Storming the Caverns! The DiscoveryEdit
Yoshiro, Shigeru and Teruo all knelled, hidden among the branches of a bush. Their conversation was safe, as was their movements, but they were still careful. The trees who's branches reached the heaven's and blocked out the sky with a canopy of green leaves cast the group in shadows, hiding them completely from view. But Yoshiro couldn't help but think some of those "trees" were moving... "Shigeru, look over there."Figures could be seen moving in the shadows of the cave's mouth, but what they were doing was anyone's guess. The three suddenly turned their heads, surprised when three other Shinigami, two men and a girl, knelt beside them. The oldest member brought a surprised smirk to Yoshiro's face. "Sojiro," He whispered. "It is good to see you again, my friend. Did you follow us here?"
Shaking his head, Sojiro looked at his allies. "No, we we're sent here to investigate. They ain't happy with your report, pal. But I ain't fussed either way. The higher ups can go and jump off a cliff for all I care." Sojiro's appearance had changed drastically in the last six months. His hair was long and colored a mixture of white and black and he was more muscular than ever. "These two are the new recruits I picked up in the Human World. This is Tyrell and Karis Nishiki."Tyrell was a solid looking young man with big muscles and a large frame. His hair was brown with a slight red hint, with short spikes and he had light colored blue eyes. He wore an outfit completely different from that of a regular Shinigami, his appearance being more like that of a Samurai than a Shinigami. His zanpakuto was a large, straight-edged sword that he carried on his back. Yoshiro looked at the fellow with a grin and couldn't help but think how friggin' huge his zanpakuto was!
Karis was shorter than her brother and had light green hair. She to wore clothes completely different from the average Shinigami, with a white outfit and skirt, black leggings and white boots with white arm protectors. Her zanpakuto was staff-like in appearance.
"Who we gonna kill, Sojiro?" Tyrell said excitedly.
"Tyrell!" Karis said quietly, but forcefully. "Show some manners. Sorry, Sojiro-kun."
Sojiro shook his head before smiling. "Don't worry about it, Karis. Tyrell can call me whatever he wants, and yes, we get to kill those hollow over there, Tyrell."
"Nishiki?" Yoshiro asked. "You two related to Kazuma Nishiki, by any chance?"
"You know my brother!?" Tyrell was in Yoshiro's face in an instance. "Tell me what you know about him."
"He's traveling the Human World with two of my best friends. He left the Soul Society about six months ago. Sorry, but we've no way of contacting him..." Damn was this guy intimidating!
"I think that's the least of our problem's, Commander." Teruo said with a downward look. "The hollows are movin' this way."
Sojiro rose and grinned. "Well give you an opening, okay? Use it to enter the Cave and keep goin' lower. We we're here earlier and found an entrance that leads underground in the back. Tyrell, Karis, let's go!"
Tyrell jumped into the air and came down with a truly devastating two-handed strike that cracked the ground and blasted four of those ugly hollow away! Turning quickly, he close-lined another, breaking its neck before leaping to kick another in the face, breaking its mask and sending it flying backwards! Karis was just as impressive, only in a completely different way. Her staff-like weapon pealed away to reveal a slender, katana blade and she flowed from hollow to hollow as though performing the steps of an intricate dance.
Sojiro joined them, white spiritual energy surrounding his blade as he struck with a downward strike! "Rei Furashuu!" The white energy flowed through the ground, piercing the hollow around the epicenter as the blast continued to spread outward.
"Nows our chance." Yoshiro, Shigeru and Teruo flashed through the carnage and entered the caves mouth...
Tyrell watched them go and leapt without the aid of flash steps to block the entrance to prevent the hollow from goin' in after them. The tree's were moving, the ground was shaking. The hollow were on their way and they'd hafta hold their ground. "Commander Sojiro, I've got the entrance! They won't get past me!" He split a hollow clean in two down the middle and turned quickly to stab another in the chest before kicking it off his blade and then switched to a reverse grip to impale another coming in from behind! The guy's attacks were so wild, but yet he was makin' mince meat out of every hollow that came near him. And with spiritual energy as large and uncontrollable as his, a lot of them came.
Karis danced her way through three more hollow before turning to her Kidō skills. With no name or incantation, she used Hado 9: Tsurukusa to ensnare several hollow and then charged the vines with Hado 11: Tsuzuri Raiden to electrify them. Whatever one's survived, Sojiro tore through them with a thin Rei Furashuu in the shape of a line.
"Keep it up you two!" He shouted, trying to encourage his new team-mates. Tyrell needed none of it and simply ploughed through whatever came near him. His elbow lashed out, breaking a mask, his foot to break another mask and his sword to cut them in half. His physical strength was bolstered by his sheer levels of Reiatsu and he used that physical strength to its limit. Another group of hollow fell when he landed among them with a single, downward strike! "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon! Is that... all... you've got!!" he caught a small hollow in his left hand and hurled him straight into another.
"Tyrell, you have no style." Karis said as she shredded a multitude of hollow before blasting another group with her Kidō skills.
"Hey, I don't need style, Sis. I just destroy 'em and that's that!" He yelled. His boot sent a hollow flying and his sword caught another in the neck as he turned. With a roll forward, Tyrell tore his sword through with sheer momentum and thrust forward to pierce the closest one in the chest, where a wave of blue fire suddenly burst from his sword as Tyrell muttered "Gouka".
Sojiro suddenly stopped and looked up. A large, multi-storied hollow just slightly smaller than the tree's that surrounded them walked forward. "A Menos Grande...? Not good! Tyrell, Karis, get back! Now!" Tyrell though, stood his ground. The sad thing was that he didn't feel the slightest shred of fear...
- Meanwhile. Yoshiro and his team were making their way through the Caverns.
They were walking under the light of Teruo's Kidō and looking around each corner and tunnel with extra vigilance. They could've been in the heart of the hollow territory in Soul Society for all they knew and the air hanging around them told them that they were. The atmosphere could've been cut with a knife and spiritual energy filled the place until Yishiro feared it would burst.
Stalking forward quickly but cautiously, Yoshiro peaked round a corner and nodded his team-mates on. This was when he wished Takeshi was present, but the guy was still recovering from the beating he received earlier. Easing his ear to the wall and placing his hand on the floor, Yoshiro tried to feel any vibrations going through the tunnel...but nothing but silence reached his hearing or disturbed his hand. "And we're clear..."
Teruo, keeping the barrier to stop others listening in, was still erected because it served the double purpose of stopping people from hearing their movements. "Shigeru, can you see anything that resembles the Reiatsu you seen earlier?"
"I'd have told ya if I had, bro." Shigeru replied curtly. "Yosh, we've got a problem. It ain't immediate...but it'll become one quick enough."
The three continued through the tunnel until they came to an opening, which lead them to another cave-mouth that was mostly invested by small, ugly hollows that crawled on the ground with sharp pincers like grubs or extremely large maggots. Exerting his spiritual energy alone, Yoshiro froze the entire floor of the cave, little hollows included before Shigeru leapt up and landed in the middle with a downward strike to crack it.
"And that's that," Yoshiro said with wry grin. "But where's the Adjuchas for this lot...?"
- Back with Sojiro...
"Tyrell! I said run! You're no match for a Menos Grande!" Sojiro pleaded uselessly though, as Tyrell simply put his head down, cut aside any hollow in his path and charged toward the looming figure of the Menos Grande.
"That idiot! If it hits him with a Cero...!" Sojiro tried to get there, but a wall of hollow surged up at the command of a humanoid looking Adjuchas. With a swing of his sword, Sojiro released a potent Rei Furashuu to clear the path, but the Adjuchas appeared among the gap and struck him right back to where he started with an extending arm.
"The Shinigami will die." It hissed through a still closed mouth before charging and firing its own Cero which Sojiro canceled out with his Rei Furashuu.
Tyrell, however, kept running and striking until he leapt as high as he could and struck the thing's knee, but he was simply kicked backwards. "Woah! Ooof...!" He collided with a hollow, hitting it so hard he heard its bones crack. Rising, with blood trailing down his forehead, Tyrell clenched his fists tightly. He looked at his zanpakuto and attempted to speak with it. "Ennetsujigoku (Flames of Hell), lend me your power." He thought. He didn't release it because he didn't need to.
Spiritual energy represented by flue flames awoke on Tyrell's blade as he charged forward! Opening it's mouth wide, red energy spiraling continually, the Menos released the Cero! Holding his zanpakuto above his head and across his arm, Tyrell allowed the blast to strike him!"
Sojiro was awe struck! "That idiot! I said MOVE!" Sojiro struck his Rei Furashuu into the ground and turned to strike out with another to blow away the Adjuchas, before flashing towards Tyrell. "How the hell is he still standing!? He shouldn't have the spiritual energy...Unless! Of course! He can't control his energy because there's simply too much of it for him to handle. He's yet to release his zanpakuto to boot...!" Sojiro suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and held Karis to prevent her going in to help. "Don't." He said calmly, but reassuringly. "For Tyrell, this fight is a necessary one. Because for him to realize his potential and power...he has to become aware of what that power is and bask in it and allow it to fill him."
Tyrell was forced to a kneeling position, but he kept his blade braced with the blade held tightly in his right hand and the flat side of his zanpakuto leaning on his left forearm. "Get up...! Tyrell...get up...! I can do this...I can do this!!!" Forcing himself to stand, blue flames dancing around him, Tyrell did just that and stood! With a deafening roar, Tyrell pushed with all his physical, mental and spiritual strength and managed to send a blue colored fire beam tearing through the Cero that caused it to land either side of him and inflict a truly deep wound running the entire way up the Menos Grande's right-hand side!
With a proud expression, Tyrell leapt upwards and grinned. "Gouka!" Another wave of blue flame collided against the Menos's face, causing it to vanish as it fell backwards... "Yeah! Haha! That was easy!"
- Back with Yoshiro...
Shigeru leapt back and ran up a small, connecting passageway that ran parallel to the one Yoshiro was currently running up. They'd been discovered when they encountered the grubs Yoshiro froze by several Adjuchas who brought the bloody house down! "Yosh, Teruo! Go forward! I'll handle these Adjuchas. No argument, you hear!?" Shadows formed beneath both Yoshiro and Teruo and instantly moved them to another location at least a mile away. Turning, Shigeru hefted his zanpakuto and grinned. "Night is a world lit by itself, Naitohikage!" Naitohikage became a large, straight edged sword that appeared like a zweihander. The weapon had runic symbols inscribed upon the blade and the guard is was a golden yellow color. Shigeru himself was surrounded in a thick aura of black energy as he f;ashed toward the Adjuchas...
Yoshiro and Teruo continued deeper into the cavern until they stopped in a spacious underground chamber with tiled flooring. As soon as they stepped foot on the tile, they felt a truly powerful spiritual energy! "What is this!?" Teruo exclaimed, legs shaking from the magnitude of it. A figure with silver hair and a white outfit dropped down before them, a normal katana with nothing standing out regarded them coldly, ice forming in his free hand. "Shinigami invade my lair? Interesting..."
"If everyone crosses against the yellow light, then there's nothing to be afraid of! Hanayakakagayaki!" Hanayakakagayaki became a long, straight edged sword with a thinner section near the handle. The guard became straight and the blade had runic symbols running up either side. Teruo himself was surrounded in an aura of bright yellow light. He ran forward, using the light to in his immediate vicinity to leap forth and ensnare the figure with ropes that bound him tightly! Three small needles of yellow energy penetrated his chest, causing the man to cough blood.
Yoshiro raised his fist, signaling Teruo to stop. He flexed the hand inside the Bakkōtō gauntlet. "So you're the leader of these hollow. I guess that would make you an Arrancar? Lovely, just what I was lookin' for." The Arrancar's wounds healed though, and the light ensnaring him shattered as he exerted spiritual energy. In a flash, he was in front of Teruo and slashed him back up the tunnel he just came down from with a strike so powerful, the shock-wave he released afterwards caused a cave in!
Yoshiro looked at the entrance and sighed. "So...you want to fight me, eh, or you wouldn't have gone to so much trouble of luring me down here. Oh don't look so stupid! You left a trail only a blind man could miss." He said with a wry grin. Uttering the release command, Yoshiro initiated his Shikai on the spot as he pulled Aisumēkā out of its sheath and watch as the blade was replaced by a blade of pure ice that chilled everyone but him.
"Hmmm? Is that you're Shikai, Shinigami? Then you may like my release..." Energy erupted in a vibrant display of light blue energy, slowly encompassing the Arrancar until he was completely covered. "Freeze thy Blood, Tsumetai Kaze!" The Arrancar emerged with a mask upon his face, two forward pointing horns appearing on either side of the mask. His clothing remained the same, the only additive being the mask itself. But his spiritual energy took a massive jump!
"Allow me to introduce myself, Shinigami. My name is... Lyon Ryuu, leader of this Hollow Army!" He used Sonido to appear before Yoshiro, who blocked the attack using his Bakkōtō! "Then allow me to introduce myself as well. Commander Yoshiro Kazuki, 10th Seat of the 9th Division." White energy formed unexpectedly around the Bakkōtō, forcing lyon back. Standing with a bemused expression, Yoshiro charged a slight amount of spiritual energy into the gauntlet and watched as another blast of concussive white energy flew towards Lyon, the gauntlet guided as though it possessed a mind of its own!
He sent a pillar of ice trailing around the floor also, but Lyon countered with his own pillar of ice, surprising Yoshiro enough that he began clapping openly. "We're both ice users? Now this is gonna get interestin'...!" But lyon was beside him in an instant, his movement followed by some-kind of swish before his kick caught Yoshiro in the ribs and forced him back! "That wasn't Sonido. Ice is just a secondary ability?" His thoughts were interrupted as Lyon used the same move, this time cutting a wound into his shoulder as Yoshiro repelled him with another lucky white blast from his Bakkōtō. "Just what is this thing? I pour even the slightest amount of Reiatsu into this thing and it releases those blasts. And the amazing thing is that they're pretty damn powerful...! Let's try this again."
Trial and Error: The Stubborn Bakkōtō.Edit
Yoshiro dodged a stream of ice in the shape of a wave before firing off another concussive blast of white spiritual energy from his Bakkōtō. This time, it veered completely off course, crashing into the ground and smashing the tiled floor and kicking up a dust cloud that managed to hide Yoshiro's movements. Those blasts were powerful, but he wasn't used to the. He'd already missed twice and then used it reflexively to dodge a fatal strike.
The attack seemed to be as variable as a persons mood. Switching to his zanpakuto for now, Yoshiro canceled out Lyon's icicle barrage with a shield before melting said shield and reconstructing it extremely quickly into several spears! The two exchanged ice attacks, Lyon creating several hawk-like shapes as Yoshiro countered with a large, ice dragon that moved on its own that soon deconstructed to form small wolves that sought Lyon's flesh with sharp, frozen teeth.
The wolves were destroyed by a mythical gryphon-like creature before it deconstructed to form several small needles. Countering those with a wall that soon broke apart to rain sharp, crystal-like shards of ice down upon Lyon's body. As the ice made contact, they expanded at a tremendous rate until the Arrancar was completely encased in the ice. "Whew! That was pretty intense. He's good. His abilities are basically a mirror of my own. His zanpakuto is so similar to my own, that I'm starting to think they're related like Kusaka's and Sojiro's."He slowly walked forward, but a blade suddenly tore through his stomach, the figure a complete copy of Lyon's sealed state! Surprise was evident on Yoshiro's face, and in anger, he poured energy through the gauntlet, pain flickering through his hand as the energy shattered the clone to pieces and pulverized the ice shards themselves. Panting heavily, Yoshiro turned to the prison he encased Lyon in earlier and blew it away with another angry Bakkōtō blast, the white energy reducing the beautiful structure to nothingness.
"Are you happy that you managed to harm me?" Lyon's voice rang from behind. "That's an interesting toy you have there. But you don't seem to be very skilled in its use, Kazuki Yoshiro. I'd advise you to attack me with your zanpakuto, for you know how to use it. I want to savor this battle!"
"And I want to stand on the highest peak in the world, but it ain't gonna happen anytime soon, is it? I'll use whatever method I want in order to beat you. Besides, right now, you are stronger than me. I'll be the first to admit it. But how about...I do this!?" The gauntlet vanished, and in Yoshiro's hand formed the true form of his Bakkōtō. The wing-like blade, unlike last time, formed a large tendril-like covering that ended at Yoshiro's elbow. But his spiritual energy rose enough to allow him to stand on an equal plane with Lyon's level of Reiatsu. "Heh, that didn't happen last time...but Dylan did warn me about this thing being a parasite." Raising his head, he smiled and poured energy into the blade in the same manner he did with the gauntlet. The result was a wave-like blast similar in appearance to Kusaka and Sojiro's Rei Furashuu that forced Lyon back when it hit him directly!
But unlike the Rei Furashuu, the wave detonated soon after striking its target, causing even more damage. But Yoshiro instantly noticed the pain that coursed his hand afterwards as the Bakkōtō absorbed his spiritual energy. "Ugh...damn thing! You have your strengths, but your drawbacks, eh? I can life with that, but you aren't takin' anymore of my energy!" Activating the suppressor Dylan gave him, Yoshiro instantly felt the pain leave his hand, the tendril shrinking to cover only his hand.
With a low laugh, Yoshiro changed his stance to accommodate left-handed combat. "Ryouta-Sensei has taught me to fight with both hands, and I can do it very well, but this will be difficult regardless. I need an opening. Those energy waves are pretty damn potent. To hell with regulations. I'm keepin' this baby." He awaited Lyon emerging from the crater he'd been slammed into, and when he did, half his mask was blown off and wounds covered his body..."Oh, baby get a boo boo?" Yoshiro mocked. "Get on your feet! You and your damn army have kept me from my love for long enough! So draw your damn sword and we'll finish this!"