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 Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II

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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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Weapon : Ryuujin Jakka

Stats:
HP:
2790/2790  (2790/2790)

PostSubject: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 15 Sep 2009, 4:42 am

The air was unseasonably cold, even for December. Snowflakes were trickling down from the dark nighttime sky, adding a touch of white to the busy New Year's celebrations ringing loudly through the port city. It never snowed in Nagasaki. The warm ocean that pervaded every aspect of life usually saw to that, but this year the ocean was cruel and dark, sending a chill that cast a slight pall over the most important celebration on the calendar. Older men lamented the Meiji Emperor's decision to adopt the Western calendar ten years ago, sending the annual New Year celebration from the warmth of early spring back two months to the gloom of winter. What point, they said, was there to celebrating new life when surrounded by the season of death?

The discussion over the calendar, though, was lost on the children of Nagasaki, especially to little Miko Hitachi. There was no extra mochi or kamaboko for a cold, starving orphan. In fact, it had been three days since the five-year-old had eaten anything at all, and that meal had been a stolen stick of yakitori that had earned Miko a savage beating from the shopkeeper. The little girl wrapped her arms around herself as the icy wind blew threw her tattered clothing. Season of death indeed. It had been the winter before when the cholera took Miko's mother, and the winter before that when her father had succumbed to consumption. All the poor girl had known since she could remember was death. Death and misery. And the lack of light in her lifeless brown eyes showed it.

"Filthy urchin," a man sneered at Miko, shoving her out of his way and into a stone wall before continuing on his way. Miko felt no pain, though. It had been months since she'd last felt any pain. It'd been months since she'd felt anything. She slumped against the wall, aware of the empty pit in her stomach and, worse, the burning thirst in her mouth. A wave of dizziness passed through Miko's mind, and the next thing she knew she was facedown on the pavement. Desperately she licked at the snow on the ground, but she quickly spat it out. It was more dirt than water, and it offered no soothing to her dry tongue. Off in the distance, Nagasaki Harbour taunted her. Water, nothing but water as far as the eye could see. Even little Miko, though, knew not to drink the salty water of the ocean, but...

I'll drink it, she said to herself. I'll drink the ocean water, cool my tongue, and then die.

She tried to push herself to her feet, raising herself up on weak arms, and collapsed again, unable to take another step. She sighed, suddenly feeling warm. It would not be the water of the ocean but rather the biting cold and the hunger that would end Miko Hitachi's short life. The little girl closed her eyes, unnoticed by any of the New Year's passing merrymakers, and slowly slipped into unconsciousness. Death would soon claim her as well.

Miko didn't know how long she'd remained there, dying on the side of the busy street, when she was suddenly roused by a shaking. Weakly, she opened her eyelids, and the first thing she saw was a simple clay bowl, filled to the brim with water. Without thinking, her eyes shot open and she grabbed for it, pouring the cool liquid out faster than her mouth could take it in. The water dribbled down her face, down her clothes. She even sucked a little into her windpipe, making her sputter and cough.

"Be careful, child," said a chuckling voice. "I know you're thirsty, but you mustn't drink so fast you choke."

Miko squinted upwards at a figure above her, silhouetted by the moonlight. "When the poor and needy seek water," said the man, "and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them."

"K... kami... sama?" Miko croaked out. It had been the first words she'd spoken out loud in a very long time. She wondered for a moment if she'd died and this was the afterlife.

"No, no, child," the man replied, stepping into the light. "Not God, but merely His humble servant." He was a portly, friendly-looking old man who seemed to be in his late sixties or early seventies. His head was round and wide, without a single hair on top, just a few scraggly white whiskers around his worn and wrinkled mouth, and he peered at Miko from behind a pair of spectacles that highlighted his warm and shining eyes. Underneath his brown leather coat, Miko could see he was wearing a black robe with a stiff white collar. "Tell me, my child, are you alone this cold New Year's Eve? Where are your mother and father?" He spoke Japanese very well, but his eyes and his accent gave him away as Korean.

Miko let out another weak cough. "They... they're dead," she said.

The Korean man bowed his head respectfully. "For he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust. A man's days are as a flower of the field, for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone." He held out his hand to the girl. "Tell me, child, are you hungry?"

She paused. "I... don't have any money."

The man smiled and shook his head. "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none. And he that hath meat, let him do likewise," he said, offering his hand once more. "I ask for nothing but to share with you the light of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

The little girl regarded the man warily, but the smile on his face was warm and earnest. Weakly, she reached up and clasped her little hand around the old man's fingers. Gently, he helped Miko to her feet. "My name is Father Cheong Dae-Shim," he said. "And let me welcome you to the embrace of the Lord."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"God hath chosen the poor of this world rich in faith as heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised," Father Cheong preached to the rows of poor and homeless seated at wooden benches and tables in front of him. A fire burned in the hearth as a young deacon collected the empty plates. "Yea, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth. The poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. Prayer also shall be made for him continually, and daily shall he be praised."

Most of the crowd were unmoved by the priest's speech, only there for a quick meal, but in the front, Miko watched, enthralled, her body wrapped in a warm cotton blanket and her belly filled with rice and miso soup. The cold and misery of the cruel outside were gone and forgotten, locked away in the recesses of Miko's memory in the midst of Father Cheong's words.

"There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains. The fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon, and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure for ever! His name shall be continued as long as the sun, and all shall be blessed in him. All nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen."

"Amen," Miko whispered breathlessly. Outside, the clocks struck twelve, and the Shinto temples began ringing their 108 chimes, heralding the start of the year regarded by the Western calendar as 'The year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four.'


Last edited by General Yamamoto on Tue 15 Sep 2009, 5:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cardinal Ximenez

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Male Weapon : Onishita

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HP:
0/0  (0/0)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 15 Sep 2009, 4:59 am

Cardinal Ximenez was leaning against a wall with a sour look on his face, his arms crossed, impatiently tapping the side of his sleeve with one finger, when he saw a gaudy mask and a white haori breeze past him out of the corner of his eye.

"Hey!" he called after the Captain. "Mayuri!"

Kurotsuchi ignored him.

"Mayuri! Dammit, Mayuri, get back here."

Mayuri stopped and slowly turned around. "I wish you'd at least refer to me as 'Captain' in public."

"Look, I've had enough of this," Ximenez snarled. "I don't know if you saw me out there, but I damn near got killed by some second-tier, green-gilled brat with no experience in battle whatsoever! Now, I don't know what you've got up that damn sleeve of yours, Captain, but I am sick as hell of being slapped, tossed around, and all out humiliated, and I swear to God that if you don't do something about this goddamn limiter, that I'm going to--"

Kurotsuchi interrupted his rant by waving his hand. A cryptic circle of light, inscribed with arcane symbols, appeared in front of his fingers. He made a few small hand movements, and then the sigil disappeared completely. Ximenez felt a tingle run down his spine. "What... did you just do?"

"I turned your limited down from 97% to 91%," Mayuri said casually. "A 6% increase in your overall power level should be more than sufficient."

Ximenez blinked. "That was... too easy." He narrowed his eyes over his yellow glasses. "What's your game, Mayuri?"

Mayuri sighed impatiently before glancing around and making sure no one was listening. "We're ready to proceed with the next experiment."

"And I care because... why?" Ximenez shrugged a little, and then it dawned on him. "You're... using one of them, aren't you?" His snakelike face brightened into a grin. "Which one?"

"It doesn't matter," Mayuri hissed, trying to keep the red-hatted man's voice down to a whisper. "Whoever you're facing first will be fine. Just do it quickly, don't give Yamamoto a chance to stop the fight."

"My pleasure," Ximenez smiled with unabashed glee, rubbing his hands together. "Now... if you'll excuse me," he bowed half-sarcastically to the 12th Division Captain and made his way back toward the arena.

Kurotsuchi shook his head. There was no other way to be sure, he thought. All that's left to do is get Unohana out of the picture. Nemu will be able to take care of the Inoue girl.
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Satoko Takeshi
Most Likely To Die
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Male Weapon : Ryuunosuke

Stats:
HP:
5/62  (5/62)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 15 Sep 2009, 3:54 pm

Takeshi himself gawked at the blazing inferno that had spawned from Ryuunosuke and engulfed the arena, taking in it both his opponent, and himself. The sweltering heat from the fire was not like that of Ryuunosuke's blade, its flame singed even its wielder, scalding his hands and evaporating the sweat from exertion that had formed on Takeshi's skin. Closing his mouth, Takeshi watched intently as he felt the flame dissipate, sternly observing the arena for his unique foe. For a moment Takeshi did not see him, and felt he may have failed even with a blaze of such glory, but then his eyes fell on his defeated foe, scorched and beaten outside the ring, and a wave of relief swept over Takeshi, a wave strong enough to knock him into a peaceful state of mental oblivion. He remained standing for a moment, heard a loud voice and felt a roaring sound he didn't attempt to interpret splash up against his being, and then acknowledged his body joining his mind as it collapsed into unconsciousness.

The boy could feel nothing, not a shift in the air, not a scratch on his body, he was unaware of the thundering applause that had been flared out at the end of his fight, unaware of the start of the next, oblivious to Igarashi's presence at his side. Sweet nothingness flowed over him, washing away his pain, his aches, his complications, bathing him in the delectable absence of it all. In this bath of nothing the boy floated peacefully, unconscious even in his own personal oblivion.

The empty nothingness was soon flooded in the silence of nature; the peculiar calm and serenity of its symphony of silence, both abundant in sound and free of noise, the boy found the tranquility delightfully profound. Slowly he dragged eyes opened, the dull orange glow of the sun sinking into the horizon beamed into his vision, the bath of nothing washed away in the cool air of a setting sun. And with the nothingness gone, awareness collided heavily with Takeshi, he felt every cut, scrape and bruise etched into his body, the boy's flesh was akin to a canvas painted with wounds. The boy inhaled sharply as all the pain hit him anew, unprepared at first for the onslaught of injuries he felt winded and tired anew. Releasing his breath in a beaten groan, the boy began to struggle upright, his battered and torn muscles expressing their protest to his action; the tendons thought he was being absolutely ludicrous. But as he climbed into standing, he could feel his wounds begin to fade away, gradually, but they were surely fading off of him.

Shocked he stumbled backwards, falling heavily onto his rear. He had caught sight of his hands, and he held it out in front of him now, watching the dangerous burns coating his flesh slowly retract from his hand, the skin reforming, looking as though he had not been burned. Confused and simultaneously terrified he clambered to his feet, his wounds still simply disappearing, retracting into themselves as his skin reformed overtop of them. The boy tore his shirt off, watching the phenomenon unfold before his eyes. Unsure of what to think, he was both grateful to be relieved of pain and terrified about what was happening to him, the boy began to take notice of the heat of a sun overhead, and for the first time took notice that the sun had risen from its setting since he had last looked at it, and now hung high in the sky. The warmth it gave off was pleasant, but its sheer presence bewildered him.
Full of questions and without any clue where the answers could be, the boy took notice of where the area around him at last. With each breath he drew, mountain air flooded his lungs; he could feel the cool stone beneath him begin to heat again now that the sun had risen to hover in the sky once more, and the boy realized that he was on a ledge, jutting out from the side of a drastically steep and rocky slope. Stepping to the edge of the jarring protrusion he had awoken on, the boy took in the scenery laid out before him, dense seas of trees spanning out beneath him, stretching endlessly into the horizon. The scenic beauty of it was accompanied with the symphonic silence of nature, and couldn’t help but bring a smile to the boy’s face; beauty like this was unparalleled in his eyes. Despite the delight he garnered from looking down upon it, he couldn’t help but feel melancholy, the forest was as rough as it was beautiful, wind and wildlife were peppered through it, an absence of lakes was clear instantly, and he felt strangely acquainted with the pain of traversing this endless sea of trees.

Unable to decipher why, the boy merely gazed down for another moment, but as he gazed down, he realized just how far down he was gazing, and leapt backwards as though he was in heightened danger of falling simply because he knew how high up he was. Scrambling backwards he felt his back push up against a rough rock wall, veiling himself in an unexplained shade. And it was this time that the boy took his first glance upwards and to his rear, seeing the clear sky, the reversing sun, and a large rugged mountain climbing up to the sky, seemingly impossible to scale, but the boy found himself up on the beast somehow.

Confused and bewildered, the boy remained slumped up against the mountain which shaded him from the reversing sun, and simply stared out into forest, unsure of where he was, why he was there, or what any of this meant. “… I… Where am I?” the boy quizzed the world he had found himself in, not expecting an answer, but receiving one.
You,” sounded a voice all too familiar to the boy in its abrasive, almost alien, tone, “Are in the place of your birth, and my home. This is the world in which I am… residing” a tinge of spite came in the voice, but was lost to the boy’s ears. “Your, as I’ve heard it referred to, Inner World. This is the home of Ryuunosuke, the source of any power you have tapped thus far. This is my home. Learn my name and know it well, from now on I will use my strength when you call on me for aid because you are not strong enough to fight for yourself. That trick I have pulled in the arena was the potential of what you can gain from me, should become strong enough, it almost killed you this time boy, and it will never be an easy task using what I have to offer.

Well feeling still curious and stunned, the boy could tell that somehow things had become clearer to his childish mind, and that the knowledge the voice imparted on him would be important to the boy at some point. He nodded innocently, and jumped upright in shock as a flame-shaded monster perched itself on the cliff the boy currently occupied, and stared into the boy’s eyes. Its face was of animalistic nature, and lacking of any compassion, it radiated a type of heat, but was simultaneously contradicting in its cold and emotionless expression. The creature was naught but the likes of a dragon, tinted the shades of flame, it appearing just as beautiful and dangerous as the mountain the resided on and the woods surrounding it. The dragon had no need to speak its name for the boy to know that the proud and powerful beast which met its gaze was none other than Ryuunosuke itself.

Call on me,” it growled, the strange voice seeming to fade as it spoke. “You cannot fight alone.

Takeshi awoke with a start; sitting bolt upright, as awareness barrelled into him he could tell instantly that the medics had been tending to him, every scrape, cut, bruise or scar on him from the previous fight had essentially vanished, only one significant scar remained, and it would not be giving up its place anytime soon. Takeshi could have been pleased with this development, had the first sight greeting his eyes not been a bolt of electricity sending his red-headed friend flying through the air with a powerful bang, sending to Takeshi’s mind the memory of the dog Igarashi had sent flying the prior night. Grimacing at the unpleasant image of his comrade being sent sprawling across the ground by his opponent- whom Takeshi didn’t recognize and didn’t care to- he shifted himself from where he had laid and walked over to join the crowd of his fellow students, blending into them and disappearing, silently mourning Igarashi’s loss while simultaneously pondering his meeting with Ryuunosuke in his… Inner Realm. Takeshi took the name to heart; he had the fullest intentions of using it as soon as he got the chance.


Last edited by Satoko Takeshi on Fri 26 Feb 2010, 6:55 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Took me long enough to post this >_>; Sorry if it messes up the pretty layout you may have intended for your posts, Smythe.)
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Chojiro Sasakibe
Lieutenant, 1st Division
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Male Weapon : Gonryoumaru

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Thu 17 Sep 2009, 3:05 pm

Suddenly the voice of Headmaster Sasakibe floated through the corridors of Kyouraki Hall, carried on the wings of a series of Hell Butterflies.

"Attention all students participating in the main phase of the Tournament. Please report to the ring immediately for preparations. I repeat - All students participating in the main Tournament, please report to the ring immediately. Thank you."
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Naomi Oxen

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Female Weapon : Mesuokori

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HP:
50/50  (50/50)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Fri 18 Sep 2009, 1:47 pm

Naomi and Igarashi together again. It seemed like the perfect day, nothing could go wrong. Her and Igarashi sitting in the park sharing a irregularly large bottle of wine, could there be anything better? Iga stared into Naomi's eyes and she smiled. Naomi was quite happy that Rikiki "fell" out of Naomi's window. With her out of the way her and Iga would be happy forever.

Iga poured another glass of wine for Naomi, she stared at him. Naomi then leaned in for the best kiss of her life. As she leaned closer she could smell his minty fresh breathe. Igarashi dropped the bottle of wine and started leaning in as well. He wrapped his arms around her and started kissing. Then Naomi felt a gurgle from low in her stomach. "Iga somethings wrong, my tummy feels funny". Igarashi kept his grasp on her head. "It's just butterflies, that will happen". He then pressed on with the kiss.

All in the matter of a second Naomi was power puking all over Igarashi's face and mouth. Iga was disgusted. Naomi continued to vomit on the ground. "Your sick" stated Iga as he got up and left. "Wait I'm sorry, come back Iga come back."

Naomi then woke up she was laying on vomit covered ground yelling "comeback Iga". She realized most people around her were gone. "I must have passed out....." there it was again, puke. She fell to the ground vomiting liquor. "I hate hang overs" she hissed before hurling for the last time. Now where am I suppose to be? she wondered.

Before she could think anymore Chojiro's voice was heard.

"Attention all students participating in the main phase of the Tournament. Please report to the ring immediately for preparations. I repeat - All students participating in the main Tournament, please report to the ring immediately. Thank you."

Naomi then looked around and started walking hoping nobody had seen her.
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Chiken Kazenosei
Likes boys. ;)
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Male Weapon : Myounahanashi

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HP:
1/72  (1/72)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 06 Oct 2009, 8:41 pm

Chiken sat in his seat, twiddling his thumbs. The screen and his name? Well, that was interesting for a minute, but then it stopped. No one was doing anything, so Chiken started fiddling with his hands, and when he realized he was twiddling his thumbs, he was mystified. Intent on watching his thumbs go around and around, Chiken just stared down with childish glee. There was nothing else to watch, so why wouldn't he be?
That is, until a movement caught the corner of his eye. He quickly glanced up, trying to place exactly what he just saw. A blueish blur, it was fast and Chiken was intently scanning the crowd to find it. It didn't take long to spot, it was the beetle, and it was scurrying down towards the ring. Chiken stared after it for a few seconds before, in a flash, he was up out of his seat and tearing after it.

Not that Chiken would notice it, but as he chased after the beetle, people would shuffle out of his way without a word or even noise. They silently moved so the beetle could scurry on while always being in the sights of its pursuer, before silently shuffling back to where they were when they passed. This creepy efficiency was lost on Chiken though. He was just focused on that beetle that was always only a few steps in front of himself.
Once the beetle and Chiken entered the ring however, things changed. The beetle stopped in the dead center of the ring, and Chiken instantly dove on top of it. With a triumphant sort of gasp, he turned over and scooped it right up, really hoping he had it this time. He did. Holding it in the palm of his right hand, Chiken intently stared at the stilled beetle that was miraculously intact.

Chiken was watching the beetle with full intent, drawing in every little detail for no reason whatsoever, when another blur was caught by the corner of his eye. He looked up and stared, for there again was the beetle, and it was scurrying outside this time. Chiken glanced down at the beetle in his hand, it was the exact same beetle, but it had suddenly lost his intrest when there was it again, only moving this time. Without a glance, he tossed the beetle aside and started after the other beetle down the very bright hallway outside.

Chiken bust outside, blinking in the intense light. He looked around for the beetle instantly, but was a little surprised to find he was now perched on a tree branch. Nonetheless, he spotted the beetle on the next branch over, and decided not to care where he was but to get the beetle. Chiken sprang off the branch and jumped for the other one. He was halfway when something caught more than his eye, a bolt of reiatsu crackled through the air nearby, and instantly he whipped his head around to look. The sudden shift of focus caused him to crash into the next tree over and for the beetle to escape, but he didn't care. He found something new to focus on.
With a nimbleness never seen before, Chiken grabbed the branch he was now perched on and swung down on it. With a very forceful kick, he pushed off the tree and dove towards where he felt the bolt come from. He landed perfectly on all fours and continued running that was, not missing a beat in the transition. Chiken didn't remember ever running like this before, but he wanted to find the reiatsu's source so bad he didn't think much of it.

With an odd sense of knowing, Chiken suddenly lept up into the branches and slowed. He had already ran for a little bit, but he knew suddenly the source was ahead and he stopped. Sure enough, there was a man in all black robes looking the other way in the clearing on the other side of the brush Chiken had been on before the jump. He instantly recognized the robes, it was a shinigami! He wanted to jump down and talk but... he only now discovered he couldn't move. Chiken couldn't make himself get off the branch, Chiken couldn't make himself move his legs, Chiken couldn't even make himself blink willingly. He just stared down at the man, slowly moving to the next branch, but not under his own control.

Then suddenly, realization dawned on Chiken: he was watching one of his memories! Instantly, he felt a shudder of excitement to see some of his past. At the same time Chiken got excited, however, the man whipped around and saw him on the branch. The man opened his mouth as if he were yelling something, but no sound came out. In fact, Chiken only noticed now that he heard no sound at all once he was in the forest. He didn't have time to really think about this though, because he was suddenly hurdling through the air, dashing into the nearby trees as another bolt of reiatsu cracked through the air.
Chiken was racing through the trees away from the man now, but he didn't know why without sounds to help him. He simply decided to watch and find out as another bolt of reiatsu cracked the air, this time closer to himself. Rather than keep running though, Chiken suddenly swerved and swung around on a branch, using the same technique as before the suddenly switch directions as he kicked off a tree. He was now headed directly for the shinigami that was chasing him, who was doing the incantations for another bolt of reiatsu as they ran towards each other.
Chiken felt the bolt start to crack the air when a voice finally came to him and stopped everything.
"Attention all students participating in the main phase of the Tournament. Please report to the ring immediately for preparations. I repeat - All students participating in the main Tournament, please report to the ring immediately. Thank you."

Chiken bolted upright in his seat. He was suddenly out of the memory, back in the arena. Directly in front of him was a hell butterfly that seemed to be directly assigned to Chiken due to how often the student ignored, well, everything. The butterfly repeated its message twice before Chiken looked down in the ring and saw his classmates starting to gather around there. Only now understanding the butterfly's message, Chiken stood up and walked to join his class in the ring.
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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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Weapon : Ryuujin Jakka

Stats:
HP:
2790/2790  (2790/2790)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Thu 11 Feb 2010, 9:05 am

=============================

He's so tall...

Indeed, the man in the red hat dwarfed Zetsumei Oushou by at least half a metre. Behind him, Inada-sensei was announcing something about the first match, but Zetsumei couldn't hear him over the sound of blood rushing in his ears. He put his hand on Itonabou's hilt and slid the sword from its scabbard, staring upwards into the grinning face of Cardinal Ximenez, who looked far too pleased for himself.

I'm scared...

Scared wasn't the word. Terrified, maybe? So scared that he couldn't even feel scared.

"Fighters ready!" shouted Tetsu, raising his arm into the air.

"Zetsumei Oushou...," Ximenez muttered suddenly.

The green-haired boy was suddenly jarred back into reality. "What?"

"Nothing personal," chuckled Ximenez, slowly drawing his own zanpakutou. "But I'm going to kill you."

"Fight!"

"Urk!" Zetsumei suddenly crumbled to his knees. What... the hell...? He looked down. Blood was pouring out of a huge gash in his chest. When... when did he...? He suddenly felt a presence behind him and instinctively turned his sword up, blocking Ximenez's strike. When did he get behind me? Zetsumei only got a glimpse of him before he vanished, and the boy felt another slice cut across his back. He jumped back for the corner of the ring, holding his sword up and breathing heavily, pointing the blade at Ximenez, who had paused in the center, holding his hat down over his eyes and grinning, his zanpakutou dripping with Zetsumei's blood.

So... fast...

=================================

"This is a mismatch," muttered Chojiro Sasakibe. "I hope that Oushou boy surrenders before he gets himself killed."

"Lieutenant," came a sudden voice behind him. Chojiro turned around to find his third-seat, Kazuhara Kijou, behind him, bowing reverently.

"Yes, Kijou," Sasakibe narrowed his eyes. "What business brings you to the General's private box?"

"My business," Kijou said, "Is with you, Lieutenant, sir. Would you do me the honour of accompanying me outside? I wish to speak with you privately, and it's not something we need burden the General with."

Sasakibe glanced over toward General Yamamoto. The old man had both hands on his cane and was leaning forward, seemingly entranced by the fight. "Very well, Third-Seat Kijou. Please, lead the way."

==================================

Zetsumei's eyes were wild with fear. Ximenez was toying with him, seeming to be able to cut and slash at him at will, always with that horrible laughter.

Surrender...

No, he said back to himself, gripping his sword's hilt even tighter, ignoring his multitude of wounds and the torrents of blood gushing from his body. "I've still got... something... I can do..."

"Please, by all means," Ximenez said genially, gesturing to the boy. "Release your zanpakutou."

Zetsumei grit his teeth. Dammit, can he read my mind? But there was no time to think about it. He raised his sword over his head.

"Alright," he said, "You asked for it. Reap, Itonabou!"

==================================

The summer night breeze was cool compared to the stifled heat of the crowd inside the arena. Chojiro Sasakibe paced behind his third seat, getting farther and farther away from Kyouraku Hall and closer to the forests behind the Eighth Division's barracks. Kazuhara led his Lieutenant into the trees, eventually reaching a large clearing.

"Isn't this far enough?" Chojiro sighed.

Kijou stopped. "You know... why I've brought you here?"

The Lieutenant closed his eyes. "You're going to try to kill me again."

Without another word, Kazuhara Kijou whipped his blade from its scabbard and rushed at Chojiro. Chojiro took a step back to defend, withdrawing his own weapon. "Pierce, Gonryomaru," he said quietly, and Kijou's sword clashed against the narrow blade of a rapier.

"You never give up, do you," muttered Chojiro.

"I won't give up until you're dead, Sasakibe!" Kijou growled. "Restrain, Yonjoukusari!"

The form of Kazuhara's blade melted away into light, reforming itself into a long chain that wrapped itself around his left hand, forming a handle topped with punching spikes. The chain kept going, ending with a pair of steel nunchaku-like blocks topped with sharp blades. The chain glowed, infused with Kazuhara's reiatsu, as if it was alive, one end curling up like the head of a snake and the other wrapping tightly around Chojiro's body, pinning his arms to his sides.

"The Lieutenant's seat is rightfully mine!" shouted Kijou, aiming an iron-spiked fist right at Chojiro's face.
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Ryouichi Kanue

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Male Weapon : Mugenji

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HP:
76/76  (76/76)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Mon 15 Feb 2010, 6:50 pm

After singing the horrible song on repeat for an indeterminate amount of time, Ryouichi decided that enough was enough. If anyone had been listening, they'd probably have muted the mics by now. Besides, singing "The song that never ends" over and over was incredibly boring, and there were far better things he could be doing with his time. And so, voicing a completely insincere, "Sorry!" to whomever might be listening, the scheming mastermind turned his gaze inward once again, deep in thought.

.

...

.....

.......

.....

...

.

He was floating in a sea of nothingness.

The truth was, Ryouichi never really went directly to the 'study' of his inner world. Instead, every time he arrived, he willed himself that place in his mind. Well, it wasn't a place, really, more like a reconstruction, hobbled together from various memories. Mugenji had explained this the second time he had entered and panicked slightly at being left in a place devoid of light, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Now, though, he was using the void as a place to rest, and began a sort of meditation, sorting through his memories with utter detachment.

It was funny, he would think later, how even the simplest of things could go awry so easily.

In his early years, before Seireitei, before Rukongai, before he had even come to Soul Society, he had been relatively carefree. Oh, that wasn't to say he had never known pain, or seen suffering, or that he was too young to understand what was happening when the adults spoke in hushed tones about the battles with their neighbors when they thought he wasn't listening. Ryouichi had understood the existence of all of those things perfectly; he was an exceptionally smart child for his age, sometimes scarily so. But he had his family, his mother, his father, and their families, and he was content with his life. He was happy.

That was, until one day. That day, when everything changed.

.

...

.....

.......

.....

...

.

Everything was burning.

The flames licked his skin, and the smoke stung his eyes.

He coughed violently as the filled his lungs, his small, weak body unable to cope with the strain. He never had been very athletic.

Dimly, Ryouichi realized that something was very wrong, but that feeling immediately took a backseat to his panic and the stabbing sensation in his chest.

The adrenaline pounded through his veins, and the only thing he could think of doing was running. Running somewhere, anywhere to escape the blaze.

.

...

.....

.......

.....

...

.

The world exploded in pain.

Someone was screaming.

Who was he?

Where was he?

Why? Why did it hurt so much?

Gradually, after what seemed like years, but could have been minutes, or seconds, he became aware of two things.

One, the pain throughout his entire body wasn't going away.

Two, he couldn't open his eyes, and his face was wet.

Why would his face be wet? Was it raining? But no, this didn't feel like rain. It was heavier, and smelled... metallic...

Suddenly he could not only smell it, but taste it. Then, he was gagging.

But it wouldn't stop. It wouldn't stop and-

He was drowning.

Oh god, he was drowning!

Drowning, drowning-



Drowning in blood.

.

...

.....

.......

.....

...

.



Ryouichi's eyes snapped open, and he was lying on something soft, breathing erratically, fingers clenched and dug into the soil below. As he lay, dazed and confused, his eyes darted about, trying desperately to place himself.

He was lying against a tree atop a hill, a magnificent sunset view of Rukongai, and of Seireitei with its Senzaikyu towering in the distance.

Where am I? This place is... so familiar. But where...?

The crunch of grass at his side alerted Ryouichi to the presence of another.



In a flash, he was on his feet, tensed for a confrontation. Reaching for his sword, he addressed the young woman, "Who are you- uuuuoah!"

The end of his sentence trailed off into a noise of panic and surprise as his hand passed through the location of his non-existent sword and threw him off balance. Limbs flailing and trying to steady himself, he was saved from an embarrassing tumble down the hill as the girl, while laughing at his predicament, reached out a hand and grabbed his arm, pulling him back to land once more against the tree.

Staring up at her in confusion, Ryouichi was shocked when he recognized her face. At first he thought she was Rumiko, but after a moment he realized the similarity was only slight. "Where am I?" he demanded, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"

Shooting him an amused look, she plopped down beside him and spread her arms as if to encompass the entire horizon. "This is the hill you climbed when you first came to Soul Society! The hill where you vowed to end the suffering of the people of Rukongai! The hill where you made all of your plans!" She raised an eyebrow, smirking, "Don't you remember?"

Ryouichi started again, "The hill where I-," suddenly, he gaped, jaw opening and closing soundlessly. "You're Mugenji?" he asked, incredulous.

Grinning now, she nodded.

"But-," Ryouichi protested, struggling for words "but you- robes-"

"What?" she blinked owlishly for a moment. "Ohhhh, you mean these!" she exclaimed happily, pulling the white robe seemingly out of nowhere. Ryouichi just nodded silently, not trusting himself to speak. "Well you seeeeee," she eyed the garment distastefully for a second, "I didn't like them. They were too stifling. So, I got rid of them!" she chirped, tossing the robe carelessly to the bottom of the hill, and looking far too pleased with herself.

Ryouichi took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly, slumping back against the tree and facing his newly incarnated zanpakutou. After a little while, the silence seemed to stretch on. "So," he queried weakly, "You're a girl, now?"

"Hmph," Mugenji huffed, pretending to be offended (or at least, he hoped she was only pretending), "I'll have you know, I've always been a girl. You just couldn't tell because I was wearing those stupid robes. As you can see, however," she sniffed haughtily, flipping a strand of hair over her shoulder, "I am very feminine." As she finished, she smirked mischievously, cupping her most pronounced feminine aspects.

"Right," Ryouichi ground out, palming his face while Mugenji giggled uproariously at his awkwardness, "that still doesn't explain why I'm here, or why you didn't tell me about this before now."

"Aha!" his zanpakutou exclaimed brightly holding up a finger, "You don't know this, in fact I'm pretty sure that most people don't, but we sword spirits don't actually look like what you usually see in your inner world. Since, despite residing inside of Shinigami, we have our own souls, and thus more human forms than we usually let on."

"Hmmm," Ryouichi nodded interestedly, "I see. That still doesn't answer my questions, though."

"Well, um," she tittered nervously, biting her lip, "I- I knew, knew you were going back through your memories, and that you didn't really like those ones, and I didn't really like watching you being hurt like that, and I thought you'd like this place better, but I don't know if you do or not, and I didn't want you to think any less of me, and, a-and-"

"Waaaaaaahhhh!" she cried, cradling her head in his shirt and sniffing tearily, "Please don't hate meeeeeeee!"

"Huh?" Ryouichi uttered eloquently, knocked backwards by Mugenji's hysterical tackle, hitting his back with an, "Oof!" as she continued to sob into his robe. "Uhhh, Mugenji...," he whispered gently, patting her head softly, "I don't hate you."

"Uwaaaaah," she hiccuped for a few more seconds, before pulling back a little and looking up at him nervously. "R-really?" she murmured hopefully. Suddenly she saw his clothes. "Ahh! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"

"Really, don't worry about it." Ryouichi smiled.

Sniffling a little, Mugenji beamed.

After calming down for a few more minutes, the sword spirit rolled off of him and jumped to her feet, apparently completely enthused again. "Alright!" she shouted, pumping her fist in the air.

"So," she inquired, turning back to Ryouichi with her hands on her hips, "What do you want to do now?"

"Eh?"

"Well, you're bored in that cell, right?" she insisted, gesturing emphatically, "How about a game of shogi?"

"Oh. Sure." Ryouichi cocked his head to the side, "We can do that?"

"Well of course we can!" Mugenji grinned, "What do you think this is, the real world?" After a moment of concentration, a shogi board materialized on the grass between them. "You can move first." Ryouichi nodded, picked up a pawn, and they began to play.

Several minutes later, the two were laying on their stomachs, and Ryouichi was feeling a little disgruntled. "Well?" Mugenji smirked, "Weren't expecting that, were you?"

"How are you doing this?" Ryouichi grumbled, annoyed that he hadn't seen her move coming.

"Don't you get it? It's like playing against yourself. Don't bother trying to win, by the way," his sword spirit sniffed imperiously, "I know all of your strategies, and I've come up with counters to every single one of them."

"Oh, is that so?" he grinned in challenge, "I guess I'll just have to improvise, then."

They continued like that for what seemed like a long time, trading banter, and talking about anything that came to mind. For the first time in weeks, even if for a little while, Ryouichi Kanue felt content and at peace.



((Yeah I retconned Mugenji. Very Happy My zanpakutou was far too boring, and since I had nothing to do, I figured I'd try this crazy idea I got from the recent anime Filler Arc. Razz))
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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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Weapon : Ryuujin Jakka

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HP:
2790/2790  (2790/2790)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Wed 17 Feb 2010, 1:30 pm

The air crackled with white and black energy, and as it cleared, Zetsumei found his hands wrapped around a long pole with a gleaming blade at the end.



"Well, well, well...," Ximenez smiled. "Looks like we've got someone who fancies himself the Grim Reaper." He turned his blade deftly toward the boy. "Let's see what you can do about this!"

Zetsumei gripped the scythe tightly as Ximenez rushed at him. He twisted to avoid the attack, and CLANG! went the larger man's sword against the pole end.

"You've gotten faster," smiled Ximenez, delivering a series of thrust attacks, all of which Zetsumei managed to block. The final block sent Ximenez's sword a little high, and the boy say his chance.

Now! Zetsumei counterattacked, sending the blade cutting horizontally at Ximenez's chest. The man in the red hat jumped back, avoiding the blade itself, but the invisible energy surrounding the blade crackled with black and white sparks, slicing through Ximenez's reiatsu itself.

"What the... hell?" Zetsumei spun the pole and slashed downwards through Ximenez's shoulder. The energy exploded in a burst as the blade of the scythe ripped through his very life force, absorbing his energy into itself. Before Ximenez's surprised eyes, the wounds on Zetsumei's body seemed to be healing themselves. The green-haired boy's own face was set with fierce determination.

"Oh my," Ximenez's eyes narrowed. "It looks like this may be more difficult then I thought.

==============================

The chain unraveled as Chojiro Sasakibe's body flew through the air, leaving a trail of blood from the welt on his face. When it reached the end, it pulled taut, jerking his spine backwards. "Ha!" Kijou yelled, pulling the chain in a spin, sending Chojiro smashing through a tree trunk. The headmaster groaned, lifting Gonryoumaru weakly, but Kijou yanked on the chain with all his might, pulling his Lieutenant forward, directly into his waiting foot. Not content to let the chain do all the work, Kijou went directly to work himself on Sasakibe's face and chest, delivering another spiked fist to Chojiro's jaw, then three quick kicks to his torso, followed by a somersault that drove his shoe directly under Sasakibe's chin, throwing the older man upwards through the leaves. With another grunt, Kijou dropped to one knee and slammed his fist into the ground. The chain, still wrapped around Chojiro's midsection, pulled the headmaster down with it. A gush of blood erupted from his mouth as Sasakibe's back collided with the earth. Breathing heavily and bleeding, Chojiro pulled the end of Yonjoukusari from his chest with some difficulty and flung it away. Quickly, the headmaster scrambled to press his back against the trunk of another tree and catch his breath, his legs still splayed out in front of him.

Slowly, Kazuhara Kijou approached his Lieutenant. Reaching down, he grabbed Sasakibe by the neck and dragged him to his feet. Gonryoumaru clattered loudly to the ground.

"Are... you satisfied yet... Kijou?" Sasakibe strangled out.

A look of sheer rage overcame Kazuhara's face. "Die!" he yelled, pulling on Yonjoukusari's chain and sending Sasakibe headfirst through another tree. This one collapsed completely under the stress of its shattered trunk, crushing Sasakibe under the weight of its wood and leaves.

The headmaster coughed, pinned beneath the tree, severely bruised and bleeding. Kijou stood over him, but with a look of anger rather than gloating over his seeming victory. He tugged on the chain and it wrapped around the trunk of the tree, sending it flying into the air. A few more movements, and the blade on the end sliced the tree into harmless pieces.

"Enough of this," growled Kijou. "Stop toying with me. Bring out your bankai."

"Ban...kai?" Sasakibe wheezed, pulling himself to his feet. "Dare I assume that... your desire to face the bankai that's defeated you so many times before is a sign that you too have learned to release your bankai?"

"For over a century," said Kijou. "I've trained and trained to reach bankai. All in the hopes of destroying you, Sasakibe, and proving that no trash that Yamamoto fished out of the gutter can EVER hope to be as strong as a noble of Seireitei!"

"You... have so much to learn... Kijou...," Sasakibe shook his head. "Now... enough of this foolishness. I have to go back... and attend to the tournament."

He's... blowing me off?! Kijou began to shake with rage. His teeth clenched and his knuckles grew white around Yonjoukusari's chain.

"BAN-KAI!!"

The chain began to glow and grow, splitting and writhing, until one chain became a mass of hundreds. They wrapped around Kazuhara's lower torso, giving him the appearance of a naga. A few more chains formed a screen over his face, all extending from a steel disc in his left hand.



"Behold what I've mastered, Sasakibe! Teppeki Yonjoukusari!" (Iron Wall Twelve-Metre Chain)

Kijou moved his hand, and no less than twenty of the tentacle-like chains flew toward the headmaster, binding his wrists and ankles, cutting through his skin, and pinning him against another tree. "This is what rules Seireitei, you scum dog. This is power, true power! And people like you of ignoble birth have none, none that can rival it!" He released the chains, sending Sasakibe falling to the ground in a pile.

"Is... that so?" Sasakibe sighed. "It appears... you need to be taught... another lesson."

"It is you who will be taught today, Sasakibe!"

"And you will learn... that just because you've learned bankai... that doesn't mean you've mastered it." Chojiro gestured with his right hand, and Gonryoumaru appeared with a flash. "A true Shinigami is never without his sword," he said, closing his eyes and holding the blade straight up with the hilt below his chin.

The rise in reiatsu was quiet and subtle, not like Kijou's at all. A breeze blew through, rattling the leaves. And Chojiro's eyes shot open.

"BAN-KAI!"
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General Yamamoto
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Weapon : Ryuujin Jakka

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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Thu 25 Feb 2010, 9:45 am

Zetsumei struck again and again, and even with his boost in power, Ximenez couldn't block them all. He did counterattack, ruthlessly, slashing Zetsumei's hands, arms, face, chest... but each cut of the scythe that went through him tore through Ximenez's reiatsu, healing the wounds that he was making. He clenched his teeth. It was time to end this. He lunged at Zetsumei, but the smaller boy ducked and spun, catching Ximenez hard in the chest with the pole of his scythe, sending the man in the red hat flying.

To his horror, Ximenez found himself out of control, heading out of the ring.

No! his mind shouted. If he landed out of the ring, then not only would he have failed his mission... he'd have... lost.

He reacted to this situation as quickly as he could. "Grin, Onishita!" he yelled. His sword turned into the oddly-shaped weapon with a demon's face and two twin curved blades. And then, pointing the demon's face at the floor, "Way of Destruction 14: Scorch!"

A mighty burst of flame erupted from the demon's mouth, blasting into the ground, keeping Ximenez afloat. With a yell and a surge of effort, Ximenez channeled more of his reiatsu into the blast, blowing him right back in bounds, landing on his back in the ring.

He cackled loudly as he stood up, breathing somewhat heavily. "Amazing!" he shouted with joy. "To think that you'd be able to force me to release my shikai like that." He aimed the demon's face right at Zetsumei, the two blades extending to the left and the right. "However... now it looks like I'm going to have to end this lovely battle."
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Chiken Kazenosei
Likes boys. ;)
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Male Weapon : Myounahanashi

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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Thu 25 Feb 2010, 2:59 pm

"Ooooooh," Chiken crooned from his seat in the stands, his face slightly aglow from Ximnez's kidou. "Pretty."
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Satoko Takeshi
Most Likely To Die
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Male Weapon : Ryuunosuke

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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Fri 26 Feb 2010, 7:52 pm

Takeshi had been absent-mindedly observing the fight, his mind had insisted upon wandering back to this "Inner Realm" of his, and the being that inhabited it. Unfortunately Takeshi made little-to-no headway and had this strange feeling that he'd been neglected, how odd. The sandy-haired teenager was just brushing some unnaturally accumulated dust off of his shoulder when a rise in reiatsu caused by the release of a Shikai gathered his attention. His eyes observed the form the green haired one's Zanpakutou took on, and Takeshi watched with interest as the blows he landed appeared to heal his own. Now intensely observing this fight, Takeshi felt as though it were the first thing to happen in months.

It wasn't long before Ximenez too unleashed his Shikai in a startling little dance to keep himself in bounds, the flames used to propel the Cardinal causing someone to comment on how pretty it was. Takeshi nodded in agreement, it was indeed an aesthetically appealing display, albeit the comment had sounded partially brainless and might have just been from a spectator dazzled by light. Unconcerned with the commentator any longer, Takeshi's focus reverted to the combatants in front of him; the earlier feeling of neglect now lifted.

Instead he felt like something important was happening somewhere else.
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General Yamamoto
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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 23 Mar 2010, 9:39 am

CLASH! went the sound of metal striking metal as Ximenez struck. As he had before, Zetsumei countered by spinning, but this was just what Ximenez had been expecting. The taller man blocked the spin of the scythe with one of his blades then drove the other deep into Zetsumei's arm. The green-haired boy cried out in pain, but maintained enough concentration to slash his scythe through Ximenez's chest in retaliation. The black and white sparks shimmered, and the wound on his arm closed up. Ximenez whirled around a roundhouse kick to Zetsumei's chest, sending the boy away from him, landing on his feet, his blade at the ready for another attack.

=============================

Mayuri Kurotsuchi glanced across the ring. Nemu was already in place by the students' benches, her orders already given. All he had to do was deal with Captain Unohana, who was... where was she?

He squinted his already beady eyes. There she was, making her way from the triage station on the far side of the ring toward the exit. He had been planning to lure the Fourth Division Captain back with some of his new data on the mechanics of Kidou and how it interacts with biological reiatsu, but it seemed as if the Captain herself was getting up and leaving the arena of her own accord, looking preoccupied with something.

Perfect. It was as if fate itself was smiling on the actions of today. Not that one as scientifically-minded as Kurotsuchi believed in something as silly as fate, but he was never one to question the benefits of the occasional stroke of good luck. Only one thing remained to fall into place, and it was that big red-hatted idiot fighting in the middle of the ring.

==============

"Excellent," Ximenez smiled, lazily pointing his twin-bladed weapon at Zetsumei. "I wouldn't have expected even this much from you, boy. But it looks like I'm going to get to have a little fun after all."

==============

Kurotsuchi glared at Ximenez. Why the hell doesn't he just finish it already? If the General calls the fight, it's all over... Blast that moron, he's just having too much fun toying with the kid. He lifted his hand to his face. Unseen to everyone else, a small glowing symbol appeared in his palm.

"Ignacio," he whispered into the symbol. "Kill the boy. Now."

==============

"You know, it if were me, I would--" Ximenez's words suddenly stopped, as if a needle had been pulled from a record. His body stiffened and his knuckles grew white around Onishita's handle.

==============

That should do it. Kurotsuchi peered up toward the exit door before jumping to his feet. He needed to make sure that Unohana stayed outside. Just long enough.

==============

Not noticing the abrupt change in Ximenez's demeanor, Zetsumei flew toward the man in the red hat, scythe to the side, ready for a slash.

The blade cut through air. Instinctively, he raised the scythe's pole to block and narrowly missed Ximenez's blade cutting clean through his neck.

That one would have taken my head off if-- Not giving him any more time to think, Ximenez silently went on the offensive again, moving faster than the green haired boy could follow. Blood spurted from more points on his body than he could count as Onishita tore through his arms, legs, chest, and try as he might, Zetsumei could neither dodge nor counter. He's... gotten serious now.... Zetsumei gasped to himself. Too serious...

Zetsumei swallowed hard and took a deep breath, and that was all the time that Ximenez needed. In an instant, he was gone.

Thunk. Zetsumei's eyes shot wide open. Shaking, he glanced downward at the blood-coated blade protruding from his chest.
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General Yamamoto
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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 06 Apr 2010, 10:45 am

"Good evening, Captain Unohana," Kurotsuchi grinned as he found Retsu waiting just a few metres from the front entrance of Kyouraku Hall. "Fantastic weather we're having for early spring, yes? I wanted to ask you, as a fellow scientist, if you'd be at all interested in my preliminary data in researching--"

"Shhh." Unohana interrupted.

"W... what do you--"

"Quiet." The Fourth Division Captain closed her eyes. "Don't you feel that?"

Kurotsuchi raised an eyebrow. "I'm... afraid I don't know what you--"

"There's a battle going on. In the woods. In that direction. I'm sorry, Captain Kurotsuchi. I forgot that your ability to sense reiatsu isn't quite on par with that of the other Captains." She smiled at Kurotsuchi, not revealing whether she intended this phrase to be an honest apology or a put down. "Shall we go investigate?"

With that, Unohana was gone in a flash step. "Hey, wait!" Kurotsuchi growled, annoyed, before following the elder captain.
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Shimeisha Shiritori

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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 06 Apr 2010, 11:07 am

"Byouko!"

Sachi Oyashio was shaken back into reality as Sarah Yadoumaru suddenly jumped up and shouted out the name of Sachi's roommate, seemingly completely removed from the carnage currently occurring in the arena ring. "Huh?" mumbled Sachi.

"She doesn't know!" Sarah pulled on Sachi's sleeve. "She doesn't know that 3-B is fighting in the main tournament and she's up next!"

"Well, then, go tell her," Sachi turned away, looking back at the fight going on.

"But I need your key to the room, Sachi!" Sarah pulled harder. "In case she doesn't open up! Come on, Sachi! Pleeeease?!"

Sachi looked from Sarah, to the bloody battle in the ring, then back to Sarah, then sighed, defeated. "Alright, let's make it quick."

===============================

Outside the ring, the lack of people made the warmer-than-average spring night seem as cold as autumn. "Let's get this over with," Sachi shivered. "You know, I've got to fight again tonight too, and it'll be no good if I catch pneumonia and--"

"Sachi Oyashio?"

Sachi and Sarah stopped and spun around at the sound of a clear, polite man's voice behind them. Standing there was a tall, cloaked man in a bizarrely painted red and gold robe. His face was completely obscured by a red mask, letting only his darkly shadowed eyes peer outward. "You... are Sachi Oyashio, correct?"

"What do you want?" Sachi sneered.

"Mr. Shiritori!" Sarah beamed. "Wow, you know Mr. Shiritori too, Sachi? He's the greatest hired messenger in all of Soul Society!"

"I have a message for you, Miss Oyashio," said Shiritori, bowing deeply.

"Yeah? What is it?"

Shiritori didn't say a word.

"I said, what is it?" Sachi raised her voice.

"I'm... sorry, Miss Oyashio, but... you know how it is," Shiritori fixed his eyes on Sarah. "My messages are, as always, intended for the ears of the designated recipient and no other."

Sarah realized the hooded messenger was talking about her. "Oh!" she smiled nervously. "Well, um... I... I guess I'll meet you at the girls' dorms, ok, Sachi?" She started to run off. "See you then!"

Sachi watched the little girl disappear off toward the dorm buildings, then turned back toward Shiritori. "Alright, Shiritori," she sighed. "What's the message?"

"The message is from your father," Shiritori said politely.

"And?" Sachi tried to hide her bristling at the mention of her father.

"He says, 'Good luck in the tournament.'"

"...That's it? Father hired you just to tell me that?"

"That's not all."

"Go on."

"He also says, 'You're welcome to come back any time.'"

The anger in Sachi's belly boiled over. "Well, you can tell Father that he can go to Hell! Him AND the whole family! They can suck on a Hollow's fat goddamn ass for all I care!"

Shiritori seemed nonplussed by this tirade. "A reply, then?" He held out a black-gloved hand. "You know the going rate for a reply. That will be 285,000 yen, please."

"Never mind!" raged Sachi as she started to stomp away in disgust. "Hey, Sarah! Wait up!" she called after the small girl. And as she broke into a run, trying to catch up with her, she didn't notice that, behind her, the form of Shimeisha Shiritori had vanished completely.
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General Yamamoto
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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Wed 07 Apr 2010, 9:55 am

The ground brush shook slightly as a badly bruised and bloody Kazuhara Kijou collapsed flat onto his back, surrounded by multitudes of broken and sliced lengths of chain, all of which slowly began evaporating back into reiatsu. Standing just two metres away, with his back to the fallen Third Seat, Chojiro Sasakibe quietly resealed his zanpakutou and slid the blade back into its scabbard.

"How?! How... the hell is a nobody like you... so... damn strong?!" Kazuhara gasped angrily.

"From the beginning," said Sasakibe, "My goal in fighting and training has been to achieve the power of Bankai, and that's what I've focused on. My Shikai ended up somewhat underpowered due to this, but my Bankai is one of the strongest in all of Soul Society. Let this be a lesson to you." He turned his head over his shoulder, focusing his golden eyes on Kazuhara's face. "Just because you've learned Bankai... that doesn't mean you've mastered it."

"Who... who the hell ARE you?!??!"

"It was just as you said, Kijou," Chojiro smiled. "I'm just a nobody that Yamamoto fished out of the gutter."

"What's going on here?"

In a flash step, two Captains appeared in the midst of the two First Division members - Captain Unohana, looking slightly more stern than usual, and Captain Kurotsuchi, looking just as apathetic as usual.

"Good evening, Captains. There's nothing at all for you to worry about. Just some late night training with one of my subordinates." Chojiro bowed his head respectfully. "It seems my Third Seat here has learned to use Bankai."

"Bankai?" Unohana closed her eyes and smiled down at Kijou. "Congratulations, Third Seat Kijou."

"Yes, well...," Chojiro continued, "It seems he was a little too overzealous in wanting to try it out. If I may ask you a favour, Captain Unohana, would you take Mr. Kijou to Fourth Division and have them tend to his wounds? As invigorating as nighttime training can be, I simply must return to the General as soon as possible."

Unohana looked deeply into Sasakibe's eyes and paused silently for a moment. "Of course, Lieutenant Sasakibe. You may leave him in our capable hands."

"Arigatou gozaimasu," Chojiro bowed deeply in thanks. "Then I shall take my leave."

"Hold on," said Kurotsuchi, "I'll go back with you."

"Oh?" smiled Unohana. "I thought you said you had something to discuss with me, Captain Kurotsuchi."

"Yes, well," Mayuri shrugged, "That can wait. You're busy and all. Let's go, Lieutenant."

Kurotsuchi put his hand on Chojiro's shoulder, and the two of them flash stepped away, leaving Unohana in the middle of the clearing alone with Third Seat Kijou. A cold wind blue through the unseasonably warm spring night as Unohana gently slipped her arms under the back and knees of Kazuhara Kijou and lifted him easily. There's something going on here, she said to herself. I've got a bad feeling about this. And then she too was gone in a flash step.
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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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Weapon : Ryuujin Jakka

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HP:
2790/2790  (2790/2790)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Wed 07 Apr 2010, 10:44 am

Nervously, Tetsu Inada glanced upwards at the General's seat. The crowd's initial excitement had turned quiet and was now getting more and more restless, but there was still no signal from General Yamamoto to stop the fight. His eyes, always narrow, looked like they might be closed; Tetsu wondered if the old man was even paying attention... or had even fallen asleep.

"I apologize, General," said Chojiro Sasakibe, climbing the stairs behind the General into the box over the ring. "I had to attend to--" He looked into the arena. And he saw.

"What the..?!"

In the center of the ring, having bled out nearly all his energy, was a slashed and bloody mess that was once Zetsumei Oushou. His skin was grey, his eyes nearly lifeless, hidden behind a countless number of gashes, slashes, and gushing cuts that covered his entire body. His white Shinigami student robe had been cut to ribbons that dangled from his shoulders, revealing his chest, painted entirely red from all the bleeding wounds. But he was still trying to fight, his knuckles going white around the handle of his scythe-shaped zanpakutou. But all he could do was dodge as Ximenez stabbed at him relentlessly.

"General, you have to stop this fight!" demanded Sasakibe. But the General remained silent, seemingly mesmerized by the action. Standing behind the lieutenant, Captain Kurotsuchi watched intently, surprised that the boy had lasted against Ximenez this long. Perhaps he should have raised the monster's power level a bit more.

Inside the ring itself, Zetsumei's ears had already stopped working. The pain had made his mind retreat into itself to the point where he couldn't feel the wounds anymore. It was quiet, and he felt his sight fading. I'm already... a dead man... Zetsumei laughed. There was no way he was going to survive this. There was no way he could surrender - Ximenez wouldn't let him anywhere near the edge of the ring. And there didn't seem to be a saving decision forthcoming from the General anytime soon.

He barely jerked as Ximenez's sword cut through his ribs again. His lungs, his heart, every organ in his body had been pierced and filleted repeatedly. If he had been a mortal instead of a spirit made of reiatsu, he'd have been dead long ago.

A face entered Zetsumei's mind. A tall, smiling girl with blue hair. Zetsumei recognized her.

"I don't know which of you is cuter!" the memory smiled. "Green hair? White hair? Aah! I can't decide! I just want to take you both home with me!"

Zetsumei looked to his side. It was Ryouichi, a much, much younger Ryouichi. It dawned on Zetsumei. He was remembering his childhood.

"Well, don't you worry!" said the girl, proudly jabbing a thumb into her chest. "This area's under my jurisdiction. And I promise, I, Yuri Saito of Fourth Division, won't let any nasty Hollows get you!"

Y... Yuri.

It had been a while since Zetsumei had thought about Yuri.

And then...

The day Zetsumei's parents had vanished. The day that...

Yuri's cold, dead eyes, wide open in horror.

A young man with feathers in his purple hair, standing over her body, blood-covered sword at his side.

"I'm applying to join the Shinigami Academy," Ryouichi had said, a few days later.

"What?!" Zetsumei shouted incredulously. "Those murderers? Why?!"

"Because there's nothing left here, Zetsu-kun," Ryouichi shook his head. "You can't tell me that you're happy here, in this pit of a District? There's only one chance we have at ever making anything of ourselves, and that's to become Shinigami."

"I won't... I won't do it!"

"Then stay here," Ryouichi sneered. "But then how will you ever manage to become strong enough to avenge Yuri?"

Zetsumei clenched his fist.

Avenge... Yuri...


"I'm sorry... Yuri...," Zetsumei's broken throat choked out through a mouthful of blood. I couldn't... become strong enough.

With the last of his energy, Zetsumei hauled himself to his feet, his zanpakutou held high over his head. He let out a primal battle cry, rushing at Ximenez in a suicide attack, hoping beyond hope that he could take that bastard with him. He brought his arm down, aiming to cleave Ximenez's chest.

A quiet sound of flesh ripping.

Zetsumei stared in horror at his right arm, fingers reflexively clenched around the pole of his zanpakutou, landing three metres away. The long, black scythe vanished into reiatsu, becoming a normal zanpakutou again, and blood began gushing from the stump of what was left attached to Zetsumei's shoulder. The boy collapsed to the ground.

"By the gods, General!" howled Chojiro, right into Yamamoto's ear.

This got the General's attention. His eyebrows moved a little, and his eyes focused on what was going on in the ring. Quickly, he raised his hand.

"That's it!" yelled Tetsu Inada. "Fight's over! The winner is Cardinal Ximenez! Medics! Get in here now!"

Ximenez didn't seem to hear them, and poised his blade for another strike.

"Ignacio!" the observing Kurotsuchi whispered into his hand. "Stop. Now."

The man in the red hat blinked, seeming to return to normal. He scratched his head and sighed, casting a glaring look toward Kurotsuchi. Oh come now, Mayuri, he said to himself. There was no reason for you to do that.

"I'm coming!" said Orihime Inoue, about to leap from her seat to aid the medics.

"Stop."

Orihime felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi, of Twelfth Division.

"But... Lieutenant! I have to help!"

"Let the Fourth Division medics do their job," said the Lieutenant coldly. "You'll just get in the way."

"But I can--!"

"That's an order!" Nemu's fingers gripped more tightly. "From a Lieutenant of the Gotei Thirteen."

Helplessly, Orihime looked on at the medics in the ring trying to treat Zetsumei's mortal wounds. Up in the box, Kurotsuchi nervously bit his knuckle. Had Ximenez done enough damage? Of course he had, he smiled. The boy's arm was off, and there wasn't a drop of blood left in his body. And with Unohana and that blasted ryoka out of the picture, there wasn't anyone in Soul Society who could save him.
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Chiken Kazenosei
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Male Weapon : Myounahanashi

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HP:
1/72  (1/72)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Sun 09 May 2010, 4:01 pm

Chiken watched the fight with a detached interest. It was interesting enough to keep his attention, sure, but he was numb about the whole thing. He wasn't thinking, wasn't reacting to what was happening, just watching numbly. Even as Ximnez's blade cleaved Zetsumei's arm off, Chiken showed no visible emotion.

Once the fight was called, Chiken was staring not at his severely wounded classmate, but at Ximnez, his classmate that had so destroyed the other. He had changed, turned back into his calm, almost careless demeanor he had before the fight.
'Myouna...' He called out, without taking his eyes off of Ximnez.
There was no reply, so Chiken called again. 'Myouna!'
Instantly, there was a reply. 'Yes Chiken-kun?'
Chiken still had his eyes trained on Ximnez as he talked mentally to his Zanpakuto. 'Was... was I like that when... I lost control?'
Myounahanashi paused before replying. 'You... don't remember.' Not a question, a statement. Chiken shook his head silently, though his Zanpakuto spirit couldn't see his gesture.
But she didn't have to. Myounahanashi already knew what the answer would be. Should be. 'Yes. Yes, you were something like... that.'

Silently, Chiken shifted his gaze away from the tall man in red, to the plethora of medics surrounding Zetsumei.
'And Zetsu...' Chiken's voice faded to nothingness as he looked. Still, he showed no real emotion.
'Yes. He probably is.'
Chiken slowly nodded, understanding. He silently kept his eyes trained on where his classmate lay surrounded, waiting. Watching.
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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Mon 17 May 2010, 12:29 am

"Start with the high-level healing kidou. See if we can stop the bleeding."

"Where do we start? He's bleeding everywhere."

"Be careful with that arm. We might be able to reattach it if he survives."

"We've got to get him to Fourth Division headquarters."

"No! Are you crazy?! We can't move him in this condition!"

"The Captain! Where's the Captain?!"

"The bleeding's not stopping! Third-Seat, what should we do?!"

As the chaotic shoutings of the medics tending him began blending together in his fading consciousness, Zetsumei Oushou could feel no pain, no worry. Only a sense of impending relaxation. He hoped he'd be meeting Yuri... wherever he was going. Slowly, his eyes went dark and his head went limp.

"We're losing him!"

Silently, Cardinal Ximenez sealed and resheathed his zanpakutou and began slinking his way out of the arena.

"You, stop!"

Ximenez peeked over the tops of his glasses at Lieutenant Sasakibe, hurriedly racing down the arena aisle toward the fallen Zetsumei. "You're not going anywhere, Ximenez. There's going to be an inquiry into this matter."

"Inquiry schminquiry."

"What was that?!" Chojiro snapped.

"We both know I did nothing wrong. The tournament's fully sanctioned by the government of Soul Society. It was the heat of battle. Self-defense. Had no choice or he might have killed me. Know what I mean? You don't have a legal leg to stand on, Sasakibe."

Chojiro grit his teeth in rage.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go wash up. You might want to head down there and say goodbye." With his hands inside the sleeves of his Shinigami uniform, Ximenez left the arena as Chojiro pushed his way down to the ring. I hope you're happy, Mayuri, Ximenez said to himself. You're getting exactly what you wanted.

Nervously, Orihime glanced back and forth between the Twelfth Division Lieutenant grasping her collar and her classmate lying in the center of the ring, wondering what to do. She knew she shouldn't disobey her superiors, but--

Blue.

It caught Orihime's eye suddenly. A hue of blue emanating from Zetsumei's skin. The boy was starting to glow, very very softly. Orihime knew what that meant, everyone there did. And it made something in the girl's mind snap a little.

"Santen Kesshun! I reject!"

A triangular barrier of force flashed into existence, taking Nemu by surprise and breaking her grip just long enough for Orihime to make a run for it. Toward the ring she tore, desperate with the desire to save the boy's life. She was only a few steps away from the ring. She pulled her zanpakutou from its scabbard, pointed it at Zetsumei, and channeled her power. The blade glowed gold with her reiatsu as she shouted. "Souten Kisshun! I--"

"Restrain."

With a jolt, Orihime's wrists suddenly locked together, her joints twisting painfully. Shunshunrikka clattered to the floor, its blade losing its glow, its power unreleased.

"It appears," said Nemu Kurotsuchi emotionlessly, hauling Orihime to her feet by her robe collar and dragging her physically toward the exit door, "That someone does not know how to follow orders."

"Please, Lieutenant Kurotsuchi!" Orihime pleaded desperately. "Zetsumei needs my help! He..." She caught a glimpse of him. The blue glow was brighter. But Nemu remained nonplussed.

Within a few seconds, they were outside, and Nemu unceremoniously threw the red-haired girl to the ground. "The penalty for disobeying a direct order is severe, Orihime Inoue."

"Please...," Orihime sobbed through a veil of tears. "He's... he's going to..."

"Quiet," ordered Nemu. "I am keeping you right here until such time as I can have you properly punished by a member of--"

"What seems to be going on here?" a soft voice suddenly inquired.

Orihime caught a glimpse of a white haori fluttering like a large lily petal and a thick black braid. "C... Captain Unohana!" she choked out. "Zetsumei! He's dying!"

Retsu paused for a moment to take this in. "Very well. Let's go," she said, almost totally disregarding the Lieutenant present.

"Captain Unohana," Nemu stepped in. "I have direct orders from Captain Kurotsuchi not to--"

Retsu closed her eyes and fixed a smile on the Twelfth Division Lieutenant, a smile that froze even the soulless Nemu Kurotsuchi to the bone.

"That's what I thought," Retsu said politely. "Come along, Miss Inoue."

With just those words, Orihime found the spell binding her wrists suddenly dispelled. She felt Unohana effortlessly help her to her feet. "I'm going to flash step to the arena, Miss Inoue. Hold on."

A brief sense of vertigo. And just like that, Orihime found herself on the edge of the ring, where she'd been moments before.

But the arena had fallen into dead silence.

As Orihime regained her balance, her eyes caught a glimpse of the last pale blue glow of Zetsumei Oushou's reiatsu evaporating into nothing. Respectfully, Unohana bowed her head in sadness.

"Zetsumei!" Orihime yelled out, breaking the silence, spotting her sword on the ground. She raced for it, grabbed it by the handle and pointed it toward the place where Zetsumei had been lying. "Souten Kisshun! I reject!"

Twin beams of light fired from the tip of Shunshunrikka, forming a two-pointed oval around the empty spot in the ring. She smiled. She knew she'd made it in time. Soon Zetsumei's body would reappear inside the oval. His wounds would disappear, like they'd never been there. He'd be able to attend class with them again.

Something was wrong. Nothing was happening. Slowly, the oval faded, leaving only the empty place.

Orihime was taken aback. Dauntlessly, she gripped her zanpakutou tighter and channeled more of her power into it. "Souten Kisshun! I reject!" The oval reappeared, brighter this time. Surely this would work. Surely Zetsumei would come back to them.

Nothing happened.

"I reject. I reject!!" Tears began flowing again. Desperate tears. "I RE---!"

Orihime felt a hand on her shoulder. "That's enough, child."

She looked up at Captain Unohana. "Captain, why can't--"

"We've done all we can," she said serenely, but sadly. "We were just... too late."

"But I can--"

"Please, Miss Inoue. Don't carry on like this. There's nothing we can do for him now." Unohana smiled politely, a smile that hid the sadness she felt whenever there was someone she couldn't save. "Even I can't bring back the dead."

Orihime dropped her eyes, staring at the sword in her hand. "But... but I've done it... before...," she said, quietly, too quietly for anyone to hear.

Chojiro Sasakibe was still on the ground, his fists clenched white. This tournament. This barbaric tournament. It wasn't the first time he'd seen someone die in the ring like this, but somehow, it felt so...

"Everyone!" the Lieutenant called out to the crowd. "In light of the... tragic event we've just witnessed, I have an announcement to make!"

There was a brief stirring as everyone turned their heads toward him.

"As the Lieutenant of the First Division of the Gotei Thirteen, and as the Headmaster of the Shinigami Academy, I am hereby declaring this tournament to be a fundamental danger to the health and well-being of my students and to the overall good of the Soul Society. Therefore, effective immediately, I am declaring this tournament cancelled!"
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Chiken Kazenosei
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Male Weapon : Myounahanashi

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HP:
1/72  (1/72)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Mon 24 May 2010, 6:28 pm

Chiken watched wordlessly as the fourth division swarmed around Zetsumei, still doing as much as they can to help the boy. Orders, healing kidous were being shouted about; the reiatsu of many slamming into the fallen classmate. In the entire arena there was otherwise silence, everyone holding their breath and hoping the boy would recover.
But there was no hope left as a soft blue glow entwined itself around the boy.

Orihime's struggle was unfolding right near Chiken, and he felt her unusual reiatsu spike in her attempt to get to Zetsumei, yet he did not take his eyes off of the glowing classmate. As she was being taken outside by Lieutenant Nemu, the arena was breaking into hushed whispers, some of which drifted to Chiken, but he paid no attention to them. All of his gaze was fastened on his classmate, showing intense concentration that, quite honestly, no one knew he had.
Even more healing kidou was being hurled towards the boy in some sort of final hope for him, even though the fourth division knew there was nothing else they could do. The whispers grew quite rapidly as the glow turned more intense, though they were still lost on a seemingly catatonic Chiken.

A loud gasp, and all of the whispering stopped dead. Zetsumei's glowing had turned into something else - nothingness. Slowly but surely, the boy was fading, evaporating. Some turned away, some shielded their eyes, and at least one person fainted upon seeing the dissolution of the boy, but there was one gaze that didn't and wouldn't tear away. Chiken's.

What Chiken was seeing was what everyone else was seeing: a student at the academy that had been in a vicious fight in this tourney and was now dieing in the ring.
But what Chiken was feeling, sensing, was something that, most likely, no one else was perceiving. The reiatsu of the dieing boy wasn't vanishing into nothingness to Chiken, it was unwinding. Like strands of ribbons all tied together, they had been cut, sliced, and chopped through the battle; they would hold together no longer.

Chiken only noticed the arrival of Orihime and Captain Unohana because the former had to run in front of his sight of where (what was left of) Zetsumei was to grab her Zanpakuto. His gaze still didn't shift at that point, not even though the classmate had vanished from sight, and it was only intensified again as the orange oval of Orihime's own unusual reiatsu appeared. But even that could not draw the ribbons of reiatsu Chiken felt back together, and they seemingly scattered to the winds.

Orihime's outbust did not alter Chiken's gaze, nor did Lieutenant Chojiro's. There was nothing more to watch or feel, yet Chiken's gaze remained on the ring.
Quote :
As the Lieutenant of the First Division of the Gotei Thirteen, and as the Headmaster of the Shinigami Academy, I am hereby declaring this tournament to be a fundamental danger to the health and well-being of my students and to the overall good of the Soul Society. Therefore, effective immediately, I am declaring this tournament cancelled!
In the seconds that followed, there was only stunned silence. Whether it was still the silence of the death or the shock of the announcement, Chiken didn't know, but he could hear one faint noise in its midst. A quiet ticking from his watch.

That ticking snapped Chiken out of his frozen state, and he finally turned his head from the ring to the Headmaster. After a few seconds more and as the silence just started to break, Chiken spoke aloud without really intending to, "Well then... I guess I'll go get more lunch."

The arena broke into an uproar after finally digesting the lieutenant's decision seemingly right after Chiken's statement. Shouts of approval and disapproval rang out, but Chiken bothered himself with none of this. Instead, he silently stood up and left the arena for the cafeteria.

As he was walking outside, Chiken absently reached out for what appeared to be nothingness, yet he smiled as if he had grabbed something. He stroked whatever wasn't there in his fingers, then simply let the nothing go, quietly saying one small thing as he did so. "Bye."
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Ayumu Takagumi

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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 25 May 2010, 2:16 am

"Impossible!" shouted a woman's voice from the crowd. She stood up, a middle-aged woman with blonde hair. Chojiro recognized her as Ayumu Takagumi, the wife of the chancellor of the Council of 46. Haughtily, she threw a mink stole around her neck. "You don't have that authority, Lieutenant Sasakibe! Only the General can..."

She trailed off as she spied Yamamoto himself, leaning on his cane as he made his way down the aisle behind his Lieutenant. Quickly, Chojiro turned his head. "General!" he called. Yamamoto's eyes were closed, and he seemed to be thinking.

The crowd waited on bated breath for the General's response. Please, General..., Chojiro pleaded silently. Slowly, Yamamoto's eyes opened. He took a deep breath and nodded toward his Lieutenant. The audience groaned with disappointment.

"Very well," Ayumu sighed, pulling a fan from her purse. "The tournament is over. But the dance goes on as planned!"

"What?!" Chojiro stammered. "But... what?!"

"The Homecoming Dance is an event sponsored by the Council of 46, not the Gotei 13," she pointed her fan straight at the Lieutenant. "As such, neither you nor the General have the authority to call it off."

Sasakibe's face burned red with indignation. "Wh... but... how... Someone just died here!!" The rage boiled over. "How can you possibly even think of dancing and schmoozing and socializing now?! Have you no conscience?!!"

"That's enough, Lieutenant," said Yamamoto, putting his hand on Chojiro's shoulder. "She's correct. We have no authority to cancel the dance."

Ayumu whipped open her fan, held it in front of her face, and let out a shrill laugh. "It's good that there's at least one member of First Division who still knows what side his bread is buttered on. It's settled, then. The Homecoming Dance begins in one hour!"

Slowly, the crowd began shuffling for the exits. Ayumu swept past Yamamoto and Chojiro, but not without sending a stage whisper into the Lieutenant's ear. "You'd do well to remember your place... commoner."

The straw broke. Sasakibe whirled around at the hateful blonde woman, his hand flying for the hilt of his zanpakutou.

"Let it go, Chojiro!" Yamamoto warned, eyes fixed on one of the most powerful women in Seireitei as she slinked out of the arena.
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Chojiro Sasakibe
Lieutenant, 1st Division
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Male Weapon : Gonryoumaru

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 25 May 2010, 2:17 am

The Lieutenant didn't say another word until the last spectator had left his seat, the students and faculty had all been ushered out, and the doors to Kyouraku Hall had been locked securely.

"Please... do choose your battles more carefully," said Yamamoto. "That was a fight you couldn't have won."

"That was also a fight that Zetsumei Oushou couldn't have won." Chojiro did little to hide the bitterness in his voice.

Yamamoto paused for a moment.

"Permission to speak freely, General," Sasakibe said gravely.

Yamamoto turned, surprised at this unusual request. "Very well."

"What the hell happened there, General?" Chojiro said emotionally. "Why didn't you stop that fight?"

The General closed his eyes. He coughed twice, then shook his head. "I... don't know, Chojiro. I suppose I was just... lost in the moment."

"Lost in the... How can you afford to be lost in anything?!" Chojiro's tirade began. "Have you forgotten your responsibility? You are the General of the Gotei Thirteen! Your 'loss of awareness' just got one of my best students killed! And for what?! Fighting Hollows? No! Just as a damn sacrifice for the entertainment of the wealthy masses!"

"You think I don't know that?!" roared Yamamoto.

"If you're no longer able to serve as general, then you need to step down!"

"And who would--" The General's voice seized up in a fit of coughing and wheezing that sent the old man falling to one knee.

"General, what's..." Chojiro stopped. He could see blood on the hand the General was using to cover his mouth. "General...."

"Who would... replace me?" Yamamoto wheezed, leaning on his cane and pulling himself to his feet. "Who could do what I have done? Hold an entity as fractious and fragile as the Gotei Thirteen together for over two thousand years with nothing more than sheer strength of will? Could you do it, Chojiro?" The Lieutenant was driven back into silence. "Could you? Could anyone? Could Shunsui? Or Jushirou? Retsu might be able to... but...." The General coughed again briefly. "Soul Society needs stability, Chojiro. It needs stability and it needs the Gotei. And the future... the future doesn't belong to old men like you and I."

"What... are you saying, General?" Chojiro raised an eyebrow.

"How long did it take you to learn Shikai, if I may ask?"

"Er... I'm... not sure," said Sasakibe, thrown off guard by the sudden question. "About... fifty years or so? It was before I took the promotion exam for Fifteenth Seat."

"Fifty years...," the General mused. "And let me ask... in your graduating class, how many students could use Shikai?"

"All those years ago?" Chojiro shrugged. "Well... none, of course. No one learned Shikai while still in the Academy, not until..."

"Gin Ichimaru."

"Right. Gin Ichimaru."

"A mere one hundred and twenty-odd years ago. First, prodigies like Gin Ichimaru and Toshiro Hitsugaya and Momo Hinamori. Even Shinji Hirako was less than two hundred."

"General... I'd hardly call Gin Ichimaru a prodigy."

"Sadistic and traitorious he might have been, he was still unnaturally powerful for his age. And now... prodigies like that are becoming the norm. Here, we have almost an entire class that can use Shikai."

"Where... are you going with this, General?"

Yamamoto shook his head. "Don't you get it, Chojiro?" He closed his eyes for a moment. "It's... those young folks. Those students. They... who have the potential to become more powerful then you or I could ever imagine."

Chojiro blinked. "General... are you saying...?!"

"Yes. It will be one of them... who inherits my position as General of the Gotei Thirteen."
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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Tue 25 May 2010, 2:20 am

The door to Ryouichi's cell suddenly flew open, smacking into the dark wall with a crash.

"Prisoner! On your feet!"

Still partially asleep, Ryouichi instinctively hopped up awkwardly, his hands still tied behind his back. At the door were two shadowy figures in Shinigami robes, one very tall and stocky, with a shaved head and a scruffy beard. The other was only slightly taller than Kanue, very slender, with impeccably neat hair and a pair of glasses.

"Now, now, Tokazawa-kun," the glasses-wearing man said politely. "There's no need to be rude." He smiled genially at Kanue. "My name is Hideyoshi Watanabe, a Sixth Seat within the Second Division. My subordinate here is Shinji Tokazawa. How do you do? Please, do sit down." Sixth Seat Watanabe waved his hand and suddenly Ryouichi found he could move his hands again. He clenched his fists a few times, glad to be able to get the blood flowing through his fingers again, before resuming his spot in the chair, eyeing Watanabe suspiciously. "If you would, Tokazawa-kun?" Watanabe reached out his hand and his bulky subordinate handed him a file, which the Sixth Seat perused quickly.

"Let's see," Watanabe read. "Kanue. Ryouichi. Born on Earth in 1888, 24th of December. That's Christmas Eve in the Christian tradition you know." He paused to shoot Kanue a smile over the top of the folder before continuing to read. "Died 15 September, 1894. Soul Buried 11 November... 1910? Well... that's something. Didn't come here until a full sixteen years after you died?" Another smile. "I can't even imagine what could have happened to you in those sixteen years." Back to reading. "After Soul Burial, assigned to the 9th District of South Rukongai, took up residence with the... Oushou family? Ooh, that's certainly interesting. So... you and Zetsumei Oushou have known each other for over a century? That's interesting. Interesting indeed."

Ryouichi peered at the Sixth Seat, wondering just why it was interesting. But Watanabe wore a smile of warm chiseled stone, one that Kanue could not read in the least.

"And... it seems that between then and your entrance into the Academy, there's only one record here, from just one year after arriving in Soul Society. During the Kisuke Urahara Hollowfication Incident."

Watanabe paused again, looking for any reaction from Kanue. There was none.

"It seems," the Sixth Seat continued. "You disappeared." He turned a page. "And then reappeared in the same exact spot exactly one year later. With no memory of what had occurred during that year." Still no reaction from Kanue.

"I would very much like to know just what happened to you during that year. But first...," He closed the file and set it down neatly on the table. "I have a more pointed question for you." Still smiling very politely and respectably, Watanabe folded his hands in front of his face and peered at Kanue over the top of his glasses.

"Why did you try to kill your girlfriend?"

The interrogator's persistence was rewarded as he finally elicited a response. If anything, though, Kanue seemed amused at the question, raising an eyebrow and giving his interrogator a small, equally enigmatic smile. “It’s so interesting you should ask, Watanabe-san, considering I was never aiming to kill her in the first place.”

Kanue's tone of voice earned him a bamboo-sheathed zanpakutou across the face, courtesy of Shinji Tokazawa, leaving an angry red welt under Ryouichi's right eye, and a drip of blood oozing from his nose. "Mind your tone, prisoner!" the large brute thundered.

"Now, now, Tokazawa-kun," Watanabe raised a hand. "I don't think violence is quite necessary at this time. Although...," he pushed his glasses up on his face. "I'm afraid, however, that I must insist on proper use of titles. Please refer to me as Watanabe-rokuseki and to my subordinate as Tokazawa-senpai." His iron smile hadn't wavered one millimeter. "Now, I will ask you once more, Kanue-shinpei. Why did you try to kill your girlfriend?"

Undaunted, Ryouichi continued smiling in exactly the same way, looking even more subtly mirthful than before. “I meant exactly what I said, Watanabe-rokuseki. I am always very precise.” he continued blandly, “The reason why it is interesting that you should ask that question is because I did not intend to kill Adachi Rumiko. As I had no intent, I could not have tried to kill her.”

Leaning back into the chair, and somehow looking impossibly comfortable while doing so, Kanue nodded cordially at the sixth seat. “Does that satisfactorily answer your first question?”

"Mhmm," Watanabe nodded. "So... you're saying that when, while Inada-sanseki was still preparing you two for the match, you rushed all the way to the other side of the ring, drove your sword into Rumiko Adachi's heart, tore the blade from her body, and left her wounded so severely that it required the attention of a captain-level officer, you weren't intending to kill her." Watanabe's tone of voice remained pleasant, so Kanue couldn't tell if he was being sarcastic or not. "Or... are you saying that brutally stabbing Adachi-san in front of thousands of eyewitnesses was some sort of accident?"

Completely without mockery this time, the 3A Representative raised an eyebrow as he addressed the Sixth Seat's tirade. "On the contrary, I moved as soon as I heard Inada-sanseki say, 'fight'. I don't know if anyone actually heard her, but Adachi-san also had her zanpakutou partially unsheathed just before the fight began, so she was hardly off her guard. Although I concede that it's possible that I may have moved prematurely, that attack shouldn't have hit her heart at all, or any other vital organs, for that matter, because I was aiming for her shoulder. I told you that I had no intent to kill Adachi-san, but apparently she had other ideas, because as completely unbelievable as it may sound, she leaned into my attack."

"Secondly," Ryouichi continued, uncaring that his stubborn audacity might already be earning him several beatings from Tokazawa, "I'm certain that most of the captain-level and seated officers present, especially the one who healed her, can corroborate this story. The angle of the cut would be different if I had been going for her heart in the first place, and as I'm sure you know, they teach us to dodge away from attacks in the Academy."

"Since your astute analysis leads me to think that you were there for the event in question, you probably have first-hand knowledge of how vehement the crowds at events like these can be after a shock. A hundred thousand people yelling invectives at you from around an area is pretty terrifying, by the way." Kanue smiled warmly at the man across the table, "Even if the Captains did notice that I didn't intend to kill Adachi-san, any action other than what they took would probably have started riots in the spectators, so I can understand why they might be reluctant to let the general public know."

"But I digress." Ryouichi continued pleasantly, "Besides getting testimony from Unohana-taicho, I would assume that the Second Division's excellent information network keeps--agh!"

Watanabe had only moved two fingers, that was all. And Kanue found his arms wrenched backwards, the elbows bending almost completely the wrong way, and the pain that rocketed up Kanue's arms was unlike anything he'd ever felt - sharp and completely unexpected, like chains binding him to the chair had suddenly developed razor edges and bored into his veins. It wasn't steel that secured him, but an astoundingly powerful kidou spell. But... how is it... this pain...

"Expecting someone of Unohana-taicho's status to come here and testify on your behalf, well...," Watanabe adjusted his glasses again. "Not only is that incredibly audacious, that's, at the moment, completely impossible, as she has... other matters to attend to. As I'm sure you're aware."

The pain was agonizing, clouding Kanue's ability to think. "There's something you should be made aware of, Kanue-shinpei. See, I was once a member of Twelfth Division. I was promoted and moved to the Second Division largely due to my innate talent with Binding Spells. You see, Binding Spells are supposed to be harmless. However, I learned from my time under Kurotsuchi-taicho that, if you shift your reiatsu just... a little." He moved his fingers again, almost imperceptibly. Kanue's body wrenched at the back. It felt as if someone had driven a pair of spears into his shoulders. "One can cause some truly... exquisite pain." Watanabe clenched his fist, and the pain subsided to Kanue's great relief, leaving the boy gasping for breath.

"I just thought... you should know more of your situation, Kanue-shinpei." The Sixth Seat whispered a few words into his hand. Instantly, a glowing image appeared in the center of the room before Kanue and his two interrogators, like a screen. On it was a bird's-eye view of the ring, several hours earlier. Kanue and Rumiko were facing each other at opposite ends of the arena.

"Fighters ready?" Tetsu announced.

And as soon as Tetsu had said that, Kanue flew like a shot across the floor. There was no shout of "Fight!" Rumiko's left hand was indeed on her blade's hilt, but her right hand was free. And her left shoulder did indeed move away from the attack as Kanue ran her right through the chest. Watanabe waved his hand, playing the moment of the strike over and over again. Kanue knew she had subtly moved her upper body to the right, but... Maybe the angle was wrong? This video... It looked incriminating. Incriminating as hell.

Watanabe nodded. "As you say, Kanue-shinpei. The Second Division's excellent information network does indeed keep tabs on such things." Another gesture, and the video vanished. Watanabe reached into his pocket, pulled out a photograph, and dropped it on the table in front of Kanue. "Do you recognize this boy?" Kanue glanced at the picture. Green hair. Yellow eyes. "Of course you do," Watanabe smiled. "Not only are you in the same class, you've spent a century as a guest in his house."

"That's Zetsumei Oushou," said Kanue. "What about it?"

"He's dead," said Tokazawa, finally speaking up.

"Mmhmm," Watanabe nodded again, his elbows on the table and his hands in front of his face. "Killed in the ring by your friend Cardinal Ximenez."

"And don't deny that you know him," growled Tokazawa. "We have witnesses, several witnesses who will attest that you've been trying to get close to Ximenez for the past few months."

"So," Watanabe continued. "First, your girlfriend nearly dies at your hand. Then, someone else you're connected to suffers the same fate..." He locked his eyes directly on Kanue's. "At the hands of yet someone else that you, Kanue-shinpei, are connected to. I don't know why else an otherwise model student would try to get close with someone as... off-putting as Cardinal Ximenez. Of course, Ximenez was intelligent enough to risk his own life and wait until the fight had actually begun instead of attacking cold like a coward, so he's going to get off scot free while you rot in here." He shook his head. "I apologize, I shouldn't call you a coward. It is possible you just got nervous and jumped the gun. Or maybe you were just that angry at her, I don't know. Either way, since it happened during the annual tournament, it would just be attributed to an unfortunate accident, right?" He folded his hands again. "What I want to know is why, Kanue-shinpei. Did... the two of them, perhaps, have a relationship that you didn't approve of?"

Kanue bit his lip. His body shook, and then he couldn't hold it in. He burst out laughing.

"Quiet!" growled Tokazawa, smashing Kanue in the face again with his scabbard, but this only made Kanue laugh harder.

"Oh?" Watanabe queried, eyes indiscernible as the angle of the light made his glasses look scarily shiny, "No expression of anger or grief over your friend's untimely end? Maybe Oushou-san wasn't your friend after all. Or rather, maybe you weren't his."

"No," Kanue drawled. "I'm almost not sure whether you're referring to Zetsumei-kun or Ximenez-san, but I can't believe you just said that. I'm sorry if I've accidentally led you to believe otherwise, but Adachi Rumiko-san is not and has never been my girlfriend. I only asked her to the dance because I was told the students from 3A were required to have dance partners. Not that I would have considered either of them as rivals for her affection even if I had thought of her as my girlfriend. Not only have they, to the best of my knowledge, never had any contact with her, but also... I just can't picture meek, humble, pacifist Zetsumei-kun or vicious, bloodthirsty Ximenez with Adachi-san. Thanks for the image, though."

Watanabe frowned a little. Kanue didn't see any movement in the Sixth Seat's hands, but he felt his arms wrenched backwards once more, and the agonizing pain started again, like sawblades carving into his forearms. The boy was more prepared for the pain this time, though. "Hmm, how should I put this?" he rubbed his chin thoughtfully for a moment, "Ah, yes. I don't believe a word you say, Watanabe-rokuseki," Kanue choked out through clenched teeth. "That footage of Adachi-san and I was either impossibly poorly angled, or entirely fabricated. Since I know it is an absolute certainty that I was not going for her heart and that she moved into the attack, I'm leaning towards the latter."

"Watch your tongue, Kanue-shinpei," Watanabe warned, dropping his hand and ending the spell. "I could snap your arms clean off, you know. Or attach your feet to your head... no telling what might happen to your neck or back in that case."

"You really must have a weak case if you're resorting to torture, Watanabe-rokuseki," said Kanue, nonplussed. "What reason would Unohana-taicho need to actually come here? It would be far easier and less time-consuming to send one of your men to ask her for a statement."

"Case?" Watanabe fixed Kanue with an icy glare. "It appears you still do not understand. I don't need a case. I'm not asking you if you killed Adachi Rumiko, I'm asking you why. You're already guilty. Getting your confession now... it's just a formality. Do you get it?"

Kanue sighed. "Do what you will to me. I know the truth. And the truth will come out during my trial."

Kanue's words finally caused Watanabe's face to crack. His lips turned upwards in a smile, and then it was the Sixth Seat's turn to laugh. Tokazawa too, they both laughed long and hard. Somehow, this disturbed Kanue more than anything that had yet happened.

"Ha! Ha ha... Trial, he says," chuckled Tokazawa. The last thing Kanue saw was the large man's fist aiming directly at his face.
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Ryouichi Kanue

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Male Weapon : Mugenji

Stats:
HP:
76/76  (76/76)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Sat 29 May 2010, 6:34 pm

The small white rabbit cowered in the center of a circle of shifting glyphs, unable to move. The 'invisible' training room that Cardinal Ximenez had hidden wasn't too hard to find if you knew what to look for, especially if you had a keen sense for reiryoku. Noone had followed him here, and Ryouichi Kanue was putting his glorious, newfound privacy to good use.

Since he had first noticed Ximenez's seal, Ryouichi's own, once rudimentary knowledge of the things had grown faster than he had thought possible. Until a few days ago, he had been limited entirely to theory, but once he had found this place and progressed to actual experimentation, he realized that inanimate objects or plants wouldn't cut it: in order to observe the effects a seal might have on a person, he would have to use actual animals.

When he had first observed the intricacies of Mayuri Kurotsuchi's work, he had been completely baffled. As his understanding grew, the numerous moving parts of the seal had begun to make sense: glyphs to control muscle movement, glyphs to restrict access to reiryoku, glyphs to control the use of those glyphs, and so on. Presumably Kurotsuchi had created an interface to interact with the seal at will, as well. However, there was one answer that constantly eluded him: where was it getting its power from?

There was no way the Twelfth Division Capitan had enough reiryoku of his own to stop Ximenez from breaking out, so there were only two possibilities that Ryouichi could see, and both disturbed him. One, it was tied to some massively powerful outer source, and the mad scientist had found some way to remotely link said source to the seal. The second, more devious possibility was that the seal fed off of its prisoner's own power. It was for the purpose of testing this hypothesis that there was currently a scared rabbit frozen in the center of one of Ryouichi's binding seals.

"
Gomen, Ugasi-san," Ryouichi frowned apologetically, "it's for the greater good." A gesture sealed the reiryoku exit points of the poor, glowing rabbit, which had been supercharged with power that the academy student had leeched from one of its unlucky friends with a different seal. Ryouichi stepped quickly away and crouched down to monitor the effects of the experiment.

He was not disappointed. After a few beats, the rabbit...
exploded, in a bright nova of reryoku that left no evidence of its previous existence but air that smelled suspiciously like charred forest critter. "Well, that answers that question," Ryouichi mused, setting about wiping away the seal from the floor. Thankfully, there was no trace of damage to the room itself. Ximenez would become more than a little suspicious if he found his training spot significantly altered.

...
.....
.......
.....
...


"What idiots," Ryouichi muttered, chuckling from his bed of grass, "I was wondering when they would cut with their charade of an interrogation and get on with it. Just being annoying should have done it, but I guess the best way to motivate them is to make them think they have actual control."

"Hm," agreed a dangling, inverted Mugenji from the tree's branches, "Be a little easier on them, though. This is probably their only form of entertainment. Besides, they only get one chance. It's not like they're even going to be able to keep you. Too bad for them, isn't it?" She grinned, which was a little disconcerting, given that she was upside down.

"Ha! Point." he smirked up at her, "So, what to do while we wait?"

"To wake up, or for Unohana?"

"You know which I mean."

"Nyeh," Mugenji stuck her tongue out playfully. "Welp," she responded, voice muffled a little as she swung upwards to untangle herself from the tree, "'ince 're goin' to tha Maggot's Nest, can't use Kidou and stuff."

"Damnit!" he grumbled, feeling like slapping himself, "Forgot all about that." He glared accusingly at the eternal sunset (dawn?) glowing over the top of the mindscape Seireitei.

"Meh," the zanpakuto replied, executing a perfect flip to land beside him in the grass, "You're only a little bit rusty in Hakuda. And if things get too bad, you can always use our-"

"Yes, well," Ryouichi mumbled, shifting a little uncomfortably, "I don't want to use that unless absolutely necessary. Word travels fast, and if we are getting out soon..." He let the words hang in the air, unconsciously gripping the grass at his side. No explanation was needed.

Mugenji pouted. "Either way," she whispered, dropping down to lie almost on top of him, "Unohana should be coming to bail you out soon enough. Besides, you'll still be able to use a few seals, probably. And even if they've taken my blade away, the rest of me is still with you." She wrapped her hand around his tenser one, "So you don't need to worry so much, okay?"

"Yeah," he sighed, relaxing the fist he hadn't known he was clenching, "I hope you're right."

Mugenji laughed, "Of course I am, silly. I know more about you than anyone else, remember?"

"Mmhm."

After a while of resting peacefully, "...Wanna practice some?"

"Sure."
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General Yamamoto
Captain-Commander, 1st Division
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Weapon : Ryuujin Jakka

Stats:
HP:
2790/2790  (2790/2790)

PostSubject: Re: Game 3 - Chapter 3, Part II   Wed 10 Nov 2010, 12:17 pm

Suddenly, everything went dark. Kanue looked up and around. "M... Mugenji?" He called out, but there was no answer. He couldn't feel her presence anymore, not anywhere.

"Mugenji!"

Kanue felt himself being almost forcibly dragged out of his inner world. Groggily, he opened his eyes, slowly becoming aware of the sound of malicious laughter.

"'e's wakin' up, 'e is."

"Purty li'l canary, doubt 'e's seen a day o' work in 'is life."

He was in what appeared to be a cave, roughly hewn stone walls and ceiling dimly lit by what appeared to be light blue torches made from spiritual energy. He felt cold and alone and strangely tired and weak.

Suddenly, Kanue felt a hand gripping him at his collar. Instinctively, he reached for Mugenji, but his zanpakutou was gone.

The ruffian holding him had a bald head, a scruffy beard, and muscles upon muscles down his stubby arms and squat frame. He was probably only a centimeter taller than Kanue, but about twice the weight. He laughed in Kanue's face, forcing the former student to endure a blast of breath that could have slain a herd of cattle.

"Welcome to the Maggot's Nest, kid."

Undaunted, Kanue opened his hand and aimed his palm directly at the thug's face. "Way of Destruction #14, Scorch!"

Nothing happened.

After a moment of anticipation, the thug grinned and delivered his other fist square into Kanue's solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him before dropping him to the ground.

(Note: I've added some rules about being under the effects of Deathstone to "6. Combat," should Kanue decide to attempt to fight these thugs. Catface )
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