Artist: N/A - Song: N/A - Word Count: 2594
Eliah walked through Seireitei trying to find a suitable place where she could reach out to her Zanpakutō's spirit using the Jinzen technique, a meditation that bonded a Shinigami to their Zanpakutō's spirit and was an adequate entrance to their inner world. Though she had only attempted the technique several times before she had gained entrance just but one time to the inner world. This was where Kiro no Hinabara, though the name was unknown to her for the time being, completely shunned Eliah of her abilities and disowned her as her Shinigami. Then, Eliah saw it to be odd that she wouldn't allow her to get to know her or give her a chance, but as she had developed over the past few months she had come to realize that all Kiro no Hinabara wished of her was for her to prove that she was capable of knowing her name. Nonetheless, Eliah had sensed that through her past endeavors that she was actually enabled to powers that she had only been enabled to many years ago when she had first became a shinigami. When her drive was more than what it had become over those 100 or so years of laziness. She felt as though it was the spirit trying to reach out to her, trying to call her to her world, but Eliah had nearly forgotten about even obtaining anything from the spirit. She had learned to manage without the powers, but her most recent fight proved to her that together they would be able to provide much more for the Soul Society and that she was clearly missing out on a lot when it came to battle and her strengths. It once conflicted her that she was so weak, but she had realized that a Shinigami's main tool in battle was their Zanpakutō not their shear skill with a blade. It was their ability to work in tandem with the Zanpakutō's ability to create greater and more intricate attacks to provide higher protection to those that lived within Soul Society. Such thoughts had resulted in her wanting to contact her Zanpakutō Spirit in order to see if she had a change of heart, or if she was just trying to push her to learn more. Giving her the drive to want to train harder, which she had begun to do, but the thought of talking to Kiro no Hinabara remained in her mind as she did so. There had to be reasons to this.
She continued to look around searching for somewhere that was peaceful, but it seemed as though today was a prime day for learning. She had heard rumors that there would be an attack coming to the Soul Society soon, but she didn't believe them. No one would be foolish enough to enter the Soul Society with all the high entities that lived there, that would be a fool's journey. However, it had been done before, which led her to believe that it could somewhat be possible. So just in case it was true, she wanted to be prepared. She knew that she'd be unable to do much without the help of her Zanpakutō's abilities.
Finally, she came across a quaint area that actually caused her to stop and take everything in for a second. A rock that seemed to be shaved to half what it once was sat by a small man-made pond. The rock was clearly made for the same purpose that she wished to use it, it seemed to be that the entire place was used as a peaceful sanctuary to separate themselves from the chaotic noise of combat and kido training. She smirked slightly, pleased she had finally found someplace she could concentrate. She walked slowly trying not to disturb anyone that might be using the area that she was unable to see due to the shrubs that surrounded the area. Though as she looked around, the place was empty. Happy once more, she hopped and skipped to the rock that sat by the pond and placed her Zanpakutō upon her lap, closing her eyes letting herself fall into a cleared state. As she did so a voice resonated in her head."What is you wish from me? Do you think I wish to speak to the likes of you?"
The voice was clearly Kiro no Hinabara, she seemed displeased that Eliah wished to speak with her. She knew that she'd receive some sort of ill-mannered treatment for this, but it was well deserved. She hadn't tried to communicate with the spirit in many years. "Do you really think you can just come here demanding of my assistance after all this time? My, my, have we learned nothing over those years?"
Eliah's fists tightened around the Zanpakutō in her lap unconsciously. "Ah, yes, there she is... the same little girl that I denied such a long time ago... Seems you haven't grown much at all. Do you think my answer will be any different this time."
Eliah knew that she was toying with her, but it still pushed her in all the wrong places. She exhaled deeply recomposing herself and loosening the grip she had on the blade. The spirit hummed, intrigued that Eliah didn't continue her revolt. "Ahhh, how unlike you to cool yourself down. Perhaps you'd like it if it was just a bit more chilly..."
Voice echoed into Eliah's head as her vision became vivid in color, it looked as though she was traveling at the speed of light trying to make her way to the place that Kiro no Hinabara wish for her to go.
Suddenly she stopped. She took a few steps forward, fighting the momentum. All of this was happening as she sat upon the rock. She looked at her hands and then looked beyond them to see snow glazing the surface she stood on. She continued to look around, but all she could see was snowfall, snow on the ground, and pine trees that seemed to line a path in four directions. "I don't remember you being a fan of mazes, what is this?"
She queried, the spirit replying with a maniacal laugh."Why this is none other than my humble abode, and test of trust.
Her words were snappy as she came to an end. "You see, all this time you tried to do things on your own, well you see... each path that you see before you is filled with all kinds of neat goodies and surprises. Will you choose for your own or will you believe the words I say? I wouldn't trust me if I were you, as I do like to see a challenge..."
Her voice faded out and Eliah looked around trying to find where exactly it even came from. She was conflicted by the situation that she was put into, could these goodies and surprises be something that could actually harm her outside of here? She was unsure."I'll play along, but just remember you need me just as much as I need you."
Eliah spoke, thinking she was being smart, Kiro no Hinabara thought otherwise as she burst into laughter once more."Please, do you think someone is going to let a Zanpakutō like yours go to waste? Foolish girl, you don't even know what I'm capable of..."
Kiro no Hinabara taunted her and teased, Eliah took a small step forward, the ground starting to fall in as a loud click
resonated. Eliah stepped back shocked by the sudden noise, suddenly whistling could be heard from behind her from several sources. Turning she saw the projectiles flying toward he at rapid speeds, quickly she dropped to the deck as the ice darts blew over her head, shielded by her hands. She sighed, standing back up. "See...?"
The voice faded in and out once more. "Now, if I were you I'd watch your step. It's been a while since I've had any visitors so I've had a lot of free time... I'd advise you pay mind to what's in front of you as well, it's not hard to camouflage things when the surroundings never change. So why don't you head North?"
Eliah growled slightly clinching her fist. She didn't know whether or not she should head North or if it was another trick. She began to step toward the given direction, but suddenly changed her mind leading down the path that led West instead. The laugh became audible once more, causing Eliah to stop in her tracks. She looked over her shoulder and then continued to walk on.
So far she was safe, nothing had came out of the blue and she was treading lightly. "What do you plan to gain from going the direction that I left unarmed? Didn't you come here to learn something?"
She did have a point, but Eliah didn't come here to harm herself she came here to make mends with her spirit. She didn't wish to fight her, they were to be partners. "Tell me, why do you shade yourself in the dark colors like you do now. When we first met you were a much more vibrant looking girl. I didn't think you'd still be dying your hair black after all these years."
Eliah turned left, trying to push off the words that were spoken to her where she was faced with a mirror in her path. She looked at herself, her hair was back to its normal color of a blue hue, she and he clothes were less revealing, but still rather minuet. She looked at herself, angry with who she used to be. "That girl is weak, she lacks everything that I am."
Her tone became sharp, her volume slightly rising. The spirit would cackle once more."IT'S AS IF I KNOW YOU BETTER THAN YOU KNOW YOURSELF, HOW SAD!"
She matched her sharpness if not, one-upped it. "Wouldn't it be funny if you walked up to your opponent and she looked like that, BUT SHE STILL KILLED YOU? What do they call that again... the element of surprise?"
Kira no Hinabara pondered and hummed as she finished speaking. Eliah thought about it, and it was true. It was just like Neviah had once told her, that she was able to use the elements around her. Could one of those elements be her own physical appearance? Was it better for her to look like a giddy school girl to gain an edge within a fight?
Eliah turned her back to the mirror, smirking. Her appearance that she once had was left in the mirror behind her, her hair was now of a blue tint and her clothes complimented it well. It was more conservative than she was used to, and it squished her bust down a good bit, but she'd manage to live. "I guess you have a point..."
This was Eliah's first step to in beginning to trust her spirit, but she didn't even notice. The hum came from above once again. Though it was alone, there were no words, just the hum. If anything it must have been a good sign, or at least Eliah thought so at least as she continued to walk in the direction away from the mirror.
She came to a halt as she came to another four way intersection. She sighed slightly wondering what trickery would be in each direction. "Ah, here we are again, choices... Well, the West way is the way you originally went... and you just came from the South's direction. So will you go East or North as I once told you to? Though, I might have changed my mind... Maybe you should go East? No, no, North. Bah, you choose because this is your mind and it's starting to fluster me in my own decision making."
She did have a point, this was Eliah's mind, but she held no control over it. Was her spirit really that much stronger than she was that she couldn't change anything that was going on. Was the fate of her future truly in the hands of a spirit? She had no other choice, she had to go North. "So we did come here to learn...
The voice resonated as she began to walk in the North direction.
With each step a loud clank was heard as though each time she pressed upon the ground she triggered yet another switch that would throw obstacles at her. "My, my, I wouldn't be walking at such a casual pace if I were you, do you wish to keep me waiting all day?
The voice complained about her pace, which Eliah corrected immediately. "So what, I tell you to jump of a bridge and you'll do it?"
As Eliah turned the corner her words were met by a bad pun. A bridge was ahead, but there was nothing but trees beyond it. Kira no Hinabara laughed once more, she thought her own joke was funny which was sad in Eliah's opinion. She wasn't sure if she should have stopped or not, but her doing so made her come to the realization that she probably shouldn't have. She remembered all the buttons she had triggered and knew that a consequence was soon to come. She looked back as she did before. This time there was much more coming toward her than some ice darts, in their stead there was a massive amount of steaming water elementals slowly walking her way. She turned back running toward the bridge thinking whether or not she should trust in Kira no Hinabara or try to defeat them with Kido. She looked over the side of the bridge, a small river ran below and it wasn't but a twenty foot drop. However, something glimmered within the water, she looked closer into the running water to see it was her Zanpakutō. She looked back to see the elementals beginning to board the bridge. "So do you trust in that sword, or my abilities, or just yourself?"
Eliah shifted her gazes between the elementals and the river trying to decide what she should do.
Suddenly she felt a sudden urge to use an incantation she had never before thought of or even heard. Trusting that it was the right thing to do she moved toward the center of the bridge. "Chikara o motsu Kōri no Hanabira, futan watashi!"
(力を持つ氷の花びら、負担私 Romanji, literal translation in English: I burden myself with Kori no Hababira's power.) A sudden burst of ice captivated her as snow began to pour in all different directions at her. A large gust of wind came through removing the snow revealing Eliah. Her hair had grown much longer, and her wardrobe was similar to what it once was. She held in her hand a kusarigama and in the other was a chain that fell to the ground behind her and connected to the weapon. She smirked letting the weapon fall from her hand and the chain slide through as well. She swung it back and forth lightly and then rapidly began to let it twirl. Tossing it toward the elementals, then swinging the chain to the left letting the blade pass through each elemental that came her way, freezing them where they tracked. The blade returned back to the rapid twirling position it once was and then snapped back into her hand with the yank of the chain, the metallic sound resonating in the area."Well then... I guess we did come here to learn today..."
The image of the spirit became visible to her before she was released from the trance and brought back to reality...