- Beneath the Urahara Store -
Tatsuki was looking at the open area with wide open eyes. It was surprising to see such a large hidden area beneath a small shop.
"We will be training here."
Itsuki's voice bought her out her daze as she saw Itsuki in his Shinigami form.
"Firstly, you need to die."
Itsuki appeared in front of her and hit her with the butt of his zanpakuto, allowing her soul form to be released from her body. Her main body collapsed while Tatsuki wearing Shinigami clothes appeared. This earned a raised eyebrow from Itsuki as it seemed that it had gone better than expected.
Urahara appeared behind Itsuki as he had his concentration grasped by Tatsuki.
"You made her a Shinigami right of the bat?"
"Took some inspiration with how Ichigo became one."
Urahara looked impressed as he analysed Tatsuki. The girl was still marvelling at herself seeing her wearing a black Shihakuso. She looked at her arms and spun around as she felt a power surge within her. She never knew what it was, but she felt that she could break that rock in front of her. Fuelled by her impulse, she jumped at it and went for a punch.
Itsuki and Urahara stood next to each other and looked on with interest. Putting one step forward, Tatsuki's eyes sharpened while she grunted, throwing a punch. The result of that was nothing, all that followed was a sharp scream from Tatsuki as she held her aching hand.
Tears threatened to drop as she looked up at Itsuki, who just stoically looked on. No-one could see what he was thinking while Urahara started laughing. Waiting for him to calm down, Itsuki turned to Urahara,
"I'll be borrowing Ururu."
Itsuki didn't reply as Ururu walked past Itsuki with boxing gloves and a headgear in her hands. After bowing to the two, she stood in front of Tatsuki and bowed,
"Please take care of me."
Tatsuki was confused as she also bowed in return. Looking at the little girl walking towards her, she offered her the gloves and headgear. Wearing them, she turned to Itsuki who looked back at her,
Seeing something at the corner of her eyes, she dodged only to see the little girl fly past her with a kick. She barely had anytime to gather herself when she saw the girl land and immediately attack her. Each punch or kick was enough to create craters wherever they landed.
Tatsuki was holding on with dear life until she was able to get a read on the girl's movements, allowing her to dodge ahead of time. This earned a raised eyebrow from Itsuki as he saw her dodging hits earlier. However, Tatsuki never went for a counterattack as she knew that if she received a punch, broken bones would be the least of her worries. From all her friends, she was the most level-headed.
The game of cat and mouse went on for quite some time until Tatsuki slipped and found herself in the path of one of Ururu's destructive punches. Tatsuki was still falling so she wasn't able to move and Ururu was already mid punch. Tatsuki kept her eyes on the incoming fist until closing it as she felt the force of the punch arrive even before the actual punch itself.
Waiting for the impeding destruction of her face, she just felt a wind breeze by and nothing else. Opening her eyes slowly, she just saw Itsuki standing there while picking Ururu up by her scruff. Ururu just hung there like a cat while letting her limbs fall on either side of her. Tatsuki just gave out a sigh and fell back, hitting her head on a rock. Itsuki placed Ururu to the side and thanked her before letting go.
'I need an Ururu, nah, I have Nel.'
Looking at the girl go away reminded him of the little critter back in Hueco Mundo.
Tatsuki kept on rolling here and there while holding her head. Itsuki waited for her to calm down before asking,
"How's your breathing?"
That's when Tatsuki realised that her breathing was clearer and more stable. Looking back as to how it was made easier, a chill went through her spine. If it was that dangerous just to make her breathe easier, then what would the following training be like. However, before she had further second thoughts in her accepting the training, Itsuki picked her up onto her feet.
Surprised by his actions, Tatsuki felt a bit of heat on her face before shaking those thoughts out of her head.
"You're quite heavy."
Tatsuki felt shocked throughout her body as she felt the heat returning to her face. Seeing the stoic look on Itsuki's face, she didn't think he was lying. Itsuki didn't clarify further as he pulled out a sword. It was a normal looking katana with a simple black handle and sheath.
"Here. Keep it with you at all times, it is now your companion through life and death."
Itsuki threw the katana at Tatsuki while a pair of small voices was heard within his head.
"Companion through life and death he says. What companions, he barely talks to us."
Itsuki could almost picture Byakko nodding at Ryurai's words. Sighing lightly, he started to subtly pat his two swords receiving a purr in return with Ryurai's voice accompanying it,
"We'll forgive you this time."
Itsuki's attention was brought back to Tatsuki who was looking at her sword and holding it to her chest.
"Don't worry about it anyone seeing it, it will only appear in this form."
Tatsuki nodded as she looked at Itsuki.
"Well this is it for now, come back tomorrow, that's when your official training starts and remember don't tell anyone. Ok?"
Tatsuki sighed in relief as she started walking towards her body.
"And one more thing…"
Tatsuki turned around only to see the back of Itsuki playing with Seikyo,
"No matter how much you want to, even if it's killing you inside, do not, ever, allow yourself to turn into your Shinigami form, you understand?"
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Seeing Tatsuki leave, Urahara came next to Itsuki,
"You do know that she is going to change when the time comes."
Itsuki didn't say anything as he also looked at Tatsuki leaving.
"I am quite envious though, you have such a, what's the word, yes, co-operative student. Mine was screaming and shouting at me when I unleashed Ururu."
Itsuki knew Urahara was talking about Ichigo as the two stood there. Then an impulsive idea, hit Itsuki,
Urahara never had any time to think as Itsuki was already unsheathing his sword.
"Wait, wait, wait, wait, nooooooooooo!"
A scream was heard while Tatsuki finally left the huge hidden space. Seeing the sun still shining brightly into the sky she made her way home only to run in with Inoue on the way. Inoue had just come from home and she was currently making her way towards Ichigo. She had just heard about Aizen's goals and how Karakura town was at the centre of it all.
The two never knew how to proceed. Inoue had realised that Tatsuki had been acting weird since that event with the two Arrancars. Tatsuki also knew how she had left it with her best friends and the atmosphere became really awkward.
The two never knew how to start the conversation and were just left in silence. Both of them then just closed their eyes and smiled, however both knew that theirs and the opposite party's was fake,
"What you up to, Inoue?"
"Just getting some groceries, you?"
"Just coming back from the dojo."
"Hahah, then I'll see you in school,"
"Yeah, I'll see you there."
Frustration grew in their hearts as they both bit their lips after the two crossed paths. Tatsuki's dojo and a groceries shop wasn't anywhere near where they were currently, and they knew they were lying.
Inoue wanted to keep her friend safe while Tatsuki couldn't tell her about her Shinigami training.
Back at Urahara's shop, Renji had agreed to train Sado after being allowed to stay over at the store. Him, Toshiro, Rangiku, Ikkaku and Yumichika had returned to the living world. While Toshiro and Rangiku were receiving secret orders, the other three were ordered to keep the lookout for any more Arrancar attacks alongside Itsuki.
Him and Sado had just entered the secret training space when a group of rocks flew past them due to an explosion. Hurriedly protecting themselves, they saw Urahara walk out of the dust in tattered clothes. He looked like a homeless man wearing rags with his messy hair, dust covered face and only one sandal on his left foot. Itsuki nonchalantly walked out after him and looked at Sado. This was his first time seeing him face to face and the teenager was a behemoth, even taller than Itsuki.
Renji bowed at Itsuki while the latter gave him a nod. Looking at the two,
"What are you two doing here?"
"Well I was supposed to spar with…"
Urahara seemed to flinch when hearing that word while Itsuki's ears perked up,
Urahara was praying for Renji to not say anything further but how can Renji read Urahara's thoughts.
For some reason, teaching Tatsuki had given Itsuki the impulse to find someone to spar with, hence Urahara's current state.
'Where's Zaraki when you need him, better yet Unohana.'
Comparing craziness, Unohana was on a whole different level different level. While Zaraki looked for a good fight, Unohana looked to kill the opposite party, with any means possible.
"Fine then the two of you will spar against me."
Both of them were surprised and the looked at Urahara who just turned his face away. He had already started praying for them. He couldn't look at them in their eyes.