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» Name: [Ryo Suzuki (Formerly Ryo Akiyama When alive)]
Ryo means "Warrior" while Suzuki is from two words from Suzu meaning "Bell" and Ki meaning "Tree" giving his last name the translation of "Bell Tree". When he was still alive in the world of the living, his last name Akiyama means "Autumn Mountain".
» Alias: [The Ghost who walks: During his time in Suzuki, the 80th district in the southern rukon district, it became well know that many tried and claimed to have killed him, only for him to see walking normally the next day as well due to his ability to remain hidden and out of sight like a ghost is where this Alias comes from.
Ryo-Sensei: During his time as the substitute lieutenant, he trained many members of the stealth force, including the young Luke Yasenha where Luke normally referred to him by this Alias.
The Cobalt Ghost/Silent Flash: This moniker is or more accurately will be given to Ryo once he regains the powers of Sokuryoku, the ability that allows him to travel at superhuman speeds. combining with the first moniker and his ability to hide his spiritual pressure, plus his great speed (once unlocked) will earn him the moniker of The Cobalt Ghost or the Silent Flash.] » Age: [30 (Age of Appearance), 849 (True Age)] » Gender: [Male]
» Association: [Gotei 13/The Thirteen Court Guard Squads, Squad 2; formerly of the stealth force and Patrol Corps]
» Appearance Written: [Ryo is a well toned male, keeping a athletic build, although from all appearances, he doesn't appear to be packing much in the the terms of muscle, not in a way that makes him look like he hasn't been eating well but it could be presumed that he isn't that strong but it couldn't be further from the truth, he's quite strong but focuses more on core strength to be able to not only be strong but to be fast; being a former lieutenant of squad two, he's well versed in using his speed to kill quickly but also the strength to be able to counter and surprise seemingly stronger foes, as so, he works to train these two things.
He's five foot ten inches tall with Matt white spiky hair, he has a smooth and what some can call a "handsome" facial appearance; having deep brown eyes, reflecting a deep thought process but also holding a inner sadness in the caramel-colored eyes following the dishonor of having to perform assassination missions instead of fighting people head on with honor and distinction that he much prefers. his face is normally shown to be quite serious, normally only his eyes show what he is feeling most times, only during times of intense trauma or dishonor will he show his feelings more openly or during times when he is calm and relaxed or happy, his facial features will relax and maybe bless someone with a small smile around the lips too.
He sounds like a samurai monk; with a warrior-like depth and command but with a gentle and wise undertone you would find with a monk (Imagine Hanzo from Overwatch; see below for voice sample) and he walks with a confident yet gentle stride, showing his warrior's pride in each step that he takes.
There is also the unique thing that he is left handed, preferring to use his sword in his left hand, although he has shown that he's ambidextrous or able to use both hands to fight with, although he prefers to use his left hand in terms to fighting and general use, on occasions, he can use his right hand, although he shows discomfort for using his right hand, he can use his right hand with decent amount of skill.
He also carries the hollow mask fragment of the arrancar he tried to assassinate; Berenguer Espetón, tucked into the pocket of his suit or his hoody, it still possess a trace amount of Berenguer's reiatsu which Ryo can use with the Kakushitsuijaku to help him in finding his foe, although what other effects the hollow reiatsu will have on him remains to be seen.
Hollow mask, bottom left version:
In terms of his official uniform as it was when he was the lieutenant of the Steath Force; he wore the official Shihakushō of the shinigami but with a deep sea blue Shitagi (under clothing) and a thin back mounted sheath with a cobalt colored sash that fits across Ryo's chest with the handle coming above the left shoulder. He also had the squad two lieutenant's badge attached to his upper arm on his right side and a small gourd with a cobalt ribbon around the middle, filled with a black power for use inconjuction with Kakushitsuijaku and Tenteikūra which he keeps within a fold of his uniform or within a inside pocket.
In terms of casual clothing as the former lieutenant of squad two; he wore casual yet formal clothing consisting of a cobalt colored shirt with his squad symbol on the chest pocket and long sleeves with a pair of black tracksuit bottoms with two cobalt racing stripes down the outside leg on both sides with similarly designed trainers for long distance running.
For his horse; he has a cobalt studded leather saddle with the studded detailing around the flaps kept black to make them stand out, along with a soft black felt seat with cobalt straps and silver rimmed holes to make them pop out visually when they are all attached on correctly. Even the straps that go around the horse's muzzle are stained cobalt with the silver rimmed holes.
General Saddle Appearance:
In terms of formal clothing, he wears a deep sea kimono, decorated with a scene of snowy wolves playing around in a snow covered forest in the mountains with a light blue obi and a cane with a deep blue jewel on top, held in a steel eagle but there is a hidden sword within the shaft in case of emergencies like a sudden hollow attack or something similar.
While on his self appointed exile in the world of the living, in terms of formal wear, he wears a three-piece suit with a deep blue formal shirt, black pimp stripe overcoat and trousers, formal footwear and his cane sword, of course however, his back mounted sheath that holds his zanpakuto is always on him as he refuses to part with it.
Cane Sword Appearance:
While on his self appointed exile, in terms of casual wear, he wears a cobalt T-shirt with a energy dragon with the front half on the front of the shirt and it's back half and tail coming over the left shoulder and down the back, he also wears loose fitting black trousers with a deep blue obi around his waist and a pair of blue and black trainers and similar colored socks. He also wears a black hoody with blue racing stripes down the back and on the hood with a picture of a wolf snarling on the back. Or alternatively, he wears a loose cobalt sports vest instead of the T-shirt and/or a cobalt scarf around his neck that he can pull up at anytime.]
» Visual Appearance: 
» Personality: [Ryo, although doesn't necessary appear as a complex person, has a lot more going for him then he appears. First of, even though he doesn't know it, he is Autistic, specifically having Asperger's Syndrome; a condition that depends on how his brain is wired, making him more sensitive to minor details and makes him take in a lot more detail then regular people do. However, he does tend to not do well in some social situations, preferring to seek comfort in his books or to animals, feeling that they understand him more then he can understand people.
Ryo, due to both his condition and his former life as a samurai; is very honest and honor driven and will always keep his word. He also tends to be a tough taskmaster during his days as a substitute lieutenant for the stealth force, beating into people his core beliefs and values as he wanted them to be as good as they could be and also be able to handle situations if assassinations failed.
He is very often disgusted by people he believes have done dishonorable actions or simply things that would be looked down upon by other people, it's only these people who he has no bother killing by assassination, which he normal hates.
Typically, he enjoys teaching, reading romantic novels and horse riding, the later two help him calm down in case he feels too overwhelmed by things. Being Autistic, he can suffer from high amounts of anxiety, mostly social anxiety when it comes to large groups of people. With small groups or by himself, he's normally fine, but tends to get visually more uncomfortable over time the longer he's with a large group, especially if he doesn't know them first. Due to this anxiety, he tends to have stress shakes, which don't appear as much, simply his hands shaking in little amounts, although his training normally keeps this under control, if put under intense pressure, these can come up, no matter how much he tries to hide it, which could be used against him if the opponent is smart and able to drive him into a corner.
He tends to be honest emotionally too, making him seem a bit childish, especially when he comes panicked during social situations if he doesn't know how to react, especially if the person he is talking to is presuming one thing to what he actually said. Ryo tends to be quite open and unlike most, doesn't really have a hidden agenda and if he doesn't like something or someone, he's quite open in stating that. Sometimes, that can come out wrong, especially in inappropriate situations.
Despite this, Ryo is also very determined and focus, especially during combat where his personality flips to a somewhat childish yet very understanding man to someone who is well deserving of being the stealth force lieutenant. Like this, regardless of who he meets, he'll give the utmost respect to them (unless they do something dishonorable in his presence or he knows they had done dishonorable things in the past) and will always try to make sure that if he is to fight, it is with honor. If its one of his dishonorable people, he uses his great skills, gathered by his unusually hard to detect reiatsu and skills he's honor over many centuries in squad two, the patrol corps and the stealth force to take out these sort of enemies with great silent precision, this also includes hollows, rouge shinigami and arrancars as in his eyes, rouge shinigami are scum and hollows and arrancars are beyond redemption and therefore, must be cleansed of their sins so they can be redeemed in death.
Ryo is also a keen team player, something that is shown in his keen battle knowledge and eagerness as a supporting member of a team; especially with him knowing kido like Kakushitsuijaku and Tenteikura, which he tends to use in conjunction with a team to not only give them details on enemy locations, but also by using Tenteikura to stay in communication with his squad to help give this Intel to them and help coordinate a team to help as much as possible.
He very much dislikes opponents using long range techniques to escape fighting him up close, considering them cowards for trying it and believing them to have no shame to even attempt to attack with some amount of dignity.
Outside of combat, he tends to be pretty calm and can be a bit of a bookworm, which he has a great obsession with. Which is why he tends to get upset and even angry when his books are messed with or taken, where he normally controls his more negative emotions, this is one of the few things that pushes his button more then a dishonorable worm is someone messing with his books.
He also tends to think more then he speaks, a tendency of his personality and his condition and tends to spend a lot of time in his "head space" or when in jinzen, in his inner world with Kusari Eiyo. With him taking in more details then usual, he has a very detailed prospective of things, seeing things that others can't and has a very "Sherlock Holmes" style of seeing things, being able to see minute details about things and people. Although in regards to people, sometimes he can notice some stuff about people and say it to their face, which can come across as insensitive if it is a personal part of them, he doesn't mean to cause offensive and will usually apologize if he sees that he has caused offense to the one he is speaking to.]
» Equipment: [Anken: A Type of Throwing knife used by the stealth force or some squad 2 members. He possesses 8.
Cane Sword: A standard Cane sword, although its blade is capable of attacking spiritual beings like hollows.
Hollow Mask Fragment: See Appearance for details.]
I. Racial Techniques/Abilities/Skills
» Racial Abilities: [spoiler="Shunko Appearance"] Reiatsu is unique in appearance. When released, it appears as blue flames around his body; coming both from his willpower alone and his zanpakuto's power over plasma. It also radiates intense heat and when he walks while he is releasing his Reiatsu, his feet leave burn marks in the ground.
Heightened Senses: Both due to his excellent spiritual senses and the way his autistic mind works; he tends to see in more details then most would, tending to focus on minor details that others may pass over. When in battle or when he is planning something out, his world seems to slow down as he takes in a vast amount of information, so, for a while, he can fight and defend better as he can react faster. However afterwards, he tends to be mentally exhausted and will react badly to social situations till he calms down.
Speed Force: Awakened during his time as a human, this grants Ryo vastly enhanced physical speed, the ability to attack so fast it appears like a blur as well as other abilities. When he runs like this, he leaves a blue tracer of lightning behind him. However, this is locked away until he regains the ability when it is needed most.
Shunko: Utilizing his unique plasma flame reiatsu, hakuda and kido, He can manifest it around his body as a protective aura of blue flames. This he will normally use if he doesn't wish to use his zapakuto or if it has been taken or out of reach. At his current level, he can maintain it for about five rounds as it is basic, unrefined and unstable, making it difficult to maintain for long periods of time. However one advantage is that with Shunko active, his unarmed strikes do burn damage from the flames covering his body.
Ghost Reiatsu: On the other end of the spectrum, Ryo has a innate ability to hide his spiritual pressure; being able to disappear from spiritual sensing and appearing to literally disappear like he was never there, leaving no trace of his spiritual pressure. It was this very skill that lead him being recruited into squad 2 and where his alias of the Ghost that Walks comes from.]
Kusari Eiyo is unlike most zanpakuto spirits in terms of appearance; although most of the time, he wears a black, slick armour with a pointed helmet with dark cobalt blue eye sockets and shoulder mounts, although there are gaps around the toes, hands and the back of the legs and neck, he is seven foot five inches tall with his hands are tetradactyl, having four digits; two middle fingers, and two opposing thumbs on the outside for grasping while his legs are are digitigrade, with short upper and lower legs, and elongated tarsals, using the distal and intermediate phalanges to support his weight when walking while allowing him to run faster and jump higher then humanoids while having two toes at the front only.
Once he takes his helmet off (if that ever happens), it can be seen that Kusari Eiyo's mouth is quadruple-hinged with a upper jaw and four mandible-like "lips" with each mandible having six, sharp teeth per mandible, his eyes are a bright ocean blue, similar to the eye color of the eye sockets covering his helmet's eyes, it can also be noted that he has a nearly pure black skin color that's scaly in texture and appearance. Kusari Eiyo's personality is focused solely on the concepts of Bushidō (The way of the Samurai) and the core concepts of frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor unto death. He speaks with a deep yet wise tone, only speaking when needed or to teach his wielder a lesson by allowing him to figure out the answer, Kusari Eiyo is fiercely loyal to his wielder, not blindly but he won't abandon his wielder unless treated with disrespect and leaving him without honor, although smart, he rather go into close quarters combat, relying on stealth at first to get the kill but when it doesn't work, will fight, using his shikai form to fight with, skilled enough to trap the blades of others in the center to lock and toss the enemy weapon away before going to kill his opponent, although the latter is unlikely as he won't kill a unharmed opponent as it is a dishonor to do such a thing and would bring shame to him, this honor is also one of the reasons for why the shikai must draw blood or a life before being resealed as Kusari Eiyo believes that once the blade is activated or "Drawn", the blade "demands blood" and won't seal again until this has happened.
When he gains bankai, his form only changes a little, changing his slick stealth armor to the gold platted armor that the bankai provides and his sword changes to the one in bankai as well (see Bankai appearance for more details).]
» Inner World:
Kusari Eiyo's inner world is a traditional Japanese castle high in the mountains, crossed with a Shinto temple, Kusari Eiyo can be found either training in a training hall or praying in the Shinto temple in the middle of the castle with various incense burning gently around him, there is also a kitchen, several bedrooms and a hospital, although Kusari Eiyo dislikes having a hospital and even less about having to go to one as he believes that the loss of blood without being in battle is dishonorable and acts like a dog that's being forced to take a bath by trying anything to get away from having to go to a hospital and to a doctor or someone from squad twelve.
The temple tends to shift in condition with the Ryo's mood or condition of his honor, when he's in a good condition or his mood is neutral or happy, the temple is in excellent condition and is well maintained but when he has lost honor through his actions or becomes upset or angry, the temple starts to break apart piece by piece, every time Ryo performs a dishonorable action or stays upset or angry, although regaining honor or returning to a neutral or happier mood, the temple will start to repair itself, similar to time reversal of what happened to it with pieces floating in reverse back into the places they once were destroyed and restores them to the condition they were in before they were destroyed.]
» Zanpakutô Appearance:
Sealed Zanpakuto Appearance:
The sealed appearance is a double edged katana with several holes through the center of the blade with a double axe head shaped guard and black wrapping, it also has a kunai's ring in the end of the handle, allowing the use to throw the blade or if a rope or another attachment is fitted and tied around the ring, makes the sword a mid-range weapon, it has a back mounted sheath with has several fabric rings fitted around the sides and back of the sheath to fit Anken (small throwing knives, maximum of eight; two on each side and four on the back)]
To release, Ryo puts his zanpakuto in front of him flat with the blade pointing to the sky. Upon saying the release command, the blade shifts in form into a curved hilt with two, circular pads with red lights coming from a sealed gap in the pads and a little extended top of the hilt, upon flicking the wrist, two, oval shaped cobalt plasma blades will generate from the pads, forming a little behind the guard but the two blades mostly extend forwards to four and a half feet in length, seventeen inches in width and three point seven inches in thickness.]
The power of Kusari Eiyo is it's plasma blades as these blades can cut through most things like a knife through butter, cutting through anything from a zanpakuto's blade with ease to slicing straight through a arrancar's hierro or reiatsu based techniques like bakudo, Hadō, etc, giving the shikai great offensive capabilities, but the downside to this is that the blade is honor bound once in its shikai state, meaning it must draw blood before returning to its sealed stated and if blood has not been drawn within enough time (three posts) then the blade starts to drain away the user's life force as a whole, eventually killing the user unless he draws blood or kills someone or something. This cycle is constant, meaning the user must keep drawing blood or end up loosing more of his life.
Depending on the tier of the opponent is the time it takes for the plasma blades to cut completely through:
Two+ Tiers below: two posts, first post cuts through half of the blade before second post cuts through it entirely. (Reduce per tier difference) One tier below: Three posts, the blades cutting through one-third of the opponent's blade per post. Equal tier: Four posts, the blades cutting through one-fourth of the opponent's blade per post. One tier Above: Five posts, The blades cutting through one-fifth of the opponent's blade per post Two+ tiers Above: Six posts, the blades cutting through one-sixth of the opponent's blade per post (add one post per addition tier difference)*
*the above only applies while the blades are in direct contact with a opponent's blade*
Shikai Technique: Senshi no kokoro (Warrior's heart) (Unnamed IC) Technique Description: This is based around the wielder's mindset at the time, to use this technique properly, it requires the user to abandon his fear to uphold his conviction and honor in a fight, the technique requires nothing to be said and the only indicator that the technique is going to be used is when the wielder raises the shikai blades in front of him before releasing a white-on-red flame like aura around the wielder with the wielder's heart appearing to glow through the wielder's chest, appearing shiny with the same colored aura around it, the wielder can do additional damage two tiers above his own for three posts but the longer the wielder stays within this state, the more damage he/she receives to their body, although during this state, they can ignore pain better, this technique requires absolute focus and detachment from what's going on that breaking the wielder's concentration, even for a split second, releases the technique, then technique requires a minimum of three posts to cooldown, plus regaining the focused mindset required to reactivate this technique, which makes the cooldown technically longer depending on the battle and if the wielder has time to regain such a composed and focused mindset. ]
» Bankai Appearance:
To activate his bankai; Ryo must kneel down on his knees, turning his blade towards himself, then stabbing himself in the abdoment and then, as he is cutting from left to right to open his abdomen up, he simply says bankai before light surges from the wound to heal it as the bankai is then released as plasma around him to form into the following.(This is based up Seppuku; the traditional Samurai suicide for samurai to kill themselves to retain honor then fall into the enemies's hands. This is also meant to be symbolic of Ryo unleashing himself by opening himself up to his true power). Upon Release of The Bankai; Ryo Gains a set of gold plated armor, similar to what you see in the above image with the armor platting covering the legs, his right arm with a single gold plated pauldron, he also gains a chest piece and armor along his back and neck, connecting to his helmet, with a similar shape in appearance to his zanpakuto spirit's head, although now designed to fit a human head. The Armor goes over Ryo's existing uniform and the armor is covered by eight seals (first one on the forehead, the next three along the neck plates, next two along the back, one at the center of the chest plate and the last one over the heart).
The Blade also changes within Bankai, now the plasma blades are more curved like a insect and have a orange glow to it instead of the normal blue, the guard also now has a hand guard to better protect Ryo's hand against strikes.]
» Bankai Abilities:
ankai, Ryo possesses three core abilities, each will be listed below:
1. The Kōsen Kisoku (Rules of Engagement), is a passive AOE ability when the bankai comes into affect; as long as the bankai is active, everyone within the AOE of Ryo's bankai's spiritual pressure enters the Kōsen kisoku and therefore, must obey the "rules" of the bankai. The Kōsen kisoku forces everyone to fight in a honorable way with cords of reishi connecting the opponent/s weapon to their heart, this includes Ryo. Fighting dishonorably or performing dishonorable actions (shooting someone in the back with kido, striking a unharmed opponent, etc), begins to loose Reiyoku (Spiritual Energy), the amount lost depending on how dishonorable the action was.
[spoiler]200 Reiatsu lost for minor things like long range combat with weapons like kunai, anken or kido.
600 Reiatsu lost for medium range things like attacking a unharmed or helpless opponent or getting assistance from a external thing like someone coming to help or you asking for help.
1,200 Reiatsu lost for major things like backstabbing, cold blooded murder, stabbing someone in their sleep, etc, basically the worst of the worst. Especially trying to run away as only cowards run and therefore, a great dishonor to do so.
2. The Banbutsu no shihai-sha (Ruler of all Creation), is a passive ability with active techniques; This ability allows Ryo to break down any non-player matter into plasma, the fourth state of matter at will. He can produce his own, but this allows him to halve the cost of the techniques, therefore lowering the strain on his body within bankai. This also allows him to break apart to use large techniques that requires large amounts of plasma to work. (See Zanpakuto techniques for techniques revolving around this ability). This lasts for 6 posts before the bankai becomes "overheated", the armor appearing to glow red in color and the ability must be shut down or Ryo will suffer burn damage. Must wait 10 posts before the ability is able to be used again.
3. The Hachimon (Eight Inner Gates), is the bankai's only activate ability as Ryo must actively activate it. On his armor, there are eight seals, each marked with the kanji from one to eight (see locations in bankai description), at the initial release of Ryo's bankai, they stay dormant, but as he absorbs reiatsu with his rules of engagement ability, these will very slowly light up, similar to how Ikkaku's bankai measured its power with the dragon on its blade. However, instead, these seals, once 100% filled, allow Ryo to activate a AOE version of Warrior's Heart called "Gendo o koete" or "Beyond The Limit" (see bankai descriptions for more details).
Reining Blade of Plasma (unnamed IC): A enhanced variation of Warrior's Heart; this allows Ryo to funnel Plasma into his blade, enhancing its cutting power and increasing its length and thickness; allowing it to do damage two-tiers up from normal. Lasts six posts.
Gendo o koete (Beyond The Limit): The power is simple yet can take a long time to activate. Using the eight seals on the bankai; each one is in fact a measure of how much charge this technique has. The technique is powered by the absorbed reiatsu from the rules of engagement ability. At Minimum, it requires 3,600 reiatsu to be absorbed before this ability can be used. At full charge (indicated by all eight seals showing 100% charge), Ryo can release all the absorbed reiatsu that built up; taking on a new form as his armor becomes pure plasma with the seals burning red; Around his left arm will form a blade composed of this plasma, in other words; his arm becomes the blade. This is Ryo's last resort technique as it gives him greatly enhanced power; allowing him to get to a psudo-Shikokai state; however this lasts only two turns and afterwards; automatically puts him out of bankai and render him without his shinigami powers for the rest of the thread and requires another thread to recover fully. And even in this state, it puts a extreme amount of pressure on his body as due to its intense power as a psudo-Shikokai, which he is nowhere near to being able to use; means that his body takes damage with each action he makes due to it. When he activates it, Once he gets to a full charge, he crosses his arms around his chest in a X-shape. Then, he casts back his arms while saying aloud, "Anata no teikō o yameru! Gendo o Koete!" ("Cease your Resistance! Beyond The Limit!") ]
[NOTE: This form is restricted until 0-3, and is not usually granted upon approval. This is ONLY for pureblood Shinigami! Refer to the racial specs for more information]
» Shikokai Appearance: [What does your Shinigami look like when released in their Shikokai?]
» Shikokai Abilities: [What abilities does your Shinigami attain in Shikokai?]
I. Skill Sheet
[SKILL SHEETS ARE NOT TO BE FILLED OUT UNTIL AFTER A TIER IS GIVEN! WILL SKILLS WILL BE GIVEN BY THE STAFF MEMBER THAT GRADES YOUR APP! FOR MORE INFORMATION, LOOK AT THIS THREAD]
Additional Note: The skill sheets, as of Saturday, February 10, 2018, have had small additions. There are new skills, and Master has been renamed to "Elite". Furthermore, Master is now the bridge in-between Elite and Grand Master. For more information, and the rest of the skill sheets, READ THIS THREAD
The blood sired with Dante and his army, the stamping of paws, claws and feet rumbled through the desert as they marched to the gates of the southern kingdom, where Karasu ruled. Dante smiled; he had heard much of this beast within the walls of the south and how, like him, had a desire to fight and Dante reviled in the excitement of being the one to kill him.
"Such a pleasent evening for the fight; I already smell the blood running through their veins, waiting for us to spill it across the sand of my kingdom, just so I can watch the white turn red upon this cursed sand...Although she's taking her time, but I can't say I blame her; she must be having fun having new toys to break and bleed," Dante spoke with a psychopathic glee as his "daughter" walked in the shadows on the walls of the south, easily cutting down those on watch without so much as a scream and tossing their lifeless corpses on the edge of the walls they once protected, letting their blood seep out and run down the cracks of the imposing structure, making the wall appear to have blood vessels running all along its expanse.
She leaped down from the towering wall of stone and blood and landed in front of her father as he grinned at her, almost drooling in anticipation.
"Very good, Annora; such a...display pleases me to see. Blood covering the walls of my kingdom...and once I tear its heart out, it shall become mine to rule as I see fit; go join the rest, we shall fight again and I savour every moment that I will have with its king and soon-to-be corpse at my feet! Just like the romantic weakling I tore down in the north all those years ago and the man I trained you to kill and don't worry Annora, he'll be coming, and once he's here, he's all yours, my dear," Dante told her, grinning like the joker, he saw her muscles tense slightly at the mention of the one he had trained her to kill, but it quick went as she stood up, drawing her virgin sword from its sheath as its pure steel blade glowed in the light of the endless night. The warriors of Dante's didn't need more encouragement, but Dante knew the men enjoyed seeing the stainless blade as it made them ever the more eager to stain its purity.
"I'm not worried, father, although I hope there are better fighters deeper inside the castle as I have no time to be killing ants," Annora said coldly before moving into the lines of soldiers, wearing the army of blood's armour and with their halberd zanpakutos up in the sky, Dante grinned and raised his crimson armored hand towards the castle.
"Now then, let us tear down another obstacle in our path of controlling all of hueco mundo!" Dante called the order before both him and his army of both hollows and arrancars alike stormed into the castle, passing through the open gates and killing anyone they came across as screams and sounds of steel cutting through flesh and bone to release the blood they craved to spill while Dante set his sights on Karasu's citadel as he flew into the sky so the main doors to Karasu's would be directly in his line of fire. Dante then brought his hand up behind him, making a claw shape as he charged a red cero within his hand. The cero lit his face up in its destructive light as the twisted smile of the blood wraith could be seen.
"Now, Karasu, feel the power of the one and only king of Hueco Mundo!" Dante growled out before extending his hand out rapidly and firing the fully charged cero, blasting forwards and easily blowing down the doors to Karasu's citadel and even going straight through behind the citadel, leaving a hole straight through it. Dante then laided with a soft boom as his feet hit the ground of the castle, the rim of his blood red coat flowing gently as he walked inside; there were still a few torches lit as Dante looked around for Karasu.
"Come out, come out wherever you are, Karasu," Dante thought before hearing a battle cry as Karasu, the hollow king of the south came at him, the big hulking monstrosity he was. Dante turned around to catch Karasu's punch, although the force still sent him back a few feet with his feet digging into the stone a little before he regained his footing.
"You dare attack me, Dante?! you have a lot of nerve coming here, but since your here, at least give me a good fight!" Karasu growled before charging at Dante, who grinned psychotically and raised his own armoured fist as their fists connected, the two were forced backwards by the force generated from their attacks, although Karasu was a little worse for wear as he had broken a few of the bones in his fingers due how hard Dante's hierro was, especially around his hands as the crimson hollow-like armour that was fused to Dante's hands made it difficult for even the sharpest of blades to cut. Dante got up, smiling in delight.
"I dare all who stand against my rule, although there used to be four hollow kings, but now, there can only be one at the top and I simply decided you must be eliminated for my ascension to come to fruition, besides, killing you is something I always wanted to do, Karasu and I know you've wanted to do the same to me, so how about it; till the death and the one who wins becomes the one true king of Hueco Mundo and the looser dies, what do you say?" Dante said, grinning as he had heard that, like Dante himself, this king loved to do battle and reviled in bloodshed and as Karasu's lip came upwards, breaking into a smile on his purple-ish face, Dante knew Karasu was going to die fighting.
"I wouldn't have it any other way, one last fight for everything and to the death; sounds like my kind of fight, so here I come; blood wraith Dante," Karasu said, his red eyes filled with eager killing intent that Dante could feel coming from him, even if Karasu himself didn't emit spiritual pressure, the feeling of his killing intent made his blood boil in excite and Dante couldn't help but laugh manically as he released his spiritual pressure leaked out like blood flowing out a blood. The two locked eyes, their gazes eager to fight as Karasu used his own unique power to make himself physically stronger while the energies of both kings clashed before both charged forwards, aiming another punch that when it connected, caused a large explosion that took out all the surrounding walls and caused the citadel to start crumbling around them.
Dante was panting, yet still retained his wicked smile while Karasu was also breathing heavily with a small smirk of enjoyment coming onto his face.
"You know what; this is rather fun, this dance with you and I, but both you and I know that with how slow you are, there's no way you'll be able to hurt me, Dante of the west," Karasu said before dashing forwards using his Chiratsuki; a variant on a arrancar's sonido that wasn't reliant on spiritual power to function as he dashed from side to side, something that only annoyed Dante as he growled at Karasu.
"Just because your faster then me, doesn't mean anything, karasu, if anything, it will only quicken your demise," Dante growled at Karasu, blasting the floor with red balas, causing the floor to blast upwards and, by effect, cause Karasu to trip on one of the new obstacle Dante created, forcing him to stop, letting Dante charge forwards, fist raised, but Karasu came under him, releasing two three inch long red blade from within his arms, taking on a spread appear like two wings that had hatched from a egg, still covered in their own blood. Karasu came down before striking upwards with the blades arcing in a X-formation. However, Karasu became surprised when the blades harmlessly skid off Dante's enhanced hierro.
"Bastard! you have such thick hierro," Karasu cursed aloud as Dante, grinning in delight of this battle and of Karasu's sudden shook that Dante used to his advantage as he pushed back Karasu with a single open palm strike, pushing the hulking king back a few meters before charging a different cero; more specifically, charging two ceros. One black and one red, one representing Dante's brother, shadow and the other to represent himself. Karasu gritted his teeth and started spinning his blades around rapidly.
"Mihari-dai..." Karasu thought to himself as Dante charged his attack, first forming the two ceros then combining them into one large cero that took on a ying-yang shape.
"I hope your ready, Karasu because now, you'll feel the power of my strongest cero: Gemela Cero!" Dante shouted before casting the cero forward, creating a large blast wave of black and red as it hit Karasu's Mihari-dai technique, Karasu was forced through what little remained of the walls of his castle, his body steaming from all the force his blades had absorbed, so much so they had turn red from the heat and Karasu had to drop them. But before he could react, the seemingly impossible happened; Dante appeared right in front of Karasu from where he had been standing on top of his castle to Karasu using a sonido, it wasn't well trained but Karasu was shocked to see that Dante was even capable of using sonido.
"Damn you! since when did you know how to use sonido?!" Karasu barked at him to which Dante just grinned and punched Karasu's throat, breaking his windpipe and causing him to fall into Dante's waiting hand as Dante grabbed his throat as he choked, being kept alive by his own instant regeneration.
"Sorry, but this has dragged on too much, there are so many more fights to have in the war coming and I can't waste any more energy dealing with you, so goodbye Karasu, its been a blast," Dante said, laughing manically at the end of his sentence as he drew his sword, getting a disgusted look from Karasu before Dante stabbed him straight in the brain, running the bloodstained metal through the grey matter and having it poke through the other side easily. Dante gave a deep growl before ripping Karasu's head clean off his body, tossing his zanpakuto into the air, he dug both hands into Karasu's now headless torso and, with a mighty growl, tore his body cleanly in two as Dante roared into the night in victory, tossing the two parts of Karasu's body onto the ground in a blood heap as he grabbed his zanpakuto as it came down. He grinned and took the head off and walked out the ruins of Karasu's once great castle and stood where all his warriors could see the blood covered Dante as he raised the head of Karasu, lord of the south and laughed as the adrenalin coursed through his vein at what he had done.
"Warriors of the army of blood; The lord of the south is dead, the lands of the south are now ours to rule!" Dante proclaimed as his warriors, having dealt with Karasu's soldiers easily, cheered their lord and master as he claimed the lands of the south to his empire of the west and north. Dante came down to street level, seeing the dead bodies stacked against walls or on the ground as if the angel of death himself had walked through the lands of the south and cleansed it with steel and brimstone. He looked to Escasez, who was grinning from all the bloodshed he was involved in, although he hadn't even needed the use of his released form to deal with the weaklings in this citadel.
"Yes, my lord?" Escasez said, bowing a bit as Dante gave him the head of Karasu, the southern beast and Escasez knew what Dante was going to ask him to know before he spoke the words and it made him smile all the more.
"Take this to Las noches and leave this as a message to what will happen to them if they resist the rule of Dante and the army of blood," Dante said with a wicked gleam in his red eyes, Escasez nodded and using his sonido to dash towards Las Noches, the base of operations for the newly formed espada. Escasez smiled as he landed in front of the doors to Las Noches, where two average arrancars guarded the doors.
"Hey, stop there, your kind isn't allowed near Las Noches, Escasez," The guards told him, yet Escasez's smile didn't fall for a second and simply laughed in their faces.
"Not for much longer; Dante shall rule all of Hueco Mundo, then it will be you two law loving morons that won't be allowed in our sanctuary to the freedom to do whatever we see fit and before I go, take this to your beloved espada and tell them this is what will happen to them or anyone who dares to challenge us," Escasez said, tossing the head of Karasu into the hands of one of the guards before firing a bala, killing the other guard by blasting his head clean off.
"Go or else no one will be going back into Las Noches alive," Escasez said, laughing before watching the guard running into Las Noches, carrying the head of the fallen king of the south before Escasez using his sonido to dash back into the southern lands, leaving the espada with a clear warning from Dante and the army of blood.
(Meanwhile in the seireitei, Squad three barracks)
It was time to get going, the order had been issued by the head captain to mobilize all squads to Hueco Mundo. Luke had been worried about the coming battle to come; from infiltrating the army of blood himself, they were up against some truly strong and deranged individuals and besides that, Luke had some feelings boiling away inside him, he could feel blood lust running through his system before going away, leaving him burnt out. He couldn't explain it, but he felt like the hollow that had fused to him all those hundreds of years ago had some connect to Dante, the being that he had heard some refer to as the blood wraith and the lord of the west.
Luke looked up at the ceiling of his office, feeling the unease this whole thing had and about if this battle got out of hand, it could upset the balance the shinigami tried to maintain and it would cause a spiritual catastrophe of terrible proportions.
It was then one of the squad three members entered the captain's office, looking distressed. Luke stood up, feeling the tension from his subordinate only adding to the unease he felt as the squads prepared for war.
"Captain, you'd better come see this; it appears the army of blood have sent another message...and its not pretty," He said solemnly, whatever he had seen, Luke believed it wasn't a pleasent sight and ordered him to take him to the site of the message. They travelled through the Hakutōmon and arrived at a gruesome sight; thirteen bodies, meant to represent each squad within the seireitei with a warning written in the blood of the victims, "Anyone to defy Dante and his army of blood will be eliminated". Luke tightened his fists as his spiritual pressured surrounded him in a dark aura of pure black, his eyes burning with hatred for the one responsible for the murder of innocent, even his pupils took on a lizard-like slits appearance as a little bit of his hollow leaked in through his anger.
"Disgraceful...this is truly unforgivable, they had no part in this fight...it disgusts me to see life wasted and made a mockery of...men and women of squad three, we, the eyes and ears of the soul society who see the darkness within people and watch over them, we shall not let these poor people's murderer get away with such disgrace against life and that we sore to protect, we shall head out to Hueco Mundo and when we fight these monsters in battle, remember these disgraced bodies and use it to boost your resolve and use it to defend not only your lives, but those that we swore to protect with those lives, the innocent and those who cannot defend ourselves, who is with me?!" Luke spoke, giving a speech to those present, a moving speech to rally them to battle and to never let something like the blood of the innocent to spill happen again. a cry of encouraging replies from the squad members, followed by yes captain, Luke nodded, turning one more time, his eyes appearing to have hollowfied somewhat with the whites of his eyes turning black.
"I'll find you, he who possesses the moniker of the blood wraith because I, Luke Yasenha, Captain of squad three who possesses the moniker of the demon of district 66 is coming to kill you not as a captain, who wields his sword for the duty to the soul society, but in hatred so I may violently cut you into pieces, that I swear to you," Luke said, staring coldly at the corpses of those killed by a party of low level arrancars in Dante's army, sent just after Dante dispatched Escasez to deliver the head of Karasu to the espada as a warning to the thirteen court guard squad, yet it had only fueled the fire in Luke and when the others were told of this, would only strengthen their resolve to defeat this monster and his army, whatever the costs.
END OF THE POST
Last edited by Ryo Suzuki on Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:25 am; edited 3 times in total
]Ryo Suzuki was originally born as Ryo Akiyama in 1166 in Kagoshima, Kyushu, located in southern japan, where his father raised him to serve the shogun and his lord, being a samurai himself, he trained his son in the same regard up till the age of nine, when young Ryo was handed over to lord Daichi Hiroshi, the current lord of Kagoshima, it was here that he would spend many years to learn the finer art of the samurai that his father could not.
But he was not without still being a child to many of the adult samurai in serve, believing their lord unwise to have such a young boy as a student of their craft and way of life but Ryo was enjoying his freedom from his strict father, even though he trained every day, not necessarily to make his father proud but to exercise his freedom when his body was toned and well developed, even at a young age.
Ryo enjoyed escaping from the castle his lord kept to explore the city of Kagoshima, he especially loved the smell of open markets as food vendors cooked up the most wonderful of things from red been buns to sweet chill prawns. It wasn't until he was twelve years of age when he had once again escaped to explore Kagoshima's market place that he came across a rather intriguing sight: a young middle-class boy about his age with bright blue eyes and black hair as dark as the night sky in the heavens, chatting to a young girl about the same age with brown hair and deep chocolate eyes, he couldn't look away from them, especially when he noticed a chain coming from the young girl's chest; the boy was chatting to a spirit, although Ryo had the ability to see the dead, he hadn't seen any until this point of time but the girl's spirit noticed him looking, blushing in a shy way as she turned to look at him, interrupting the boy to speak.
"Mister, you can see me?" The girl asked, the boy turned around to look at well, his eyes seemingly glowing with a light blue aura that children often have, Ryo felt a shiver down his spine before being able to answer with some amount of composure.
"Y-yeah, I mean of course I can, little one, may I ask your name?" Ryo asked, the girl went red and the boy with her snicked before she looked up again.
"M-my name is Akiko Haruko and this is..." before she had a chance to say his name, the boy offered his hand to him.
"...Luke Yasenha, nice to meet you, mister samurai-san" Luke introduced himself to him, although he wasn't wearing the full combat gear of a samurai, his clothes were of the finest material and he wore the tradition blades by his right side: a katana and a wakizashi, a casual uniform of a samurai, even though his clothes were a deep cobalt, his favorite color. Ryo felt unsure whether it was polite to shake the hand of a lower class then his own but he didn't feel like being some heartless person and shook the boy's hand.
"My name is Ryo Akiyama, I am pleased to have met you two; Akiko Haruko and Luke Yasenha, I won't forget either of you, do you think we can play with each other sometime?" Ryo said smiling, the boy smiled back, grinning ear to ear.
"Alright, Akiyama-san, I'll see you later then, come on Akiko-chan" Luke said happily before taking Akiko's hand and running down the street, although to anyone not spiritual aware, it had been only Ryo and Luke talking in the street.
The following day, Ryo left for the city to find his friend, only to not find him anyway, not even the girl spirit that was with him until he found her hiding under a candle-lit lamppost, she was clearly distraught, sobbing into her hands and didn't notice his approach until she felt a hand gently brushing through her hair, looking up through her chocolate-covered eyes, fresh tears running down her cheeks.
"What happened, Akiko-chan?" Ryo asked, concerned to what happened that made a pure soul like her's so sad, she wiped the tears from her eyes and looked at him again.
"It-It's Luke, he's...He's..." she couldn't even finish the sentence before bursting into tears again, Ryo sighed calmly and picked the girl up in his arms, holding her tight, his eyes showed his determination to find out what happened so he rushed through the market place as he held her, she held onto him and look up at him.
"A-Akiyama-san, how are you going to find him? you have no idea where he lives...B-but I can show you, he used to lead me back to his home, please mister, let me help you..." Ryo then stopped in a alleyway and looked at the soul in his arms.
"Ok then...show me the way, Akiko-chan" Ryo told her, setting her down gently so she could lead the way.
She ran off, looking back every so often to make sure Ryo was following her through the winding streets of Kagoshima's market place and back passages. Eventually after ten minutes of running through those cobbled streets, they found Luke's house; a modest home for a middle-class family of a traditional Japanese home with grand red sliding doors around the outside of the house and a large cherry blossom tree that reached up to the top window of the house.
"This is the place and that's the tree that I used to get into the house but now..." Akiko told Ryo, her voice quivering, tears welling up in her eyes, "...I can't get in anymore, this place feels so heavy and cold and then...I...I heard a man say that he had been killed in his own home" as she spoke about what happened in the house, lightning flashed as rain started to come down, guards were coming down to seal off the area and investigate what happened but Ryo had a strange feeling that they weren't going to find anything conclusive but then again, it felt so strange to to have only met him, only to have the chance to make a friend disappear like that. He took the crying spirit into his arms and took her away from the house that made the heavens weep back to his quarters in his lord's castle to allow her to grieve for her friend in peace.
Six years passed since that fateful day, Ryo had become a fine young man, courageous, strong in mind as well as in body, although he always enjoyed playing with Akiko when he could, the first few days after the boy's death, Akiko cried none stop and it was hard to explain to anyone entering his room who made the crying as only he could see her and it wouldn't have been a wise move to tell them he had a spirit as it was a taboo to have one around back in those days so he told them he had imaginary friends and one of them was sad and cried a lot, which was the sound they were making. Although this made him appear mad in the eyes of his fellow samurai and they had made their discomfort show in their unfriendly treatment of him, giving him a extra stretch during training, "accidentally" pushing him around and talking behind his back when he wasn't looking, although Ryo could hear, he instead used their mocking to strengthen his resolve and his mind.
Once Akiko had calmed down, he would play with her in the evenings once he had returned from a hard day's training as it seemed to keep her calm and happy to have someone playing with her, possibly reminding her of the good times she had with Luke. But this was not to last as he found one day that he was to take up his first active mission as a samurai of lord Hiroshi, a routine escort mission to a nearby province under the control of lord Hiroshi. He would come to his room while Akiko was playing with a doll he had bought for her.
"Akiko-chan, I'll be going away for a while, lord Hiroshi wishes me to go help some people reach a nearby province, I maybe gone for a few days, will you be ok being here by yourself while I'm away?" He would ask her, kneeling down as his adult frame now towered over her own child one to stroke her head, running his fingers through her hair.
"I'll be ok but I don't want you to get hurt, so please come back to me, Ryo-san, promise me you will and I'll believe you" She would ask him, half smiling but her voice still carried six years of grief and lost on top of the fact she was already dead to begin with, she had been through a lot, he could only help her when she needed a shoulder to cry one, a friend to play with or to talk to but he couldn't heal all her pain, no matter how much he wanted to. He nodded, smiling gently to try and help reassure her.
"I promise on my honor that I will return to you alive, Akiko-chan, please stay calm for me and try to keep smiling, it will do you good, now please, behave yourself, I'll be back, I promise..." Ryo told her before he stood up and grabbed his swords, leaving the lone soul to her doll as he headed to the armory to suit up and get his equipment. The other samurai on the mission were there already, getting their armor on, as blue as the sea, a color Ryo had grown fond of: cobalt, the other samurai muttered to themselves about him talking to himself again but Ryo had grown so used to this meaningless gossip that he didn't even hear it anymore, like a smell that once your around it enough, you stop noticing altogether and went to get his samurai armor on, taking his katana and sliding it inside the back mounted sheath on his back while his wakizashi in a side mounted sheath on his right side and finally, the mask, shaped like a kappa and a Harikake kabuto. Once ready, Ryo and a squad of three other samurai headed out to the main courtyard where a merchant was waiting for them.
Ryo peered into the merchant's wagon, he carried fine china and paintings that were either done himself or done by other artists in the local area for sale in the nearby provinces. when the mechant came over to him, apparently annoyed.
"Unless your buying something, Samurai-san, then stop eyeing my products, these are for my good customers in the Matsumoto province, now let's get moving, I can't keep them waiting you know" He ranted at Ryo, who sighed in response, moving away from the wagon and looking to the merchant.
"Alright, Merchant-san, we'll escort you to Matsumoto in one peace, although you can never know with bandits these days, tricky bastards, they always hide and kill from the darkness, how dishonorable..." Ryo spoke harshly of the possibility of bandits along the route to Matsumoto province before turning his head to his fellow samurai, "...Alright, let's get going then" Ryo told them as the currently leader of their squad put them each other one side of the wagon, Ryo got the right side while the others were position in each of the other directions a attack could come from before the merchant go up on his wagon and taking the whip, whacked the horses to get them going out the gate of the castle to the open track with the samurai and Ryo following very closely.
They had only just started onto the mud-coated pathway of the side pathways when the rain came down heavily upon the scene, for Ryo, it reminded himself of that day, six years ago where Akiko's friend was killed.
"It's raining heavily...just like that day...even six years cannot make me forget what happened to poor Akiko-chan...her tears ran down her face along with the rain, it was such a tragedy that I never got to see him again and play together like he promised..." Ryo spoke sadly to himself as he watched the heavens weep in sadness like that day that felt like it only happened yesterday.
Unfortunately for Ryo, the samurai that was standing at the back of the convoy noticed Ryo staring into space, watching the rain fall and a he felt a grin grow on his face as he had a chance to mock him. He Raised his hand to the lips of his mask to speak more towards Ryo.
"Hey, are you thinking of your imaginary friends, Manuke-san?" He spoke in a mocking fashion towards Ryo, who turned around on a dime, a grim stare that would hide his burning hatred of his fellows before taking a breath to respond, his breath becoming visible due to the combination of the rain making things cooler and the pathway they were taking was heading towards one of the many mountain pathways and it was always colder up at the heights of the grand mountains of Japan.
"Why does my state of mind concern you when you should be doing your job? besides, everyone knows out of all the samurai here, your the biggest Bakushiri Seppun in the entire army so just go do what you do best" Ryo taunted back with a insult of his own, the samurai went red in his helmet and almost went to draw his sword but at the last moment, the samurai that was on the other side to Ryo rushed over and put his hand on the handle of the angered samurai's katana before he could draw his sword against Ryo.
"Jeez, Makoto-san, you can be such a baka sometimes and to be honest, you were asking for that..." He told him, sighing before Makoto shrugged him off, giving a disgusted growl.
"Screw you, Katsumi, I know the kid is good and all but he keeps talking to himself, it's a bad omen, I tell you and it will get us killed, we never should of let him join us in the first place, creepy bastard..." Makoto yelled angry at Katsumi before he slapped him with enough force to turn his head.
"And you should learn respect, Makoto-san, you know well enough those were just rumors by you and the others to bully him and has nothing to do with his fighting ability or his sanity, if you can't keep yourself in line, I suggest you go back to our lord in failure and pray to the gods he doesn't have you killed for your cowardice, besides, drawing a sword against your fellows is no way for a samurai to behave," Katsumi growled back, with that one threat, Makoto forced himself to calm down and return to his posting behind the convoy, muttering curses on Ryo and Katsumi as he dragged his feet behind them.
Ryo was glad for the help, it showed that not everyone hated him and that what they said about him were just superstitious rumors to undermine him but he had only used it as motivation to make himself stronger.
It was well into the arms of the night before they reached the mountain range between the Kagoshima and Matsumoto provinces, since it would be too dangerous to continue traversing the mountain range in the dark with all the possible ways to be killed in the mountains without the aid of the bandits's blades and arrows to contend with, the samurai in charge decided that that the best course of action was to camp in a cave facing towards the snow-capped mountains, which got the merchant into a right state.
"Now you listen here, samurai-san, I'm not stopping, I have to be in Matsumoto by tomorrow, you understand? I can't stay here!" The merchant yelled at the leader, who was calling upon all his years of patience to not slap the merchant for his rash and rather stupid behavior.
"Now listen here, you maybe the client but we will not go into the mountains in these conditions with the possibility of getting ambushed and possibly killed and...your products getting either destroyed in the battle or being sold elsewhere, either way, we won't be letting you out of here until the morning when we can see where we going, if you don't like it, go back to Kagoshima and get someone else for your suicide mission, do you understand?!" The leader growled at the merchant, he wasn't in a pleasent mood normally and was rarely in a good mood for anything with properly as short if not shorter fuse then the merchant did and the threat of losing his precious cargo made the merchant go lay against the side of the cave, his arms folded across his chest with his legs inside the folds with a angry look on his face as he sulked, Makoto and Katsumi were standing guard next to the wagon carrying the precious works of art while Ryo came up to feed the horses their grain while gently stroking the hair that grew along the top of its neck, Ryo was quite fold of horses and it was one of the few comforts being a samurai had was that he could be alone for a few hours and care for the animals, talk to them as he felt the animals he looked after were more civil then his fellows as he felt he could tell them about his worries and he felt like they listened, providing him with some much needed relief from the everyday stresses of his life with training, dealing with simple minded people he had to call his fellows and Akiko-chan.
"I wonder how your doing now, Akiko-chan? you must be lonely without me there, there wasn't really many that were able to see you in the first place but now, it seems I, alone have the gift of the sight that pierces the worlds of the living and the dead...I hope your alright, I think if this had just been you and me, I think you would of liked the view from here...but that is only a dream but maybe one day, I'll take you here, I think I'll enjoy that" Ryo thought to himself, a slightly smile creaking from his lips as he thought of being here with Akiko, camping here at night and watching the stars come out across the snow covered mountains.
He finished feeding the horses and grooming them, He went to his side of the cave, the fire dimly lightning the walls of stone and only just keeping the edge off the cold but their armour was packed with thick underclothing, perfect for conditions like this so he laid his head against the stone wall, letting the helmet he wore cushion his head against it and fell asleep, dreaming of him, Akiko and Luke playing together as children like Luke had promised to do the day before his death over six years ago.
They rose in time with the rising sun as it's early morning red light broke into the restful night and, with them getting the merchant up who was still in a bad mood with the commander so he kept to himself on his wagon and kept the horses moving, although it didn't take more then half a hour to get through most of the mountain range, traversing the range at night would have been suicide if they had continued on the current path with the way only just wide enough for the wagon, if the merchant had made one mistake, it would have cost him his life and his stock with him. Although from the curse words that the merchant muttered under his breath, aimed at the commander, it looked like he hated being proved wrong, especially by someone he considered just hired muscle.
They eventually reached the opposite side of the range, entering into a dense forest of pine trees. Ryo could smell the damp moss to seeing the light mist hanging on top the pine trees, creating a natural canopy but Ryo felt uneasy, almost to the point of feeling sick.
"Something not's right...this feeling..." Ryo thought to himself before he felt his head vibrate within his helmet and everything suddenly fell into sharp focus, he could see the tiny patterns in the bark of the tree to noticing the movement of the little ants on the leaves on a nearby bush but what suddenly got picked up on Ryo's senses was the shuffling of leaves to a bush about five meters behind them, then a step, then the sound of gears grinding as something was being worked, possibly a crossbow with a auto-loading system that used gears to pull back an nocked arrow back into its firing position. Ryo would then stop, holding his head before looking around.
"Who will they attack?...the one at the back?...yes, that way, if the one at the back went down, we wouldn't have time to react before they came down at us, giving them the upper hand" Ryo thought to himself, drawing the mental scene in his head of Makoto getting shot down but with Ryo, Katsumi and the commander no time to react before the bandits would descend upon them, giving them the upper hand at the start of the battle.
So as Ryo heard the grinding noise stop, as soon as Makoto walked by behind the convoy, Ryo would suddenly turn on the stop and charge Makoto and tackled him to the ground, just as the bandit holding the crossbow fired a bolt where Makoto was standing, hitting the back of the wagon instead of the samurai target he had hoped for.
"What the hell do you think your doing?!" Makoto yelled angrily at Ryo who was on top of him before he rolled off to dodge another bolt as it passed over Ryo's face.
"We're under attack, you baka, let's get into positions" Ryo yelled back before he flipped himself up onto his feet, drawing his katana from his back holster with his left hand and his wakizashi from his right side sheath with his right hand as he readied himself for the attack he knew was coming as Makoto, Katsumi and the commander all readied themselves, drawing their katanas and surrounded the convoy, the commander turned to the now scared merchant after hearing the crossbow bolts being fired.
"Get into your wagon and don't come out until this is over, understand?!" The commander yelled at the merchant, who instead of arguing, did what he was told and hid himself inside his wagon with his valuables, taking a fetal position to try and cover the important parts of his body.
"Here they come..." Ryo spoke softly, hearing the rustling of the leaves before the sudden movement as bandits, dressed with light leather armour with black garments that were traditional for bandits operating in the local area and all four quickly became engaged with their opponents as Ryo blocked a sword strike from the bandit in front before twisting around and lifting the bandit up into the air and flung him into the bandit coming behind him before quickly shifting his weight around and made a quick sliding motion with his blade pointed behind him to impale the bandit coming behind him before slicing upwards with a grunt, slicing both his torso and his head then coming back around to slash through another bandit's body, letting the two halves fall to the ground and letting the bandit live the last few seconds of his life grabbing at his intestines and blood that pour out from his body.
Makoto saw the display of Ryo's combat prowess and was shocked by how well he did. He managed to cut down his bandit and the one that had fired the bolt that would have killed him if not for Ryo's hypersensitivity and quick thinking, but he couldn't help but fear just how unnaturally good Ryo was.
"Is this even possible? To think that someone like him can do something like this? it's inconceivable," Makoto thought as the rest of Ryo's group pushed the remaining bandits back. Katsumi came up to Ryo as he had noticed that Ryo's hand was shaking, making his swords shake. Although when he put his hand on Ryo's shoulder, Ryo suddenly twisted, placing his wakizashi against his throat, his face looking stressed and shocked before he removed the blade. Katsumi was about to saying something when the commander came over.
"Leave him, Katsumi, his mind has been taxed greatly, so give him some space to recover his thoughts," The commander said to Katsumi with his hand on his shoulder before pulling back to clean his sword and see to the merchant. Katsumi looked to Ryo and followed the commander's advice and left him alone to calm down.
"Whatever has caused Ryo's senses to become to this superhuman level to save Makoto's life and defeat the bandits almost single handedly must take a great toll on his mind to gather all that information, I only hope that he recovers soon, although to do this sort of thing as his first mission away from the castle, I only wonder if the pressure got too much," Katsumi thought before sitting down to clean his gear, his eyes every so often looked to Ryo where he sat, looking to the forest as if looking for answers to some unknown question.
After much time had past, the merchant was taken to his destination, weary and eager to be rid of the samurai's company, left to stay in a taven in town while the wear and battle-worn samurai made camp within the forest on the outskirts of the town. Ryo had said nothing since the battle, his mind taxed as much as his body, yet, as he laid in his tent, his eyes gazing to the stars, his thoughts returned to Akiko. He missed her company and how her childish ways helped him be calm or at least distract him from his own mind.
"I wonder what you would think now of me, how you would help ease my worries, tell me that I worried too much before you would lay on your bed, peacefully asleep, I hope even now, even without me there, your smiling because of anything, protecting that smile means the world to me," Ryo spoke quietly to himself before allowing himself to sleep while Makoto took watch.
It was not long before he returned with the group and, after that point, many years past and, at this point, Ryo was a battle-hardened samurai leader, in charge of his own squad of loyal and equally skilled samurai. He was getting into his thirties, which at the time, was pretty old for a samurai. But it was in this year of 1196 was where that all changed. A war had broken out Kagoshima and a neighboring land to the north. Ryo's squad had been kept back to guard against any attacks coming in from the flank while lord Hiroshi's army fought against the invading army on horseback.
For the most part, things were calm till some samurai, sent by the enemy, came to strike down the samurai guarding the flanking position, but with Ryo and his men by his side, they were quickly dealt with besides from one, who was dying and bleeding heavily, but he still yet had a sly grin on his bloodied face. Ryo knelt down by the dying samurai with a serious look on his face.
"What reason does a coward that would strike us down from the shadows have any reason to smile so coldly?" He asked in revelance, he knew samurai normal hated dishonorable acts like this, yet this one seem to take pleasure in such actions, the wicked and twisted laugh that came from the man's lips only seemed to confirm his thoughts.
"You wonder why I laugh upon death? You really think this was the only way to flank you? Besides, we have allies coming from the west, a direction you didn't defend, you thought you only face the north, but here's some news; you have more enemies then you believe you do and now, your too far away to stop them, see you around, morons," The enemy samurai chuckled as blood ran from his mouth before, after one last laugh, he expired, laying dead against a tree in a pool of his own blood. Ryo couldn't believe he had been so blind, although he couldn't have known that another had sent aid to the enemy and he was right; due to being posted away from the main battle, they were too far away to save them from a attack they didn't know was coming. He felt a panicking sensation in his chest as he looked towards the direction where his lord was fighting the enemy and that slow motion feeling once again came around him, his focus becoming one thing and one thing only; to protect his lord.
Meanwhile, in the soul society; a unseated officer was monitoring the world of the living when his scanners started to detect a building amount of a strange spiritual pressure. He called over the senior member of the scan team and pointed to the monitor.
"Sir, we've detected a strange spiritual pressure building in the world of the living, should we send someone to investigate?" The squad member asked and the man nodded with a sly grin on his face; it had been a few hundred years since something significant had happened in the world of the living and he was eager to see what was about to happen.
"Yes, I'll send down Luna, she should be more then capable of handling this as a sixth seat," He explained before sending the order through to the young purple haired female with a saber by her side with a long purple strap attached to the scabbard. She looked at the message and sighed in a bored way, but a order was a order and they seemed to think it was worth her time to investigate the source of the spiritual pressure, but it was the most interesting thing she had to do besides paperwork and if anything, this was better then doing paperwork on the day's experiments.
And then...He ran, ran faster then anyone could have ever imagined, he was off as lightning flowed around him and streaked off him so to anyone saw him, he appeared to be a bolt of blue lightning as a boom shot into the sky as he ran, blowing trees back as if a great wind was coming in, pushing them back.
At this time, a squad of ten archers, some with long bows, some with crossbows that had split of from the main reinforcements as they planned to take out lord Hiroshi, which would end this battle before it could even get off the ground, yet as they got ready to fire, they heard the booms coming from the west and presumed cannons were being fired upon them. The squad leader raised his hand and then gestured forwards, then they fired, but as they did, they saw the lightning bolt as Ryo ran and ran hard towards his lord and, he jumped in front his lord, taking all the arrows into his chest before he collapsed onto the ground, both his lord and the enemy were in shock, with the archers running away, believing that the god of lightning himself was on their side while his lord came off his horse to see the dying miracle samurai that had sacrificed his life to protect him. Ryo tried to smile as he coughed up blood, which ran down his chin.
"M-My lord...are you...uninjured?" Ryo asked inbetween coughes and his lord simply nodded to him.
"Yes, I am...unharmed, do not worry, Ryo-san, know that you pass on to the next life in honor," Hiroshi told him gently as the other samurai gathered around as he sighed peacefully.
"T-thank you, my lord...I-it was...a honor to...serve with you all...a-and...thank you, for taking me in, giving me a home...I pass on, knowing that I go in the honor of protecting my lord till...till the end..." Ryo said, his words getting more distance, his eyes getting more clouded and, in these last moment, he saw a woman with brown hair and purple tips with a strange sword on a strap on her shoulder come up to him, wearing a black kimono, something only he knew samurai wore when off duty.
"W-who are you?" Ryo muttered, which would confused the people who managed to hear it as the woman offered her hand to him.
"I am a shinigami, your guide to a new existence within the afterlife, come and take my hand," Luna told him just as Ryo's vision went white as he died on the battlefield, he reached for her hand and took it, finding he could now stand and turned to see his body, laying dead, his eyes glassed, looking forwards towards the sky.
"What's happening? and if I can ask, Shinigami, I have a request to make of you," Ryo asked, feeling confused and Luna was well aware of people being like this when they had just died. Although it annoyed her, she had to be patient, especially when, now being here, she could feel traces of that spiritual pressure that the scanners had picked up only moments ago.
"To be plain, your dead, your now a plus, a soul, whatever you want to call it and I'm here to make sure you go to the soul society, but I guess you have some unfinished business, so what is this request you wish to make of me?" She asked, kinda in a hurry to get back with the recording of the spiritual pressure for analysis.
"The request I have is but a simple one; For many years, I have been in contact with another spirit, a young girl that had yet to pass on, all I ask is when we go to this soul society, she can pass on with me, she too deserves some peace," Ryo asked her calmly and this did raise a eyebrow in Luna; she was surprised to the fact that the girl had managed to last so long in the world of the living without a shinigami being sent to perform Konsō on them and, considering that a human managed to produce such a strong spiritual pressure without being something like a fullbringer, it might explain that with his presence kept hollows from detecting the girl's spiritual pressure and in turn, kept her safe. It was a simple thing to do when compared to other things she had to do for pluses to get them to move on, some were strange, some were lewd and some were just...she doesn't like to talk about those.
"As you wish, that is simple enough, lead the way," Luna told him and, after Ryo gave her directions, she took his hand and used flash step to get them there quickly since she didn't have time to walk there. Ryo came into the house first and came over to Akiko. She looked at him, looking worried.
"Ryo? How are you here and who's she?" She asked and Ryo came over and embraced her and she knew something was up when she could physically feel his embrace.
"It's ok, Akiko-chan, it's just...I fell in battle, now I'm like you and she says she's a shinigami, she's agreed to help you move on with me, I know you were always scared of moving on alone, but now, I'll be with you, ok?" Ryo said softly, caressing the girl's cheek as tears welled up in her eyes as she hugged back and had a little cry in Ryo's arms before she sniffed and looked at him as he turned to Luna as he stood up and held Akiko's hand.
"Do it, Shinigami, but her first, she deserves to be somewhere better then this." Ryo asked her and Luna said nothing, just giving a nod as she knelt down in front of Akiko.
"Do not be afraid, the soul society is a place where souls like yours can be at peace, just relax" Luna told her gently put she lifted up her zanpakuto and put the butt of her handle against her forehead, leaving a blue glowing mark on her forehead as she radiated spiritual pressure before she was transformed into a hell butterfly that flew off into the night sky, simmering against the blacken sky. She then looked to Ryo and, without another word, he let her tap him on the forehead and felt peace come over him as he became a hell butterfly on the way to the soul Society...
Birth of a Ghost:
There was no way to tell how much time past, but eventually, Ryo woke up in a strange, run down town, the only thing he had on him was a faded blue kimono and some flats. He felt confused as was common for souls that had past to the soul society, loosing their memories of the living lives in the world of the living, the only thing he knew was his first name. He looked around and got up, trying to get a feel of his surroundings as he walked into town; the town seem very rural and run down, like it had been abandoned and left to decay. As he past a simple gardening fork, a few towns people came out, a few brutish looking men with scars of various kinds. One of them came up to Ryo, a sly grin on his face.
"Well, well, well; looks like we have a new guy, looking around like he owned the place. You got a bad draw of the straw, friend; this place isn't for pleasent folk, only the toughest survive here, so, if anyone else doesn't mind, let me be the first to welcome you to Suzuki, pretty boy!" The man told him, sizing him up as just another soft target before he pulled back his fist and aimmed a punch at Ryo. But, he felt his body move on his own and he grabbed the man's punch and pulled him into a lock before pinning him to the ground and then, with a quick movement, broke his arm, causing the man to scream in pain before looking to the other men around.
"The fuck are you waiting for?! kill the bastard!" He yelled at his friends and they pulled out daggers and other small bladed weapons and charged him. He got off the one he had dealt with and went to the wall with the fork and grabbed, holding it like it was a spear. He thrust forward, spearing one through the neck before tossing the body towards another, knocking him down before spearing the other through the head. Twisting around, he throw it into another man's face, killing him before the last two came at him as he came in, locking his enemies's knife hand before kicking the other one away. He then twisted his arms, snapping the man's shoulder, forcing him to drop the knife before pushing the man over and punch him in the nose, enough to press the bone inside the nose to shoot back into his brain, killing him before the other got up, trying to stab him and pushed Ryo other, forcing Ryo to grab his hands as he tried to stab Ryo in the chest. Then, with one last effort, Ryo managed to get on top, hitting the man hard with his elbow, giving him a broken nose before, in that moment of weakness, Ryo took the knife and stabbed him once in the heart, killing him. He panted, covered in blood and dead bodies; it was indeed a brutal and bloody welcome to Suzuki.
It was a lot to take him; even though he remembered nothing of his past life, he felt that his body had a lifetime of combat experience, even if he himself didn't remember, his body and muscles remembered. He felt a hand touch his shoulder and turned, still on alert, but he only saw a older woman with a gentle and reassuring smile on her face.
"Hey, hey, it's ok; I'm not gonna hurt ya, my name is Chiharu, what's yours?" She explained, introducing herself. He relaxed a little and stood up.
"I...I believe its Ryo, but I'm having trouble remembering anything else; where am I?" Ryo asked her and she simply gave a chuckle.
"Well, Ryo, this place overall is called the Rukongai and this is the 80th southern rukon district called "Suzuki"; there are eighty districts per direction and about 320 overall and, pretty much, the further in you are, the better it is with the 1st districts of each rukon district being the best and you can guess what 80th means. But you've made a impression here, I don't think you'll be getting too much trouble, but still, be careful, this place has lead to the death's of many great men, so keep your wits close and a weapon closer. Tell me, do you have a place to go, Ryo?" Chiharu asked and he shock his head.
"No, just got here and I noticed by the welcome, but I would humbly accept a roof over my head and I am more then willing to earn my keep, Ma'am" Ryo explained, bowing slightly in respect to her and she gave another life.
"Ha, ha! Please, there's no need to be so formal with me, please, Chiharu will do and that will be good, it's very hard to get things to live on in a place like this, but if you prove yourself, all you'll need to do is speak and they will be all ears," Chiharu explained before gesturing to Ryo to follow, "Please, follow me," Chiharu told him before the two would head to a at least in tact home; it was very bare bones with just mattresses, bathroom and a kitchen. What sickened Ryo wasn't the mess or the condition, but in general the way these people were being treated and that no one was doing anything to help them, it seemed cruel to put people in something like this and do nothing to help improve their situation, it honestly made him angry, but he controlled himself, took a deep breath and took it all in.
"Thank you, it's very kind of you to share your home with me," Ryo said, thanking his hostess for allowing him into her home. The night fortunately was peaceful, Chiharu made them some vegetable soup as it was the cheapest thing to eat, although she explained as souls, those with no spiritually energy don't need to eat, it was always a hard habit to break and Ryo was glad for it, even if it was something as simple as soup, it was still greatly appreciated. Yet, as Ryo laid down on the mattress, he still felt like he had eaten, unlike how this woman said it was meant to be like, but for now, he was very tired from the day's events and eventually managed to fall asleep.
Later, in the early hours of the morning, a gang was gathered and their boss wasn't happy.
"So, let me see if I'm understanding this; this one guy, who mind you, had just appeared from the world of the living verse, what, six or seven guys and they were all defeated by this guy with nothing more then a gardening fork?!" The boss said before he smashed his hands into the table, making some of them jump and the others silently unnerved.
"So, let me make myself very clear; No one makes a fool out of me, I want him dead by tomorrow afternoon and strung up to a god fucking pole, got it?!" He growled towards his men, his fists clenched so hard they were turning white. The goons stood to attention and spoke in unison.
"Yes sir! Understood!" They said, if they weren't clear on how pissed off he was, they did now before they left to prepare to kill Ryo in the coming morning. Sometime later, Ryo was up and about, Chiharu suggested he try and get some food and things to help do the place up and make it more comfortable overall. He then saw some men, similar to the ones from yesterday, gathering with katanas, swords and various other decent weapons, probably taken from bodies or stolen by their condition. He had a bad feeling they were after him. He had to get round them and deal with them quickly.
He saw some coming his way and he ducked into a nearby empty house as they came past, hearing them talk about them looking for him for killing their fellows last night. He decided to silently follow them, keeping to the shadows, to corners and walls and even the rooftops, watching, waiting for the right time till they eventually decided to split up to cover more ground and to find him faster. This was exactly what he needed.
Following one, he followed him to a run down building in the district, and, making absolutely sure he was alone, shot up, grabbing the man's mouth so he couldn't yell for help before pulling him into a headlock while he squeezed tightly till he past out from lack of oxygen. He felt around his person and managed to find a katana, it looked pretty standard looking, but it was at least a descent blade.
He put it in his belt before following up on the next one, which was looking around a nearby woodland, checking bushes and so on, so he was more on guard then the other. This wasn't a issue as he snuck around towards a tree he had just checked, climbing up onto it before jumping off, running his enemy through with one clean strike before removing his blade and reflexively wiped his blade clean of this thug's blood before sheathing it like it was the most natural thing for him to do.
Managing to escape the eyes of these thugs for now, he managed to get some meat, herbs and blankets, which was easier then he expected, especially with his display yesterday, the shop keepers weren't exactly in a mood to argue with someone that can kill someone with gardening equipment. Avoiding the other thugs, he returned to Chiharu and they sat down to eat some nice tender steak with herbs and some vegetables, which was a great change to the vegetable soup from before. Plus, as he laid down to sleep, the blanket made him more comfortable.
However, the next day, one of them found him and he had friends, who all surrounded him in one of the streets.
"There's nowhere to run now, bastard, your a dead man now, get him, boys!" The man shouted, pointing at Ryo before they all tackled him to the ground, with Ryo trying to fight back, breaking teeth, bones and punching for his life before the main one stabbed his own man to stab Ryo and, he let himself play dead, even though that something strange had happened; when the blade came into contact with his body, it felt like it couldn't connect to him, like some invisible force protecting him. The men got off him and looked to what they believed was just another dead man now.
"Leave him for the dogs to eat, no need to waste the time burring him, Haha!" The man said before him and the men left him to celebrate the "kill", but once they were gone, he crept up, being careful not to make noise that would attract them to return and check the area and left for now. The man with his friends and the boss were sitting at a cafe that they controlled, the boss was laughing, petting the man on the back.
"Excellent work; only cost a single life, but managed to get rid of him for..." The boss said before he was brought to a pause when he saw Ryo, obviously not dead, talking to a merchant and the boss started getting a twitch as he looked to his man with the look in his eyes that said "you have five seconds to explain why he's still alive or your dead". The man shivered, frozen in fear before the boss pulled out a tanto and stabbed him through the neck.
"Fucking idiots! go get the bastard right now!" He yelled, his fist clenched so tight, they went white with rage as the others, scared of there boss's anger, ran at Ryo. But he ran, hearing their boss yelling gave him plenty of time to run and, as soon as he turned the corner, he hid and the men came around the corner and seeing that he had vanished.
"Fucking hell; what the hell is he?! some kind of ghost, he just disappeared; hey, Takeo, your meant to be good with that spiritual pressure sensory shit, where is he?" One of the thugs asked the one who had been named as Takeo, shook his head.
"Fuck if I know; it's not exactly as simple as that, besides, this guy is fucking weird, it's like he has no spiritual pressure at all, like he doesn't even exist on a spiritual level, he might as well be a ghost that walks for all I god damn know because he's pretty close to one," He cursed, yelling at him and telling him that he hadn't been able to detect his presence at all, like he didn't even exist, yet at the same time, did before they left to continue their search. He returned home, picking up some more food and this time, prepared some simple yet tasteful miso ramen for them. It was then Ryo dropped his bombshell.
"Listen, Chiharu-san, I appreciate everything you have given me, but I have to leave; these men won't stop till I am dead once again and eventually, they will find you and me here, so for your sake, I must go, it's simply not safe for me to stay, but please, if anything else, be safe and forget that I was ever here," Ryo explained, thanking her, but he knew, deep down, that if he continued to stay here, she would end up dead for his sake and she had done so much for him already. She went to speak, convince him to stay, but she knew she had seen many die when she helped them and simply sighed.
"As you wish, safe journey, Ryo" Chiharu told him calm and he bowed, once again thanking her before he left in the deep of night, heading towards the center; if Chiharu was indeed correct, then the further towards this Seireitei he went, the better things would better and maybe even find help and find out more about this strange world he was in.
A Time to Learn, A Time to Reflect:
It had been a long journey as Ryo went through many of the districts, asking directions and as he walked by, the better the districts got, little by little till he reached the 45th district; it had been a long week of straight walking and after all that time, he was tired, hungry and feeling weak, but he kept going till he literally passed out, falling to his knees first and then falling onto the dirt road, unconscious. But it seemed fate had other plans then to let him expire here as Luna, the sixth seat that helped him pass on in his living life, along with a few unseated shinigami, were going over a routine patrol through the southern districts when she saw Ryo lying unconscious on the floor. She stopped her squad mates and came over to him, checking his pulse and found he was still alive, feeling his pulse still being there, she even checked his spiritual pressure and, sure enough, it was the same she felt from over a week ago and that some of the others in squad twelve was still examining.
"Take him to the shinigami academy; he'll be fine, just unconscious and in need of nourishment, but no need to bother the squad four babies about this, the academy staff can deal with him from there, plus it gives us a chance to continue monitoring him...Well, what are you waiting for, get him there now!" She told them as she stood up before realizing they were just staring and she snapped at them to get them going, that was followed by a lot of "Yes Ma'am" before they helped up the unconscious Ryo and, with Luna following, took him to the academy, where the staff took over, taking him to a room in the boy's hall to rest and recover.
Ryo shot up, waking up from a dream, a battle, the rush of wind and lightning, the taste of blood and rain. It was a intense dream, yet it felt less like a dream and more like a memory. He looked around and saw he was in a comfortable bed, in a plain yet well furnished room. On the bedside table, there was a large glass bottle of water, a small glass cup next to it and a tray with a bowl of egg fried rice and lamb strips. He was still reeling from the dream, but as he heard his stomach growing, he had more immediate concerns. He sat up and took the tray and put it onto his lap, picking up the chopsticks and put his hands together.
"By thy grace, I thank thee for the meal," Ryo said in thanks for the meal before he broke the chopsticks into the two sticks and began to eat. It was quite hard not to guzzle it all down as he knew that if he did, he would just get a cramp and also would hinder his recovery, so he had to mentally force himself to be calm and eat in a normal way, taking the glass cup so he could pour himself water to drink and make sure he was pacing himself. He finished half a hour later and put his hands together, once again thanking whoever it was for giving him the meal, feeling his strength return. He then heard the door open and a elderly gentleman in a white and blue uniform, similar to smart casual Japanese kimonos.
"Pardon me, sir, but, where am I?" Ryo asked the man, who similar raised his hand in a way to indicate for him to stop talking, but also in a way to say for him to be calm.
"Be calm, Mister Ryo, you are in the shinigami academy, this is a place of reflection and a place of learning; squad 12 has brought you here after they found you passed out in the rukon district. I'm sure you have many questions about why you are here, but those will be answered during classes, you will find a student uniform inside the wardrobe and, although you missed coming into the induction, you will need one of these," The older man told him, giving him a soft smile while still being serious in responding to Ryo's question, pointing to the wardrobe near the doorway before taking off a katana with a plain sheath, purple wrapping around the handle and a plain oval guard. He took it as it was offered before the man continued to explain, "This is a Asauchi; as much as it appears to be a simple blade, I assure you, it is so much more then fabric and steel, this is your zanpakuto, you will keep this with you at all times, the reasons will become clear to you over your time here at the academy, but you will not starts classes till tomorrow morning, you still require rest, but if you wish to seek me out, my name to you while you are here is Sir or Daichi-sama, am I clear?" Daichi explained to him the purpose of the blade and how in time, he will come to understand it. Ryo simply nodded, although he did hope that with these classes he was going to be partaking in, he would properly understand this blade and his role in this place. Daichi, seeing the nod, turned and left, telling him his first class was at eight O'clock sharp before he gently slid the door behind him.
Things, as Ryo came to find out, seemed to come naturally to him, especially lessons in zanjutsu, hakuda, hoho and meditation with his zanpakuto and, although he did start of shaky on kido, he soon came around to it, although it seemed he learned bakudo better then Hadō, but both he managed to do at a decent level.
He was soon moved to the special accelerated class due to his grades getting very good, considering he had only been there for two years and by year four, he was short listed to graduate from the academy. But Ryo refused, opting to take the full six years as to be humble and because he wanted to continue to learn about the soul society and how it operated plus he wanted to continue to perform jinzen with his zanpakuto, feeling his soul, little by little, being imprinted onto the blade. During this time, he also took the last name of "Suzuki" after the place he first woke up at as he had heard that some souls that come into the soul society, have a tradition of taking their district's name as their last name.
He even stood as one of the academy's brightest senior year members, even though he kept to himself a lot of the time, burring himself in various tomes on the history of the soul society and on the various techniques and various sources on the gotei 13, yet one day, something happened that changed everything.
It was a night like many others; the past six years had been kind to him, his mind rested, his body healed, his soul at peace, yet for as long as he remembered, the memory dream always seemed to return and one night as he lay in bed with his Asauchi by his side, the dream returned and, in something akin to sleep walking, he grabbed his blade, dreaming of a battle, protecting someone against bandits and, as he dreamed of battle as a samurai, his spiritual energy flowed from these memories into his Asauchi and, slowly but surely started to twist and contort, changing and forming into something many students spent their lives to gain; the state of the Asauchi that made it their own; a real zanpakuto, it's blade changing, forming slits down the side while gaining a double hollow grin on the edge, making a brutal cutting blade, gaining a double axe head shaped guard and cobalt colored wrapping with a kunai-like ring at the end of the handle as Ryo performed his deadly dance and finall, he woke up, the dream gone, drained from him and, as he snapped and realized he was dreaming, he saw his Asauchi had indeed taken on a true zanpakuto's form, one unique to him and him alone, feeling great pride that it had happened, feeling the spiritual pressure coming from it and only a day from graduation day.
Silence; the honorbound zanpakuto and a life worth living:
Graduation went as normal as anything could be, with words of congratulations and wishing the new trained shinigami on their way. But as Ryo was walking down the corridor, a stealth force member appeared, leaning against a wall, his arms folded. He knew this was the stealth force from what he had read on their uniform and methods.
"Recruit Suzuki, follow me please, someone wishes to speak with you," He said briefly and to the point before gesturing to him to follow and, not wanting to get in trouble with the stealth force, agreed to come and followed him into a dimly lit room where three other stealth force members were standing in the corners and two chairs, one empty, the other having a rough, battle hardened man with messy black hair, a scar across his nose and a lit cigarette in his mouth, the smell felt assaulting to his nose, but he buried his disgust of the smell for now as he sat down, seeing that this man had a lieutenant's badge on his right arm with the symbol of squad two on it, which explained why the stealth force was with him as squad 2 and the stealth force was so close together, they were more or less the same thing. The lieutenant blew a smoke ring above him, putting out his cigarette.
"Mister Suzuki, do you understand why you are here?" He asks casually, although dim light shadowed his face, making the whole thing seem sinister. Ryo shook his head, honestly having no idea why he had been brought in.
"No sir, I don't know, I was only told to follow, am I in trouble, sir?" Ryo spoke honestly and asked, his mind wondering with both a lieutenant here and stealth force to why they were here. The lieutenant chuckled a little before stopping himself before taking out a file and show him some pictures of him during the first fight he got after getting into Suzuki and then another when he was dealing with the group and silently took them down and then loosing the rest.
"You see, Ryo, we've been watching you since you got here, we find that, considering your abilities and scores, we would like to offer you a place as a unseated officer in squad two? Know that we do not just chose any random smuck to be in squad two, but myself and the others believe you have promise, the ability to make a mark within the shadows of the gotei 13 and that not many students get offered a place in a squad when they graduate, so I advice you to consider it careful," The lieutenant explained, letting Ryo know that, unlike most, they believed he had something special, something that interested them enough to want to recruit him like this. For five, awkward minutes, Ryo sat and thought about his options, he had a feeling that he may not like it, but at the same time, knew he couldn't pass up a chance like this and he was fighting knowledge verse instincts. Eventually, he sighed and took a deep breath.
"...I'll join, but I would like to join the patrol corps as well; I feel that way I can better help with more experience and learn more overall," Ryo explained, asking a simple request to join the patrol corps. The lieutenant nodded and packed up the file.
"As you wish, report to the squad 2 barracks this afternoon, we'll get you a room and then you'll be straight into training into how we do things in squad two and then, you'll learn on the job how the patrol corps work, I look forward to seeing you, Ryo," The lieutenant explained to him, giving him a little bit of time to gather his things and move into squad two, then, they disappeared via their shunpo, leaving Ryo in the room, alone like no one else had ever been there.
It was strange to leave what had been his home for the past six years, but his destiny laid within the gotei 13 and he would serve with pride and honor. Packing was a simple affair as he didn't have much besides the clothes on his back and a few books he had bought over the time, most of them paranormal romance novels and one horror title called "The beast within", it was one he regretted buying as it spooked him badly after a few chapters and never returned to it since. He made his way to the squad two barracks with a small bag and saw one of the other unseated officers come to meet him.
"You must be the new guy, the lieutenant sent me to show you around, what's ya name?" He asked, doing his best to be friend and Ryo gave him a soft smile in response.
"That's nice of him; the name is Ryo Suzuki, I look forward to training and just being a part of the squad," Ryo said, bowing respectfully to him and he grinned, gesturing to him to follow as he showed him around the barracks; which was wide and open with a vast forest behind the compound, which the unseated shinigami explained that was towards the nest of maggots, which, as far as he knew, was a prison that was protected by a separate unit within the squad that housed criminals and even other shinigami, people considered too dangerous for the soul society or against other shinigami were sent there, but he didn't know how this was known or anything like that, the information was foggy at best.
But the rest of the barracks was well maintained, there was a open courtyard for open sparing and training, a dojo for combat classes, the main residential area where the squad had their own room, although he was told that the rooms improved depending on your rank and your standing in the squad, which made sense to Ryo. Eventually, after showing him where the captain's office and quarters were and the lieutenant's and 3rd seat's quarters as they would be the main three in the chain of command in the squad, he was shown to his room.
"Sure, it's not much, but it's home and its nice and clean at least. By the way, the lieutenant made sure that I tell you to report for training starting tomorrow, he wants to get you up to speed as soon as possible, good luck, Ryo," He explained before heading off, waving him goodbye as he did so. Indeed, the room was small, but it would do as he didn't have much stuff to begin with and was simply thankful for the room. He found a Shihakushō laying on the bed, which was standard, but he felt like it was lacking a personal touch, but it would do for now. He took out a cobalt ribbon wrapped gourd of black powder he got from Haichi-sama after learning Tenteikura and Kakushitsuijaku, which required this black powder to be properly used. He put it into a inner pocket of his Shihakushō and decided to go into the market after training to see how to make his uniform a bit more unique to him.
The training began simplistic and grew more and more complex as time went on from the basis of stealth movement, infiltration and learning about philosophy and how to read a opponent's moves to full on assassinations styles and the various ways of killing from typical stab in the back when a target is asleep to breaking them mentally.
As time marched on its merry way, Ryo gained both experience and something to make his uniform a bit more personalized with a cobalt shitagi and had attached a thin cobalt strap to the sheath for his zanpakuto so he could wear it on his back as it was simply easier to carry and less in the way in case he had to go bare handed. Yet, as he went on missions of assassinations, the more he felt in his gut that this wasn't right, even though his skills in it improved greatly with every passing mission, the pile of bodies that such a thing carried the sins of dishonorable actions that he didn't feel proud of, but still, he continued to obey his orders.
And as such, his loyalty was rewarded as he was finally put into the patrol corps once his superiors felt he was done with training. He set off, secretly glad to be away from assassination contracts and develop more of the intelligence gathering while also dealing with hollows in the deeper regions of the rukongai and even beyond, which fascinated him to learn that the soul society was large then the seireitei and the rukongai, even though he knew it was bigger, there wasn't much information on it besides the fact it was rarely inhabited by people since hollows and other dangers roamed around outside the core areas.
At first, it was simply exploring the vast lands, traveling through forests, mountains and even a grand river. He felt strangely at home here, especially within the forests and mountains. Then came hollows and until now, the only hollows he had ever seen was one that were tamed and controlled by squad 12 during team excises at the academy. They were usually weak ones and easily dealt with the squad's zanpakutos to slash them and purify their souls to rejoin the path the soul takes throughout the great stream of the afterlife that Ryo was now apart of.
Ten years later, a dark day came; it was a normal patrol to the north; there was a large open quarry, it was a old punishment site when the gotei 13 sent prisoners here to work the mines to work worthless rocks till the area became too dangerous to properly maintain as a site to punish the prisoners, which were then sent to the maggot's nest and the site shut down. The squad had entered the pit when they were all suddenly jumped by hollows and some of the unseated shinigami were cut down on the spot, the stronger shinigami on seated positions were heavily wounded, including Ryo as he laid on the floor, claw marks across his chest as rain began to fall and this feeling also felt strangely familiar to him, yet not as pleasent as other feelings he had before. It was then, he heard a voice that would become all too familiar to him.
"Is this it? Are you just going to lay there like this and die without the honor of a fight?" The voice spoke, its voice deep and sage like, yet with a gruffness within that showed its disappointment. It was then Ryo saw the figure manifesting itself to him and Ryo had to ask.
"W-who are you?" Ryo asked and the strange creature, covered in darkened stealth armor or at least, what Ryo presumed was stealth armor since the creature wasn't anything he had ever seen before. The creature growled and slapped its head with its four fingered hand.
"You are many things, Ryo, but a idiot isn't one of them, you know who I am, I have always been here, by your side, seeing your growth ever since the academy. Besides, you should know my name, it's..." The creature said soundly yet he was getting increasingly annoyed by Ryo's apparent idiocy that what was going on should be more obvious to him before he said his name, yet Ryo couldn't make out his name, like he was saying it so far away that he couldn't make it out.
"What do you mean? I've never seen you before and I didn't hear that," Ryo asked the creature and the creature sighed in a sad way, although he wasn't surprised by this, only disappointed.
"A pity, you were the one who made me, gave me life in this world. Tell me, Ryo; have you always felt, subconsciously, even if you didn't realize it, that doing those assassinations, a knife in the dark, somewhere inside you, you hate it, you dislike having to do something that doesn't grant them the chance to fight back, don't you, Ryo?" The creature asked him and Ryo looked wide eyed.
"H-how did you know that?...Who are you? you who knows me so well, yet I do not even know your name," Ryo asked, starting to work it out and the creature gave a strange expression, its mouth splitting open. Ryo had a sneaking suspicion he was trying to show a smile, but it was creepy like a Venus fly trap with teeth.
"You already know who I am, I know you as well as you know me, now...tell me, Ryo; are you willing to die like this?" The creature asked him again and this time, Ryo's eyes snapped open before he shifted up from under a dead comrade, both his and his dead squad member's were on his face around his right eye and his hands as the hollows began to crawl back, smelling that Ryo and a few others had yet to expire, his eyes shaded over as one of his heavily wounded squad members reached for him.
"H-hey, what are you doing?" He asked, scared and Ryo didn't turn to look and grabbed his zanpakuto with his left hand.
"I'm tired of it..." Ryo spoke harshly and the squad member looked confused.
"Of it all...the running, hiding, the back stabbing in the night...I'm sick of it all; there is no honor in hiding and running away like cowards and I will be damned if I die here when I people to protect and most importantly of all..." Ryo said, almost growling as he spoke in anger, before, to only his eyes, even though he didn't realize, the creature overlapped in a semi-transparent way with him for saying the last moment.
"...To Protect the honor we fight for!" They yelled in unison before the creature vanished and Ryo drew his zanpakuto as his spiritual pressure began rising, his spiritual pressure turning on a cobalt hue before taking on a flame like aura with lightning surging around him and even the seated members knew that his spiritual pressure was growing beyond even the current seated members and was going into the seated range. The hollows were coming, staring hungrily at him, sensing this increase in spiritual pressure till he brought his zanpakuto in front of him, taking a deep breath, time seemed to have a slow down effect as the hollows jumped at him, mouths open, claws extended as he looked into his blade and heard the creature's voice in his ear.
"Now...say my name..." He spoke before Ryo closed his eyes as his spiritual pressure started to swirl around him.
"Uphold our Conviction...Kusari Eiyo..." Ryo spoke softly before a large burst of spiritual power burst from him, blasting back the hollows, which struggled to get up, but get up they did to see Ryo standing where he was, but now holding a strange hilt with two oval pads attatched to them, held in Ryo's left hand, which confused the onlookers at first before he flicked his wrist and the pads burst into life with spiritual energy and plasma, the heat radiating off it before each pad formed a deadly plasma blade and as the hollows roared at him, he raised his head, the shade leaving his face, revealing his determined look in his eyes, the intense stare he gave as the hollows charged forward, he swung his blade to the side.
"Come and face me, beasts of Hueco Mundo!" He yelled towards them before using his flash step, slashed through the first hollow, leaving it to scream for a second before it faded away and then, Ryo was on them, dashing all around with all the skills of a trained assassin of squad 2 and under a minute, all twenty hollows were defeated and killed. He then managed to perform Tenteikura to contact another squad from the patrol corps to come and help.
Eventually, a few days after that event, Ryo was commended for saving the lives of his squad members while effectively dealing with the hollows and, as a reward, was promoted all the way to sixth seat and, once again, Ryo had to move and, he had to see the funny side that he started with nothing, but now, he had more and more things so more things to pack and move, but he did and eventually set up a pleasent looking room with a double bed and even a en-suite bathroom with a shower. Ryo sat on the bed, the wounds and so on would heal in time, but for the first time in his life since coming here; he felt proud and he felt that, he was finally coming into his own and that, he was starting to come to peace with himself in this strange world he was in.
The Hand of the Gotei 13; The Time of the Stealth Force:
After fully recovering from his wounds in what was being called the "Grave pit" by squad members, the newly appointed sixth seat was brought to the lieutenant's office, once again smoking his terrible smelling cigarette before Ryo sat down as the lieutenant flicked through Ryo's service record.
"Well, congrats for your recent promotions to sixth seat and, you've reached the level where now, you've been invited to join the stealth force, so, another round of congratulations are in order, Sixth seat Suzuki, you may be dismissed," The lieutenant explained that, because of his position now, he had been shortlisted and put into the stealth force, which Ryo knew was a big honor to have in squad 2 to not only shortlisted for the stealth force, but to be directly promoted to it, it was a rare event, but even so as Ryo bowed to the lieutenant, thanking him for this promotion, as he left, his feelings was mixed at best, especially about stealth force's tendency for assassinations, but he would have to do it, even if it was under silent contempt for it.
This was to be what he would do for the next 700 years, acting as the hand of the Gotei 13, taking out enemies of the soul society and anyone that would disturb the piece and at this point, Ryo was now at the ripe age of 716 years old, a age still considered to be middle aged by shinigami standards. He found over time that, although he despised assassination, he found that, for a select few at least, that killing people who had dishonored themselves or someone truly unredeemable, he had no issue running a blade through their back, if only because in his eyes, they were dishonorable scum and, therefore, they didn't deserve a honorable death, only one that brought a blade to their back, no way to fight back, no chance to go out with some amount of dignity.
He also grew mental; the many years, centuries even and he was even able to go to the world of the living in search of rouge shinigami or odd hollow attacks here and there and, he felt this odd feeling, like a outsider looking in as he watched years, centuries and vast amount of history passing him by, watching humanity evolving both for the best and for the worst; seeing humanity developing medicine, works of science, art and various other wonders that came and left, left to dust, although, in the age of what humans called the "Renaissance", he had purchased some tapestry from Italy and some tomes from monks from a nice monastery from England.
Yet, whenever he was on duty in japan, he always felt a strange sense of both homesickness and longing whenever he was there, but despite his feelings, he managed to continue on, even though he wished he knew why this felt so much like a home he could never return to.
Ascension! The Time of the Substitute Lieutenant :
So much time had past; he had now been a part of squad two for several human lifetimes and then, a stealth force member appeared in the room, bowing respectfully.
"Sixth Seat Suzuki, there is a matter that requires your immediate attention, the captain has summoned you," He explained to him before taking off. Ryo was pretty used to it by now; he did it himself as a stealth force member. He looked out the window, sitting on his bed, silent for a few moments before, he too seemed to vanish, the ruffling of the sheets speaking more then he did.
Ryo flash stepped up to the captain's office, pausing a moment to compose himself before entering; the only one in the room was the captain, a elderly man that, as far as he knew, had the first name only of "Damī". He had a sad look on his face and sighed.
"Ah, Sixth seat Suzuki, please sit, there is something that I wish to speak to you about," Dami gestured to him to sit down and he did, shifting a little, feeling uncomfortable about the whole situation and he knew the question he had to ask.
"Thank you, so, what is it you wanted to talk to me about, captain?"
"Yes, that; well, I don't believe in beating around the bush; the lieutenant is dead; got killed by a bunch of rouge shinigami, they set up a trap and ambushed him, never stood a chance. But at the moment, we don't have many suitable candidates at the moment; even though you do have the ability and the power of a lieutenant, I don't feel you don't quite have the experience yet to take on a full lieutenant role, but...there is a workaround; it's a rare occurrence since it very rarely happens, but, during the time while we are searching for a lieutenant, I can choose a lower ranking member to become a substitute lieutenant, which is a temporary lieutenant who is of similar ability, but is lacking in someway for the real thing, but I feel this will suit you just fine, what do you think, will you do this for me, Ryo?" Dami explained calmly yet straight to the point; there wasn't anyway of sugar coating this and, as he neared the end of his explanation, he produced the lieutenant's badge from his haori. Even though it was cleaned, Ryo could still see a little spot where a blood spot used to be, set right in the middle of the interlocking rectangles; a constant reminder of the loss of the old lieutenant.
Ryo was quiet for a little while, processing all this. It was a lot to take in and he wasn't sure whether he was meant to feel angry at the rouges or himself for not being able to stop this. He then looked at the badge again and took a breath through his nose, releasing through his mouth.
"I...I'll do it, captain; It will take me some time to process this, but the squad needs a lieutenant and I will do my best to fill the void he left, that is the lest I can do to honor his memory. Thank you for telling me this and I am honored to be serving directly under you, captain Dami," Ryo said soft, still reeling from the news before he took the badge and slid it onto his right upper arm, making sure it was tight around his arm so it wouldn't slid off when he moved or anything. It was a big responsibility, but as he told the captain, it was the least he could do to honor the former lieutenant's memory.
When he moved into the old lieutenant's quarters; it had been stripped down, left plain for Ryo's things; it was similar to a single story flat in terms of its size, so there was plenty of space. Still, he wished he could have seen what the former lieutenant's room was like, see what he was like since he didn't really see him all that much, sometimes because the lieutenant wasn't around to the fact that Ryo wasn't exactly the most social of people, preferring the company of the few instead of the company of many.
The day after Ryo moved into the lieutenant's quarters and settled in; he began his duties as a lieutenant with meeting the next bunch of recruits, he was flicking through the names and general details of the new squad members when a single name caught his eye as the strange feelings came to him again, a name of a upcoming promising, a genius type, despite his young age, at least in shinigami standards and the name of that student...was Luke Yasenha.
He wasn't sure why, but his gut was screaming that he knew it, yet in his mind, he had never met him before, at least, he thought so. But regardless of his feelings, he was now the acting lieutenant and even if it was temporary, he was still the lieutenant and had all rights and authority as any other lieutenant as per the laws of the soul society.
He headed out to the courtyard where the students had gathered; a decent yet manageable group of about thirty squad members, the same size as a small-ish class at the academy. Ryo wondered if the captain had deliberately made the group smaller since it was his first day as the acting lieutenant. Yet again, the one that caught was again the spiky haired male with red irises like blood and, he did look older then his picture, which Ryo presumed was due to a error or because it was taken during the early year of the academy when he attended all that time ago. Ryo knew he had to bury his feelings about the issues he was having with this one as he stood at the front of the group and gave a cough to indicate that he wanted their attention.
"Alright, eyes forward; if you are unaware, the previous lieutenant has recent passed that would have met you if not for his untimely demise. Rest assured, even though I am only a temporary solution, I am going to do the best I can to train you and, if you guys are not aware, even as a substitute, I still hold the official rank of lieutenant and should be treated like any other lieutenant as per laws past by central 46 itself, so I expect nothing but the best from you and for you to keep that in mind, am I understood?!" Ryo explained the recent passing of the lieutenant to the new squad members, who started muttering to each other before Ryo snapped up, explaining that, even as a substitute, he was still the acting lieutenant and should be treated as such, the only difference is that he could be replaced at anytime without consequence by whoever the captain decided was a better fit for the role. At the end of his speech, he spoke up to shout, making them stand to attention and a few "Yes sir!" were called out, besides one.
"Understood, Ryo-sensei," Luke's voice came out and, he wasn't sure why, but Luke saying that made him strangely happy and actually helped to relax him from his earlier worries about the kid. He took to training the group, yet Luke was growing on him as he always came to him for additional training, especially working on shunpo from Ryo, who from all this time in the stealth force, had learned various advanced shunpo techniques, especially ones specially reserved for the stealth force. He always pushed Luke hard, even to the point of breaking him on multiple occasions; he was a tough taskmaster and he wasn't gentle in his teaching either, yet as time past, he got stronger and eventually, was able to keep up with Ryo and was able to perform at least senka with some amount of finesse. It took about 25 years of training him privately after his training sessions during the day, but Ryo didn't mind, he quite enjoyed this one to one time with his student.
As the years past, Ryo was wondering around a rural part of the seireitei when he came across a farm on the boarder of the seireitei where a older farmer lived, only about fifty or so years older then Ryo, wearing typical farming gear. But this wasn't the thing that had caught Ryo's eye, but a beautiful black shire horse; it was a gorgeous animal, mainly black with white puffy fur around its hooves, which if Ryo remembered, were called "Feathering" or as other ways of calling them, "socks". Ryo came up to the farmer.
"Morning, good sir, I couldn't help but notice your gorgeous horse, he looks very well looked after," Ryo said and the farmer nodded, looking to the horse and patting her on the side of her torso.
"Indeed she is; been looking after her ever since I found her by the roadside; nasty wound to the leg, she did; took a long time and a couple of visits from a squad four to make sure she was back on her feet. So, tell me; did you come over just to compliment her or were you planning on taking her?" The farmer explained with pride, explaining generally how he found her by the roadside and after a few years, bringing her back to health before he took a more serious look as he rubbed the horse, asking if Ryo planned on taking her away from him and Ryo held his hands up, looking panicked.
"Whoa! hold on; I'm not taking her away at all, far from it, hell, I'd pay for her, whatever your price is, she's just so beautiful, I'd love to be able to take care of her myself and ride her, please sir, I promise, I'll take care of her, just give me a chance to prove it, I swear on honor that I will," Ryo explained hurried; he meant no offense to the man before the man started laughing.
"You really ain't like the other shinigami, are you? relax, friend, I believe you, your face speaks volumes. Hmm let's say 60,000 Ryo and you have a deal, Mr.shinigami?" The farmer said, coming down from his laugh; this guy was something else, he was somewhat surprised by Ryo's honesty towards what was going on. On seeing the farmer calming down, Ryo relaxed too and smiled like a kid after being told he could get a new toy.
"Haha, yeah, thank you and sure, I'll pay that, does she have a saddle?" Ryo asked as he handed over the money to the farmer. The farmer nodded, counting the money to make sure it was all there before gesturing to the stables.
"Yeah, it's in her little bit of the stables; friend of mine gave it to me a couple of years ago; fits her like a glove, although at my age, I don't tend to ride her anymore, so it's been gathering dust for a while, but it should still be fit for purpose," He explained and Ryo left to go get it from the stable; the stable was small yet had decent space inside it. It was easy to find her part since it was the largest section in the stable as she was a big horse. He spotted the saddle, hung up by the side of where she would have been staying. It was a lovely studded leather saddle with gorgeous detailing around the folds and a nice soft felt seat with two saddle bags near the back of it. Ryo took it off from the hook and he knew that this would be great if he could get the leather stained with a cobalt dye, this would be perfect for him. He returned and fitted it onto the horse with ease like he had done this many times before.
"Well, seems you know your way around a saddle, I wish you luck with her, Mr.shinigami,"
"If I may ask, what's her name? and my name is Ryo Suzuki," Ryo said, introducing himself since he didn't like being referred to as mister shinigami and he had a name and was proud of it.
"Well, Mr.Suzuki, her name is Kazuhito and I do ask you to take care of her, ok Ryo?" The farmer asked of him with a soft smile on his face and Ryo nodded to him.
"I swear on my honor to take care of her as you would and she will be cared for like any of god's creatures, so rest assured, she will be treated like a goddess among horses. Now, good day to you," Ryo told him before giving the reins a gentle tug before Kazuhito started to gently trot forwards, leaving the farm with Ryo riding her, grinning from ear to ear, happy to be with her as he stroked her neck.
"Don't worry, Kazuhito-chan, I'll take care of you and love you as you deserve, ok?" Ryo said gently, caressing her neck gently with his hand and she gave a gentle whinny in response. He felt his spirits live and continued to rub her neck as night began to fall.
"You seem to understand me, more then most people, don't ya? I think we'll get along swimmingly, won't we?" Ryo smiled and Kazuhito gave another whinny, bucking her head as if to say yes. Ryo smiled before he sat up, taking the reins into his hands and rode her into the night with him giving a genuine hearty laugh as he felt the rush of the wind on his face, the clopping of Kazuhito's hooves across the pathways of the seireitei and the roads down various forests before eventually returning to the barracks with a grin on his face that he hadn't had in centuries.
Over the next month, he had the saddle's leather, besides the studded details, which he had remind black along with the seat, just to give a more personal aesthetic and then, he had some builders come over to build a personal stable block for Kazuhito, that could be accessed through the lieutenant's quarter's so he could easily reach her to feed her, groom her and take care of her as good as his word.
The Fated Day! The Blood Rains no more!:
Taking over from the lieutenant was one thing, but being the stealth force lieutenant brought with it its own problems; he had spent 700 years serving the stealth force and now, although his dedication had been rewarded, he felt cold; not that he would ever admit it to his friends. Luke had gone over to squad 3 and he no long saw him and every day was the same thing from central 46; another kill order on another noble, another shinigami, all to be slaughtered without so much as a sound. He did his duty, yet he felt his very soul was stained in the blood of dishonor; he felt dirty and wet, like he was drowning in it. Sometimes, he would awaken from a nightmare of one of these many people, begging for the life that was stolen from them without so much as a fight.
Today however would tip him over the edge. He received another kill order from central 46; his face wrinkled in disgust, yet he took it from the messager anyway, leaving him to depart and for him to open it. His face tightened all the more before he prepared to move out.
He waited till night had come before setting off; his face covered by the mask of the stealth force, his focus on his duty and not the voices of those he had slain; whispering in his mind, telling him what he already knew. The order told him to seek out a noble, said to have been part of a underground smuggling ring that was providing rouges with Bakkoto from the Kasumi'Oji. The thought of the rouges made him sick and any chance of ruining their operations, even a little bit, was worth it.
The task was simple; get in, stab all members of this traitorous noble family that helped supplied this scum, get out. This he told himself over and over again, anything to stop him thinking about the dishonor that stained him or what he was about to do.
Getting in was easy for him and although the estate had guards plastered around the place; he wouldn't be in this position if he couldn't handle something like facing down the guards. One by one, he would come around behind them, quickly breaking their necks before dragging their bodies to areas where they wouldn't be found; normally a large bush, inside the compost bin or anywhere out the way. He continued, running through the motions, killing till there were no one left to stop him.
Slipping into the estate, he headed inside and into the main bedroom. Although these noble adults disgusted him for helping the rouges and supplying them with their vile abominations of a weapon from the Kasumi'Oji clan. Yet, even so; he hated himself for what he was about to do maybe just as much.
He drew his zanpakuto and mentally told himself this.
"As you pass on; know that my soul is forever stained by the blood of my dishonor," Ryo thought to himself before with two quick slashes; blood surged into the air as he slashed the two, their noble blood running down the bed sheets and then, he heard a soft noise of something falling behind him and turned around and saw a small kid; a boy who couldn't be more then about ten with his physical age. He had light blue eyes and he just stared at him and his parents' bed; his mouth quivering yet no words came out, too shell shocked to even speak. Ryo's eyes tightened, knowing what had to be done and he also knew, even after 700 years of being a member of the stealth force; this was the one thing that would haunt him for the rest of his days.
The kid tried to run; Ryo couldn't blame him after seeing what had just happened, but Ryo had his orders and those orders were very clear; Cleanse the line, meaning not even the kid was safe. A quick flash step was all he needed, grabbing the kid, covering his mouth as he whispered into his ear.
"Forgive me; For I am ashamed, if it means anything, I wish you didn't have to die," Ryo told him before using his zanpakuto, slit his throat and left the kid's body drop to the ground. But, Ryo knew that after this night as the blood of his shame coated both his blade and his hands, dripping onto the expensive carpet, that this cycle of dishonorable bloodshed had to end.
The next day; Ryo came to his captain's office, his eyes shaded over and his captain noticed something was wrong.
"Lieutenant Suzuki? Is something wrong?" He asked him. Ryo said nothing at first before he got right up to his desk.
"Captain; after some thought...I wish to take up a recon post in the world of the living with your permission of course," Ryo explained to him. The captain nodded, although there was still something underlined that he wished to ask his lieutenant.
"That can be arranged, Lieutenant. However, may I pray to ask how you came to that decision?"
"I cannot, Captain; the only thing I can say is that I...need some time to clear my mind, regain my focus, please captain, understand I do this for the best of intentions for both myself and the squad," Ryo explained to him and the captain took him on his word for now, signing him off for recon posting in the world of the living.
"Fine; I understand, Lieutenant, I see it is a...personal matter and I will not pry, I just hope that you find whatever peace you think you are going to find, take care...Ryo," He told him, finishing the paperwork he would send off to make it official the next day. But Ryo would simply bow and leave. Once he was outside the barracks, he opened up a senkaimon with his zanpakuto; next stop, Osaka, Japan.
the man out of time! the great war to current events:
From this point; Ryo exited the senkaimon and donned a gigai as his feet touched the ground. However, he came to learn that it was the great war, all the major countries of the world of the living were at each other's throats and, it was here he joined the last year of the great war; becoming a solider of the Japanese imperial army, reaching all the way to lieutenant, ironically enough and once the great war ended in 1918, he returned to japan as a war hero. He eventually got enough to buy himself a single story traditional Japanese home that he was told was one of the still remaining homes from the time of medieval japan and the history revolving around samurai, the various lords and all of that. Ryo enjoyed the aesthetic of the place and it did help him feel at home.
Over the next hundred years, he saw japan evolve from strength to strength, technology always evolving with japan at the forefront of many advances, then in 1939, the second world war had just started, yet unlike before, Ryo refused to join active service as he saw the growing corruption of the Japanese governing body and this Hitler character was bad news, he felt it in his gut, although he couldn't forgive the Americans for destroying part of his beloved japan, even though he was settled far away from the blast in a place just outside a small town that would eventually become Karakura town.
So he remained where he was, doing odd jobs to keep up a decent income so he would be comfortable at home. Once the second world war past and the allies had won, things remained peaceful as he watched the modern age come in with the advent of industry and mass production, he kept updating his home with the latest mod cons that came with this modern day of technology. It was during the 1960s, he took up traditional Japanese painting, known as Kaiga and, over the next thirty years or so, became a very well respect artist, praised for both his great detail and his old fashioned way of painting, something that many artists of the time were abandoning in pursuit of more modern art forms. This has continued to this day and remains were he lived since 1918, his home remained the same besides some structural strengthening that was needed to make sure the property remained in good condition with modern technology like TV, wifi, open plan living and other such things since he had watched all of this rapidly develop through this last century.
In this current age of 849 years of age, he lives comfortable, in his countryside home just outside Karakura town, which was within walking distance which was good for him to keep up with his excise and health, make sure he was always ready for anything that came with him, especially training to learn Shunko to further augment his hand-to-hand combat prowess. He also does commissions for private customers, most being very rich people who wanted his particular art, which at this point was worth a lot of money. Other times, if he had pieces laying around, he would sell them to galleys in exchange for a set amount of money from viewings; not a lot, but over time, it lead up to a comfortable income that let him live a life in peace while also sometimes heading out for horse rides from a local stables, who let him ride the horses and help look after them for a set fee which he was happy to pay to be with them.
Besides this, he simply enjoys reading and his own company, yet always aware of the many hollows coming in over the years; even back during the war; he was always having to go out to slay hollows, staying on night watch to the point he became a night owl of sorts. All the while, having to send reports back to the soul society via hell butterfly as per his mission as recon within the world of the living as his personal penitence for his several centuries of dishonorable murder.
Joined : 2016-01-20 Posts : 2930 Karma : 13 Age : 20
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Subject Post 4Subject: Re: Ryo Suzuki (Former Substitute Squad 2 Lieutenant, Squad 2: 6th Seat) [Finished] Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:32 pm
Appropriate Age [X]
Appearance Present [X]
Appearance Described in Appropriate Length OR Picture is Visible [O]
Appearance is Not Claimed [X]
10 sentences for personality [X]
History is of appropriate length [O]
Powers are not Godmod/Overpowered [O]
Powers are described reasonably enough [O]
Application/RP Sample is not in First Person [X]
Skills are not filled in (Omit if a Hollow)[O]
RP Sample Present (Omit if this is not the first character) [X]
RP Sample is 10 sentences [X]
Mental Deduction: N/A
Pain Endurance: N/A
Comments/Notes: To give some clarification of the checklist, the "O"s mean that there is something wrong with that particular section, of which we will go over now.
Now, the main problem with this is the Hollow Mask. He is a pureblood Shinigami, so he can not have a Hollow Mask on him unless he was a Vizard or some other Hollow-based character. Remove it, and all mentions of this Hollow Mask in the app.
Furthermore, why is there mentions of a horse in the appearance...? This should probably be moved over to equipment, as this really has no place being in the character's general appearance.
The first thing that I will say about this is that you need to rewrite the history in its entirety. This does not follow site lore, and what's written in here is just...outright ridiculous. I will not be approving someone as the "Substitute Lieutenant" when such a thing doesn't even exist, as well as this being your first character attempting to get a high position in the Gotei. Furthermore, you have not done...any reading on the organizations of the site whatsoever. The Gotei 13 does not exist on site as of now and has been replaced by the Gotei United. The bolded text is a link to the organization page.
This needs to be struck out -- and, ICly relearned after approval since the skills/abilities/techniques that were learned/awakened as a human -- 99% of the time -- do not carry over to a Shinigami.
Strike this out, because this character will not be able to perform something like this right off the bat.
Alright, the main issues with the Zanpakuto, in general, is the contradiction that this creates for both the character and the Zanpakuto itself. This is a samurai-themed Zanpakuto -- which, I will admit, is rather creative and I like it a lot. But, the problem lies with the character that this is, and where you intend to go with them. This is a character that is meant to be part of the stealth force -- a squad entirely made up of assassins, with (one of) their Captains being a literal ninja. It doesn't make sense for a samurai-themed character to be in the Stealth Force, as it would go entirely against his morals.
Furthermore, there's the contradiction with the Zanpakuto's powers itself. You've introduced the Shikai to be tying into the character with a samurai theme, and then...plasma? Why can he control plasma, and where did this come from? This continues on with the Bankai since this continues both of these trends -- and, really -- does it even more. The "Ruler of All Creation" ability comes out of nowhere, and so does the Eight Inner Gates. "Beyond the Limit" adds to this even more, as this is an entirely new ability that is supposed to be branched from the Gates. At this point, I'm not even sure what this Zanpakuto is.
With that being said, I would recommend that you remove one of these two things, and stick to one, or just redo the Zanpakuto entirely. Regardless...
Plasma Blades: One of the main issues that I have is that, well, you don't need to have your character kill himself while trying to keep his Shikai active. Just kinda seems unnecessary, you know? But, another issue I have is the scaling that you've listed in the spoiler. I would rather it be said that it could be made easier to cut through a person, rather than their "blade" -- this being done through durability scaling -- i.e, make this scaling based on durability, and how easy it could cut through different levels, etc.
Warrior's Heart: The descriptions of the stat boosts and exactly how much higher they can damage an opponent are the problems. "Two tiers" needs to be changed to "one skill level" -- as tiers are not a representation of skill, they represent energy. When it comes to the "they can ignore pain better", the same thing needs to be done. This needs to be changed so that their "Pain Endurance" skill on the Will Skill Sheet is boosted by a level for three posts, before going back to normal for the same cooldown as when this technique is broken.
The Rules of Engagement: The whole static amount of spiritual energy that is listed in the spoiler needs to be removed. We don't have static amounts of spiritual energy, as this is shown in tiers and the power scale, the latter of which showcases just how much potential each tier has. Furthermore, this needs to be changed so that it is not forcing all characters in the thread to be submitted to this. This can be done with either gaining player permission to use this ability, or by basing it off of tier, where lower tiers can potentially be overpowered by it -- or, both.
Ruler of All Creation: There needs to be a hard limit on what he can and cannot turn into plasma, as well as a range for how far this effect can reach.
Eight Inner Gates: Remove this. This ability has nothing to do with either theme and has no real placement in this Zanpakuto.
Reining Plasma Blade This has the same issues with "Warrior's Heart". Specifically, the "two tiers" bit. This needs to be altered in the same fashion as the preceding ability.
Beyond the Limit: Again, like the Inner Gates, this just needs to be outright removed for the same reasons as the Gates.
These need to be cleared out. It very clearly states in the skill sheet section that you are not allowed to fill these in until a tier is given, and that a staff member will give you your will skills. There is even a spoiler about what tier gets what skills.