613. The Ordinary Peace
614. KILL THE KING
615. All is Lost
617. Return of the God
618. The Dark Arm
619. The Betrayer
620. Where Do You Stand
621. THE DARK CURTAIN
622. The Agony
THE ORDINARY PEACE is the sixty-eighth volume of the Bleach manga series.
The Quincy invaders, led by Yhwach, continue their march through Soul Society's royal palace. Yhwach's goal is to take down the Soul King and destroy Soul Society once and for all. But Ichigo and his allies have a secret weapon that could turn the battle in their favor.
Having slaughtered the Soul King's guards, Yhwach claims he is an imperfect god who cannot run away and decides to put an end to his humiliation before stabbing the Soul King through the chest.
Meanwhile, in the Seireitei below, Rukia and Renji arrive at a building, where they find Shinji Hirako, Marechiyo Ōmaeda, and Mareyo. As Marechiyo explains how they survived Bazz-B's attack with the power of Sakanade, Suì-Fēng hits him for being too loud and reveals they had their injuries tended to by Momo Hinamori. Shinji notes that all of the captains and lieutenants received an urgent message asking them to come here at all costs as Suì-Fēng opens the door to the building, revealing a laboratory with Urahara, Byakuya, Yūshirō, and Nanao Ise inside. As Yūshirō greets Suì-Fēng, Urahara relays the status of the various divisions before revealing that they are going to break into the Soul King Palace once everyone has arrived, shocking those present.
As Ichigo and his companions rush toward the main palace, Ichibē apologizes before stating that they cannot defeat Yhwach.
The Shinigami in the Seireitei prepare to transport themselves to the palace as Ichigo and his friends confront Yhwach.
Ichibē claims that Ichigo and his friends will not be able to defeat Yhwach before noting that this is what peace is all about.
Meanwhile, in the Seireitei, Jūshirō Ukitake emerges from another room in the laboratory and reveals he has successfully treated everyone, shocking Shinji, who believes Ukitake is the one who should be treated. As Ukitake explains how he knows quite a bit about healing because he is so sick himself, Isane and Hanatarō Yamada claim they could not have done it without Ukitake's instruction. Kenpachi Zaraki emerges from the room and asks Urahara where Yachiru Kusajishi is. Upon learning that his men are looking for her, Kenpachi attempts to leave, but is stopped by bars of Reishi. Angered by this, Kenpachi begins to move toward Urahara, but is stopped by Nanao, who reprimands him while pointing out how his men will be able to search faster than he can. as Kenpachi backs off, Urahara gives everyone a sphere to hold while instructing them to charge the spheres with their spiritual power as the ceiling opens.
Back at the palace, Yhwach looks over his shoulder to see Ichigo and his friends standing behind him. Cursing Ichibē, Yhwach turns around and prepares to battle Ichigo.
Urahara further explains his method of entering the palace as Yhwach tricks Ichigo into attacking the Soul King.
In the laboratory, the remaining Visored arrive as Hiyori briefly trades insults with Shinji. As Hiyori pours a strange liquid on the ground, Urahara reveals it is the energy that was fueling the distortions in the Human World and that it will also fuel their journey. Urahara tells the Visored to put on the shihakushō in the medical room before joining them as Kenpachi asks him if they will be flying upon putting their Reiatsu into the orbs, only for Urahara to explain how they will be creating doors to the Soul King Palace before admitting that there may not be a way back. However, Suì-Fēng admonishes him for thinking they would back down upon learning this. Smiling, Urahara says they will go.
Meanwhile, in the Soul King Palace, Yhwach tells Ichigo and his friends that he already foresaw their arrival, as well as what will happen to them in the future, before moving aside to show them the impaled Soul King. When Ichigo leaps past him to try and help the king, Yhwach allows him to do so, only for Ichigo's right side to become covered in Blut Vene veins upon touching Yhwach's sword. Yhwach explains how the Quincy blood within Ichigo would never tolerate the existence of the Soul King and invites him to watch the destruction of Soul Society as Ichigo slashes the Soul King diagonally across the chest.
The Shinigami and Humans react to the Soul King's death as Ukitake prepares to take action.
In the Human World, Yuzu Kurosaki alerts her sister, Karin, to what she believes is an earthquake occurring, only for Karin to note that it is still occurring after some time.
Meanwhile, in the Soul King Palace, Yhwach explains to a distraught Ichigo how The Almighty lets him see into all futures and give and take as he pleases, which is why he gave Ichigo the Reiatsu still present in his sword, which forced Ichigo to attack the Soul King. Dropping the sword, Ichigo pulls out the longer blade of Zangetsu and attacks Yhwach, who effortlessly blocks him before pointing out how there is no purpose in fighting him because Soul Society will collapse regardless.
In Soul Society, a shocked Urahara sees the ceiling crumbling away and realizes the Soul King is dead, shocking those present. When Shinji demands to know how this is possible when Ichigo's group has already been sent up there, Urahara theorizes that they arrived too late.
Back at the palace, Yoruichi surrounds Yhwach with dozens of razor-sharp threads and tells Orihime to revive the Soul King. However, when Orihime attempts to use Sōten Kisshun on him, it shatters, prompting Yhwach to proclaim that the Soul King will never rise again.
In Soul Society, Renji wonders what they can do as Ukitake's appearance begins to change.
Ukitake reveals his intention to replace the Soul King as Shunsui visits Sōsuke Aizen.
While Yhwach proclaims that there is nothing Ichigo and his friends can do to help the Soul King now, the effects of his death are felt in the Human World. In the Wandenreich city, the Soldat and Bazz-B wonder if Yhwach plans to crush them all along with the Shinigami.
Meanwhile, as Renji wonders what they can do, a shocked Urahara notices a black substance rising from Ukitake's body. He asks the captain what he is about to do, prompting Ukitake to reveal he is going to replace the Soul King as his robes fall off to reveal the Kamikake on his back. Drawing his sword, Ukitake asks Mimihagi to grant him its powers, causing the darkness on his back to rise up and take the form of a large eye.
Ukitake explains how he has had a lung disease since he was three years old and that his white hair is a result of it before admitting he should have died when he was three. He goes on to explain that Mimihagi is something like a rural god to the people of the outer section of Eastern Rukongai and that it protects those who are willing to sacrifice everything except their eyes. Ukitake reveals that his parents took him to Mimihagi's shrine when he was sick and had it take Ukitake's lungs, which is how he managed to survive and become a Shinigami. When Ukitake coughs up blood, Rukia calls out to him, but Ukitake claims that it is okay because it is simply Mimihagi claiming the rest of his body, which is what the Kamikake is, before revealing that he has become the right hand of the Soul King. Rukia realizes that Ukitake saw this day coming and used the Kamikake, which Ukitake confirms before stating that he wishes to give the life given to him for the Seireitei. As the darkness extends toward the sky in the shape of a hand, Ukitake roars in pain.
Meanwhile, in the underground prison, Shunsui notes that the shaking is reaching all the way down here and tells someone that this is as far as he can go before asking Sōsuke Aizen to answer him.
Ukitake stabilizes the Soul King as Shunsui inadvertently frees Aizen.
Ukitake's Kamikake extends itself toward the sky from his mouth, nose, eyes, and ears as the other Shinigami look on in horror. Soon, a surprised Urahara notes that the shaking has stopped.
In the Soul King Palace, Yhwach wonders what this is upon seeing the hand of Kamikake grabbing the top half of the Soul King. Noting this is the one thing that his eyes cannot predict, Yhwach demands to know if the Soul King is beginning to feel sentiment toward Soul Society after protecting it for all this time.
Back in the Seireitei, Suì-Fēng asks Urahara how long this will last and theorizes that the realms will only remain stable as long as Ukitake lives before asking Urahara if she is wrong. Urahara admits that he has never heard of Kamikake until now before stating that they need to find another way to stabilize Soul Society while Ukitake is substituting for the Soul King. Urahara tells the others to begin making doorways to the palace.
In Muken, Shunsui asks Aizen if he is unwilling to converse using his Reiatsu before wondering if even he is unable to overcome what he has been bound with. Shunsui reveals a set of keys to Aizen's seal and notes that he has been allowed to use three of them before deciding to start with the mouth.
Back in the laboratory, the doorways to the palace fail to materialize properly, shocking Urahara, as Nanao realizes there is not enough Reiatsu to stabilize them. When Hisagi asks her what she is talking about, Nanao explains how Ukitake's Reiatsu was stronger than that of the rest of the group because he always used it to support his sickly body before stating there is not enough left now that he is gone. However, she is interrupted by Lisa, who claims they will not let things continue like this. Mayuri Kurotsuchi appears on the roof and notes they have changed his laboratory quite a bit before leaping down. Noting that he knows of their shortage of Reiatsu, Mayuri reveals a machine behind a nearby wall and tells them to use his Reiatsu amplifier. The doors begin forming properly, prompting Hisagi to note that they are going to make it.
Meanwhile, Shunsui inserts the key into the slot for Aizen's mouth and notes Aizen should be able to speak even after being unable to use his mouth for two years, prompting Aizen to confirm this. Expressing surprise, Shunsui notes that he only removed the seal from Aizen's mouth before wondering how Aizen took off the rest as Aizen steps forward and notes Shunsui still has two more keys.
Shunsui begins transporting Aizen to the Seireitei as Ichigo takes on Yhwach.
As Aizen asks him if he has still got the two other keys, Shunsui uses them to unlock his left eye and ankles before asking him how it feels, which prompts Aizen to note that Shunsui has not changed. Shunsui asks him if he wants to leave, but Aizen states he never asked Shunsui to free him, forcing Shunsui to admit Aizen has seen right through him before revealing he stored more keys within his own body, but was ordered to only free three parts of Aizen's body. When Aizen notes Central 46 predicted that he might kill Shunsui for the keys and that he would be trapped within Muken forever if he did so, Shunsui reveals a chair with several attendants behind him and asks Aizen to get on so they can take him up to Seireitei. However, he is startled when one of the attendants attempts to bind Aizen once more, only to have his hands partially destroyed as Aizen explains how the bindings only keep his Reiatsu around him instead of sealing it completely. Turning to Shunsui, Aizen asks him if he wishes for him to lend his powers to Soul Society, only for Shunsui to point out that they are simply in a situation where the advantages and disadvantages are similar for them. Aizen wonders what fresh air he could possibly get from Soul Society now that Yhwach is done with it.
At the Soul King Palace, Yhwach wonders why Mimihagi is helping the Soul King if it cannot follow his will before deciding to destroy both of them as he forms a large javelin of dark energy in his hand. However, he is interrupted by Ichigo, who grabs his hand as Yhwach tells him to move. Leaping past Yhwach and Ichigo, Yoruichi forms a Kidō barrier around the Soul King and notes Mimihagi has managed to stabilize the king before proclaiming they will just make it the new king. Meanwhile, Yhwach asks Ichigo why he is getting in his way despite being the one who cut the Soul King in half and notes Ichigo's Quincy blood cannot forgive the Soul King's existence. When Ichigo states he came here to protect all of the realms, Yhwach demands to know if he is saying that only he can protect everything, but Ichigo counters that he cannot run from all of this even if he is replaced before firing a Getsuga Tenshō at Yhwach, who is blasted out of the palace. Telling Yhwach he heard that his blood flows in Ichigo's body, Ichigo states this does not mean he must do Yhwach's bidding, but Yhwach claims this is entirely dependent on his own eyes.
Ichigo begins fighting Yhwach, but Uryū Ishida intervenes.
Yhwach states that he has never thought of making Ichigo do his bidding because all of Ichigo's decisions are connected to his own. When Ichigo questions what he means, Yhwach claims that all of Ichigo's battles and growth up until now have been in preparation for him killing the Soul King. Yoruichi tries to tell Ichigo that he is lying, but Yhwach proclaims he would not lie about this before noting that all of Ichigo's actions were for his own benefit because they share the same blood. Attacking Yhwach, Ichigo states that he still intends to stop him, only for Yhwach to ask him if he is the root of all of Ichigo's resentment before claiming this is amusing coming from a boy who killed his own mother with his weakness.
Ichigo and Yhwach are interrupted when Yoruichi is shot in the shoulder with a Heilig Pfeil, causing Ichigo, Orihime, Ganju, Sado, and Yoruichi to turn around in surprise as they see Uryū Ishida standing in the ruined palace. With Yoruichi's momentary lapse in concentration, the barrier that she set up shatters, prompting Ichigo to demand to know what Uryū has done before Yhwach blasts him away and catches the top half of the Soul King. When Yoruichi begins throwing spheres at him, Yhwach summons Pernida Parnkgjas, who warps Yoruichi's arm with The Compulsory. After throwing Yoruichi out of the palace, Yhwach places his hand on the Soul King, but Ichigo attempts to attack him, only for Uryū to distract him with another Heilig Pfeil, allowing Yhwach to rip Mimihagi off of the Soul King. As Uryū tells him to not interfere with Yhwach, Ichigo once again demands to know what he is doing.
The rest of the elite Sternritter arrive as Yhwach prepares to take everything belonging to the Soul King.
Uryū moves in front of the Soul King and Yhwach while telling his friends that he will shoot them if they move. When Ichigo attempts to move, Uryū fires a Heilig Pfeil at him, prompting Ichigo to demand to know why he is on Yhwach's side despite knowing what will happen if the Soul King dies. As Uryū claims he is with Yhwach because he is a Quincy, Gerard Valkyrie, Askin Nakk Le Vaar, and Lille Barro arrive, with Gerard noting that he expected a larger number of people to show up. Uryū states he does not need their help and destroys the ground beneath Ichigo's feet with more Heilig Pfeil, causing Ichigo to fall off the palace. Seeing this, Lille fires an arrow at Ichigo as he falls down, prompting Uryū to note that Lille is about to tell him that it is not protecting Yhwach if they had killed them beforehand. Gerard voices his approval of this as Yhwach, seeing Mimihagi coming toward him, asks it if hit is trying to drag down its child as well before dissipating it. Telling Mimihagi it is far inferior to him now, Yhwach begins absorbing the darkness through his hand while proclaiming that he will take its powers.
In the Seireitei, the Shinigami notice the shaking beginning once more and wonder what is going on. Back at the palace, Yhwach states he has decided to take everything belonging to the Soul King and tells his fellow Quincy to not let anything get in his way.
Yhwach dissolves into a black entity due to the Soul King's unleashed power as Aizen is brought to the surface of the Seireitei.
Ukitake collapses as the darkness emanating from his mouth vanishes, prompting Sentarō and Kiyone to rush to him in concern as Urahara notes that Mimihagi is being absorbed somewhere. The beam of darkness that Yhwach fired from his fingertip hits the Shakonmaku over the Seireitei, cloaking it in darkness, as the Shinigami wonder what is going on.
In the Soul King Palace, Lille notices Yhwach staggering and expresses concern, only to be shocked when Yhwach begins dissolving into a multitude of black, one-eyed creatures. As the creatures engulf the Schutzstaffel, Haschwalth appears and tells them to not worry because this is merely the manifestation of the Soul King's powers, which have been freed from the seals placed on them by the Shinigami and which now have an enemy only in the Shinigami. The creatures begin pouring out of the palace and heading toward the Seireitei below.
In the laboratory, Hisagi wonders what is going on, prompting Suì-Fēng to state it must be the Quincies before pointing out the hole in the Shakonmaku and how their enemies will likely target it. Leaping to the roof, Suì-Fēng activates her Bankai, Jakuhō Raikōben, and takes aim at the shroud of darkness above them, only to be surprised when the creatures enter through the hole and swarm her. Marechiyo helps destroy some of the creatures behind her as the rest of the Shinigami leap out of the laboratory. As Hisagi, Ikkaku, and Yumichika activate their Shikai in preparation for destroying the creatures, Byakuya wipes them out with Senbonzakura as he, Rukia, and Renji emerge. However, the creatures keep coming, but they are suddenly crushed by a massive Reiatsu as Aizen tells the Shinigami to simply crush them with their Reiatsu like this.
Aizen destroys the rest of the creatures and prepares to create a pathway to the palace for the Shinigami. As Aizen uses his powers to destroy the creatures, the other Shinigami question the wisdom of Kyōraku's actions.
The other Shinigami react to Aizen's arrival as Rukia demands to know who let him out, only to be shocked when Shunsui claims responsibility. When the others question his decision based on what Aizen has done to them in the past, Shunsui states they must fight evil with evil before noting the Gotei 13 is not evil, which silences the others. After learning that he cannot have his hands undone and that he must fight from his chair, Aizen casts Hadō #90. Kurohitsugi, which crushes the remaining creatures and puts a notable amount of strain on the veil of darkness covering the Seireitei. Byakuya tells Shunsui that he has offended their pride by releasing Aizen, but Shunsui tells him to save his issues with it until later. Deciding to create a pathway to the palace for the other Shinigami, Aizen begins exerting his Reiatsu.