|Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World I|
Tite Kubo (Co-writer credit)
|Cover Character||Shūhei Hisagi|
|Japan||August 4, 2017|
|English||July 7, 2020|
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.
Prologue the First
As the Great War between the Shinigami and Quincy, that spanned a thousand years, has finally come to an end due to the deaths of both kings, a new dawn of peace for both sides is ushered in. Despite this, neither side knew the full truth; that both kings were killed by the same being, someone who was neither Shinigami nor Quincy. Due to this, the truth of the Soul King's demise was kept a secret to everyone except for a few of the highest ranked Shinigami. Even though the Seireitei was being restored and the Shinigami regained hope after their supposed victory in "The Great Soul King Protection War", the choice to keep the truth from everyone would have severe consequences in the following decades or even centuries.
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, frozen limbs, blunt-force trauma, 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 Nimaiya this is enough evidence to narrow down who the attacker was. Nimaiya then wonders which Noble would have stolen Ikomikidomoe and wonders what their intentions are.
Prologue the Second
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.
As Aizen notes that Hisagi still has heavy injuries from Lille Barro's attack, he also is curious that the Shinigami lieutenant miraculously managed to survive them despite the fact that his Saketsu and Hakusui were pierced. As Hisagi demands to know what Aizen said to make Tōsen betray them, Aizen explains that Tōsen was working for him from the beginning, even before he met Hisagi for the first time. 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 and the remaining Shinigami wondering what Aizen meant.
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 Kakyō's death, which shocks Tōsen as that's the name of his deceased friend. The Shinigami recognizes Tōsen as Kakyō'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 Kakyō'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 Kakyō; if Tōsen had the power to take revenge, would he do it? Even if Kakyō would not want him to? This causes Tōsen to calm down, realizing that Kakyō would never want bloodshed in her name. The Shinigami congratulates Tōsen for keeping Kakyō'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 Kakyō.
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 Kakyō'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. Therefore, Hisagi 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 crab-like 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, unexplained quakes that happened all over the globe; quakes that were a result of the previous Soul King's demise. Keigo mentions that the cult is headed by some mysterious and beuatiful 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 Aizen's depature and Harribel's defeat at the hands of the Quincy King, and was even succesful for a while, but the remnants of the Jagdarmee prove to be quite stubborn. As Rudbornn curses Grimmjow and the Pícaro's refusal to help him, he is brought back to the present by his and Loly Aivirrne and Menoly Mallia's battle with several stray 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; though Liltotto suspects Uryū might still have access to his own Vollständig. 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 Twelfth Division.
Liltotto proceeds to contemplate her remaining options; either parlaying with Soul Society for the release of Meninas and Candice, which she realizes would be very difficult even without Giselle's tactlessness, or try and zombify Ichigo Kurosaki instead. However, Liltotto realizes attempting to do so would be suicidal, since Ichigo is under constant protection from Isshin Kurosaki, Uryū Ishida, Ryūken Ishida, and Kisuke Urahara, all very powerful individuals. Eventually, Liltotto considers retreating back to the Human World for the moment, 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 how Bambietta's The Explode functions, and has released Árbol with the intent 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 notably increase the power of Árbol since his defeat by Rukia Kuchiki, and is now able to greatly extend his roots through the very soil of Hueco Mundo, thereby causing more trees to grow from which Calaveras can spout.
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 Hikone Ubuginu, 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 sent 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, during which Shunsui reveals he initially suspected Tokinada to be behind Rukia Kuchiki's execution attempt, 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.
Having finished and grown bored, Tokinada prepares to leave. Before exiting, however, he 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. Tokinada further taunts her by saying he would have given Shunsui a front-row seat of the event, just to see the man torn between his desire to save either Nanao or her mother. This angers Shunsui and he exerts his Reiatsu, he makes Tokinada leave, who acknowledges he has no desire to be killed by Shunsui's Bankai. After Tokinada has left, Shunsui tries to console a shaken Nanao, who 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. As they pass by the extravagant Tsunayashiro mansion, they note that the Tsunayashiro family wants to make it clear to everyone 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, Niko 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, but states that the Noble Houses have officially forbidden them from responding to this specific Reiatsu.
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 in the courtyard 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 Roka Paramia, who begins treating the injured Arrancar. 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 an actual captain 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 start attacking each other, both under the belief that the other is Tōsen, Tōsen is approached by an unidentified person. The person says with a gentle yet firm 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 mere Shinigami.
Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World I features a number of existing characters, as well as original characters created for this series of novels. They include:
- Ichibē Hyōsube
- Shunsui Kyōraku
- Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez
- Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck
- Tier Harribel
- Ōetsu Nimaiya
- Mera Hiuchigashima
- Tokie Tonokawa
- Nonomi Nomino
- Sōsuke Aizen
- Kisuke Urahara
- Shūhei Hisagi
- Kaname Tōsen
- Tokinada Tsunayashiro
- Hikone Ubuginu
- Kūkaku Shiba
- Ganju Shiba
- Shūkurō Tsukishima
- Giriko Kutsuzawa
- Kūgo Ginjō
- Nanao Ise
- Genshirō Okikiba
- Nayura Amakado
- Byakuya Kuchiki
- Yoruichi Shihōin
- Seinosuke Yamada
- Hanatarō Yamada
- Mizuiro Kojima
- Keigo Asano
- Ryūnosuke Yuki
- Shino Madarame
- Yukio Hans Vorarlberna
- Aura Michibane
- Rudbornn Chelute
- Menoly Mallia
- Loly Aivirrne
- Liltotto Lamperd
- Giselle Gewelle
- Bambietta Basterbine
- Jugram Haschwalth's Aide
- Shinji Hirako
- Kensei Muguruma
- Niko Kuna
- Mashiro Kuna
- Kenpachi Zaraki
- Mayuri Kurotsuchi
- Ikkaku Madarame
- Yumichika Ayasegawa
- Emilou Apacci
- Franceska Mila Rose
- Cyan Sung-Sun
- Roka Paramia
- Bleach novel; Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World I, writing credits, Viz edition
- Can't Fear Your Own World (Japanese). Shueisha.
- Crunchyroll.com 04-24-2017
- Bleach CFYOW; Prologue 1
- Bleach CFYOW; Prologue 2
- Bleach CFYOW; Chapter 1
- Bleach CFYOW; Chapter 2
- Bleach CFYOW; Chapter 3
- Bleach CFYOW; Chapter 4
- Bleach CFYOW; Chapter 5
- Bleach CFYOW; Ending