BLACK is the sixty-seventh volume of the Bleach manga series.
The battle for the royal palace heats up as the Royal Guard and the Quincy invaders continue their standoff. The Royal Guard appears to have the upper hand so far but that could all change when the Quincy king joins the fight. Do the Shinigami have an ace up their sleeve as well?
Nimaiya takes down Askin and prepare to battle Yhwach.
Askin explains how The Deathdealing allows him to calculate the amount that constitutes a lethal dose of any substance he consumes, which he can increase or decrease. Wondering what this means, Nimaiya collapses as Askin reveals he has made the amount of blood in Nimaiya's body lethal to him. Upon hearing this, Nimaiya cuts his own throat with Sayafushi and lets the blood flow out so he can avoid the lethal dose, but Askin points out how he will eventually die due to blood loss if he keeps letting blood flow out. After noting this is bad, Nimaiya has Kirinji summon his hot spring water once more and wash him in it, replacing his blood with new blood, before fatally wounding Askin. As Askin falls, Nimaiya challenges Yhwach to come at him.
Yhwach revives his elite guard by stealing the powers and lifeforce of the other Sternritter.
Nimaiya notes that the Royal Guard have very little information on Yhwach's abilities aside from Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's battles with him and his clone and decides that he must take out Yhwach's arms first as beams of light erupt from the Cage of Life. Meanwhile, in the Seireitei, Giselle Gewelle consumes Bambietta Basterbine's blood as Bambietta tells her to stop before she drinks too much. However, Giselle violently beats her while telling her that she is already dead, only to find that she has accidentally killed Bambietta. Lifting up the rock behind her, Liltotto notes Giselle is still alive and reveals PePe is dead and Meninas is incapacitated. When Robert Accutrone appears behind her, Liltotto demands to know what he is doing, prompting Robert to reveal that Yhwach made the Sternritter for his own use and that they are all going to die here as a beam of light engulfs him, stripping away his flesh. Liltotto leaps away and notices her Quincy: Vollständig wings are fading as the other Sternritter in the Seireitei are engulfed by similar beams of light. As this happens, Yhwach's elite Sternritter get up as Yhwach tells them they shall go.
As the Sternritter in Seireitei reel from Yhwach's Auswählen, the elite Sternritter in the Soul King Palace turn the tables on the Royal Guard.
Seeing Bazz-B screaming in agony, Renji asks him what is wrong, prompting Bazz-B to state this is what he'd like to know. Giselle clings to Bambietta's corpse while telling it that she will not die, prompting Liltotto to confirm this before proclaiming that she cannot die here as Bazz-B does the same.
Meanwhile, at the palace, Lille shoots two holes in Nimaiya's shoulder, prompting him to wonder what happened. Haschwalth explains how Yhwach's Auswählen redistributes power between Quincy after taking it from those whom Yhwach deems useless, which is why the Cage of Life could not stop it. When Nimaiya theorizes that Lille's bullets are now more powerful because of this power boost, Lille denies this and reveals he is simply using a power he could not access until now before firing once more at Nimaiya, who is seemingly protected by Kirinji and Hikifune. However, Lille reveals that no amount of barriers will stop his shot as Kirinji and Hikifune see Nimaiya has been shot through the heart. Meanwhile, Pernida uses The Compulsory to bend the trees of the Cage of Life out of the way, allowing Yhwach to confront Ichibē. When Yhwach asks him if he will stand aside and let him pass, Ichibē grins and tells Yhwach to not say his name because it might crush his throat.
Shunsui heads off to Central 46 as Ichibē takes on Yhwach.
Shunsui walks through the Wandenreich city and notes the destroyed buildings before coming across Jūshirō Ukitake, who notes that Kamikake has taken effect. Bidding Ukitake farewell, Shunsui reveals he is going to see the Central 46 about something.
Meanwhile, at the palace, Ichibē draws a line on the ground with his brush and tells Yhwach this is where he will defeat him, only for Yhwach to note it is a bit small before calling Ichibē by his name again. After drawing another seal in the air, Ichibē reprimands Yhwach for doing this as a giant hand bursts out of the seal and slams into Yhwach, sending him flying back. Ichibē appears next to Yhwach and explains how this hand will push him 1000 ri away before using it on him again to send him plummeting downward. Realizing he cannot speak, Yhwach punctures his own throat and reveals he has given himself the power of voice before using Sankt Bogen, causing an enormous bow to fire several arrows upward, one of which scratches Ichibē. Noting that he did not expect Yhwach to come back by shooting an arrow through himself, Ichibē states he will just have to kill him as his eyes roll up.
Ichibē continues his battle with Yhwach as the Visored arrive in Soul Society.
Ichibē notes he must kill Yhwach for being so unruly and draws his brush as Yhwach prepares to battle him.
Meanwhile, in the Wandenreich City, Yūshirō Shihōin leaps from building to building while carrying a large object and tells Yoruichi to wait up for her. As Urahara draws a line in the ground, Hiyori Sarugaki asks him if he did not finish his preparations inside the building. When Urahara reveals he has already sent Yoruichi up, Hiyori demands to know what he was thinking and asks him if he believes it is okay for Yoruichi and Ichigo to die as long as they slow down the enemy. However, they are interrupted by the arrival of Yūshirō, who expresses disbelief at Yoruichi already being gone. Urahara tells her that whatever she brought will likely prove useful to them and begins walking inside.
Back at the Soul King Palace, Ichibē and Yhwach clash as Yhwach notes Ichibē looks very happy now. When Ichibē thrusts his brush at him, Yhwach blocks with his hand, only for Ichibē to reveal his brush can cut names as Yhwach's arm falls to his side. Revealing it is now called Ar, Ichibē notes Yhwach must feel sluggish because all of his abilities have been cut in half before sending him flying back to the palace with a single slash. When Ichibē asks him how he feels about being cut to pieces, Yhwach grins and demands to know if he looks like he is suffering as Reishi gathers around him.
Ichibē continues to overpower Yhwach before releasing his Zanpakutō.
Yhwach explains to Ichibē how he can always give back to himself whatever Ichibē takes away from him before proclaiming that everything in this world is his for the taking before sending the columns of Reishi hurtling toward him, prompting Ichibei to stop them by clasping his hands together in front of his face. Claiming he was trying to preserve Yhwach's reputation by halving his powers, Ichibē proclaims he would shame all Quincy of taken down at full strength and leaps into the air before using Bakudō #62. Hyapporankan, only for Yhwach to block the beams with Blut Vene Anhaben. Ichibē notes this is interesting before using Ura Hadō: Sannodō — Teppūsatsu, which creates a dragon-like aura around him that seemingly breaks through Yhwach's barrier. When Ichibē grabs him by the throat, Yhwach reveals his Blut Vene Anhaben consumes everything around it to maintain itself, which includes Ichibei himself. However, Ichibei merely rips out his throat and reprimands Yhwach for daring to invade the body of a Royal Guard before releasing his Zanpakutō, Ichimonji.
Ichibē reveals the ability of his Zanpakutō before Yhwach attempts to steal its power.
As Ichibē releases Ichimonji, Yhwach notes its unusual appearance and the fact that he cannot sense any Reiatsu emanating from it before expressing surprise when the blade briefly turns into a brush before reverting to its previous appearance. Taunting Yhwach about being unable to tell the difference between a pen and a sword, Ichibē attacks him, forcing Yhwach to block. Ichibē and Yhwach clash as Yhwach points out how Ichibē is simply spraying ink everywhere and begins to proclaim that he will defeat him with his sword, only to stop in surprise. Asking Yhwach if he was saying something, Ichibē reveals Yhwach's sword no longer has a name because anything that the ink of Ichimonji covers loses its name. Upon hearing this, Yhwach attempts to steal Ichibē's power with Sankt Altar, but Ichibē merely shrugs off the spell and reveals Yhwach cannot wield the stolen power because Ichimonji is fueled by the color black itself before splashing Yhwach's face with ink.
Ichibē seemingly defeats Yhwach, only for the latter to come back with the power of The Almighty.
As ink splashes across the palace entrance, Ichibē notes it must have been painful for Yhwach to have his name taken away before activating his Bankai, Shirafude Ichimonji, and claiming that he will give Yhwach a new name as his master. Ichibē uses Shinuchi to give Yhwach the name of Black Ant before smashing him through the floor of the entrance while proclaiming he shall die the death of an ant. After Ichibē smashes him in midair with two giant hands, Yhwach wonders if he is really going to die like this before bursting through the floor behind Ichibē and attacking him. When Ichibē wonders how this is possible, Jugram Haschwalth informs him that this is the power of Yhwach's epithet, The Almighty.
Haschwalth informs Uryū Ishida that Yhwach has refrained from using The Almighty until now because he would have lost all control over it and would have unintentionally absorbed the power of the Sternritter if he used it before the 9 years of regaining his power were over. Meanwhile, Yhwach pulls his sword out of Ichibē and explains how he is now unbeatable because he can now see everything that happens in the future, but Ichibē points out how he is still covered in the color black before gathering darkness to use Futendaisatsuryō, which envelops the area around him in black. As Ichibē reveals this will take away everything black from Yhwach until he dies, Yhwach states everything that comes into his field of vision becomes powerless and claims he will be the one to take everything from Ichibē before blasting him.
Yhwach heads off to kill the Soul King as Ichigo and his friends arrive at the palace.
As Ichibē's head falls to the ground, Yhwach notes the Royal Guard have fallen and tells the Soul King he is next before leaving with the others.
Soon afterward, the fake Tenchuren crashes into the walkway and Ganju tumbles out as Orihime apologizes for not being able to cushion him with Santen Kesshun. Getting out, Ichigo sees the defeated Ichibē, who calls out to his mind and tells him to call his name. When Ichigo does so, Ichibē reappears unharmed and reveals he took some of Ichigo's power to heal himself, prompting Ichigo to express annoyance at having some of his power stolen. Ichibē asks Ichigo and his friends to stop Yhwach from killing the Soul King.
Meanwhile, Yhwach thrusts his blade through the Soul King's chest and bids him farewell before addressing the king as his father.
I actually had a cold all throughout January. For the first time in my life I can claim the achievement of being sick for a full 1/12th of a year. You've probably already figured this out, but my motto for the year is "stay positive".