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Vesrin

The Compass that points to the Soul

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Kirigari tightened up his academy shirt, and double checked both of his Zanpakuto on his waist. He was beyond nervous now. He had never seen a hollow in person, but knew they were typically large, monstrous, vicious, and went straight for the kill. He also had heard rumor from students in higher years that the hollows Kirigari had been exposed to were nothing but pawns to stronger hollows called Menos. The thought made Kirigari's skin crawl. The entire idea of consuming souls sickened him, but he couldn't let it distract him tonight. Tonight would be the night that decided for Kirigari whether he truly had what it would take to become a Shinigami. This is what his life would be if he followed through with this to the end of it all. He rushed out of his dorm and towards the courtyard of the academy.

Sliding around the corner, he fell into line with the other winners from the first year Zanjutsu class. The instructor and guide of the 3rd year trip stopped by to remind them that they were not to engage unless their life was in immediate danger, they were not being sent along to engage in combat, but to simply examine and learn. The instructor then turned to his own class, giving them the exact opposite instructions. Each of the 5 first years was split off with 3 upperclassman so that they would always be protected. The 3 upperclassman that Kirigari had ended up with though.... The boy wasn't particularly skilled at reading reiatsu levels yet, but even he could tell all 3 of these students were below him. How they had managed to survive into their 3rd year was beyond him. Kirigari wasn't stressed though, between the 3 of them, they would be more than enough match for any common hollow. The instructor opened the gate into the world of the living, and sent the groups through one at a time. 

Kirigari's group stepped through into the world of the living atop a hill overlooking the districts of Karakura town. The older students immediately lackadaisically began to lounge about, stretching and complaining about these errand runs. If Kirigari were to listen to the words of his seniors, the academy was used to cover the gaps in the rotation of Shinigami within the Gotei 13. Kirigari dismissed the idea, and looked out over the town of Karakura. He wondered if the Academy had any knowledge on whether hollows would be here or not, or if they simply hoped classes would run into them.

A sudden dinging sound caught Kirigari's attention. Because he was already on edge, his gut instinct was to arm himself, and both his hands had flown to his Zanpakuto hilts before he could stop himself. He didn't draw the blades, but it looked somewhat silly when the first year student realized it was nothing more than the upperclassman's small phone. "We've got 2, let's go." Kirigari followed the students at a light jog, passing by the world of the living unseen, and unknown. It was pitch black out, this part of town had only natural light, which tonight there was almost none of. The moon shone dully on the ground as the 4 shinigami in training entered a small clearing inbetween trees, a farm house in the middle of it. 

Kirigari froze while the other 3 leapt into action, drawing their swords and charging forward. They hadn't arrived in time. One of the hollows was atop a destroyed barn, the families truck flipped upside down and on fire behind it. The other was attacking the house, trying to reach the humans inside. The scene was gruesome and filled Kirigari with a deep rage in his heart. He knew, logically, that these were nothing more than wild animals, souls who had slipped through the cracks of the soul society into madness, but this slaughter couldn't be allowed to stand. His resolve to become a shinigami was steeled, despite the gruesome scene in front of him. His two Zanpakuto hung at his hip, feeling especially heavy in their sheaths. 

Kirigari did the only thing he could; examine. The 3 students had formed a triangle, and had gotten both hollows attention. The first hollow stood tall, on short stubby legs. His torso was excessively long though, reaching up to 12, maybe 13 feet. His arms reached down to the ground as well. He was large, but he was slow. The other Hollow looked much more problematic, espcially considering just since he has turned away his attention, Kirigari saw the limp arm and Zanpakuto of the upperclassman fall next to him, cleanly separated from the body. Just like that, the Hollows had evened the battle to a two on two. 

Kirigari focused his attention on the stronger hollow. He was tall, leithe and moved fluidly. He has long claws on each hand, that came to razor sharp points at the tip. He was terrifying. His hands rested on his Zanpakuto, his heart pounding. A gasp of air caught his attention. He turned towards the tree line and saw her; Rimiri. "What are you doing here, Rimiri?! You could be expelled!" She didn't answer, her gaze was fixed on the fallen arm and weapon of the dead student, her eyes wide with fear and doubt as she got a good look at the two hollows. Kirigari got to her just as she collapsed, shaking. "Kirigari! Retreat!" He heard, faintly from the upperclassman. His own classmate had taken his attention for too long. He leaned Rimiri against a tree gently. She had mentally incapacitated herself completely. She was helpless. Standing, he took stock of the situation. Both other students were still alive, but if Kirigari didn't intervene soon, that wouldn't be the case. The larger of the hollows had sustained some damage, but nothing serious, and the clawed hollow was completely untouched. 

Kirigari didn't see a choice - if he allowed these two to die in front of him, he wouldn't have time to escape while carrying Rimiri, the hollows would chase him down, and he didn't think he could win that alone.  Drawing both blades, he charged forward, coming even with the upperclassman, his arms shaky, and his heart pounding. The clawed hollow swiped at Kirigari as he arrived, which the shinigami in training caught on his Zanpakuto, crossed in front of the attack. True fear gripped his heart as he felt the strength of his opponent weigh down on his block, nearly buckling under the pressure. It took everything in him, but he was able to push back the attack. And so it continued, the hollows pressing their advantage while the 3 students took turns blocking and evading the attacks, trying to survive long enough for reinforcements to save them. 

It all went upside down when the big hollow predicted one of the upperclassman's dodge. It wasn't pleasant. His entire body was mangle on impact when he was hit, and then he was launched ridiculously far. Kirigari looked at his lone remaining comrade - a mistake he quickly regret. With an unforeseen speed, the hollow swiped backward, slamming into Kirigari in the second he had been distracted. The student went flying, tumbling across the grassy landscape roughly, his body limp and unconscious as it came to a brutal and immediate stop against a tree trunk. Slumping down to the bottom, in his last seconds of consciousness, all Kirigari could see was the last student, held high into the air in the claws of the 2nd hollow, and the first hollow lumbering towards where he had left Rimiri. 

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Kirigari awoke to the sound of thunder. His eyes snapped open, but he was in a different clearing. A clearing with a large, perfectly circular lake in the middle of it, with large fir trees lining the edges. Where am I? he panicked, his immediate thoughts rushing to those of his comrades in danger. But there was no sign of danger. Sitting up, he took bearing of where he was. There was a fierce storm of lightning that lacked rain, which was curious. For that matter, it seemed all of the moisture in this place radiated from the lake in the middle. Kirigari rose to his feet, taking slow wandering steps towards the lake, his eyes keeping watch of the lightning in the sky. Had he died? Was this what came if you died as a spirit? No one could really tell you if theres an afterlife to afterlife. Kirigari arrived at the edge of the water, and fell to his knees. The top was perfectly smooth, a flawless reflection of the boy with wild yellow hair and red eyes. Then suddenly, it wasn't. Kirigari fell backwards as a blue dragon appeared within the water, taking place of his face. He crawled away from the lake in fear as the dragon rose from the water. Kirigari couldn't comprehend what was going on. 

It was at that time a wild strike of lightning bolted past the blue dragon, slamming into the ground next to Kirigari with a deafening roar and a blinding light. When Kirigari's senses returned to him, he saw there was a matching black dragon in the air above him now as well. The black dragon crackled with charges of electricity. They spoke together, each of their voices unique, but blending into a low, deep melodic sound. "We've been expecting you for quite some time, Kirigari." His eyes shot open as he reached for his Zanpakuto, only to find his hips empty. He never went anywhere anymore without his weapons. "Who are you?!" Kirigari demanded. He didn't know why, but he knew that they wouldn't hurt him. At least, not yet. The two looked at each other, then back towards Kirigari. They spoke together again "We are                   " They answered, but for some reason Kirigari couldn't quite make out what they were saying. 

The dragons looked disappointed in him, which ticked him off. He had never seen these dragons before in his life, and they had the audacity to judge him because they struggled pronouncing their own names? and what was up with the creepy talking together thing? "We are timeless, our forms change through the millennia. Two sides of the same coin." They spoke together again, but for the first time, broke their speech to finish the sentence. For dramatic effect, I guess?  "One to rule the sea" "One to rule the skies." Kirigari sat, cross-legged, looking at the two dragons. Kirigari knew of releases, though the Academy didn't cover Zanpakuto spirits until the 3rd year, as it was unhear of a student achieving a relationship with them any earlier than the 5th year. 

The two dragons mosied their way through the air closer to Kirigari. "You wonder where you are, Kirigari." they spoke, their voices floating in and out of focus as they flew in circles. "The question is not; where are you, but why are you here." The dragons landed smoothly in the grass, bringing their heads level with Kirigari. "In the material world, you and your friends face death. You do not have the experience needed to steele yourself and do what must be done to win this battle. You have never killed before." Kirigari didn't know how these dragons knew that about him, but he had fallen silent, eating up every word they spoke. "These beasts who threaten you are nothing, they are beneath you, Kirigari. You needn't the experience when you have such overwhelming strength at your fingertips if you simply utilized us properly." Kirigari's face twisted in confusion. If he had Dragons at his command, of course he would be fine! Unfortunately, he hadn't seen any dragons flying around the outskirts of Karakura Town while he had been fighting the hollows! 

"Do not doubt yourself, young Kirigari. You are powerful and posses great natural talent and hidden potential. You must not perish here!" The dragons commanded, the storm raging significantly more fiercely than it had been before. "Close your eyes, and heed our stories in your heart." Kirigari had began to have his suspicions as to what was going on, and he suspected them true when the voices of the dragons sounded clearly in his mind after he closed his eyes. We were born of chaos, destruction, and death. We harnessed that energy and power, and came together to keep it from destroying the world. The ocean within you is untamable, much like the ocean within the world. You can not be stopped or contained. The dragons spoke, as Kirigari meditated, their forms appearing within. The unbridled storm that pushes you forward will not be denied. It will give you the resolve you need to stand against any foe. Kirigari knew then, who he had met. These were his Zanpakuto. He would not be denied, and he would not be stopped, not by some hollows in the middle of a farm. Certainly not tonight. 

Kirigari's eyes snapped open, as the dragon swirled around him, a more pleased expression on their faces. "You exceed even our expectation, Kirigari." They spoke, as he rose to his feet. He examined the clearing once again, the meaning of it's location, and it's scenery making more sense to him, after his conversation with the Dragons. "You know who we are now, yes?" They asked of him, distancing themselves higher into the sky. Kirigari nodded "I think I do." he answered evenly. He looked at them each with newfound interest. "I don't have the strength alone to beat these hollows, though. Not yet."

"This is true, they are both on the brink of becoming Adjuchas, but don't worry about that for now." The dragons answered. "You will earn our strength to borrow in this battle." Kirigari shook his head, throwing his arms out. "I've already spent enough time here! Both my allies could be dead already!" he protested. The dragons insisted, regardless of this. Unbeknownst to him that time within this world moved at a standstill, due to it taking place in his own subconscious. 

Kirigari didn't really have a choice anyways. He didn't know how to exit this world without their permission. "Fine. Tell me what I have to do! Whatever it is, I'll do it!" The dragons seemed to smirk at him. Could dragons smirk? Kirigari didn't know, and didn't have time to worry about it anyways. The dragons flew in a loop together, as if chasing each other before taking off to their respective areas, the water dragon diving into the lake smoothly, and the lightning dragon disappearing into the clouds above. You must catch one of us. Simply touch one of us, and we shall grant you what you need, Kirigari.

The boy smirked. They truly were underestimating him if they thought this was a challenge. Kirigari charged forward, diving into the lake after the dragon. The water was brisk, and icy. The cold shocked him, but he didn't let it stop him. He could see the dragon, coiled at the bottom of the lake, watching him with a bored expression on his face. Kirigari kept swimming down, his breath held, despite getting short. He swam down further, desperately reaching for the dragon. His fingers were right there, feet.... inches....

Kirigari couldn't hold his breath anymore, and gasped for air, sputtering and coughing on the shore of the lake in the clearing. Confused, he shook his head and took deeper breaths. He wasn't sure how he had gotten here, but he was confident it was the dragons doing. He was close enough though, if he took a deep breath he'd make it this time. Diving in again, he swam down, pushing himself to reach the bottom. Again he fell short, and again when he gasped for air, he appeared on the beach, stuttering and coughing. Again, and again, and again, he tried and failed. It didn't matter what he did, the dragon was always just barely out of reach. He looked to the sky, but didn't see any feasible way of reaching it as he was now. 

Fine then. Ill call your bluff. Kirigari dove into the water again, the icyness of it not even bothering him at this point. He swam, and swam, and swam, getting closer to the dragon, his breath running short. Just when he thought he couldn't hold any longer, he gave in to the desire to breath. Not in the panicky way he had been forced into before, but in a natural way, as if he was breathing air. Despite the water entering his lungs, his breath traveled freely. He stopped in place and swam deeper, before swimming in a circle. It was beyond a surreal experience. He dove deeper still, his hand laying firmly upon the head of the dragon at the bottom of the lake. How can I breathe? he asked, confused. The better question to ask, Kirigari, is why you thought my waters would bring you harm. Come. The dragon rose from the lakebed into the air, bringing Kirigari with. 

He landed on the shore smoothly, looking up at what was now both dragons once again. "Now, Kirigari, you must go. If you act quickly, you can still save both of your comrades." The Dragons began to fly away again as Kirigari felt himself losing consciousness "Wait! I didn't get your name still!" Kirigari sighed, defeated as he fell into the darkness that would hopefully lead him to awake. However, in the brief silence between his leaving the Zanpakuto and him awakening, he heard their response. 

Watatsumi Kaminari

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Kirigari awoke on his feet. He could feel the dragons in his hands, feel their power, their age. He saw his upperclassman still dangling in the air by the claws of that monster, while the other stalked towards Rimiri. Kirigari's image flicked and disappeared, reappearing beneath his upperclassman as the claws of the hollow rained down around them, blood spraying across the grass. Kirigari sheathed both his Zanpakuto and caught the upperclassman as he fell. His eyes fell onto the hollow with nothing but cold, calculating assurance in his own victory. The Hollow swiped at him with his remaining claws, but Kirigari flash-stepped away into the forest, setting down his injured upperclassman. His flashstep back was just as fast, as he flickered into existence between the larger hollow and Rimiri as it was reaching for her. He slashed upwards, slicing into the hollows hand and sending it recoiling back as it regrouped with it's own ally. 

It seemed the two would attack him together, they had assumed that they had the numbers advantage, but that couldn't be further from the truth. They both charged forward, releasing blood curdling screams. Kirigari glared at them, and drew his Zanpakuto's as he tempered his reiatsu, allowing it to flow entirely untethered for the first time. His academy shirt was flapping about violently from the force of his own Reiatsu being released, but the Hollows didn't stop their charge if they realized they were outmatched. Kirigari flipped the Zanpakuto in his left hand, so that the two were pointing in opposite directions. 

"Lightning God Rage"

The Hollows had reached him. They had positioned themselves so they could both attack with their uninjured arms. The large hollows arm came flying down, as Kirigari flipped the swords in his hands, their movements appearing slowed and leaving behind after images and their shapes began to shift. 

"And Water God Roar"

The hollows attacks were close enough that they had felt assured in their victory, letting out a deafening battle cry. Unfortunately, they were outnumbered 3 to 2, and they hadn't yet realized that Kirigari's two friends were just now coming out to play. 

"WATATSUMI KAMINARI!"

A massive eruption of reiryoku unleashed from Kirigari as he called out his Shikai for the first time, sending both Hollows flying back and erupting a massive cloud of dust.

WC: 3,316

Shikai learned: 1,500/1,500

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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

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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

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Kirigari sat in his Dormitory, his hands rested on the hilts of his Zanpakuto, which were placed across his knees. He found it easiest to communicate with his Zanpakuto in this way. It had been 2 days since the events of the hollow extermination trip, and Kirigari had spent most of the time trying to get back to that valley in his mind again, unfortunately, he was far too restless with what was going on in the rest of his life. He couldn't properly meditate because he couldn't clear his mind. He had met with the Dean last night when he received the notice that he would need to finish the year. 

"Captain Jonetsu wants me in his squad! Why do I have to finish the year?!" Kirigari had protested, unhappy with the decisions. The Dean held firm though, unflinching, and prepared for the protest. "I understand that, but Monchue agrees as well. There are certain procedures that must be followed. Graduation from the Academy, which only happens once a year, is one of those things." The Dean paused, taking a moment to take a drink of his tea before continuing. "You should consider it an honor, Kirigari. It will only be the second time in Academy history that a first year will be amongst the graduating classes." Kirigari knew that further protests were entirely pointless - he was still nothing but an Academy student until the end of the year, after all. 

Sighing, he re-sheathed his Zanpakuto and rose to his feet, he was far too restless and distracted to meditate properly, he would never be able to travel into his own spirit world like this. Instead, he decided to wander the campus. Since he had already been confirmed a spot within the Gotei 13, he had been mostly relieved of his curriculum and given free reign. The instructors were aware of the situation, and the Dean had given him permission to attend and observe any classes of his choice. Unsurprisingly, the first class that Kirigari attended was the 6th year's Zanjutsu class. 

What did surprise him was to learn that the class was almost entirely focused on communicating with your Zanpakuto. Kirigari examined the students meditating, most of whom would be graduating with him. As he watched, he realized why he had been immediately recruited by Captain Jonetsu; of the class only one student was able to communicate with their Zanpakuto, and he, much like Kirigami when he first arrived in the valley, couldn't quite understand it's name. Kirigari was surprised, he had expected more from people who had been communicating and working with their Zanpakuto for nearly 6 years. 

Eventually, the instructor noticed him sitting to the side, and visibly perked with excitement. He hurried over, getting the attention of the class. "This is the genius first year who has already unlocked his first release!" Grabbing Kirigari by the arm, the instructor - quite literally - drug him to the front of the class. The 6th year students looked at him with a mix of repulse, fascination, admiration, and hatred. He was unsurprised and mostly unbothered. People feared what they couldn't understand, and none of them could understand how someone who had just received his Zanpakuto was so far ahead of them. Kirigari didn't quite understand it either, but he had heard rumor that his fight with the hollows had been exaggerated a great deal within the student body of the academy already. If the rumors were to be believed, Kirigari had single handedly saved the entire class from an army of hollows with a slash made of pure energy that had vaporized them. 

Kirigari rolled his eyes at how exaggerated it had all become, frustrated because it took away from his true accomplishment in the fight. He also didn't enjoy the idea that he was being regaled as a hero, when he had let two of the students die right before his eyes. If he was being entirely honest, it disgusted him. But for now, he had to put those feelings aside as he was being put on the spot. He had zoned out, and hadn't realized the instructor had asked for a demonstration. Kirigari wasn't sure how he felt about that, but he knew if he declined, rumors would spread in the opposite fashion they had been, and while his pride wasn't the thing he was worried about here, he didn't want his name to be ran afoul behind his back in the Academy after he left. 

Kirigari wasn't sure how the dragons would feel about being used for a demonstration, but he hoped they would understand his reasoning. The class traveled outdoors to the courtyard for the demonstration.

WC: 781

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