I stretched out in the early afternoon sun as I made my way to the forest. It had been a couple of days so it took me a few minutes to find the spot I was looking for. When I did I knelt down and started searching the area for what I was looking for.
I turned over stones and looked through bushes, but I couldn’t find it.
“Shiai?” I heard from behind me.
I looked over my shoulder to see Iba and Ikkaku standing there staring at me.
“Hi.” I said as I moved from a crawling position to sit on my knees, “What’s up you guys?”
“I think we should be asking you that.” Ikkaku countered, “We were going to spar and enjoy a drink together.”
“What are you doing out here?” Iba asked.
“I’m looking for something I dropped.” I told them.
“What was it, maybe we can help you find it.” Iba offered.
I shook my head, “I don’t want to take away from your guys’ sparring.”
“Friends help each other out, Shiai.” Ikkaku told me, “You should know that.”
I let out a sigh in defeat.
“It’s a charm bracelet.” I relented, “It only has one charm on it, and it’s a crescent moon.”
“I think I saw Hisagi holding something like that the other day.” Iba said absent mindedly.
I nodded, “He said he lost it around here, and he wanted to know if I could maybe help him look for it if I had time.” I lied, “He seemed to be really adamant about finding it.”
“And you have time?” Ikkaku snorted.
“I finished the paperwork for the day.” I said with a smirk, “Made breakfast for everyone, got in a morning jog and a good training session with Oto-san, and still have time to help look for this before the day’s out.”
“Are you trying to say I’m lazy!” Ikkaku growled.
I opened my mouth to give him a smart ass comment, but Iba interrupted.
“We’ll keep and eye out for you if we come across it, Shiai.” Iba told me, “But I think we will get to our sparring.”
I nodded and waved them off to continue my search.
I sighed to myself for what seemed like the hundredth time that day. I was still searching around on the ground for the stupid chain and it was almost too dark to see my hand in front of my face.
I got up onto my knees and leaned back, cracking my sore back.
“There’s still a little bit of light, Shiai.” I said to myself, “You got a couple more minutes.”
And so I continued my search through the ever deepening darkness.
—no one’s pov.—
Runners were sent to every division to inform about the state of emergency. Over 100 Adjuchas Hollows had invaded the Soul Society.
Upon hearing the news, the grin on Zaraki Kenpachi’s face grew even more.
“Men!” He called to the shinigami around him, “Prepare yourselves, we’re about to have fun!”
The men under him all cheered.
Yumichika approached him and asked, “Shall I inform, Shiai-chan about this?”
“Of course!” Kenpachi laughed, “She’d be upset if we left her out of this.”
Yumichika then left the room and went down the halls to the 11th division barracks to Shiai’s room and knocked.
“Why are we all clustered here!?” Kenpachi demanded seeing all other 12 captains and their subordinates standing in the designated area.
“To assign the designated zones all squads shall cover during this invasion.” Kuchiki Byakuya informed his fellow captain, “As if a fool like you would ever understand strategy.”
“What was that-
Kenpachi was cut off by Yumichika running up to him screaming.
The second the raven haired man was in front of his captain he bent over huffing and puffing.
“What’s wrong, Yumichika?” Kenpachi asked grinning like a mad man, “Cat got your tongue?”
“Shiai?” Yumichika huffed out.
Kenpachi’s ears along with Yachiru and Ikkaku, perked up at the mention of the missing albino.
“I can’t find her.” Yumichika finished.
“What do you mean you can’t find her!” Kenpachi roared, gaining the attention of every other captain and squad members that was present.
“I checked her room, your room, the kitchen, the office, the archives, the training room, the bathroom. I ran all over the barracks, I can not find her any where, captain. I’m sorry.” Yumichika breathed out.
Kenpachi’s smile fell faster than anyone could have imagined, his dark eyes zeroed in on the lieutenant of the 9th division and pushed his way towards him.
Hisagi Shuuhei swallowed hard as the much taller man approached him.
“The last time I saw her, she said she was going to look for something you gave her that she dropped.” Kenpachi growled down to the lieutenant, “Where is she?”
Shuuhei swallowed again. He hadn’t seen the red eyed girl all day, but of course he couldn’t very tell that to her very pissed off father. His reiatsu was basically suffocating him. But what then? She was looking for something?
It finally dawned on the lieutenant where she was, and with the distant roars of the Adjuchas growing ever closer, he knew he had to get her.
“I know where she is.” He said before turning to his captain, “Muguruma-Tiacho!” Shuuhei then bowed, “I request you allow me to go and retrieve 4th seat Zaraki Shiai to bring her into battle.”
“Why should allow this request?” Kensei asked, crossing his arms and glaring down at his second lieutenant.
“Because Zaraki Shiai is out there because of me, and if she were to die because of that I would not be able to live with myself.” Shuuhei said confidently, “The task of a shinigami is to protect the world of the living and the Soul Society, but I also believe it is our duty to protect our comrades.”
Kensei closed his eyes a moment before nodding, allowing his lieutenant to leave.
“She better come back alive and in one piece.” Kenpachi threatened.
Shuuhei just smirked up at the 11th squad captain, “She takes after you.” He said, “I wouldn’t worry about that.”
Before Kenpachi could reply, Shuuhei had shunpoed away in search of his friend.
My hand closed around a small chain. I felt my face light up feeling the small crescent moon shape along the bracelet.
“I found you.” I said to myself, falling back onto my knees from the crawling and hunched over position, “Now all that’s left is to find, Shuuhei.”
I put the bracelet in my pocket and stood up, brushing the dust off and stretching out.
“Man it got really dark.” I said looking at the sky. My eyes then grew wide as a giant shadow formed above me. I managed to shunpo out of the way before the beast landed.
It was an Adjuchas Hollow. I wasted no time in unsheathing both of my Zanpakutōs and placing the tip of the blade of one against the bottom of the handle of the other and saying;
“Soyokaze, sing for Arekuruu Arashi!” (Gentle breeze sing for the raging storm)
The Zanpakutō that was in my right hand was now a chain that was wrapped around my forearm, and the one in my left hand was now a blood red fan with curved blades along the frill.
The Hollow turned my way as I opened the fan. I swung it from above my right shoulder down to my left side as I said, “Cry!”
The force of the wind created by the fan was enough to send the hollow back and stun it as I shunpoed right in front of it. The fan was now in my right hand, and I used it to enhance my punch, completely shattering its mask.
I landed on the ground as the hollow dispersed.
I turned hearing my name. I saw Shuuhei running up to me, a little winded.
“Hey.” I said as he got to me.
“We’re in a state of emergency.” Shuuhei got out between breaths, “Adjuchas Hollows have invaded the Soul Society. Over 100 from what we know. We need to get back to our squads, being out here by ourselves if almost assured suicide.”
“What about the villages around the Society?” I asked, more concerned for everyone out there than myself.
“In the middle of evacuation,” Shuuhei told me, he finally regained his breath, “But Zaraki-Tiacho flipped when he found out you were missing. What were you doing out here?”
I reached into my pocket and picked up the chain I had in there, showing it to him in my palm.
“I had to know.” I told him, staring into his dark eyes.
Shuuhei pressed his lips together, unable to say anything.
“You don’t have to say anything yet.” I told him putting the bracelet back in my pocket, “Let’s get out of here.”
Shuuhei nodded, and we both turned to leave when 4 Adjuchas Hollows fell from the sky, blocking us in.
“Shinigami!” One yelled, “My favorite treat!”
“I want the girl!”
“The boy looks strong!”
“Let’s hurry this up and move on! I want to eat more than one!”
I couldn’t help but let out a laugh at everything they were saying.
Shuuhei, who was behind me, looked over his shoulder at me like I was crazy.
Once the Hollows surrounded us we stood back to back to eliminate blind spots. My shikai was still activated, and Shuuhei had his Zanpakutō drawn.
“We’re gonna have to fight our way out, Shuuhei.” I laughed before licking my lips.
“You are the embodiment of squad 11, you know that?” Shuuhei told me, turning his attention back to the hollows in front of him.
“Yeah.” I admitted, “But you’re too uptight.”
“Would you please-
I cut Shuuhei off by jumping away from him, sending the chain of Arekuruu Arashi at the leg of the Hollow nearest me. I pulled the chain hard, knocking the Hollow off of its feet and onto the ground. I maneuvered myself with my fan, Soyokaze, readied to break the mask. Bullseye.
I giggled as the Hollow disappeared from the impact. But moved as a second hollow let their claws into the earth where I was standing. It was in shock having realized that I was no longer there. But it let out an ear piercing cry when I wrapped Arekuruu Arashi around their arm and pulled as hard as I could, removing its arm from its body.
I took this opportunity to look out of the corner of my eye at how Shuuhei was making out. His Zanpakutō was still in its sealed form, and he was breathing heavily and was still taking on the 2 Hollows.
I hurried and took out the one Hollow with a point blank wind blast, that caused its mask to shatter.
I channeled my reiatsu to my fan, I took aim and the Hollow on the left.
“Hadō #31. Shakkahō!”
The red fire blast went straight at the Hollow I was aiming for with just a flick of my wrist.
It took its attention away from Shuuhei, who saw what I was doing and turned his full attention to the other Hollow he was fighting.
“Bakudō #62. Hyapporankan!” I said sending the light blue rods at the Hollow. It surprised me by deflecting them easily, but that was what I was hoping for.
I used it as a distraction to get behind it. As I did I sealed my shikai, and got on the top of its head. I drove the Zanpakutō that was in my right hand down into the Hollow’s mask, killing it almost instantly.
I was done, breathing heavily, I looked over at Shuuhei, who was more out of breath than I was, he had just taken down that 1 Hollow.
I smiled as I made my way over to him, “That was fun!”
My smile faltered as I saw his death glare before completely slipping off my face.
“What?” I finally barked after he kept staring at me for a few minutes.
“Nothing.” Shuuhei said before turning to leave, “Let’s go.”
“Don’t give me that shit, Shuuhei!” I snarled as I grabbed on to his arm, pulling him and turning around to look at me.
“Fighting shouldn’t be fun!” He barked not looking at me, “It’s life or death, it’s-
“That’s not it.” I cut him off, “If that were it, it wouldn’t be nothing. Now tell me what’s actually going on.”
Shuuhei just stared down at me for a few minutes, his lips pressed in a thin line. His dark eyes boring into my red ones.
Before I knew what was happening, Shuuhei had grabbed onto one side of my uniform and pulled me up a bit to him smashing his mouth onto mine.
I felt my eyes go wider than anything and my face heat up. But his warm lips felt wonderful against my cool skin.
Shuuhei had pulled away slowly, a thin trail of saliva still connected us until we were standing in our original positions when it broke.
“Don’t put your life on the line for me, Shiai.” Shuuhei told me softly, placing his forehead against mine.
“I don’t want to lose you too.” He told me, not breaking eye contact, “Fighting isn’t a game. It’s to protect those close to you, and defend what you stand for.”
I smiled at him and ran my right hand through his messy black hair, “You need to lighten up.” I told him, “Life’s too short to take it too seriously.”
Before pulling him down into another kiss.
I pulled back after a minute and smiled up at him. He looked just as shocked as I was sure I did the first time.
“I’m not gonna die.” I told him softly, moving my hand from his hair to rub his cheek, “But fighting is fun. That’s how I see it.”
Shuuhei just looked away from me, I pecked his cheek and grabbed his left hand in my right.
“Come on.” I said tugging at his arm, “We have to find our squads. We don’t want to die out here.”