Kaien continued to look at him with a complex look. He couldn't help it as it had only been over two years since he saw this youth when he first applied. Now he was the 3rd seat of the 2nd division and the student of the captain commander. Judging from the previous battle, it seemed that he could go toe to toe with captains and had far surpassed him in strength.
Worst yet, it seemed his fiancée, Shiba Miyako, had somehow entered Itsuki's fanbase. Remembering his otherworldly looks, he started to feel that she was slowly escaping from his grasp. The more he thought about it the more depressed he got. His complex look slowly turned to a depressed one where the atmosphere around him also started to show changes. Sentaro and Kiyone, who were next to him and instantly got worried at his changes.
"Shiba-dono, are you okay?"
This went unheard as he continued in his thoughts.
The more Kaien looked like this the more worried they got. Their usual cheerful lieutenant was suddenly gloomy. They tried their best to cheer him up, but it was not until their captain returned did his gloominess subside.
Ukitake suddenly remembered something as he looked at Itsuki then at Kaien before giving out a small giggle. He decided to not help the idiot and started making his was towards his division.
Shunsui also got up with his hair in a comedic afro.
"It seems that we would have to talk another time, Kouhai"
He had returned to his normal way of addressing Itsuki as he left with Lisa.
Only two people were left as Itsuki looked at Yamamoto's head,
'It really is shiny'
Yamamoto turned to look at Itsuki and only came across the familiar icy face.
'Must've been my imagination'
As this thought crossed his mind, he started lamenting on the different type of students he had. One was prim and proper but was bedridden with an illness and a weak constitution. One had a quick mind yet was mostly filled with lecherous thoughts. Lastly, there was Itsuki, had a calculative mind and a strength that was approaching him. He had the wits and the brawn but also had a mystery hidden beneath his icy exterior. Yet, he was too young.
Sighing at his selection of students he looked back at Itsuki.
"Seems like you've improved yet again"
Itsuki just nodded as he watched Yamamoto leave.
'Why did he come here?'
Time passed with Itsuki training and doing his duties as the corps commander of the detention unit.
Seikyo was growing ever big as Itsuki remembered her first flight. Itsuki stood there as a look of determination was plastered on the eagle's face. They were currently in Yoruichi's training place where her and Urahara played when they were young. It was also the place where Ichigo would later achieve Bankai. This being Seikyo's first flight, brought Itsuki's excitement to his peak as his eyes started to sparkle.
With one heaven defying leap, Seikyo pushed the air underneath her. Gusts of wind blew outwards as she lifted of the ground on her own for the first time in her life. A flash of joy appeared in her eyes before being replaced by determination. Using all her efforts she looked up to see Itsuki's disappointed face. Wait. Looked up?
Seikyo was flapping furiously as she looked up at Itsuki. She had barely reached Itsuki's knees, but the higher the hope the bigger the disappointment. In this case, it was lower the flight, the bigger the disappointment. No matter how much effort she put in she wasn't able to go any higher.
Wasting all her strength she fell to the ground with a depressed move.
Looking at this, Itsuki felt sorry for her as he kneeled down and picked her up. Bringing her to look at his eyes Itsuki was suddenly stumped. He didn't know how to comfort her. Due to this, Itsuki continued to look as he tried to say something while, Seikyo looked back getting more and more depressed. Just when Seikyo was about to lose all hope, Itsuki's voice was heard
With this, Seikyo's mood took a 180 as she snuggled into Itsuki's hand. From there, Seikyo trained and trained until she was capable of normal flight. Further on, she tried her best to explore new heights and continued to fly higher.
As for Itsuki, he slowly but surely inched closer to achieving Bankai until he was finally able to face the girl in the white yukata. This however had taken a total of six years, and Itsuki had guessed that there was roughly a year and a half to the hollowfication incident.
"You've finally come"
Itsuki remained quiet as he looked at the girl before him. Right now, in his hand there was only one long Odachi. It reached two meters long with the blade being 160 cm and the Tsuku being 40 cm. The Tsuku was pure black while the azure blade had a violet shine. The hand guard had a depiction of a coiling dragon roaring with the blade coming out of his mouth.
The girl in front had short black hair and pale white skin. She looked around 16 years old and was cute while having a cat like aura. She had a mature disposition while giving out a maternal charm, like an older sister. The indifference present in her mystic eyes was different from Itsuki's. Hers was similar to viewing something from the other side of glass.
Two pairs of mystic eyes of death perception looked at each other. While Itsuki had the Odachi, the girl in front had a seemingly normal katana. The stare off continued until Itsuki spoke,
"I didn't expect to meet you here 「Shiki Ryougi」"
"Nor, did I expect to somehow appear here from the boundary. This seems to be your inner world."
Itsuki just nodded before putting both hands on his sword and getting into a stance. 「Shiki Ryougi」also got into a stance as she looked at Itsuki.
"Also, I'll prefer it if you call me Saber"
Itsuki nodded before they both moved. The Odachi wasn't an unfamiliar weapon to Itsuki as he had trained in it when he was with Yamamoto. Yamamoto had Itsuki trained in many weapons just in case his zanpakuto became a different one. Although, he had trained in it before, Itsuki felt different with the one in his hand. He felt more familiar with it and had no trouble using it, though he did have to adjust a bit to get used to the length of the blade.
Using an overhead strike, Itsuki slashed his sword downwards with incomparable momentum as Saber blocked the sword sideways. Using this opportunity, Itsuki pushed the handle of his sword upwards, effectively bringing the blade downwards as he then thrusted forwards. Saber dodged this with a tilt of her head and swept her sword forwards using this chance. Her sword swept nothing but an afterimage as she looked up.
Itsuki had jumped up and over her while doing a front flip. Landing, he turned around and held the Odachi next to him pointing behind him towards the ground. Leaning his body forward he pushed of the ground as he disappeared and made his way towards Saber. Saber also didn't lose out as she did the same and disappeared meeting Itsuki in the middle.
Clashes rang out in the upside-down mountain. With Saber and Itsuki continuously trading swords strikes, a picturesque picture was created with the snowfall. Both Saber and Itsuki were using Hiten mitsurugi-ryu as their fight got more advanced and complicated. None were letting out any sort of gap as Itsuki's speed in using the Odachi got faster and faster, eventually reaching his speed in Shikai.
Coming close to the end, Saber's voice rang out,
"Why do you fight Itsuki?"
Itsuki remained silent as they clashed.
"Do you think Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki is as simple as casting away your life and putting it yourself in danger?"
Indeed, that was what Itsuki had thought.
"What is your reason for casting away your life?"
They continued in their fight,
"For what reason do you put yourself in danger?"
With one final clash they separated, and both got into a stance. Itsuki contemplated as they both moved forward.
Time seemed to slow when Itsuki started remembering his days in Soul Society. The people he met, the friend he made, his teacher, his peers and the three women he kept waiting. He wanted to protect them not as a shield but as a sword. He didn't want them to just believe in him whenever to save the day, but rather, hold their ground so he would able to fight without worrying for them. It was contradictory to protecting as that meant that they themselves had to be put in danger, but Itsuki felt it was right.
As the two approached, a flash of light appeared as the two were instantly past each other and currently had their backs facing each other.
Blood spurted out of Saber as she fell forwards and disappeared in motes of light. Before leaving, her voice was heard,
"It seems you have found your reason"
Itsuki got up to look behind thinking that it had ended. However, the motes of light suddenly formed another Saber. This one had the same sword but wore a half pink and half black kimono. A hair was done up and a pink flower acted like a pin. She looked incredibly beautiful.
Before Itsuki could react, Saber attacked leaving Itsuki to only block with his Odachi. Unknowingly, a pair of gauntlets had appeared on his hands similar to his shikai form but were grey. This time there were also a pair of armoured boots that had appeared. Once again Itsuki confronted Saber but this time, Saber was faster and stronger. As they fought, Itsuki started to become faster and faster, surpassing any speed he had achieved. This wasn't only limited to his sword, but him as a whole. He also started making changes to Hiten mitsurugi-ryu, making it more accustomed to him. The naked eye couldn't follow any of his moves as he fought Saber.
This time Saber was silent, not speaking anything and just focusing on the fight. Time passed as they fought before Itsuki found a gap and ran his Odachi straight through Saber.
Once again, Saber turned into motes of light before forming another figure. This time Saber's hair was now long reaching her feet and the pink flower was still there. She wore a yellow robe littered with flowers over a pink kimono looking like a princess.
Itsuki was ready for when she attacked and just like before it came. This time, Saber was equal to Itsuki in strength but something felt different. It seemed she was trying to show him something, rather teach him something. Before he knew it, Saber disappeared in front of him and appeared behind sheathing her sword. Just when he was about to turn around, he felt himself dissipating before once more awakening in front of his swords.
Knowing that he had been defeated, he gave a bitter smile and left his training area. Noticing that it was dawn, and he went to train in the night, he thought only a night had passed when he trained.
On his way towards his office, a cat suddenly appeared next to him,
"So, finally out of your seclusion"
Itsuki gave a confused look as Yoruichi sighed
"You were there for two weeks"
Hearing this Itsuki slipped and planted himself into a tree.