Welcome everybody to this new chapter of mine! I'm happy to see that you all came for more, and I couldn't be any more grateful for all of your support.
Having said that, who's ready to see the Dragon King take Hueco Mundo by storm? It's been more than a year and a half since this story started and even more since I first planned to write it. You guys have no idea of how excited I am knowing that I'll finally be able to write a bunch of chapters focused entirely on Acnologia.
Anyway, I'll like to address a couple of previous reviews before going forward with this chapter, shall we?
I will admit that my cover of the story sure gave away some spoilers for the story, but what can I say, I couldn't help it. I sure will have a lot of fun once I bring Toshiro into the story. His cold attitude interacting with an hyperactive go-lucky Natsu will sure be a sight to behold.
Natsu's and Soi Fon's conversation was a touching moment I have been planning for a very long time and I'm happy that I was able to pull it off. Their relationship in the future will definitely develop and will surely bring a good change into Soi Fon's character without turning her OOC. That's one of the things I'm highly excited about.
Yes, I did mention that the presence of Natsu and Acnologia will cause some serious changes to the Bleach main continuity. Sure, some events will still happen, as I'm sure a lot of my readers want to see Natsu face against many of the dangers that the Soul Society will be dealing with in the future. But Acnologia, oh boy, that beast will be the mayor changing point of a lot of future events, and you will see what I mean in the next couple of chapters.
Well, my theories about Acnologia's backstory were surely fun while they lasted. With the Fairy Tail anime adding the backstory of Acnologia, something that didn't happen in the manga, a lot of my points may not even matter anymore. On another note, Acnologia's powers and abilities have no doubt given me a lot of material for the story to work with. The future sure is bright.
Naruto y Sasuke en el Valle del Fin? Hmm, nunca lo considere como tal. Lo tomaré como un cumplido.
Do not be afraid my friend, as the story of Natsu and Yoruichi is yet not over.
I admit, I had the idea of Urahara and Yoruichi leaving playing out differently in my head, but I wanted to do it in Natsu's perspective and to express the shock and the confusion he had when it happened. Soi Fon's character will be heavily influenced now that she has Natsu by her side. Working with her development in a level that will affect her future in the story is actually quite fun.
Acnologia will have a lot of fun in Hueco Mundo. That's for sure.
Lol that's true. I realized that there's a Naruto/Bleach story out there with the name Soul of Fire too, but it seems like my story has already taken over the 1st spot in the Google search. Yay!
I wanted to keep the disappearance of the Vizards more on the side and focus on Natsu's perspective of the whole thing. He's confused and has next to no clue of what happen to them. And let's just say that the future events of the Bleach main story will play a little bit differently that in cannon.
Also, the relationship between Natsu and Rukia is a…very interesting case per say. Let's just leave it as a surprise for now, shall we? ;)
Natsu will be powerful. Oh boy, he will no doubt be more powerful than in cannon or perhaps even more than any other fanfic out there. At least that want I hope. Sorry man, but I really don't do story request. Not that I don't like your idea, it's just that for me to write a story I need to feel actually passion for it, otherwise the final product will end up having no quality at all.
Renji and Rukia are fine. They are somewhere in the Rukongai, but other than that they are alright. They will come back into the story in due time.
Well, I guess that's all for now. Please be sure to let me know what you think of this chapter, suggestions and constructive criticism are more than welcomed! With that said, please enjoy!
Chapter 19: The Hollow Dragon King
"Hahaha! I got you now, you filthy- Agh!" The Hollow was silenced by a swift but precise blow.
Having ended his life without a second thought, Halibel frowned at the remains before intercepting an incoming strike from another one. Her attacker grunted as it attempted to hit her once more. However, it had no time to react before it's head flew off it's shoulders and his body joined the many others that were scattered across the sand.
She felt no ill will towards any of them, but neither did she felt any sympathy. The strong devours the weak. That was the harsh reality of Hueco Mundo and she has learned to live with it even if she doesn't like it.
"I better move fast." Her voice expressed concern, but not for herself. Her strength was well beyond whatever any of these Hollows could ever hope to achieve. No, she was actually worried for her companions' safety. Halibel knew that while they were strong, the sheer number of enemies could prove to be too much for them and could perhaps even overwhelm them.
Barragan sure has done it this time. Halibel thought as she sliced an Adjuchas in half.
Ever since she rejected his offer to join his army of servants, the King of Hueco Mundo has been pestering her almost on a daily basis for what has probably been years now. However, this was the first time he has actually gone as far as to launch a full-scale attack against her and her group.
Barragan's minions have obviously prepared for this assault, otherwise it would have been too much of a coincidence that they decided to attack right when she was doing a quick check-up around the perimeter surrounding their hideout. After all, waiting for the pack to split up is one of the most basic and oldest hunting strategies that exist.
Having just finished the last of her attackers, Halibel suppressed a heavy sigh. "I don't have time for this."
She could feel a large concentration of Reiatsu coming from the direction of their hideout, so it was clear that a battle was taking place over there as well. Knowing that her companions could very well be at risk at this very moment, the female Vasto Lorde did not waste any time and used Sonido to join the fray before it was too late.
Once she arrived, Halibel's eyes widened at what she saw. "Just how many did Barragan send?" She questioned, seeing as the number of Hollows easily went pass a hundred or perhaps even more.
Either Barragan has already reached the limit of his patience or he was simply too bored that he didn't even know what to do with his own army at this point.
"H-Halibel-sama!" She heard her name and her eyes soon found her companions. The three female Adjuchas weren't doing very well.
They were surrounded from all sides. Sun-Sun appeared to be badly hurt, leaning on Mila Rose for support while one of Apache's legs seemed to be broken, forcing her to walk only on three.
It brought Halibel some level of comfort that they were at least able to take down a good number of them, but it also hurt to know that she wasn't here in the first place, otherwise none of this would have happened.
"Hang in there." Diving into the large mass of enemies, Halibel used her arm-like sword to slice any Hollow that stood in her path. Her white covered body couldn't help but be tinted by bloody-red each time she brought one down, but she couldn't care any less at the moment.
"Girls." Halibel called once she reached her companions. "Remain close and stay behind me."
With their difference in numbers, Halibel wasn't completely sure if she could defeat them all while protecting her allies at the same time. However, seeing their current circumstances, she had no other choice than to try.
"H-Halibel-sama, we…" Apache attempted to say something, but her words died in her throat. But that didn't matter for Halibel, as she knew exactly what the deer-like Adjuchas was trying to say.
"Don't trouble yourself." Halibel calmly reassured them. "You three did everything you could, I couldn't have asked for any more than that."
"So you finally arrived." One of the Hollows grunted with repulsion. "I was hoping to get myself a nice meal before you got here, but I guess there's no helping it now."
Halibel remained unresponsive to the Hollow's provocation. However, the same thing couldn't be said for the ones behind her. "Care to repeat that, you bastard!" Apache retorted. "I bet you wouldn't act so tough without these idiots backing you up!"
Mila Rose growled in agreement. "That's right! So much for a bunch of spineless males!"
Sun-Sun couldn't stop herself from her eyes. "Must you two always be so loud?"
"What did you just said!?" The two female Adjuchas yelled together in indignation, but the snake-like Hollow didn't pay them any mind.
"Give it up Halibel. It's pointless to resist!" A lizard-like Hollow chuckled with mad joy. "You have evaded Barragan-sama's wrath for far too long! Now you either join him or… Uh?"
Every present Hollow, including Halibel, froze as soon as they felt the presence of a new Reiatsu appear. The sudden spike of this enormous spiritual pressure was so overwhelming that it took everyone by surprise. Halibel, even though she was a Vasto Lorde herself, was heavily affected and could barely keep herself on her feet.
The whole atmosphere was suffocating.
It was as if the air itself had suddenly turned into an ocean, making it nearly impossible take a single breath without risking having their lungs crushed in the process. With such a strong presence, it was basically impossible not to find where this Reiatsu was coming from.
All eyes quickly adverted to the far side of the desert, where a lone figure could be seen approaching. His darkened features were only revealed once he was close enough for the moonlight to unveil him.
Long and dark blue colored hair run all the way down his back while most of his body was covered by a black cloak, barely exposing some of his dark-skin, similar to Halibel's except for the blue markings that traveled across his body in the form of lines and strange symbols. But the oddest part about his appearance was none other than the broken Hollow mask that covered the left side of his face.
"H-Halibel-sama." The female Vasto Lorde's gaze was met with the concerned looks of her companions. There was no doubt that whoever this strange male was, he was no doubt much stronger than even her.
If he wanted to devour any of them, then he'll probably be able to do just that without them being able to stop him. The strong devours the weak. Such was the unspoken law that dictates the entirety of Hueco Mundo.
Once close enough, the figure remained unfazed as he came face to face with the large horde of hungry Hollows. "You are in my way."
The Hollows were taken back by the suddenness of the statement. Just like his face, his words showed no emotion. It was as if he saw their mere existence as nothing more than a nuisance, and this left the Hollows unsure of how to respond.
Although they were aware that he was strong, surely they could still overwhelm him with sheer numbers. After all there was no way this guy was anywhere near the King of Hueco Mundo in terms of strength.
"We are servants in the great army of King Barragan!" A crab-like Hollow announced with mad pride, using his larger size to stare down at him in a clumsy attempt of intimidation. "Do you even know who your ruler is, you no-mask freak?
The man didn't seem to care for the insult. Instead, his head tilted to the side with mild interest. "A king you say?" A smirk formed across his face soon afterwards.
"That's right! So unless you want to witness Barragan-sama's wrath for yourself, then you better get lost or else I'll…uh?" Those were the only words he was able to say before his eyes grew wide under his mask.
Why am I spinning in the air? The Hollow asked before realization came to him. Is… Is that my body lying over there?
The Hollow's now severed head fell somewhere far away from sight, but the man didn't bother to look where it landed or even gave the corpse a second glance before walking pass it. Every Hollow had to take a step back in shock at what they just witnessed. They failed to understand how someone so small could possess enough strength to kill a fully grown Adjuchas with next to no effort.
"You beasts sure are very sensible when someone grabs those mask of yours, aren't you?" The man spoke with a hint of curiosity in his voice. A sinister smile soon formed across his face. "I wonder how it taste."
"H-Hold on a second!" One of the Hollows demanded. "Do-Do you even know what you just did!? The King of Hueco Mundo will not stand for this!"
"Fools." He scoffed at the Hollow's desperate words. "All of you were so easily blinded by your own predatory nature that neither of you was able to acknowledge a superior power even when it's standing right in front of you. How pathetic."
"W-What did you- "
"No matter. None of you would have made it out alive anyway." A malicious dark aura began to surround him. "And even if some of you had attempted to flee, I would have still hunted them all down like the prey that they are."
Everyone did nothing but watch in fear as this man's overwhelming power began to numb their senses. However, what they felt was not Reiatsu, but something else. It was foreign and sinister in nature. Something that none of them have ever felt before.
How could someone other than the King of Hueco Mundo hold so much power?
"Normally I wouldn't even bother to speak to the likes of you, but seeing that you all are the first source of entertainment I've seen ever since I arrived in this forsaken desert, then I'll gladly make an exception."
Everyone stood frozen in place, too terrified to move while some of them did tried to run in the hopes that this monster would consider them too insignificant to bother killing. But unfortunately, he had no intention of letting any of them go.
"I am King of the Dragons, Acnologia." He took a step forward, causing the Hollows to flinch in fright. "Remember that well, as it'll be the last you'll ever heard before I send you all straight to hell."
I've been known by that name for so long that I can barely remember who I was before I took it as my own.
Back then I was no more than a healer, using my own magic to help others in order to fill my own desire of being useful. I was no better than a parasite lurking for acceptance.
How naive I was.
I can't help but feel disgust every time I think of how pathetic I used to be. But I was happy. That's all it mattered to me back then.
Back when I was still weak.
Before I lost my family and everyone else I knew to the dragons.
They slaughtered everyone.
Ate my family.
Burned my home to the ground.
Not even parents could be spared from the suffering of seeing their own children burn alive before their eyes.
Not even him.
Those disgusting creatures took everything from me.
So I took it upon myself to take everything from them as well.
"Who…" Halibel paused briefly as if to correct herself. "Just… What are you?"
Seating on top of a massive pile of corpses, Acnologia's gaze rested on the four remaining female Hollows that stood before him. Like before, his face was void of emotion.
She was still shocked by the sheer power that this man possessed. He completely slaughtered his enemies without hesitation or remorse. That was all it took for Halibel to know that she was dealing with a cold blooded killer.
"You didn't run." Acnologia gave her a look. Even though he didn't say anything more than that, the question was clear. Why?
"You didn't attack us." Halibel narrowed her eyes. He may have yet to threaten any of them, but she wasn't taking any chances. "And I can also feel your power, so I doubt we would have gotten far either way."
The Dragon King gave her a smirk. "Smart."
"But you haven't left either, so that must mean that there's something that you want from us."
He didn't react to her claim at first, and only continue to look at her with a stern gaze. "You are different from the other creatures that I slain." Acnologia began. "What are you?"
Halibel lifted an eyebrow at this. So he's curious.
Now this was a surprise. Seeing that he clearly belonged to a high stage of Hollow evolution, she would have guessed that he was already familiar with that information. Then again, Hollows like her weren't exactly common, so she couldn't fully blame him.
"I'm a Vasto Lorde." She answered plainly and without offering any further explanation. He may be stronger than her, but she would not allow herself to be intimidated by anybody, no matter how outclassed she may be.
"A Vasto Lorde?" He repeated the foreign name. "Am I suppose to be impressed?"
"Think of it as you like." Halibel responded. "However, I'm more curious about what you are. I've never seen a Hollow with a broken mask before."
"A Hollow you say?" Acnologia questioned with a raised eyebrow and looked at his hand with a blank expression. "So I'm a Hollow now."
Hollows. Corrupted spirits that feast with the souls of the living. Creatures driven by instinct and the pure desire to fulfill their empty hearts, though their hunger will never be satisfied, no matter how many souls they may consume.
"So they exist in this world too." He mumbled to himself. "For me to turn into a Hollow of all things... I guess that suits me quite well, doesn't it?"
His hand slowly turned into a fist before his eyes moved to his chest. But why do I have a hole? He brushed the dark cloth that covered the place where his heart should be. Going by what he has seen so far, the Hollows here were radically different to the ones in Earthland. The hole and mask were prime examples of this, though they still carried a lot of similarities as well.
The fact that he has become a Hollow answered quite a lot of things actually.
"I still have another question." Acnologia turned his attention back to Halibel. "Your power is insignificant, but it's still far above any of them." He gestured to the three female Adjuchas, who couldn't help but flinch under his gaze. "Why do you lower yourself to be with those weaklings?"
"W-What did you just said?!" Apache bolted out in anger, suddenly forgetting the fear she had mere seconds ago.
Fortunately, the other two were quick to stop her before she could do anything rash. "Shh! Quiet you!" Mila Rose whispered as she forcefully pushed Apache to the ground. Sun-Sun did the same, only that she wrapped her tail around the former's mouth in order to keep her from saying anything that she may end up regretting.
Ignoring the three's little outburst, Halibel looked at Acnologia with a calm expression, though internally she was confused by the question. She didn't know where this was coming from or why he was even asking that in the first place. But either way, she had no reason to lie.
"Because they are my comrades." She answered firmly and without hesitation.
There was no telling if he was satisfied with her answer or not, as Acnologia did nothing but look at her in complete silence. His sharp eyes never strayed away from her even for a second, and even Halibel felt somewhat unnerved by his unresponsive behavior.
It continued like that for a couple of seconds before it finally happened. It all began with a light chuckle. His chest shook lightly in silence before it turned into a full out laugh. Halibel was taken back by the unexpected action, and even her companions were unsure of how to react to this.
Pushing himself from the pile of bodies, Acnologia landed in front of the group with a loud thump. A cloud of sand enveloped his whole body, but it didn't bother him in the slightest.
Halibel's body tensed the moment she saw him walk towards them. Her Hollow instincts flared instantly as if to warn her of the approaching danger. Her companions felt it too, but unlike Halibel who prepared to fight, the female Adjuchas were far too overwhelmed by his terrifying presence to attempt even the slightest of movements.
Under Halibel's mask, a drop of sweat began to run down the side of her face as she braced herself for the upcoming confrontation.
But that moment never came.
Instead of attacking them, Acnologia walked right pass them without sparing them as much as a look. "If you value your comrades that much, then pray that we never cross paths again, woman. For your own sake that is." Halibel was taken back by the suddenness of his words, but she was much more shaken by the fact that he was letting them go.
"…Acnologia." She repeated the name under her breath, turning her head to the side only to see that he was already gone. "Just who are you exactly."
Hueco Mundo. Las Noches…
The King of Hueco Mundo let out a deep sigh as he stared at the landscape that made up the throne room. It was the exact same sight that he always sees. His subjects of course all respectfully bowed in his presence, but even that little pleasure has gotten dull over time.
Seating on his large throne, he leaned his head against his hand, finding himself completely submerged in a state of complete boredom. There was just nothing new to perk his interest at the moment.
Any opponent that may have posed a threat to his ever-growing kingdom has either been annihilated or ended up joining the ranks of his vast army of Hollows. Either the case, there was nothing to keep him entertained anymore. Even the thrill of killing has gotten boring due to no one being able to last more than a few seconds against his might.
"This is starting to become annoying." He grunted with impatience. If there was something he hated more than being bored, it was to be forced to wait. "How long before those fools get back."
"I-I'm sure they'll be back soon, Barragan-sama." A small insect like-Hollow blurted fearfully. "It has already been a couple of hours, so it shouldn't take them much longer."
"Hmm, they better be." Barragan responded with irritation. "That Halibel has always been a constant annoyance. Let's see if getting rid of those females she's always with will be enough to make her realize how foolish it is to oppose me."
"I'm sure sooner or later she will come to her senses, Barragan-sama." A Hollow responded eagerly to his master's words, but the Vasto Lorde didn't even bother to acknowledge him.
"B-Barragan-sama!" Rushing to the front of his throne was a wounded Hollow, holding his side in pain as if attempting to prevent the bleeding from spreading.
The insect like-Hollow from before let out a sigh of relief. "The messenger has finally returned."
"Hmm, so it seems." The King of Hueco Mundo turned to the new arrival with a disinterested look. "So tell us, what news do you bring?"
"Th-They are… They are all dead." The Hollow's breathing was dull and heavy, but he still forced himself to speak. "…All of them."
"Who is them?" Barragan demanded, feeling his patience getting thinner.
"Your army…" The Hollow struggled to breath. "We… We were all wipe out!"
If the messenger didn't have Barragan's attention, then he definitely did now. The King of Hueco Mundo leaned forward in his seat with new found interest. "Ho! So that Halibel finally decided to openly oppose me? How amusing!"
The Hollows interrupted. "I-It's wasn't the female, Barragan-sama."
Having mentioned this, Barragan grunted as he lost some of his enthusiasm. "If it wasn't her, then who was it?"
The answer didn't come from the messenger, but from a different voice. "So you're that so called King of Hueco Mundo?"
"Hm?" Barragan's attention shifted to the far side of his throne, where he found a man standing there with his gaze fixed on him. His presence was emanating a strong desire of bloodlust
"I knew that letting one of them go would lead me straight to you." Acnologia let out a chuckle. "But I honestly didn't expect it to work this well."
Startled by his sudden appearance, the messenger could do nothing but tremble in fear at the mere sight of Acnologia. "T-That's him!"
Barragan didn't pay any mind to the cowering form of his subordinate, and instead addressed the new arrival. "It takes someone either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid to dare barge into my palace uninvited. For what reason did you come here?"
A smirk formed across Acnologia's lips. "Let's just say that I was curious about who this King I heard so much about was." His face then turned into a scowl. "But so far, I'm actually disappointed."
"Is that so?" Barragan stood up from his throne, causing the surrounding Hollows to take a step back in fear. "Did you came all the way to my domain just so you can die, ant?"
"You call this barren wasteland your domain?" Acnologia questioned the Vasto Lorde, finding the whole thought humorous. "Just how pitiful must someone really be in order to claim such nonsense."
Every Hollow looked at Acnologia in disbelief, shocked that not only was he insulting the King of Hueco Mundo, but he was doing it in his very presence. "For a no-mask trash, you sure like to talk big." Barragan growled as he readied his large battle-axe. "All of you, execute this buffoon!"
The Hollows hesitated for a moment before finally obeying, charging at Acnologia as their king ordered. But the Dragon Slayer was unfazed by all this, as his body radiated a posture of absolute confidence.
"Sending your underlings to the slaughter?" Acnologia grinned as the vast number of enemies approached. "How foolish."
Not far from there…
Unknown to any of the Hollows, a particular pair was watching them from afar in the distance over the sand dunes. "Is that the Hollow you were talking about? He certainly looks scary." The younger of the two contemplated. His eyes were narrowed to slits, but his fox-like smile remained. "Though I've never seen a Hollow with a broken mask before."
"That's because he's no regular Hollow, Gin." The man standing next to him responded. "Whatever must have happened to him, it must have turned him into a fully fledged Arrancar."
The one known as Gin turned to his companion with a curious look. "An Arrancar? Never heard of them."
"I'm not surprised." A glint reflected on his glasses as he explained. "After all, only a handful of individuals have become aware of their existence through history, then again most of them have long since passed away."
Aizen was fascinated. Truly fascinated indeed. His eyes traced back to the black Hollow he saw no more than mere months ago and could not help but wonder just what kind of being this Acnologia was to be able to evolve so fast without the interference of an outside power?
Simply remarkable. The Shinigami Lieutenant thought with a smile.
The Hollow's relationship with the new arrival of the Soul Society, Natsu Dragneel, was still a mystery to him, but it was one that he was due to uncover one way or another. He knew that they were enemies, but just how long did their prior history went? With Urahara Kisuke now out of the way and the Soul Society still recovering, he'll be able to continue with his research without any further disturbances.
"Shouldn't we try to approach him?" Gin asked.
Aizen shook his head. "Not yet. His strength is still unknown to us, so it'll be best to act with caution."
"But won't it be a problem if those two end up killing each other?" The 3rd Seat's gaze went back to the two Hollows. "Though I'm sure it will be quite the show."
"True. If one of them were to die, it could affect my plans to some degree. But I believe that whatever knowledge we can acquire out of this confrontation regarding Acnologia and his overall strength could prove to be much more valuable."
The silver-haired Shinigami gave Aizen an unreadable expression before shrugging. "If that's what you wish to do, then I guess that's fine. Though I must say, I really am looking forward to see how this whole thing plays out."
Aizen could not only smile at the young boy's enthusiasm for blood. "So do I."
Hueco Mundo. Las Noches…
"Ba-Barragan-sama-!" The last of the Hollows screamed his last words as his body was ripped apart. What little remained of his body twitched before it fell lifeless to the ground.
"Was that everything your army had to offer?" Acnologia asked as he threw a severed arm to the ground. His eyes traced back to Barragan, standing on top of his throne.
"You are powerful. I'll give you that." Barragan complimented, not bothered in the slightest for the death of his subordinates. "But no matter how you look at it, your power pales next to mine."
The Dragon Slayer smirked. "And pray tell, what exactly makes you so sure about that?"
"Because my power is absolute!" Barragan declared. "To me you are nothing more than an insignificant ant waiting to be crushed!"
"Then prove it." Acnologia taunted, using his hand to gesture him to come. And as he expected, Barragan took the bait.
"You're an insolent fool!" The King of Hueco Mundo roared in anger. "You'll regret ever defying me!"
The pressure of Barragan's Reiatsu began to increase, manifesting around him in a dark red colored aura. But despite the drastic change of the atmosphere, Acnologia remained unaffected.
"I will show you a glimpse of what absolute power is like!" Rising his arms in full display, he unleashed a black and purple, smoke-like miasma from his body. "Now behold! A power so great that holds control over death itself!"
Acnologia watched the gathering miasma with interest. He has lived for more than four centuries, thus he has seen nearly every spell and magic that exist. But this was something different. There was no Ethernano coming from the Vasto Lorde, but pure Spiritual power.
Having accumulated enough Reiatsu, Barragan whispered. "Respira."
Following his commands, the surrounding miasma shot forward at an impressive speed, surprising even Acnologia by how fast it moved. But he wasn't intimidated by the incoming attack and quickly evaded to the side, allowing the dark cloud to go pass him. However, the miasma didn't stop and instead changed direction, going once again after Acnologia.
Twisting his body while in the air, Acnologia dodged the attack just in time before landing. In response to this, the miasma did not only changed direction, but it also began to expand, increasing it's range to the point where nearly all of his field of vision was covered pitch black.
Channeling his magic power into his hand, Acnologia lifted his arm in one swift move, forcing the ground to crack before it imploded from underneath. The resulting explosion was massive enough that it appeared to have completely destroyed Barragan's attack. But much to his own surprise, it was his spell what disappeared as soon as it came in contact with the dark miasma,
"What is that stuff." He mumbled to himself, feeling much more curious about the properties of the attack. Barragan of course laughed at the spectacle.
"It's pointless to resist! Why don't you save me the trouble and stand still so you can accept your fate!" Barragan mocked as more of that same miasma continue to pour out of his body.
Gaining distance from the strange substance, Acnologia took a moment to analyze it. Having just seen that spells were ineffective against the Vasto Lorde's attack, then there was only one choice left.
Eliminating the one controlling it.
Moving at an unbelievable speed, Acnologia completely avoided the miasma and stood in front of Barragan in an instant. His arm recoiled and his fist burned brightly with power. The King of Hueco Mundo was taken back by his opponent's display of speed, but laughed as he considered it as nothing more than a desperate attempt.
"How foolish." He said to himself as he waited for his time dilation field to take effect. However, he was shocked to find out that the incoming attack wasn't slowing at all. "W-What the-?" Knowing that there wasn't any time to question why his ability didn't work, he reacted just in time to block with his battle-axe.
Acnologia grinned sadistically as the steel of the weapon almost shattered into pieces by the full force of his magically-enhanced fist. A little bit more and his arm would have most certainly rammed through the axe, but he was forced to cease his attack when more of that strange miasma came out of Barragan.
"You will not escape!" He commanded his Respira to follow its target.
Pushing himself out of the way, Acnologia managed to avoid it if only for a few inches. However, the miasma's constant change of form made it much harder to avoid, thus it somehow managed to grace his arm.
"Ha ha ha! That's what you deserved!" Barragan laughed victoriously. "In mere seconds you will experience what it feels like to age until your bones turn into nothing but ash! Rot until you die!"
Acnologia observed as the skin of his hand slowly began to dissolve, leaving nothing but bone. However, he didn't react at all. His face remained unfazed as he stared at his hand with interest.
The Dragon of the Apocalypse could feel how the miasma covering his hand did not stop there, but it also spread across his arm. "I see now." Feeling a fluctuation in time surrounding his arm, Acnologia now understood how this ability works.
Laughing at the impending doom of his opponent, Barragan was forced into a halt by what hapened next. "W-What the… Th-That's impossible!" What he saw was the skin of Acnologia's hand coming back together as if nothing ever happened.
"Your manipulation over time is indeed impressive, but our levels of power are as different as night is from day." The last remains of his arm slowly began to turn back to normal. "I ate from the the very core of time itself, thus I gained the power to control the flow of time at will. Someone as pathetic as you will never understand how euphoric it is to consume the very fabric of reality."
"N-No! I will not accept this!" Having recovered from his shock, anger flared inside the Vasto Lorde. "I am Barragan Louisenbairn, the King of Hueco Mundo and ruler of all Hollows! I will not be outdone by the likes of you!"
Charging forward in a fit of blind rage, Barragan brought his axe down towards Acnologia, only for the Dragon Slayer to stop the attack dead on its tracks with his naked hand. "Your struggling is futile, Hollow King. I am superior to you in all aspects."
"How dare you insult me!" Barragan once again attempted to use Respira against his opponent, only for the attack to no longer affect him. "No! This is unacceptable! unacceptable! unacceptable!"
Clutching the axe with a strong grip, the weapon gave into the pressure before breaking into pieces. "Just a few moments you were bragging about having the absolute power. How about I show you mine instead?" Acnologia's eyes turned into a crimson red as magic energy gathered inside his mouth. "Behold the power of the ultimate dragon!"
"Wha-?" The next thing Barragan knew, a large black and white-colored explosion shook not only Las Noches, but Hueco Mundo as a whole. It engulfed him and anything else that was unfortunate to be too close to the blast radius.
"I take back what I said earlier." Gin looked at the large explosion in amazement. "Scary doesn't come anywhere close to describe him."
Going by what Lieutenant Aizen already told him about the black Hollow, Gin already expected it to be strong, but not anywhere as strong as what he just witnessed. He may not have been a Shinigami for very long, but even he knows that this level of strength was by definition otherworldly.
Just imagining this Arrancar somehow being unleashed in the middle of the Seireitei was a terrifying thought on it's own. "I must say though, he's tougher than what I expected."
"Indeed." Aizen smirked in response. "I believe we may have found our ace."
"This… This can't be…" The ruler of Hueco Mundo laid on the sand, defeated and unable to move. "For a king to be reduced to such a state… How is this even possible?"
Barragan's clothes were a disaster, as they became nothing but rags. His golden crown was long gone, with half of his skull covered in cracks while the other half was missing. He attempted to get up, but his arms were far too weak to carry his own weight, so he ended up falling face-first into the sand. It also didn't help matters that there was a foot on his back, forcing him further into the ground.
"Despite everything that you just witnessed, you still believe that you can call yourself a king? You truly are worthless." The Dragon Slayer looked down at the Vasto Lorde with a frown. "If that's the case, then I guess that makes me the ruler of your pathetic kingdom now, doesn't it?"
"As if I'll ever let you take my throne…" Barragan said with whatever strength he had left. "As long as I live, you will never be king!"
A sadistic smile spread across Acnologia's face. "I don't need your throne. After all, I've been a king for over four hundred years." He stated as he removed his foot. "But do not fret, I will not kill you."
"W-What…?" Barragan grunted in confusion.
"Do not mistake it as an act of mercy." Acnologia said, mocking the absurdity of the idea before turning away. "I know your type. Prideful and filled with nothing but self-centered delusions that only your own arrogance can match. Allowing you to live the rest of your miserable life in humiliation it's a fate much worse than any death can provide."
"Don't you dare turn your back on me!" Barragan could do nothing but lash out in anger as he saw him walk away. "I am the king! I will not accept this humiliation! I swear under my name that I will claim your head for this!"
His threats reached nobody, as Acnologia keep moving forward until he disappeared into the distance. It wasn't until he was gone that all of the Hollows that somehow managed to survive the onslaught began to come out of hiding. "Did… Did Barragan-sama just lost?"
Looking somewhat unsure, a Hollow responded. "I-It sure looks like it. But who was that guy?"
One of them shrugged. "I don't know, but I think I heard him call himself a dragon."
"A dragon?" The other Hollows looked at him in surprise. "But I've never heard of a Hollow-looking dragon before."
"Neither have I, but I sure don't want to mess with him." One of them mentioned before realization suddenly hit him. "Hold on a moment, that guy just defeated King Barragan. Does that mean what I think it does?"
A Hollow nodded in response. "Yes, there is no denying it. With the current king no longer fit to rule, it is up to the strongest to take his place."
No one knew his name or where he came from, but they knew about his power, and that was all the reason they needed to follow him.
It was the beginning of the reign of the Hollow Dragon King.
And that's a wrap up everybody! Man, that sure was a long-ass chapter! I mean, I wasn't planning on making it this long, but I guess I wanted to compensate you guys for making you wait so long for an update.
So Aizen is making his move along with Gin, huh? I sure didn't saw that one coming. XD
Anyway, Acnologia is already starting to leave his mark in the story. I sure have a lot of things planned for him in the future. I can't wait for that! And on another note, Acnologia's backstory in the anime was just as I thought, which makes me really happy, as he mirrors exactly how I want to interpret his character in the story. And man, I sure was spot on with my theory about his characterization when I said that he hated himself in a way. After all, he took the name of the dragon he hated the most as his own. He also got so devoted to revenge that he forgot who he was before he even became a Dragon Slayer.
And Fairy Tail just ended. NOOOOOOOO! The final fight between Acnologia and the 7 Dragon Slayers was something else. The final episode definitely surpassed my expectations. And hearing Snow Fairy play at the final episode threw my heart into a roller-coaster of emotions.
I also can't wait for the new Fairy Tail console game to come out. It was about god damn time! Honestly, I love that it is an JRPG. If the gameplay feels anything like the Persona games do, then this game will be top tier! Hiro Mashima also announced two new projects that he will reveal later on. I'm betting my money that it will have to be a new Fairy Tail movie! Or at least that's what I hope.
Having said that, next chapter will feature the return of Natsu. We are going to see how he has been doing after spending a few years in the Soul Society and what kind of relationships he has developed with the other Shinigami. That sure will be a fun to work with.
Whatever the case, I thank you all for your support. Please let me know what you think of the story and any suggestions or constructive criticism are more than welcomed. With that said, I wish you all a wonderful day!