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There was many questions which ran through the mind of Arkin The Immortal, questions which sought answers that only the gods could answered. So he would follow their signs to see what they had in store for The Odinson. Being a member of the gotei for so long he was considered for many years something of an old man, but youthful in mind and soul. For years he had no increase in power but remained in constant shikai until.. one day things changed. For whatever reason, be it the gods will or the releasing of his true power he was deemed 'worthy' by his zanpakatou.
The following events which lead to the unlocking of his bankai, let alone a constant release bankai, But more important he had undergone a physical change some would regard as impossible, as he was brought back to his youth and prime. A seemingly permanent change which granted him not only his storm power, but such power that he hardly knew the limits to. Nearly rivaling his captain in power, he needed to learn the extent of his abilities. Thus, he would seek out the one person who job it was to handle such matters: Oni-Kyosei and Ibiki.
He had heard about their similar change, but he wondered if word had reached them yet that Arkin The Immortal had changed. The seated member had sent word briefly but such things could often take time. But that didn't matter as he took it upon himself to walk into their command area, looking around before letting out his signature boisterous laugh.
"I have come for that menacing devil and their spirit! Arkin The Immortal wishes to speak, and eat, and drink!"
Such was customary to declare his intentions as per his traditions. The man would cross his arms allowing a large grin to be revealed from his beard. Oh he was looking forward to his. He may look different, but his energy would easily be recognizable.
Sun. Sweet beautiful sun. Throughout this empty barrack did the touch of this almighty source of energy in the sky fill the earth below it with warmth. Nostalgic hazes of summer days long past flowed through the minds of many who were fortunate enough to still breathe and see another day under its light. And since the number of days where one can touch, grasp and feel the love of this sphere of life were finite; it made sense to make the most of the moment. As upon the rooftop of the Captain Commander's office did the sight of the infamous horned devil shinigami sit alone as her instincts brought her to this oh-so-familiar place.
Reality seemed so far distant at this point. In the perception of the devil, the essence of time flowed like a fine river leading her viewpoint of this world to sights not yet seen. Yet, this was ok. The mind of Ibiki accepted that it needed to drift off into this foreign and unknown path her spirit was venturing down upon. In spite of that fact, it would be pure denial to otherwise disregard the feelings of uncertainty, contentment, and melancholy which were ushering in the background of The Devil Suika's head. However, it is her will which still kept her conscious mind ever focused on the present. To look behind is to bring a spirit nothing but grief, to see the horizon of another day before it has even passed curses a spirit with anxiety. So, all she could do is accept and embrace the current path she was on for its faults and perks.
Hence, what better thing was there to do in the moment than enjoy the breeze, have a sake sip and bask in the natural beauty of nature. One could argue that the world was in utter chaos and that state of one's spirit should be strained and stressed, but it did not bode the body well to constantly be under pressure, worry and doubt to such great degrees. The suffering of the world was noted in the mind of Ibiki, but she knew that if she allowed herself and her body to corrode and become nothing but a temple of toxic fear that she'd serve the Soul Society no good.
Thus, she took in another sip of her sake, relaxed in this glow of finite satisfaction and let the rays of stellar light from the god sun slither into her spirit to mend the ilk of woe.
Of course, in the Seireitei, there was barely a moment to otherwise catch yourself. When the amber-haired woman finished partaking in her dish, her fiery eyes set their sights on the muscular figure of youth which otherwise stepped forth into her humble stomping grounds. Speaking grand and jovial words of desire, merriment, and adventure; Ibiki could easily crack a smile to that and soon tossed him a purple dish which materialized of thin air to the naked eye. Yet, those with the spiritual eye could see that this was made by her kido; as not a single drop of it's enriched alcoholic contents spilled to the ground as it levitated gently toward the male shinigami.
"Far be it for this retired devil to deny the company of another. If you wish to make yourself at home, go on right ahead."
Though, there was a pause as she soon jumped down from upon the rooftop to the ground with a gentle thud. It came about when she processed what he meant by her spirit. He couldn't possibly be talking about Oni-Kyosei, could he? It made her laugh in a rather amusing way as the inner devil within herself was a rather brute and not many went out of their way to want to make business with that beast.
"Though, something tells me you are here for more than just drinks and food...."
Ah of course the captain would be on the roof, such was the natural inclination of someone in thought. To be alone in their thoughts could often be advisable for medietation but for Arkin it was often a waste of time. He preferred to be around people, to rejoin in their lives while sharing such memories. Before when the body rotted, and the soul perished, the only thing which remained would be the memories they all crafted together. Today. He sought to create new memories with the menacing devil woman, to rejoice in their lives and seek a future for both of them.
Thus he would not heistate to grab the beverage from the air, beginning to down the liquid quite vigoriously while tilting his enite body back. Before coming forward again bringing a sun bronzed air to his mouth wiping away any excess from his beard and face. It was no doubt slightly comical as he offered a grin to the woman before squatting lightly. Before a small boom of power was felt, dusting kicking around as he lept from the floor unto the roof. He would need to steady himself holding out his arms as the viking sought to balance himself, before plopping down next to her with the bottle in hand.
"I thank you for the drink, I shall require more soon."
The second part of the man's sentence raised in pitch indicating his jovial nature, before taking another sip of the liquid. It warmed his inside as he rested a forearm on his knee, gazing at her. His icy pale blue eyes gazing at her with splendor and vigor. There was no remorse, sadness, or melancholy within this flame of ice. However there was a chill which seemed to ran through his body, a cold aura which made the hairs stand up on their end just being this close for normal people. Such was an indicator of his powers.
"But yes, I came to talk and do the other things of which I yelled. You may know me, I am Arkin The Immortal. I was formally bigger, bald, and greyer." He'd offer her a toothy grin as if describing such thing was like changing hair colors. "But the gods have seen fit to bless me with my youth once more, and granted me great power. My ax, Leviathan, has given to me my bankai and I cannot seem to undo it. You people called it constant release."
The man said 'constant release' in a very strange way, dragging it out as if he didn't properly understand it after so many years. He still had no idea why other zanpakatous didn't always remain open to their transforms, why would someone willingly become weaker?
"But as you can tell, I am easily chieftain level- oh wait captain. That is what ya'll say. And I wish to test my vigor and youth against Oni-Kyosei. The training officer yes? We should set that up soon. Not today tho. I wish to learn about the 'menacing devil' girl- or woman now, yes? Big change. Like me."
The man spoke with an accent, it was clear. Such was the baritone voice which seemed like a rumbling thunder storm. Each sentence ending like he was ending the cadence of a steady drum beat. But it never came off.. mean. It always held the soft undertone of a man who was gentle. However, he'd take a sip of his alcohol.
"This is good, what is it? Can you also bring us food? Useful ability!"
Ingesting the fluid of such sweet spiritual essence into his being could bring about feelings of elevated mood, enriched power and an opening of the spirit. As the nectar of this devil god was one which brought people together to expose the essence of one's will and purpose in this life. The hearts, minds, and souls of those who shared the blood of the shinigami race are all connected in this spiritual realm. And through this connection which paired these beings, the warmth of The Suika's Resolve Force found its strength being tethered deeper to this world as there was still a desire to utilize this universal depth of power that the gods blessed her soul with the world.
Thus, it all comes back to the arrival of Arkin as the shinigami was undoubtedly looking to otherwise size himself up against the might of her inner spirit to measure where his soul, body, and strength lay in this world. Ergo, Ibiki could find herself giving a gentle laugh in return as it was rather nice to be around the energy of someone rather un-caring and jovial. There were certain pleasures to be had when one takes the mysticism out of life so that their soul can more fluently go with the flow of the world around them as nature intended.
"Feel free to ask for more whenever you are ready then. There is certainly more where that came from."
There was a brief pause when Ibiki finished uttering her sentence. There was a noticeable chill of power oozing forth from the body of Arkin, but the ever-constant release of The Menacing Devil's own inner flame kept such chills from invading upon her soul. Thus, it created a contrast of coolness and heat which swirled around the two spirits of feelings of joy, nostalgia, melancholy, will, hope and the unknown spiraled out in the wind as the essences of their will bled out into the realm around them such a lackadaisical manner.
Nevertheless, Ibiki wasn't one to mull in the internal mutterings of her heart while in the company of another. If nothing else, from her time as being a leader, the woman took the time to actively listen to the concerns of those who came across her path and the earnest intent of their spirits. Such a thing may be common sense, but common sense was ever so rare in a world such as this. Nevertheless, it was crucial for her to hear of the recent spiritual developments in the male. As it seemed that he had undergone an internal metamorphosis of the soul in his evolution as a man just as she further developed as a woman from the way life has molded their very essences.
Moreover, the way in which the male spoke indicated that he was still becoming accustomed to this world. As if he himself were a lost old soul finding his legs in such a foreign existence. It was the way in which he uttered his words and the newfound understanding of the concept of a constant release which otherwise made her assume such things. Beyond all of that, however, the male was still interested in getting to comprehend that which was the embodiment of The Menacing Devil.
So, when all was said and done, Ibiki overall had a good first impression of the male. From the way he carried himself in such a carefree manner, to the earnest desire to want to comprehend the world and the people in it; there was a good chance that the two could otherwise extract something of spiritual value from this encounter.
"It seems to me that ya have a hungry ambition to devour the seeds of knowledge to learn more about this world we live in, am I right? If so, there is no harm in getting to know one another and exchanging over insights over food, fun, and booze."
There was then a pause before she set her mind back toward the path of getting some kind of training date set-up for him and Oni-Kyosei.
"Ya drank my dish, right? If so, just channel into that energy and it should create a telepathic connection to her. I'm sure the two of you can work out what schedule works for the both of ya. Oni-Kyosei generally doesn't care as long as you know what it is ya want from her and when."
With that little issue settled, The Suika Devil's eyes then drifted to her abode where all the material to create such tasteful foods were stored. A part of her had an inclination to just cook the food from scratch so that she could put her flavor of love and into it. So, to that end her ever-flaming eyes set their sights back on Arkin.
"Seein' how I'm retirin' soon, I'm not in such a rush to take everything so mind-numbingly fast. How about I cook ya something from my kitchen? I haven't the faintest idea what ya want, so pitch me some ideas and I might cook something devilish up 'fer ya. How does 'dat sound?
"Then I shall require more now, Menacing Devil Woman."
There was a grin seemed to be forever etched into his features, as if his smile was a pure reflection of his genuine beliefs in life. He was not burden like others when it came to such things, becoming engulfed in their own self reflection. For him life was natural and he simply followed where he felt the natural inclination to do so. It always created interesting situations and allowed him to meet people like this woman, who he saw a bond with from their shared nature as shinigami and allegiance. But with those thoughts running through his head he'd take the last swing of the alcohol.
It wasn't as sweet as mead, but it sure hit the spot!
But at this point she had informed him on how to communicate with the training officer, and that was what he truly had come to gain. It was as if their official business was done with that, but that did not mean he would depart swiftly. Basking in the warm glow of her felt enjoyable in this moment, like the summer of homeland which was distant. Warm memories and forgotten days upon a harsh land which he loved like no other. One day he would return and set to right what he had undone. So he offered a nod at the energy stuff, he wasn't anywhere near well trained with Kido or anything of the like. But this felt different, more natural like the tugging sensation he got when he called upon the storm.
Then she truly gained his attention, as a low rumble seemed to leave his throat. Like the cadence of a war drum slowly being beat before gaining tempo and power. Such was his chuckle which grew into a well meaning laugh at the idea of her cooking for him.
"You honor me by offering this, I long to taste the food of your lands. I miss the food of my homeland, but I am sure anything you can cook would please The Allfather himself."
Ibiki would find a large callous hand coming to rest upon their shoulder, his hand rough from a lifetime of war. To be frank, to call it a hand was a bit inaccurate for it felt more like a maw as if a bear themselves had placed their paw upon them. A small squeeze would follow as he shook their shoulder in such a way which conveyed his thanks for such a gift. It was clear he was a very physical person, one who basked deeply in the company of others. And as he spoke those words there was almost an impractical level of admiration.
He came from a time where people shared food with their allies and kin, where to invite someone into your home was to extend friendship. In these modern times people often did so casually, but for Arkin these small gestures created bonds which not easily broken. But the moment would come to pass as grinned before throwing a look towards the floor.
Souls who were pleased by less were often spirits who were open to the world around them. In turn, this made Arkin a welcomed person to be around as The Menacing Devil had no desire to be around anyone too finicky. Above all else, she needed to be around people who radiated wonderful and positive energy and this male seemed to fit the bill. Thus, her face began to ease over into a more content smile as she closed her eyes and felt the rather heavyweight pressing against her shoulder.
"Well, I'm not one to keep people starvin' y'know. Good food equals good health, after all~ So you can rest assured it won't be anything toxic regardless of whatever I decide to cook."
There was a sense of certainty behind her voice as she took pleasure in her cooking ability. The materials in her kitchen were filled to the brim with spiritually enhanced food which was made to deepen the volumes of energy which befitted a Captain Commander. So, in a sense, her words were right on the money because it took a special touch to ensure the temple of her body was well maintained It is why The Devil Shinigami then bounced with a pep in her step as she was a bit eager herself to get some nourishment inside of herself. "So yes, we'll go inside to feast~"
Now with her stomach craving food, Iibki decided that she was going to take the lead toward the kitchen. With each step that her barefoot took against the warm wooden floor, an echo of her footsteps resonated within the empty abode. While the woman was used to having company over, it was, for the most part, a very solitary life when not interacting with her fellow compatriots. It could be seen since in passing rooms there was clutter, while in others food simply lay about without much of care since the woman had simply been far too busy up until this point tending the hectic lifestyle of being the Captain Commander of the Gotei. And, with her recent retirement from the position as Leader of the Gotei, the mind The Devil Suika was free to wonder in this abyss of willful desolation. As, in this time, the passing thoughts of becoming a hermit akin her mother almost started to play in her mind.
"Excuse some of the mess. I live alone and have been a busy woman, so I'm not exactly the best at keeping clean~"
There wasn't much time to mull over internal thought before the smells of bountiful food hit the nostrils of the devil shinigami. The kitchen was vast as a master sized bedroom, so there was plenty of space for the two to walk around as they pleased.
"But go ahead, make yourself at home."
And with that, Ibiki motioned toward a large table which already had a dish of her spiritually enhanced elixir for the male to devour until the food was ready to be served. Indeed, The Menacing Devil wasted no time walking toward a large metallic refrigerator, pulling out her ingredients and spreading them across the table. Rice which was infused with the most potent reishi in the soul society was chosen; as even Arkin could sense the raw energy oozing forth from the material. While on the counter could a spread of freshly slain fish be seen. And, lastly, a spread of udon noodles and chicken were seen. The intent was to make copious amounts of rice, udon noodles, chicken and oodles of fish to get all the enriched proteins these two bulk heavy fighters.
So, as she started humming to herself a song (the one playing in the SoundCloud bar), they were being put into their separate pots and pans. The udon noodles were placed in a metallic container to be boiled, while the rice started to be rinsed and then prepared to be boiled as the woman used her fiery spiritual energy to bring the pot to a boil before dunking the rice in it. All the while, the raw smell of ember fire echoed in the room as her essence was outright smothering the food. Lastly, though, the woman opened the stove, popped in the chicken and lit the beauty up with her energy to get a fierce roast going on to bake that sucker to a crisp taste.
Of course, with all this cooking and moving, Ibiki decided to take a pause before she cooked the fish and turned to Akin with a ginger laugh which escaped her lips:
"Where are my manners? I think I got carried away there. Ya' aren't too lonely because of that, are ya'?"
With the transition into her home Arkin was all too pleased to step into the abode. However, he wasn't an entirely clouth barbarian to their ways. He did know they rather liked to take their shoes off inside their house, so if Ibiki bothered to leak she would have seen the large man hopping along as he slipped one boot off followed by the next. It was quite the comical sight, the man doing so as he managed to get both his boots off. But after that was done the next article of clothing he would remove would be the red cloak which was attached to his shoulders, more akin to a cape. Not many people wore them now, and frankly Arkin didn't know why.
But naturally he'd settle upon where she indicated, and boy did he make himself comfortable. His legs would kick up onto the table, his arms spreading out on the back of the couch. Before one would reach out to take the sake she had made, allowing the bowl to rest in his hand as he idly took a gulp. He never liked the small saucers, so to have this big one pleased him. The more drink he could have, the happier a man he would be.
"You are spoiling me! Food, drink, and a beautiful woman! How could I possibly feel alone?"
His lips spreading into that trademark grin which seemed to not falter, icy pale blue eyes seemingly shifting to catch a glimpse at the wonderful food he was smelling. But as delicious as that food sounded cook, and the aroma which was to die for, his eyes found it's way back to the devilish woman. He could not resist taking in the form of her, for her growth had made the ginger into a fine woman. A mix of a Valkyrie and the warrior princesses of old seemed to call to him when he looked at her.
Naturally, being Arkin, he had to speak.
"That long red hair, the power which exudes from your core. The womanly wails you possess, you remind me of Unn the Deep Minded." The man seemed to hum as he leaned back into the couch, gazing over to the food briefly then to her. "That shall cook a while, yes? I could speak on her. I have many, many vast stories. But Unn, she was something else. One I think, you would like. If, you like good stories."
The man seemed to remove his one unoccupied arm from the couch, tapping next to him. Clearly indicating she should sit, before taking one last good swing of the sake.
Arkin certainly made himself at home. It was a bit comical to observe the giant getting himself adjusted to her quaint little residence. Yet, it was a welcome sight and experience since it had been quite some time since she had bothered to let anyone into her abode. So, after Ibiki let the fish simmer on the grill, she took a soft exhale of breath and turned her amber-lit eyes other to the male. Well, it would take the food a while to cook, so what harm was there to really converse?
"Treat your guest as you yourself would want to be treated. There is somethin' pretty nice about that saying and I like it. Anyway, I'm glad you aren't feeling alone. So I guess I'll keep ya' company until the goods are done."
With the work out of the way for the moment, The Menacing Devil decided it was for the best to have a little stretch as she lifted each of her arms above her hand and walked over to Arkin. Of course, there was a brief pause when he started mentioning the way she looked resembled another woman from the stories of his lore. It did intrigue The Suika to know why she was being compared to this Unn figure, so there was no harm in hearing a good story to her. Thus, Ibiki took a hard plop down on the couch and looked him straight in the eyes with her fiery smile.
"Really now? Tell me more about this Unn person since you have my attention right now."
And there were many other ways which Arkin did hold her attention. When not bogged down by many different senses, it was easier to focus in on the person you are talking to. You can pick up on how they look, how they smell, how they talk and the way in which their thoughts flow. From this selective awareness did a sense of new interest flow into the streams of conscious which was Ibiki's mind. She noticed how well built the male was, the scent of cool winter breeze which brushed against her nostrils and the boastful, yet the well-meaning way in which he spoke. They were all welcomed things and it was something which kept turning back to her perception as they had a moment to slow down and savor the time they had together.
As she sat down the grin which seemed to be painted on his face did not cease, shifting once in his seat so that they where closer. His hand holding out the saucer to her so that she may drink while he spoke of Unn. It was a relatively simple story, of which held many, that resided within his head. But Ibiki drew this connection due to something else, something which only this old norse would know. So in that moment the low baritone of his voice seemed to grumble, like distant thunderstorms which rolled in from afar.
"Unn The Deep Minded, is not known because she was a warrior who had slain many, nor is she known as a woman who dominated the men of her world. No, she was but a simple daughter of a king which had made his own impact. But. She married a strong man, a man which conquer'd much land. But he, as many warrior kings come to learn, was but a mortal and slain in combat."
It was important to note the way he spoke, that low grumble to his voice as if this was a story which was only shared between these two. His slow cadence with long pauses, those pale blue eyes never breaking contact as their heads remained only a small distance apart. Each word carrying weight as he sought to impart upon her this wise old tale.
"No one quite knows what drove Unn to do what she did next, but she did something no one ever dreamed of. Her husband dead, her lands gone, and only a few to follow her. She built a ship, a viking ship to sail across the ocean. It is rumor'd Thor himself tried to sink this ship, for she was a Christian woman. But the old god found that he could not, that she would not let him. That those who follow'd her, refuse to allow the ship to sink. Thor, was impressed. It is believed that the god Thor slammed Mjolinir within the storms for days, as testament that even he could not break the bonds which Unn had made."
It was funny she'd focus on the smell of Arkin for in that moment she truly began to get a strong scent from him, as if he had bathe'd in the ocean. The salted smell of sea water seemed to stick to him, as if he himself was being bashed by a raging storm of thunder and ocean. A faint iron, or perhaps wood, smell seemed to be the under tone like they themselves where upon a ship being assaulted by the mythical god. Arkin would remove his hand from the couch side as he brought it between them, slowly making a wave like motion as his eyes follow'd it. As if indicating the ship.
"Unn, had declared than any slave upon her ship was a freed-man. The people of the ship where in wonders, for this heretic woman who had nothing to her name sailed the sea. The men, and women, began to love her as no other had. She had given her all to them, and in turn they would give their all back. A bond of loyalty that no god would ever break, not the mighty thor nor her almighty christ. And as they discovered new land, a place called Iceland, that bond continued. "
His hand would stop as his other came up, blocking his other from moving. A grin on his face.
"Unn, had foreseen something none of us did. Unn, the deep minded, had embraced the lowest of the low and highest of the high. And in doing so they where loyal to no one but her, for no many would marry which would harm her properties. And no woman would betray her confidence. You, remind me of Unn. You see things which we do not. You give unto us loyalty, and passion. And shall return it, ten fold. For those bonds, not even the mighty gods can break. You understand?"
His hand woulds drop from their position as he brought it up to rest it against the back of her head, such callous and rough hands a contrast to the ginger hair. Placing his forehead against her own, to further their bond.
"I am loyal to you, even as you step down. Ibiki, the deep minded, will always have us."
The senses of the Devil Shinigami sharpened to actively shift her perception to let the words of the male's story melt into her ear. So, to this end, Ibiki was rather amused by the tale which was unfolding before her. It spoke of a warrior who was a simple daughter of royalty, yet grew into something much more from the spark of strife and hurt which this life had bestowed upon her as her lands lay in ruin. Losing the flame of love and stability of a home, she took upon the spark of will, determination, and desire to cross the oceans themselves, stand up to gods and use this unbreakable to make even the likes of Thor himself not cease her ambition.
Many followed this woman to free themselves from the shackles of slavery, to find hope in a new flame of life and sought to give their loyalty to a woman who had given them everything and in exchange, they had given her their essence in return. It was a story that resonated with Ibiki when it all pieced together to her story. One which was built on the backs of her willpower, the guidance of the people of the Soul Society and the investment of her heart and soul to a cause which had the spirits of many rallying on behind her. So, from a fit of flattering, The Devil Suika had a faint flush of red flow across her cheeks as her smile grew larger.
"Well, that was a story I deeply appreciated. It's funny how similar we are when you put it that way."
There was then a pause before Ibiki continued. This is because she felt his beastly hand begin to move toward the back of her head; moving on to nudge his forehead against her as the woman felt him get in close. Of course, if there was an issue with this, she more than have the ability to rebel against it. Yet, it was rather welcome and the devil did not mind it as her face flushed with a faint red cherry glow.
"It makes me happy to know all of that. There is still much to do in this world for both of us and perhaps I did need to hear that more than I ever imagined."
Even if the flattery, intimacy, and sentiment were smothering her heart with something she found to be quite charming; the woman still was not afraid to speak what her mind thought. It was a lot to observe on an emotional scale, but it is that acceptance of her feelings which always made the woman's vast feminine energy resonate and shine with other beings. So, it is to this degree that she did not deny him and placed her head against the warmth of the male's chest as she gave him an embrace and closed her eyes.
"And I do not think you came here to comfort a retired old woman. Perhaps my observation is off, so forgive me if it does, but I can tell you desire a company of your own. Otherwise, you yourself would not have bothered to come here. I can sense a similar warmth within your heartbeat."
The Devil Suika was placed against his heart at this moment. And from this thump of life which pumped through his chest, the ever-expanding nature of nurture which lay within her maiden spirit felt as if he did need someone to keep him company. So it is why she let the heat of her index finger flow across the bare skin of his cheek as she let her sense of touch guide her wherever which way she desired at this moment out of unconscious intimacy.
And it felt -- rather nice. It all did. To not be alone at this moment. Which is why she only asked him one thing: