Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach


Chapter Sixty Nine - The Return

Six Months Later

During the time after the war

Half a year has already passed ever since the great war ended. During this whole team, there has been nothing but peace among all those who took part and made it out alive. It was to everyone's surprise that the soul reapers actually followed through on what they promised. Naturally none of them fully trusted them even after half a year but it was a good start nonetheless

At this point, Aizen has already informed Kisuke of the potential transformation among the regular humans. This did stop Kisuke from searching for Ichigo as that was the more immediate threat, more like problem. When the two geniuses considered how huge the world of the living was, it was going to be impossible to cover the entire world before a transformation happened and the person in question could have done something threatening

Upon realizing this, the duo decided to try something else. They created some sort of bacteria similar to the one Mayuri used to spy on Uryu. Instead of it spying on a person, it would instead pass on like a virus from one person to another and would relay information if a human outside of the enriched spirit zone actually gained any traces of spirit energy

This project of theirs took them an incredibly long time to complete, nearly one month after the war has ended and plenty of trials and errors. Luckily for them using it was easy. They just needed it to make contact with a human that has no spirit energy. To cover the entire world there was only one way, to release it in one of the airports as humans travel from one side of the world to another

As to avoid any more confusions, when the duo began their project to make this virus, they infomed everyone about this possibilty, including the soul reapers. As expected, they were unable to spend any resources in helping with this as they were busy with their own thing, namely as their home was the one that was turned into a battlefield

When the arrancars have heard of this, they also began to scout as much of the desert to see if their world also changed and left the finding of transformations to the world of the living group. Even though they all came from different areas of hueco mundo, a very large part of the desert still remained unexplored. With Rudbornn's help, they were able to explore more of the great desert but all that effort was fruitless, there was nothing there. Only some random adjuchas class hollows trying to hunt each other. What was surprising though was that the menos forest now actually extended from what they originally knew of. After the war, the forest now had random pathways that lead outside of the forest that were still underground

These new pathways were discovered about three weeks after war ended. Given the nature of this, Ulquiorra decided to personally investigate this as he was the strongest arrancar alive. Again, with Rudbornn's help, the process went much quicker and after about two months of exploration, it was discovered that forests similar to the menos forest appeared in hueco mundo along with valleys and other land formations. At the time of discovery, it was deserted so it was decided that some exequias remain and keep watch, at least until they could make some surveillance equipment to put in the areas

The soul society, like the arrancars, were busy with their own thing, namely cleaning up the damage from the war. Gin has also opted to stay with them for obvious reasons. Given that most of the soul reapers were killed by the sinners, it wasn't a surprise that it took such a long time. They were informed by Kisuke when Aizen mentioned the possible transformation of the humans but that was it. They couldn't do anything about it considering their numbers and to their surprise and relief, the others actually understood them

The group from the world of the living probably were the most damaged, emotionally. The former captains lost three of their students, Chad, Orihime and Ichigo. Isshin was undoubtably the most saddened and was further complicated when Yuzu wouldn't stop crying, which wasn't to anyone's surprise. Karin was much more understanding and mature. While she too was sad about it, she did understand the necessity although it didn't make things any easier for any of them. This also made them closer to their father's side of the family as Kukaku and the other shiba's tried to comfort them . Even Kon was really sad at the hybrid's death and felt guilty about continuing to use his body, which to his surprise, nobody really forced him out of it

The war wasn't all bad for them though, as Uryu and Ryuken finally reconciled from their not so friendly relationship. They even accepted the other quincies as one of their own instead of viewing them as nothing more than Yhwach's pawns. What makes this different from after their emperor's death is that during that time, they were doing it for a common goal, now, it was just quincies just accepting one of their own. Other than Uryu, most of them just tried to live a normal human life while still sharpening their skills from time to time. Even though there wasn't a threat coming, it was still better to constantly hone oneself rather than get rusty

Ginjo was also having his own problems and like the others, he just tried to move on. While he blamed himself for Tsukishima's death, the fact remained that no matter how much he beat himself up about it, he wouldn't come back so he might as well live with it. Like with the quincies, he also tried to live a normal life

-Hueco Mundo-

Fast forward to present day, some slight tremors suddenly occured in hueco mundo. These tremors however, were nowhere near the strength of those that happened previously

Rudbornn quickly went towards the control room to see the source of the tremors as Kisuke has also created some tremor detecting devices in the event its epicenter is nearby. When he checked the instruments, he was surprised as there were not one but eleven epicenters within a hundred miles

"Rudbornn, what's going on?" Nel asked through their comms

"This is interesting. All of you should come here. You need to see this for yourself." Rudbornn answered and aroused the espadas' curiousity. It didn't take long for all the arrancars to arrive, even the fracciones

"So, what is this about, Rudbornn?" Grimmjow asked, annoyed that his training session was interrupted

"Take a look at this." Rudborrn answered as he drew up the screen. When they saw what was on it, they were surprised. Eleven epicenters of the tremors and every single one being in hueco mundo, and this was only considering that their radar only extended to a hundred miles, for now

"What the? Eleven epicenters?" Apacci said as she eyed them all, spread throughout different directions from las noches

Not wanting to waste time, Harribel immediately barked instructions. "We should split up and check out all of them."

"But if we did that, we'd be going alone, not to mention we still lack one to check the final one." Pesche pointed out

"That's true." Ulquiorra said. "Rudbornn, have five exequias accompany us to each of these tremors. They will serve as a scout and if you give us the clear, only then will we proceed."

"Speaking of which, maybe have Rudbornn's exequias scout the final one?" Starrk suggested

"That's fine by me. I will have the exequias meet you at the main gates in about five minutes." Rudbornn said and they all left after that as he prepared his exequias

It didn't take long for Rudbornn's exequias to arrive at the gates and he directed each of them towards the epicenters. Upon arriving, each of them were surprised beyond belief as what they saw was something never seen before in hueco mundo

"What the hell is this?! Water? A lake?" Grimmjow said in complete surprise. "Does anyone else see something?"

"I do. It appears to be an oasis." Ulquiorra noted as he arrived in his

Soon, the others arrived at the ones they went to and were greeted by the same sight

"I also found the same thing but for some reason, the trees appear to be similar to the ones in the menos forest." Harribel said and all the other arrancars also reported the same thing

Rudbornn then took this time to analyze and compared it with the previous data they got from exploring the pathways from the menos forest. He was surprised at what he saw. "Interesting. These oases appear to be directly above the other forests we found a few months ago."

"Really?" Lilynette asked in surprise

"I see. I say we check the area first for anything out of the ordinary and ask Kisuke or Aizen what they make of this." Nel suggested. The others agreed to this and began scouting the oasis in front of them

"Alright, I'll contact Kisuke and Aizen in the meantime." Rudbornn said

About an hour later, the arrancars came back from their little scouting mission. Kisuke and Aizen were already here when they arrived and has requested that they bring a sample of water from each oasis

"So, what do you think?" Ulquiorra asked as they all observed the oases from the screen

"That I can't be sure. I'll have to bring this to the shop to see if it is any different from other waters so that might take a while." Kisuke said thoughtfully. "What do you think, Aizen?" he asked, looking at said person

"I don't think this is any coincidence. What Zhakuro didn't mention to you guys is that hueco mundo is the part of the original world that was the main battlefield of their war against his father three thousand years ago." Aizen said and widened everyone's eyes. "My guess is he wanted to undo some of the damage but not completely undo it to the point where it would drastically change what we know of it."

"Then does that mean that this water is the same from the world of the living?" Nel asked curiously

"Even if it is, it's still best to test this out in Kisuke's shop just to be safe." Aizen answered

"Agreed. Although someone should probably check on the soul society to see if something also changed there." Kisuke added. "Perhaps one of the quincies who are free."

-Soul Society-

In the distance far away from the seireitei, something similar also begun to happen. Among the mountain ranges, many lakes have begun to form along with lots of rivers and waterfalls. Unlike hueco mundo, not a single indicator to any change actually happened here, which wasn't a big deal since it's normal for a mountain range to have rivers or lakes somewhere among them

-World of the Living-

Aizen and Kisuke returned to the shop not that much later after their trip to hueco mundo. They were greeted with Yoruichi who was just lounging around

"So, what did the arrancars want you to see?" Yoruichi said and saw Kisuke lifting a few vials. "Water?"

"Kisuke, I'll be on my way." Aizen said and began walking towards the door, not really wanting to stick around and watch whatever these two were going to do

"Alright, Aizen." Kisuke said as the man left

"You still haven't answered my question, Kisuke." Yoruichi said after Aizen left

"Oh yeah, sorry. Actually, some oases have appeared in hueco mundo." Kisuke said as he stashed away the vials

"Oases? As in those lakes that appear in the middle of the desert?" Yoruichi aksed as she got up, interest piqued by recent events

"Yes. According to Aizen, this could be one of the changes. Zhakuro didn't tell us but hueco mundo was the area in which most of the battles took place three thousand years ago." Kisuke explained as he sat down

"I see. That makes sense." Yoruichi said before looking at the door heading to their underground training area. "I think I'm gonna go to the soul society to see if something like this happened there."

"I was already thinking about that. I also thought about asking some of the quincies." Kisuke added

"When are you gonna ask?" Yoruichi asked with a dirty smirk

"Maybe some time later. The day is still young anyway." Kisuke responded with his own smirk

As he was some distance away, Aizen began to think about something, namely his conversation with Zhakuro and the horsemen before they sacrificed themselves. From what they said, it would only happen once things began to change. Thinking about where his objective could be, Aizen realized that it wouldn't be in the soul society so he travelled to hueco mundo

-Hueco Mundo-

Aizen returned back to hueco mundo after thinking about his next move. This time however, he made sure that he would exit in a place out of range from las noches' radar. Even if he hid his spiritual pressure, it would be pointless as that radar detects signs of life and not spiritual pressure alone

He wandered around the desert for quite a long time, only stopping by some random oases he found along the way, ones that were beyond the fortress' radar. Since the fortress did not detect anything ever since the war ended, it was safe to assume his objective wasn't anywhere near las noches

Aizen walked around the desert hoping to find something. It took him nearly at nearly dusk before he finally found what he was looking for, Ichigo Kurosaki. Unlike the last time he saw him, a large part of his clothes were ripped and his face now bore a scar running down from above his right eye in a diagonal pattern downwards facing the opposite side. Another scar was also there but smaller and it ran across his nose

"Ichigo?" Aizen asked as he poked the body

It took a few minutes before the body finally responded. "Huh? Where am I?" Ichigo groaned out as he regained consciousness and slowly got up. He looked around and saw that he was in a place that appeared to be hueco mundo only, it had a lake nearby. He then looked the other way and saw the one who awakened him from his slumber. "Aizen? What? How am I still alive?" he asked as his memories came back to him

The former captain merely smiled at this before helping Ichigo up. Even after nearly half a year of just laying there, the hybrid was still able to walk fine but Aizen could tell, this is probably the weakest Ichigo has been for a very long time. "I'll explain later. For now, let's surprise your family."

Ichigo just stared at AIzen who opened a garganta and left for the world of the living

'Did you two know I would survive that war?' the hybrid asked his inner spirits before finally following the former captain

"Naturally. As we said to you before, our goal is to make sure you survive whatever nonsense you get yourself mixed up in."

'That still doesn't explain how I survived that. I could have sworn I succeeded in that ritual to destroy hell once and for all.'

"Actually, you did succeed, Ichigo. The reason for you being alive is not one which you would expect."

'And I suppose neither of you are gonna tell me?'

"Nope. You'll be surprised at it."

"Besides, it is probably time for you to finally confront them, Ichigo."

'This isn't gonna end well.'

Meanwhile, Aizen was aware that Ichigo had not followed him yet. He figured that the hybrid must still be confused so he didn't bother to go back and fetch him and instead, used this chance to contact the Urahara shop. "Kisuke, can you have Isshin and his daughters meet me at your shop?"

"At this hour? The sun is already setting. What exactly do you want to talk with them at this time?" Kisuke asked curiously

"Just something that all of you are going to be really surprised." Aizen responded in a serious tone. The shopkeeper thought about it for a few minutes before giving in

"Alright. Where are you anyway?" Kisuke asked

"In the garganta. I'll be there in about ten minutes." Aizen said before hanging up. The exit soon showed itself and he exited at the base of one of the pillars from Kisuke's tenkai ketchu. Ichigo soon exited a few minutes after Aizen. "You okay?" he asked the hybrid

"Not really. I'm not looking forward to this and my body feels like crap." Ichigo grumbled

"What do you expect? You did after all, destroy an entire realm." Aizen said before walking. "Let's go."

Wanting to get this over with, Ichigo just followed as it seems that there is no running from it. They arrived at the Urahara shop a little over ten minutes later and the former captain entered the place first

"What do you want Aizen? And why did you want me to bring my daughters?" Isshin asked suspiciously as he entered the main room

"I have someone who I'm sure you'll definitely want to meet." Aizen answered and moved aside. Ichigo then soon came in and everyone's jaws dropped to the ground

"Ichigo?" Isshin asked, speechless at what he saw

"Big brother!" Yuzu said in joy as she ran to hug Ichigo, who gladly returned the hug

"Hey, it's been a long time, Yuzu, Karin, dad." Ichigo said as he looked at his family before nodding at his two former mentors

"What is this? Is this one of your illusions?!" Karin demanded to know as she grabbed Aizen by his shirt

"This isn't an illusion, Karin. I'm actually here." Ichigo said and looked towards AIzen. Only then did they notice that his clothes was ripped and the scar on his face. "So, mind explaining to me how I'm still alive?"

"Gladly. Right before Zhakuro conducted that ritual, I asked him if there was a way to ensure that you would surive. According to him, there was but another sacrifice had to be made so I asked if my immortality would suffice. They said it would but on the off chance it won't, they decided to use part of the soul king's power that remained on his corpse to make sure you survive although I was surprised you were able to regain consciousness as quickly as you did." Aizen explained and everyone was surprised that Aizen, of all people, would actually do such a thing. "That being said, it still wasn't a guarantee so I never mentioned this to anyone as to not give any false hope."

"I see. Why did you do that though? And how did you know where to find Ichigo?" Kisuke asked suspisciously and this piqued the hybrid's curiosity once more

"All of us, in one way or another, owe something to Ichigo. I think it's only fair I repay my part of that debt. The reason I knew Ichigo would be in hueco mundo is as I mentioned, it is where most of the battles three thousand years ago happened. As such, it is the only place that resembles hell the most and the place most likely where Ichigo would end up." Aizen said before looking at Ichigo. "Just so we're clear, I don't swing that way."

Ichigo merely chuckled at this while everyone laughed lightly. The traitor that they once knew has actually changed from what they knew of him. "I would be surprised if you did." he responded with a smirk. "So, what are you gonna do now, Aizen?"

"Nothing really. Just get yourself some rest. Everyone will want to see you by tomorrow." Aizen said and left. Even though he has changed, he still doesn't bother to tell what he wants to do next

Ichigo's sisters then began fawning over him like he was some sort of doll. He didn't really mind it as the last time he saw them, he said he would just get their father back. They spent some family time in the underground until Kisuke approached them

"Hey, Kisuke, what's up?" Ichigo asked

"Would you mind staying here the night, Ichigo? I would like to do some check ups on you to see if anything's wrong." Kisuke answered

"Fine by me." Ichigo said before looking at his sisters. "What about you?"

"That's fine with us, Ichigo. We'll meet you tomorrow morning." Isshin answered and his sisters nodded in understanding

"Okay then. I'll have Tessai whip you up something to eat, Ichigo. You must be hungry after all this time." Kisuke said in his usual tone

"Honestly, not really. I was unconscious since then." Ichigo said before remembering something. "Wait, how long have I been gone anyway?"

"It's been six months since the war ended, Ichigo." Isshin answered with a hint of sadness

"I see. Time sure does fly, doesn't it." Ichigo said with a smile and pretty soon, his family went back home. Kisuke then filled him in on what had happened ever since he was thought to be dead and to say the hybrid was surprised would be an understatement. He was worried about humans somehow transforming and gaining powers or something but the shopkeeper reassured him that it didn't happen. He even showed Ichigo the data from their little bacteria just for good measure before letting the hybrid rest

'You two knew that Aizen did that, didn't you?' Ichigo asked his inner spirits

"Yes, we knew that Aizen would do something to ensure you would live."

'And how did you two know that?'

"I'm surprised that you haven't noticed it, Ichigo. You are the first person that Aizen considered as a genuine ally and not merely a pawn for his own ends unlike the others who served under him."

'What does that have to do with anything?'

"When you find someone you consider an ally, you would exhaust all other possibilities before leaving them to die. That is just how things work."

"Exactly. That's like one of the instincts one has and the only reason you're even surprised is that you never knew him. Well, neither did us but the point is the only thing we knew about Aizen was what he showed. It seems that even he would not want those he considers as allies to die."

"Either that or he had a change of heart."

'Well, that's true, now that I think about it. Damn, my head hurts.' Ichigo grumbled as he grabbed his head. 'And how come this scar didn't heal? Is my high speed regeneration broken or something?' he wondered as he ran a finger through the scars on his face

"It is not. You have not been actively controlling your powers as you were unconscious for half a year because of the amount of energy released when hell was destroyed. The amount was so massive that it even hampered your powers. You can feel it. Usually, you would regain your strength in a matter of minutes but right now, it is taking quite some time even after spending a few minutes in hueco mundo after regaining consciousness."

"Besides, keep it. That scar looks cool."

'Will this ever heal?'

"It would but only after you've fully regained your strength."

'That's good to know and you know what, I'm gonna keep it.'

"Why is that?"

'Just as a reminder that of the crap we all went through.' Ichigo answered before heading towards Kisuke, who then began to do some check up on him

After a few minutes, Kisuke was finished. "You're all good, Ichigo. Although I have to ask, how come the scar on your face hasn't healed yet?"

"I still haven't fully regained my powers." Ichigo answered. Before Kisuke could respond, the door opened

"Hello, Ichigo. I made this for you." Tessai said as he put down some clothes. They were the exact color of what Senjumaru made for him many months ago. When the hybrid checked it out, they were almost exactly the same as the one he wore during both wars. "I apologize. I couldn't make it exactly how Senjumaru did." Tessai said apologetically

"Don't worry about it. It's perfect." Ichigo said with a smile

"Welcome back, Ichigo." Yoruichi said, relieved that one of her former students is actually alive

It didn't take long for the news to spread as Aizen informed everyone about Ichigo during the night. By next morning, the arrancars came

"ICHIGOOOO!" Nel said as she rushed out the garganta and bear hugged the hybrid

Since Ichigo was still a bit weak, he staggered for a bit before regaining his footing. "Hey, Nel. Good to see you two." he barely managed to say before seeing the other arrancars exited the garganta and Nel let him go

"So, you actually did make it out alive." Ulquiorra commented in his usual manner, completely ruining the mood. "How did you survive it?"

"Honestly, Aizen. He said that right after I left to destroy hell, he gave up his immortality to ensure I would make it out alive." Ichigo said while scratching the back of his head

"Well, it seems that you didn't make it out alive unscathed either." Harribel said, pointing to the scars on his face

"Wait, can't your high speed regeneration heal that? Or are you keeping it?" Starrk asked curiously

"I'm keeping it, just as a reminder of all that nonsense we went through and no. My powers still haven't returned even though it's already been a few hours, well, most of it anyway." Ichigo said with a small smile

"That's good. I still want a rematch, you hear me, Kurosaki? So hurry up and get your powers back already." Grimmjow said with a grin on his face

"That eager to get your ass handed to you, huh?" Apacci said slyly and made all of the fracciones laugh

"You have some nerve talking like that to me." Grimmjow said in a very angry tone. Before any of the fracciones could annoy him further, someone else spoke

"Well now, look who's back." the voice said, belonging to Bambietta as she and the other quincies arrived to join them

"Hey, you guys. I see the war hasn't been kind to you." Ichigo commented as he took note of those who were not present when he last saw them all

"You're one to talk with that scar on your face." Bazz B retorted with his own smile

"It's good to see you alive, Ichigo." Candice said

"Thanks. To be honest, I never thought I would survive that war." Ichigo said honestly

"Well, neither did all of us. That war was unlike anything we have ever seen before." Liltotto commented. The sound of clapping hands soon got everyone's attention

"Hey, hey, hey. Now that the kid's alive, what do you say we throw a party?" Kukaku said as she approached along with her brother

"Sounds good to me." Bambietta answered

"That's fine with us as well." Harribel said before looking at her fraccion. "Call Rudbornn to come here as well."

The others wondered how he would do some drinking but ultimately, they just let it go. The point was just to celebrate that the hybrid is back and alive

"Aren't you going to ask if I even want to party?" Ichigo asked in an annoyed tone

"No, because you don't ever party, do you, kid?" Kukaku said in a reprimanding tone

"She's right, Ichigo. We should just take it easy, just for a day. After that, we'll go back to our duties." Yoruichi said. The hybrid wondered what duties she meant but he figured it was about checking the humans every now and then. Still, he was going to have to ask later

As noon approaches, everyone was busy with preparing the party. Ichigo was the most annoyed out of all of them since he never really liked parties that much, especially the drinking part. During the whole time though, he was wondering if the soul reapers would come, or if they truly kept their word but ultimately, he just made his decision about it

When noon finally arrived, the soul reapers also arrived at the shop. Ichigo was really surprised that all of them came, especially someone like Soi Fon. Another thing that surprised him is that the captains all ditched their coats. They were only wearing some new clothes. The color was still black but it wasn't the shihakusho that they wore before. It was a different type of robes that didn't have that much of a fancy designs. It seems that they really were serious about putting the past behind. Ichigo's family has also arrived and the hybrid had his hands full of stopping Kukaku or Ganju from giving them alcohol, to which they replied Ichigo was a stick in the mud. To everyone's surprise, even Aizen actually joined in on the party

Eventually, Kyoraku and Jushiro asked to speak with Ichigo in private. The hybrid agreed to it and they went behind a rock

"What did you want to talk about?" Ichigo asked when they were out of anyone else's hearing range

"We wanted to apologize, Ichigo, for what we were planning to do to you if you sided with Ginjo. We know there isn't much we can say nor offer to gain your forgiveness for it." Kyoraku said in a sad tone mixed with hope

Ichigo regarded them both for a bit and the tense atmosphere only worried the two soul reapers that the hybrid will still consider them as enemies. "To be honest, I don't trust you and I don't think I will for a very long time." he finally spoke after a while and it obviously caused the soul reapers to feel down. "But, that choice is not something I alone should make. Since the others seem to be willing to give you a chance, I guess I will as well. Maybe even you guys can change. After three wars, I'm not really keen in having one again anytime soon."

The soul reapers cheered up at this. They really were thankful of this chance

"Thank you, Ichigo. I hope we can finally have peace, for all of us." Jushiro said with a smile. He and Kyoraku then shook Ichigo's hands, completely satisfied that all the hatred over the years was gonna be put aside

"Where are you going, Ichigo?" Kyoraku asked as the hybrid began to leave

"Just for a walk. I haven't seen much of the town since the war began." Ichigo said and flashed towards the main room. At this point, he has already regained some of his powers but most of it still hasn't returned. It seems the primordial energies were too much for even him to handle

The hybrid began walking around town, observing what has happened since then. The town was mostly intact with a few destroyed buildings here and there. Since they didn't use a tenkai ketchu during the war against the sinners, it wasn't a surprise that the town was damaged. 'You can't protect everything no matter how hard you try.' the words rang in his mind. It wasn't exactly what his inner spirits told him but that was the point. He really felt bad about two of his friends dying but there was nothing he can do about it now so like with the others, he might as well try to move forward. Ichigo then continued walking around town and he felt that nobody even came to look for him. He was glad as he really didn't like parties and he wanted some time alone

Eventually, he arrived at the karakura river, specifically the spot where his mother was killed. Since he wasn't in his human body, none of the humans can see him so he just stood there, looking into the distance

'I wonder what mom would think of me after everything that happened.'

"I highly doubt she would be mad or condemn you. In fact, I am sure that she would be like the others, regretting that someone so young would have to take part in a war like that."

Ichigo didn't respond at this and just stood there, gazing into the river. He was like that for a few hours. When it was about sunset, he felt two familiar presences come behind him

"Ichigo?" Renji asked

The hybrid turned around and saw his two friends. After everything that happened, he was surprised neither of them were upset especially after what he did to Byakuya. "I'm surprised. I thought you guys would be furious at me after I nearly killed Byakuya, twice." he reminded them

The duo obviously did not like the memory but they didn't get mad about it

"We were but to be honest, we probably deserved it. You just saved us from Aizen and the captains wanted to kill you like that." Rukia said sadly

"But Captain Kyoraku did say that you were willing to give us a chance to earn back your trust." Renji added

"I thought the thirteen court guard squads broke up?" Ichigo asked curiously

"It did. It's just a force of habit." Rukia answered before realizing something. "What were you doing here, Ichigo?"

"Nothing. Just thinking about everything that's happened." Ichigo said as the sun set

"So, you're not upset anymore?" Renji aasked

"Not really. Maybe we can still be friends even after what your captains wanted to do." Ichigo said with a smile as a breeze blew by

"Come on. Let's go back to the party. Everyone's waiting for you." Renji said and with that, the three of them went back to shop as the sun finally set

Here it is, the final chapter. Not the best one I came up with but this is how I wanted this to end. I didn't want to write it like after the main battle, there will be a massive gap in time from the epilogue and the previous parts. I never liked those kinds of parts so I just made mine like this. And yeah, I didn't ship Ichigo with anyone so grumble all you want. I'm not gonna ship him with anyone and honestly, I don't really think any couples would do in Bleach. Gin is probably the only exception for me as well, he was friends with Rangiku since they were small but that's it

I just want to say thank you for all those who stick with me up to this end. I probably won't be making any other fanfics any time soon since they take up so much time and there are other stuff I want to do

Please don't hate me for using a virus in the first part. That was already how I wanted to write this part of the story when I first came up with it

Well, that's about it I guess. Thanks again