Hollowfied

By: Finn Mertenz

Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN BLEACH OR NARUTO. I DO NOT CLAIM TO OWN THEM.


Chapter 11: Remnants Of A Clan! I Will Not Kneel.

Tuesday 4:20am, August 30th 2020 A.D.

"My, my... What a stiff breeze." Orochimaru chuckled.

With a stark smile and wavering strands of black hair, this Captain stood in a white alley. Surrounded by cobbled chunks of Sekkiseki, the ruins of a battle were laid bare, clearly apparent.

Holding the ethereal outline of an azure bow, Sasuke sneered in contempt and hatred. Swiftly quivering a hail of arrows, this sapphire barrage sundered the tranquil night time air.

Coiled by the strength of this technique, the Captain for Squad Twelve ducked his head aside. Allowing stray hair to sing beneath pulsating arc's of Reiatsu, as blue as endless ocean depths.

"But you should know, I've studied that technique a thousand times." His voice was hushed.

Utilizing a high degree of Flash Step, Orochimaru teleported behind a writhing Sasuke. Sundering the bricked earth below in reply, dislodged boulders broke under this frantic assault.

Startled by the blindsided appearance of Kagerō, the lack of a Zanpakutō was no deterrence. Reaching with stretched palms, Sasuke narrowly rolled from her grip, staining his honored attire.

Unwilling to halt, unfettered by the Soul Reapers he faced, another arrow was drawn. Launched with the weight of cascading continents, chiseled tiles of Sekkiseki crumbled beneath.

Catching this radiant spear with the emaciated palm of a single hand, Orochimaru yawned. Adrift in a secluded word of trivial disinterest, the adjacent landscape didn't share his boredom.

Scorched and seared by the dispersed heat from Sasuke's flailing and tangible arrow. Crushed like an infant squeezing a toy, this lively sphere of light dissolved into pulverized embers.

"Bakudo #1, Sai." He raised twin tips of fingers.

Oblivious to the annoying Quincy he faced, Orochimaru directed his ire to a shingled roof. Focused upon Rin, both arms were forced behind her back, falling to her knees in submission.

Breaking this trance of Reiyoku. a hail of blue was launched, intercepted by a hasted Kagerō. Taking the brunt of this brutal onslaught, her chest and limbs were pierced and skewered.

Shielded from harm, Orochimaru growled after Kagerō's blood sprayed across his outfit. Once pristine and polished, blots of crimson stained its fabric, defacing his Zanpakutō's hilt.

Swiped in rage, Kagerō was backhanded by her Captain, knocked and flung to the ground. Stomped and swatted under-feet, she groveled as a sandaled sole struck the side of her face.

Slurred and stuttered, speechless and dazed, Sasuke's pupils swelled to the radius of saucers. Chastising his subordinate for shedding to much blood, Orochimaru bruised and battered.

"Stop! What are you doing?!" Rin stuttered in shock.

Sneering in reply, the Captain of Squad Twelve lazily gripped the protruding hilt between his legs. Taking hold of layered linen of violet, the unsheathing of his blade exuded Reiatsu.

"Whatever I want." Orochimaru scoffed.

Crying the words "Shed: Ryū No Kawarimi." Orochimaru was cocooned by an aura of bright purple. Revealing the curved tip of his Zanpakutō, hair rustled beneath the strength of wind.

Unleashing a torrent and vortex of thrashing air, Sasuke winced as Rin held her short skirt in place. Beyond the experience of random fodder or Lieutenants, they faced a true Captain.


Meanwhile.

Sporadically slashing and struck, Gaara's needle-pricked Zanpakutō grinded against foreign metal. Embroiled against the masked face of Torune, they fought beneath the rising sun.

"Where did you get that weapon?!" Torune sneered.

With squinted eyes of white, his assault was broke-off, parried by Gaara's jarred and twisted weapon. Stuck in her own battle, Hinata dodged and rolled from Fū shortened Zanpakutō.

"Swell: Rinkaichū!" Words were shouted.

Hit by this set of commands, his Zanpakutō vibrated, causing the sharpened edge to fall off. Rushing free, thousands of Nano-sized beetles scurried loose, congealing his clenched hand.

Spreading up his exposed limb, skin turned to a dark hue of purple, basked by rays of sunlight. Unrolling the top portion of his shihakushō, a muscular build was instilled by training.

Extending a clawed palm outward, this loyal Soul Reaper grazed the edge of Gaara's blade. Followed-up by a second thrust, this free hand took grip of his opponents wrist, ensnared.

Infected and discolored, Gaara recoiled in anguish, disarmed and fallen to his backside. Struggling with pain, he barely managed to roll from the swift stomp of a foot, howling aloud.

Disgusted and revolted by the strange Zanpakutō in front of his feet, Torune leered. Only a Soul Reaper was allotted the right to carry a Zanpakutō, a badge and emblem of honor.

However, the lively Human he faced now bore the same blade, an instrument of death. Puzzled and bewildered, Torune lowered his guard, subjected to a fierce blow from Hinata.

Blown aside by fiery torrents of white, the 3rd seat of Squad Nine crashed through brick. Racing to intervene, Fū's tantō was raised aloft, sparkling as it pointed to the dawned sun.

"Transfer: Shintenshin!" Fū cried.

Gorged by an ethereal outline of bleached ash, his blade physically doubled in size. Enamored with rustling wind and streaks of air, beams of light sprinkled down from overhead.

Breeching this tranquil depiction, Gaara's pain-steaked howls cracked like an old demon. Shifting to the twisted tone of a Hollow, his faded and colored wrist began to tremble and twitch.

Once holding the consistency of bone and flesh, skin morphed into countless grains of sand. Briefly missing his left hand, a pool of shifting particles fell from his wound, instead of blood.

Replaced by the hardened enamel of engrained sand, Gaara cackled with pupils of honey. Taking the tone of auburn, a pair of slatted yellow eye held the appearance of a racoon.

Held by an unseen grip of Reiatsu, Gaara's chipped blade was yanked towards his new hand. Pierced by jagged spikes from the hilt, his sole response was a hollowfied screech.

Stricken by wavering currents and coat-tailing breezes, Fū raised an arm in front of his eyes. Strained to see, his opponents were more than average Humans, finding their own destiny.


Meanwhile.

Traversing the Prehistoric Catacombs, Naruto was guided by Anko and Shibuki, lit by torches. Lining individual plates of Sekkiseki and steel, the 3rd seat of Squad Four pulled one loose.

"If we follow this path, we should reach the Forest of Death by noon." Shibuki exclaimed.

Detailing protest and annoyance, Naruto grew alarmed by a swelter build up of Reiatsu above. Convinced that a familiar sensation fought from sight, Anko hastily bit his exposed ankle.

"You almost fell to a Lieutenant, and you want to walk into the heart of the Seireitei?" Anko hissed.

"What else can I do?" Naruto scratched his whiskers.

'Train', the drawn out and dull reply that Anko gave, licking the gunk from her furred paw. A normal cat to some, and a feared Captain to others, her rank and title was well-earned.

"It's not like you can teach me anything." Blue eyes were rolled.

Mindlessly flickering her tail, Anko was consumed by darkened shadow, trailed by Shibuki. Reluctantly sighing before limping behind, a rounded corner hid Naruto from cindered torches.


Meanwhile.

"Not that way! That way!" Moegi mused.

Growling in annoyance, Guy sneered as sandaled feet clapped across tiled and clear Sekkiseki. Hurling a clenched fist forward, hardened knuckles crashed through cemented brick.

Spewing disheveled debris and pulverized pebbles, the Captain of Squad Eleven advanced. Tracking the densest concentration of Reiatsu, he searched for Naruto's whiskered face.


Meanwhile.

Dressed in infirmary wear, Chōjūrō lazily sat back in a wooden char with raised hands. Cut and bruised, he recuperated inside the medical compound of Squad Four, sighing aloud.

"Man... This whole thing is nothing but a drag." Shikamaru groaned.

Previously defeated and left by Gaara, a white kimono held the tone of fresh snow. Matched by Ryūzetsu and Ranmaru, these injured Soul Reapers all basked under the morning sun.

Forced to fill out paper-work, everyone begged Shikamaru to uphold their exams. Required by Shizune, their wounds had to be documented and detailed before being turned in.

"I know, right? What kind of Human fights like that?!" Ranmaru bemoaned.

Reminiscing over Hinata's strange and foreign technique, this bandaged reaper sulked. Explaining her own problems, and the opponent she faced, Ryūzetsu had crossed arms in front.

"A Quincy? Here? In the heart of the Seireitei?" Ryūzetsu hummed.

Speaking with pale and emaciated skin, strands of white hair were sparkled and pristine. Having no need to eat, that didn't deter her desire, snacking upon a sweetened cinnamon roll.

"You three can be so... Noisy." Dosu rubbed his bandaged ear.

Gathered together after failed battles and defeated ambushes, these Soul Reapers sat. Missing the iconic black shihakushō they usually wore, its replacement was colored white.

Interrupting this serene silence, an adjacent door of bamboo was slid open in haste. Exposing the vibrant and scarlet scalp of Karin, she teased the defeated friends in front of her.

"Oh no..." Chōjūrō sunk his head.

The 3rd seat for Squad Ten, this blue haired spirit was constantly teased by his Lieutenant. Embraced and wrapped by a singular arm, he groaned beneath his pain-filled wounds.

"Come on! That's no way to greet me!" Karin snickered.

Guardians and gatekeepers for this Land of the Dead, Soul Reapers couldn't age or fall ill. The only way to succumb was the infliction of wounds, earned from hard-won battles with Hollow.

Each Soul Reapers in their own right, this gang of ghosts all once called themselves Human. Now, they served a greater purpose, to maintain the continuous balance and flow of souls.

"Huh, what?" Shikamaru mused.

Utilizing a sole finger to clean his ears, clumped wax was revealed, as yellow as honey. Gagging in reply, Karin's weak stomach was enamored, leaning over Chōjūrō before throwing up.

Smeared and struck on his back, this recuperating Soul Reaper shrieked in rapid disgust. With a bile-coated back and attire, Chōjūrō ran into an opened bathroom, swiftly slammed shut.

"You'll never get a girlfriend like that..." Karin held a hand over her mouth.

Sitting in the foreground, Ryūzetsu rested atop an unhinged window seal, sighing aloud. Illuminating the expansive Seireitei, a rising sun reflected off her rippled eyes of white.

"Are you still talking? Haku usually has you muzzled." Ryūzetsu sneered.

Screeching in protest, Karin flung unfiltered insults, repeatedly pushing her glasses up. Rolling both pupils in response, the 3rd seat for Squad Eleven bathed under rays of sunlight.

Positioned on a cushioned bed with palms pressed against his ears, Shikamaru scowled. Stricken and annoyed by heated squabbles and dampened screams of feminine complaint.

"They always do this." Ranmaru held his chin.

Living as eternal spirits, life inside the Seireitei carried a certain charm and familiarity. This chain of written events was broken by Naruto's sudden appearance, the arrival of a Human.


Meanwhile.

The only one able to stand, Sasuke sought to blockade Rin from harm, weighted by Reiatsu. Even Kagerō was smashed and limp, sprawled across disheveled sections of Sekkiseki.

Gone was the innocent World of the Living he originated from, awash and swarmed by death. That realization held no affect upon Sasuke though, driven by the redemption of his clan.

Muffled by the foreign sound of reptilian scales scraping against tile, this Quincy panicked. Sliced in half by a Zanpakutō, his body was nothing but a mirage of blue, zapping his opponent.

Tickled and delighted, Orochimaru bloated with laughter, shaking off this assault with ease. Snapping his own neck at an impossible ankle, bones popped as muscles were casually torn.

"Oh? Using Reiatsu to create a makeshift carbon copy? Not bad." Orochimaru stroked the air.

"But, then again... I've seen it a thousand times already, maybe more." Interest instantly vanished.

Redirecting all attention towards Rin, he strolled forth, barricaded by a string of arrows. Laden the street with this barrage, Sasuke loomed inside a gashed opening in a steep wall.

"I hate seeing the same thing twice." The Captain of Squad Twelve spurred.

Driven on and irritated by Sasuke's frequent display of Hirenkyaku, he grunted harshly. Only a blinding blur of speed diluted his complaint, surrounded by ten Sasuke's, none at the same time.

In reality, Sasuke rode such stiff currents of Reishi he appeared faster than sound. Launching a swollen arrow from various degrees and directions, Orochimaru was swallowed by blue.


Meanwhile.

Direfully sighing, the Captain of Squad Ten pinched the bridge of his pale nose. The youngest Captain in the Soul Society, his spiritual family specialized in the annals of history.

"She should be back by now..." Haku glanced at an overbearing clock.

"I hope she isn't harassing the other Lieutenants." He caressed his chin.

Always buried in books, scrolls or novels, this young spirit rarely left his office. Lit solely by candles, stray beams from the sun rose over bridged rooftops and jutting shingles of orange.

With fair complexion magnified by the flawless horizon, he hummed to a knock. Encouraging his visitor to enter, Tenten pressed the sliding surface, kicking off her sandals before bowing.

"Oh?! Is Obito here?" Haku scurried to his feet.

Timidly stroking the back of her scalp on reply, Tenten giggled with quiet breathe. Respectful and genuine, as a Human, she died early, passing into the Soul Society centuries ago.

Now, reporting freshly uncovered information, she twirled clasped hands behind her. Divulging knowledge she uncovered, a secret party was planned, to celebrate her blessed Squad.

"A party? I don't even remember how to make one..." Haku mused.

Despite their distant humanity, most Soul Reapers died decades ago, in Feudal Japan. Too old to recall the fine treasures of life, most spirits gambled, trained or slept time away.

"That's no excuse! I met with Kagerō and Karin yesterday, their totally on board!" Tenten grinned.

Diving into the opened slit upon her shihakushō, she searched and scoured her body. Yanked and unrolled, the flyer for an upcoming celebration was dastardly waved for all present.

Infected by a devilish grin, she bumped Haku's waist with her elbow, giggling loud. Mentioning the unspoken truth that no one discussed, she made sure that Karin and Haku would join.

"I don't know... I can't show special attention." Haku swallowed a wad of spit.

Reacting with a sideways glare, half of Tenten's face became slanted and mischievous. Winking at the last moment, she extended a list of supplies, necessary for the upcoming party.

While other Squads rushed to their positions, too defend the Seireitei against invaders. Tenten sought to surprise everyone, to ease this tension by throwing a cheerful party of innocence.


Meanwhile.

"Naruto...? Naruto Namikaze." Iruka recited.

Reading from a list of names, this 6th grade teacher glared at an empty wooden desk. Highlighted by a crystal clear glass window, rays of freshened sunlight sparkled and glimmered.

"He isn't here." Kiba leaned in his chair.

Chewing gum with hands atop his head, a school uniform was unkempt and messed. Gathered to study and learn, class just started for the day, triggered by a morning bell of iron.

"And he took Sakura with him!" Ino wallowed and wailed.

Missing day after day, a streak of absence began to swell upon his permanent record. Not just him, Rin, Hinata and Sasuke missed in par, alongside Gaara, a loner from 7th grade.

"I know, right? I wanted them to visit the upcoming fair." Shino spoke.

Raising the circular and black tinted glasses he wore, he sat at the front of the class. President for the Science Club, he frequently encouraged others to visit and join, always failing.

Left open by a dawned downpour of students, the hurried clap of feet dashed outside a door. Preforming a thousand laps around school, Lee ran from the frantic protests of his teacher.

"Lee! Rock Lee! Get back to class!" Ebisu screeched.

Chasing his student up and down the stone hallway, he continuously lagged far behind. Hurdling his head inside for a brief reprieve, he begged Iruka for aid, seeking to corral his delinquent.

Ordering his students to study the predetermined section of books, Iruka answered. Closing the door behind him, these twin teachers scurried in pursuit of Lee, chastising his workout.

Checking to clear the coast, Kiba hunched over before shuffling through his bookbag. Slowly revealed, the fuzzed outline of Akamaru barked, kept hidden inside his opened backpack.

"Awwwh!" Ino shrieked.

Rising from her chair, she hastily pushed Kiba to the floor before stealing his puppy. Nuzzled and pressed, she groaned and squealed like an orgasmic teenage girl, thinking joyful thoughts.

"Usually, I'm a cat person, but he's so cute!" A smile bloomed.

True to statement, Ino held no love, affection or attraction for surrounding boys. Instead, all attention was directed towards winning the hearts of hot girls, especially Sakura and Hinata.

"I already read todays assignment, so, I'm heading to the library." Shino murmured.

Standing up his from desk, the grey attire of his outfit was straightened fast. Halted by the entire class, everyone begged and pled to copy his homework, unwilling to study hard.

Taking an ornate stack of pages from his bag, he gifted them through a crowd. Explaining which paragraph was which, he pushed past the closed door behind him, fading from sight.

"Well, I know one thing, Naruto has a lot of homework." Kiba chuckled.


Meanwhile.

"I see..." Koharu stood with crossed arms.

Basked by the morning sun, grey curtains were fully drawn, exposing an exterior blue sky. Suspended and spread across the towered city-line of Konoha, skyscrapers stretched.

Meeting this school principle. Minato stood in the shade, a hands reach from sunlight. An oracle of information, he divulged all that he knew, including Naruto's present location.

"And he took half the class with him." She pinched the bridge of her nose.

A 68 year old elderly woman, her face was wrinkled and blemished with liver spots. With a checkered and mysterious past, long ago, as a child, her entire family was slain by Hollows.

Now, the headmaster of her own school, she sought to educate upcoming youths. Too safeguard from hollowfied assaults, looking for the Reiatsu of a young, helpless and tasty soul.

"Like father, like son." Minato nervously laughed.

Lit by the sun, Koharu's grey hair was discolored and wrapped into a tight-knit bun. Held in place by a sharpened and traditional Japanese hair pin, two pearls dangled off the side.

Dressed in a pristine kimono of snow, an array of flowers were painted across the back. Etched into her shimmered cloth, they were bright and colored crimson, blooming wide and vast.

"He's so young... But then again, so was I." Koharu hummed.

True to statement, even those outside of spiritual influence were victims of the other. A child blind to Hollows could still be eaten or crushed by them, and cars or homes held no sway.

Fighting an invisible enemy in an unknowing world, Koharu was Human, but educated. Holding Minato in her pocket, she carried more secrets than a ghost, intended for the grave.


Meanwhile.

"Oh yea, baby!" Gaara howled.

Possessing yellow and racoon-like eyes, lips were sprawled and shaped into a smile. Wicked and twisted, sharpened teeth resembled razors and needles, cloaked by heated breathe.

"He can't be Human!" Fū protested.

Brandishing the shortened blade of his Zanpakutō, he anxiously anticipatied combat. Still buried beneath rumble, Torune was unable to assist, causing his partner to stiffen and stand.

"Swallow The Land: Shukaku!" Gaara cried.

Swinging a rusted edge against cobbled Sekkiseki below, they turned to white sand. Emboldened by a vocabular command, the Shikai of his Zanpakutō emanated an aura of brown.

Parrying a swept strike from Fū, grained sand dispersed beneath bedazzled Reiatsu. Attempting to swap minds, the 4th seat of Squad Nine fought with a released form of Shikai.

Strained to bypass and evade unpredicted swipes from Gaara, this Soul Reaper spun. Blocking a horizontal slash, Fū's feet plunged below bricked Sekkiseki, weighted down by Reiatsu.

Recovered from Hinata's past distress, Torune rose from a broken pile of dusted debris. With darkened and violet skin, miniaturized beetles swarmed upon his right palm, reaching.

Met and laden by flat hands of fiery white, Hinata halted his advance, basked by Reiryoku. To most, contact with Torune's released Zanpakutō was a death sentence, bloated infection.

However, Hinata's strange and foreign fighting style was a rigid safeguard against insects. Holding the line, students from middle school were embroiled against spiritual Soul Reapers.

To some, Fū and Torune were emotionless soldiers, devoid of any sensation or feeling. In truth, even these distanced spirits were once Human, robbed of life over a hundred years ago.

Now, they sought to find their own value, to fight for worth inside Danzo's crucial gaze. Instead of the pink-haired friend their opponents searched for, they defended the Seireitei.

Controlled sand was manipulated and sliced, hurled like shifting whips of granular dust. Struck and battered by these streams, Fū was swept and swallowed, thrown backwards.

But, this imbalanced Soul Reaper was aided by his close friend, the Zanpakutō of Torune. Devoid of a blade, its girth consisted of a buzzing and violent-tinted swarm of insects.

Colliding against one another, nano-sized beetles met a spread and vast screen of blankets of purple and brown, loosened grains and dislodged insects spewed.

Blown aside by a flattened thrust of white, a vacuum of air was carved by Hinata's hand. Proving herself time and time again, the foolish and quiet child from middle school was gone.

Replaced by a proud and noble warrior, Hinata stood for the fate of her endangered friends. Disturbed by Gaara's heinous laughter, that didn't deter her burning desire to never give up.


Meanwhile.

Evaporating like a blur of blue, Sasuke remerged over a dozen times with quickened haste. Launching a thousand arrows, each was aimed and directed with precision towards Orochimaru.

Crushed beneath conflicting weight of Reiatsu and Reiryoku, Rin and Kagerō were trapped. Forced to hopelessly watch, the environment wavered around them, breaking Sekkiseki.

Striving to overwhelm his reptilian opponent, Sasuke fought with ethereal arrows of azure. Bridging this ranged distance, he swung an extended foot outward, caught by a white hand.

Slung with laughter, the Captain of Squad Twelve tossed this child-sized Quincy with ease. Slammed and battered, this survivor of an endangered clan fumbled to regain his balance.

Utilizing a sole palm to flip upright, he fired a transparent barrage with no visible draw. Propelled by sheer willpower, they soared like an onslaught of sapphire, glimmered and radiant.

Singed and seared, smeared and engulfed, the entirety of Orochimaru's left arm was lost. Replaced by ashy flakes of black, the only response was chuckled, ignoring pooled blood.

"Ouch, that really hurt." Orochimaru sneezed.

Left in awe and bewilderment, Sasuke froze stiff, examining the gored wound he inflicted. Infused with Reiryoku, oozed bile of crimson changed in color and tone, turning pure white.

Taking the thick texture of paste, a thousand scales instantly took shape, coiled and sprang. Morphed into a yellow-eyed snake, his missing limb was replaced with no delay or waste.

Containing its own conscience, this snowy snake swallowed a direct arrow of fiery Reiatsu. Followed by a steep swipe from Orochimaru's Zanpakutō, no arrow was able to break through.

Panting from exhaustion and trepidation, the last heir of the Quincy solemnly trembled. Brought to a pinnacle of exertion, this continued confrontation drained the breathe from him.

"But I already told you, I'm beyond wounds like that." He cackled.

Cloaked by rippled lines, this Captain vanished in a flash of light, reappearing behind. Loomed and positioned over Sasuke's shoulder, a tongue slithered and draped from his mouth.

Spun and twisted, Sasuke's spiritual bow was lashed like a vibrant staff of blue might. Caught by the naked palm of Orochimaru, swaying streams rustled beneath this harsh grip.

Fighting for his life, and the well-being of his friends, Sasuke's mind began to drift. Fading and falling through the canals of history, he pondered far-off and reminiscent thoughts.

-Flashback-

"Not bad." Shisui joyfully laughed.

With an outstretched hand, he rubbed and scrubbed the spiked scalp of a young Sasuke. Just past his 7th birthday, this innocent Quincy was placed alongside his icon and role-model.

Basked by rays of sunlight, the muffled sound of singing birds permeated the tree-line. Nestled beside a lush and rushing river, blades of green grass were moist and dampened.

"If you keep this up, you'll be a prodigy!" He scratched his nose.

Educating his apprentice, Shisui's attire consisted of a black sweater with a raised collar. Matching the pants and open-toed shoes he wore, a stray rock was lifted from the embankment.

Thrown across the stream, distinct ripples spread, splashed and echoed like waves. Reaching the opposing shoreline, this miniature pebble obtained safety, rescued from a watery grave.

"I'll never be as good as you." Sasuke stammered.

Short of air and strained to breath, his back rested against the wooden bark of a tree. Oaken and tall, this bulk protruded from the grassy earth, stretching towards a blue sky.

Covered and scoffed with dirt, a rigorous training exercise was fast in completion. Fingertips were burnt and coated in steam, scarred from constant exposure to heated Reiatsu.

"Don't say that, you remind me a lot of your brother." Shisui smiled.

Dragging a sole finger horizontally beneath his nose, this 13 year old Quincy stood tall. Intimidating because of his size, he towered over the slouched child he tutored and trained.

A sibling he once loved and lingered, weeks and months had past since Sasuke saw him. The disappearance of Itachi was cemented into reality, gone like the whole aspect of their clan.

Rogue warriors on the run, these Quincy were eventually surrounded by muffled whispers. Chased by countless Soul Reapers, they sought to reobtain the balance, a ward between worlds.

Stricken with anguish and panic, Sasuke cowered at the sound of trampled grass and earth. Instinctively pushed behind his sensei, Shisui blockaded this student from sight, hidden by bark.

Searching the forested outskirts of Konoha, a diverse group of Soul Reapers were assembled. Nameless and faceless, their number was beyond count, but their skill was nonexistent.

"Maybe a hundred? You can take em!" Sasuke encouraged.

Truly, Shisui could eradicate these sleuthed reapers with no effort and bare hands of flesh. But, this would only worsen the situation, giving rise to greater detachments of Soul Reapers.

The Seireitei dispatched these soldiers because they heard reports of Quincy activity. Their absence would only increase suspicion, bringing down the heavy hand of an elite Captain.

"No... You need to move on." Shisui's words were metaphorical and symbolic.

Shoved aside, Sasuke howled as he fell below thrashing currents of rapid and frigid water. Carried away by the current, his cries gave attention to his teacher, promptly surrounded.

Swiftly killing those that noticed his estranged apprentice, Shisui became their sole focus. Sacrificing himself for the heir of his clan, this was a tragic end for the most noble of Quincy.