45 Kuchiki Byakuya
The Kuchiki manor was a typical noble house with various rooms and courtyards. It was surrounded by a wall similarly found in all of Seireitei but with the Kuchiki insignia on the entrance.
Entering the Kuchiki manor, they were guided by the servants to the main hall where they came across two men. One was a relatively old man wearing the standard captain's uniform with a sleeveless haori. He had slate grey eyes, long grey hair and a grey moustache. He wore an expensive white scarf across his neck. Looking at the scarf it reminded him of Kuchiki Byakuya's scarf. This scarf was a family heirloom which was handed down from generation to generation and was given to each clan head. Apparently, it was made from the silk of a Silverwhite Wildflower and was personally crafted by Tsujishirō Kuroemon III. He also wore black fingerless tekko covering the back of the hand and looped up to attach to the base of his fingers.
Next to him was a man that looked similar to Kuchiki Byakuya but different. He wore the standard Shinigami uniform but with a band stating 'lieutenant' on his left arm. He was of average height, had shoulder length black hair and bluish-purple eyes. His bangs were pushed to the side while his hair was neatly combed. He wore a single kenseikan on the left side of his face that signified his nobility as a member of the Kuchiki clan.
The both stood there as the two men came towards Yoruichi.
"It's been a while Yoruichi"
"It indeed has, Ginrei and looking as good as ever, Sojun"
The old man was the current head of the Kuchiki household and captain of the 6th division, Kuchiki Ginrei. The man next to him was his son, vice-captain of the 6th division and the father of Kuchiki Byakuya, Kuchiki Sojun.
Kuchiki Sojun was a talented fighter yet a kind individual. He was supposed to succeed Ginrei but was eventually killed in action.
The three made some small talk while Itsuki stayed quiet. Ginrei looked at him from time to time before an approving light flashed through his eyes.
"It seems, Genryusai-dono has chosen yet another talented individual"
Yoruichi was smug as her subordinate was praised. It was said that Ginrei had a good eye for an individual's skill or potential and what they must do to achieve their full potential. This was part of the reason why she brought Itsuki here.
Turning to Itsuki, Ginrei stated,
"What you need is experience in battles, it is what you lack most as for your full potential, I can't see the end of it."
That was all he said before turning to Yoruichi. He only said something as he saw tremendous potential within Itsuki and that Yoruichi had brought him. Being a wily old fox, it was natural that he could see through Yoruichi's intentions and it wouldn't harm him even if he did say something. Plus, he could somehow gain some assurance for any future issues.
"It seems you aren't here to meet me"
"No, where's Byakuya"
"He's out training at the back"
Ginrei left the hall with Yoruichi and Itsuki trailing. Walking through the corridors, Sojun excused himself as he had to return the 6th division barracks for some work.
Walking for a while they found themselves in front of a boy training with a wooden sword. It was in a relatively small courtyard surrounded by three small trees. The boy was wearing a white shihakuso like the academy uniform but with green trousers and without the logo. His sleeves had been tied to his body to prevent them coming in his way while training.
The boy was engrossed in his training, so nobody disturbed him until he finished where Ginrei walked behind him.
"Training as always, Byakuya"
Turning around, Byakuya wiped his sweat as he ran towards his grandfather.
"Grandfather, you're here. Will you be staying in the manor or in the barracks tonight?"
Ginrei just gave a nod before continuing.
"Byakuya, could you finish up today's training, you have a visitor"
Looking behind his grandfather, the only person he saw was Itsuki. A confused expression masked his face as he tried remembering who he was before failing to do so. Just as he was about to ask his grandfather, his hair that was tied in a ponytail fell on his shoulders. Realising who the guest was, he swiped his sword backwards while shouting,
"It's you again, you were-cat"
While giving out her signature laugh, she easily dodged the strike as she replied
"Although I've said it before, I'll say it again. Greeting someone as were-cat right off the bat is not very nice, Byakuya-boy. I even brought one of my subordinates to play with you"
"Shut up! When did I ask you to come and play? And besides as the future head of the Kuchiki clan, I don't need to play. How many times do I have to tell you that?"
Itsuki on the side just watched the two quarrel with each other. Looking at Byakuya now, Itsuki tried comparing the future one to this one in front of him.
'How did this become that'
While thinking like this, Yoruichi continued teasing Byakuya.
"It seems the future of the Kuchiki household is in a predicament with their future clan head's headband getting stolen by little girl while playing."
This caused a twitch in Byakuya's eye as he chased after her.
Failing to catch her, Byakuya never gave up while Yoruichi got bored. It seems she can finally do her main task.
"Byakuya-boy, I'll give you your hair band back…"
"Were-cat, you finally came to your senses."
"…if you beat my subordinate with the sword then I'll give it back, I'll also do any one task for you."
Hearing this, he unconsciously turned to look at the other guest behind his grandfather.
"You better keep your promise, were-cat"
He then shunpoed in front of Itsuki as his grandfather retreated to the side. A servant came with another wooden sword which was then presented to Itsuki.
Finally getting a proper look at Itsuki, Byakuya was shocked by his looks but soon calmed down.
'He really his handsome, but the future clan head of the Kuchiki household shouldn't lose to a subordinate of that were-cat'
While thinking such things he waited for Itsuki to get into stance. Itsuki didn't say anything as he took his zanpakuto off and picked up the wooden sword,
'Should I go all out, or shall I hold back? 10%? 50%?...'
Before he could continue thinking, Yoruichi arrived next to him and whispered two words before grabbing Seikyo and shunpoing next to Ginrei
'Well it seems I'll be going all out'
Upon arriving next to Ginrei, Yoruichi questioned him as her face changed to a serious one,
"Sorry for not telling you beforehand"
Hearing this Ginrei just shook his head,
"Ever since he was born, he has been training in the clan manor. It was time for him to receive some sort of setback"
Ginrei knew perfectly well that although, among his peers, Byakuya was unrivalled, he hadn't had any sort of setback. Yoruichi wasn't enough to curb that arrogance but Itsuki was perfect, he looked around his age and was well younger than him.
Seikyo, who was suddenly grabbed started protesting 'I want to go back to papa, let go of me you meanie'
"Calm down, Seikyo. Look, Itsuki is about to fight"
This seemed to calm her down as she observed her papa.
Yoruichi came forward and picked up a stone.
While Byakuya placed his sword in front of him in the chudan stance, Itsuki got into the Iaido stance. Looking at the two of them, Yoruichi threw the pebble in the air.
All the two waited for was the sound of the pebble dropping.
Byakuya got irritated as a vein popped up on his forehead but calmed himself down after seeing Itsuki not getting agitated. Still he thought to himself
'I'll get that were-cat later'
As soon as he thought this, the sound of the pebble hitting the ground was heard. Forcefully, calming himself down seemed to pay off as Byakuya made his move. Stepping forward he swept his wooden sword downwards. Mid-swing, better yet, mid-step, Itsuki, in front of him, looked up and made eye contact.
Byakuya suddenly felt a shudder down his spine when he saw those ice-cold blue eyes before seeing Itsuki suddenly disappearing from his vision. His eyes widened slightly as he lost the feeling of holding a sword when he finished his swing. Looking around he found his wooden sword a few feet away from him.
He seemed to be in shock as he had lost to someone that looked around his age.
Seeing her papa win, Seikyo gave out a few cute cries with a joyous look on her face.
Yoruichi decided that it was enough and made her leave alongside Itsuki. Itsuki just gave one last glance to Byakuya before following Yoruichi in leaving.