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Los Niños de Izanami: Territorio del Gato is an article created by Achrones150. Use is allowed with the permission of the owner, with the exception of collaboration-created articles.

This article, Los Niños de Izanami: Territorio del Gato, was added by Mangetsu20 who determines its usage on this wiki.

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The Innards of the Tiger[]

Within the dimension called Hueco Mundo, particularly the capital area known as Empresa, civilization was taking place. In places where normally demolished buildings and structures would be, temples and other things worthy of the old time had been set up, strengthened, and multiplied to expand across regions. Within and outside of those structures, a plethera of activity was taking place. Public gatherings of the social kind, physical exercise, and overall a rather social interaction was present. Adults were talking amongst themselves, children were playing and wrestling within the streets, and animals that managed to be tamed as pets were running around. Things had changed drastically ever since the Winter War within the normally dire environment, its inhabitants taking on a more civilized approach to life.

Such was the results of the reconstruction movement, courtesy of the Espada Afilado.

Within their own base, one particular member of their ranks that was working actively was Senkaku Ningensei, the Tercera Espada. In a cave-like arena clearly built to hold creatures of various size, he was standing in the center. All around him, a pack of wolf-like Arrancar were hot on his heels, growling and barking softly as they waited for his own personal command. Whenever he whistled and directed his eyes to a certain direction (which would happen to be a practice dummy set up for attack), they immediately took off in order to strike at it for a few seconds before coming back at his recalling whistle. They were not the only ones; other Hollows, particularly Menos Grande, were gathered and rather passive as they were monitored by other Arrancar. By the way he was standing, Senkaku was clearly the ring-leader for this apparent "zoo".

He continued to work with his pack, giving whistles and sharp, bark-like noises in order to direct them effectively. They followed his orders without question, attacking with accuracy, lethal precision, and considerable damage to their targets. As he watched them go, he put on a satisfied smile and folded his arms across his chest, pleased at his own success.

Meanwhile, a occupied spire of Empresa was being used to survey the white, pale desert of Hueco Mundo, along with the bustling and civilized compliance of other beings below, something that Genjo Diablo, Cuatro Espada, almost honestly believe in happening in his life time. But it did, all thanks to the establishment of the Espada Afilado, a much greater improvement than the last Espada that was established, looked out for the interests of Hollows, and Hollows alone. It was about time they finally stopped devouring each other and thought about things of importance, according to Genjo's mind anyways.

His white robes fluttered in the high altitude winds of the spire window, his elaborate set of jewelry jingled lightly and the scythe secured snugly in a diagonal crossover on his back, clicked in the buckling wind. His golden eye shimmered as it gazed over the horizon, while the other normal eye just merely twinkled in the bathing moonlight above.

His control over the Intelligence and Spy Network of Hueco Mundo placed him at a high importance, gathering all Hollows and Arrancars of special infilration skills, keeping the Military, ergo the Espada Afilado well prepared for any future hostile action, possible expansion, or new possible ventures for the Hollow community to take on.

The screeching call of a Adjuchas bird was in the sky above him.

It was a "messenger bird", something that established interdimensional communication between groups. At this particular time, it had flown down to him, stopping a ways off from his head. From its talons, a rolled up piece of paper with the contained message fell down to him in order for him to catch.

Genjo reached out his hand deftly, catching the parchment with a smooth clench of his fist, the paper flew around in his grip as the wind buckled again. Genjo nodded to the bird, regarding its messenger as its duty was done, before he unrolled the piece of paper to read its contents, curious to see what it could be referring to now.

At the same time, another bird, as well as several others, were making their way towards various positions, all of which held the other members of the Espada within. Each one would recieve the same message, summoning them to the same place.

To all available Espada, come to the Tratamiento Hall for a meeting.

-Cortez Selestino

"Time to see what our dear Primera has in store for us," he said in a ominous pluralism, knowing he was speaking on all the other Espada's behalf. His form stood up, briefly another gust of wind buckled his garments around him before a sudden buzzing sound, like static, filled the air as his form shimmered out of view, heading with all due speed towards the mentioned location that his Primera called him to be at.

Birds of a Feather[]

It was a relatively small room that they were in, small enough to be comfortable for the nine present. All but the tenth was present, all in various positions and scattered within the meeting room. Despite their obvious status as military leaders, some had a tendency to be casual even in the face of serious situations.

Genjo rested ontop of a self-carved chair, believed to be cut out of a fallen pillar somewhere within the room, but now made a comfortable, if not humble looking seat with armrests and all. Genjo tapped his fingers along the armrests, a thin spread smile along his face as his eyes twinkled.

"Does anyone suppose where our good missing Espada comrade is? I'd love to find out which one of you are first in passing the thing by without even mentioning of the meeting," he taunted openly, not above to such things, but it was more a probe to see how resilient the personalities gathered here were and still are.

Naturally, this turned most of the attention towards him, and his statement did not go unanswered.... at the very least, by the most hot-blooded of the bunch.

"Keep your pants on, Sunshine...."

It was answered to by none other than the Sexta Espada Loly Avirrne, one of the more newer members. She was proving to be one of the most informal, lying on her back on a slab of stone that would've been similar in appearance to a longchair from church. She had one of her hands up, spinning the small knife that was known as her Zanpakutō. "You know how the Primera is by now.... call a meeting and then show up late, whether it be a few minutes or several." She continued on, her pink eyes shifting themselves towards him.

At her feet, Tierra Doncella, Septima Espada, was sitting in the space where Loly's prostrate body couldn't reach. Visually, she didn't seem to be paying attention to the conversation and idly checking her fingernails time to time. In another similar seat, Senkaku and the Quinta Espada Nicolao Jandro was sitting, with the former with his arms across his chest and a rather calm expression on his face, while the latter was taking interest in spinning his own Zanpakutō around expertly on his finger.

Genjo chuckled, clasping his hands together to form a bridge so his chin could rest on it. His dark toned face smiled a toothy white smile as he eyed Loly, saying, "I'd expect such a unimportant member such as yourself say that, considering all you do lie around and complain, Loly Avirrne. I on the other hand have important buisness to attend to, something your finite mind cannot comprehend," he added with a chuckle, hoping to rub it into the Sexta Espada, always enjoying in outwitting the much more dim-witted female.

"Oh, really?" Taking his words as a challenge, Loly allowed for a rather amused expression on her own face, eyebrow cocked and her grin showing her canines. "And what business would you have that would be so important.... other than sneaking around like a snake that's lost it's way?" She asked mockingly. She caught the knife, turning herself over swiftly so that she would be lying on her stomach.

Senkaku couldn't help but perk an eye over towards the two. It was just another interaction between members, as far as they were concerned. Such taunts and teases directed towards one another rarely got out of hand, and the only bad effect was getting caught up so much that they forgot to pay attention to the world revolving around them, and it took others to have to snap them back to attention. For these two, however, it was somewhat entertaining to see them clash - the feisty and lower-numbered Espada against one of the top four. Personalities as well as positions made sure that these kinds of debates never got old....

Genjo chuckled, his deep voice carried over the room loud enough to be heard clearly by the petite female Arrancar, before he narrowed his eyes at her, saying, "My dear child. You wouldn't know the word, Destiny if it struck you in the middle of your flat chest. My vision and goals are so far out of your mind's comprehension you cannot accept its infallibility, and therefore you throw such childish, meaningless taunts at me. But, who am I to ruin your fun," he settled backwards onto his chair's back, placing his left hand relaxed onto the arm of it, with the other waving around in a taunting manner, "keep on coming up with limited number of names you wish to call me. It is, after all, something only a child would do."

"Do you even listen to yourself? Speaking like you're the center of the universe!" Immediately, Loly jumped up from the chair, placed a hand to the center of her chest and waving her other arm within the air. "My vision and goals are unthinkable!" She mocked, taking on a dramatic stage actor's voice and mocking Genjo's own. "One step into my mind and you will die from all my intelligence! I am a god among men!!" Her dramatic exaggerations got a good set of laughs from the other occupants of the room, aside from Genjo.

She stopped afterwards, lowering her hands and placing one on her hip. "Really, I think it's best if you just stop now while you're ahead." She said coolly, smirking. "Every word you say about yourself is just making you look so pretentious...."

"Would it now?" Genjo asked with a amused smile, looking at her with nothing more than a look of disdain for her, as well as humor that she went out of her way to say such dramatic, childish things, "because, from where I stand, the Espada are supposed to be gods, aren't they? You however lack that certain flair, that open-minded vision to see what's beyond in the horizon that changes the universe with mere thought, that underdeveloped brain of yours cannot reach. Honestly, if it wasn't the Primera's choice, I'd consider you and that equally brain-dead lover of yours mere maggots before titans," he tightens his right fist, making it snap audibly and crackle in the air, though his smile remained on his face.

It wouldn't be the first time he found himself entertaining his bored and anxious mind by verbally sparring with the outspoken members of the Espada, though he found himself often doing so with Loly the most, finding he assumed unintentionally the role of a chiding big brother whom she loathes.

The female laughed in a scoffing manner, regarding him with half-lidded eyes and a disdaining smirk. "That would be exactly the kind of mentality the old Espada had, and look where it took them. One of these days, that line of thinking's going to put you ou--"

However, whatever she was about to say was immediately cut off by the sound of the clearing of the throat. Her eyes widened out of their expression and into one of slight surprise, and she turned her head towards the podium centered in the front of the room. Behind it stood Findor, who cocked an eyebrow slightly at the bickering two. He looked a bit worse for the wear, having freshly been healed from his battle with Daisuke. The burn marks on the showable parts of his body were minor, but prominent. He had focused his eyes on both Loly and Genjo for a moment, but his next words were directed towards the group as a whole.

"Ladies and gentlemen?"

A ways behind him sat Cortez, hands folded in a relaxed position within her lap and one leg crossed over the other. She had her eyes closed, and anyone would've been likely fooled that she was asleep.

Genjo eyed Findor, thinking of commenting on his recovery of his 'defeat' but thought better to toy with the Primera's right hand man. He then chose to take out his irritation on his superior, cleverly saying in a eloquent manner, "My lady Primera, how good to see you again. How was your trip to the Spiritual Realm of Yurei? I'm pretty sure you could've given us a debriefing on how the Ahijados failed miserably in their attempt to destroy that city," he chuckled, clasping his hands as he leaned slightly against them in the bridge formation, his left golden eye watching with a unknown anticipation of the meeting beheld for them.

This made Cortez open her eyes, cocking an eyebrow in question at Genjo. "Firstly, Cuatro...." She stated, keeping a rather casual and almost bored tone within her words. "If that was truly an attempt to destroy the city, then we both know that they would've taken a lot more out of it, considering their history....secondly...." She paused for a light sight, placing a hand to her forehead. "I'm not even the one at the podium, and yet you insist on speaking to me? You really want to make me work harder than I have to...."

Findor scowled a little, obviously a bit irked at Genjo's move to derail the news giving. But he remained silent out of respect for his superiors, waiting patiently for them to finish.

Genjo arched a brow at the last sentence, saying, "That's a interesting choice of words...if you didn't call for this meeting, then who is the one speaking on today's agenda?" He was curious. Most of the time, whenever they were gathered, or at least all those that could make it or weren't preforming duties, the Primera would give a short congratulatory speach, give them all individual notes of praise depending on their preformance of late, as well as give them a short list on their agenda. Was today different? Genjo wondered.

"That would be me." Findor interrupted, giving a short cough in order to draw the attention back to him. "And I would be grateful if you chose to save any question towards either I or the Lady until after I'm finished...."

Genjo clasped his hands before leaning back, showing his willingness to listen and not retort, realizing this must be important if they gathered nearly ALL of the Espada, including the ranks 5 and up.

"Now, concerning the attack on Yūrei Oukoku...." Findor folded his hands across the podium, leveling a gaze at each and every one of his superiors. A small smirk was decked across his features, clearly one of confidence. "I, as well as the Lady, have managed to obtain the trust of the Ahijados via this coordinated opening assault. As of this moment, they are fully under the belief that we are both traitors to the Espada Afilado and willing to lend our minds to their cause. At the same time, we have allowed the Soul Society to believe that we are backing up the Ahijados's little terrorist movement. As we speak, the Shinigami are moving to find us and challenge us to war once more."

"I thought that was what we were trying to avoid...." A slightly irritated voice courtesy of Tierra said, and she fixed Findor with a slight glare. However, even its slightness caused him to bite his lip unconsciously for a moment. "We're not the Espada from the old times, all right. But they certainly aren't the Shinigami from before, either! We've all learned from our mistakes, and a war would simply just result in casualties from both sides. We already have the quarrelling between Tresckow and his lackeys as well as the Ahijados themselves to keep watch on!"

"We are aware of this...." Findor kept a calm and level tone as he explained. "But I highly doubt they are aware of how we have grown in terms of power and status. That hinders their own full preparation for an effective assault on our territory, and thus will give us the clear advantage. It is unlikely they'll figure out more than what they have already about us, but if they do...." He straightened up a little. "We all will have to make preparations in order to protect our interests."

"So its all a big gamble to see who can outmaneuver whom, is that right?" Genjo asked in a clearly intrigued tone, his hands now back at the armrests, thrumming his fingers along in a casual pace, clicking the stone underneath as he smiled humored at Findor, "It seems bold...very bold. What exactly is the endgame, Findor-san? I don't exactly like being lead along, I want to know the plan we're going with this manipulating our enemies' against each other, as well as the Soul Reapers against us?"

"For the Ahijados...." Findor, given a bit of motivation from the responses that he had, turned himself away from the podium and walked a few steps away, making motions with one hand in order to emphasize his statements. "Their end will be nothing but destruction - something that we've been attempting to do for the past several hundred years. At this particular moment in time concerning the Plinian Movement, they've finally allowed themselves in order to make sure it is carried out. The Primera and I are not the only ones who have embarked on this endeavor; as we speak, we have informants inspecting the five star-points in order to monitor the status of the Movement and keep track of precious time that we have."

He stopped for a moment, cocking an eyebrow in inquisition at Genjo and lifting two fingers to gesture to him. "I am sure I do not need to familiarize you with the Red Sun scrolls, do I?"

"Seeing as how my Network found your precious Red Sun parchments, I know a great deal about their lore. I make it a buisness to know," he then leaned forward, his palms gripped the edge of his seat as he voiced aloud what he thought was relevant, "apparently, the Red Sun are supposed to wipe out all of creation, both Spiritual and Living, from the face of the universe, then restarting over, creating a Utopia in the image of their goddess, Izanami, as their will and testament to her. Each of the named Deities have a particular role in order to make this come about."

He suddenly leaned back, folding his hands across his lap, asking with a intrigued grin, "Don't tell me we're actually going to fool them into believing that their plan will work, are we? If what the Red Sun scrolls speak of is somewhat fact, then it would be very dangerous to give them too much freedom to act as they please."

"They are a sizable part of the Plinian Movement, indeed....." Findor said, lowering his fingers and continuing his shift around the podium. "But they are only that - a part. Yes, we are giving them freedom..... but that freedom, with us watching over them, will be nothing but a worthless cause in the end. The Primera has ensured that in the end, their plan for paradise will fail, and we will destroy them in one swift, crushing blow. As for the Soul Society....."

He stopped his pacing, turning to face all of the group. "Our actions as of now are meant to provoke them, to taunt them into coming to us in order for our destruction. Once their troops set foot on our soil again, it's all a matter of pulling them deeper and deeper into the hole until they're unable and unwilling to get out.... that is where we strike, show our full potential, destroy their forces with our own superior might, and force them to realize how much the years have changed on us. That will be the steps to making Hueco Mundo into the great power it was thousands of years ago!"

"Bold indeed. Sounds exactly the kind of plan I would've thought out, though I do incredibly admit that I lack the resources and cunning our dear Primera has," he says in a approving tone, smiling towards the Primera's inert form, before turning back to Findor, waving a hand for emphasis, "in fact...why haven't you told us, or myself for that matter, this plan sooner? Were you actually worried we would give you away or act in a manner that would allow the Ahijados to suspect you two as traitors? You should have more faith in the Esapada Afilado, if not as you said, we're much more powerful than the former Espada generations ago."

Before Findor could speak, Senkaku allowed himself to speak up, eyes shifting over to Genjo and drawing attention over to him. "Maybe it's because this was the best time?" He suggested, a bit cautiously but clearly in a composed manner. "After all, being a double agent doesn't exactly mean you get to have your freedom as you normally would...." This caused the former male Fraccion to grin, his voice taking on a more enthusiastic tone.

"Exacta!" He declared, emphasizing his words with a jerking pointing finger. "There is nothing to worry here about faith in my superiors! To have doubt in such a situation would be downright foolish and unecessary when plans are coming into fruition."

Genjo ressumed his gaze back to Findor before a knowing look at Senkaku not being interrupted with a hidden glare before smiling back at Findor, replying, "Fair enough. So...is there something else you require our presence with, or are we to prepare in some way for an eventual confrontation of the Soul Society?"

"Well, he did say a moment ago to prepare...." Loly muttered, having returned to her usual lying position on the stone longchair. "So that could be a start...." Her last words were somewhat sarcastic, but she was aware of such, she wasn't paying attention to it.

"I'm always prepared, Loly Avirrne. Those words are probably more apt to fit your needs than mine," he smiled at his chosen words, before redirecting his attention to Findor, asking him, "is that all you require of me, now that this meeting is concluded? I'd like to get back to duties if no one disapproves," he looked briefly around the room, meeting eyes of each Espada present before meeting the Primera's, whether they were closed or not, was little concern, the emphasis was clear. He didn't liked being kept in one place for no reason.

Only the rather skeptical eyes of Loly and the glancing eyes of Senkaku met his direction. Nicolao, for one, decided to say his own piece in order to conclude the events of the meeting, standing up and stretching a little. "Yes, yes, we all have our places to attend to...." He agreed, placing his hands within his pockets. "I myself have to keep track of the data output the agents at the star corners keep sending me. The data isn't constant, changing about every single damn second of time. So, if we're concluding this meeting, I'll be off." The other Espada followed suit, allowing themselves to stand on their own two feet.

Findor bowed respectfully. "Thank you for allowing the Primera your time, and please do inform the ones who could not make it of these new updates." He said, confident and boasting demeanor immediately fading to a more humble one.

"Leave that to me," Genjo said with a small bow of his head towards Findor, then a humble bow to the Primera, before finishing, "my Network will inform them immediately of the debriefing. Thank you for the enlightening news, Lady Primera," he smiled before turning to leave the room, saying, "I hope you have a pleasant day," he disappaered afterwards with a burst of static, initiating Sonido as he left the area, returning to his duties and initiating the plans to preserve his resources and plan out his strategies to counter the eventual invasion.

"And there goes the snake to slither back into the hole he spawned from...." Loly said in a slightly disdainful manner, shaking her head. "Well, I suppose I'm going to have to update things myself, so you all know where I'll be." With that, she pulled a Sonido of her own and vanished from the room. The rest of the Espada, aside from Cortez and Findor.

The right hand mind turned to look over at his Master as she slowly allowed herself to stand. "My Lady...." He started, giving a respectful bow to her before putting on an expression of concern. "I myself have no doubt of the extent of your knowledge concerning this operation, but.... this is an event of apocalpytic circumstances, no doubt. If we fail.... the very world we live in will turn into nothing but a wasteland filled with the nothingness of extinction...."

"That's why it's best to keep everything at its optimum, Carias...." She answered calmly, closing her eyes and taking in a deep breath. "These are steps the old Espada were afraid of taking, but now..... we have a chance to prosper again, to turn things around and put these events of crisis behind us. This is how it must be...."

Plans in motion[]

Genjo finally reappeared at his spire in the Las Noches Fortress, finding that another presence was up above him.

"Naito Himei," he looked upwards, his golden eye caught a glimpse of a bat-like Arrancar above him, wings currently folded around him, irregular pointy ears stretched out in a repulsing way, and his contorted face looked down at him in a near-blind fashion as Genjo continued, "you have my report on the Menos Forest?"

"Yes, Master," he said in a raspy, high-pitched voice, twitching his bat-ears slightly as a inclination that he had his reports for due. Slowly he shifted his arms inside the pale, ghastly vein-covered wings before slipping out a scroll, falling directly into Genjo's grasp with a firm catch.

Genjo proceeded to open it, his eyes looked over in a rapid paced manner, his photographic memory catching everything he saw before him as took in the report word for word, wrinkle by wrinkle of the parchment, before a slight exhale of breath left his mouth.

"Well done, Naito," he said, quickly setting the report aflame as procedure, before letting the ashes fall to his feet, "I have something for you as well, to report to all of the Network within the Pale Eye Cliffs, and the Menos Forest as well."

"Yesssssss?" Naito asked in a intrigued and curious lisp, wanting to know what his next mission would be.

Genjo brought out a parchment, quickly writing down a paragraph of orders. Rolling it up and sealing it, he tossed it up to Naito, saying, "GO. Take it to all the outposts and have them deliver it to all their agents. War is on the brink, and we must be prepared to collect ALL information."

"As you wish, Master Genjo," he said respectfully, before dropping off the ceiling, unfolding his wings as his skeletal, and frail appearance was briefly shown to be part bat with white Arrancar trappings, a scimitar Zanpakuto around his left hip, and a white mask around his lower face. He then used Sonido rapidly, disappearing from view and onto his work.

Genjo crossed his arms, sighing, before he said, "You can come out...you skulking shadow," he turned his red and golden eyes at a particular shadow nearby, hiding an individual apparently, something only his advanced form of Pesquisa could detect if not for the abnormality.

Out emerged a lone, dark cloaked and red armored figure. Its face hidden and his eyes glowing, a low hiss emanated from him as he threateningly drifted his hands towards twin hilts on either side of his waist.

"Well now...666, isn't it? I was wondering when you'd show up," Genjo said with a smile, chuckling as he saw the personal assassin of the Primera and senior Ahijados member of enigmatic reputation draw closer to him.

His hissing made Genjo narrow his eyes at him, looking questionably at the assassin's weapons, asking, "Are you intending on spying on me for the Primera? You're wasting your breath...besides, if you ever cross me again, I'll do more than leave you bleeding on the desert," his eyes glowed animalistically, his left fist raised, and Spiritual Energy flared around his finger tips before he squeezed it into a fist, causing an inhuman crackling sound to emanate from it.

The Assassin did nothing but watch, before slowly sinking back into the shadows, whispering in a hiss, "Willll...beee....watching....youuuu..."

Genjo smiled, raising both of his arms wide for display, saying, "I shall do the same, assassin," before he broke out in a menacing cackle, that spread throughout the entire spire far below to the alabaster roof below of the enormous fortress.

Vindiction of the Deprived Sword[]

The Dull vs The Sharpened[]

A lone figure followed by a shorter one loomed over a tall dune in the desert, looking over to see the large city of Empresa, cultivating of Hollows and Arrancars alike, booming like a miniature society of its own, seperate from Soul Reapers.

She would've felt joy at the sight had it not been the doing of a sinister group she once was part of at its genesis. A group revered and feared throughout this godforsaken dimension, a group that they themselves grew corrupt and claimed to be gods themselves due to the drunkenedness of their own pride of their power. Its name...was Espada.

This figure was among the upper ecelong before she was disgracefully left for dead after being defeated by her...replacement, before she promised an oath of vengeance upon them and any allies of theirs. Her flowing red hair flew in the wind, piercing green eyes narrowed upon a single presence within the structure that she had gathered information and tracked down to be known as a gathering place for these new Espada Afilado. Their arrogance so great that they claim to be 'sharpened' or stronger than their predecessors.

She drew a thin wry smile as she will definitely prove them wrong. She turned her defined, cloaked figure towards the shorter of the pair, saying softly, "Wait for me, brother. Don't intervene unless absolutely necessary. I will destroy the Espada...no...the Espada Afilado this day."

The said 'brother' looked away, not able to usher more than a, "Be careful, sister," before she vanished into the wind, a nearly silent burst of static was heard before her Sonido took her far towards the gathering structure, her Spiritual Pressure kept to a low. Low enough to not be felt every direction, but enough to let nearby guards approach her, their various forms different and unique in their own way, but their white cloaks bore the allegience to their twisted masters.

"Turn back now, this is a place of gathering reserved only for the Espada Afilado, and the meeting has been ended just now," a big burly Arrancar said, gripping a large hammer in his hand as he narrowed his eyes at her, his hood-covered visage glaring at her appearance to be not of the Espada Afilado.

She smiled wryly, putting her hands on her hips, "Oh really? IS that so?"

"We won't repeat ourselves," a shorter one, unsheathing a scimitar threateningly, all of them on edge, goading her to make a violent move.

Instead she momentarily swept her eyes to each of them, her Pesquisa beating aloud, giving her a good guess of each of their strength and capabilities. A widenening smile told herself assurance, thinking, They don't stand a chance.

"Tell me," she suddenly asked, ushering the question to the burly guard, asking in a curious but knowing tone as she cupped her chin while propping the arm doing so, "do you recall the first Espada ever to take the name, Ten Blades?"

At first caught off guard, the guard wavered slightly before shaking his head, "Records of the first Espada have all been destroyed or lost to us. They were either completely wiped out, exiled or demoted during the coming of the Soul Reaper Sosuke Aizen..."

"That's right," she smiled, snapping her gloved right handed forefingers, now waving her hands with emphasis asking again in a knowing tone, "now...what exactly would happen if you ever engaged with one of those first Espada? What are the chances of you," she then pointed at the second guard that threatened her, "or you, or any of you defeating that said Espada?"

All of them suddenly shifted nervously, the burly then got impatient asking, "What's the point in this?! Of course we wouldn't stand a cha-" Suddenly he found himself coughing blood. He then looked down to see his chest impaled...not by a sword, but by her own gloved left hand.

"Exactly," she said with a grim smile, before a blast of Spiritual Release shot a hole in his midsection, killing him nearly instaneously, his eyes rolling to the back of his head before she looked around to the other hesitating, then charging guards.

Needless to say...they all didn't have a chance either.

It was a chain reaction initiated.

As the most spiritually sensitive to her "kin" within the capital, Cortez immediately stopped within her tracks, her eyes widening as a "tick" went through her head. She turned her head and body towards the direction in which she had came from, a move that surprised her right-hand man. He turned immediately as she did to look at her with an expression of slight confusion. "Mistress?" He began to say, but was immediately interrupted when she put her hand in front of him in a gesture to remain silent.

"Focus your senses back onto the meeting area. I sensed an abnormality."

Without hesitation, Findor obeyed, closing his eyes and using his Pesquisa to focus. His mind allowed for the playing of several images, all consisting of the same thing and appearing in sequence. Guards within the meeting area were attacking one lone individual, one that looked as if she belonged to Afilado affilations. However, as they moved, so did she with a fighting prowess that could only be described as one of a battle veteran. The difference in skill was obvious, and their forces were virtually outmatched despite their efforts. His expression changed to one of shock as they were swiftly cut down by her hand.

"Damn it....!" He cursed, his eyes narrowing down into an indignant glare. "Just what we need on our hands right now, another anarchistic mongrel! I'll inform the patrol to secure a perimeter--"

"There's no need for that....." Cortez cut him off smoothly, closing her eyes and breathing out a heavy sigh. "This spiritual energy is that of just one lone intruder, one with clearly a mastery of combat. Don't alert the others.... this is a problem that can only be solved by one person." With that, she began walking back towards the meeting hall at brisk pace, eyes set in an even stare.

"But, my Lady! If she is truly a master, than there is the threat of you being severely wounded or killed!" Findor insisted, reaching out with one hand. His tone was clearly showing his reluctance to allow his superior to put herself in a position where she would have to fight unecessarily. However, Cortez kept walking, unhesitant in her movements.

"Don't worry about me, Carias....." She answered simply, waving with a casual hand behind her. "There's a reason why I was selected to be the leader of the Afilado, after all...."

The effort used in disposing the Espada loyalist guard filth was...minimal. She moved like a graceful dancer, moving to and fro from each one, killing them with ease and a deadly beauty. One moment she would be grabbing one guard's face, twisting his neck in a vicious snapping sound, the next she'd use his corpse as a post-mordem flail, knocking all of the other attacks of the guards aside with ease. She'd shatter a Zanpakuto with her forearm in a blocking manner while wryly smiling, then using that same shard to gouge out the eye of another guard.

After merely nearly two minutes have passed since she arrived and battled the guards and 13 out of 14 of the guards have been slain, with not a single scratch laid on Rana's beautiful form. Her hair flowed in the wind to her right, her gaze looked over the bloodied, disfigured bodies with disdain and disgust, no pity for slaying her so-called 'kin'.

One of the guards that was alive, was crawling towards his scimitar Zanpakuto, halfway burried in the sand with the hilt exposed. He dragged his gaping wounded gullet with a left arm missing as well, bleeding the white sands red as he used his only remaining right arm clawing the sand in between his caloused fingers, his exposed ram-horned head showing contortions of pain and desperation as he was mere milimeters from his weapon and source of power.

Then with a decisive, cruel movement, his hand was crushed by a heeled sandal of Rana's, issuing a grunt, but he let no scream of agony or pain usher from his mouth, not wanting to give his enemy the satisfaction if she's twisted in that manner. He twitched moving his head up to look up at her, blood oozing from his pale chapped lips, pooling onto the sand where his chin was partially emerged into, asking with a rapsy tone, "Wh-Why? Who are...y-you?"

"I am Rana Zolinder, formerly the first generation Cuatro Espada, now Privaron. I am the last of my kind that I know of, and I will exact my revenge against the Espada for disgracing its former glory with that of a imitation of the very enemy we've battled for eternity. Be gone from this world, so you may join the flow of reincarnation," she said in sage, low words before raising her other foot up and then slamming it onto his skull, a vicious snapping and muttered gurgle sound was heard before his head exploded inside the sand, killing the last of the guards.

As she retrieved her foot from the thin layer of blood that stained her sandal, she oozed a bit of Spiritual energy, dispersing the viscous liquid into a thin mist before evaporating itno the air. She placed her foot back on the 'clean' sand before turning around to put her hands on her hips expectantly, waiting for her to show up.

There was a moment of silence.

Then, her footsteps could be heard, and her spiritual energy could be felt as it seemed to leak into the very room. Then, without a moment's hesitation, she stepped into the room with a calm and level gait in her walk, her hands in her hankama pockets. Her hair billowed gently in the small wind that was generated with her movement, revealing solemn eyes. When she stopped, her feet rested beside one of the soldiers that had been brutally slain by the intruder. It stabbed her heart to see such good troopers have their lives brutally ended, their blood staining the very ground she walked on. Nevertheless, she didn't show any of her pain and only looked the other woman in the eye, remaining silent.

"She doesn't seem eager to attack me just yet..... at the very least, that's a good thing."

Rana looked the female Arrancar up and down, her eyes cold and analytical as she took in her full stature and appearance. With a few minutes of eery silence and stares, she finally concluded her suspicions, and a wry smile worked onto Rana Zolinder's face, saying aloud in a declaring and observant tone,

"Primera...Casilda Selestiono, or do you prefer Cortez? The latter is such a masculine term, I'd rather address you as a woman that you are, though I am surprised that a female Arrancar has attained your status and rank. Especially control over the infamous Operaciones Especiales, I am quite please of your accomplishments...if they were solely yours and yours alone, Espada Afilado," she finished with a narrowing, deadly glare towards the woman, a start of a snarl worked onto her perfectly accentuated face, showing her distaste of her both in voice and facial expressions.

"I'm sure you didn't come all this way, personally kill my subordinates and draw my attention just so you could compliment my accomplishments...." Cortez answered, removing one hand to allow to hang at her side. She made sure to meet the other woman's eyes directly, showing an unmoved facade even as the hawk-eyes of Rana stared her down. Despite the situation, she maintained her naturally bored and casual tone. "Because if you are.... I feel completely sorry for you."

"What accomplishments? I'm not talking about your accomplishments...they're the accomplishments of a puppet, a fake, put on some delusioned throne of godhood over the entirety of Hueco Mundo with 9 lesser gods ruling alongside you, in prepration of war with the Soul Society, imitating the very ones they seek to destroy. If I really came all this way to compliment your accomplishments, I wouldn't have bothered dirtying my hands of these trash-covered ilk," she said with disdain at the end, taunting her throughout her speech with sarcasm and pointedness, before looking over at the poor guard that met his doom with no face to show shock or remorse. Just meat, leaving to rot in the sand-covered meeting room of the Espada Afilado...

Her eyes went back to Casilda's, unwavering at her supposed bored tone, knowing it had to be an act or a form of taunting of her own.

"Godhood and imitation, huh....?"

A small frown came across Casilda's face as she cast her own gaze down at the bodies. "Is that truly what you think of us....?" She asked quietly. "Those are the tools for an empire, something that only focuses on expanding its own power and feeding off of it. There are some underneath me that wish to seek that very position of the gods, to completely dominate over everything within existence. But make no mistake.... there are no delusions within the Espada Afilado as a whole. Corruption, greed, betrayal, and deception were the downfall of the civilization thousands of centuries ago. Domination isn't our goal.... but reconstruction of what once was is. The Shinigami used our internal hatred to rip us apart, and we had been foolish enough to allow them the priviledge. But time has passed, and the mistakes of the past are next to nonexistent."

She directed her eyes back to Rana's. "Of course, you probably wouldn't care what I'm trying to say to you. You'd rather see me, as well as everyone that's under our cause, to die. I could only wonder what kind of humiliation you suffered in order to achieve such hatred of us...."

Rana glared daggers at Casilda's eyes, grinding her teeth with an almost audible sound as her cool composure was about to be lost at the words last said, before she slightly calmed herself, asking, "You know what I am...and what I used to be then, eh, Primera?"

"I thought idealistically...like you once, but in the end...its all for naught," her body shifted, moving her long elegant legs with each step as she began to walk around the perimeter of the Primera's sight, as if a cat prowling and staring down a rival within its territory.

"You'll all fall to the corruption and ineptness that befell the Espada, the Espada I help found and was betrayed by!" She growled, her body still moving casually but her knit brows and growling spoke anything but casual. She was poised to strike at any given moment she felt need so, ready to end the farce that reborn the dreaded title she hoped stayed dead.

"....good grief."

Displeased that her enemy decided to fight instead of surrender, Casilda knew that there was no reasoning with the red-haired woman that wanted nothing more than to end her life. She reached and grabbed her hilt of her sword, slowly unsheathing it in order to reveal the cold blade that had the potential to kill so many. She swung out to the side in a few practice swings before leveling the sword at her acquired target. "I truly do feel pity for you, child...." She said grimly. "But at the very least, I hope you came knowing what you're going to face...."

Rana smiled, a smile of true humor as she echoed, "Child, you say? You must think of me as a petulent whelp that served the Espada of old. But to shake your memory...in case you're as old as you claim to be, I will tell you who I am," she grasp the hilt of her rapier Zanpakuto, unsheathing it in a delicate slow rate, the sliding of metal across the sheathe was heard as she spoke with a soft knowing smile, "I am Rana Zolinder. Formerly the Cuatro Espada of the first Arrancars to take the name of Ten Blades. I shall now kill the Primera Cortez Selestino," as the edge of the blade left the sheathe she swung it in a swift blur to her side, a slight show of release showed crackling Spiritual Energy from the tip, glassing the sandy ground next to her for a good 2 meters.

Her eyes met Casilda's, staring down with intensity with sole killing intent but with the renewed cold stoic attitude she had when she first entered. She then uttered with a indifferent cold tone, "Since I respect you in the sense as a woman of great skill and intelligence, I shall ask if you shall start our dance of death, or shall I?"

Silently taking in the display of power, Casilda nonchalantly tossed her blade to the other hand, idly spinning it around. "You're the challenger...." She answered, her eyes looking at the blade as she continued to spin it around carelessly. "So it's only natural for you to make the first move." It was a rather unsettling thing to see - despite the presence of an enemy who clearly wanted her death, it was as if Casilda was treating it so casually, as if she had gone through with this many times before.

If anything, it looked as if she was more interested spinning her blade around than striking her opponent with it.

Rana narrowed her eyes, smiling wryly as she noticed that behind the facade of casual indifference to this conflict that could end her life was that of caution and a keen mind. This is what Rana thought, anyways, so she decided to test her a little before releasing her power fully.

"Correct choice, Defender," she said with a canine smile, before dispersing into static already in front of the Primera, set into a stance one would be familiar in fencing, one's right foot in front of the left foot facing perpindicular to it. She then sent a swift, blurred jab with the intention of stabbing her sternum, wondering just what kind of reaction she'd get from her target firce. Counter, Dodge, or Let it strike?

The choice was made.

With a flick of her wrist, she swung her blade to meet the sword of her opponent, her eyes serene as she performed the action. Sparks flew as metal collided with metal, and the fencing motion was battered away by the side swipe. However, that was not the end of the motion. When she swung again, she simultaneously moldened a Bala into her sword before unleashing it at the ground in front of them to serve as a sort of "shock-stun" move. Her final motion was a third, swift horizontal attack that would slice across the neck and decapitate Rana... if she didn't act accordingly.

Counter it is then, she thought as she felt the clash of the opponent's blade meeting hers, sparks flew and engaged a clear hostility between the two fighters, clearly a battle of the old coming to destroy the new. She then noticed a subtle, yet simultaneously gathered string of Spiritual Energy that flew from her Zanpakuto at rapid speeds towards the front of her feet, which would cause a nasty concussive blast, producing debris and dust to cloud her initial vision, and thus would be open to attack.

As the Bala moved towards the ground before her, so did she, blurring as a unnoticed sound of static announced her use of Sonido, moving directly to the edge of her reach, the blade moving through the smoke and would hit air, her opponent not in front of her anymore.

Rana then gathered Spiritual Energy along the edge of her own Zanpakuto aiming to slash her opposite, currently non-armed appendage, extending a crimson blade elongating with the increasing cutting power that would've cut her entire midsection below the shoulders as she swung her blade...if she didn't counter correctly.

Fortunately, she did.

Dipping her sword down, Casilda did a half-pivot, swinging her exposed side away from Rana's sword. It was almost as if she was doing a little dance as she twisted her wrist once again, batting the opposing sword away before taking a few steps. The expression of what looked like boredom was on her face. "Fight me like you mean it, Rana...." She said, raising her shoulders in a light shrug. "I can't keep my eyes open if you just prance around with me....."

Rana smiled back, asking, "What's the matter? Can't have any fun before we get right down to it?" She took the counter in stride, stepping out of her fencing stance raising the cage-guard of her rapier just below her chin, the edge of her blade dividing her facial features.

"If you insist on me getting serious," she asked her smile disappearing into a stare of sheer killing intent, a sneer crawled onto her lips, her eyes staring right into the Primera's, before she swung her blade to the side again, this time, the hum of the blade could be heard then suddenly a mighty roar, kicking up the titles and sand around where her blade struck into huge slabs and glassed particles, red tendrils of energy crackled along them as it flew towards the wall and floor.

"Let's go!" She hissed out, moving at rapid speeds, blurring all around the floor, before appearing by two of her sides, striking out with powerful thrusts simultaneously while appearing before her, slashing at her mid-section, causing a mighty exhale of sheer strength and speed.

The battle is on!

It was a terrifying movement indeed.

But it wasn't enough to break the resolve of Casilda.

With more flicks of her wrist, she countered the strikes appropriately and within sequence. There was no dodging, no attempt made to evade any strike given towards her. She simply blocked with her blade, sparks flying repeatedly as metal clashed against metal and weapon fought against weapon. She kept her blade to one hand as she intercepted the attacks, her eyes never breaking away from her opponent's angered gaze. It was no doubt that Rana was a master of combat, a veteran of many battles considering her composure and way of fighting. But the Primera had been with Hueco Mundo ever since its final existing stages, from beginning to end. It was that simple difference that made a gap between who was the lesser and who was the dominant.

That gap would be made known quickly.

As Rana made another thrusting motion, Casilda abruptly reached out to catch the offending attack by the wrist and kept a tight grip in order to make sure that she couldn't escape. Then, she brought her sword in an uppercut towards the torso, backed by enough strength to cause considerable damage.

Rana wasn't surprised in the least that the Primera had enough skill to counter her strikes. The sparks that flew from their blades danced in the air in synchronized harmony of their deadly dance. Rana noticed Casilda wasn't even phased by the ferocious renewed attacks of her own. She even saw her next thrusting motion, and knew that she'd grab it, but could do little to stop her in that move. So she prepared herself...

As the violent uppercut motion was being intiated, Rana simultaneously used Sonido to her right just 2 feet, knowing with the vice grip on her wrist it would be unwise to move more than needed, then pointed her sword wielding finger, the one that was being held by the Primera, swiftly gathering Spiritual Energy within the tip of her finger in the shape of a claw or talon, the name of her personalized technique is, Talón Bala or known as the Talon Bullet.

A simple blink, and the talon was discharged, moving at speeds 30x faster than that of a Cero, its penetration factor a key and its integrity made it night impossible to deflect or disperse. This, Rana would imagine, would be a blow to the mighty Primera, seeing as it would pierce through her body and leave a nasty hole in her, albeit a small one, but one that would more than enough to unsettle her opponent.

The point-blank range, coupled with the immense speed of the attack, ensured direct contact.

WHAM!

Casilda's eyes widened as the Bala struck her in her mid-section, the force throwing her back to skid on her feet. Within the middle of the skid, the back of her feet connected with one of the bodies that were laying around the floor. The speed of her reversal caused her to trip backwards over the body and causing her to be thrown back. However, she immediately regained herself and performed a backflip in order to land in a crouched position onto the sandy grounds. Her free hand slowly grasped the spot where she had been hit, the wound not completely shown in Rana's view.

Rana stared coldly at Casilda before a satisfied smile bore onto her face. She knew the Talón Bala made contact and did damage, though it wasn't for certain exactly how much, not like it mattered to a Primera seeing it as a mere flesh wound. But Rana had shown Casilda one thing...she struck the first blow and now showed her just how capable of an opponent she was.

"Now do you understand, Casilda?" She asked aloud, bringing her rapier in a flourish around to divide her features slightly before lowering it back to the ground, walking slowly towards her, calculated steps that avoided some of the corpses laying about on the sand-ridden tile floor, "I came here intent on crippling your faction. I know I alone don't have the strength to face all of you united, but if I kill you, you're entire order will be crippled and it will be easy enough to take care of the rest of you...Espada Afilado."

"....is that what you think? Kill me and the dominoes fall back into place, hm?"

Slowly, Casilda allowed herself to stand on her on two feet.

There was nothing there. Only the faintest traces of a burn mark could be seen, but from the way she was standing, it was all too clear that damage had been minimal.... far too minimal to amount to anything. The Primera kept up a serene look as she spoke the next words. "If that's what you believe, then why aren't you listening? I told you to fight me like you mean it...." She leveled the blade towards Rana defensively. "Or was that supposed to hurt me?"

"You thought that was my best shot...Primera?" She said with a non-humored glare at her, gripping her Zanpakuto tightly suddenly Spiritual Pressure rose and killing intent could be seen as a bright red aura of Spiritual Energy lit up around her, causing the ground beneath her to shatter and crackle with the intensity, spreading until nearly the entire floor crackled with her power, "I'm just getting warmed up! Don't think I hit you with my full strength, CASILDA!"

She then disappeared from view, rapid afterimages were seen all around the Primera as she moved around her, slashing and stabbing at her from nearly 50 directions,each of them bearing an identical cold stoic glare nearly reminiscent of Kukkyona from awhile before but filled with nothing but vengeance, not duty, something that would set her apart from the Noble Captain Soul Reaper for sure in Casilda's mind. Rana's idea that rushing her and make her move in a position she could take advantage of her.

CLANG!

To the normal eye, it would've looked as if she was simply teleporting. However, a more experienced eye - no, an eye holding that of a supernatural nature - could easily read her movements as normal. Casilda was not just a master of the fight. But rather, she was one who lived in it, one who had seen enough war to deem it as simply a normal habit of her life. Every movement she made, every block and counter she put up against her enemy.... it was as natural as the flowing of a river, the blowing of a wind, and even death itself. Had they been from the same timeline, it would have been an even match, a stalemate dead in the water.

But time was against Rana.... and Casilda would make her realize such.

She raised the blade again for another block - and upon contact, the hand or hands that were gripping the sword that oppose her ripped themselves open a deep gash within the palms.

"The hell?!" Rana spoke aloud, feeling the hilt of her sword grind against her own Hierro, just from a intense counter, forcing her to a slight standstill before she herself roared out, pushing her own strength into forcing back the Primera, a loud grind followed by a pop in the wind pressure from the severe change in strength she used, thundering the room to near collapse as she moved with enough force to throw her across the meeting room and aiming to send her out of the building.

This time, it managed to move her.

Immediately, Casilda was pushed off of her position (much to her surprise) and forced off the ground towards the wall. Her balance allowed her to keep control of her body, and she managed to get her feet aimed towards the wall she was about to collide into. However, the propulsion caused her to not just land on the wall, but through it and out the other side. More sentries that were patrolling that particular sector were shocked as they saw their commander land in a crouched position, immediately standing herself up and glare in their direction. It was clearly a sign meant for them to back down, to keep their weapons away and simply watch. After all, it was an Arrancar's pride.

She turned her gaze towards Rana again, eyes narrowing to a more concentrated look.

"That's more like it...."

But Rana did not wait for her to speak for as she was launched through the wall, she already pointed her left two forefingers at the position she was at, gathering red spherical spiritual energy at the tip and by the time she would look back at Rana, she launched her wide destructive blast of a Cero, moving at a deadly velocity and explosive power.

The end result would show a beam of energy to the troops outside, blasting the position their commander was and causing a dramtically large explosion that shook the area for a great distance, the Spiritual Pressures now could be felt for great distances by the other Espada Afilado.

And sure enough....

"What in the...."

Within the animal pen, Senkaku managed to pick up the obvious signs of battle due to the very facility shaking all around him. He immediately turned around to his subordinates that were muttering and staring in confusion and surprise. "Keep your current operations!" He barked out, before moving quickly to exit the facility. He used Sonido in order to move himself faster, teleporting wide distances in order to reach the spot of the battlefield. With his spiritual senses, he could clearly pick out the two spiritual energies colliding against each other. One was that of his commander. But the other was something he didn't recognize, someone that could obviously be classified as an intruder. His eyes narrowed, and his movements were all the more hasty.

Within the bloodied walls of an interrogation room, Loly and Menoly had been on a balcony overseeing an interrogation in progress, administered by their own minions. However, all processes stopped when the spiritual energy was felt, a shockwave resonating throughout the city. Both boss and assistant's eyes widened, and they both turned towards each other as if expecting an explanation. However, Loly was the first one to speak, eyes narrowed. "Keep an eye on what's happening here...." She said coolly, turning around and walking away. "I'll be back...."

Menoly could only look after her, a mixture of concern and slight sternness in her expression. "Don't do anything stupid!" She called back, to which her superior gave a casual wave behind her before vanishing out of sight. The spikey-haired female could only sigh heavily as she resumed to watching the torturous process take place.

Within the communications sector, the reactions were somewhat different.

"Ooooh~, someone's having fun! Time to go see!"

"Melina, don't you dare--!!!"

DOOM!

"Ugh....!"

Tierra let out an aggravated groan as her personal assistant Melina Herselia vanished without another word and without consent, slapping a palm to her face. "This is what I get for picking such a bubbling, idiotic henchgirl....!" She said irritatedly to herself. "Hopefully, she'll hurt herself looking for her so-called "fun"...." With that, she turned back to the terminal she was working on.

They would not be the only ones. A few more would be joining them as they made their way towards the location, though the Espada Afilado would not be entirely there. It would be enough to serve as an audience to the battle that was being waged.

As the smoke cleared from Rana's attack, Casilda had managed to fire off a Cero in order to protect herself from damage. Her arm had slight burn marks on it, but they were moderate enough to be visible at a medium distance. She allowed herself to straighten up, her mind registering itself. She had to admit, she had underestimated the woman, letting her own experience get in the way. But it was clear that she was going to cause some trouble for the Primera if she didn't stop fooling around. It was time to fight back.

Without hesitation, she kicked into a Sonido, re-appearing behind Rana and already in the process of swinging her sword in a move to decapitate her. This would not be the only move; as soon as she countered or evaded, she would continue to press the assault as she did to Kukkyona, but this time she would put more strength into her attacks in order to dominate her opponent's defenses.

Rana did a pirouette in a rapid blurring manner after feeling through a pulse of her Pesquisa, meeting back with both speed and power, making sure she kept an agressive and powerful pace as her blade met the Primera's, and their true dance of death began, sparks and loud rings of metal echoed throughout the shaking chamber. Occasional holes would blast or rupture from the sheer force occuring within the meeting chamber, for all those outside with no clear view of the battle, one could only guess the battle was getting fierce within the battle-scarred vaulted room of the Espada Afilado.

She then within a well-executed parry, pointed her free hand's 3 fingers at her. Within a moment they flared red and claw-like, and faster than that, were discharged, as 12 Talón Balas were fired within consecutive 3 bursts within nearly eye-blinking motion, this time was also at near-point blank range.

Lobo had also heard of the raise of threatening Spiritual Pressure. His Lady Primera had issued him a overview of another meeting he neglected to show up for. His only excuse for that was he was too busy training his students in another session of Sealed Zanjutsu combat. However, with the dreadful feeling he had in his gut that his superior and compatriot might indeed be in danger, he took his leave and left his 2nd in command to take over, all of them perplexed as to what was going on. He managed to land atop of a building rooftop nearby with a excess sound of static, ending his Sonido, showing that he made haste to see what this was about.

When he felt the Spiritual Pressure colliding with Casilda's, his glowing eye flared in surprise, "Wh-What is this Spiritual Pressure?! It...feels like an Espada...but its not one I recognize! Who is it then?!"

It was only the notion of the hand that allowed Casilda to react in time.

Immediately, she pulled into a Sonido in order to avoid being hit, the Bala blasts slamming into the spot where she had once been and picking up more smoke. As she moved in to attack once more, her senses once again activated themselves. She could sense it now; her colleagues, at least some, were converging onto the position they were at. Unless Rana had any reinforcements of her own hidden, then it would be a one-sided end.... unless, of course, she came knowing this and had something in store.

That made her even more cautious.

CLANG!!!!

As they clashed blades once more, Casilda allowed herself to speak. "I guess I can say now that I've underestimated you...." She spoke, immediately backing off to give herself and her opponent distance with a jump. "Although it's really the same when it comes down to combat, the ones like you allow me to keep a grasp on its interest. It's only a shame we had to meet as enemies....."

Rana hissed as she avoided another attack, now feeling the converging Spiritual Pressures of the other Espada Afilado. A wry smile bore on her features, having expected this. She also saw the cautious and hesitant features cross Casilda, knowing that if Rana knowingly came when reinforcements were a moment away to come to her aide yet still fighting meant she knew Rana had something planned.

As Rana did another graceful pirrouete, her blade clashing violently against the Primera's, the air crackled and hissed as their opposing Spiritual Pressures met again briefly before dying down as the Primera spoke to her again, speaking almost of regret of meeting her as an enemy.

Rana smiled back at her, flourishing her Zanpakuto, saying, "Likewise, Casilda Selestino. You're a skilled warrior, and probably one of the most practical, intelligent female Arrancars I've seen in my long lifetimes, truly deserving of my old Espada Primera title. However, due to your mad ambitions and the overall plain nature of your Espada Afilado, I will crush you into the ground, showing to your Espada Afilado that your name is nothing but a name to be forgotten and burried!"

Her Spiritual Pressure rose once more, the air crackled with intensity as her Spiritual Energy crackled in writhing tendrils across the entire room, spreading to the outside, shaking the foundation for a great distance, as Rana once again prepared to attack the Primera, holding her Zanpakuto out towards her in what looked like a fencing stance.

"Now, the first step in my dance that will be upon your grave, Casilda Selestino," she spoke vaguely before raising her cold eyes full of murderous intent at the Primera, "Gacela Danza!" Suddenly, within a mere blink of an eye, what looked like blade-like tendrils of energy came forth her blade in a scarlet hue, launched in a wide gait, decimating the entiriety of the wall the Primera was at, both below and above, continuing onwards outside and devestating the city block nearby, any hapless bystanders nearby would've been crushed or battered aside with prejudice.

Lobo himself gasped with shock as he saw a technique he knew did not belong to his Primera, but he knew the name of, sending chills down his back, "I-Is that...Gacela Danza?! It can't be! There's no way!" He couldn't believe it...he knew that the Cuatro Espada of old was slain in battle by Ulquiorra, confirmed by Sosuke Aizen when he questioned her fate. Unless...could she still be alive?!

It was here that Senkaku had happened to come across the blast, eyes widening in shock at the destruction. As he stopped on a nearby building, he saw the others who had come race in order to surround the area a few distance away, situating themselves on the rooftops. However, he had stopped near the place, taking in the scene. "If the battle moves outside of the area.... residents are going to be killed." He thought to himself. "The guard was quick enough to evacuate this particular part early, but this has to be contained immediately...." He immediately performed a final Sonido in order to near his destination.

"Hey, Senny! Over here!"

His ears perked up at the sound of Loly's voice. Looking up, he could see the waving figure of Loly standing beside Melina, the latter of which had a rather cheery look to her face. Rolling his eyes slightly and temporarily forgetting the grimness of the situation, he appeared right beside the two to stand where they were only close enough to see the figures of both combatants. "Loly....Melina...." He murmured, giving a polite nod to both of them. "I suppose all of you managed to pick up the ruckus. Where's your respective Fraccion and Espada?"

"Tierra was being too much of a grump to come." Melina complained, putting on a slightly poutish look. "She really needs to take a break to watch the fun take place!" She folded her arms across her chest, Loly following suit. "I wonder who Salad-chan's playing with, though...."

Meanwhile, in the actual area itself, the smoke cleared where Casilda had been standing. She was kneeled behind what looked like a seven-foot-tall cross with enough with to completely hide her from view of her opponent. Within that motion, that cross had not only defended her from the attack, but had also redirected a little more than half of the reiatsu exerted directly on her back at Rana. She dispelled the cross, slowly allowing herself to stand and look over her opponent once more.

"One of the oldest remainders of Hueco Mundo's past," Genjo spoke eerily as he appeared nearly without a sound, his big arms crossed over his arms as he was nearest to Senkaku as his eyes narrowed at the location where the Primera was duking it out with the new intruder.

Lobo looked over and saw the other Espada Afilado not making a move, as neither did he, even as he saw the battle become slowly and gradually fiercer, possibly endangering the bystanders and citizens nearby. He then grasped the hilt of his weapon, half-making up his mind, leaping towards the street perimeter. Lobo went about drawing it openly as he made sure that if the fight got anymore out of control, he'd make sure personally that he would keep the civilians and non-combatants safe.

Through the smoke that cleared, Rana was silent, even as her own technique ricocheted back at her, her Hierro took most of the brunt of the backfire, showing a few cuts and burns, but her figure was illuminated by a red hue as her eyes glowed menacingly through the smoke. As the cross-barrier was let down, the Primera would notice a near silent approach of a rapier blade aiming for the base above her torso where her neck met her chest.

Even after the move would be made, Rana would begin ushering a number of rapid thrusts and slashes, making a blur to the Primera, aiming to overwhelm her with the sheer number of attacks she would aim to hit her with.

It was time to allow herself to get serious.

As she continued to dodge the strikes made towards her, her free hand grasped the other hilt of the blade and drew it out, flipping the metal within the path of the strikes and spinning the hilt to put the katana within its correct position. Now within possession of both blades, she continued battering away the strikes of her opponent. Normally, she wouldn't have bothered to do so. But this was clearly an opponent that could cause trouble for her in the long run. If she wanted to end this battle quickly, she would have to be relentless on her enemy in order to defeat her.

Rana smiled wryly, now knowing she had her enemy within her full capabilities she then met with a ferocious set of slashes, counters, and dodges. She did have to admit however, that her swordsmanship was nearing the point of pushing her to her limit, something she hadn't anticipated without using her techniques.

As she backpedaled away from another series of violent swipes, her blade again glowed red and hissed violently as she preformed a crouch, using Sonido at a lightning-quick pace, appearing below the Primera, looking up with cold unrelenting eyes, "Danza Mariposa!!!" Suddenly she slashed upwards in a violent cutting arc so quick the blade moved faster than the arc of energy behind it, towering up to 15 meters in height before she had already preformed a follow-up Sonido, issuing the same attack, both attacks converged at nearly simultaneous occurances, making it appear from a distance as if the technique sprouted butterfly wings.

That was when Casilda's eyes widened, and the attack struck her full-force.

It was a surprise to most of the spectators there, and they let out slight gasps of astonishment at the power displayed by the Primera's opponent. As the event took place, Senkaku himself decided to shift a questioning gaze towards the Cuatro. "Remainder?" He repeated inquisitively. "I've never even seen this woman before, and I'm pretty sure she wasn't mentioned within the archives. Who exactly is she?" The two females had also turned their gaze towards him, Loly somewhat more skeptical about her own look.

Genjo looked at Senkaku, the only one he cared to give explanation and respect to, him being his senior and peer, it only felt natural he answer his question as he directed his discolored eyes back at the bright glow of the technique displayed by Rana.

"Her name is Rana Zolinder. She, along with Herrera Tresckow, were part of Sosuke Aizen's FIRST generation of his own personal Arrancar army as well as his own Personal Espada, transformed to meet his needs. However, unlike Herrera, she was already a high-ranking Espada and Arrancar before Herrera's own personal transformation into an Arrancar, so what's known of her is indeed either lost or encrypted. All that I've gathered over the years of various reliable sources, is that SHE was the Cuatro Espada before and after Aizen came...until she was deemed to dangerous and irrelevant for the Soul Reaper's needs," his voice grew cold and hard, the mentioning of the Soul Reaper's treachery boiled something deep within him, but he didn't display beyond his tone.

Rana backpedaled a good 10 meters away, resuming a fighting stance once more before narrowing her eyes at the cloud of debris and dust that had formed from her connecting attack.

What was Casilda's next move was most likely unexpected.

Through the smoke, she was once again in a crouched position, both swords leveled at her opponent. One of those blades, the original one that she pulled out, was pointed towards her in a way that made it seem like it was actually a rope that had bound the other woman. She closed her eyes, gently pulling the blade towards her. The moment she tugged on it, they could see faintly red strands wrapped around Rana's body, not enough to hinder her and small enough to remain unnoticed. It wasn't something that she had just executed.... it had been done long ago at the start of the fight, from the moment she had drawn her sword. The Primera waited until the most opportune moment in the fight, where her opponent would not be expecting it.

It happened within a millisecond.

BOOM!

What Senkaku was about to say was cut off by the fierce explosion of energy that had erupted, Rana being the epicenter. He was forced to raise one arm to shield himself from the brilliant light, the force nearly knocking him off his feet. "Then why would she be attacking us....?" He thought to himself.

As Rana felt something tugging faintly on the border of her senses, she suddenly saw a glimmmer, a faint trail from the Primera's sword edge, like a string or rope of energy crawling towards...

"Oh He-!" she tried to swear, instinctively attempting to create a thin sheen of Spiritual Energy to reinforce her Hierro but it was too late. By the time the explosion happened she cried out in a guttural scream as she felt the Hierro give way and burn her skin. Badly...

"Revenge," Genjo said in a matter-of-fact tone, watching the violent explosion occur at Rana's epicenter unmoved as he continued surmising, "she was badly humiliated in a fight between Sosuke Aizen's Cuatro Espada replacement, Ulquiorra Schiffer, and the latter treated her with the lowest of respect and called her trash. Through some unknown means, apparently, she's recovered from that battle and swore an oath to destroy anyone of the title of Espada. Its quite simple really," he finished with a shrug, understanding her motives completely, even if they were misplaced.

Loly frowned, idly taking out her Zanpakuto and flipping it around in her hand. "Doesn't look like she's avenging much of anything now...." She commented, watching the scene at hand.

Declaration of War, Fueling the fires of Hatred[]

There was no words that Casilda would need to spare for her enemy. It was very clear that if Rana was not brought down now, then it would never end. She would come back and cause even more problems, reasoning far beyond her mindset. With a final Sonido, she re-appeared in front of the weakened Rana and raised one of her blades up, determined to finish the bout before possible recovery.

Then, she swung down on her head.

Genjo sighed aloud, turning away, about to leave the scene to the Primera when he...felt the strangest sensation. A conglomeration of united Spiritual Pressures, powerful ones, filled the air in a static sensation, distorted everyone's vision, even to that of Lobo's who stood guard outside of the battlefield of both the Primera and Rana.

"What...is this?! More of them?!" Lobo called out in shock, readying his Zanpakuto up and looked around to see if he could catch sight of anymore intruders coming towards him.

Rana's eyes opened widely, her left hand grabbed the Primera's wrist a surprising strength behind it, a smile crawled onto her injured features ignoring the pain as she spoke in a incredulous tone, "You think...this...has any...affect...on ME?!" She gripped tightly like a vice before she swung in a violent uppercut, roaring aloud using only her element of surprise and speed to catch her off guard, albeit it took great concentration to not look haggard but she had indeed felt much worse than a explosion of this mere preportion.

"She can still move....?"

SLICE!

She felt shock wash over her, as well as the opposing pressures, as the blade sliced against her torso, the blade digging into the Hierro and causing sparks as its teeth tore into her. Because of the vice-grip on her wrist, she could only sit and take it. However, because of the state Rana was in, the damage was minimal at best. As soon as the swing was exited from its motion, she ripped herself away from her opponent's grip and skidded a distance back. "Reinforcements? Of course she would not have bothered to come alone...." She chided herself mentally, keeping her senses aware as her companions did the same, murmurs arising from them out of warning to get ready.

Rana felt the Spiritual Pressures, recognizing one but not the others. She bit down on her lip till blood ran down as hatred flowed through her eyes at the Primera, a tongue snaked out and licked up the blood with a smally smile as she saw she managed to cut her, albeit a small wound, but it made it worth it for getting burned so badly.

"You think that's all?! I'll show you my true power and kill you in one swift strike!" She growled out, raising her Zanpakuto rapier in the air.

"Rebel, R-" she began to say when suddenly within a single sound of high-pitched whine of static, a blurred form came into view and a decisive grab onto the hilt of the Zanpakuto prevented her from continuing both in shock and physical halting of the release of her Zanpakuto.

"C-Col?!" She cried out in a harsh and relieved voice at the same time as he landed back down, his own vice grip kept on her Zanpakuto, keeping her from fighting any longer.

"Be still, sister," he said in a calm, peaceful tone causing Rana to still slightly at it for speaking in the manner she had to him, before he briefly turned his head and regarded her with a concerned look in his eyes, "you'll further your injuries if you keep fighting such a high-level opponent as her."

"So there's more of them out there...."

It was NOT a good sign. The last thing Casilda had wanted was a direct approach by yet another group, given the situation the Afilado was in. As she watched from her distance away, she promptly twisted around and sheathed her blade. If the outside presences wanted to attack,, they would've done so quickly. But now, it seemed like they were merely observing as sentries, watching for any signs of hostility from the Afilado. With that particular thought in mind, she waved a hand to her compatriots. "Do not engage!" She ordered them, mentally adding to all of them, "Without my mark...."

The Quinta Espada clearly did not like the situation at hand. As he placed his hands within his pockets, he looked around him with clearly irritated eyes. The guards had proven worthless in their endeavor if they easily allowed the intruders to infilitrate the city so easily. He would make an internal note to take security measure within his own hands the next time around, if the enemy did not decide to engage all of them at that particular minute....

Rana growled, biting her lower lip again before turning her gaze to the Primera and then away from her brother, "I can't believe I act like your older sister sometimes, Col, if you're the one chiding me on my reckless attack..."

"You're far from reckless, sister," he said back with a soft smile , comending her, "you actually managed to stand on a relatively even match with the legendary Cortez Selestino, said to have been around Hueco Mundo since time immortal, a warrior with nearly no equal. This shows just how much stronger you've become, sister..."

"Stop chiding me, Col," she smirked at him, her eyes glared at him slightly before whispering, "its embarassing."

Col then turned to look into the eyes of Casilda. One thing verily different about his eyes from both Kukkyona and even Rana, was that his eyes were peaceful, tranquil, one would almost confuse his gaze certainly that of someone not in war but totally relaxed. It would almost be unsettling for someone who would be called a brother of Rana, a battle-hearty and agressive woman.

"....I was wondering if you were suicidal enough to come alone...."

Casilda's voice remained serene as she spoke, taking in the stance and aura of Col's own figure. From the way he stood, he could easily either be marked by someone of a master level such as herself.... or simply one who has not known combat that much. "But now I see that at least you have some rationality...." She continued on, using her eyes to sweep the area around her instead of jerking her head around as a novice would.

Rana smiles wryly, wincing slightly before walking over to meet her brother's side, showing something that Casilda something that she probably wouldn't have expected. Her wounds were already mostly healed! Even now, the burns began to be erased by regenerative tissue replacing the marred tissue, reapplying Hierro over it but the effort showed on it by a pair of sweatdrops falling down her brow, as she crosses her arms, saying aloud, "I asked him to stay out unless I absolutely needed to," she momentarily glared at him before smiling back, then looking back at her, "though I have to admit, I don't know about the friends he brought, I just expected him to intervene if I got too carried away...bad habit of mine really."

Col eyed her sister slightly before saying, "How're you feeling?"

"Better enough to fight again," Rana said confidently, stepping forward before a strong arm was placed between her and the Primera, causing her to glare back at him, hissing, "let me go!"

"Her Espada Afilado are here, sister. It would be unwise to continue our fight unless we want them intervening. I'm pretty sure all of us don't want that, do we?" Col spoke in a soft, yet condenscending voice, his gaze and tone carried over to Casilda, hoping she would see the wisdom of him pulling his sister out of the fight prematurely.

"High speed regeneration...."

Casilda furrowed her eyebrows, having not expected such recovery to happen. However, this also served to irritate her somewhat. She remained silent, but her eyes looked into his in order to show a nonverbal acknowledgement of his statement. She wasn't foolish enough to trigger a potential conflict within their own capital.

Rana growled slightly before narrowing her eyes at Casilda, saying aloud, "That's the point, Col! There's no way she'll leave us alone after what I've done! We have to finish this fight! Here and now!"

"Don't be reckless, Rana," he said in a insistant, soft tone, never taking his eyes off the Primera, "do you really think you have enough strength to fight all of the Espada Afilado, let alone half of them with their leader standing amongst them?"

"But I-" she began to say before she bit down on her tongue, realizing arguing a valid point would be futile, and she glared at Casilda, raising a hand up to her, saying, "consider yourself lucky my brother sees reason in ceasing this fight! I have no quarrel with your Empresa, only you Espada! We'll fight this battle another time, if you prefer, in a arena with less bystanders...unless you want to finish it now?" She asked, her eyes hardening and her stance getting ready, with her brother standing before her with his arm never lowering, waiting to see how things played out.

"I've sheathed my sword...." Casilda said calmly, a slightly stern gaze staring into Rana's own. "And I'm not going to raise it again unless I have to. If you want to keep waging this war against me, against us, then wage it. But in the end, it's going to prove fruitless. Even if you do kill us, you'll never be able to destroy what we've created, what we've managed to build for this society." She folded her arms across her chest, lapsing into silence once again. She didn't have to allow herself to speak, for the Segunda allowed himself to speak up in her absence.

"Yes, throw your armies at us!!" He called out, jeering the two. "Throw everything you have at us!! Our dominance is total, and your uprising will be crushed into the dust just like all of the others!! All you'll recieve in return is the heads of your own soldiers who died fighting for a vain cause!!" Some of the other guards of the Espada cheered along with this statement, clearly agreeing with Lino.

"Destroying a Espada forged society will destroy the society. Make no mistake in that...the name Espada had remained dead for a long time after Sosuke Aizen's absence and the death of nearly all of the Espada, for as long as Espada die, their influence dies with them," Rana says back, her eyes narrowing back at Casilda, growling slightly at the jeering and cheers outside, vaguely catching a glance from Lobo but ignoring him entirely.

This made the Primera smile slightly, but she said nothing in response.

Lobo's eye flickered, his mouth held still and his posture still, neither cheering for the coming conflict with his former peer, or defended her cause. He knew she was wrong, but in some way, he blamed himself for not being there for her.

Genjo stood silent amongst the cheering, merely smirked at the pitiful attempts of trying to eliminate those who rivaled the power of the former generations by nearly twice their strength if not moreso. "Fools, all of them..."

"I wouldn't cheer so soon," suddenly a vengeful snarl was heard behind the Segundo, belonging to one of the strong Spiritual Pressures from before a young looking Strawberry Smoothie-haired Arrancar, now standing behind the Segundo while resting on a large crude designed sword, easily withstanding his presence if not permeating her own as she said aloud, "it makes you look like children you've already won when you haven't fought yet."

This made Bernabe smirk grimly, turning his head to look over his shoulder at her. "And what makes you think we haven't?" He questioned her, his own battle-hardened prowess coming to the surface in order to protect him from surprise. His colleagues turned slight attention to her while keeping focus on the two within center stage.

"If you don't want to suffer early casualties...." Nicolao said, not bothering to hold back his own anger as he glared at the woman that was behind his senior Espada. "Then it would be wise for you to use this as a means of retreat, to prepare! Go back to the hole you came from and don't come back out until you've prepared yourselves!!!"

"Say that again," the intruding Arrancar girl said aloud, her eyes narrowing and her voice full of hate as she said, "and I'll cut your tongue out for calling my home a hole!"

"What exactly entails that you have a numerical advantage?" Suddenly a red haired female Arrancar appeared, right by Genjo and Nicaolo's side, her hair flowed her one hand brushed away bangs while the other rested lazily on the hilt of her Zanpakuto.

With that said, numerous shadowy, cloaked figures, all of which were Arrancar by nature, began to appear simultaneously, their eyes and pressures glowed menacingly, all tensed for battle and prepared on instinct to attack. Even with the arrival of the Espada Afilado, the new group matched, if not exceeding the numbers of the Espada Afilado by 3 times in numbers, each one of them strong in their own rights.

Col noticed the tension and Spiritual Pressures in the air, raising a hand speaking aloud in a foreign, commanding voice, "No one engages," he then narrowed his eyes at Casilda, mirroring her earlier command, "without my mark!"

Rana looked around in a shocked expression, clearly not expecting Col to have this many allies nor subordinates. She knew he was well connected, but there was clearly some explanation needed after this...she looked over at her brother secretly wondering if she really knew him all along.

Lobo's eyes looked around, his hand clenched on his Zanpakuto already unsheathed but he knew better than to be the one to instigate the fight. Especially against the Primera's orders.

Rana...how did you get these Arrancars to follow you?! He wondered in shock inside his mind.

Genjo himself was quite shocked this number of invaders broke through the security system within Empresa, let alone evaded detection from his spies. His eyes narrowed at the figures all around him, but chose not to speak, knowing that even a simple jest might spark the invaders' temperment.

"....super." Senkaku muttered disdainfully, closing his eyes and placing a palm to his face.

"Someone's going to get chewed out real good after this blows over...." Loly commented, a resentful scowl on her own expression as she glared down the reinforcements that arrived.

Slowly, Casilda closed her eyes and raised her hands up in a gesture to surrender. Earlier would have been the best time to strike at them if Col had wanted to. But it was already clear that he wasn't aiming for a fight. It was fortunate that he and she were thinking along the same lines.... at least, that's what he was trying to push her to believe. "As I said before, I've sheathed my sword...." She spoke again. "Will you sheathe yours, if only for the moment?"

Rana looked over to her brother, before sighing a heavy breath, a long drawn out sheathing of her Zanpakuto back into its respective sheathe, concluding with a hesitant breath, "I will withdraw for the moment, Primera Espada. But the next time we battle," her eyes glared towards her, killing intent clear and present within her orbs, saying vindictively, "I will kill you!"

Col nodded respectively as well, saying, "I'll make sure none of my comrades strike any of yours, Lady Primera," Col then gestured to his sister, who sighed before walking out of the room, preforming a Sonido before Lobo's eyes, followed by a near simultaneous orchestrated burst of the others using Sonido, all disappearing within a blink of an eye.

Col said aloud in a calm voice before disappearing as well, "I'll give you a piece of advice, Primera. If you ever cross my sister again, I will not stop her from killing you again. Had she released her Zanpakuto at the distance you two were at, she would've wasted no time in decapitating your head from the body. I'd think it would be best to reconsider your options as a self-proclaimed Primera, Cortez Selestiono," he bowed his head before his own burst of static made him disappear from the area.

Lobo wasted no time in rushing into the battle-torn meeting room, coming close to Casilda asking in a concerned tone, "My lady! Are you alright?!"

Genjo sighed, turning from the debacle he witnessed in security measures before saying aloud to the rest, "I've seen enough for now. Beckon me only if the Primera needs me. I must run some...tests on my information network."

Senkaku was the first to turn towards him, leveling an even gaze. "Quatro, before you go, I trust you to find and fix the breaks the enemy used in this sudden infiltration." He stated firmly. "For such a huge number to break through security in the way they did was something unexpected, and I'm not willing to risk anything under the circumstances...."

Casilda let out a heavy sigh, lowering her arms and looking over at Lobo. "I'm still in one piece, I suppose...." She muttered. "But that might not last, now that we have a third enemy to deal with...." It was clear that there would be no negotiation between the two groups. They would continue to attack until the Afilado were completely destroyed, until she was killed right in front of Rana's eyes. "We're going to have put forth much more effort within our duties to both harden and prepare ourselves."

"Lobos!!" Bernabe had approached the two with Nicolao at his side, speaking with a sharp tone. "If you want to prove some use in this, I expect to see some hard-asses instead of the wimps I see everyday before this is over with. This is a time where weakness won't be tolerated, and I hate to be the overseer of trash!"

Melina had fallen silent, deciding to stand off to the side and take everything in with a rather curious nature. Though she could be childish at times, she knew when to listen and what to do. She would report everything back to her own superior, making sure to leave out no little detail. Her hands were folded behind her back as she listened.

"Oh trust me, Tres, I will make sure no surprises happen under my command," he leveled a cool, even gaze back at Senkaku, before saying, "is there anything else you want to cast blame on me for?"

Lobos leveled a cold flickering gaze at him, sheathing his sword with a decisive movement, saying back just as coldly, "I didn't train the Primera's guards if that's what you're referring to. I suggest you halt your accusations that anyone under my direction and teaching is weak before I throw something more than words at you."

This caught Senkaku by surprise for a moment. But he quickly regained his composure, shaking his head. "I'm not blaming you for anything. Such things would be a nuisance in such a situation...." He looked away for the moment, his eyes studying the area for a bit more. "But that is all. Only when the Primera calls you..... I've got my own business to take care of." With that, he vanished with a Sonido.

As Casilda turned a slightly stern gaze within Bernabe's direction, he only allowed himself to chuckle in anticipation at Lobos's words. "Take it as you will..." He answered. "But the fruit of our work's going to show up next time around.... farewell, brother and sister." With that, he vanished on the spot, back to his own section.

Genjo nodded in his direction, wordlessly disappearing as well with a Sonido of his own. I better have some information or at least how they gained entry into Empresa so easily, Genjo thought inwardly slightly perturbed by the whole set of events that happened recently.

First the gamble of using their own enemies to flush out another overconfident enemies, and also at a current standstill with Herrera's forces though full-out war is only a matter of time. Now a renegade group with strength rivaling the Espada Afilado just signed their declaration of war to them. Things just can't get any worse...or can they?!

Lobo watched him disappear, glancing at Nicolao before turning to Casilda, bowing his head briefly uttering, "Forgive me, Mistress Selestino. Had I known she was alive...I would've informed you about her...vengeful emotions towards the Espada name in general."

"This was something that was sudden to all of us, Lobo...." Casilda said dismissively, gesturing with a wave of her hand. "There is no need for apology."

"But there is need for retribution...." Nicolao allowed himself to add, folding his arms across his chest with a rather commanding air. "It's obvious that this is a declaration of war, a sign that our heads are wanted. It's clear that this isn't just some rag-tag group of rebels that we've had to deal with in the past. This was something coordinated, prepared, and planned-out ahead of time. What we're dealing with is a threat that needs to be dealt with quickly."

Lobo bowed his head, quickly saying his thanks to his mistress' understanding of the dilemma and situation they've been placed under. With that said, he turned towards Nicolao, regarding his decisive statement with a nod, resting the palm of his left hand on the pommel of his sword, saying aloud, "I might have an idea where Rana may be, though I'm not sure if her allies are within the same area, my mistress."

"And where would that be?" Casilda questioned him, allowing himself to turn around and face him.

"Yes, I'm quite curious myself...." Nicolao admitted, looking over the man intently.

Lobo put his hands into the pockets of his uniform, pointedly looking back and forth from Casilda to Nicolao, saying somberly, "We called it, the Pale Sand Wastes. Unlike the clean sands we see for a good distance around Empresa or even around the ruined fortress of Las Noches, the sands you will see there are littered with death and bones of wars fought centuries ago, one of which even Rana had fought several times. You will find a extension of the Menos Forest to grow above the sands there, making its own sparce dead forest around there as well as few springs, but other than that, its basically a burial ground."

"With Rana's pride...." Casilda deduced, folding her arms across her chest. "She would expect me to come alone. However, her hatred, as well as their hatred for the Espada, is all too clear to me. She could already have traps set for me as well as potential escorts. At the same time, this could also be an attempt to lure me away from the overwatch of operations in the belief that my absence would weaken the Espada Afilado's leadership." She paused for a moment, letting out a heavy sight before stating, "After making sure that the Ahijados has accelerated their own plans, I'll go to the Pale Sand Wastes as soon as possible in order to settle the matter. I have full trust in Carias to continue to oversee operations in my absence...."

"We will continue to manage the security in other Afilado-owned territories and begin hunting for these rogues...." Nicolao added. "By the time you contend with that Rana individual, their forces will already be quelled and subdued before they make any more complications...."

Lobo looked back and forth between them as they spoke, taking in their words and nodding to each of them as they deduced and planned out in a thorough manner and professional behavior. As soon as Nicolao finished his talk of keeping things in order, Lobo looked to Casilda, asking even-toned, "Would you have of me to be your escort and guide to the Pale Sand Wastes, or would you want me to remain here?"

Casilda looked to him a bit questioningly, slight concern in her eyes but keeping her professional tone. "If you're sure that you can make the trip without fear of abandoning anything here...." She stated. "Then it would be much appreciated. I could use the extra set of eyes to see what I might not pick up." She put on a small smile, her last sentence that of a somewhat humorous nature.

Lobo's eye flickered slightly at first of the mentioning of abandoning anything behind, hesitating to speak at first. But only within a few moments, he renewed his stoic stature, saying confidently, "My students, as well as your soldiers, are well-trained. I am confident my Lieutenant will manage in my absence. And for now, my eyes shall be yours...figuratively," he managed to joke, a smirk on his own face showed briefly before nodding to her in respect.

Casilda and Nicolao performed a slight bow of their heads as a sign of respect and their own preparation for departure to their own devices. "Good luck, and godspeed....." Nicolao said, pride in his voice as he gave an extra nod to both of them. Immediately, he vanished with a Sonido afterwards, with Casilda vanishing as well.

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