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Cang Du
Cang du profile color
Full Name Cang Du
Kanji 蒼都 (ツァン トゥ)
Rōmaji Tsan Tu (Japanese)
Cāng Dōu (Chinese)
General Information
Race Human, (Quincy)
Birthdate September 12, 1904
Age 23 (physical, a.m.)
109 (actual, human lifespan 1904 - 1927)
Gender Male
Height 170 cm (5’6”)
Weight 65 kg (143 lbs)
Hair Color Jet black
Eye Color Gray-blue
Sign Year of the Dragon
Blood Type B+
Professional Information
Affiliation Surviving Wandenreich
Previous Affiliation May Fourth Movement
Sternritter
Occupation Unknown
Previous Occupation Sternritter "I" - "The Iron"
Partner Meninas McAllon, Liltotto Lamperd, Giselle Gewelle, Bambietta Basterbine
Previous Partner Bazz-B
Base of Operations Beijing (formerly); Silbern (formerly); Hueco Mundo
Personal Information
Education Home-Tutored
Sheng-lian (Seiren training)
Compulsory primary education
Shuntian Secondary School
Sternritter Training
Marital Status Single
Family Cang Lu (father, deceased)
Wei Meijing (mother, deceased)
Status Active
Quincy Abilities
Spirit Weapon Reishi Claws
Signature Skill Martial Arts Expert
Vollständig

Ydal
"Those who spent their lives together should remain together in death. That is my belief."
—Cang Du

Cang Du (蒼都, Cāng Dōu (ツァン トゥ), Tsan Tu) is a Quincy and a former member of the Sternritter, designated with the epithet "I" - "The Iron". He currently resides in Hueco Mundo along with the remaining survivors of the the Wandenreich, who fled there after the death of Yhwach fourteen years ago. Formerly, he was the partner of Bazz-B until the latter betrayed the Wandenreich and fought against Jugram Haschwalth. Six months after the defeat of Yhwach, Cang sought out Orihime Inoue and took her to the Dangai, where she restored his schrift and Vollständig. His current intentions are generally unknown, although he seems to have remained loyal to the Wandenreich, serving as a warrior to the Quincy's cause.

Appearance

Cang is a young, slender man who appears to be in his early twenties. He has a long, narrow face with wide cheekbones and a tapering jaw, and thin, slanted eyebrows. The bridge of his nose is slightly defined and comes to a soft point, and just above the tip there is a small variance of darker skin, possibly a blemish from the sun.
Cang du profile

Most take Cang's narrowed eyes to be a permanent sign of disdain.

His eyes are very narrow and turn upwards at the ends, and their thin shape is accentuated by the fact that he rarely opens them wider then a half-lidded state, which most mistake as a sign of veiled disdain. In reality it simply reflects his serious, analytical nature and keen reflexes, and serves to dull his slate-gray eyes. His most notable feature, however, remains the distinctive vertical scar that runs across the left side of his mouth. For many years his complexion was rather pale, due to the time spent in absence of direct light while in Silbern, but since relocating to the human world his color has deepened and mellowed. His hair is thick and dark, with pointed bangs hanging between his eyes. He keeps it relatively short, and it is typically rather messy and slightly unkempt as caring for his own appearance is not one of his priorities. This mindset extends to his current style of dress as well, which is practical and modest in nature. His general wardrobe includes a comfortable pair of denim jeans, flat-soled shoes, and a collared shirt. Typically he tries to blend in with the crowd, and will always wear at least a white undershirt as he is conscientious of the sizeable scar that runs across both his chest and back from his right shoulder to left hip, courtesy of his close brush with death nine years ago.

As Cang is slightly below average in height his stature does not appear impressive at first glance, but his physique is actually incredibly defined and he possesses a powerful build. While not massively developed his lean musculature is highly refined and complete, honed by years of physical training. He moves with determined efficiency, and his presence has a threatening, almost magnetic quality that draws his opponents in. In everything he has focused on taking his body to its peak, conditioning for speed and strength and pushing himself to the upmost limits in order to try and regain the power he lost as a Sternritter. His devotion is evident in the sinewy, bold lines of his muscles and the balanced symmetry of his form. This level of strength and flexibility extends to his joints and tendons as well, as above anything else he is concerned with functionality.

While a member of Yhwach’s Sternritter, Cang wore a variation of the typical white uniform, having significantly customized it to suit his own preferences. His uniform consisted of a pair of baggy trousers that were gathered in tight cuffs just above the ankles, a waist-length Tangzhuang style jacket with a Mandarin collar that had a folded-over flap that was buttoned on the right side, a black silk sash tied around his waist, and soft, cotton-soled Chinese martial arts shoes. During the first invasion, he was seen wearing the Sternritter’s signature hooded cloak and had a pair of black fingerless gloves, [1] although in the second invasion he did not wear the gloves and had a stiff, high-collared cape as opposed to a hooded one.

Personality

Cang is generally stoic and reserved, rarely speaking unless it is necessary. He does not believe in what he calls "pantheism," once stating that Bankai (and by extension Zanpakutō) have no souls or wills of their own. However, in his fight against Hitsugaya, he seems to contradict himself both by wasting time in monologueing about his philosophies instead of delivering the final blow immediately, leading to his defeat. His failure could have also been the result of his admitted reluctance of using Hyorinmaru against its original owner, despite the fact that he earlier stated that it had no soul. However, the more probable explanation is that, while Cang is a man of very few words, against those he hates it can be a different case entirely, as shown in his battle against Hitsugaya as well as shortly before being cut down at the hands of Jugram, both of whom he hated intensely.

When faced with death, Cang did not plead for his life or insist that he could still be useful to Yhwach and the Wandenreich, instead accepting his execution gracefully and loudly declaring that he would rather die at the hands of Yhwach than Haschwalth. When Haschwalth bypasses his defense and cuts him, however, Cang is seen with a panic-striken expression on his face.

Relationships

Bazz-B:

History

  • Born 1904, Beijing
  • 1908, Begins Sheng-lian training
  • 1911, May Fourth Movement
  • 1916, Family estate liquidated, enrolled in public school
  • 1920, Drops out of secondary school, father abandons Meijing
  • 1922, Mother dies, moves to Shanghai, joins May Fourth Movement, later joins Communist Party
  • 1927, Killed by Chiang Kai-shek's forces in Shanghai

Plot

Cang du new

Cang Du appears in Beijing.

Nine years after the end of the Quincy Blood War, Cang Du appears in Beijing after the city is attacked by The Coven. Searching for his lost schrift, Cang inadvertently saves Edward Brandon, another Quincy, from one of Xiuhcoatl's spells. Assuming the Shinigami to be after the Soul Fragments, he subsequently targets Chitose Wasuchiru with his Hè Yōuyǎ Zhǎo.

To be continued.

Equipment

Pendant: Cang wears a small, rectangular black pendant on a cord around his neck. No longer than 5 cm (2 in), it appears to made from a smooth, obsidian-type material and has the characters for the five elements inscribed into one surface, with the image of a warring tiger and dragon etched onto the other. Originally the pendant belonged to his maternal great-grandfather, and it was given to him by his mother at a young age when he first began to learn the skills of a Quincy. According to his mother, the stone from which the pendant is made is a very specific mineral similar to Sekiseki that can only be found in the Soul Society. As the pendant is invisible to the eyes of normal humans, there may have been some grain of truth to her claim. Cang uses the pendant both as a focus for his spiritual weapon and as a talisman for Xiemaibo. By repeatedly infusing the carved characters with condensed Reiryoku, he is able to layer several spells within the pendant, making it easily accessible and practical to use in combat. The pendant is his most treasured object, and he protects it zealously, not allowing anyone else to handle it. When he was nearly killed by Jugram the pendant was damaged as well, and now bears a horizontal scar across its surface. Previously Cang had thought the stone was indestructible, and the scratch now serves as a constant reminder of his weakness and vulnerability, driving him to become continually stronger.

Powers and Abilities

Natural Abilities

High Spiritual Pressure: During his time in the Wandenreich, Cang had a notably high level of spiritual power. Although his utilization of his spirit energy was not sophisticated or refined, it was powerful enough to allow him to fight using Tōshirō Hitsugaya’s own Bankai, and he was able to completely shatter the latter’s ice prison while in Vollständig. He did not, however, consider his own Reiryoku something that could be manipulated or controlled, rather seeing it as simply one of the natural accompaniments to being a Sternritter. After he was nearly killed by Jugram Haschwalth and his epithet revoked by Yhwach, Cang’s level of spiritual energy was significantly diminished, and after the second Auswählen his powers were drained even further. Although his spiritual power is currently much higher than an average human, it is still relatively weak, which in a way poses a severe limitation on the extent to which he can use his spiritual powers. As a result, Cang has altered his approach to fighting over the last nine years. Realizing how important Reiryoku is to a being’s capability to fight, he has worked to expand his own spiritual core, using methods such as meditation and martial arts in order to increase the capacity of his own soul. This has been a difficult and experimental process, as he has taken spiritual principles found in the human world and worked to apply them to his own nature as a Quincy, turning his focus inwards. On a more tangible level, his Reiatsu when exerted is a grayish blue-green in hue, a historically significant color known as Qīng (青) that can mean indefiniteness, reliability and balance.

  • Psychological Intimidation: Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Cang’s Reiatsu is the fact that it is heavily imbued with a sharp, murderous or “killing” intent. Cang has consciously cultivated this aspect, personally labeling it “Shā qí” (杀齐, lit. “killing ), and channeling it by focusing his Reiatsu to specific points of pressure on an opponent’s body. Following traditional principles emphasized in the philosophy of dāntián, he concentrates his Shā qí to the three main spiritual centers of the body: the lower dāntián found just below the navel, the middle dāntián at the level of the heart, and the upper dāntián which is on the forehead in between both eyes. Although it has not been proven that these are accurate placements for Reiryoku “centers,” he has more often than not found that by focusing his Reiatsu in this manner his opponents generally become uneasy or uncomfortable, and at the very least it provides a minor distraction which he can then use to his advantage.
  • Spiritual Awareness: As a Quincy Cang possesses the innate ability to sense the surrounding spiritual energy, which is a skill known as Reikaku. He has always been perceptive to the ebb and flow of Reishi in the world around him; however, during the course of his training over the last few years, he has taken his awareness of the surrounding world to a nearly limitless degree, expanding the bounds of his perception to not only determine a being’s Reiraku but also to sense the innate nature and depth of their Reiryoku. This allows him to track an opponent, as well as to gain insight of their intentions and abilities. He is keen to the very composition of the universe’s underlying structure, although this is, to a large extent, a subconscious ability. Nevertheless, the application of this awareness is crucial in both his martial arts and Gintō practices, as insight into the composition of spiritual particles and their movement enables him to move in tandem with the world’s flow, drawing on it for both strength and knowledge.

Peak Physical Conditioning: By all rights Cang should have been left permanently crippled by the stroke delivered by Jugram. However in the wake of his injury and miraculous recovery, Cang pushed himself in order to not only match his previous level of strength but to supersede it. While any rehabilitation is a gradual and lengthy process, through his iron will and determination he was able to fully restore his body within a much shorter period. Since his injury, he has also applied himself to martial arts practice and physical training, honing his abilities and exploring the very limits of human strength in order to reach the pinnacle of conditioning. He is, above all else, concerned with functionality. Viewing his own body as both a tool and an art form, he is minimalistic in his approach to what is useful and what should be discarded. He has primarily trained for speed and endurance, with strength a secondary and holistic aspect to his conditioning. Cang demonstrated a taste of this strength when he overturned an entire, ice-loaded semi-truck with a well-placed kick, without the use of Blut Arterie. His stamina is incredible, and Cang is able to draw on this to carry him throughout the length of a battle without relying too heavily on his Reiatsu. As a martial artist he is also extremely flexible, and his air-borne acrobatic movements seem like an effortless dance in their expert, natural execution. Even without Hirenkyaku his reflexes and speed are highly refined, which allows him to attack fluidly and defend flawlessly against any human opponent and aids him significantly when combating stronger spiritual adversaries. As a Quincy, however, his capabilities cannot technically be labeled as “human,” as he long ago surpassed the limitations of a normal body once his soul was pulled from the cycle of reincarnation and he passed on to Schatten Bereich. Yet even in kishi form, Cang draws on his spiritual powers to remain largely unphased by injury or exhaustion, and as such normal human fighters have no chance against him in combat.

Keen Intellect: Cang is an intelligent and cunning combatant. Coldly rational and pragmatic to the point of passivity, he does not readily retaliate to an adversary’s taunts or insults. Instead, Cang typically assumes the role of the aggressor, playing to the weaknesses of an opponent in order to subtly string them along and cleverly mislead and manipulate them. He is highly observant and an expert strategist in immediate circumstances, which means that while he might not always be able to plot out a distant course of action, he is a master of thinking on his feet. Very little escapes Cang’s notice, and he is aware of details and surreptitious information that others may see as irrelevant or insignificant. He is also extremely perceptive of when another individual is acting deceptively, although he is not very good at deceiving others himself, typically relying on an emotionless mask to hide his true intentions. He is also not above fighting dirty, and will take full advantage of any opportunity offered him in order to gain the upper hand. In this regard he possesses high mental acuity, able to exploit any scrap of information afforded him to his own advantage. That being said, his level of intelligence is still far below that of his late father’s, as Cang is prone to moments of impulsivity that contradict his otherwise sound logic.

Cang kick

Cang Du delivers a barrage of swift, powerful kicks, flinging an opponent into the air.

Master Martial Artist: As a general rule, Cang’s physical attacks almost always find their target. Since he is particularly sensitive to the flow of spiritual energy around him, both by fact of being a Quincy and through his highly specialized martial arts training, Cang has gained the ability to contact any target, whether they be spiritual or physical. He is even capable of targeting unseen barriers, projectiles, bodies of liquid, and other non-physical substances by delivering a highly-concentrated, specific point of force to the matrixes of energy that comprise a given object in order to repel or damage a target. Even without the use of Blut Arterie, Cang is able to use his Reiatsu in order to enhance the speed and strength of his strikes. While his swift barrages and furious lines of motion might seem uncontrolled upon first glance, he is actually an extremely precise artist of the highest caliber. Should his movements be slowed down, one would be able to see the elegance behind the smooth, sliding motions, which typically end in a pin-pointed snap of full, concentrated force.

From a young age, Cang was instructed in his family’s style of martial arts (蒼家武术, Cāng jiā wǔshù), which closely resembled baji-piguaquan. As a synthesis of two northern palm styles, Baji-pigua emphasizes both the rotational open-palm techniques of Piguaquan and the explosive, short-range power of Bajiquan. While both are recognized primarily by their arm movements: large, flowing rotations and quick, powerful elbow and shoulder strikes, respectively, Baji-pigua’s strength originates in the hips and core, which serve both to add deep-seated power to and guide the techniques. Baji-pigua is notable for its whip-like forms, characterized by a fluidity between a close, balanced state of readiness to a sudden and fully-extended attack. To an outside observer, the wind-mill movement of the arms may appear superfluous, but the cyclical motion adds impetus to the strikes, resulting in dangerous, momentous force. Essentially, baji-pigua derives its destructive power from acceleration, as the practitioner moves from a contracted to extended range in an incredibly short period of time. Even human practitioners are capable of switching from a right-foot lead to a left-foot lead faster than can be typically perceived, and if their strikes land full-force, they have enough concentrated power to shatter bone. Thus, when this style is used by those who possess Reiatsu, such as Cang Du, its speed and power are nearly impossible to quantify.

However, perhaps Cang’s most formidable skill is his fluidity. Beginning with a base style of Baji-pigua, Cang has added a variety of styles and integrated hundreds of separate techniques into his own, personalized method of fighting. A highly observant fighter, he is able to adapt to the situation and opponent. This was seen when he fought against Hitsugaya, where Cang concentrated on decreasing the captain’s mobility in mid-air in order to rob him of his natural advantage, successfully shattering his Bankai-empowered ice wings. Cang continues to experiment and adapt his style, and as such it has changed considerably over the years. His integrative elements are not limited to other styles of martial arts, but also include the knowledge of the flow of energy provided by Xiemaibo, for example, as well as Hirenkyaku as a method of high-speed propulsion for both his fists and his feet.

Cang strikes 2

Cang relentlessly attacks with hammer-like kicks.

Aside from his base in Baji-pigua, Cang has also incorporated other notable martial arts influences into his own style of fighting. The first is a highly acrobatic version of the Northern Shaolin style, which is most evident in his high-stance, wide, sweeping kicks, and leaps. Cang Du originally excelled in the Northern-inspired long distanced techniques, and was able to aggressively attack his opponent while maintaining space between his core and the enemy. The circular nature of the kicks allowed him to integrate the style easily within a Baji-pigua framework, as for example he is able to quickly slide from a hip-centered rotational movement into an airborne, high kick, although it should be noted that this degree of versatility and efficacy would not have been possible without the ability to use the air itself as a surface to launch from and land upon.

  • Wing Chun: Aside from Northern Shaolin, the second major element that Cang has woven into his style is Wing Chun, which he began to practice most recently after he returned to China nine years ago. While recovering from the near-mortal wound that he received from Jugram Haschwalth, Cang found that his style of fighting left him vulnerable in his weakened state as its techniques required a level of flexibility and strength that he lacked at the time. As he was unable to perform the techniques of his style that were based on animal mimicry, he gravitated to Wing Chun, which was specifically designed to accommodate for the human anatomy. His brush with death also caused him to see the importance of maintaining a concentric source of balance, as he noticed how often his core was left open to attack once he began to consciously protect it. Unlike the other martial arts bases that form Cang’s style, Wing Chun focuses on defense as opposed to offense. A close-range and close-rooted style, it differs significantly from his previous emphasis on long-distance techniques and is based on structure, not strength, and timing, not speed. Essentially, it assumes that neither space nor time to react will be allowed when being assaulted, and instead trains the practitioner to react reflexively from any position by attacking and defending simultaneously. Wing Chun is distinctive for its fast, “locking” blocks that redirect an opponent’s attacks away from the practitioner’s centerline. By shifting and turning the body, without compromising structure, the user is able to place their body in a non-direct position in relation to the opponent, which makes it difficult for the latter to land hits. Instead of retracting the arms before attacking, the user attacks from the defensive position with the arms already extended, utilizing a rapid-fire, relentless barrage of hits in order to overwhelm, ground, and disable an opponent. An inherently “soft” martial art, Wing Chun is deceptively brutal, and extremely effective in its ability to interrupt and unbalance an attacker—bracing or “settling” the enemy and utilizing their own stability to deliver the maximum force possible against them. Once Cang had regained his spiritual powers, he found that Wing Chun worked particularly well in conjunction with his unique Spirit Weapon, as the bladed claws serve to shred a given adversary's defenses. He has also extended the use of his style for more than hand-to-hand combat, and is capable of defending against a barrage of Heilig Pfeil or Bala, for example, as well as applying its principles in other techniques such as Bunkai.
  • Influent Touch (吸收手, Xīshōu shǒu, lit. "absorbing hand"): Stemming from his ability to perceive the flow of ambient Reishi, as well as his recent emphasis on utilizing the minimal amount of force in order to achieve maximum effect, Cang has experimented with the concept of "resonance," which allows him to extend a wave of destructive force throughout the entirety of a prescribed target with one hit in order to destroy it. However, what is unique about this wave is that it is not necessarily an expulsion of force, as it also employs his ability as a Quincy to absorb Reishi in combination with the physical impact of the strike. Thus, the technique uses both an internal and external flow of energy simultaneously to rob a structure of its spiritual bonds whilst delivering concussive force to completely destroy the structure. While Cang has not yet mastered the technique, he has reached the level where he can destabilize or weaken the bonds of a structure enough to follow up with another attack to achieve the desired result. He is also working to narrow the prescribed range of effect in order to pinpoint a specific target, as opposed to striking at an entire object from one point.
  • Enhanced Proprioception:
  • Bunkai (分解, lit. "disassembly", Chin. Fēnjiě): Many martial arts focus on kata as set series of strikes and kicks that are taught to practitioners, with the assumption that they will be used in a specific combat situation. Typically, the explanation behind the kata are not given, as the martial artist is expected to learn the form as part of a connected whole. While this may lead to initial fluidity in battle as the kata are designed to function well together, ultimately it deprives the practitioner of complete understanding. However, Cang is not nearly so formal in his practice. While he initially began with a fundamental “respond and counter-attack” strategy, he has since reached far beyond such rigidity, especially due to the influence of Wing Chun. Bunkai is the ability to break kata into their constituent parts in order to analyze each strike, which allows the user to better understand and react to an opponent’s attack. Any single kata may be broken into a dozen different applications, and Cang has primarily used bunkai in order to quickly gain a sense of, and even emulate, his opponent’s style of fighting in combat. This has allowed him to synthesize various different styles and techniques with greater efficiency, and apply his own techniques in reflexive, untraditional manners. Since bunkai is more of a concept of perception rather than a strict martial arts technique, he can use it against non-physical attacks, such as Zanpakutō releases or Kidō. In fact, he has shown such a degree of proficiency in keenly breaking apart an adversary’s strategy into its various parts that, at times, his analytical abilities resemble foresight.

Special Abilitiies

Reishi Absorption and Manipulation: Cang can harness ambient Reishi and combine it with his own Reiryoku to form his spiritual weapons and execute certain techniques. This can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes, and is also utilized in the casting of Gintō spells. Environments with higher concentrations of Reishi, such as the Soul Society or Hueco Mundo facilitate this process, and he can further augment his ability to drawn in ambient Reishi and even Reiatsu with the use of his spirit weapon.

Cang hirenkyoku

Cang Du displays an impressive level of speed and agility.

Advanced Hirenkyaku Expert: In his past, Cang demonstrated considerable speed and skill in the use of Hirenkyaku, and was even capable of pressuring Hitsugaya in his rapid, relentless attacks. He uses his Hirenkyaku in conjuction with his martial arts, and capable of dodging and outmaneuvering most opponent's attacks. His speed is further enhanced by the use of his spiritual weapon, and since he began his training after his brush with death nine years ago, he has discovered the means by which to tap into and harness the flow of Reishi around him, which allows him to literally flow with the heartbeat of the world in order to cross extensive distances in the blink of an eye.

Expert Gintō Practitioner: Xiémàibó ( 勰脉搏,lit. “Harmonic Pulse”) Gintō, as traditionally utilised by Quincy, involves the condensing of Reiryoku into a liquid state in order to store the highly volatile energy in small, silver capsules for later use in spell-casting. As the practice is an ancient one it is no wonder that it evolved differently depending on the culture and resources available to particular groups of Quincy. In Europe, for example, Gintō gradually became a powerful, direct aid against Hollows in areas relatively sparse in Spiritual Energy. Conversely, places such as China and Japan boasted higher concentrations of Reishi than elsewhere, and this factor combined with centuries-long influence from arts such as Wu Xing and Onmyōdō led to a form of Gintōou that was quite distinct in application when compared to its European counterpart. Among Chinese Quincy clans Gintō was known as Xiémàibó, meaning “Harmonious Pulse,” and allowed the practitioner to perform special techniques by drawing in energy along “veins” of Reishi stored beneath the ground, using the earth itself as a Gintō capsule. As this method of spell-casting was based on the fine balance of mixing one’s own Reiryoku with the ambient Reishi in order to create a reaction, its effectiveness was largely dependant on the skill of the individual user. Cang became an expert in Xiémàibó only because the clan of his mother were experts themselves in talisman casting and sealing.

Spirit Weapon

Somewhat atypical considering his race, Cang’s spirit weapon does not take the form of a ranged weapon, instead manifesting as a pair of claws with four curved blades, which he wears on the back of both wrists.[1] The claws are attached to his arms by three black bands, one running across his palm, the other around his wrist, and one just below his elbow, and have a somewhat complex mechanism whereby they can be extended to the approximate length of his forearms or retracted to rest against his knuckles. Small, unadorned silver plates, reminiscent of medieval Chinese gauntlets in design, hide the devices. As a testament to his significant mastery over his spiritual power, the claws have a metallic, highly corporal appearance to them as opposed to simply being composed of viscous blue energy. His spirit weapon possesses five aspects, each based off of one of the five animals in traditional {[w|Shaolin Kung Fu}}, which are in resonance with Cang’s mastery in martial arts. Each distinct power is associated with its own, unique variation of the Heilig Pfeil, and the moment he switches between forms is initiated with a basic somatic gesture, usually some manner of crossing his wrists, which is different for each of the five abilities.

Energy Paths

In addition to the animalistic aspects, each ability is further distinguished into two paths: an “internal” path and an “external” path. Based on the same principle in Chinese martial arts, the two paths refer to differing methods of utilizing energy in combat. Although normally associated with completely separate systems of fighting, when used with his spirit weapon Cang can transition fluidly between the different mindsets and forms, enabling him to quickly change his approach in using spirit energy itself to better accommodate the situation. The point at which he switches between these two paths is often times very difficult for an adversary to determine due to the speed at which it can occur, as well as the fact that the differing paths are based mostly on principle and less on posture or forms. One of the most observable external signs is the change in facial expression and emotion: while utilizing the internal path Cang mainly appears calm, with a blank, almost emotionless expression whereas when using the external he is more likely to shout, grimace, and otherwise channel his emotion into the action of attack. In both paths, the main difficulty is to apply the development of power, balance, and mechanics into form and function. Both paths are intended solely for combat, and the value of this differentiation ultimately lies in the degree of skill and understanding with which he is able to execute them.

Internal Path: In the internal path every motion is stripped to upmost efficiency and energy is compressed and focused inward. This induces a connectedness to the brain and nervous system and requires a still, natural state of mind. Once this has been achieved he gains the ability to flow from one technique to the next without disconnecting; working as one strong, supple unit and internalizing the aspects that characterize each of his five forms. This connectedness allows heightened awareness of the flow of energy within his own body, which means that when adverse or alien energy permeates him he can perceive and purify himself of this energy. Closely tied to the use of Blut Vene, the internal path enables him to reject foreign energy and also rebound it into the opponent, as long as he maintains a holistic potential. Great emphasis is placed on refining internal control, “borrowing” energy released by an opponent, and the avoidance of using direct force. The internal path is sensitive to outside pressure from the opponent in relation to one’s own balance, meaning he is constantly shifting the balance of his power on a subconscious level in order to work with or around the flow of the opponent’s energy, as opposed to merely resisting or attempting to counter it. The internal places great emphasis on this sense of balance, especially the unification of mental and nervous emotive systems with the Reiryoku paths that course through the body, and as such fine neuromuscular control is necessary when performing internal pathway techniques. Perhaps the strongest aspect of this system is the ability to directly manipulate or affect his own soul, and he has described this sensation as “touching” his own Reiryoku on an intrinsic level.
External Path: The most fundamental difference between the internal path and external path is the way in which energy is used. If internal focuses on the body and spirit as a whole, external stresses the individual parts in order to channel and focus energy for a specific action. For example, one variation of this sectional power the development of one part of the body as a weapon, and the force exerted at the point of impact is capable of generating a great amount of power. As is true for physical martial arts, this force is produced via the speed of attack, or rather, the gathering, movement, and sudden tension of energy that is released at the end of an action. The external path mainly focuses on stamina and fluidity, and is as a result closely associated with Blut Arterie. It should be noted that external is not entirely concerned with offensive maneuvers, as conditioning the energy flow to specific areas of the body can also increase the ability to withstand impact.

Primarily, the two paths of energy are simply a differing means of utilizing the ambient energy employed in his Quincy techniques. In the external path more emphasize is placed on specific movement and specialization based on application, and as such the external path grants Cang the ability to amplify either his own energy or absorbed energy in order to vastly increase the power of an attack, as much as twice or three times the potential of the original level of power. Conversely, the internal path allows him to channel the flow of energy around him inwards in order to strengthen himself on an intrinsic level. Both paths are vital in his fighting style, and are extensions of the innate Echt Quincy ability of Blut.

Cand du snake

Cang Du uses Shé Jìn Zhǎo.

  • Shé Jìn Zhǎo (蛇勁爪, Snake-Strong Claws, viz. Snake Claw): Seemingly in reflection of the actual nature of a snake, this form emphasizes fluidity, flexibility, and speed. Characterized by a slow, weaving approach with a quick strike and withdrawal, the angle of attack is elusive and unpredictable. Generally he focuses the attacks in this form on the enemy’s most vulnerable points, such as the eyes, joints, and throat. Cang points his arms at his target and places one fist over the other, so the top of his wrists face away from one another, before launching an attack at an opponent. [2]
External Path: Cang is capable of generating and firing constructs of Reishi that appear to have the heads of snakes as a highly-specialized form of Heilig Pfeil. He can rapidly launch attacks to follow each other, but generally speaking the longer he concentrates on “charging” his claws before the strike, the more power the attack has. One notable exception to this was seen when Cang was battling Hitsugaya. While he did not have much time to gather and amplify Reishi for the attack, he was nonetheless able to release an immense wave of energy that, if it had contacted the target, would have no doubt caused incredible devastation. It is likely that Cang had not yet accounted for the higher amount of Reishi present in the atmosphere of the Soul Society, and therefore did not have enough time to compensate for how much energy he intended to release. The most dangerous aspect of these attacks, however, is the speed at which they are delivered and the penetrative power they possess. Cang is also able to train these Heilig Pfeil on his opponent, as they lock onto the target and follow them until the point of impact, and he can finely control their trajectory to directly hit the enemy’s weaknesses. The most common result is that these projectiles will completely cut through the object they contact, and he has even shown them to be capable of piercing through an Arrancar’s Hierro or a fellow Quincy’s Blut Vene when highly charged.
Internal Path: As the main characteristic of the Shé Jìn Zhǎo is its speed, Cang is able to internalize this attribute in order to greatly enhance the rapidity of his own movements.
  • Tiger Claw: Arguably his most-used out of his five techniques, he first crosses his wrists across his chest before initiating an attack.
External Path: By slicing through the air in front of him Cang can send wide, curved blades of vibrating, highly compressed energy in order to tear through and cut an opponent.
Internal Path: By using the tiger claw form on an inward level, Cang is able to drastically increase his level of strength and durability, which greatly aids him in his hand to hand combat. By releasing blows of concentrated force, he can even put holes through walls of Sekiseki using nothing but his bare hands. Needless to say, it would be best if an opponent avoided these particular strikes.
  • Hè Yōuyǎ Zhǎo: (鹤优雅爪, Elegant-Crane Claws, viz. Crane Claw): The initiating movement is to place one forearm flat on top of the other and hold both arms out in front of his chest, just lower than the level of his neck.
External Path: Using the Crane Claw form Cang can expel hundreds of highly compressed, needle-like Heilig Pfiel which first materialize in the air around him like the spreading wings of a crane before raining down on an opponent. He is capable of drowing an entire area with these projectiles, and their sheer numbers and relentless volley result in an incredibly destructive force.
Internal Path: As the Hè Yōuyǎ Zhǎo emphazises balance, Cang is able to internalize this in order to grant him incredible stability. He can also, by focusing on an opponent's points of gravity, disrupt their equilibrium by striking at certain points.
  • Leopard Claw: The heel of one fist is stacked on top of the other fist, and he holds his hands out in a verticle position, in line and in front of his torso.
External Path: When absorbing energy and focusing it inwards before channeling it into his Spirit Weapon, he is able to imbue his attacks with a potent venom that functions as a powerful neurotoxin. The nature of this substance is unknown, although once Cang experimented by shooting it into a block of ice. He discovered that the remnants of the Reishi were highly plastic, and in fact somewhat similar in composition to Gintō. He theorized that this was due to the compression of Reishi necessary in infusing the attacks with poison. The only notable difference between venomous and nonvenomous is the fact that those with poison are slightly denser, and as such he has trained in order to adjust for the extra weight of the projectiles, although when combined with his tracking ability this compensation is typically not needed. When one of these attacks makes contact with the body of the opponent, the toxin works to begin to dilute and decompose the Reishi on the surface of the skin, although this effect is typically short-lived and relatively non-detrimental. Cang often stresses to his opponent that this is to aid him in drawing in the Reishi composing the body of his foe itself, but this is simply to draw attention away from the poison’s true function. Once the toxin takes effect, it begins to gradually numb, then paralyze the area of the body that has been hit. Depending on the victim’s level of spiritual power, the complete paralysis of a region could take from anywhere between two minutes to thirty, although the effects can be sped by hitting the same place repeatedly.
Internal Path: Cang can use the Leopard claws to signficantly enhance his own flexibility and agility, capable of moving in ways and withstanding certain kinds of damage that would otherwise leave him crippled. In this state he is extremely supple and resilient, augmenting his martial arts abilities with a feline grace.
  • Lóng Xī Zhǎo: (龙息爪, Dragon-Breath Claws, viz. Dragon Claw): He extends one arm, bending the elbow slightly and hooking the claws inwards while placing his other hand on the forearm of the extended hand.
External Path: After activating these claws the area around him becomes blanketed with a heavy mist. After long exposure to this Reiatsu-imbued cloud, the opponent will slowly be drained of spiritual energy and become weak as their own Reiryoku diffuses out into the atmosphere via osmosis.
Internal Path: Unknown.

Former Powers and Abilities

Quotes

"You say an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind... But the world was already blind, and has always been."
“I do believe in redemption, but it is not something a demon like you could ever grasp.”
“We are all prisoners, and life is a cage.”
“Death before surrender was my answer. If one lacks resolve, the willingness to die along with the enemy, the inevitable result is slavery.”

Trivia

  • His theme song, found at the top of this article, is Red Earth (赤地), by Tieshu Lan.
  • Taken literally, his name can mean "all gray" as 蒼 (cāng) can mean "ashen-gray" and 都 (dōu) means "all," or "entirely."
  • One of Cang Du's favorite pastimes is to play Xianqi (Chinese chess).
  • He has noted in passing that his favorite scent is that of May Chang ("mountain pepper") trees.
  • The five aspects of his Spirit Weapon were based on the five major animals of Shaolin Kung Fu.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 505, page 8
  2. Bleach manga; Chapter 553, pages 15-16
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