Sorry I know it has been a long time since I posted, but Life had been happening and getting in the way, I am trying to get a new car and well I don't make enough money for that to be an easy thing. I am currently writing an actual book that I can sell, (Though it is a stupid little erotic/high fantasy which is a very neish market, but I am having fun making it.)
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the chapter.
There was something terrible about the silence of her opponent, the slow way it moved and the sense of some invisible weight falling on anyone who looked at it. Sona unleashed two concentrated water bullets at it, but they exploded into bursts of water vapor ten meters from the Vasto Lorde.
Its muscled body had not moved once, its bull-like mask empty of everything, she could not even see its eyes though it. The long green-haired legs, each ending in a powerful hoof, just hung there under it.
Sona tried to move in and engage it in close combat, but like her attacks, she was blasted back by a murderously hard force. The armor of water she had shrouded herself in was the only reason she had not taken major damage.
Around her the members of her Peerage fought the swarming Hollows, most aiming for what they saw as the weaker targets, Orihime, Tatsuki and Yuzu, standing on a disk of orange light. It allowed them to guide the fight and focus their forces, but it was dangerous and as far as she could tell, the silent Vasto Lorde was moving towards them as well.
Sticking out her pointer and index fingers Sona traced a circle in the air while gathering water, both natural and that created by her Devil Power. The air around the Monster began to wobble before she clapped her hands together causing water to rush in around the creature. Like she expected it did not stop him, or even show him down. But she was watching the water, she could sense the water, how it moved, how it surrounded the creature, the space and volume it took up and there it was. She could not see them but the water was stirring, she could sense the shape of them and her mind's eye pictured four elongated skeletal arms, with large odd flat bonded hands and sharp fingers. They moved in a pattern around its body, constantly, almost unconsciously. She focused a bullet of water and opened a path through the orb firing it. One of the hands jerked into motion, with speed that was the equal of Ichigo's Bankai. The flat bony hand slammed into the bullet and blew it apart. The creature must have decided that what she was doing was some sort of threat because its arms stopped moving and four red balls of energy were created. The water around it flashed into steam as four red beams shot out in four directions each converging like a homing missile to strike at her. Sona spun away, water exploding under her feet to alter her direction and speed, the Cero's twisted after her and she abandoned her attempt to dodge. Rather she gathered the water around her armor, taking the form of a watery orb in front of her. The four beams slammed into it and she focused all her will on keeping the water in its liquid state twisting as she did so. The red beams followed the water, while still trying to reach her, Sona kept twisting as she moved, water exploding under her feet again and again, spinning her faster and faster as the Cero were forced to follow the stream of water they were trapped in.
It was difficult to keep her bearings, but her opponent was moving so slowly it almost did not matter, what really mattered was range, she had to aim this perfectly. She began to flip forward, the stream of water and the trapped Ceros following her motion, curling tighter and tighter around her as the energies attempted to complete their task. At ten and a half meters, she extended her power and shouted her battle cry, extending her leg in a kick, forcing the streaming water in front of her to flow just feet in front of it. The Hollow's defences reacted to the water….and the said energy inside the water exploded causing layers of her watery armor to flash into steam. Only the last layers of her armor kept that from baking her like a turkey.
The Hollow stopped and for a moment one of its invisible arms became visible; it was shrouded in a deep red light, the outermost bits of its fingers blown off. But even as she watched, they began to reform and seemed to phase out of the visible spectrum.
She spent a moment informing her Peerage of what she had learned, its range as far as she could tell and that it could be damaged, but it also regenerated. All in all this seemed like she was going to have a bad time. Its bull mask turned to regard her as if for the very first time. No longer an annoyance, but a threat. Sona raised her hand in defiance and defence and with her other began to write words in the air. Though her mouth remained closed, her voice echoed over a wide area. "The heavens are crying, heavy with the burden of life and death," If it had been anyone but her sister creating the fog below, she would not have risked this. "The blazing light, the healing water. Water is both life and death, the wished for and damned, a cleansing corrupter upon this sinful earth."
The Hollow was watching her, but made no move to stop her. Within the empty sockets of its mask two eyes opened...but they were not the yellow eyes of Hollows, they were burning orbs which seemed to glow with crimson firelight. "Thus do I understand the nature of water, thus does it obey my will for I am as Hermes Trismegistus, I am the thrice born and upon my word, upon my will, Epíklisi Stin Kataigída!"
The dark skies boiled, thunder cracked and the rain fell like a curtain, huge heavy drops crashing down in sheets of liquid. The Hollows around them began to burn, each drop sparking a fire on their skin and there were a lot of drops. The lessers died, the Gillians did not seem to notice and the Adjuchas went berserk.
Her opponent became outlined in foxfire green, its hidden arms now visible as arm shaped outlines of long bony arms with two joints, hands splayed wide. Any water that fell onto her was absorbed into her armor, refreshing it, but it was not enough to get her full protection back.
"Not to self, train against Ichigo's Bankai." She murmured. While it would be...frustrating to be trounced again and again. It would be the only reasonable way to prepare against opponents who could do just that. Hell, she could find a way to make it fun.
Raising her hands she moved her fingers as if she was a conductor. In the rain bolts of water formed and shot at the creature from all angles. It's hands moved so fast, so ungodly fast, perhaps almost as fast as Gabriel the Archangel, known for her speed.
One of the hands pointed at her and suddenly extended. She was caught off guard and the invisible hand closed around her neck and would have crushed it in a heartbeat. As it was her armor that stopped that fate, but the sheer force was enough to force its way through the tons of water pressure and cut off her windpipe. Her eyes went wide as her lungs started burning. She forced more water into that area but its powerful hand kept closing like a vise. Her legs, her mind began to grow fuzzy, then there was a flash of orange light. A small thing, perhaps only the size of a small bird. The Invisible arm was cut in half, the hand still crushing at her throat, but with a last effort of her power, the hand shattered outward and Sona fell gasping for sweet air.
Tsubaki caught her and Reya was at her side within a moment, her hand over her mouth as air was controlled in just the right way to enter her lungs while her body recovered.
Over them, the Vasto Lorde had fully stopped and was staring at his invisible arm, his other hands shooting out and grabbing the falling pieces of it. She noted that the speed of its limbs lessened considerably the more it got away from ten meters. The invisible limbs whirled about the rain making their outlines look like invisible snakes as the limb was reattached.
"Tsubaki, you're with me, the rest of you return to your duties." Orange light glowed around her as Inoue had moved her floating disk. Her injuries were gone in moments. "Thank you." She told her Knight.
The girl gave her such a warm and loving smile she felt her heart skip a beat. "You're Welcome."
The Vasto Lorde began to move again, its direction clear as its flaming eyes were locked on Inoue. "Ashokasundari." The word was a whisper, one of pain.
Sona blinked as Inoue's head turned to the Vasto Lorde and frowned, it took her a moment to sort through all the permutations of the word, it literally meant something along the lines of "The Beautiful Girl who eases sorrow." It was also the name of a daughter of Shiva in the Hindu Pantheon.
The Hollow tilted its head back and Screamed. "Ashokasundari!" The world seemed to tremble, any glass that remained in Karakura Town was shattered. Power seemed to swell around the monster before its glowing eyes faded back into the empty sockets of its mask and it stilled, starting to move forward again towards Inoue, slow and inexorable.
Inoue for her part seemed focused, as if she was worrying at a puzzle she could not understand. Tatsuki was in front of her friend, her eyes focused on a creature far above her strength. It was laughable. But she stood there, firm, determined, her will almost a solid force. Perhaps after this she would see if the woman wanted a position as a Rook. Four balls of red appeared and shot out each arching towards...everyone around Inoue, but avoiding her specifically.
The girl glowed with an almost divine light; she flicked one hand at a Cero and a small bolt the size of a bird shot out and moved to intercept and destroy the Cero. Making a triangle with her hands she gathered light around them into a protective barrier which the Cero's impacted and detonated against. It created a lot of cracks, but it held. The moment she released the barrier Sona was moving, "Inoue retreat." She ordered.
There was a moment of pause. "I can't." Sona blinked. "If I do that he will start destroying everything around him at random."
"How do you know that?"
The girl bit her lip as she looked upon the Vasto Lorde. "I…I don't know it, I just..."
"You're her boss right?" Tsubaki said. "You know who she is, don't you?"
Sona did, she had to, if there was someone with as much empathy as Inoue Orihime, it would only be Asia Argento. And Inoue had more experience than the former nun. She made a snap decision to trust her Knight. "Then guide him back up towards the sky, we need to get him aimed upward."
Inoue responded at once and her disk of power lifted up into the sky, it was faster than the Hollow. As it moved, its orientation changed. Its body hung in the air oddly as it lifted higher as if drawn towards her by gravity. But after that odd outburst of emotion, it was like she was looking at a machine, or perhaps even less than that.
Sona closed her eyes and let out a breath, the water in the air began to swirl around her, the smell of sea air and salt-filled Karakura as more water bubbled into existence. She had to change tactics, the Hollow was protected by its invisible arms from both close and long-range. But the arms themselves, while tough, were not invincible. "Tsubaki, stay close to me." She told her Queen, thinking for a moment about the trouble that might happen if she brought in a Rook with the same name. "Let's see if we can get him to fire those Cero at us again. We need to destroy its arms, or at least damage them enough to get a solid hit on it."
"Good now take a step back please." Sona reached within herself for power, for more power, into the part of herself as dark as the deep sea. Why she thought of it that way she did not know, but it was there, it was cold, it was dark, and it held power. She was sure for a moment she could feel something move within the depths of her Soul, a massive eye-opening to look upon her.
Power poured out of her in a flood and she formed that flood into armor, but not quite what she had done before. She was in the center of a construct of concentrated water. Its height was around ten feet tall and its body was based on her, well except for the arms. Water under pressure could cut diamond, and she had a lot of pressure to work with. The constructed arms were all boiling white, like water over rapids, contained within a field of her power and will. As for the body of the construct she forced as much water into it as she could, forcing it into a smaller and smaller space, increasing the weight, the presence she focused outward. Next to her own skin she let that pressure follow its natural course, forming boiling ice into another layer of armor around her body. That was the odd thing about water, under extreme pressure it would both heat and then turn to ice. The only reason her construct was not ice was because she was actively keeping it from happening.
"Wow," Tsubaki said, "Looks like I have a lot of work to do."
"Follow me," Sona ordered, "And watch for the extending hands."
Under the Construct's feet water exploded in jets, launching her at the Vasto Lorde. Within the water, she moved her body and her creation moved as she did, a powerful strike at its back was blocked and she swung her other arm around, feeling it be stopped by the invisible arms. The Hollow stopped again, its body turning to face her as she unleashed a flurry of blows. It retaliated with murderously hard blows at her armored construct. That was where it hit her trap, the water of her construct was unnaturally condensed and pressured. Her armor was layers and layers of honeycomb-shaped armor plates the size of a diner plate, consisting of a diamond-hard membrane of surface tension, which held and contained an immense amount of compacted water to help absorb force that got through it. That water was contained by a hexagonal-shaped wall and floor of even denser water, once containment was breached the main body of water had nowhere to go but outward with an explosive result of ultra heated water. The heavier water would go last compressing into an ultra-dense slug launched with enough force to achieve escape velocity and leave the atmosphere.
The result was impressive, especially since, given how fast the thing's arms punched her, it was four or five blasts in combination with her relentless assault with her high-pressure arms. Two of them broke, shattering to pieces and became visible. Sona threw herself forward, entering that ten-meter space for the first time. As she passed five meters she noted to her frustration that two brand new arms were breaking out of its back, visible and growing, but not defending it yet. Its two other arms battered at her, but she pushed though, letting part of the construct lose containment to keep it from grabbing her, she reached its body, her pressured weapons surging forward.
One of its eyes lit up with that fire, its visible normal arm which had not moved before suddenly blurred into motion. Her own weapons slammed down on its shoulder, sheering flesh and bone, but at a slow rate, far too slow. The thing's punch hit her construct in the chest and just about every layer of her defense shattered at once, her armor trap erupting like a city-killing shotgun going off point-blank in the thing's face. About a moderate-sized lake's worth of water fell in a spraying torrent and Sona only managed to stop flying in the opposite direction because Tsubasa used her body as a breaker.
Sona had to blink as she realized her whole construct was gone, Hell, the ice on her front had an indent of a fist just a hair away from reaching her skin. Her mind raced to quantify that kind of strength, it was on the level of a lower Divine at least. "Damn that's got...Kaichou!" Her Rook said as her clothing started to mend, and her Rook shoved her forward and away. "Fuck."
Sona looked up in time to see the Hollow using its four invisible arms and two real arms forming a Cero that made reality warp and stretch around it. For a moment her heart hammered as her mind told her mouth to give the order. But there was a fear that she was sending a friend to her death if she did so.
Of course Tsubaki Shinra did not need an order to protect her King and her friend. Her Queen moved in front of her, her long hair flowing in the wind, she wore a simple pair of jeans and tank top, the perfect outfit for a party. But she looked more like a Queen now than she ever had. The thing's Cero was a small concentrated orb, not a blast or beam. It shot out like a bullet, but Tsubaki reacted. "Mirror Alice."
It was one of the reasons she had made the girl her Queen, a Sacred Gear not directly flashy, not one that was common knowledge. Nonetheless, it was powerful, it was, by its nature, a counter-force. A balance that under the right circumstances could perhaps be the most powerful of all for a moment…well, unless there was an upper limit neither of them knew about.
A mirror appeared in front of Tsubaki, showing a perfect reflection of the Vasto Lorde, Sona noted its head tilting then jerking back as if its own appearance caused it pain. The light in its eye socket winked out, the orb of energy slammed into the mirror, and Tsubaki screamed slamming her hands into the back of her Sacred Gear, her arms starting to burn and smoke. For a heart-stopping moment, it looked like the mirror might break, but then it bounced back. Mirror Alice could reflect energy and attacks, doubling the power of what struck it.
Tsubasa moved and caught the Queen as she fell, completely unconscious and lacking most of her Devil Power. Such a thing confirmed a lot about her Sacred Gear, but now was not the time to think about that. Above them, Orihime drew up her shield as the Cero, doubled in power upon its reflection, slammed into the Vasto Lorde, through its invisible arms, and into its chest. The energy spun and expanded into an orb the size of a building, before detonating. The shockwave was small, almost negligent, the attack was a marvel that focused all the killing power inward. The Vasto Lorde was missing its lower half, floating there with only a shard of its spine dangling there.
"Please," Sona whispered, "let that be enough." White fluid began to boil out of its body, the process rapid and unstoppable, it formed a rough shape of the things former body then cracked and shattered falling away to reveal pale white replacements for what it is had lost, complete with paperwhite fur, but even as she looked it was rapidly taking on its former green color.
"Come on?!" She snarled, would they have to blow it apart completely to kill it? She seemed to remember something Ichigo said about Hollow Regeneration, that it could not heal the brain, heart, and lungs….but apparently this one was the exception?
It was maddening, and what was worse was the rest of her Peerage were ending the Hollows they had been assigned to destroy. If they engaged this creature and it so much as brushed them, it could be fatal. And while Orihime could bring back the dead, could she bring back all of them? What if she herself was taken out? The Vasto Lorde had turned to her again and was moving and then in a heartstopping moment, it vanished with the sound of static and appeared in front of Inoue. Tatsuki Arisawa could only blink, while Yuzu Kurosaki just stared, Karin Kurosaki was too far away to do anything and the three girls in front of it were all within ten meters.
"Ashokasundari." It breathed.
"Getsuga Tenshou!" Was the response as it was blasted away from the three girls, a blazing white moon of energy driving it back until it managed to shove the energy aside.
"Ashokasundari!" It screamed as if in agony and Inoue's face twitched with something very much like empathy. Her mouth moved, but from this distinct Sona could not tell what she was saying.
Standing in front of them, dressed in the dark robes of the Shinigami, the top part open to reveal a muscular, hairy chest, stood Isshin Kurosaki. He looked so different from the dad Sona had come to know. His stance was firm, like he was rooted in the world itself. His body was rough and built, he was more muscular than his son, with the rain beating down on his black hair and running over his sharp features and scraggly beard. He looked more like a berserker of old Norse time. He held his blade before him with both hands on the hilt, water that splashed along the blade steamed as if hitting molten metal.
"SHI-INI-GAMI!" Both of its eyes blazed as it roared with such pure fury that Sona herself quailed before it. But Isshin Kurosaki did not move, he did not quail, he faced that and moved forward. He walked through the air as if this were nothing more than an afternoon stroll, and the Vasto Lorde moved a little quicker, its body still limp, but its arms flowing in agitated motions.
Seeing him stilled her fearful heart and Sona found herself again. "Take her to Orihime." She ordered Tsubasa, who nodded before Sona began to gather water from around her and water from within. Time to get back to work.
Tatsuki felt useless...again, it had been going pretty well, these gloves packed a hell of a punch and the small Hollows had been nothing more than an annoyance. Then that thing had just appeared in front of them. It was one thing to watch from a distance as a schoolgirl, a head shorter than her, went toe to toe with something that Tatsuki could sense was well beyond her power. It was another to be frozen to the ground in sheer, bowl voiding terror. She had been frozen, Yuzu had been frozen, but Inoue had not, Inoue looked that creature in the eye and then they had been saved.
Saved...again...that was her lot it seemed, being saved again and again and again. Part of her knew that she was being uncharitable….Ichigo had only needed a fucking week of training to be ready. She had less than ten minutes, most of which had been spent with her mind doing reruns of that kiss, and fantasizing about the exact purpose of the stump he said he would bend her over. Not the sort of thing she had been expecting today, but this whole day was just a giant cluster fuck of good, bad, and terrifying.
Now she had Ichigo's dad, a goofball, a man who screamed Dad Energy, the parent who always managed to embarrass his children at any gathering they attended. The local doctor who splinted your arm, cleaned your scrapes and was apparently some sort of middle-aged badass walking towards a monster like it was nothing. He oozed confidence and focus and Tatsuki, in that moment, could see just what Ichigo had truly inherited from the man.
Then he and the monster started fighting, she could barely see him move, she could only get the barest glimpse of the invisible arms. And he fought as if that did not matter, the world filling with the sound of bone on metal crashing like thunder. Karin moved and landed on Inoue's disk, looking at her old man with the oddest expression on her face: awe.
There was no energy around Isshin's blade, even if he was a Spiritually-empowered being the way he fought was so different from the Devils. Sona could hardly get close without incredible effort, the damage they had done to it had vanished. She saw a flash of blood, as the combatants broke apart, a finger length scratch on Isshin's cheek and a long gash up the Hollow's chest. She did not think he had gotten that close. "Amazing," Yuzu whispered. Karin said nothing while Inoue was just staring at the Hollow.
"What?" She asked.
"He's asking for help."
"What?" Tatsuki stared at her best friend.
"He thinks I can help him, but I don't know what he wants me to do?"
"Be easy prey?" She snapped, clenching her fists.
"No," Inoue said, "He could have killed me already."
Tatsuki bit back a growl and refocused on the fight in front of her, Sona had reformed that water armor of hers, looking like nothing other than a bargain-bin sized Susano'o from Naruto. She engaged the thing from behind, as Isshin pressed the attack from the front. That seemed to make it move its actual arms, though Sona always retreated the moment they looked like they might come near her. It would not have been a workable strategy without a second aggressor and she could not have known he was coming. So the fact that she had adjusted her strategy on the fly was amazing, Hell, as far as she could tell all the women in Ichigo's life were amazing, everyone except her.
"You do know that with that kind of attitude you're never going to get anywhere silly." Tatsuki blinked, where the hell had that voice come from? "Honestly you need to put some pep in your step, the journey of a thousand miles and all that. You know that you're not going to be amazing at the start, your Karate Master told you that."
Great, she was going crazy. "No you're not, Ichigo thinks this is how all Zanpackto work so when he makes his own version this is how we act." Tatuski looked down at her hands, both covered by the black and white glove. "Yep thats me, the part of your Soul forged for battle, the warrior of sunshine and love, ********."
'What?' She thought. 'I am not sunshine and love.'
"Yes you areeee." The perky voice replied though the words ended in a sigh. "Though you can't hear my name, hmmm. Oh, I know, since you say you are not doing anything worthwhile, inward you goooooooo!"
The world twisted and faded away, Tatsuki felt like she was falling, falling forever and then...she looked around at what appeared to be an endless dojo. She could see equipment everywhere, well-kept but unused. There was a stillness in the air that felt wrong somehow. "Yeah, I don't like the quiet either." Tatsuki whirled but saw no one. "You've become such a pessimistic stick in the mud, I wonder if you still know how to have fun. I mean, you say no to the things you want."
Somehow Tatsuki knew the voice referred to and flushed. "I am not comfortable with the idea of a Harem!"
"Tatsuki, you can't lie to me here, I am you, this is your Soul, You aren't comfortable with the idea you get to have Ichigo and Orihime both."
"S-S-S-Shut up." Her face was so flushed she was surprised it did not burst into flame.
"To have both of them holding you, to spend nights in her bed snuggled up to the kindest, most loving girl you ever met."
"Shut Up!" She ran, looking for the voice, but it always stayed out of sight. "To walk down the aisle in a pretty white dress, ohhh. You used to do so much with that mind of ours, when was the last time we sat down and read a book? Normal or dirty, it does not matter. What was the last time we did something for the fun of it, without overthinking it? I'll tell you, it's been a hell of a long time."
"Knowing what I know now, knowing how useless I was?!"
"Tatsuki," The voice sounded sad and perky at the time, "There are always things out of our control, even for normal humans. Most don't have the power to stop a nuke, but they know it exists. They know they are slowly killing the environment…which when Gaia fully wakes up is going to be epic. Bad things happen all the time and there is time to think about them, to try and do things about them. But there is also time for fun, for love, for joy, your life is wondrous Tatsuki Arisawa. Now, it's going to be a long life, so long, its going to let you stand next to Orihime, to Ichigo for perhaps the rest of their near-endless lives."
Tatsuki stopped running, part of her must have known this but wow, a life that could extend into the thousands of years. "And why not take love, why not take fun, why not train and become strong, why not laugh in the faces of your enemies, why not kiss and fuck the ones you love. There is so much Yang in you, let the Yin flow for a little bit."
"Its not that easy."
"Only because you think it is not. It is easy, it is simple, tell Inoue that you love her, tell her you love her more than just as a friend and see what happens. Worst case you stay friends, how is that hard?" Tatsuki could not answer, she could only hide her face in her hands. "It really is that simple, do you want to spend the rest of your life alone? Tatsuki you are allowed to be happy, you are allowed to cast aside the labels, You are allowed to be strong, you are allowed to love, no one can take that from you, but yourself. I won't let you agonize and agonize and spend years chewing your nails and hurting your heart."
"ITS NOT THAT EASY!"
"I won't let you hurt yourself for no reason, I won't allow it, this constraint crushes your Soul, hollows your heart and leaves you miserable. You have power, Tatsuki, but you can't reach it because you don't think you can. Luckily for you I am here, I see you, I love you, I care for you and I will help you." Tatsuki felt someone in front of her and opened her eyes and looked up.
The girl was beaming at her, a wide, real smile the same kind that Inoue would give so easily. She had strawberry blonde hair which ran wild down her back, with bangs that fell over her face in a disorganized manner. Her wide smile showed two small cute fangs with shining blue eyes filled with the joy of a thousand summer days. She wore a simple white gi with a black belt across her midsection. The pants were loose and comfortable stopping just above her ankle, showing her bare feet. The upper part of the gi was left loose showing plenty of boob and cleavage seemingly just for shits and giggles. Tatsuki noted that their chests were the same size, but like the rest of her, the girls' tits were impossibly perky. But what was most distracting was the two large white bunny ears that flopped around on her head.
Before she could do anything she was pulled into a warm hug. "Its ok to be selfish, its ok to want, its ok to ask. You are allowed to be happy Tatsuki, you know that because I do and I am you."
"I am not that loose." She snapped.
"But you want to be sometimes, remember that fantasy of yours in the first year of highschool, Ichigo or was it Orihime…I forget, well it was one or both of them taking you to the mat and having their wicked way with you."
"Shut up, shut up, shut up."
"No, I will not, I will never, not until you are happy." She paused, pursed her lips, then nodded smiling again. "Tell you what, I will give you my name and with it power, power that might make a difference and even if it does not you will get stronger, you want that don't you?" Tatsuki nodded. "When this fight is over and you get some time alone with Inoue, tell her how you feel and see what happens, I ask for nothing more." There was a pause. "And you can look at it like this, think of it as a sacrifice for more power so you can protect Orihime, it's a win-win."
Tatsuki hid her face in her hands as the girl danced from foot to foot, so full of energy it was a wonder her body could contain it. "You sound like a Hollow, only nicer."
"I am, silly!" When Tatsuki looked up again the girl's skin had turned paperwhite and eyes were glowing yellow, though it was gone in the blink of an eye. "Considering who made me and what he wanted, you are lucky he did not turn you into an Arrancar, we are certainly closer to that than most. It's why we have a Resurrection." The girl paused and put her hand over her mouth. "Oops, spoilers! Pretend I didn't say that. Ichigo thinks all Zanpackuto are cryptic and have tests so I kind of have to as well, but I gave an easy test, so what do you say?"
Tatsuki just stared at this bundle of joy and happiness and felt as if she was looking at her worst enemy.
Isshin did not know what to make of this Vasto Lorde, his only experience with the breed had been that fateful night. That one had not shown any real new powers, but it had been faster and stronger than him. This Hollow was all that and more and unless he missed his guess it was mentally disabled. The arms seemed automatic, or perhaps like they had their own life. There were flashes of sentience, but they all centered around Inoue or a dire threat to its life.
He could feel the power of the thing as they clashed, Isshin trying to stall its progress, weaving his blade in old defensive patterns. Thank the Soul King he was no longer rusty, having his ass handed to him by Aizen had shown him the need to truly refresh his skills.
It was the only thing keeping him alive, unlike when it had fought the Devils, its arms seemed to be more offensive than defensive. The worst part being it was so hard to get close to the damn thing. His Son's Bankai would have been helpful here and there was always his…but that was a trump card he wanted to save until the last moment. It was the kind of Banaki that might or might not give him an advantage against this opponent. With that regeneration it had, his trump card might be nullified. One of his Son's girlfriends had joined him in the fight, engaging with what had to be the most complicated Armor he had ever seen. The amount of thought, understanding, and will that had gone into a creation he was decently sure the girl came up with on the spot, it was amazing. It let her fight on even terms and it took arms away from assaulting him.
Isshin felt, rather than saw, an opening, a change of his swing into a long thrust, it was aimed at the mask and slammed into it hard enough to crack it, but before he could drive it though, one of the hands grasped the blade and the other punched hard enough to blast him almost to street level, his Zanpakuto falling and driving into the concrete right next to his head. "Ouch."
While he took a moment to get to his feet he saw a mother hauling her young son behind her, running through the fog. He recognized her as a local businesswoman he had interacted with a few times. Her ponytail flew behind her, that odd hat and goggles she liked flying off as she did so. Ikumi, that was the woman and her son, though his name had slipped Isshin's mind. A Hollow, blazing on fire and dieing chased after them, absolutely insane with pain, he hurled himself to his feet only to catch a glimpse of a figure and a thin line of light that bisected the Hollow and dispatched it. The figure slowed for a moment, and he saw the outline of a curvy woman, before it was gone. "Take a Right," He shouted to Ikumi, "Get in the Candy Shop."
She turned to look at him and blinked in surprise, Isshin waved. "Doctor's orders." Before hurling himself up out of the fog, his head and mind were clear on what needed to be done. Sona's armor looks like it had been torn apart. Though, to be fair, the Vasto Lorde was missing a great deal of body as well. However, it healed and it healed faster than Sona could restore her armor. He came in from below it and its head did not look his way, his swing was however deflected by its invisible arm, each motion sending a wave of raindrops going in all directions.
He abandoned his assault as it managed to force two of its hands through the water armor and close around Sona's leg and arm. "Getsuga Tenshou!" He snarled, the white flame of his attack slamming into and through the invisible hands letting Sona throw herself back and unleash a torrent of water bullets. Only a few made it through as the other two hands whirled at near godspeed to block and deflect. It left him an opening he used to Flash Step and rammed his blade into the thing's back, even as its broken arms slammed into him like sledgehammers. "Getsuga..." He snarled as its eyes lit with fire and its rear arms twisted in a sick, nauseating fashion to be able to fight him.
He twisted his blade and finished the words. "Tenshou." Ripping the weapon up though the back, the spine and neck. Its massive arms moved to protect its head and mask, he did not have enough power to force his way through those massive, powerful arms. Still, the blazing energy of Getsuga Tenshou must have cooked something important as its whole body thrashed like fish on hook, a shoulder rammed into him and it drove him back and the breath out of his lungs, leaving his Zanpakuto buried in the thing's body. "That's not good." He said.
Sona let go of her armor, he guessed she had another idea to try and both of them readied themselves. That was when the rain stopped for a moment, a blast of crimson darkness filling the air, leaving behind an intense silence. Then crimson rain began to fall and the Hollows currently burning, now burned with dark fire and died even faster, while the few remaining Gillians were starting to fall.
"Extreme Evolution." Came the Vasto Lorde's strange voice.
What followed was a torrent of Spiritual Power and something else, something he could not sense, but judging from the Devils' expressions of shock it could not be good. Their vision of the thing was obscured by the twisting vortex of crimson fire. The smell of burning hair filled the air for a moment, but the pouring rain washed it away before it became cloying. Bits of burning flesh fell like cinders, dancing among the crimson rain before going out. Steam began to rise as the fire compressed into a shape, then from a shape to a body.
Tall and powerfully built, its skin was red as blood, six full muscled arms stretched as if for the first time in eons. Its entire head was covered by a helmet-like mask, it had no eye holes, no mouth, no nose, and it was blank white. Its humanoid legs tensed and flexed as if setting itself to lift a mountain. The sense of the invisible arms vanished, but whatever this Hollow was, it meant something to the Devils. Sona was staring at it in pure panic, Isshin searched his memory for what it might be but came up blank. "Ashura." She said, but the name meant nothing to him.
No more words, no more noises came forth from the Hollow, its mask saw to that, there was a flash of static and Isshin moved with the Flash Step. The explosion of their clash almost knocked Yuzu off of Orihime's disk, but the girl managed to catch her. His eyes went very wide. He had caught two of its arms and stopped it, but the upper and lower arms were free, hands held in a knife hand position. He risked it all by letting go of them unexpectedly and grabbing the hilt of his sword, yanking back. The hands cut through him like knives, tearing slashes into his chest and face and sending blood flying everywhere. Orihime's barrier closed around him, starting to reject the damage. And Sona, bless her soul, had recovered enough to ram into the Vasto Lorde, driving it away, gaining its full attention. All six hands closed into fists and all attacked at once, the explosive defense seemed to only bruise the damn thing and Sona was blasted out of her armor, through the fog, and to the ground hard enough to go through a building and out the back.
What followed was a howl of rage so deep and dark that for a moment Isshin was looking for the Hollow that caused it. That was when the girl's sister exploded from the fog. It allowed the fog to immediately start dispersing, but the rain itself was causing Hollows to burn so it was not needed anymore. Serafall was dressed in her ridiculous magical girl outfit, pink and pretty, with a short skirt and long thigh-high socks, in her hands was a two-handed staff with a heart-shaped gem on the end. But that was where the silliness ended. Her body was frostbite blue, the rain that came within ten feet of her flash froze into hail. She did not look like his son's silly, but adorable, girlfriend; she looked like a monster going to war.
Biting cold swirled from her body as the Hollow set itself, crimson fire appearing in each of its hands, they all extended palm out and began to swirl in a circle forming an odd symbol. Serafall for her part extended her staff unleashing a serpentine dragon of arctic ice. It clashed with the crimson fire in a titanic blast of pure destruction.
A blond woman who looked like should have stepped right out of an anime burst from the mist, carrying a bruised and broken Sona. Even as the last of his wounds faded, the barrier fell and snapped around Sona, doing the same. "Do you know what that is?" He asked the woman before she could engage.
"It *was* an Ashura, a minor god of the Hindu Pantheon."
Isshin frowned. "Those can't become hollows…." He sighed. "Well, clearly they can, but what the fuck?" He stood. "How do they do against fire?"
Right, Isshin thought, no Bankai then. "Got it." They moved as one, hurling themselves up and into the fight, just as out of the corner of his eye a woman who could have only been the mother of Sona and Serafall moved to join Inoue on her disk.
Before them, Serafall was spinning her staff in a defensive pattern as the Vasto Lorde/Ashura thing injured her in close combat. Isshin was sure of his own brute strength, he could stand against that monster, but it seemed Serafall was it's superior in raw physical force. It was honestly a humbling and terrifying sight, the pure cold emitted from her staff seemed to cause a temporary frostbite on the Ashura's skin. Without it also being a Hollow, and a Vasto Lorde at that, Isshin did not think it would last very long. But that regeneration, the enhanced strength and power, they were telling. The two split, Serafall had been punched in the head and it was a testament to her toughness that she had only been stunned by the blow. Her return attack had blasted a hole the size of a child in the Hollow's chest, which rapidly regenerated.
It did not have the chance to resume its attack as the Anime woman slammed into it, fist clashing with fist making Karakura shake. The woman roared and the sound was an ancient battle cry as old as creation itself.
In response its blazing aura seemed to grow brighter, its Spiritual Force mixing with something Isshin could not sense. Feeding on one another and the resulting force was like nuclear fission. Hell, he was sure he saw parts of the thing's body break down then regenerate. It caught the Anime Woman off guard as a series of rapid-fire punches slammed into her, each as hard as the one that had downed Sona, as powerful as the one that stunned Serafall. It only knocked her back, bruising her soft-looking body, but little else.
The woman stood tall in front of Serafall and let out a long breath, an earthquake shook Karakura as the woman distorted, bent down to all fours, and grew in size shedding the vestige of humanity that she wore. The creature that replaced her was large, the size of a triceratops. Its center mass was covered by a massive spiky shell, with powerful stubby legs, a long neck, and a head that was an unholy mix of dragon and snapping turtle.
It looked powerful, it looked dangerous but also slow, very slow. But the Ashura seemed to take it as much more of a threat than Isshin did. The crimson fire surrounding it coalesced into scythe-like blades, glowing like the hearts of a star.
Serafall landed on top of the Dragon Turtle and hoarfrost gathered onto its spiked shell covering it in a layer of razor-sharp ice. There was a glow of power the two seemed to share, it shone like an Aurora Borealis that danced around them.
Isshin let out a breath and readied his sword, he came in from the side as Serafall and her...mount charged like an avalanche. The Ashura dodged the mount and moved to engage Serafall, The blades moved like flashing of lighting, and Serafall could only defend against two of them. Or that would have been the case except that she stood on a giant turtle from the dawn of creation that was far faster than it had any right to be. Its large shell spikes, enchanted by Serafall's ice, blocked off large parts of her body to attack. Sudden movements, like the top of the shell spinning like a top or the dragon-like head snapping off a leg also helped.
Though the crimson blades bit deep into Serafall's mount, the shell was able to resist for a time, but was not a perfect defense. Its body heat seemed enough to keep Serafall from freezing solid and their clashes were escalating. The temperature was going crazy, the ground was shaking below them and building up in strength and intensity.
"Miracle Levi Smash!" Four blazing swords crossed to block the staff as the shockwave from the blow froze all the rain, all of it. For a single moment, Issen interposed himself to block one of the blades that was going to find its mark, no sense in letting his future daughter-in-law get skewered. The other sword clashed into a shell spike almost going halfway through it. With a shout, Isshin forced the blade out of the way and cut deep into the Vasto Lorde, but there seemed no end to its regeneration. If anything it was faster and kept getting faster, "The kind of attack I need to kill this thing would send Japan into an Ice Age," Serafall said in a calm, cold voice, "But I will do it." Isshin started to sweat at the thought, at the iron will in the woman's voice.
"No," he reasoned, "You would be putting my children in danger, Ichigo's sisters, his friends." Serafall did not respond and Isshin had not the time as he desperately blocked and parried three of the crimson blades. The Ashura was going taller, bulker, using its legs to hold off the creature Isshin and Serafall stood on.
"What do we do then?" She said.
At that moment Isshin did not quite know himself.
Sona found herself floating in deep, dark water, a depth of ocean that few mortal or immortal eyes had seen. There was something primal about this place, old and dangerous. But right now she felt at home, like this place was one of comfort and protection.
A massive eye opened in the darkness, looking at her with the closest thing to warmth that a reptile could manage. It did not speak, though she felt it could, it just looked at her. "Where am I?"
There was a pause and the eye closed, something stuck her, it pierced her body like a knife driving straight into her. It spread through her body flooding her with...power?
Her eyes snapped open as her body was mended by Inoue's power, the girl was still looking at the Ashura, her mouth was moving, but no words came out. There were tears in her eyes, that Sona wondered if the girl realized she was shedding.
There was no time to focus on that, however. Her Onee-Sama and her future Father-in-law along with Beli were engaging the Ashura, its godly power growing at an incredible rate. But it was not natural, it felt more like a volcano about to blow, the cracks of red that seemed to form on its body for brief moments before the regeneration closed it. But as she watched the cracks were appearing more and more often.
She reached for her power and it answered with a force akin to the power that she felt when Kokabiel had killed Tsubaki. "Sparrow." Sona blinked looking at her Mother, when had she gotten there?
"I told your Peerage to retreat, they moved over instead." And so it was, Tsubaki, Tsubasa, Reya, Momo, Ruruka.
"Sorry I'm late Kaichou.'' Sona blinked as Saji appeared, he looked dressed for a pool party of all things. It took her a moment to remember the rooftop rented for the party did have a hot tub. He was dressed in orange swim pants, flip-flops, and a Hawaiian T-shirt, "I did not know if I was coming when Ichigo sent the invitation." He glanced up at the growing Ashura. "Glad I did, I'm already feeling guilty enough about missing the Kuoh incident."
She felt a warm feeling at seeing him again, his absence was always felt by her. One of her family who needed time on his own. To work through what he could….and could not have from her. "We are going to need your power, my Pawn." She stood up, wobbled, but her Mother caught her shoulder. "That thing is going to blow and if we can drain off some of its power we might be able to buy some time."
Saji smiled. "Good, I have been practicing that." He looked around. "Where is our Rook?" Given the rain and his lack of a bond he could not sense that Ichigo was very much busy with his own battle.
"I need to get to him." Orihime said, her voice resolute.
"Who?" Sona asked.
"Mitra," she pointed at the Vasto Lorde, "He is begging me to help him, to free him from the prison of his flesh."
Sona closed her eyes. "That's not going to be possible, you are a Knight, but you have not been practicing your movement as much as you should."
"I know." Inoue stood up straighter. "That's why I need your help, all of you." She held out her hands and let out a long breath. Her bond mark glowed beneath her clothing, seeming to grow and spread. "I can help him, I can stop this fight." Her hand opened and flashed with gold light. "I can do this." Her power exploded outward, Spiritual Power, Sona surmised as she could not feel it. It washed over all them, and past them, glowing like a bonfire. The light gathered to her hand and formed a staff as long as she was tall. The end of the staff was split into three thin flower petals, each not connected to the end of the staff but floating there about an inch away from the end.
Sona shuddered and her Mother did as well, from the staff they felt something familiar, something...divine.
"I can give you all an opening." Sona turned to Tatsuki Arisawa, the girl had been incredibly quiet, up to this point, but blue light glowed around her with a quiet strength, she met Sona's gaze. "Listen to her, please." She smiled.
Sona walked over to Inoue, her legs now steady, the girl was taller than her so she had to look up into those warm eyes. "What can you do?"
"I will fix him or," She gulped and looked a little ill, "I will erase him." Sona shivered at those words from that person. But that determination was enough to make her decision.
"Get us that opening then," she said to Tatsuki Arisawa, "What do you need us to do Orihime?"
"Stop its arms just for a moment." She said.
Sona looked up and sent a message to her sister after a moment she nodded. "Ok, here is what we are going to do."
Inoue clutched her staff staring at the creature pleading for help even now, it was so odd that only she could hear it like it was on a frequency no one else was aware of. "Help me, Save me, Kill me, End this, End, End, End, Ashoasundari Help me."
"I'm coming." She whispered.
Tatsuki gave her a look of concern, but she could not spare the focus to reassure her that everything was fine. Because it was not, the staff was so cold in her hands, yet it felt like she was holding a living thing, it pulsed with power, but like the voice of the Ashura, no one else seemed to hear it. Sweat beaded across her forehead, under her arms, and everywhere else. It was like she was both the most alive she had ever been and the sickest. She could see waves of energy rippling off her staff and the word seemed to stretch in and out with every pulse.
"Orihime!" She blinked as she realized Tatsuki was speaking to her "Are you ready?" She nodded. Forcing her eyes back to the fight, she waited, tensing her legs, leaning on the staff for support at a sudden bout of nausea in her belly.
The Hollowfied Ashura was walking towards her, as Isshin, Serafall and Beli-chan gave way. Despite its plea for help, she knew it was coming to kill her, the creature that it was currently recognizing her as the greatest threat even as the creature it had been knew she was its only salvation. Whatever was left of the Ashura was making it slow, ponderous and it was the only reason why Tatsuki thought she could slow it down.
It was not dodging, its arms were its defense and its arms could be damaged, she watched as her friend pulled her black fingerless gloves on tight, her left foot was tapping on the ground, a nervous tick her friend had never gotten rid of. "I hope this works." Inoue heard her whisper. Then she clenched her fists, as the Ashura came to within thirty meters. "Bear my heart like a blazing star: Aurora Usagi!" Her whole body became wreathed in a wave of pale starlight. It blasted out from her in a wave, dancing wildly among the crimson raindrops. Her gloves had vanished and she held in her hand a hilt of...stars. It looked to be like a piece of the night sky had been forged into a handle with a length of chain which hung several feet down and ended in a mace head that looked to be a single huge star.
The larger change however was to Tatsuki herself, her hair had grown longer, her almost-purple hair slowly changed as you followed it down her back. Becoming a deep void black with showing a universe of small stars within its void. Then there was her...clothing. It was a leotard and like her hair and weapon, it seemed to be made on the night sky as well. It helped push up her friend's breasts until they demanded attention, the backside was so..thong-like in how much of her butt it showed. A star was right above that, hovering just off her body like a bunny tail and atop her head, two night-sky bunny ears flopped about. Around her hands and arms, all the way up to her elbow the night sky formed gloves. While around her feet it seemed to form shoes with heels, helping to perk up her butt, just the leotard did with her chest.
Then there was her Spiritual Pressure because to Inoue her best friend felt like an Arrancar.
"I am going to kill her." Tatsuki said as she glanced at her outfit and flicked her wrist, the void chain expanded and circled the disk they stood out five times over "Kill her so dead she will regret that she was ever part of my Soul."
However it seemed everyone else was far more focused on the Ashura moving towards them, then to comment on Tatsuki's transformation and mad ramblings. That if anything seemed to make her friend focus, the blush on her face faded, her Spiritual Pressure, almost the equal of Ichigo when he got his powers back the first time, exploded out, making the area around them glow like a starlight beacon. "Set your heart ablaze and go beyond your limit," Tatsuki whispered. In her dress, her hair, her weapon, the stars started going nova, all of them. All her Spiritual Power, her own and what she had been given channeled into one chain mace she held became wreathed in starfire. Her friend stared defiance into the Vasto Lorde, whose power dwarfed her own by an order of magnitude.
Tatsuki let out a long breath and said, "Endless Nova."Then she began to swing, with a howl of wrath and will, the mace head flashing around towards the Hollow, it blocked and the weapons bounced off, but where it hit, the skin glowed white-hot and there was an explosion of starfire so powerful it almost knocked Inoue off her disk and she had to manifest a barrier to keep Karin and Yuzu protected.
"Ahhhh!" Tatsuki screamed as she whipped her weapon around again and again, faster and faster. The star mace head became a striking snake, slamming into the monster's arms again, and again, and again, once, twice, a dozen times. Every moment Tatsuki's howl became louder and louder, the explosions rippling one after the other, driving everything back. Tatsuki's scream reached its height, eight explosions seemed to go off at the same time and her whip was pointed straight up. The fire cleared and the hollow was damaged, its arms were almost gone, bones showing, pieces missing and it was not healing, or at least it was not healing quickly.
"Hyper," Tatsuki growled out and the star mace head exploded in blinding light. "Nova!" The blazing star fell upon the Ashura and it raised what it had left in defense as Karakura rocked with the detonation, the Ashura vanishing in a blast that looked like the void itself had taken the shape of a bomb blast, within the heart of that blast there was a burst of light like the big bang and Inoue had to draw on her staff, one of the leaves vanished as her defenses became impenetrable for a brief moment.
Tatsuki fell back on the disk, all the stars on her clothing and hair winked out, her whip fading into little shards of void. Her expression and her body trembling made it clear that she was not going to be moving for quite some time.
The explosion cleared and every single one of the Ashura's arms were limp, its mask was cracked, and the bubbing regeneration seemed to be fighting some invisible force. Winning, but far too slowly. That was when the others struck, even as it wreathed itself in crimson fire, to drive them back, a small black line shot out and wrapped around one of its arms. Saji hauled back with all his might and screamed as his Absorption Line began to devour the crimson fire and channel it into him. A tentacle of hyper-dense water wrapped around another arm crushing it and yanking it back, Tsubasa, her body glowing with Blut, threw herself into the Inferno, letting it burn her, burn her clothing, but wrapping her arms around another. Isshin did the same and Inoue had to blush as she saw the differences and many similarities he had with his son in the body department.
The large turtle-like thing snapped out, its neck elongating into the fire and closing around its fifth arm, even as Serafall, her body frostbite blue, covered in ice which melted and frozen again, grabbed with sixth.
Inoue moved, she moved as a Knight, her staff raised above her head, triggering both of the flower petals left and feeling her body flooded with a power that could break creation and bring civilizations to ruin. A force that demanded worship and honor, that made her body warp and change, her hair running so long it flowed behind her almost thirty feet. So much power that it turned her body paper-white, reality screamed as thousands of orange lotus flowers seemed to appear and bloom then vanish.
The Hollow stopped struggling a heartbeat before her staff impacted its head...it was hard to describe what happened, how its whole life was concentrated and shoved into her head. The godly powers which pulled at its essence so hard it kept breaking him, a war of gods and Soul Reapers, a world in flames, life in law, and a woman, a woman who almost looked like her.
Inoue took that in, took in what it was, what it had become, its broken dangerous body, the Hollow that ate away at everything the Ashura had ever been. She found that small spark of what it once was and touched it with her power...and unmade what happened to it.
To those watching it happened in a flash, a single moment of orange light, then Inoue was just Inoue again, her body limp and unconscious. Two crimson arms held her up, each arm wreathed in gold jewelry, the mask of a Hollow was gone and in its place was the face of a handsome man, looking around him with such bewilderment and confusion it was a palpable force.
It did not do anything, it did not attack, it did not make a threatening motion, it just stood there confused.
To any Deity the shockwave of that was felt all around the world, every being of Divine rank forced to take notice. To witness the act of a newborn goddess and wonder what the hell was going on.
For the Hindu pantheon, it was very different as many felt a being, lost for eon's returned to the world.
Back in Karakura, the Ashura vanished as the will of multiple gods summoned him across time and space. Tsubasa caught the unconscious Inoue as she fell, even as Isshin caught Yuzu and Tatsuki.
"Wow," the Rook said, "Anyone know what just happened?"
Hope you all enjoyed the chapter, I might be changing the chapter structure see if I can make smaller chapters at a faster rate, but we will see. Anyway one to comics of the week.
Will the Programer
If your wondering the soul king scales to universal as he created the bleach universe and the husk of the soul king still serves as the lynchpin maintaining that balance
I am aware of this, and I have lowered his power to a normal gods level, he did not make the world, but he did make soul society or Soul Kingdom as it was back then, but in this merged world well things are a bit more complicated.
How can he use his bankai around people in the world of the living now that his power should be higher than yamamoto's and he can't use it even in the soul society?
The Amulet he was given helps with that, at least as long ranges, devel power does not crush people. It still is like a lead blanket and is not pleasant.
I understand why the peerage was able to take on that Vasto Lorde, it wasn't due to them meeting the beast in power it was due to them being extraordinarily gifted in a unique way that enabled them to get around its primary skill. Masterfully done!
Thank you, I was trying make it so at least this one was not a power slug fest.
OMAKE TIME! - Take One - The Hole...led to a different hole?
"Rias! Don't go through the HOLE!" Ichigo stretched a hand in alarm as she was flying towards it.
"I have to save Koneko!"
"You won't come out at the same destination-and she's gone..."He sighed bringing his hand down.
Orihime johs up to his side, "She went into the Hole didn't she..." She groaned softly into her hand.
Ichigo nods looking blankly at the Hole.
Uh guys shouldn't we got after her? What's the problem?" Issei asked as the others of the group joined them in worry.
If you have never been through the Hole before then you might not appear at same place.
"...So where is Buchou?"
Ichigo ran a hand through his hair looking sheepish.
"Well, we are Japan so that would mean she is appearing in-
Rias flew out of the darkness of the Hole and appeared on the other side ready for combat only...to see it was day time and near some tribal festival!?
She notices the looks she was getting and decided to ask where she was.
"Um excuse me! Where is this? I am kind of lost." She said lamely. As she saw no white haired rook in sight.
"Your in Paraguay!"
"...Paraguay? Where is Paraguay?!" She yelled out as she also just noticed the Hole she came out of was gone!
Back in Japan...
"She's probably somewhere in Brazil. If you don't have a destination in mind then you appear directly on other side of the world from your current position."
"Wait so you can get her right?"
"Nope. My Hole is always set to hueco mundo, don't know why."
"Then how do we get her back!?"
"Well she either opens a Hole herself or she flies all the way back..."
Back with Rias...
Rias was crying as her inner hollow devil consoled her. "There there, not everyone can make a Hole at the start..."
"WAAAA! How do I get back home!" She cried.
Okay was at first trying to do that MMD The Hole one but couldn't make it work. Not satisfied with this one.
-TAKE TWO!- Invading hueco mundo...again!
Ichigo kicks down the door only to see...His girlfriend laying on the smooth thighs of the queen being petted.
"Oi! That's my girlfriend! Give her back!"
She stares blankly before continues to petting her new pet.
"I found her and she is my new pet cat. Besides, she likes it here."
Off to the side Mila Rose bit her thumb at she looked on in jealousy as her position being usurped by the smaller cuter cat girl! It wasn't fair! She's been loyal! Why was she cast to the side for that flat chested pure white kitty!?
"Koneko! Get over here!"
Koneko was in lala land so she didn't hear her boyfriend...
Ichigo growled as Tier just gave him a look that said nothing at all with how blank it was yet said he lost.
Ichigo was not sure how he would explain that he lost ownership of Koneko to his friends...
Mila Rose cozied up to him surprising him as he looked down only to meet the eyes of a clearly abandoned women looking for a new master.
"Looks like you got a vacancy for the catgirl position, I happen to be recently jobless perhaps we can work something out...Nya?" She looked at him with hopeful eyes.
"Guy's I'm back! And I brought Koneko!" Ichigo yelled at the group who came running as he appeared through the tear in the dimension.
They all skidded to a stop as what came behind him...was not Koneko.
Koneko was a short, small chested cutie. This was a tall, busty, dark skinned women with a hole in her abdomen.
"Uh Ichigo...that isn't Koneko." Issei pointing out what everyone was thinking.
Ichigo huffed as if he didn't believe it but he would play his part.
"Of course it is! She went through a growth spurt. See look!" Hands her a lolly pop.
Mila Rose sticks it in her mouth and with all the enthusiasm she could muster said, "Yay...candy...Nyaaaaa..."
...What the fuck dude..." Kiba said.
Ichigo expected many things as he opened the garganta near where he could sense Koneko. He thought he was prepared for most of it, from finding Koneko fighting another army of Hollows, to even the worst case scenario (though deep in his heart, he knew if it was that, there was a near 100% chance of him flying into a red hazed genocide of rage and anguish).
What he did find though, brought him up short because it was not in the many possibilities he had considered. Such was his surprise that it wasn't until the anxious Rias bumped into his back that he finally took the step out of the void and into the world of the Hollows.
Koneko was fine. Or at least she didn't look injured. But she was currently sitting on a dark skinned and dark haired female Arrancar, and staring, unblinking, at another trio of female Arrancar who were all cowering -yes, cowering- atop one of the pillars in the room.
"Koneko!" Rias cried as she rushed into the new realm.
For her part, the white haired girl remained sitting on the Arrancar but her head snapped over so her unblinking golden eyes locked on to the redhead... For all of half a second before the pale Arrancar with two different eye colors moved a finger and Koneko's cat like eyes snapped back to them.
"Koneko?" Both Ichigo and Rias called her this time, in confusion at her behavior.
That is when the blonde on the pillar fully registered the new guests, and felt the power of the familiar orange haired male.
"You! The orange haired one! Take that demon cat away! Immediately! Before it makes that noise again!"
Seeing the Arrancar terrified left Ichigo confused, especially since he was sure she was stronger than Geimmjow ever was.
Just as he was about to ask what she was talking about, and Rias had reached Koneko to discover the Arrancar under her was very much alive but submissively still, the white haired nekoshou opened her mouth and emitted a clicking sound.
The Arrancar on the pillar, one of whom Ichigo was positive had been an Espada, all screamed and tried to hide behind the edge of their perch.
Eventually Ichigo resorted to picking Koneko up by the back of her neck, where she hung limply the whole way back to Earth.
As it turned out, she was in full cat mode because of a concussion, but returned to normal the moment Asia healed her. And the clicking sound was something that apparently some cats made when stalking prey. Why that freaked out the Arrancar, he had no idea.
Much later he would eventually learn that the Arrancar she had been sitting on was a feline themed Hollow, who had lost a staring contest with Koneko. Neither Koneko nor Kuroka would elaborate on what that had to do with anything that had been going on, though.
Ichigo (and Rias) would decide to chalk it up to a fever dream after all the stress later.