One minute she was living her life, killing hollows as she'd done for hundreds of years. The next she was naught but a shadow, a specter going through the motions of what she thought she was supposed to do. And now? Now she stood at the foot of Mount Eldus, staring up towards the peak of it with one hand on the hilt of each Zanpakuto. She was that of a lost sheep, in desperate need of guidance from the one person she couldn't find. So what was she doing here, one might wonder, why it was to take her mind off things... to train, to become that thing that could find Sajin Komamura. But as she was, she was incapable of doing such a thing. She was weak, pathetically so if you asked her, she'd been alive for over 300 years, and much of that was as a Shinigami. Yet in spite of that, she only had a Shikai... she'd never attained a Bankai, never even attempted to do so.
Part of that was because of her aforementioned weakness, and part of it was because of being lost and without guidance. Perhaps, if she'd stayed in the Gotei, she'd of attained it already, however she had not stayed in the Gotei and what might've been was moot at this point. As her head came to face the foot of the mountain she readied herself, there was but a single objective that now took hold of all her thoughts, Bankai. It was no longer an optional thing far in the future for her to maybe attain, it was now a requirement if she wished to continue being what she claimed to be.
Fuurinji closed her eyes and took in a long, deep breathe, before slowly releasing it in a practiced fashion.
"Stay calm." "Stay focused." "Heroes are made by the path they choose," "Not by the power they're graced with."
As the last word was said, her eyes shot open and like a lightning bolt she took off. From a dead stop to a full speed sprint she began running, following naught the path that was before her but the path she'd create. She took to the side of the mountain itself, with each foot step precise in its placement yet her eyes never moving from the peak of the mountain. Each time a foot touched a rock, she kicked herself farther upwards without pause.
"No matter how terrifying the world is now," "We must fight."
She had to keep going, had to keep pushing herself even as pain came quickly to her legs. Each rock was like yet another hollow aiming to attack her, like another failure coming to haunt her... Then a slip, a single misplaced step that threatened to send her tumbling back to the bottom of the mountain.
"No matter the loss we've suffered," "We must fight."
A hand reached out, grasped the side of the mountain. A grunt before placing her foot back against the side of the mountain and flinging herself upwards again, to continue her ascent in abject spite of the pain. With each and every rock she kicked off of, it was yet another stepping stone closer to her goal.
"And if we want to become strong?" "We must protect that which we cherish."
Balance... She had to keep balanced, in all things not just her Zanpakuto. Her mind, her soul, her body, her Zanpakuto, her life, her feet, each placement of the building blocks before her. Everything had to be in balance of each other... Another slip, except this time the recovery was swifter, her hand grasping a higher rock before throwing herself back into rhythm.
"If I'm not strong enough now... Then I just have to become stronger, this is the way. The only way."
Faster and more precise, she had to become faster, she had to become more precise with each step as she ascended the mountain. She was half way by now, but it wasn't over... not yet.