Two weeks it's taken him to adjust to the normal schedule of the Thirteenth Division. Occupying the Ninth Seat, his duties would normally include the subjugation of Hollows deemed too dangerous for other members of the Division, or more dangerous long range patrols into the furthest reaches of the Rukongai. Jushiro, however, had decided it would be better for him to remain close to the Thirteenth in an effort to keep him under the radar of the Head Captain and the other members of the Gotei 13. It had only taken a few days for word to spread around the Seireitei of Tier's presence and his involvement in the process.

He could easily disregard the stares and whispers but what was more difficult to ignore was the constant surveillance courtesy of the Onmitsukido. Having been a member of the organization in the past he's well aware that they fall under the control of the Second Division Captain...but he's unsure as to whether it has been ordered by Sui-Feng or the Head Captain. Most likely the former, if he's being honest with himself. But regardless of who had ordered it, he always has a pair of them on him from sunrise to sunset. Of course, giving them the slip isn't an issue, and so far, he hasn't been approached asking about his disappearances but...he's sure that it'll come to a head eventually.

"Ishioka-san! Ishioka-san! Look-" The words are cut short by a crisp 'smack!' and Kenzo's head jerks in the opposite direction from the blow, staggering several steps across the tatami mats before he can catch himself. He raises a hand towards his jaw with gritted teeth, gently probing the area as an angry red whelt begins to appear. The hall is completely silent except for the rapidly approaching footsteps of Sentaro. "Ishioka-san, are you alright?"

"I'm fine," Kenzo assures him past gritted teeth. "Just a glancing blow." After a few moments Kenzo draws himself up to his full height, hefting his bokken and glancing at his now pale faced sparring partner. "It's your match. Well done." He bows to the man before turning away calmly and returning to the ranks of those waiting to demonstrate their skill in Zanjutsu. Several matches pass with the tension in the room slowly fading until the daily practice has finished and after cleaning up the members of the Division begin to file out, ready to begin their respective tasks for the day.

"Ishioka-san!" shouts a voice from behind, and Kenzo slows his steps for a moment as Sentaro jogs up beside him. "About what happened, are you sure you're alright?"

"Of course. It was a well-fought match."

"Didn't seem that way. It seemed like you were...zoning out."

"...Nothing of the sort. I was simply outclassed." Sentaro scrutinizes him carefully for several long moments before reaching out to firmly pat him on the back.

"Hahaha~! I suppose even someone like you must have an off day every now and again!"

"Someone like me?"

"You know! Someone who could take down a group of Arrancar and capturing an Espada!" His brow furrows almost imperceptivity. Is that what everyone has been whispering about? Rumors tend to grow in size the further they travel, and it seems this incident is no exception. A pair of what he would have considered to be relatively weak Arrancar had changed into a 'group'.

"It was a pair of Arrancar, and I'd estimate their strength as barely having reached Lieutenant level."

"Still! You managed to-"

"Ishioka-san!" shouts a voice, and both men come to a stop as Kiyone jogs in their direction. "I was hoping to catch you after sparring! You walk too fast, you know!"

"My apologies," Kenzo says. "I will do my best to measure my steps in the future, Kotetsu-san."

"It's fine! More importantly, Captain Ukitake wants to speak with you in his office!"

"I see. Thank you. I'll head there immediately." Offering both of them a bow, he calmly departs in the direction of Jushiro's office. Striding down the halls in the direction of the office, he's immediately senses a second and third well controlled Reiatsu within the room, creating a volatile mix within the small room. Arriving before the door he announces his presence before being bid entrance. "Ishioka Kenzo, reporting as ordered, Captain." Jushiro sits behind his desk while Shunsui and Tier stand directly in front of it. In spite of their numerous late-night chats, neither he nor Tier display anything more than a simple acknowledgement of the other's presence in front of the two men.

"Haha~. I see you're still as stiff as ever, Kenzo-kun," Shunsui laughs. "Relax a bit. Life's too short to be so serious all the time."

"I'll endeavor to do just that, Captain Kyoraku." Shunsui chuckles again and scratches at the stubble on his jaw.

"Thank you for coming so quickly, Kenzo," Jushiro says, approaching. "Though, you're not as surprised as I'd hoped you might be." Kenzo spares Tier a second glance before turning his attention to a small pile of books sitting in the middle of the desk; the books he'd lent Tier to keep her occupied during her imprisonment. Shunsui flashes a knowing smile and the young Shinigami closes his eyes for a brief moment, mentally preparing himself for some amount of teasing or taunting from the laid-back Captain. "Now, now, Shunsui. We don't want to get off topic."

"Right, right," agrees Shunsui. "I'll spare you the details of the meeting we've come from, Kenzo-kun, and give you the short version. Yama-jii wants Tier-chan put to work for the Gotei 13. Since he doesn't trust her completely, he won't allow her to wander about as she see's fit without an escort at Captain-class. Since you're more or less confined to the Seireitei for the time being we threw your name into the hat for the job." If Tier is upset or otherwise irritated by the 'chan' attached to her forename she doesn't display it, standing in silence with arms crossed.

"Starting today, the two of you will be working together."

"Understood, Captain," Kenzo says calmly.

"Good. Take some time to help her get settled in and show her around the Division. I'll see the two of you bright and early at eight tomorrow. We should have the details of your first assignment hammered out by then." Kenzo offers them a bow before turning on his heel and heading for the door. "Kenzo." The young Shinigami stops and glances over his shoulder. "Don't forget your books." Before he can move, Tier retrieves them from the desk and the two of them depart from the office. Kenzo has been told on numerous occasions that the pace he walks is quite fast, however, if it bothers Tier she doesn't show it as they stride down the halls in the direction of the women's barracks.

"I was under the impression," begins Tier, breaking the silence between them. "That others were aware of your frequent visits to my cell."

"You never questioned it," Kenzo replies simply. "No one else questioned me on my whereabouts, either."

"It could be argued that the with-holding of information is simply another form of lying."

"It could. However, I am not a mind-reader. If I had been questioned, I would have told them exactly where I was, and what I was doing if they cared to know." Over the last two weeks they had shared numerous conversations, and even engaged in several spirited verbal debates. In that time, she'd come to understand that deceit was simply not in his nature. In fact, every word he spoke could be counted on to be the truth. It's what information he with-held unless intentionally pressed that one had to be concerned with. "Would you prefer a play-by-play of where I will be at what times, Tier-chan?" Her steps falter for a moment as she glances side-long at the young Shinigami with brow furrowed slightly in irritation. A ghost of a smile tugs at the corners of his lips, and a gleam shines in his crimson eyes.

"Such a familiar tone, Kenzo-kun." There's a small twitch to an eyebrow and he glances in her direction. Her voice absolutely drips with sarcasm as she adds the 'kun' at the end of his name...although, he finds it doesn't irritate him as he thought it might. It's difficult to get a read on because of her mask fragments so he's based much of her attitude off of her tone of voice and body language, which he finds to be rather relaxed in spite of her sarcasm. They pass several members of the Division as they walk, many of them faltering in their tracks to gawk and whisper amongst themselves. Many of them stare daggers at Tier as they pass but none are brave enough to speak up in spite of open hostility.

"They'll get used to it."

"It doesn't matter. My understanding is I'll not be spending much time here."

"Truthfully, these last two weeks are the longest I've spent at the Thirteenth since my transfer."

"You never struck me as someone who couldn't sit still."

"I often find myself in perilous need of money. Extra duty means extra pay."

"Hm. Impatient and extravagant...I'm finding out quite a bit about the man who stood outside the bars of my cell."

"I'm nothing if not a man of this world, Harribel-san. I understand that money is necessary to keep the wheels turning. Besides, I have..." He catches himself before he can finish his sentence. Confusion briefly flickers across his face before once more returning to the austere mask he wears. He'd almost blurted out the truth of the orphanage out in the open. In such a short time he'd become used to a lack of ears listening in on his conversations. It was almost a terrible blunder on his part...whatever the reason, he finds himself willing to open up to Tier. He clears his throat and squares his shoulders a bit. "...things I need to pay for." The shift in his tone is rather sudden and perhaps a bit colder than intended, and Tier briefly glances at him from the corner of her eye.

"I see."

"I'm not sure on the details of this 'arrangement', however, you should be properly compensated for the tasks. If you're not don't hesitate to speak up. I'm sure that Captain Ukitake can do something about it."

"I won't hold my breath..."

After taking most of the day to familiarize her with the Thirteenth and get her settled properly into the women's barracks the two had headed out to collect some of the odds and ends she'll need. What he had discovered, in his footing of the bill, was that her definition of 'odds and ends' mainly encompassed books that might occupy what little down time she might manage. After having seen her off with her to get settled in, Kenzo returned to his Division duties for the day; much of which was little more than a trickle of paperwork required by his position as Ninth Seat and an impromptu and hastily organized Hakuda class to fill out the end of the day.

Perhaps as a result of his newly acquired 'fame', if one could call it such, there seemed to be quite a few members of the Thirteenth aware of his transfer from the Second, and as such he was simply left to sit in as none wished to spar with him. After cleaning up the training hall and reaching the end of the duty day, Kenzo finally headed for the Division's mess hall. While he preferred to be out and about on patrol or even filling in at Shin'o Academy, he couldn't deny he enjoyed the hot meals such duties didn't normally afford him. That said, he nonetheless found himself seated alone in a corner of the mess hall enjoying his meal.

At least, until the chatter of the mess hall changes into harsh whispers. Kenzo scans the crowd, finding the object of the whispering approaching his table calmly. Tier takes a seat across from him, paying no mind to the murmurs of whispers as she does.

"Good evening, Harribel-san," Kenzo says. She's since changed out of the white yukata given to her during her imprisonment and replaced it with her own shihakusho and even wound a white scarf of some kind around her neck and face to hide the remains of her mask. A strange pang of disappointment, or perhaps displeasure, races through him at the sight of the scarf. She'd told him before that she wasn't concerned about openly displaying the remains of her mask, although that may have been simply because there was no other option at the time. Clearly, his initial interest in observing them had put her off more than she'd let on. Quickly squashing the feeling, he places his utensils down on the table calmly. "I see you've settled in properly."

"It wasn't difficult," Tier tells him simply. "A bed, some hygiene items and a few books was all I had to my name." Kenzo holds her gaze for several long moments, calmly tapping a finger against the desk as he considers how to broach the subject of his now clearly rude behavior.

"I want to apologize." Her brow furrows almost imperceptibly. "For...staring at the fragments."

"I've told you that it doesn't matter. I know what I am."

"Yet you've donned a wrap to hide them, and I feel the need to apologize once more. It clearly bothers you." She bristles at his suggestion, and he senses the full might of her Reiatsu swelling within her for a moment before she presses it down as quickly.

"Do not presume to know my feelings on the remains of my Hollow mask, Ishioka." For a reason beyond him, a ghost of a smile tugs at the corners of his lips and he responds with a simple nod. Her eyes narrow slightly as she realizes that this was the exact reaction he was hoping to provoke in her, and she calmly crosses her arms. "Have you perhaps ever been told that you're an aggravating man?"

"No. 'Standoffish' and 'detached' along with some more colorful insults I've heard hurled in my direction but never 'aggravating'. I apologize for over-stepping my bounds." Tier regards him in silence for several moments before softly sighing. A silence falls between the two of them for several long moments before Kenzo tilts his chin in the direction of her meal. "Are you not planning to eat?" As soon as the words leave his mouth, Kenzo realizes his mistake and immediately bows his head. "That was extremely rude of me, Harribel-san." It's for him easy, given her form, to forget for a moment that she is still a Hollow. "I-"

"It's not necessary."

"It is. I-"

"Eating, I mean. The atmosphere here has an extremely high concentration of Reishi which is enough to sustain me. I can eat if I so choose but the process is...complicated given the position of my mask." There's a strain to the word 'complicated' and as Kenzo mulls the words over he comes to the conclusion that such an act as eating must require the 'adjustment' of her fragments. No doubt a painful process which would make the prospect of eating all the less appealing. "Still, it's enough that you ask, Ishioka." As a silence falls between the two, compounded by the quiet whispers still filling the mess hall Kenzo suddenly picks up his tray.

"I think I'm full for the evening. Perhaps a walk to help me digest this to join me?" Tier nods her head, and the two rise from their seats before heading off their trays to those on mess duty and leaving the hall. They've barely rounded the corner before the whole mess hall is filled with the sounds of laughter and chatter once more. "What did you do in your free time before, Harribel-san?" It's a thinly veiled attempt to steer any conversation from the awkwardness of their previous one, and one that she easily sees through with a soft 'hmph'...before deciding to indulge him.

"I enjoyed reading then as I still do now. I...used to have a small library of books I'd acquired."

"Anything in particular?"

"Mainly Greek literature; Aristotle, Plato and Homer. I had a first edition printing of 'The Iliad & the Odyssey' that I enjoyed. But I kept a small number of books from Italian poets as well." A bit of what she might consider to be a chuckle escapes him. "And you? What do you do in your spare time?"

"I enjoy a bit of reading but depending on the season, I like to head to the World of the Living. A close friend allows me to take up his garage for motorcycle repair and tinkering."

"So, you build motorbikes."

"I have built A motorcycle, yes. It's kept me busy when it needs to." With a comfortable silence once more falling between them, the two calmly stride the halls of the Thirteenth until they find themselves at a crossroads. One hall leads to the barracks and the other in the direction of the Seated Officer's rooms. "Seems this is where we part ways for the night."

"So, it seems. I shall see you in the morning, Ishioka."

"Of course. Looking forward to working with you, Harribel-san..."

After something of a fitful night of sleep, Kenzo awakens with a start well before his alarm. Sitting up on his futon he scrubs a hand across his face with a heavy sigh and observes his now sweat slick palm. Memories...relived harmless dreams and little else. But knowing that and quelling his racing heart are two entirely separate matters. With some difficulty he pushes down the dreams that had so rudely awakened him and makes ready for the day. Deciding it best to forgo breakfast given his partners lack of need for such things, he instead forces down a bit of hardtack enroute to Jushiro's office. Fortunately, it seems that Tier is as ready to undertake any mission as he is, as he finds her standing in front of the office.

"I had every intention of arriving early," Kenzo says in way of greeting. "But it seems you beat me here."

"I had little else to do," Tier tells him simply, glancing in his direction from the corner of her eye. "Late night, Ishioka?"

"No." The finality of his single word response makes it clear that he doesn't intend to answer any further questions regarding the dark circles beneath his eyes. Announce their presence, they're bid entrance to Jushiro's office. The man sits behind his desk with a wide smile on his face. "Ishioka Kenzo and Harribel Tier, reporting as ordered." If she is upset by his introduction of them as a pair she doesn't display it, and Kenzo immediately realizes why when he spots the strange wide-bladed Zanpakuto she'd once wielded lying on Jushiro's desk.

"You're early," Jushiro says. "Eager to get a start on your mission?" When both respond with a simple nod of their head Jushiro chuckles a bit sheepishly. "Alright, then I won't waste time." The Captain picks up a small folder from his desk and holds it out in offer. Before Kenzo can make a move, Tier steps forward and retrieves it before beginning to thumb through the papers. "A string of disappearances has been reported in the fiftieth district of the North Rukongai. Best estimates place the number of missing souls at just over one hundred."

"We just completed a patrol of the area two weeks ago," Kenzo mutters, tilting his head briefly to peer at the documents in Tier's hands. "There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary at the time."

"Which makes this situation all the stranger."

"Any witnesses to this strange phenomenon?" Tier questions, not lifting her eyes from the reports in her hands.

"None. Those that reported disappearances simply stated that they saw them as normal and then never again." Both look up from the reports in Tier's hands. "So, please, take your time and be as thorough as possible. If this is simply a case of souls passing on then so be it but if it's not..."

"Understood, Captain," Kenzo says. He offers Jushiro a bow before turning and heading for the door. Tier places the folder back on the desk, retrieves her Zanpakuto and follows him out of the office without a word, closing the door behind the two of them. "We'll set out immediately. Better to move quickly in this situation, especially since we've so recently completed a patrol in the area."

"You have an idea of where to start?" Tier questions him.

"No. But I know someone that we can speak to." He removes his Zanpakuto from his obi and with a clear and practiced motion Tier watches as he slices twice through the air. The air of the hall seems to shudder, and a pair of thin lines slowly form before their ears are assaulted with a soft ripping noise akin to the tearing of cloth. The very fabric of Reality tears open before them, fraying at the edges to reveal a world of muted greyscale and shifting forms. Tier squints her eyes, a sharp jab of pain assaulting her senses as one so long as she stares beyond the maw.

"What is this?"

"The Edge of the Void." He calmly sheathes his Zanpakuto. "Stay close." With that he steps forward, and with no other recourse she follows after him. Another rip assaults her senses, pounding against her ears in a long drone that also sees a sudden leap in her pulse. She glances over her shoulder not at all surprised to find the entrance to this place now long gone. Tier is, however, quite surprised to find that the moment she turns her attention back to the Shinigami that he is nowhere to be found. Her brow furrows slightly as she searches this twisted landscape of greyscale and shifting figures.

"Ishioka," calls Tier, the word battering against her eardrums again and again in multiple echos across a multitude of pitches. The dull ache in her head ratchets up as a result, and her eyes close slowly as a result. After a moment to regain her composure she once more opens her eyes, scanning her surroundings until her eyes fall upon a dark blotch at the end of the hall. This vaguely humanoid figure twists, and writhes as it moves slowly in her direction. It strides in a strange stilted and jolting manner, appearing further away and then closer as though it were an illusion. "Ishioka." Once again, her word echos and she hefts her Zanpakuto as it continues its least until a hand very firmly grasps her shoulder. In an instant, Kenzo finds the tip of her Zanpakuto pressed to his throat, a small line of blood trailing down it's blade.

"'s me." She glances in the direction of the vaguely humanoid figure, eyes searching for any sign of it but finding it now long gone. "I told you to stay close. It is not safe for you here." With a smooth motion, she sheathes her Zanpakuto and Kenzo releases her.

"What was that?"

"I'm not entirely sure. Hoshi Kyo informs me that they are Echos."


"According to her, if a soul meets a particularly traumatic or violent end, an Echo may remain in that place. Trapped between Reality and the Void, it can do nothing to influence either. But if one without the 'Right' to walk the line between the two happens upon them then...well, it's best to stay close. Hoshi Kyo's influence extends only so far." A chorus of chillingly warped baying suddenly pounds against them and Kenzo glances in its direction calmly for a moment before motioning for her to follow.

"And that?"

"More Echos. Stay close." Tier begins walking in tandem with the young Shinigami, careful to always keep him within sight, even if it's from the corner of her eye. Their surroundings seem to blur around them, and some of what she can make out she recognizes as perhaps being the Thirteenth?

"You walk this place often?"

"Yes. It's slower than Shunpo to be sure but far faster than traveling by other normal means. It's also an excellent ability for eavesdropping, and intelligence gathering...and as you've heard, allows one to reach beyond the Soul Society. Though, there can be some difficulty reaching the World of the Living if focus is lost." Tier glances in his direction for a moment. "No. I've not used it in any other manner than a professional one."

"You can eavesdrop on others outside of this place?"

"This place exists between the Void and Reality. Echos of both may occasionally slip through but are ultimately unable to interact with this place, as what exists here may not interact with either. It's what makes it such an invaluable and dangerous ability. In the hands of an unscrupulous person..."

"I understand." Tier is silence for several moments, digesting his explanation of his Zanpakuto's ability. To reveal the abilities of one's Zanpakuto is to offer up a potential weakness to an enemy. Perhaps because it was only the two of them here, he felt confident that the information would not spread? Or was offering her some amount of information in an attempt to build a bond of trust between them as it seems for all intents and purpose that they will be working together frequently? "We Arrancar have an ability that is somewhat similar. We use it to travel between Hueco Mundo and wherever we choose."

"I see." Several long minutes pass in a comfortable silence before Kenzo slows to a stop. He hefts his Zanpakuto and waves it in front of them, as if drawing back something with the tsuka of his weapon. The grey-scale world before her fades away, and she squints her eyes a bit as they adjust to the bright light of the morning sun. The chatter of people fills her ears, replacing the echoing of their voices. Tier slowly scans their surroundings, finding them surrounded on all sides by a mixture of businesses and homes. Carefully sliding his Zanpakuto under his obi, Kenzo once more motions her to follow before leading her down an alley between buildings.

Off of the main street, the buildings slowly take on a far more weathered appearance and the people begin to watch them suspiciously as they pass. It seems to be almost a night and day difference to her eyes and if such scenes are a concern for the young Shinigami he doesn't show it as he confidently walks with shoulders squared and hands clasped behind his back until they finally stop in front of a somewhat large building with two men standing at the entrance.

"This is?" Tier questions him.

"A gambling hall," Kenzo clarifies. "I know the owner. A conniving and heartless man by all means but...his information is usually second to none. Wait here. He won't be so inclined to speak to someone he doesn't recognize." Leaving those words behind, he approaches the door, and the two men simply step out of his path as he enters. Tier calmly crosses her arms, shifting her weight a bit impatiently as she does so. Of course, as quickly as he'd entered, she's surprised to see him come flying back out, propelled by a man standing a head taller and wider than the door frame.

"And don't come back, asshole!" shouts the man, as Kenzo pushes himself up slowly with a scowl firmly plastered on his face.

"...Did you get the information you were after?" Tier questions him. Kenzo cranes his neck to look up at her impatiently and then watches as she turns her attention to the man still standing in the doorway. "Allow me to ask, Ishioka." He pulls himself to his feet with a grunt and turns just in time to watch Tier approach the man.

"Did you not hear me, woman?! You, AND that ass-" As the man reaches out, Tier calmly turns a shoulder and the sound of cloth whipping proceeds a harsh grunt as the man drops to his knees, cradling his stomach. The veins of his face bulge against the skin, and seconds later to no one's surprise, he doubles over and spills his breakfast across the ground. Rather than continue to acknowledge the man, Tier simply walks through the front door. The loud sounds of wood splintering and glass shattering begins immediately, and people begin to pour out through the front door. A ghost of a smile appears on Kenzo's face as he begins his approach now, pausing only when the slatted window to the hall is suddenly shattered, and a man strikes the ground, rolling several times before finally stopping.

Deciding it best not to acknowledge the unconscious soul, Kenzo enters as the last of the patrons filter out. Casually stepping over several unconscious souls, he finds Tier standing in front of a rat faced man. He does his best to press himself into the corner of the room, hands held up pleadingly to the Arrancar.

"J-J-Just wait a damn minute!" complains the man. "Pl-Please! Just tell me what'cha want, eh? I-I'm a businessman, we can work somethin' out here!"

"Hello, Nori," Kenzo interrupts, slowly pacing in their direction. "I see business has been doing well."

"K-Kenzo! C'mon! Call yer dog off here!"

"Hah." Kenzo gently brushes past Tier, stopping in front of the cowering Nori before bending at the waist. "Why?"

"C-C'mon, now. Ye-Yer not sore about Botan's little joke, are ya? It was just a joke! I'd NEVER turn away an old friend!" Nori looks between Kenzo and Tier several times before the young Shinigami leans up with a soft sigh. He glances over a shoulder at Tier and nods with a bit of a smile on his face. She remains still for several long seconds before finally stepping back and once more crossing her arms. "A-Alright, then! I'm glad we could come to an agreement, Kenzo. I-"

" fast, Nori. You owe me for having Botan toss me out on my face. To be so treated so harshly at the orders of an 'old friend'...well, isn't such a thing heart-breaking? I might even develop nightmares after a betrayal like that."

"N-No, it-"

"Obviously, I should be properly compensated. Right?" Nori looks between Kenzo and Tier once again. "RIGHT?"

"Y-Yeah! Of course! S-So, what can a humble man such as maself do for ya, Kenzo-sama?"

"Disappearances. What do you know about them?"

"Disappearances?" echos Nori. "Yer talking about the rash of...whoa, whoa, whoa! Ya don't think I had somethin' to do with that, do ya? Don't matter how much a man owes me, dead men can't settle debts!"

"If I suspected you...we wouldn't be having such a polite conversation, now would we?" Nori slowly nods in agreement. "Good. Now, stop your useless panicking and tell us what you know." The rat faced man is silence for several long moments before finally spilling what he knows, which equates to little more than what Tier had read in the reports at the Thirteenth. However, he does add one fact that the reports didn't mention- all those that disappeared possessed a fair amount of Reiryoku. Enough that they were considered candidates for Shin'o Academy. After Nori has finished spilling his guts, Kenzo steps away from the man digesting the information slowly. There was an incident in the past...where a great number of souls disappeared from the Rukongai. "Thank you, Nori."

"I-I'm glad that I could be of service! I-" There's a soft whip of cloth proceeding a loud smack as Nori's head snaps back, bouncing off the wall before he can stop himself. The rat faced man slumps to one side, and Kenzo turns away from him to find Tier staring intently at him...almost as if she means to devour him whole. Her Reishei roils and churns within her, threatening to spill out at any moment as she turns her attention to Nori for a moment and then back to him.

"He's simply unconscious," clarifies Kenzo. "It IS against the law for a Shinigami to kill a soul he has not been ordered to, after all." He glances over a shoulder at the unconscious Nori before turning his attention back to the clearly agitated Arrancar. "Even if they're degenerate loan sharks."

"So, you struck him out of sheer petulance, then."

"And if it was?" Her brow furrows slightly in response and Kenzo slowly paces in her direction until he stops directly in front of her. His face betrays no hint of emotion, and his entire body seems completely relaxed in spite of standing before her. Anger and irritation flare within her at such brazen actions; he dismisses her as such a nonthreat that he doesn't even bother to sharpen his Reiatsu? "You know how men like him live their lives; they take and take and take until their greed kills them or as is more often the case, those around them. They prey on the weak and bow their heads when confronted by the strong. In that regard, they're far worse than any Hollow." Silence hangs between the two of them for several tense moments before she turns her back to him.

"We have the information we were after so we should begin our search. Whatever is happening is happening to those possessing enough Reiryoku to be considered as Shinigami."

"Then, let's begin..."