Hello! I'm back! I've got a brand new chapter for you lovely readers! I've been working on this story pretty consistently for the past couple weeks, and I hope that updates will be steady. I like the pace I'm going at (about three and a half thousand words a chapter), and I think I'm doing well for not having thought this story through at all. I'm pretty much just winging it and hoping it makes sense. I have no solid plot for the story, but I have some pretty solid concepts and such.
Most of this stuff just came to me out of the blue, as I still don't really have a plot for this, nor do I know where it's going. So please just bear with me. I'm trying as best I can; really!
I must, AGAIN, warn you about the swearing and the out of character-ness. They both appear quite frequently throughout the story, and I don't wish to offend any of my readers. If the spellings I use seem a little weird to you, I apologize. They're just the spellings that looked right, in my opinion. I put a few of my personal opinions/beliefs/theories in here, but it should honestly be expected. Everyone thinks differently, but that's okay. If you have any comments or suggestions that you think might make this story better, please tell me.
I've realized that I never really explained Ichigo's current appearance at any point so far, so I'll tell you what I've come up with. (Everyone else looks exactly the same.) His hair is a combination of both white and orange, and his skin is sorta pale white. It's like his Inner Hollow with orange in his white hair. He has the Hollow eyes (in both eyes), and his mask is a combination of both his new an old ones. His personality is what I suspect would come from his neing merged with his Inner Hollow, so even if he seems like an okay for now, just remember that on the inside he's a sadistic, malicious badass that won't hesitate to kill you dead if you even look at him wrong. But he has his playful moments as well, so it makes him kinda bipolar. ((laughs))
Please note that I've not read the more recent chapters of the manga (as I watched the anime up to episode 272 (the Lust chapters, for you manga only readers) and I've read several chapters after those, if only because the captain fights in the Fake Karakura town annoy me (I'm kinda biased in the way that I don't like watching fights if Ichigo (and I guess the Vizard) isn't the one fighting), but I've made it up to chapter 372, so I think I'm well enough in the clear. Besides, you know, Aizen's utter defeat and Ichigo's final Getsuga.))
I've spent a decent amount of type reeducating myself over concepts, Kidou techniques, zanpaktou, characters and locations, so I hope it's accurate enough. I've used the Bleach wiki (.com), so the information should be reliable enough. I've made a giant Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to accommodate the massive amount of information required to be know about everything to write a consistent Fanfiction, and after I've finished, I'd be willing to share it with anyone that would like to his it all in one place for quick, easy reference without using the Internet.
My author's note is long, and for that, I apologize. I hope that 3508 words of reading are worth the 1000 plus words in Author's Notes. So, without further ado, please enjoy chapter two!
Establishing a Kingdom
Grimmjow laughed as he jumped back from some Arrancar's sword. "Pathetic!" he shouted, a gleeful expression on his face. He and Nnoitra had been sparring with the newer Arrancar for several hours, but it seemed that none of the others were as strong as them. That Dordonii guy that constantly enjoyed picking on Ichigo and Nelliel came into their temporary battleground and started causing trouble, so the blue haired one fought him, too. He gave Grimmjow just a bit of trouble, but eventually the dark skinned one was beat. Not killed, mind you, but just down for the count. The warrior figured that Ichigo merely wanted them roughed up a bit.
Just before he could try to strike back, a heavy wave of reiatsu swept into the room, forcing everyone (including Ulquiorra, Grimmjow noted smugly) to cringe. While muted enough so that it wasn't crushing, it still tried to smother them all. Strangest of all was that it wasn't Ichigo's. Casting out his Pesquisa senses, Ulquiorra found that, besides Ichigo and Nelliel, there were two beings that were equally and more powerful than himself in this current state. Interesting…
Snapping his fingers, the green-eyed Arrancar called out in a normal speaking voice. "That's enough. Let's go you two pieces of trash." Ignoring the grumbling of his comrades, the three made their way to the earlier meeting hall.
It was several hours later before Ichigo reappeared, another being trailing along behind in a less than cheerful manner. He was humming a tuneless melody as he strolled, hand in his pockets, over to the end of the long table in the meeting hall. Settling in the head chair, he watched as Harribel took a seat father down the table and Starrk had already taken a seat and was asleep. Lilynette was staring around in awe, not seeming to have noticed that their host had returned with company. Clearing his throat slightly, Ichigo looked at the three newcomers.
"Hello everyone." The results were instantaneous. Starrk's head snapped up, eyes wide in a sort of 'deer-in-the-headlights' look, Lilynette finally noticed his arrival, and Harribel straightened up. "The three of you are new to the wonderful palace of Las Noches, so let me be the one to give you all a warm welcome. Now; we here at Las Noches like to keep the entire palace relatively peaceful, aside from the training grounds, and we also would like to keep it from collapsing." He chuckled.
"Things are still in the early stages of development as we are still creating our governing body and creating order amongst the inhabitants of this establishment. Amongst these plans for order are the ranking of the Arrancar of Las Noches. I shall be placed as the Zero Espada, while ten others sit below me. Three others are testing right now to see who would be able to be an Espada and who should be a Números. Speaking of… Nel!"
Said female poked her head through the tall double doors. "Yes, Ichigo?"
"Go and fetch Grimmjow, Ulquiorra, and Nnoitra," he told her, leaning slightly backwards in his chair.
"Sure thing, Ichi-kun!" She smiled and left.
"When Nelliel returns with those three, I'll be able to tell you roughly of the ranks. I must say, however, that the three of you are amongst the strongest Arrancar to come to Las Noches."
"Lilynette and I are one in the same," Starrk said, speaking for the first time since his arrival. "When I became an Arrancar, I chose to split my power between the two of us, instead of between myself and my zanpaktou."
"Ah." Loneliness… Ichigo nodded; he was taking mental notes of their spiritual pressures. They seemed pretty controlled… "Raise your spiritual pressures."
"Why?" Harribel asked simply.
"I need to see how strong you are." Sacrifice…
Starrk nodded and stood, placing a hand on Lilynette's head. He then began to raise his spiritual pressure to astounding levels. Lilynette was bracing herself against the male, but she appeared to be for the moment. Harribel raised her own reiatsu to extreme intensities and stood strong.
"Stop. Please lower it again and resume your seats." He watched them with calculating eyes and a curious expression.
Just then, the door flew open and Nelliel skipped in, the three males trudging in behind her. Ulquiorra was as emotionless as ever, Grimmjow looked moderately pleased, and Nnoitra looked pissed. Walking over, Nel took a seat. "Here they are! Just like you asked!"
"Thank you. Now- the three of you performed an examination, yes?"
"That is correct," Ulquiorra replied, standing behind a chair. Grimmjow flopped in a nearby seat while Nnoitra sat as far from Nelliel as possible.
"Excellent. What were your findings?"
"There were roughly six Espada level Arrancar in one room, one in another, and then there was Socaccio. Whichever of them becomes an Espada is, of course, up to you." Ulquiorra lowered his head slightly.
"What were their names?" the ruler of Las Noches inquired, thinking this over.
"They were… Yammy Largo, Zommari Leroux, Szayel Aporro Granz, Gantenbainne Mosqueda, Cirucci Sanderwicci, Aaroniero Arruruerie, Luppi Antenor, and Dordonii Alessandro Del Socaccio, of course," Grimmjow spoke up from his spot down the table. "What's with that freaky Alessandro guy? He keeps following people around, the freak."
"Don't mind him. He's just overly friendly, if you catch my drift," Nnoitra replied lazily, shooting the blue haired one a meaningful look.
"If you wanna talk overly friendly, you should've met that Cuuhlhorne weirdo! What a pansy ass," the shorter Arrancar shot back, closing his eyes and crossing his arms behind his head."And, for reference, we made sure not to kill any of the, eh, recruits, I suppose you'd say. Don't worry. We kept our cool."
Ichigo made a strange sort of amused sound at the back of his throat. "If you say so." He returned his attention to the patiently waiting Ulquiorra. "That many, you say? Nnoitra, Grimmjow: bring them to me at once."
"Aww, why us? Can't emo over there do it?" the previously resting one sighed. "Whatever then. We'll do it. C'mon, spoon-head. We got work to do."
Said black haired one vocally protested to the nickname. "Shut up, kitty-san, unless you wanna face full of zanpaktou!"
"Anytime, you stupid-ass bug!"
Their arguing drifted further down the hallway and soon disappeared all together. Sighing, the impassive Arrancar finally claimed his own seat, sitting neatly at the long table.
After nearly an hour had passed, Ichigo was finally ready to announce the new rankings of Espada. Each of them would be marked with a reishi based tattoo signifying their rank and power. Those that were Espada level, yet not amongst the strongest were to be given identical, but small tattoos of their own. All that were left were simply Números or Fracción. "
"Is everyone prepared to listen?" Ichigo asked of the gathered Arrancar. "What I am about to tell you will hopefully be the start of our bringing order to Las Noches. I hope that by naming the Espada, the ten strongest Arrancar of The Nights palace, we may begin to live peacefully once more. After all, we have our intelligence, we have our company, and we have our power. Now: let us continue."
He gestured to the two he had brought to their little kingdom; Harribel and Starrk. "I've brought you here for a reason, and I sincerely hope you'll accept and stay."
He looked over the gathered forces. "I am Espada number Cero, or Zero. Coyote Starrk is the Primera, or first Espada. Tia Harribel, the Segunda, or second. Nelliel Tu Ordershvank is the Tercera, or third. Ulquiorra Schiffer is the Cuatro, or number four. Nnoitra Jigura is the Quinto, or fifth. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez is the Sexta, or sixth. Dordonii Alessandro Del Socaccio is the Séptima, or seventh. Cirucci Sanderwicci is the Octava, or eighth. Zommari Leroux is the Noveno, or ninth. And finally," those qualified waited with baited breath, "Szayel Aporro Granz is the Diez, or number ten Espada."
The Arrancar that were named as Espada had varying reactions. The first and second looked thoughtful. The third looked thrilled. The fourth, as untouched as always. The fifth and sixth were smug. The seventh was eccentric and gleeful. The eighth was in a sort of daze. The ninth was rather blank. The tenth however looked mildly surprised, yet pleased.
"Espada!" Ichigo called. Ten heads snapped towards him. "Congratulations. Go to your rooms and gather your belongings. Be back within the hour. I'll escort you to your new rooms." Various types of agreements came from the eight that had lived in Las Noches previously. Tia and Coyote (with Lilynette by his side), stood somewhat awkwardly off to the side as the Arrancar filtered out of the room. "Harribel, Starrk, not to worry. I'll go on and show you your chambers."
The two of them nodded and followed Ichigo as he strode out of the room. The double doors of the meeting hall closed behind him as they walked down one of the endlessly white hallways. They didn't stray far from the room when they came across a dark portal on the wall. The Espada passed through the narrow, short walkway and into another corridor as bright as the last. There were five doors lined along three walls; two of each of the parallel walls, and one on the plane adjacent to both and opposite the Arrancar. Each door had a gothic, stylized number embroidered on it, counting up to five. Further down the hallway, closest to the lone door on the shortest wall, were two dark hallways opposite one another, face-to-face, and leading in reverse directions.
The first door had a number one on it. Turning to Starrk and Lilynette, Ichigo motioned to it. "This is your room, Primera. Segunda, your room is the next door over. The Tercera takes the room on the end, the Cuatro next, then the Quinto. There's an assortment of clothing in the closets; just choose what you wish to wear and I'll have more made in the same style." The three nodded and entered the rooms. "I'll be back in approximately half an hour."
True to his word, Ichigo arrived about thirty minutes later and led the two back to the main hall through one of the dark corridors beside the Tercera's door. Once they arrived, the first of the first Espada filed in. Unsurprisingly, Ulquiorra was already waiting, standing near the wall, a couple of canvas bags settled near his feet. He held a thin book in his hand as he waited for Ichigo's return. The Zero Espada moved over and sat in his head chair. Pointing to a chair along the edge of the table, he glanced up to the green eyed Arrancar. "Since you're the fourth, that chair there is yours. Starrk's in to my right here, and Harribel's to his right. Nelliel will sit between you and Ulquiorra." The Espada nodded and moved to sit in their respective seats.
Upon sitting, the stoic Cuatro sat, unmoving, and completely alert. He didn't speak. "If you want to read your novel while we're waiting, you may; I've nothing to say until everyone's here."
The next to file in was Szayel. He was then appointed the last seat on the row to the left of Ichigo. After him was Zommari and Cirucci. They were given seats beside each other and next to the Diez. Nelliel flitted in next, her loyal 'brothers' Pesche and Dondochakka following her. They are toted large duffel bags filled with whatever belongings they might've acquired during their stay at Las Noches. She chose to stay standing to talk to the two males she brought with her. Nnoitra stalked in next, dragging some poor soul behind him. The unfortunate Arrancar behind the Quinto was loaded down with several small, but heavy bags. He was making a visible effort not to collapse or drop anything.
"Nnoitra, you're an ass. Can't you see that guy's not as strong as you?" Nel rounded on the lower ranking Hollow, a fire burning in her hazel eyes.
"Oh, fuck off, you pixie. He's just fine, aren't you, Tesla?" The lanky fifth asked the shorter and stockier Números.
"Yes, Nnoitra-sama. I'm quite alright," the more serious one answered quickly.
"See? He's fine."
She sighed. The two of them were always butting heads. It was unchanging, but irritating. She wished that he didn't have such a love of battle. "Whatever. Alright. I'll concede for now; but you make one step out of place with him, I'll take you head from your shoulders."
"Che." Nnoitra rolled his one eye in a lazy manner, a slinky grin spread over his narrow face. "You talk a lot of shit, but you and I both know you won't do it."
Nel suddenly appeared in front of him, her zanpaktou pressed against his throat. The hierro there broke slightly, a small drop of blood forming around the blade. The expression on her face was black while his was one of terror and shock. He made a choked sound in the back of his throat for a moment. "Won't do it, huh?" the Tercera asked of the Quinto. "There's a reason I'm ranked higher than you."
When he could once again form coherent sentences, he glared and sputtered, "Stop saying stupid things! And get the hell off me! Your ass is as good as dead if you kill me!"
"Hm. Perhaps," she allowed, moving away and sheathing her sword. "Watch yourself, Nnoitra."
"Nel-sama! Are you okay?" Pesche asked her, getting to one knee and taking her hand into his own. "He didn't touch you, yes?"
"You're just fine, right?" Dondochakka added, moving over to take her other hand.
She just laughed and reclaimed her hands, patting the two Números on the head. "I'm quite alright. He didn't touch me, and I'm unharmed." Glancing over to give Nnoitra an evil look, she took her seat and turned to ask Ulquiorra about his book. The fourth Espada just looked at her patiently waiting form before briefly explaining the events and giving a personal summary. She nodded back, a smile on her face.
The fifth just scoffed and sat on the Cuatro's other side.
Around this point, Dordonii practically danced into the room, his arms laden with his bags. He set them down near everyone else's possessions and smiled with a laugh. "¡Hola, everyone! And especially you, Niño!" he exclaimed, focusing on Ichigo for the last part. Said Cero Espada sighed and set his head on the table and gave a large sigh. Several snickers ran down the table.
"Hello, Socaccio. Please take your seat while we wait for the Sexta," Ichigo replied, the mask he wore preventing him from muffling his words by shoving his face into the flat surface.
"But of course, Niño!" the dark skinned Séptima replied, sitting next to Cirucci. She made a face and subtly moved closer to Zommari; he appeared to be trying not to laugh at her discomfort.
A relatively peaceful calm settled over the ten at the table. The Números plus Lilynette were seated on the edge of one of the shorter raised platforms of the room. They were either talking or resting, but the conversation was light.
All of a sudden, it was broken when Grimmjow burst through the door, his five companions tailing slightly behind somewhat quietly. The sixth smiled and put on an arrogant smirk. "Yo; miss me?" he narrowed his eyes in a lazy, but egotistical way. A couple scoffs, a few eye rolls, a snicker, and a grunt met his ears. Glaring in a pouty way, he crossed his arms. "You guys fucking suck. Maybe next time I just won't show up."
"Thank goodness," someone muttered, causing another few scoffs and snickers.
"Who the hell said that?" the blue haired male asked, sapphire orbs burning with a passionate rage. "I'll rip out your brain through your throat if you mock me again…"
"Sit down, Grimmjow. Tell your Números friends to sit over there with the others. Once you're seated, the meeting can begin." Ichigo reprimanded, giving the other a stern look.
Grumbling, Grimmjow shuffled over and took a seat after dismissing his band of lackeys. They all went with relative ease, but Yylfordt stopped to shoot a glare of death to his younger brother. Szayel smiled and give a one fingered salute.
Once all the Espada were seated, they calmed. "Now. As I'm sure most if not all of you are aware of, you're allowed to choose Fracción to accompany and assist you. There is no limit, but remember that if you decide to elect an underling, he or she is your responsibility. Nelliel, Nnoitra, and Grimmjow all seem to have picked their own already. That's fine. You do not have to have Fracción, but remember that if you do not have any, I can freely assign you a partner for any tasks that I may require of you. Starrk, I obviously it that Lilynette is under your care." The Primera nodded. "Would you like to pick anyone else?"
"Nah. I'm fine with Lily. We work decently enough together as it is." He waved a hand with a tiny smile on his face.
"Harribel, would you like any Fracción?"
The Segunda frowned behind the collar of her new top. After a moment, she nodded and looked up to the Cero. "I'd like to select Sung-Sun, Apacci, and Mila Rose as my Fracción."
"Very well." He seemed to be committing the choices to memory. The unspoken King of the Hollows was always difficult to read correctly. "Ulquiorra?"
"No," the Cuatro didn't even look up from his novel to answer.
"No, I'd rather not, Niño," he waved an arm around for a second.
The Octava paused and thought about it briefly. "I'd like to pick Avirama Redder, Findor Carias, and Ggio Vega as my subordinates," she finally answered, nodding to herself.
"As you wish," he nodded back. "Zommari?" He received no answer, but only a negative shake of the head. "Szayel?"
"Don't worry about me. I can make my own. All I need is a lab to do it in, which I would like to request, if you'd allow it," he put a charming look on his face as he leaned forward onto his elbows, sitting his chin on his hands.
"Permission granted," the leader told him, ignoring the leering look and the snicker his obliviousness caused. The pink haired one barely pouted before smiling with a nod in gratitude. "If that's everyone, then we're all done here. You are given free reign of Las Noches with the exception of the personal rooms. You may allow your Fracción to share a room with you, are they can stay in their own room given to them as a Números. The next meeting will be in approximately two days. Be on time and in here at this time for the next gathering. You may leave."
The Soul Society was a relatively peaceful place to live. The blue skies, the neat streets of the Seireitei, the order of the barracks, the-
The irritation rolled off the small, white haired boy in waves.
"Yes, captain?" a female asked, a grin plastered on her face.
The 'captain' sighed. "Rangiku, there's a meeting for captains and lieutenants in about five minutes. We must leave, now."
"Aw, but taichou-!"
No 'buts', Matsumoto-fukutaichou. Let's go."
The meeting was unsurprisingly held in the barracks of the first division of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads. The Gotei 13 protected the Court of Pure Souls and the surrounding Rukongai districts. The twelve captains and their vice-captains were pouring into the assembly room to gather with the head captain and his vice.
Once all the squad leaders filed in, the head captain looked over his subordinates. Then, he spoke, "Thanks you all for being on time. I would like to discuss a very important issue with you all today. According to studies held by the Department of Research and Development, the Hollows escaping Hueco Mundo into the World of the Living are increasing in power and quantity. They are all still under captain level in strength, but we're having difficulties defeating them quickly. In addition, rather than just causing random mayhem, the Hollows seem to be grouping in a certain area and leaving of their own accord."
"Well then, Yama-jii, what do you suspect we do about it?" the captain of the eighth squad, Shunsui Kyoraku, inquired of the soutaichou.
"I am sending Gin Ichimaru, Retsu Unohana, Byakuya Kuchiki, Toshiro Hitsugaya, Kenpachi Zaraki, and Jushiro Ukitake to the Hollow World to find out what the problem is. Their lieutenants will be going with them as well as one or two other officers of their choosing." The third, fourth, sixth, tenth, eleventh, and thirteen captains all stood a smidge straighter at the sound of their names. Turning to the ones he just called out, Yamamoto raised his voice slightly. "You will depart tomorrow at noon! Dismissed!"
Several things before I end this (even though I've just making this thing longer than is necessary): 1) I very much dislike Barragan. So, he is never going to show up in my story. End of discussion. His Fracción, however, obviously are, to some extent. 2) I'm debating upon giving Ichigo the Fracción I've assigned to Cirucci (I'm writing these notes a couple days later, and I feel too lazy to look for names), because I don't think that I could get her character across well enough to actively interact with others/her Fracción frequently, and people obviously like her Fracción, so… yeah, it's complicated. 3) I will be using both the English and Spanish/Japanese names for the various terms and such, so expect that, as well. 4) I. Like. Gin. And I'm sure several of you will agree with me. There's something about him that screams, "Like me, for I am amazing. And totally better than you." 5) I have no plot, and no Bleach beta. Please help!
I hope I covered it all. If you have any questions, please ask!
Next time: Fox Face, Scary Healer, the Almighty Stone Face, Shiro-kun, Ken-chan, and Captain Candy head to Hueco Mundo, but they may not be in very good company... Meanwhile, Queen Goth has Fracción problems, and demands ones with less attitude, making Ichi pick up the slack. The population fluctuates more than it makes one comfortable, so Emo and Yam-face are sent to investigate. Niño and Baeby are having adventures while their King is out, and a certain Horse makes a special guest appearance!
(Those are so fun to write…) Going by that last line, you can expect some extra fun next chapter! If I at least double my review count (three to six) and maybe add one (seven), I'll (maybe – hopefully) write an omake for you lovely readers! If you read it, review it!