Chapter 3 is here for your weekly read. As we speak, I should be working hard on more chapters and creating buffer zones, ensuring I can keep these chapters coming out weekly. I think I'm on chapter 6 or something currently.

I won't keep you any longer now though. On to the story.

Disclaimer: I don't own Fairy Tail or Bleach. Shame, it would be great if I did.


Protector Of The Fairies


A Teacher

The forest was quiet. There weren't the usual sounds you might have heard or animals you may have seen. The birds had all left elsewhere and the rest of the woodland creatures seemed to have done the same.

The wind blew across the land, dancing around trees and other objects along its path. Above in the sky, the moon shone brightly over them all, a perfect circle of white light in the sky.

If you looked closely, you would find a path among the darkness, just enough light in the sky to fill the road so that occupants could see people nearby but not enough to spot anyone in the distance.

A few moments later, a set of clouds once again shielded it from view from the world. And then it rained.

In the centre of the path was the body of a woman, an orange haired boy of nine years old sitting by her. There were a few small patches where blood could be seen but the majority of it had been washed away by previous showers. It wasn't the first time it had begun to rain after all.

Ichigo wasn't sure how long he sat there on the ground. Time was a foreign concept to him currently. He was sure it had been something close to two days but he wasn't sure.

He hadn't moved from his spot once. He hadn't eaten, he hadn't drunk, he hadn't slept. All he did was stare at his mother, hour after hour.

Part of him was hoping it was a dream. Just a really bad dream. A nightmare even. All he had to do was wait till he woke up and everything would be fine. His mother would be right by him with a drink and a reassuring smile, and all his fears and worries would fade away. He just had to wait.

"It's a lie."

Ichigo ignored the voice. He had been hearing it for some time now, coming from his head. The voice was weird but he assumed it was the part of his mind that was actually facing reality.

"She's not waking up. Get over it."

Ichigo tried to keep calm as he once again tried to shake his mother awake. Like all the previous attempts, there was no response.

"Face it. She's dead."

Ichigo did his best to drown out the voice, his thoughts still focused on his mother. He couldn't face the fact that she was dead. She couldn't die. She just couldn't.

"But she did."

He wondered what his dad was doing. Was he waiting at home for them? Perhaps he believed they had decided to stay a few days at the town and was simply waiting for them to walk through their front door, a goofy grin on his face ready to welcome them back.

How would his dad react when he learned of his mum's death? Would he be devastated? Would he be indifferent? Would he be calm about it while he hid the pain?

"That's not what you're worried about is it?"

For once, he listened to the voice. It was right about that. He was more scared of how his father would react when he learned of what he had done.

His mother had died protecting him. It was his own stupidity and his own powerless that got his mum killed. If he had been stronger, he could have defeated the monster without her needing to sacrifice herself for him. If he had been smarter, he could have seen the trap for what it was and wouldn't have approached so recklessly. His mum could have dealt with the monster then from a distance.

But who was the real monster he wondered. Would dad and the twins still look at him the same? Or would they look at him like he was the monster? He was the one who caused his mother's death, and he was the one who would have broken their family apart.

What would happen now? His mother had been like the sun to them all. Their lives revolved around her, no matter how much she denied it. Dad could look after Yuzu and Karin but why would he look after a monster like himself? He would be better off dead to him.

"You're such an idiot. You're too weak."

Ichigo nodded his head. That part of his mind was completely right. And he still did love his family, even if he was the one who broke it apart. If he was to return home, he could just as likely get them killed too.

He stretch as he took to his feet, wobbling from a mix of lack of food, lack of sleep, and lack of movement over the two days.

As he straightened himself, he let his eyes finally leave his mother's form to scour the area nearby.

It was the same as before. Dark and dreary. The rain showed no sign of letting up yet but it represented his mood perfectly. He was starting to dislike the rain. It was so depressing, the feeling of rain falling on him with the most important person in the world to him dead by his feet.

A rustling in the bushes nearby could be heard but he ignored it. It wasn't the first time he had heard it. He had originally though it had been an animal or something but he hadn't bothered to find out. Only the fact that he heard a cough every so often was the clue the sound came from a human.

He doubted the cough and the rustling were accidents. They happened too often for that. It was more like the person was trying to get his attention.

Should he see who it was? What else was he suppose to do now anyway? He doubted he would be welcome at home so perhaps it would be better to risk approaching the spy.

In the end, it wasn't his choice. The bushes kept rustling until he finally spotted a man stepping out of them from his crouched position.

He looked very strange compared to people he had normally seen. He had very messy blond hair, though it was so pale as well, with a small tuft of it hanging between his eyes. Over his normal clothes, he had a brown coat on with a pattern of white diamonds around the bottom of it and he also seemed to be wearing an old style of wooden sandals for some reason too. On the top of his head was a striped green and white bucket hat, and in his right hand was a wooden cane.

The man pulled out an umbrella from the bushes before opening in and walking towards Ichigo. As he got closer, Ichigo was able to examine him more easily.

The man moved strangely, similar to his father when he was being silly. It looked almost practiced so that he wouldn't appear to a threat. And it was working. He almost felt at ease in the man's presence.

"Why hello there!" The man drew out each word as he spoke. "Why I didn't expect to find anyone out here late at night! I'm surprised I even found the path!"

Ichigo didn't even flinch or respond to the man.

"I see." The man dropped all pretences about being an idiot and straightened himself. His movements became more calculated with each step and he had replaced his goofy look with a serious one.

"Why were you watching me?"

"So you did pick up on the hints I dropped. I thought you did."

"Do you want something?" Ichigo was getting impatient. He wished the man would just get to the point of what he wanted instead of skirting around it.

The man nodded at the boy. "I'm sorry about your mother. Loss is a terrible thing."

"You shouldn't feel pity for me." Ichigo snuck a glance back down towards his mother's body. "I'm the one that got her killed."

The man looked like he wanted to say something before he seemed to halt mid word and changed what he was about to say.

"I won't try and comfort you then." The man took a step towards Masaki's body and crouched down, closing her eyelids. "I'm not good with that stuff anyway."

"Who are you?"

"Me? Kisuke Urahara. Mage, scientist, shopkeeper. I'm a lot of things."

"You never said why you were watching me?"

"I didn't." Kisuke stood back up and looked at the boy, using the umbrella to shield them both from the rain. "I sensed your Magic. You've got a lot for someone your age."

"So?"

"Tell me. What do you plan to do now?"

Ichigo was caught off guard by the sudden change in topic. "I…"

"You don't know do you."

"I can't go home. Not after what I've done."

"I see then." The man seemed to be waiting for something, as if wanting him to continue.

The two stood there in silence for a moment, Kisuke finally ending it when he realised he wouldn't get anything else.

"If you had power, what would you do with it?"

Ichigo looked up at the man inquisitively before he turned back to his mother's body. His gaze hardened as he took in the sight before him.

"I would protect everyone who's important to me."

Kisuke smiled at the boy. "A strong answer. That's good. What's your name?"

"Ichigo."

"No surname?"

Ichigo looked away from his mother. "I don't deserve to use it."

"I see. Your choice then." Kisuke looked at Ichigo, as if judging him. He seemed to come to a decision quickly if the nod was anything to show. "Tell me Ichigo, would you like to learn how to become stronger?"

Ichigo looked up at the man determinately. "How?"

Kisuke extended a hand towards the boy. "Follow me."

Ichigo didn't hesitate. He shook the man's hand and followed his lead as he led him away. Someone would find his mother's body and would hopefully believe he died with her. It would be better that way.


Protector Of The Fairies


When Ichigo woke up the next day, he had to remind himself where he was to stop himself from panicking.

The man, Kisuke, had lead him to a town much further away that the previous. They had travelled for hours on end and hadn't stopped once. He hadn't complained though and had just kept moving. The town they had arrived at was bigger than the previous one he had visited and seemed far busier. They didn't head into the town though, instead going up towards the nearby hill to where a small shop had been built.

Kisuke had given him a room for him to rest in. He didn't question why it was already prepared for him, instead just glad to finally get some sleep.

He yawned lightly as he got up, heading over towards what Kisuke had shown him as the dining room.

"So you're finally up."

Ichigo turned to the voice as he entered the room, acknowledging Kisuke as he entered with a nod.

Kisuke gestured towards the table, Ichigo spotting the food on the table. He didn't need any more acknowledgment than that before he dug in. Two days was a long time to go without food for, especially when you were still just nine years old.

Kisuke helped himself to a few pieces, mostly sticking to observing the boy. He waited till Ichigo was finished before he finally spoke.

"I trust you will want to get started on your training won't you?"

Ichigo stared straight at the man and nodded. "Yes."

"Excellent." Kisuke snapped his fingers and a hole in the floor opened up, dropping the two down. Below them was a training grounds of some sorts with rocks of various sizes scattered all over the place and a clear blue sky above it despite the area being underground. He would have examined it a bit more but it was then that realised how high they were still, and they were falling fast.

Ichigo couldn't help but scream. There was no way they would survive this. Kisuke thought simply grabbed the orange haired boy and hit the floor. When the dust settled from the impact, Ichigo could see that despite taking falling from such a distance, Kisuke was completely unharmed.

"How…"

"Indeed. How? Many Mages would ask how something like this would be possible. The stronger you get with Magic though, the more resilient your body can become and the more damage it can take. All you have to do is reinforce your body with Magic to lessen the damage."

Ichigo looked at the man in amazement. Would he be able to do that in the future?

"Yes," Kisuke said, answering Ichigo's question without it being voiced. "It will come naturally to you as time passes. For now, let's focus on the Magic I'm going to teach you."

Kisuke held out the cane he had earlier before he grabbed the handle of it and pulled. As the handle came out, a blade could be seen attached to the end of it, the rest of the cane acting as a sheath for the blade.

"I'm going to teach you the Magic of a Shinigami."

"Shinigami?"

"Yes." Kisuke reached into his coat and pulled out a small diagram. It contained just three words, all cycling round to the others. "Shinigami. Quincy. Hollow. What is the common factor amongst these three?"

Ichigo drew a blank. "I don't know."

"I'll explain each one first then. Try and guess afterwards."

Kisuke held up his sword.

"This is what is known as a Zanpaktou. Have you ever seen one before?"

Ichigo shook his head. "No. Should I?"

"You might have done. Your father's a user of this Magic after all."

"WHAT!"

"Huh?" Kisuke raised an eyebrow. "Did he never tell you? Then again, I saw him a bit when he and I were younger. He was always careful with what he told people no matter how stupid he acted."

Kisuke put a hand up before Ichigo could say anything else. "A Zanpaktou is a piece of the wielder's soul. From it, we get our strength. No Zanpaktou is the same, no matter how similar some may seem. This forms the backbone of all Magic a Shinigami uses."

Kisuke raised a hand before pointing the hand's index finger towards a rock nearby. "Hadou Number 4: Byakurai.

Energy gathered around the finger before suddenly expelling out, firing as a bolt of lightning towards the rock and piercing straight through it.

"That is the second part of Shinigami Magic. Kidou. Whether you use Bakudou or Hadou or even Kaidou, they all can only be used by a Shinigami."

"There's a lot of Kidou that a Shinigami can use and most will find that they prefer certain Spells to others. I myself prefer using a lot of Bakudou before using a strong Hadou spell but as you saw, even low level spells are powerful too."

Ichigo nodded in understanding. "So that's what I'll be learning from you?"

"Yes. You are most suited to using Shinigami Magic due to your high levels of Magical Power. Anyone could technically learn it if they wanted to, but you need to have first not gone into a disciple of Magic and you need to have a large amount of Magical Power to reach the potential that you have available."

"Why?"

"Why?"

Ichigo rephrased his question. "Why is the disciple part important?"

Kisuke tilted his head at the boy. "Your parents didn't teach you much about Magic yet did they?"

"They were going to soon," Ichigo protested embarrassingly. "It's not my fault I don't know much yet."

"I see." Kisuke spared the boy further embarrassment by jumping straight into explaining. "There are hundreds of types of Magic in the world. Some small, some massive. Take Magic involving ice as an example. There is Ice Make Magic, Ice Dragon Slayer Magic, Ice Sword Magic, the list goes on. One thing they all have in common though is that they align the Mage's container to that element."

"Does that limit them to that one Magic?" asked Ichigo.

"Some think so but it was proven not to. What it does is that it makes that Magic easier for them to learn and use since the Magic in their body has naturally taken on some ice like natures."

"You will notice thought that a lot of Mages can still learn other elements. Some Magic aren't even elemental related as well. The principle will still stand with them but once your core aligns after prolonged use, it won't chance. A small section of the core is unaffected I discovered but that isn't important."

"You see, a Shinigami uses raw Magic in their attacks. Byakurai may have been a lightning attack but that nature came to it after the energy formed. And that is why no one can learn Shinigami Magic if they have already gone too far into another Magic. You need a completely fresh core so that the container inside you will keep the Eternano you body absorbs in its base form. Do you understand?"

Ichigo nodded. "Yeah."

"Good. Now then, onto Quincy. They require a fresh core as well but they don't need to have massive amounts of Magic. A Quincy gets most of their power from the atmosphere and combines it with small amounts from their own core. It's why it needs to be pure Eternano else it can't mix with the particles in the atmosphere."

Kisuke raised a hand as if holding something.

"In my hand are countless particles of Magic. Eternano. A Quincy draws these particles in at a rapid rate and uses them to fight. They can form weapons out of this very energy, normally bows though. There is a whole range of techniques they can use too but I don't have any knowledge of them, just like no Quincy knows what the limits of Kidou are."

"Did you know any Quincy?"

Kisuke let out a small laugh. "I heard of one. Your mother."

"Mum was a Quincy?"

"Yes."

"But I don't understand…" Ichigo looked confusedly at him.

"Ah." Kisuke understood what he was trying to say. "You wondered how she could die if she was so strong?"

"Yeah."

Kisuke scratched his head in embarrassment. "Well the truth is, we aren't invincible. I know I make it sound like we are but we aren't. Even giants can fall."

"Still…"

"That thing that killed your mother and tricked you… It was a Hollow."

"A Hollow?"

"Unlike the two before, a Hollow follows different rules. A fresh core is not required. All you need to do is learn the spell to become a Hollow and you will become one."

The hat on Kisuke's head slid down, covering part of his face. Ichigo could still feel the warning in his words though.

"Do not let people ever use this spell. I won't tell you it because it's better that way but if someone tries to use it, stop them. You will recognise the words even without hearing them once. If someone uses this spell, they sacrifice everything and become nothing more than a creature of instinct. They don't listen to reason and don't care for morality. They will just eat and eat and eat."

The tone shifted back to before as he finished, continuing on to the rest of his explanation.

"Most of the time, it's Dark Guilds that dare to do such a thing. A weak Mage can have their power grow exponentially as their body explodes and reforms, rebuilding their body's container to accept more and more Magical Power and by rebuilding it, resetting it. A Hollow's body is denser, stronger, tougher. It can hold itself together far stronger than a normal Mage's body."

"Because of this boost in power, many Dark Guilds can create powerful troops quickly if they so desire. Few do though. Not many people want to sacrifice their rational mind to do so and few leaders of those guilds share the information because they want to control their members. Hollows can't be controlled easily."

"Like a Shinigami though, their powers are determined by their soul. It's a lottery really which puts a lot of people off. A Shinigami will always get something powerful in their Zanpaktou. A Hollow won't always as most of their power went in reforming the body."

"Now then," said Kisuke, looking at Ichigo expectantly. "What is the common factor among the three?"

Ichigo pondered the question silently. What did they all have?

The soul factor was just Shinigami and Hollows so that wasn't it. Neither was it high Magical Power since Quincy didn't have that either. Hollows didn't seem to have anything like Kidou or whatever the Quincy might have and they did require a fresh core originally so that was out. What could it be?

One similarity between them though was that they all drew out energy from their core. Could that be it? It didn't seem right though.

The energy flowed out and then what? It did something. With Hollows, it created their body. For Quincy, it created weapons. For Shinigami, it went into their Zanpaktou.

Something tugged in the back of his mind. Something his mum had told him years back. What was it? It was a story about magic and how there were two types…

Ichigo looked up at Kisuke. "All three have traces of both types of Magic."

Kisuke smiled at the boy. He caught on well. "Correct. All three of these Magic are unique in that they are both Caster Types and Holder Types."

"But how? I thought that was impossible?"

"Magic," Kisuke said cryptically. "In all fairness, I don't think anyone truly understands why. Maybe it's because all three use Magic in its purest form and maybe it isn't. No matter what the answer, it doesn't change anything. Magic is both a science and a mystery, doing things of miraculous scales without any explanations behind them."

"Now then. Do you see these arrows?" He gestured towards all the arrows along the diagram. Two left each word and went to the other two. "No Magic is left alone. Like some elements are weak against another, so are these Magic. Generally, Shinigami are best to fight Quincy and Hollows and the same for them. A way of balancing things."

"It's not just with these three. Dragon Slayer Magic allows the user to eat the element of their type of Magic. Something like that needs an equaliser and for that, it takes the form of God Slayer Magic and Demon Slayer Magic."

"I understand."

"Good then."

Kisuke watched the boy carefully. He took in the information well. Faster than he had expected. How would he take to Shinigami Magic? It would be interesting to see. He was still a scientist at heart and he couldn't resist a good experiment.

"Right then. The first step is to awaken your Magic and bind it to Shinigami Magic."

Ichigo tilted his head curiously. "How do we do that?"

Kisuke grinned diabolically. "We drop you into a hole and wait to see if you manage to climb out with your hands bound."

Ichigo laughed slightly before he saw Kisuke wasn't. "Wait… Seriously?"

"Indeed. There's a unique place in Fiore where if you fall in, your body will try to take on the Magic of a Shinigami to escape. It's called the Shattered Shaft."

"Try?"

"Not everyone makes it. If you have Magic already, you can get out easily. But if you can't climb out before three days are up and you haven't awakened Shinigami powers, you will become a Hollow."

Ichigo gulped before hardening his gaze. "I can do it."

"That's the mindset you need but we aren't worrying about that part."

"Huh? Why?"

"Your father," Kisuke pointed out, "was a Shinigami himself. And that counts for something. In the Shattered Shaft, your body is trying to generate the powers. But since you are the son of a Shinigami, your body has the potential already there. You could fall into the Shattered Shaft and you would be out a moment later."

"All you need is a kick start." Kisuke raised the blade of his sword and aimed it at Ichigo's chest. "There is a technique unique to Shinigami. In times of need, where we can no longer continue to fight, we can temporarily transfer part of our powers to another. It won't stick around and it is useless to help against something taking down someone of my strength. Here thought, it will force your own powers to the surface."

"There is some risk involved. If I do this, there is a chance you can die. I am stabbing you straight through the heart and if it doesn't awaken your powers, the wound will actually happen and you will die. Do you understand?"

Ichigo nodded. "I said I wanted to become stronger. I can't do that without some risk involved."

"Good choice. By the way, if you die, I just want to say that I admire your resolve. Let's hope it all goes well shall we."

Kisuke pressed the sword against Ichigo's chest, aiming it carefully. If he was a millimetre off, then it would fail. He had to be precise. He aimed, waited to check before he could check no more. Moment of truth. He stabbed forward.

Ichigo felt the blade pierce his chest, a brief burst of pain filling his body before it disappear. Power filled his body and exploded outwards.

Kisuke stood there and watched happily as Ichigo's body accepted the power. It awakened all that energy within him and had released it all at once to form what he was seeing now. Massive winds had been generated from it, spiralling around Ichigo like a tornado. He couldn't even see the boy but this was a sure sign that he had succeeded.

And all of this energy was Ichigo's as well. He had only inserted a tiny bit of his power to kick start the boy's own yet the boy had this much power already. He made the right decision, he was sure of it.

The storm eventually calmed down as the winds cleared, revealing the boy collapsed on the ground. The sudden release of all that energy must have exhausted him.

He was pleased to see the familiar item by Ichigo's side though. A Katana lay on the floor, the blade slightly longer than most. The sheath was pure black with the hilt's cloth being a mix of both red and black. It just had a normal rectangle tsuba for the sword, unlike some he had seen before. Attacked to the sheath at the top and the bottom was a red chain like strap for Ichigo to have it strapped to his back with.

Ichigo had his Shinigami powers only a few minutes and he had already changed some of the details his Zanpaktou's sealed state normally would have. It was a good thing he had used his own power to awaken Ichigo's. The Shattered Shaft would have had no control at all for him to help focus and his Zanpaktou would have ended up massive and weak.

He'd let the boy rest for now. Then they could train. He'd make the boy stronger. He'd become stronger than everyone else. And maybe just then, he could do it. Maybe he would be strong enough to protect the world.


Protector Of The Fairies


Isshin gave his last patient a smile as he escorted him off the premises. It had been a slow day today which had been a relief. It was hard to heal someone when you had to leave at random moments because the twins had woken up, especially if he was in the middle of an operation.

He was lucky that they didn't take much to calm down. A few toys and they were luckily distracted until he could finish. And he didn't have to worry about them waking up too early mostly.

He looked out of the window at the rain falling from the sky. It had been like this for days now. Something felt wrong to him. Something terrible.

He hoped Masaki would be back soon. He couldn't help but worry about her. She had been gone far too long and it took all his willpower to not run out the door and search for her.

The twins were the only reason he hadn't done that. He couldn't leave them alone for too long. At least when he worked, they were right next door to him. He could reach them in an instance if they needed him.

Could Masaki have decided to take Ichigo to another town or something? He would be desperate to see more after being in Karakura for so long and god knows that Masaki was weak to him. He just had to be sad and she would be comforting him moments later, and she had done things like this before without telling him when they were younger. He shouldn't worry too much.

But part of him kept asking that same question over and over. Could the mission have gone wrong?

It was always a possibility. Missions could normally go as you want but there was always the chance of unpredictability. What if there were more than just a few deserters? What if she had been outnumbered too much? What if the problem was too much for her to handle alone?

He should have insisted on going with her. Karin and Yuzu could have been looked after by a neighbour for a day while they quickly did the job. But no, he let her go alone with Ichigo. He had been confident she could do it, and he couldn't deny that she was strong.

Being strong though may not have helped if she was too out of practice. Basic Quincy powers only went so far and sometimes even the Bluts weren't enough alone. If she got injured too much, she wouldn't be able it fight back easily without calling upon the higher level moves and they needed constant refining.

He slapped himself, snapping himself out of those horrible thoughts. He had to believe in her. What kind of husband would he be if he lost faith in his wife? Masaki would be okay. She always was.

Out of the window, he spotted something. For an instance, he believed it was Ichigo and Masaki. Counting though, he saw that it was only one person, about Masaki's height. It wouldn't be her though. She would never leave Ichigo behind, even if he was kidnapped or killed.

Isshin froze as the man got closer. He recognised that uniform, and that appearance struck a chord with him as well. The person had a wide dark collared jacket on with the edges and cuffs of it adorned by light stripes. A plain shirt was beneath it with some lace holding it shut, and a long cloth like skirt was worn instead of trousers. A thin hat rested on the person's head, matching the jacket along with having something similar to a medal stitched into it.

If that uniform wasn't a give away to who this person was, the fact that he was also a humanoid amphibian answered it clearly.

He had seen these type of people before. They were employed by the Magic Council quite a lot, from technicians to guards to even messengers. They were easily recognisable as to not cause any confusion with who sent them.

Why was a messenger of the Council here? And why was he heading towards his house?

Hundreds of thoughts were running through his head, each worst that the last. He was glad Ichigo wasn't here. If he was, it would have been dangerous if they had sensed his power.

But how had the Council found him? He and Masaki had gone to great lengths to disappear completely. There wasn't even a trail left to follow and it had been almost nine years. If they had found them before, they would have appeared already.

He approached the door slowly and opened it just as the amphibian went to knock.

"Ah." The amphibian looked surprised he had reacted so quickly. "You are Isshin Kurosaki aren't you? Formerly Isshin Shiba?"

"Yes." A simple answer. He would speak to the messenger and then send him on his way. He thought he was a he at least. He sounded like he was male but he hadn't met a female amphibian yet so he couldn't tell how differently they would look or sound.

"That makes things easy then." The amphibian turned around and nodded. Other amphibians joined him, all wearing the same clothes as the first. He didn't know how he hadn't spotted them before.

His heart broke as he saw what the new arrivals were carrying. It couldn't be. Not her. It couldn't be her.

"We are here to inform you of Masaki Kurosaki's passing," the amphibian informed him, as if speaking about the weather. "We are sorry for your loss."

Isshin didn't respond, instead taking his wife from them and carrying her inside. The amphibians at least had enough respect to wait for him to eventually return.

As much as he tried, he couldn't wake up. It had to be a dream. Why did Masaki die? What did she even do to deserve such a fate?

She looked so peaceful lying on one of the beds the clinic had. He wished he could just pretend she was simply asleep but he had to face reality. He still had Yuzu and Karin to take care of. And how would Ichigo…

Ichigo! He let his senses spread out as far as possible, searching for that distinct energy signature. No one nearby would have one as high as him so he could ignore anything that was weak and search for him.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He wasn't anywhere within his range.

Did the Magic Council find him and pretend he had died? No. That made no sense. If they had, why not tell him of Ichigo's passing as well. Say the body had been too damaged to survive and had broken apart. Anything to make it sound like he was dead.

They did none of that. It meant that Ichigo wasn't there when they found Masaki. That was the only bit of light he could see and he grabbed onto it with all his strength. They were still ignorant on Ichigo's existence and if he was lucky, they would stay that way. He could search for him himself when he got the chance. Someone could surely look after the twins for a few days.

But what killed Masaki? Was it the Magic Council? Would they go that far?

No. The residual Magic left on her and her wounds was too familiar. It was the work of a Hollow.

He hoped Ichigo got away from the Hollow safely or that Masaki took it down with her. That would probably be more her style, making sure nothing would be able to harm Ichigo.

Now all he had to do was deal with the Council's representative. They would want something. They always did and the fact they brought back Masaki's body instead of trying to dissect it meant they wanted to get into his good graces. He was worth more to them alive than the knowledge they would get about Quincy from Masaki's corpse.

The amphibian greeted him as he returned to the door. They hadn't moved from where they were standing at all, staring at him carefully as they observed him. They would probably be reporting back everything to the Council later on.

"If you are ready, we have a message from Era."

Isshin nodded. Era was the headquarters currently for the Magic Council. It was the equivalent of saying that they had a message for him.

"The Council states that they have been looking for you for a long time now and wishes you to return to active service."

Of course they did. They had never liked it when he had retired suddenly, without even a word of goodbye. All he had left was a note saying he was leaving and to not look for him. So they had ignored that had they?

He could see why though. He had originally worked for the Rune Knights as one of their generals, and even the other generals had admitted he was one of the strongest in the army. It was rare a Mage of his calibre even joined the army in the first place. Most preferred the lifestyle that guilds offered. Why would they willingly let one of their strongest members leave?

It was good at least to hear they had been successful for so long at hiding.

"How did you find me?" He had to know. What gave them away?

"The mayor of a nearby town informed us of your presence."

Of course he did. He had one guess at who it was. The request Masaki had taken was from the mayor of the town requesting help. He wouldn't put it past the man to have worked out who they were and had informed the Council. That kind of information could be used in a variety of ways, either for personal profit or the good of his town.

"We were requested to tell you that your presence is mandatory."

Isshin felt his blood boil. When he spoke, his voice was loud and his tone cold.

"Are you threatening me?"

The amphibians flinched at his voice, taking an involuntary step backwards. He was already releasing some of the grip he had on his Magical Power and they could feel it. They were scared.

They were brave though, still attempting to finish passing on their message.

"The Council is willing to let your leave of absence stay authorised as long as you return. Failure will result in your arrestment. Your children will be placed into care following your imprisonment."

They wouldn't put Yuzu and Karin in care. They would study them. They would try and find out if they had potential to be their tools and if so, they would make them their new weapons.

That mayor must have had some Magical Power. Perhaps he had sensed Ichigo's own power and had informed the Council about him. If they believed he was dead, they would want to see if any other children of his would have similar strength.

He knew he had no other choice. He had to accept. He knew it and they knew it. It didn't stop his next response though.

"Get out."

The amphibians looked at him curiously. "Have you decid-"

"I SAID GET OUT!"

The amphibians froze before running. They weren't fools. They had passed on the message, and they had been informed an answer wouldn't be given that day. Their job was done. Now they could listen to the angry Shinigami and get out of the town. They didn't want to find out what would happen if they stuck around.

Isshin slammed the door shut before going straight back to Masaki and taking a seat by her. The Council wouldn't take that as a no. They knew how he acted and they knew he would accept their terms. A week. That was the time he would give it before leaving. Enough time to sort out any affairs he had left and head down to Era.

As long as he did what they said, Yuzu and Karin would be out of their grasps. That was their only chip they had to bargain with. Until Yuzu and Karin were old enough to stand on their own, he would follow the Council. And maybe if he was lucky, he could find something about Ichigo.

He couldn't search normally for him now. The Council would watch him like hawks. They wouldn't be sure of what he looked like hopefully, if they even knew if Ichigo was alive or not, and so he could throw them off the trail. For now, he had to pack. Era was calling.

At least Yuzu and Karin could grow up more normally that Ichigo. He could only hope Ichigo would be okay.

"Stay safe Ichigo. Stay safe."


Protector Of The Fairies


That's the end of that Arc. Next chapter, we're skipping forward slightly to Ichigo's arrival at Fairy Tail and his meeting with Laxus for the first time.

I hope you all liked this chapter. No battles here like last chapter and instead just the results of that chapter instead. Did you understand my explanations for Shinigami Magic? I tried to explain how it worked to the best of my ability.

It also spread out into other branches as you saw. Dragon Slayers, God Slayers, and Demon Slayers was the main example of another trinity that I could think of as all three would be able to eat their respective element, though Demon Slayer Magic was inspired by many examples you would have already seen on it.

Anyway, till the next time. I've been Takei. Thanks for reading.