Akio was traveling through the roads heading towards his home in Radiant City as he made his way through the mountains and found himself in a crater made by a meteor. He passed through it with ease as he looked around trying to see if there was another way to get passed it.

Kei was sitting atop a large gray boulder near the crater or as some called it, Randuin's Crater. He sat crisscrossed, holding an old worn down book, its pages somewhat yellowed by time. The book was titled HEARTLESS and Kei eagerly turned page after page, waiting to see what would happen next. He looked up to see a figure walking through the crater, obviously trying to find another way around it. Kei chuckled and placed his book down and smiled. The wind blew and a rustling noise was heard. He wasn't there anymore.

Akio felt the sudden change as he looked around wondering what was their but all he could see what nothing as he kept going and eventually finding his way towards a valley.

Kei appeared behind Akio, him leaning against the body of the boy with his arms crossed, looking at the orange glazed skies. "I see that you had found another way to get past the crater. Bravo my dear boy. Bravo."

"Haha, it wasn't that hard especially since You lead me out of there." He said as he glared and turned his head.

Akio turned to find no one behind him. "Hey. What are you looking for?" Kei asked, appearing before him, tapping his head with a smile. "And I didn't lead you hear. All I did was just give you a little push in the right direction. Getting lost here seems pretty useless to me."

"I can see your fast but compared to how i can sense you easily, your too slow." He said as he could find where he was no matter how fast he moved.

"Ah. I see you can trace my movements quite well. However, have you ever realized that one can merely let someone trace their movements on purpose. Or on a whim?" Kei replied with a grin, his glass blue eyes staring intently at him while waving his gloved finger at Akio.

"Them there is fighting words!" Akio said in a southern accent as he threw his bag somewhere far and focused his flaming spirit energy all over the area as he smiled,"Let's see what kind of powers the Captain of Squad 3 can do."

Kei chuckled again. "Fighting words? Don't you think you're being a bit rash here my friend?" He said, raising up his hands and backing away, well aware of the latter's intention. "I am yet to be named the Captain of the Third Division. However when that comes to pass, I'll be sure to tell you."

Akio laughed as he stood right behind him,"Where do you think your going?" He said as he went for an attack.

Kei sighed as Akio went on the offensive. "Sadly, I saw this coming. Prepare yourself!" He immediately turned around, materializing the sheathe of his Zanpuktō in his right hand, catching the attack.

Akio smiled as he backed off and smiled,"Bring it." He charged with his hand and went in to slash at him.

Kei stood firm in Akio's path, waiting for the blow to reach him. Right before his fist made contact, Kei instantly brought up his left hand, catching the fist in mid air and stopping Akio in his tracks. When that happened, a deep impact was made below Kei, indicating the force of the impact. "Oh look at this. It seems you like your hand had just been caught." He said mockingly, seeing the surprise on his opponent's face as he tightened his grip. "As you can see, I don't even have my Zanpuktō out yet," Kei remarked, bringing up the sheathe up to the base of Akio's neck. "Bye bye," Kei said with a smile, the inside of his sheathe started to glow a faint white.

Akio smiled as he pulled his hand causing a deep wound on Kei's Left hand and backed away," Oh believe me, My Zanpakuto hasn't come out to play either."

"Ouch. That really hurt!" Kei said sourly, gripping his bleeding hand. Akio smirked in response, enjoying the blow he had given the man. But when he blinked his eyes, Kei was nowhere to be seen, until he felt a presence appear behind him. "Actually, I lied. It didn't hurt at all. Instead, it felt like a tickle." Kei whispered into Akio's ear.

Akio summoned flames engulfing the both of them as he then went in for a punch.

But all the punch had hit was thin air. Wind blew the fire away for a swift moment, revealing an empty space. Surprised, Akio quickly looked to his left and right, trying to figure out where Kei had gone off to. "Hey you. You missed." A voice called off at the distance. Akio continued to look to no avail. "Up here." Kei said. Akio looked up to see Kei in the air, the inside of his Zanpuktō sheathe glowing a faint white. And it was pointing towards him. Kei grinned when he fired two concentrated blasts of spiritual energy at Akio.

"Are you really this arrogant and stupid?" Akio smiled as he used his arms like two swords and slashed both of the incoming blasts in half causing them to blow right behind him.

"Let me ask you this, in all the time we have been fighting have you even once seen my Zanpakuto?" Akio growled as he looked at him.

"Ohhhh. Getting angry I see?" Kei said with a smirk. "Maybe I am arrogant and stupid. Maybe I am not. Everything I am doing could be on purpose. But that's up to debate. Don't you think?"

"Hasn't it also occurred to you that I haven't brought mine out? I'm merely using the sheathe." He answered back, still smiling.

"HAHAHAHAHA, naw I ain't getting mad it's just...... you annoy me right now and I don't have time to waste on you." He said as he started increasing his spirit energy.

"Me annoying? That's absurd! I'm just not serious and if you didn't have the time to waste, why are we here?" Kei remarked, noting the increase.

"Because i needed someone to test my trained powers." He said as he shunpo'd right at him while he had his fist on flames.

"I see," Kei nodded in acknowledgement. "I'll gladly test them out for you." He said as he raised head to face Akio, his face once again in a grin. He readied himself, holding the sheathe in a reverse hand-grip.

"Burn Fire Blaze Honoo Hikigane" Suddenly a cloak of fire surrounded Akio as he moved much faster and went in for the attack at high speed.

Holding his sheathe like a Zanpuktō, Kei prepared himself for Akio's attack.

Akio moves quickly and in a blink of an eye punches Kei hard into a wall.

Once Kei had hit the wall, the impact caused a large amount of dust to explode outwards, obscuring him from view momentarily. Kei was covered in dust, his left cheek was grazed. He stood up slowly, wiping the dirt off of his clothing. Kei bent down to pick up his sheathe and in an instant, was behind Akio about to strike the young man.

Akio smlied as he put his two fists together causing a fire circle with a dragon to appear under him,"Bakuha Yakedo!!" Suddenly the flames around Akio started to burn even harder causing the ground to be charred as suddenly a dragon shaped from the flames went straight towards Kei.

A look of surprise enveloped Kei's face causing him to bring up his sheathe in response, attempting to beat it away.

The dragon was blocked by the sheath but it was a distraction as Akio gave a much stronger punch to a distracted Kei which caused him to be slammed into another wall and engulfed in flames.

Once the dust had cleared, Kei appeared, arms crossed, his lips pursed and apparently unscratched. "Wondering why I appeared like this?"

Akio glared at him as the flames were dancing around him,"If i had to guess your Zanpakuto has been active ever since this fight started." Akio said looking at him.

"Good guess but wrong. I have been using the sheathe the entire time although, now its out of spiritual power. You see, I can store an amount of energy into the sheathe and as a result, I can manipulate that. As you already know, I can fire a spiritual blast from it. But what you didn't know is that I can erect a barrier around myself to protect from attacks. At that moment before you had hit, I used the remaining energy to protect, although, I am still subject to the concussive force of your punches. Now, I'll leave it at that." Kei answered as he threw the sheathe in the air, it disintegrating into spiritual particles. and carried off by the wind. "As for you, I think you can use your Zanpuktō without actually being here. Correct?" He asked.

"Wrong, see back when i first recieved it a freak accident happened causing it to fuse with my body making my skin as tough as a sword only in battle, which makes me a Living Zanpakuto." The fire's roared as they went right after Kei again.

"But in a sense, I am right. And I am sure that I can cut you. Sooner or later," Kei corrected. He waved his hand, causing the flames to go another way.

"Then let's see what you really got." Akio smiled.

Kei returned the smile as he raised his left hand to his side, as if he were calling for something. Just then, spirit particles started to gather, forming into one a katana. "I rarely carry my Zanpuktō since I can just summon it on a whim. Meet Wasurete Shimatta No Ishiki and its itching to get things over with." He said, pointing the Zanpuktō at Akio, an orb of spiritual energy materializing at its tip. "Yume No Piasu Nami!"

Akio focused the fire he conjured with Bakuha Yakedo and created a powerful orb of fire between his hands.

Kei fired three Yume No Piasu Nami at once, rushing towards Akio.

Akio fired a big flame orb causing the three blasts to cancel the attack which gave Akio the time to summon the dragon circle once again as his cheeks expanded."Nenshou Iki!!!" Akio spit out a giant fire attack as it went straight towards Kei.

Kei moved forward to intercept the attack, slashing his Zanputkō downward, cutting it to the middle while firing another Yume No Piasu Nami towards Akio, splitting it into three segments which converged onto his opponent.

The blasts hit Akio but were sliced thanks to his Zanpakuto skin which exploded on Akio, as the smoke cleared Akio flew up and went straight at Kei as he then blew more fire from his mouth straight at Kei.

Kei looked up at Akio and smiled. "Typical," He called out as he used his Zanpakutō to effortlessly deflect the fire away from him. With a burst of speed, Kei disappeared and appeared right beside Akio, using a downward stroke on his enemy.

Akio was able to block his attack but was barley able to widstand it as he was slammed straight into the ground.

"Enough!! If your not going to take this seriously then i will beat you down hard." Akio suddenly raised his spirit energy to their highest.

Kei looked down to see Akio get up from the blow. He instantly appeared next to him, poking him on the head with his gloved finger. "Can you beat me down?" He said with a laugh and was off again.

Akio snapped when he laughed."Bankai...." The energy went beyond it's limits as the entire area was heavy with air pressure."Nenshou Honoo Hikigane"

"Nice armour." Kei said, his voice at the distance. "However, I am afraid I have to break it. Sadly."

Akio growled as he summoned the power of his flames and threw it right at him.

Kei held out an outstretched arm, intercepting his flames dead on and gathering it into one single orb of blazing energy. He looked at Akio for a moment and suddenly appeared at his side. "I'm not sure whether or not you are impervious to your own flames but I'm damned sure that this orb has a large amount of concussive force within it." He released the orb at point blank range.

Akio was knocked down onto the ground as he stood up and looked up at him, then went very fast as he was able to appear behind Kei without him knowing as he blasted more fire.

The fire from Akio had hit Kei, causing him to stagger in accordance to the blast. However Kei disappeared after the wind had picked up. It was an afterimage. The real Kei appeared adjacent to Akio and attempted to slash him with his Zanpakutō.

Akio managed to block the attack but it caused his right arm to break as well as the armor around it to shatter and turn to dust. He then threw it back and went for another attack.

Kei blocked him, moving him around so that he could be able to face Akio, showing a smugged smile. "Getting a bit slow are we?" He walked backed a few steps and he outstretched his Zanpakutō in a vertical position. He closed his eyes and muttered "Remember Me, Wasurete Shimatta No Ishiki!" while he moved his hand across the blade. The katana was suddenly enveloped in a red aura, dissipating several seconds later, revealing a large sword with a blood red blade.

Akio growled as he summoned his flames and threw them as fire lances.

Kei countered the fire lances by generating an orb of white energy at the palm of his hands, casting it twice through a waving motion, sending out a barrage of white energy to intercept it.

Akio intercepted with his flame disks but was becoming exsausted from the energy.

"Tell me Akio. What is your worst fear?" Kei asked, walking towards him, his blade at the hip.

Akio looked him as he focused his energy,"My worst fear already happened..... my mom died." He said as he summoned a powerful burst of energy causing red arms to manifest all over him as well as his armor changing form as well."Sakuretsu Honoo!!!!"

"What are you talking about? She's right beside me." Kei said, moving off to the side, revealing Akio's mother.

Akio simply looked at him and growled,"You coward, how dare you use my mother's image to fight.....Pathetic." He growled as the energy grew along with his rage.

"An image? Ridiculous!" Kei haughtily said as he snapped his fingers, causing a tear to appear right beside him. "Move along woman, I guess your son doesn't want to see you." He said, directing her to enter the tear. She obliged and walked into it, the tear closing upon itself moments later.

Kei faced Akio, his eyes directly gazing at his eyes. "Now this is the fun part," He said with a smile. Kei whipped his hand out and his mouth moved, silently uttering words. Another tear started to form right above Kei, a shadow soon developing around him. A white figure appeared right next to him, tall and brooding, adorned with a large lance. The figure turned its head to Kei, as if it were waiting for orders. Kei nodded his head and the figure turned, immediately dashing forward to Akio, its lance at the ready.

Akio was now enraged as he focused his energy and easily caught the lance right in his hand,"Something you should know about this form....... It's my most dangerous." Akio said coldly while he snapped the lance in half and easily took out the figure.

"I could tell. You are in your Bankai afterall. There is something you should also know. I have more than one." Kei casually said with a smile. Three of them materialized besides Kei. "Howaito-Enjeru." One of beings knelt beside Kei,as if it were a servant. Suddenly, it removed its chest and Kei entered the Howaito-Enjeru, wearing the being like a suit of armour. He picked up the lance and it transformed into a larger version of his Shikai. He looked at Akio and said, "Lets go!" Him and the two figures took flight.

Akio took stand as he easily took care of the figures easily then went in to punch Kei with much force.

The armour Kei wore had broken, disintegrating into spirit particles and sending him towards the ground. However, Kei slowly got up, remaining unscathed. Kei smirked in response to the action and pointed his Shikai towards Akio. Dozens of shadow creatures appeared around Kei and Akio, surrounding them. Hantā No Hōkō" He whispered. The creatures focused their attention on Akio and opened their mouths as if they were going to roar. Instead, a gray mass started to gather and in swift concession, they fired at the same time at Akio. As that took place, they converged on him, moving swiftly in unison.

Akio conjured up a massive tower of fire causing the energy to be blocked as well as the figures to be burned to a crisp. Suddenly Akio fell down to his knees as his armor disappeared and was reverted back to his normal form, he slammed his fists into the ground causing them to bleed.

"DAMN IT!!!! I trained for three godforsaken months and this is the extent of my power?!?!??! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!" Akio yelled up as he then dug his head into the ground causing his forehead to bleed as well.

Kei materialized beside Akio, squatting next to him. "Whoa there Akio. Calm down. This is not the extent of your power. You have a large room for improvement. I must admit, that you surprised me there with your techniques." He said, trying to comfort him.

Akio pushed him away as he shunpo'd out of the chasm and made his way to a river where he washed his wounds and made sure they weren't infected.

Kei appeared leaning on tree, his arms crossed. "You can't run away from me." Kei remarked. "And its offly rude to run off without a word."

Akio growled as it was leading up to a roar but he stopped himself and calmed himself down by breathing out fire,"It's not that..... for three months i had to endure so much i trained every spare time i had making sure my moves and bankai was mastered. Now i can't even beat someone like you." He sighed as he bandaged his wounds and drank some water to cool himself down.

Kei chuckled for a moment. "What are you implying by "someone like me"?" He said as he eyed Akio.

"As for your Bankai, it'll take a lot longer to fully master it, especially that final form of yours. Maybe you need to use Jinzen. That could help you. And for your information, it took me a very long time to fully use my Bankai to its full capabilities. And even I don't use it that often."

Akio looked at him and shook his head as he went to grab his stuff and came back,"No, all my hidden powers have been unlocked the moment my Zanpakuto fused with me. I still need more training to be come stronger, and nothing say training like being with my family." He said closing his eyes and seeing them all smiling.

Kei nodded in understanding. "I see. Well. You can fight several others. And me again if you like. Given enough time, you'll get stronger," Kei said, appearing behind Akio, facing the other way. "I'm still curious. What do you mean by someone the likes of me?"

Akio laughed as he looked at him,"I'll tell someday when we meet again and I defeat you, till then Kei be well." he said smiling as he shunpo'd out of the area.

Kei laughed and followed Akio until he stopped. "Again. I have to say. It's rude to not let someone say goodbye. But before I do that Akio. I must tell you something."

"Oh. "be well" didn't mean good bye and it's not goodbye it's see you later." he said laughing as he cracked his neck."So what do you want to tell me?"

Kei looked at Akio with a grin. "You've been fighting the Dream self of me the entire time." Akio stared at Kei as his body started to disintegrate into spirit particles. Before he disappeared altogether, he waved at him, his face a smile. "And this is where I say be well Akio." The last thing heard was a laugh.

Akio sighed and looked at the sky,"I guess some people do need handicaps like those abilities while I had to work for mine." He closed his eyes and shunpo'd out of there.


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