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The History of the Anomaly
Joined : 2010-12-19
Posts : 401
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Age : 30
Location : The Frost's Porch
|Subject Post 1Subject: The History of the Anomaly Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:26 pm|| |
And So I Became a Shinigami
Spirits, ghost, demons, and monsters; these were the last things on the mind of the youth’s mind as he rushed down the dark streets as though a pack of rabid dogs was hot on heels. Night had closed in and brought with it a muffling layer of clouds and light fog as a storm brewed high above. The boy was five then in height with a slim but athletic build, was dressed in track clothes, and had a head of gray/silver hair; this was Genpaku Arishima, and he was running late. The weather was closing in, the fog distorting the streetlights down the way and making them seem like far off candles; beyond that the clouds seemed to stifle any sound other than his own footfalls against the damp pavement. He liked this kind of weather, and if it hadn’t been closing in on midnight he might have walked home, enjoyed the sight and the feeling, and been generally less anxious than he was. With that not being the case though he turned down an alleyway.
He would have preferred to skip this route as well if he had the time; there was a small gang of older boys who liked to use the alleyway as their handout spot. They also liked to harass him for several reasons; rival school, hair color, whatever they really felt like using as an excuse. Unfortunately he couldn’t put a stop to it either; he had been training in martial arts for the past 10 years, but his father was a pacifist. He was only allowed to continue his practice because of his mother, who had managed by some miracle to convince his father that the training would do some good. His father only needed one reason to pull him out though and he would; Genpaku had just been careful enough to, thus far, not give him that reason. Hopefully tonight would not be the night where he was forced too.
He rounded the corner of the alley that lead towards his home with the expectation of seeing several gang members sitting around smoking; he was instead greeted by the joyous sight of an empty alley. They must have found somewhere else to loaf about he decided, and continued his hurried pace down the alleyway, the sound of his footsteps echoing off the walls and covering a very different but important sound. He had missed something critical; high above, shoved into the wall were four bodies. They were lacerated along the chests with puncture wounds in various places. These bodies would remain for the rest of the night and into the early hours of the morning; they would be found by the police only then, and would be joined by a fifth.
Genpaku darted out of the alleyway and cleared the distance between its mouth and his doorstep in less than twelve seconds; his coach would have congratulated him on the sprint if he had been there to see it. Only here did he pause, breathing hard as he tried to reclaim his breath. He scanned the windows of his home and was not surprised to find them on; his mother, father, or both had stayed awake to wait for him. This was exactly what he had feared; he contemplated a moment on just sneaking through the back door and up to his room, but decided against it; he would have to deal with his father at one point or another, and it would be better to just get it over with. He took one more breath and opened the door.
Inside the house didn’t have the air of tension he expected; there was the sound of bustle from the kitchen that could only have been his mother working on either cleaning up the dinner he had missed or preparing something for tomorrow. Maybe his father had gotten a promotion or something that warranted a celebration?
”Gen, is that you?” his mother called from the kitchen.
”Yeah mom; I’m home.”
”Good; your father is in his study and would like to speak with you.”
He cringed slightly; this could be bad. ”Alright.”
He climbed the stairs and made a detour to his room to dump off the bag. He could see his brother’s door closed and a light coming from the study where his did retired to work on things. It was also usually where he called the boys in to scold them for something they had done wrong.
He knocked lightly on the door, hoping that just maybe his day wouldn’t he-
”That you Genpaku?”
Dammit. ”Yes father.”
”Come in here.”
He gave a sigh and pushed the door open. His father was sitting behind the mahogany table, the desk lamp throwing dim light out over the spacious office. He strode in, trying to catch a glimpse at what his father was currently working on. His father looked up and caught his eye first.
There you are. How was your day?”
"It was good; we won the track meet. It was too bad you couldn’t make it out.”
"Yeah, sorry about that. Had some office work that needed taken care of.”
Genpaku have a small shrug. It was understandable after all; his dad was a busy man.
"What kept you out so late?”
This was exactly what he had hoped to avoid in this conversation, but his dad was quicker at directing it. He gave up on the idea of lying; his dad always had a way of telling when he lied.
”Sensei held a small sparring tournament after class.”
Now he waited; his father never reacted favorably to news like this. It was bad enough he was learning it, but to utilize it even in a controlled circumstance like this usually brought about a negative reaction. He didn’t get grounded or anything like that, it was just usually a disappointed look which was worse than getting in trouble; the feeling of having disappointed a parent was always one of their greatest tools.
However, no disapproving look or comment came. There was simply silence for a few moments that hung in the air.
I see. Well, we’re planning on going out to a picnic tomorrow so you should probably get some rest.”
Genpaku blinked, taken aback by this turn of events. He gave a nod to his father and pushed himself up and preparing to depart. Something caught his eye however, just behind his father. When he stopped to look though, there wasn’t anything there. Was he seeing things? His father looked up at him.
Go on. Sleep.” he said in a more forceful tone.
It took him a second to begin moving; he was sure he saw something there just a moment ag-there it was again. He rubbed his eyes a moment before turning and leaving, trying to make sense of it without angering his father further.
Wait…his father was angry? He stopped at the doorway, looking back at his father a moment. In all the years that he had consciously known his father, he had been a man that rarely showed aggression or anger save for extreme circumstances. As he looked back, he saw it again; a strange blur that had previously been just behind his father. Previously because now that blur was rushing him.
Genpaku dived back and to the side towards his room and the stairs as the wall suddenly exploded. He rolled to a stop near the wall and looked back at the now destroyed section of wall; what he found instead of his father standing there, glaring at him.
Hmm. It seems I missed.”
Though the voice issued from his father, it sounded nothing like him all at once.
You’re quicker than I had guessed in confined spaces.”
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as the voice issued forth once more.
Welp, no reason to keep the charade going, eh?”
Genpaku’s vision seemed to blur all at once, and his hand shot to his mouth to stop himself from vomiting; the coppery smell of blood assaulted him from every direction as he was greeted with the sight of his father no longer whole. His right arm looked to be falling off all together while there were deep gashes and puncture marks all over his front; his gut was cut open and his entrails were not where they were supposed to be.
Genpaku exploded from his spot, instinct taking over where his mind failed him; wherever he wanted to be it wasn’t near the sight. Something heavy slammed into his side, sending him spiraling towards the stairs and about halfway down them before he hit and rolled the rest of the way, landing in a heap at the bottom. Now dazed and confused, he looked towards the top of the stairs; the walls were shredded and splintered, dried blood decorated most every surface, and the corpse of his father fell in a heap. Behind it was the strange blur; it was the size of a car at least, though with his vision wobbling as bad as it was, he could be wrong. The sound of his mother cooking was no longer present; the only sound was the creak of wood as the blur moved forward down the stairs. Genpaku pushed himself back to his feet, regaining his senses just in time as the blur launched forward at incredible speed, slamming into the ground where he had just been. He felt something fly past him, and a hole suddenly appeared in the wall as part of the blur slammed into it.
He had dived out of the way of the first attack, and now he rolled back to his feet and charged one of the windows, lunging at and through it. He rolled along the grass outside, and found his feet again; he didn’t feel the cuts along his arms and shoulders from the glass thanks to the adrenaline; the only thing he felt was fear and the urge to get away from this house and the strange blur that seemed intent on going after him. He took off at a sprint, hurtling the fence of his yard and rushing down the street. Somewhere behind him the sound of wood splintering signaled that whatever the blur was, it had done away with the door of the house.
You’re pretty fast, boy.” The same spine chilling voice as before cooed right in his ear. Then something hit him harder than he had ever been hit, and he had been hit by a car once when he was younger. He flew sideways from the impact at least twenty feet before his back impacted on the far wall of the alleyway he had ran through earlier.
His vision blurred from the impact, the far off lights appeared to dance in his vision, he felt something inside him crack, and his mind raced to catch up with the events; it didn’t succeed as something hard and heavy slammed into his front and pressed him into the wall with more force than before. This time something broke, and he was pretty sure those were ribs. The impact sent his vision on a whole new dance as he tried to move his arms to push whatever was holding him there away, but his arms had been pinned at his sides when that something crashed into him and began to crush him into the wall. The voice from earlier suddenly broke out into cackling there in his face as his vision slowly came back into focus; everything except whatever was holding him there that was. He could only make out the outline of the thing and its head, or at least the general shape of its head. It was white in coloration, and had two dark spots that he assumed were eyes. He stared them down in the only gesture of defiance he could muster while he tried to figure out what was going on.
The creature’s cackle fell to a low chuckle as it looked back at him.
You can see me, can’t you human?”
Genpaku remained silent, more out of fear than defiance. There was another snap as the creature applied more pressure and more ribs snapped; he strangled sound of pain.
Oh, don’t hold back on my account. Let it all out,” the thing said, and part of the blur rose up; then it crashed down and something pierced his right shoulder and dove deep. This time he let out a yell of agony; he felt something warm wash over his chest under his shirt and tasted something coppery in his mouth. The scream was accompanied by another cackle from the creature and a second something piercing him, this time from the left side and in his stomach region. This time the sound of liquid hitting pavement sounded loud and clear in the desolate alley. Genpaku’s screams died down, unheard by the world.
Slowly the thing brutalizing him became more apparent to Genpaku; the bug-like appearance wasn’t far off as the creature was a giant centipede that had appendages like sickles for its front arms. It raised one of them up.
A little more seasoning, and you’ll be ready to ea-AHHHHHHHH”
The sickle-like appendage hit the floor as something flashed; Genpaku was sent sailing through the air as the creature removed its appendages from him and flung him down the alleyway behind it as it turned to stop something from hitting it. He hit the ground hard, but already it was getting hard to feel much of anything; he rolled along the damp concrete and came to rest in a small pool of trash fluid, vomit, and his own blood as it poured out of him. Though his vision was beginning to dim, he could make out a new figure in the alleyway.
It looked human to him, a man dressed in a strange and old outfit; he was dressed in a black samurai get-up complete with a katana which he had used to severe the previous sickle. His blade was currently clashing with the monster that had been attacking him, but the two separated a moment later. The man cursed as he saw the boy land, but he had no time to worry about that. The creature was upon him in a moment, its claws flashing to and fro, glistening in the fog scattered light with Genpaku’s blood.
Damn you shinigami! Do you know how hard it is to regrow one of those! I’ll devour your hide to make up for it!” the creature screamed as it rushed at the man. He was being overpowered.
Genpaku could only watch from his position on the ground; broken, bloodied, barely conscious and losing a great deal of blood very quickly there was nothing else he could do. Questions barraged his mind faster than he could answer them as he watched the two beings go at it. Darkness blacker than storm clouds clawed at the edges of his vision, and an icy chill ran from his legs down his body, wrapping him in an icy embrace; he was dying.
”No…I don’t want to die here…” he thought weakly.
”Because I need to avenge my family, I don’t want someone else to die for me, and I want to know what the hell that thing is. I have too much I want to-wait, who said that?”
The voice rang out as clear as though the owner was standing next to him; he tried weakly to turn and look, and blinked.
When his eyes opened he was no longer laying in the alleyway bleeding; he was in an alien place that looked like a stone arena of some kind. It was worn and old, and not peaceful in the slightest; he had to cover his face as a great gust of wind rushed him and flowed about him as though it were trying to hold him. Above him a great thunderstorm raged, lightning struck and shattered a stone archway, and the thunder shook the ground as though there was an earthquake. How had he gotten here? Where was the strange man that had tried to rescue him gone, or the creature for that matter? He uncovered one of his eyes to look around and try to piece together where he was.
That’s when he noticed that he wasn’t alone; standing across from him was a tall man, dressed in similar garb to the man who had attempted the rescue a minute or so prior. Genpaku would have mistaken him for the man from earlier if it weren’t for the fact that the man was wearing a strange white overcoat; the man’s gaze was centered on him, and he seemed un-phased by the raging storm about the pair of them. He started forward to get closer to the man, but the winds kicked up harder this time, and somewhere overhead lightning flashed and thunder roared.
”Who are you?” Genpaku called out to the man, though he was barely able to hear it over the sound of the storm. The man moved his mouth in what he guessed was an answer, but the words never reached his ears; the storm must have drowned it out. When he didn’t respond, the man seemed to sigh.
”I suppose it is not surprising that you cannot hear me yet,” the man said, and it sounded as though the man was standing next to him.
Another crack of lightning which landed somewhere in the stands of the ancient arena, and the thunder roared loud once more.
”What are you talking about?” he called back. Instead of answering the man looked up at the maelstrom for a few moments; Genpaku frowned, annoyed and horribly confused.
”Are you going to answer me or what?”
”In a few moments you will die, and yet all you can do is yell at me? Maybe it would have been better to just allow you to get eaten by that hollow,” the man replied, shooting a hard look in Genpaku’s direction. Why was he being scolded by a stranger? And what the fuck was a Hollow?
”How in the hell do you know so much of what’s going on? Where are we?”
The man just shook his head once more.
”That creature that attacked you was a hollow; it has hunted you down to devour you.”
Well, that was one question cleared up, though it wasn’t any of the questions he had asked the man.
”Now, a Shinigami will die having tried to save you. That hollow will get two very nice meals tonight it seems.”
”What is a shinigami?
”The man who tried to save you; a being that wields their soul to vanquish hollows.”
The lightning flashed once more, this time slamming into the ground between the two of them. Instead of simply making a crater, the ground began to fall away into nothingness. Genpaku stepped back from the chasm as it began to grow, the ground falling down into it.
”It begins; that is your death and all you can do is back away or stand idle? Your father would be disappointed.”
A flash of anger swept over Genpaku’s features at this.
”What the fuck do you know about my father?” he yelled, the question meant to be rhetorical.
”That he had the backbone to stand up for the things he believed in, something his son seems to have failed to inherit.”
If there had not been a gaping chasm of nothingness between them, Genpaku would have lunged at the man then and there. However, more of the ground heaved and fell into it, and so he backed up some more.
”I don’t even understand what is going on! What the fuck am I supposed to do!?”
The single word hung in the air for a few moments before it was shattered by the sound of thunder.
”Because the thing has nearly killed me alrea-“
”It HAS killed you. There is no one that can save you now; no one but yourself.”
Genpaku blinked, unsure of what the man was saying. He looked back at the falling ground as it drew closer to him. He tried to take another step back, but found the wall of the arena had crept up on him.
”You have nowhere else to run. If you hesitate now you will die. Your only option is to forge forward. Can you do that?”
Genpaku was silent, trying to answer that question in his head. Instead, he answered with another question. ”Who are you?”
The man gave what might have been a smirk.
”Why does that matter?”
”Because you seem to know what is going on here, and you seem to think I can fight my way out of this. I want to know who you are that backs up those thoughts.”
The man smirked at this, and shook his head.
”And I thought it would have been obvious to you by now. I am the one who can grant you the power to survive this, avenge your family, and forge a new life for yourself. I am the person who has been with you since you were born and will be with you until the day you fade from existence.”
The ground had nearly reached Genpaku by now, and a strange roar fell from the sky. His eyes went skyward, where he saw the maelstrom had grown, and now there was spider lightning coursing over the clouds, the epicenter of it seeming to be directly above him.
”Genpaku.” Genpaku’s eyes went back to the man, who was now floating above the chasm just a few feet from him.
”I am a piece of your soul.”
There was the crash of lightning and roar of thunder.
Meanwhile the beast and the shinigami continued their fight in the alleyway; the shinigami was in bad shape with several bad gashes along his arms and shoulders. He was breathing heavily by this point as well; he couldn’t land a decent blow when the Hollow could retaliate with so many different weapons from different directions for its counterattack.
Die damn you, Shinigami!” the creature roared as it surged forward once more, as it attempt to grab the shinigami in a deadly embrace. As the shinigami jumped back to avoid the attack he was hit with the creature’s massive back section, sending him hurtling into the wall. It, for its part, could not believe its luck; first the boy with the abnormal amount of spiritual energy and now a Shinigami to feed upon. The shinigami was back on his feet before he ever hit the ground, but he was struck again and sent up into the air. The Hollow poised one of its sickles for the killing blow.
It never got the chance to land the strike as a new reiatsu suddenly hit the area; there was a blur of motion near the hollow and another sickle was sundered and hit the ground. The hollow let out a scream of pain as it tried to find what had just attacked it. The shinigami hit the ground hard just a few feet away, though he rolled off to the side out of the way as the Hollow locked onto the source of the Reiatsu. At the mouth of the alleyway was another shinigami; this one looked all too familiar. The Hollow shot a glance back at the broken and bloodied body of the boy he had been about to eat, which now lay lifeless and more importantly soulless upon the ground. It turned back, prepared to howl at the fledgling Shinigami and kill him, but found the alley mouth empty; pain exploded along its side as Genpaku’s blade detached another one of the sickles.
It let out another yell of pain as it suddenly launched off from the ground, sailing through the air backwards.
How the hell did you get Shinigami powers boy!?” it screeched; its response was him appearing just above it, shoving his Zanpaku-tou straight down into its midsection and consequently the ground beneath. The Hollow howled again, but this time its remaining sickles shut like a trap in an attempt to catch the boy; they grasped nothing but air. Genpaku had pushed off of the creature, and now appeared on the ground behind the creature’s head. His hand slammed into the top of the creature’s mask in an open palmed strike; fractures rushed over the creature’s bone mask from the force.
Genpaku appeared once more as his hand closed around a second katana at his side. The blade flashed in the scattered streetlight as the remaining sickles were sundered and left to fall to the ground. The creature hit the ground with a thud and a wail.
The words were said with such venom and malice, and yet it was nothing compared to the look in Genpaku’s eyes; the alley was lighted by a brilliant emerald glow as Genpaku’s reiatsu flared, the second blade plunged into the Hollow’s throat, and he struck the creature dead in the center of its face with a closed fist strike; the force of this blow finished the job of the first as the mask shattered, the Hollow let out its death knell, and it slowly dissipated, its remains flitting into the night like ashes in the wind.
Mourning and the Oath
Silence hung in the alley after that; Genpaku stood there as he watched the creature that had ended everything for him slowly fade away. His hands wrapped around the blades that now stood stuck in the concrete ground. He looked up as the Hollow dissipated, and only now noticed the bodies of the gang members; as much as he disliked them they didn’t deserve this. His would-be savior had by now propped himself up against the wall, but sat in silence as he tried to make sense of what was going on; after all the boy he had been trying to save had just turned into a Shingami, slayed a powerful Hollow, and saved his life. Genpaku turned and walked over to his body which now lay bloodied, broken, and lifeless; he stood there for a few minutes in silence again before kneeling down and cleaning the blood from his blade on his old shirt. He slid the blades back into their sheathes; a polite noise broke the fragile silence in the alleyway as the Shinigami tried to get his attention.
”I’m honestly not in much of a mood to talk.”
This seemed to catch the Shinigami off guard as Genpaku turned on his heel and started to walk on and past him. The Shinigami reached out to grab Genpaku’s arm, but grabbed only air; Genpaku appeared at the end of the alleyway, a glare of anger on his face as he looked back at the Shinigami.
I need you to come with me; there are questions that need to be-”
”I’m not going anywhere,” he interjected.
I’m sorry to tell you that you don’t have a choice in that matter,” the man countered; a bluff considering he had not been able to deal with that Hollow. Genpaku called that bluff; he vanished again, but this time he simply ran. His speed far outstripped that of the other Shinigami, and he flew down the road towards the city center at speeds that made his old track records look like he had been running with one leg.
And yet he knew he was being followed. He could…feel the man a good ways behind him. The man gave off a kind of pressure that he recognized as similar to what he now gave off. If he could feel that, then it was safe to assume that the man could as well. This was probably the power the Hollow had been after now that he thought about it. Genpaku ceased reaching out and instead looked inward, hunting for that same kind of feeling in himself. He got a small feel of it, and he grabbed onto it as best he could and reigned it in. He pushed his emotions down, composing himself as he ran along at frightening speeds. Slowly he seemed to lose the man. By the time he had he had covered most of the city, and now found himself in the area of new construction where they were working on larger buildings. He came to a stop as he looked up, before he jumped up towards the roof. It took a bit, but eventually he reached the top of the building and took a seat. And finally, with no other distractions to keep his mind off those hurtful subjects and nothing to keep the adrenaline moving the sixteen year old boy broke down.
He sat there atop the building for many hours and failed to notice that the storm above him broke and poured down upon the earth with relentless persistence. By the time the horizon began to lighten though the storm had moved on though the haze had remained, as had Genpaku. By this time he had stopped crying though he didn’t feel any better; sure this wasn’t his first experience with death, he had lost a grandmother a year or so back, but that experience didn’t soften the blow of last night. He now found himself completely alone in the world, a world that boasted far more threats than he had ever been aware of. He had only the vaguest understanding of where he now stood, the powers he held, and so on.
The one saving grace was that he was not adrift in this world. During the hours after the event, when he had been able to compose his mind enough for coherent thought, he had decided on a course of action. First though he would take the time to properly mourn his family as best he could; he doubted the shinigami from last night would feel great about being blown off, or that Soul Society would exactly enjoy a Shinigami running around unchecked. He would have to keep a low profile once he began his work. For now though, he had something else he had to take care of. He pushed himself to his feet and took a breath of the morning air; the world kept on turning even with something as horrible as last night having passed. Then again, these kinds of things probably happened far more often than he knew. He took a step and fell through the air.
He came to a stop near his home; his old home now he supposed. He surveyed the area and damages; the window he jumped through was shattered as he had expected. The Hollow had crashed through the front door, leaving only the top most part of the door hanging on its hinges. Several of the windows were broken, and there was a decent bit of blood smeared on them and on the walls. The Hollow had been hiding the scene from him when he had first gone in, and he had been so intent on escaping after that he hadn’t noticed. This…was going to be a lot worse than he had originally expected. He started forward again, but came to a halt; his father’s body had been discarded at the foot of the stairs when the Hollow had lunged, and the sight of that alone nearly made him gag again. The coppery smell of blood wafted from the house, and he turned away from the sight. The man that had raised him and cared for him…this wasn’t right. None had heard the commotion last night because of the Hollow’s power, and who knew how long it would be before someone came across it.
He took a minute to regain his composure, and to try his best to steel himself for what he would see soon. He turned back to the sight, and walked cautiously into the home. Signs of damage were everywhere; the walls were gashed and splintered in places; there were a few large holes where the Hollow must have gone through it to get to someone. He stopped and looked up to see a large hole in the ceiling as well; this was probably where the Hollow had made its entrance while he was away. He walked around the body of his father, doing his best to keep from looking at it; he had seen enough of that as it was. As he turned the corner into the living room he saw that the room had been ravaged much the same way the entry hall had been. More disconcerting was the trail of blood that ran through the middle of the room. He felt the bottom of his stomach drop off the face of the earth as his eyes followed the trail from the window through the living room and into the kitchen. Even though he had seen his father like…that, there was a part of him that had hoped not to find the rest of his family in a similar state. A naïve, vain hope, but hope all the same.
He ran into the kitchen, and that when he lost it. He turned and lost whatever resided in this body’s stomach all over the kitchen floor. What was left of his mother lay there upon the ground, covering a smaller body that could only have been his brother; they lay there together in a pool of their own blood. Their bodies were punctured straight through to the ground, his brother’s skull was half smashed in, and his mother’s head was barely connected at this point. Genpaku stumbled backwards, collapsing against the cabinets. He had to fight down his instinct to run away again, to get away from this place that he so badly wanted to be away from. Tears broke through what little composure he had mustered thus far, and his vision blurred. He stood back up; he couldn’t stay here anymore. However, he couldn’t leave it like this either. He grabbed the telephone nearby and dialed the number for the local police station; he set the phone down, and was gone before the officer on duty had picked up the phone.
He didn’t know where he was going at this point; he simply had to go. He had to get away from that house, from the sight, from all of that. He could barely see where he was going as hot tears poured down his face; he hit several objects as he ran, but barely noticed them. He only came to a stop when he reached the pier that looked out towards the east at the rising sun. He sat down upon the docks, let his head fall into his hands, and let himself cry once more. The images of his family could not be erased by any amount of crying though, and the sorrow in his heart threatened to swallow him whole. He simply sat there for a long time as the sun rose, people appeared, and he remained invisible to the moving world. Eventually his tears ran dry even though he had not finished crying, and so he sat there and sobbed into the silence of the spiritual world. Eventually even this stopped though, and Genpaku fell to the side, leaning against one of the wooden posts of the docks; exhaustion had trapped him, and unconsciousness sunk its claws in deep.
In retrospect, he was incredibly lucky he was not found by something during this time. How long he was out he doesn’t know, but when he awoke he hoped everything had been a dream. The weight of the swords at his side shattered that hope within moments, and it took a great deal of will power to stop himself from breaking down again. He pushed himself to his feet; it was night now, though just how late it was he wasn’t sure. He simply wandered away from the pier then, through the streets in a type of daze. He had fought to stay alive, but now he wondered why; he had killed the creature that had killed his family, he had saved the Shinigami that had attempted to rescue him, and now he was at a loss for where to go and what to do. Honestly all he wanted to do at this point was lay down and die.
”Then I will take back my power.”
The voice broke him out of his senseless wandering. He spun around to find the man from before standing a few feet away, his eyes harsh as he glared down at Genpaku.
”If I had known you’d be so weak that you’d fail this quickly, I would have saved the hassle of showing you power in the first place.”
”Shut the fuck up! What the hell do you expect me to do? I killed the Hollow, I slaughtered the damn thing. I’ve lost everyone; what should I be doing?”
The pair stood in silence for a few moments, Genpaku enraged and the man as calm as the sky above them.
”Your family is dead. You were doomed to meet the same fate and yet you freed yourself from it. Is it not your duty to live on for them now? Is it not your duty to stop this kind of tragedy from taking place once more; you, who have experienced firsthand the pain? If you cannot or will not, then I will take that power back from you, and you may fade silently away into nothingness. The choice is yours.”
Genpaku blinked, taken aback by the suggestion; these were thoughts that had not occurred to him.
”Instead of hanging onto the past, you should decide what you will do in the future with that newfound power of yours.”
And the man was gone. Genpaku blinked, looked around, but could not figure out either how the man had arrived or departed. Genpaku’s anger flared once more.
”That’s easy for you to say you crazy old man!” His voice echoed off the walls, but his only answer was silence.
So he turned and continued walking, his destination not entirely clear to him. However, the seed had been sown; he now had power that he had never dreamed existed, but what would he do with it? For now, the time being, he would not do much with it. Genpaku would spend the next couple of weeks wandering the city that had been his home for the entirety of his life. He would find out that the murder of his family had made front page news, being proclaimed as the work of a serial killer. At first, this angered Genpaku; how could the government say that when it was obvious by the damage that the crime committed was not by anything human. More importantly, he found out that the funeral ceremony would take place a week later. He attended, despite the obvious risk that he associated with doing so. If the Shinigami from Soul Society knew who he was, then this would be an obvious place to look. He went all the same though; it was only right after all. It was also probably one of the strangest experiences; attending his own funeral. He saw family there he had not seen in years, though they did not see him obviously. The family was buried together, and long after everyone else had departed Genpaku remained, standing silent vigil over the graves as he thought.
Eventually he left as well, wandering back into the city. There was still a hollow spot in his heart, an encompassing sorrow that had merely been put at bay like a wild animal behind a fence that threatened to devour him should he allow it. Eventually, the government found and convicted someone for the Arishima family murder. While this angered him, he knew somewhere in the rational part of his mind that the government needed to come up with some kind of excuse or thing to blame to keep the public from freaking out. It didn’t console him though that the government was incapable of doing a damn thing about the problem. That was Soul Societies job he supposed, but from his personal experience they weren’t doing too good of a job. Slowly, an idea began to form in his head; he had been told that when a Hollow ate someone, that person usually turned into a Hollow themselves. That meant that his family could be out there somewhere, now like the creature that had killed them in the first place. He stopped his walking then, his fight tightening at his side.
”Those damn creatures. I hate them…” he muttered. He took a breath. Slowly, over the course of several days his sorrow began to change and deepen into a burning hatred for the creatures that had destroyed everything he had known and loved.
”I’ll kill the bastards. I’ll kill a thousand of them before I do anything else.”
The Hunt and the Capture
There was a very good reason that Genpaku had not been caught up until this point. Within Soul Society there were far larger problems afoot. The events of the Pendulum were in full swing, and Soul Society had to deal with the disappearance of Kisuke Urahara, Tessai Tsukabishi, Yoruichi Shihoin, and the eight vizards created at the time. A new Shinigami that had yet to prove to be dangerous to them was of no threat or consequence and thus was more or less ignored. Reports would come in from time to time about the mysterious Shinigmai who had appeared from nowhere. Genpaku began to earn a nickname for himself, though he was unaware of it; the Phantom Shingiami as he was called was given the title because of the fact that his natural speed made it so that he could outrun most of the Shinigmai he came into contact with, and he never spared words for them; he would simply dispatch the Hollow in the area and vanish without a trace. Since this was all he was doing at the time, Soul Society saw it as more profitable to leave the Shinigami on the loose rather than put any real effort into bringing him in; he was taking care of a problem in the real world that allowed them another inch of breathing room during one of the most hectic times in its history to date.
Genpaku had no notions of this; he had made an oath to both himself and the souls of his family that he would slay these monsters before he did anything else, and so he went about it. The sorrow that had been in his heart had fanned and turned into smoldering hatred; he struck down Hollow after Hollow indiscriminately. At first it was hard to find the creatures, and they were tough to defeat. He quickly learned that each Hollow was different, with different powers and capabilities. He also began to learn the differences in power between Hollows; larger ones seemed to possess more power and were significantly harder to defeat than smaller ones. They had varying degrees of perception about them as well; he was able to sneak up on some of them and dispatch them before they realized he was in the area. He had to be careful, however; the more he allowed his rage and anger to take over, the more power he seemed to release. He had noticed it when he had first gotten his power; the Shinigami had been letting off some kind of power that he could sense, and the Hollow had as well. The two had very different feels to them, and he was coming to understand them. He knew he released a similar kind of power; it was what lent force to his attacks when he had finished off the Hollow earlier. The better rein he had on his emotions, the better control he had it seemed; the less of the power he gave off the harder he was to find. This was one of the most important lessons he had learned concerning his new powers. It was this power that led him to the Hollows he slew. With each fight he learned more about his powers, but the rage in his heart did not wane and the anger in his soul did not fade. Then, one night, it as questioned.
The night had been silent as Genpaku stood on the tall building overlooking the city. It had been over twenty years now since the night that had changed Genpaku’s life forever. In those years he had slain 900 Hollows, had ranged over most of Japan by this point, and had managed to avoid being picked up by any Shinigami. He sat there, enjoying the silence of the night until he felt something; the appearance of a Hollow’s power somewhere nearby. He was on his feet in a moment, but as quickly as it appeared it was gone. It was never that simple though; he closed his eyes and listened to the sounds of the night as he waited. The scream of a young girl pierced the night, and he was off. He landed hard on the ground and took off down the streets towards where he heard the sound come from. As he turned a corner he saw the spirit of a young girl running down the street, tears streaming down her face. A moment later a huge Hollow rounded the corner, finding its target and lunging. It slammed into the ground hard with no satisfying snack to dull the pain. Genpaku landed twenty yards away, setting the little girl down.
”Run and hide; get away from here.”
The girl seemed to need no further encouragement as she took off in the opposite direction as the Hollow regained its footing, turning to face the annoying pest that had just stolen its meal.
How dare you Shinigmai! I’ll-“ the creature began, but was cut off as Genpaku charged forward, jumping towards the creature’s mask and drawing his blade and attempting to slice through the mask in one swoop. The creature intercepted the attack however, grasping the sword in one hand. The creature was more humanoid than most of the Hollows he had seen until now, with a narrow mask and strange thick tentacles for hair. The Hollow’s hair suddenly moved, flipping forward to reveal deadly looking spikes at the ends; the hair surged forward to impale him. His options were limited; he released his hold on his Zanpaku-tou and dropped out of range of the initial attack, and lunged backwards away from the Hollow as it slammed a fist into the ground. He drew the second blade as he landed and took a stance.
Feisty little bastard aren’t you!” the Hollow roared at him before it threw the Zanpaku-tou away, letting it clatter down the street behind him as he lunged towards the Shinigami. Genpaku let out a breath as his reiatsu rose; he shot forward to meet the Hollow, jumping at the last second to avoid getting caught up the creature’s mouth and arms. The tentacles shot up to impale him, but he cut several of them down before landing on the creature’s back. The rest of them, however, followed and suddenly wrapped around the second blade. The creature landed on all fours and turned to roll over onto its back, and consequently crush him. He was forced to abandon the second blade then as well as he released the grip and shot straight up and away from the creature. The Hollow was now looking directly at him, and opened its mouth wide; a strange crimson light suddenly issued forth. Whatever it was, he didn’t want to be there for it; he unconsciously created a platform of reishi below his foot and shot to the left as the strange blast flew past.
He landed and took his stance as the Hollow let out a loud laugh.
You’re unarmed now boy. Give up and become my dinner.”
Genpaku sunk deeper into his stance as he weighed his options. One of his blades was just a ways behind him; he might be able to make it to it before the creature attacked again. However, if he was wrong on the speed it would almost certainly end with him getting wounded. The Hollow believed him unable to harm it now that he was unarmed; that was something he could use to his advantage.
Come now; can’t you see reason brother?”
He stopped, momentarily shocked by the words. The creature was upon him in that moment, its huge fist crashing down onto the spot where he had been a moment before. He came out of his roll and jumped up and back, landing on the side of a building as he looked down at the creature. It could be…
You’re a lot stronger than I would have guessed, Genpaku. I didn’t expect to see you. Ever.”
He had known this was a possibility; he had set out with it in his mind to put the souls of his family to rest if they were indeed turned as he had feared. However, he had not come across any of them in this entire time; he had dismissed the possibility. And yet his younger brother now stood before him, strong, dangerous, and a monster.
It was after you, brother. It didn’t care about us. It just wanted to use us to get you. It’s your fault Genpaku.”
”How was I supposed to-“ he yelled, attempting to defend himself; a piece of the street flew in his direction. His instinct kicked in, and he lashed out with an open palmed strike, unconsciously placing power behind it. The pavement broke under the strength of the attack; his brother was almost too him already, one of his large fists closing the distance.
I wonder if you’ll taste as good as mom and dad!”
Genpaku jumped, the fist passed directly under him and into the side of the building as he landed on the arm. He punched straight down into his brother’s arm, power directed down with it; he heard the sound of breaking bones as he pushed off and shot past his brother. He landed on the street behind his brother as the Hollow let out a roar of pain, holding its arm in pain. He shot forward, coming to a stop next to its right leg as he planted his feet, drew in as much energy as he could, and slammed his fight into its right knee. So much force lay behind the blow the creature’s leg buckled, and it fell to the ground, its leg bent at a strange angle.
His assault did not end here. He jumped and landed in midair behind the left shoulder, and lashed out with a fierce punch to the back of the arm near the socket; he succeeded in pushing the creature’s arm out of its socket, rendering three of its four limbs useless. The creature roared in pain.
WHY GENPAKU!? WHY BROTHER!?”
Genpaku landed and shot around to the creature’s front before jumping, coming to rest for a moment directly before his brother’s face. There were tears once more, for the first time in twenty years as he looked at his younger brother, now a killing machine.
”Because I’m sorry. May you…rest in peace.”
His fist slammed into his brother’s face, and he felt the mask shatter under the force of the hit. It let out a roar as it began to dissipate. Genpaku landed, and was surprised when his leg buckled under him. He looked down and found that there was a good sized gash just below his right knee. He looked back at the Hollow as it dissipated, and forced himself to stand and limp the last foot to the creature. He placed a hand on the dissipating creature; tears now flowed freely down his face.
”I can only ask for your forgiveness brother. That I was not able to find you sooner.”
Genpaku’s eyes went wide as the voice of his brother, his actual brother, rose and slowly faded away in the night air. He stood there for a few moments before turning and limping down the street to reclaim his Zanpaku-tous. He would have to move as quickly as possible; with a fight like that, Shinigami would be upon the area in no time. He had gone only a handful of feet when the wind kicked up; there was a sudden presence behind him, and he turned to find a Shinigami standing just behind him. The man had long white hair that disappeared behind his shoulders and was parted to the left. He looked rather thin really, but wore a smile that reached his green eyes. He was dressed similar to the strange man that had given him his power all those years before; the Shinigami garb with the addition of the strange white haori or overcoat. Most of this was inconsequential to Genpaku; if he could have moved back and taken a stance he would have, but his leg was preventing that.
”You should probably be more careful, Mr. Phantom Shingami.”
Genpaku’s eyes narrowed at this; he wasn’t sure who exactly he was dealing with, but the lax attitude he was taking wasn’t making him feel any more at ease. The man looked him over a moment.
”If you don’t do something about that wound you’re going to run into a lot of problems.”
Genpaku forced himself to move then, perceiving the words as a threat or warning; he forced himself to move, covering the distance between himself and his second Zanpaku-tou in a few moments; he wrapped his hand around the hilt, but his leg buckled as he came to a stop. He twisted around to face the man, and was surprised to find him…still standing in the same place. The man simply stood there, blinked at him, and seemed to try and figure out what he was doing. Pain shot through Genpaku from his leg and his left shoulder; he hadn’t noticed that he had been hit their earlier either. He cringed, one eye closing while the other kept locked on the man, except he wasn’t there anymore.
The man was at his side, examining the wound. What was that speed? Genpaku began to bring the blade around towards the man, but he suddenly felt a strange sensation come over him; his vision blurred and he saw strange blossoms falling ahead of him, and then nothing but darkness. In that darkness, he was given a moment’s peace of mind, a time to think and sort things out. The feelings of sorrow he had allowed to morph into rage had returned like a vengeful wave and thrown him into internal chaos once more. Now though, he got to stop, think, and order his mind once more.
”Of what use is your power?”
The voice rang out in his mind; it was light, feminine, and cheery. He tried to open his eyes and look around, but all he could see was darkness.
”What will you do with your power; will you simply continue to wander the world to kill these creatures? Or will you put it to a better use?”
”Who…what…where are you?”
He got no answer to the jumbled question. After what seemed like only a few moments more light flooded his eyes.
He found himself lying on the sidewalk of the street; it was still night so he had not been out very long. Beside him lay his two blades. He remembered the man, and brought himself up to look for him; he found him sitting not too far away, seeming to not pay attention to him. He seemed almost to be napping. Genpaku checked his shoulder and leg, but was surprised to find the wounds were healed. Did he…he started to think as he looked back, and found the man looking at him.
”It seems you are awake. How do you feel?”
Genpaku was genuinely surprised by the question; he was surprised by most of this situation to be frank.
”…Better,” was all he could get out. The man gave a smile and a nod. He stood up and took a few steps towards Genpaku before stopping and holding out his hand.
Genpaku looked at the hand for a moment before his eyes returned to the man. He stood up slowly, testing his leg before he decided what to do. He reached out and took the man’s hand.
”Arishima Genpaku. A pleasure to meet you sir.”
”Likewise. Now, I need to speak with you. I have orders to bring you in to Soul Society.”
Genpaku retracted his hand and distanced himself from the man, ready to run. However, his Zanpaku-tous were still on the ground.
”I won’t go,” he said plainly to the man.
Ukitake took a breath and sighed, shaking his head.
”I figured as much. Why not?”
Genpaku blinked; the few Shinigami that he had ran into had attempted to bring him in, but had never asked why he wouldn’t go. Part of that might be because he never gave them a chance.
”I have an oath to fulfill. I swore I’d slay a thousand Hollows before I did anything else.”
”How many do you have left to kill?”
Genpaku did a quick tally in his head. ”Ninety-nine.”
Ukitake was quiet for a few moments as he thought.
”Alright then, what if I make you a deal? What if I follow you while you finish this oath; once you have completed it, you come with me to Soul Society?”
Genpaku’s choices were limited here; he was ninety percent sure that this man had knocked him out without ever laying a finger on him. He could have taken him to Soul Society while he was unconscious. Instead, he had fixed him up and waited. All things considered, it was not a bad tradeoff he supposed.
Ukitake smiled. Genpaku reached down and collected the two blades, replacing them in their sheaths. He didn’t like striking the deal really; part of him felt like he had just signed away his future. Then again, he had no plans after he had finished slaying the Hollows. The words of the strange voice while he was blacked out came back, and the question seemed to hold more meaning now. Even with all of that in consideration though, he didn’t like the fact that the choice had, in a way, been forced out of his hands. He turned and started down the street as he decided that it wouldn’t do him any good to brood on it; he would deal with the problem when it came up rather than now. For the time being, he would rather focus on what needed done. He had another Ninety-nine Hollows to find and slay before he would have to really worry about that deal needing to be paid.
Ukitake followed along, quietly at first. Slowly, he began to ask questions; questions about where Genpaku came from, how he had gotten his powers, and so on. At first, Genpaku didn’t really offer much of an answer. He had grown used to the absence of companionship, the lack of someone else to speak with. But slowly that changed, and he related the events to the Captain. Given twenty years, he had made peace more or less with what had happened. He kept his focus ahead rather than behind. He couldn’t be sure, but it seemed like Ukitake’s presence drew more Hollows out of wherever the scum hid. He found them at a much higher rate than he had previously managed too; it took only a little over a week and a half for him to find the Hollows he had been after. Ukitake remained out of his fights and allowed him to complete them at his own pace; he simply observed. He offered pointers every now and then, and Genpaku decided to not look a gift horse in the mouth on this one. When he had slain the final Hollow, Ukitake collected on the deal; he opened a Senkai Gate to Soul Society. For a moment, he contemplated running and trying to lose him. However, he remembered that night when they had met; there was no way he would manage to pull it off. It would only result in him being knocked unconscious and brought to Soul Society anyway. It would be better to go under his own power, and show some co-operation. So he gave a small nod and walked into the light, out of one world and into a new one.
Last edited by Genpaku on Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:17 am; edited 12 times in total
Joined : 2010-12-19
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|Subject Post 2Subject: Re: The History of the Anomaly Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:28 pm|| |
The pair walked through the gate, and Genpaku was blinded by the light coming from it for a moment. When he opened his eyes again, he laid his sight upon Seireitei for the first time; his eyes followed the line of the giant ivory tower that stood like a crown at the top of a large hill. There was a large jutting outcrop that hung out into thin air. The buildings were all of an older design, reminiscent of ancient times in Japan. He felt a light pressure on his back, and he looked back at Ukitake, who gave him a small smile and directed him forward. He followed along, noting the fact that he was getting strange looks from some of the Shinigami he passed. His hand instinctively curled around one of his Zanpaku-tous, but he continued to follow Ukitake through the twists and turns. He wasn’t entirely sure where he was being led and he didn’t know how he felt about it either. People constantly turned and bowed to Ukitake as he passed them, much to his apparent annoyance as he told them to stop. It wasn’t until someone called out “Ukitake-taicho” that he began to piece things together. He didn’t know exactly where Captains sat in this structure, but the position certainly seemed to command respect.
Finally they came to a stop before a giant door with the symbol for One painted on it.
”This is the Headquarters of the First Division. The So-Taicho(Captain Commander) of the Gotei 13 resides here.” Ukitake spoke up, sensing a question.
”Gotei 13?” Genpaku responded without looking away from the door.
”Think of it as the military of Soul Society.”
That was all he really needed to hear. They proceeded inside, and were led through hallways and rooms, twists and turns, and finally to a large closed door. Ukitake knocked lightly.
”Who is it?” an older voice rang out; it rang clear with the sound of authority and power.
”Captain Ukitake of the Thirteenth Division. I’ve brought the Phantom Shinigami.”
Silence fell upon the area for several moments; long enough to make Genpaku wonder if he had made the correct decision. Could he still run? Where would he go at this point?
”Enter,” the voice commanded, because make no mistake it was an order not a request. The doors opened for a marvelous view of the area, and only now did he have the proper perspective to see the fact that Soul Society was massive; the buildings stretched out to the horizon where they hit a wall, and then continued. Honestly, he could have stood there and just marveled at the view for hours; the sound of someone clearing their throat brought him out of his wonder though, and he turned to find an old man sitting at a desk. Standing a ways back from the old one was another man who looked younger though by no means young; greyed hair and a distinguished appearance hinted at a higher standing, though the absence of the white overcoat meant he might not be as high as the old man and Ukitake?
”This is him?” the old man asked, and Ukitake gave a nod. The old man turned his eyes back to Genpaku, and seemed to appraise him.
The old man’s stare was intense as he studied him, but Genpaku simply looked back and did the same; while the old man didn’t seem that threatening under all of those jackets and such there was a sense of knowledge and power about him that told Genpaku one thing; it would have been a very bad idea to try and attack him or even try and get away.
”You are the boy who mysteriously acquired Shinigami powers, correct?” the man asked. Genpaku responded with a nod.
Genpaku remained silent for a few moments as he thought how to explain it.
”I didn’t want to die, sir,” he finally responded. The So-Taicho raised an eyebrow. ”Explain.”
So Genpaku did. He re-counted the events of the night he would have preferred to forget, explained how the Hollow had used his love ones as a cover to lull him into a false sense of security, and how he had been murdered. He explained how the strange man had appeared as he was dying and offered him a chance to live, and he explained how he took that chance and exacted revenge on that Hollow, and then its kind. By the time he had finished recounting his tale, the sun was low in the sky. He let the room fall into silence after he had finished telling his tale, and waited to see what would come of it. The So-Taicho remained silent for a long time, seeming to mull the details of the story over in his mind for a while. Obviously something didn’t sit well with him about the story, or else his silence would not have dragged on so long.
”And when you came too with your powers, you had two swords at your side?”
The So-Taicho lapsed back into silence again for a few moments before he turned to Ukitake.
”Take him down to the detainment cells, and call Captain Kuchiki here.”
”Detainment? I have-“
”Yes, Yamma-jii. Come along Genpaku.”
”But I hav-“ began, annoyance clear in his voice; he was silence by a pulse of power from the other side of the room. He turned his eyes back to the So-Taicho.
”I am the one in charge here, Arishima Genpaku. I gave an order; you would do well to not resist that order.”
Genpaku bit back his tongue, anger bristling in him like a wild animal. He turned and silently followed Ukitake out of the office. Once they were out of hearing range, Genpaku turned to Ukitake.
”What the hell have I done?!” he blurted out in indignation.
”Nothing. However, you don’t have the most sterling of reputations at the moment; every time someone tried to bring you here you’ve ran away or disappeared. The So-Taicho wishes to discuss what should be done for now, and for the duration of that discussion he’d like to know where you are. That’s all.”
While that made sense, it didn’t sit well with Genpaku. From the way it was put, it sounded like there was the possibility of him being put into even more trouble at the moment. The lack of freedom did not sit well with him. However, the rational part of his brain knew that the less resistance he gave now the better; he would get a chance to speak his piece if it came to it…he hoped. They reached the cells, and he was directed into one of them. The doors were locked behind him, a guard posted, and Ukitake gave one last reassuring smile before he disappeared around a corner.
Genpaku let out a small sigh; he hated this already. He found it strange that he had been allowed to keep his weapons; it seemed like something that he shouldn’t have been allowed if there was the worry that he’d try and escape. Then again, this could be some kind of test; if he did try and escape then he would be in real trouble; that much he could figure out. It made more sense that he was being tested than anything else; he didn’t know the kinds of power that he was dealing with, or the fact that the bars he was behind would absorb energy from his side. This was simply information he was not privy too. He looked at the chair that sat in the room, and decided against sitting in it. He walked over to the far wall and sat back against it, looking out towards the entrance, he Zanpaku-tous leaning against the wall next to him. With nothing else to really occupy his mind or time, he allowed himself to close his eyes for a nap; what else was he really supposed to do at this point after all? Slowly he faded away, sleep claiming the young Shinigami. While he slept, others set about uncovering a history that had become obscure in an effort to answer two questions; why did the boy have two Zanpaku-tous, and what would be done with him?
A Legacy Uncovered
He wasn’t sure how long he had been out, but he was rudely awakened by the pounding of something hard against the wooden bars of his cell. Startled, he opened his eyes as his hands closed around his Zanpaku-tou. The guard from earlier now stood at the bars, looking at him.
”The So-Taicho wishes to speak with you again.”
He gave a disgruntled growl of disapproval; going from being free-wandering to at someone’s beckon call rubbed him the wrong way. All the same, what choice did he really have; he had already walked into this and for the moment a way out had yet to present itself. He released his hold on his Zanpaku-tou, stood up, and walked out of the cell. The guard had already started off, and Genpaku sped up his walk to catch up to him as he followed through the maze-like division office. He stole a glance outside; it was the dead of night. Considering it had been close to evening when he had reached the cell he must have been out for a few hours.
They were heading somewhere different; even having been here only a short time he knew that much. The directions didn’t feel the same in the slightest, and he was catching sight of views he didn’t recognize. They walked in silence till they reached a door, and exited into the outside; the fresh night air was a relief to him, since he had felt pinned up since being put in the cell. He stopped for a moment, taking in a lung-full of air before he turned and continued behind the man. He was led to a large door, where the man stopped and announced their arrival.
”Enter,” the old man’s voice sounded from the other side, and the door opened to allow him. He looked at the man, but when he made no move Genpaku turned and strode inside, ready to deal with whatever awaited him. He found a large empty room, enclosed on all sides unlike the previous room where they had met. The ceiling was high, disappearing into shadow before he found it. There was a large chair on a raised platform at the back center of the room.
Sitting in said chair was the So-Taicho, and standing ahead of it were several people, all of whom were now looking expectantly at him. One of them was Ukitake, the only face he recognized other than the So-Taicho. The other two occupants were a mystery to him; one was a dark haired man who currently wore a strange reed hat you saw in old movies along with a flower overcoat, a regal looking man whose stare made Genpaku bristle slightly because he felt like he was already being looked down upon. He held back his attitude all the same though; he had noted that he was now the only occupant in the room was not wearing one of those white Haori’s; getting on the bad side of anyone in this room would probably not end up being a smart move for him in the end.
”This is Arishima Genpaku, the boy we’ve been discussing. Arishima, you have been called here to discuss something that has come to our attention. Are you aware of any connection between yourself and Soul Society prior to this point that you have not disclosed to me already?”
”No,” was his answer without a moment’s hesitation. The Captains exchanged looks. What exactly had they found while he had been asleep? It was the regal looking man that spoke. His voice was strangely monotone.
”Arishima Genpaku, it has been discovered that you are linked to a dead Noble Family that once lived within Soul Society.”
From the silence that followed it was obvious that this was supposed to mean something to him. He looked between those assembled for a moment.
”I’m sorry. That means absolutely nothing to me,” he finally said though he was pretty sure that much was obvious by now.
”The Royal Families are aristocrats. Depending on the family, they are tasked with different things. The Kuchiki Clan, led by Captain Kuchiki here, is tasked with preserving and protecting the History of Soul Society.”
”Beyond this, the royal families are split between the Noble Houses and the Lesser Families. Currently, Four Noble families exist within Soul Society. At one time, others existed and one of them was the family you belonged too. It was charged with collection and preservation of important spiritual artifacts.” Byakuya said.
Genpaku looked between the old man and the Kuchiki as he now knew him. He let the room fall into silence as he processed the information. They were leading up to something, and they had left out the most important part.
”What happened to it?” he finally asked.
Byakuya looked over to the So-Taicho for a moment before turning back to answer.
”A dispute broke out over the care of several powerful artifacts that had come into the family’s possession. It erupted into a full out war between different sides of the family. For several weeks the family warred with itself before the dispute was forced to rest by the actions of one of its members. They took one of the artifacts that had been corrupted; it drove the man insane and he began to needlessly slaughter the other members of the family. He was only stopped when the last head of the Arishima Family returned from a mission, discovered the atrocity, and slew the man. He took the artifact as well as another one, and fled Soul Society in shame. Because of the artifact, we were unable to find him. That was many centuries ago.”
”I see,” Genpaku responded. He thought this over for a moment, nearly missing the man’s next sentence.
”It is that bloodline that has given you a second Zanpaku-tou as well.”
Genpaku looked back at the man. ”Why do you say that? Is it strange to have two? They both do.” For emphasis, he pointed at the other two Captains in the room who had remained silence up until now.
It was Ukitake who spoke up.
”It is incredibly rare for a Shinigmai to have a dual Zanpaku-tou. We ar-“
”I did not say that he had a dual-type Zanpaku-tou. I said he had a second Zanpaku-tou.”
The room turned to look at Byakuya at this point; Genpaku was more than a little lost at this point.
”The Arishima Family was known for a technique passed down to the Heads of the House; this technique allowed the user to subjugate there Shinigami powers and pass it on to a future generation. However, which generation the powers would appear in was random, and thus the technique was almost never used. It was theorized that after Arishima Maru fled Soul Society that he used the technique to seal away the legacy of his family. With your appearance, that theory has been proven as fact.”
Genpaku just blinked. He understood the words that were being said, but the sheer amount of information to take in was rather large.
”It is not imperative that you understand all of this now, Arishima Genpaku. These are things that you can and will come to understand in the future if you should want too. For now, I have a question for you.”
Genpaku turned to look at the So-Taicho.
”Will you use your powers to serve Soul Society and the greater good?”
And so the loaded question that they had been sitting on was finally given. He thought for a few moments, weighing his options.
”I have nowhere to return to. I have no one else to go to. Where else can I go but here?” he answered, each word carefully selected. It was enough for them. The So-Taicho gave a nod.
”Good. Then we will have you enter the Shino Academy for formal training. You have talent, but you understand only a small piece of what it means to be a Shinigami. For now, you will have to sleep within the division barracks until a housing arrangement can be reached.”
Genpaku agreed; there wasn’t much else he could do. Someone was summoned, and he was led away from the room while the Captains discussed something. He was led to an empty room that he would use for the night; inside was a bed, a small table, and some food that had laid out for him. He ate the food slowly, looking out the window at the buildings. Whatever he had gotten himself into, it didn’t seem as bad as he had feared originally. There was a great deal to learn here he figured, and his brief span with Ukitake had reminded him that he enjoyed the company of others rather than the solitude of the past twenty years. He kicked off his shoes and laid down in the bed. Slowly, sleep overtook him and the voice from earlier returned.
”Of what use is your power? What will you do with it?”
And again, Genpaku had no answer.
Formal Training: The Shino Academy
There was little delay between the meeting and Genpaku’s induction to the Shino Academy; the new term started three weeks after he had arrived in Soul Society. During the time between his arrival and the beginning of the school he sought out information, concerning his family, concerning Seireitei and Soul Society as a whole, and about the things he had no knowledge of; Kidō, Zanpaku-tous, and so forth. The information he could find was limited though; most of it seemed to be locked away in private library’s or the sealed off library that Captains had access too but most others didn’t without special permissions. He decided it was not a wise idea to seek out that permission just yet; he was new to this world, and he knew he was being observed and evaluated. This didn’t bug him as much as he thought it should have really. He’d have probably done the same thing to himself in this situation. His housing situation was resolved when a small house became available within Seireitei.
The Shino Academy was similar to schools on earth, with the exception being that on Earth you didn’t learn to swordfight or throw fireballs. He had to adjust quickly; his natural talent and power put him into the top class before he had realized that there was a top class; this earned him no small amount of animosity from some of the other students, particularly those from the “Noble Houses” who didn’t seem to approve of his presence. While he was wary of them, he paid them little attention otherwise; honestly he had better things to invest his time with rather than squabbling with a bunch of stuck up aristocratic pushovers. He listened well though to the stories he heard from some students about how some of the Nobility used their influence to either make the school harder for some students, or simply ganged up on the person to bully them out. He promptly decided he wasn’t going to have any of that.
Here he learned of the minor stardom he had enjoyed as the “Phantom Shinigami”; he didn’t mind it too much. It was interesting to hear how some of the things he did were blown out of proportion, and how stories had grown. One story pegged him as wielding thirteen Zanpaku-tous and being void of color. He noted that he was one of the few students who carried their Zanpaku-tous; he also noted that he was the ONLY one who had two. He had begun to piece together the significance of that through his own research, and through the discovery of how Shinigami powers worked. He made sure to take careful notes during classes that explained the basics of Shinigami powers and history; he was assigned a strange mixture of beginner and advanced classes both to bring him up to speed on the knowledge most of the other students had gotten over the course of 5 years or so and to challenge him and force him to learn the things he needed.
He excelled in Zanjutsu and Hakudo, but found Kidō to be something of a challenge. He understood the premise of how to use it, but the beginning of the class started out rocky. He had a great deal of reiatsu and up until this point he had controlled it by instinct for the purposes of unarmed combat or swordplay. Taking forceful control of his power and shaping it was a new concept to him, and it would take him until he made a kind of friendship to learn the trick of it. The first couple of months had been rocky for him, as he had needed to get acclimated to being in this type of environment, surrounded by so many people after so many years of solitude. Once he had managed to get past that though, his personality returned to what he had been like back when he had been of the living world; kind, happy, funny, and outgoing. He made friends with anyone who didn’t hold some kind of grudge against him, and anyone who didn’t throw harsh words or looks at him. It was the first step to returning to the person he had been before his death.
He was walking down one of the hallways on his way from class about three and a half months into the school term when he heard the sounds of someone in one of the empty rooms he was passing. His natural curiosity got the better of him, and he peaked into the room; there was a young man inside swinging his blade at the air in frustration. Genpaku knew him as Iraiken Shirou; he was also one of the weakest Shinigami in terms of Zanjutsu and Hakudo that Genpaku had seen.
”You’re too tense,” he called out into the room, startling the young man. He spun on his heel, and grimaced when he saw who it was.
”Whatever. Speaking like you kno-“ Shirou began.
”I know that you stance is too short, your arms too tense, and your grade in danger of holding you back behind the rest of your friends,” he cut him off, walking into the room, setting his bag down at the door. He pulled the wooden boken out of the bag, testing the weight of it a moment before he continued into the rom.
”I didn’t ask for your help ya know.” the young man countered, pride ripe in his voice.
Genpaku simply took a stance a little ways away from the man.
”I know; doesn’t mean I won’t give it all the same. Tell ya what; if you can land a blow, I’ll take you to earth and show you earth food.”
The young man looked at the young boy a moment before smirking.
”Easy.” He took a stance as well, and the two stared one another down a moment; Shirou moved first, charging straight in towards him. He brought the wooden blade above his head before slashing down; Genpaku took a single step in, his boken clashing with the other a moment before he pushed Shirou’s aside and with a quick flick of the wrist and twist of the blade he brought his own wooden blade down into the older male’s right shoulder. Genpaku jumped to the left, regaining distance again and resetting his stance. Shirou clutched his shoulder with his free hand a moment.
”You’re too tense. Loosen up,” Genpaku repeated.
After two hours of similar scenes playing out, Shirou sat down.
”I’m done with this,” he declared, tossing the boken away from him. Genpaku gave a small smile.
”Too bad, you were getting better.”
”Shut up. You’re just lucky I couldn’t use Kidō. I’d wipe the floor with ya.” Shirou said, no small amount of pride in his voice.
”So you say,” Genpaku chided.
”So I know. I’m the best Kidō wielder in the advanced Kidō class for Class 1,” the other student stated, shooting Genpaku a smirk of confidence.
He was silent for a few moments as he thought about that. Kidō was by far his weakest area thus far; naturally that was the place he spent the most time practicing on then, though he still had problems getting his head around it. Something was missing, but he had yet to figure out what that something was. He saw a chance to remedy that situation.
”Alright Irakien-san. How about I make you a deal?”
The other student turned to look at the young boy.
”Kidō is my weakest field. I’d appreciate any help you’d be willing to give me. In return, I’ll help you with Zanjutsu and Hakudo. I’m top in those classes.”
The offer certainly seemed to be tempting to the man, as he went silent and considered the option. Genpaku stood up and walked over to his bag, sliding the boken back into it as he patiently waited for the answer.
”You are aware we’re competing right?”
Genpaku looked back and gave a nod; beyond the simple competition for top grades and bragging rights, the marks would determine placement within the Gotei 13. This was information he had come across himself, as no one had yet to volunteer it.
”I don’t care about that really. Frankly, I’m more interested in learning everything I can, regardless of who I have to ask for help or what steps I have to take. I have no interest in being weak anymore,” was the young boy’s response. The man stood in silence for a few moments. Then he started to chuckle.
”Load of bullshit. All the same, I could use the help. I’d like to put my friend’s in their places.”
They struck the deal then and there; they would meet in that room for the remainder of their time at the school to practice Hakudo and Zanjutsu. Not just them; eventually other students heard about this and joined in as well. In return, Genpaku got the chance to practice with many other students, taking the chance to learn as much as he could from a wide pool of knowledge. He had many years’ worth of information to catch up on, and there was no time like the present to get as much of it as he could. In return, he assisted anyone who had the ability to swallow their pride and ask for it in anything he could. Slowly, he began to build relationships with these people, to break further out of the shell of solitude that had enveloped him for twenty years. For now, he was cordial and happy, but he preferred the solitude of the nights in Soul Society. With a plain nearly infinite in size, there was always somewhere secluded to go for him to think, train, or simply go for the hell of it. The views of Seireitei were calming in a way; they reminded him of the cities of japan, which had been his only companion for years.
The time passed by, and the day for the graduation exams appeared without warning. Genpaku opted…to not take them. Many were confused about this choice; he didn’t feel ready, and he didn’t feel he had learned everything he could from this place just yet. While he had made immense strides in his Kidō control, the ability to practice in this place free of the duties that the Gotei would come to expect, because make no mistake that was where he had decided he would go, would provide him with greater challenges but less time to perfect the skills they expected him to come in with. He bid farewell to Shirou and many others he had trained with as they graduated and move along into the Gotei, Kidō Corps, or the Omnitsukido. It was no secret however that if he had gone for it, he probably would have completed the test and passed. Genpaku would remain in the Shino Academy for another half a year before asking and receiving an exception to the academy’s policy and taking the exit exam then. His acceptance to the Gotei did not take long; he was acquired by the Fifth Division only a few hours out of the examination. He was happy to be accepted into any of the divisions so quickly, regardless of its number. He was also astonished when he was handed a seated position at the twelfth seat. For Genpaku, this was where his life as a Shinigami truly began.
The Early Divisions
Aizen Sousuke was still the captain of the Fifth Division at this time. Genpaku had seen the man around the academy a few times during his year and a half stay there; the man had taught a Calligraphy course that had been incredibly popular, and though he did not sign up for the class he did attend the course once to see what all the talk was about. He had to admit that the man gave a good talk; he might have enjoyed the class enough to stay if it did not bring back unsettling memories of his mother, who had practiced calligraphy at home and often tried to instruct him and his brother. There were more important things to attend to anyway; he made it a point to not return to that class for the remainder of his time at the Shino Academy. He harbored no animosity towards the teacher for his subject matter, but he wasn’t interested in having it come up again.
It had been nearly a week since he had been accepted in; Genpaku walked down the wooden pathway towards the Divisional Office of the Fifth Division. Today he was meeting his Captain for the first time since he had joined the division, and he had a few questions to pose already. Since he had joined, he had come to find out that holding a seat in a division came with its own set of challenges; he had already been challenged once for his seat, and he had barely gotten into the place. He had held his own in the fight all the same, but it had made him wonder why he had been given the seat in the first place. He approached the office, coming to a stop outside; there were voices inside, so he took a seat on the wooden deck, slipping his legs through the railing as he and decided to wait until whoever Aizen-Taicho was talking to had left so that he could have his discussion. For now, he looked out and over Seireitei towards the wall that separated it from the rest of Soul Society; there was a calm breeze blowing today, and the clouds were making a slow voyage across the sky.
He lost track of how long exactly he had been sitting there, staring off into the distance; he also hadn’t noticed when someone had taken a seat next to him. He jumped slightly, turning to look at the young looking man that had sat down next to him. He had simple brown hair that hung down quietly about his head, handsome features, and glasses. This was all sitting on top of his Shinigami uniform and captain’s Haori that he was now able to recognize from a mile off.
”Good afternoon, Arishima-kun,” Aizen said kindly, a smile playing across his features. Genpaku studied him a moment.
”You’re good at sneaking up on people like that, aren’t you?”
Aizen gave a small chuckle and nod at that. Genpaku was taking his chance to size up this captain; he wasn’t even sure if this man WAS a captain. He seemed so lax, and gave off so little power; then again, he remembered his first meeting with Ukitake. Appearances could be deceiving, and he made a mental note to keep that in mind. For now though, he needed to focus on the matter at hand.
”So, Arishima-kun, what do you think so far of life within the Gotei 13?
Aizen asked, looking out over Seireitei.
”It’s been interesting enough getting used to the barracks; I don’t head out on my first actual patrol until later this week though. That’s probably the part I’m looking forward to the most,” he responded, shifting slightly so that he could better face his captain; his dad had always been big on looking at a person when you spoke to them.
”Thinking of running off again are we?” Aizen asked; there was subtle sarcasm in his voice, so Genpaku decided to play along.
”Oh, of course. I’ve learned absolutely everything I would ever need from here, so its time to move on.”
The two of them chuckled for a moment.
”No. Its more that I…well I was running around the real world for twenty years straight slaying Hollows. Being here for as long as I have…feel weird.”
Aizen nodded a few times. Then he turned and looked the young boy over for a few moments.
”You came here with some questions of your own, didn’t you?”
”A few yeah,” Genpaku responded.
”Then get to them,” Aizen pressed.
”Why did you accept me into the division when I had just passed the exam and left the academy? And why did you give me a seat so quickly?
Aizen blinked, apparently surprised by the directness of the questions.
”Simply put, you were the Phantom Shinigami. You are the last known member of a dead Noble House. Beyond those things, you display incredible skill for someone so young. In you, there is a lot of potential. I placed you where I did because I figured the only way to begin to draw out that potential was to put you in a position where you would be constantly challenged.”
It was those sentences that made Genpaku revise his assessment of Aizen Sousuke; the man was far smarter than he let out.
”You have yet to discover the name of your Zanpaku-tous, correct?”
”Y-yes. How did you….?” he began, but Aizen simply smiled in response to the question he had not yet finished. He had kept the information about his family’s technique more or less to himself since he had discovered it, and especially after he had discovered what it implied. It implied that he did not simply have a dual Zanpaku-tou; he had two distinct Zanpaku-tous, and two sets of Shinigami powers to go with them.
”You will soon enough I’m sure. For now, I have another meeting I should attend to. You can check in with Hinamori-kun about anything else you need to know about the division.”
”Hai, Aizen Taicho.”
Aizen was on his feet and headed down the pathway by the time he had gotten the words out of his mouth. It was true; he had yet to learn the names of his Zanpaku-tous, but this was something he did plan on having remain true for much longer. He pushed himself back up to his feet; with enough time on his hands and nothing to do, he started off towards the training grounds for the division.
Genpaku set about training with his division members on a regular basis, but unlike many Shinigami he did not stick to his division alone for training. He ventured out to the other divisions and looked up those that he had made connections with back during his days in the Shino Academy. He asked them for help with training, and participated in any training event going on that he heard about and was free for. If he didn’t know anyone in a division, he simply walked in and asked around, making himself known. Slowly, he began to pick up pieces of things he had not gotten enough of in the Shino Academy; he began to train with people who were far more skilled at Kidō than Shirou had been and swordsman far more capable them himself, and so forth. Put simply, he started to get his ass handed to him, and he would get back up to try again.
One thing had not changed; Genpaku desired power. More importantly he had begun to formulate an answer to the question that still haunted him from night to night. He had begun to understand why he desired power. He wanted to protect something, and to do that he needed power. So he trained with the other divisions and soaked up any and all the knowledge he could to benefit his ambition. He concentrated on Kidō with the Sixth Division with Shirou the most, as he felt that was the area he still lacked in the most. One of the other top Swordsman from Class 1 his first year had gone to the Eleventh Division, and he trained with them from time to time as well; their methods of rather aggressive training interested him but made him wary at the same time. He was not in a great hurry to get injured in his training when there was still so much to do.
His branching did not go unnoticed; he had discussions with his Captain from time to time about it, and eventually explained it as best he could at the time. His Captain didn’t seem to have a real problem with it, which was reassuring. After a while though, Genpaku was moved out of the division and to the Sixth Division; Aizen explained that if he thought his weakest field was Kidō, than working in that division would provide the best results. It made sense, so he went with it but continued to train with the other divisions to continue to hone his skills. He remained in the sixth Division for a little over a year, picking up the fundamental knowledge he felt he was lacking in that field. He then requested a transfer to the Eleventh Division to work on more intensive training with his Zanjutsu and Hakudo.
During this time he focused on one other thing as well; his Zanpaku-tous. During his years in the Shino Academy and especially since he had joined the Gotei 13 he had discovered the knowledge of the released states of Zanpaku-tous. While he displayed considerable natural skill, he had yet to make any real progress toward the discovery of his Zanpaku-tous yet. There was something blocking him from finding them, and it was beginning to aggravate him. However, he now had thousands of years to live out; he knew he could afford a little patience. He didn’t know that he would not need much patience before he made a breakthrough.
Home, Duty, and Friends 1930 - 1977
Genpaku walked down the halls of the Eighth Division Headquarters; he had recently transferred into the division mainly because he had noted that the Eighth Division had a good standing with almost ever division save for the Twelfth. Then again, he had not determined whether or not ANYONE got along with the Twelfth Division and its captain. He had made it a point up till now to more or less avoid that man; he got a strange vibe from him. Beyond that, he had heard horror stories of the things the man did both to his division members, other division’s members, and any enemies that were unfortunate enough to be caught by him. He wanted nothing to do with that man’s lab as long as he was the subject of study. All the same, the Eighth Division seemed to get along with almost everyone, and so he had decided it would be the best Division to continue his cross-training from. Also, the members of the Division had seemed nice enough whenever he had come over to train with people.
Their captain was a strange one as well though. The general push to recruit female Shinigami did not go amiss with Genpaku. He had little doubt that he had been accepted only because he was a small-time celebrity within Seireitei, which in turn attracted attention. He didn’t question it further or argue with it; it had gotten him where he had wanted to be so he would take it. He turned a corner and exited the building, walking into the training courtyard of the Eighth Division. It was dark out, late autumn at this time, and was rather comfortable out actually. He took a lung full of air and gave a small smile at the silence in the courtyard. Though he was learning to enjoy the company of others, he still much enjoyed solitude; the chance to organize his thoughts, listen to the sounds, and generally be calm was something he was finding less and less time to enjoy.
He strode out into the courtyard, his Zanpaku-tous at his side. He had yet to grasp either of their names which irritated him; he had made great progress up until this point. He had flown through what many others would have taken three times what he took to get down. And now he had hit a stone wall; something was holding him back, and his inability to figure it out was what infuriated him more than anything at the moment. He was able to fight on an even level with some of the people who had managed to learn the name of their Zanpaku-tou, but it was a large obstacle between where he was and where he wanted to be. He came to a stop in the center of the empty courtyard as he thought about that. He reached down and drew one of his Zanpaku-tous, looking at the blade.
He heard footsteps somewhere behind him, and sheathed the blade as he looked back. A group of division members were walking out of the Divisional Headquarters. Where they were heading he didn’t know, nor did he particularly care. He turned and started forward to head somewhere else in case the group decided to stop there and talk.
”Hey!” one of them called out, breaking the relative quiet of the area. Genpaku came to a stop, looking back at the woman that had just called out to him. The woman in question was already halfway across the courtyard. Even in the dark he could make out the beaming smiles directed at him. Now that he got a look at her, he didn’t recognize her from their division.
”You’re Arishima Genpaku, aren’t you?” the woman asked, stopping only a few feet away from him, still smiling.
”Yeah…why?” he asked cautiously. He had done his best to not make enemies, but no one was perfect.
”Wow! I’ve heard about you. You should come drinking with us!”
And that was about the extent of choice he had on that particular decision. The woman had grabbed his arm before he had realized she’d made the move, and the next thing he knew he was being dragged as the woman made her way back to the rest of the group.
The other members of the group were people he recognized, even in the dim light, as people from the division; people he had trained with or spoken too at one point or another. It didn’t seem that they had a great deal of choice either as the strange woman led the way out of the Divisional Headquarters. He wasn’t entirely sure how long he was dragged along, but they arrived at a different Divisional Barracks and were led into a room; they weren’t the only ones there either. Genpaku noted several members from the Eleventh Division in attendance as well as several members of other Divisions. He even noted the Third Division Vice Captain mopping around somewhere in the background.
It was only now that he got a real look at the woman who had dragged him there; she was about the average height for Shinigami(since he had died so young he was still a bit shorter than the average) with long blonde hair. The other thing that stood out to the young boy was the more than ample bosom that she seemed more than delighted to, tastefully, showcase for everyone in sight. Those physical features combined with the bubbly nature and the nature of the gathering he had been dragged too informed him of the woman’s identity. He had just been dragged to one of the Tenth Division’s Vice Captain’s, Matsumoto Rangiku, infamous drinking parties. Upon this realization, he covered his face with his palm; partly because he had allowed himself to be dragged to this, and partly because of immature embarrassment at Rangiku’s appearance.
”Alright! Now that everyone is here, let the party begin!” Rangiku called out from the center of the room. And with that, the alcohol seemed to appear from everyone and everywhere. Before he had a chance to deny the offers let alone leave, he was given a glass of alcohol and dragged deeper into the room. After one or two attempts to slip out, he gave up and took a seat near several people he at least recognized from the different divisions. He kept quiet for the most part as the conversation ranged between multiple topics. Soon enough though, his silence was noted by some of the other members.
”Hey, you haven’t said a thing. No use being shy here,” one of his division members said. All eyes were suddenly on Genpaku, and he looked around in silence for a few moments.
”I like to listen?” he answered weakly.
”Well too fucking back; time to talk. You’re the kid from Earth right? The one that just kinda got Shinigami Powers and all. Graduated the academy in a year and a half or something like that?”
”I kinda had a head start…” Genpaku muttered.
”Speak up!” the group yelled as a whole.
So Genpaku did; he recounted how he hunted down the Hollows, though he left out the real reason why. He glossed over the reason for getting his powers and why he started his personal crusade against Hollows; part of it was because he didn’t want their pity, but mostly he didn’t want to remember that particular day in more detail then he had too. They weren’t interested in that anyway; they wanted to know about the years he spent evading capture and slaying Hollows. He explained how that gave him an inherit advantage in the Shino Academy, since he had gotten a chance to develop his skills and such. Somewhere along the way, he had begun to drink the alcohol since it had just been sitting in his hand. The rest of the night slowly faded into a blur.
When he woke up, he was in a room full of people, all passed out on the floor, couches, desks, and so on. Several of them were…strangely missing pants. He stood up uneasily, collecting his things and making his way out of the building. The morning air was crisp; he must have passed out early on in the party. The rest of them wouldn’t be up for hours yet. He started the long walk back to his division’s barracks, chuckling at the thought of the party he had been dragged too the previous night. It had been…entertaining from what he remembered of the night. He had learned more about some of the people from his division then he had expected; he had enjoyed himself. Beyond that, he had enjoyed the company of those around him from what he remembered. The gathering had been a lot more fun than he had expected it to be; it may have actually been worth the night of training he had missed out on in retrospect. The best part was that it wasn’t anything he couldn’t make up for on this day.
Genpaku had gained something else from that party, however; he had gained a tentative friendship with the members of his division. While he had made a great many steps already to break out of the shell of solitude that surrounded him, this was yet another. More importantly, it was a step towards his own growth as he was suddenly given something else to work for. He needed to be stronger so he could continue to survive in the world he now lived in. He had yet to achieved either of the names of his Zanpaku-tous, however, which would prove to be a real limiting factor in his strength in the oncoming years. It would take him far more years than he had ever expected to make the progress he sought, despite all of his work. And yet, it was only another step on his path to power.
Blade of Ancestors; Raiden 1977
Mostly though, he sought his Zanpaku-tou spirits. It had been well over a fourth of a century now since he had communicated with the strange man that had appeared to him and given him his Shinigami powers in the first place; he was sure this was the spirit of one of his Zanpaku-tous, specifically the one that was passed on to him from his ancestor. His other blade, however, he had yet to have any form of contact with. He got what he was searching after two years within the Eighth Division.
It had been a quiet night for Genpaku as he sat on top of a large building in a city he had never heard of. Cities had begun to spring up more and more around the world as it moved into a more prosperous time. There were a few clouds that crawled across the sky as the moon shone bright, just over halfway towards being full. He sat, enjoying the silence of the night and relative calm. He certainly enjoyed being on duty the most of any of the duties he was given in the division. Thus far tonight no Hollows had been spotted, nor demons or anything else for that matter. Back roughly ten years ago, he would have been angry about a night like this. Now though, he appreciated it for what it was worth; a break from the chaos of what his life had become. He didn’t mind; in a way he felt like he was doing some real good now in the world, ridding it of monsters and demons. Particularly, he felt like he was doing his part to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else. Regardless of how he had grown from the experience, it was not a fate he wished on anyone else.
The moonlight dimed as a cloud moved in front of it, breaking him out of his thought. He felt something behind him, and jumped off of the building just in time as something crashed into where he had been sitting, causing the roof to explode into debris, bits of stone flying all over. Genpaku landed heavily on a lower roof, his gaze shooting up to the edge of the room. Looming on the edge of the roof was the form of a large hunched being, which came into full view as the clouds peeled away from the moon; the creature’s skin was the color of mud, hunched onto all fours as it glared down at him. Both its body and mask reminded him of a frog as it sat there.
”Oooh. So you sensed me coming, eh Shini?”
Genpaku’s only form of answer was drawing a blade from its sheath; the Hollow’s rebuttal was to throw itself off the edge and open its mouth. A strange spike like protrusion stuck out a moment before it suddenly launched at him, propelled by a tongue like appendage.
He charged forward, deflecting the strike with his blade; he noted the small amount of weight behind the spear-like object, and pulled back on his blade as he tried to cut the tongue off. However, he felt a great deal of resistance to his strike and only managed a small laceration before the creature retracted it, and let out another cackle.
”Oh-ho? So you can actually cut meh tongue eh? Too bad it dun mean shit, Shinigami!” the Hollow bellowed, revealing his tongue once more which already was healing over. It must have been an ability of the saliva in his mouth that was causing the regeneration. Before he had a chance to ponder on this ability more, the Hollow landed heavily upon the roof nearby, the spike shooting out towards him one more. Genpaku continued to press forward, deflecting the barb once more; something slammed into his back left shoulder, sending jagged pain through him and bringing him to a halt. Looking over his shoulder he found that the tongue had apparently recovered and lodged the barb into his shoulder; a moment later it detached from the tongue, which returned to the Hollow.
The Hollow cackled again.
”Come on now Shini, is dis all ya got?”
It launched the tongue which was once more armed with another barb. Genpaku shot backwards away from the projectile; as it closed he touched down on another roof and shot straight up to get up and over the tongue. He nearly got impaled once more as the tongue changed directions immediately after him, only just managing to escape what would have been a far more devastation wound. However, as the tongue missed it corrected itself, coming back around to him. He shot backwards again, trying to put distance between himself and the appendage; he suddenly stopped, and lashed out with his Zanpaku-tou to cleave the tongue in two; the tongue separated itself from the barb and retracted to avoid the strike. Given a spare moment, Genpaku wrapped a hand around the barb and yanked it free, wincing as he did so. He flung the spearhead down towards the ground; the Hollow had already reloaded and launched a new spearhead towards him. He shot backwards again, changing directions several times as the tongue followed him. The suddenly, the tongue went taunt a few feet away from him before retracting to the Hollow.
He made a mental note of this; he had determined the maximum length of the Hollow’s main form of attack, but it wasn’t exactly great news. The tongue reached roughly sixty feet after him, and it had access to every angle within each foot to attack and maneuver through. He took a stance again as the Hollow eyed him, before shooting forward at great speed. The Hollow shot its tongue out once more, which shot straight for Genpaku. He changed direction, diving down till he hit a roof, at which point he shot forward once more; he heard the tongue slam into the building a moment behind him. He could out speed the tongue; a smirk crossed his features for a moment. As he closed however, the Hollow jumped, avoiding his blade as he came within striking distance; it had retracted its tongue while Genpaku had rushed it, and now fired at near point blank range. He felt the barb skin his right shoulder as he rushed back and away. While he could out speed the tongue, the ability for the Hollow to reach every place within that sixty foot dome was an issue. It was time to change up tactics; he held up a hand as the Hollow’s tongue rushed towards him.
The crimson fireball shot out towards the tongue, which he hoped would be either hindered or destroyed by the spell. However, the tongue suddenly twisted and rammed the barb straight into the Kidō, which fizzled into nothing! He jumped up as the tongue closed on him, narrowly dodging the attack as he slashed at the appendage with his blade; it moved, just barely avoiding the tip of his Zanpaku-tou. In turn, he felt another grazing as the barb passed just a few feet over his shoulders. He shot backwards and away from the Hollow once more; he pointed a finger at the Hollow as he retreated.
The lightning bolt shot out towards the Hollow as he stopped and changed direction once more, rushing to the right. He unleashed another blast of red Kidō fire towards the Hollow as the tongue slammed into the lightning bolt, canceling it out. He had hoped to catch the Hollow off guard by drawing its fire towards the first Kidō, but mentally cursed as the tongue retracted partially and slammed into the fireball before it had reached the Hollow.
The Hollow decided that now was the time to go on the offensive; it surged forward as it retracted its tongue, closing distance with him before opening his mouth and shooting off several of the barbs on their own at him. Genpaku deflected one of them before he jumped back to avoid the rest. The Hollow was there, slamming a fist into the young Shinigami and sending him sliding along the rooftops and off said roof, falling to the street below. He rolled along the ground a moment before recovering; the Hollow was directly above him already, and fired its tongue like appendage down upon him; he shot to the left, but the tongue was already following him. Suddenly the tongue disengaged from the barb, allowing it to fly after him. The Hollow landed heavily behind him, and as he looked back over his shoulder it launched its tongue once more, the two barbs closing on him rapidly. Funny, they seemed to almost slow down as they closed on him. In fact…everything seemed to be slowing down. Then he was no longer on Earth.
He found himself standing in the middle of a large, worn stone arena. Hanging overhead was a mass of storm clouds, the low rumble of thunder somewhere in the distance; he recognized the place instantly, though now the place seemed infinitely calmer than when he had been here and had been on the verge of death and oblivion. And just as last time, he was not alone; the man he had not seen now in at least thirty years. Genpaku cracked a smile.
”For someone facing an almost certain fatal blow outside, you seem rather calm.”
Genpaku gave a small shrug. The man frowned.
”Should I be screaming? Running around like a chicken that was recently decapitated? I’ll think of something. Besides, I’ve got more pressing business to attend to at the moment.”
”Yes; I’m curious as to why you’ve decided to show yourself once more after all of these years. Why now?”
”Because you’ve been searching for me,” the man responded.
”Both of you, actually.”
A gust of wind kicked up at that. The sound of a small, light laugh reached his ear and he turned to look around a moment.
”For now, Genpaku, you have me.”
Genpaku turned back to look at the man; he was suddenly much closer, only a few feet away at this point. He hadn’t realized that the man literally towered over him; he had to be nearly seven feet in height. The man glared down at him, scrutinizing the young Shinigami; Genpaku stared right back at him, unflinching under the man’s gaze. They stood there, the landscape silent save for the rumble of distant thunder.
”You have calmed much since last we saw one another,” the man said. Genpaku raised an eyebrow questioningly.
”When last we spoke, your heart was consumed in sorrow and hatred. You hungered for vengeance, not only for yourself but for your family. Have you quieted the screams for retribution that blocked your ears?”
Genpaku was silent for a moment as he thought about the question.
”I’ve struck down over a thousand Hollows now. While I started out doing so to avenge my family, now I’m just seeking to stop what happened to me from happening to anyone else.”
”Yet you face death outside of here, at the hands of a Hollow once more,” the man taunted, a small smirk curling his features. Genpaku gave a small shrug.
”I’m not invincible. I’m not the strongest. I still have a great deal to learn and strength to gain.” he responded carefully.
”Then what do you seek power for, Genpaku Arishima?” the man questioned, and the arena fell silent once more.
Genpaku pondered on the question for half a minute more on the question that he had thought on for the past few years. They were separate questions though, and he realized that quickly; what use his power served and why he sought it were two very different things, and it made the answer stupidly simple to him.
”I seek power so that I may know my own limits, so that I can continue to grow, and so that I may come to an answer for the question I’ve yet to answer.”
The man gave a small nod and a hint of a smile.
”That will suffice, Genpaku Arishima,” the man said as he took another step forward towards Genpaku. ”What once veiled by name from your ears was worthless sorrow and vengeance; you should be able to hear it now.”
The man held out a hand to Genpaku. ”I am but a piece of your soul, and part of your power; use it to protect yourself and to survive. Strike down your enemy. My name is…”
Back in the real world, the Hollow’s attacks closed in.
”Raiden!” the boy called out and his reiatsu exploded, kicking up the wind about him; the two spikes slammed into the wall of reiatsu , being forced back and away from the young Shinigami as the dirt flew up from the street and debris around him. The Hollow stumbled back a few steps as it began to retract its tongue; something flashed out of the cloud of dust and it let out a yell as the end of its tongue hit the ground. It jumped back as the flash came again; it let out a howl of pain as it landed several feet away as a piece of its mask hit the ground and shattered. The blade Genpaku now hold radiated with power much as how he now did. The reiatsu that surrounded him was no longer emerald in color, but white and crackled with electricity. The blade had changed its shape now; it had lengthened slightly while the crossguard had all but vanished. A section of the blade jutted down and back, covering the hilt of the blade in the front with a new blade. Another section jutted up and forward, following the blade of the Zanpaku-tou a short ways before ending.
Genpaku tested the grip on Raiden; it fit comfortably into his hand. He turned his attention back to the Hollow; given enough time it would probably regrow the lost tongue. He shot forward once more, coming to a stop just before the creature and slashed it across the chest and forearms, drawing blood and another scream from the monster. He vanished from the creature’s sight, stopping just above the creature in the air. He lashed out with the blade, cleaving clean through the creature’s mask. The creature’s death knell melted into the night as it dissipated, and Genpaku landed heavily upon the ground. The wound in his shoulder still hurt, as did the scrapes and more minor wounds he had suffered during the fight. These could not dampen his spirits, however. He opened a portal to Seireitei, resealing Raiden as he walked into the light. He had discovered the name of his first Zanpaku-tou, the one passed down from his ancestor, in the heat of battle much how he had attained his Shinigami powers. It was a crucial step for him, and his wounds would not take that feeling of accomplishment from him. He returned to Soul Society and sought out the Fourth Division to check the wounds.
Last edited by Genpaku on Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Joined : 2010-12-19
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|Subject Post 3Subject: Re: The History of the Anomaly Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:33 pm|| |
Bleach Proper; Aizen’s Reign 1977 - 2005
The discovery brings with it a substantial increase in power; this is a well-known fact within Soul Society and the Gotei 13. Things were no different with Genpaku; the discovery of Raiden brought him from his Eighth Seat placing in the Eighth Division to Fifth Seat; he probably could of gone for the Fourth Seat position, but one of his friends had gained that position, so he decided against even trying for it. From 1977 to early 2006, things were chaotic; the Seventh Division Captain Hideki Yuudeshi defected from Soul Society; that was all that Genpaku heard about the incident at his rank, and it had little bearing on his work so he didn’t worry too much about it. It wasn’t that it didn’t concern him, since trouble within the Gotei troubled him even at this time; it was that he had too much else to worry about. Hollow activity had risen again in recent years, so in a way he decided to leave an issue that concerned Captains to the Captains.
The news of Shadin Yuudeshi’s acceptance into the Gotei concerned him more; it seemed strange to him that the boy would be let in considering the fact that his father had fled Soul Society, and so recently too. However, this was again above his post, so he took note of it and went back to things that more directly concerned him. During this time, he was focused on trying to gain an audience with his second blade, who thus far had decided to be more of a pain than he would have guessed. He had no idea what this Zanpaku-tou spirit looked like, its personality(other than annoying), or anything.
The three years between 2004 to 2007 would prove to be one of the most chaotic times that Genpaku would experience; first off, you had Shadin Yuudeshi’s rise to Vice Captain and subsequent defection from Soul Society. Genpaku gathered few details on that incident; the information trickled down to the Vice Captains easily enough, but beyond that it was tight lipped. He learned what he could of the incident from the whispered conversations shared between Vice Captains when they weren’t paying attention to who was standing around. There wasn’t much time to focus on that though; the Ryoka attack forcefully tore attention away.
Genpaku sat quietly on the rooftop of the Divisional Barracks; it was funny, he imagined an invasion would be more hectic within Soul Society itself. This day was sunny, relatively calm, and unassuming. The Ryoka had been within Seireitei for two days now. From what he had managed to gather they were after Rukia Kuchiki, the adopted sister to the Captain of the Sixth Division. The details of why they were attempting to free her were unclear to him; again, details trickling down through the ranks didn’t happen as quickly as you’d think they should. He didn’t understand most of the information surrounding the events in their entirety; because of the incredibly short amount of time that had transpired between the apparent offense of Rukia Kuchiki and her subsequent capture and sentencing details were staying towards the higher echelons of the Gotei. People like him were just deployed as foot soldiers to capture and bring in the Ryoka. Those were straightforward orders, which meant there was nothing straightforward going on in the background, at least as far as Genpaku figured.
He was brought out of his contemplation by the sound of an explosion, and was on his feet in a moment. He ran along the rooftop until he got a better look at the tall dark man who had just managed to beat the tar out of several of Eighth Division members; his dress gave away that he was one of the Ryoka. Genpaku was about to jump in when the Third Seat, Tatsufusa Enjoji, appeared, and wasted no time in making a big display. The Ryoka, to his credit, wasted little time before punching him in the face. Genpaku covered his face with his palm; he made mental note to challenge Enjoji for his position after this all settled down. The building shook as the ryoka blew a hole in the wall and stepping through.
Genpaku started forward, preparing to do “his duty” and stop the Ryoka when he noticed…rose petals? His Captain’s arrival to the scene proved the perfect event to force a second face-palm from the young Shinigami. However, with his Captain’s arrival he took a seat again, and simply watched the fight between Chad and Kyoraku-Taicho. And he had to admit, he was awed by the fight. He had always assumed that his Captain had gained the position because of ties to the So-Taicho, much like he assumed for Ukitake. He watched as his Captain more or less made play of the Ryoka who had trashed through all of the ranks leading up to the Vice-Captain. When the final blow was delivered, he watched as the Captain and Vice-Captain had a small disagreement before the Fourth Division was called and the Ryoka was taken away.
Most likely he was being kept for questioning concerning Aizen’s death. That was one piece of news that had not gotten stuck at the higher echelons of the Gotei. Many in the divisions were depressed by the news, and Genpaku was saddened by it. Death was something he was accustomed too now though, so he held his sadness somewhere else and dealt with the things he had too in the meantime. Of course, over the course of the next few days that sadness would be transformed into betrayal and anger when news of Aizen Sousuke’s deception was brought to light. Unfortunately, his involvement in the consequent Winter War was marginal at best; he, like the other divisional members, were placed about Seireitei in the off chance that some kind of invasion was sent to Soul Society during the battle within Karakura Town. No such invasion came though; slowly, Soul Society began to deal with the fallout of Aizen’s War, and the wheels it had set in motion.
The Ender Arc and The Blade of the Self, Fujin 2008 - 2009
There were those that had believed things would quiet down once Aizen was defeated; that things would return to normal; of course, normal is a relative term when your day job is slaughtering soul devouring monsters and demons. Genpaku hadn’t been so sure; someone had stood up not only to Soul Society, but to the Spirit King himself in many ways. Dissent seeks fools and hero’s to lead the way. Something was brewing, and the higher ups in Seireitei could feel it; Genpaku felt it in another way, as he intensified his training. He surpassed Enjoji shortly after the events of the Winter War came to an end, taking the Third Seat of the division for himself and continuing his training. By this point, he had begun to gain a good understanding of Raiden’s Shikai powers and how to best utilize them. However, he would have a true test of that in only two short years. That was when the demons came; Ender and his army descended upon Soul Society in howling hordes. They sought nothing less than the complete annihilation of Soul Society and the Shinigami. The memory of that night is one of the clearest in Genpaku’s mind, not unlike the memory of the day he died.
It had been one of many sleepless nights; in typical fashion, rather than sit around his room in the barracks, he had left to the Divisional grounds and was enjoying the soothing calm of the night air, the half-moon that hung in the sky, and landscape that stretched out around him. He could live another hundred thousand years and he doubted he’d see everything that Soul Society had to offer. Something felt different this night though; a quiet note of tension held high but light, as though someone was holding the note with a flute far in the distance. As soothing as the night air was, that feeling put a small tension between his shoulders that he couldn’t quite get to leave him. After a while, he got back up on his feet and started walking along the courtyard towards the barracks.
”Something evil this way comes.”
Genpaku spun around, startled by the voice. The courtyard was empty save for himself; he looked around, wondering who was playing a joke on him. However, there was no sound in the courtyard. Had he imagined it? The only response to that question was a light breeze blowing across the courtyard; he turned and continued back to the barracks. He’d need to get some sleep at some point he figured; even if he just lied there the rest of the night it would be better than him staying up outside all night.
He arose late the next day; when he had drifted off he wasn’t sure, but he seemed to have slept rather soundly considering the hour. He dressed, grabbed his blades, and started out on his rounds for the day. As he strolled along the pathways of the division, he checked up on members who were tasked with cleaning up the place; his round for patrol wouldn’t be until much later that day. He had just turned a corner, noticed a pair of members slacking off and drinking, and started forward when he heard it; a terrible ripping noise. He stopped mid stride, eyes going to the sky as it was torn asunder. Demons flooded out of the rip in the sky, and began to pour like a river of death down upon Seireitei. Ender’s invasion had officially begun.
”Get back to the barracks!” Genpaku ordered, shouting at the other two men as a handful of demons landed behind them. They had started running towards him when a shower of red mist exploded from the further one’s chest; the other stopped, looking back in horror as the clawed arm was pulled back through the body, the demon fixing its gaze on the second Shinigami. Its other arm shot out at the man, stretching and flying like a spear. Genpaku moved, a blur of motion to the weak demons as he drew Raiden, slashing clean through the demon’s exposed arm. He landed just between the demon and Shinigami, though only for a moment before he charged the demon directly, driving a knee into the creature’s being before slamming his right fist into its face, or what seemed to be his face; you could never tell with creatures like this. The force of the punch sent the demon flying backwards, impacting against a few other such creatures.
His hand was outstretched, fingers splayed, as brilliant azure energy coalesced in his hand.
”Soukatsui,” he spoke clearly, calling forth a wave of azure energy that swept before him, destroying the wall the demons had been near, and hopefully the demons as well. Genpaku didn’t wait around to find out the latter. He turned, grabbing the other Shinigami as he ran past.
”I didn’t say stand around!” He virtually flew down the walkway now; the alarms were already beginning to go off around Seireitei. He knew that their best bet was to regroup before people got too spread out. They reached the barracks, which had already been the sight of an attack if the bodies of the demons and Shinigami around it spoke of anything.
There was a roar as a fresh wave of demons rose out of seemingly nowhere, lunging towards not only Genpaku but the line of Shinigami at the gates of the Division. He released his hold on the other Shinigami.
He gave a swing of Raiden as electricity coarsed over the blade, then through the air. The pulse of electricity caught the incoming group of demons, stunning them for a moment; that was all the time Genpaku needed to continue his retreat to the rest of his division. A volley of Kidou spells sailed past him, the screams from behind him pointing towards a hit on at least some of the beasts.
”Anyone seen the Nanao-fukutaicho or Kyouraku-taicho?” he called out to the others; he got little response as most of them were busy not getting eaten by demons. He abandoned the obviously fruitless route of looking for an answer, and instead rushed forward again to assist in holding the gate.
Within a minute of his arrival however, a group of Shinigami had finished their preparations and formed a barrier around the divisional barracks to stop the lesser demons from getting in.
”What now?” Genpaku questioned; most of them gave shrugs or half answers.
”We barely managed to erect the barrier, and you want to talk about the next move? We wait until the Captain returns so tha-“ one began, but a crushing power crushed his voice into silence; a new rip tore the sky asunder, and something immensely powerful stepped through. From this distance its form was hard to make out, but it didn’t matter; the sheer power radiating off of the being was enough to know where not to go. The demons nearby let loose a symphony of triumph; their leader had appeared, and now they sat emboldened. They threw themselves against the shield with renewed vigor, lashing at the creation with all their might. The shield began to crack.
”So much for that; retreat into the divisional barracks!” Genpaku called out, and members began to retreat as the barrier began to fall. He shot forward, cleaving off a demon’s head as it crossed the threshold of the barrier. He repeated the process twice more before he fell back as well, the barrier shattered in full. Demons poured over the walls, rushing both towards him and the barracks entrance. He was faster; he reached the barracks and vanished within its confines. Someone else erected a barrier as he passed, sealing off the entrance from the demons for the moment. They’d just break through the walls shortly after though; the members streamed through the hallways, following someone. Genpaku came to a stop in one of the halls, looking at the wall a moment.
”Here!” he called out as he put a hand to the wall, and unleashed another Kidou blast, letting fresh air and light pout into the building. On the other side of the wall, several demons now looked in shock at the wall of Shinigami that had appeared; a wave of Kidou suddenly washed over them from another direction.
”We’re falling back to the first Division kiddies,” came a familiar voice as their Captain landed ahead of them.
”Break up into smaller groups and make your way there; if you travel in too large of a group, they’ll focus in on you,” he continued. They wasted no time; orders were orders. Those that had been shocked into inaction were pushed forward by those that weren’t. Genpaku joined up with a group of friends from the Division as they made their way first towards the Ninth Division barracks and then planned to head north from there to get to the objective. They rushed along in relative silence, intently scanning the way for demons. There were fights breaking out everywhere; that crushing pressure from before had not diminished, but it was far off yet.
There was a screech, and something slammed into the ground directly behind the group. As they looked back, a wave of demons poured over the walls, at least nine in total, and began to rush after them.
”Don’t stop, even for a second. I’ll catch up,” Genpaku said, and without waiting for reaction or protest spun around, unleashing another wave of electric energy from Raiden. With their attention properly obtained, he now proceeded with the running, darting down a different pathway from his friends; this was probably the only time he was happy to look behind him and see a pack of angry demons following him. So, he had managed to get their attention, not he just had to get rid of them without them tearing him to shreds. He jumped up to the roof, and down the other side; as he landed on the other side he turned around to face the oncoming demons. The first one cleared the lip of the roof as Genpaku lunged up, slashing down and through the demon with Raiden. He released another wave of electrical energy as he swung, catching a second demon with the wave of energy. The rest, however, were now upon him.
A deep crash of thunder issued forth; he landed on the original pathway and shot off down it. There was a wound on his left arm, right cheek, and his back. All of them were light from what he could tell. So, taking on a group of eight or so demons seemed like a bad idea in retrospect. At least he had managed to stun the group of demons though. He turned down another path and rushed down it, putting as much distance as he could manage for now. He turned back towards the First Division after a few minutes, when he was decently sure that he had lost them. He found an unpleasant surprise at the top of the stairs leading to the upper levels of Seireitei. As he cleared the stairs, he came across a conflict; the group of friends he had sent on ahead had apparently ran straight into a demon ambush. Several of the Shinigami lie on the ground, injured from either the initial attack or the fighting that took place after.
Raiden cut through one of the demon’s necks as Genpaku made his entrance into this battle. Another thirty seconds of fighting earned them a moment’s reprieve.
”Get the wounded up and moving; carry them if you have too. Get them to the barracks,” he called out to those still able to move. Another roar went up as another group of demons finished the long climb up the stairs, and upon seeing the dinner table set, rushed to get their share.
”Go, now!” he called out as he shot forward, intent on keeping the demons at bay. As he rushed forward, however, things seemed to slow down. Slowly, the world seemed to melt away into darkness. From that darkness, the old stone arena faded back in, the storm sounding overhead. Genpaku’s eyes scanned the arena for the Zanpaku-tou spirit that seemed think this a good time for an impromptu conversation, but it sat empty.
”Raiden! What’s the meaning of this! I don’t have the time to deal with this right now!” he shouted, anger ripe in his voice. The response was a rush of wind and sound of laughter, high and light like wind chimes.
”So eager for the fray yet so worried for your friends,” a voice chimed from no particular direction. Genpaku spun around, his eyes searching for the source of the voice.
”Who’s there? Where are you?”
”Come now, are you so blind in the mind as in the eye? I’m right in behind you,” the voice cooed.
Genpaku spun back, and came face to face with a young woman. She was roughly as tall as he, her body lithe but with the proper curves. Her features were gentle, soft, and kind, with hair the color of brown gold. It hung straight, falling below her waist in length but rarely stayed there; it caught the light breeze that rushed around the pair of them; it rose, waved, fluttered in the wind like turned leaves in late autumn winds. She was dressed in what would be considered modern dress; a light, white summer skirt about her legs and a pink top. Currently, she stood there with a kind smile on her lips and her eyes closed, as though she were listening to a song that danced upon the winds and just passed his ear by. He stood there, stunned to silence by this woman who he had never seen.
Her eyes opened, deep emerald not unlike his own, and she took him into those eyes, studying him.
”You seem like you’re having a hard time today eh? Keeping those demons off you and your friends I mean,” she said, her voice like soft wind chimes. Genpaku blinked once or twice. She smiled at him once more. There was something in her voice, almost like an accusation of weakness. Under that emerald gaze, he had to look away. There was a small, light chuckle.
”You hate the fact that you lack the strength to stop them, don’t you?”
He shot a long of anger at her, as though it was somehow her fault; she didn’t even flinch.
”Would you like that to change?”
The question was posed with such sincere honesty and curiosity that it caught Genpaku off guard.
”Well of course I-“ he began, but was silenced as the woman held up a hand.
“Genpaku, I am but a piece of your soul. I can give you no power that you do not have within yourself to begin with. However, I can show you what powers you have yet to see. However,”[b] she trailed off, and her eyes suddenly became hard like emeralds as she fixed him with a hard stare.
[b]”Raiden showed you his power so that you might live and be able to defend yourself. If I were to you show your own power, for what purpose would you wield it?”
Under that pointed gaze, Genpaku had to hold his tongue a moment. He thought on the question she has posed, letting the stone arena fall into relative silence, the light movement of wind the only sound within the ancient place. Slowly, he answered.
”I would use it to…well…protect those close to me. Those I call important. Raiden helped me clean the wound the death of my family left in me. You…I would like you to help me prevent that kind of wound being inflicted on those close to me, and others in general.”
The woman remained silent for a few moments, seeming to study him. Then her hard stare broke into a bittersweet smile.
”That, Genpaku-chan, is what make me feel sorry for you. You are too caring for others around in the world you have been pushed into, and the fighting you will participate in. Then again, that may well be what drives you to protect as you do. Either way, I will give you back your strength, for I like Raiden am nothing more than your strength given form. Call on me when you need, my name is…”
The world melted back, the demons began to move once more, the chaos of battle returned. However, a flood of power came from the young Shinigami as his hand wrapped around the hilt of his second Zanpaku-tou.
”Rise, Fujin!” he called as he drew the blade. For a moment, the blade cracked and hummed with power; then the blade shattered, the shards being scattered. However, it was as though a storm had rushed up around the area as the wind kicked up, flowing towards Genpaku and the now bladeless sword. He gave a swing of the sword, and as he did the wind condensed into a blade of air, and unleashed blades of winds that sliced through the demons flooding forward. This gave them pause, and gave Genpaku a moment to take a better stance.
”What are you waiting for? MOVE!” he called behind him, to the Shinigami who had faltered when he released his new Zanpaku-tou. At his command however, they renewed their efforts to move the wounded.
The demons roared, but held back as the wind kicked up once more; Genpaku’s eyes were a mirror of Fujin’s before, hard emeralds those his were solidified by a goal and determination. The demons made one more push, attempting to rush past the young Shinigami to get to the easier meals; Genpaku gave another swing, and the demons were shredded by Fujin’s winds before they had passed him. Those that had survived the failed push retreated back and down the stairs, out of his sight. He stood there for a few moments, waiting to see if they’d try again, before he turned and shot off after the rest of his divisional members. He had almost reached the 1st Division Headquarters when a new power hit the area; he stalled in his tracks, brought to a knee by the crushing feel of power as Ender approached the 1st Division Headquarters. Genpaku tried to force himself back to his feet and continue; the So-Taicho exited the First Division. As the darkness invaded his vision, he saw a flash of white around him, and then nothing.
He wasn’t sure how long he had been out, but he awoke in a place he didn’t recognize. He was sore, and as he sat up he cringed and let himself fall back. He scanned the room he now found himself in, trying to place it; there were many others lying around, injured or unconscious. A few fourth division members were bustling about, tending to the ones in need of most urgent care. This did not seem to include him, which was re-assuring. He remained laying for a few minutes all the same while he focused on trying to sort out where he was. He didn’t recognize this as anywhere within the Fourth Division barracks; for that matter, he didn’t recognize this as being within any of the barracks.
He pushed himself to sitting, and started up, despite the protest from a nearby Fourth Division member.
”Worry about the ones in danger; I’m just sore,” he said in a quiet voice. He checked that he had all his belongings before he headed out through the unfamiliar building. It quickly became obvious that this was a refugee camp of sorts; members from every division were here. He began to question those he passed about how they got here, and where here was. Apparently it was the house of some nobleman who had offered up his estate as the Gotei’s temporary base while things were brought back under control. Death totals were still being calculated. Several captains were missing in action, some presumed dead or still fighting.
Roughly an hour after he had awoken a meeting was called for all able bodied Shinigami. As they gathered, several of the Captains stood around, quietly discussing something. When everyone who was conscious had arrived, they were brought up to speed on the situation; Yamamoto Genryusai was dead, Ender and his army had taken Soul Society, and there was nothing that could be done about it, yet. For now, they had been forced from Seireitei. However, there were others who were beginning to show themselves, angry at this turn of events. Beyond that, there were a host of other problems. For now, they would have to bide their time and await the opening to strike back. In the meantime, their duty was to find any other survivors and bring them back. It would be near a year before Ender was unseated from Seireitei, and far longer before things would even begin to go back to normal.
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|Subject Post 4Subject: Re: The History of the Anomaly Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:23 am|| |
Aivee Clean-Up Time!
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