For the past few moments since rousing back into awareness, Gin felt like everything he ever considered common sense was entirely turned over on its head. Granted, he was running a tad light headed from his injuries and the extensive amount of Kido that restrained him. He could hardly lift a finger nor channel his spiritual energy in a way that would allow him to escape, not that he presently had any such motivations however.

Rangiku wasn't being vocal about it, but she was certainly fretting over him: the only plus to this already hectic situation, and perhaps the only thing he really cared about.

She was standing on pins and needles around him, but not because of anything he was doing, but because of the number of hostilities around him. She was practically glued to him; her eyes darting left and right, and her hands constantly on the pommel of her sword despite still recovering from her injuries. Neither of them knew when an 'accidental' blade could just up and stab him, right?

He smiled a fox-like grin and openly laughed at Kisuke's suggestion, uncaring about how it infuriated many of the Shinigami present who resented him for his betrayal.

He was acting like a bastard, but who was he to deny his own amusement?

Other than those that he actually viewed favorably, he could care less about anyone else. This was just his personality, and the reason for the tenacity and bullheadedness he'd displayed in his pursuit of revenge against Aizen.

Snakes were solitary creatures lurking in the dark. They were opportunists who bide their time in order to strike a single lethal blow, sinking their poisoned fangs into unsuspecting prey. Be it animal, or megalomaniacs convinced in their road to God-hood, Shinso would never fail to reach.

One doesn't provoke a snake and expect no form of retaliation.

There weren't many things that could provoke Gin into action. His poise was almost impeccable behind a carefully placed smile, but once again, snakes are solitary creatures. Once they find their companion, they intwine themselves even if just for a moment.

The thing was, Gin had never let go of the warmth he'd felt and cherished above all.

Every Shinigami needs a reason to fight, a purpose, and his had always been Rangiku.

Call him stubborn or ignorant of what Rangiku felt in his pursuit of revenge against Aizen, but one thing will always remain true. Not once had Gin Ichimaru ever betrayed himself and his goals.

You can leer at him, detest him, or curse him, but he'd always remained true on his path. Therefore, it didn't matter if the those in the crowd around him glared at him. All that mattered was that he'd finally realized what mattered to him more than revenge.

"Back. Off. All of you!" Rangiku growled in agitation, her spiritual energy was fluctuating around her, lifting her bangs up over her temples and accentuating her narrowed eyes. Injured as she may be, there were things more important to her than her own well being.

Just like Gin, every Shinigami needed a reason to fight whether it be for justice, ideals, or selfish reasons, it was all the same.

Rangiku's position as a seated officer and lieutenant of Squad Ten deterred many of the lower ranked Shinigami, but her fellow Lieutenants still alive from the Quincy invasion stared at her in confusion.

Izuru Kira of Squad Three was the one most affected by the scene in front of him, Renji and the others, less so. All Renji was seeing was red. His Captain had died and even had his Bankai stolen. Worse, Rukia had fallen mute at the news and was still in a state of shock, entirely unreceptive to her environment.

Anger was the deepest emotion all Shinigami were feeling, and Gin noticed that he was the convenient scapegoat to vent. Rangiku was of similar wavelength to Gin and tightened her defences around him even if she had no confidence in opposing a Captain. Her own Captain didn't seem inclined to help her either, injured as he was and blinded by his rage against Gin in the ploy to harm Hinamori.

Of course, the opinions of the Lieutenants were one thing, but the Captains and Vizards were another.

"You're in quite a bind, aye Ichimaru?" Shinji drawled, a small smile playing at his lips. "At least something went right in this shit show, but tell me, I didn't think you'd be in any mood for laughter."

Gin snorted derisively, his eyes squinting at the murderous glares around him and taking note of any who may attack Rangiku in order to get to him. If nothing changed any time soon, his hit list would only continue to grow until he may as well side with Aizen in order to kill everyone.

Speaking of which, he had a specific retort for the smiling blond bowl-head bastard. "And I didn't think any of ya would have suggested working with Aizen? How're the masks? With how you've taken to em, you'd think that Aizen did ya all a favour?"

The grin left Shinji's face to be replaced by a grim countenance, much like the other unreceptive Captains, but the members of the Vizards were different.

Rangiku suddenly staggered, blood spurting from her wounds and splattering across Gin's face as she blocked a strike intended for him.

"Hiyori!" Shinji yelled with a grunt, stepping forward and grabbing onto a little brat's sleeve. Said brat in pink sweat pants and matching jacket, violently shook out of Shinji's grip and advanced.

Meanwhile, Gin's eyes had fully opened, revealing the sharp blue of his pupils.

That one was going to die.

"FUCK THIS BASTARD!" Hiyori shoved Rangiku to the ground when she refused to move and clamped a hand over Gin's temples. "I'll just kill the traitor here!"

She squeezed harder and harder, but Gin didn't so much as flinch before a cane smacked down over Hiyori's head. "Now that's enough. There must be a reason as to why he's here, yes? From what Lieutenant Matsumoto tells me, the only reason Gin is here is because he aided her and indirectly, all of you, in the attack by the Quincy."

Everyone was taken aback by the admission, even Hiyori who let go of Gin in her stupor, allowing Rangiku to squeeze in between them and glare at everyone who'd made no move to help. Only Orihime looked troubled, but she was too occupied with healing the injured.

"Obviously it's a lie!" Soifon pushed through the crowd and glowered. "My squad has reported sightings of a different figure in the battle."

Rangiku bit down on her lower lip and balled her hands into fists. "He was there! If not for him, I would have died! Stop judging and let him explain!" She looked pleadingly at Gin who gradually wilted under the weight of her stare. "Gin if you're really sorry then enough lies. Tell us what's really going on."

Gin's mouth twitched, the edges of his lips curving downward as he considered Rangiku's proposition. He was captured and held at sword point. He could be killed at any moment due to his branding as a traitor. At this point, he honestly had nothing else left to lose aside from the faith Rangiku had in him, and that was something he wouldn't give up.

So, he began to explain everything from the beginning, ignoring how he was basically turning his back on years of effort to foster trust with Aizen in order to kill him.

It all started with a gift of persimmons, and a desire to retrieve what was lost.

To Gin, everything made sense in his story, his personal reasoning and logic flawless, but Rangiku had begun shaking her head and sniffling by the time he detailed how no sacrifice was too much.

"Gin, you idiot," Rangiku knew that her Gin was never a bad person, but to hear that he'd sacrificed his reputation and future to get back at Aizen on her behalf was heart breaking.

While Rangiku and Izuru looked as if a great weight had been lifted from their shoulders, many weren't so forgiving.

"Admitting your motive doesn't absolve you of your crimes, Ichimaru," Toshiro said neutrally from where Unohana was healing his injuries. He earned a genuine glare from Rangiku which he reluctantly ignored. "You aided in Aizen's machinations and harmed others as a result."

Toshiro's words were sharp, and not even Shunsui or Jushiro could speak otherwise despite their tendency to forgive if possible.

Gin's only response was a snort. "Was I askin for any of yer forgiveness?"

"Gin," Rangiku hissed into Gin's ear while wiping her tears away with the back of her hands. "Stop."

Stop provoking them right, right. Gin supposed there was no merit in doing so anyway aside from personal entertainment. Besides, someone else came to temporarily draw the attention away from him anyway.

Uryu Ishida had arrived with not only Yuzu, but an unconscious Ichigo as well, much to the shock of everyone including Ishida who still looked like he couldn't believe what he'd found.

Gin hummed in curiosity.

Ah yes, the Kurosaki boy.

Aizen had had a strange fixation on the orange-haired Shiba descendant, and evidently, there was reason for it. From a substitute Shinigami, the Kurosaki boy had become something similar to a Vasto Lorde with the last display in the Fake Karakura town. His skin was a pale grey, and his orange hair was now waist-length. Over his form were tattered remnants of a Shinigami's Shihakusho, and at the center of his chest was a large Hollow hole.

Horns jutted from the boy's head, but different from before, his masked visage was absent.

Gin began to think. Perhaps the Kurosaki boy was like the Vizards and had an on and off stage? Regardless, the mechanics must have been the same, and the boy would need to resummon his mask if he wished to display his previous level of power.

As it was, the Kurosaki boy was harmlessly asleep.

"We should kill him before he proves a danger."

No one knew who said it, nor did anyone care. What mattered was the logic behind it.

Instantly, swords were drawn and lines were created amidst the disaster of the worlds fusing.

Gin watched in interest as Karin, Orihime, Isshin, Ishida, Chad (Sado), Yoruichi, Kisuke, and the Vizards stood to defend Ichigo. Tatsuki and the others moved to shield their friend despite having no idea what was going on as well.

Despite Orihime healing Yamamoto, the Head Captain was still in an unconscious state, leaving Shunsui to act as a proxy while the Royal Guard watched on silently.

"Now now, everyone should calm down a bit," Shunsui clapped his hands and gestured for everyone to sheath their swords. Reluctantly, they did.

Shunsui turned to address his fellow Captain and Shinigami. "I'm sure many of you believe it prudent to kill the boy now, but try to recall Kisuke's suggestion of cooperating with not Aizen, but the Vasto of White. I'm sure that killing the boy would not endear any in Hueco Mundo to us, am I right, Ichimaru?"

Gin simply nodded. "The boy's made friends with a few Arrancar in high places. If you really intend to come to an agreement with the Vasto of White and by proxy, Aizen, then you really shouldn't be quick to murder. Of course, that includes me."

"Awfully convenient," Toshiro said snidely.

"But not wrong either," Shunsui wished he could just sit down and drink his growing stress away in the growing animosity, but he couldn't. Not know when Yamamoto couldn't take the reins.

The Soul Society had lost consecutively ever since the Fake Karakura town battle, and emotions were now running high with the number of causalities and injured. Honestly, Shunsui knew he likely wouldn't be fairing as well if Orihime hadn't been able to keep the old man from dying.

Small miracles, and since Orihime was defending Ichigo, Shunsui would do his best to repay a favour.

"Out of everyone here, Gin knows the Vasto of White and Aizen best, making it unwise to ignore his words. We should at least take them with a grain of salt." Shunsui shifted his attention to Ishida who was still carrying an unconscious Ichigo who Yuzu was fretting over with Karin and Isshin.

Let it be said that everyone in Ichigo's group noticed that Yuzu could now see Ichigo, but no one was simply bringing it up in the hostile environment.

"Now then, if you'd explain just 'how' this all happened, then perhaps we can plan from there?" Shunsui offered an olive branch.

"Well, I found him in his room." Ishida pushed up his glasses. Years of studying under his father had made him accustomed to pressure. He spoke calmly. "He was just laying their unconscious with Ms. Kurosaki here staring at him."

All eyes turned to Yuzu who expectedly flinched under all the attention. She was trembling, and if not for Isshin and Karin helping to support her, she may have dropped to her knees from the spiritual pressure around her.

"M-Mom brought him," Yuzu explained tentatively, shocking both Isshin and Karin into silence.

"Ah yes, Masaki did drop by," Kisuke seemed to have a light bulb moment that caused Isshin no small amount of frustration. "Sorry, did I not mention it before? It slipped my mind, and well, it was her description of the Vasto of White that made me proposition a hypothetical alliance. As for the matter with Ichigo, lets all agree to put it aside for now. It isn't as important as that."

Kisuke pointed up at the flower-like structure of the Soul King's realm and the swords surrounding Hueco Mundo.

Gin perked up. A yes, straight to the matter at hand at last.

Would they or would they not request assistance from a hated enemy to deal with another hated enemy?

Well, the answer to this question was simple.

"It would seem that there's no choice to be had in this matter."

An army of featureless black creatures with multiple eyes were released from the Soul King's Palace, rushing straight towards those with spiritual awareness in the Human World. Hueco Mundo offered nothing in response as a majority of the black spectres rushed towards the spiritual signatures of the Shinigami. As much as Kisuke prided himself in his architectural design, he knew that his shop's defences would hardly last.

Hurriedly tapping his cane on the ground, Kisuke shattered the pavement beneath him to reveal his underground training facility which everyone fell into.

There right before everyone was a portal already opened to Hueco Mundo made for a different purpose, but now serving another.

"Into the Garganta."

Kisuke, Yoruichi, and the Royal Guard wasted no time, but the same couldn't be said for everyone else. However, there really was no choice. The realm of the Soul Society was lost, and the Human World had no real defenses to offer.

Hueco Mundo was the only choice.

Under Shunsui's lead, the Shinigami gathered the injured and began cautiously funneling into the Garganta with bated breath. For many, it was a simple gesture.

Hope and pray.

Hueco Mundo was his inner world. Shirou would be notified of anything that affects it or resides within it, and this situation was no different.

He stood staring at the abrupt Garganta that dared open itself in the middle of his lands. It had been open for the past half-hour but he'd yet to deal with it simply because he'd been focusing his efforts on stopping Yhwach from gaining any ground against Hueco Mundo. Then again, the natural inclination of his Reality Marble to reject the world and govern a space as its own was proving resistant to whatever Yhwach was doing.

Hueco Mundo would remain safe for the time being.

It was with this realization that he was now shifting his focus onto the matter directly in front of him.

The Garganta was fluctuating in energy, obvious signs that beings were in the midst of crossing through it.

It would be their folly if they prove to be an enemy.

The strength of a soul stemmed from their spiritual energy, and Hueco Mundo was his own soul laid bear. It wasn't an understatement to say that he was a God in this world for everything as far as the eye can see was his inner reality.

Putting aside his reservations about the fact that it had become a common occurrence to rip holes into his inner world (Gargantas), he readied himself for whatever trouble may come to him.

Harribel, Nel, Grimmjow, Coyote, Baraggan, Aizen, and the other Arrancar all began flocking to his location; all of them gathering at the first sign of trouble within Hueco Mundo. Though, he figured Aizen had just come for entertainment.

Whatever it was that had happened outside Hueco Mundo, it would seem that Aizen understood and guessed who it was passing through the Garganta.

Not that Shirou was ignorant, but he too knew just who it was that was coming and moved to the front. He knew how fast things were going to escalate when the forms of the Royal Guard appeared first with Kisuke and Yoruichi nearby.

Everyone tensed at the presence of Shinigami entering Hueco Mundo. Of course, many also grinned with bloodlust and intent for battle. It was all in a Hollow's nature, but the fact that Kaname Tosen looked just as eager was unexpected.

Before anyone could rush forward, they glanced at him first.

He shook his head, and simply waited as more and more Shinigami began arriving.

"Uhm, sorry boss," Gin was grinning from ear to ear when he was carried in over Tessai's shoulder. "I got captured ya?"

Aizen made no comment, but a gleam of curiosity flickered over his eyes before they remained on Kisuke and Yoruichi.

"Shut up, Gin," Rangiku elbowed Gin's side, but winced a moment later when she saw blood seep out of Gin's bandages. "S-Sorry."

Silence ensued as the Shinigami began to take up more and more space.

Shirou noted that over half of the space the Shinigami were occupying were filled with the injured. The fact that he couldn't sense the present of the Soul Society anymore was quite telling of their circumstances, but so what even if they came for help?

Neither the Human World or the Soul Society had ever cared for the well being of Hollows.

Hueco Mundo was their only home and sanctuary.

Shirou had always wanted to be a hero who upheld his ideals, but as he was now, he'd gained aspects of a Hollow. He was different from before.

He was the Vasto of White.

Shirou could not in good faith abandon the views and hostilities fostered between Hollows and Shinigami over the course of eons. Yes, it was true that his friends and fellow Hollows turned Arrancar would heed his words, but it didn't mean that they would be content with the decision.

He could see Coyote visibly seething at the sight of Yamamoto's frail and unconscious figure supported by Unohana Retsu, and he knew that there was nothing that could be done to console her. Starrk was uncharacteristically awake and solemn, while Lilynette had frozen up entirely. The rest of the Arrancar were just as hostile if not indifferent like he was.

By the time an unconscious Ichigo appeared surrounded by his friends and family, Silent's eyes dilated much like Nel's and Lilynette's.

"We mean no harm," Ichibei said in a boisterous voice. "I'm sure you're all well aware of the circumstances outside Hueco Mundo, so lets just get to the point. We propose a ceasefire between sides to combine forces against a greater enemy."

"A greater enemy?" Tosen sounded heated, veins popping over his skin. "As if the words of heinous vile dogs running with their tail between their legs can count for anything."

Despite Tosen being a Shinigami, many Arrancar present acknowledged what he'd just said, much to the distaste of the Royal Guard and Shinigami.

"Exactly! A greater enemy? Bullshit!" Brans yelled, flapping his great wings and taking to hovering in the air. "Our Lord is clearly stronger. Hueco Mundo still stands whereas the Soul Society has fallen! Equals we are not!"

"Well said," Harribel crossed her arms and glared with cold indifference. "Shirou is strong. We are strong. What makes you think we'd need you, an enemy?"

Ichibei closed his mouth, seeing that anything he'd say would only be met with resistance. Besides, Grimmjow, Nnoitora, and many Arrancar were getting ready to launch an attack as soon as the order was given, and Shirou was making no move to stop them.

His silence was his answer to Ichibei's proposition.

The Shinigami weren't in a position to seek an alliance to begin with, but asylum instead.

"Right, then we simply request aid," Kisuke spoke up and tipped his hat down in greeting. "If you could provide a little shelter for the storm, we will certainly remember this debt."

Ichibei and the other members of the Royal Guard stared at Kisuke before shaking their heads in disapproval, yet none moved to stop him.

A plea for sanctuary then?

It was a simple matter to accept since Shirou didn't harbour much in the way of prejudice towards SHhnigami like his fellow Hollows, but he wouldn't make a decision on impulse.

Shirou didn't need the Shinigami, and if not for his own beliefs, he would have long since attacked by now. However, he didn't not only because of his ideals, but because there were those that suddenly took their own initiatives when Grimmjow and the rest nearly attacked.

Silent stepped forward followed by Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, and even Aaroniero Arruruerie. Each of them garnered their own form of attention.

Silent stood with her arms spread out in a protective gesture in front of her stunned family, while Nel shared glances with Harribel and the other Arrancar.

Aaroniero Arruruerie stood hesitantly near Jushiro Ukitake, and the remaining members of the Shiba clan who looked at him as if they were seeing a ghost.

"We will vouch for them," Nel said solemnly, glancing once at Ichigo, and then to Silent and Aaroniero.

Harribel and the other Arrancar looked betrayed at Nel's actions, but fell into contemplation a second later when Aizen suddenly spoke up.

"I see, the Second Release," Aizen said with a small grin. "An Arrancar's initial release is equivalent to a Shinigami's Shikai form and a Hollow's attainment of Shinigami powers. If so, the second release is considered the equivalent of Bankai and an even greater understanding of Shinigami abilities. By keeping the Shinigami around, you hope to glean insight. Am I correct, Ms. Odelschwanck?"

Nel looked startled and hesitant, but she slowly nodded in acceptance of Aizen's words. It was a favour, plain as day. Better yet, it was a deduction that Baraggan, Harribel, and the Espada were actually considering in pursuit of their Second Release.

Nel and Silent looked at Aizen, and when they did, the meaning was clear despite Shirou agreeing to designate a spot for the Shinigami.

'You owe me.'

Thinking about it, the reasoning was simple. Even if Shirou could decide everything with a word, it would be done at the discontent of the other Arrancar who would have seen no reason to keep Shinigami around. In this case, Aizen provided the premise for Shirou to do what he felt was right while simultaneously doing a favour for Nel and the others, and advancing his own agenda.

A pro gamer move.

"Well, that went better than expected," Yoruichi eased the tension out of her muscles while surveying the Arrancar keeping their distance at the foot of a large hill of white sand.

"Unlikely," Gin grunted. "Putting the Quincy and their King aside, none of you know half of what Aizen is capable of. Every one of his actions has meaning."

Shunsui and the other Captains and Vizards mulled over Gin's words, but a select few seemed to be too far into their own worlds to contribute. Saijin Komamura had been silent ever since Tosen's appearance, and was in no mood to offer any meaningful insight. At another part of the designated zone, the Kurosaki family reunion was being held in private with Nel, Silent, and Ichigo's friends. Even further away was Kukaku Shiba demanding to see Kaien Shiba only to be held back vehemently by Ganju calling her crazy for making demands to the Arrancar.

You see, Kaien had left before anyone could even call out to him, hence Kukaku's agitation. Of course, her calls to 'give the bastards hell' were being met with deaf ears, but this was beside the point.

"Forget about the others for now," Kisuke waved dismissively, a small smile creeping up his face. "We have more important matters to consider. Dibs on not being the one to explain to the Head-Captain about why he'd be waking up in Hueco Mundo."

"O shit, the geezers waking up?" Shunsui didn't sound half as worried as he looked. The relief on his features supplanting all else, though Kisuke was going to have to put a damper on the mood.

"Actually, not quite," Kisuke grinned wryly while adjusting his hat over his head. "I'm just calling dibs early, lest I find myself the butt of a difficult explanation. Mr. Abarai can attest to this as he was the one who broke the news to Kuchiki that her brother was dead."

The Captains winced at the reminder of their losses to the Quincy shortly after the battle of Karakura town. The Quincy had taken an opportunity and struck while everyone was weakened.

It was a tactical maneuver.

No one escaped unscathed.

"Perhaps if the Royal Guard actually helped and didn't leave Yama-jiji on his own," Shunsui shadowed his features with his straw hat, lest the others see the scowl on his face. It was too late though since Shinji and Vazards noticed, but they didn't bring it up.

Speaking of the Royal Guard, they were off discussing matters on their own again. The name 'Yhwach' and the 'The Vasto of White' were frequently heard out of context, but none dared interrupt. Each of them alone could rival or surpass Yamamoto in capabilities, and none of them were in a pleasant mood after the talks of cooperation had shifted to asylum.

"Just leave them alone for now," Jushiro mediated. "What matters now is who's the one that's been charged to oversee us? If Ichimaru is correct about Aizen, then its best we prepare."

"I am right." Gin said snidely before cheerily grinning. "Now when do you all plan to release me? Rangiku, they're ignoring me now, aren't they?"

Rangiku sighed near Gin, but inwardly she was just happy that the Gin she knew was back. That was all that mattered.

"Hmm," Gin hummed to himself. "If I was Aizen, what purpose could I have in aiding an enemy?"

"My, what a pleasant welcome for your new overseer," a voice stirred the hornet's nest.

Aizen unceremoniously appeared in front of everyone who promptly drew their swords.

"And there's the catch," Gin drawled inwardly, his eyes narrowing into slits as Soifon flash stepped to hold Aizen under a blade's edge.

"What tricks and treachery is this!" Soifon demanded coldly. Her sword was held in reverse grip, and she'd locked Aizen's arms behind him. None were averse to her actions. Some like Hiyori and Toshiro would have done far worse, but Aizen remained unphased.

"Tricks?" Aizen raised an elegant brow. "Clearly you all over value yourselves."

Soifon bristled, her grip tightening on her sword's hilt.

"Tell me," Aizen leaned his head closer towards the edge of a Soifon's blade, his neck entirely exposed and unguarded. "What makes you all think that I require such petty things to deal with any of you?"

"Cocky last words," Soifon's eyes sharpened into a scornful glower. She had no qualms about adding more pressure to her sword's edge.

"Hardly." Aizen did nothing to remove the sword pressed up against his neck. "If you believe you can kill me in your tenuous circumstances, then try. You'll rue the action."

A shiver suddenly travelled down everyone's backs as a silent yet oppressive spiritual pressure continued to permeate through the area.

"Ah, you finally noticed her?" Aizen shrugged while Soifon and the other Captain stared at the lone figure overlooking them from a distant plateau.

Coyote Gingerbuck waited with an endless patience.

"Dear Coyote should be quite familiar to many of you, and it's a fact that she hates your Head-Commander. Her trust and devotion to the Vasto of White is the only thing keeping her back. She's watching and waiting for a reason to act."

Coyote readied her gun while staring fixedly at their direction.

"Any reason."

Aizen carefully gripped Soifon's sword with his index finger and thumb. Soifon grew flustered to admit that she was actually straining to hold her position. She growled and poured more spiritual energy into her arms.

Silence stretched in the area, but Aizen didn't miss the way Soifon and several Shinigami glanced at Ichibei and the others who were now paying rapt attention at the threat Coyote posed.

"The Royal Guard? Do you really think they would be enough to hinder Coyote?"

Many Shinigami glanced at the members of the Royal Guard near them again, much to Aizen's amusement. He actually laughed before letting go of Soifon's sword and leaving it where it was.

"What is considered strength?" He began in a low drawl. "Strength isn't only about personal capability, but connections as well."

Here Aizen gestured towards somewhere farther away from where Coyote stood and where Shirou was standing over a large hill of swords.

"Coyote is not only strong in capability, but in relations. Look at her face. Does it look like she fears them? No, of course not. Why would she when she fully believes that no harm will come to her? The same applies for all the Hollows and Arrancar in Hueco Mundo all because of a single individual. The Vasto of White, their Lord of Hollows."

Aizen pressed his neck to Soifon's sword, not even bothering to use his spiritual energy to shield his skin from the razor edge. "Go ahead, Captain. Swing that sword and provide justification for conflict."

You'll all die. Aizen mused. If he wasn't strong enough to defeat the Vasto of White, then none of these fools stood a chance at all.

"Soifon, I believe that's enough."

Soifon grudgingly sheathed her blade at Kisuke's prompting.

Aizen's mouth twitched upwards.

Finally. A fellow intellectual that wasn't Gin Ichimaru.

Contrary to expectations, but Aizen wasn't above using others to achieve his goals. It just so happened that Yhwach had earned Aizen's ire for taking something that shouldn't belong to him, and Kisuke and the others had appeared in an opportune moment.

The enemy of my enemy... is my pawn.

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