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Bleach: Dark Intentions Arc: Through the Looking Glass is an article created by Achrones150. Use is allowed with the permission of the owner, with the exception of collaboration-created articles.

This article, Bleach: Dark Intentions Arc: Through the Looking Glass is the property of Darkrai.
It may not be used by anyone but the author or the co-author's in question.

It was night. A quiet night. The air was cool, crickets were chirping, And several people were standing out on a front lawn, a red-hair woman's hands glowing as she chanted a spell. Clapping her hands together, she pressed them to the ground, erecting a barrier around the house.

"One more thing to add." She said, walking around the house, placing a metal peg in four places to surround it, erecting a small, thin barrier inside the first that flickered.

"What's this one?" A man with long raven hair asked, looking around at the barrier that encased them.

"Ōni-chan, this is a Four Point Barrier of my design." The red-haired girl smiled. "Think of this like an alarm system. When the first barrier is shattered, and an enemy steps into the field of this barrier, it will signal us. In case we're asleep or something."

"How convienient!" A crimson-haired woman noted, standing beside her husband and looking over the barrier with some admiration. "You must've been practicing this for quite a while!"

"Centuries." The girl replied with broad grin. "I've also set up Kidō "traps" at only known entryway we have, the place where Ahatake Ōni-chan found the portal, the Meidō I think you called it when you explained it awhile back." Akiko said. Megami had explained to them everything she'd learned from Aoi the library girl.

"Are you only watching those three spots?" A young boy asked, sounding concerned.

"No." Akiko said. "I'm not entirely sure that these people are only targeting Ōnii-chan, so I wanted to be cautious. I've set up several barriers around the palace...with the King's permission of course, and around the dwellings of high ranking officials, even the Injiki home, though Ryūka initially obejcted to having one of my barriers around his house, he gave in eventually. Also, the library girl Aoi is protected as well, since she gave us all the information, you never really know."

Ahatake chuckled. Perhaps she'd been a bit overly cautious.

Megami nodded, understanding the circumstances. "I'm glad you decided to pitch in your efforts, Akiko. Don't think we could've done better ourselves...."

"Thanks." Akiko said, grin widening. "Well, I think this is all I can do. All that's left is to continue the training we've all been doing, until our "friends" decide to show their faces. But for now, I think we should sleep. It's late."

"Yeah sleep sounds good." A red-haired girl, Miharu yawned. She looked dead on her feet.

A smile came across Megami's face. "I agree...." She stretched out her own arms, letting out a yawn of her own (darn, those were contagious!) "This has been nice to see and all, but I am tired!"

"Let's get some sleep then." Ahatake suggested. Daiyaku picked up Miharu and they all walked into the house.

They didn't know what was coming.

Invasion[]

"It's time to begin." Ahatake said gravely. He, Senkai, Dyan and Megami were standing outside, in the destroyed World of the Living that was in Kan'na. "We're going to put everything into motion." As he said thsse words, a Hollow appeared behind him in, raising it's fist and roaring. Before the first could make contact with Ahatake, an ice spike emerged from the ground and shot straight through the Hollow, disentegrating it.

"If this succeeds, we wil be that much closer to fixing all of this..." Ahatake gestured around to the destroyed world they inhabited, not even indicating he was aware he had just destroyed a Hollow not three feet from his "audience".

Senkai chose not to pay attention to it, either. She folded her arms across her chest and looked at him. "We understand that...." She reminded him.

"Unless part of my plan fails, you three may not be doing much battle at all." Ahatake said, a small black orb forming in his hand. It began to spin and fly out, forming a Meidō. So Ahatake created his differently. As the cold washed out, Ahatake stepped in. "This is where it begins." They each stepped into the portal and began to make thier way towards Sonoma.

"By the way, Megami, you've never been to Sonoma, have you?" Ahatake asked.

For a moment, Megami was silent, her arms folded across her chest as she looked at the path ahead of her. "Never had any reason to." She answered simply, maintaining a glib tone within her words. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, I'm figuring you may be shocked at what you see." Ahatake replied simply. "You may even enjoy it."

Dyan's muffled snicker came from the back. She'd never known Megami to express enjoyment over anything. She tried to turn this snicker into a cough.

Apparently, Megami, whether or not she was aware of it, had agreed. "Is that supposed to be some sort of joke?" She asked, cocking an eyebrow. "Because if it isn't.... well, honestly it's somewhat sad."

"No." Ahatake replied. "I think the universe we're in is part of your attitude. Perhaps in Sonoma, you may cheer up a bit." Ahatake knew that probably wouldn't happen, but he could always hope.

"Don't get your hopes up...."

"I'm not." Ahatake replied. They traveled in silence for the rest of it, and the portal began to open. This time however, the portal opened near the beach, where they exited. It was nearly morning. All of them watched Megami for a second, curious for her reaction to this un-destroyed dimension.

Megami placed a hand on her hip, a studying look on her features. For a moment, she didn't speak. Then, she simply turned her head forward and continued to walk. "What are you all waiting for?" She asked, slightly impatient. "Quit gaping at me and let's get this over with." She had to note, though - there seemed to be little to no activity on the sands. Through the transparent crowd, she could see a man sitting on the sand, dressed in a trenchcoat, jeans, and a red hood over his head; quite an unusual wear for such an occasion.

"Well, that settles that." Ahatake thought to himself. Dyan seemed to be thinking along the same lines.

"You're right, let's move." Ahatake replied, eyeing the man but disregarding him. He'd seen plenty of people dressed rag-tag like this in Kan'na and could only assume he was homeless or something. "Before the sun rises. Our goal is close." He turned to Dyan. "Dyan, you know this civilized area best, you can lead us."

Dyan nodded and took off, dashing through the empty streets and they easily reached the Kurosaki house where Dyan had infiltrated before. The barriers were not visible to them, so they kept moving but

"WAIT!" Ahatake ordered and Dyan stopped in her tracks.

Immediately, Senkai skidded to at stop right behind them, Megami calmly slowling her gait to a walk. "What's wrong?" The Arrancar asked immediately, anxiety clear in her voice.

Ahatake picked up a pebble and threw it towards the house. The pebbled stopped in midair, and electricity began to glow through it. After a moment, the petal dropped.

"A Kidō barrier." Ahatake murmured. "A strong one."

"Typical...." Megami commented. "What better way to ward someone off than with an invisible obstacle." She folded her arms across her chest, stepping towards the barrier and studying it for a moment.

Ahatake walked up to the barrier, looking over it. "This is a strong barrier." He said, moving his hand close to it. The barrier flickered into existence threatingly and then faded. "We can easily get through this however."

"Move aside."

Extending both hands, Megami immediately shoved them onto the barrier and materialized it visually. Then, her palms began to spur with what looked like a bright electricity. In a matter of seconds, the barrier was shattered into fragments, and Megami lowered her hands. "A strong barrier.... but I have a history of cracking obstacles like these." She finished, a slightly smug tone in her voice.

Ahatake was surprised, but he chuckled. "Alright then, we move ahead." Dyan took the front again. No sooner has she crossed into the lawn than

"INTRUDER!" Akiko's voice, magnified to thousand's of times it's original volume, blasted throughout the entire area. "INTRUDER! GET UP!"

So much for stealth.

"And they call out the sheep to the slaughter...." Megami said idly, keeping herself relaxed as she kept stepping forward. "Ahatake, I think you can get rid of this next barrier, can't you?"

"It wouldn't matter." Ahatake replied. "They're rising, I can feel their spiritual energy on the alert." It was however, annoying. His eyes scanned the area, and he saw spikes in the ground, glowing now. He waved his hand, sending one of them flying out, hitting a wall. The yells immediately ceased.

"Now we wait." He said simply.

Inside the house, it was demi-chaos. Ahatake was up, reaching for both his Riyūhōchō and katana. He wasn't in pajamas, he was wearing his old white shihakushō, despite no longer being a Shinigami.

Megami was stirring more slowly, and Ahatake shook her. "They're here!"

That was all it was needed.

Immediately, her eyes snapped open, and she was up in a flash, leaping out of the bed and standing up quickly. She, too, had not been one to sleep in her pajamas, already in her regular clothing. She turned towards him, a look of furrowed alertness on her face. "I'm ready...." She managed to say.

They rapidly descended the stairs, encountering Akiko and Daiyaku in the living room.

"Where's Miharu?" Ahatake asked, looking around for his daughter.

"She's bushed Ahatake-san." Daiyaku replied. "So, I decided it's best to let her sleep than wake her up."

The guy, even in this situation, had let her rest?

"Well, Daiyaku..." Megami stared for a moment, taken off-guard by the answer. "That was very considerate of you." She complimented, smiling weakly.

Daiyaku smiled. "Shall we get this over with?"

"Let's." Akiko replied and they ran to the door, throwing it open, the cool night air hitting their faces. Standing there were three people Ahatake knew by now, if only because of their appearance.

"Uh.... hi, other Ahatake-san!"

The tension, if only for a moment, was broken by Senkai's somewhat cheery words. She raised a hand to wave in a greeting manner, a smile decked onto her face. "Nice to see you again!" This made Sonoma Megami blink for a few moments before she directed a questioning look at her husband.

"Megami, meet Senkai, one of my attackers." Ahatake said, chuckling. "I'm not really sure how to say this Senkai. It's nice to see you again?" He ended it like a question, unsure since he knew battle was about to commence.

However, whatever Senkai was about to say was interrupted by Kan'na Megami. "I knew I should've went instead of you...." She criticized, earning a glare from the Arrancar woman. "Making friends with the enemy as if it was a normality. If anything, you should've been more focused on beating him to his life."

Kan'na Ahatake was the first to speak, before anyone else could add their contributions to this little discussion. "It's nice that you're getting acquainted, but we're on a tight schedule." He motioned to Sonoma Ahatake. "You're the only one we're interesting in. Fight me."

Ahatake grinned, placing a hand on one of his swords. "I'm more than ready to start this!"

A defiant look crossed Megami's face, and she glared at the three as she readied herself to summon her Zanpakutō. "What makes you think we're just going to stand here and let you?" She demanded. "You're going to have to go through all of us first!"

"What she said!" Akiko had her hand on her sword.

"I'm ready to help." Daiyaku agreed, immersing himself in electric energy, his hair nearly standing on end.

Kan'na Ahatake sighed. "I knew it would come to this." He said, holding up several small, glowing crystals.

"W-what the..?" Sonoma Ahatake easily recognized them. "Reiatsu crystals!"

"Nice to see you know what they are." Kan'na Ahatake said, before clapping his hands together. "Kurosaki Secret Bakudō. Tajū Kōsoshira!" At the moment he called out the name of the spell, Akiko, Daiyaku, and Megami were immediately forced to the ground, covered in a glowing greenish-white light.

"What did you do?" Sonoma Ahatake demanded to his counterpart.

Kan'na Ahatake shrugged. "You see, you're our only target. I'm not into killing more than is actually necessary. Your family will be kept out of this. That's why I sent Dyan here," Dyan smiled brightly as Kan'na Ahatake gestured to her. ",to gather samples of the reishi signatures in the house. I was able to use the Kidō signature on the crystalized reiatsu for this Kidō spell."

"A-ah!!!"

Instinctively, Megami attempted to push herself up in an effort to defy the power. However, the light would not let her, and she could only look on helplessly. "Ahatake!!" She exclaimed.

Kan'na Megami put on a scowl. "You should've kept your little friends out of this, Ahatake." She said in a vindictive tone. "Now they're going to have to sit back and watch you die!"

"Megami, just stay there." Sonoma Ahatake said, his eyes on his counterpart. "I'll end this soon."

"So, how about a change of venue?" Kan'na Ahatake suggested causally.

Kan'na Ahatake growled, but he nodded, and both of the Ahatake's vanished in their own way, ice and fire.

"Keep watch over those three, but do nothing more." Kan'na Ahatake assigned orders to Megami, Dyan and Senkai telepathically.

"Of course." All three gave a telepathic response of their own, acknowledging his statement.

Ice and Fire[]

Both of the Ahatake's reappeared in the forest, landing on the soft grass at the same time.

"So, Ahatake." Kan'na Ahatake looked at his counterpart. "You may not, but do you have any idea why I am doing this?"

Sonoma Ahatake frowned. "I've got a general idea. You want to kill me and take my power, am I right?"

"So he does know. No reason to tell him the reason. I'm going to need him to fight me seriously if I want to kill him." K. Ahatake nodded. "Nice to see we're on the same page. "Now, let's get this show on the road." He raised his hand, and in a burst of light blue spiritual energy, he formed a wakizashi.

S. Ahatake drew the Riyūhōchō from it's holder, his feet already flickering with Bringer Lights. He launched himself forward, the Riyūhōchō unreleassed. He swing it, and it met with a shield of ice. His blade barely dented it. So, in reponse, flames gushed from S. Ahatake's hands, causing the white-haired counterpart to jump back.

"As ice is to flames I see.." He thought to himself. They both launched themselves forward this time, making similar movements as their two blades clashed.

"So, you've got an element as well?" S. Ahatake glared at K. Ahatake. "Guess it's only fitting that you have ice."

"As fire is fitting for someone as hotheaded as you." K. Ahatake replied, not really caring. He swung his leg upward, kicking Ahatake back into a tree, which snapped with the force of the collision, breaking in half. Before S. Ahatake could get up, K. Ahatake was already in front of him. Picking S. Ahatake up by the neck, he raised his blade.

Then, however, he suddenly caught flames! Dropping S. Ahatake, he backed off. He wasn't screaming in pain yet, but his skin was already beginning to burn. In desperation, he encased himself in ice, but it melted into water, putting the fire out. Panting, he glared at S. Ahatake. "Damn. I didn't expect that."

Unbeknownst to them, there was a watcher observing the fight.

Standing underneath one of the tree branches was the very same figure that K. Megami had seen earlier. He spoke no words, made no action, only stood still and watched. Whatever expression he had was hidden underneath his red hood. He made no move or reaction to the words that were spoken and the blows that took place. He simply watched and waited.

Both Ahatakes stood up, and by chance, their eyes flickered over to the trees where the man was standing.

"W-wait." K. Ahatake thought. "That's the same man we saw on the beach!"

"Who exactly is that?" S. Ahatake thought. He looked at the stranger. "Hey! Who are you?"

This would have been the time for K. Ahatake to strike S. Ahatake, but he too wanted to know.

The stranger did not grace either of them with a response.

Instead, his body seemed to steam for a moment before it "combusted" into a black smoke. Within seconds, the smoke dissipated, leaving nothing behind. He had vanished.

"What.The.HELL.Was.That?" S. Ahatake asked.

"It doesn't matter." His counterpart murmured. "We're here to focus on the fight!" His eyes were glowing. "Defend and Obey! Shishusaiga!" The wakizashi became a standard katana, the blade a dazzling white, and the tsuba becomes a fur of snow white color.

"Shikai?" S. Ahatake thought, eyeing the new blade. "So, he's still a Shinigami, unlike myself. Perhaps he wants my Fullbring to add a bit of vareity to his power?" He raised his hand, conjuring a flame javelin, and threw it.

K. Ahatake swung his sword, summoning a basic barrir which deflected the javelin upon impact.

"A barrier type?" S. Ahatake thought to himself. He frowned, gripping his blade. It shattered, losing it's solid form, becoming a blob in his hand.

"So this is his Fullbring." K. Ahatake thought to himself. "Let's see just what it can do."

Ahatake extended his hand, the blob twitching and swirling around. "Be swallowed up!" He cried, sending a large wave of Giji Riyū towards the white haired Kurosaki. He held his blade forward, summoning a large, red triangular barrier into existence. However, the Riyū began to swallow up the barrier, causing K. Ahatake to take a wide leap back.

"Toku Haku!" K. Ahatake swung his blade, creating a barrier which then formed into several blades, which shot towards Ahatake. They moved too fast for him to summon any Giji Riyū to his side, and, though he attempted to dodge them, they succeeded in slicing into several parts of his body. Hissing, he waved his hand, causing the Giji Riyū to take a similar speared shape, and it shot right at K. Ahatake.

"Like hell!" He thought, summoning ice to stall the spear, allowing him to gain a bit more distance. S. Ahatake however followed, his eyes determined. As he caught up to his white-haired counterpart, he slammed his knee into the man's face, sending him flying. The Giji Riyū gathered spiraling around his arm to form a large spear. "Riyū formation number 3: Death Spear!" Ahatake thrust his arm forward, the Giji Riyū spear shooting towards K. Ahatake.



Miharu was tossing and turning in her bed. As she turned, her hand hit only an empty side of the bed, causing her to wake. Daiyaku was gone. She got up, slipping her feet into a pair of slippers, and grabbing Kyūmu from the side of the bed. Sliding down on the railing like she always did, she landed in neatly. She couldn't feel anyone in the house and it was dark. She frowned. Wait. Outside, she felt she could sense them. She vanished, immersed in water, melting into the ground. Outside, she rose up from the ground in water form, before resuming her normal shape.

There, she saw her mother, aunt, and boyfriend still bound by the Kidō, as well as the three others she didn't recognize.

She ran over to her mother. "Kā-chan, what happened to you guys?"

Immediately, Megami's eyes widened in shock, and she immediately shook her head. "Hey, look out--"

WHAM!

Because she chose to take her eyes off of the enemy, Miharu had opened herself up for attack - more particularly, a leg to the back. She was sent back with immense force. K. Megami, the owner of the attack, slowly lowered her leg and directed her eyes over towards her counterpart. "And that is supposed to be my kid?" She commented in dry humor. "I didn't expect our intelligence levels to be opposite, too." This earned a rather annoyed glare from S. Megami, though she didn't see due to her back being turned.

Miharu however, was already getting up. The training she had gotten from Seireitou had increased her durability to the point of being able to withstand attacks like that. She turned to glare at K. Megami. "Don't you know it's rude when you interrupt someone when they're talking?" She asked, her eyes cold and fixed on the woman who had attacked her. She was aware of the other three now, and white flames were beginning to flicker around her, ready in case she needed to attack. "Care to go back to where you were standing now?"

"Girl, I don't think you understand...." K. Megami responded, folded her arms across her chest. "You see, there's more to worry about than just the three of us."

"Megami!"

She kept her eyes trained on Miharu, but her ears trained towards Senkai. The Arrancar had a frown on her face, her eyes staring at the younger girl. "Don't do anything stupid." She warned, her voice slightly pensive This one...." She nodded her head towards Miharu. "...is certainly not like her father."

"I'll give you five seconds." Miharu said threateningly. The flames began to lick at her body, enveloping her arms. She felt no heat from them. "One..." She started. "Two..."

Under any other condition, the Kan'na red-haired woman would've ignored the threat and chose to let the girl attack her.

However, K. Ahatake had told her to do nothing else. So far, the guy knew what he was doing. Though he had his moments, she trusted him completely to do his part. So, closing her eyes, she simply stepped back and give the girl room to do whatever with her mother. "You're not going to get anything different from her...." She insisted. "It's pointless to try."

Her continuing to talk earned an icy glare from Miharu. When she turned to her mother however, her face softened up. "Kā-chan, so tell me, what happened?"

"....it's your father." S. Megami managed to breathe out, keeping a rather nervous gaze onto her daughter. "His counterpart.... they showed up. They both went to fight it out in a different location. But.... before he did that, he trapped us beneath these "pillars" in order to keep us from interfering." She attempted to push herself up, but to no avail. "Strong ones, too.... I can't break free!"

Miharu frowned.

"Can you do something about it?" Daiyaku asked, looking at her.

She drew her sword. "Yeah, I should be able to handle this." Her blade began to glow. "Improve, Kyūmu." With that, she could see the spiritual energy binding them, and saw it's weakest point. She swung in blade in one quick, clean slash, easily slicing through the Kidō binding all three of them.

"!!!"

Both K. Megami and Senkai's eyes widened somewhat out of surprise. They could only watch as S. Megami slowly slid herself to a standing position. "Uh...." Senkai whispered, looking over towards K. Megami with clear shock. "T....they weren't supposed to be easily breakable like that.... were they?"

K. Megami placed a palm to her face in aggravation, letting out a heavy sigh.

Dyan frowned. "This could be a problem..."

Daiyaku and Akiko got up, Daiyaku moving his arms around. "Thanks Miharu." He said with a small smile, which Miharu returned. "So..." Miharu said, ignoring the three Kan'na members now. "What do we do?"

"Hey!!!" Senkai was not pleased at the fact that the girl was ignoring them as if they were meaningless. She clenched her fists and glared at the girl. "Don't just talk like we're not here!!!" K. Ahatake had said not to do anything. However, she doubted even he had predicted the fact of Miharu's interference. Therefore, the order was nullified. They had to keep the prisoners in line!!

She didn't waste any time. Lowering her head forward a little, an instantaneous green Cero blast shot from the center of her forehead. It was only big enough to consume one person.... however, the blasts shockwave would hit all four of them.

Miharu turned in an instant, swinging her blade to the right. Doing so opened up a swirling hole which absorbed the Cero easily. "Didn't I say not three minutes ago that it's rude to interrupt people when they are talking?" She looked truly pissed. "I'm ignoring you because I didn't come out here to mess with you, I came out to look for my family. I found them, so I've no real reason to even act like you all exist."

"I like this one." Dyan said with a small chuckle.

Her words was now arousing Senkai's own fury. Her fists clenched, and her mouth was contorted in an angry scowl. However, Dyan's somewhat traitorous words caused her to snap her head towards her friend and direct a glare. K. Megami, however, was unphased by her words. She kept silent, watching the whole family with an observing gaze.

"Our orders were to do nothing else." Dyan said, backing away slightly. "Let me alert Ahatake, see if he has anything to say."



"Ahatake-san." K. Ahatake and S. Ahatake were still fighting, both rather battered and beaten by now. S. Ahatake's eyes were glowing strangely now, and K. Ahatake was wearing a broken Hollow mask. His attention now turned to the voice. Luckily for him, S. Ahatake was now working on catching his breath.

"What is it?" K. Ahatake asked, sounding slightly irritated.

"The prisoners..." Dyan said nervously. "They're free."

K. Ahatake let out a sigh. "I see. How did it happen?"

"A girl, your counterpart's kid. She came out of the house and unsealed them."

"How!?"

"Her Zanpakutō. It's powerful, I can tell that already. What do we do?"

"Hmm..." K. Ahatake was in a dillemma. These were his comrades, he didn't want to send them, especially his wife, into a battle where they could possibly get severly injured. "Try and stop them but don't go overboard."

"Right."


"We've got our orders." Dyan said, turning to her companions. "He said to stop them. But not to go overboard."

Slowly, S. Megami allowed herself to get back up, dusting herself off and studying the two that were in her direct sight. Then, she switched gazes to her own counterpart, who made no move to attack. "Stop us? From what?" She asked tensely, lowering her hands at her sides. "My husband can handle himself. He doesn't need us." However, the confidence in her voice was very clear. S. Ahatake had handled himself against Takahashi, of all people! So there was no question that he could hold his own.

"Is that what you use to help you sleep at night?" K. Megami asked mockingly, causing S. Megami's head to snap towards her. "Because honestly, we have the advantage here. The Ahatake from your dimension might be strong... but we have learned to adapt with both strength and our minds. Do you honestly think that brawn alone is going to be enough to keep us from reaching our goal?" She raised one of her hands to push the hair from her eyes. "It's honestly better if you stop now and give up. You'll contributing to a good cause, after all."

S. Megami turned to her completely, readying herself into a slight stance. "What good is it, considering you have to take someone else's life for it?" She shot back readily, causing K. Megami to roll her eyes.

"Well, we can't achieve anything without sacrifice, can we....?" This was followed by a chuckle, and that was enough to force Megami to raise her own hand up. Her Zanpakuto immediately materialized in her hand, and she readied it to her side.

"What reason could they have for doing this?" Daiyaku thought. "It doesn't matter." He immediately immersed himself in lighting once more, and Akiko's hands began to glow.

Miharu frowned. "Kā-chan, I'm getting a bit worried about Tō-san...I'm going to go check where he is."

S. Megami looked over her shoulder, nodding in acknowledgement. "We'll hold off these three for you,dear...." She answered readily, giving her daughter a smile. Then, she turned back to her counterpart, who simply lifted up her fists in preparation to fight.

Senkai readied herself as well, pulling out her sword and settling into a stance. "You heard what he said..." She said grimly, eyes dead set on Miharu. "Stop them. Don't let anyone of them leave this area!"

"Not a chance." Daiyaku was in front of Senkai in an instant. "Keep your eyes on the birdie!" He cried, swinging his energy enhanced fist towards her face.

"I'll go after the purple haired one." Akiko said. "Miharu, as soon as I attack, get going!" Thrusting her hands forward, she sent a Raikohō spell towards Dyan. Miharu took this as her chance, dashing off towards the forest.

"Damn!!!"

Immediately, Senkai sprung into action, letting out a curse as she did so. Immediately, she put her sword between her and her fist, the knuckles slamming into the sharp edge of the blade. The result was an explosive burst of energy, the shockwave radiating out and running right through the rest of the combatants. She held her ground, breath hitched as she pushed against Daiyaku's strength. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Miharu fleeing. K. Ahatake would not be happy that they allowed the girl to slip past her defenses.

But, at the moment, there wasn't really much they could've done other than hold out against the man, could she?

"You know.... a more sensitive woman would've taken that lack of hesitation to punch a female as offensive!" She remarked, a smirk crossing her face.

Daiyaku returned the smirk, before vanished, appearing at her side with his knee flying up.

Dyan had to dodge the lightning strike, frowning. The little girl had escape. This could be trouble.



Miharu was running at top speed through the forest, following the clashing spiritual signatures. They were so similar, she couldn't tell which one was her father or not. That would make this difficult. As she pressed on, she noticed it began to grow colder, and she could easily feel this was not natural.

It was as if time had stopped.

In a burst of smoke, a figure appeared right beside her, her very movements, speed, and stance copied Miharu's as she ran through the forest. The figure turned its head, revealing itself to be the very stranger that had appeared to them before. However, Miharu, of course, wouldn't recognize him. He remained silent, simply running beside Miharu as if she had already known him.

Miharu's head turned, her eyes widening. While it was near, the cold was even worse. What was this thing? She tried to find her voice, and this took a minute. "W-who are you?"

Just like before, it remained silent to her response.

However, in another burst of smoke, it re-appeared in front of her, keeping the distance between them. With his faceless gaze still on her, he raised one of his hands in a beckoning gesture, signaling for her to follow him. With his other hand, he lifted and pointed a finger towards the direction where they were headed.

She frowned. It seemed to be leading her. "Am I going the right way?" She asked, uncertain. She hoped it would at least nod or shake it's head.

It gave a nod in response. Then, it vanished once again, this time completely out of sight. However, it was as if Miharu could now sense the path towards her fathers directly, a cold trail of his energy left behind. She could easily make her way to where they were at now!

Miharu took off at top speed, anxious to get there. Whatever that was, she'd have to thank it if she could find it. Up ahead, both Ahatake's were still fighting. Neither's resolve had weakened, though they seemed to be tiring of each other's continued assault.

"I'm getting tired of this." K. Ahatake said, raising his sword. "I'll end this in one fell swoop!"

"Try it...!" S. Ahatake replied. They charged towards each other, the white-haired Ahatake raising his Katana, the raven-haired Ahatake wielding a spear of Giji Riyū. They thrust they're weapons forward. But then...

K. Ahatake vanished, appearing behind S. Ahatake. The Sonoma counterpart never saw it coming as K. Ahatake slammed his blde into his chest.

Miharu arrived just in time to witness this. She watched as Ahatake got the blade wrenched out of his and he fell to the ground. She was rooted to the spot, her own surprise and horror keeping her from crying out, or moving.

K. Ahatake descended slowly. "It's over." His mask cracking he landed on the ground. S. Ahatake was already unconcious and dying. K. Ahatake walked over to him, placing his hand on his heart. "I thank you for your contribution." He said, as he began to glow. He could feel the spiritual energy he was absoring. It took only moments, as if the spiritual powers were merely transferring. He was similar to his counterpart after all. He rose slowly, taking both of the weapons Ahatake weidling (the Reason Carving Knife had returned to solid form).

It was then that Miharu decided to move. She had to. She took off towards Ahatake, both of them, and the standing Kan'na Ahatake could see her coming.

"The girl." He thought. "I should get out of here." Before she could reach them, he vanished in a burst of cold hair. However, the cold kept coming.

His presence was not absence.

Seconds within his place, the stranger that had appeared before her was now standing over Ahatake's body, his head directed towards the man. He did not do anything, only kneel over the man as if inspecting him. The wounds he had sustained were terrible and mortal indeed. Without help, he would undoubtedly die. He did nothing, as if he was simply waiting for Miharu's reaction.

Miharu, as she reached her father's body looked up at the man. Her eyes were red, as if she was about to cry. The man's aura was seriously disturbing. She swallowed. "Can you help me?" She asked slowly.

For a moment, the man didn't move.

Then, he reached over, holding his palm out as if showing something to Miharu. Upon his silent command, energy was summoned to his hand. He held it over the head of Ahatake for a moment, continuing to study him. As he allowed a black and palm-sized orb to form within his hands, a chorus of agonizing screams could be heard from the energy. It was the chorus of souls that had opposed him before, ones who had tried to challenge his authority and died. It would keep the mind alive, but his body frozen in a state of unconsciousness. He would be trapped in a comatose state... but at least it was better than death.

Without warning, he slammed the orb into Ahatake's chest. Immediately, the target convulsed violently, the screams joining together to sing as one terrifying, inhuman sound.

"W-what are you doing?" Miharu stuttered. She could only speak. Something told her it would be unwise to make a movement towards the man.

Immediately, the convulsing stopped.

Slowly, the man got up, turned around, and walked a few steps.... before once again vanishing in smoke.

Miharu frowned. He vanished once again. She picked up her father's body. It was still warm. So, he wasn't dead. Maybe the man had helped her. She frowned as she melted into the ground with her father's body.


Over at the Kurosaki house the group of six was still fight. Each had slight cuts of bruises depending on their current battle.

Daiyaku skidded back. He was less wounded than the others, due to the energy surrounding him. Senkai had similar durability due to her Hierro. His speed however, was more remarkable than hers, due to the energy enhancing his body. He vanished, appearing above her. He was flying down, his fist aimed at her skull.

SMACK!

Senkai's free hand extended its palm, the knuckles striking the base. As if she was using another sword, she parried away the attack and delivered swift counter-strikes of her own, each one fluid and mixing in with each other's movements.

In the case of the two counterparts fighting it out, S. Megami was faring quite badly.

While K. Megami had sustained cuts delivered, just one kick that she had delivered to S. Megami had done enough damage to severely disorient her. Blood had trickled down the corner of her eyes, making her appear as if she had been crying tears of blood. She was panting heavily, clutching her hilt with both hands. Whoever the woman was.... she was much stronger than she had anticipated!

K. Megami smiled darkly, charging forward to continue the attack.

In the midst of all this choas, K. Ahatake appeared in a burst of cold wind. He looked at all of this in surprise. "My my my." He frowned. "I guess I don't know the common definition of overboard anymore." He spared at look at Sonoma Megami, who was clutching at her sword. Dyan and Akiko seemed evenly matched. Daiyaku and Senkai were going at it full out. "Megami, Senkai, Dyan. It's over! The mission has been completed!"

Senkai and K. Megami were the first ones to react.

Immediately, they stopped their attacks and leaped back. Senkai sheathed her swords within her holster, taking in a deep breath while keeping a steady gaze on her enemy. K. Megami cocked a slight eyebrow in questioning, folding her arms across her chest. "So.... the one from Sonoma...." She said. "He's...?"

K. Ahatake flicked his finger's, producing a small bit of flames. "Dead." He said simply.

"What?" Both Daiyaku and Akiko's heads turned.

That was enough to make S. Megami's heart skip a beat. Her pupils shrank, her eyes widened, and she turned her head towards K. Ahatake with a clear look of shock. Even if it wasn't directed towards her, Senkai flinched slightly. She had taken part of the deed, after all, and these would be the consequences....

K. Ahatake opened the Meidō. "Our job is done. It's time to head home." He was speaking very calmly despite the death glares that both Akiko and Daiyaku were giving him. He was about to step into the portal when Daiyaku came flying out of nowhere, his hair lengtehened far past his back, his power through the room.

"Not a chance!" He roared, his fist ready to literally punch K. Ahatake's head off it's shoulders. To Daiyaku's surprise, the man merely sidestepped, Daiyaku nearly flying into the portal. K. Ahatake slammed his hand down onto the boy's neck, knocking him out before he could move to far. As he hit the ground, his aura faded. K. Ahatake kicked Daiyaku's body toward's Akiko, who caught it. He turned to Dyan, Senkai, and Megami. "Let's go."

As the two women made their way over towards him, Senkai looked over at Akiko for a moment. Then, she simply shook her head in a sympathetic and sad manner, before she directed her gaze towards S. Megami again. The woman's stricken expression was now more prominent, and her Zanpakuto immediately de-materialized. She couldn't even bring herself to speak, frozen where she stood. He had really....died? It was over?

Dyan walked over to their side. "Well, it was nice meeting you guys." She said before stepping into the portal. A bit of salt on the wound there. Ahatake frowned. He really did feel sorry for what he had done, but wounding one family compared to saving an entire planet? He knew which one was the right choice and walked into the portal without a word.

That was when Megami finally allowed herself to fall to her knees, head hung low, and eyes shut. Despite her efforts, tears were falling freely from her eyes. She let out heavy sobs, unable to contain them. It was true...! Her husband was dead, fallen to the blade of an enemy. Why hadn't she seen it coming? It was one of the few times that Megami allowed herself to completely disregard her husband's safety. Now, it had effectively cost him his life.

And all she could do was cry.

Before anyone could make a move to comfort her, Miharu appeared out of the ground, immersed in water. She was carrying Ahatake's body. She saw her mother crying on the ground. "So, he was here already..." She thought. "The three are gone, so I assume they've escaped..." Miharu turned to Akiko, who was still holding Daiyaku's unconcious body. "Did the white-haired guy come by?" She'd ask about Daiyaku later.

Akiko nodded, looking at her brother's body.

"What did he say?"

"He said that Ahatake was dead." Akiko replied. "Looking at his body, I assume it's true."

Miharu shook her head. "No... I don't think he is."

At this statement, Megami managed to lift her head up a little, the stricken look still in her eyes.

"I think he's unconcious." She explained. "Probably will be for awhile. The wierd thing is, he would be dead, if it wasn't for this creepy person wearing a red hood. He looked homeless, but I think he saved Tō-san."

Immediately, Megami's tears had practically flown away from her face, replaced by a look of bewildermint. "H...homless....?" She managed to say slowly, standing up the feet. Her legs were shaky. "W....what did he look like....exactly?"

"Um..." She thought about it for a moment. "He had on a brown trenchcoat, blue jeans, and olive-green sneakers. I couldn't see his face, it was covered in a tattered red hood."

"What did he do....?"

"He..." She frowned. It was like her memories of this were blurred. "He slammed a wierd orb into his chest. He started to shake and scream, but after he settled down, his wound sorta healed. I finished the job, but I can't wake him up, not even my Zanpakutō works here."

"...." To this, Megami closed her eyes and let out a heavy sigh, placing her palm to her forehead. "All right... I guess I'll have to keep this in mind. For now.... we've got to get him inside the house. I'll do what I can for him there, but.... there's no guarantee."

They nodded, and Daiyaku opened the door. Miharu set Ahatake on the sofa, and took a seat in his chair. She was quiet. If she hadn't slept through this, she could have done something...

Megami took the position to lower herself to one knee in a kneeling position, her hands raised over his head. Her hands began to glow, and she kept her hands hovered over her husband. "I...this was one of the time where I had full trust in him. I was certain that he wouldn't get hurt like this.... ironic, isn't it?" A smile crossed her face, a tear dripping from her eye. "The one time that I let go, it turns out I let go too early. Shows what I know....doesn't it....?"

"Kā-chan, I think it's more my fault..." Miharu murmured. "If I hadn't been asleep, I could have followed him when he went off..."

"No, I should have woken you up." Daiyaku said firmly.

Megami remained silent to these self-accusations, her eyes returning back towards the deed at hand. "....I can heal his wounds. But there's something keeping him from waking up. His mind is fully active, but.... it's like as if his body's shut down." She said bitterly.

Miharu frowned. She had no idea what to do now.

"Megami, maybe the library girl will know something?" Akiko suggested. "Her information's been right on the dot before."

A heavy sigh escaped Megami's mouth. "I really don't think she'd be very happy if I kept bugging her about information right now....besides, going anywhere from Ahatake is the last thing I want."

"I can go talk to her." Miharu offered. "We need information, one way or another. Even if she doesn't like to be bugged, she's helped out before, so I'm sure she'll help again. She's in the library, right?"

"Miharu, you don't need to do that." Megami answered, voice picking up a bit of firmness. "Listen, both of you.... I'll ask her tomorrow, so you don't need to worry about going to her for anything as of this minute."

"Fine." Miharu sounded irritated. She didn't want to sit around and do nothing. Her doing nothing was what put her father in his current state.

"In the meantime, I'll do what I can to make sure Ahatake's stable. You do...." Megami had to pause for a moment. "....whatever you need to."

Miharu frowned. "I want to go after the silver-haired one who did this."

"....whatever you need to."

Miharu frowned. Guess it didn't qualify as a need. "In that case, there's nothing I need to do."

Once again, Megami resumed her silence, continuing to work on her husband for the moment. She had retained her rather unhappy demeanor. Because no one bothered to leave her side yet, a tense silence quickly over-swept the room. Her hands continued to glow dimly, reflecting her rather desolate and gloomy mood as of now. Despite what they had all said, she couldn't help but blame herself for being so careless. She could've stopped him from going, used her voice in order to coax him out of treating the situation so casually. But she had not - and now she, as well as they, were paying the price for it. It wasn't an easy thing to think about.

They would have to wait it out...

The Next Morning[]

Miharu hadn't been able to sleep. Sleeping made her feel guilty as it was because she had been sleeping that her father was in his current state. So, she decided to make everyone something to eat. Even if they were miserable, at least they'd be full. This time, she'd try western foods.

Megami had fallen asleep in one of the chairs next to Ahatake, having stayed by his side the whole time.

"At least you look better than you did...." She spoke softly, having woken up and rubbing a hand over his forehead. Given the time, the melancholy managed to fade away. Her optimism was going strong, with the realization that Ahatake was still alive. But there was still the problem of getting him out of the coma he was trapped in. While she would be out with Aoi, she could easily pop the question. She would also ask about the abilities that Miharu described, having a feeling they had a connection....

Daiyaku walked down the stairs, lured by the smell of cooking food. He looked over at Megami, shocked. "Megami-san, you fell asleep in that chair?"

Megami sweatdropped, chuckling sheepishly. "Eh.... I didn't want to make sure he went unchecked....?" She offered helplessly.

Daiyaku smiled and nodded. "I understand. But, I can smell food. You should get something to eat, yes?"

With a steady nod, Megami allowed herself to get up. Ahatake would be fine, now that she had fully healed his wounds. She turned towards Daiyaku, walking past him in the direction of the kitchen.

Miharu had already been busy at the stove for awhile, and had various items of food cooked and now under heating lamps. She turned, holding a skillet full of bacon. She really had tried western foods. "Good morning Kā-chan."

"Good morning, Mi-chan...." Giving a nod in her direction, Megami decided to head up to her bathroom in order to change her clothing and shower off. She exited quickly, leaving the others to their thoughts.

Miharu was still cooking, seeing her mother go upstairs, she wanted the woman's food to be hot when she got back downstairs. Her mother was going to talk to the Aoi girl again, so she (Miharu) had nothing to really do today. She wouldn't go after the silver-hair yet. Not that she couldn't, it's just her mother wouldnt approve just yet.

It was silent for the longest time, and Miharu began setting the food on the table, hoping she'd given her mother enough time to come down.

Sure enough, Megami was managing to come down to the lower level, popping her head within the dining room once she was there. "I'm sorry, Mi-chan...." She apologized softly. "But could you just put my plate in the fridgerator? I'm going to be going out for a little bit."

She frowned. "Alright." She said and walked off with several plates, muttering violently, with words like "slaving over" "hot stove" "no appreciation" audible. Daiyaku chuckled. He turned to Megami. "Megami-san, I hope the library girl can give you some much needed information. And even if she can't, we'll still find a way." He hoped her sounded reassuring.

Megami smiled warmly. "Thank you, Daiyaku...." She said, before she turned around and exited. It didn't take her long for her to head out the door and step into the outside, where she was hit with the morning sun. There were only a few people out so far, but it would be far busier in the evenings. Now, where was Aoi....? She quickly made her walk, hoping that the girl was at her library.

Aoi was sitting at the check-out desk. It was early and she had just put out the WE ARE OPEN sign and awaited the nerd rush. She was worried about Megami. What was the woman doing?

There was something, however, that had beaten the woman to it.

The stranger from before was in front of the library door. For a moment, he stood there silently, looking in the doors for a moment. Then, he stepped in the door and shuffled in.

Aoi looked over at him. "Um...may I help you?"

Though the stranger remained silent, he pointed to his throat, then the spot where his mouth should be, before shaking his head - an indication that he could not speak.

Aoi gave him a sympathetic look. "Alright. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to write, and I will help as best I can."

With a steady, slow nod, the stranger turned away from her and began to walk away into the shelves, seemingly knowing what he was looking for.

Aoi sighed and opened a book. This might be a long day.

DING!

Immediately after he disappeared into the isles, Megami made her own entrance. She stepped into the doors, giving a mirthful wave towards Aoi. "Hello again!" She said cheerfully, with a smile to match her enthusiastic mood.

Aoi looked up to see Megami entering the library and smiled, her face turning red as it always did and never meeting Megami's eye as she always did. "G-good morning." She closed her book nervously. "What brings you down here today?"

"Oh, nothing much...." Megami answered, folding her hands behind her back. "Just wanted to see if you were free today, that's all...."

Aoi's nodded eagerly. "Since I just opened, and no one is really here, I can close up shop for as long as you need me around." She sounded as eager as her head movements implied.

"Oh, really? That's great!" Megami gave an appreciative nod, a slight blush coming over her face. "Feeling kind of embarrassed taht youd to close up shop just for little old me...."

"Think nothing of it!" Aoi insisted, flipping the WE ARE OPEN sign to a SORRY, WE'RE CLOSED SIGN with a small wave of the hand. "Um...sir, we're closed now." She called into the bookshelves where she saw the man dissapear.

"Hm?" Megami cocked an eyebrow. "You said that there was no one here...."

"Well, it was just one person, so I didn't count it as anybody really." She admitted. "Wierd, I wonder. Did he leave without me noticing?"

Megami frowned. "He couldn't have, I would've caught him on the way here..." She said logically, peering into the aisles for a moment.

Aoi slid off her chair, walking over to the aisles. She walked into the aisle she'd seen him go through, to see if he'd collapsed or something.

The aisles seemed a bit darker. The lack of light shaded the area in the illusion of purple color, including Aoi herself. There was a continuous silence within her area; no movement, no footsteps, not even the sound of breathing. There was no activity that allowed her to see that he was still here. In fact, it was as if he had never been there in the first place, his presence gone from the area.

She backed out of the aisle, stumbling. "He's...he's not there..." She murmured, eyes wide with surprise, and, to anyone watching, a slight hint of fear. She felt..odd.

"Huh?"

Cocking an eyebrow, Megami walked slowly behind her, hands outstretched in the slightest manner as if Aoi was going to fall on her back. "Are you sure?" She asked hesitantly, her own eyes peering down the aisle once more. "What did he look like?"

"Um..." She frowned. She hadn't payed all that much attention to him. "Tattered outfit. Didn't speak. I think I saw a red hood?"

Megami contemplated this only for a moment. She closed her eyes, folding her arms across her chest and lowering her head a little in thought. "Hmm.... do you happen to know anything about the Monitor's abilities, if he had any?" She questioned the girl.

"The Monitor?" Aoi's frown only depened. "Like I said, it's considered a myth. Though that doesn't mean I don't have information for you." She smiled. "I know very little, but I mentioned before The Monitor is part-Yūreiyushi. As such, it has powers similar to Yūreiyushi, including, but not limited to Soul Stealing, causing depression if it wills it. It can even destroy reiatsu, or anything made of spiritrons, which as you know includes us."

"...." Megami opened one of her eyes, allowing an intent gaze fixed on Aoi. "What about sustaining someone's life with souls that he has already absorbed before....?" She questioned. "Would that be possible?"

Aoi's eyes widened. "I'm not sure. It's never been in anything I've read, but it is surely possible. If you think about it this way, Ginkon or Kaizō Konpaku can reanimate a body. It would be using souls in a different way than one would expect, but it could be possible if he's able to manipulate the souls correctly."

Megami opened both eyes. "And to reverse it....?"

"It would depend, I assume, on the reason for why the souls were needed to sustain the life in the first place. Mortally wounded, drained completely of spiritual energy, death by emotional shock, each is different." She looked at Megami curiously, though as usual her eyes did not meet the older woman's. "Why do you ask?"

Megami's expression became more solemn. "Because I think who you just encountered...." She began, taking in a deep breath. "....might have been that of the Monitor itself. With that ability, it's allowing my husband to cling onto life by a marginal thread."

"W-what?" This was even more shocking than the disappearing man. She'd had the Monitor the being that was practically horror condensed into a human-like form. She immediately tried to compose herself. "And, how exactly did your husband die? If the Monitor is involved in this, I assume it was his Kan'na Counterpart?"

Megami nodded. "My husband didn't die. Because of whatever the thing did to him, he's still alive. But now, he's in a comatose state, and we can't do anything to bring him out of it."

"If it really was his counterpart, there's only one way to wake him up." Aoi said, sighing. "You're going to have to get his spiritual energy back' from his counterpart. That's not an easy feat either, draining spiritual energy is difficult..."

Megami smiled, putting a hand on her heart. "Don't worry about it...." She re-assured the girl. "We'll find a way in order to do that. Situations like this aren't new to us, unfortunately...."

Aoi frowned. "Unfortunately, all I can really do is wish you luck." She said, sounding disappointed. "I'm not really meant for fighting, so I can't be much help outside of being a well of information for you."

"I told you not to worry about it!" Megami complained, although her tone was mirthful.

Aoi smiled weakly. "Alright." Though she did not sound like she agreed entirely. "So, is there anything else?"

Megami shook her head. "That's it, other than the fact I wanted to see if you were free for today." She admitted.

Aoi smiled widely. "Well, since it says closed on the sign, I'm technically free all day, or at least as long as you're around."

"Great! Do you have any particular place in mind?"

"Um..." She fumbled nervously. "I don't really go out much, so I don't know really much of anything around the city...I wouldn't be able to reccomend anything."

Megami lapsed into a moment of contemplation for a moment, her head turning towards the entrance of the library. "Well, since you don't know much about the city...." She turned back towards Aoi, expression brightening up. "How about a tour?"

"I'd love that!" Aoi squealed excitedly.

"Good!" With a nod, Megami allowed herself to turn away from Aoi and walk towards the entrance doors. "I'll start off with locations that are easier to remember, so we don't have to backtrack that much." As she walked, she turned her head to look back towards the girl in order to make sure she was following.

The girl, who had been sitting just moments ago, was already at Megami's side. "Alright. This sounds really fun."

The End

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