It's been six days since the betrayal of Aizen and gang. Currently, Itsuki was where the human group were staying and was sparring against Rukia. Ichigo was on the side being healed by Orihime. For the past few days, Itsuki didn't teach Ichigo any sort of sword techniques but just sparred continuously, beating the crap out of him.
Giving Ichigo a sword technique didn't align with his nature as he had his own, so just polishing his current swordsmanship and honing his instincts was what Itsuki believed to be best. Today was the last day Itsuki would train him and tomorrow was the day when they would return to the living world. After disarming Rukia, Itsuki ended the spar and was taking his leave with her when Orihime called out to him,
Running to him she immediately bowed,
"About last time, I have to thank you!"
Upon giving her thanks she immediately returned to her group. Rukia was surprised as she didn't know why Orihime was thanking Itsuki. Apart from Itsuki telling her to heal Ichigo, they hadn't had any sort of interaction. Itsuki was unable to see her face when she bowed as she quickly turned and walked away. Her friends were surprised with her actions as they started questioning her.
Itsuki not knowing what to do just shrugged his shoulders and left the training ground with Rukia following. On their way, there was a strange atmosphere as Rukia kept glancing at him. Turning back, he saw Rukia donning a strange expression on her face. She seemed to quickly look away when they made eye contact. This carried on for a while before Itsuki questioned,
Rukia shook her head before she followed Itsuki the hospital.
Arriving there, they made their way to meet Byakuya who was still in recovery. Hisana was already there peeling an apple for him while Renji was outside guarding his captain. Walking in Rukia immediately started talking to Hisana while Itsuki went to Byakuya.
Although Hisana hadn't gotten over her guilt, the two sisters liked to be with each other a lot. Rukia would come visit every now and then, talk about her days while Hisana would just listen. Ever since, Rukia's execution was announced, Hisana had somehow gotten wind of this despite Byakuya's attempts to make sure she never heard it.
She had barely eaten and with a weak body, she fell ill. Upon hearing that Rukia was safe, she immediately wanted to meet her when Byakuya told her that Rukia now knew everything. At first, she was hesitant, but she gathered her courage and faced her little sister. After a night of crying the two made up as Hisana became extremely protective of her.
Looking outside the window, Byakuya started speaking,
"You, did you know about Aizen?"
Hearing the words 'Aizen', the two girls were startled before talking their leave. They knew that the two were going to talk about something important.
Itsuki stayed quiet as he also looked outside rendering a short moment of silent. Byakuya gave a sigh seeing his friend's lack of response as he turned to Itsuki,
"Try not to take all upon yourself, we are here for you."
Byakuya knew his friend's character the most due to the time the two had spent together sparring. He knew that his friend was looking for many ways to strengthen himself. Itsuki gave a small genuine smile as he nodded at Byakuya.
Itsuki then left for an underground base he had created. Upon entering, what entered his view was a broken shaft and various pieces of the halberd's blade of Sokyoku.
These were most of the pieces of the blade and the ones that Itsuki was able to salvage without anyone knowing. These pieces were most likely written off as lost or completely demolished when Ukitake and Shunsui destroyed the Sokyoku. The small amount the Shinigami took, would be researched and a new Sokyoku would stand where the previous one stood.
The Sokyoku was a weapon known as having the strength and power of a million zanpakuto. Whenever, Itsuki held a piece he could feel the broken shard augment his reiatsu by a small amount. It wasn't activated and was in pieces, so Itsuki could understand why it was only a small amount.
All the pieces that Itsuki gathered were in the middle of a triangular formation that looked extremely similar to the one Itsuki used to absorb the hollow. He then put each zanpakuto at one end while Itsuki stood on one. Pouring his reiatsu, the formation lit up before immediately dying out. Seeing no changes, Itsuki got up and started to make some adjustments to the formation before trying it out again but still failed.
The next day, Hisana and Byakuya were chatting calmly when they heard rapid footsteps approaching.
Ichigo jumped up only to see a Byakuya and a woman that looked like Rukia shocked at the intrusion.
"Rukia? No, you are not Rukia?"
"You must be Kurosaki Ichigo, I have to thank you for taking care of my little sister."
Hisana did a slight bow as a gentle smile masked her face. Orihime then jumped next to Ichigo as the latter was surprised with the fact that she reached the 3rd floor.
"Have you seen Rukia?"
"No, but she most likely is at the 2nd Division training grounds."
"Okay and thank you."
After the two left Byakuya looked as if in thought,
"That kid, I wonder if he plans to call me without titles…"
Hisana just giggled at her husband's concerns as she went back to peeling oranges for him.
The two then made their way to the training grounds. Walking through the path, they felt many eyes on them.
"Why are they monitoring us?"
"Ichigo-san, I think it's because we are in the 2nd division HQ and the Onmitsukido HQ…"
Orihime then went on to explain about the responsibilities of the Onmitsukido.
"You're awfully knowledgeable about this, Orihime."
Orihime just laughed and continued walking. Feeling Rukia's reiatsu, they then made their way towards her. The more they walked towards her location; the less eyes were monitoring them until they came across a training ground when no eyes were left.
Rukia was sitting down with Ganju and Kukaku looking at a pair sparring in front. The smoke cleared out and Soi Fon came into view with Yoruichi in front of her.
Rukia seemed to sense the two newcomers as she turned around,
Kukaku and Ganju also looked back before the former turned back to look at the fight.
Yoruichi looked at Soi Fon,
"You have really gotten stronger, Soi Fon."
"It was all to surpass you."
A confident smirk plastered Yoruichi's face,
"But you are still lacking and…"
She whispered something in Soi Fon's ear causing rage to surface on her face.
Just as she was about to rage at Yoruichi, an Onmitsukido member came and reported something. Calming her rage, she mouthed a few words, clicked her tongue and immediately made her way to take care of some things.
Yoruichi also came up to the spectators as she sat down to converse. They were later joined by Ishida and Sado who somehow knew this was happening.
"So Ichigo, I heard you had a rather fun time with Itsuki."
Hearing the demon's name caused Ichigo to sweat buckets. For the past few days it was only getting beaten up and healed by Orihime on constant repeat. It was so traumatic that the demon would show up and beat him in his dreams. Still, he did feel improvements and felt that he was sharper than before, but did he really need to get beaten up that much.
Orihime's small voice then interrupted his talk,
"He isn't that bad of a person."
Everyone just turned to Orihime when she said those words. Rukia had a smile on her face as she also voiced out her opinion,
"Yeah, he isn't. When I was adopted by the Kuchiki clan, it was because of him that I wasn't bullied by anyone."
Kukaku also spoke up,
"He saved my elder brother and sister."
All the girls started reminiscing something about Itsuki while the human boys looked confused.
"What's happening here?"
A cold voice brought them out of their thoughts while Ichigo started trembling.
Itsuki had just gotten back from the hidden cave. The more adjustments he made the more perfected the formation became but one thing was needed, a major thing. A lot of Reishi was needed. Itsuki's own simply wasn't enough. He needed to control the formation and also provide enough reishi to power it up so the pieces of the Sokyoku could be properly melded into his zanpakuto.
Yoruichi jumped onto Itsuki and hugged him like a cat. The human group was especially shocked seeing Yoruichi jump onto Itsuki just like a lover. But before they could question anything a Jigokucho landed next to Rukia. After reading the message, she turned to the gang,
"The senkaimon is ready to be opened."
After that the group said their goodbyes and the humans made their way to the main senkaimon. Yoruichi also left with them as they needed someone to be their guide, so giving a kiss to Itsuki, she also shunpoed away.
Ukitake then gave Ichigo his Shinigami badge and the group then left soul society, bringin an end to this episode.