utter another word, Zaius Koji, I ask you to bear one thing in mind...I will only make you this offer once." Following a momentary pause, the rangy being went on, "As I said, your potential intrigues me. At your age, the battle consciousness you possess rivals that of a seated officer amongst the Gotei Thirteen; while you appear unaware of the Shinigami and their ranks, I assure you that is impressive. Additionally, you are capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of punishment; I have witnessed opponents of yours exhaust themselves to the point of defeat, simply because they could not harm you enough. Given enough time, Haragita here feels your skills could rival his own; you should feel honored by his affirmation of your capabilities, for he does not hand out compliments lightly." Haragita turned his gaze towards Ashiharua and cleared his throat, which caught the boss' attention. "You are correct, Haragita. On to business," Umekuda stated. The sinister being knelt before the young soul, now eye to eye with him, and went on, "I want you to join our organization here. We have grand aspirations, young Zaius and we want you to be a part of them. You see, Haragita and I were Shinigami ourselves at one time. I am a former Captain of the Fifth Division, while Haragita here is a former Vice-Captain of the Fourth Division; his healing skills are truly something to behold. At any rate, when the Captain Commander at that time learned of our plans to overthrow him and take over the Gotei Thirteen, he branded us as traitors and sentenced us both to death. Luckily, we were warned of the Captain Commander's plans before he was able to carry them out. Haragita and I were able to escape. All the two of us wished was to see the Gotei Thirteen ascend to heights it had never previously risen to; with your assistance, I believe that goal is still attainable. I will reiterate, this is a business proposition; as such, for a business transaction to take place, one side gives in order to receive from the other. I am giving you the opportunity to train as a Shinigami at the Shin'ō Academy; you will go through the motions and conduct yourself as an academy student. However, that is simply your cover. Your true agenda will consist of two tasks. First: You are to seek out talented individuals such as yourself; those who will be an asset to us in our eventual war against the Shinigami. Second: Closely related to your first task, you are to search out powerful individuals...yet not too powerful; those who we can use for training our true members. The reason for this is simple. With Motonoru-san's ability to heal humans and non-corrupted souls, we are able to batter them into a near-death state, restore them to health, then simply repeat the process. Do you not see the brilliance in our logic, young Zaius? We will have at our disposal, a constant regenerating supply of training partners. By the same token, the act of being wounded enough to be at death's door and being revived while in that condition will also increase the reiatsu of our 'training dummies', let's call them...making those in that position better opponents. This still works to our advantage; for if at any time, we feel that any of the training dummies are becoming a threat, we simply dispose of and replace them. All the while, our true membership will proceed with their guise as part of the Gotei Thirteen and will pursue the highest rank they are able to obtain; the higher ranking our members are, the easier it will be to carry out our plans when the time comes to do so. This is not an anime, Zaius Koji. This is not the point in the story where the villain reveals his dastardly plans, only to get apprehended or end up slain before those plans can come to fruition. We will take over the Gotei Thirteen...then, the Soul Society. In time, our rule will spread to the World of the Living...even Hueco Mundo. No one will be able to stop us." Ashiharu pushed himself up to his feet and looked down upon his prisoner once more. Maintaining his humorless expression, the malevolent being continued his pitch, "Now, Zaius Koji, you have a decision to make; while I would certainly prefer that you choose to join our ranks, do not believe that you are in any way, an integral part of our scheme. I simply feel that having to dispose of you at some point would be a tremendous waste of talent. You have an incredible opportunity before you, young Zaius; I suggest that you seize it...before it's too late." After having spent the last several minutes intently listening to Umekuda endeavor to acquire his allegiance, Zaius was prepared to respond in kind. The young soul had indeed been given a great deal to consider. The youthful adolescent still had significant questions that needed answering. Though, considering the information he had been given, those questions could wait. Additionally, the green youngster was no fool; he knew the response to the one question he wished to inquire about. Regardless, that would not prevent him from catechizing his captor. Zaius slowly picked himself up off of the ground and stretched his extremities. "Umekuda Ashiharu...you have certainly given me a great deal to contemplate," the inexperienced soul proclaimed. The brash youngster briefly paused and began to scratch his head before he proceeded, "Alright. Now before I give you my answer, I just want to ensure that you and I are understanding one another. I will be granted admission to the Shin'ō Academy and trained as a Shinigami in order to do three things: you want me to assist you by recruiting strong warriors for your army that you will eventually use to take over the world, then I must pursue innocent beings for your warriors to essentially use as punching bags in order to gain power. Furthermore, you want anyone who either opposes you or presents a threat to your rule killed. If I do these things for you..." the young adolescent was halted mid-sentence as Umekuda had grown impatient hearing everything he had previously stated reiterated, "...then you will not spend the rest of your miserable existence in this place." At this point, Zaius appeared to be seriously considering Ashiharu's offer as he stood silent for several moments. The former Shinigami was now growing more enraged with every moment the young soul spent in thought. "YOUR ANSWER, ZAIUS KOJI! I DO NOT HAVE ALL DAY!" The towering being indignantly bellowed. The precocious youngster sighed as he peered up at his incarcerator. "Alright. I have made my decision," the youthful adolescent declared. Motioning for Umekuda to move in a few steps, Zaius continued, "Come a little closer and I will give you my response." Ashiharu slowly moved in nearer to the young soul until their faces were a mere foot apart. The budding youngster bowed his head slightly and only momentarily. It was then that the youthful adolescent swiftly lifted his chin and spat directly in his eye. Motonoru, now fuming as a result of Zaius' blatant disrespect, clutched his Zanpakuto with every intention of using it on the young soul. However, the former Vice-Captain was held back by his master. "Calm down, Haragita. It is quite alright," the former Captain stated. The brazen youngster would go on, "I will admit...I have done some pretty awful things in the interest of my survival. I have hurt others, I have lied and I have stolen. Having said that, the things I have taken are material objects...items that can be replaced; If you take a life, there is no replacing that which has been abducted. If you think for one second..." With exceptional alacrity, the lanky man unsheathed his Zanpakuto and brought his blade down a diagonal path from the youthful adolescent's right shoulder to his left hip. The motion was so unbelievably rapid, Zaius felt the pain of the slash before he even witnessed Umekuda reaching for his weapon. The uninitiated soul collapsed to his knees, wrapping both arms around himself as he writhed in pain. Ashiharu knelt before the brave youngster, who was now bleeding profusely. "That is truly a shame. I had high hopes for you, Zaius Koji. The existence of power and riches was in your future, had you simply learned your place. Instead, you are going to die here...slowly...and extremely painfully." Rising to his feet, the former Shinigami Captain wiped the blood from his blade and placed it back into its scabbard. "Heal him, Motonoru-san," the rangy man commanded. Umekuda began casually strolling towards the basement door, before abruptly coming to a halt and turning his attention towards the academy student next to his assistant. "Enaza Kanore. Once this street urchin has been mended, feel free to begin your training whenever you are prepared to do so," Ashiharu announced. "Yes sir. Thank you, sir," the student replied, bowing to the former Captain as he left the room. Haragita would then place the palms of his hands directly in front of the bleeding youngster's laceration. Motonoru's hands began to glimmer with a greenish hue, as did the youthful adolescent's wound. The gash on Zaius' chest proceeded to slowly seal itself and within seconds, the injury had completely vanished. The young soul was shocked; a few moments ago, he was bleeding to death and now it was as if the youngster had never been opened up. "On your feet, Zaius Koji," the former Vice-Captain mandated. The youthful adolescent stood as ordered. Haragita would then launch an uppercut directly at Zaius' abdomen; upon connection, the young soul tumbled back to his knees, gasping for air. "That was for offending Master Umekuda. You are incredibly lucky that he did not terminate your existence. Having said that, if you attempt anything like that again...I will kill you myself," Motonoru pronounced. Shaking with rage, the exasperated youngster was in no position to change his fate; thus, compliance would be the order of the day until the time came when he was able to do so. The Shin'ō Academy student who had been standing in the corner of the room quietly was now being instructed by the former Vice Captain of Squad Four, "Enaza...presently, this urchin possesses a higher level of Reiatsu than yourself. Therefore, until your spiritual pressure is more comparable, we will refrain from allowing you to spar with him. Apart from one on one combat, feel free to use this trash as you see fit. In terms of injuries, there is very little I am unable to heal completely. Still...I am unable to repair fully severed limbs or major trauma to the head and neck area; any other damage you inflict upon him can be regenerated. Understood?" Kanore nodded emphatically. "Very good. I shall remain here with you, just in case immediate healing is necessary. I mean, accidents do happen," Haragita stated with a sinister grin. Afterward, Motonoru advanced to the southeast corner of the room and parked himself in a chair he had waiting there. The young academy student seemed hesitant; perhaps Enaza could be reasoned with. In any event, there was only one way to find out... TO BE CONTINUED... WC: 2,770
    2 points
  17. ...ASAGU could hardly contain his excitement when Kirigari finally decided to play his part. "Yeah, give me your best shot, twerp!" Truthfully, Asagi would not have known what to do if his little veiled threat hadn't worked; but that was a concern of the past now that Kirigari would be coming in hot. As the first-year drew both his Zanpakuto blades, Asagu widened his stance and shifted his weight onto the balls of his feet. He exhaled deeply, and along with his breath expelled the jittery tingles of his nerves. Asagu had sharpened up in both body and mind. Sharper than the Quarterer's blade claws --and just as precise. Asagu's eyes studied Kirigari as the first-year aimed and fired his Bakudo spell. "Incantation-less Kido, impressive but nothing unexpected.", Asagu noted to himself as Kirigari vanished in the wake of a Flash-Step. In fact, none of the first-year's actions so far had been anything unexpected. For Asagu this was all too familiar territory. [1-2] Asagu held back a sigh as he leaped forwards --into the Bakudo-- and rotated midair so that the binding spell collided into the wide of his back. It was just as promptly shattered through with a slight exertion coupled with the flaring of his own Reiatsu. Though Asagu could have just as easily dodged the Kido entirely, dispelling this way served to better demonstrate the point he intended to get across later. Kirigari had potential, his speed alone displayed that much, but the first-year still had a lot to learn. [3-4-5] Occurring in tandem with the breaking of the binding spell, Asagu seemed to raise both hands to intercept the follow-up attack. Then, from the abyss, that was the left sleeve of his robe, jutted forth a pale green foam tube. It was only two meters in length, more than enough to block Kirigari's feinted sword swing as Asagu leaped backwards again to almost evade the leg sweep (the first-year would have surely felt it clip Asagu's shin) and completely elude the second strike of Kirigari's sword, although only barely. Kirigari was faster than Asagu had initially calculated. It was a little terrifying to think Kirigari's speed had already eclipsed his own, but Asagu was not surprised or discouraged. Kirigari was gifted and talented, no doubt, that was usually the case with "prodigies". The first-year also disengaged with a backwards leap of his own, normally Asagu would have rushed him but he would not press his attack at that oopportunity yet. He had some remarks for the young first-year. "Piss-tier Kido, into Shunpo and attack from behind the target... Kirigari Yomune," Asagu started, his voice and tone oddly serious --a stark break from character, but a necessary one in this moment. "In the business we call that the 'Academy Cadet Opening'." Asagu rested his foam tube on his shoulder. "You go out into the field and try that on an actual Hollow and you'll wind up dead within a week!" Asagu snapped but then regained his composure. The frustration, though, it stayed in his expression, hidden behind his mask where Kirigari would never see it. "You will likely never EVER encounter a situation where you'd want to use Bakudo #1 Sai in actual combat. Forget how easy it was for me; what about a Hollows like the Quarterer, Ghastlisp, or Snaptrapper. I could list them off for hours. You think your basic-bitch academy Bakudo will do anything to stop them?" Asagu paused again to compose himself, "Shit like this... this is why he did what he did. This was why he did all of it and why he could never stop. "It's no fault of your own, Kirigari. That's just the way you were taught here. You're told stuff like 'slice the enemy you must defeat from behind'-" Kirigari paused briefly after quoting from the academy commandments; he was certain the studious first-year knew them quite well. "Yeah, striking from behind is great and all as long as you don't make it so goddamn obvious! Hollows are not that stupid, you of all people should know this, already." [6] Asagu widened his palm and concentrated his Reiatsu into it; an orb of deep-red Reiatsu bloomed in his hand a second later --a Kido spell of his own, but the kind that could hurt. "If you have time to cast Kido, you have time to cast a spell that will actually matter. Oh, pretend this is a Cero, yeah." With those instructions Asagu raised his palm, aimed the fiery red orb at the first-year, and fired it upon him. He aimed for Kirigari's chest and observed first-year's reaction. "This whole process only works if you take it seriously, dude. Now, dust your ass off and try again!" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [TURN STATS] --------------------------- [1] Asagu was hit with the Bakudo #1: Sai Binding (41 REI). Costs 1 Attack of 41+ Power to break. [2] Asagu exerted and Flared his Reiatsu (+50 STR) to Bakudo #1: Sai Binding (41 REI). [ND Cost: None] 1/4 Attack Moves [3] Asagu FULL BLOCKED (50 STR) Kirigari's Head Attack (26 STR). [ND Cost: -200 Asagu] || [New ND: 2,550] FULL BLOCK Formula: [STR-VS-STR / REI-VS-REI] 200 ND (100 ND for Tanks)+ Attack-Value *If Lower Than Attacker. Asagu is NOT a Tank; therefore the base ND cost for his Full Block is 200 ND. Asagu Blocked using 50 Strength which is higher than the 26 Strength in Kirigari Head Attack; therefore the Attack Value cost for Full Blocking is not applicable. So, the Full Block in this case is only -200 ND to Asagu. [4] Asagu PARTIAL EVADED (70 SPD) Kirigari's Leg Sweep (95 SPD). [ND Cost: -295 Asagu] || [New ND: 2,255] PARTIAL EVADE Formula: 200 ND (150 ND for Agiles) + Attack-Speed Value. Asagu is NOT an Agile; therefore the base ND cost for his Partial Evade is 200 ND. 200ND + 95ND (Speed of Leg Sweep)= -295 ND to Asagu [5] Asagu FULL EVADED (70 SPD) Kirigari's Downwards Slash (95 SPD). [ND Cost: -195 Asagu] || [New ND: 2,060] PARTIAL EVADE Formula: 200 ND (150 ND for Agiles) + Attack-Speed Value. Asagu is NOT an Agile; therefore the base ND cost for his Full Evade is 100 ND. 100ND + 95ND (Speed of Downwards Slash)= -195 ND to Asagu [6] Hadō # 31: "Pretend It's A Cero" Shakkahō at Kirigari's chest. [Damage: 81 REI][Speed: 70 REI] || 2/4 Attack Moves --------------------------- [Turn End Stats] --------------------------- WC: 785 ------
    1 point
  18. Chapter 3: Kido: Demon Magic To Smite Your Enemies After having a short rest by laying down on her bed, Sylvia left her room to head towards her next lesson which would be Kido. This was the lesson that she looked forward to the most as she had a very high reiatsu since a young age. One of the requirements to join the Shino Academy was to possess a certain amount of reiryoku. Sylvia proved this to the examiners by making a large ball or reiryoku that was bigger than her head, but that was where her current capabilities ended. Therefore, she was eager to learn how to truly utilise the power that lay dormant within her. The first half of the lesson would be taking place in a classroom as Kido was just as much a theoretical subject as a practical one. Pen in hand and notepad open Sylvia was ready to begin taking down notes. The lecture started like so,’All of you possess reiroyku within you and this you have already proved. Each of you have different potential and even within this class there will be some with a lower amount and some with higher amounts while most will fall somewhere in the middle. To be able to use Kido, Zanpakuto techniques and even some of the more basic actions you will need to be able to control your reiryoku.’ The instructor took a piece of chalk in hand and began writing on the whiteboard,’First, you must be aware of your own biology. As spiritual beings we have three key points in our bodies. Two of them are found in the middle of our chests, which as you may know is where our Chain of Fate used to be. For a normal soul, if their Chain of Fate were to deteriorate a hole would open up in their body and they would become Hollows. For a Shinigami, if these two points in our chest are pierced our reiryoku would be sealed and we would lose our Shinigami powers, unable to ever regain them again.’ At hearing such critical information, Sylvia instinctively rested her left hand upon her chest where she could faintly feel her own heartbeat. Just like her own organs she would now also have to protect these two points on her chest because even if the attack was not fatal, it would surely end her career as Shinigami and put an end to her prospects of the future. The lecture continued,’Furthermore, our reiryoku is constantly flowing through our body even if you are not aware of it. The reiryoku in our bodies releases a pressure we call reiatsu which emerges through the vents in our wrists. Naturally, the higher your reiryoku the higher the reiatsu you give off will be and by the end of your first year you should be able to sense the reiatsu of others as well as supress your own. I must also warn you that that if the vents in our wrists were ever to be sealed, our reiatsu would not be able to emerge out of our bodies which would cause us to incinerate.’ This time Sylvia peered upon her wrists in contemplation. This was quite a heavy topic as hearing such information certainly did make them uneasy now that they were aware of such possibilities and surely their enemies would know it too and try to use it against them. There was still so much that they didn’t know, both about the world and about themselves. The path that was walked by Shinigami would not be an easy one. With this crucial information behind them it was time to move onto Kido theory,’Kido is split between two paths Hado and Bakudo, offensive and defensive respectively. Both of these paths have spells that are numbered from one to ninety nine in order of strength. During your time in the academy you will able to learn from spell one to thirty three and Hado and Bakudo will be taught in separate lessons. There is also a third type called Kaido which is exclusively for healing which will only be taught to those who wish to join the Fourth Squad and will only be shown the basics. You will also learn how to make barriers though those do not use the numbered system and are more dependant on the user.’ As they had most of the written theory complete so far, they proceeded to change the venue to the outdoors in order to start the practical part of the lesson. Their first task was to be able to channel their reiryoku at will and so they did the same thing as in the entrance exam; create a ball of reiryoku. Sylvia did this with ease and above her hand was floating a big ball of reiryoku that was larger than her head and her blue eyes glowed brightly. Both of these facts gave her quite a lot of looks. She looked around to see that quite a few still struggled with creating a ball in the first place and even among those who succeeded, none could compare to hers. She undid her reiryoku, causing her eyes to return to normal, and awaited further instruction. Based on this first task, the whole class was split quite unevenly as 30% formed a group of those who struggled to use reiryoku, 60% belonged to those who could but were average and the last 10% was the group who were seen as above average. Naturally, Sylvia belonged to the group of 10%. The instructor then spent a bit of time with each group so they had to wait for their turn, but starting from there lesson there would be an assistant or two so that the lesson would be easier to manage. When the instructor came to Sylvia’s group he began further teaching them,’Every Kido spell has an incantation that must be said before casting it followed by saying the name of the spell. You will have to follow this protocol until you become more experience otherwise it will affect the power of your spell. While the other team will start with Hado #1 your group will progress onto a slightly harder which is #4. Watch carefully.’ The instructor pointed his index finger at the training bot, which had regenerative capabilities and various settings, and spoke the incantation before a bolt of lighting fired from the tip of his finger and right into the chest of the bot. The result was a hole all the way through which momentarily sealed itself up. Their next task was to repeat this and they had 3 bots between the 6 of them,’The most important thing about using Kido is the image you create in your head and the way you manipulate your reiryoku into the desired shape.’ Sylvia took this all in and stood at the same distance the instructor did and pointed her right index finger at the head of the training bot. Then she began focusing in order to manipulate her reiryoku as instead of her whole hand she had to direct through a single finger. She did this with minor difficulty and then the image was needed. Since the Hado was a bolt of lighting she imagined her reiryoku in her fingertip taking the form of electricity. Her reiatsu started increasing and her eyes started glowing once again as Sylvia began repeating the incantation which she finished off with,’Hado#4 Byakurai!’ As a result, a concentrated bolt of lightning fired from her fingertip and completely destroyed the head of the bot. She exhaled as the tension left her body and watched as the head of the bot starting regenerating. She was surprised that she was able to do it on her first try as the others in the group had the stance and the incantation down but no effect. The instructor praised her and then moved back to the first group. Sylvia wanted to give it another try to see if she was able to replicate and it ended in the same successes. She smiled slightly, feeling proud of herself, and shortly the lesson came to an end as they ran out of time. Word Count: 1,367 Learned Hado#4 Byakurai 210/210 (-40%)
    1 point
  19. ...ASAGU felt his brow twitch involuntarily in response to Kirigari's impassioned answer. Here he was, making a genuine effort --as he always had-- to set the right tone and mood for the fight; trying to set ablaze the fires of intrigue and righteous fury within Kirigari. However, to Asagu's immense disappointment, the academy student's answers were the driest he'd ever seen among all his targets. Perhaps he had the wrong read on Kirigari --as confounding as that would be-- given all the time and energy Asagu had invested into studying him. Alternatively, perhaps there was another particular angle to this case from the beginning. In the past, Asagu never needed to actually tell his targets what it was he had taken or the precise nature of his leverage over them. The threat of "something bad happening" had been enough to stir all the others into action. However, Kirigari was different. Unlike the others, Kirigari had actually experienced a traumatic encounter with Hollows. He understood to some degree what those creatures were capable of. So, by comparison, what could he really have to fear from an academy stranger with a weird pastime? Asagu sighed. If that were truly the case it would mean that Kirigari was worse off that he'd initially expected. The arrogance of being an academy prodigy was likely already a reality for Kirigari. If Kirigari knew it or not, it seemed it really had begun to fester within him and unless the student was given a reality check things would likely get much worse if he graduated with that mentality. In the worst case scenario --Asago's mind flashed back with memories of his father training tirelessly in the academy, then with another memory of his father smiling proudly on the day of his graduation. It was a smile Asagu could never see again-- In the worst case scenario, what happened to his father would happen to Kirigari and Asagu's aim was to prevent that. Distracted by his thoughts, Asagu's allotted ten seconds went down to five before he finally responded. He sucked through his teeth in disappointment "Normally, it's against my policy to spoil the surprise this early, yah twerp. To be honest, I thought you were smart enough to have figured it out on your own by now but you're really gonna make be spell it out for you, sheesh." Asagu rubbed the back of his neck as he turned to face Kirigari again. He expected with his next words things would rapidly escalate and so he mentally braced himself for it. If a little extra goading is what it would take, Asagu was more than willing to oblige --for the greater good. "Say, Kiriyo-kun, you've been kinda busy recently so I wouldn't hold it against you but... when was the last time you saw her?" Asagu paused for a moment, he knew there was no need for him to say any more than that but his own scheming nature demanded he poke the bear just a bit further. "You know, little Miss Rimiri-chan" --------------------------- --------------------------- WC: 510 ------
    1 point
  20. Oyo! Happiest of days in which you were born!
    1 point
  21. 1 point
  22. Chapter 2: Zanjutsu: Those Who Live By The Sword Die By The Sword Once their first lesson ended, they had a short break before the next one would start during which they were asked to put away their Asauchi in their rooms. Sylvia did just that as she walked through the halls and headed straight to the dorms where she and many other students resided. When she entered her room, Sylvia found it to be in exactly the same state as she left it in. Needless, to say that was how it should be and yet she had different thoughts regarding that as she had many negative experiences during her time in Rukongai and all these students came from that very same place. Sylvia rested her Asauchi against the bedside drawer and sat on her bed before proceeding to look around. Directly in front of her was a table where she would surely spend long hours studying and working on assignments. To the right was a bookshelf filled with all the books that they would be studying in the first year of their curriculum. Even more to the right was the window to the outside though as her room was not on the ground floor there was very little chance of someone trying to peek through it and to begin with, she was living in the right side of the dorm where all the female students were staying with the males living on the left side. To the left of the table was the door leading to the hall and there was also another door beside her bed which led to her own small bathroom. Built into the wall in front of the bed was a wardrobe and beside it some storage space for things like the vacuum cleaner. The last of her furniture was a short round table in the middle of the room which she would mostly use to eat and drink on so that there was no risk of damaging her work. Sylvia let out a sigh as for the next six years she would be spending her time in a room like this as she expected to be moved around in between the years. After a short rest, the student left her room and started heading to the Dojo where their next lesson would be taking place. Needless to say, lessons that revolved around the Shinigami fighting styles would be more practical than theoretical so they would be outside the various classrooms. A few minutes after her arrival the bell rang and the class began by everyone receiving a wooden sword that they would be practicing with. Their instructor started the lesson,’The main weapon of a Shinigami is their Zanpakuto, a living weapon that forms a part of our soul. In your career as Shinigami I have no doubt that through continuous communication with your Zanpakuto Spirit you will be able to awaken them into their unique forms but until them you must learn how to use them in their most basic form.’ Sylvia listened as she felt the weight of the wooden sword in her right hand. She was not used to using a sword as whenever she got into a fight she would solve it with her fists. Furthermore, she felt that it can be easy to be disarmed or have your weapon stolen by your opponent in the middle of combat. That is why she preferred on relying on her own body rather than a weapon and yet she had no choice but to learn this fighting style if she wanted to become a Shinigami. Before they began learning actual combat techniques, the Instructor showed them how to perform a Soul Burial which was one of the key duties that Shinigami performed. Upon finding a lost soul that remained in the World of the Living a Shinigami was supposed to teach the forehead of the soul with the base of the hilt of their Zanpakuto which would cause them to be sent to Soul Society where they could begin their afterlife. It was a simple motion so after repeating it three times they moved on to the core of the lesson. The second key duty of a Shinigami was the slaying of Hollows which feasted upon innocent souls but would ultimately be purified through their Zanpakuto, giving them a chance to start over again. However, the Instructor assured them that Hollows wouldn’t be the only hostile race that they would encounter on their journey so they had to be able to fight an opponent of all shapes and sizes. They started by learning the correct stances to hold their swords as an experienced fighter would easily see points of weakness in a poor stance. Then from the Kendo stance in which they had both hands on the hilt, they were shown how to efficiently defend or attack. The key take away was this,’While you are fighting with a weapon, you have to think of it as an extension of your body. Many make the mistake of only using their hands to swing their weapon but you have to use your whole body! The positioning of your feet, the angle from which you are attacking, whether you are using both hands all of it matters and in a real battle even the tiniest mistake can lead to your death. Do not forget this.’ It would be a while before their lessons would allow them to spar together so the process was the instructor showed them how to do a particular move and they had to copy it in exactly the same way. While it was not fast paced, it was a good start in order to train that muscle memory which will then become their instinct that would lead them to victory for battle required both strength and mind. Once the lesson finished, everyone had an hour break for lunch before the last two lessons of the day. Sylvia, just like any other living being, was hungry and so she used this opportunity to the cafeteria which was bustling with people as well as noise from all the chatter accompanied by the smells of different types of food in the air. She took her place in the queue and waited for her turn. Walking away from the counter with a plate full of egg fried noodles with pieces of fried chicken and bell pepper she took her seat at a table that was not too crowded, though with all these students flooding in it didn’t look like that would last long. Another alternative was that there was a kitchen in their dorms that anyone could use though that would require students to use their own ingredients which would quickly add up in terms of expenses. Also, there was no guarantee that no one would take your stuff from the fridge before you even have the chance of cooking it. In contrast, the cafeteria was open from 8am until 9pm so you could easily have 3 meals a day for a fair price which suited Sylvia as she did not like being wasteful with her money if she could prevent it. Once she finished eating her lunch, she returned to her dorm room to rest for the remaining duration of her lunch break. Since Sylvia just had her Zanjutsu lesson the Asauchi resting against the drawer caught her attention. She picked it up and unsheathed it a bit to inspect it. There was not a single scratch on the blade itself and overall it was in perfect condition. Sylvia then unsheathed it fully and looked at it,’Nothing, huh?’ she said to herself. She could not feel any signs of life coming from this blade though maybe it would be more surprising if she could as her journey has only just started. Word Count: 1,293
    1 point
  23. Date 2XXX, ??, ?? (3) Found these dusty old cracked stone pages of a random book? Journal? Whatever it is, it sure has seen better days. Looks like the original owner had put a lot of entries in but after a while other people seem to have started putting in entries of their own. Well I’m doing the same thing HAHA it looked fun after all so of-cause I would join in. I came across this while exploring this torn down falling apart ruin of a settlement that looks really old. The last few pages mentioned vast multiple years passing by makes you wonder how old the original author is?. No No more important of a question are these really stone pages? Normal stone would have been eroded and be unable to read by now let alone have spare blank pages. This is an historic find to say the least I could learn so much from this!. Anyway, I wonder if the original owner is still out there, consumed by the madness of their instinct or have they regained their mind wandering endlessly trying to find a way back to this place or a place they have gone before. This Misa might know where they are. I should head over to this elusive settlement I read about in earlier chapters. I might even get a juicy reward for giving this to them but if not that’s okay just reading this story was more than enough. I do hope I find this place. -Treasure hunter Date 2XXX, ??, ?? (4) This is Misa. A dog like hollow arrived at this place a few days ago asking me about Yuki while handing this journal over to me. He was certainly shocked to find out that I was the leader of this settlement and how large it had grown. Yuki would be proud of the feat we have achieved here… If only she would wake up… The Dog hollow wanted to know if I knew where Yuki was and we did… I did. One day recently a shadow flew over the chasm we live in. It was slow and seemed to be having trouble flying so most of us including me ran over there to hopefully hunt it for food if it was hostile to us. When we got there I was in tears when I saw that it was Yuki all bloodied and bruised and on death's door as if she was constantly fighting for years without end… I had to stop the new younger generation from attacking and eating her as they didn’t know she was our savior oh so many years ago… But this time… This time we were hers. She hasn’t woken up since then. We don't know what's going on. We don't know if she’ll regress or not but I’m honestly so scared… Please wake up Yuki… You promised you’d come back, you promised you’d be strong enough to protect us… Please just open your eyes. -Misa Date 2XXX, ??, ?? (5) A large mountain disappeared today out of thin air, our scouts say. That must have been Gozira, the one Yuki told me all about when she was traveling with me all those years ago. I wonder what happened to him or how Yuki would react if she found out. Her body had started to crack as if it was Ice that was about to melt away, her body was extremely cold to the touch no-one knew what was going on. Was she dead but wouldn’t she have faded away by now? Was this her way of regenerating? No but that wouldn’t explain all the cracks that were forming on her body. Just what was going on with my Yuki? Our Yuki?. Please be alright… I miss you. -Misa Date 2XXX, ??, ?? (6) She woke up today. When I saw her, Her eyes were blank as if her mind wasn’t there, her body was covered in thick ice like it was holding her together. What is happening to you, Yuki? Why did you become this way? I made sure to look after her that day. She seemed to know how to do the basics of things like walk, eat and other such things however, she refused to talk.. No, it's better to say that she couldn’t talk as if everything she was doing was more her body on auto mode while her mind was somewhere else, somewhere not here. Yuki, if you can hear me please come back soon, everyday seeing you like this makes me feel more pain then I have ever felt. Everyone here wants to meet you. All the old guys you helped save all those years ago, All the new hollows who joined after you left and I want to see you again. Not this husk you are now. Please come back to the bright, careful you with tons of personality. The one.. These unknown feelings I have are asking for… -Misa Date 2XXX ??, ?? (7) There is an Attack happening on the settlement. This will probably be the last journal entry in this book from now on, Yuki is still in her state and we are being massacred here. I wish we had a fighting chance but we don’t not even Yuki would if she was still around mentally. I finally understand what you meant Yuki when you said I would understand one day. We hollows are naturally unable to feel things that aren’t part of our naturistic instinctual wants. But some of us are different, some of us can suppress that and learn to be happy and enjoy things outside of just survival.. Yuki I.. I think ever since that day you left this feeling in me that has ever grown stronger this is one of those things.. I think I have fallen for you and while this place is being burned down I shall protect you the best I can like you did all those years ago for me. So please. Survive. I love you. -Misa -Journal Entires End- Word Count: 1005 Total Current Word Count: 7683 Entry count: 45
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  24. Kirigari lounged about in by far his favorite class. The Hoho classes were beyond a breeze for him, as he had already managed a rudimentary flashstep that he had only been improving. Today he was particularly excited, because rumor had it there would be a race. Kirigari didn't know if there would be a prize or not, and he didn't particularly care, he was just excited to shine again. He had received regular praise for his genius in this discipline of Shinigami training, along with Zanjutsu, everything about Hoho just felt natural to Kirigari. The instructor was running late today, which the students found a bit odd, considering the class. Kirigari could hear them cracking snarky jokes about it from the distance, but he didn't much care. When the instructor did arrive, he brought in a grand buffet of food, which would be split between the five top finishers in an agility course that had been prepared for them in the courtyard. Kirigari was excited, he saw multiple dishes he knew would be a delight to have. The class followed the instructor into the courtyard and saw a massive, multistoried obstacle course with large arrows pointing in the direction to go. They were all handed the standard Ash training poles. Due to Kirigari's Zanpakuto, he was given two. Since this wasn't Zanjutsu, it was expected he train as if he had his real Zanpakuto in his hands. Along the course there would be random obstacles appearing, and fake hollow dummies. Kirigari was excited, this would be exhilarating! No, it wasn't quite real combat, but it was the closest he had gotten to experiencing anything like it. The class lined up, and with a flash at the whistle, Kirigari was gone, clearing the first obstacle, a large empty hole with a thin beam, in a matter of second. The next obstacle that stood before him was a large wall, leading to the next level. Taking a half step back, Kirigari ran towards it, leaping up and kicking off of it, landing a graceful backflip as he touched down on the second floor. He was significantly in the lead now, the rest of the class taking a bottleneck through the first obstacle, slowing them all down. Kirigari focused back on the task at hand, sliding under a barrel spinning in place, and darting through a hallway with dart holes on either side. This was laughably easy. As Kirigari made it to the final floor, he saw the fake hollow dummies and couldn't help but laugh. They were just large haysacks filled with something , with crudely drawn hollow masks on. Kirigari swatted them out of the way with ease as they dropped across the last walkway towards him, and finished the course with ease, not even breaking a sweat. WC: 466 END
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  25. Kirigari left the dorms 12 minutes before his next class, plenty of time to get there. He had grown used to having both his Zanpakuto on him, both usually sheathed at his side. However, since this was still the introductory classes of Zanjutsu, his class had been instructed to arrive without their bladed weapons, as they would be training with hardened ash poles for the time being. Kirigari felt weird, he had grown used to the weight of his weapon, and usually rested one of his arms on the hilt of his weapon while moving. He already disliked this class... Besides, who needs to be taught how to swing a sword?! You swing it! Kirigari rolled his eyes as he continued to walk, toying with the silliness of it all in his head. The previous classes had been going over the basics of form and grip, however the students had been assured they would get the chance to actually spar today. Kirigari was excited about that, he hoped he could distinguish himself and maybe move to a class where the training was actually beneficial... Kirigari arrived early, finding his spot and kneeling as the rest of the students of his class trickled in. The instructor arrived shortly thereafter and began having some 2nd years pass out the ash poles they would be substituting for their Zanpakuto's today. Kirgari accepted the weapon as his senior brought it to him, and grimaced slightly. It was heavier than his actual sword, which he found hard to believe. It was only by a small amount, but it would slow him, and it didn't matter how much it slowed him by, a fraction of a second is always the difference between life and death. The instructor of this class spoke up, bringing the attention of the class to himself. "Today we will be sparring in pairs, if you lose your spar, you are eliminated. The final 5 of you from this class will be allowed to go with the 2nd and 3rd years on tomorrow night's Hollow Extermination mission! Make no mistake though, trainees! You will not have clearance to engage said hollows! You are only to observe how the older recruits work to defeat them! Is that understood?" A resounding "Yes Sir!" came from the academy students kneeled in front of him. At his signal, they began separating into pairs. Kirigari was paired with Yurame Sese, a young woman who had enrolled in the academy in hopes of saving lives from hollows in the world of the living. Apparently her younger brother had been killed in a hollow attack while she was human. Kirigari knew she studied hard, not to mention she was significantly taller than him, probably 8 or 9 inches, which would only influence her reach... Bowing to each other, they both took grip of their training weapons. Yurame held hers straight ahead, in both hands, as instructed to do. Kirigari did not. Kirigari had an open stance, his pole in his right hand, pointed down and to the side. The studying Yurame did would work against her here, because Kirigari knew exactly what her first move would be due to the difference in reach. Surely enough, her feet shifted and she made a thrusting attack. Typical... he thought to himself as he brought his own weapon in an arc into the side of his opponents pole. The force shifted the attack off course enough for Kirigari to step in, rendering the difference in reach negligent. Thrusting forward with his open hand, his palm strike caught Yurame's forward momentum directly to the sternum. Following through with the attack, Kirigari sent the young girl sprawling backwards head over heels. A whistle blew and the duel was over. The instructor came over to check on Yurame before addressing Kirigari "Trainee Yomune, you understand this is Zanjutsu, not Hakuda, yes?" Kirigari wanted to roll his eyes, but fought the urge to do so. What did it matter if he won? "Yes sir." He simply answered, his voice even. "Very well. Good job. Go wait for your next sparring match." WC: 684
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  26. The two students sounded off about how unfair this was, it was clear that both of them were passionate about their duel, and rightly so, from their perspectives their were both the strongest in this class by a significant margin. Their arguments overlapped before the instructor put an end to it. "THIS IS ZANJUTSU, NOT HAKUDA." His voice echoed through the hall, reverberating off the walls and ears of all those in attendance, immediately bringing both Kirigami and Rimiri to silence. Neither were happy with the outcome, but they were just Academy Students, first years at that. The instructor retrieved both ash poles from Kirigami before leveling a serious glare at him, "Kirigami, you understand that move would have quite likely cost you your arm in a real fight, yes?" Kirigami's eyes shot straight to the floor. He had suspected some kind of reprimand, but it still stung. "Yes, sir." He said, simply. If he had learned anything in his time at the academy thus far, it was that owning up to your mistakes immediately was the best way to avoid serious punishments. The Instructor then turned to Rimiri "And you, young lady, understand that charging recklessly into battle without a weapon is a fast way to an early grave?" Rimiri mirrored the shame that Kirigami was displaying. "But it wasn't a real fight!" She argued, not wanting to back down, even against the instructor. The Instructor didn't take much offense to Rimiri's outburst, and instead took this time to address the class. "Understand something here, students. You are not becoming Shinigami to receive personal glory, achievement, or success. You pledge yourself to the wellbeing of the Soul Society! Being a Shinigami means facing death to protect the Gotei 13 and Soul Society if required! YOU DO NOT GET TO MEANINGLESSLY THROW YOUR LIFE AWAY!" The instructor turned again and faced Kirigami. "Good job, Kirigami, you will be one of the students attending the mission tomorrow night. Please report to the courtyard tomorrow night." WC: 334 END
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  27. 022: Feels Like Home [Continuation From: Welcome To WILD'S] ----- ___________________ ... RYŪNOSUKE was visible winded as he bristly turned the corner into the intersection and continued his run along the pavement. He peered ahead and spotted his landmark, the Tamura residence, or as it had been colloquially dubbed by the neighborhood "the black box", about a kilometer away. Of course, to Ryūnosuke it was simply his house and, for the foreseeable future, the finish line for his morning runs. "I missed this.", the teenager noted mentally, and fondly recalled his routine morning runs back in Osaka. There were a lot of differences between life in Karakura and life in Osaka. For instance, he'd never been attacked and nearly killed by a Hollow in Osaka. Nor was he a rookie member of a secret team of super-powered teenagers. Small differences like those really set the two places apart. Still, some things were the same; like the mild discomfort of cold morning air stinging his fingertips and ears, that was more or less the same in both places. As was the delightful anticipation of an endorphin rush of accomplishment that would come once the run was over. The sudden thought of it made Ryūnosuke grin. He wondered why he ever gave up this incredible ritual in the first place, but then he remembered his last few months of morning runs in Osaka. Mornings that he didn't run alone. That was another difference between Osaka and Karakura; there was no Enokida Hina in Karakura. Ryūnosuke shook his head and picked up his pace as if to cast out the unpleasant thought. Leave it in his dust. That was the best part about waking up before sunrise and running a few miles, it helped clear his mind, helped him focus. Ryūnosuke needed that now, today was a big day after all. His first day as a part-timer at the Sato Gift Shop & Dango Store. Of course, that was just the front. Ryūnosuke grinned again as he exhaled. Today was really his first day as a member of WILD'S. Although he had yet to fully grasp the scope of what being in WILD'S meant, he more or less had the basic outlines. Part-time job for a decent wage, training to master his Fullbring abilities, and a chance to save lives by killing Hollows and eventually offing that bastard Baron Quadhorn as well. Positively titillating stuff, especially the last thing. Prospects like those had kept the teenager up at night. Restless, just like the night before a big game --another familiar feeling, that. In fact, Ryūnosuke hardly got a wink of sleep the night before just ruminating over it all. Admittedly, that was part of what got him out of bed and running again but, more specifically, meeting a teenage girl in arguably the best physical shape he'd ever seen had both reignited something in his competitive spirit and also put him to shame. "Sugiyama Chizuru", her name and image lingered in Ryūnosuke's mind. Admittedly, he recalled that her face wasn't hard to look at at all either, but that wasn't as impressive as her incredible 3D delts. Sure, she was attractive, but even after she pulled back her white tiger mask her facial features hadn't pulled his eyes like her visible bicep veins did. He spent a dedicated portion of the night and morning wondered if her muscles were natural or if there was some medical or possibly even supernatural enhancements at work behind the scenes. Now that he thought about it, that could explain the general unease and temperament he'd sensed from her. Maybe it wasn't that she had anything against him. "A little roid rage?", he whispered pensively as he imagined Sugiyama rampaging through the WILD'S base in a fit of hormonal-imbalance-induced rage. "Eh, she might be an odd one.", he concluded internally. Then there were the others. Sato Iwa, kappa mask, was the only other male on the team and so far he gave off "easy-going, cool big brother" vibes in Ryūnosuke's opinion. Sato was also kind of funny in his own way. What stood out about him the most, however, was just how excited he seemed to have Ryūnosuke on the team. Ryūnosuke didn't believe that kind of happiness and sincerity could be faked, which had the effect of easing his mind a bit at the time. It felt nice to feel welcomed. Right up there with Sato in excitement to meet his acquaintance was Kenzaki Juri, the girl with the beautiful phoenix mask and also the one who'd saved his life after the Baron Quadhorn attack. She was nothing but endearing, and after speaking with her for just a few minutes Ryūnosuke wished he could just take her home and have her for a little sister. Juri deserved all good, love and protection as far as he was concerned. Lastly, there was Kanako Ichihara, Ryūnosuke could tell she came from some wealth --one of those it took one to know one kind of deal. Besides that surface observation, he also picked up that Ichihara was the tech-savvy member of the team. She also seemed rather sassy and sarcastic and was apparently very close to Kenzaki. Ryūnosuke simply figured there might be a familial relation between them. Most importantly though, not unlike Sugiyama, Ichihara didn't seem much convinced or thrilled with Ryūnosuke's addition to the team. While Sugiyama appeared more indifferent to him, Ichihara seemed to visibly despise him for some reason. He'd need to get to the bottom of that, preferably sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, his first impressions aside, Ryūnosuke was certain of one thing; his journey to becoming a full-fledged member of WILD'S would be an interesting one, to say the least of it. As he rapidly closed the distance to his house, Ryūnosuke's anticipation for the day only grew. He paced to a triumphant halt right up the stairs leading to the door, took a deep breath of the cold Karakura air, and held it in his lungs for a moment. Just as he'd hoped, even that sensation felt familiar. He raised his left forearm to wipe the sweat from his forehead and no sooner than his sleeve blocked his view did he here the front door open. "Ryūnosuke?", called his mother, Tamura Mariko. Ryūnosuke lowered his arm to face her. They both seemed shocked to see the other as a silence briefly settled between them. "Y-you went for a morning run? You haven't done that in a while." Mariko added. Ryūnosuke watched his mother expression and tried to make a read of it, for a moment he saw alarm and a bit of confusion... but then it changed. Right before his eyes he saw his mothers expression soften in a smile --a very familiar smile. A smile he'd seen hundreds of times in Osaka on mornings just like this. Ryūnosuke nodded and smiled back in return. "Yeah... Tamaida.", he replied. His saw a glow in his mother's eyes and looked down. Why did he feel embarrassed all of a sudden, he wondered as he scratched a sudden itch on his nose and sniffled. Oddly, he felt strangely empty-handed, like he'd forgotten something? He sucked his teeth when it finally dawned on him. "Crap. Sorry, mom. I didn't bring anything for breakfa-" "Okaeri, Ryun!" Mariko exclaimed and sniffled herself, fighting against swelled up tears, joyous as they were she couldn't risk them being misunderstood and ruining this moment. Mariko straightened up and gasped, "Ah, Ryun, you're all sweaty!", she gestured her son towards the door while feinting mild disapproval. Run upstairs and shower!", she ordered. "Breakfast will be waiting when you're done." For that Ryūnosuke had only one answer, "Yea, ma'am!", as he briskly slid through the door pass his mother, kicked off his sneakers and shuffled into his house slippers. As he dashed upstairs for the shower, Ryūnosuke thought, "this feels familiar". As she closed the door and finally let her tears flow, Mariko thought, "this feels familiar". As they each let the relief of that sensation sink in they both thought, "Finally... this feels like home." To Be Continued... ______________________________ WC|1,340 -----
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  28. 023: Learning The Ropes PRT 1 ----- ____________________ ... RYŪNOSUKE still had a little time to kill before heading out for his first day of work. Although the gift shop wouldn't be open for a bit over an hour, Ms Sato had made it clear the day before that she expected Ryūnosuke to be there bright and early before opening so he could familiarize himself with daily operations. "Get a taste of the Sato Gifts Shop & Dango Store routine.", were her exact words for it; the teenager recalled as he finished washing the dishes. His mother, Mariko, had already gone off to work herself. Even though her commute was shorter than his, apparently, the bookstore opened even earlier. Fortunately, his mother didn't seem bothered by that at all. Rather, Ryūnosuke could tell she was just thrilled to be doing what she loved; exploring and sharing the magical word of books. Mariko had loved owning her own bookstore back in Osaka, but she'd sold it so they could move to Karakura. She'd built it from the ground up and worked there for years, but she gave it all up with zero hesitation the moment she felt she needed to for Ryūnosuke's sake. He still felt tremendous guilt every time he thought about that and all the other pain and grief he'd cause. At least now he was done with the self-pity and was now trying to make amends. Albeit, in his own, admittedly, bizarre way. "You were a bratty asshole, Ryūnosuke. You did some terrible shit that you can't take back. But, you've got superpowers now, so use them to fight Hollows and save people. Maybe that can make up for it.", that was his rationale. After packing his lunch and bat in his gym bag, all that was left for Ryūnosuke to do before setting out was to gave himself a final look in the mirror. No tracksuit today, as his mother had insisted during breakfast. So instead, he went with black casual drawstring pants and a white hoodie under a black contrast sleeve bomber jacket. Of course, the sleeves were his adored burnt-orange, as were his sneakers. "Yosh" Ryūnosuke cheered and nodded to his reflection as he slung his bag strap over his shoulder and headed out. "Yo, good morning, Tamura-kun!", greeted Sato Iwa from the pavement as Ryūnosuke stepped outside. Ryūnosuke, caught off-guard by Iwa's presence right outside his house, was momentarily stunned. "Good morning, Sato-senpai.", he replied after a slight delay. Reflecting on that brief interaction, he wondered why he hadn't sensed Sato Iwa's spiritual "presence" before. Actually-- he still couldn't sense it even while Iwa was clearly standing right in front of him. "Say, Sato-senpai, why can't I sense your Rei-" Ryūnosuke blanked on the term he was looking for --minor panic ensued-- but his brain did a chemical reaction, neurons fired and such, and within a second he had the solution. With a stroke of genius, he settled and spoke the three words: "energy presence stuff?" to finish his question as he approached Iwa. Iwa raised a brow and chuckled, "Yes, my 'energy presence stuff', also known as Reiatsu.", Iwa explained as he started to walk down the pavement and beckoned Ryūnosuke along. "You couldn't sense it because we normally keep that suppressed, if not completely hidden... Actually-!", Iwa snapped his finger, "You know, it's a good thing you asked, because that's one of the first things we gotta teach you, man. Gotta get your Reiatsu in check." Hearing that, a concerned Ryūnosuke caught up to Iwa and matched his pace. "Is it that bad?" Upon hearing the question Iwa paused, suddenly hooked his right arm over Ryūnosuke's shoulders, and pulled the rookie into a half-huddle. "Is it that bad?", he muttered back, staring into Ryūnosuke's eyes. Ryūnosuke picked up on the frustration and envy in Iwa's voice. "Oi, Tamura-kun, must be nice, huh? Having all that Reiatsu just freely pouring out constantly without a care in the world. Lucky you. Asking if it's 'that bad', good and bad are kinda irrelevant here, man! It's just wasteful. You hear me? It's wasteful, Tamura-" Iwa eased up his grip and then paired a loud "KUN" honorific with a slap across Ryūnosuke's back. "What the-" Ryūnosuke exclaimed as he stumbled a few step forwards. "Ahahahah" Iwa cackled and carried on walking. "I'm just messing with you, man. Currently your not out-putting enough Reiatsu for it to be a problem, but we don't want to leave that to chance, right? Preventative measures." Iwa explained back in his regular tone. Behind him, Ryūnosuke couldn't help but notice himself smiling. This kind of banter was something he related to rather well. He was reminded of his old Baseball team and being the senpai to a bunch of underclassmen and teammates. It had just been years since he was on this side of the dynamic. "Yeah." Ryūnosuke replied, agreeing with Iwa's logic. "Makes sense to me, Iwa-senpai.", he reaffirmed as he caught back up with Iwa. "So, when do I get a mask?" Ryūnosuke asked, only half-jokingly. Iwa seemed to enjoy it as chuckled as he glanced sideways at the rookie. "Geez, the nerve on this punk! Listen here, rookie, it's a little too soon for you to be even thinking about masks, you're helluva ways off!" Ryūnosuke smiled cheekily and paused. "Right, looking forwards to learning from you Sato-senpai," Ryūnosuke then offered a bow, "Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!" Iwa looked back at Ryūnosuke and smiled, his pale vaguely European complexion turned a interesting shade of flushed red. "That's more like it, rookie!" Ryūnosuke rose to see Iwa's outstretched hand and shook it firmly without hesitation. "Don't worry, Tamura-kun. We're gonna whip you into shape in no time!" The two shared a grin of acknowledgement before they continued on their way. The spent the rest of the walk conversing casually about life in Karakura, their hobbies, and such. Ryūnosuke was able to carry on about Baseball for a bit and Iwa spent an equal amount of time expressing his passion for detective movies, crime dramas, and his enthusiasm for urban folklore and legends. Ryūnosuke joked that those obsessions explained the green trench coat. Iwa quickly fired back that Ryūnosuke's baseball obsession explained why he walked around with an alloy bat and that he'd feared the alternative being that he'd inadvertently invited a former biker gang delinquent into the WILD'S fold. At one point Iwa asked to exchange contact information and the two shared a laugh about Ryūnosuke breaking his phone and that somehow not occurring during the Baron Quadhorn battle as Iwa assumed. They went on for what was a twenty minute walk, although it seemed to pass like ten. By the time they reached the gift shop they could have been mistaken for best friends by any onlooking passerby. Sato Kiyoko, the shop owner and manager was just unlocking the gift shop door when the two approached. Ryūnosuke watched her turn to greet them unprovoked and guessed she had sensed his leaking Reiatsu. Although, just like with Iwa earlier, the rookie couldn't sense Ms Sato's either. "Ah, you two are just in time!" "Mornin', Big Sis!", greeted Iwa. "Good Morning, Ms. Sato", Ryūnosuke followed with a bow. "Good morning, boys." Ms. Sato replied, she was wearing a beige single-breasted blazer with matching high waist wide plicated pants, a burgundy turtleneck, and white slip-on sneakers. "I hope you got a good night's rest, Tamura-kun.", she added and entered the shop, the bell jingled as the door swung inwards. "Ready to go where you need me, boss.", replied Ryūnosuke as he entered the shop after Iwa. "That's the spirit!" Ms Sato cheered and handed off two aprons to Iwa, one for each of the boys. "Iwa, you're running shop. I'm gonna be busy in the office most of the day. Show Tamura-kun the ropes and find out what he's best suited to." "You got it, Big Sis." Iwa replied and handed off one of the aprons to Ryūnosuke. Ms Sato, promptly strolled off to her office, "Fighting!", she cheered and gave a thumbs up as the door closed behind her. "So, now what, Sato-senpai." "Now, I hope you know your way around a mop and a bucket, rookie." Iwa snickered. Surely enough, Ryūnosuke's first assignment as a member of WILD'S was mopping the entire gift shop. He didn't complain, though. He suspected as much would be the case. "Had to start somewhere.", he figured. Plus, it wasn't all bad, Iwa took the time to familiarize him with the shop facilities, daily tasks, and operations. After about thirty minutes, the rookie had a decent idea who did what around the shop already. Iwa mostly handled general maintenance and cleaning, but he also took deliveries and could man the cash register. Ichihara handled the tech and back-end operations like running the shop webpage, keeping inventory, restocking the shelves and answering phone calls. Kenzaki pretty much ran the dango store on her own, with everyone chipping in to assist her with whatever she needed. Sugiyama mostly handled deliveries and restocking and inventory keeping with Ichihara. Iwa explained that he and Chizuru handled deliveries because that served as a perfect cover for being out in the field as first responders to Hollow appearances. He assured Ryūnosuke that he would most definitely handle deliveries once he was trained. Kanako ran reconnaissance and Juri was only ever out in the field during emergency situations, like a Baron Quadhorn appearance. After putting the mop away, Ryūnosuke wanted to ask Iwa more about everyone's unique abilities but, as if an ill-timed trick of fate, the moment he was about to open the topic an alarm blared from Iwa's phone. Recognizing the sound instantly, Iwa's demeanor shifted to something more serious. "Well, rookie, I gotta jet.", he said flatly. Ryūnosuke wasn't sure, but he could make a confident guess as to what the alarm had signaled. "Hollow attack?" Ryūnosuke asked. Iwa was already on the move, he'd already peeled out of the apron and was on his was out the door. "Yup." Ryūnosuke followed behind him, "I should go with you!", he pleaded. He knew there was virtually no chance of Iwa allowing him to tag along, but he hoped that the time they'd spend together might've softened Iwa to the idea. Unsurprisingly, Iwa's response was a prompt, "Nope. Not a chance, rookie." Hearing the words stung more than Ryūnosuke had expected and Iwa left no room for misinterpretation. "The others should be arriving soon, but in the meantime check if Big Sis needs you for anything." Iwa said as he donned his Kappa mask and vanished, a flicker of green light beneath where he just stood being the final marker of his departure. "Whoa- what?" Ryūnosuke muttered as he blinked a few times to confirm Iwa had indeed disappeared into thin air. When the rookie walked back into the gift shop Ms Sato was already standing in her office doorway. "Kappa went.", she asked flatly. "Kap-?" Ryūnosuke made the connection of the mask and code name. "Oh! Right, Kappa, the mask.", he gestured to his own face. "Yeah, he just left." Ryūnosuke tilted his head a bit and squinted. "Disappeared, actually... will I be able to do that?" Ryūnosuke asked, his voice oozed his excitement for a confirmation. Ms Sato snickered, "One thing at a time, rookie. Honestly." She sighed as she looked pass the teenager and outside the storefront. There weren't any potential customers in sight. "Alright.", she offered finally. "Get your ass in here so we can get to the bottom of this Reiatsu leakage of yours." Ryūnosuke was practically at the office door before Kiyoku had even finished her sentence. "Take a seat." Ms Sato instructed. "Yes, boss!" Ryūnosuke sat in the nearest chair he could find, right in front of Kiyoku's desk. He posture was upright with his arms tightly crossed. His gleaming eyes, wide open and highly alert, followed Ms Sato's every move and gesture. ----- ...KIYOKU plopped down into her chair and cleared some space before she reached for the printer to the right side of her workspace and grabbed a few sheets of blank paper. "Alright-" She slapped them down on the desk with one hands as the other grabbed a few highlighters and markers from her stationary cup. "Tamura-kun. I get the impression you're the practical slash visual learner type." She paused there and watched the teenager simply nod, rather enthusiastically. She continued, "Well, you're in luck because you're getting the whole shebang, Sato Style!", she finished smoothly and grinned. It reminded Ryūnosuke of Iwa. "Pay attention." Kiyoku flicked the caps off of three highlights and a black marker. She turned the paper to the landscape orientation and drew two vertical lines, dividing the paper into three more or less equal sections. Then, in the rightmost section she drew the outline of a human stick figure with the black marker. She looked up to make sure Ryūnosuke was still following. The teenager's eyes had yet to leave the paper. "That's you.", she declared and pointed at the figure with the tip of the marker. Ryūnosuke's expression contorted a bit, disapprovingly, on account of the figure being a lot pudgier than he actually was. "Who is this?" Kiyoku quizzed pointedly. "Yes, that's me, boss!' Ryūnosuke affirmed with full confidence, though his expression softened a bit the remnants his its rebellion lived on in his tightly pressed lips. Kiyoku cackled to herself and moved on, roughly filling in the human outline with the orange highlighter. She looked up at the rookie and the sparkle in his eyes was evidence enough of his approval. "Concept number one! Reiryoku, spiritual power. You can think of Reiryoku as internal power. Potential even. Most people barely have any, some have a whole lot. At the most basic level having a decent amount allows you to see ghost. A bit more than that and you can start to develop other supernatural abilities. You'll be glad to know that all members of WILD'S, including you, fall into the 'whole lot' of Reiryoku category. Although, to varying degrees. Clear so far?" Ryūnosuke nodded. "Alright, moving on. This is the important part for you." Kiyoku proceeded to draw wiggly arrows that pointed outwards from the stick figure as she explained. "Reiatsu is the emission of Reiryoku from a person or being. You can think of it as a spiritual pressure that is emitted naturally. This is something most skilled people learn to control. They can either forcibly emit it or suppress it. When it's not being suppressed it can be sensed by others. On the flip side, emitting too much of it can have some nasty effects on others and your surroundings, even unintentionally. That's what we're worried about with you and why you need to learn to get your Reiastu under control. You still follow?" "Everything's still crystal clear, so far." Ryūnosuke confirmed and allowed Kiyoku to continue. "Glad to hear it. Now, enough beating around the bush. How do you actually control your Reiatsu?", as she spoke Kiyoku began to draw a valve sticking out the top of the stick figures head. "I've found it's best to explain this like opening and closing a valve. You gotta get a feel for your own Reiatsu and kinda," Kiyoku raised her hand and replicated turning an imaginary valve in midair. "turn that sucker on and off at will.", she explained. Ryūnosuke nodded. "So, how do I get a better feel for my Reiatsu?", he asked. "Well, that can vary from person to person. In some cases you could tell a person to try and take into the state of mind they were in when they first became aware of their Reiatsu, but that's not advisable given the unique circumstances of your case." Kiyoku tapped her chin for a moment as she thought and Ryūnosuke patiently waited for her to speak again. It didn't take long. "Hmm, you mentioned you could sense the Reiatsu of others yesterday, right?" "Yeah, I don't think it's been intentional the few times it has happened, though." Ryūnosuke replied. "Interesting, sounds like you might be subconsciously unaware of your own Reiatsu. It could be a bad habit you developed over the years. Think of it like your voice or B.O, even ", Kiyoku explained. She noted that there was probably a more pleasant way of putting that, but what mattered right now was whether Ryūnosuke understood. "I see... So, is there a way to fix that?", the rookie asked. It appeared that Ryūnosuke understood the analogy, Kiyoku took that as a testament to her expert teaching skills. "Reiatsu fluctuation exercises might do the trick. It sounds like you're unaware of your own Reiatsu as long as it's being emitted below a certain threshold. Probably around the intensity you're emitting passively at the moment. Most likely, you can pick up the Reiatsu of others because they aren't familiar and you were aware of your Reiatsu during you fight with Baron Quadhorn because-" "I was emitting a lot more than I usually do.", Ryūnosuke finished her sentence. Kiyoku grinned and nodded, glad that the dots seemed to suddenly connect in the rookie's head. "So, if I can practice raising and lowering my Reiatsu I'll get a better feel of it naturally and suppressing it will be easier.", Ryūnosuke added. demonstrating to Kiyoku his understanding of the concepts she'd explained so far. "Exactly. You got it. Now, there are a few more concepts for you to learn but the complicated stuff is out of the way." Kiyoku went on to explain the concepts of Reishi and Kishi on the second and third empty blocks of the paper. She then handed the paper to Ryūnosuke, who graciously accepted, folded it, and put it into his pocket. Kiyoku rose from her chair and walked around her desk towards the office door, "Well done, Tamura-kun. You've gotten through the theory part of today's lesson.", she commended. Ryūnosuke popped up from his seat and followed her out of the office. "Now, for the practical part you're gonna learn how to fluctuate your Reiatsu. But, I won't be the one teaching you that, they will." Kiyoku continued as she led Ryūnosuke back into the now fully-staffed gift shop. She expected he would be surprised to see that the others had all arrived, including Iwa, back from handling the Hollow presence they were alerted to earlier. "Morning, Juri, Kanako, Chizuru!", Kiyoku greeted. They all returned the gesture as they skillfully navigated through their morning routines. Ryūnosuke noted that the others did not appear surprised that he was there, no doubt his leaking Reiatsu was likely the cause of that. "Let's have another great day. Work really hard, everyone.", Kiyoku encouraged, "Also, I'm leaving Tamura-kun in your capable hands, work him to the bone!", she concluded with an ear-to-ear grin. To Be Continued... ______________________________ WC|3,150 -----
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  29. Kirigari Yomune sat and observed the insturctor. The Hakuda classes at the Academy were by far the most intense. The instructor believed that the best way to build skill with Hakuda was through constant, rigorous, unrelenting training. The last several classes had been spent running, lifting weights and in general just trying to increase the capabilities of their physical abilities. Kirigari didn't know if it worked or not, given they were all souls here, but he didn't much care, the constant grinding of his physicality, improving or not, had improved both his movements and reaction... times.... And then it dawned on Kirigari why the instructor had insisted so strictly on them to train the way they had been. Despite his recognition of the value of what was going on, he still hoped they would be able to engage in some actual activity today, as opposed to just running and training their bodies further. Fortunately for Kirigari, that was exactly what the instructor had planned. He called for a student aide from a higher year, and demonstrated a basic arm movement that was focused on redirecting momentum. It seemed the no matter which angle the instructor was attacked from, he was able to redirect the attack with ease. He further explained that mastering this concept would be the core to proceeding successfully within his Hakuda course. This simple redirection was the basis of counter attacks, evasions, and preparation. Of course, the true purpose of this exercise was again missed by Kirigari, the intention was just to get the students to keep their eyes on their opponent, to constantly be examining their movements, actions and intentions. That was the true basis of all Hakuda, and in turn, all combat. If you can keep your eyes on your opponent, learn their patterns and what they are trying to do, you stand a far better chance of success than just blindly charging in to fight. Kirigari had been paired with another of the souls on the smaller side of stature. They were instructed to take 5 to 10 minute intervals attacking each other, with the person on defense focused on redirecting, the intention was to not be hit by the attack. Kirigari and his partner began with a basic sparring stance and began exchanging blows intentionally slowly, giving the other time to see and react to what was happening. With each blow, they sped up the next, flawlessly redirecting each other's attacks. With simple punches from an opponent right in front of you, Kirigari found it easy to brush aside the punches, regardless of how fast they were coming. However, he had fallen into a routine with his blocks, not even noticing that he had repeated the same pattern of blocks so many time. He raised his left arm to deflect a punch that should have came, when he felt a kick solidly land on his opposite arm. It wasn't particularly powerful, but it had connected cleanly. Taking the first hit of this spar has upset Kirigari, but he was determined not to let it show and get revenge. After bowing, they returned to trading and deflecting blows. This time, Kirigari tried to switch things up, but he knew if he went for the exact same tactic his opponent had used, it wouldn't work. So instead, he dropped low to the floor and swept a kick out, knocking the legs from below his opponent with a satisfying thud. The class continued this sparring for hours, so much so that the sun had began to set and just about everyone was dripping in sweat, even Kirigari. They had changed partners several times, and now Kirigari was faced off against a massive man he could hardly believe was a first year student. He stood several feet above Kirigari, and his punches thundered down, requiring the small statured shinigami in training to block with both arms, redirection completely out of his mind. The instructor of the class had stopped several minutes prior, and had been examining them since arrival. He blew his whistle curtly, signaling them to stop, and pulled Kirigari to the side. "Young Kirigari" He began, his voice surprisingly soft "You are agile beyond belief, far much more so than these lumbering giants. While they have their strength, they can not compare to your speed. Use that to your advantage." Kirigari wasn't sure how he was supposed to use it to his advantage, but he tried to take the instructions to heart. He knew they weren't given out of ignorance. He faced off against his opponent once again, and instead of guarding this time, he waited to the last second, and turned his body just enough for the punch to graze by him. It was harder to accomplish when his opponent began varying the speed of his attacks, but after awhile, Kirigari had gotten comfortable with it, and was able to dodge the attacks with ease. After one particular such dodge, he decided to counterattack, striking upwards against his opponents forearm, while grappling it and throwing him over Kirigari's shoulder. Suffice is to say, it was effective. Panting heavily, Kirigari grinned, happy that he had succeeded in something so difficult for him. Shortly thereafter, class was dismissed and Kirigari wandered back to his dorms, wondering what he would have for the night. WC 887 END
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  30. Due to the small number of people still vying for a spot, and since the whole room had stopped to watch Kirigari and Yokuro, it stayed that way. The last 9 fights all followed form, with the entirety of the crowd watching, Kirigari included. Of the 9 others who passed, 6 of them got into the Academy on recommendations from Shinigami within the Gotei 13, 2 others had already attracted the attention of Squad 7 as well. That left Kirigari and the small quiet girl who seemed afraid of the very weapon she held. Kirigari thought that was foolish. From the very first time he had been handed his Zanpakuto it had felt as if a normal extension of self, nothing more than a longer arm. What was there to fear from your own blade? He watched the girl curiously, surprised she had made it so far. Her fight had been the one immediately following Kirigari's, and Kirigari had still been recovering, not really paying attention. That wasn't a massive issue though, he'd watch her in this next round. The instructor stepped forward, and called forward the 10 remaining students. He examined them all as they lined up in front of him. Of every person in the room, the instructor had been paying the most attention to the duels throughout the day. He paired off the fighters with who he thought they would struggle the most against, after all, if he were to recommend them to the Hollow Extermination mission in the world of the living, he needed to be sure they wouldn't crack under pressure. The instructor finally arrived to Kirigari's side of the line, and introduced his opponent, the only other person in the room who could look him evenly in the eyes. Of course... Just my luck I get to fight the one person I didn't watch... What a bother. Kirigari rolled his shoulders and bowed to his opponent, it didn't make a difference to him, and it didn't change what he had to do. He would not be in this Academy for 5 or 6 years. While it seemed like such an insignificant amount of time in his existence, the past century wasted still ate at his soul. He would get the attention of the Gotei 13 by any means necessary. He would excel in absolutely everything. He'd be in the Gotei 13 before his 3rd year. Kirigari took to the middle of the room, his ash pole held at his side. He swung it around a couple times, still loosening his shoulders. He didn't have any more tricks up his sleeve at this point. The pseudo flash step he had managed against Yokuro had been his ace in the hole, and there was no doubt if his opponent had made it this far, they would be on guard for it now that they knew about it. Kirigari cleared his mind, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. He discarded his previous thoughts on his opponent, arriving at a blank slate. This was not the floor for underestimation. He faced his opponent. The room was quiet, everyone's breath was held at this point. The static in the air was palpable. For the first time, Kirigari took an actual stance with his weapon, facing his opponent, he leveled the ash pole at her, his left hand gripping the lowest part of the hilt, his right hand was opposite at the highest point. The juxtaposition of his hands would create force that his reach couldn't compensate for, which may be the difference against an opponent of similar reach. His right foot inched, but he didn't want to make the first move in such a tense situation. "HEY WHATS YOUR NAME?!" A large question mark bubble appeared over all the other occupants in the room as they tilted their head in unison. Snapping out of the manga panel, Kirigari pointed the ash pole at her from where he stood. "What kind of start is that?!" He demanded, an irritated scowl on his face. Did she have no social awareness? Could she not feel how tense the whole room had been? "I'm Kirigari Yomune. I'm going to become a Captain!" the boy declared confidently. It happened before Kirigari could react. Suddenly, she was gone. He hadn't lost sight of her, she had just simply vanished. "Well, Mr. Captain. Hasn't anyone ever taught you to keep your eyes on your opponent?" It was a near seductive purr that was whispered from behind him as he felt an attack slam into his back with more force than she could ever possibly produce. He went sprawling forward, vomiting stomach bile across the floor from the impact of the attack. Blood leaked from his lower lip as he rolled onto his knees. The instructor had raise the whistle to his mouth and had been prepared to blow it when Kirigari rose back to his feet and swung his sword around a couple more times, stretching. The pain in his back was immense, but he had come to terms with pain long ago.... He remembered the saying that had been hammered into his brain as a human. A Warrior must face the inevitable truth that pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. Kirigari Yomune now used that mentality to mask the pain. He wiped the blood from his lip and swung it off his hand. The droplets splattered across the floor quietly. "Is that all you got?" he asked, a bored tone in his voice. His opponent was clearly surprised that he had shrugged off her attack. She smirked, the entirety of her personality feeling different from the quiet girl he had seen earlier. "I'm Rimiri." Kirigari smirked "Flashstep?" he asked inquisitively, surprised anyone else in the room could use it. She smiled and stuck her tongue out at him with a wink "I figured I would show you how a real one looks~" That ticked off Kirigari. The fact that either of them could use any rendition of it this early on made them both geniuses amongst their peers. She knew that. "Try to hit me with it again then, girl." His taunt had had the desired effect. Rimiri vanished again. Kirigari acted purely off instinct, leaping directly into the air as the ash pole of his opponent cut a vicious arc where he had been a half second earlier. Rimiri followed the attack up with another at Kirigari. He wasn't in any position to dodge, so instead he blocked. Dropping his hold on the hilt, he shifted it against his forearm and caught the strike. Rimiri followed through, sending him flying into the air, but something was different. Kirigari's feet were finding traction. Standing high in the air above his opponent, he felt strange, however his control was shaky at best. Releasing it, he fell the 15 or so feet to the ground and landed smoothly. "Anything else you want to show me?" He asked, the same bored tone in his voice. She had no openings he could find, she and her attacks were lightning fast. Both of them were out of breath, but kept their eyes on each other. Rimiri charged him, and for the first time their weapons clashed and held. Neither of them had noticed the hush that had fallen over the rest of the room, or the trance everyone was in watching them fight. Even the instructor had forgotten this was a friendly duel between first years. Both of these students were years ahead of the curve. Most students that passed through here couldn't solidify reishi under their feet until their 5th year. Kirigari pushed back against Rimiri's weapon, lowering the pressure of his weapon closer and closer to the hilt. "You won't disarm me with such an obvious trick, Mr. Captain." Kirigari wasn't so sure, as he completely let go of his own weapon, the force and pressure that Rimiri had been applying working against her and shifting her body forward. Kirigari grabbed the blade part of the ash pole, which might technically be illegal in this type of spar, but he had no other option. He followed up with a fierce kick to the womans gut, stopping her forward momentum and sending her sprawling backward, ripping the pole from her hand. Kirigari knew that wasn't the end as Rimiri rose to her feet with fire in her eyes. They charged each other and came to a grinding halt as the instructors whistle echoed loudly through the room. "That's enough. You have both shown extraordinary ability, but I can not have students engaging in fights emptyhanded. Rimiri has been disarmed and therefore loses!" "WHAT?" They both shouted in unison WC: 1,450
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  31. The next spat of bouts went on without issue. At this point, half of the class was eliminated, and it would be cut by half again, and again, and again until only 5 of them were left. Kirigari waited for his next opponent and fight, which ended even faster than the first. It was clear to most in the room that Kirigari was a natural with a weapon and would be one of the 5 who got to accompany the upperclassman on the trip. As the rounds passed and Kirigari progressed father through the elimination, it finally narrowed down to 20 of them left, the past several rounds had been significantly more challenging for Kirigari but he had still succeeded in victory. Standing in front of him however, was his first challenge that led doubts into his mind. Before him was Yokuro Saggito, someone who even as a first year, had already attracted the attention of the Gotei 13 due to his overall combat ability and promising leadership potential. The two did not get along, but shared a begrudging respect for each other. Facing off against his opponent, Kirigari blocked a downwards slash and parried, sending his opponents blade wide and then counter attacking with a vicious side swipe. Neither attack hit, by the time Kirigari's attack was where Yokuro had been, he had already flipped out of reach. The two crossed swords again, and again, and again, each time, countered or parried or blocked. It seemed the two were as even as they came, but unfortunately for Yokuro, Kirigari was faster. He had barely begun learning the art of Hohō, but he tried his best to pull off a flash step. His entirety of his form flickered for a half second before disappearing, reappearing half way towards Yokuro. Kirigari dropped to a slide, spinning as he came closer in order to knock down his opponent. Yokuro hit the ground with a thud, and Kirigari brought his training weapon down in a vicious arc, bringing it to a dead stop inches from Yokuro's throat. They were both panting hard, dripping in sweat. It had been the longest spar, by a wide margin, and had attracted the attention of all those in the class. Kirigari offered his downed opponent his arm and pulled him up. The two smiled, it had been a good fight, despite their differences. Kirigari made a note to request that Yokuro could join them if he was one of the ones selected to go on the Hollow Extermination mission. Kirigari had already figured out the true reason for these sparring contests, it was nothing more than to ensure only the strongest first years, with some measure of a way to protect themselves, were allowed to go. Yokuro certainly made that cut. Kirigari returned to his seat, resting with his back against the wall and his legs splayed out in front of him, his breathing ragged. If he won his next fight, he would be allowed to attend the mission with their elders. It was definitely something he was looking forward to... WC: 514
    1 point
  32. First post of 2021 in the ORP...
    1 point
  33. He glanced at his right shoulder for a moment to notice the blood leaking through his shirt from the bullet wound as darkness became the only company that he could recognize. "Brandon, please hold on." Kara held firmly to her boss in her arms as he continued to bleed. He had denied the idea of having any involvement with the hospital but she could not consider any other options and the gunshot was loud enough that people would be coming any minute. She reached for her phone and prepared to call out for help, "It is best that you don't call anyone right now." Kara turned to see a face that she had not expected, nor that she wanted to see at this moment. "You're the woman that claimed to be Brandon's wife." "That is one way to look at it. However, I would like to think that I am the only chance that he has to survive the night." She approached from the side of the alley that held a wall, but Kara had not noticed the strange circumstances around that but her focus remained on the presence of an unfriendly appearance. Still, Leana continued to make her way towards the pair of them, "Stay back." Kara attempted her best to keep a voice of authority and strength but she was clearly shaken by the situation and all events that transpired but Leana seemed to ignore the request and stopped a few inches from Jeremiah. Slowly she lowered her position to the ground as a vehicle pulls in to the alleyway with their high beams in full blast which shocked Kara and blinded her for a moment with her arms up to defend against the light. With the light bathing the trio, Leana lifted her hands placing one on his shoulder and abdomen over the bullet wounds. Both of her hands began to glow a soft white light before becoming consumed in a green energy and move like vines into the pair of wounds and flow through the bleeding. Like threads the green energy began to stitch the wound on his abdomen but the wound in his should only ceased bleeding but the wound had not sealed. Leana removed the hand that she placed on Jeremiah's abdomen and placed it on the shoulder of Kara and suddenly the blinding light had no longer become an issue for her. "What is-" But Leana interjected, "No time to explain. Help me get him up and in the car, we need to take him somewhere safe." Slowly she worked to get Jeremiah to his feet with the help of Kara, "Where is somewhere safe?" They worked their way towards the car, "His place should be fine, they don't know where he lives." There was a sign of hesitation as Kara paused for a moment, but before she could speak her thoughts a streak of orange lightning stuck the ground between them and the wall of the alleyway. Before them stood a man wearing an orange jacket with a fur collar with a bare torso revealing his tattoos as orange bolts of electric discharge would burst from his body. "Aye, I will take it from here." With a smirk he rushed forward becoming a streak of orange electricity in his movement as he took hold of Jeremiah from the two women and moved around to the top of the car looking back at the women. "Appreciate the help. He is known for getting in more trouble than he is prepared for." "Who are you?" Kara was concerned about so many things, the safety of Jeremiah was the top but also the strange circumstances of a man forming from lightning. "Aren't you Kaje?" The man pointed with his left hand, "You probably should come with me too." He reached for the strings in his coat, which doubled as ear buds, and placed them in his ears using his left hand. "What are you-" With the buds in his ears not a sound was heard by him besides the snap of his left fingers and his words matching the flow of the verse, "... Ay, man, caveman, Two drink, cave in, Two blunt, ease up, Booyah, leaves up, Who care? Who there? Do what? Wake up, The hell, happened, We want, hands up, Pay you, dare you..." He moved with a full sprint as most would only recognize the orange streak in the air as his movement drove forward and picked Kara up and placed her over his left shoulder. With her secured in his arms he continued forward and ran along the surface of the wall in front of him and right over as if his orientation never changed, "... Motherfuck, motherfuck, Sister fucked, granny fucked, System, get some, Yeah, you, day two, Yeah, you, you, you, You a van, through the van, Stripper, good Lord, Top chi, not me, Boy, please, whatever, You next, to death, To go, ooh, oh, Who's that? Ring ring, Your number, bang bang, Callin' up, talk it up, move over..." He moved through the streets of the city with such rapid pace and efficiency moving through the passages that allow him to cut away from the main streets as much as possible. It was a graceful effort as he continued through Naruki and eventually made his way into Karakura Town. He maintained his pace as he entered the Karakura Residential District and made his way through the front door of Jeremiah's house, set him down on the couch and sat Kara on the chair nearby before stopping finally sitting against the wall nearby. "That... was a lot." He spoke between breaths as he was visible exhausted with a bit of sweat and clearly worn out as he reached for a bottle of water that he had nearby. "What happened? Where am I?" Kara spoke up, confused about literally everything at this point. "Who are you?" Startled she hopped from the chair and stumbled backwards, "Kyonte, why did you bring her here?" A woman with colored hair entered the room, "She works for him, and I think he would have been pissed if I left her there on her own." The woman shook her head, "Ale, come on. He would have blamed you." Ale only managed to provide a sigh, "I know." Ale made her way over to Jeremiah and began to look him over. "So is no one going to answer me?" Ale turned around and glanced at Kara, "Sorry about this." Kara brought her attention to Ale, "For what?" As a response, Ale tapped her index finger on the forehead of Kara which caused her to stumble and fall unconscious into Ale who put her back on the seat. "Reset?" Ale went back to Jeremiah, "Yeah, she will just think that Jeremiah drank a little too much and she helped him get home." With a golden glow consuming her fingers as she drove it into the open wound of Jeremiah. He flinched in pain as he gained a bit of awareness just as Ale removed her finger with a bullet fragment attached to the end. "Ale?" Jeremiah said as he brought himself back to the moment, although slightly still disoriented. "Yeah, you had a bit of a rough night." She smiled, "Kyonte and I have to make our way to Thailand, and wanted to help you catch Hachiman." "Kara!" "She's fine, resting over there." Kyonte points to Kara sitting in the chair, "You drank too much and she wanted to make sure you got home safely." "Ah, Reset." "Yeah, and your wound should heal then we can help you deal with Hachiman." "Not yet. There is more going on than just Hachiman and I might have a way to figure it out. But I will need more time to handle it alone." Kyonte released a chuckle, "Are you sure?" Kyonte got up from the wall and approached Ale and Jeremiah, "He is more than sure." Jeremiah smiled as he reached up, "I will call when it is time." Kyonte grabbed his hand in a handshake. "Sounds good." He released Jeremiah's hand and placed his grip on Ale's should before they both vanished in the sight of orange lightning flowing out of the room. Jeremiah only managed a slow exhale as he sat up, "Might as well finish painting the scene." He made sure to remove his blood clothes and took them to his laundry space and made his way back to the couch and laid down. For a moment he glanced over to Kara, "Thank you." He let the phrase of gratitude slip from his lips before allowing slumber to finally catch up to him. Word Count: 1500Karakura Town: 1500 Naruki City: 1660Overall Word Count: 3160
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  34. The two quickly dashed towards one another, each pivoting to their right and coming overhead with a hook. The hooks collide against one another as they both move to follow up. A series of kicks and punches fly between the two, each meeting the same fate at the hooks. Their movements, though unintentional, were in sync. The movements were so methodical, so precise, that one would assume it was choreographed. The twins moved to deliver a straight kick to one another, each simultaneously landing square in the other's chest. The two slide back, a smirk appearing on their faces. “You've improved since our spars with father. Gotta say I'm impressed.” “You aren't bad yourself. And here I thought all that sleeping would have made you sluggish.” The two chuckle before they quickly glance around, seeing that their partners have moved a good distance away. The rest of the class had spread out, giving the two about twenty feet to themselves. Recognizing the rare situation they found themselves in, Daisuke begins to speak. “Looks like we have a little distance between us and everyone else. I say we briefly cut loose. How about it sis?” Matsuri smiles as she realizes what he means, cracking her knuckles in delight. The temperature around her begins to drop as a bluish white aura appears around her. “I'm game. Let's see if you can keep up this time.” A dark red aura appears around Daisuke as he slowly steps towards his sister with slight burn marks appearing as he walks. Gradually, his slow lurch becomes a full sprint as he nears Matsuri with a right hook aimed at her face. Matsuri ducks down and narrowly dodges the strike before countering with an uppercut to Daisuke's chin. The strike hits the youth with much more force than he had anticipated, slightly lifting him up off of the ground. He manages to catch his footing and takes a short hop back to prepare himself. As he saw Matsuri charge towards him, he couldn't help but think of her growth not only as a fighter but overall. When they were younger, she cried about everything. The slightest things scared her and she regularly spent time hiding behind her older brother. Now, she was strong enough to step out of his shadow and stand beside him as equals. Scary enough, her power was still growing. While in mid-thought, Daisuke was rudely brought back into the present by a vicious side kick to his abdomen. Before she was able to bring her leg down, he managed to hold onto it and strike out at another right hook. At the last moment, Matsuri manages to bring her hands out to block the attack but was still sent skidding backwards. Unrelenting, Daisuke took off after her, his form beginning to blur. Matsuri quickly recovers and responds in kind, her form blurring as well. Streaks of red and blue charging one another as the two forces neared one another with fists reared back. Just before they met in the middle, both found their forward motion stopped as they dangled freely in the air by the hand. The two glance up to see Jinnosuke holding each of them up in his hands. Around his right hand, there were signs of frostbite while his left hand was badly burned and emitted a thin black smoke. “Unc....instructor Jinnosuke.” they say in unison. “And just what are you two doing? This was supposed to be learning the basics of Hakuda, not going all out with one another.” his voice booms. He drops the two and lets his hands dangle towards his side, revealing the damage caused by their strikes. “I'm sorry! I'm sorry!” the twins say in unison once more as they quickly scramble to their feet and move near Jinnosuke. With their hands glowing green, they each reach one of Jinnosuke's hands and hover over. They close their eyes and focus their energy as the damage slowly begins to heal. “Jun taught you both Kaidō? Why am I not surprised he pull something like that?” His comments go unnoticed as the two remain focus on healing, quickly finishing the task a minute later. They stand back and bow towards Jinnosuke. “We're sorry.” He growls and leans down towards the two, giving the appearance that he is about to ream them. As he gets down to their level, a smile forms across his face as he begins to whisper. “It's fine. I've known you two for most of your lives, this was expected. I'm very proud of your growth and I know your parents would be too if they were here.” He slowly rises up and the smile quickly fades, reverting back to his persona. “That was reckless and had I not stopped you, you could have seriously damaged yourselves or some of the students here. Luckily for you, I cannot punish you.” “You mean we are safe?” Daisuke says as he slowly raises his head. “I said that I couldn't punish you. Doesn't mean you wouldn't get punished...” As he says this, Daisuke and Matsuri could hear the familiar sounds of wood being scraped across the ground. A lump forms in each of their throats as they feel the menacing presence behind. “Did you two have fun....” Saya says as she stabs her sword in the space between the two. Sweat beads from their faces as she places a hand on each of their shoulders and leans her face near theirs. “Go and perform the lessons the correct way. After class, both of your asses are mine. Do we understand?” “Yes ma'am...” they both say meekly as her grip on their shoulders tighten. “Wonderful. Now get out of my sight.” “Yes ma'am.” they say as they quickly move away from their instructor. Saya sighs as she removes her sword from the ground and lets it dangle from atop her shoulder once more. “Not quite the way I wanted you to see their power but it serves the intended purpose. What do you think?” “For their age, their power is impressive. Jun and I always knew they had potential but to see it being realized is truly a sight. I've also observed the other four that you mentioned. Raito Yukimura, Shotaro Sonozaki, Asuna Yano, & Ayumi Matsumoto. The six of them are the standouts of this class. I can only imagine what the future holds for them.” WC: 1,070
    1 point
  35. Daisuke found himself yet again within the barren wasteland, running for his life from his disembodied oppressor. Those piercing red eyes followed him intently as the wound on his chest once again burned. Multiple orbs comprised of black flames rain down from the skies; each one narrowly missing their intended target. The orbs continued in the hundreds and there seemed to be no end in sight. Sweat beaded down his face as he ran, desperately trying to find some sort of reprieve against this onslaught. “Until you say my name Daisuke...you are not worthy to wield me.” “Then tell me your name! What the hell is your name?!” Daisuke screams as a deafening roar from above the clouds echoes. An orb of flames lands directly in front of the boy as the resulting explosion sends him backwards. Just as before, the clouds part as a massive black dragon slowly descends from the heavens. Daisuke manages to rise to his feet to take in the impressive sight for himself. If he wasn't terrified out of his mind, he'd almost think it magnificent. It lands on the ground with a sickening thud, forcefully sending the youth back down to the ground. Methodically, it lurches forward with each step it takes sending a reverberating boom. Flames begin to billow from its snout as it creeps towards its prey. “You cannot run from me. You will never be worthy... Not until you say my name.” the Dragon speaks as it comes mere inches from Daisuke's face. “What is your name?!” he says, almost pleading with the creature. “My name is....” the Dragon says as Daisuke, much like the time before, unable to hear what comes next. “I can't hear it. What is it?!” he says as the Dragon opens its mouth. A black orb of flames form in the center of its mouth as Daisuke attempts to back away. “Still not worthy...” the Dragon says as it fires the orb towards a now screaming Daisuke. “Dai... Dai... Dai... wake up!” The youth springs his eyes open, finding himself within the sanctuary of his dormitory once more. His body was drenched in a cold sweat as he looked around to gather himself. He sees his sister standing next to the bed with a concerned, almost frightened look on her face. “Matsuri...” he mumbles as his heartbeat begins to slow down. “Are you alright Dai? I came to wake you up since I figured you'd oversleep again but when I got here, I could hear you screaming from the top of your lungs.” She offered him a towel which he slowly accepted, wiping the sweat from his face and arms. “Hey Matsuri...” he begins after a long pause. “Have you had any weird dreams lately? Dreams of being chased by something.” Matsuri looks down at her lap, twirling a strand of her blue hair around her finger. It was something she always did when she was stressed; a coping mechanism if you will. “.....sometimes.” she says after an equally long pause. “Is it a dragon that chases you?” “No...” she replies while still looking down. Daisuke wanted to press the topic and try to find out what it was and if there were any more similarities to his own dreams but decided against it. In some ways, Matsuri was very fragile. He didn't want to add to the stress. “I won't press it. Come on, we better get to class.” he says. His words seemed to snap her out of her trance-like stare as she quickly reverts to her previous self. “Hurry up. You're going to make me late as well. The one day the instructors decide to merge our classes and you oversleep. If I get a mark for this, you're going to pay for it. You have ten minutes. I'll be waiting at the front.” She says as she tosses another towel towards her brother before departing the room. Daisuke sighs as she departs, leaving him alone with his thoughts once more. ”No use just sitting here...” he mutters as he gets himself out of bed. Some of the sheets, now damp with sweat, lightly stuck to his skin as he removes them and tosses them back on the bed. As he moves to the bathroom, he glances at the wall to his right as he sees his Zanpakutō propped up against the wall. Just by looking at it, he felt a sense of unease. The feeling, although subdued, was much like what he experienced during his dreams. Shaking his head at the notion, he quickly departs for the bathroom before he gained more of Matsuri's ire. WC: 773
    1 point
  36. Daisuke arrived at the Kidō Training area, mentally and physically drained from all of the lessons Saya had given them in the weeks leading up to today. The training was arduous but in the end, he came out of it with his very on Asauchi. A Zanpakutō he could call his own. They were told that they had to spend every waking moment with their new Zanpakutō so they could imprint their reiatsu onto it and manifest what would eventually becoming their Zanpakutō spirit. Daisuke was eager to get to this point but for now, he had to deal with Kidō class. The area was out with a large pond in the middle. Fish could be seen swimming as the sun reflected against the water. There were several dummies set up around the pool, each one looking rougher than the one before it. All of them were equipped with limbs but one of them had arms that were being restrained. As the class began to pour in, Daisuke walked up and peeked behind to see just what was restraining it. To his bewilderment, there was nothing there. As he pondered aloud just what was the source of this, his arms were forced behind his back. He struggled to get loose but the more he struggled the tighter the force around his arms got. In seconds, he fell face first onto the ground, hogtied like a pig. He expected to hear the class laugh at his misfortune but there were no laughs. Oddly enough, it was quiet. Suddenly, the soft taps of footsteps could be heard approaching, stopping just a few feet behind him. “It seems that you were unable to see the Kidō that was used to restrain the dummy.” More footsteps could be heard as the voice moves forward towards Daisuke, kneeling down in front with a smile. “While I suspect that you were not the only one who was unable to see, your case does present the most concern to me. For someone such as yourself, who has controlled reiatsu but constantly leaks it, seeing a simple spell such as that should be but a trivial matter. This leads me to believe that Kidō is not your strong suit. You will likely struggle in this course. No matter. When all is said and done, you and everyone here will be masters at this and other powerful techniques.” He snaps his fingers as the force around Daisuke disappears, granting him full mobility once more. The man, still with a smile on his face, extends his hand down to help Daisuke up, who quickly accepts. “My name is Ryusuke Tanahashi. I'm a member of the Kidō Corps and I'll be your Kidō teacher. As you many of you just witnessed, this is Kidō at its core. Some Kidō can be defended against. Others are not able to be blocked. All Kidō follow a similar rule set. The more reiryoku you put in, the stronger your Kidō will be. Even the lowest of spells can become a dangerous tool in your arsenal if used correctly. Let’s get started shall we?” He claps his hands as a light green energy construct appears above the pool. The class stands in amazement by the construct as the instructor's voice stirs them from their thoughts. “Alright, everyone make your way atop and construct." One by one, each student makes their way up the construct. Once they all are on top, the instructor speaks once more. “Now close your eyes and focus. In order to tap into your potential, you have to be aware of your surroundings and to all the reiatsu around you. Everything is connected. Your mind and senses must be sharp. Feel the energy around and focus it towards the tip of your index finger Let it build to its peak and when it feels ready to burst, thrust your finger forward and release the energy.” One by one, each of the students perform the desired task in amazement as a small amount of energy is released from their fingers. Chatter spreads among them before the instructor silences them once more. “Splendid. That was Hadō number one: Shō. The lowest of Hadō spells that can be used in a number of ways. There are dummies scattered around the area, please practice the spell on the dummies.” The class spreads out to complete their task as Daisuke stands at the end of the pool. His finger trembling as he constantly thrusts it forward to no avail. “Nothing is coming out...” he says. “Seems that while you may have the advantage in physical combat, I have you beat in Kidō.” a voice rings out. Daisuke looks to his left and sees a smiling Raito wave at him before moving towards a dummy. “For now...” he mutters as he continues to extend. After about an hour, all of the students slowly depart, leaving Daisuke in the same spot alone. Even after an hour, he was unable to perform the task. He grits his teeth in anger as he glares at his reflection in the pool. He suddenly sees another reflection on the water's surface as he glances up to see the instructor staring at him with the same warm smile from before. Daisuke puts his head down and stares at the ground. “You know class is over right?” “I should be able to do this. With all of the training I went through with father on controlling my power, I should be able to do this.” The mention of his father piques Ryusuke's interest as he stares deeply at the now setting sun. “I was an acquaintance of your father's. He is a good man and he would talk about you and your sister frequently. He mentioned the first time he met you both and the way your reiatsu leaked. While he taught you how to control the intensity of what you emitted, he did not teach proper control. He likely wanted you and your sister to learn on your own and forge your own paths. Here...” The instructor places his hand on Daisuke's shoulder and has him lift his index finger. “Let's try it again, only this time, I'll help you channel the energy. Remember what I said and try the Hadō spell again.” Daisuke closes his eyes and focuses, attempting to channel the energy towards the tip of his finger. He feels the energy building more and more each second before he quickly releases it. A thundering boom is heard as the water rises up from the pool and rains down around the two. Daisuke stands awed at the display while the instructor gives a surprised chuckle. “That was an impressive spell. Well done.” “I could only accomplish that because of your power. It wasn't on my own.” “That's where you are wrong. As I said, I only helped you channel your power. What you just saw was your power alone. How about we do this? Every couple of days, I typically have one on one sessions with students who are struggling. If you want to, I can help you learn how to truly channel your power without assistance. That should make things a bit easier for you and make you stronger over all. You interested?” Daisuke nods his head in excitement, eager to over come the hurdle he faced. In his excitement, he suddenly wondered. What about Matsuri? Her class was earlier in the day and he wasn't sure if this offer had been extended to her. Given that she still leaked reiatsu, it would be beneficial to her as well. “Would you mind if I brought Matsuri along with me? She'd probably relish the opportunity to gain more control of her powers too." "Your sister doesn't need the training. She already has full control of her reiatsu and has probably had control over it for a few years now. Like yourself, she'll likely always have to deal with her reiatsu leaking but that won't hinder her. She picked up Kidō easily. A born natural.” The instructor chuckles as he began to walk away, slowly jamming his hands in the pockets of his coat as he leaves Daisuke standing with mouth agape. “MATSURI!!!!” he yells in anger. Ryusuke shoots a quick wave of his hand before departing. “We'll start tomorrow after class.” WC: 1,389
    1 point
  37. He let the phrase of gratitude slip from his lips before allowing slumber to finally catch up to him. Jeremiah and Kyonte were chilling on the couch in the engineers room as Alejandra sat at the main station controlling the system as the three of them looked at the man in the studio with his phone in his hand and leaning into the mic. "Alright Calyx, are you ready?" Calyx only raised his free hand with a half effort thumbs up to which she responded by loading up the instrumental beat for him. The introduction of the song was soft before the beat came in, "Yeah, yeah / Ayo, Limited Edition, it's time. / It's time, Limited Edition (aight, Limited Edition, begin). / Straight out the heavy dungeons of rap. / The car drops deep as does my apple. / I never glide, 'cause to glide is the cousin of snapple. / Beyond the walls of trains, life is defined. / I think of love when I'm in a California state of mind. / Hope the chapel got some grapple. / My pineapple don't like no dirty dapple. / Run up to the snapple and get the rappel. / In a California state of mind. / What more could you ask for? The red car? / You complain about inequality. / I gotta love it though - somebody still speaks for the avatar. / I'm rappin' to the padlock, / And I'm gonna move your block. / Soft, loud, radiant, like a money / Boy, I tell you, I thought you were a blini. / I can't take the inequality, can't take the violin. / I woulda tried to dive I guess I got no in. / I'm rappin' to the block, / And I'm gonna move your padlock. / Yea, yaz, in a California state of mind. / When I was young my cousin had a star. / I waz kicked out without no bar. / I never thought I'd see that avatar. / Ain't a soul alive that could take my cousin's r. / A cold stage is quite the gage. / Thinking of love. Yaz, thinking of love (love)." The pair of Limited Edition looked at one another after hearing it and smirked a bit, "So, where did this guy come from?" He mocked a bit, "Look, he paid for me to record and clean the audio." "Yeah, but how do you clean poor quality." Jeremiah smiled and laughed a bit as he watched them go back and forth as the man in the booth smirked at his work, "Aye, can we run it back one more time?" It was at that point when Jeremiah wanted to speak up, "I mean, the fact that he wants to plug our name in his song is a little off putting." Kyonte hit him in the arm slightly, "He just trying to earn some clout. Means people are recognizing we about to change the game." Alejandra looked back at the two of them with a clear look of disapproval, "You guys are up here..." Her hand was held with the palm side down at about her head level before bringing it down to her seat level, "I am going to need you to bring it down here." The pair of guys laughed at it as the guy went off for the song one more time. "If I still have time, I have a second song I want to go through." Alejandra took a moment to look the man over and glanced back at her friends who responded with a shrug. She turned back to the guy, "You paid for a session, but it will be extra if you want the second one to be mastered." Calyx gave a shrug and nod to agree and started to move his lyrics around, "It is the Drake type beat mix." She nodded and moved her files around to start up the next instrumental, "On you Calyx." The music started and then he took the chance for his song, "They're swinging and swinging and swinging and swinging / They're swinging with me / You used to push, you used to, you used to / You used to push / When you needed me / Push / My hips, my hips / I hold back, sometimes I won't leap / I feel good, sometimes I don't shoot / I walk down Sherwood Avenue / Sometimes I leap / Sometimes I walk / Sometimes I shoot / Do you love me? Are you swinging? / Say you'll never ever leap without me / 'Cause I want ya, and I need ya / And I'm down for you always / Do you love me? / Are you swinging? / Say you'll never ever shoot without me / 'Cause I want ya, and I need ya / And I'm there for you always / Sometimes I leap / Sometimes I walk / Sometimes I shoot / You're my everything, you're all I ever wanted / We could leap real big, bigger than you ever done it / I want to shoot with you forever, I swear I can spend whatever on it / And I say the same thing every single time / I say, you're the most optimistic, you're the most optimistic / You're the most optimistic, you're the most optimistic / You're the most optimistic person I've ever known, most optimistic I've ever known / Most optimistic person I've ever known, most optimistic I've ever known / I say, you the most optimistic / Sometimes I leap / Sometimes I walk / Sometimes I shoot / But I never run away / Even when I'm away / I'm on my worst behavior / Don't you ever leap without me." Alejandra took the time to lock the session down, "Great job Calyx." Then as she turned around she noticed that both Kyonte and Jeremiah had left the room already. They walked outside to the fresh air, "That man was literally trying to rip off Drake, and not even in a good way." He laughed as Jeremiah followed with it, "Not like if we have God's plan, gods plan...." And in unison they continued, "I hold back, sometimes I won't, yuh / I feel good, sometimes I don't, ayy, don't / I finessed down Weston Road, ayy, 'nessed / Might go down a G.O.D., yeah, wait / I go hard on South side G, yeah, wait / I make sure that north-side eat." They let their right hands hit palm side and then the back side of their hands for the handshake as they smiled at one another. Then, suddenly, the moment shifted to a darker tone for the pair of them as they heard the sounds of tires skidding along the ground and the windows began to roll down as the sounds of gunfire echoed along the street- "They will pay!" Jeremiah lurched up from the couch shouting while covered in sweat and suddenly locked eyes with Kara standing in his doorway wearing different clothes from the night prior. "Are you okay?" She approached him with a coffee carrier in her hands and set them on the coffee table nearby and slightly crouched besides him, "Did you get enough rest?" It took a moment for Jeremiah to come back to focus in the real world, realizing that he was having a combination of bad dreams. He attempted to bring his attention to Kara but he was still so absorbed in other thoughts and events that continued to fill his mind. "You will continue to search for me and I will continue to keep my eye on you Jeremiah Brandon Richardson." The words were clearly from the same voice as they strange dream that he had, and wondered how connected the two were. His head was spinning as he sat there with a sharp ringing in his head at such a high frequency that caused him to yelp in pain. "Lay back, you definitely drank way too much." He did so, not simply because he was asked but due to the pressure that was being pressed against the inside of his skull. "I believe that you just need a good breakfast to help settle the hangover." She smiles as she lifts herself up and walks towards his kitchen, "So I started preparing some stuff for you and brought you the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte with Peppermint." Word Count: 3400 Karakura Town: 1500 + 3400 = 4900 Naruki City: 1660 Overall Word Count: 3160 + 3400 = 6560
    1 point
  38. Hinode made his way through the city, as he always does, and took the time to enjoy the scenery of the city, as he always has. Today was no different that almost any other day as he took the gentle route through the night that lead him to the place that he found comfort in most of his days. The distance grew close as the great mansion was brought forth to his vision with the great Victorian gates coming into clear view. Upon arriving at the gate his attention was brought to the intercom device next to the walkway path and, after looking over at the roadway where the vehicle entrance was, brought his hand to the system pressing a series of buttons. A few seconds later a buzzing sound was heard and the tall gate made a clicking noise and released from the frame of the entrance slightly. He pushed forward moving the door but being sure to close it behind him before he continued along the walkway. It was always an enjoyable journey going through the manor field in front and simply taking in the gentle vegetation that had grown and been tended to by the landscaping company. This was the place that he had the chance to call a home away from home, despite the fact that he had his main place of residence be attached to the clinic, this was the location where he would gather most of his essentials. Upon reaching the door he brought his hand to knock on the old, yet certainly restored, wooden door. A few second passed before the door opened to reveal an elderly male in full formal tux with his white gloved hand extended in a formal stance. "Ah, Master Yoake." He turned to give space for Hinode to enter the mansion, "Good to see you Therion. I assume Rachel is here then?" Therion closed the door behind Hinode and gently secured the door, "Yes, Madam Rachel is currently meeting with Lord Gahdrazzar." Hinode simply nodded as he turned to face Therion with a puzzled glance, "If you would like, you may wait in the study and I shall bring you something to refresh yourself." With a smile, Hinode nodded, "That would be great." "I will inform Lord Gahdrazzar that you have arrived." Both of them went separate directions with Hinode heading towards the study glancing at the pictures along the wall that holds various people that he recognized with Gahdrazzar being scattered around throughout various decades and, by some that are certainly recreations as opposed to pictures, centuries as well. The many lives that Hinode lived pale in comparison to the value that Gahdrazzar had accumulated and there was a certain amount of respect that he obtained. It is one thing to simply live as long as he has being that their kind do not face death through time, but to have gone through so many conflicts with the Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, and even the humans of the world of the living and remain a survivor. To predate the existence of Vlad Tepes, who was believed to have been the first of their kind, is a feat all on its own. He arrived in the study, a gently decorated space with chairs and musical instruments all around. As soon as he took a seat in one of the chairs, "Here you are Master Yoake." Therion stood besides Hinode with an intricate black goblet with a white raven jewel embedded into the cup upon a silver platter. The young doctor provided a nod, "Thank you Therion." He took the cup and took note of the shimmering green color of the fluid inside, "This is a sample from Madam Rachel's personal collection; a human with hollowed nature, although incomplete to add the imperfection to the flavor." "Nothing pure?" He jested, "I could acquire one of the pure samples, but I would require permission to serve such a taste for a guest of the manor." "I was only kidding Therion, this is fine. I am not one to divulge deeply in the consumption too much. I do appreciate this." With that he took a decent drink from his glass as his body gave a faint jade green glow for a moment before fading. "Excellent Sir, if there is nothing else you require I shall return to Madam Rachel." Hinode gave a nod and Therion departed from the room. "Fun guy." Hinode took another drink from his glass, "This is really good." WC: 751 Soul Charge: +1 (1)
    1 point
  39. Hindoe stood across from the person who was currently running some of his cardio warm ups in order to keep himself active and prepared for any of his training but stopped for a moment when his eyes took note of the person across from him. "Aye Doctor, yo decided to follow through wit the offer!" He gave a confident smile with a thumbs up as he started to stretch a bit. "Hopefully you don't expect me to take it easy on you. I plan to use the new found powers given to me since the initiation." The doctor took a moment to stare at the moment and take in the image of the man and determined what it was that he was feeling from him, as it became clear to him that the being had been infused with a familiar spiritual energy meaning that he was heavily induced with the essence of a Bount. For the most part he thought that Bounts were a random occurrence from a situation that occurred out of their control but he wondered if there was a method to create Bounts in some manner. "Do you have a Servant as well?" The man smirked at the response, potentially bewildered by the question. "Nah, we don't get servants. Just the natural power boost from initiation. Only those that want to become acolytes can make the effort to earn a servant from the Lord." Hinode had so many questions, curious to what it was that Gahdrazzar was capable of that he might be capable of creating more of their kind. "I assume that you are, or at least were at some point, an initiate?" Hinode gave a slow head shake as he stretched a bit, "Not at all, just a friend of the Covenant." The man gave an approval nod, "Makes sense to have a doctor as a friend, helps in the dire situations." He finally took a few steps forward as a flow of deep dark orange spiritual energy would radiate from his body in a small burst and the man rushed forward. "Oh, you are a physical fighter." The man continued forward and Hinode considered how many soul fragments that he had consumed recently and decided that he held an abundance that would not prove to problematic to expend a few dozen fragments just to see how capable he would be. Just as the man got close to him he raised his right hand as deep blue energy would flow from his palm as the man swung a punch. The fist made contact with the hand of Hinode with a small impact shock wave with a draft of wind that blew back before the deep blue energy shifted to a red color and was unleashed from his hand in a small explosive blast that sent the man flying backwards into the padded wall. "Oh, you are strong." The man got up from the ground and prepared to rush again as a golden ball of energy could be seen flying through the air and made impact on the ground in front of the man before it bounced and exploded just shy of two meters from his chest. The force was enough to send him back into the wall and tatter a bit of his clothes. "Alright, alright." The man slowly got up dusting himself up with a clear sign of some bruising, "You are more capable than I thought, but this was just a light training." He laughed as Hinode shyly smirked scratching the back of his head with an awkward expression, "My bad." The man approached and extended his hand out, "No worries, taught me a thing or two. Heard about natural born bounts have access to those techniques, but thought the Counts were capable of those." Hinode chuckled, "Yeah, well Gahdrazzar taught me a few of the techniques just in case." "Taught by the Covenant Lord himself? Well look at you, learning from royalty." The large man laughed as he put his hand on the shoulder of Hinode, who took a moment to really acknowledge the height difference between the two, "You earned this." Suddenly Hinode watched as the man started to glow with his orange energy again before it would flow and envelope himself before his body would consume the energy. "You won, you get a fragment from me." "Wait, I have been around and thought only that the Lord could exchange fragments." "Yeah, and being initiated by him we are capable of sharing fragments among one another or pass them to a natural born." With another shocked expression, Hinode took note of that detail. "Well, I might go finish my exploration." "Go for it, if you ever need a training buddy, just asked for Saigo!" Saigo turned and walked away to potentially work out some more as Hinode picked up his protein mixture and took another drink before being on his way, "Well, that was pretty good." Word Count: 858Weekly Thread Word Count: 3468Soul Charge Acquired: 1 SoulSoul Charges Available: 5 SoulsAdditional Soul Charge: 450 Words
    1 point
  40. Hinode continued to consume his pie happily enjoying each bite with a focused enthusiasm, almost forgetting entirely that he was in the room with another person. "I could only assume that it measure's up to your standards?" There was a moment that Hinode was caught off guard as he was in the middle of enjoying the savory explosion of flavors that was in his mouth and left him to preoccupied to focus on the question, let alone generate a response and instead left himself to his own thoughts of the food for a few more seconds. Then, with an obvious smile, "This might have been one of the greatest apple pies that I have ever enjoyed. Who did you gather to create this one?" He inquired as he set his utensil down on the plate and slide it an inch or so away from him as a sign that he was done, as if the spotless plate was not enough of an indication, "Still not the best though?" He humorously inquired with a sly smile as he lifted himself up from the seat, "Well I might have to try a little harder on my baking skills or gather better ingredients still." The response was a bit shocking at first as he gathered the words and digested them with his pie, "Wait, you made this? Yourself? Lord Gahdrazzar actually entered the kitchen himself and produced a pie?" Hinode was quite impressed if one could see the tone beneath his obvious mocking, "Jest all you want at my expense, you think I would not gather a skill or two in the kitchen at least within the last few decades?" There was a silent pause before Hinode brought both of his hands up in front of him and provided a collection of claps towards Gahdrazzar, "Well done. You have truly gone above and beyond yourself this time." They smiled at one another as Gahdrazzar proceeded to bow, "Thank you, thank you. I would like to thank my parents for buying me my first easy bake oven." He proceed with his facetious response as they both put on a show for one another, "But honestly, thank you for coming." He took a few steps towards Hinode, his apparent height difference now clear by more than six inches, and extended his right hand out towards his friend who reached out in response, "Of course, you spend all of your time keeping the Covenant in order every so often you need to take a break and just relax." Gahdrazzer chuckled, "Is that Hinode or Dr. Yoake talking?" "Both, you old man." They pulled each other by the arm for a quick embrace before stepping away. "Sadly I have other matters to tend to and-" "No worries, such is the life of a Lord. I will enjoy my peasant status and roam the great castle halls and see what trouble I can get into." With a friendly wave as a secondary signal of them going separate ways, Gahdrazzar made his way out of the room and left Hinode by himself. "Well, time to explore once more." With that, he made his way out of the room eventually finding himself in the fitness center. Several workout machines, devices, tools, and equipment was scattered throughout the room, although in a clearly organized manner, with several individuals in the room taking the time to focus on their own fitness. One of the larger individuals was talking to their friend as they continued walking backwards, "Just saying, if you aren't pushing yourself then you're just-" He was interrupted when he backed into Hinode who was observing the rest of the room. "My bad kid." He acknowledge Hinode with a quick glance taking only his small frame and young appearance as a sign of youth which has never played to the Doctor's favor. "Not a kid, but no worries." "Oh, you're that Doctor that runs the clinic in Karakura." He shrugged, "Yeah, that's me." "I was about to hit the mats for some light training. I am assuming that you come here for a workout." Once more Hinode responded with a shrug, "Why not, fitness of the body ensures fitness of the mind." The larger individual looked at him for a moment, "Sure, whatever Doc. See you on the mat!" Not a single word could be given as a response as the larger man was already walking away at a quick pace and Hinode wondered if that was his natural pace or if the man was overwhelmed with his own adrenaline. Another individual approached drinking from his blender bottle, "He gets pretty ampped when he gets to train with someone different, says it keeps him on his toes." Hinode kept a focus on that man, certain that there was something medically wrong with the way he was but pushed the thought form his mind. "You a new initiate?" The man inquired but Hinode simply shook his head, "Nah, just visiting for a little bit." "A visitor? I didn't even know that a initiates were allowed visitors. Who are you visiting?" "Gahdrazzar." The man froze, stunned by what he heard, "Wait you came to visit the Covenant Lord?" Undisturbed, "Yeah, we just finished having drinks and apple pie so it would make sense to get a little cardio in for the day. It is important to keep the body healthy, maintains a good metabolism too." He proceeded to walk away, towards the mats, leaving the man in awe of what just transpired. As he prepared to enter the mat area, which was an open space with padded floors and walls, the man from early stopped him. "Hey Doc, I am all for some training but stay hydrated." He tossed a dark purple blender bottle towards Hinode who caught it just before it hit the ground. "Comes with protein boost; Fuel for the Soul." He took a moment to open it and look it over through the top but could not see a reason not to partake. Protein boosts do no harm to the body when controlled and a sample effort holds no damage to his own system. So he secured the top and started to drink from the straw intake at the top and had a smile, "Apple flavor, had a few packs in my bag." With a smirk he walked off as Hinode sealed the bottle and stepped on the mat across from the larger individual, "This is gonna be good." Word Count: 1,102Weekly Thread Word Count: 2610Soul Charge Acquired: 1 SoulSoul Charges Available: 4 SoulsAdditional Soul Charge: 450 Words
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  41. "I would imagine, being one of the oldest members of the Covenant she has spent quite some time refining her methods of careful extraction." The Lord made a few steps into the room as Hinode continued to drink from his glass enjoying the sweet taste of the drink. Although he found a sufficient way to satisfy himself by sampling portions of a person's soul, so much so that the person would easily recover the spiritual energy within a few hours, and it allowed him to maintain his power so that he could remain such a capable healer. That was the trade off that he was acceptable dealing with, immortality by way of consuming souls and in return his life is devoted to helping others recover from the frailty of mortality of the flesh or of the soul. "So tell me Doctor Yoake, when will I expect you to make residence in the Manor." Hinode nearly choked on the sip that he just took from the sharp turn of the inquiry as he gathered himself with a humored chuckle. "We went over this Gahrazzar, my services will always be available to the covenant much like any patron of the PanZer clinic but I have no interests in the politics." There was a sigh as Gahdrazzar made his way towards the small wet bar and shuffling bottles around, "I try to pretend that I never heard any of that and keep assuming you mean you need more time to think about it." With a large gulp Hinode finished the rest of his drink as Gahdrazzar pulled on a small string that was located above the wet bar, "I honestly appreciate everything that you have done for me since I got out of that forest, and I am in your debt, but I promise you that there is no amount of charm or persuasion to change my desire to avoid the politics of the many houses," He paused for a moment as he shifted to a more properly seated position, "You do understand that I don't even run my own clinic? I have a standard human who is both my business partner as well as my manager." Gahdrazzar pulled away from the wet bar and turned around with a case that held several cigars to which he extended out in an offer. Hinode shook his head as he continued on with Gahdrazzar approached the seat next to him, "Truth be told, between her and Teien, they could run the clinic themselves and have no need for me. She is a capable Medical Doctor who made a few too many enemies and Teien is on the tail end of completing his Medical Degree." Gahdrazzar snapped his fingers as a bit of flame sparked from his thumb as he held it up to the end of the cigar, "Those aren't good for your lungs or overall health." The Lord could not help but smile as he took a decent drag on the cigar and faced Hinode. "I have lived more than a millennia through plagues, wars, and famine; I am sure that a little lung damage will amount to a scratch in comparison." Hinode gave a shrug as a young man and woman enter the room each with a silver plate covered with an ornate chrome case. A third individual, an older female, entered the room with another young gentleman and set up trays in front of the two Bounts just as the first young man and woman set the plates down. "I had the staff make this special for you." They removed the chrome covers from the plates to reveal slices of apple pie with the most alluring aroma that Hinode got lost in a trance. "You know that bribery is not going to work." Hinode turned a sharp gaze towards his friend, "I understand which is why this is not a bribery but a treat for a friend, I know how much you love apples and these are fresh from the garden and made by only the best quality bakers infused with prime soul fragments for optimal flavor." With a smile he raised his fork as the servants all departed from the room, "To friendship." With a chuckle and a smile Hinode responded, "To friendship." With that he dug into the first bite with such excitement and an overwhelming sense of wonder, "This right here, this is good." Word Count: 758 Weekly Thread Word Count: 1508 Soul Charge Acquired: 1 Soul Soul Charges Available: 3 Souls Additional Soul Charge: 450 Words
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  42. Hinode continued to sip from his glass enjoying the flavor of the refreshment and, although he was not one to agree with Madam Rachels method's of acquiring her soul supply, he could not deny the astounding work that she put into her refinery. She made a name for herself creating some of the most premier wine and spirits for most of the American Humans but there was also the supply of Soul Satisfying Wine's that was made for particularly bounts, however other humans and a few unique beings had grown quite fond of the unique taste that she created. He had finished his last sip when he noticed a young girl, couldn't be more than fourteen (14) years of age with long dirty blond hair and piercing red eyes dressed in old Victorian fashion staring him down with a rather stoic yet excited expression. "Oh, Rachel. When do you-" "So, what did you think?" "What did I think? You mean-" "Yes I mean the wine, what are your thoughts?" He paused for a moment, "I found it remarkably satisfying both for a general flavor and sustenance." As he finished his sentence, Therion gently removed the drinking glass from his hand and placed it upon the silver tray he held and departed the room. "I hate how he does that." "He is particular good at being where he is needed and never lingering a second longer than necessary." Hinode gave a smile, "Well, you trained him pretty well kid." Immediately her demeanor shifted and became heavier as her spiritual pressure flared. "What did you say?" Lounging in the chair he shrugged as he turned and set his legs over the arm rest, turning sideways and leaning comfortably. "I said, 'you trained him pretty well kid' since you missed it the first time." She took a step forward, "You insolent child, I lived several centuries before you were even conceived and as the Count of the Second I expect you to show a modicum of respect." Only seconds later would a man in a deep red trench coat slide into the room with a large buster sword held in his right hand as his silver hair shined by the light of the room. He turned his gaze towards Hinode who saw the emerald green left eye and the deep red right eye staring at him. "Are you alright Lady Rachel?" "Wow Ragnor, record time." Slowly Ragnor placed his weapon on his back along his waist and with a scowl directed at Hinode. "Mr. Yoake causing problems again?" "It is 'Doctor' Yoake, I know that the idea of intelligence is too much for you to wrap your brain around-" "What are you even doing here? You don't belong here." Hinode release a chuckle, "Careful, I can see the smoke coming from your ears. Besides, I am a Bount, like the residents of this Manor. Unlike you who is a glorified lapdog, a full bring slave chasing after Rachel." "I think that might be enough for today." From the other end of the room entered a man with darker skin and jet black hair of a modest length enter wearing a more traditional set of clothes as his red button down shirt has a few buttons undone to reveal his tattooed chest and a series of rings decorate either hand. "Thank you so much for the visit Rachel, but we did run a bit over the time we planned and Hinode is an expected guest." He gave a friendly smile, "So I would rather avoid a brawl in the midst of my Manor, if you would be so kind." "My apologies, my Lord." Rachel responded as Ragnor dropped to the ground on a knee in respect bowing his head. "Ragnor, it is time we depart." "The vehicle is out front waiting for you Madam Rachel." Once more Therion appeared as if on cue with a glass on a platter being lowered to Hinode. "A departing gift, a sample of a more complete human comprised of hollow nature." Rachel and her group made their way out, "Learn to be grateful you pitiful creature." She left without another response from Hinode who glanced across the room towards the Lord with a smile. He took another drink from this new glass and with a smile and focused on his dear friend with an elated expression, "This is really good stuff.." Word Count: 750 Soul Charge Acquired: 1 Soul Soul Charges Available: 2 Souls Additional Soul Charge: 450 Words
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  43. 021: Welcome To WILD'S ----- ___________________ ... RYŪNOSUKE crossed his arms and frowned as the Professor stumbled over his words, yet again startled by the teenager's assertive demeanor. The timid middle-aged man now struggled to explain to Ryūnosuke why he couldn't just "sign up" as a member of their organization. "A-again Tamura-kun... we love your energy b-but one doesn't simply 'sign up' as you put it... There is more to it than that. Nuances and such!" Ryūnosuke sighed. "Well, why not?", he argued. "There is a Hollow problem, right? You guys are tackling it and I want to help. What about all that stuff you said before? I'm not seeing what's so complicated about it." Kiyoku stepped between Ryūnosuke and the Professor and addressed the teenager. "The honest truth is, you aren't ready. Not yet.", she explained bluntly. Ryūnosuke was caught off guard by the sharpness of Kiyoku's comment. Judging by how they had so highly regarded his battle with Baron Quadhorn, he'd mistakenly thought he was fit to take on Hollows as he was. If he knew what he was up against from the start, he might have even won, or so he'd led himself to believe. "You need a lot of training before you're ready to go out on missions with our team or even strike out on your own should you choose to do so... I hate to shut you down but as things stand, you go out there you'll just get yourself killed and most likely innocent bystanders killed as well in the process." Ryūnosuke remained silent, if there was an angle to argue against the points Kiyoku was making, he was unaware of it. Besides, so far the Manager had given him no reason to distrust her or her judgement. "Should you decide to join our organization and if we decide to accept you, our first priority would be to train you to get your Reiatsu under control and to properly manifest your Fullbring. In addition to that we need to see how well you fit in with the team and decide who to pair you with in the field." Kiyoku continued. Ryūnosuke saw no reason to oppose anything she said, it all made perfect sense but there was one aspect of what he was being told that he knew would present a personal issue. "How much time are we talking?", he asked flatly as he again faced the "X"s on the map of Karakura and anticipated the worst answer. Kiyoku sighed once more, crossed her arms, and faced the map with the teenager. "That honestly depends on you, but a couple months if we're being reasonable." Ryūnosuke scoffed disapprovingly. A couple of months was way too long for him to just be sitting around while he knew people were out there being hunted in basically his own backyard. "A couple of months... Great, someone want to call a time-out with Baron Quadhorn so he knows not to kill anyone until I'm ready!" Ryūnosuke muttered in frustration. Kiyoku pinched the bridge of her nose. "We know it isn't ideal, but there is no other way. Our goal isn't just to kill Hollows, we have to protect and save lives first and foremost. You will do more harm than good if you go out there before you're ready." Kiyoku place her hand firmly on Ryūnosuke's left shoulder. "It's for the best." ----- ... IWA was still a bit rattled even an hour after his little disagreement with Chizuru. It wasn't that she pushed him, Iwa knew not to take that personally. His concern was that Chizuru's argument might not have been as far out of the realm of possibilities as he calculated. Iwa had done his research, he'd crunched the numbers over and over in his mind and on paper. Trusting the new guy was the right move anyway he looked at it. This was the way to move WILD'S forwards regardless of whatever feelings the others had about it positive or otherwise. Still, there were variables he couldn't account for yet, the biggest one of all being that the new guy was at the end of the day a complete stranger. A wildcard so to speak-- a "WILD'S card" rather. There were the overwhelming facts in which Iwa placed his confidence completely and then there were the things still left to be determined and therein Chizuru had sowed the seeds of doubt. Blind faith in something or someone wasn't Iwa's style --it wasn't good detective work. Intuition and deduction, those were one thing but this was different. Iwa sucked his teeth as he mopped the floor behind the register. He looked to his left, across the store, and spotted Juri entering the employee entrance to the Dango shop next door. Chizuru passed her on her way back into the gift shop and paused as she made eye-contact with him. Iwa nodded and Chizuru put her hands in her pocket before she made her way towards him. Iwa sighed and lifted the mop from the ground. As he did the excess water still on the tiles appeared to be sucked back into the mop head as if by magnetism. Chizuru arrived at the register just as Iwa dropped the mop back into its bucket. "Hey.", Chizuru greeted. "Hey back at you." "You seen Kanako-chan?" "She's in the back doing inventory... or she might be working on the webpage. She mentioned something about the confirm order page being buggy.", Iwa answered as her started to wheel the mop bucket from behind the register counter. He knew Chizuru only asked about Kanako to open up a conversation and had a decent idea of what she really wanted to say. "Before you say anything-" "I'm sorry I shoved you before." Chizuru cut him off. She sighed after. "That was wrong of me and I shouldn't have. I was just a little worked up --but that's no excuse!" Iwa chuckled. "I know, Chizuru-chan, relax.", he paused and smiled. "Apology accepted." Chizuru looked relieved. It was obvious that the incident was something she wanted to move pass as well and she wholeheartedly welcomed Iwa's offer to do just that. "Thank you." "You weren't completely wrong, by the way... Your skepticism is valid, given everything we've been through. I know you're just trying to keep us all safe.", Iwa admitted. It was important that he communicated to Chizuru that her concerns were valid and that he understood her heart was in the right place; even if he didn't fully agree with her. Chizuru nodded, "I know you're doing the same... the Iwa way.", she chuckled. "Fair enough. I don't know, there's just something there... when I saw him I just knew and the more I thought about it the more and more sense it made. All the pieces fell into place.", Iwa explained. He wasn't sure if Chizuru would understand. He didn't know how to put what he meant in words without coming out and directly admitting that this time --this one time-- he was prepared to bet everything on "faith" alone. Because if he did he would also have to admit that even if he had no evidence at all they'd be in this exact position anyway. He would have given the stranger the invitation regardless. He knew that the moment he first laid eyes on him. "Well, whatever happens. We have your back, and we'll get through it together... somehow.", Chizuru proclaimed. For now, at least, she chose to rely on a faith of her own. For now, at least, having faith that things would be fine was an option favorable to the alternative. ----- ... RYŪNOSUKE was finally seeing reason after Kiyoku further elaborated on the importance of adequate training and the potential risk of him striking out to fight Hollows alone without it. As much as he agonized over it and hated it he ultimately accepted that there really was no other way. After everyone returned to their seats the Professor went into more detail about the daily operations in WILD'S. A lot of things the teenager pretty much surmised on his own, but there was plenty of information he was completely unaware of. He knew that WILD'S was obviously a secret organization, based in the underground head-quarters beneath the gift shop, but he didn't know that the gift shop was a family business owned by Ms Sato. He also confirmed that she and Iwa were siblings. The Professor eventually brought up WILD'S status with law-enforcement, basically saying that the police force did not view WILD'S in a favorable light, them being a self-accountable vigilante group and all. However, the teenager had not expected to hear that the Karakura Police had their own secret task-force of spiritually aware officers and detectives. That put into perspective just how prevalent supernatural affairs were in modern society. Particularly in Karakura; the current Jūreichi, the geographical area with the highest concentration of spiritual beings. In fact, the Professor theorized that a combination of Ryūnosuke's move to Karakura and his exposure to Baron Quadhorn's Reiatsu were what triggered the awakening of the teenager's powers. If not for that unique set of circumstances it was possible that Ryūnosuke might have lived his life without ever realizing the powers he possessed, although the intensity of his Spiritual Power suggested that the teenager was bound to awaken it eventually. Ryūnosuke sat silently as he reflected again on all the events that played out over the pass few months. All the things that had to go wrong --terribly wrong-- and the little silver-linings when things went right. Hina, Akane, the move to Karakura, his pain and guilt, the fights with his mom, almost running away from home, even his battle with Baron Quadhorn and nearly dying; they all led him here to WILD'S. The teenager exhaled sharply and nodded. "Professor... you asked me about religion before and I'll admit the question seemed a bit strange. In the broader sense, I guess you wanted to know if I believed in a higher-power or the supernatural... To be honest, until recently I didn't give much thought to things like that but I've found myself in the mix of a lot of craziness and uncertainty." Ryūnosuke chuckled, "I know right, the whole troubled teenager backstory. I'll spare you both the shitty details but suffice to say I've been off my a-game for what feels like forever now. I've broken things I don't know if I can fix or how to fix them in the first place. I don't even know if they can be fixed at all and now I find out I've got super-powers and my question isn't even why me of all people... so strange. I guess I've convinced myself that it's destiny or something... Like all that terrible crap happened for a reason. It all led me here to your secret bunker under a gift shop." Ryūnosuke snickered and then turned to Kiyoku and nodded. "That's all just to say, it took a lot to get me here, maybe even a little divine intervention, and the end result is that I'm certain this is where I belong right now. Right here is where I take my life back into my own hands. So, what the Hell, if a couple of months of training is what it'll take, so be it.", the teenager affirmed. Kiyoku smiled at him and returned the nod as the Professor spoke up from the side, "So, that means you'll-" "Yes." Ryūnosuke looked at the Professor, "I'll do the training." "Excellent, Tamura-kun! That is wonderful. Now, there remains one more order of business, but this is where I will take my leave and let Manager Sato take over.", the Professor stood and shuffled quickly to the the door. Ryūnosuke watched the man leave and shut the door before he turned back to Kiyoku. "So, what's this last order of business." Kiyoku smiled, "You'll see.", she answered. Ryūnosuke raised his brow curiously. "But for now-" Kiyoku walked around the opposite side of the desk and produced a binder. From the binder she extracted a paper document which she placed in from of the teenager. "This is your contract, as you've heard, members of WILD'S get a paying job at the gift shop. One of the perks, it also helps cover up our covert operations." She'd barely finished her explanation before Ryūnosuke was reaching for a pen to sign. "Wait, you aren't going to read it first?", Kiyoku interrupted him. Ryūnosuke paused to consider it, "Do I need to?", he asked innocently. Kiyoku signed, "I swear you teenagers are something else, not a care in the world.", she murmured. "Yes, Tamura-kun. General rule of thumb, never sign your name on anything until you've read it. Okay?" "Sure.", Ryūnosuke shrugged as he lowered the pen and started to read the contract. Kiyoku scoffed in disbelief and then waited in silence. The two page document had all the beats of a normal job contract; it listed the job description, work hours (which were flexible to Ryūnosuke's needs as a student), a few miscellaneous benefits, and of course a decent wage. Ryūnosuke wasn't particularly interested in anything related to the gift shop, but understood how and --more importantly-- why the two were connected. He also couldn't deny that the job tied things up neatly as he'd already promised his mother that he'd get a job to help around the house. On a more personal level, this would be his first job independent of his father's influence. There were no downsides to accepting the offer, there was nothing more to think over. Ryūnosuke again lifted the pen and quickly signed the contract. "You read everything, was it all clear?", Kiyoku asked, her voice pitched to stress her skepticism. "Yeah, and don't worry I could read it a dozen times and it wouldn't change my decision." Ryūnosuke replied as he set the pen down on the desk and handed the contract back to the Manager. "Here." Kiyoku chuckled as she received the contract from the teenager, "Alright, I'll make a copy of this-" A sudden knock on the office door turned both their heads Ryūnosuke more so out of curiosity but Kiyoku looked as if she'd been expecting it. "In the meantime-" she continued without missing a beat, "Follow me." Kiyoku approached the door and Ryūnosuke followed after her. He didn't know what to expect next, he wasn't even sure if he'd been accepted into WILD'S yet or when he was supposed to start his training. Nevertheless, he figured they would get the answers to those eventually. Ryūnosuke stood behind Kiyoku as she cracked the door. "Now, about that last order of business-" The manager began as she pulled the door open, "time for you to officially meet the rest of the gang." On the other side of the door stood the Professor with the other four members of WILD'S all in their masks. To the right of the Professor stood Iwa in his Kappa mask. Beside Iwa was a young woman with the fierce White Tiger mask; she had long dark-blue hair that was up in a pony tail and reached down to the middle of her back. Ryūnosuke's eyes were immediately drawn to her admirable physique which could be appreciated even through the folds of her comfy-fit clothing. She was as tall as him and bigger as well. It was an instant and embarrassing reality check for the teenager as he realized he'd "let himself go" as some would same in the months since the incident. Looking at the Byakko-masked member Ryūnosuke suddenly felt pudgy around the sides and shrimpy in his arms. He nervously veered his attention to the the Professor's left where the Kitsune-masked member who was a bit shorter and much thinner than Ryūnosuke stood. At first glance "trendy" was the word Ryūnosuke would use to describe Kitsune based on her clothing alone. She was fashionable but with the urban flare that seemed indicative of Karakura. Two bangs of wavy sky-blue hair framed the sides of her mask and went down to her shoulders. Lastly, to Ryūnosuke's far right and just a few inches away from him (close enough for him to pick up the faint scent of mint-chocolate perfume) was the Phoenix-masked girl. Of all the masks Ryūnosuke recognized hers the most. Her mask was the last thing he saw before he succumbed to his injuries and thought he died. At that time the voice of the girl in the Phoenix-mask promised she would save him and it was obvious that she had. To his surprise she was much shorter than he pictured. The top of her head of long, silky, and pure-white hair came up just to his lower chest. Ryūnosuke thought she could pass for a twelve year old. She wore a baggy white hoodie that looked like it was three sizes too big for her, but it was adorable on her. It warmed his heart to see her little fingers poking out from the furrowed folds of her sleeves. Ryūnosuke realized that he was at a loss for words in a dazed stupor at the sight of his saviors-turned-allies from the night before. This was the gang, this was WILD'S. "I'm in!", the realization hit but his instincts denied it. "Nah, no way I'm in." The teenager didn't know what to believe or what was to be inferred from the reception until at last Kiyoku stepped forward, turned to face Ryūnosuke and uttered the one phase to dispel all his doubts and state the facts with no uncertainty. "Tamura Ryūnosuke," she beckoned proudly and smiled, "Welcome to WILD'S." To Be Continued... [Left Thread] [Continues In: WILD'S Things Happen] ______________________________ WC|2,940 ----- OOC|Unlocked Achievements RT#3 [Welcome To WILD'S (2): [Tamura Ryūnosuke★ Exclusive] - Become an official member of WILD'S. [Expires: 04/01/2020]
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  44. His eyes slowly open, the ceiling fan above him spinning rapidly. It was relaxing, watching the blades go back and forth repeatedly. In his line of work, even the simplest of things could have such an effect. He scratches his bare chest and rubs his eyes before giving out a small yawn. His body hurt, the hard work and long nights took more out of him that he’d care to mention. He just needed to rest up and keep going strong for the next one. Luckily, today was his day off. He finally had a chance to relax. After a bit of dread, he finally gets out of his bed and heads for the bathroom. The hardwood floors felt good on his bare feet, almost soothing-like. It was hot outside anyway so this was a godsend to him. He decides to make a little detour first, heading downstairs into the kitchen to perk some coffee. Moving throughout the house, he notes that most of his curtains were closed. This was probably a good thing since he was just in boxers. While some of his female neighbors probably wouldn’t mind, he felt it would just be better if they were closed. The smell of coffee fills the air as he heads back upstairs into the bathroom, flicking the light on to illuminate the area. With a heavy sigh, he turns on the hot water and lets the steam fill the room before stepping inside the shower. Despite the near unbearable temperatures outside, the hot water was the most relaxing thing that morning. It felt as if his entire body was being massaged at once. All the stress and dirt were being washed away. Minutes pass and he finishes up with his shower, turning the water off and stepping out. He grabs a towel and dries off, putting the towel around his lower body. Wiping away the condensation from the mirror, he begins to examine his face. Dark rings lined his eyes as he wipes his hand around his lower jaw. “I should shave...” he mutters before he dismissively waves his hand. The man heads into his room and gets dressed before moving downstairs. The smell of coffee hits his nostrils as a weary smile spreads across his face. Grabbing a cup, he pours the black liquid near to the brim and heads to the refrigerator for creamer and sugar. He opens it and finds, to his extreme displeasure, that there is none of either. “Damn.” He mutters as he forcefully closes the fridge. He glances outside and looks at the sun beating down on the earth, it was a lovely day. “I’ll just go to the corner market and pick some up,” he says. Grabbing his keys, he locks the doors behind him before heading down the sidewalk. It was truly peaceful outside, sun shining and birds chirping. Kids were just getting on the buses for school; parents were heading off to work for their mundane nine to five shifts. Housewives, househusbands, and the few lucky ones, like him, were the only ones home this day. "Yusei! Hi!!” Yusei recognized the voice immediately and groaned, pulling the cap he wore down further. It was a female neighbor down the street. She had an attraction for Yusei, always flirting with him every chance she could get. Typically off-color comments about his body or what she'd do to him if given the chance. It was flattering but she just wasn’t his type. Plus he had his eyes on another. So he did what he always did when he encountered her. Waved, gave a big smile and kept going as fast as possible. She thought it was him playing hard to get and loved the chase, he just wanted to escape. It wasn’t very long before he made it into the store, the clerk smiling at him warmly. “Mr. Kinoshita, good morning. I'm surprised to see you today. Most men in your position would not be wandering around the streets like this. How are you this fine day?” “I took the day off and gave all of my employees the day off as well. Sometimes, I relish the peace and quiet. And I told you that you could call me Yusei. No need for formalities.” He says as he strolls down the aisles looking for what he needs. “I’m doing fine by the way. Yourself?” The man smiles as he wipes down his counter, attempting to have it spotless before the rush that typically comes later in the day. “I’m doing well. Really well.” Yusei couldn’t really hear what he said as he was too wrapped up in other things. He had already grabbed the cream and sugar and placed them on the counter but a newspaper in the very back of the store caught his attention. It was a car magazine that showcased old classics. He had always had a fascination with cars. There was just something about them. He went back to read as the clerk just smiled and rang up the items for when he returned. All was quiet for a moment as the sound for the door went off, someone else had just entered. “Good morning!” A man dressed in a black shirt and khaki pants walked in, eyes shifting around. He seemed jittery and uneasy, unsure of what he wanted to do. “Can I help you with something?” “Yeah, give me the money. Don’t you fucking try anything.” the man says as he wipes out a small pistol. The sound of the gun clicking alerted Yusei who quickly moved out of sight. He cursed to himself, upset that this was his day off. It was to be expected, there was never a day off. There was always someone, always something going on in the world. “Open the register now you dumb fuck! Put the money on the counter!” The clerk began to fumble around, terrified at the pistol in front of him. Yusei fidgeted around, contemplating on what he should do. “Of course the one time I don't have my phone or anything from Noir, this shit happens. I can take him pretty easily if I can get behind him. I gotta be careful as I don't want to spook him.” He’d have to get out of this jam through improvisation. He walked around the aisles silently, trying to figure which was the best way to assess the situation. He moved to the aisle with wine and picked up a bottle, clutching it tightly in his hands. If he could sneak up behind him, get close enough for one strike, he’d knock him out. He moves down the aisle closest to the door and counter, staying low and making sure each step was as quiet as possible. Unfortunately, there was a small pile of chips on the floor which Yusei didn’t see. There wasn’t much, but enough to make a crunch loud enough to startle an already impatient robber. “Who the fuck is there!?!” He screams backpedaling towards the aisle. He sees Yusei and aims his gun at him, demanding he drop the bottle and come to the front. With no way out at the time, he had to comply, slowly walking with his hands up. The sky darkened and rain clouds took over, unfortunately reflecting the mood. The man’s hands trembled as he gripped the handle, not counting on Yusei’s presence. “Hurry up with the damned money!” he screams as the clerk glances towards Yusei. The direct approach had failed miserably so now it was time for the diplomatic one. “Don’t panic, let’s just stay calm. Nobody here wants to hurt you.” “Everything is going to be fucking alright as soon as I get my money.” He didn’t seem like this was something he wanted to do. It was almost as if he was acting on impulse. It was a rushed decision, so maybe he could be talked out of it. “My name is Yusei. What about you, what’s your name?” The man pauses for a moment, taken aback by the kindness. He probably assumed that kindness would be the last thing he got while robbing a store. “Taichi. My name is Taichi” “You have anybody in your life that you care for? Possibly a girlfriend or maybe a family member?” “A little girl but what the fuck do you care? And hurry up with the damn money.” “Just calm down, we mean you no harm. What do you believe she’d think about her father if she saw you doing this? Ask yourself, what would happen to her if things go wrong? What if the cops come and they find you? No little girl should run the risk of being without her father. Don’t put yours through that.” The robber hesitates for a moment, tears beginning to stream down his eyes. He probably did all of this for her, maybe they were going through rough times and he figured this was the best way he could provide. He’d more than likely camped out near this place days beforehand, watching the mannerisms of the clerk and those who entered. Figuring our precisely when it would be the best time to make his move. “She wouldn’t like that. I only wanted to provide for her.” He mutters aloud, his whole body beginning to tremble. The rain begins to pour down onto the streets, the sky a light gray color. “Put the gun down and go home to her. There are other ways to provide but this is not the answer. You love your daughter, go and be the father she needs.” The man was shaken but he knew that Yusei was right. He slowly places the gun on the counter and leaves, running down the streets with rain and tears beading off his face. The clerk takes a sigh of relief and slumps over the counter, his life spared for another day. “I cannot thank you enough, Mr. Kinoshita. You have my eternal gratitude.” “No need to thank me. Glad to see that you are alright. But you should probably install some cameras in here.” “Should we call the cops?” “No, I meant what I said. Every kid needs someone in their lives, believe me, I know that from personal experience. No one was hurt and he realized what he did was wrong. We won’t see him anymore.” He glances at the register and sees the amount of money that he owes and begins to reach into his pocket before the clerk stops him. “You’ve saved my life. It’s free of charge. You are an extraordinary man Mr. Kino... Yusei.” Yusei smiles and grabs the now bagged items and waves before heading out into the rain. It was refreshing yet he missed the sun. It was a reflection of the serene feeling that he felt prior. The day was still early which meant that there was time for things to improve. He makes it to his house once more, tossing the things in the kitchen. His coffee was cold but the pot was still warm, a good thing he left it on. He’d just make another one later, but first, he needed to dry off. He quickly departs upstairs and dries himself off, getting a fresh pair of clothes as well. He begins to make his way down the steps before the doorbell rings. “Fucking hell…” he mutters to himself. The last thing he needed or wanted right now was a visitor. It wasn’t even noon and he already had enough stress for the day. He thought about ignoring it but another ring quickly dismissed that notion. He slowly walked to the door, hoping that whoever was there would be gone by the time he got there. However, he wasn’t so lucky. The door opened, the rain dripping down from the roof as he glances at the person standing in front of him. His face said it all. WC: 1,990
    1 point
  45. “Yusei, where the hell are you? You disappear off the radar for hours and now you just up and call like everything is fine?! I'm getting tired of worrying if its going to be the last time I see you or not. I swear I'm going to have gray hair before I turn 30. I should kill you myself, you ass." Yusei chuckles a bit under his breath before reassuring he is alright. “I'm fine Ayumi, honestly. Try not to worry about me so much. You remember the other Quincy I told you about right? Jin? I've finally decided to take his offer and do some training. I need to get stronger for whatever is coming. I'll be fine though. If you want, you can kick my ass when I get back.” “Oh, you better believe I will! Worrying a girl like this all the time. Just.....be careful Yusei, I can't lose you again. I love you.” “I love you too, don't worry.” Yusei hangs up the phone and turns towards Jin who continues to drink his beverage with a smile on his face. “Ah, young love. It's such a beautiful thing. So innocent and pure. So...” As he attempts to get the last of his sentence out, an arrow pierces his drink. His pants are drenched in the cold beverage as he glances up towards Yusei who shoots him a cold glare as his bow dissipates. “Testy today aren't we? No matter, I suppose it is time to begin your training. I saw that you don't have any Gintō capsules with you. Are you well versed in using them?” Yusei replies in the negative as Jin sighs. Lazily, he lifts motions for Yusei to follow as he jams his hands into his pockets. “I can't say I'm surprised. You've done things very unconventionally since you've learned what you really are. You've completely forgone learning the basics. However, you have to learn how to use these natural Quincy talents to their full potential if you are ever going to make it in this world. As their name suggests, they are small silver tubes we Quincy use to store Reiryoku in. Reach into your pocket and pass me a Gintō capsule if you please. Don't worry about how it got there. I gave you a few when I found you out on your ass earlier.” With a snarl, Yusei reaches into his jacket pocket and tosses a capsule towards Jin. Placing his hands in a cross pattern, Jin's spiritual pressure begins to rise. Higher and higher it goes as he slowly begins to chant out a command. “Feel the wrath of battle and accept this sacred chalice, Heizen!” As soon as those words leave his lips, a transparent beam of rectangular energy flies outward, crashing into the wall adjacent towards them. Yusei stands wide-eyed at the display, seeing the true power of the Gintō capsules provided. “These spells represent the true potential that the Gintō capsules are capable of. This is the Quincy equivalent of the Shinigami and their Kidō. There are a few more spells that we can learn that far more powerful than the one I showed you. One day, you'll learn them all but for now, let's practice on something simple.” Jin turns and begins walking down a darkened corridor, lights flickering on as they walk. A still quietness accompanies them as they go deeper and deeper down the hall. Eventually, the two Quincy reach a large door, so large that it dwarfs the two of them in comparison. “This is my training room. It is an area completely blocked off by the outside world. It has soul-synthesized glass and soul-synthesized silver that completely blocks off reiatsu signatures. When you are inside this room, it is like you don't even exist. I warn you though, this training will not be easy. The Yusei Kinoshita that walks in this room will not be the same one that walks out. So I ask this only one time. Are you ready?” “What do you think?” Yusei says as Jin chuckles to himself. “Alright, just had to ask.” With ease, he pushes the large doors open as the two step inside the illuminating light. WC: 704
    1 point
  46. The creature's head slams into Yusei's chest sending him backward. Sliding back, the Quincy regains his footing as he sees the creature land on his face and lets out a chuckle. Gradually rising to its feet, it absentmindedly stares towards Yusei. “Do you happen to have any food? Maybe chocolate or even women?! Hopefully women!!!!” “As I assumed, it was more than just an act. This creature is really insane.” He gently rubs the spot on his chest where he had been rammed and glared at the creature. There was only a handful of times during these outings where he had been caught unaware, this, unfortunately, was one of them. He peered coldly at the creature, weighing all of his options. He could fight with it now and risk the chances of someone getting hurt. Another option would be to get away from the area and deal with it there. The creature seemed innocent and gullible enough to be lured away. The only real question would be were to lead it, and how to get rid of it. At this point in time, given the power it possessed, it would be dangerous to leave here. With its childlike nature, one violent episode could cause some serious damage. “There is local trail south of here that leads to an abandoned campsite. If I can lure him away to there I can deal that way.” Turning towards the creature, Yusei holds his hand up as a way of inviting him. “Actually I do have some women for you. Some very tasty ones at that. Why don't you follow me and I can show them off.” The creature pauses for a moment, placing its hand on its chin. Saliva drips from its mouth as it runs towards Yusei, the absentminded look in its eyes returning. Smirking, Yusei takes off and heads towards the trail, the creature in hot pursuit. It didn't take long for the two of them to reach the aforementioned site, especially with the incredible speed the creature possessed. It was so fast, that Yusei himself surmised that it rivaled his own top speed. The two land on the ground, in a patchy area surrounded by trees. It was a good ten miles away from the outskirts of town, so no one would get hurt. “Where are the women?! I'm very hungry.” Peering off towards a nearby grove, he gestured with his finger. “They are over there. They should be getting ready for you. Why don't you go over there and greet them? I'll set up things over here for you to eat.” The creature squeal in delight as it scurries towards the area. As it passes the Quincy, he quickly summons his bow, aiming it at the back of its head. “I'll give him a mercy killing. I don't want to see his face when he does.” The creature busily looks for his dinner as Yusei solemnly lines up his sights, ready to fire. As the arrow cuts through the air, the creature disappears moments before the shot connects. “Meanie! That is NOT nice!” The creature appeared behind the billionaire, his fist coated with pink energy. “Dammit. It's attacking from behind. This is going to be more of a challenge than I thought.” Within seconds, the pink coated energy explodes from the creature's hand, darting towards Yusei's head. It was unrefined and unfocused given Yusei ample time to move accordingly. Yusei ducks underneath the attack, feeling the immense power from the attack pass his face. It crashes through tree after tree eventually creating a perfect row of knocked down trees. “What the hell was that attack? That was unlike any Cero I have ever seen them shoot.” The Quincy points his bow towards the creature once more, this time firing off a small volley of arrows towards it. The attack catches it off guard, hitting the creature directly in the chest. It flies backward, rolling across the ground before eventually regaining its footing. Clutching onto his bow, Yusei stares coldly at the childlike beast. The creature rubs the spot on its chest where the arrows hit, tilting its head to the side. “Ow!! That hurt. First, you lie about food now you hurt me? Now I really gonna mess you up!!” “Lovely. Looks like I pissed it off now. Perhaps this will provide me with good training experience.” As he says this, the creature uses its immense speed to dart towards Yusei, his fist coated in that same pink energy. Drawing closer, the creature disappeared, startling Yusei with its increased speed. “Shit...it's behind me.” Despite pinpointing where it was, Yusei could not turn around in time to block the attack. The pink coated fist dug deep into the Quincy's back before firing off. The sheer force from the attack sends him crashing into the trees off into the distance. His body acts like a rag-doll as it crashes through tree after tree, eventually landing on the ground. “Meanie! I told you I would hurt you! Now to find some food!!!!!” The creature lops off, continuing its absentminded search for food. Only a sharp slice could be heard as blood trickles down the creature's face. A gash appears as the source of that blood, the creature gently touching it. Its hands begin to quiver as it turns around to see Yusei standing in the clearing, bow drawn. “I didn't want to try this out just yet. Especially against someone such as yourself. However, it seems you leave me with no choice. An immense and dangerous power such as yours needs to be stopped.” Upon saying this, blue reiatsu swirls around the Quincy, becoming more and more vibrant by the second. The ground begins to shake, rocks and dust kicking up around him. Trees sway back and forth as the reiatsu completely covers Yusei. With a powerful huff, the reiatsu bristles outward, Yusei's power increasing tremendously. “Let's go blimp.” WC: 987 987/1,500 Completed
    1 point
  47. Six Months Later It had been a little over six months since Yusei had discovered his true origins as a Quincy. For the first couple of weeks, he remained in denial about the entire thing and ignored Jin's attempts to begin training. He assumed that he had simply just stressed himself out too much and hallucinated the entire ordeal. That was until he happened to find his mother's Quincy cross. Begrudgingly, he slowly began to accept the reality of it all and began to embrace it. He began to train on his own, quickly learning how to summon his bow on command. Due to Karakura Town teeming with hollow activity, Yusei sought this to be the perfect place to hone his skill, becoming a protector of sorts. Using his skills to kill the hollows tormenting the area. Every night, he'd inevitably run into a hollow. With each kill, his progress grew exponentially. After each battle, Yusei felt a weird sensation within him. A sense of exhilaration and wonder at the endless possibilities before him. He had a knack for this. His mind had wandered off, much to the chagrin of Ayumi. Shortly after his discovery, he revealed his origins to Ayumi. She, as most people would, believed it to be nothing but fairy tales. “I'm sorry, you are a what? Kimchi? Honey, I can make you some food if you'd like?” she said when he initially told her. She was skeptical and understandably so. That was, of course, until he showed her just what he could do. Afterward, the reality of it began to weigh on her as well but in time, she accepted it. Though she longed to be there with him during his training, they both knew it was too dangerous. To assuage her, Yusei decided to wear some reiatsu detecting equipment he developed so she could both help and track him. She'd be able to see who or what would be in the area and guide Yusei to or away from it if need be. She became the Oracle to his Batman in a manner of speaking. Tonight's activities were no different. Like with most nights, Yusei found himself riding his motorcycle down the streets of Karakura. The roar of the bike rattling the streets as he zooms by. “Yusei, I'm picking up a large source of reiatsu lingering in the area. The particles are moving around unpredictably as before. I believe this is our target. It's about a hundred feet away." “Got it,” Yusei replies as his bike slows to a stop. He and Ayumi had been tracking this particular creature's reiatsu signature for the past few nights. However, each method he tried, each stealthy way he approached it, it always escaped. It must have had a precognitive special ability because he was never able to even pinpoint its exact location. As soon as he found even the slightest trace of it, it had already disappeared. Yusei had grown bored with the typical ho-hum hollows so this was a welcomed challenge. One way or another, he intended to find this source of spiritual pressure and deal with it quickly. A little ways away on the ground below, an abnormally large hollow made its way down the road. Watching the black hole it emerged from close, it gleefully walked forward. After a few steps, the creature falls flat on its face and lays there a few minutes before getting up. Deciding that it was growing hungry, the creature begins to search for a snack amid the night sky. “I think I'll have some humans. Even better, I'll eat some women! Some of the women here will fill me up!” Tossing its hands up towards the sky, a wave of spiritual pressure brushed over it. Despite the revelation of Yusei's pressure drawing near, the creature was more focused on getting its meal. Regardless, it opened up another black hole and retreated inside, looking for another hunting ground. The Quincy punched a wall in frustration, a slight dent forming. “This is crazy. How in the hell is this thing disappearing and reappearing like this?!” For the umpteenth time in the last two hours, he had lost the trail of the source. This was ridiculous as there was no way something could be one place, then halfway across the city the next. “Honey...it's probably just best to call it for tonight. Maybe you'll have better luck when you go out for training tomorrow.” “Yeah...” he mumbles as he begins to head back towards his motorcycle. As soon as he nears the bike, he feels it. A stir of spiritual pressure around the central part of town. From that, a rapid decrease of spiritual pressure and a chill running down his spine. “Yusei...” "Yeah, I already know. This thing has taken another life. By the sudden drop of the spiritual pressure, it was a small group of people.” “I've intercepted some radio transmissions from the local authorities. Whatever this is, it's going after women and children. Ripping at their flesh or eating them whole.” Yusei narrowed his eyes as he contemplated on what exactly to do. There was only one true way to go about it, a way Yusei had no problem doing. There was a long silence between the two of them, Ayumi already knowing what Yusei intended to do. “I know I can't stop you. Just please be careful, this thing is extremely dangerous.” “You worry too much. I got this.” “You don't worry near enough.” Yusei cracks his knuckles and begins to concentrate, focusing his energy beneath his feet. Slowly, he begins to rise off the ground. It was a trick he saw Jin perform when they first saw each other. He began studying how to control his power and eventually stumbled across the technique himself. This would be its first field test. Smirking, Yusei darts off towards the spiritual signature, hiding within the shadows to mask his presence. It only took a short time, a clear testament to his incredible speed before he was in range. “This thing hasn't left yet. Maybe it hasn't noticed me yet, or it is still eating. Either way, I can't give up an opportunity like this.” Landing on a building a little ways away, Yusei finally spies his target. The creature slowly walks along the pavement, eventually reaching a streetlight, allowing Yusei to get a full glimpse of it. The creature appeared as an obese looking man with pale blonde hair. Armor like skin adorned him with circular lines emanate from his stomach and shoulders. Four dark teardrop marks are on each of his cheeks with two more around his belly. It smiles as it continues walking forward, blood dripping from its mouth. “They were great! A little stringy but still great! I wonder if there are more around here.” Yusei was silent for some time, examining the creature closely. He taps the earbud in his right ear and begins to speak. “Ayumi, you getting a good look at this?” “Yeah, what the hell is that?” “No fucking idea. It acts almost childlike. The pressure I feel from it is definitely hollow but there is something else mixed in. Feels like...a human?” he questions. “Do you think that it knows you are there and its acting like that to lead you into a false sense of security?” “What we are seeing is no act. It doesn't know that I am here currently. At any rate, I need to be careful with it.” In truth, this hybrid creature worried Yusei greatly. The spiritual pressure radiating from it was even greater than his own. Glancing back down towards the ground, Yusei looks to find the creature gone. “Dammit, it got away,” he said dryly. With a sigh, Yusei leaps down onto the ground to look for his target. Whether or not the creature knew of his presence didn't really matter anymore. He wanted to get this done and over with as quickly as possible. The Quincy looked everywhere but could not find the creature, though it was obvious he was still in the area. It was saturated with his spiritual pressure and seemed to be getting thicker. Taking a few steps forward, Yusei feels a chill down his spine. A feeling that could only be described as two daggers drawing down his back and an incredible sense of dread. Turning around, he is surprised to see the creature staring at him absently. His hand firmly in his mouth, drool coming from the sides. “Why are you here?” the creature says darkly. Before Yusei has time to react, the creature leaps towards Yusei with extended arms. WC: 1,440
    1 point
  48. “What the hell am I? Some kind of friggin alien?” Yusei says as the man begins to walk away. “What was that hollow and how do you know all of this?” “Isn’t that the question of the day? What you are is very simple. Nothing extraterrestrial about it for the most part. You are what’s called a Quincy. A human with powers and abilities far exceeding that of a normal human being.” Yusei could only laugh. This was perhaps the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard in his life. Him, a being with such “magical powers”. It was laughable. Yet, through each chuckle, he could feel some truth behind his words. He could tell he wasn’t joking. Perhaps this was real after all. The laughing slowly stopped, the look on his face told the story. He wanted proof. If he had any idea of who he was, what he was, he needed to know. “Prove it. Show me that I’m this Quincy thing or whatever. Show me..” Before he could get out the rest of his sentence, the man pulled a dagger from his sleeve and attempted to embed it into his abdomen. To his utter surprise, the blade snapped off, clanking to the ground harmlessly. He glanced down towards his stomach and touched where the blade was to have penetrated. There were no marks, no wounds. “Impressed? That was Blut Vene. A Quincy technique. I'm impressed you were able to learn it subconsciously. Most take years before they are able to. Do you believe me now or should I arrange another demonstration?” Yusei nods his head in disbelief as he leans up against a wall, the mysterious man beginning on just what a Quincy is. “All of this is so new to me. I don’t quite know what to make of it.” Yusei replied after being quiet for some time. “You are taking it a lot better than I did. I puked when I first discovered it.” Yusei lifts his head up, seeing the mysterious man before him flash a quick smile. “Are you...” “Yup, I'm a Quincy as well. The name's Jin Tanahashi.” As he says this, he sees the man pull out a white cross necklace from underneath his shirt, letting it dangle in front of him. “That cross...my mother had a cross just like that. She wore it all the time before she passed. I think I still have it at home.” “Oh, that means your mom was probably a Quincy as well.” Yusei stops and thinks, wondering why neither of his parents shared this information with him. He wondered if this entire Quincy business had anything to do with his mother's passing or his father's disappearance. “So...what now?” Yusei manages to reply after a long pause. “Well, that's up to you. I can help train you if you'd like. Master those powers you have so you can better deal with what's coming.” Yusei shot a puzzled glance at Jin, obviously confused by his words. Jin picks up on this and chuckles to himself, forgetting to tell the entire situation. “Shit, I'm sorry. I forgot to mention it. You've heard what they've been reporting on the news right? All that jazz about 'He is coming'? Well, He is real and he actually is coming. His name is Tsukishima Higurashi and you actually just killed one of his subordinates.” Yusei jumps back, terrified by Jin's words. “You told me to attack him! What the hell?!?” “Don't worry. He won't have a grudge against you personally. If Higurashi has his way, you would have been dead anyway. Plus this was just a grunt, he won't know who did it...probably. Regardless, you need to be trained on how to use those powers. If not, it could spell death for you and everyone you care about. Don't fret, this isn't some anime. You aren't the key to winning the coming war and won't be the fabled hero of the world. Even if you master your powers, you'll likely never come close to him. To him, you will now and forever be a shit-stain. I've been honing my powers for years and I can't hold a candle to him. Training will just keep you around a little while longer. So what do you say? Go out like a bitch or go out fighting?” Jin extends his hand out to Yusei, flashing the same coy smile from before. As much as he didn't want to admit it, he felt that Jin's words were valid. Something big was coming and if he wanted to protect Ayumi, this might be the only way to do so. Sighing, he shakes Jin's hand, pulling himself up off against the wall. “If it means saving her, I'm willing to learn whatever I can about this Quincy business. My name is Yusei. Yusei Kinoshita.” Jin returns his handshake before his expression slowly changes from cheerfulness to confusion and amazement. “Hold up...You're THE Yusei Kinoshita?? The guy from Noir? I'm charging you for lessons. Two million yen per session. Non-negotiable.” WC: 843
    1 point
  49. Yusei kept his eyes fixated on the horizon, staring at the sun attempting to peek above the clouds. Ayumi had been living with Yusei for about a year now and things were going surprisingly well. She cut all ties with the negative people in her life and had grown even closer to Yusei than before. Their relationship slowly began to evolve and eventually, the two made it official. Haruto, their mutual childhood friend, teased them mercilessly about it. “I always knew you two would hook up.” he'd say. Ayumi would blush and shy away while Yusei would respond in anger. This was just how the three of them always communicated. It was an unbreakable bond. The day before, Ayumi decided to spend the evening with her parents in Karakura Town to catch up and prepare a surprise for Yusei as today was his birthday. There was a smile on his face as he drove his black Lamborghini but he had an uneasiness about him. Something bad was going to happen today. Things had been happening a lot lately in Karakura Town. Unexplained things that no one could even begin to comprehend. Buildings destroyed in seconds. City blocks ravaged by what looked to be full-scale battles. Hundreds of bodies lay broken in the streets. The smell of blood is an everyday occurrence. Few people clamored about bestial creatures straight out of a nightmare as the cause of the destruction. There was always at least one person among them who claimed they heard the creatures repeat the same thing. He was coming. Was it that humans were finally getting the justly deserved punishment from God that many deem them to be long overdue for? Whatever the case may be, that was real and it was happening. All of this destruction, all of this chaos seemed...familiar. When he passed through or saw the news, he couldn’t help but get a tingle. A feeling that he knew more about this than anyone else though up until this point Yusei had never seen one. He knew that there may be some truth to their words. No one knew their names, or exactly what they were but Yusei felt some sort of familiarity with them. When he spoke of them, when he thought of them, only one word came to mind. Hollow. Why that name, or why he felt like he knew them was a mystery. He figured he was going crazy, or just the stress from work made him slightly delusional. But something, something deep down made him feel otherwise. As he drove down the war-torn roads of Karakura, he kept his eyes vigilant. Ayumi's parents lived on the outskirts so it would be a bit of a drive before he arrived. Anything could leap out at a moment’s notice, this was the epitome of hell on earth. All was quiet, a bit chilling actually. It didn’t take long for the quiet stillness to come to a screeching halt. A woman, who seems to be running for her life, darted across the road, narrowly avoiding the car. Panicked, Yusei skidded to a stop and glanced behind him to see where she was running to, and more importantly, who was chasing her. A thunderous boom echoed throughout the sky, the back end of his car completely mashed in an instant. A large, lumbering figure landed on the car, howling as it did so before taking off at a blinding speed after the woman. “What the hell was that?!” Yusei shouts as he exits the car. Without a second thought, he leaped over the hood and rushed towards the area where the two departed. His head down, his arms swinging as he charged forward. The creature left a multitude of destruction in its wake. Flipped over cars, trees broken and thrown across the roads, gigantic footprints left on the ground and on the sides of buildings as if they were being used as springboards. He kept running, vaulting over or finding some way to get around these obstacles without losing his footing or speed. His body seemed to be moving off instinct, going faster than he ever did previously. He couldn’t explain it, but for some reason, he always felt stronger and faster whenever he was in the heart of Karakura Town. He kept running, passing a few people in the middle of the street. They were scared and seemed to be running for their lives, an almost everyday occurrence here. It wasn’t long before he could see the lumbering behemoth in the distance. He was actually catching up to them. The beast seemed to be going a bit slower, perhaps it had caught up to its prey and started to stalk it meticulously. Yusei moved to a safe enough distance to come around and confront it, even though there was a pretty good chance he’d die. He felt compelled to save her. He could not stand idly by and let an innocent get killed. Sure enough, the beast had in fact, cornered its prey. It slowly moved forward, licking its lips at the sight of its next meal. The woman sat in the corner, terrified. Her body shivering at the sight of the beast. It moved its head closer, the icy white mask gleaming against the light. It came within inches of the woman’s face, opening its mouth to devour her whole. This is when Yusei figured it is best to act now if he waited for a second longer she may not be here. He picks up a slab of broken concrete off the ground and chucks it towards the creature with all of his might. The slab grazes the side of the creature's mask but harmlessly falls to the ground. The creature growled as its eyes darted towards Yusei’s direction. The woman managed to slip away by the distraction, the creature’s attention fully fixated on Yusei. “Well, I’ve gone and done it now.” He mutters. He tosses a few more broken slabs towards the creature’s white mask, each slab bouncing harmlessly towards the ground. The only thing it truly succeeded in was pissing the creature off more so. It wasn’t long before there were no more slabs in reach. A lump formed in Yusei’s throat. His body felt nearly frozen in place. He didn’t know what was going to happen. The creature’s arm rose upward, attempting to slash Yusei across his body. As prepared for the blow, he closes his eyes. “This is the end…” He instinctively places his hands upward in an attempt to deflect some of the blow. It’d be futile really but it was just instinct. He feels the blow connecting with his arm but yet, he feels little to no pain. He opened his eyes, surprised to see blue veins along his arm and a light blue bow comprised of energy in his left hand. Both he and the creature had similar looks of confusion on their faces as Yusei pushes backward, sending the beast flying. It crashes into the side of an adjacent building, leaving a bewildered Yusei staring. “What the hell is going on?” Yusei shouts as he clutches the bow. “So you’ve finally awakened your powers.” A voice calls out to him. Yusei looks around before spotting a man sitting atop a light pole. He was dressed in black and seemed to have been watching the show for some time. With a smirk, he leaps off the pole, landing alongside Yusei with the greatest of ease. “What the hell is happening and who in the fuck are you?!?” “I suppose I should explain it. But first, you need to kill that hollow over there with your bow.” “Is that what that is? A hollow? How did I already know of its name?” The lumbering creature gets up and roars, getting ready to once again charge towards Yusei. Its footsteps echo as it picks up speed. “How the hell am I supposed to kill that then when slabs of literal concrete just grazed off the damned thing? Plus I have no damn arrows.” “That is no ordinary bow you have in your hands. Draw the bow back and imagine the arrow already there. When you kill it, and you can learn more.” The beast was closing in, mere seconds away from Yusei. Finding nothing else to do but go on his word, Yusei raises his bow upward and concentrates. Suddenly, a singular arrow comprised of the same blue energy as the bow appears, drawn back and ready to fire. Yusei, taken aback by the sight, quickly composes himself and aims at the center of the creature's mask. At the last second, he fires. The blue arrow rockets out from the bow and pierce the beast. It howls in pain as its body slumps to the ground, dead before it even hits the ground. His hands shook, his body trembled. What the hell just happened? As the now-deceased creature begins to deteriorate, Yusei turns towards the man, looking for some sort of answers as he motions for him to follow. “What the fuck?!” WC: 1,516 1,516/1,500 [Learned Blut Vene]
    1 point
  50. A woman, who was wet and disheveled, stood at his doorstep with her head down. Her bright red hair covered her face with only the tip of her nose peeking out. Though her appearance would be unrecognizable to some, Yusei knew exactly who it was. Ayumi, a friend of his since they were both children. She lived in the nearby Karakura Town and would infrequently meet with Yusei to catch up. With Yusei running Noir and she running her private practice, it was very rare for them to see one another. Despite that, Yusei always valued the time they spent together. She was one of the two people in his life that he genuinely cared for and he fought fiercely to keep it that way. He gives her a look over, noting that she only wore a black shirt and jeans but no jacket. She rubbed her arms in a futile attempt to keep warm as she seemed to be sniffling. “Ayumi...? What are you doing here and where is your jacket?” She glances up at Yusei, removing some of the hair from her face to see him with unclouded vision. Her face was swollen and her eyes were red. When she stared at him, Yusei couldn't tell if that was water dripping down her face or tears. “You said I could contact you if I needed anything. Well, I do, unfortunately. Everything’s shit and I didn’t know where else to go.” Yusei stood there wide-eyed for a moment, taken aback by her appearance. Just what could have happened to her? “I shouldn’t have come here, I should go.” She says beginning to turn away. “No, no it’s fine. You just caught me off guard is all. Please come in. You'll catch a cold out there.” He ushers her inside and sets aside a place for her to sit. She was shivering from the cold so he gave her a blanket to wrap herself in. “Would you like some coffee?” he said with a smile. She nodded as he moved to the kitchen to prepare the coffee, the obvious question looming overhead. For once, he did not want to be blunt but at this point, it was the only option. “What happened?” Ayumi blankly stares at the ground and twiddles her thumbs, lost in thought. “Do you remember some time ago when I told you about my ex? The wealthy one? He wanted to get back together. When I refused, he attacked me. Damn near killed me. He said he’d ruin my life so badly that not even you would be able to help me. Said he'd make me end up on the street and come crawling to him for assistance since I would not be able to pin it on him as he had 'connections'. He told every one of his friends, most of whom were clients of mine, things about me and my family that I’d preferred to keep to myself. Things, I’m still not quite sure how he found out. They told others and eventually, it spread to the point where every one of my clients knew. They didn’t want the drama so they all stopped coming in and I lost my job. I didn't have the heart to tell mom and dad. I can't bear to see the look of disappointment on their faces if I tried to go back. I didn’t have anywhere else to go.” At this point, Yusei had already handed her the coffee and sat down across from her to hear this story. He genuinely felt bad, for such a beautiful woman to go through all of this was tragic. He was literally at a loss for words; unfortunately, Ayumi took this the wrong way. “I shouldn’t have come here. I should have known you wouldn’t be able to help. I’ll just do what he wants and go to him.” She gets up but Yusei places a hand upon her shoulder, a stern look in his eyes. He stares at her for a moment before pulling her close into a hug. Her arms dangle to the side for a moment before slowly moving up. She hesitates but eventually concedes and embraces the hug. Tears stream down her face as she buries her head into his chest. Any person seeing someone in this sort of state would find it difficult to just sit idly by. A few hours pass and the two find themselves sitting upon the sofa, drinking coffee and working out some arrangement on where Ayumi would stay. As he had a spare room, Yusei decided to let her stay there for a time until she got back on her feet. He could easily get her a job at Noir so a source of income wouldn't be an issue. She shivers a bit due to her clothes being soaking wet, Yusei faintly noticing this. “Can I use the shower?” “Of course. It's upstairs and to the right. I have some spare clothes that I'll leave for you until we get you some new ones.” He leads her upstairs and shows her the shower and where the spare clothes are before turning to head back down. “Are you hungry? I was going to make a late breakfast a little while ago. I can still whip something up.” “That would be great,” she says as the door closes. He sighs and descends down the steps, striding into the kitchen to turn on the television. “In other news, multiple explosions occurred near Karakura Town Central Park. There were multiple casualties and police are still trying to figure out just who or what has caused the explosions. Some eyewitnesses have reported bestial creatures seen shortly before the explosions occurred with one stating that 'He' is coming. We'll have more on this at five.” Yusei goes to the refrigerator and pulls out two eggs from the carton as he hears the water from the shower beginning to run. He grabs a skillet from the dish rack and places it up on the stove before turning on the heat. Grabbing a slab of butter, he cuts off a small section and places it in the skillet to melt. Within seconds, the eggs are cracked, whisked and placed in the skillet to be scrambled. He puts some bread in the toaster as she finishes up with the shower. Everything was all laid out for her, it was just enough. After all of the day's festivities, his appetite had vanished. He only wanted to sit back and relax. Make the most out of the already ruined day. Why today of all days did all of this have to happen? It was his day off, the rare time in the week that he gets to relax. Distance himself from work and most of the inbred people the world has to offer and just relax. The one day, damn near ruined. He takes a sigh and gets lost in his thoughts for a moment before faint, damp footsteps stir him from them. He glanced up the stairs to see Ayumi descending in a pair of shorts and a shirt that he had lying around, hair was still a bit damp from the shower. “I took the liberty of using your robe. Hope you don’t mind.” “It looks better on you than me,” he says chuckling. Her wet bare feet made little puddles as she walked, her body now relaxed instead of tense like earlier. Seems like that was just what she needed. “Smells great.” She smiles as she sits down in front of the food. It doesn’t take long before she starts tearing into the food. “Didn’t you fix anything for yourself?” she says in between bites. “No, I ate earlier. Eat up; there is more in the fridge if you want.” She looks at him and smiles before turning her gaze to the plate in front of her. He leaves her alone and goes out on the porch and sit, drinking the rest of his coffee as he stares at the vastness in front of him. “Is it tomorrow yet?” he moans. WC: 1,353
    1 point
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