Chapter 9.

"Well, that was fun." Naruto stated loudly. "Now what?"

"Now what indeed, Hollow." Said the Old Man, "You have a lot to answer, Naruto."

Naruto was a bit surprised, the Old Man actually referred to him by name. "Maah, maah, its all so troublesome.."

"Why did you come here Naruto? What do you know about Hogyoku? Why is it, that you are so powerful? How is it you have Shinigami powers, and before Aizen or Urahara even suggested Hollowfication? And why are you so open?"

"Hm. I came here to play a few pranks, as usual. I know about Hogyoku because.. Well. You see, I was on the path of life, and it lead me to a strange guy. He had the weirdest hat, stripy, and looked like a bucket. Anyway, he looked totally shocked to see me, dragged me inside, and gave me cake. Then he told me about an invention of his, that he had created, not realising what he was getting into.. Yes, I remember it well..."

Flashback

"Ne, Baketsu-chan," Naruto whined, "Where's that cake you promised me."

"Ahhh, patience, Naruto-kun, all will be revealed in time." Came Uraharas happy voice.

"That doesn't tell me where my cake is Baketsu-chan!" Yelled Naruto. "I come here for just one, teensy weensy prank, and you made me stop and promised me cake! Now where is it?!"

"You call dropping a blimp sized water balloon, filled with rainbow coloured paint, on the City Center a 'Teensy Weensy Prank'? Ahh, so troublesome Naruto-kun." Kisuke said with a high pitched voice.

"Are you SURE your name isn't Shikamaru?" Naruto responded.

"Yes Naruto-kun. Anyway, I have a little favour to ask you..." Said Kisuke smoothly. "You see, I have a little toy I made, and it sort of... went out of control. Now, I know who you are, thanks to a few of my friends, Mr. Firstborn. I need you to help me out with this. You see, I originally created the Hogyoku to transcend the boundaries, allowing Shinigami to transcend their limits, and literally gain limitless potential. After studying Hollow's, I realise they were the single most amazing creature ever created. They literally had no boundary. Their entire lifespan, was spent evolving. By devouring one another, they could transcend themselves, and grow limitlessly..."

"I attempted to harness this power. But it was for naught. Rather then create evolution, I created only death. The Hogyoku was too potent. Instead of giving a Shinigami Hollow powers, it unlocked something buried inside every Shinigami, something that should have never been uncovered. It unlocked their Inner Hollow. Every Hollow has an Inner Soul, same as the Shinigami used. In order to unlock it however, they need to be able to commune with their soul. However, Hollow are not made of just one soul. All Hollow evolve by absorbing and containing the souls of other Hollow. However, in doing so, these souls smother the Hollows original soul. This is why Hollows become mindless beasts, when they evolve into a Menos Grande. The effect is only worsened from there, when they evolve into a Gillian. They become even worse, while becoming more powerful, the lose their humanity." Urahara continued, sorrow evident from his tone.

"Finally, if they manage to retain enough of their humanity, they can evolve further, be devouring more Souls.. Into Adjuchas. Adjuchas is the second last step in their evolution. It is strange however. As the transformation from a Gillian to a Adjuchas occurs, each of the souls battle each other for superiority. The winner becomes the 'Host' of the form. If the original soul manages to defeat the others, and its soul still has some parts untainted, then it unlocks the final transformation... That of a Vasto Lorde. There have been 5 Vasto Lorde level Hollow in history, a damning statement on how hard it is to retain ones humanity, and purity, even through all of the pain and suffering caused whilst evolving. A Vasto Lorde has the potential to become a True Arrancar. The only way for this to happen however, is if their soul becomes entirely Pure. Such as that of a Shinigami. Or the exact opposite.. If their soul becomes completely and irreversibly tainted, so black that no light will ever touch it again. Either of these methods can make a Vasto Lorde into a Arrancar." Lectured Kisuke.

"Yet, in all of history, YOU are the only Arrancar in history that has ever managed to become an Arrancar using the original method. Whilst there have been Arrancar after you, they have all been created in different ways... Using Aizens amazingly tainted Soul in order to totally and irreversibly taint the Hollow's soul. In doing so, he also implants a "Shard", would be the best description, of his own soul inside of them. This shard ensures that the Arrancar cannot disobey a direct order from Aizen, and I highly doubt any Arrancar have been informed of its existence. I doubt he has even used it himself." Continued Kisuke. "Basically Naruto, you are THE Arrancar, as decided by the Fates. You, and only you, have ever met the full requirements to become a Pure Arrancar. I'm still confused as to how this came to be, so I would like as part of the favour, for you to explain how you unlocked your powers..." Trailed off Kisuke, looking at Naruto expectantly.

Naruto's normally carefree expression was gone. It was replaced with a mask of utmost seriousness.

"Kisuke, what I am about to tell you, has been lost to history for over four thousand, eight hundred years. Five thousand years ago, when I was still alive.." He was cut off here from a small gasp from Kisuke, "There were Nine great demons. Each demon had a certain amount of tails, to denote its strength, and also its role. From the One tailed Tanuki, all the way up to the Nine Tailed Fox, these demons roamed the land, called then the Elemental Countries. It was ruled by special humans, who called themselves 'Shinobi'. These Shinobi were formed up initially of rag tag groups, calling themselves clans, who hired themselves out to whoever paid the most. They are believed to have been leftovers of an ancient empire, which ruled over all of the Planet for thousands of years, which was eventually decimated from within. Even back then, records from that time were extremely scarce. Eventually, all of the clans grew tired of fighting, and they all banded together into largers groups. One group was called Konohagakure no Sato, the Hidden Leaf Village, Kumogakure, Hidden Cloud Village, Iwagakure, Hidden Stone Village, Sunagakure, Hidden Sand Village, and finally Kirigakure, Hidden Mist Village. These five villagers were the leaders of the Shinobi, each boasting its own strengths and weakness's. I was a Leaf Shinobi, cursed by a terrible taint."

Naruto stopped, and grabbed a drink, before continuing. "You see, the Kyuubi no Kitsune attacked the Leaf Village around a week before I was born. It rampaged through the Land of Fire, territory of the Leaf, and was unstoppable. All of the Demons are Immortal, and amazingly powerful. Yamamoto, alongside every single Captain in Sereitei couldn't even scratch the Kyuubi in its prime, that was how potent he was. His very presence caused massive fatalities in the old and young, his malicious Youkai so bad that if you came into contact with it, it would burn you alive. The only way to defeat the monster was to use a Seal, an advanced form of Ninjutsu, similar to Kido, employed by Shinobi. Using the Shiki Fuuin, my own father, the Fourth leader of the Leaf Village, sealed the Kyuubi no Yokai inside of me. In doing he, he unwittingly created the first Hollow." Naruto said.

"You see, Kyuubi had never been sealed before. No seal before my Fathers had to power required to actually prevent Kyuubi from eroding it. My father managed it by calling upon the Death God. Not a Shinigami, but the REAL Death God. It gave the seal the power required to keep Kyuubi at bay. Anyway, once I died, instead of doing like most Junchuuriki, the names for people holding demons, my seal held. Instead of it allowing Kyuubi to overpower my spiritual self, it instead allowed me to survive as a Plus. You see, Jinchuuriki are unique, in that the demon inside of us grants us Spiritual awareness. Demons are not like humans, rather they are like Nature incarnate. Because of this spiritual awareness, when we die we form Plus's. When I died, the shock from my Chakra, and Kyuubi's Youkai being tranformed into Reishi caused a massive backlash. This destroyed my first, and only love. The self disgust, and hatred of myself is what caused my Hollowfication. I became the worlds first true Hollow. But, as you have probably already surmised, my soul was still pure. Self hate isn't a sin, and because of such, I managed to keep my souls.. 'Purity'." Naruto said, flickers of emotion passing his subdued face.

"Then.. something else happened. Because of the massive influx of Reishi I gained from Kyuubi, I skipped every step of evolution a normal Hollow would go through. In effect, I became a Vasto Lorde instantaneously, a feat that none have achieved since. It didn't end there however. As I had become a Vasto Lorde so fast, my soul was one of two souls in my body. Mine, and Kyuubi's. Unlike a regular Hollow, who has a multitude of souls inside of them. Thus, I had unrestricted access to my own soul, allowing me to resonate with it. Although it took me a few centuries to unlock my Zanpakutous. As you may have guessed, Kyuubi became my.. 'Inner Hollow', of sorts. He became my second Zanpakutou. This gave me something no other Hollow is capable of... Two releases. One, from my own soul, and another, granted by Kyuubi. However, the similarities to a Shinigami don't end at merely gaining a Zanpakutou. No.. We also have a Shikai form. They call it... Resurreccion. It allows a Arrancar to synthesis with their darker sides, bringing forth a massive battle lust, and allowing them to become more animalistic. For example, when I release into that state, I live for the fight. I often toy with my opponents, to draw it out as long as possible. Only through intense mental conditioning was I able to.. Tame.. My inner instincts. Once this happened, I unlocked another level entirely, similar to your Bankai... But that is not something I wish to speak of." Naruto finished.

"Amazing, so you entirely skipped each level of Hollow, and instantly became a Vasto Lorde... Simply astounding. This answers many questions I had concerning Hollow's, and their similarities to Shinigami. It's almost as if they are two sides to the same coin. Both have levels of power, unlocked through certain process's. And, if what I theorise is true, they can almost limitlessly evolve. You are proof of this. I am starting to see a pattern, Arrancar, and Vaizards are both the key to surpassing the limits. Vaizards are able to become like a Hollow, and evolve. That would explain much about the process. They would start at the bottom, with basic Hollow abilities, and move their way up, unlocking different power levels, such as Menos Grande, Gillian, and Adjuchas or Vasto Lorde." said Kisuke, almost hyperventilating in glee, "And Arrancar are the opposite. Having already achieved these states, they gain what a Shinigami does. Shikai, or Resurreccion, Bankai, which is the level you don't speak of. Simply astounding. It is almost as if they are both two sides of the same coin, but each being able to bridge the gap, and become one, singular coin."

"Now, we get to the favour I need to ask of you. I have a special object, the Hogyoku as mentioned. I have been utterly defeated in my attempts to destroy it, however, I have been able to.. put it to sleep, basically. It is dormant, and nothing short of you yourself could awaken it. You are the only one capable of this, thanks to you having evolved to the very end of our possibilities. You, the only being to have ever controlled each side of the coin, Shinigami, and Hollow. This is why I must ask of you, keep the Hogyoku safe for me. I have a plan to be rid of it, however, should my plan go wrong, and the Hogyoku go back to Soul Society, I fear that Aizen may be able to unlock its potential, and if that may occur everything will be changed, made into Aizen's image. I fear he will use it to create an army of.. 'Pure' Arrancar, and if this occurs... I am afraid that nothing will be able to stop him. I plan to seal it into a specialised Gigai. This Gigai will slowly turn the Shinigami controlling it into a human being. Hogyoku will be stored inside of their very soul. Once they perish, so too will Hogyoku, never to be seen on either of our planes again. Aizen is very manipulative however, and he may find a way to reclaim the Hogyoku from the Shinigami's soul. If this happens, I must ask that you claim the Hogyoku, and find a way to destroy it. Something such as it must not be allowed on this plane. You, fortunately, are able to repress the instincts in a Hollow, and will not abuse your powers. Others, I fear, will not be able to do the same. You must be the ONLY being who is transcended. You, must be the only 'God'." Kisuke finished.

"Very well Urahara, I will make sure Hogyoku is kept out of Aizens hands. I have.. Just one thing to say." Said Naruto, a look of utmost seriousness on his face. "Where's my cake?"

Kisuke's head hit the floor hard, instantly rendering him unconscious.

"BASTARD! WHERE'S MY CAKE!"

End flashback.

"As you can see from my tale, Urahara trusted me to destroy Hogyoku, which I plan to do when I feel like it. As for why I'm so open.. Maah, what can I say? I'm just awesome like that!" Naruto declared. Massive sweat drops rolled down the heads of everyone hearing his tale.

"So.. Let me get this right. Shinigami have the ability to fight a enemy inside each of us, called an 'Inner Hollow'. Doing this, unlocks another level of power, which lets them tap into the evolutionary abilities of a Hollow, and grants us its abilities as well. Hollow are the opposite. They already have the abilities of a Hollow, but are able to unlock a level of power leading them into being a Hollow, with a Shinigami's ability to increase their own power?" Yamamoto summarised.

"Maah, pretty much. The only problem is, almost no-one has the amount of will power required to defeat their Inner demons, Hollow, or Shinigami. The only way for a Hollow to unlock its power is to remain pure, something impossible when you live to destroy others. Shinigami must be able to defeat their Inner Hollow, their polar opposite, which still has all of the strengths of the original. It's like, fighting yourself with a stick, when the other you has a Zanpakutou. Nearly impossible." Naruto finished.

"Everything heard here today is to be an A rank secret. Nobody is to be told this story, outside of the people here." Thundered Yamamoto, his tone brooking no argument. "Is there anything else, Naruto?"

"Maah, well, you see that orange haired kid down there? He successfully managed to beat his Inner Hollow, in order to unlock his Shinigami powers again. I advise letting him become a.. Hmm. Detective of sorts, for you in the Human World. Aizen has lost the Hogyoku, but that means that his current Arrancar cannot become pure. In other words, while he can't make Hollow like me, he can still make powerful Arrancar. And I think we both know what he's after.." Naruto whispered to the Old Man.

"The Kings Key.." The Old Man whispered, horror in his tone and etched upon his face.

"Yeah.. And you know what must happen to create a Kings Key, don't you?"

"He.. He wouldn't! A HUNDRED THOUSAND Souls?! Just to gain access to the Gods?! What a fool he is." Yamamoto said, in utter disbelief and anger.

"Maah, so serious. Anyway, I need some cake, so bye!" Was all Naruto said, before ripping a Garganta, and disappearing.

"So troublesome.." Yamamoto muttered. "All Captains, be in the meeting hall in 10 minutes!" Thundered Yamamoto.

"But Sotaicho, what of the Ryoka?" Asked Soi Fon.

"Bring them too!" Roared Yamamoto, before vanishing with a Shunpo.

Suddenly Yoruichi appeared, followed by Ganju, and the rest of Ichigo's friends.

"Did we miss anything?" Yoruichi asked.

Soi Fon stood there in shock. Her mentor, friend, her life, who had mercilessly betrayed her was here. Right in front of her. She did the first thing that came to mind. She attacked. Quickly ripping her Zanpakutou out of its sheath, she leaped at Yoruichi, determined to make her feel the pain that she herself had felt. "YORUICHI!"

Yoruichi looked up in shock, quickly sidestepping the wild thrust. "Soi-chan?!" Was her startled response.

"HOW DARE YOU SHOW YOUR FACE HERE AFTER WHAT YOU DID!" Soi Fon screamed, slashing again and again at Yoruichi. "Do you know what you put me through?! Being looked at suspiciously, thrown into the same mould as the TRAITOR?! DO YOU? Being looked down on? Working so hard your hands BLEED, and STILL not being acknowledged, all because you were friends with a traitor!" Soi kept slashing, even though her blows were so sloppy a greenhorn would have had little issue avoiding them. "Why! Why didn't you... Why didn't you take me with you! I would have come!" She screamed, before collapsing, mentally spent.

"I'm sorry my little Bee, I couldn't do that to you. I would have sooner died, then have made you abandon all of your dreams, and ambitions." Yoruichi replied, face downcast. "I did what I thought.. No knew, was right by you."

Yoruichi walked forwards, and grabbed Soi into a hug, before Shunpo'ing both away.

"Ehhh, Ukitake, we should probably get going, Yama-jiji will be angry if we are late." Shunsui said, swigging some sake he had magically procured from somewhere. "Plus we got passengers."

"Yes, you're right Shunsui. Come Ryoka, we must be going now!" Ukitake chirped, grabbing Ichigo's sleeve and starting to drag him along. "Ahh, and Rukia-chan, you should come too!"

The entire group was still in a bit of shock. One minute, they obliterate a 50 foot tall DEMON FOX, next minute they are swigging sake and... Chirping. They secretly prayed the rest of the Captains weren't this... Weird.

"Ahh, wait for us Kurosaki-kun!" Shouted Orihime, running to catch up. The rest shook themselves out of their stupor and followed. Byakuya shook his head in disdain, and Shunpo'd to the hall. The lieutenants looked at each other, and just shook their heads, and walked away. Troublesome.

A/N

Cutting it off here:). Very dialogue heavy, I know, but necessary. This chapters really just a explanation of what exactly a Arrancar, and Vaizard is. There's also a bit more about Hogyoku, and setting up to prepare for the war. Byakuya and Ichigo didn't get to fight, so no awesome Bankai. Sorry! Yoruichi and Soi Fon had a bit of a moment, and next chapter will cover the meeting, and fallout from it. This chapter was originally going to be much, much longer, but I changed laptops, and uploaded it and finished it on here. Expect another chapter later today! Sorry for the long dialogue!