On his way to Soul Society, Ichigo is trapped in the Dangai by Quilge Opie, who, despite being seemingly incapacitated by Kisuke Urahara, stands back up through the use of Ransōtengai and, stating he will not allow Ichigo to go to Soul Society and will stake his life on his order to stop Ichigo, imprisons him in a Reishi cage, immobilizing him. Attempting to cut out of his cage, Ichigo is unable to. Despite attempts to contact Akon, Ichigo finds his communications do not work. Though Quilge is killed by an unknown individual, Ichigo is still trapped. As Getsuga Tenshō proves ineffective and communications with Urahara are cut off, Ichigo curses in frustration.
While Ichigo is trapped in Quilge's cage, Yhwach not only sees Sōsuke Aizen at the Central Underground Prison in an unsuccessful attempt to recruit the treacherous Shinigami, but steals Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's Bankai and kills the Captain-Commander. Having successfully killed the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13, Yhwach, ordering Jugram Haschwalth to tell the Sternritter they are to raze Soul Society, observes the ensuing devastation of the Seireitei by the invading Soldat. With Seireitei and the main forces of the Gotei 13 decimated, Yhwach, telling Haschwalth they are retreating to await the Royal Guard's inevitable arrival, is startled by an explosion in the air above.
Having broken free of Quilge's cage and attacked Shaz Domino, Ichigo first checks on the status of Lieutenants Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki before coming to a fatally injured Captain Byakuya Kuchiki. As the two briefly talk, Ichigo confirms Renji and Rukia are alive, and Byakuya asks Ichigo to do what he was unable to: protect Soul Society. As this occurs, Haschwalth and Yhwach both confirm the new Reiatsu on the battlefield is Ichigo Kurosaki's. When Haschwalth asks if he should eliminate him, Yhwach, telling him not to, states that they were leaving. Before they can get far, they are surprised by Ichigo, who, thrusting Tensa Zangetsu in front of them, intercepts the two.
As Ichigo stands before the two, Haschwalth, stepping forward to deal with the Substitute Shinigami, is stopped by Yhwach. Yhwach congratulates Ichigo on escaping Quilge's jail, though he states he is not sure how, and asks if Ichigo is really intending to fight him, given his body's condition. Not answering Yhwach's question, Ichigo instead asks if he is the "enemy's" leader. When Yhwach states he both is and is not, Ichigo, unsatisfied with this vague answer, demands to know if he was the one who caused Soul Society to fall into such a state. Seeing what Ichigo really meant with his questions, Yhwach states he is. As an enraged Ichigo emits a torrent of Reiatsu, Haschwalth, trying to address his leader, is told by Yhwach that, as they can see, they have no other choice now but to crush Ichigo.
Charging at Yhwach, Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō. As the attack creates a large explosion, Yhwach, emerging unharmed, pins down Ichigo. As Ichigo, reaching out, tries to strike at Yhwach with his bare hand, the Quincy deflects it with his arm, raising his sword, and strikes at Ichigo's throat with the tip of the blade. As Haschwalth appears surprised by Ichigo being seemingly subdued, Yhwach stands over Ichigo, affirming he is still breathing, and orders Haschwalth to bring Ichigo back to their castle, where they can recruit him into their army. As Haschwalth acknowledges this order, Yhwach notices Ichigo has not been subdued. Looking at the point where his blade entered Ichigo's neck, he sees the blade only slightly piercing Ichigo and pronounced veins, indicating Blut Vene. Striking at Yhwach, Ichigo engulfs the Quincy with the attack's force.
As Haschwalth expresses concern for his leader, Yhwach, emerging relatively unscathed, reels back from Ichigo. When he states he had made a mistake, Ichigo asks if he is calling his own attack a mistake because Ichigo endured it. Clarifying he was not referring to that, Yhwach, recalling the marks on Ichigo's neck, attacks him again. When Ichigo blocks the attack with his blade, an undeterred Yhwach adjusts his sword's trajectory so it cuts Ichigo's arm. Seeing Ichigo's arm uninjured and with the same markings under the shredded sleeve, Yhwach notes his initial observations of Ichigo using Blut Vene were correct. When Ichigo asks what Yhwach is talking about, the Wandenreich leader tells him it was a mistake to send a pure Quincy to stop Ichigo instead of an Arrancar, for it caused the memories within Ichigo's Reiatsu to awaken earlier than he would have wanted. Yhwach theorizes because the remains of Ichigo's Reiatsu must have incorporated some of the surrounding Reiatsu when he unleashed a high amount of Reiatsu in his attempts to break free of Quilge's jail, Quilge's Reiatsu, reaching the deepest parts of Ichigo's soul, awakened the memories of his Reiatsu. When he states Quilge's jail cannot imprison a Quincy, a confused Ichigo wonders if Yhwach is saying his Reiatsu is that of a Quincy's. Noting Ichigo's reaction, Yhwach states Ichigo knows nothing about himself or even about his own mother. Before Ichigo can question him further, Yhwach, stating he had hoped to slowly re-educate Ichigo after bringing him back, declares he will force Ichigo to surrender and drag him back because things will not go so smoothly. When Ichigo yells at Yhwach to explain what he is talking about, the Quincy promises all of Ichigo's questions will be answered once he is taken back to the Wandenreich headquarters.
Appearing in front of Ichigo, Yhwach slashes at him. As the Substitute Shinigami blocks, Yhwach, grabbing Ichigo's head, tells the him he will thrust his blade, and Ichigo will not be able to depend on Blue Vene. As Yhwach states he will release his power, he is stopped by the appearances of shadows around him. As he, recognizing this phenomenon, expresses surprise, Haschwalth, stepping forward, tells Yhwach they have reached the time limit for operating outside the "Schatten Bereich", and so must return to their headquarters. Expressing disbelief, Yhwach, noting they should still have time, realizes Sōsuke Aizen confused his perception of time during the few minutes they spoke.
When Yhwach asks why he did not inform him if he had noticed, Haschwalth states it would have been a fruitless effort to try to stop the Quincy leader. As Yhwach, turning around, agrees to leave, Ichigo, trying to stop them from leaving, asks if they really think he will let them go after what they did to Soul Society. When he does not receive a reply, Ichigo charges at the two. When Haschwalth, intercepting the attack, cleanly breaks Tensa Zangetsu in two, Ichigo is shocked his Zanpakutō was broken so easily. As a gateway of shadow opens up, Yhwach, bidding Ichigo farewell, promises to return for him.
As Yhwach and Haschwalth take their leave, Ichigo is left to contemplate Yhwach's words about how he may not fully know about himself or his mother and deal with his Bankai having been broken. When the other members of the Wandenreich depart after their demolishing of Soul Society, the Gotei 13 is left to rebuild, treat their wounded, and bury their dead. Shortly after, the Royal Guard arrive in Soul Society.
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 499, pages 1-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 500, pages 12-15
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 500, pages 15-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 1-3
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 510
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 511
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 512
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 513, pages 4-9
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 513, pages 10-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 1-9
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 9-12
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 12-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 13-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 515
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 516