AN: Disclaimer on Profile. Enjoy the chapter...
Atop a Red Throne
In front of me sat a pig of a man. Ever since I joined him in his stay in the Maggot's Nest he's been let's just say 'Testing the waters' with me. Walking forwards I continued on through the large line grabbing a battered tray.
After a few more seconds of the man's incompetent jabbering he finally decided to take notice of me standing behind him trying to get my food. Almost instantly the man's eyes widened as a smirk came over his face. He opened his gibbering gullet and said "Well, boys look who it is! The Big man himself. How's it feel to be down here with the rest of us, your highness?"
All across the mess hall eyes began to be drawn as he did a large exaggerated bow. I tightened my fist then responded with a simple question "Your highness?"
The man's smile seemed to grow wider as he came out of his bow and said "Yes, of course! You get your own private room, special privileges throughout the entire facility, and you even get to keep your Zanpaktou!"
A flash of irritation passed through my chest as I felt the chains on my ankles and wrists burn. A wisp of nostalgic energy trying to push itself through seemed to fail. I looked down at my sword with long black chains covered in Kido holding it in its sheath.
The other more smart people in the room slowly felt the build-up of spiritual pressure and started to back off while the overbearing hunk of human meat continued to talk.
"Oh, but what king would you be without your crown?"
The man reached onto his tray pulling a piece of white bread from the front and flung it at me. The pressure leaking through the Kido sealed chains started to peak while I walked forward and said "You know, what? I've been feeling kind of Hungry."
The ignorant man looked a little confused for a second as I continued towards him. In the back of my mind, I felt the presence of my Zanpaktou wake as the familiar feeling of all-encompassing hunger engrossed my thoughts.
The Kido binding me started to slowly burn off as the feeling of hunger became ravenous. I reached my hand forward and touched the man on the shoulder.
As soon as my skin touched him the sack of human flesh screamed in pain as I felt his spiritual energy quickly become my own. From my Zanpaktou came a feeling of bliss as the man seemed to gain control of himself for a second as he croaked "W-What are yo-"
He didn't get to finish the sentence as his already decaying body fell to the floor with the last light of life leaving his eyes. The only thing left that could even identify the man was the set of rags he called clothes around a dried corpse.
After my now daily sanctioned monster hunting, I returned back to the school with Rukia and Ichigo in tow. With a nimbleness, I never knew I had I scaled the side of the school reaching the rooftop landing right in front of my now soulless body.
I looked at it for a second then I said "Well, how do I get back in?" in confusion. Rukia being my senior here turned to me and said "Pick it up and push your spiritual energy into it. You should feel it try to pull more of it in. Don't resist."
I pulled on a small part of that residual energy in my chest and pushed it into my body. Almost immediately I felt a small tug come from it. I seemed to lurch forward as everything went black for a split second; then I was back inside my now soul-filled abode.
I felt a significant drop in the residual energy as I settled back down in my body. Rukia seemed satisfied with my attempt as Ichigo did the same behind me. Unlike me, however, Ichigo's energy didn't seem to change much at all. It still felt as unchained as before. Almost like an overflowing pipe spilling its contents into the surroundings.
A loud bell rang as Ichigo finally stood back up and I said "Well I guess we gotta get back to class then." while still being a little out of it from recent events.
Rukia nodded and started to walk off without a word while Ichigo turned to me with something I haven't seen on his face in a long while.
"I'll talk to you later Al."
I responded with a simple shake of my head and a smile as I walked back towards our class.
The rest of that day would pass pretty quickly with nothing supernatural other than a few snide comments from my Zanpaktou. I continued on the rest of the afternoon in my usual routine and after a few hours, I arrived back on the doorstep of my house.
I opened up the door to the noise of the living room T.V. and the smell of cigarettes. As the depressing attitude from this morning started to come back to me I felt a small flash of annoyance from my Zanpaktou.
I quickly ran up the stairs of my room as and yelled out "I'm home!" as I walked by the living room door. As soon as I was alone I felt a prodding from the back of my mind.
Yes? I asked.
My Zanpaktou for once didn't seem to be in a joking or...what's the word, ravenous mood. He didn't say anything for a moment then replied with We need to talk. Lock your door.
Thinking it was weird I responded with Why would I need to lock my door?
A burst or irritation came forth as he responded again in the same serious tone. Just lock it. Trust me.
Not saying anything I stood up and walked over to my large wooden door and pushed in the button on the handle.
There. Now, what is it? Just please no more giant monsters for the night.
The serious mood broke for a second as he let out an amused chuckle then said No. Fortunately for you, there will not. I said we need to talk and we will, but not here.
What do you mean not here? Where else would we?
He patiently told me Hold out your hand.
I raised out my hand at just about eye level as light blue particles appeared mid-air and slowly started to form a black sword from the hilt to its tip. After it finished forming the sword dropped into my hand as I thought back I thought you said I wouldn't be fighting any more tonight!
Starting to lose his patience a bit he just said Draw me.
Perplexed I decided to just see where this lead and drew the black sword. In the dull yellow light of my room, I saw my face stare back at me as it reflected off the black and red blade. My Zanpaktou seemed to be anticipating something as he said Draw on my power and let your mind be drawn through your emotions.
I reached for that energy in my chest. As I touched it the feeling of hunger came back; I thought back to him What do you mean 'let your mind be drawn through your emotions'?
He flashed irritation to me again then said Your emotions boy. Use them. Hatred. Anger. Ambition. Love. Passion. My power comes through you.
Familiar memories passed through my mind.
My first 'Friend'
My first day of middle school.
A red-haired girl with a sneer on her face.
I stared into my sword as anger frothed through my chest. I sat there for a while that hot feeling still in my chest, and peered into my Zanpaktou. Time seemed to be passing by slower as I heard a voice from behind me ask "Are you just going to sit there all day?"
I turned my head. Sitting atop a red throne was a robed figure. As I noticed him he started to walk towards me. His entire body was covered in long black robes. I stood there a little dumbstruck as he took another step forward.
On his face was a mask. It seemed to be covering...something. The mask itself had two red streaks on either side going upwards from the cheeks. Down the middle was a thin metal bar. Two large rubies resting in the forehead and in its crown.
Coming out of my thoughts I stood up and asked "Who are you?"
The figure didn't say anything at first. He leaned forward as the long robe swayed behind his body. I felt something weigh down on me.
Hunger. All encompassing hunger. A wound on the world.
"Well, that's one way to answer," I said aloud.
He took another step towards me, and I looked around the room we were in. It looked like a large tomb, carved out of red stone. There were large stone coffins at the edge of the room. Ignoring my Zanpaktou for a bit I walked up to one of the tombs.
Fortunately, he didn't seem to mind as he stood there watching me. Finally reaching my destination at the other edge of the room I saw large scratches all over the coffin.
No. They're words. But what kind of Language has...
I walked to another tomb and tried to read it. After a few seconds I noticed a pattern. Every single line engraved on the coffins started with 'Stai lies ari urvaz...' usually followed by a nonsensical word like Krayt or Caedus. My curiosity of the place started to wane a bit as I asked "Where are we?"
From behind me a voice rasped "In your mind Xaari." He let out the last word with a hiss.
"My mind?" I repeated.
"Yes, your mind." He waved a hand around the tomb as loud boom echoed from outside. I looked to the pathway leading out of this tomb as more lightning flashed from it. Getting a little curious I started to walk to the exit.
"I wouldn't suggest that, Xaari." my Zanpaktou quickly said as he saw me heading to the door.
He continued with "You wouldn't like what you find out there..."
High winds blew through the entrance throwing up red sand. I turned back. A small feeling of approval came from him as he stood opposite of me. I decided to start with a simple question.
"What is it that you wanted to talk about-" I gestured around the room with one hand. "-in here?"
He looked to me and responded in the same rasping voice "I need to tell you about something."
He paused for a second then continued "or rather someone."
Who would he?
Interrupting my train of thought before it began my Zanpaktou turned it's head towards me and said, "Your father...he was not who he said he was."
Feeling anger froth up at the mention of one of my father I tried my best to let him continue.
"He..." my Zanpaktou paused again and almost seemed to show some...guilt?
The emotionless mask covering the abyss that was my Zanpaktou's face swayed back and forth for a second.
"He was not human."
The frothing anger burst forth as I exclaimed "How could you possibly know that!"
He tried to continue but I interrupted him again and rudely said, "Well? Out with it!"
I felt a small amount of anger come through our, for lack of a better term, bond. His robe billowed out behind him while he went on with his point.
"He was one of them. A Soul Reaper...although not in the traditional sense. He prescribed himself to a different ideology than most others in the after-life."
I felt the unnatural anger in my chest almost forcefully start to bud again.
"You still didn't answer my original question!"
He stood there for a second and let out a low mirthful chuckle.
I leaned back farther on the tomb I was next to. My anger returned, an almost omnipresent force in my mind.
"WHAT THE HELL IS IT YOU FIND SO FUNNY!"
I felt something push me from behind. Craning my neck behind my shoulder I saw nothing was there. The all present anger from before was gone.
W-what the hell...
"W-what was that..." I said.
"This place is a representation of two things. The main thing it interprets is your mind...however, I also have an influence in it."
My zanpaktou walked to my side and leaned down.
"Stai lies Tulak Hord Tave ari iv sethi."
"Here lies Tulak Hord, The Lord of Hate."
He reached one black clothed hand forward and rubbed a finger along the words.
"He's one of your kin." he rasped.
I looked back, a little bit of confusion clouding my face.
"My kin?...Even then why would he be in my mind?"
My Zanpaktou's head turned to me. The same raspy voice came from behind the mask "At first it was not here. Your father told us stories when we were young. Great battles. Wars fought and won-" He gestured to the tombs "-in their names."
He stood up and faced me.
"And so I built this. To honor them, so they will never be forgotten. So our kind will never truly die."
"The Sith. Your father told us stories of his time in the great academies-" his voice turned pained "-of the early empires."
Being a little skeptical I responded with "Yeah, that's uh...great and all, but how do I know your-"
He looked me in the eye as a images no memories were pushed through our bond.
I sat there without a worry in the world. My father stood near me as my mom talked on the phone in another room. I stood up and ran to him a glowing smile on my face. He scooped me up into his arms with a large glowing smile on his face as well.
I looked up at him and said 'Daddy will you please tell me another one? Please!'
He put me on his knee then swept back his light brown hair with his free hand and said 'just one more for tonight.'
My already bright smile seemed to grow larger as I let a small 'Yesss!' under my breath.
He turned to me and ruffled my hair and said 'Well which do you want to hear? The story of the three brothers again? The legend of the Sith'ari? Oooh or maybe one about dear old dad?'
I looked up from his lap and said 'Oh, oh, oh! I wanna hear another one about your sword fights dad!'
He ruffled my hair again as he started with, 'So you want to hear about daddies school life? Well where to start. Oh, I guess I can tell you about a duel with one of my friends back in...uh...England. Yeah, England.'
A nostalgic look came into his eyes as he continued on with 'Back in England we would have li-' he cut himself off.
'Saber duels between our regular classes.' He put a finger on his lip thought for a second then said 'I was part of a special club in the school that would let me...get taught directly from an Ari, a Lord. I was called a Xaari at the time due to my position in the-' He paused again as a pained look came over his face.
'What was the club daddy?' I called out to him.
'Sith. We were Sith.' The pained look quickly went to haunted as he ended that line of thought.
I stared at him confused as to why he stopped. After a few seconds he noticed me staring and brought himself out of his thoughts.
'Oh, but I don't think you'd care about that boring stuff would you? A little bit too young for that.'
I stared back with a small pout then said 'But daaad! I wanna hear the whole story.'
He smiled again then said 'Eh maybe when you're older. But I'll tell you about how dear old dad used form two to kick Maul's ass!'
From the other room my mother exclaimed 'Honey, language!'
The memories faded away as I was left with nothing, but a single tear and thoughts of happier times.
"Do you remember now?"
I wiped my eye then let out a low "Yeah..."
"Is this all you wanted? Just to tell me my, no our history?" I asked.
My Zanpaktou's somber attitude started to shift as he reached around in his robe. I felt the connection between us cut off as he gripped something in his hand. The air around me started to grow colder.
Subconsciously my muscles tensed while he took one step forward. From under my Zanpaktou's black robes came a sword quite similar to the one in my hand, yet it was still greatly different. It had the exact same red and black coloring scheme and tassel on its hilt.
He pulled the curved blade from its sheath. The sword itself was, again, quite similar to the one in my hand; it's blade was black. The length was about that of my arm with a small flair at the end making it look similar to a scimitar.
My Zanpaktou turned it sideways. For a reason I could not begin to fathom, there was no actual edge on the blade. It seemed that someone had cut out its edge. Near the hilt there was a small one-inch indent into the blade that went up it's edge all the way to its tip.
I started to ask "What are yo-"
Spiritual energy started to travel from my Zanpaktou's body down the length of the sword's blade. I heard a familiar spark of electricity as red lightning started to arc from the hilt of the blade to its tip. After a few seconds, this arc turned into a solid beam of electricity as it slowly started to shape into a rough edge.
I got one warning from him, "Defend yourself."
As soon as he finished the phrase my Zanpaktou leaped forward sword in hand. Fortunately enough for me, I had the sense to get out of the way of the red hot beam of plasma that was going for my neck. I jumped to the side as quickly as I could then pulled my own sword from it's sheath.
Not letting up the pressure at all my Zanpaktou built up spiritual energy at his feet as he blurred. I barely brought up my sword as a searing heat was felt in front of my face.
Shit. Shit. Shit!
He leaped forward again with an almost acrobatic grace. This time, however, he flipped over my body landing directly behind me. A split second decision saved my life.
I jumped forward and stuck out my free hand behind me. Red tendrils arced from my hand to my Zanpaktou. With inhuman reactions, he pulled up his blade. The lightning hit the plasma edge of his sword as he seemed to push it forward.
As the lightning touched the plasma it started to reflect off of it back onto me. For a second I thought it missed me as nothing hurt, but that was only the beginning. The numbness quickly wore off and got replaced with red hot fire coursing through my nerves. I fell to the ground.
"W-Why are you doing this?! Stop it!" I yelled through tears.
He let the long plasma blade drag out behind him as he stalked towards me. Thinking the worst I tried my best to stand up and ready against another blow. Surprisingly enough another one did not come as he simply said, "Sith do not beg."
Standing upright again I looked at him and yelled "Yeah, well maybe I'm not one! I didn't grow up in t-that academy like my father! I'm just a kid."
Not showing any emotion my Zanpaktou readied his blade then said "Again."
Deciding to go on the offensive I ran at him raising my sword overhead. He stood there not moving as he readied his blade. The first thought that went through my mind was Oh, shit. As he suddenly turned his blade away and kicked me in the stomach.
I fell to my knees as a little spittle forcefully dribbled down my chin. I noticed the things around me start to get a little bit blurry as he walked towards me blade coming towards my neck.
H-He's not gonna. He won't.
My Zanpaktou brought the plasma blade down on me as I stood on my knees. I felt red hot pain as my shoulder quickly went numb. Looking over to my right the blade was embedded about an inch deep into my shoulder.
He's going to kill me.
He pulled the blade out and kicked his knee forward into my chest sending me flying across the room. A large poomf of dust came out around me as I landed on top of one of the tombs. This time the feeling came easier to me as rage boiled all throughout my mind.
Ignoring my wound I ran forward with a bestial roar. Gripping my sword I threw it down upon him again and again. The plasma blade let out a loud crackling hiss with each consecutive strike.
I changed my two-handed grip to one and lifted my hand up again. This time, with my adversary already being preoccupied with defending my strikes, the red lightning that jumped from my fingertips struck true.
Unlike every other time I've used it, he didn't fall down riving in pain. My Zanpaktou merely stumbled a bit as he pushed my sword back with me going with it. I used the momentum he gave me and landed far enough away that he couldn't engage.
He turned looked at me and said, "Better."
I let out a small snarl in response.
He looked into my eyes and seemed to be surprised for a second. He quickly put away his sword beneath his robes and stared at me.
A small "tsk." came from his mouth as he said "Force rage already? Damn it."
I let out a small growl again standing my ground. In response my Zanpaktou raised his arm towards me. Almost immediately I felt the burning energy in my veins start to recede as it quickly flushed through the air and into his arm.
I let out a few huffs as all of the strenuous activity caught seemed to immediately catch up with me. Fear flashed in my mind as I turned to him, quickly letting out small huffs of air.
"W-What-" another huff "was that?"
My Zanpaktou raised his hand in front of me as two small chairs rose from the red stone with a table between them. He walked to the one in front of him then said "Sit." while pointing to the chair nearest me.
After hobbling myself off the ground and picking up my sword. I limped over to the chair with my calves burning like hot iron. We both sat down in the surprisingly comfortable stone chairs as my Zanpaktou began, "That was..."
He stopped for a moment to think.
"That was a prerequisite for using an ability that used to be quite well known. It was called Force Rage. The user would drown themselves in their own emotions and with them gain immense power, at a price."
He looked thoughtful for a second as he gestured to me.
"I think that price is what you're feeling right now."
My exhaustion seemed to only be getting worse as I was drenched in sweat.
"There was also a risk of losing yourself to it, but there are also a great many benefits."
I stopped my hyperventilating for a second and asked "W-What?"
He put a robed hand on the table and let out a mirthful chuckle.
"Power. Great Power. All of your basic attributes are...enhanced."
He turned to the side of us and pointed to the black burn marks and rubble. One long finger pointed to large parts of the ground that look like someone shattered them.
"You did that yourself." He said.
I looked over a little bit in awe as he continued, "The last thing it does is give the practitioner an almost instinctual feel for Juyo."
"Juyo?" I asked.
His raspy voice answered me.
"Juyo is a fighting style, primarily used by the Sith. It's use of powerful overhand and sideways strikes paired with its raw aggression led to it becoming known as the Ferocity Form."
Finally, catching my breath I quickly asked "Then was the way you fought one too? With all the jumps?"
I felt like he would be smiling if he had a face.
"Yes, it is. I mainly practice the form known as Ataru. As you've already stated, it's mainly known for its widespread use of acrobatics."
He waved his hand in front of him and a familiar red glow appeared from his pointer finger.
"Moving onto something else. This 'red lightning' as you've taken to calling it has another name. Force Lightning."
He brought his other hand up and lightning arced between his fingers, but unlike before it was blue.
"Force Lightning is again a very powerful ability, although it does have some drawbacks. As you well know it causes great pain and damage to all it hits. However, it drains your reserves rather quickly so be warned."
I looked on as he continued the dazzling light show for a few more seconds.
He let the force lightening drizzle out then continued on.
"There is one final ability I know of that could be of use."
I felt the atmosphere of the room become darker. The mask on his face felt like it was hiding something. Something hungry.
The next two words out of his mouth would change my life for years to come.
The hungry feeling started to fade out as he looked at the sword on my hip.
"But your not ready for that just yet."
I looked puzzled for a second. I went to ask him about it, but he interrupted me.
"Don't worry about it for now."
He stood up from his chair.
"It's already been a few hours. I think you should head back now."
"W-what! A few hours? It's only felt like thirty or so minutes...n-not a few hours."
He didn't respond to my unsaid question. I looked at him an uncertain expression plastered on my face. I felt the pressure from before weigh down on my shoulders again.
"If you need my power. Ask. Call my name and we will devour all that stands in our way."
I started to feel like I was moving through water. Feeling my time start to run short, I asked once again.
"But what's your name?"
He straightened his back and turned to me.
The rest of my day went like it normally did. I waited around for a bit watching T.V. and haphazardly looked at a magazine until I felt a telltale rumble from my stomach. After it started to gain my attention I made myself a quick thing of instant ramen and then decided to get ready for bed.
The next few days again passed without much incident. I passed the time going through my same daily routine followed by a spar with my Zanpaktou inside my inner world as he has taken to calling it. He was quite consistently kicking my ass, although I feel like now I'm starting to do a little bit better.
After a few more stints of force rage and my more extensive use of Juyo, my Zanpaktou decided to change my 'curriculum' of learning Ataru. He taught me some of the basic moves like how to leap forward and backward or how to do the flaring flips, but he didn't teach me more than that.
Juyo was starting to become my bread and butter in our duels. I would use Ataru to defend or to reposition myself then burst into a barrage of furious blows. After about four days of practice, I noticed that our duels were starting to get progressively longer and not just me being beaten to the ground.
In other parts of the supernatural news, Ichigo seemed to be getting himself and all those around him into more and more trouble. It started with Orihime having an encounter with her long-deceased brother. After Orihime barely surviving that abrupt family visit, due to Ichigo, Chad came next.
Two days after I first entered my inner world Chad started to show up to school with progressively worse and worse injuries. At first, I thought he was getting into fights again, but when he got ran over by a bike, jumped by a gang, and hit by a falling steel construction beam all on one walk to school I started to think something was up.
Turns out I was right. At lunch, that day Chad showed up to where Ichigo, Rukia, and I have taken to sitting on the roof with a talking bird. After a few short questions, Rukia determined that it was a spirit possessing the animal.
Later that day Ichigo and co. ended up getting Chad involved with a hollow that had explosive leech pets and a hard-on for murder. Now that sounds like a party I'd like to go to! Unfortunately, none of them invited me.
Oh, but where am I going with this. I just thought it would be a good idea to catch you up on how I got into my current situation. Pulling me out of my internal monologue my Zanpaktou yelled Who in the hell are you talking to?! Pay attention to what's going on before you get us killed!
I looked forward at large group of approaching hollows. Five medium-sized hollows stared back at me with hunger overflowing from their eyes. I quickly looked around at the alleyway they chased me into.
Okay, think. Two blocking the entryway with three in front of me. How're you gonna get yourself outta this one?
The hollows meanwhile seemed to be looking at me with all of their bodies tensed, poised to strike.
I looked up at the side of the alleyway.
That's only like what fifteen, maybe twenty feet right? Hey, you think I can make that?
My Zanpaktou responded with I can help you with the output again; you just have to handle the jump itself and the landing.
Alright, go time. In three...two...one!
I pushed my spiritual energy down to my feet like I've done so many times before in our spars. My Zanpaktou meanwhile regulated the sudden burst of energy below my feet as I leaped off the ground. A noticeable blue light came from them as I blurred upwards doing a full 360 front-flip in mid-air.
Alright, come on. Just gotta stick the landing.
Hitting the rooftop a little bit high I stumbled for a bit as I tried to stop my forward momentum.
I felt a small flash of disappointment come from my Zanpaktou as he said, Next time use a roll at the end to keep your momentum and move forward. Or you could consider bending forward more to stop it completely.
Feeling another mini-lecture come on I interrupted him by saying, "Can this wait till I have the bloodthirsty hollows off my back?"
I looked down in the alleyway behind me as more roars echoed across the city.
Just what in the hell is going on?
The dumb hollows below me started to clumsily climb up after me as I took off jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
Well, any ideas?
My Zanpaktou responded with Well you could always charge in. I can guarantee you'll be fine as long as deal enough damage.
As I leaped to another building in front of me I responded with Any ideas that don't have me hobbling home after losing myself again?
A mirthful chuckle came from him as he continued with You could always call my name.
I took a look over my shoulder to see the hollows finally reaching the rooftops a few houses behind me.
You know that won't work. I still can't hear you. All I ever get is a few syllables and frustration.
He didn't say anything for a second then told me You're close. Very close. I can feel it.
The closest hollow to me let out a low Groooah. As it leaped one building closer to me.
Any time now!
My Zanpaktou quickly took note of everything around us then quickly said, You currently stand little chance in a big group. With my Shikai? Yes. currently? Not likely. However, if you could incapacitate a few or engage them one on one it would even the odds.
I drew my sword from it's sheath and tried to steel myself against the large soul eating monstrosities rapidly approaching.
Okay...What's that line again? Maximum effort.
I pulled one hand forward as the hollow jumped to my rooftop. Force lightning arced from my fingers to it's animal like body. Mid air a large GRAOH! of pain was heard as it promptly lost it's momentum and fell to the ground below.
Two more of the five leaped to my rooftop; me doing my best attempt at channeling my Zanpaktou's style I viciously pushed my foot forward. A loud crack echoed out as the smaller of the two went spiraling down the side of the building.
The last one jumped at me claws outstretched. I bit my lip and raised my sword. The metallic claws let off sparks as they collided with my Zanpaktou. I pushed my spiritual energy into my feet and jumped over the beast with an almost artful flair.
Contrary to the graceful jump, when I landed behind the hollow I raised my sword overhead in a two-handed stance then started to ferociously slice into it's body. Snarling, I pulled my Zanpaktou back out of it's hide as black blood dripped down the blade. Almost immediately, I felt a tug from my Zanpaktou as the beast's pain became my fuel.
With my reserves topped off again, I rushed forward letting out another loud snarl. The hollow saw it's last moments as I wrenched into the side of it's neck once, then twice, then a third time as my strength finally beat it's thick hide. A loud thump sounded out as the hollow's body collapsed on the ground; it's head rolling to the side.
That tug from before came from my Zanpaktou as the hollow's body started to slow shrivel up then disintegrate. I felt a similar presence on my peripherals, looking over the city I saw two figures. One had familiar bright orange hair while the other one was shooting bright...arrows?
Well, that's something new, but let's deal with this first.
I turned back around as one of the hollows I knocked down into the street below started to climb back up. It wrenched its long claws into the sides of the building ripping rubble free as it climbed up. The other two having seen me decimate the other members of their pack decided to watch.
The other one below me still writhed on the ground so I jumped backwards and decided to let the hollow climb up. The other two across the way kept letting out small growls as they watched. The moronic hunger-crazed beast emerged from the street.
It's beady yellow eyes stared into my own as it pulled it's last large limb over the edge of the roof. After a few seconds it stupidly decided to bum rush me again throwing all caution to the wind. Instinctually, I bowed my legs a little and started pushing spiritual energy down them. A split second before the hollow reached me I jumped up in the air just high enough to let it pass by.
The hollow dug it's clawed feet into the building trying to stop itself. As fortune would favor it the beast succeeded. Only tearing out a few loose shingles, it quickly turned towards me. The mask split open at the teeth as it let out another screeching ROAH!
Pulling up my freehand I pushed my spiritual energy down my arm. The creature fell to the side and started to violently convulse as my Force Lightning arced down it's sides. The two hollows watching across the street seemed to cut their losses as they turned tail and ran.
Well maybe their smarter than I give them credit for.
Pulling me out of my thoughts my Zanpaktou reminded me Stop using your our lightening before you drain all of our reserves. Kill the weakling so I can eat again.
I cut off the light show and walked to the writhing hollow. The creature let out another loud bellow as I kicked it in the side forcing it to show me it's mask. I unceremoniously raised me Zanpaktou in the air. A gust of air blew through as I brought it down.
My Zanpaktou let out a small sigh of contentment as he forcefully pulled the spiritual energy left in the disintegrating carcass.
One more. I thought as I jumped down from the shredded rooftop into the empty street. The hollow from before sat there on the ground writhing in pain. Not thinking much of it I walked forward sword in hand.
After this I'll go see what Berry-Head's gotten himself into this time.
The only warning I got was my Zanpaktou yelling at me You idiot! Never take your eyes off the enemy!
I looked down as a red hot searing pain came from my lower thigh. A white claw made of bone stuck through my thigh red blood dyeing its point.
I-It was faking it?
As quickly as I could I brought up my sword trying to stab at the beast. My Zanpaktou got lodged into the hollow's side as it let out a large Groar!
With it's other hand it grabbed onto my shoulder. I pulled my Zanpaktou from its hide as black blood spurted onto my face. The hollow let out another small roar and pulled its claw from my thigh. I felt the tension in my leg give out as I collapsed to one knee.
Fuck. Gotta do something, Gotta get up!
Warm blood started to gush down my leg. My Zanpaktou, surprisingly enough, didn't comment on anything that was happening.
Force lightning? No to close. My Zanpaktou? I looked at the barely scratched hide. That's a no too. Fuck!
I felt my skin start to go cold from blood loss.
What in the hell is it even waiting for?!
I looked up to the large hollow holding me on my knees letting my blood slowly drain out. Its large yellow eyes were intensely watching my face. It's mask was split open in a savage smile. It kept letting out small noises as it stared at me.
It...it was laughing at me. Rage started to build up in my chest.
This...This subhuman animal was laughing at me!
A cruel snarl lit up my face. My fury started to make my head pound. I slowly felt the strength return to my limbs. My so far quiet Zanpaktou flashed a memory in my head from our duels.
I let go of my sword and put both arms on the beast. It looked confused, but didn't make any attempt to stop me other than it's continued vice grip. The beast roared out in agony as Force lightning erupted from my fingertips. The red arcs came between me and the hollow burning agony into both of us.
The hollow let go of me and fell to the ground. After a quick series of convulsions it started to try and drag itself away. I methodically walked forward as my Zanpaktou growled with anticipation. Reaching the hollows back leg I stomped on it.
GRAHH! cried the beast.
Still not feeling my wounds, I walked around to its side and kicked the hollow over on it's back with my good leg. It let out another small growl.
My Zanpaktou flashed the memory in my head again. I stalked forward; the snarl on my face turned into a disturbing smile. The almost pitiful hollow started to let out small animistic whimpers as I finally reached down. I stretched out one of my hands onto it's mask.
The corrupted spiritual energy flooded all throughout the hollow's body. I could feel a connection with it through my hand. The fear and anger coming from it's somewhat primitive mind being the most notable.
My Zanpaktou didn't offer any advice but pushed our energy out into the hollow. I didn't notice anything at first, but then I instinctively clamped down on the hollow's energy with my own. The hollow's fear seemed to skyrocket. It's mind not being able to comprehend what was wrong but feeling the danger all the same.
I mentally gripped the hollow's spiritual energy, then pulled. At first nothing seemed to happen. A second passed, then two. At the beginning of the third, an ear-piercing wail echoed throughout the city. The wound on my leg started to rapidly close up as the hollow's body started to resemble a raisin.
The beast let out one final whimper before it stood still.
I looked back to the shriveled corpse before saying aloud, "What is this called?"
My Zanpaktou responded with Force Drain. Remember it well.
I let out a small breath then said, "Force Drain?"
He let out a feeling of anticipation It's an ability of my Shikai. Tell me can you hear my name?
I walked over to where my Zanpaktou stood embedded into the concrete. Picking it up I raised the red and black blade into the air.
Unknown to Aldwin sitting on the roof a building nearby there stood a small black cat. It's tail eagerly swished back and forth as it watched the young boy walk over to his Zanpaktou and lift it into the air. The cat stood up and got ready to leave, but not before taking one last look into those glowing red eyes.
AN: Woah, holy crap I wasn't expecting to finish this so fast. I ended up spending three hours on Thursday writing and finishing up this chapter. It's still gonna go up on Friday because I have to read it through and edit it a bit, but hey still gotta look at the bright side of things.
As you may have noticed from the stuff I've included in the chapter, I'm going full AU with this story. I won't go into the spoiler details but I've got everything already written out background wise as to how the Jedi and Sith exist in the Bleach universe.
I was originally going to have more stuff in this chapter, but the ending wrote itself in so perfectly so I decided to call it here. One last thing I'm going to comment on is that I'm still up in the air about a pairing. I know I'm not going to have romance be a large theme throughout because I don't have much experience with it.
I've thought about trying to get some with it in my writing, but I'm worried about bringing the overall quality down by forcing it. I'll leave it up to the readers on this as it won't happen for a while, but what do you guys think? Also, in the long run, I've considered letting someone beta for me because even if I read it over and edit there are still mistakes. I'm still kinda on the fence about this as well.
Other than that I'd love to see a review and see you next Friday!