Itsuki continued drinking his tea while his guards sat vigilantly behind him. The two sent a few menacing glares towards Urahara but the latter mostly waved it off, there was no end to the man's shamelessness. Placing the tea down, the atmosphere became heavy once the sound of the impact between the cup and table was heard. Feeling the atmosphere, everyone instinctively knew that the two wanted to be left alone.
A serious look masked Itsuki and Urahara as Itsuki opened his mouth,
"None yet. The task you gave me was quite hard."
Itsuki nodded while Urahara continued,
"Though, I wouldn't say there is no progress. I do have some leads but nothing's for certain yet."
Itsuki closed his eyes and laid back slightly. Urahara looked at the slight exhaustion within Itsuki's expression.
"You do know that you don't have to do this."
Itsuki stayed silent. Urahara took a sip of tea,
Itsuki interrupted him,
"As long as we are in this situation, no one is safe. If I don't do something, someone else with more extreme ideas would do it. Look at Aizen, he's probably not the first and will definitely not be the last."
Urahara stayed silent as he listened to Itsuki,
"We both have things we want to protect and we both are willing to do anything to protect them."
"You will become enemies with everyone."
Itsuki gave a cold smile, a calculative one,
"You think I haven't thought of that."
This was the first time that Itsuki had shown this expression and it sent chills down Urahara's spine. The look was replaced immediately and Itsuki acted like nothing had happened yet Urahara knew that those eyes would stay etched in his mind.
Urahara tried to lighten the atmosphere, by putting his fan to cover his mouth and started laughing,
"Then, Itsuki-san, how's your chest?"
Itsuki knew why Urahara quickly changed the subject, apart from lightening the atmosphere, three figures appeared at the doorstep. The three girls looked at Itsuki and jumped at him, completely ignoring Urahara's presence. The latter made his leave, leaving the four alone.
Nothing happened, no one cried, no one talked, nothing. They just laid there, basking in their loved one's embrace. They silently felt Itsuki's heartbeat while Itsuki did the same. Patting the girl's heads and shoulders, they stayed like that for some time until Yoruichi transformed into her cat form and laid on Itsuki's lap. Rangiku and Soi Fon sat behind him as the his personal guards entered the room. Hinamori and Yuki stood behind Itsuki while Urahara and the rest entered the store.
They all sat around the table within the cramped room, waiting for one more group to arrive.
A short moment later, the door opened and in came six figures. There was Inoue, Ishida, Sado, Kenryu, Rukia and Ichigo, who got a guilty look on his face once he saw Itsuki. Itsuki saw this as he sighed internally at the guys face. Enryu and Rurichiyo were outside where the latter was playing with Ururu and Jinta.
The six sat down while Kenryu looked nervous seeing Itsuki among them. Tessai broke the silence,
"I'm amazed you were able to make it back in one piece…"
Itsuki couldn't be bothered with all the talking that would most likely follow so he explained it to them,
"They intentionally let you escape…"
Looking at the direction of Kenryu,
"…easier to cover their tracks in the real world."
Everyone's eyes widened as Itsuki refrained from speaking any further. This brought a thoughtful expression on Ishida as he touched his chin,
"Then that means we should expect an attack."
Rukia then looked at Urahara,
"What did you say about resources?"
"There has been a lack of a certain type of raw material, it's been quite hard to acquire ever since that princess of yours appeared."
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Itsuki was back at his favourite spot smoking a kiseru as he watched the sunset. He was technically meditating but it was a technique he created which allowed him to meditate and still have a thought process outside. Although he couldn't move from the spot, he could still move one of his limbs. It was a rare moment for him not to have his ability to process multiple thoughts as most of them were focused on meditation while he was able to isolate one of them, bringing it to his current condition.
Hearing some footsteps behind him, he felt the reiatsu and just continued looking at the sun. Ichigo in front of him but didn't cover his view of the sun. Bending down, he stayed like that until he felt Itsuki's gaze land upon him.
Breathing out smoke, Itsuki just looked back at the sun,
"Don't worry about it…"
"…it was my negligence letting some weak kid like you harm me."
Hearing Itsuki call him weak, an arrow was felt in his heart, yet a relieved feeling accompanied it. It seems that he wasn't mad at him. Smiling lightly, Itsuki was about to leave when Itsuki's voice was drifted into his ear and the temperature dropped to sub-zero,
"Be careful on your way home, a certain object might find itself buried somewhere you would never think off."
Ichigo felt as if someone had poured ice down his back as his bottom involuntarily clenched. With sweat gushing down his back Ichigo carefully made his down while carefully making sure that he wasn't exposed from any angle.
Itsuki watched Ichigo's group leave as he sent Seikyo off with them. Rurichiyo could be heard complaining to Kenryu as she wasn't able to meet Itsuki. Ending his meditation, Itsuki felt a group of reiatsu enter Karakura town. Knowing that there was no point of him making a move, he just returned to spend some more time with the girls.