18 Real world
Two months easily went by since Itsuki's episode with Rangiku. At first it was a bit awkward but was shrugged off by Itsuki's determination to get stronger. Training with Rangiku consisted of the occasional spars and him directing her on her kido. With the sparring it helped develop her Hoho, Hakuda and Zanjutsu as her zanpakuto's handle started to take on a dark red shade with her tsuba slowly morphing into the shape of a cat. Training in Kido helped develop her control of reiatsu and helped her have a stronger connection to her zanpakuto.
- Zanjutsu Hall -
In one of the training dojos two people can be seen crossing swords, well one of them was purely attacking while the other was defending. It was mainly Itsuki attacking as he wanted Rangiku to know how to properly defend herself, and, he was, by no means, gentle to the opposite sex. Whenever he saw an opening he would strike immediately but he still gave her a chance to block and then counter attack. This carried for a few more bouts until Itsuki moved back and stopped attacking once he noticed Rangiku about to collapse.
"Do.. huff…you always…huff…have to…huff…hit so hard…huff"
You could see that Rangiku was close to collapsing. Itsuki let her rest as he started packing up.
"Get some rest, tomorrow is the trip to the real world"
After helping Rangiku to her dorm. Itsuki made his way back confused by his circumstances. He has made no progress at all with his Zanpakuto. He had even asked Onabara Gengoro but he was also stumped into what the issue was. Although he had a faint idea to what it was, he wasn't sure if it was right because it was really rare if that was the case.
In the past two months, apart from his futile attempts to connect to his inner world, he mainly focused on Hiten mitsurugi-ryu and showed immense improvements in it. If you wanted to rank his swordsmanship, he could now be considered a fully fledged swordsman getting closer and closer to expert swordsman.
As they were leaving they met up with Gin, his zanpakuto now looked like a wakizashi with a light blue handle and an 'S' shaped tsuba. Gin had his own way of training and would sometimes join them in their spars. This would then result in a 2 v 1 situation against Itsuki.
After saying their goodbyes, they went their separate ways to start preparing for the event. Itsuki had a feeling that he will have a breakthrough with his zanpakuto during this time's journey to the real world.
- The next day -
The next morning, all the first years were gathered for their real world experience. They were told to meet up in the assembly hall and were then led to the senkaimon. The senkaimon was a giant white gateway in the middle of what seemed like a large courtyard on top of a large tower. Members of the kido corps were already there. They wore black garments, sandals and had a large white mask covering their face excluding their eyes. They stood outside the senkaimon, each on wither side of the gate. The kido corps were similar to the Onmitsukido, extremely secretive. The kido corps, however, are experts in the use of kido and not much is known about their activities.
As the two kido corps member did their chants, the gateway started glowing as they prepared a passage to the real world. They were designated a place where only weak hollows appear and was the perfect practice ground for Konso. A senior student was in charge of around 20 students and Itsuki's group was being led by Shiba Aiko, the same girl that appeared to collect them when they first entered academy.
"Just walk into the gate, following my lead. Don't leave the group until I say so. Remember, you will get lost, as only a Jigokucho can navigate you to and from soul society."
After saying her piece, she started running towards the gate and through it. Unfortunately, the four friends were separated into different groups. Itsuki, being the loner he was, stayed alone and never talked to the people around him. Unlike before, people never tried to approach him, choosing to keep some distance with him. This was partly due to what happened coming to the academy and the incident with Sasaki-senpai. Both of these things had a further impact on increasing his mysteriousness. Among the shy glances of the girls and the fearful one from the boys, Itsuki jumped in straight after Aiko.
After a bright flash of light, what came into view was a small town. It was around midday and Itsuki could see people going about their day. It seemed it was when Japan was still in its Meiji period, going from their previous isolated state to what we know today. Itsuki could see people in both Japanese traditional clothing, similar to what they wear in soul society, and the typical western suit consisting of a suit jacket, trousers and smart shoes. At this point in time there were many conflicting ideas to which path Japan could take and Itsuki could feel the slight tension in the air. However, the members of soul society didn't care much as they just came to do their job.
Once everyone was out, they made their way to a hospital near them. The first-years constantly looked around as if to absorb everything the world had to offer. Once arriving, they immediately came across a few souls wandering around. These were plus souls in which hollows liked to feed on. Apart from plus souls which can wander around anywhere, there are Jibakurei (earth-bound spirit), who are bound to a place and Tsukirei (possessive spirit) who are bound to a person. Each of these souls have a chain bound to there chest called the chains of fate.
Shiba Aiko approached one and started to console it. It was a mother in her mid-forties and she seemed to regret leaving her children behind. Itsuki could see a chain connected to her chest. Consoling her, she proceeded to take out her zanpakuto and lightly touch the mother's forehead with the handle of the sword. The woman then slowly disappeared as she was sent off to soul society. Amongst the marvelled gazes of the first-years Shiba Aiko did the same to a few other souls before the area was cleared out. It seemed that each group was designated one area each.
After this we were then introduced to hollows.
Hollows could be categorised in these ways
Demi-Hollows: These are ones who are in the midst of transforming into a hollow after their chain of fate has partially corroded
Low class hollow: A just transformed hollow
Mid-High class hollow: The hollow has gotten stronger due to how many souls they've eaten.
After that comes the menos, which are basically the evolution of a hollow when human souls are not enough to sustain them. So hollows then resolve to cannibalism where a massive inter-devouring follows which then creates a Gillian
Gillian are huge creatures that are a few stories tall and have beast like intellect. They have their own abilities and are far stronger than normal hollows but are the weakest of menos. After that come the Adjuchas who are like Gillian's but have a higher level of strength and hogh levels of intellect. Lastly, there are Vasto Lorde who are the third classification of menos and, by far, the strongest. They are extremely rare and they never really leave Hueco Mundo.