Hissss!

"Damn it!" complains Kenzo, jerking his shoulder back as the Hollow charges. The loud snap of it's jaws inches from his face threatens to overwhelm his senses as moonlight briefly dances off the edge of his Zanpakuto. One strike, and then two. Four bloody quarters strike the earth, spattering it an inky black with the Hollow's blood before it begins to slowly disappear. He'd been overthinking the entire situation the whole day, distracted by memories of the 'Hollowfication Incident' and the ripples of it that had forced Yoruichi, Kisuke and Tessai from the Soul Society with the infected.

The truth of the matter, however, seems to be something far simpler...Hollows. Pacing backwards Kenzo turns sharply before thrusting Hoshi Kyo out to pierce the mask of a lunging Hollow. A spray of its black blood spatters across his face as he turns once more, tossing its body to the ground only to be trampled by a pair charging in his direction. His Zanpakuto whips up, deflecting the claws of one of the pair and weaving under it. The second arrives moments after, maw agape and spittle flying. It's fate it seal before it manages a bite, a rush of air assaulting his eardrums as a single inky and speckled blade pierces its chin, slamming its jaws closed with a spray of blood.

It follows the momentum, tumbling down the street several meters before its body begins to disappear. The young Shinigami turns to confront the neglected Hollow, finding it leaping in his direction. Numerous speckled blades appear in the sky above but even as they begin to rapidly spin a brilliant flash of gold fills his vision. The Hollow disappears from view as he squints his eyes against the bright light. As abruptly as it appeared, it vanishes leaving behind only a deep groove in the street before him. A burst of static fills the air and he blinks in surprise before turning sharply to confront none other than Tier.

"Hah. Good evening, Harribel-san," Kenzo says in way of greeting.

"The main force has been dispatched," Tier tells him, ignoring his greeting. "I came to lend a hand in dealing with the stragglers but..." She slowly scans the street, observing the numerous pools of Hollow blood soaking into the earth. "...it seems you've taken care of things here." Kenzo notices a brief shift in her demeanor, and she glances down the street sharply. "Or perhaps not." Following her line of sight, he watches as a white mask rapidly fades into the shadows between buildings. Almost imperceptibly she tilts in its direction, and Kenzo calmly holds a handout in front of her. "Ishioka-"

"Let's not be hasty. We'll track it from a distance and intervene if it means to injure someone. But given it's retreat..."

"You believe it means to run and hide in its den." Receiving a nod in agreement, and figures of the two flicker before disappearing. The Hollow cuts a winding path through the Rukongai, dashing between alley ways and across roof tops in its desperate flight from the two. Given its direction, Kenzo reasons that it must be running towards a nearby forest. Largely uninhabited and regarded as little more than a means of distracting the mind with a quiet walk most residents of the Rukongai pay it no mind, and it's only occasionally visited during patrols as a result. Soon enough, his suspicions are confirmed as it clears a final street before breaking out in a desperate sprint towards the safety of the forest. A burst of static tails Tier's appearance before it...though as it's summarily bifurcated by the Arrancar the noise of her Sonido likely never reaches its ears.

"Well done," Kenzo applauds, appearing before her. She'd easily outmaneuvered him and slipped through his ability to perceive her Reiastsu once she'd decided to make her move. Kenzo is confident in his use of Shunpo, and his ability to sense an opponent's movements given his history in the Onmitsukido, and surviving under Yoruichi's tutelage. Though, now he feels that perhaps his senses have grown dull, and his movements slow since leaving. Considering such things for a moment he then forces such thoughts from his mind. In actuality, she is simply that much faster than him, and accepting that fact will only serve to help him to better himself. "Now...I would wager that we've found ourselves their den site."

"You sound confident."

"Of course. You only need to listen to know that all isn't right in the forest." Tier slowly sheathes her Zanpakuto and turns to face him. His voice was neither condescending nor commanding and yet all the same she found it somewhat grating. Approaching closer, she strains her ears against the silence of the night.

"And what, exactly, am I listening for, Ishioka?"

"What indeed." Suddenly irritated by listening to him speak in riddles she opens her mouth to speak only to be interrupted by him. "Do you hear anything, Harribel-san?" Deciding to give it one more attempt at his insistence she once again strains her ears against the silence of the night before slowly shaking her head.

"No. I don't hear anything."

"Exactly. No birds...no insects. Not a single sound." Confusion flickers across her face for a moment before the realization dawns on her. This forest, which even given the lateness of the season, should still be teeming with life is deathly silent. As if the wildlife is afraid to make even the softest of sounds lest it draw some ill fate upon itself. In Hueco Mundo there were no insects or wildlife; none that wasn't at least a Hollow in some form or another. But here in the Soul Society such things were normal, and their absence could be seen as a cause for concern.

"I see. Thank you."

"Think nothing of it." Kenzo observes the forest in front of them, the massive trees stretching so high he's forced to crane his neck to see the tops gently swaying in the breeze. "Let's begin our search."

"Allow me." Tier briefly closes her eyes, and a strange feeling briefly washes over the young Shinigami. "Three hundred meters at our twelve. Then ten meters directly down." Her sea-green eyes open slowly, and she begins walking forward with Kenzo following in stride.

"Number of enemies?"

"Two."

"Strength?"

"Negligible."

"Understood." They press forward through the dead forest, the occasional snap of a twig breaking up the monotony of the leaves crunching under foot. "That technique-"

"Pesquisa. Think of it like a...pulse that radiates out from the user and reacts with Reiatsu within a certain proximity. With it, the user can determine not only the direction but the strength of opponents." Kenzo nods slowly in response. The two slow their steps as they find themselves approaching the gaping maw of a natural cave. Approaching a bit closer, Tier bends to retrieve the shredded remains of what had most likely been a woman's yukata at one point but is now little more than a blood stained, and dirt soiled rag. "Seems this is our destination." She holds the scrap of cloth out in Kenzo's direction, and he takes it from her hand to examine it.

"I'd wager these Hollows have gone unnoticed taking souls one or two at a time from the paths in the forest. At least until the number of visitors dwindled as a result, or their hunger grew too great."

"We'll end it tonight."

'Hisss!'

Both immediately turn as a pair of Hollows lunge from the mouth of the cave. Zanpakuto clear their saya as the Hollows pass, cleaved into halves and crashing down to the forest floor several meters behind the pair. A flick of the wrist and a practiced motion sees them sheathed just as quickly.

"Hah. Seems they saved us the trouble of cave diving."

"So, it would seem." Once more expanding her Pesquisa out in all directions, Tier confirms with certainty that there are no more Hollows within the forest. "We should return to the Thirteenth and report our success." Kenzo nods in agreement.

"I'll finish our official report, and send it to you for-"

"Feel free to forward it directly to Ukitake."

"As you wish..."


"Hahaha~! You two sure made short work of that assignment," laughs Jushiro, scanning the surface of the paper in his hands. After several moments he finally nods and places the small bundle of papers down on his desk before beams at both of them. "I'm glad to see that the two of you are working well as a team, too. I'll forward the report to Genryusai-sensei in the morning. For now, get some well-earned rest." Kenzo offers a bow and turn nearly in unison with Tier. "Harribel. Please wait a moment." Kenzo pauses for a moment, and glances in her direction. Her eyes flick towards the door and he proceeds out without another word. "Unfortunately, one of the stipulations of this was the surrender of your Zanpakuto upon returning to the Division." The Arrancar remains stock still, as if considering his words before calmly unslinging her Zanpakuto from her back and turning to place it on the surface of his desk.

"I understand," Tier says, hand lingering upon the saya of it for a moment before stepping back and crossing her arms. Jushiro places his hand on the saya of her Zanpakuto as well, staring at the weapon and then looking at the door to his office before finally turning his attention to her.

"Kenzo seems fond of you, Tier." Whether his words are meant as a start to an interrogation or perhaps an accusation, Tier simply remains silent and observes the experienced Captain. "He wrote you a glowing review in his report. He's not one to find fault with someone in an official report nor does he engage in conjecture. They're normally...a bit of a dry read. The who, what, when, where, why and how is all that's contained in any documents he submits."

"I'll have to defer to your experience, Ukitake. I've never read Ishioka's reports."

"How...How was he?" She's a bit taken aback by the question, searching his face and picking apart that simple sentence for any signs of an underlying meaning behind it. What she finds, however, is nothing more than what appears to be genuine concern for the young Shinigami.

"I...feel as though you might be a better judge of that than I."

"I'd hoped so. That is to say, I've hoped that one day he might be able to speak freely with me, but he's always so closed off. He used to talk and even laugh occasionally with Captain Shihoin and Captain Urahara but after they left he's mainly kept to himself. Even on patrols he doesn't interact with the other members beyond filling out reports or passing on his routes for the day. It feels like he keeps everyone at arm's length...well, almost everyone." It strikes her as odd to hear about Kenzo from Ukitake. Yes, he is a man of few words, but she wouldn't exactly describe him as unfriendly. Watching her size him up and sift through his words for perhaps some hidden meaning Jushiro laughs. "I'm sorry if I've made you uncomfortable. I'm just...worried about him."

"I can't speak for his behavior in the past," Tier admits plainly. "And, certainly, I find it difficult to speak on matters of his well-being. However, he seems to be fine." Apparently pleased with this Jushiro offers her a smile and firm nod.

"Thank you, Tier. I'll leave Kenzo in your care, then." With a nod in response, Tier turns and leaves his office. Several feet away, Kenzo stands with hands clasped behind his back and observing the moon calmly. At the sound of her footsteps, he turns his attention to her.

"All is well?" Kenzo ventures.

"Yes," confirms Tier, continuing past him. The two begin walking the halls of the Thirteenth in tandem once more. "Ukitake was expressing his concern about your well-being." If her words have any sort of impact on him then his face doesn't show it. "I assured him that, within the bounds of my current knowledge, you are fine. Although, I understand that your reticence may be some cause for concern or worry to those who care for you."

"...An awfully roundabout way of saying you don't care for my company, Harribel-san."

"If I couldn't tolerate your company then you would know, Ishioka."

"So, you tolerate my company, then."

"Hah. You're intentionally misinterpreting my words." Tier comes to a stop and Kenzo proceeds several steps after her before stopping and turning to face her calmly. "All in an effort to change the subject."

"I will endeavor to be more friendly in the future."

"Do as you please. I wasn't asking anything of the sort, I was simply conveying Ukitake's words."

"Hmm. While I have some doubt in regard to his use of the word 'reticence', I suppose it wouldn't hurt to be a bit more...amiable considering my position as Ninth Seat..."


Awakening once again following a fitful night of sleep, and well before the ringing of his alarm Kenzo makes ready for the day. He'd not been instructed to return to Jushiro's office in the morning, so it could be assumed that he would just resume normal Division duties until he and Tier were summoned. However, it's often better to be proactive in situations like these, and once more deciding to forgo breakfast, he makes his way to the office of his Captain. He's surprised to find this time that Tier is not waiting outside the door, and after announcing his presence he is bid entry.

"Good morning, Kenzo," Jushiro says, offering him a somewhat tired smile. Judging by the bags beneath his eyes Kenzo concludes that Jushiro must have slept just as poorly as he had, though likely for a reason related to his illness rather than something as simple as dreams. "If you're here about another mission, I've just sent off your report. I'll be sure to send for the both of you if something comes in so for now please attend to your regular Division duties as normal."

"Understood." A brief silence falls between the two as Kenzo glances out the small window of the office. "How is...that is, how has your health been lately, Captain?" Jushiro blinks in surprise, thoroughly caught off-guard by the question. Since being transferred to the Thirteenth Kenzo had never asked him a personal question before. Their conversations fall into the category of professional courtesies or work related. He briefly wonders if perhaps finally spending some length of time at the Thirteenth has elicited this change, or maybe working with Tier had done it. Regardless, he flashes a brilliant smile to the young Shinigami.

"It's been manageable thanks to Unohana." Jushiro gestures to a chair in front of his desk, and after a few seconds Kenzo takes a seat. "How are you?"

"It's...been somewhat difficult, Captain. Warm meals and a soft futon are things I didn't realize I'd need to readjust to." Jushiro laughs a bit in response. "Thankfully, Kotsubaki-san and Kotetsu-san have been very helpful in that regard these past two weeks. That said...I feel as though Kotetsu-san won't be happy until I've gained forty kilos the way she drags me to the chow hall."

"Hahaha~. Kiyone can be a bit enthusiastic at times. But if she didn't would you eat a hot meal, or would you have a handful of hardtack and continue your day?"

"That's neither here nor there, really." The two men share a brief laugh and Kenzo relaxes a bit into his chair as their conversation continues. It changes from one topic to another as the two pass the time and Jushiro gets to watch as Kenzo finally begins to lower his guard a bit. Unfortunately, that comes to an abrupt end with a knock at the door to the office, and the voice of Shunsui announcing himself before sliding the door open. Kenzo rises to his feet before the Captain has even completely opened the door.

"Ohh, sorry, Kenzo-kun," Shunsui says in way of greeting. "Didn't mean to interrupt."

"I was just about to excuse myself, Captain Kyoraku," Kenzo tells him. "Goodbye, Captain Ukitake." He offers a bow to Jushiro and leaves the office, closing the door behind him. Sensing a presence close by he sighs softly and glances in the direction of the person lingering in the hall. Tier stands with arms crossed, staring out across the small garden. Hearing the sound of his footsteps approaching she spares the Shinigami a single glance from the corner of her eye before once more turning her attention to the well-manicured garden grounds.

"No mission," Tier observes.

"No. We'll conduct Division duties as normal until otherwise instructed."

"I have no Division duties."

"You're welcome to accompany me and observe, if you'd like." She nods and Kenzo motions down the hall before checking his watch. "Zanjutsu training is the first thing on the schedule for today so we'll head to training hall. My understanding is that we've just received new recruits so expect it to be somewhat slower paced and a bit louder than normal." With that the two depart in the direction of the training hall. "If I may...I've seen you perform 'Cero', 'Sonido' and 'Pesquisa'. What other techniques are afforded to Arrancar, Harribel-san?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Curiosity."

"I'd have thought your curiosity sated after visiting me in my cell continuously."

"Just the opposite."

"You wish me to explain the complete physiology of an Arrancar, Ishioka?" Tier glances at him from the corner of his eye, the somewhat curious tone in her voice drawing a ghost of a smile to his face. "Hah. Why, may I ask, would I do such a thing?"

"If you're unwilling to simply answer the question, then let's have an exchange, tit for tat. I'll ask a question, and then you may ask a question or vise-versa if you prefer. I'm simply trying to deepen my working knowledge of the person I find myself partnered with. I assure you that I have no malicious or underlying intent beyond curiosity." A silence falls between them as she considers his words. So far as she's aware he's never lied to answer any question she's asked, and what he does say could be considered the absolute truth...it's what's omitted from his answer that could be cause for concern. "If that does not assuage any misgiving you have about this then let's add a rule; the question may be vetoed if the other party finds it too personal, and we'll limit it to three per day."

"Very well. I shall ask first then. My understanding of the Four Noble Families is that each one is charged to be responsible for some facet of the Soul Society. What, exactly, is the responsibility of the Ishioka Clan?" He arches a single dark brow in response to her question. Perhaps she'd snuck in a book regarding the Four Noble Families within the pile that had been purchased. It would be easy to veto it considering the somewhat...sensitive nature of his current relationship with his family but maybe this will cause her to open up a bit more, too.

"A simple answer: finance. Since the founding of the Soul Society the Ishioka Clan has been solely responsible for the compiling, recording and safe keeping of the Soul Society's finances. Our Clan mints every Kan that circulates, as well as regulates or even...corrects the economy of the Soul Society. We're also responsible for the maintenance, and daily operation of any and all banking institutions within the confines of the Soul Society."

"You mint the money?"

"Yes." Unclasping his hands from behind his back he reaches into a sleeve and produces a Kan coin before handing it to her. "On the back of every coin is the marking of the Ishioka Clan, and beside it the marking of the current head of the Ishioka Head as decided by them for a new minting. To date, not a single counterfeit coin has been produced within the whole of the Soul Society as a result of the process used to mint them." Tier examines the coin's markings closely, slightly taken aback by the level of detail within the markings of his Clan's symbol and the one beside it. Beyond that, she can feel just the faintest amount of Reiryoku. "Does that answer your question, Harribel-san?" She hands the coin back with a nod, and he tucks it into his sleeve once again.

"Your question."

"Hm. Ahh, I know. An Arrancar obviously has a Zanpakuto, so my question is do you have a release for your Zanpakuto?"

"Yes. To my knowledge, every Arrancar has a release; it's called Resurrección. I imagine I'll never have cause or permission to do so, however. Especially considering the...special circumstances in which I find myself."

"Does it increase your power in a manner similar to a Shinigami's release?"

"Is that your second question?" There's a slight almost teasing quality to her tone of voice, and Kenzo actually manages a smile in response.

"Perhaps I could cast myself upon your mercy and request a two-part answer, Harribel-san?"

"Hah. Casting yourself upon the mercy of an Arrancar...how foolish." Regardless she takes a breath and slowly nods. "Releasing my Zanpakuto is somewhat similar to a Shinigami's release of their true power but closer to me simply returning to my 'true' self. I would return to a form somewhat closer to how I appeared as a Vasto Lorde."

"You were a Vasto Lorde?"

"I will consider that to be your second question." Kenzo's brow furrows slightly before relaxing as a chuckle escapes him. He'd blurted it out before he could stop himself, and now was suffering as a result of his own rules and impatience. For her part, Tier appears quite pleased with herself at having managed to draw his second question from him without much effort. "Yes. Before becoming an Arrancar, I was a Vasto Lorde. Time has no meaning in Hueco Mundo so I can only say that I was a Vasto Lorde for quite some time before becoming an Arrancar."

"I see. Excuse my impatience. It is your turn, Harribel-san."

"You've asked about my Resurrección now tell me about your Bankai. Why were you forbidden to release it within the confines of the Soul Society?"

"My, my, how bold, Harribel-san. Asking a gentleman about his Bankai so brazenly." It seems now it's his turn to tease her, and she observes him from the corner of her eye for a moment. "Etiquette would dictate that in such a situation you should at least request dinner first."

"Forgive my ignorance of such customs. As I have no need to eat the concept of dinner is not nearly as appealing to me, and therefore it must have slipped my mind, Ishioka. Feel free to veto the question, if you'd prefer."

"No. I will tell you what I can. That said...you're more familiar with my Bankai than anyone else in the Gotei 13, as you've already been within it. Of course, you were unconscious at the time so you wouldn't remember. To answer your question, my Bankai is dangerous. It does not distinguish between friend or foe. So, those caught within the bounds of my Bankai are all subject to it's effects. Since it's impossible to leave the area after I've activated it without my permission, it can easily kill others unintentionally."

"You have to allow someone to leave your Bankai?"

"Mm. Is that your third question, then?" Ears pricking slightly at a soft snort of displeasure, Kenzo chuckles. "Since you were merciful enough to allow me a second part to my question, I shall return the favor. I suppose someone could escape it if they knew exactly what they were doing. But are you confident you could escape the Void without my assistance, Harribel-san?"

"So, you..." She trails off, glancing in his direction and finding a small smile on his face. He'd deliberately left a bit of ambiguity and mystique behind his Bankai in an effort to draw out the third question. "No. I'll save my third question for a later time."

"Tsk. Very well. Then, I shall ask my third question. I do not consider myself an expert on the subject of a..." He considers his words carefully, searching for a tactful way to phrase his question before deciding that beating around the bush might only end up being ruder in the long run. "...Hollow's life cycle? So, what is the process in which a Vasto Lorde is created, Harribel-san?"

"Veto."

"I see. My apologies if I offended you."

"No. I did not veto your question because it offended me but because I cannot answer it with any certainty. The process of becoming an Gillian is a simple answer, as is the process of becoming an Adjuchas. However, I cannot answer why some Adjuchas become Vasto Lorde and others do not. My answer could only be based on speculation from my own point of view so I'll veto your question and allow you another, Ishioka."

"You're an insightful woman, and certainly far more of a subject matter expert than I or any other Shinigami within the Seireitei. I would accept such speculation if you're comfortable."

"...Very well. You know the process in which a Menos is created, I assume." Receiving a small shake of his head Tier sighs softly. "A Gillian is the first step in the classification of Menos. It is created when the void within a Hollow becomes so great that Human souls can no longer satisfy it. They gather together, drawn by scent and hunger and begin to devour one another until at last a Gillian is born. Each Gillian is comprised of hundreds of souls, and if one such soul manages to suppress the other souls it will develop a unique mask. Only such a Gillian may become an Adjuchas by devouring others of it's own kind until such point as they evolve once more."

"They need to keep eating?"

"Yes."

"If they stop?"

"Then they may lose control and revert to nothing more than a common Gillian. At such a point, it is impossible to evolve further. Adjuchas are subject to the same rules though they are far fewer in number, and often solitary creatures as they have gained some semblance of rational thinking beyond the need to devour other souls."

"And a Vasto Lorde?"

"The path I took..." Her words trail off, and Kenzo notices the shift in her demeanor. The air around her feels heavy, as she contemplates her words before finally coming to an abrupt halt. Kenzo stops several steps after, turning to face her as she takes a breath. "...required the consumption of three-hundred forty-seven thousand six-hundred and twelve souls. After which, I remember feeling as though my soul would be shattered to pieces as I completed my final transformation into a Vasto Lorde. I had reached the end, and I felt nothing for my accomplishment."

"...You remember them all."

"Yes."

"I apologize for dredging up such memories, Harribel-san. Perhaps our game of questions wasn't a good idea. I'll answer whatever question you ask next without vetoing it, I promise." Kenzo turns away from her, only managing a few steps before her voice brings him to an abrupt halt.

"Why do you care, Ishioka? Even Ukitake didn't ask me questions like this; what literature I enjoy, what I do in my free time. Why are you so curious?" The young Shinigami considers her words for several long moments before turning to face her.

"I...maybe I...would like for us to become closer." At first expecting some sort of follow up, or perhaps an explanation following those words Tier waits in silence until at last it sinks in...Kenzo had said his piece. In the time she'd spent working with him it was fairly obvious that he didn't particularly keep many people close. In fact, but for Jushiro, Kiyone and Sentaro most of the Thirteenth seemed to give him a wide berth which struck her as odd. True he carries himself with a detached and almost cold air, and he can be a man difficult to engage in small talk...however, that isn't exactly something she would consider off putting. Perhaps it's because she speaks to him as an equal that this sudden desire to become closer has sprung up.

"...Closer with an Arrancar," Tier finally says as she walks in his direction. Kenzo can almost hear her smirk behind her mask. "What a strange Shinigami I've been paired with." She passes him and he slowly turns to watch her as she comes to a stop once more. "Are going to show me where the training hall is or not, Kenzo?"

"Hah. Follow me, Tier-san..."


"What...are they teaching the recruits these days?" Sentaro mutters, watching a pair of the new recruits sparring. Their Zanjutsu might be something more akin to flailing about with a bokken in hand rather than actual swinging, and after several minutes of this Kiyone finally calls them to a halt before sending them back to the group. She crosses her arms and sighs heavily as she watches them take their seats. With a discerning eye, she scans the crowd before her eyes finally settle on Kenzo.

"Kenzo! You're up next!" Kiyone calls. "You'll be sparring with...ah! Harribel-san!" Both stand and approach the center of the hall with bokken in hand while Kenzo slowly gathers his long hair into a loose pony tail. Kiyone leans in a bit as they take their positions, looking between the two of them with a smile. "Make sure you give the new recruits a good show. They need all the help they can get." Leaning back she raises a hand and with a single motion and command, the two step forward quickly. Tier is quicker than the young Shinigami and it shows as he's immediately forced onto the defense. The crack of their bokken against one another fills the hall as he back-pedals from the Arrancar.

Out matched in speed, and apparently as equal as one can be with a bokken in physical strength he turns it into a contest of technique. Deflect what he can't dodge, shoot in for a strike that's as easily knocked aside. A small smile appears on his face as his heart begins to hammer in his chest and his palms grow sweaty. He hadn't realized how stagnant he'd grown since Yoruichi had departed from the Soul Society. Though, their spars had been on the involuntary side, and more akin to a beating he hadn't realized just how much he'd relished fighting a superior opponent until this moment.

Burning with a desire for victory he hadn't realized he possesses, Kenzo surprises the crowd by suddenly disappearing as Tier's bokken passes through his space. She reacts immediately, turning and raising her 'weapon' to intercept his strike. A vicious crack echos as they collide and he disappears again. Feeling a sharp jab to her shoulder she spins, cutting a wide arc with her bokken in the direction of his neck. Another loud crack echos as their weapons impact and he deflects it over his head before thrusting a second bokken in her direction.

"Halt!" Kiyone shouts, stopping the two in place. Sea-green eyes bore into crimson as Tier notes a twinkle of excitement within them. Releasing a soft 'hmph!' she taps him under the chin with her bokken before tugging the second bokken free from the young Shinigami's hand, and tossing it to Kiyone. She'd seen the callouses on his left hand before which had at first lead to her believe perhaps his Bankai split his Zanpakuto into two. But after observing him fighting it became clear that he most likely wielded the saya of his Zanpakuto as a weapon in his left when under pressure. "Well done! It was supposed to be JUST Zanjutsu BUT...seeing how you can combine Shunpo and Zanjutsu together effectively is a good example, too." Offering a bow to the Arrancar, Kenzo returns to take his seat while the next two head up. Tier sits beside him now, crossing her arms.

"That wasn't Shunpo," Tier says calmly, glancing at him from the corner of her eye. A smile tugs at the corners of his lips.

"No," confirms Kenzo. "No, it wasn't."

"Care to explain?"

"You've already asked your three questions for the day, Tier-san."

"How stingy." The Arrancar is silent for a moment before turning her attention back to the match. "You look better with your hair down." A soft chuckle escapes him as the crack of bokken colliding fills the hall now.

"It's no use trying to butter me up now. You had every opportunity to add or remove rules." Falling into a comfortable silence, the training finishes for the day and after cleaning up the hall the members of the Division depart to begin their duties. As Tier has no Division duties, she instead joins Kenzo on his. Unfortunately, his duties consist of little more than the odd bit of paperwork as he's currently confined to the bounds of the Soul Society. As a result, much of day is spent more or less 'patrolling' the Thirteenth...though a more accurate word might be 'wandering'.

At least, that is, until after lunch when they're approached by Sentaro who informs them that Jushiro is requesting Kenzo in his office. Bidding a brief goodbye to Tier, Kenzo makes for his Captain's office and after announcing himself is bid entry. Jushiro smiles at him as he enters, and Kenzo briefly makes note of a second desk that appears to have been hastily added to the office, the surface of which is covered with several stacks of paperwork. Perhaps Jushiro intends on replacing his current one? Disregarding it, Kenzo offers his Captain a bow.

"Good afternoon, Captain," Kenzo says. "Has a mission come through?"

"Hahaha~," laughs Jushiro standing. "No, I've called you here for another matter though it's equally as important." Kenzo's brow furrows slightly as Jushiro circles around in front of his desk. "For some time, the Thirteenth Division has been sorely lacking something..." The experienced Captain reaches into his kosode and produces a badge before holding it out in Kenzo's direction. "...a Lieutenant." Kenzo stares at the badge in surprise for several long moments before reaching out and taking it.

"Are you sure that perhaps Kotsubaki-san or Kotetsu-san wouldn't be better suited for the position?"

"It was their recommendation." The young Shinigami nods in understanding. "So, do you accept?"

"Yes."

"Hahaha~! Good! We'll make the offical announcement in the morning. Now, unfortunately, for the bad news. Along with the responsibility of becoming a Lieutenant means an increase in paperwork..." Jushiro chuckles a bit sheepishly as Kenzo turns his attention back to the second desk.

"I see. I shall do my best, Captain..."