Yes, there she was, there was the Ulv that Hanako remembered, at least to some extent. This power that slept underneath her skin and was even now, far away from any battle, almost tangible.
“Yeah, well, this Captain is not my problem anymore, anyway. The tryouts didn’t go too well...anyway, I transferred to 1st Division.”
In hindsight it was maybe even a blessing in disguise that it didn’t go so well. At least she wouldn’t have to put up with this Captain. But still, this was kind of a turning point. This man, as obnoxious as he was, still parried her sword with his forehead. And here, right before her, stood the woman that could have wiped the floor with him. Or at least Hanako was pretty sure that Ulv could have done that.
As she came up to Hana, her strength was so overwhelming that it seemed as if Hanako had to look up to her, despite Ulv being about ten centimeters shorter. And she was so close. Hanako couldn’t remember when the last time was that somebody came so close to her, not counting sparrings. She could hear the rustling of the fabrics of Ulv’s clothes and the tiny hairs on her arms stood up. So close. It was both threatening and somewhat exciting, though Hana couldn’t tell why. Hana didn’t move. There was again the voice in her mind that told her to not give in, never.
“I...have my reasons.” she said slowly.
Yes, she had. And the main reason was still the same. Of course there was also the same reason that probably motivated all soldiers: to not go to rack and ruin. Mainly, however, Hanako was motivated by her past, or better: lack thereof. She suffered from an extreme form of memory loss. While she retained all basic skills like language, how to walk, how to eat and drink, she forgot everything about herself and her past prior to a certain moment. Simply put: Hanako had no past. She had tried to remember anything for the last seven years, bit it was hopeless. So she decided to build herself at least a future.
But she couldn't tell that to Ulv. Not everything. She didn't tell anybody. It was just bottled up inside her.
"I don't want power for power's sake." She continued.
"I also don't want to exceed the limits of a shinigami. At least I don't think I want to. But how could I make up my mind about that when I am so far away from anything that's worth bearing the name 'strength'."
A wave of hot and repelling shame washed through Hanako's mind. The shame she felt about how weak she was. How useless. How she didn't even have a real Zanpakuto and how almost everyone that was presently close to her could wipe her out without breaking a sweat. She wanted to leave an impression and not literally by her broken corpse smashed into the ground. She wanted to be remembered. In the future...her only chance of becoming more than an empty shell without a past, without anything.
When she spoke again her voice wavered a little and some drops of sweat rolled down her neck, over her collarbone and into her Shihakusho.
"Listen, I saw a Captain take my katana head on. Literally. And I saw, or better: felt, you, with a might so great it could have crushed me if you just had thought of destroying me."
Hanako breathed heavily.
"I know that I won't have much success in growing if I try it on my own. I'm green, but not stupid. I just don't want to feel…"
She was silent for a moment. And then, very quiet, she added: "...helpless."
This had been hard. Hanako still wasn't used to asking for help. To not being on her own and actually having to communicate. Maybe she had been too blunt just now. Maybe it was an idiotic thought that Ulv could teach her anything helpful, just because she herself was incredibly strong.
And during all that talk she had forced herself to hold Ulv's gaze, look into those eyes of hers, although everything in her screamed to turn away.
Coding Altered From: [The Frost]