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"I loathe perfection. If something is perfect, then there is nothing left. There is no room for imagination. No place left for a person to gain additional knowledge or abilities. Do you know what that means? For scientists such as ourselves, perfection only brings despair."

This article, Arcanist Parade, has been tagged by Bleach Fan Fiction Wiki's administration as in need of further editing to comply with site standards. As the changes needed are minor, this is a project you can help with! Please refer to the Manual of Style and Editing Policy to get started.

A young, blonde haired man walked confidently through a secluded grassland in the Human World, whistling softly a tune his dead sister often hummed when they were together. As usual, thoughts of Sarah's death brought him grieve, but the weather itself brought him a level of comfort. The sun was shining, though not too warmly, and a calm breeze blew over his face as though it were attempting to ease his sorrow. Birds flew on white wings through the sky and Zieg took a moment to take a breathe of air, a smile creeping across his face. "A guy could get used to this," he said quietly.

As the man walked through the grassland, an old geezer was walking from the opposite direction. As he walked, he spotted the young man and immediately sensed something. "I feel like I've met this man before." he thought as he yelled, "Young man! Who are you?!"

Looking over, Zieg rose an eyebrow and immediately grinned at the sight of the old man. "Is he...?" He thought, but decided to walk forward instead. "The names Zieg Yoso. Who would you be?" Curiosity laced his tone.

"Little old me? My name's not important. But you're name does seem familiar. Are you an Arcanist?" he asked, wondering whether or not it was appropriate to ask that question after such a brief encounter.

But the question only proved Zieg's suspicions. "I'm an Arcanist, and judging by the fact you know about us, that either makes you one, or a learned scholar of some kind." Zieg's posture relaxed slightly, happy to have met one of his own race. "It has been a while since I've seen an Arcanist, though. The last one I conversed with was my younger brother." A slight amount of annoyance entered his tone then.

"Hah, I am a fellow Arcanist. And I sensed some annoyance in you after you mentioned your brother. How do you feel such emotion?" Seimei asked, his unnatural personality seeping through.

Zieg's smile remained, but his eyes narrowed a little at the mans words. "He can be annoying," Zieg agreed, voice betraying no emotion "but he's my little brother. I guess I feel emotion because I love the little guy." Zieg spread his legs slightly apart and tried to put his mind at ease. "Don't you have family?"

"No, they all died many millenia before now. But they were all bad people." he said, still not showing emotion.

"Its pretty out there to call your entire family bad people... There's definitely more to that story, but it isn't my business." Best to avoid trouble. "I'm sorry to hear," Judging by the fellows reactions so far, Zieg wasn't expecting a reaction, "If its any comfort, the majority of my own family are gone."

"It's not. But, since I haven't seen a fellow Arcanist since before my family was dead, how about a spar?" he asked, but he was already in a fighting stance.

Zieg drew the larger of his two swords quickly and moved forward just as fast. His strike was strong, but only a tester. No need to go all out at the beginning of a battle. Flames formed around his blade as it swung!

Without movement, a large powerful water spout rose from the ground directly below Zieg, causing the flames surrounding his blades to turn into steam. As the water spout disappeared back into the ground, Seimei gestured for his opponent.

But Zieg vanished from sight, manipulating the steam to better hide his movements by forming a shroud of mist. "So water's your thing, eh? Can't say I'm overly good with it, but I manage." He was smiling, though. "This is going to get interesting..." Removing a pouch of sand from his pocket, Zieg cut it open and scattered the contents into the wind.

Seemingly unfazed by this, Seimei sent both of his hands up, causing a large bowl to rise around the two Arcanists. Following up to this, he sent another water spout up, filling the bowl-shaped earth around them. "Your sand will not hurt me." he said, glare giving way.

"Water and earth, eh? Not a combo I see very often." His two worse elements. Clenching his fist, Zieg grinned and flames awoke around him, hot enough to evaporate the water into steam. "Fires my forte, but I'm not too bad with this either." Powerful wind gusts began to blow throughout the area.

"Even if you're fire can evaporate this water, I can always decrease the temperature!" Seimei said, causing the water's temperature to decrease drastically. With a flick of the wrist, a large water funnel flew towards Seimei's adversary.

Throwing fire out the window, Zieg hastily sheathed his sword and drew both his arms back, cupping them at his side. He found making hand gestures and the like helped with controlling water. "I can do the same you just done," He said, bringing his hands forward and using the water funnel flying towards him as the catalyst, Zieg froze the first few meters of the torrent and allowed the rest to harmlessly follow suit as the ice spread. He breathed out and grinned, "That was difficult," The wind gusts intensified, coming close to the strength of a hurricane.

Seimei quickly changed plans. Within seconds, the earth between Zieg's feet began to split, causing a fissure of sorts. "Let's see how you fair here."

As the ground opened, Zieg adopted a confused expression before he was trapped between the walls and falling chunks of earth, one of which broke atop his head and left him rattled! The wind, though, rescued him. It wrapped around his limbs, forming a wind barrier, the earth being cut aside as he leapt up and out of the fissure. Holding his head comically, a tear in his eye, Zieg stomped his foot angrily. "That hurt, dammit!" The winds pealed off his body, heading straight towards Seimei!

"Dammit! I hate wind users!" Seimei thought as he was it by the full force of his opponent's wind attack. As he flew back, he made a gesture, causing a tornado of water to appear from the massive fissure. "Did you think I wouldn't be prepared for such attacks?" he asked in a monotone, unable to laugh.

"Crap!" The water struck him head on, propelling him further into the air when he eventually managed to blast himself away from its course with wind, though he still hit the ground with a thud! Struggling out of the human-shaped indent, Zieg locked eyes with the man and growled, close to a bestial sound. Steam rose from his body as flames replaced the wetness, and a searing line of flame shot from Zieg's open palm!

Following up, he sent a shot of water towards the flames, only for them to... evaporate! Unable to show his surprise, Seimei was sent back with a straight face, royal robes quickly becoming rags from the intense heat. As his clothes burned, he sent a waterfall over him, dousing the fire. He slowly got up, half growling.

Zieg nodded and allowed his smile to show. "So you do have some emotions. I was beginning to wonder, there." He stood up straight and began to pace in a wide circle around Seimei, cracking his knuckles as he walked. "Lets continue this," He said, as he spread his legs and raised his arms, flame geysers forming around him. "Fires my forte. There hasn't been an Arcanist in history fit to create flames from nothing." Images of Kenji Hiroshi, helping him attain that power, flashed through his mind. The flames began to spin around him.

As Seimei was back to full height, he spoke. "You're not the only one with a unique power. Allow me to show you mine." he said as he lifted both arms, causing several trees to rise over the battlefield.

Zieg's face showed his surprise and he made no attempt to hide it. "... How the...? Is that... Are you manipulating nature?" His flames kept rotating around him, spinning continually, but he kept them from moving toward his foe. "... How?" Was all he asked.

"I guess there's no reason to hide it now," Seimei began. "You see, I come from the Shinrinchitai Family." Without another word, he sent several roots to constrict his confused opponent.

Zieg lashed out with his flame-aura, the heat and wood colliding as he waved his hand. The young Arcanist simply stared with barely open eyes, his expression less confused, but more angry. "Even though you've used nature, I find it hard to believe your a member of the Shinrinchitai Family. That entire family was massacred a long time ago, or so says the Grandmaster of the Fire Clan. Material's scarce regarding your family," He took to the skies, putting as much space between himself and the ground as possible before a ball of flame formed in his left palm that flew quickly towards his foe.

"Believe what you want; but I speak the truth." Seimei replied, sending a wave of water towards the flame, as if it was but a flicker of a candle. As he sent the liquid element towards Zieg's fire, he created a large fortress of earth around himself, using it to develop a strategy. "What to do?"

Ditching the fire-aura, Zieg wrapped himself in a sphere of wind, using it as a barricade against the torrent as he worked with his limited skill in water to freeze the liquid. Cutting himself out with an upward slash followed by a somersault, Zieg regarded the earthen wall around his foe and used the time to cycle through old lectures from his master. "I don't wanna use it," He thought, "but it may be the only way."

"If I attempt to hit him with water, he freezes it. And if I try to attack him with earth, he burns it to a crisp. I think wood may be my only way out." Seimei thought as he attempted to formulate a battle strategy. After several minutes of thinking, the elderly Arcanist caused his earthly fortress to collapse in, thereby hiding his movements.

Zieg was pretty much at a loss for what to do next. He wouldn't be able to counter his attacks forever, nor did he have the energy to attempt it should the fight continue in the same vein it had been. With no other choice, Zieg took a deep breathe and exhaled slowly. "Looks like I've really got no choice. I don't like this, because it limits my abilities... but the power up is worth it." Flames emanated from his being, the flames seemingly seeping into his body...

"Hmm... this looks like some sort of advanced Arcanist technique..." Seimei thought as he sent several water spouts towards his flaming opponent. "Let's just see what happens." he said in a hushed tone as the water closed in on Zieg.

Zieg's arm broke free of the flames which soon vanished completely, leaving behind a warm wind that blew throughout the area. His black overcoat bore a red inside and his body began giving off a constant aura when he took a step forward. "You look surprised," He said calmly. "This is an Arcanist equivalent of a release used by Shinigami, or Arrancar. Using the element we're most skilled in, and charging it throughout our bodies, we receive a prominent boost in that one element and to our physical abilities."

"That's what I thought," Seimei replied, his face expressionless. As the water continued on its path towards Zieg, it suddenly split into three seperate paths, each soaring towards their target: Zieg.

"Only problem is that it limits me to a single element," Zieg thought, descending as the three seperate torrents of liquid flowed towards him. They were fast and guided well, and he had trouble dodging them for long. Landing on the ground, he felt an assurance fill him. Planting his legs and raising his hands, Zieg projected a sphere of flame that evaporated two of the three before his flames died and the third washed him into one of the wooden structures his foe had created previously! "That... was painful,"

"Well, it appears this "release" or yours takes quite a bit from you to use. Thank you for that little hint." Seimei said, a small crack in his straight face showing. Not willing to give his opponent mercy, he sent two water spouts from the ground, along with several trees, attempting to crush the Arcanist into nothing.

A smile showed clearly on Zieg's face as he began to stand. "It doesn't take a lot from you," He said, looking right at his foe and the coming elements. "The water did that... not the release." A wall of flame formed, allowing Zieg enough time to slip past the elemental forces and make his way towards Seimei; all the while spinning his large swords to gain the momentum he sought for his strike. As the distance closed, Zieg brought his blade down, a trail of flame following.

Seimei attempted to side-syep the two blades, but was caught by one, causing a large cut to form on his arm, as well as a noticeable third-degree burn. "Hmm, so, your flames are intense. I guess I'll have to try harder then." he said, giving his fellow Arcanist a great snarl. Somehow feeling insulted by the injury Zieg had placed on his person, he created a large gorge, with spike sticking out from the bottom, all the while sending a flood of freezing water towards the "flame boy," as Seimei had nicknamed him.

"If those spikes touch me...!" Instinct, purely bestial, took over and Zieg found himself standing still. "What kinda instinct is this!? Not good! Okay, calm down, damn it!" Gathering himself, Zieg crossed his swords in an X shape and projected his heat aura outwards from his person, hoping to turn at least some of the liquid to steam before it washed him into a rather spiky and painful death. The torrent struck, the force knocking him back until he rested no more than two meters away from the nearest spike. "Water ahead and spikes behind." he was running out of choices, so he reluctantly allowed his flame-enhanced release to vanish. The wind kicked up, weak at first, but steadily growing stronger as Zieg was sent flying by a single gust; his back scraping against the tip of a spike extended higher than the rest as he floated in the air; breathing labored. "Your... pretty powerful."

The geezer Arcanist merely looked on. "I am two million years old. It's not shocking that I've grown to be one of, if not the, most powerful Arcanists ever to be born." he said, his eyes fixed on the youngster before him.

Surprise was evident on the youngster's face, and a certain amount of respect was beginning to show in how he looked at the Arcanist before him. No, this wasn't an ordinary Arcanist, Zieg began to realize. This man was nothing short of a living example of the old ways his master used to tell him stories about growing up. "If you don't mind my asking," He began, his growing respect beginning to show, "why didn't you return?"

Seimei's glare lightened up a bit. "Return? What do you mean, 'return?'" he asked, completely caught off guard by the question. Had he been so out of the loop that he didn't realize there was a falling out, or was this about his family's secretive-ness? He was absolutely puzzled...

"I mean to the Rukon District," Zieg said in a mild tone. "The Arcanist as a race have been mostly forced underground so the Shinigami don't discover us like they had in the past." He began pacing, a contemplating expression on his face. "Because they don't know what we are, or why we have the power we have, they think they're justified to experiment on us as they see fit!" Anger at the treatment they no doubt put his sister through filled him mind. "With someone as strong as you around, maybe we could have avoided some pit falls. I was just curious to know what you were doing."

"I was busy massacring the Shinrinchitai Family." the Shinrinchitai clansman replied, his tone deadly serious.

Zieg stopped dead, his anger giving way to shock at the casualness in which the fellow said what he had. "You killed... them all!? They were Arcanist, for crying out loud! Why'd you kill your own kind!?" He didn't understand why anyone would even think about doing that.

Seimei simply stared at the youngling before him. "Because I could. It was my own family; I had every right." he replied, his tone unchanging.

The younger Arcanist felt sick. This man was fit to say such things with no hint of deceit in his tone and act as though the event had no effect on him in the slightest! "You..." His fists clenched tightly at his side, "killed your own family." Tears formed as he remembered his own sisters death.

"Yes. What of it?" Seimei replied, simply.

Zieg had a list of things he wanted to say in reply; to voice his opinion of such an act, but his mouth felt as dry as last weeks jerky and simply would not form the words his heart and mind were shouting internally. Blood trickled from his fingertips and his mouth twisted into a snarl as the tears finally dripped down his face. "... Your worse than any Arrancar I've ever met," The younger of the two finally said in a whisper of anger.

Seimei simply sighed. "You, child, know nothing of this world. Live to be my age, then you can tell me I'm worse than any Arrancar. I can promise you there are far more terrible people in the world. I was over one million when I killed them; I've experienced things you cannot image. When you've seen the things I've seen, you won't judge me anymore." Without a word, the trees around the geezer Arcanist began to race towards Zieg, as if embracing him in his moment of weakness...

Zieg was silent for a time and lost in deep thought. So much, in fact, that the trees smashed against him; some of the branches piercing skin as they passed and knocking him to his knees. His posture made it look very much like he was begging forgiveness, but his eyes were not the eyes of a begger. "... I know enough, and have seen enough, to know that death is never the right way!" His voice was pained, his shoulders shaking. Eyes fierce. He'd seen his sister killed by Averian, right before his eyes while the Shinigami done nothing to stop it. "Maybe... I won't judge you then, but I... don't think I could ever kill my family."

Seimei shook his head in frustration. "You know nothing of my family." he responded, a cold, furious look in his pale eyes.

Exertion and blood lose, coupled with his flagging levels of spiritual energy were making the younger Arcanists eyes very heavy. "I've finally managed to get an... emotinal response from you," Zieg fell onto his back with a smile on his weary face. "Maybe I'll... see Sarah in my dreams again."

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