This article, Into The Sunset: A Meeting Pre-determined By Fate, is property of Kenji-Taichō. Permission is required to alter its content.

This article, Into The Sunset: A Meeting Pre-determined By Fate, is property of Rozeluxe.

Kenji Hiroshi and Kazuma Nishiki were sparring in the middle of a small clearing in the forest near the village Kenji and Co. were currently occupying as they traveled around the Human World. The sun was high in the sky and a pleasent wind was blowing through the gaps between the trees. Their good friends and fellow travelling companions, Kusaka Kori and Ino Choyo were off gettin' supplies for their next journey and wouldn't be back for a while. Taking advantage of that, Kazuma trained eagerly, trying to harmonise with his zanpakuto as Kenji instructed, but he just couldn't seem to get the hang of it.

Suddenly three figures happen to driving by when they noticed someone swinging a sword. "Hey Van stop the car! I want to check this out."

"Next time about you give me a warning before you shout in my ear?" Van sighed as he and his friends got out of the car and walked toward the two men "Yo! What's going on here?"

"Van don't you think we should introduce ourselves?" Anna shruged as she pulled her brother along.

Kenji stopped deflecting Kazuma's eager strikes and made his way over to the new arrivals with a welcoming look. "Heya, the name's Kenji Hiroshi." He said quickly. "The kid here is my travelin' companion and pupil, Kazuma Nishiki."

Kazuma stepped forward with a sigh. "Kenji...When you gonna stop callin' me a kid, eh? You and Kusaka are the same..." He hung his head a little. "I miss Ino-chan...At least she's nice to me..." He made a half-hearted wave to greet the group.

Kenji rolled his eyes and shook his head in exasperation. "Sorry about him." Kenji said as he outstretched his right hand in greeting.

Van shook the outstretched hand "The name is Van Satonaka. This here is my frie-"

"Im his GIRLFRIEND. Anna. Anna Rosenkrantz.'

Van sighed "Yea. And that's her overly protective little brother Jitsuzai Rosenkrantz."

"Not OVER protective. just the right amount." Jitsuzai laughed

Van looked around the area. "Nice place you have here. Sorry about just barging in here like that Anna was intrigued."

Kenji gave the group a two-fingured salute and back-handed a still huffing Kazuma. "Can you cheer up, please?" Turning back to Van and Co. Kenji smiled. "No worries. I'd take sane people who're willin' to talk than a buncha hollow any day. Believe me, it happens me too often. Nice to meet you all."

Kazuma, looked at his teacher with twitching, anger filled eyes. "See? Told ya you were like Kusaka. So, what brings you all out here?" He asked Van. "It ain't exactly on a map, at least not In our experience. Oh, you must be sight-seein', right?" Kazuma got really excited over the most trivial details.

"Again, I'm sorry about him." Kenji cracked his neck muscles before crackin' Kazuma on the forehead. "We use this spot for trainin', 'cause it's out of the way. Ah quite you're poutin'! I barely even tapped ya!"

Jitsuzai moved back because he knows that Anna gets excited when someone asks her questions. Just as he did Anna ran toward Kazuma

"Yea! I wanted to take the guys traveling! Do you know any good spots? How about romantic ones? Do you have a gf? I could find you one if you want! How old are you? Hmmm am I creepy? Of course not we're friends now right?"

Van looked back at Kenji "Training? What kind? Not to step on any toes but I could use a bit of a fight and I'm sure Jitsuzai could too."

Kenji rubbed his hands together and looked over at Kazuma. "Sure, I think I'd like that." He stepped back and picked up his katana blade silently. Turning to Kazuma, he began to speak. "Kazuma, if you can drag yourself away from the pretty lady, we got ourselves a sparring match here." Excitement was laced thickly in Kenji's tone.

Pouting even more than before, Kazuma reluctantly moved over to Kenji's side and drew his zanpakuto. "Kenji, did I ever tell you that I hate you? Kusaka steals the ladies away from me and you drag me away from them. You're evil, that's what you are!"

With a sigh, Kenji looked at Van with a pleading look before smacking Kazuma on the top of the head again. "Quite complainin' damn it! You remind me of my Academy instructor. You ready to get this started then, Van? First moves yours." Kenji adopted a defensive pose, but kept his zanpakuto loosely at his waist, his left hand hovering over the hilt of his wakizashi. Kazuma did the same, mimicking his mentor's posture exactly.

"Whoa calm yourself! I'm not your opponent yet. Your fight is against Anna and Jitsuzai." Van smirked as he walked over to the side. "Be careful you two. Kenji looks strong. And remember your restrictions right?"

"Yea Van. No blanks or releasing unless needed. Can we start yet?" Jitsuzai started pacing in anticipation before he drew his sword and charged at Kazuma.

"Guess its time hehehe. Raid the seas, Chitania Kaizoku!" Anna's sword transformed into a giant crystal zanpakuto. "Kenji sir. I wonder what you taste like? Allow me to find out." Anna charged at Kenji her zanpakuto outstretched before her.

"Taste like?" Kenji said with a wry grin. "First time anyone's ever wondered how I taste. Uhm, bet I taste like chicken!" He said with a smile. "So, I don't really know how to react to that. Maybe this will do?" He raised his katana blade to block the attack and was surprised by how powerful it was! "Hey, that was a pretty good swing, there Anna. So, let's see how you handle this!" Kenji's blade glowed as he surrounded the blade with spiritual energy to repel her. He made no move to follow up, however, instead focusing on analysing her abilities.

Kazuma, however, was having the time of his life already. Kazuma exchanged sword strikes with Jitsuzai and grinned with excitment. "Wow, you're fast! And strong! I wonder who'd be stronger between you and my other teacher, Kusaka." Kazuma leapt back with a shunpo and raised his free hand. "Hado 4: Byakurai!" Kazuma watched as the blast was fired.

Anna smiled wickedly as she looked back at Van "He doesn't notice yet?" She took her off of Van and kept talking "So I guess I'll show him my 'ability'." Anna started to form an electric current around her blade. "So your blade works with the properties of electricity? This may be useful later on. More importantly, do you like the siphoning talents of my zanpakuto?"

Back with Jitsuzai he was struggling with Van's methods of making him stronger. "You're pretty good yourself ...Kazuma was it?" Jitsuzai blocked the kido enough to just be knocked down by the sheer force behind it. "I take it you're skilled with kido? I'm not the best at myself." Jitsuzai then charged at Kazuma in an attempt to slice him in half "I'm not gonna hold back here."

Kazuma smiled. His Kido prowess was higher than his zanjutsu, and his speed was higher than everything else. He knew his weaknesses pretty well. Kusaka drummed them into him during every trainin' session. Kazuma hardened the spiritual energy around his body as a fail safe. He shot forward, but when he and Jitsuzai clashed, Kazuma was the one that came out the worse. If he hadn't hardened his spiritual energy, that attack would've ended him. "Thought so," Kazuma said holding the wound at his waist. "I knew you were strong. Guess that leave's Kido and speed, then." Kazuma perfromed the water kido spell Ryuusui, but instead of shotting it towards his opponent, he super-heated it using a Shakkahō spell to create a cloud of mist around himself and Jitsuzai, hiding himself well.

Kenji, however, never once stopped smiling, even when Anna copied his Aoi Inazuma's abilities. "You do realise that it takes a hell of a lot of trainin' to use Aoi Inazuma effectively, right? Without that trainin', it's nothing more than a current." Without even releasing his zanpakuto, Kenji's katana awakened with vibrant, blue electricity. "If you'd humour me, Anna, I was wonderin' what control your zanpakuto gives you over my abilities." Kenji shot forward at a tremndous speed as ligtning swirled around his ankles, his katana blade raised for a strike.

"Trying to go stealth?" Jitsuzai smirked "I like you Kazuma. You think things through rather than just brawling it out." Jitsuzai closed his eyes and waited "Nah. Who am I kidding. I'm not too good with that waiting game. I like action!" Jitsuzai started to form his hollow mask but, decided against it. The force of that blows isn't of someone who has been fighting for that long. I should hold out a bit more to see what happens.

Anna stopped and thought "Control? No that's not it at all. My beautiful Chitania Kaizoku doesn't 'control' your abilities I just gain the usage of the ones you currently own; albeit I can only access shikai abilities. And Kenji sir." Anna postioned herself like a runner. "I have a trait that allows me to adopt the way someone does something after seeing it. So if you use it I may be able to do it too without much training. OTHERWISE I'M GONNA GET REALLY PISSED!!" Anna shot forward using Aki Katsu's power over fire to propel herself like a jet.

Kenji was hit hard in the chest, and flew stright through several trees before he stopped. Shaking the effects of the attack off, and picking a branch out off his hair, he got back to his feet and dusted himself off and patted his stomach. "Okay," He said in a pained voice. "That one hurt. Guess I was right. It's not only my powers. But tell me, can you control hollow abilities?" As soon as he spoke those words, Kenji allowed the lightning cloaking Aoi Inazuma to disappear. Sheathing the sword completely and drawing the second katana he carried, Kenji placed his left hand over his face and concentrated spiritual matter as he donned his hollow mask with a ripping motion from his hand. "I'll simply not use my zanpakuto! Oh and I should tell ya, this katana, ain't a zanpakuto!" With that, Kenji flashed towards Anna, smiling beneath his mask.

Looking through the mist was just as bad for Kazuma as it was for Jitsuzai, but anything that impedded him would help. Besides, his eyes were pretty accustomed to mist, because he used it often against Kusaka. Flashing from place to place, Kazuma released several Byakurai spells and awaited his chance eagerly...

Van sat off to the side watching Jitsuzai's fight. "Ok kid. Go for it. Anna! Jitsuzai's releasing. You know what to do."

"Huh!? Now!? But I was jus-ARGH!" Anna shunpo'd by Kenji making sure to keep a good distance from the monsterous man in fron of her "You're a vizard? That means your senses are enhanced, you may want to back away for now. Let's take this fight a little more inward."

"You mean it Van? Heh. Fine with me...SCREAM, Saezuri Kusahibari!!" A piercing screech started to echo throughout the area coming from Jitsuzai's zanpakuto "I hope you're able to withstand this. Playtime is O-V-E-R!"

Kenji had the sense to do as he was told, for once and followed Anna to a safer location. Even when they stopped at the location she deemed "safe" Kenji could still hear a high-pitched cry, although only slightly. "Sound?" He remarked in the tone of his Inner Hollow. "That's a rather potent technique, considering it's just the release." He turned his attention to Van. "Out of concern for my pupil, will there be any permament damage to his hearing? That's a non-lethal attack, I know, but I'm worried still. The kid's my responsibility." He didn't mean to sound so cold. It was just his inner Hollow affecting his emotions. Kenji was right to be worried, however, because Kazuma was buckeled over clutching his ears tightly. It was a miracle he was even conscious to grip his ears. Screaming loudly, he attempted to drown out the noise by creating a buffer between his ear-drum and the noise usin' hardened spiritual energy, which helped somewhat, but the noise was still there. Struggling to his feet, his head still wracked with the pain, Kazuma let out a loud, pained cry!

With his enhanced senses, Kenji heard his pupil's cries as plain as day, and it was like a demon in his head. Muffling his own hearing with spiritual energy, Kenji performed possibly the best hollow-enhanced Flash Step he'd ever done to appear within the wall of mist, retrieve Kazuma, and leave again. Afterwards, he looked at his pupil and inspected his ears. "Good..." He breathed with relief. "He ain't deaf." Looking toward the wall of mist, Kenji growled, but decided to return his attention to Anna. "Kazuma," He said as softly as he could. "Can you still fight?"

Rsing on his trembling legs, Kazuma nodded weakly. "Thanks," He muttered. "I should be able to do better than this. Sorry for worryin' you." Kenji ruffeled the youngster's hair and smiled beneath his mask. Even his hollowfied eyes looked kind. "Hey, don't worry about it. I had to muffle it too, just to let ya know. Anna, let's continue." He said, voice suddenly serious again.

Jitsuzai sheathed his zanpakuto as he shunpo'd near the others along with Van. "Mine's not really suited for sparring. Sorry Kazuma. I guess I got too far into it."

Van knocked Jitsuzai on the head. "Don't apologize. That was good training for the both of you. But Kenji..would you mind switching opponents? I think anna would be better suited to draw out Kazuma's skills."

"Van...I think there's something you need to know about Kenji's abilities." Anna started to panic.

"No need my love. I 'd rather find out through battle. But before any of that matters we have to get Kenji's consent."

Kenji nodded his aggrement and waved his hand over his face, removing his mask. Breathing a sigh of relief, he began speaking. "Sorry about inteferrin' there, Jitsuzai, but Kazuma's like my kid-bro." He turned his gaze toward Van and felt a rush of excitement run through him. "Now, I can't wait to take a swing at you. You guy's ain't a normal buncha Shinigami, or ya wouldn't know about Vizards. But that ain't important." He said happily. "Let's move this elsewhere, eh, Van? Anna seems to have more than my abilities up her sleeve, so we should give her and Kazuma a little room. There's another clearing not far from here." He shunpo'd toward the clearing.

Kazuma looked at Jitsuzai and shook his head with a large grin. "No need to say sorry. I wasn't ready for it and got beaten. But, I'd like to fight you again in the future and see how I do then." Turning to Anna, Kazuma bowed his head in ackowledgment. "I hope this fight's as good as the last." Kazuma adopted a new stance, favouring defence. "I've got one question, though. Van said you'd be better at drawin' out my abilities? What did he mean? Sorry, but I didn't see much of your fight with Kenji."

Van laughed as he looked Anna "Don't worry about me ok? Watch Jitsuzai and make sure nothing happens to Kazuma." Van then shunpo'd after Kenji towards the clearing. "You seem to know a lot about Anna's skill just by looking. And I can feel your spiritual energy which means that you're strong. This should be an interesting match. Don't take me too lightly though or you'll be in for as world of hurt."

"Hm. STUPID VAN! He's always giving away details like its nothing. Well let's just say I have more tricks up my sleave than the standard fighter. I'm gonna start now. I don't hold back. HOPE YOU'RE PREPARED SQUIRT!" Anna surged foward like Kenji toward her remembering his muscle movements "Good luck! YOU'RE GONNA NEED IT!" Anna launched electrified crystal shards at Kazuma using a combination of Kenji and Van's powers.

Kazuma grinned as he seen the electricity. "That's Kenji's abilities! You even move like him! Haha, sweet!" That played into Kazuma's hands. He trained with Kenji regulary and knew how he moved better than most, and more importantly, how to counter them movements. The crystals were new, however and he mostly blocked them with a yellow Kido shield, but one lodged deeply in his left shoulder and numbed his muscle while another cut his right leg. "You shouldn't really use my master's movements. I am his pupil you know." Kazuma flowed through the forms and managed to avoid Anna's next attack, but he still felt the overall force behind it. "That was...scary. Hado 5: Ryuusai!" A torrent of water shot from Kazuma's hand as he shunpo'd to put space between himself and Anna.

Kenji touched down and turned to face Van. "I hate analysing my opponents, but I ain't bad at it. And what ya mean I'm strong? You ain't no pushover yourself, man. So, how we gonna start this thing? I'm already warmed up, so I wouldn't feel right goin' full out without gettin' the feel for each other's abilities first." He adopted a ready stance before appearing high up in the sky. "This might do. Hado 42: Yariame (Spear Rain)!" Several shafts of spiritual energy shaped like sharpened spears shot from Kenji's hand toward Van.

"You have to do better than that." Anna shot out a stream of fire to evaporate the wwater. Then launched herself again using Aki's flame abilities. "You will get stronger! I want to know what you tast like HEHEHEHE!" Anna spun down from atop of Kazuma bringing her blade down upon him using her shunpo to increase the striking ability. "I might as well add a bit more to this. See how you can handle a bit of it....Scream!" Anna's zanpakuto then started to let out a piercing noice similar to Jitzuzai but in a softer tone.

"Kido huh? Not really my forte. Didn't take the time to really learn it too well. Wreak Havoc..Tsuyakeshi Hanabira! ......Bloom....Kesshō Tōdai!" Van then created 3 clones of himself using two to shield himself from the spell. Van used the ensuing explosion to shunpo near Kenji. "Yes you are strong. I was able to feal your spiritual pressure as we approached you. Anyone not careful could've lost themselves to that." Van shifted his blade to a defensive stance. "Let's see how you like this....Bloom...Kesshō Barentain!" A crystal dragon surged forward at Kenji aiming to crush his legs or arms.

Kazuma's spiritual energy muffled the sound out well, but it was still an annoying buzz in his head. He needed to find a way to get rid of that somehow. Placing the flat side of his zanpakuto on his left forearm, Kazuma blocked Anna's ferocious strike, but was sent hurtling to the ground at a tremendous pace from the sheer strength behind it! Turning as he fell, he softened his landing using a kido net. Moving quickly afterwards, he ran through his head how to get around her abilities. Heck that wasn't the problem! She had enough physical strength to tear him apart. "Why do you fear?" A voice boomed in his head...

Kenji quickly drew his second sword and held them both in an X shape to stop the dragon's teeth takin' a chunk outta him, but it was driving him back and there was little he could do to stop that! "Well, that would knock the sleep outta anyone!" "Unless..." "Souryou." An azure coloured lightning dragon flowed from Kenji's blade to blow apart the crystal one. Breathing a sigh of relieve, Kenji flashed towards Van, "You use crystal, eh?" Kenji brought his sword down, but Van leapt backwards. "You're fast to. Let me see that crystal again, would ya? I'm curious." "'Cause it look's familar."

"DON'T USE YOUR ENERGY FOR BLOCKING OUT THE SOUND!" Anna began twisting her zanpakuto around to hit Kazuma. "Focus yourself on the battle, or I JUST MIGHT KILL YOU!!" Anna created a warp portal appearing behind Kazuma. "Feel the power of my blade. It will make you quiver in fear!"

"Heh blocked it huh? Yes. I'm a crystal user. Is that a problem? No matter...bloom...Kesshō Barentain Hidora-ban!" A crystal hydra appeared surrounding Kenji with its three heads. "So? Does this work well enough for you? And just in case you have any more questions I guess I can demonstrate a few more things to you so that you can get a fee-" Van grasped at his chest. It was a sudden burning energy and it started to roar as it increased before a voice sounded throughout

"Do YoU nEEd HelP? I caN feel yOU sTarting TO PAniC. It's OkAY. GUHAHA GUHAHA! Don'T Make ME FEel sorrY for You!"

"Who are you!? GO AWAY! You aren't my zanpakuto spirit." Van sounded annoyed but continued to battle.

Kenji looked at Van oddly. "What the...? Naw, can't be. Could it?" With no other way out that he could see, Kenji ran his hand over his face and re-formed his hollow mask! "I don't know what just happened with ya, Van, but your energy just fluctuated like nothin' half normal, man. And let's face it, that ain't normal." Kenji raised his blade high into the air and summoned a huge amount of lightning energy towards his blade as he prepared to release. "Strike, Aoi Inazuma!" As soon as his elgantly curved Shikai blade came into being, Kenji released his strongest Shikai ability. "Sandādoragon o Utsu!" A large violet dragon of pure elctric energy knocked out two of those hydra heads, but there was no gettin' away from the third. All he could do was brace himself as the beast struck!

"I heard a voice." Kazuma thought a little afraid. Was he going mad? Was he loosing his mind? Kazuma turned and switched his zanpakuto to his left hand, but his attack was knocked aside as easily as though he were wielding a broom. The impact snapped his arm and sent him flying to the ground below and this time he didn't break his fall with Kido. Hitting the ground with a thud, Kazuma lay there staring up at his opponent, beaten and wounded. "Is...this all...I'm capable of? Is limit?" He clenched his right hand into a fist. "Enough of this foolishness! Tell me right now why you are afraid? If only you're real power! Put your mind together with mine and look forward!"

"Fluctuation? Just then? That wasn't anything serious. I just had a pain in my chest. I'll get over it. Let's continue the fight shall we. Heh. I'll make it so we can't go anywh-" Van fell over coughing blood from the burning." What is this pain!? Nothing is even happening from Kenji. ARRRRRRRGHHHHHH!!!" Van started to stand and charge at Kenji

"WhAT'S wRoNG!? aRe yoU aFRAiD OF ME? i'M TryING tO HElp You wIn." The inner voice resonated within Van yet again

"Are you just not going to move!? I should KILL YOU NOW!" Anna began pointing her blade at Kazuma's neck. "Why are you still holding back? Do you want me to kill you!? Do you want everything you've worked for to be over!? Why don't you pull yourself together!" Anna started to draw her blade back for a mighty swing.

Kenji rose from the ground the crystal hydra lashed him into. The bottom half of his mask was broken and blood flowed down his left arm and leg. "Woah!" He blocked Van's viscious strike barely. "Van, that's a little bit more than stomach cramp. Trust me, I've had experience with this. My friend Kusaka had to pound me just to get it to calm down." Kenji managed to push the blow aside and reform his mask. "Whew, that was close. Van, you sure you ain't got a hollow or somethin'?"

Kazuma saw everything in a slow blur. Anna's word reached his ears slowly, her sword rose slowly and his heart pounded slowly in his chest. "She's right...what did that voice say? Put your mind together with mine and look forward? How do I do that? I don't know?" Kzauma though. "I can't even move my arm. My sword...where's my zanpakuto?"

"So now you call for me. It is naught but pointless fear and doubt that hold you back. Disgard that which you do not need and find that which is necessary! Nothing can be born from fear and doubt! Look forward, Kazuma! Shout it out. My name...!" Kazuma slowly rose to his knees. When he raised his head, his eyes glowed a fantastic light blue hue as spiritual energy surrounded him. "Grow Wildly, Chiikioi (Earh Force)!" His sword remained the same, but vines began to sprout from the ground around him, forcing Anna to leap back. Being lifted and somewhat rejuvinated, Kazuma grinned. "My zanpakuto? Ha. Anna, I owe you thanks. Without you, I wouldn't have gained this. So please dodge this...because I don't think i can hold back!!" A large blade of sharpened stone flew forward at a glaring speed.

"Fighting isn't over yet BRAT!" Anna shunpo'd behind Kazuma slicing his aura. "This is a fresh one. You don't have anything in you're arsenal yet? I guess my ability isn't really good right now. I'll learn as you do I suppose. Congrats though Kazuma. I DIDN'T KILL YOU!" Anna leaned over giving him a kiss on the cheek "Care to continue?"

"Me have a hollow!? That's unlikely!" Van stood gripping his chest firnly "And if I did wouldn't it be spea-"

"He's right you know! yoU nEed Me! I thInK you SHOUld stOp meSSiNg aRounD and let mE coMe OUT and play!"

"What are you saying!? I don't need anyone's help except my friends!"

"If thAt's tHE cASE THen let'S BE FRIends! I'll shOw YOu what I Can DO!! GUHAHAHA GUHAHAHA!!"

Van started screaming in pain. Then his eyes started to blacken as his hollow mask started to form up around his face. "GUHAHAHa Hello Kenji was it? Its time for me to play now!" Hollow Van started charging at Kenji as he formed a huge crystal spear hurling it in Kazuma's direction as he formed another for Kenji.

There was no time for thinking. Instinct took over as asoon as the spear flew toward Kazuma and when Kenji next looked, the crystal spear aimed at Kazuma was lodged in his own shoulder. That was it. He gave into his hollow affecting his emotions and pulverised the crystal with spiritual pressure alone. "That wasn't smart... Kazuma's like my kid-bro and you just tried to kill him! BAD IDEA!" Lightning erupted on Kenji's blade as he released a wave of lightning energy straight at Van! "I know that ain't Van in control. Sorry buddy, but I can't let him overcome ya. This is gonna get wild, so don't give in." Kenji rushed forward.

As for Kazuma, his face was crimson red with embarrasment. But that lasted only momentarily until his own innicent boy-hood persona returned. "Yeah, sorry but I'm a slow learner when it comes to my zanpakuto. Here I come!" His arm was still snapped though. "Use the vines, Kazuma. They aren't for show. They obey your command. Use me!" Doing as he was told, Kazuma directed the vines to lash out at Anna.

The crazed voice of the inner hollow mixed with Van's into a calmer state "Lightning!? Hahaha. Bad move on YOUR end. His crystals can capture anything with a mass. And your lightning is FILLED with particles, thus it has M-A-S-S!" The hollow Van crystalized the lightning blast and hurled it back at Kenji. "You sure this is it? I was actually worried. Time for fun!" Van's body started to gain more his mask and his hair began to lengthen. Suddenly Van shot a barrage of crystals from his chest "Hahahahaha storm! Storm! Storm!"

Anna was caught off guard by the vines and was knocked to the ground. "Heh. Not bad. But, if its a plant I guess I'll just roast it all." Anna began forming the magma and minerals in the ground around her left hand in the form of a claw. "Time to shred the weeds!" She surged foward taking the vines lashing and almost falling but, started slicing through them. "Do these things just keep multiplying!?"

But Kazuma was learning more about his abilities. His zanpakuto's voice was a constant now, clear as the gushing sound of a waterfall. It wasn't just plant-life he controlled, but nature. Nature was earth, vine's, the water flowing in a river and much much more. That was his power. Kazuma was simply the director, a gardener in a sense. Jogging away from the vine's as they continued to seek Anna, Kazuma grinned. "Hado 32! Ōkasen!" A wide, yellow flash of energy flew towards Anna.

With a grin, Kenji lowered his katana blade and drew his other. "Kyo, lend me your power." As soon as the words were spoken, his katana blade vanished and his body erupted in a white aura that cut his own cristilized lightning in two. "I told Anna this wasn't a zanpakuto, and that was true. It's what allows me to use Kyo's power more easily. If you can turn my lightning against me, then I'll simply fight you with hollow powers and Kyo's energy." A cero formed in Kenji's right hand. "Let's see how you handle my Cero." The crimson coloured blast flew forward, but kenji vanished the moment he launched the attack to try and strike at Van's flank...

Anna smiled as she allowed the kido to hit her. "Oh no I'm dying! Hehehehe" The Anna in front of Kazuma shattered into crystals. The real Anna appearead behind him and layed a hand on his shoulder "That was Van's ability. Kind of unfair for me to use it against you but that's conflict for you!" Anna then dug her nails into the open wound of Kazuma's shoulder. "This won't hurt a bit. Just let me drain some energy from you. Time for a good rest. <3"

Hollow Van started to swallow the cero fired at him before releasing it into the air. "Kyo huh? That's ironic. Care to know my name? Its..." A cero started forming in his mouth before it got out. Two other teal beams started to form in his hands. "Just kidding. I don't have one!" He let off the three ceros two going fro Kazuma one behind him."Don't think I'm a rookie. I've been here for sometime. This boy has just been too stupid to think anything of it." Hollow Van formed the air around him making 6 dragons "HAHAHAHA Go!"

"You idiot!!" Kenji yelled! "That'll hit Anna as well! No choice then! Fainaruchāji (The Final Charge)!" Kenji ran forward as white spiritual energy formed around him, cutting the cero directed at him clean in two. "Please, let me make it!" He flashed and practically threw himself at Kazuma and Anna, knocking both to the ground as the Cero struck his back!

Kazuma was half dazed. The girl who'd pecked him on the check not five minutes ago was digging nails into his shoulder and then he suddenly hit the ground. Looking over, he saw Kenji standing not five feet from him, the top half of his Shinigami robes blown apart and half his mask broken! "Kenji...! What the hell happened!?"

Kenji's breathing was heavy, but his gaze was firm and incredibly pissed off. "Anna, do me a favour and move your fight with Kazuma further afield. Van's gone a little...well, hollow. And I ain't holdin' back. He's tried to attack Kazuma twice now. And don't worry. I'll bring him back somehow." Kenji re-appeared before the hollowfied Van and accessed his hollow powers to heal his wounds somewhat. "Now, let's continue!" He ripped his hand across his face and reformed his mask!

"What does he mean hollow!? Like Jitsuzai!?" Anna looked worried as she glanced over at her kid brother who was napping through the whole thing

Van launched the six dragons toward Kenji and fired another cero. "You want to continue!? You're strong but I'm in full control now. Van is napping like a child." Hollow Van started to grow crystal spikes out of body launching them in every direction as the hollowfication grew more and more "I'll destroy all of you! I'll make this a gem filled WoNdERLanD! No oNE wiLL Get OuT OF thIs pLaCE ALIVe! HAHAHAHAHA!"

Kenji looked at the entire assault and took a deep breathe. "I don't know how long I'll be able to do this before my body gives out, but I don't have much of a choice, do I? Van, I'm gonna drag you back into control If I hafta break every damn bone in your body to do it!" Kenji opened himself fully to the twin forces of his hollowfication and Kyo and felt power fill him! His eyes were a mixture of hollowfied yellow and Kyo's crimson and his hair had a silver tinge throughout. He blew aside the cero with his own and avoided whatever shafts of crystal he could, but by the end, four of them were lodged in his body, two in his chest, one for his shoulder and another in his left leg. Then there were the dragon's. Energy swam around his blade, "Kazuma! Lay down some cover, pal!" Kenji avoided the dragon's completely and flashed at full speed towards Van, cutting his shoulder with a leaping strike before he charged a Cero!

Kazuma looked at Anna. "I've seen hollowfication, and so have you, Anna. We need to give Kenji some cover!" Several Kido barriers, vines and Kido blasts shot forward as Kazuma chanted as quickly as he could to try and keep the crystal dragons busy.

"Don't waste time with chants! Just fire multiple spells when you can. Re-directing them is fine." Anna opened a warp hole leading two of them away "Jitsuzai wak-forget it!"

"GUARGHAR!" Hollow Van cried out in pain as it just made monster noises. He looked at the wound and licked it. After you could see a faint smile as he used sonido to appear near Kenji panting heavily and about to fire his Gran-Ray cero. "RUARGUARGH!!"

Anna smashed another dragon as she heard the echoing roar. She looked over at Kazuma "That's Van isn't it?" She was on theQA brink of tears.

Kazuma nodded his head slowly as he consumed one of the crystal dragons with vines. "I'm sorry Anna. But Kenji won't let him be devoured. All he has to do is knock Van out." He repeated his Kido offensive, this time all lacked an incantation but were fired a hell of a lot quicker.

"Oh no ya don't!" Kenji charged his own Gran-Rey Cero and planted his own into Van's! "Tell me, are ya used to firin' this thing at close range? I done this once and nearly took an arm off. Let's see how much your endurance lasts, eh, Van!?" A massive explosion rang out!

But it wasn't the explosion that caught Kazuma's attention, or the sound of it. It was the spiritual energy that was comin' in fast and clear. "Why didn't ya tell me there was a party!?" Kusaka landed on the scene, zanpakuto drawn as he charged towards that explosion and cut it clean down the centre, seperating both fighters before they were annihilated! "Kenji! You are somethin' else, my friend! How the hell do you find guy's so bloody strong!? I could sense his power from the other side of the city. I damn near had an accident that wouldn't have been the pretty kind, either!"

"What is he doing!? He's going to hurt Van!" Anna charged at Kusaka in a blind fury. "DON'T YOU LAY A FINGER ON HIM! i DON'T CARE IF HE IS A HOLLOW!"

Jitsuzai awoke to all the carnage going on around him barely dodging a wild dragon flying about. "Heh. I guess Van's lost it. Hey Kazuma! I'm gonna give you a boost I hope you can take it." Jitsuzai started focusing as he summoned the blanks around him sending a few into Kazuma to augment his strength

"GURAHAGAHAR!" Hollow Van started to grow two other arms and a grabbed on to Kenji firing a cero at his face "AHARAGAGA!" Van screamed out in pain as Anna launched a beam of energy toward him lacerating his limbs separating the him and Kenji once more. Hollow Van laughed as he regenerated his arms back and launched a flurry of crystal discs at Kenji.

Kazuma felt power flow through him, and whatever those pointy-hatted things were, they also healed his snapped arm. "Jitsuzai, you are amazin'!" It boosted his Kido enough to destroy the crystal dragon that had nearly ate Jitsuzai.

Kusaka shook his head as Anna struck him! "I see. You're his women, ain't ya? Listen, when he's like that all you can do is knock 'em out, or there won't be...whatever you called him, left to save." Energy formed around his blade, "Guard Shīrudomūn!"A large, blackened, chained scythe appeared in Kusaka's hand. He spun the weapon and repelled Anna before swiging it in a wide arc to slash the disc's heading for Kenji. "You're clear, Kenji! Go!"

Kenji oblidged and charged forward. "Guess I'll test your endurance a little...Kaze no appuru no hana (Apple Blossoms in the Wind)!" He struck out three times, knocking aside defences and cutting a slash across Van's chest that knocked him back, but it quickly closed up a few seconds later. "Accelerated healin'? Oh, you just know how to make a guy's day worse..."

Jitsuzai smirked as he fell over forgetting that he needed to release his sword to have enough spiritual energy to control the blanks properly.

Anna was in tears but didn't listen to Kusaka instead she charged blindly at him being repelled with each attempt she made. "I'll be the one to save him! You can just go die in a hole! You don't belong here!!" She created a mass of water clones all charging at Kusaka.

"Gurarfa!...Where am I!?" Hollow Van grabbed his head as he started shooting off ceros in random directions. "Go BAck iN vAn! I'm hERE to PLay NOw yOu Had youR chAnCe!" Hollow Van formed a crystal dome around the area "NOw tHerE's NowHerE tO rUn!" Suddenly a multitude of crystal swords formed in the area in were ready to impale all in the area.

Kazuma sighed and performed Senka with a slight variation. As he moved, he struck the clones but didn't touch Anna at the end, appearing beside Kenji instead. "Listen, I didn't catch your name woman, but If ya wanna save him, then you'd better help us. Kenji needs a free hit." Kusaka grasped Kenji's arm and looked him straight in the eye. "You know what you need to do. He's showin' the same sign's you did. It's completely outta sync. Bring him back, ortherwise..."

Kenji shook his head though. "Anna, I know he's dear to you, but if he manages to use that, everyone here's dead. Kusaka, Kazuma, you two know what to do."

Kusaka looked to his pupil and grinned. "You couldn't have left this a few hours, could ya? I could've transformed...Ah well, those are the breaks. HAAAAA!!!" Spilling spiritual energy into his scythe blade, Kusaka spun his weapon in a wide arc, a pitch black aura enamting off of him. "What are ya all waitin' for!? Christmas? Clear 'im a path!" Kenji put his head down and charged. "C'mon Van, we need ya to fight this! Give me an opening...!"

"RAGAGEAGAHGHEO!!" Van started clutching his head and firing off another barrage of ceros. "Don't make do this Yukimura." Van was talking to his inner hollow.

"ShUT UP!! YoU WanTEd PoweR and NOw YoU HaVe it. WHat'S ThE ProBlem? I thOUgHt WE weRe friEnds!?"

"Not like this. And friends don't control each other. They lend each other strength in times of need."

"Heh FOr nOW im goNnA haVe Some FUN! yoU caN sIt BacK aND ENJoY! Watch this woman charging you." 'Yukimura' began to laugh

"Van....Why YOU of all people.." Anna dropped her blade and charged at Van. "I'll bring you back with my own two hands! I don't care what they say I'll make sure you it throu-" Anna was interrupted as blood poured from her mouth. She looked down as she noticed her stomach impaled with a crystal sword and began falling to the ground.

Kazuma leapt up to grab her, but apart from that, he was lost for what to do! He had no skill in healing. Ino had never- Ino! "Ino, where the hell are ya!? We need you out here, now!" He screamed. "Anna? Listen to me...Kenji won't let him be consumed. I promise. Ino?" A woman with blonde hair stepped down and her hands glowed with healing kido.

"Kenji! It's now or never pal, he's just downed the girl!!" Kusaka bellowed as he brought his scythe into hand and released a truly wide Rei Furashuu! "That's it, pal! GO!!"

Kenji folowed the path carved out by Kusaka's Rei Furashuu and shunpo'd right in front of the hollowfied Van, throwing caution completely out the window. "Van, you stupid, fool-hardy- Graagh! Just fight the bloody thing! I've fought you for peat sake! You're stronger than he is! Now show him that, damn it! Don't let him consume ya! Think about Anna! Think about your comrades! lose." Kenji leapt back and charged his Reiatsu into his sword, but he was going to wait until the very end...Until he had no other choice.

"Van..." Anna passed out from blood loss

"Anna!? RAGHEUOOO!!" Van's spiritual pressure spiked as he realized what had occured. "Kenji....I don't have much control right to beat me! If you knock out the hollow...I think I can tame...him.. a bit. Just trust me on thiis--ARGGGGHHH!"

"Not so fast Van. Yukimura is out to play why don't you just go back to taking your rest?"

Suddenly a barrage of green ceros came shooting foward at Van "You JERK!!!" It was Jitsuzai who donned his hollow mask after seeing Anna being struck down. "How could you do that to my sister!? SCREAM!...Saezuri Kusahibari! Tokubetsuna Saundo!" The resulting friction caused a massive explosion around Van burning a part of his hollow mask off. "GO KENJI! DO IT NOW!"

"Sure thing, Jitsuzai! Nice one! Van, this is gonna hurt! Fainaruchāji (The Final Charge)!" Again, white spiritual energy surged around Kenji as he moved forward to strike a deep wound on Van's shoulder! The resulting explosion engulfed the area and both fighters...!

Kusaka appeared beside Jitsuzai and sighed. "She was your sister? Don't worry. Ino's one of the best healers I've ever seen and I've seen Captain Unohana do her thing. But ya can't blaim the hollow guy over there. You won't know, but Kenji nearly killed Kazuma when he went all hollow style on us. Trust me, if he remembers, he's better off not knowin'. I didn't tell Kenji and he still doesn't know. Make up somethin'. Tell him I done it thinkin' Kazuma was in danger. But that's my opinion. The name's Kusaka by the way."

Jitsuzai looked at the strange man in confusion "When did I ask your name? My sister is dying over there and you're as calm as can be!" No wait...Jitsuzai lowered his mask "Sorry. My emotions seem to get the best of me when I'm wearing my mask. Heh. Its funny Me and Van now both have hollows. Well I'm gonna check on my sis. The name's Jitsuzai by the way."

Van fell to the ground in a rain of crystal shards. "You can go back now Van. I had my fun. Let me out more often so I don't grow reckless and take over again. That's a fair trade in my eyes. I'm gonna go take a rest now but, remember to use my strength when you need it and I just might let you use it...if I feel like it." Van started laughing "Wow. I think I might just take a nap too. Yukimura was it? I'm gonna kill you for hurting Anna." Van looked over at Ino and then whispered to himself as he hit the ground "Then again she's in capable hands. Sorry for this everyone...wake me up in a bit."

Kenji laughed breathlessly as he removed his mask and re-sealed Kyo's power, sheathing the blade. "Van, I think you' the right...idea there, pal." Kenji just dropped and landed with a thud on the floor. "Damn that hurt, but I honestly don't care...Oh ah, my back!"

Kusaka shunpo'd down beside Kazuma and rolled his eyes. "I'll go see how ol' Kenji's doin'. Ino, when you're done here, head over to Van. The guy needs seein' to. Oh and Jitsuzai, you said ya had a hollow? You'll know what he's goin' through then."

"Right, Kenji's stubborn enough to hold on a while longer." Ino replied calmly. "But make sure he's alright...would you?" Kusaka shunpo'd over to Kenji and Van and shook his head. "Only you, man, could find a guy with a suppressed hollow, draw it out and enjoy doin' it."

"You're funny. How is he?" Kenji asked.

"Van's fine, considerin'. Now you just shut up, close your eyes and Ino'll be over in a while."

A bit of time later....Edit

Anna awoke to Van holding her "VAN! YOU'RE OK!?"

Van laughed as he looked down to her with Jitsuzai "What are you talking about? You're the one who was hurt by the Kusaka guy and overexerting yourself sparring. Don't scare me like that again."

Anna jumped up "But! You had a whole fi-"

"Don't say anything yet Anna. I was told to try to hide some of it from him." Jitsuzai whispered into her ear "Just let him think that for a bit."

Kenji ruffeled Kazuma's hair and grinned. "So you learned your Shikai? Nice one, kiddo!" He walked up and tested his arm before slapping Van on the back. "Good to see you're back to normal, there pal. Had us kinda worried there for a bit. Oh yeah, take a wild guess at how many times ya near skewered me?"

"Ah, can it, Kenji!" Kusaka said cracking his knuckles. "The guy's just gone through hell and you thump him for it. Van, ignore him."

Kazuma walked over to Anna, not reallt sure of what to say. "Umm...thanks." Kusaka grinned and whispered at Van. "Hey, I think someone's got a ~crush~. I can't wait to keep him goin' about this."

Laughing, Kenji looked to the horizon. The setting sun painted a beautful scene. "Well, guess we better hit the road again, eh guys?" As his team turned to leave, Kenji turned and shook Van's hand. "Any of ya need help in the future, come and find me. We're all pretty good in a crisis after all." He gave each a smile and a two-finger salute before walkin' in the direction of the setting sun. "I guess we'll see ya around then? Later guys!"

"Same to you guys!" Van laughed

Anna smiled and blew a kiss at Kazuma "Good luck kiddo!"

Jitsuzai stood by his sister in silence

"Alrighty then. Shall we continue on to the next chapter of our lives? I can't wait to see what this crazy world has in store for us after today." Van turned and made his way back toward the car heading deep into the shadows along with his friends

Next Story > Clash! Kenji vs Margin!

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