Disclaimer: I do not own any aspect of Bleach…by all right, it belongs to Tite Kubo.



[Mugetsu talking]

"Attack Names"


Chapter 1: The Genesis of a Hybrid

15 year old Kurosaki Ichigo watched on, not sure what to feel, as his arch nemesis and enemy of the world, Aizen Souske, tried in vain to fight off the sealing kido that Urahara Kisuke implanted within him. As the nails of red kido took effect, Ichigo though back to how this happened.


Ichigo and Aizen, minutes prior, were having a titanic showdown on the outskirts of Karakura Town. The force of their blows and the intensity of their reiatsu literally rewrote the landscape. It was as if two gods descended from the heavens and were clashing over their ideals. It wasn't too far from the truth. With the Hogyoku continuously granting Aizen power by evolving his very being to unimaginable levels along with Ichigo reaching the peak of power that any Shinigami could possible hope to achieve, these two behemoths were in a league of their own.

It was incomprehensible to Aizen, that Kurosaki Ichigo could reach this level in such a short period of time. Despite the numerous chances that Aizen had to end the life of his current adversary, he never once did…viewing the teen as an amusing side-show for him to enjoy. He was well aware of the heritage that the boy carried and his scientific curiosity got the better of him as he wished to see what would happen if he was to be pushed to the brink. He never expected the result to manifest in such a manner. For the entirety of the battle thus far, Kurosaki Ichigo controlled the flow and didn't even seem to be breaking a sweat as he man-handled Aizen, who achieved an unprecedented level of transcendence thanks to the Hogyoku. Which was baffling as just a few hours prior, the Substitute Shinigami could barely even stand in his presence without shaking in fear. For the first time in a long time, Aizen felt a sliver of fear race down his spine. It only lasted a second before it was ruthlessly crushed beneath his assurance he had in the artefact implanted within him. A traitorous though echoed in his mind though, one questioning whether he should of dealt with the boy when he had the chance.

Ichigo, for his part, marvelled at the sensations he felt. It wasn't so much the mind numbingly incomprehensible levels of power that he felt thrum beneath his skin as it was the feeling of tranquillity. Ever since that fateful day that Kuchiki Rukia transferred her powers to him, he always had this sense of discomfort. At first he chalked it up to it not being his own powers that caused him to feel uncomfortable. He never brought it up with anyone, not that he had anyone besides Rukia to ask. When he went through the Shattered Shaft training and regained his powers, the feeling of awkwardness persisted. It wasn't so much as discomfort as it was a feeling of something lacking. At the time he didn't have much time to ponder about it as he had to rescue Rukia. After he completed his task, he chalked up the strange feeling to the fact that he somehow had a Hollow inside of him. He tried to ruthlessly supress it, but it persisted. He figured that he couldn't simply let it go so he learned to life with the feeling of inadequacy. But now, for the first time in his life, he felt a strange feeling of completeness. His reiryoku, normally so chaotic and frenzied, felt calm and in his complete control. His power felt like an extension of him, as easy to manipulate as an arm or leg. The feeling was absolutely euphoric to him.

Ichigo went on to activate his Final Getsuga Tenshou and split Aizen in half. Although, to his horror, it seemed that the power of the Hogyoku was able to withstand even an attack of that magnitude. Aizen started to regenerate right in front of his eyes, while Ichigo's final form began to recede.

As Aizen stood in triumph over Ichigo, his body became inundated with red nails of kido. Which was explained as a sealing kido by the arriving Urahara Kisuke.

*Flashback End*

Which brings us to the present situation. Aizen tried his best to fight of the kido, but it was too much for him. Ichigo watched in dispassionately, thinking how convenient is was that it was his ultimate attack that weakened Aizen enough for Kisuke's kido to activate. He wondered of that was part of the shopkeepers plan. He didn't have time to dwell on it though, as he could feel his power slowly leaving him.

It was a bittersweet moment for him. He will never regret what he did. He was a protector by nature. If it meant that his friends and family could be safe, he would make this sacrifice a hundred times over. That didn't mean that it was something he enjoyed. After finally feeling what it was like to wield his power unimpeded, it felt like a hollow victory for him. As he felt his consciousness slip away, he couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if he could have felt that way earlier. If he could have complete control of his powers. It was a selfish desire to have, but he wanted to feel the harmonious feeling of his reiatsu once again. It made him feel complete. He wished he didn't have to lose his powers now that he finally had some level of understanding of himself. There was still so many questions left to answer. His father is a Shinigami, a former captain if the tattered haori he was wearing was anything to go by. Why didn't he say anything earlier? What more was being kept from him? There was so many unanswered questions, so many mysteries that he failed to solve. So much about himself that everyone else seemed to know about but nobody bothered to explain to him. He was always kept in the dark, given enough information for him to get by, but not enough for him to understand his place in the world. He wanted to know more. He wanted the truth. He wanted to understand himself.

As his world turned to darkness, Ichigo didn't know that there was something nearby that heard his desire. The struggling Aizen and the stoic Kisuke never noticed the slight glow that came from the chest of Aizen.

The Hogyoku, in its final act before allowing itself to be sealed away, granted the deepest desire of the one it has come to acknowledge as its true master after the supreme power and unbending determination that he displayed. It granted the deepest desires of Kurosaki Ichigo, a lonely and lost soul who made the ultimate sacrifice for the world, along with another rejected soul that was in the vicinity. It was the final act it performed as it sealed itself away for good. Leaving the fate of the world in the capable hands of its chosen warrior.

(Scene Change)


That was all that could be perceived as Kurosaki Ichigo floated aimlessly in whatever strange place he found himself in.

The weightless feeling along with his melancholy mood made it so that he didn't care much about what was happening. He was still reeling from the loss of his power. He fell into an all too familiar trap that people in similar situations fall into.

Reminiscing on what he could have done differently.

He wondered if he trained harder. If he put more focus into his control. If he had done more research and gathered more information about his enemies before stubbornly rushing in. If made a greater effort to understand himself.

There were so many 'what if's' that he considered. So many lost opportunities.

It should have been a good thing. He always did want to be more normal ever since he discovered his ability to see ghosts. This would give him what he wanted.

But now he realised…he could never be normal. He was meant for greater things. But that was all going away now.

He wondered if his mother would be proud of him right now. A sting of agony and guilt flooded his being at the thought of his beautiful mother. So warm and compassionate. She was the centre of his universe until she was cruelly ripped away. If only he knew then what he knows now, maybe he could have prevented her death. He wouldn't have been so brash and unknowingly rushed into such a dangerous situation. Maybe she would still be with them. As he lamented his failures…the world around him started to twist through a kaleidoscope of colours as it restructured itself.

Gleaming skyscrapers shot out of the ground as they raced up to the now clear night sky above him. It was dark, but strangely comforting. There was no moon in the sky, only a splattering of bright stars that illuminated the magnificent city.

The air around him became more crisp and clean.

There was a park that took formation in the middle of the city, along with a sparkling blue river running through it.

At the edge of the marvellous city, tall green trees could be seen as the perfect blend of urban innovation and the serenity of nature infused itself into his surroundings.

Ichigo got to his feet in shock as he looked around. This looked alarmingly like his inner world. The huge skyscrapers were intimately familiar to him. The greenery though, that was new. He didn't know what was happening. He should have lost his powers. All of this should have gone away.

A faint hope began to bloom in his chest.

"Ossan!" He called out, hoping to get some response from his Zanpakutō. His voiced just echoed off the buildings as the vast emptiness of the area became apparent. "Hollow!" He tried, resorting to even calling for the Hollow that had made his life so difficult in the past few months. He still didn't get a response.

He was starting to get nervous. He had no idea what was happening. He wanted answers, but there didn't seem to be anyone around to provide them.

As he was starting to panic…he heard a faint strumming noise.

He strained his ears to pick up the sound and was rewarded with a gentle, heavenly melody that reverberated throughout the entire silent city. The melody was calming and soothed all of his fears and anxieties. It was calling out to him.

Almost as if he was in a trance, he walked towards the source of the sound. After many twists and turns, at which point the melody became louder and clearer as he went on, Ichigo finally came to a stop in front of the place that seemed to be the source of the beautiful tune.

It was an anomaly in this world populated by towering skyscrapers. It was a quaint Japanese styled house. It was medium sized and quite beautifully maintained. Ichigo found it quite warm, like he was home.

Without even thinking, he walked through the gates, crossed the front lawn and entered the house. There were tatami on the floor and sumi-e (Japanese ink art) lined on the walls. All in all, it suited the archetype of the traditional Japanese home. The melody seemed to be coming from the back yard, so Ichigo made his way towards the sliding door and stepped out.

He was met with more beautiful scenery. The grass was a healthy shade of green and perfectly cut. There was a large koi pond at the far end of the property with many small shrubs lining the fence. The largest attraction though was the huge sakura tree in the middle of the yard. It was beautifully cultivated and provided ample shade along with setting the atmosphere with the bright pink petals blowing in the cool autumn wind.

None of these wonderful sights were the ones that drew Ichigo's attention though. It was something even more mesmerising that his eyes zoned in on. In the middle of the yard, sitting elegantly underneath the sakura tree, gently strumming a moon guitar with numerous pink sakura petals falling around her, was perhaps the most beautiful woman Ichigo has ever seen in his life.

She sat in seiza, which only seemed to enhance her seemingly fragile and demure beauty. She was dressed in an exquisite black silk kimono with intricate purple designs running along the edges. She had midnight black hair that seemed to suck in all the light from around her with a small portion pulled to the back that was held in place with a pin barrette in the shape of a crescent moon that seemed to be made of bone fragments with various charms hanging down from it along with unblemished porcelain skin that could be seen from her elegant fingers and her beautiful feet that were left bare. Her lips were plump and a healthy shade of pink. Her eyebrows were immaculate and her facial structure screamed nobility. Her eyes though, were piercing and seemed to cut into his very soul. They were a startling shade of purple and shined beautifully. That along with her seemingly immaculate mannerisms and casual beauty, made Ichigo feel like he was in the presence of an Empress.

A melodious laugh brought Ichigo out of his musings. The woman before him laughed demurely behind her hand as she gazed at him.

[It is flattering that you have such high praise for me, Ichigo-sama]. The woman said. Her voice just as hauntingly beautiful as the rest of her.

That snapped Ichigo out of his trance as he scrutinised the ethereal woman before him. She had a warm smile on her face as she gazed at him, something that caught him off guard. He mentally smacked himself for having been caught up in his musings. This woman could be the enemy. He had no idea what was happening.

"W-Who are you? Where's Zangetsu-ossan?!" Ichigo demanded.

The woman still just smiled at him as she gestured to a place in front of her.

[Zangetsu isn't here anymore. I'm sure you have already figured that out]. She replied, confirming Ichigo's fears. He let out a shaky breath as he took a seat opposite the woman. He wanted so badly to freak out right now but he didn't want to put on an unseemly display before this regal looking woman. So he swallowed his anxieties for later and peered expectantly at her, for she seemed to hold the answers that he needed.

[I know you have a lot on your mind right now, and there is a lot you wish to know. I will do my best to explain to you the circumstances that led to this. All I ask of you is that you be patient and allow me to explain]. The woman suggested. Ichigo took the time to calm his beating heart and get himself under control. He gave the woman a nod, signalling her to go on. [To answer your previous question, Zangetsu is here no longer. You will never be able to meet him again]. She told him bluntly with an expressionless look on her face. Ichigo's expression was one of anguish as he heard those words. It was a horrible reality to face for him at the thought of not seeing his partner again. [In case you're wondering, it has nothing to do with the 'Final Getsuga Tenshou' that you performed]. She finished, using air quotes when mentioning the Final Getsuga Tenshou. Ichigo's head snapped up in shock at her words.

"What! Then how!?" He asked frantically. Nothing was making sense to him anymore. He though he lost his Shinigami powers, and by extension his Zanpakutō when he used his ultimate technique. But now this woman was saying that is wasn't the case.

[Do you remember the last thoughts you had before you lost consciousness?]. She asked him. Ichigo shook his head negatively. [You desired to keep your powers, to better understand yourself, to once again feel the level of completeness that the 'Final Getsuga Tenshou' momentarily granted you]. She informed him. Ichigo seemed to faintly recall thinking such things before the darkness encompassed him. [What happened, Ichigo-sama, was that your wish was granted]. She said, confusing him. [You see, when you thought these things, your desire for the truth was strong, coupled with the transcendent state you were in along with the tenacity you've showed, it was enough for the Hogyoku to grant your deepest desire]. She stated. A look of horror appeared on Ichigo's face at the mention of the orb that was at the centre of the entire war that was fought. The thought that he was influenced in some way by that artefact was frightening. The woman chuckled elegantly into the back of her had at the sight of Ichigo's expression. He was just too cute for his own good. [Relax Ichigo-sama, the Hogyoku is still implanted within Aizen Souske. From what I was able to gather, it sealed itself away after you defeated him]. She informed him, making him sigh in relief.

"So how did it grant my wish?" He questioned confusedly, as he scratched his head.

[By uniting the opposing forces within you]. She answered simply. [The power that you carry is unique. No individual in the history of the world has ever had the potential that you do. However, the forces within you were constantly clashing with one another. That resulted in your powers fighting against you. It is the reason why you felt so uncomfortable with your own power and why is was so difficult for you to control].

Ichigo nodded slowly, still not fully comprehending what she had meant by the forces within him. Was she referring to the hollow?

[I can see you're still a bit confused, so allow me to inform you of your origins. It was a truth that has been hidden from you for far too long. I believe you deserve to know it. You see Ichigo-sama, while your father was a former Shinigami captain…your mother on the other hand, was a pureblood Quincy, one of the last and most powerful]. She informed him, making Ichigo freeze in shock, his mind barely comprehending what he had just heard. It shattered most of the beliefs he had in the way of the world thus far. It was incomprehensible to him.

"M-mom? A Quincy?! Is this some kind of sick joke?! Are you here to get revenge for Aizen by twisting my mind with your lies?!" Ichigo raged, barely able to maintain his sanity in the wake of the revelations.

The woman was expressionless from the onslaught of Ichigo's anger and confusion, though if you looked deeper, you would see the sliver of hurt she felt at his accusations. But she knew that he could not be blamed. These truths were hard to bear for him, especially considering all that he's been through and for how long it has been kept hidden.

Ichigo continued to hurl abuse at the woman, who just sat calmly and took it all. After a few minutes, he seemed to have got all that he needed to out of his system. He was taking deep breaths, trying to make sense of the situation. He was so lost, so confused. As he look to the source of his anger, he couldn't help but feel ashamed of himself. Regardless of whether she was speaking the truth or not, he should have never treated her in such a way. His beloved mother raised him to be a gentleman. He always did his best to respect woman, except for when they were completely undeserving of it, like Soi-Fon. Most people call him a prude, but he didn't care. The woman before him has been nothing but accommodating, and courteous, he had no right to go off like he did.

"I'm sorry miss. I had no right to speak to you in such a manner. Please forgive me." Ichigo said with an apologetic expression on his face.

The woman smiled a beautiful smile in return, clearly looking like she expected no less from him.

[I understand Ichigo-sama. It must be a lot to take in. But please believe me when I say that I would never lie to you. It goes against my very nature, for I would rather die than do such a thing]. She declared. The resolve and determination in her eyes took Ichigo by surprise. He didn't think he would get that kind of reaction from her. It was mind-boggling to him. He decided, at least till he knew more, to trust this woman's words. She didn't seem to be the deceitful type. And more than anything, he was desperate for the truth. After giving her a nod, she smiled in relief before continuing. [Like I was saying, your mother was a pureblood Quincy, however, some time before you were born, she was attacked and infected by a Vasto Lord level hollow. It infected her very soul and even though she managed to survive, a piece of it was always within her. Until you came along that is]. Ichigo was listening with intrigue, he didn't know what else to do in this situation. [When you were conceived, considering your hybrid nature along with the unnaturally large reiryoku reserves you possessed even as a foetus, the hollow latched onto your soul, which was still young and malleable. The result was you being a more natural version of the ones you call Vizard's]. She finished.

Ichigo sat in silence, digesting all that he had been told.

"So my inner hollow….came from my mother? I thought that it was the result of the Shattered Shaft training that Geta-boushi made me go through to regain my powers?" He questioned.

[Not entirely…it just brought forward that aspect of your soul much faster than it normally would have. However, what I want you to take from this, Ichigo-sama, is that you are a hybrid of all three supernatural races. The most natural blend of Shinigami, Quincy, Hollow and Human]. She gave Ichigo some time to process that revelation. He looked to be taking it well for the most part, but she knew that he was doing his best to supress any explosive reactions in favour of listening to what she had to say. It was quite endearing of him. [With that being said, let me ask you this. If you have three aspects of the supernatural residing within you…why did you only have two spirits dwelling inside of you? More importantly, which spirit represented which power?]. She questioned him.

Ichigo's eyes widened at that thought. Now that he thought about it, and now that he had a clearer understanding of who he was, it didn't make much sense to him. It looked like he really didn't know much about himself at all.

[What I'm going to tell you may upset you, Ichigo-sama, but please understand that it is all the truth]. She warned, getting a hesitant nod in return from the still dazed boy. [You see, throughout all the battles you've fought through thus far…not once have you ever used your Shinigami powers]. She dropped the bombshell, making him splutter in indignation.

"Wha-? That's crazy! I have a Zanpakutō, I achieved Shikai along with my Bankai! How the hell do you explain that!?" Ichigo shouted.

[Simple, when a soul enters Shinō Academy for Shinigami training, they are given an Asauchi, essentially a blank sword, which allows them to imprint their soul onto it, eventually leading to them awakening their Zanpakutō. It is the base of every Zanpakutō in existence, even the Sou-taicho. There can be no Zanpakutō without an Asauchi. Which begs the question…how did you have a Zanpakutō when you never given an Asauchi to imprint upon?]. She questioned rhetorically. Ichigo's eyes widened at that bit of information. Nobody ever told him that. [The answer is simple Ichigo-sama, from the very beginning…you were never using your Shinigami powers to begin with]. Ichigo gaped at her. It was all so crazy sounding to him that he wanted to just flip a table in frustration, but this woman seemed so sincere and forthcoming in her words. It didn't help that there was some primal part of him that seemed to agree with her words. Like they somehow made sense to him. [You see, from the formation of your 'Shikai', to your signature move, the Getsuga Tenshou', to your Bankai…all of it was done with subconscious reishi manipulation. It was basically you wielding a fake set of powers that never even existed in the first place. Let me ask you another question…when you refer to the one known as Zangetsu…are you referring to the pale version of yourself, or the gentleman in the dark clothing?]. She inquired knowingly.

"The old-man obviously. He's Zangetsu. The other is my inner hollow." Ichigo answered robotically, still reeling from the information dump. The woman just smiled apologetically at him in return.

[I'm sorry to say this but, the one you refer to as your inner hollow has always been Zangetsu]. She informed him. Ichigo choked on his saliva at that absurd statement. It went against everything he believed in. The very basis of all his struggles lay at the feet of that damned hollow. [I told you that you inherited that hollow from your mother remember. When you were born it latched onto your soul, more specifically, the Shinigami portion of your soul, as hollows are extremely poisonous to Quincies. The one you refer to as your inner hollow was actually a representation of both your Hollow and Shinigami powers. The man in the dark clothing however, he was a representation of your Quincy abilities. Therefore, as previously stated…you were never using any Shinigami powers to begin with nor were you wielding your true Zanpakutō. It was all a façade created by your 'Inner Quincy'].

Ichigo felt nauseated at what he was hearing. He couldn't help but think back to his training with the Vizard's.


"Where's Zangetsu-ossan?!" Ichigo demanded as he stood across from his Hollow in his inner world.

"Still haven't figured it out? When you say Zangetsu do you mean the one in your hands? Or the one…in mine! Wanna know where Zangetsu is? The truth is…I AM ZANGETSU!" His Hollow roared as it charged at him.

*Flashback End*

All this time…his Hollow…no Zangetsu was telling him the truth. All he did was reject everything Zangetsu ever said or did…trying desperately to detach himself from associating with anything to do with him. Instead he believed in and trusted a man who seemed to be lying to him and manipulating him from the very beginning.

[Did it not occur to you…the parallels between the so-called 'Final Getsuga Tenshou' and the Letz Stil technique that was used by your Quincy friend, Ishida Uryu? Back when you invaded Soul Society, he was barely at the level of the weaker lieutenants, yet with that technique, he effortlessly defeated a Captain at the cost of his powers. Does it sound familiar to you?].

"Why?" Ichigo whispered brokenly…the very foundations of his belief and existence being shattered before him. "Why would my, 'Inner Quincy' as you say, do this to me?"

[The man that you thought of as Zangetsu, actually has a name…one that all Quincy and some Shinigami know of…his name is Yhwach]. She stated. [He is the greatest enemy Soul Society has ever known…far greater that any threat Aizen Souske could have posed. He is known as the Quincy King…the progenitor of the entire race. His blood runs through the veins of all Quincy. Most never experience him the way you have though. Due to your hybrid nature and having an inner world…your Quincy aspect actually gained sentience in the form of Yhwach from 1000 years ago…before he was sealed away by Yamamoto Genryuusei. His motives are hard to understand. From what I can gather…he wanted you to be powerless, to live a normal life free from the spiritual world. For his greatest fear was that if you kept on the path you were…he would eventually kill you].

"Kill me? Why would a part of my own soul want to kill me? Wouldn't that mean he would cease to exist as well?" Ichigo questioned.

[No Ichigo-sama. There is a legend passed down amongst the Quincy…it goes like this: 'The sealed King of the Quincy…whose heart began beating again after nine centuries…whose reason and intelligence then followed nine decades later…and whose strength came back nine years after that'. It means that the enemy known as Yhwach is still alive and is only a few years away from fully awakening. Normally, this would be of no consequence to you…however…I believe you will be most interested in this development in regards to how it affects your mother's death]. As soon as the words left her mouth, the air became heavy with Ichigo's reiatsu. His eyes sharpened and zeroed in on her in a way that sent chills down her spine. [Remember, your mother was a Quincy, a pureblood one at that. She was at the level of a Captain-Class fighter. She defeated an extremely powerful Vasto Lord when she was still a teenager. So how is it that a regular, weak Hollow like Grand Fisher was able to kill her? Logic dictates that she would have swatted him aside like a bug. However, there is a ritual that was carried out on that fateful day. The 'Holy Selection of the Quincy', Auswhӓlen. In order to achieve full power…Yhwach hand-picked what he deemed as 'impure' Quincies and took their powers for his own. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the moment Yhwach initiated Auswhalӓen, your mother was attacked by a Hollow, leaving her defenceless]. Ichigo sat in silence. He could feel a small gathering of tears as he heard the story of his mother's bad luck.

It didn't make him less upset about her death, but he felt as though a small weight was lifted off his shoulders. It was a though the veil that was hampering his vision was slowly peeled away and he could finally perceive the truths of the world. For the last seven years, he spent almost every waking minute wondering if his mother would still be alive if he wasn't so stupid as to, unknowingly, rush straight in to danger like he did. He bore the brunt of her death on his shoulders, feeling the guilt and self-loathing eating away at him on a daily basis. He wished he could go back and do things differently…Now though, this new information…it lifted the burden he's been hauling around for the last seven years. His mother was strong. She was a powerful woman who could take care of herself. It was the tyranny of this Yhwach character coupled with her bad luck that led to her death. For the first time in a long time…Ichigo felt like he could maybe start to move on. For the longest time, he sought to punish himself. He was always rushing into danger, when he invaded Soul Society to save Rukia or when he invaded Hueco Mundo for Orihime…he never put much value in his life as he was always prepared to sacrifice himself. Maybe it was his way of self-atonement. It was a subconscious thing. He would never know. But now that he knew the truth….he would try to move on…to honour the memory of his mother rather than to seek self-punishment for her death.

The woman looked on impassively as Ichigo struggled with the information that was presented to him. She knew it was a risk to reveal everything him, but it needed to be done. For far too long has he been kept in the dark, hampered from reaching his true potential. She needed him to trust her. To know that she has his best interests at heart. He couldn't go on denying a part of himself any longer. She knew though, that he had the strength of mind to overcome this hurdle and embrace his true nature. And she would be with him every step of the way, supporting and empowering him.

"Why? Why didn't dad tell me any of this? Who else knew?" Ichigo questioned bitterly.

[As far as I know, Urahara Kisuke, Shihohin Yoruichi, Tsukabishi Tessai and Ishida Ryuuken were all aware of your situation and the circumstances surrounding you]. She informed him.

Ichigo gritted his teeth as his face contorted in anger in anger. All this time, they knew what really happened. All these years he's been suffering with the guilt that's been eating away at him. Why didn't anybody ever say anything? Why didn't his father explain this to him when he awakened his powers? Was it because they needed him to sacrifice himself to defeat Aizen? Did they want him ignorant and fumbling about, never knowing the true scope of his very soul? Knowing Kisuke, that's probably exactly what is was about. Whenever he had a question, the answers he received only led to even more questions. He was only given just enough to get him by, leading to him charging headfirst into any situation with his reckless behaviour and disregard for his own safety. He was the perfect weapon. Self-sacrificing and obedient. It was like it was some big game to them and he was the entertainment. Okay, maybe that isn't how it is. They weren't malicious people by nature. Maybe it truly was for the good of the world. It means little to him though, who seemed to be everybody's puppet in this grand game called life. Whether it was Aizen, Kisuke, his father or even this Yhwach character…everybody seemed to have more say about his life than he did. That ends today.

He took a deep breath to calm himself, his anger slowly ebbing away. He knew that Kisuke and Yoruichi were good people, the surely had a reason for doing what they did. He wouldn't begrudge them that. However, just because he could understand the motivations behind their actions it didn't mean that he could overlook them just like that. The same goes for his father. He surely had a reason for keeping this all for him. Maybe he didn't want Ichigo involved in the supernatural world. In a life of constant fights and struggles. It was too late for that though, he was already deeply immersed in it. He could understand his father wanting to protect him from the truth, it sometimes could be more damaging than any lie could ever hope to be. But in this case, his father made the wrong choice. Knowing what he knows now could have changed so much and helped him more than they could ever know. So while he could never hate his father, for the man always did his best for his family, there was a measure of trust that Ichigo lost towards him and probably wouldn't gain back for a while. The same goes for Kisuke and Yoruichi.

He looked into the eyes of the woman, his gaze piercing her very soul. She didn't shy away from his gaze, instead she met it head on, baring her soul to him with a warm smile on her face.

"There are no words that I can say that could convey how much I appreciate what you just told me. You freed me from the shackles I placed upon myself all those years ago. I can finally try look towards the future with a hope that didn't exist before." He said to her, before his eyes sharpened dangerously. "That begs the question though…who are you?"

[You should already know the answer to that question, Ichigo-sama. I told you, the Hogyoku granted your deepest desire and inadvertently acted as the catalyst to unite the powers within you, allowing to achieve a perfect balance, far more so then what Aizen Souske attempted. It not only united the powers dwelling in your soul, but also allowed Kyoka Suigetsu, who was rejected by her wielder, to join in the unification process…granting her desire for a kind and compassionate wielder who would not abuse her powers…I am the amalgamation of Zangetsu, Kyoka Suigetsu and the portion of Yhwach that resided in your soul, creating something new and more in tune with your nature. I know all that they know, but I am a completely different entity. Who I am, is the representation of your power, your truest partner, the reflection of your soul. I am your true Zanpakutō. My name is-].

"Mugetsu." Ichigo whispered almost reverently, causing a happy smile to appear on the face of the now named, Mugetsu. The name was instinctive to Ichigo. He didn't even realise he said it till she reacted. It just came so naturally to him. Like it was always sitting on the tip of his tongue.

[That is correct Ichigo-sama. I am Mugetsu. I am your Zanpakutō. The real one this time. It is a pleasure to meet you]. She bowed to him, which he returned in mind. [My name, as you may have noticed is the same as the attack you used in the 'Final Getsuga Tenshou' form. For it was in that state that you came the closest to wielding your true power, which was why you felt so comfortable compared to the normal discomfort you felt when wielding your power]. She informed him.

"Mugetsu." Ichigo whispered, tasting the name on his tongue. He smiled warmly at her. "I look forward to getting to know you." He said to her, before suddenly jolting in realisation. "But wait…I could feel my power leaving me before I passed out. What exactly is happening?"

[It very simple, you are transcending]. Mugetsu answered. [Do you remember when Aizen Souske was continuously evolving? He eventually reached a point at which his reiatsu could no longer be felt by others. You achieved such a state temporarily as well. Unlike Aizen though, who was artificial, you are a perfect transcendent. All your power flows naturally within you. You are everything he wished he could be. You felt your power 'leaving' so to speak when it was actually evolving. In about two weeks, it will seem to others as if you have no reiatsu due to the face that you have transcended so far beyond their understanding]. She explained.

Ichigo took in all she said, a look of deep contemplation on his face. He would normally be freaking out right about now…but Mugetsu's presence, now that he knows who she truly is, soothed him. Add in the fact that he finally made a bit of peace with his mother's death…it made him think a little more before rushing in as he normally would have done, for even though most people wrote him off as a brute or a delinquent…Ichigo was rather intelligent. His being in the top 25 students in his school proved that. He could think when he needed to. So he sat in contemplation, trying to figure out his next move.

Mugetsu sat patiently beside him, waiting to hear what her wielder has to say.

"You said that in a few days, nobody will be able to sense my reiatsu. How sure are you of that? Can I really bypass the senses of the Shinigami, and that includes whatever machines Kisuke or Kurotsuchi could come up with?" He question intently.

[Hai. I'm absolutely positive. Like I said, your reiatsu will be on a level that would not be comprehensible to them. In terms of mathematics…you would be a five-dimensional polygon in a world filled with three-dimensional beings. You are on a completely different plane of existence as compared to them. Even their tracker won't be able to take in your reiryoku any longer]. She said.

"Wait…what tracker?" Ichigo blinked in confusion.

[Oh! I didn't tell you about that yet. The Combat Pass that you were given, it isn't really an artefact that holds any authority. What it does is takes in your reiryoku for them to analyse and dissect. It allows them to listen in on your conversations and ascertain your threat level. In layman's terms…it's a device they use to spy on you and make sure they are in control].

Ichigo just exhaled deeply at that revelation. He honestly expected it to be something like that. He remembered how the Shinigami on duty in Karakura Town, Imoyama or something, didn't even recognise the Combat Pass. It was a bitter pill to swallow, knowing that they were spying on him. Even after all they have been through. He couldn't expect any different though. The Soul Society was a hypocritical place filled with hypocritical, self-righteous people. He looked past all that in these last few months, as he was always zeroed in on some kind of enemy. Ironically, almost all the enemies he's dealt with on their behalf originated from the Gotei 13.

"Very well. They believe that I am going to lose my powers soon. Let's keep it that way. When my power finally stabilises and evolves as you said it would…let them assume that I have indeed lost my powers. While I do care for some of them and have no intention of harming anyone…I'm tired of being their weapon. I refuse to be used by anyone any longer, whether it's the Soul Society or Urahara Kisuke. I'll just pretend that I'm a regular human again while going on with my life. If there are any threats to my family or my town, I will deal with it. But from now on, the Soul Society needs to learn to deal with their own problems." Ichigo declared resolutely. "Although I feel bad for my friends like Rukia or Renji, I can't take any chances. I can't be sure if they know about the situation. Renji is a lieutenant so there is a chance he does know and is in on it. I will decide what the nature of our future relationship will be from their reactions to me 'losing' my power. If they truly are my friends, they will prove it in that time. Until then, I'll just feign ignorance. Knowing those idiots in the Central 46 and the attitude of some of the Captains, they will see me as a threat now that I have the power to defeat someone like Aizen. If they didn't think I was losing my powers, I can comfortably see myself being executed or sharing a prison cell with Aizen."

Ichigo can honestly say that is the most likely scenario if he spoke the truth. They would label him a dangerous threat and execute him on site. While he may have helped them change a few of their more archaic traditions, he has no doubt that he will be put down for the 'greater good' of Soul Society. This was the same place that almost executed Rukia without hesitation because she helped save his life. As long as the Central 46 orders it, he was no doubt that the Captain's would obediently carry out any order, even those he regarded as his friends.

It wasn't something that he enjoyed thinking about as he honestly considered some of them his close friends, having fought alongside them these past few months. But if you consider his defeat of Aizen, his absurd growth level, factor in his Hollow nature…and you have a recipe for disaster. If they found out about his mother being a Quincy, he would not be surprised in the slightest if that disgusting piece of vermin, Kurotsuchi Mayuri, petitioned to have him experimented on. Considering all the heinous crimes he's been allowed to get away with, Ichigo isn't holding his breath for the Sou-taicho to deny him. For far too long has he been looking at the Soul Society through rose tinted glasses. There are many things wrong with the place and he wilfully ignored them as he tried not to think about the situation of the ordinary souls. Greed, corruption and arrogance have permeated the Gotei 13 at its very core. For the longest time they have gone unchallenged that they started to believe themselves invincible. Of course not all of them are that way and there are many good people still there, many he would count as his friends. But he isn't sure how long it would stay that way if he was deemed too powerful to be left loose. For the first time in his life…he needed to stop thinking with his heart and start thinking with his head. There's was far too much at risk to do otherwise.

So while he was still not fully comprehensible in terms of what to make of the information he's been told, he is savvy enough to know that he needs the attention off of him if he is to deal with it on his own, away from prying eyes.

Mugetsu nodded in acceptance, happy that her wielder was taking the reins when it came to his life. She didn't want him to be used by anyone. She wanted him to be his own man and she would do everything in her power to help him achieve his destiny.

[I am behind you 100% Ichigo-sama]. She responded, causing Ichigo to smile back happily at her, one of the first true smiles he's given in a long time. While he will miss Zangetsu-ossan and even his Hollow, and he would grieve for them when he's in a more controlled environment…Mugetsu was proving to be a far more suitable and agreeable companion to him. [If it isn't too much trouble, can I make a few suggestions to aid you on this path you are about to take?]. She questioned politely, causing Ichigo to nod in acceptance. [Well, even though your reiatsu will soon become undetectable, it will still have an effect on the environment around you. You will need to learn how to have proper control of your power. While your power and determination in a fight is what got you this far, you are severely lacking proper discipline and control in the various combat arts. I don't mean it as an insult. It is actually quite admirable for you to have come this far considering that you were left to fend for yourself for the most part. What I wish to propose is that proper training needs to be done in order to not only get a better grasp of your power but to also temper your attitude and achieve proper discipline]. Mugetsu suggested bluntly, not sugar coating it at all.

Ichigo blushed in embarrassment at her critique. He couldn't deny the truth in her words though. He really didn't have much of a grounding in terms of his powers. The training he received amounted to 10 days of fighting Urahara, 3 days trying to achieve Bankai with Yoruichi and less than a month spent with the Vizards taming and controlling his inner hollow. It wasn't the most impressive training regimes. Looking back, he can honestly say that it is nothing short of a miracle that he made it this far on such a fragile foundation. He regretted not doing more to bolster himself back then. He should have taken a more active role in trying to better himself. But his attitude didn't allow him that. Hindsight is 20/20 and he can appreciate the fact that if Mugetsu hadn't told him what she did, he would probably still be a brooding mess. It will still take some time, but hopefully in time…he can come to terms with his demons and move on. Well…he had the opportunity now to change all the shortcomings that he's come to perceive in himself. He would do his best to make the most of it.

"Well, I guess you're right. But since I'm going to be going on as if I lost my powers, I can't just use Urahara's training ground. I could maybe join a dojo to learn Kendo, and various forms of martial arts. The skillset should be transferrable. I can join under the guise of me wanting to keep busy now that I lost my powers along with the fact that I already have experience in these fields from all the fighting I've done and therefore it comes naturally to me." Ichigo pondered out loud.

[Excellent suggestion. While it may be a little slower in term of progress, as it's much easier to train in soul form, building up your physical body it the right way to go. Those arts, as you have stated, can easily be transferred to Zanjutsu and Hakuda. It will also help you become more disciplined. I suggesting maybe going for a run in the mornings as well. While you train your physical body during the day, when you sleep I will pull you into your inner world to train your spirit and your mind].

"Eh? You're going to train me?" Ichigo asked with a dumbfounded expression on his face. Mugetsu chuckled at him once again.

[Because I'm an amalgamation of Zangetsu, Yhwach and Kyoka Suigetsu, I also have access to all of their knowledge. There are many different techniques and abilities I can train you in, including both Hollow and Quincy techniques. Not to mention, Kyoka Suigetsu was a veritable gold mine of information. As Aizen Souske's Zanpakutō, she had access to all of his knowledge. While he may have been a megalomaniac with a massive god-complex, Aizen Souske was truly a genius. His knowledge of Zanjutsu, Hakuda, Hoho, Kido as well as war tactics and the history and intricacies of Soul Society are second to none. I plan on drilling all of this knowledge into you]. She informed him. Ichigo may have been imagining it, but he could have sworn her eyes glinted sadistically when he told him that. It made a shiver go down his spine.

At first, Ichigo was a bit apprehensive at the thought of being taught from Aizen's knowledge, but eventually buried the doubt deep within him. Mugetsu was right, for all his faults, the man was a genius. Learning from him would be beneficial. It didn't mean he would become like him though. He would do his utmost to stay away from that path. He would take the knowledge that he gained put it to good use in protecting his loved ones.

[I will keep you in a coma for the next seven days, making it so you stay in your inner world. For those seven days, I will teach you all the tricks and techniques I know about controlling your reiatsu until you achieve perfect control]. She declared.

"Wait! Seven days?! That's not enough time." Ichigo protested.

[Ara, were you not the one that achieve Bankai in only 3 days? The greatest power you have, Ichigo-sama, is your monstrous growth potential coupled with your outrageous learning curve. I have absolute confidence that you will be able to achieve the perfect control needed in that time span. Especially since you will have me instructing you properly as compared to that worthless shopkeeper who only gives you breadcrumbs to go on]. She stated imperiously. Ichigo just chuckled at her, conceding that she had a point. He didn't need to think about the negatives. He would just do what needed to be done, just like he had always done. [When you wake up though, there is something that you definitely need to do. Like I said before, there can exist no Zanpakutō without the use of an Asauchi. We need to get our hands on one. Luckily for us, the Shinō Spirit Academy keeps a large stock of Asauchi for new students. When you awaken, you need to sneak into the academy and steal one of them. I doubt anyone will notice one of them missing. Once you have it, I will help you use reishi manipulation to coat the blade in a structure that is identical to your old Shikai, like a cocoon. That way we can smuggle it out of the Soul Society without anybody knowing. Once you power finally stabilises, you can project your reiryoku onto the Asauchi and awaken me and finally have a real Zanpakutō].

Ichigo, despite being a pretty mature guy for the most part, couldn't keep the gleam of excitement out of his eyes at the thought of wielding his real Zanpakutō. It was a part of him, a true extension of his soul. He was meant to wield it. And despite his protests and his complaints, he really did love a good fight. It annoyed him to be associated with the likes of Kenpachi and Grimmjow, but the thrill of battle really got his blood pumping. He was born to be a warrior, and he decided that he would need to take the time to come to terms with that and embrace that part of him. Looking back, that was one of the greatest shortcoming he had. He wanted to be normal. So he rejected parts of himself, even before he became a Shinigami. He always fought against his nature to be something that he perceived as ordinary. But he knows now…he was never meant to ordinary. After all he's been through and knowing the truth about his heritage…he can happily embrace the parts that he constantly rejected. Enjoying a good fight was just a small aspect but one that he would now welcome. He won't be a crazy battle maniac like those two previously mentioned though, no way.

Mugetsu smiled happily at the sight of her wielders excitement. To be honest, she felt the same. She couldn't wait to be brandished in battle by her wielder. Putting those thoughts aside for now, she slowly got to her feet and dusted herself off. Ichigo rose to meet her. Putting on a stern face, she faced him with a no nonsense look in her eyes.

[Okay, for the next seven days, I will teach you everything I know that will enable you to control the enormous reserves of power you have. Please pay strict attention and do your best, Ichigo-sama]. She told him in a stern tone of voice.

"You got it." He replied with a thumbs up, before looking sheepishly at her. "Err…you know, you can just call me Ichigo. I'm not one for formalities."

[Hai, Ichigo-sama]. She persisted, causing Ichigo to look at her with her deadpan expression. The stubborn look in her eyes told him that he wouldn't be winning this battle. [Now…I want you to concentrate. Take in a deep breath and try to centre yourself. I know I made it sound easy when I said I would teach it to you, but this is a very delicate process. You can't brute force your way through this like you would normally do. You will need a certain amount of finesse. Are you ready?].

"Hai." Ichigo declared resolutely, his unbending will and determination shining through.

Mugetsu smiled at this. She had complete faith in her wielder. She knew better than anyone the kind of resolve he possessed. And now, after everything he has been through, and all the light that has been shed on his heritage…he looked a lot more at peace with himself. For all the trouble that it caused, the Hogyoku really gave Ichigo the greatest reward he could ask for. He was now complete. His future was now firmly in his own hands…and she knew that he would carve out a path that would lead only to greatness.


Author Note:

Exams are over! Yay! I'm now free for the rest of the summer (or winter, depending on which side of the hemisphere you are in). I plan to get a lot of writing done and wanted to start with this one. This idea was floating around for a while so I had no choice but to put pen to paper…metaphorically speaking. I already have quite a few pages done for my other stories so don't fret of you are waiting for them, they will be up soon. I also have started a few more stories for Fairy Tail, Percy Jackson, Pokemon and Harry Potter. Sometimes when inspiration strikes you just have to ink them. My library is piling up now and hopefully I can have them released soon. So for those of you that, for some unfathomable reason, like my shitty writing…look forward to those.

This story, funnily enough, came to me while I was trying to get the creative juices flowing for my High School DxD story. I was re-reading Volume 12 of the light novel, when I got to the scene where Issei defeated Cao Cao. When Cao Cao tried to activate the [Truth Idea] of the [True Longinus], it rejected him, choosing the ambition of Issei over Cao Cao's own. That somehow led me to thinking about Bleach for some strange reason, which made me see the parallels. Kisuke told Aizen that the Hogyoku rejected him because of how hard Ichigo pushed him to the brink. So the idea of the Hogyoku granting Ichigo's desire afterwards isn't too far-fetched to me. Of course, his thoughts probably wouldn't have been what I wrote of, but in fanfiction you have to twist things to suit your own agenda...hence…the Hogyoku acted as the medium that united all the different powers within him. It a bit of a stretch…but I'm going to run with it. Also…just an FYI…the name of this story was inspired by chapter 470 of Fairy Tail.

*Insert Author Rant*

Okay…now if you've read any of my other stories…you should know that I like independent main characters. I can honestly say that I personally have a serious problem with authority…which explains me living vicariously through my writing.

Anyway…even though I understand that it was necessary for plot purposes…I seriously disliked how Ichigo kept getting the shaft in Bleach.

Bleach was the first anime that I ever watch and the one that got me hooked. The Soul Society invasion arc was pure bad-assery with Ichigo breaking in, kicking ass and taking names without giving a shit. After that…it all went downhill. He basically became a gopher for the Soul Society…jumping whenever they asked him to. He was manipulated by Kisuke and Yoruichi, shafted by the Captains with the whole Combat Pass issue not to mention, his father lying to him for most of his life. I know there are many ways to interpret things, and different people have different perspectives…this is the way I see it.

To me, Ichigo is a tortured soul. The loss of his mother is something that he never recovers from. The stigma of that day is something he carries around with him for most of his life. To me, he blames himself and seeks some form of atonement. He walks around with the weight of the world on his shoulders and is reckless with his safety. It's almost like he wants to be punished. It's why he's always jumping head first into situations, and always ready to sacrifice himself. He's looking for forgiveness…or some form of peace.

Which is why it upset my when his father revealed the truth to him during the last arc. Why didn't he tell him earlier? I find it hard to believe that he would have reacted much differently. He is certainly mature for his age. It would have relieved him of the burden he carried around and made his life much easier. But he didn't, even when the world was in danger from Aizen. If Ichigo knew the truth of his origins, he wouldn't have fought the real Zangetsu as hard as he did and would have probably better wielded his power…making him much more powerful. Maybe Isshin did it to protect him, but it seemed a bit counter-productive to me. But like I said, I understand it was for plot purposes, or else Ichigo would have pwned everybody.

I know a lot of people might not agree...but like I said…everybody has a different interpretation. Let me know how you see it. I don't mind if you disagree with me, as long as you give me a good reasoning why you think the way you do…instead of just randomly flaming.

*Rant End*

Anyway, back to the original point, everybody seemed to know more about Ichigo that he did and he just went along with it. Even when the bullshit of the Fullbring Arc where they allowed him to get mind fucked instead of just killing Ginjo. And he just smiled and went back to being an obedient little weapon.

Anyway, I'm going to do things a little differently. Like already stated, his Hollow, Shinigami and Quincy powers are all united with the Shinigami powers acting as the base.

For Mugetsu, I picture her being the perfect traditional demure Yamato Nadeshiko, along with being as tough as nails who won't take any shit…something like Unohona or Asama Miya. Hopefully I can evolve her personality as the story goes on to show how badass of a Zanpakutō she will be. Her personality is mostly derived from Kyoka Suigetsu, but like I said, she's a completely different and unique entity despite being the fusion of three. I was originally planning on just having his two inner spirits fuse but then I had the thoughts of his independence and realised that he wouldn't really have a teacher with the direction that I plan on taking him in. Therefore I decided to add in Kyoka Suigetsu for that purpose, to give him a fountain of knowledge to grow from. He won't have the ability of Complete Hypnosis though, I plan on giving him a new skill set and one that would hopefully make sense in the way I plan to explain it. I also felt that Ichigo needed a woman's touch. His male role models leave much to be desired and he needs a nurturing hand to help him reach the heights that he was meant to…that's what I picture Mugetsu being.

For those that want a visual of how Mugetsu came to be…imagine both of the 'Zangetsu' within Ichigo doing a fusion dance and the result of that fusion dance fusing with Kyoka Suigetsu via Potara Earings…Also…just in case anyone was wondering…the scene where Ichigo happened upon her was inspired by Campione Volume 12, where Goudou goes to meet Luo Hao and she's playing a moon guitar.

I'm not sure if there will be any pairings in this story. For now I just want it to be about Ichigo and his journey. As the story progresses, things may change, but for now I'll just leave it aside. If there will be any romance, it will probably be IchigoxIsane, IchigoxNel, IchigoxHarribel or IchigoxBambietta. Not sure…let me know what you think.

I'm going to gloss over the Fullbring arc as I have no motivation to give those idiots any screen time. Ichigo will deal with them differently.

Also, while it may seem like it, I don't really plan on 'bashing' characters per say…with that said, a lot of the popular characters may not be shown in the most positive light. What you need to understand it that I plan on writing this story from Ichigo's perspective, hence the light in which they are portrayed are what he sees them as. It may not be all sunshine and rainbows and he may hold a few grudges but it doesn't necessarily mean they are bad people. The path to hell is paved by good intentions…and to Ichigo, he won't trust as easily as he did before hence there will be fractures in the main group. In my opinion, after the war, they were never the same. They seem to have drifted apart from each other. Even in the Thousand Year Blood War arc…it feels kind of forced in terms of how they interact…maybe it's just me. Anyway…what I'm saying is that Ichigo will form a new clique…there won't be any OC characters though…

As for Ichigo's personality, I didn't get to show much of it here, it was mostly just him having different reactions to the bombshells that were dropped on him. It was more of an info-dump chapter. He's still a bit numb from all the battles he's had and the information he's received. There will be more reactions to his heritage and the roles of 'Zangetsu' that he will ponder. I want his personality to grow as the chapter's progress. Like I said, he will be a lot lighter now that his biggest burden has been handled. I want him to be stern instead of scowling. I want him to be mellowed out and laid-back, charismatic and helpful as well as being a good leader. Basically, I want him to have a similar personality as Aizen's good guy façade when he was a Shinigami, along with being more playful and sarcastic. He won't be taking shit from anybody.

With that being said…if you're looking for some intricate story with a deep plot line and lots of drama and twists…I suggest you turn around now. This is more like a semi-serious take. Not really a parody but expect him to shit on a lot of people…metaphorically speaking…Quincies and Shinigami alike…

Wow that was long…anyway…look forward to more chapters, hopefully you guys will enjoy them.

Lionheart021 out!