97 Back to the living world
Yoruichi went on to explain how Amagai's father had succumbed to the Bakkoto and Yamamoto had no choice but to kill him. He looked really aggrieved after hearing the truth,
"No, was I so blinded by hate that I was unable to see the truth?"
With that, the memories of his father's last words started to come back to him,
"Beware of the Bakkoto…"
As soon as he remembered this, Amagai fell onto his knees,
"What have I done?"
Itsuki stepped back and watched the man disbelievingly look at the floor. Yamamoto behind let out a sigh,
"So, you're kisaragi's son… you look just like him."
"Does this mean I was too weak, Genryusai-dono?"
"It's nothing to be ashamed of. Forgive my inability to save you both."
Amagai didn't reply but got up and looked at Itsuki.
Itsuki closed his eyes and moved a certain distance away from him. Ichigo looked confused and wanted to say something but was held back by Byakuya.
"Amagai Shusuke has pride as well."
Shunsui then added on,
"He's a man who became a captain, let him live his last moment as he sees fit."
Amagai didn't hear this but looked at Kira wo had also arrived. Gone was the hate filled smile and what had replaced was the heart-warming one found on Amagai's face. A gentle look was present as he spoke,
"Kira, I'm sorry. I dragged you into a terrible solution…"
"…I had great fun with you guys."
With a slight laugh, he turned to Itsuki. It was the first time Itsuki had seen such eyes of Amagai. They were burning with respect, as if he was facing an utmost honour. This confused Itsuki but he pushed it to the back of his mind. Getting into stance he looked at Amagai,
"Reign for the heavens, Ryurai."
At that moment, a large lightning strike was seen within Soul Society despite the clear skies. Back at the 1st Division HQ all the captains started making their exits, leaving only Itsuki looking at Ryurai. The man seemed lost in thought as he looked at his reflection. He remembered how Amagai looked at him in his final moments,
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'Am I so handso- respected?'
Itsuki never realised how much regard he held within the Shinigami's hearts. Especially after Aizen's betrayal, had left a hole which Itsuki managed to inadvertently fill. It made him realise that his future actions will have to slightly change.
Soi Fon looked at his back and felt an uneasy feeling within her heart. It was the same for Yoruichi as they both looked at each other and back at Itsuki. Seikyo landed on Itsuki's shoulder as he started petting it once he sheathed his sword. Turning around, he smiled at the two girls and walked towards them.
It wasn't until evening did Yoruichi leave and Itsuki was in charge of getting everything together. Cleaning up the mess made by the Bakkoto. It was also then that Rurichiyo had her wedding in which Itsuki was invited but didn't attend. He did send Seikyo with Hisana as a sign of good faith, but he was mostly stumped with cleaning the aftermath.
A report finally entered his ears, it seemed that the Arrancars had finally made a move.
- The living world -
Inoue was currently in her battle position with Sado behind her lying unconscious alongside Tatsuki. In front of her were two men, one of the was a large man with a powerful build. He wore a white jacket that showed his chest with a hole in the middle, signifying his status as a being from Hueco Mundo. He had his bottom half of his mask on his jaw line and was looking at Inoue with shock, he had lost an arm. His arm that was the size of Inoue was also there lying on the side. With a scream he fell on his knees and as blood poured out his arm, his regeneration not working at all.
The smaller man behind her also looked at Inoue with shock among his melancholic face. He had pale white skin, black upper lip and green eyes while teal lines that descended from them. He also wore a white coat but his was closed and both of his coattails and collar were longer.
Inoue had a determined look on her face as her hands reached for the pin. As the shorter man was about to make a move, Ichigo appeared in his bankai mode while looking at the two men.
A senkaimon appeared in Karakura town in one of its darkened alleyways. Stepping out, Itsuki looked around and then turned his gaze towards one particular one. Within that particular warehouse, a group of people were within a large area surrounding a large barrier. Inside that large barrier was Ichigo with hollow parts surrounding his body and Aikawa Love wearing a green tracksuit in front of him.
Hirako Shinji was there looking inside, his originally long hair was now cut short and he was now wearing a simple shirt, trouser and tie with a newsboy cap. Hiyori was also there wearing a red tracksuit. The other 'traitors' that ran from soul society were also there. Rojuroo otoribashi was wearing a thin black suit with a frilly shirt.
Kuna Mahiro was sporting a white bodysuit and green gloves while also looking inside. Hachigen Oshida was wearing a green tuxedo and was keeping the barrier up. Mugurama Kensei was there wearing a dark purple vest, combat trousers and boots while looking at a stopwatch. Lastly, Lisa Yadomaru was there in a girl's sailor uniform reading an - Ahem - comic book.
"Kensei, how long has it been?"
Lisa looked up from her book and got ready to enter the barrier. Kensei looked at his stopwatch and replied,
"It's been 68 minutes."
"Who had the longest previously?"
"It was Hiyori with 69 minutes and 2 seconds."
At that moment, no matter what they were doing, a chill went through their spines. They felt like they were trapped, with nowhere else to run. Sweat appeared on their skins while they felt their hearts squeeze. Even Hollow Ichigo stopped what he was doing. One by one, footsteps were heard, the enemy they all perceived didn't stab them in the back but appeared right in front of them. While he seemed unfamiliar for some of them, some of them still remembered them. For example, the shortest one of them all, Hiyori immediately recognised that face. The only different thing was those glowing eyes that made her soul tremble and the captain's haori he now wore.
Itsuki walked in and his eyes were locked onto Ichigo. The teenager had stopped moving and was just standing still.
Within his mindscape, Ichigo had stabbed white Ichigo and the two were having a conversation. Ichigo was confused though, the white version of him had just stopped moving as fear had masked his face but before he could ask, he faded away. One by one, all the hollow parts fell off of him and he collapsed face first. Yet nobody looked at him and continued looking at Itsuki.
Ichigo was tired and he barely moved his face to see why the other were so quiet. However, what entered his visions was Itsuki standing on the steps looking at him while the members of visored unsheathing their weapons and having their hollow masks ready. Feeling his eyelids heavy he saw Itsuki disappearing and appearing in front of the group while the group moving to attack. Before he could see more, he closed his eyelids but forced himself to keep them open. What entered his view shocked him.
Itsuki hadn't unsheathed his sword but with one move he broke Lisa's mask and threw her to the side. Ichigo had no strength to scream, but his eyelids felt heavy again. Closing and opening them again, the next view was seeing Itsuki standing there with all the visored members defeated around him. He finally understood why the hollow inside of him showed a momentary lapse of fear.
Once more Ichigo felt his eyelids heavy again but this time he had no strength and he soon fell unconscious. Shinji barely propped himself up as he looked at the monster before him. It was still unbelievable with how strong the man in front of him got in the past 100 or so years. Seeing Itsuki walk away surprised him,
"Where are you going?!"
Itsuki stopped around and glanced back,
"Do you want me to kill you?"
The atmosphere lightened up as Shinji comically shook his head. Nodding slightly, Itsuki carried on walking as his voice travelled back,
"It's been nice meeting you."
Itsuki left a confused Shinji,
"If he's greeting us then why did he attack us?"
Looking around, he saw a red-faced Hiyori trying to sneak away.
"Hiiiiyyyyooorrrrriiiiiii! What did he say to get you agitated?!"
"Shut up, D*ckhead!"
Itsuki left the visored while rubbing his neck.
"Now one more thing to do."
Itsuki disappeared from his spot.