|Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World I|
| August 4, 2017|
Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World is a Bleach novel by Ryohgo Narita that centers on Shūhei Hisagi. The novel is split into three volumes and reveals more details about the four Noble Houses, the Soul King, Arrancar and Fullbringers. The story features a new antagonist called Tokinada Tsunayashiro, and his protege, Hikone.
As head of the Seireitei Communication, Hisagi uses his journalistic skills to investigate when there is an attempted assassination aimed at the four great Noble Houses. An unknown Shinigami attacks the Quincy and the Arrancar that survived in Hueco Mundo. And with a rapidly growing, mysterious religious group in the Human World, there is turmoil in each of the three main realms of existence. It all connects to the new head of the Tsunayashiro family, one of the four great Noble Houses.
In the Soul King Palace, shortly after Yhwach's final defeat at the hands of Ichigo Kurosaki, Ichibē Hyōsube is silently staring at the former Soul King's shrine when he is approached by Captain-Commander Shunsui Kyōraku. The two Shinigami have a cryptic conversation about the state of the current Soul King, and Shunsui confronts Ichibē about the latter's decision to potentially sacrifice Ichigo to become the new Soul King. While Shunsui makes it clear that such a decision would have weighed heavily on him, as well as Ichigo's companions, Ichibē nonchalantly says that he would merely have missed talking to the young boy.
Shunsui voices his relief that Ichigo did not have to be cut down, to which Ichibē responds that it was mere luck. He never expected Ichigo to defeat or even survive against Yhwach, but the latter's decision to absorb the former Soul King's powers was an unexpected fortune. When Shunsui tries to steer the conversation towards the Five Noble Families, the two are interrupted by the arrival of Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, the latter of whom is carrying the now-freed Tier Harribel with her. As the two Tres Espada argue with a hostile Grimmjow, Ichibē assures them that they're free to leave, or even be escorted, back to Hueco Mundo. When Grimmjow remains suspicious, the Royal Guard commander adds that killing three Menos-class Arrancar would be too much trouble due to how disruptive their deaths would be to the balance of Souls.
Harribel interrupts them by asking if the "thing" enshrined behind them is what they call the Soul King, the core of Soul Society. When Ichibē confirms this, he asks her if she is able to tolerate such an existence. Harribel refuses to answer, saying only that she understands Sōsuke Aizen's motivations now. After parting words with Shunsui, the three Arrancar depart back to Hueco Mundo.
Ichibē prepares to leave as well, saying that he should revive the remaining Royal Guard members. Ichibē explains that, since their bones are infused with the Ōken, the Royal Guard members' very life essence is fused with the Soul King Palace. As long as the palace remains intact, Ichibē can revive the others by calling their names. While Ichibē mentions that he will not allow the rest of his squad to die easily, as is their fate, he suddenly becomes distracted as he senses someone has entered the palace without permission.
One hour later, after Ōetsu Nimaiya has been revived, he returns to the Hōōden to find most of his Zanpakutō Spirit guards defeated and heavily injured or killed, and an important Zanpakutō stolen. Looking at their various wounds such as burns, electrocutions, and poisoning, Mera Hiuchigashima wonders how large the army was that broke into the sanctum. One of the revived Zanpakutō guards says that there was only a single attacker, much to Mera's shock. However, to Ōetsu this is enough evidence to narrow down who the attacker was. Ōetsu then wonders who of the Noble Families would have stolen Ikomikidomoe and wonders what their intentions are.
In the Seireitei, a few days after the end of the war with the Wandenreich, Shunsui asks Aizen if he has any last words before he is re-incarcerated in the Muken. While awaiting Aizen's words, Shunsui contemplates the massive losses of life the Gotei 13 experienced at the hands of the Quincy soldiers. While Orihime Inoue has been invaluable in helping the recovery and even reviving some of the recently deceased, even her powers have their limits. As a consequence, the Shinigami were becoming disheartened until news of victory reinvigorated them.
Aizen eventually says that there is nobody present worthy of hearing what he has to say, only mentioning that he would like to talk to Ichigo. Shunsui dodges the issue, and Aizen taunts him by wondering if the improved seals created by Kisuke Urahara will be able to hold him. Shunsui's only reply is that he hopes Aizen will repent after he has finished his sentence. But Aizen counters that Soul Society may not even exist anymore then. Aizen asks if Shunsui saw Soul Society's "Original Sin" in the palace. When Shunsui refuses to respond further, Aizen taunts him more by wondering if his words will cause more renegades like Kaname Tōsen to appear. This, however, causes an infuriated Shūhei Hisagi to storm towards them.
While Aizen notes that Hisagi still has heavy injuries from Lille Barro's attack, the Shinigami lieutenant demands to know what Aizen said to make Tōsen betray them. Shunsui forces Hisagi to calm down, after which the latter makes it clear that he'll never forgive Aizen for murdering Tōsen, even if the renegade helped defeat Yhwach. Aizen only retorts that killing Tōsen was his one act of mercy towards his former ally. He further explains that if Orihime or Retsu Unohana would have saved Tōsen, it would only have allowed the blind Shinigami to fall into unparalleled despair. So he granted his most loyal ally a quick, painless mercy.
Before Hisagi can confront him further, Captain Suì-Fēng forcibly subdues him and chastises him for acting like he's the only one hurt by Aizen. She further says that a desire for revenge is pointless as Aizen will pay regardless. As the renegade Shinigami is about to be escorted away, he quotes Tōshirō Hitsugaya and says "Wielding one's blade out of duty alone is what it means to be a captain. Wielding one's blade out of hatred is nothing more than petty violence." Shunsui interrupts them and tells Aizen to relax his Reiatsu on his retainers. He does so and as they carry him away, Aizen simply dares Hisagi and the rest to sacrifice their own blood, flesh, and soul to pursue the truth, as Tōsen once did, leaving Hisagi shaken.
Hundreds of years earlier, in the Seireitei, a younger Kaname Tōsen is demanding to guards to receive an audience with the Central 46. Demanding to know why the murderer of his friend was never properly punished, Tōsen refuses to stand down despite the guards' disdain for someone from the Rukongai. Before they can attack him, however, an unidentified & high-ranking Shinigami stops them. The Shinigami tells the guards to behave in memory of Kakyou's death, which shocks Tōsen as that's the name of his deceased friend. The Shinigami recognizes Tōsen as Kakyou's friend and apologizes for not being able to protect her. He then takes Tōsen aside to talk about their mutual friend's demise.
Eventually, their conversation shifts towards the culprit. The Shinigami confirms to Tōsen that Kakyou's husband was the one who murdered her. When Tōsen asks why she had to die, the Shinigami guesses that her strong belief in justice and peace must have angered the wrong person. Tōsen mentions his anger at the injustice of her murderer not being punished, and the Shinigami realizes that this must be why he wanted an audience and shifts the topic towards the Five Noble Families. The man reveals that the murderer was a member of one of the families, and that the only reason the murder was even brought to light, rather than ignored, was because the culprit was not a high-ranking noble.
Tōsen demands to know why the Shinigami, the guardians of peace, allowed this to happen. The man only says that the noble families' peace was indeed defended. When Tōsen gets furious at this injustice, the Shinigami says that the Central 46 are controlled by the Noble families, especially by the Tsunayashiro family. The Shinigami then asks Tōsen if he wants revenge for Kakyou; if Tōsen had the power to take revenge, would he do it? Even if Kakyou would not want him to? This causes Tōsen to calm down, realizing that Kakyou would never want bloodshed in her name. The Shinigami congratulates Tōsen for keeping Kakyou's dying wishes intact. Happy, Tōsen asks the Shinigami for his name, but is stunned to hear the Shinigami identify himself as Tokinada Tsunayashiro, the very man that murdered Kakyou.
As Tōsen is paralyzed by sheer emotional shock, Tokinada says he's happy Tōsen won't walk the path of vengeance. Tokinada exerts his Reiatsu, which terrifies Tōsen because of the sheer violent and murderous intent he feels in it. Tokinada continues, saying that if Tōsen said yes, he would have killed the blind man then and there. As Tokinada prepares to leave, Tōsen screams in anger and lunges at him, but Tokinada violently subdues him. Tokinada crushes Tōsen's throat, and tells him to honor Kakyou's wishes for the peace the Shinigami enforce before ordering the guards to beat up and expel the defenseless Tōsen.
In the present, Tokinada Tsunayashiro awakens from his nostalgic dream on his throne. When a childlike voice eagerly asks what he dreamed of, Tokinada explains it was a pleasant dream, and he'll never get tired of seeing a person get filled with boundless, crushing despair before turning towards the source of the voice; a childlike, androgynous Shinigami named Hikone. Hikone eagerly shows the numerous Onmitsukidō assassin' corpses that surround Tokinada. Tokinada approaches the only survivor, noting that they were employed by his own family, and asks why they still attempted to carry out their mission if their client was supposedly dead. As Tokinada tortures the assassin to death, he reveals that he covertly ordered the assassination himself, all to garner sympathy and get rid of all his rivals.
Afterwards, Hikone wonders if they should be more respectful towards the new head of the Tsunayashiro family, but Tokinada assures the child that it's not necessary, as Hikone will become the new Soul King anyway.
Several days later, Shūhei Hisagi is preforming his duties as the editor-in-chief of the Seireitei Communication, during which he visits Kūkaku Shiba. While the Shiba family may have fallen in status, Hisagi notes they're still powerful and influential. Hisagi therefore requests her help in creating an article about the successful protection of the Soul King and the victory over the Quincy. Kūkaku replies that she only sent Ichigo's group towards the Palace, and redirects Hisagi towards her brother, Ganju Shiba, for more details.
As Hisagi prepares to take his motorcycle towards Ganju's location, he is approached by Kūgo Ginjō, Giriko Kutsuzawa, and Shūkurō Tsukishima. While tense towards each other, Hisagi is shocked to learn that the hostile Fullbringers assisted Ichigo in the Soul King Palace. Probing their intentions further, Hisagi asks Ginjō why he betrayed Jūshirō Ukitake all those years ago. When Ginjō realizes that Hisagi is far more ignorant about things than he expected, Ganju appears and diffuses the tension between them.
Hours later, at the 1st Division Barracks, Shunsui Kyōraku reveals to Nanao Ise that he was approached by Central 46 concerning the assassination on the head of the Tsunayashiro family. While the news is being heavily suppressed, Shunsui knows that Byakuya Kuchiki and Yoruichi Shihōin must already be aware of it. Shunsui also mentions that, while the succession dispute is not in the Gotei 13's jurisdiction, he fears it might soon become so. He then asks for Shūhei Hisagi and Kensei Muguruma to be summoned to him.
At the same time, Ganju is recounting the events of the Soul King Palace fight to Hisagi. While Hisagi is interested to learn that Riruka Dokugamine and Yukio Hans Vorarlberna's powers allowed for access to the Palace, he once again probes Ginjō for what exactly happened between him and the late Ukitake. After Ginjō recounts the events of his deception of Ichigo, specifically mentioning Tsukishima's Book of the End powers, Ginjō reveals that the reason he turned against Soul Society was because a lot of his Fullbringer friends were killed by Shinigami. While Ginjō wanted to directly confront Ukitake after helping Ichigo in the Palace, he was too late as the Shinigami was already deceased. Hisagi is then summed to the First Division Barracks, but before he leaves he says that his duties as a reporter will compel him to get the truth out, even if he is a Shinigami as well. Afterwards, Kūkaku and Ganju wonder if their late brother, Kaien, knew anything about it.
In the Seireitei, Shunsui informs Kensei and Hisagi about the Tsunayashiro assassination, and asks Hisagi to print the news all over Soul Society. The new head of the family, Tokinada, wants to makes his ascension as public as possible. Upon hearing the name, Hisagi is stunned, as he recognizes it as the name Tōsen talked about. While Shunsui makes it clear he is more than suspicious of the assassination and Tokinada's sudden ascension to family head, he orders Hisagi to print the news regardless.
In the 4th Division Barracks, 3rd Seat Hanatarō Yamada is talking to some of his fellow Shinigami about Hisagi and his current work before being called away, as he has a visitor. To his astonishment, Hanatarō discovers the visitor is his brother, the retired Shinigami Seinosuke Yamada. As Hanatarō notes that Seinosuke is employed as a private medic for nobles, Seinosuke tells Hanatarō to take some time off, as he believes a small crisis will befall the Seireitei.
Meanwhile, in Karakura Town, Mizuiro Kojima, Keigo Asano, and Ryūnosuke Yuki find themselves fleeing from a Hollow. Mizuiro manages to temporarily incapacitate the Hollow with a device given to him by Ururu Tsumugiya, before they are saved by the arrival of Shino Madarame, who slays the Hollow with her naginata-like Shikai. When Shino chastises Yuki, Keigo mentions that Shino looks familiar to him, and she recognizes him as someone her relative Ikkaku Madarame used to talk about.
As the Shinigami and the humans talk to each other, they are interrupted by a loud cult nearby. Mizuiro explains that the cult was formed after the recent, mysterious quakes that happened all over the globe as a result of the previous Soul King's demise. Keigo mentions that the cult is headed by some mysterious woman, and Mizuiro tells the Shinigami what the name of the cult is.
At the same time, in Yukio Hans Vorarlberna's family company, he is approached by a mysterious woman who introduces herself as Aura Michibane, the representative of the "XCUTION Religious Corporation".
Six months after the defeat of Yhwach, Hueco Mundo is once again in turmoil as the resident Hollows and Arrancar continue to fight against the surviving Quincy. Rudbornn Chelute reminisces about how he tried to maintain order in Hueco Mundo after Harribel's defeat at the hands of the Quincy King, but is brought back to the present by his and Loly Aivirrne and Menoly Mallia's battle with several Quincy. As the two female Arrancar argue with the Exequias leader about their responsibilities, the weaker Quincy are soon supported by the arrival of Liltotto Lamperd and Giselle Gewelle.
Giselle complains that she has trouble zombifying Hollows, but Liltotto tells her to send the zombified Bambietta Basterbine after them instead. When Giselle suggest just zombifying Liltotto, the Glutton counters by threatening to devour Giselle. As Bambietta unleashes her powers on the Hollows, Liltotto flashes back to how she and the rest were saved from the war's end.
Six months earlier, shortly after Yhwach's defeat, Liltotto awakens after her battle with the Wandenreich Emperor. Finding herself bandaged and healed, she wonders what happened afterwards. She finds the unconscious, but treated, Giselle and Bambietta nearby, and notices the Wandenreich logo on their pillows, suggesting they're in one of their bases in the Human World. Shortly afterwards, a female Quincy enters the room and Liltotto recognizes her as Jugram Haschwalth's loyal aide. Liltotto notes that Haschwalth's aide was stronger than most of the Sternritter, but refused to receive a Schrift because her loyalties lied with Haschwalth before Yhwach.
Suspicious, Liltotto asks why Haschwalth had them saved after betraying them, only for the aide to explain that Haschwalth was killed by Yhwach's Auswählen. Shocking Liltotto more, however, is the news that Yhwach was killed by Ichigo and Aizen's combined efforts. Calming herself, Liltotto ask what happened to Candice Catnipp and Meninas McAllon, but the aide says they and NaNaNa Najahkoop were captured by the Twelfth Division.
Taking it all in, Liltotto finally asks why the aide saved them. She explains that Haschwalth himself ordered his direct subordinates to save all remaining Quincy. After revealing the Schutzstaffel were also all killed in action, the aide explains that Haschwalth's orders came while he was in possession of The Almighty. As Haschwalth kept himself an enigma to everyone, even Yhwach, all the aide knows is what he told her: that the future he saw is cruel and that the Quincy race must be preserved.
As Liltotto leaves, she promises to keep Giselle under control, not realizing that the aide kept one detail from her. Haschwalth also told his aide he considers Uryū Ishida his final test, and if he ever forfeits his role as "the balance", he will forfeit his power and life as well.
In the present, Liltotto mentions that while most of their power has returned after the Auswählen, their Quincy: Vollständig and ability to use Sklaverei is gone for good. Giselle suggests that Liltotto just use The Glutton to devour enough Reishi, but Liltotto refuses as Hollow essence makes her stomach upset. Looking at Bambietta fight, Liltotto mentions her disappointment that most of the Jagdarmee have been killed already, as she was hoping to recruit them to retrieve their companions from the 12th Division.
Liltotto considers retreating back to the Human World, but is surprised to see that despite Bambietta going all-out, there are still waves upon waves of Arrancar coming towards them.
Meanwhile, Rudbornn has realized what Bambietta's The Explode does, and has released Árbol, planning to exhaust Bambietta by sending limitless waves of his Calaveras at the Quincy. When Loly doubts the effectiveness of his plan, Rudbornn reveals that he has managed to increase the power of Árbol, and is now able to grow Calaveras from the very soil of Hueco Mundo by extending his branches underground.
When Bambietta realizes that the Calaveras do not fear death and are just mindlessly throwing themselves at her, it triggers her trauma of dealing with the fearless Sajin Komamura. Terrified, Bambietta collapses until she is rescued by Liltotto, who devours a large amount of the Calaveras. Complaining that they literally have no taste at all, Liltotto moves in to attack Rudbornn himself, but is intercepted by Loly who has released Escolopendra. Liltotto responds by devouring one of the arms of Escolopendra, and in the process gains Loly's poison abilities. Liltotto reveals that The Glutton allows her to gain the powers of whoever she devours, and that because of this she has also assimilated PePe Waccabrada's The Love, though she refuses to use the power out of sheer principle.
When Liltotto tries to use the poison of Escolopendra on Loly and Menoly, they are interrupted by the arrival of Harribel, Nelliel, and Grimmjow. Before the fighting can escalate further, however, a small Garganta opens up nearby as everyone present feels a massive, unidentified Reiatsu. Grimmjow notes the Reiatsu feels similar to Shinji Hirako, a mix between Shinigami and Hollow. To their surprise, a young, androgynous child emerges from it, but is confused to find Quincy there.
The child introduces itself as Ubuginu Hikone, and cheerfully explains that Tokinada has sent them to become the new king of Hueco Mundo. When Rudbornn's Calaveras attack Hikone in response, the child merely uses Hierro to defend itself, much to Nelliel's shock. Hikone says that Tokinada expected this response and ordered it to fight them until they consent. Hikone draws their Zanpakutō and releases their Shikai, Ikomikidomoe.
In the Ninth Division Barracks, Hisagi and Kensei have a conversation about Tōsen. Kensei admits that he never probed much into his former subordinate's past, but realizes now that he should have done so. He also notes that he never cared as much about the noblemen, especially the Tsunayashiro family, as much as he should have. Kensei asks why Hisagi accepted Shunsui's request, as he would have been allowed to push it onto a subordinate.
Previously, in the First Division Barracks, Shunsui is surprised that Hisagi is willing to accept it as well. He notes that Hisagi will be very closely watched by the nobles, and asks if he can prevent himself from being biased. Hisagi admits that it will be difficult for him to write anything that's negative about Tōsen, but promises to do his best. Shunsui, meanwhile, promises to cover for Hisagi as much as he can.
Before they part ways, Hisagi bluntly asks Shunsui about Ginjō and Ukitake's history. When Hisagi explains that he would like to know both sides of the story, Shunsui admits there were secrets Ukitake kept even from him. However, Shunsui promises to uncover as much as he can, even if it means granting Ginjō a pardon.
Later, Hisagi is interviewing Ikkaku and Yumichika Ayasegawa about the events of the Soul King Palace invasion. The two mention Kenpachi Zaraki, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, and Nemu Kurotsuchi's fight against Pernida Parnkgjas, and Hisagi is curious about the supposed "Left Arm of the Soul King". Hisagi wonders if Pernida has any true connection with Mimihagi, and is even more surprised once Yumichika remembers that Pernida said it has always been a Quincy.
Ikkaku tries to direct Hisagi towards Mayuri for further questions, but Hisagi reveals that the captain has refused all his requests for interviews. Yumichika then remembers that Hanatarō was present as well, and suggests Hisagi asks him about it.
Later, at the Fourth Division Barracks, Hanatarō says to Hisagi that he can't remember much, as he was poisoned by Mayuri's Zanpakutō during the fight. When Hisagi mentions that he is scheduled to go to the Kizokugai, the area where the Nobles live, afterwards, Hanatarō suggests that his brother, Seinosuke, might be willing to help Hisagi.
At the same time, in the First Division Barracks, Shunsui is approached by Tokinada. Mentioning that Shunsui was the one who had him send to the Maggot's Nest for his wife's murder, Tokinada gloats that the clan elders who punished him are now dead. When Shunsui asks if this is a confession, Tokinada denies it and adds that even if it were, as the new head of the Tsunayashiro family he can easily have the crime be ignored. Shunsui counters that, with the Shihōin and Kuchiki clans fighting on the front lines, the Nobles are indeed improving, and if the disgraced Shiba clan is counted, it would be three of the five clans changing their ways already.
After some banter, Tokinada reveals his reason for coming is that he wanted Shunsui to contact Yoruichi Shihōin, supposedly for peace between the clans, but Shunsui remains unconvinced. Switching topics, Tokinada subtly taunts Shunsui about Ukitake's death, but the Captain-commander remains unfazed. Before leaving, Tokinada addresses Nanao and says that he had nothing do with her mother's execution, as if he had, he would have made it much more of a spectacle, like when Aizen tried to have Rukia Kuchiki executed. This angers Shunsui and he makes Tokinada leave, after which he tries to console Nanao. A shaken Nanao can only say that she does not want a man like Tokinada to gain power, which Shunsui agrees with.
In the Kizokugai, Hisagi and Hanatarō are conversing, mostly about Hisagi being in monetary debt to Urahara for the upkeep of his motorcycle. Eventually they arrive at the extravagant Tsunayashiro mansion, noting that the Tsunayashiro family wants to make it clear they are the most important of the Four Noble Families. Eventually, Hanatarō directs Hisagi's attention to the Central Pharmaceutical Institution where his brother works, but Hisagi is intimidated by the building, noting it has the same atmosphere as the Shinigami Research and Development Institute.
Meanwhile, at the Research and Development Institute, Mashiro Kuna is acting childish and arguing with her sister, Nicorun Kuna. As Akon and Hiyosu observe the argument, their sensors suddenly pick up a large spike of unidentified Reiatsu at the Kizokugai. Akon recognizes the Reiatsu and notes that it is rapidly depleting.
At the Central Pharmaceutical Institution, Hisagi and Hanatarō cannot help but be awed and disgusted by the extravagant luxury a mere hospital for nobles possesses, when suddenly a small Garganta opens up next to them. Before Hisagi can react, a heavily injured, androgynous Shinigami child stumbles out the portal. Hanatarō immediately jumps forward and attempts to heal the child, but it refuses and rejects all treatment, saying with pure despair that it failed Tokinada's orders and therefore deserves nothing less than death.
Before they can do more, Seinosuke arrives and begins to treat the child, convincing it that since it is merely the property of Tokinada Tsunayashiro, it is not allowed to choose its own death. This perks up the child, and it rapidly starts recovering once it realizes that dying will only make Tokinada more disappointed.
As Seinosuke asks Hisagi and Hanatarō to come back another time, Hisagi asks the child about its connection to Tokinada, who only replies that they're Tokinada's retainer. When Seinosuke tries to send them away, Hisagi grabs him to demand more answers, only to find himself rapidly subdued by the child before he can even grasp what has happened. The child quickly apologizes, saying it thought Seinosuke was in danger, and introduces itself to Hisagi as Ubuginu Hikone. Seinosuke tells Hisagi that the Gotei 13's laws and authority do not apply here, and once again tells Hanatarō to take time off.
Hisagi asks Hikone if Tokinada is really worth nearly dying over, and the child responds that Tokinada is a wonderful person that it owes even more than its own life to. When Hikone says that Tokinada promised it will become a king, Seinosuke quickly interrupts, saying that Hikone is not allowed to divulge that yet. Hikone is shocked, but Hisagi introduces himself and Hanatarō and promises to forget about it for Hikone's sake.
After they leave, Seinosuke begins treating Hikone, noting that the Hollows did not hold back as was expected. Seinosuke promises not to let Hikone die, even if he knows that there is no hope at all for the child's life.
Meanwhile, in Hueco Mundo, the Tres Bestias arrive at the scene of the fight alongside several Arrancar medics. Noting the tens of thousands of dead Calaveras lying nearby as well as the heavily injured Rudbornn, Emilou Apacci mocks him for losing to a single Shinigami, and Franceska Mila Rose voices her belief that Harribel must have defeated the Shinigami by herself. However, Harribel denies this, saying that even the combined might of the three Espada and the Quincy attackers was barely able to push the Shinigami back, despite the child's Reiatsu level being only around captain Hitsugaya's level.
When Cyan Sung-Sun asks why the Shinigami would send a captain level opponent after them, Harribel explains that despite the attacker's power, they were too inexperienced in battle to be a captain. What disturbs her, Nelliel, and Grimmjow more, however, is that it wasn't the Shinigami attacker that opened the Garganta to escape; rather, it was the Shinigami's Zanpakutō acting on its own.
At the same time, in the Human World, Giselle asks why Liltotto aided the Arrancar by attacking the mysterious Shinigami. Liltotto explains that, aside from the child Shinigami being immune to Giselle's zombification, it was not only using Hierro to defend itself, but Blut Vene as well, much to Giselle's shock. While Liltotto thinks that the Shinigami might be in some sort of internal conflict, which is beneficial for the Quincy, she also expresses her hope that Candice and Meninas might still be alive in the chaos.
In the Rukongai, Ginjō is wandering around when he notices a large commotion. Investigating it, he notices a large crowd of religious people proclaiming their faith was right all along about the afterlife. Trying to ignore it, Ginjō thinks it might just have been a Shinigami that leaked some knowledge. But when the crowd addresses him, he is shocked when he hears that the religion they follow is named "XCUTION", like his former Fullbring organization. Curious, he decides to probe the crowd for more information.
At the Research and Development Institute, Mayuri reveals to his subordinates that he is planning on studying the Fullbringers in the Rukongai, having already learned enough about Shinigami, Quincy, and Arrancar so far. When Akon brings up the fact that most of the Fullbringers are too strong for the researchers to subdue or handle, Mayuri merely reveals some unidentified test subjects of his that will do the heavy work for them.
At the Tsunayashiro residence, Tokinada is about to leave for an important meeting, when he is approached by several assassins. Noting that the assassins came for him as Hikone was incapacitated, Tokinada reminisces about his own Zanpakutō, which has been confiscated since his initial incarceration. Regardless, he reveals that he has been using his family's ancestral Zanpakutō without permission for some time now, and decides to release it. As he faces the assassins, he releases his Shikai, Kuten-kyōkoku.
In a street in the Seireitei, Hisagi bumps into Shinji and tells the Shinigami captain that he is planning a visit to the Human World to interview Urahara. After mentioning his recent visit to the Kizokugai, Hisagi leaves, only for Shinji to remember a warning Yoruichi gave him about the current state of affairs in the Kizokugai.
Later, in a top-secret, sacred meeting place for the Noble Families, Yoruichi, Byakuya, and Tokinada meet around a conference table. After some tense banter, Yoruichi gets to the point and asks why Tokinada summoned them here, a meeting place that has not been used for two generations. Tokinada says that, due to the recent Quincy war, he feels the Royal Guard and especially the Soul King have become too isolated and complacent, and that such things need to change. When Byakuya criticizes his controversial opinion, Tokinada counters by taunting Byakuya about his actions during Rukia's execution. He goes further by insulting Hisana, but when Yoruichi get angry at him for it, Byakuya interjects.
Byakuya makes it clear he takes all the blame for the execution on himself and will not tolerate Hisana being blamed for his mistakes. Before things escalate, Tokinada drops the subject and reveals his reasons for being here; he wants to reinstate the Shiba family as the fifth Noble Family, so the five Houses can be reunited again. When Byakuya and Yoruichi explain that Isshin Shiba chose exile, and Ichigo, Kūkaku, and Ganju are not interested in the status, Tokinada suggests having Yuzu and Karin Kurosaki be made acting heads instead.
When Yoruichi becomes suspicious, Tokinada says that if the five Families are united as one, their authority surpasses even that of the Central 46. He then asks them if they aren't suspicious that the Shiba family was so easily removed from their status. Byakuya merely replies that without the Soul King's express permission, it would never happen. Tokinada agrees, saying the Soul King is utterly incapable of doing so to begin with, which is why he wants the five Families to be the true supreme rulers of all worlds. Because of this, he wants to replace the Soul King with someone who has free will. When realization dawns on Yoruichi and Byakuya, Tokinada says that they're not yet fully aware of the Soul King's true existence, but that Urahara is.
Meanwhile, in front of the Senkaimon, a nervous Hisagi prepares to depart to the Human World to interview Urahara, but cannot help but wonder if he is following in Tōsen's footsteps. Hisagi wonders if Tōsen strayed from his own path early in life, or only in the very end.
Hundreds of years earlier, a young Kaname Tōsen is being beaten by guards on Tokinada's orders. When the guards suddenly turn on each other, Tōsen is approached by an unidentified person. The person says with a gentle voice that he mixed the guards' drinks with alcohol, so nobody will get suspicious at Tōsen's escape. When Tōsen asks with anger if the man is also a Shinigami, he confirms it and asks Tōsen in return if he wants to join him on his path for justice. The man introduces himself as Sōsuke Aizen, a lowly Shinigami.
|Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World II|
| November 2, 2018|
At some point in the past, a young Tokinada asks his father about the Soul King. The father replies that the Soul King is the linchpin that holds the worlds together and that without it, they would collapse on each other. When Tokinada asks what the world was before the Soul King, his father gets furious and says that there was no history prior to the Soul King's birth, and that the Shinigami should be happy a being so wise and powerful exists in the first place. Tokinada pretended to be satisfied, but secretly bided his time.
Many years later, Tokinada uncovered records about the true history of Soul Society and the greatest sin of the Tsunayashiro family. Laughing, Tokinada now realizes that the million-year history of Soul Society is based upon deception, and that there is no excuse for him or anyone to behave any differently. Tokinada vows that, until the inevitable end of Soul Society, he will act with completely justified malice and evil.
In the present day, in Karakura Town, Hisagi is talking to Urahara. Urahara attempts to sell Hisagi a priceless, authentic replica of a historical Guitar, that he modified to be able to act as a Zanpakutō scabbard. As Ururu and Jinta Hanakari watch with pity, Hisagi allows himself to get scammed again by the store owner.
In Karakura Town, which is noted to have been the Jūreichi for as long as one can remember, Hisagi starts his interview with Urahara. As the two discuss Urahara's history in Karakura Town, the topic of Isshin Shiba and Masaki Kurosaki's relationship is brought up, with Hisagi understanding that Soul Society is not yet ready to know about Ichigo's Quincy heritage. After some banter, the two get to the core of the matter: Urahara's involvement in the events of the Soul King Palace. While Urahara tries to greatly downplay his actions during the conflict, Hisagi realizes that the man is dodging the issue intentionally, and decides to press on about Urahara's past.
The two are temporarily interrupted by the eavesdropping Ururu and Jinta, and after Urahara sends them on an errand, decides to talk about the two children instead. Urahara confirms Hisagi's suspicions that the two are indeed artificial beings similar but not identical to Nemu Kurotsuchi, and mentions that Ururu is three years older than Jinta.
Meanwhile in Soul Society, Mayuri is studying the three Fullbringers living in the Rukongai, when Akon asks if he is using the Visuals Department's surveillance for it. Despite the Visuals Department's immense resources and surveillance operations, Mayuri reveals he decides to stop cooperating with them, much to Akon's surprise. Mayuri explains that he no longer considers the Visuals Department reliable, as their primary allegiance lies with the Nobles, particularly the Tsunayashiro family.
Mayuri explains that, just as the Shihōin Clan is responsible with handling and storing armaments supposedly created by the Soul King, the Tsunayashiro Clan is responsible for documenting the history of Soul Society. Suddenly their equipment finds the Fullbringers' location, and Mayuri departs to oversee their capture, leaving Akon in charge.
At the same time, in the Rukongai, Ginjō, Tsukishima, and Giriko realize they're being watched. Wondering if the Shinigami plan on silencing them for talking to Hisagi, they suddenly find themselves attacked by Candice.
In the Urahara Shop, Urahara continues to dodge Hisagi's questions, forcing Hisagi to switch tactics. Hisagi decides to ask a more personal question to Urahara and brings up his encounter with Hikone. After hearing everything that happened, Urahara first divulges what he knows about Seinosuke. He admits that while Seinosuke is an exceptional physician who takes his profession very seriously, he also has a disturbing lack of ethics when it comes to performing his duties; not only did this cause a lot of friction between him and the late Unohana, but also is the reason Seinosuke was forced to retire.
Moving on, Urahara asks Hisagi about Hikone's strange Reiatsu, and Hisagi confirms that the child's Reiatsu felt like a "patchwork combination" of Shinigami, Hollow, and Quincy, as well as that Hikone used a Garganta to travel rather than a Senkaimon. Hearing this, Urahara becomes lost in thought until Hisagi says that he never felt Reiatsu like it. Urahara turns to him and says that Ichigo Kurosaki, while far more subtle, has such Reiatsu as well. Shocking Hisagi, Urahara reveals that there is a third person with such Reiatsu as well: Kūgo Ginjō, the first Substitute Shinigami.
In the Rukongai, Candice is fighting the Fullbringers while she curses how she got into her current situation. Candice reminisces about how she was captured by Torue and others of the Twelfth Division shortly after being depowered by Yhwach's Auswählen, and how she was turned into a test subject and "hunting dog" by Mayuri Kurotsuchi.
Several days earlier, in the Research and Development Institute, Candice was imprisoned in a large tank with numerous pieces of equipment connected to her. Surprised at her continued defiance, Mayuri merely says that she should feel privileged to be a specimen. Candice retorts that treating her injuries will not make her feel grateful after everything that has happened, to which Mayuri replies that they did not exactly treat her so much as they "rebooted" her corpse after the autopsies were completed.
Mayuri continues, saying she should indeed be grateful to be rescued from a cruel master who tried to devour his pets and then throw them away, but Candice merely retorts that it still will not make her choose the Shinigami as her new master. Ignoring her, Mayuri explains that his research on Quincy had reached their conclusion some time ago and that even his research on the "original species", Yhwach, could only go so far. Confused, Candice wonders why she was not disposed of before threatening to kill every Shinigami she encounters, especially Ichigo Kurosaki.
Switching tactics, Mayuri turns the conversation towards the surviving Sternritter that eluded him, and reveals to Candice that Liltotto and Giselle are still alive. While Candice processes the information, as well as her friends' attempt to get revenge on Yhwach, Mayuri reaches his point: if Candice will work for him, Mayuri might be willing to let the Quincy in his possession go free.
In the present, Candice makes it clear to herself that she doesn't trust Mayuri's word at all, but decides to play along for now in the hopes of finding a way out. To her own regret, she realizes that she never paid much attention to Liltotto's explanation of what Fullbringers actually are, so Candice has next to no idea what she is dealing with. Adding to this, the Fullbringers' continued resistance angers her, to the point that she is losing control of her temper and seemingly kills them with the full power of The Thunderbolt.
Due to this, Mayuri intervenes, but quickly becomes annoyed when his other thralls, Charlotte Chuhlhourne, Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio, Cirucci Sanderwicci, and Luppi Antenor voice their own opinions. In response, Mayuri uses a device implanted them to give them painful shocks. After explaining why he brought them along, as well as who the Fullbringers are, Mayuri is pleasantly surprised to find the Fullbringers are still alive.
Candice, meanwhile, is shocked to find her lightning strike, which she believes no ordinary person could have survived, was redirected towards a large tree that did not exist there previously. Overcoming her shock, Candice barely manages to avoid a Getsuga Tenshō from Ginjō and recognizes the attack from her battle with Ichigo. Ginjō turns towards Tsukishima, who reveals that he used his Book of the End on a small tree, changing the plant's past to allow it to grow far more so it could function as a lightning rod in the present.
As Candice grows even angrier at being foiled, Ginjō and Tsukishima wonder if the Quincy's attack is related to their recent investigation into the new XCUTION cult in the world of the living. At the same time, NaNaNa is using The Underbelly to study the fight, and upon hearing the fighters are Fullbringers, realizes this is why their Reiatsu pattern is mixed with that of a Hollow.
In Karakura Town, Hisagi wonders why Urahara brought up Ginjō's name, revealing he recently met Ginjō in the Rukongai. Urahara decides to explain the concept of Fullbringer to Hisagi, revealing that among the intelligent races in the worlds, Fullbringers are, in essence, a forced change derived from Humans. When Urahara gives Orihime and Yasutora Sado as examples of known Fullbringers, he explains that while the process was different with those two, as the Hōgyoku was involved, the principle remains the same.
Urahara further details that Fullbringers are born when a human fetus survives a Hollow attack on its mother while still in the womb; the infusion of Hollow Reiatsu in the fetus allow it awaken the Fullbring powers in itself in the future. While Hisagi expresses how lucky they must be to have survived a direct Hollow attack, Urahara expresses his suspicion at the fact that Shinigami or Quincy always arrived at a critical moment to save them, and wonders how much more Soul Society knows about Fullbringers then it lets on.
Urahara reveals that for the Shinigami's supposed knowledge of future Fullbring births, the Daireishokairō is surprisingly devoid of almost all information about the subject. This causes Urahara to suspect the Visual Department's, and by extension the Tsunayashiro family's, involvement in withholding the information. Due to this, Urahara asks Hisagi to use his position as a journalist to dig further into what he can find. While initially reluctant, Hisagi agrees.
Back in the Rukongai, Candice is unleashing her power on the Fullbringers once again when the tree Tsukishima used is uprooted by Meninas. Surprising the Fullbringers with her strength, Meninas throws the tree at them before calming down Candice and reminding her of Mayuri's orders. To the Quincy's own surprise, Giriko activates Time Tells No Lies to empower himself and throw the tree back at them.
Giriko explains that he sacrificed the time Tsukishima inserted into the tree's past to empower himself beyond his previous limits. In response, Meninas activates The Power and bulges up her muscles and attacks Giriko. As the battle escalates, and Ginjō plans to give Tsukishima and opening to use his Book of the End on the Quincy, all the combatants and observers are distracted when a Garganta suddenly opens up nearby.
As Grimmjow emerges from the Garganta, he lunges towards he battle site, only to voice his disappointment that the immense hybrid Reiatsu he sensed was not that of Ichigo. Regardless, Grimmjow makes it clear he is only here to find and fight Hikone.
In the remains of Las Noches, Harribel and Nelliel are informed by Rudbornn that Grimmjow has left for Soul Society. While Nelliel is worried that Grimmjow wants to attack Ichigo to satiate his bloodlust, neither Harribel nor Rudbornn believe that even Grimmjow is that impulsive, especially since Grimmjow's strong animalistic instincts compel him to protect his territory, Hueco Mundo. They suspect Grimmjow is after Hikone instead, as he recognizes the child as a threat, though Harribel is still wary about Hikone's mysterious Zanpakutō.
In Soul Society, Shinji Hirako recognizes the immense Hollow Reiatsu as that of Grimmjow. While Momo Hinamori informs him that the Twelfth Division assured them that everything is under control in that area, Shinji is unconvinced. Knowing how dangerous Grimmjow is, Shinji heads out there himself and tells Momo to inform the Captain-Commander about his decision.
At the same time, Luppi recognizes Grimmjow's Reiatsu as well, and despite Dordoni and Cirucci's warnings, leaves to confront him. To the others' surprise, Mayuri does not shock them, as he is intrigued by this turn of events. However, he also remembers that Grimmjow made a deal with Urahara during the Wandenreich invasion and cannot help but wonder if Urahara is once again meddling with his affairs.
At the Urahara Shop, Hisagi asks Urahara if he still has contact with the Arrancar. Urahara merely replies that he believes maintaining peace with them is essential, especially since Harribel and Nelliel are far more reasonable than the rest of their kin and currently lead Hueco Mundo. Urahara also expresses his belief that, while very hostile, Grimmjow is not a mindless killer like most Hollows or Arrancar are either.
Hisagi argues that while, yes, Arrancar are not absolute evil as the Shinigami are usually taught, it still does not change the fact that most of them sided with Aizen to destroy the Shinigami. Urahara explains that powerful Menos-class Arrancar are an aggregation of thousands upon thousands of souls, and while he is not sure if the resulting personality and beliefs are either an amalgamation of those souls, or a single one that dominates the others, it does not change the fact that they are still just as capable of reasoning as Shinigami are, which should allow for peaceful dialogue.
As the conversation shifts towards Hisagi's killing of the Hollowfied Tōsen, and his subsequent regret and issues, Urahara suddenly jumps up and grabs his Zanpakutō. He asks a confused Hisagi if he can arrange a Gentei Kaijo before revealing that he senses the entirety of Karakura town is surrounded and isolated by an unidentified force.
Meanwhile, in the Seireitei, Tokinada senses Grimmjow's appearance as well and summons Hikone. As the healed Hikone guarantees Tokinada that it will not fail him again, Tokinada reveals that he planned for Hikone to lose against the Arrancar so that the child to learn and grow stronger. While Hikone does not understand, the child is nonetheless excited that it did not fail Tokinada's expectations. As Hikone voices the desire to have an equal relationship with Tokinada someday, they are interrupted by the voice of Ikomikidomoe, who seems insulted by the idea of someone like Tokinada being on the same level as his wielder.
As Hikone silences Ikomikidomoe and apologizes, Tokinada reassures the child that they should not expect anything else from an inherited Zanpakutō; since it was not born from imprinting upon an Asauchi, it takes time for Ikomikidomoe to fully accept its new master. Tokinada also says that it is not like he can ever wield Ikomikidomoe, as that can only be done by beings like Hikone, Ichigo, and Ginjō.
Tokinada then orders Hikone to attack the Arrancar, Fullbringers, and Quincy in the Rukongai, expecting the child to actually win this time. As Hikone leaves, Tokinada returns his attention to Karakura Town, happy that since Ichigo is away now, his plans for the Jūreichi can continue.
In the First Division Barracks, Momo delivers her report to Shunsui. While Nanao confirms that the Twelfth Division received permission to conduct experiments there, Shunsui is unconvinced that with Grimmjow's presence the situation is still under control. Shunsui orders Genshirō Okikiba to tell the Second Division to investigate something for him, as he contemplates the immense pressure the knowledge and responsibilities of Captain-Commander put upon him. Shunsui silently wonders how much that same pressure affected Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.
In the Human World, Hisagi is shocked to learn that Ichigo, his family, and his friends are currently out of Karakura Town for unrelated reasons. As Urahara says that Ichigo is gone for several days, and will not be able to quickly return on short notice, the two of them realize that the event in Karakura Town, as well as Ichigo's sudden departure, were planned. However, since Urahara reveals he was suspicious from the beginning, he decided to stay as not to leave Karakura Town unprotected.
All of a sudden, the two Shinigami are contacted by Yukio, who uses his Fullbring to communicate with them from a distance. As Urahara reminds Hisagi who Yukio is, the store owner demands an explanation from the Fullbringer.
In the Rukongai, Ginjō wonders who Grimmjow is, and Tsukishima explains that he is an Arrancar and the former Sexta Espada in Aizen's army, and was easily defeated by Ichigo. When Ginjō is confused, Tsukishima reveals that he gained this knowledge when he used Book of the End on Orihime. When Ginjō contemplates convincing Grimmjow to join them against the Quincy, Grimmjow reveals that he heard what Tsukishima said due to his sensitive ears, and is angered at the reminder of his earlier defeats.
Grimmjow proceeds to attack Ginjō, but is surprised when the man uses his sword to block it, wondering if Ginjō is a Shinigami. As Tsukishima wonders how Grimmjow moved so fast, Ginjō explains that Sonído allows Arrancar and Hollows to bypass Reiatsu sensing. Tsukishima attacks Grimmjow with Book of the End, but even after inserting himself in Grimmjow's past he still finds himself attacked by the bloodthirsty Arrancar. When Ginjō responds by launching a Getsuga Tenshō, both he and Grimmjow realize that the other knows Ichigo, to their surprise.
Meanwhile, Meninas and Candice observe the fight, and wonder what Tsukishima's power is. Meninas speculates it might be similar to PePe's The Love, causing them to wonder why Mayuri never told them about it and what the analytical Liltotto would advise them to do. This causes Candice to realize Mayuri is just using them to study the effects of the Fullbringers' powers on them. Before they can devise a strategy, however, Luppi interrupts them and makes his desire to kill "the stray panther" more than clear. Luppi proceeds to exert his Reiatsu and unyielding killing intent, intimidating the two Quincy, and enters his Resurrección, Trepadora.
At the same time, Charlotte, Dordoni, and Cirucci realize that Luppi wants nothing more than to satiate his desire for revenge, but wonder if he can actually win, considering Grimmjow took him by surprise when killing him. However, Mayuri interjects to reveal that aside from continuing on Szayelaporro Granz's work, he significantly improved upon it, making the zombified Arrancar and Quincy stronger than they used to be.
As Grimmjow senses an incoming Hollow Reiatsu, he wonders if he was pursued out of Hueco Mundo, but realizes the Reiatsu does not belong to anyone there. Just as Grimmjow starts to recognize it as Reiatsu belonging to supposedly dead prey, he notices a large spike in it and barely manages to dodge a Gran Rey Cero fired by Luppi. Grimmjow is surprised to find Luppi alive before him, to which the latter expresses his relief that Grimmjow remembers him and states his intentions to kill his usurper.
Ginjō, who just managed to avoid the attack as well, wonders what happened, and Tsukishima uses the knowledge he gained from Grimmjow's past to explain, noting it is also the first time Grimmjow has ever seen Luppi use a Gran Rey Cero. Meanwhile, Grimmjow and Luppi proceed to exert their Reiatsu to show dominance while taunting and insulting each other. Eventually the two come to blows, and after trading a few hits Grimmjow uses a Gran Rey Cero of his own on Luppi, hitting him directly.
As Ginjō, Tsukishima, and Giriko study the fight, they wonder what to make of this new development. Suddenly, Ginjō senses the Reiatsu of a Shinigami and another one eerily resembling that of Ichigo rapidly approaching them from different directions.
Grimmjow, meanwhile, is surprised to find that Luppi survived his attack while only losing a few of his tentacles. As he notices the surgical scars on Luppi's body, he concludes that Szayelaporro, Urahara, or someone similar must have revived and augmented his rival. Delighted at his own increased power, Luppi strengthens his resolve to kill Grimmjow.
In the Seireitei, Shinji is hurrying towards the battle happening in the Rukongai, and curses Mayuri for allowing the events to escalate so much. Suddenly, he senses another Reiatsu heading towards the fight as well. Recognizing it as more similar to a Visored's Reiatsu than that of a Shinigami, Shinji heads toward it only to find an unfamiliar childlike Shinigami.
The child recognizes Shinji as a Gotei 13 captain, and gleefully introduces itself as Ubuginu Hikone. While Shinji is relieved the child is not hostile, he is still on guard because of the strange and massive Reiatsu Hikone is emitting. Suspicious, Shinji subtly asks Hikone who they work for, as they're not wearing a Gotei 13 insignia, and Hikone answers that they are the retainer of Tokinada Tsunayashiro.
Recognizing the name as both that of a Noble and a person associated with Tōsen's history, Shinji becomes even more suspicious. As Shinji shifts the conversation to the battles happening at their mutual destination, he is shocked to hear Hikone not only knows the Arrancar fighting there, but has even fought them before in Hueco Mundo when trying to become the realm's king. When Shinji asks how a Shinigami could become the king of Hueco Mundo, Hikone nonchalantly replies that they're supposed to become the new Soul King, and because of that Hikone is to be respectful towards the Royal Guard and the Gotei 13, as they will be protecting them in the future.
This alarms Shinji, especially as he realizes Hikone is actually telling the truth. Hikone further says that Tokinada commanded them to use brute force against anyone who stands against the idea. Deciding to shift the conversation, Shinji bluntly inquires about Hikone's gender, to which Hikone replies that they have no gender. Tokinada explained that, since Hikone will be the beginning and the end, they have no need for reproductive capabilities. Shinji can only decide that Hikone is not malicious by nature, but that it only makes the child even more dangerous.
As Luppi continues battling Grimmjow, he reminisces of how ever since his death and resurrection, he has felt nothing but an unquenchable thirst for Grimmjow's blood. Increasing the ferocity of his attacks, Luppi puts Grimmjow on the defensive, forcing the latter to enter his own Resurrección, Pantera.
Meanwhile, in Hueco Mundo, Harribel and Nelliel open a Garganta to Soul Society with the intent to recover Grimmjow. As Harribel leaves the Tres Bestias in charge during their absence, Sung-Sun expresses her worries, due to her mistress' earlier capture at the hands of Yhwach. Harribel assures them that she is only going to avoid their truce with Soul Society from evaporating, but silently admits to herself she does not want the mysterious child from earlier to become another Yhwach.
As the two Espada leave, their departure is observed by Liltotto and Giselle. Liltotto concludes that the Arrancar's destination must be Soul Society, and decides to follow them in the hopes of recovering their allies.
At the 1st Division Barracks, Shunsui informs Nanao of his intention to pay a visit to the Central 46. While she is initially confused, Shunsui explains that the recent events have made him uneasy. As he reminisces of his academy days with Ukitake, Shunsui says that his late friend always saw the best in people, even in remorseless monsters like Tokinada. Shunsui darkly says that he regrets not killing Tokinada in the past and plans to rectify that mistake.
Before Nanao can inquire further, Okikiba appears and announces that Hisagi has requested a Gentei Kaijo. While Shunsui wonders what would be grave enough for that, Okikiba also reports that all of their communications in and out of Karakura Town have ceased, as if the entire town has been isolated from the outside world. Shunsui sends both Nanao and Okikiba to collect as much information as they can, before silently wondering if Tokinada has made the initiative by striking first.
In Karakura Town, the phenomenon that isolates it from the rest of the world also blocks all forms of electronic signals. While the human residents assume it is just a conventional power failure of some sorts, Tessai Tsukabishi, Ururu, and Jinta are suspicious and hurry back towards the Urahara Shop. Meanwhile, a young Shinigami in charge of a city west of Karakura studies the barrier that surrounds the town. Noticing that humans can easily pass through the barrier without noticing it, he decides to do the same. However, instead of passing through it, he is teleported to the eastern border of Karakura where he finds another Shinigami studying the barrier. As the two decide to report to Soul Society, they assure themselves that Ichigo and Isshin would be able to handle the situation, unaware that the two are outside of town.
At the Urahara Shop, Yukio ignores the confused Hisagi and begins to address Urahara directly. After some joking banter from the exiled Shinigami, meant to study Yukio's reactions, Urahara wonders what he wants as there is no hostile intent from the Fullbringer. This alerts Hisagi, who openly wonders why Yukio isolated Karakura Town if he is not hostile. Yukio confirms that he did this, but cryptically states that the hostility is not from him.
Suddenly, several masked human-like figures armed with batons appear and approach them. While Hisagi is suspicious, he tries to use Shunpo to incapacitate the humans, but is shocked when they can sense him. When they move to attack, Hisagi finds himself weakened and slowed down, which Urahara notices and speculates may be some sort of Soul manipulation powers, like a Fullbring.
When Hisagi realizes Urahara is not being attacked, he confronts Yukio about it. However, the Fullbringer states again that he only has business with Urahara. Hisagi wonders if Yukio plans to kill the exiled Shinigami, but Yukio denies this, saying he is far more pragmatic than to do it so openly. When Hisagi mentions Yukio's potential loyalties to Ginjō, the Fullbringer is intrigued that Hisagi knows him, and even more when Hisagi reveals that he is not a foe of Ginjō and recently interviewed him.
Trying to get away from the assailants, Hisagi moves to the skies and wonders if they may all be Fullbringers. Suddenly, he finds himself face-to-face with a mysterious and beautiful woman, whose Reiatsu he cannot sense at all. When Hisagi asks her if she is a Fullbringer too, she acknowledges this, and to Hisagi's shock addresses him by his rank while saying "Exacta". As Hisagi remembers this is a word that was often uttered by Findorr Calius, he wonders how much about him and his battles the woman knows.
Before Hisagi can get further distracted by the mysterious woman's bewitching beauty, Urahara's voice snaps him out of it. The woman expresses her disappointment that she failed at using her charm to avoid conflict, and Hisagi decides to distract himself by thinking of Rangiku Matsumoto. The woman then introduces herself as Aura Michibane, a "maid for the gods who govern death".
Hearing this, Hisagi wonders if she is referring to the Shinigami, when he suddenly notices the Reiatsu in the air changing. As the batons of the masked men suddenly change into tentacled vines, they race towards Hisagi. As Hisagi tries to fend off the tentacles, he notices that every time they touch his Zanpakutō his own Reiatsu starts weakening and feeling numb. Changing his demeanor, Hisagi sternly turns towards Aura and makes it clear he now sees her as an enemy.
Aura merely replies that if Hisagi swears not to be an obstacle to them she will cease her attack on him at once. Hisagi asks why she is attack them in the first place, but Aura reveals that this is merely a "preparation". When Hisagi inquires further, Aura mentions that Karakura Town is the greatest Jūreichi in the world. Alarmed, Hisagi asks if they are planning on forging an Ōken like Aizen tried to do, but Aura replies that she has no intention of doing that or sacrificing the innocent people in it. Rather, the plan is to make Karakura Town the new capital of "The King".
A shocked Hisagi wonders who this king might be. After thinking of Aizen and Yhwach, he remembers his earlier conversation and can only utter Hikone's name. Hearing this, Aura's calm demeanor falters and she demands to know how Hisagi knows that name. Hisagi replies by asking if Aura is a subordinate of Tokinada, which she confirms.
As Urahara intently follows the conversation, Yukio asks him if he plans on helping Hisagi, but Urahara merely says that he is confident Hisagi is too tough to kill. Urahara directs his attention towards the masked figures and cryptically reveals to Yukio that he knows what they are, to Aura's surprise. Aura asks if Urahara discovered her special abilities and he replies that he knows it is the opposite; Aura is a Fullbringer who has no special abilities.
Meanwhile, at the edge of Karakura Town, Ryūnosuke Yuki and Shino wonder what to do now that they have lost contact with Soul Society. When their attempts to pierce the barrier prove fruitless, they suddenly find themselves surrounded by several masked human-like figures. As the masked figures attack them, the two Shinigami find themselves overwhelmed when their Reiatsu starts weakening from the attacks. However, they are saved by the arrival of Hiyori Sarugaki. While Hiyori shows her characteristic anger at helping Shinigami, she agrees to bring them to the Urahara Shop, realizing that it is the right call in this situation.
At the Urahara Shop, Aura is surprised and intimidated that Urahara managed to discern so much about her from so little information. Urahara says that he could not ignore the sudden rise of the XCUTION cult shortly after the Quincy war, and he already knew that Aura was the cult's leader. Aura says she expects as much from the man who created the Hōgyoku, and emphasizes they want Urahara on their side at all costs.
When Hisagi demands to know what the Hōgyoku has to do with anything, Aura threatens to remove him by force if he keeps interfering. In response, Hisagi has his Zanpakutō at her throat before she can even react and threatens her instead, to her shock and admiration. Aura says that she expects as much from a Shinigami whose sense of justice is strong enough to cut down his own mentor. However, Hisagi is not baited, saying that compared to Aizen, she cannot provoke him so easily. Aura asks if Hisagi wants to join them instead, but he says that the only reason he has not killed her yet is because he wants her to lift the barrier first.
While Hisagi is still confused that he cannot sense Aura's Reiatsu, she changes the subject. Confirming that she has indeed been assembling a religious organization, she says that most of their followers were not initial believers, but rather heathens who converted. Saying that the XCUTION cult has over seven hundred and seventy thousand followers, Aura asks Hisagi how he thinks they managed to grow so quickly in such a short time. When Hisagi does not speculate, Aura impales herself on his Zanpakutō and decapitates herself, to his shock.
As Aura's head falls, it says that she merely preformed miracles in front of the people, before her body catches her head and reattaches it. Hisagi asks if she is a form of Hollow with High-Speed Regeneration, and Aura says that while she's a Fullbringer, that indeed means there's a Hollow involved.
In response, Hisagi releases Kazeshini and attacks her, noting that each cut makes the Reiatsu of Kazeshini feel more dull. When Aura complements Hisagi's prowess and Kazeshini supposedly being a rare dual-type Zanpakutō, Hisagi corrects her and says that Kazeshini is in fact not a dual-type. As Hisagi presses his attack on Aura, he eventually tries to confine her with the chains of Kazeshini and Bakudō #62 Hyapporankan.
However, to Hisagi's surprise, Aura's body turns intangible and she frees herself. When Hisagi tries to address Urahara, the shopkeeper has already appeared behind him and injects Hisagi with a syringe. While Hisagi is confused, Urahara explains that the injection will release Hisagi's Gentei Reiin, allowing him to fight at full power. Urahara then says that thanks to Hisagi he could confirm what Aura's powers are.
Urahara explains that while Aura is a Fullbringer, she does not possess a specific Fullbring; rather, she only has access to the generic powers all Fullbringers have, but magnified to far greater degrees. This allows Aura to manipulate the souls of any form of matter, such as air, earth, blood, and bones, to unseen levels. When Hisagi does not understand, Urahara compares Aura to a Shinigami without a Zanpakutō that can use Kidō and Hakuda at Aizen's level.
Aura applauds Urahara's insight, and explains this is exactly why they want him: to create a new Hōgyoku to ascend Hikone to godhood.
As Yukio observes the situation, he laments his powerlessness and can only hope the both of them will do their best as he moves into action.
As Luppi and Grimmjow continue their fight, Luppi remembers when he first attained the rank of Sexta Espada. Back then, Szayelaporro speculated that Luppi was only chosen to be promoted because of his destructive nature, like Grimmjow, and that their similarities are the true reason the two cannot stand each other. Back in the present, in the Rukongai, Grimmjow and Luppi acknowledge that they try to kill each other for the same reason, but find themselves unable to gain an advantage over the other.
As Ginjō and Tsukishima study the battle intently, they acknowledge to remain prepared to retreat should the situation escalate beyond their control. Meanwhile, as Grimmjow believes he has landed a critical blow on Luppi, he finds himself poisoned and paralyzed by the chemicals Mayuri left inside Luppi. Luppi reveals the same poisons were able to incapacitate the zombified Rangiku during their battle in the war, and prepares to deal the finishing blow on Grimmjow. However, to Luppi's shock, Grimmjow overcomes the paralysis.
Mayuri, meanwhile, is also surprised to find Grimmjow resistant to his own poison, and theorizes that Grimmjow must have build up a resistance after being exposed to far worse substances. Indeed, as he keeps resisting the poison, Grimmjow remembers his fight with Askin Nakk Le Vaar and realizes that exposure to the Sternritter's powers left his body far more resilient than it was before.
Growing tired, Luppi and Grimmjow decide to finish their fight once and for all, as Luppi charges eight Gran Rey Ceros from his tentacles while Grimmjow prepares to unleash his Desgarrón. Both Ginjō and Candice realize that the impact of two such highly destructive attacks would likely kill all of them and prepare to flee, when suddenly a new arrival appears between Grimmjow and Luppi.
Surprised by the presence of Hikone, Grimmjow and Luppi pause their attacks, and Luppi demands to know who dared intervene in their duel. As Hikone once again introduces themselves, the child says they are here for Grimmjow on Tokinada's orders. Now even more confused, Grimmjow asks if Tokinada is the Shinigami's leader, only for another arrival, Shinji, to deny this. Both frustrated and relieved, Grimmjow wonders if everybody is here just to be killed by him, and wonders if Ichigo is coming as well.
Hearing that name, Hikone mentions that Ichigo is currently in the Human World, and is too busy fighting to protect his sisters to come. This alarms Shinji, and he demands to know what happened in the Human World. Losing his remaining patience, Grimmjow just fires Ceros at Hikone, Shinji, and Luppi. While he is not bothered that the latter two dodged it, he is surprised that Hikone did not do so yet remained unharmed.
As Hikone draws their Zanpakutō, Shinji says that he saw the child's sword swallow up the Cero, and Grimmjow and Luppi sense a powerful Hollow Reiatsu emanating from Hikone's mysterious white Zanpakutō. As Hikone says that the sword was given to them by Tokinada, the Zanpakutō suddenly starts talking to everyone present.
As the Zanpakutō reveals its disdain for how weak the two Arrancar are, it asks them about Baraggan Louisenbairn's status. When Shinji wonders how the sword is talking, it takes offense and tries to introduce itself. However, it finds itself unable to speak its own name, and curses the Shinigami for an unknown reason.
Before the sword can say more, Hikone apologizes for its behavior, but immediately decides to fight everyone present them to prove their worthiness as King. Promising to do their best, Hikone releases their Zanpakutō: "Send them to their burials and engrave them in memory - Ikomikidomoe".
As a massive surge of Reiatsu flows from Hikone, Grimmjow notes that the child used a different release command than when they fought back in Hueco Mundo. Back then, Hikone said "Orbit The Stars", which caused Ikomikidomoe to transform into a massive Hollow arm that could attack on its own. As Grimmjow realizes Hikone's Reiatsu is also greater than before, the surge of Reiatsu halts and everybody is left speechless at the form Ikomikidomoe takes.
When Ginjō breaks the silence by wondering what they're looking at, Ikomikidomoe has fully transformed into a gargantuan Hollow around the size of the Espada Yammy Llargo or the Gillian fusion Hooleer, while simultaneously possessing the same Reiatsu density of a Vasto Lorde. While Meninas wonders if Ikomikidomoe is even bigger than Komamura's Bankai, Candice notes that there is something far more disturbing about it. As they fearfully observe Hikone sitting on top of Ikomikidomoe's head, both Quincy agree that Hikone's Reiatsu has a disturbingly familiar pattern to it.
As Mayuri Kurotsuchi observes the events, he orders NaNaNa to use his powers to study Hikone to the fullest extent. While Mayuri is glad that Hikone and Tokinada took the bait, he does wonder if Tokinada is aware that it is a trap.
Meanwhile, in a secret underground facility in the Seireitei, Tokinada is using surveillance equipment to study the fight when he is confronted by Suì-Fēng and the Executive Militia of the Onmitsukidō. When Tokinada asks what their intentions are, Suì-Fēng explains that since an earlier attempt on Tokinada's life was made, he is going to be taken in by her for his own protection.
However, Tokinada easily sees through the excuse and lets Suì-Fēng know that he is aware that Shunsui wants to stall him as much as possible. When Suì-Fēng plays ignorant, Tokinada tries to provoke her by mentioning her brothers that died in his family's service. When that fails, Tokinada brings up her loyalty to the Shihōin clan, by suggesting taking Yoruichi as his wife. Before Suì-Fēng loses her composure, Yoruichi herself appears and mentions she'd rather flee to Hueco Mundo and die there than stay married to him.
In response, Suì-Fēng says she would want to accompany Yoruichi in such an event, and remains unfazed and grateful even when Yoruichi herself jokes about Suì-Fēng's blatantly unhealthy obsession with her. Turning her attention back to Tokinada, Yoruichi says that she will also enter protective custody alongside him, as she might be targeted as well. In response, Tokinada mocks how Yoruichi doesn't have a Zanpakutō and needs protection from him, and asks if Shunsui revealed what his own Zanpakutō's powers are. Yoruichi retorts that while she does have a Zanpakutō, both it and herself prefer that she uses Taijutsu instead.
Just as Tokinada relents to be protected by them, several unidentified Shinigami assassins appear around them. While Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng are surprised and wonder if Tokinada set them up, Tokinada draws his Kuten-kyōkoku and says he has no choice but to fight alongside "lesser nobles".
Several years earlier, Aura Michibane was born from a Fullbringer father and a human mother, making her an extremely rare second generation Fullbringer. While Aura was still in the womb, her mother was attacked by a Hollow, and though her father managed to repel the creature, her mother was gravely wounded. While she survived to give birth to Aura, the injuries resulted in her dying during the childbirth. Since then Aura's father believed it was his powers that attracted the Hollow in the first place and kept trying to rid himself of his Fullbring and feared that his daughter would suffer the same tragedies as him.
Around a dozen years later, Aura's father approached her with joyful news. A Substitute Shinigami named Kūgo Ginjō was gathering all the Fullbringers he could find in order to extract the Hollow powers out of them, rendering them normal humans. However, Aura did not understand it, and started to contemplate what it meant to be "normal". This is due to the fact that her father left her locked up in a basement for her entire life. While Aura's father did love her, he felt an obsessive need to protect all he had left from his late wife, and has isolated her completely from the outside world. All he did was teach her in basic reading, writing, and physics, and train her Fullbring powers to defend herself.
In Aura's own world devoid of color, sounds, smells, and freedom, her father's company and cooking was the only enjoyment she ever knew. However, the day after her father brought the news about Ginjō he left only to never returned again. When Aura was dying from hunger in her isolation, her Fullbringer powers first manifested and tore open the walls, allowing her to escape. However, due to her lack of attachments to anything at all, she never developed a specific Fullbring. Fortunately for her, she was quickly found by the police and placed under protection. While her story did break the news for a while, eventually it faded into obscurity yet again and with it Aura herself.
Eventually, she was taken in by relatives of her late mother, the Michibane family. For several years Aura slowly integrated into the outside world, and grew into a very beautiful woman, but her she remained apathetic to the rest of the world due to her lack of attachment. Her father, the only person she knew and trusted growing up, was constantly slandered by people for his horrific actions.
At some point in her life, Aura was approached by a mysterious Shinigami after she killed several Hollows in defense. When the Shinigami asks about her, she replies that her Fullbring is everything to her, before revealing her knowledge of Shinigami by mentioning Kūgo Ginjō. Intrigued, the Shinigami reveals himself as Tokinada Tsunayashiro, and says that he killed Aura's father on his family's orders.
As Aura struggles to process the information, she asks why he did it, and Tokinada says that he merely wanted to retrieve something that belongs to his family. He further reveals that he knows about her existence, and asks if she wants to thank him or if she wants vengeance. When Aura reveals her disinterest in either, Tokinada is even more intrigued and proposes that she becomes one of his pawns in his plan to create a new world.
When Aura is hesitant, Tokinada rather cryptically mentions about while "the Left Arm" and "the Heart" have returned to the Quincy, he says that Aura possesses something of equal value within her. Namely, Aura is the host of the Saketsu of the being known as the Soul King.
At some point between the two Wandenreich invasions of Soul Society, Kensei and Mashiro are brutally sparring with Hisagi to get him to achieve Bankai. While the process of achieving Bankai can be shortened, it is usually very dangerous on the body of the user. However Kensei is convinced Hisagi is able to do it, and decides to motivate him by insulting the late Kaname Tōsen. During a small break in their sparring, Hisagi realizes Kensei's intent and apologizes for getting angry, and proceeds to ask about Bankai in general due to Kensei's decision to train in a remote area.
As Hisagi wonders if his own Bankai is a dangerous one, like the one of Shinji supposedly is, Kensei says that Kazeshini is certainly a powerful Zanpakutō, but that it may not yield that easily. Opening up, Kensei mentions that he is surprised Hisagi has not achieved Bankai yet, as he achieved Shikai rather easily. While Hisagi confirms this, as well as his ease at entering his Inner World, he does say that the Spirit of Kazeshini rarely wants to talk to him and prefers to appear as a black shadow or a black tornado.
In response, Kensei asks if Hisagi tried a different approach, such as showing his dedication at understanding his Zanpakutō spirit, but Hisagi cannot help but show his fear for his own Zanpakutō. As realization starts to dawn on Kensei, he halts their break and summons his Hollow mask, proceeding to attack Hisagi again. Due to this, Hisagi recalls his earlier fights against Hollows such as Ayon, and he becomes afraid again, for which Kensei chastises him. Kensei tells Hisagi that he'll never become stronger if he cannot shed his fear, which goes contrary against Tōsen's very teachings.
Back in the present, Hiyori arrives at the Urahara Shop with Yuki and Shino and find it surrounded by the mysterious masked men while Urahara and Hisagi are fighting Aura, who has manifested countless massive, dark red eastern dragons out of her own blood and iron. As Urahara confirms that Aura's powers are nothing unique to her, rather they are basic Fullbring powers used at unseen levels, he releases Benihime. As Urahara test several of Benihime's powers on the blood dragons to no effect, he realizes that both Benihime and Kazeshini are ill-suited for a fight like this.
Switching tactics, Urahara uses a full incanation Hadō #91 Senjū Kōten Taihō on Aura, and although this does leave the shopkeeper slightly winded, it manages to hurt Aura even after she formed the nitrogen in the air to form a barrier. While Urahara says he is impressed that he had to use the same Kidō spells he used against Aizen, Aura cryptically mentions that she knows that it is a lie. As Urahara falls silent, Aura brings up the Hōgyoku again, and mentions that if Urahara had given it to Ichigo instead, something different would have happened.
Smiling sadly, Urahara confirms this, and asks how much Aura actually knows. Aura responds by saying they should not speak in front of the confused Hisagi, as he is still a reporter. Urahara, however, thinks that Hisagi has the right to know everything. Turning to Hisagi, Urahara says that he will hear things that nobody is allowed to know, and wants to be sure Hisagi will still be able to follow the path of justice no matter what he may hear. Urahara gravely says that Hisagi still has the right to walk away from everything now that he has the chance.
Taking it all in, Hisagi nods, and Urahara says he will continue the conversation later after they have dealt with Aura. In response, Aura uses her Fullbring to turn the moisture in the atmosphere into a giant water dragon, while simultaneously creating a dragon made out of magma. As both elemental dragons converge upon Urahara and Hisagi, Hiyori and Tessai look at the sight and remain confident that the shopkeeper can handle it. In response to Aura's attack, Urahara uses Hadō #99 Goryūtenmetsu, and the two attacks collide.
As the smoke clears, Hisagi is awed by what he just witnessed, especially as Goryūtenmetsu is a forbidden Kidō due to the fact that it draws Reiatsu from its surroundings to empower itself. However, this time Urahara had Goryūtenmetsu draw its power from Aura's own dragons, which she is impressed by. It is then that Hisagi realizes that Urahara's Reiatsu has vanished, and as the Shinigami looks around in panic he hears Yukio talk to Aura, who confirms that he succeeded in their mission. When Hisagi demands to know what they did to Urahara, Yukio reveals that he used his Fullbring, Invaders Must Die, to trap Urahara in his pocket dimension. Before Hisagi can do more, Yukio also transports Aura away, leaving Hisagi behind and feeling responsible.
In the Rukongai, everyone remains shocked at the mere presence of Ikomikidomoe, as the Zanpakutō seemingly defies all known logic. While size does serve as an indicator of a being's Spiritual Power Level, especially in Hollows, the strongest of Hollows such as Vasto Lorde are humanoid because they compress their Reiatsu to enormous degrees. Ikomikidomoe, however, is gargantuan in size yet still has the same compressed Reiatsu as Vasto Lorde's tend to have.
As the mere roars of Ikomikidomoe cause the entire area to shake, Shinji cannot help but express his amazement at the Zanpakutō. Hikone, who is still sitting on the head of Ikomikidomoe, is happy at the compliment and assures Shinji that the Zanpakutō is completely under their control. Shinji, meanwhile, does wonder if he should intervene or not, as the Shinigami have orders not to restart hostilities with the remaining Arrancar.
As if in response, a Garganta opens up nearby and Harribel and Nelliel emerge from it. Harribel surveys the area, and is confused to find Luppi alive, as well as Quincy and Shinigami fighting a gigantic, unknown Hollow. While Nelliel voices her disappointment that Ichigo is absent, Harribel recognizes Hikone on top of the Hollow's head and realizes the Hollow is the child's strange Zanpakutō. However, what alarms Harribel more is that the Hollow's behavior and Reiatsu reminds her of Baraggan.
Meanwhile, Ikomikidomoe stops what it is doing and seemingly addresses Baraggan, lamenting on how the other, lower-ranked Hollow allowed himself to be turned into Aizen's servant and ruin Hueco Mundo.
In the secret underground facility, Suì-Fēng, Yoruichi, and Tokinada fight against the groups of assassins after them as Suì-Fēng studies Tokinada fighting style and Zanpakutō, noting that Kuten-kyōkoku seemingly has the power to reflect incoming attacks back, like a mirror. However, Suì-Fēng remembers that Shunsui warned her about Kuten-kyōkoku, as he doubts that repelling attacks is all the ancestral Zanpakutō can do. Such as how the Kuchiki clan Zanpakutō, Muramasa, has the power to dominate other Zanpakutō.
As Yoruichi laments on how much of their own Onmitsukidō troops are dying, Tokinada merely laughs, saying that many more died against the Quincy. When Yoruichi retorts that most of the Nobility sat out the war, Tokinada ignores her and mocks on how the Eleventh Division captain did not even go through proper training, and just stole an Asauchi from a random Shinigami.
At the same time, in another area of the Seireitei, Yumichika and Ikkaku sense a large amount of Reiatsu emanating from the First District. As Ikkaku remembers that Omaeda told him the Onmitsukidō were dispatched there, he wonders who the Reiatsu belongs to. They are then joined by Kenpachi Zaraki, who notices the Reiatsu too and relishes a fight since he was bored.
In the Rukongai, Meninas and Candice look at Ikomikidomoe and wonder what they should do. Eventually, Meninas decides to give Candice an opening to use The Thunderbolt on the Hollow without hurting the Fullbringers. Meninas sneaks up on Ikomikidomoe and attacks its legs with her strength, after which Candice fires several Heilig Pfeil and lightning bolts at it. While it has no effect on the Hollow, it does force Shinji to take cover, for which he curses Mayuri. In response, Ikomikidomoe spawns a horde of winged Hollows that attack the two Quincy.
As the Quincy are overwhelmed, Shinji realizes that Ikomikidomoe is too dangerous and wonders why Tokinada gave such a thing to Hikone. Candice tries to stop the Hollows with her Galvano Javelin, but is rescued by the arrival of Liltotto, who devours several of the Hollows. As the Quincy women reunite, alongside Giselle and Bambietta, Liltotto tries to negotiate with Mayuri. Liltotto says that she will cooperate with his experiments if he lets Meninas and Candice go free. After some negotiating, Liltotto realizes that Mayuri wants something more valuable than mere Quincy, and Mayuri tells her that if they can subdue Hikone for him, he might let his Quincy subjects go.
While Giselle objects, Liltotto agrees and sends Bambietta after the Hollows. As Shinji takes cover from the explosions, he wonders if he should confront Mayuri or contact Shunsui. Meanwhile, the Fullbringers took advantage of the chaos and retreated. As Tsukishima wonders if they should leave, Ginjō is more intrigued by Hikone's desire to be "King", which is something the XCUTION cultists were also talking about. Ginjō reveals the XCUTION cult knew exactly about the existence of Shinigami and Soul Society, about Hollows and Hueco Mundo, as well as Hell, and even terms such as Konsō are known to them.
However, one thing about the XCUTION religion does diverge from the reality, a prophecy about a "King" that says "A new king shall be born from the shadows of a war spanning over more than a millennium; this king shall reign over the three worlds". As Ginjō wonders what this means, he notices one of the Quincy approaching Hikone.
Liltotto proceeds to address Hikone and tries to draw information from the child, asking if Hikone really will become King. Hikone clarifies that Tokinada will still rule over them as the true King, and says that they will gladly die for Tokinada. While Liltotto realizes that Hikone is a fanatic, she does find something about the child's voice and behavior eerily familiar. Liltotto then thinks back about the childlike Sternritter Gremmy Thoumeaux, who's godlike powers made him the strongest of them all. As Liltotto recalls Gremmy losing against Kenpachi Zaraki, which caused the Sternritter to lose his will to live and stopped imagining anything, Gremmy's remains had mysteriously disappeared after the fight.
Assuming Hikone might be a creation of Gremmy, Liltotto asks the child if they happen to know that name. In response, Hikone becomes excited and confirms that yes, Gremmy's remains were used to create them.
In the Sereitei's Central Pharmaceutical Institution, Shunsui visits Seinosuke for information. While Seinosuke does thank Shunsui for taking care of Hanatarō, he makes it abundantly clear he won't forgive the Captain-Commander for sacrificing Unohana's life, a fact which Tokinada divulged to him.
Eventually, Seinosuke asks why Shunsui came to visit him, and the Shinigami reveals that he wants Seinoskue to tell him everything he knows about Hikone Ubuginu. While Seinosuke says that he cannot divulge such private information, Shunsui says that he can if his patient's life is at stake. Adding to this, Shunsui reveals that he knows Hikone is not actually part of the Ubuginu family, who were a bloodline of retainers to the Tsuyanashiro family that died out some time ago.
Seinosuke admits that he is not fully aware of Tokinada's schemes, and appears to relent. Bringing up how the late Ukitake was a host to Mimihagi, a fragment of the Soul King, Seinosuke admits that Hikone is an artificial being made from all the Soul King fragments that Tokinada managed to acquire, as well as thousands of Shinigami, Human, and Quincy souls. Shunsui then interjects, saying that the only people able to construct artificial souls of that caliber are Kisuke Urahara, Senjumaru Shutara, and Mayuri Kurotsuchi, none of whom would have helped Tokinada. Seinosuke acknowledges this and says that, initially, Hikone was very unstable and barely alive.
As Seinosuke recalls, despite his best efforts all he could manage was for Hikone to live, nothing else. the Child was unable to speak or move in any way. That is, until Tokinada acquired something that that could not only stabilize Hikone, but serve as the very core of its being: the brain of Gremmy Thoumeaux.
Realizing Seinosuke's actual motivations, Shunsui takes it all in as the medic gloats that Shunsui's sacrificing of Unohana to make Kenpachi Zaraki stronger is what ultimately allowed Tokinada to initiate his plans.
Several months earlier, during the Wandenreich war, Gremmy was released from his secure cage deep inside the Silbern. A cage that was personally created by Yhwach himself to contain the immensly powerful and unpredictable Quincy. As Gremmy leaves his prison, he is approached by the one person he notes does not show fear or apprehension for him, the Sternritter Liltotto. As Liltotto exchanges playful banter with Gremmy, she notes her hunger, to which Gremmy uses The Visionary to create several pastries and sweets for her.
As Liltotto enjoys her gift, she invites Gremmy to indulge in some himself, after he has defeated the Shinigami. While Liltotto thanks him for "saving her life", saying she genuinly wants to repay him somehow, Gremmy just asks her to leave as he believes the Sternritter are all selfish, including Yhwach. Liltotto agrees that what Yhwach does to Gremmy is cruel and hopes that after the war ends he can be free. When Gremmy reveals he has no idea what to do with his freedom should he ever get it, Liltotto suggests he learns to cook so he can taste a wider variety of foods.
In the present, Hikone affirms that, according to Tokinada, Gremmy's brain is inside their head, functioning as their core. In response Liltotto curses Tokinada and proceeds to fire several Heilig Pfeil at Hikone, who deflects them with a combination of Blut Vene and Hierro. Shinji notices this, and wonders how Hikone can use Quincy and Hollow powers at once, as those essences tend to be extremely incompatible. Shinji dreadfully wonders if the Hōgyoku is somehow involved, while Hikone wonders what they have done that made Liltotto so furious at them.
At the same time, the remaining Arrancar and Quincy continue to fight against Ikomikidomoe's legion of winged Hollows. As Nelliel demands an explanation from Grimmjow, Luppi assumes they are here to help him against Grimmjow while Harribel recognizes Shinji from the Fake Karakura Town and wonders what is even going on.
Hikone, meanwhile, is desperately apologizing to Liltotto, begging to know what they did wrong. Liltotto calmly responds that Hikone did not to anything bad, but she is still going to kill them and especially Tokinada. Hikone merely responds that it is impossible to kill Tokinada, before using a combination of Shunpo, Sonído, and Hirenkyaku to appear in front of Liltotto and knock her away. Liltotto is caught by Meninas, however, and Hikone innocently says they will stop anyone trying to kill Tokinada. Hikone also adds that they believe Tokinada to be stronger than them.
In the secret underground facility, which has been reduced to rubble, the assassin's have been defeated and Yoruichi confronts Tokinada with something she found; a small case containing a human fetus fused with Hollow parts. Yoruichi says she found much more of them and will present them as proof to Shunsui. Tokinada merely refers back to the earlier conversation they and Byakuya had about the Soul King, and asks if Yoruichi is genuinely against his proposal. Yoruichi responds that while she does not know what Byakuya will decide, she does not want to trouble Kūkaku.
Yoruichi further says that she would even tolerate Aizen ruling over her rather than someone as despicable as Tokinada, which Tokinada takes as a compliment. Tokinada adds that Yoruichi is a head of one of the Five Noble Families like him, but Yoruichi responds that she does not care about her ancestors or his lineage and family's sins.
As Suì-Fēng listens, she wonders what the two are talking about, before deciding that the conversation is irrelevant. She is merely a servant to the Shihoin family and it is not her place to question them. Speaking up, Suì-Fēng declares her intentions to take Tokinada into custody, and Yoruichi tries to probe him further about his "new Soul King". Tokinada merely decides to use his secret weapon, and before Yoruichi can subdue him, uses a Soul Ticket he stole from the First Division to escape towards the Human World.
At the same time, in the Central Pharmaceutical Institution, Seinosuke gives Shunsui all the data he has on Hikone. Shunsui knows that this is enough to incriminate Tokinada, but also acknowledges that Seinosuke's medical skills give him protection from numerous other nobles. Seinosuke brings up the fact that Tokinada didn't try to have him silenced, nor did he stonewall Shunsui's request to talk to the medic. As Shunsui realizes that this can only mean Tokinada is ahead in the game, he reveals he was just contacted by the Onmitsukidō about Yoruichi's encounter with Tokinada. While Tokinada may be ahead, Shunsui is still has metaphorical cards up his sleeve. After all, Shunsui was the one who let Aizen out of Muken during the war.
In the Rukongai, Hikone suddenly stops fighting when they pull a glowing red card from their shihakusho. Panicking, Hikone returns Ikomikidomoe back to its sword form, saying that Tokinada urgently needs them. Preparing to leave, Hikone yells out to Ginjō and says they are said they could not have a fight together. When Ginjō is confused, Hikone says that, according to Tokinada, Ginjō was another Soul King candidate like them.
Hikone bows to everyone present and opens a Garganta to leave, while Luppi and the Quincy try to stop them. In response, Hikone fires a Gran Rey Cero at them, though both Nelliel and Liltotto intercept it, with Nelliel using her Cero Doble while Liltotto just uses The Glutton to swallow it. Despite their efforts, Hikone successfully escapes, and Liltotto voices her intrigue at Nelliel's similar ability to her own.
While both are tired, Nelliel affirms that if the Quincy leave Hueco Mundo alone, she sees no reason for continued hostilities, which Grimmjow disagrees with. In response, Luppi agrees with Nelliel to spite Grimmjow which only furthers their tension, to Shinji's dismay.
Before the situation can escalate once again, Nanao arrives with news from Shunsui. Despite being intimidated by the powerful Arrancar and Quincy, she remains steadfast and announces her rank, saying that the Captain-Commander requests all of to come. While Grimmjow remains hostile, Harribel forces him into complacency regardless, which Nanao is grateful to her for.
Studying the events from afar, Mayuri comments that he could have solves Shunsui's problems much faster if the Captain-Commander had only asked him to, revealing that he knew about Hikone as he was monitoring Giselle the whole time. While NaNaNa wonders if Mayuri just used them as bait, he reveals what he learned from his observations of Hikone's Reiatsu. Mayuri is not impressed, and while he agrees to let Candice and Menineas go free, he decides NaNaNa is still too useful to leave yet. Mayuri then wonders who will win, the nobles or the Gotei 13.
In an unknown area, Tokinada is admiring a perfect replica of the Soul King Palace, and congratulates Aura for its construction. While Hikone apologizes for not being there for Tokinada, Aura wonders what exactly the strange place is they're currently in. Tokinada explains to her the existence of the Dangai, and how the dimension they're currently in, the Valley of Screams, emerged from it. He muses about how the Valley of Screams was used by the Five Families to exile the Ryōdoji Family, and Aura wonders what Tokinada would have done had the same happened to him.
Tokinada asks her if she would want to make an enemy of the Gotei 13, to which Aura responds no, as she saw what Kisuke Urahara alone was capable of. As Tokinada muses how to make Urahara suffer for his enjoyment, Aura mentions Hisagi's presence during the encounter. Recognizing Hisagi as the late Kaname Tōsen's protege, Tokinada relishes the chance to kill him. Regardless, Tokinada realizes that with Mayuri's help Shunsui will find them soon, and therefore has Hikone prepare to exterminate them all.
|Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World III|
|December 4 , 2018|