Enter the Silk Road
I. Basic Information» Name:
Shiba Hakuyou (Waterfall Owl)» Alias:
Shinigami of the Silk Road» Age:
950, January 1st» Gender:
Soul Society West Branch» Appearance:
Hakuyou Shiba possesses dark black hair, almost shaggy in it's appearance but maintaining some level of proper care. Notably he possesses side burns of an almost Victorian English style, most likely something he procured during his duration in Soul Society West Branch. He has a long face, with a lithe figure over all. A sharp chin with some squareness to it, with a thin nose. The man does have noticeably deep amber eyes, and at once almost have soft features under his hardened looks. Perhaps when he was younger he looked less masculine, but the lines which lace his faced mixed with the furrow'd looks he possesses destroys any level of boyishness he once possessed
His height as a male of imposing stature standing at a relatively tall six feet six inches, not quite an outlier among the Shiba males. His lithe figure seems pulled tight over a lean frame, evening out to an almost thin appearance when he wears clothes. But when wearing his more traditional shinigami garb it's quite easy to see that his muscle his tight, easily visible in the loose clothing of a shinigami. But when he isn't wearing such garb his outfits mimic that of a Victorian English male, accompanied by riding boots and the whole venture. It is rare to see him without the dual holster of his zanpakatou and rifle, each secured with a contraption of special nature.
I. PersonalityOld Bold Soul:
Hakuyou Shiba was the eldest brother of the Shiba siblings so long ago, a man of impeachable honor. But his definition of honor greatly differed among his compatriots and peers of nobility, perhaps holding ideology too radical at the time. He was uncompromising in what he found to be right and wrong, allowing little room for anything else than what was just flatly right. For him nobility was only but a name, something to live up to as an exemplar for those beneath them so they could rise to be their peers. The almost far too relaxed nature of his siblings chafed against him, but never did he stop loving them. Unlike many other souls his age he never truly experienced the shift of the world, locked away in the west branch leading to him often having antiquated views. The world of grey for him just doesn't exist currently, instead there's clear lines between what's right and wrong; and he's unafraid to go against an entire system if he truly feels that way. The Leftover Sprout:
Due to this uncompromising nature at times he often found himself at odds with other nobles, be it with the Kuchiki in their own uncompromising nature with the law. It should be noted that while he disagreed with their methods, he had to respect how rigidly they stuck to their beliefs creating an almost disdainful respect for them other great noble family. But this was none more clear than with his own family, being the 'serious' one among his three younger siblings. He saw greatness in all of them, held only back by themselves and that infuriated them. In much the same way they saw him as an overbearing brother, there was always a disconnect even if he did love them. Often, this left him out of family matters- a sad reality was he was the odd man out. But such was the nature of the young shiba man, even if they hated him in the moment he'd accept that so long as they lived up to the expectations of the family. To say that the current events have left him bitter, is an understatement.Forged by Steel:
Hakuyou has never, and will never, claim to have been born the way he is. Instead he holds onto the belief that a man becomes what he has endeavor'd to be, that through sheer tenacity and hard work they can achieve anything. Being born in a time period where blood mattered more than effort often caused him great strife, as he wanted to live up to the nobility title. That being noble, was more than just something gained by nature of his blood. It was this ideology which forged the young man into what he was, always choosing the hard right than the easy wrong. He believed weakness was but an infection of the mind, brought on by a weak will- and such things could be purified in the burning furnace of resolve and hard work. Everything or Nothing:
There is a reason Hakuyou was not declared the head of the family, by their parents. And that is because he made it blatantly clear he was not the man to lead them. He was not the one to deal with the others nobles, he was not the one who could get along well with his peers he regarded as inferior spiritually. To see such disgrace such as nobles skipping the academy, achieving levels of influence by the mere mention of their name disgusted him to the highest degree. He could not be apart of such a thing, he could not simply play his part in the injustice and with that he declared he wanted nothing. It was that mentality of total acceptance, or nothing, which lead to his beginning his 200 year journey to the far reaches of the soul society. Banished, in all but name. Ally, Friend, & Soul:
For all his hardness, the son of the Shiba is still but a good hearted soul at the end of the day. When confronted with those who genuinely are good people, who has earned his trust such as Sonia, he treats with them a love which only family can know. To say Hakuyou wouldn't throw his life in the way of fire to protect his loved one would be false, for even though he is not the favorite son- he is the one who would die sooner than see one of them hurt. To Hakuyou, the title of noble has always been a weight; but one which he bears with some semblance of pride. Because it is that title which reminds him everyday he must strive to be a better exemplar among his friends, allies, and followers. To do anything less, to be anything less, is an insult to all those who share his last name or call him friend.
Out of all his siblings, Kaien is probably the one who took most after Hakuyou. Despite this, they often butted heads a lot over general things such as how to spend their evenings or basic things. In some ways they mirror'd each other, both in their wants and drive. They both held the same outspoken nature, the same rigid belief in duties even if they executed it differently. However, for their similarities they shared some of the key differences arose in basic things such as interacting with the aristocracy. Where Hakuyou chaffed, unable to put aside his own shame Kaien was able to navigate well. It was why Hakuyou was able to leave the clan so firmly, because despite their differences he knew his younger brother was the man to carry them forth. The death of his younger sibling, once he found out, truly shook him to his core. In some ways he felt an unending rage towards himself, and his brother. He was supposed to be the one who honor'd them, and it was Hakuyou's job to protect him.
In that regard, both of them failed. This singular failure is perhaps one of the most haunting aspects of his life now, and one of the driving forces to take the reigns of the family once more. Perhaps if he had been there to guide him, to act as that exemplar he so champion'd his brother might still be alive.Kukaku:
His only sister and the person he consistently butted heads with the most, be it from her volatile nature or his own die hard nature. Despite this, he tended to have a relatively normal relationship with her. She was able to see through his hardened facade a lot, immediately discerning how he really felt about things. More than a few times they had a private talk about his feelings towards the family, his general disdain towards the way the world was set up. But never, has she ever seen him falter from his beliefs. One point of contention between them was her instance on his 'crush' towards Yoruichi in their younger years, something he vehemently deny'd. Ganju:
Truth be told his relationship with Ganju was pretty small, Ganju was young when he left. But for the time they where together it was clear their youngest brother floated to Kaien in terms of personality, at least from Hakuyou's perspective. But there was always the small level of anger which Ganju and Hakuyou shared, easily able to be directed at something. Truth be told he didn't get to have much of a relationship with his kid younger brother, something he wishes to rectify now that he is back apart of the family. Isshin:
The uncle he rarely spoke to, but the one he respected. For the most part he couldn't understand the life of him the laziness of his uncle, when he held so much responsibility. But it wasn't his place to question his elders even if he disagreed with his general attitude. But that wasn't to say he didn't enjoy his presence, as the infectious fun energy of Isshin actually effected Hakuyou. He enjoyed being around his uncle, as strange as it seemed he always managed to bring Hakuyou out of whatever slump he was in- and in some ways made Hakuyou want to be like him. Where his own parents failed to connect with him, Isshin actually reached the young man and in doing imparted a piece onto him. Hakuyou never undervalues the effect a simple laugh, or smile, can reach people.Parents:
Central figures in his life, and honestly one of the most complicated relationships he has. His parents where both supportive and combative with him from his formative years onward, both respecting his beliefs and at times finding him far too naive. His instance to gain every he has, versus accepting the clan's help has always left a bitter taste in their mouth. Where they saw ingratefulness, he saw simple independence. But that wasn't to say there was no love, for the roots of the clan ran deep between them all. When he made the choice to leave, they did not banish or exile him which was well within their right. Perhaps, they hoped their wayward son would return. Sadly, they would never see the day. Upon Hakuyou's return no small part of him feels remorse for how he departed, and has swore a vow to never speak their names until he has restore the clan to their rightful place. Sonia:
A soul he met in the west branch, one he's known for nearly two decades now. He was a bit cautious to meet such a new soul at first, but in time they began to grow rather close. To the point of being assigned as partners within the West Branch both acting apart of the Sabers Squad. To this end they've been rather close and someone he regards as his best friend, if only because their drives are so similar. There has been more than once where someone has assumed they may be romantic, but they have no such relationship. However, he would travel to hell and back if his partner was every in danger and with his return to the Gotei he frequently tries to visit her. Her wise words have often helped him in most trying times, but never relying on her fully. Yoruichi:
Oh he remembers this Shihoin from when he was younger, he never knew if he was older than her or not. But what he did know was she was awfully good friends with his younger sister, and by extension had quite a bit of interaction with him. He'd regard her as a friend, and in his younger years may have had a fondness for the woman. Of course, he denies such a thing. But he does hold a great deal of respect for her before he left, seeing her as someone who upheld her duties her own way. She never seemed to fall back her on her family name, and that inspired the young man to have that affection towards her. On more than one occasion he would've trained with her as a peer, seeking to learn and teach respectively. Kukaku to no ends torments him on such things.Kensei Muguruma:
The Captain of the Ninth and a man who held a great deal of respect from Hakuyou. If there was a single idol of his youth, a single man who carried respect far above the others it was this man. Everything which embodied Mugurma seemed to make Hakuyou want to join his squad. Yushiro:
She was a cute kid. The one time he met her, she seemed alright. Weird name for a girl tho, in his opinion.
1470-1600 The Formative Years (Age 0-130)
Hakuyou Shiba was the first born son of the main branch of the Shiba clan, supposedly destined to become the head of the clan. He was given his name as a means to accept his role in the clan, that he would be the one to which the clan to rally behind. The Waterfall Owl, symbolic in it's kanji and his traditional clan roots. Where the Sky, Earth, and Water met becoming one and an Owl for the wisdom he was supposed to have. Such a name carried a weight to him, a responsibility he would soon learn in his younger years.
His youthful childish years where spent in comfort, he was after all the son of a great noble family. He wanted truly for nothing in those years, and the blissful ignorance of youth allow'd him to enjoy life. But it was in this youth and his education where he begin to learn what it meant to be nobility, and the weights which came with it. As he began to enter into his teens and begin to train for the academy with his family retainers he soon learned that his position in life held responsibilities to it. It unsettled him how the disparity between himself and his retainers, that from the very meals they ate where different from his own. The name Shiba, was meant to be noble and therefor held to a higher pedigree but he question'd to what end did his name matter.
As he prepared for the academy, he began to almost take an austere lifestyle to his parent's confusion. In his mind he had to justify the nature of him having his name, that his mere birth was only but a responsibility to live up to. His retainers, and even the commoners he saw, seemed to work so much harder than other nobles despite being born with so little. It felt uniquely unfair, and it that unfairness/injustice which stuck with the young man. Which began to mold him into the man he'd become. At the time, such ideas as equality or even liberty for all was foreign to his lands- born in a time where such notions seemed alien. This caused some strife between him and his parents, for where he saw his need to prove himself they in turn saw ungratefulness. It is that chasm which never truly was mended, and arguably one of the strongest things which spurred him to leave in the future.
Never the less, Hakuyou would enter the academy and perform well. Far above average actually, passing the curriculum at an accelerated pace but never lessened in quality. In the academy he associated with commoners and nobles alike, it was the first real gateway into the world for him that wasn't rigidly noble. There was times where in private sessions he spoke of his confused beliefs, unable to reconcile such things and was often met with confusion. He recalled vividly the words of one noble; 'We do not choose our lots in life, but we must do our duties nonetheless.' Such words, surprisingly, came from a Kuchiki. As much as he hated the system he was apart of, he found no way to resist it and in not being able to resist it lead to his heart hardening.
As the birth of his siblings began to happen, as his duties with the Gotei began, this inner conflict would spill into the external. But in the upcoming Gotei years he would not only come face to face with injustice, but take part in such things. And the owl of the Shiba, would not come out the same.
1600-1800 The Gotei Years(Age 130-330)
Hakuyou found his fitting within Ninth Division, which act the time acted as the security force, arts & culture of the Gotei. He found a surprising peace within the division, being one of the divisions which acted directly with all people. He spent a considerable amount of time in the editing department developing his editorial skills, as at the time he was aiming to one day become captain. He found his captain, Kensei, to be a figure of inspiration for him in his hardnose attitude yet strangely caring nature. For many years he settled into a decent, and almost happy, flow of working in the editorial department and making routine patrols seeking to gain his shikai. The reason for this was mostly due to wanting to join his captain's commando unit; in hopes of fighting alongside his idol more regularly.
In the midst of these years however he stilled lived at the estate of his family, with the birth of his younger brother and sister he wanted some part in their lives. Kaien and Kukaku. Those two kids where at times some of his best friends and utterly annoying beyond fathomable. Perhaps he simply just wanted them to not experience the same level of internal conflict he experienced, but in doing so in being so overbearing at times he may have pushed them away. But at the end of the day he saw how much Kaien took after him, and at the same time managed to not have the same troubles he had. In that young boy, he saw the future of the clan and truthfully that wasn't something he envied. As Kukaku began to grow up, someone did catch his eye and it was the princess of the Shihoin; a friend of his younger sister.
At this time she was relatively near him in power, and what he believed age. But she had far surpassed him in terms of positions, due to having a more ancestral spot within the Gotei unlike himself. However, he never for once believed she relied on her family name as he saw first hand just how powerful she was. In much the ways Hakuyou was austere and hard-working he saw her as a good companion to have around. On one particular evening his younger sister insisted that he had a 'crush' on the princess, which of course the young man denied. He did however, spend an odd amount of time training with her when she was free and at the estate. Kukaku loud and teasing nature one of the more embarrassing times in his life, but it did ease him up. The presence of Kaien, Yoruichi, and Kukaku can be attributed to why Hakuyou places such a value on friendship; because in those rare moments he had fun with them it lessened the injustice he felt.
Towards the latter half of the 1700s, he'd begin to make serious efforts to unlock his shikai. He wanted to reach the lieutenancy spot. He did this by approach his uncle, Isshin Shiba, who happened to be a captain within the Gotei. Despite the lazy nature of his uncle he found him more than willing to help the young Shiba out. Perhaps it was due to the family connection, or simply having an excuse to forsake his captain duties for a few days. But they had set out deep into the family estate lands to practice; and hopefully come back with him having learned the name of his Zanpakatou. It should be noted at this time. And the training which he undertook was grueling, starting with days of meditation to be culminated with 'You'll learn it if you learn it.' And by that, his uncle meant he'd be using his Shikai until and push Hakuyou to his limits.
Him and his uncle spent almost hours in silent meditation communing with their weapons, and truth be told Isshin was there for moral support. In those quiet nights where he stayed with his uncle he began to enjoy his presence, the jokes which they shared he still remember to this day. Being awoken by random attacks was quite annoying, but in truth some of the most fun he had in years. Eventually however, their training would come to an end once he met his inner spirit. 'Zangetsu.' One of those days he found himself opening his eyes, but instead of the forest of his clan he found something else. A field, what looked to be a battlefield similar to one he had seen during his time on earth. Strange contraptions laid on the ground, thunderous weapons which invoked the fiery wrath of the gods. Here he would the spirit of his now Zanpakatou; a young woman clad in a uniform much different from his own. On her side was a Katana, and one of those strange thunderous weapons.
The conversation which they shared was cryptic to him, but he knew the words he needed to speak. A haiku which seemed etched into his brain, as he stepped towards her. A thin grin on her lips as he felt the weapon placed against his throat, his amber eyes staring down at her as he lifted an empty hand. The final words of the Haiku leaving his lips he felt a rush of power, as a weapon non to dissimilar to her own appeared in his hand against her eye. As he prepared to pull the trigger, finger squeezing around the edge of the strange weapon he awoken in a seated position. He was not in release, his where his single blade once laid was now a katana and a strange weapon. In his head, he felt a two words being drawn out: Zangetsu & Rifle.
Needless to say both he and his uncle where estatic, his uncle having mentioned a weapon like that was gaining muc usage among humans. It was one of the first of it's types, and to their knowledge the first. They'd set back to the clan returning to the surprise and pride of his family, one of the few times he could vividly recall where there was no conflict between them. And over the next few days he would assume the lieutenancy of the ninth under Kensei. He also began one of the chief editors of the newspaper!
However, the second Quincy war would begin just as the 1800s dawned upon them and the experience would leave a lasting impact on Hakuyou.
1800-1900 The Conflict Years (Age 330-430)
The existence of the Quincy was something which was known in the Gotei, but something of much apprehension. The idea of a sect of people who could destroy you down to your very soul was terrifying. When someone sees the world in a fine black or white, crossing that line can often leave a stain on their soul. Lieutenant Shiba of the Ninth, apart of Kensei's Commando , made his bones during the quincy war utilizing his unique skill set for a new type of extermination. When the order came for war, it wasn't his to question but only to act.
The war is a short and bloody one, and it was clear there was to be no prisoners taken. He utilized his shikai to remain far away from the actual fighting, before utilizing his unique skill set to take out targets. For the quincy who used bows, the idea of simply being outraged was tantamount to a death sentence. The loud crack of the rifle everytime it was fired lead to an whisper, a rumor of sorts, which penetrated into the quincies. 'Der Laute Tod', or the translation which meant 'The Loud Death.' Surprisingly, some of his shinigami fellow's didn't quite like his style of combat. Cowardly. But he did not falter in this bloody duty, when faced with annihilation or blood-stained hands he'd choose the former everytime. The words of his captain helped to ease his troubles; the almost drill sergeant finesse of Kensei. He was intensely serious, and Hakuyou supposed he respected his own seriousness regarding the manner.
But once the war was over, and all was said and done; he found no peace. In fact the chasm within his soul only seemed to grow, to the point where he rarely was able to converse with his family. Many times he would devolve into an angry yelling match, for him to eventually move out of the estate to the shock of them all. Perhaps the slow degradation of his mind came simply from the weight of the war, or perhaps weight mere weight of his title, or all these things. But one simple fact remained which forced his leaving: He could no longer play part to the injustice. What he viewed as simply the way of the world ate at him, and he would appear before his parents- before annoucing he would be departing. It was not grandiose, it was a silent thing between them as he instructed that Kaien would make a fine replacement. They did not argue with him, perhaps too jaded at this point or simply knowing that their son needed this.
In the blanket of night Hakuyou Shiba would depart the estate with nothing more than his Zanpakatou, a traveling pack with some items, and a journal. He would walk to the edges of the soul society, perhaps seeking death. He had no real goals, only to leave. He had no idea he would be walking for over two hundred years, and in that time witness some of the strangest things he's ever seen.
1900-2100 The Traveling Years (Age 430-630)
A point of time where Hakuyou doesn't speak about much was the two hundred years he spent traveling to the edges of the soul society. He had heard rumors that it was simply an infinite expanse, to where the world began to lose rhyme and reason. For the first ten years of walking, he had only his thoughts and the occasional strange animal as a companion. Hunting was easy, despite the almost endless forest there was more than just hollows. Strange creatures he had never seen before, but where edible nonetheless.
At some point in his travels, the world began to change. Some hours he felt he was walking through strange landscapes which had sand for as far as the eyes could see. Other days he felt he was climbing mountains which rival'd the highest he had ever seen. Day and night became one, as he walked. There where hollows, hollows of such power where he fear'd they'd consume him if they found him. Hollows which seemed to rival the size of full mountains. In the two hundred years he spent traveling to the edges of the realm, the things he saw could fill hundred of books front to cover.
Despite the horror, he found a serene beauty. And the pain he once felt which racked his body, felt lightened. Perhaps it was his own hell, and in that hell he was able to purify the sins of his soul. But eventually, he arrived to the end. The robes he started with having long been torn, leaving the man in nothing but rags which barely covered his body. He arrived to what looked like a cliffside, in front of him a thick mist which seemed to lead to nothing. In a moment of madness, he would begin to climb down the side of the cliff. Downward into the abyss, and downward into nothing. When he finally arrived at the bottom, or rather up, he would be greeted by something.. different.
2100-2400 The West Branch Years (Age 630-930)
Hakuyou Shiba arrived in a foreign, strange land when he reached the end of the cliff. He began the climb downward, but at some point the world inverted on him and he found himself pulling himself upwards. He moved for what felt like hours before he finally managed to make his way up. When his head peaked above he found himself seeing what looked to be some strange foreign city in the distance. Large buildings built of stone, with trees often on top of said buildings and even more strange structures made of cobblestone. He was a bit awestruck having never seen something like it in the Soul Society. In fact, he had to blink a few times as he stared at a giant.. clock..tower?
Perhaps was it was the strange energy presence he gave off but he soon found himself beset by men and women wearing foreign clothing, nothing he had seen before. They spoke in some strange language, as he held his Katana and Rifle towards them ready to fight. Before finally one spoke the language he knew, informing him he was in Soul Society West Branch. An immediate confusion came onto his face.. and from that point onward he was introduced to the West Branch. Over the course of a few days he would be clothed and fed, as he spoke with the man who knew his language- they informed him they where almost like a sister society on the other side of the world. That they held different customs, and they had been locked within this realm for the past one hundred years- preventing them from reaching out to to the East branch.
He also informed him the years was 2100, which caused Hakuyou to nearly have a heart attack.
Whatever was happening on Earth proper had greatly effected this realm preventing them from reaching out. And unless Hakuyou was willing to make another potential two hundred year trip he was stuck here as well. In the coming months he would become integrated within their lands, learning their cultures and customes. Things such as 'democracy', 'English', 'God save the queen', had all become part of his life. Their clothing became his own, save for when he released his Shikai. Speaking of which they held some type of thing like the Gotei called 'Wing Bind' which dealt with 'Dragons'. Fundementally speaking most Dragons for Hakuyou felt like simply spiritual creatures, only corrupted Dragons felt like hollows. It was all quite strange, but they welcomed their foreign brother.
And truth be told, Hakuyou began to like it. His title of nobility did not matter here, he was able to work for Wing Bind as a 'Wizard.' He learned how to use Dragons to make his life easier, but generally declined a Wand instead choosing to rely upon Kido and his Zan. Turns out Bakudo was a good alternative to help dealing with Dragons who where unruly. Speaking of which, the Wing Bind was divided between 'Conservation Rangers' and 'Sabers'. The former dealt with protecting and cultivating dragons so that society could be maintained, while Sabers dealt with dragons which possessed threats to the citizenry. Hakuyou became something of a legend among Wind Bind due to his shinigami nature, allowing him to outlive many of the people once taught him. Save for the select souls which also inhabitated Reverse London; which was the name for this realm.
Due to this, Hakuyou had experienced nearly every position within Wing Bind. Yet, it was in the year 2400 where he would meet a follow long-lived partner. A soul like himself, Sonia.
2400-Present The Return (Age 930-950)
Hakuyou has been mostly still trapped in Reverse London, but this time with a semi-permanent partner. Sonia is a woman who died in the human world who ended up in West Branch rather than the East Branch for some reason. Hakuyou believed whatever was preventing him from returning home along with West Branch returning to Earth may be weakening explaining the strangeness with new Soul's appearing. The most important part to focus on during this time period however, was the achieval of Bankai by Hakuyou. He truly believed a grave threat may be causing the chasm between worlds, so near the later half of 2410s he would inform Sonia he would need to train. Naturally his partner would wish to inquire to why he needed to do so in private, and he'd inform her: He sought to obtain his 'Bankai', a form where he harnessed the full power of his Zanpakatou. Over the year he'd inform her of his weapon, and the associated releases to it.
And with that he would retreat once more into the far outlands of Reverse London, almost reminiscent of the time he unlocked his Shikai with Uncle Isshin. Over the few hundred years he's known his Zanpakatou he had developed a repoire with the cheeky, almost sassy, weapon which refused to give him his proper power. But today he would achieve such a thing by any means needed. Once he entered into the depths of his world, that battlefield of his innerworld, it would roar to life with the sound of gunfire. It seemed his weapon knew his purpose, and like a true marksmen wished to take him out. The man would barely have time to utter the Haiku of his poem, behind a crater in the ground mind you, and his weapon's power begin to unlock.
Unlike other Bankai battles, his was not one of endurance or tenacity. It was methodical, he rarely saw his enemy and she rarely saw him. It would be one shot which would determine their battle, a single round plugged between one of their eyes. It only made sense, as he crawled on the ground seeking to find better view points. Occasionally a stray shot almost hitting him, as he returned fire using Charged shots. Every shot a near miss, every bullet carried with the wishes to unlock his Bankai to prove himself worthy of their power. Over the past five hundred years, he had become a marksman of some skill- if not one of the best in his own right. But that would not make the task any easier. He remained in that field for what felt like days, through rain and the hot son, simply seeking to get the perfect shot.
And he gained it, his iron sights seemed to find her just a bit quicker than she managed to find him. And in that moment that singular instance; he spoke the words needed to. "Getsuga Shikishou."
An explosion, or rather beam, left his rifle barrel flying straight towards his target. As he saw them engulfed in the beam, a thin smile coming onto his lips. As his eyes opened once more to reveal the outside world; he knew he had obtained his Bankai. It was a simple, yet hard task. No words needed to be said as he rose once more, beginning to make his way back towards Reverse London.
For the next few years he would simply prepare to return to the human world, figuring that with more souls coming whatever locked them in would break apart. And his theory proved correct, for one event which seemed to shake the foundations of London... a battle of some type finally gave way to Reverse London able to connect to the regular realms. Their existence still mute and hidden, Hakuyou immediately Informed Sonia he intended to return home- to see what has happened. A goodbye was shared and a promise to speak again soon. When he found himself able to open a Senkaimon, and step foot in the Soul Society he was not.. prepared.
I. EquipmentWizard Broom:
A relic from his time within the West Branch, while he nevered needed a broom he always liked his dragon companion. The thin thing was able to be sat or stood upon and fly relatively fast, he's even made some impressive shots while flying on it.West Brand ID:
An ID from the West Branch.
I. AbilitiesMasterful Marksman:
Hakuyou's bread and butter was the ability to use his rifle, while he was a more than acceptable swordsman his true skill laid in his rifle. Over the course of years he has developed to such an extent his ability to use a rifle is extreme. This just doesn't extend to his Zan but really any firearm or ballistic item he picks up, after but examining and learning it's caliber he's almost instantly able to use it as effective as possible. But when he uses his signature rifle he will rarely miss a target, provided some supernatural force doesn't make him miss. This extends to hitting targets while moving, while they are moving, or even in precarious positions. More than once he's pulled off some impressive trick shots, which should be impossible.Kido Expert:
Due to not quite relying on Hakada over his time in West Branch, he's developed a wide array of kido to use. He prefers to rely on the magic arts than his own strength, and combining it with his rifle to even maybe make custom kido. While his healing kido is acceptable, and his Hadō is near expert level, his true skill lies in binding spells. This is reflected in the bakudou he can cast, able to cast Bakudou a level above what he normally should- or even silent casting Bakudou on his current level. High Level Dexterity:
Hakuyou ability to use his body has been trained to peak levels, able to contort or use fine finesse. He's able to switch between dominant hand or eye with ease, losing no ability what so ever in the translation between. More than that his reflexes or reaction time has been enhanced to the highest levels, able to pull of snapshots with uncanny accuracy. Movements and acrobatics which by all means should be impossible for a man his side is performed with ease, the task of performing a shot upside in mid air hitting a target a mile away would be child's play for him. His motor functions perform at the highest levels, particularly when he enters into battle amplifying the effects of his speed and focus.Battle Calculations:
Not so much his intellect as a whole is extremely high, but Hakuyou's ability to calculate the exact things needed to perform a shot or action is insane. He's able to in the matter of microseconds know the exact shift in his body and area needed to land the shot he needs, or simply be at the place he needs to. This applies not only to his own ballistics or abilities but ones he'd see or know as well. More than once he's combined the ability to calculate a battle circumstances to perform Kido in conjunction with his marksmanship.Fine Tuned Focus:
Finally, Hakuyou's ability to focus his mind on a task has reached the highest levels. This isn't so much a battle ability as but the means of which he can conduct himself, applying his focus to tasks. In clearing his mind of all distractions he's able to see the world in a completely different way, making it extremely hard for him to tunnel vision. Once he chooses a task to focus on, his ability to perform that task increases exponentially but if he lacks the reason to actually complete a task- he simply will abandon his focus on it for something else. Reiatsu Cancelling:
A quirky ability he developed to aide with his preferred fighting style, Hakuyou is able to almost near perfectly surpres his energy signature in battle. This allows him to be a sneaky lad during combat, including things which should normally alert people such as the flare of his energy from a shot- or even gun fire. This often makes his spiritual pressure seem far less powerful than it actually is.Varying Shots By Energy:
One thing which should be noted about Hakuyou's charged shots is their power is not static, their power can be changed based on the increase of his overall energy to be more impactful or less.
I. Sealed Powers » Zanpakutô Name: 残蘖
Zangetsu (Leftover sprout)» Zanpakutô Spirit Appearance:
» Inner World:
The Inner World of Hakuyou resembles a Napoleonic battlefield mixed with the traditional Japanese weaponry. Armor lay everywhere in the traditional samurai fashion, some armored hands closed around rifles or katanas. For as far as the eye can see there are rolling green hills stained red, and chunks blown out of them from when one can only assume would be artillery fire. Broken machinery and canons lay all around. Within the earth are the footprints, hooves, and hand prints of what can only be assumed animals and man alike. » Zanpakutô Appearance:
» Sealed Zanpakutô Power: Sword & Rifle:
Hakuyou's Zanpakatou is one of the more complex one's in the world, operating on a unique set of laws. His sword and rifle are both part of his Zan making it a dual Zan, but each one does a separate function as a whole. Hakuyou's sword has the ability to create and manipulate one of four elements at a time. These elements are Flame, Sky , Earth, and Sea. Hakuyou's rifle is in one of three phrases at all times; unloaded, loaded, and reloading. Unloaded has no element selected, loaded has an element selected, and reloading is the process of selecting a new element. In order for Hakuyou to gain control over an element he must fire at the element in question, for instance if he fired into the earth he'd gain the ability to manipulate Earth with his Katana through somatic motions. This also loads four 'Earth' based shots within his rifle. Each elemental shot has unique effects tied to them. In short; when his rifle is loaded with an element he gains the ability to manipulate that element through use of his Katana through motion.Charged Shots:
When an element is selected, it is loaded with four shots within the rifle. These shots must be expanded before he swaps to a next element. Each element carries a different effect. Flame charged shots tended to carry explosive power, and the target it hits will find their energy reserves being burned away. Earth Charged rounds have the ability to carry more concussive force and strike in a moderate size area (15m radius) , this shot does reduced damage but applies the follow status effects if three shots are landed before the reload phase; slowed, dazed, and stunned. Sky Charged rounds when fired are simply undetectable to energy and the eye, except when first leaving the barrel and moments before it strikes it target. Sea charged rounds when they strike the target, 10% of their current energy is drained and given towards Hakuyou for a temporarily augmented attack. If Hakuyou was able to land all four shots, he would drain a total of 40% of their energy.
I. Shikai» Shikai Release Phrase:
夏来ぬや» Shikai Appearance:
Natsu kinu ya,
Hanabi o miru na.
Yamakaji ne, Zangetsu.
Summer has come,
Look at the fireworks.
It's a forest fire, isn't it, Zangetsu?
» Shikai Abilities Dual Element:
A direct upgrade to his seal abilities, Hakuyou is able to now use two elements at the same time. This allows his Katana to create two elements for his rifle to load, allowing him to mix and match the effects of his charged shots. Once these two elements are loaded, he is able to shift between using his Katana to manipulate them, switch between the charge types, or consume two charged rounds for a unique mixed effect round. He is still limited to only four charged shots at a time, and if a mixed charged is fire it consumes two charges. Enhanced Charged Shots:
With the release of his shikai his charged rounds still maintain the same basic premise to each one, but the effects can now be combined. However, due to the Earth shot being more AoE in nature the effectiveness of the Flame and Sea Charge when combined with Earth are diminished. The Sea charge only drains 5% but can be applied to multiple people in the AoE range. The general power of each single shot is increased on their own however, such as the Earth shot now able to daze and stun within two shots, the Flame shot burning away more energy and piercing damage, and the Water shot now able to to drain 12.5% per shot. Earth Charge ranged is now 25m.Improved Dexterity:
Most people see some sorta massive increase to their physical attributes as a whole, and the same can be said for this Shiba. But instead of an overall increase happens, he finds a general increase to dexterity, motor function, and focus. The reason for this is his combat style focuses more on technique and setting up the perfect shot, while he possess some skill in the sword he isn't reliant on his raw striking power. Due to this is increases are focuses more so around perception and his dexterity creating a more technical fighter who may calculate shots easier, or react with the utmost speed he is capable of.月餓天登 "Starving the Moon to Climb Heaven" - Getsuga Tenshou:
Being trained by his uncle Isshin, on top of simply being a Shiba member, gave access to his own variation. By expanding all four shots at once, he can greatly amplify a single attack. He gathers the energy into the barrel of his rifle, indicating by his katana glowing and the respective colors of the energies flowing into the barrel. Before it's fire in a crescent moon shape, in a super enhanced shot carrying the attributes of the previous charges. For instance, he could expand four charges of a Flame Charge for a Getsuga Tenshō which would have highly augmented attack power or he could do two charges of a Flame and Earth for a different super powered effect. This is course, has a two post cooldown and limits his 'loaded' phase to only one element for a single post.
I. Bankai» Bankai Name: 森火再来 Zangetsu Shinkasairai
, "Little Sprout - Burning Forest's Second Coming"» Bankai Appearance:
» Bankai Abilities Full Element:
Hakuyou in bankai gains the ability to not only chamber every element at the same time, but is able to flawlessly switch between commanding each one through Katana movements. This of course creates more dynamic techniques with the ratio of how he chooses to mix his cartridges but for every charge mixed into a round reduce the potency. The only exception for this is if he combines all the elements for a Getsuga Shikishou as outlined later.Max Powered Charges:
All the same rules apply from Enhanced Charges, however the single round effects have grown stronger. Flame Charges possess even more power, Earth Charges can potentially stun if a direct shot is landed and the AoE is increased to 50 meters, Sea charge now drains 15% for single target and 7.5% in AoE, and finally Sky Charge can only be detected before point of physical impact.Mastered Dexterity:
Like before much of his enhancement is focused on his more technical side, enabling him to surpass the normal level of speed he should be able to access. He's able to be so intune with his own body and agility that pulling off shots which should seem impossible are quite easy, or even fighting with a sword and rifle. He's able to flawlessly navigate between using them both, creating a dangerous combatant- nor does the supposed clumsy nature of his weapons slow him down. This immense technical skill also translate to his mind, able to operate at an almost genius level of focus and intellect- calculating the most minute details in a battle. In this mode, he could most likely hit a target miles away with but a mere second of mental gymnastics. 月餓四季登 ,"Starving the Moon, Climbing the Four Seasons" - Getsuga Shikishou:
Like mentioned before he's able to expand all four charges for a super move of sorts. But GS requires he have loaded a charge of each type into his rifle before choosing to expand them all, unifying all four elements. In doing this he releases his most power shot, but the devastating nature of said attacks. It is very straightforward and simple technique, but possesses such raw power that once fired most anything in it's path will be vaporized. The round, or rather beam, once a target has been selected will home in ever so much allowing it some flexibility. This ability was banned from being used in Soul Society West Branch, as a testament to it's power. This follows the same cooldowns as Getsuga Tenshou, but can only be fired twice per thread.
I. Skill SheetSkill SheetGeneral Skills
- Durability: Adept
- General Speed: Elite
- Strength: Adept
- Martial Skill: Elite
- Zanjutsu: Elite
- Hakuda: Beginner
- Kido: Elite
- Hoho: Advance
- Willpower: Elite
- Mental Deduction: Advance
- Focus: Advance