The Royal Guard vs. The Wandenreich is a battle taking place during the Quincy Blood War. It focuses on the Royal Guard facing off against the Quincy Emperor Yhwach, Sternritter "A" Uryū Ishida, Sternritter Grandmaster Jugram Haschwalth, and Yhwach's Elite Guard when the latter invade the Soul King Palace.
After Ichigo Kurosaki arrives in Soul Society, Yhwach reveals his plan to go to the Soul King Palace before vanishing in a flash of light alongside Haschwalth and Uryū. Soon afterward, the three of them arrive at the palace in a pillar of light that destroys part of the walkway. As the members of Royal Guard sense their arrival, Yhwach steps forward and notes that this is the Soul King Palace, prompting Haschwalth to not that this sight must trouble him greatly before states that Yhwach has his sympathies.
Yhwach asks Haschwalth what he is talking about and says there is no reason for his heart to be moved from looking at a decayed gravestone like the palace, prompting Haschwalth to apologize. Yhwach tells Haschwalth to proceed, prompting Haschwalth to generate a shadow portal from his hand as several Soldat pour out and rush toward the palace. However, they are interrupted by the arrival of Tenjirō Kirinji, who sends them all flying back with a swipe of his sheathed Zanpakutō and asks Yhwach and his group if they know where they are When Kirinji introduces himself, Yhwach demands to know if he believes he can stop Yhwach, prompting Kirinji to proclaim that he would not be here if he did not think so.
A huge wave of Kirinji's hot spring water washes over the group from behind, causing the Soldat to burn alive while screaming about how hot the water is. As Haschwalth expresses surprise, Kirinji asks him what he thinks of the hot spring water and explains how it can drain the blood and Reiatsu from one's body before telling Haschwalth to let him know if it is too hot. Admitting that he would not be willing to cool down the hot spring water regardless of whether or not Haschwalth complained, Kirinji leaps into the air and releases his Zanpakutō, Kinpika, before attacking Yhwach.
Senjumaru Stands Guard
Later, a sweating Kirinji wonders what is going on before noting that he is completely unable to land a blow on Yhwach, who asks Kirinji if he will let him pass now that he has run out of ideas. Kirinji tells him to stop and attacks once more, but Yhwach, Haschwalth, and Uryū bypass him and continue moving forward. As Kirinji notes that Yhwach is not dodging or using any illusions, Yhwach stops at the base of the steps in front of him upon seeing Senjumaru Shutara and several Divine Soldiers standing at the top as Senjumaru notes it has been quite a long time since she and Yhwach last met.
Noting that Yhwach has dared to enter the palace without any invitation, Senjumaru theorizes that his victory over Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto has gone to his head. When Yhwach steps forward and moves to the top of the steps with Hirenkyaku, Senjumaru states he is insolent and proclaims that his blood will stain the blade of the Soul King while having the Divine Soldiers rush forward and attack him. However, the swords of the Divine Soldiers are pushed to the side and form a circle around Yhwach, shocking Senjumaru, who notes that he did not evade before wondering why the blades are not striking him. Asking Senjumaru who is being insolent here, Nianzol Weizol rises from Yhwach's shadow and points out how they are being insolent for attacking Yhwach without even being able to land a blow.
When the Divine Soldiers attack him, Nianzol bends their blades away from himself with The Wind before explaining how it is pointless because every enemy he finds ends up winding past his body. Nianzol reveals that this is why Kirinji's hot spring water did not come near Yhwach and why their swords cannot touch them. Noting that Nianzol is very talkative, Senjumaru has more Divine Soldiers reveal themselves behind Nianzol and rush toward him while she points out how Nianzol referred to every enemy he finds before theorizing that he cannot deflect attacks which he cannot find.
Admitting people frequently tell him that he never explains things clearly enough, Nianzol deflects the attacks aimed at his back as well and clarifies that he can deflect the attacks of any enemy whom he finds with his instincts before pointing out how an enemy is enemy regardless of whether or not he can see them. Nianzol moves his finger toward the Divine Soldiers and bifurcates them while apologizing for not explaining more clearly. Telling Nianzol that there is no need to apologize because everyone has their bad habits, Senjumaru asks him when she said that the enemy which he could not see referred to the Divine Soldiers, surprising Nianzol, before revealing that she rewove Nianzol's trenchcoat while he was battling the Divine Soldiers. When Nianzol claims this is not possible, Senjumaru states that her speed in sewing is not to be underestimated as Nianzol is impaled from within by dozens of spikes.
As the spikes retract from Nianzol's body, Senjumaru notes they were just talking about bad habits and admits that she has a bad habit of not removing the needles from her finished creations before admitting that she might be the one who should apologize for not explaining properly as Nianzol's corpse returns to Yhwach's shadow. Turning to face Yhwach with the remaining Divine Soldiers, Senjumaru states that their blades should be able to reach him now, only for Yhwach to ask her if she truly believes this. As more Soldat rise from his shadow, Yhwach claims that his Soldat can easily take on the Divine Soldiers.
Yhwach reveals that his elite Sternritter will take on the Royal Guard as four more Sternritter - Gerard Valkyrie, Lille Barro, Pernida Parnkgjas, and Askin Nakk Le Vaar - rise from his shadow. Taking off his hood, a surprised Askin realizes that he appears to be the only Sternritter who has been brought from below before noting that he should make the most of this opportunity. An uncloaked Gerard agrees with him and proclaims that he will cut Askin down himself if Askin does not makes himself useful before drawing his sword and rushing toward Senjumaru, who raises her sewing needle to defend herself. However, Gerard easily cuts through the needle and her arm with his sword, injuring Senjumaru in the process.
As Senjumaru expresses shock, Gerard proclaims that a woman's slender arms could never halt a strike from his sword before attacking once more, destroying part of the platform in the process. Leaping back, Senjumaru calls on a Second-Class Divine Soldier to halt the Sternritter, prompting a large guard to land behind her as Gerard comments on its size. Senjumaru notices Pernida saying something unintelligible and notes that it looks like it has something to say, causing Lille to reveal that it is saying size makes no difference as the Second-Class Divine Soldier crumples in midair. Asking a shocked Senjumaru if she briefly thought that the Soul King Palace might actually fall, Lille takes out a large rifle and proclaims that the palace fell as soon as Yhwach arrived before shooting Senjumaru in the head.
Senjumaru's body falls over and begins bleeding out on the ground, prompting an angered Gerard to criticize Lille for leaving the body in Yhwach's path before ordering him to clean it up immediately. When Lille asks it to give him a hand, Pernida uses The Compulsory to roll Senjumaru's body into a ball and move it under its cloak as Gerard expresses disappointment at this being all that the Royal Guard has to offer. Noting that they have never encountered anyone who has not died before them, Lille takes aim and fires a Heilig Pfeil at each of the cities surrounding the palace, causing them to crumble.
The Royal Guard's Plan Unveiled
Stating that this should take care of anyone who remained a threat to them, Lille kneels before Yhwach and asks him to pass, only to be surprised when the area around them pulls away in strips of fabric. As Lille demands to know what is going on, the real Senjumaru appears behind him and explains how this was a fake palace created to welcome the invading Quincy before revealing the real palace has been hidden by Ichibē Hyōsube as the real Soul King Palace appears with the kanji for "Conceal" written in front of it.
Ichibē expresses surprise at Senjumaru revealing the location of the real palace so soon before noting that this means the cage is ready. Taking aim at the real palace, Lille fires, but is shocked when his Heilig Pfeil is blocked by a large tree rising before him. As a shocked Lille wonders what is happening, Kirio Hikifune appears and states that it has been a long time since she has had to prepare such an enormous cage before claiming it was a lot of work as dozens of other trees rise around the platform to form an enormous cage around the Quincy. Gerard and Askin express surprise at the appearance of the cage as Lille fires more Heilig Pfeil, only for them to be absorbed by the trees or intercepted by branches that grow out to block them.
When Lille notes how the trees will not budge and their branches intercept all attacks in the gaps between the trees, Gerard mocks him for saying this as the man who claims he can shoot through anything, only for Hikifune to reveal that Lille's Heilig Pfeil are still going through. Claiming that creating food is the same as creating life, Hikifune explains how the tree is using her Reiatsu to grow and points out how Lille's Heilig Pfeil are composed of extremely dense Reishi before stating that the tree would not let such rich nutrients get through and that the Heilig Pfeil only accelerate its growth. As Hikifune tells the Sternritter that they will never escape this Cage of Life, Ōetsu Nimaiya arrives with a sword in a tank of water and draws it before proclaiming the real fight of the Royal Guard begins now.
Nimaiya vs. the Elite Guard
Main article: Ōetsu Nimaiya vs. the Elite Guard
Nimaiya is attacked by Gerard and nonchalantly dodges his strike before defeating him with a single attack. Expressing disbelief at this being possible due to Nimaiya's sword seemingly being unstable and shaky, Lille fires a Heilig Pfeil at him, but Nimaiya assumes a defensive stance and cuts the bullet in two. As Lille fires more Heilig Pfeil at him, Nimaiya deflects them before moving to Lille with Shunpo and slashing him across the chest. Pernida attempts to use The Compulsory on Nimaiya, but he merely stabs it through the head before slashing Askin. Explaining how his sword, Sayafushi, possesses incredible cutting power due to its smoothness, Nimaiya is interrupted by Askin, who has survived his attack.
As Nimaiya collapses, Askin explains how his epithet, The Deathdealing, allows him to control the lethal dosage of any substance he takes into himself and reveals he has made Nimaiya's blood lethal to him, prompting Nimaiya to cut his own neck to let the blood out. When Askin notes Nimaiya will die unless he loses a lethal amount of blood due to the lethal dosage being set at 1.6 liters, Nimaiya has Kirinji use his hot spring water to completely replace his blood with new blood before cutting down Askin. Nimaiya turns to face Yhwach and challenges him as Yhwach's hands glow.
Nimaiya wonders who is going to make the first move before noting that the only sources of information on Yhwach's abilities are his battle with Yamamoto one thousand years ago and Yamamoto's battle with Royd Lloyd during the first invasion. Admitting this is not a situation where he can simply cut something in two with Sayafushi, Nimaiya decides to cut off one of Yhwach's arms as a bright light shines within the Cage of Life. Soon afterward, columns of light engulf the Sternritter in the Seireitei below as Yhwach activates Auswählen, which he uses to revive the elite Sternritter and activate their Quincy: Vollständig with the stolen powers of other Sternritter before telling them to go forth.
Lille shoots Nimaiya's left shoulder twice, causing a large amount of blood to spurt from the holes as Nimaiya wonders what just happened. Revealing that Yhwach has used Auswählen, Haschwalth explains how it takes the powers and lifeforce of Quincy whom Yhwach deems useless and redistributes it to those whom he deems essential before stating that those who have their powers stolen shall die and those who receive this power are reborn even stronger than before. As Haschwalth notes that this is merely one of Yhwach's powers and the Cage of Life could not block it because it was a transfer of power and not Reishi, Nimaiya theorizes that Lille's bullets can now penetrate his body because of this increase in his power. However, Lille reveals that this is merely a power he could not access before and that bullets are not what is penetrating Nimaiya's body before firing again, only to have his shot seemingly blocked by Kirinji and Hikifune. When Lille clarifies that his target cannot be shielded by any number of barriers, Kirinji and Hikifune see Nimaiya has been shot through the chest.
Explaining how there are no bullets and everything between his target and the end of his rifle will be pierced regardless of its durability, Lille asks Kirinji and Hikifune to line up so he can take them both out with a single shot. Meanwhile, Pernida's hood begins to bubble as it uses The Compulsory to destroy part of the Cage of Life by shattering the tree trunks, which allows Yhwach to move up to Ichibē. When Yhwach asks him if he is going to stand aside so Yhwach can pass and refers to him by his full name, a grinning Ichibē stands up while telling Yhwach that calling him by his name in such a casual manner may result in his throat being crushed.
Ichibē vs. Yhwach
Main article: Ichibē Hyōsube vs. Yhwach
Ichibē outlines the area where they will fight before sending Yhwach flying away with Senri Tsūtenshō. As Yhwach struggles to move and discovers he cannot speak, Ichibē appears above him and explains how his name crushes the throats of those who speak it before using Senri Tsūtenshō again to propel Yhwach downward. However, Yhwach regains the ability to speak and fires a large Heilig Pfeil into his own chest, propelling himself back up to Ichibē, who notes he must kill him now. Ichibē draws his brush as Yhwach forms his sword, and the two begin clashing in earnest as Ichibē halves Yhwach's power by striking him with his brush.
However, Yhwach restores his power with Reishi he summons, prompting Ichibē to use Bakudō #62. Hyapporankan. When Yhwach uses Blut Vene Anhaben to block the beams, Ichibē shatters the barrier before grabbing Yhwach by the throat, reversing the flow of absorption along his body into Yhwach's, and releasing his Zanpakutō, Ichimonji. After taunting Yhwach, Ichibē clashes with him, resulting in Yhwach's sword being covered in ink. Ichibē reveals Yhwach's sword and Quincy Cross have lost their names due to being covered in the ink of Ichimonji before covering Yhwach's body with ink.
Ichibē activates his Bankai, Shirafude Ichimonji, and uses it to grant the now-nameless Yhwach the name Black Ant before stomping him through the floor of the walkway. Bidding Yhwach farewell, Ichibē crushes him between two giant hands, but Yhwach manages to recover his power by activating The Almighty and stabs Ichibē. After Yhwach explains The Almighty to him, Ichibē uses Futen Taisatsuryō in an attempt to completely destroy Yhwach's soul and leave it unable to reincarnate, only for Yhwach to dispel it with The Almighty before obliterating Ichibē's torso.
Walking past Ichibē's remains, Yhwach notes that he did defeat Ichibē in three steps less than the latter believed he would before destroying the barrier Ichibē created. Yhwach observes that all of the Royal Guard have been defeated before proclaiming that the Soul King is next.