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"A one man army is sure to die quickly and alone; a two man army has a chance to make it out alive."
—Tagline

New Bonds (つながり初, Tsunagari Hatsu; Literally "New Friendships") is the first chapter following Bakuto Sanada, a former swordsmith turned Bounty Hunter.

Drunk in Action[]

The Soul Society was bustling this day, children running through the streets and adults moving from place to place. One figure stood out amongst the crowd, a tall figure with long black hair in a ponytail. A scar ran down his right eye, giving him quite a menacing look. His name, Bakuto Sanada, came with no back story and no pride. The name brought shame and caused memories of a darker time to surface, but Bakuto was forced to live with it, branded as Bakuto for life.

It was still morning and Bakuto was already drunk, having spent the night at a local bar running his pockets dry. Stumbling through the streets, Bakuto sighed heavily, as he had no money to pay for an inn for the night. This meant that he had to go out and collect a bounty, his profession for what seemed like hundreds of years. About facing, Bakuto quickly Flash Stepped away towards the Bounty Collection Hall where he would try and find a job.

“So much for the nap…” he thought, black marks lined his eyes, a sign of how tired he was. Pivoting from one house to the next, the sight of the brothel where he picked up jobs quickly came into view. He grimaced at the thought of seeing Yugitō.

Landing at the front door, Bakuto lifted himself up and rubbed his eyes. Yugitō would surely give him a beating if she knew he was getting drunk all night. Before he even moved to enter the door, it flew open knocking him backwards, a tall young red haired woman standing with a pissed off expression.

“I know what you were up to last night Bakuto!” she yelled.

Bakuto lift his body up, a comical expression drawn on his face. “Yugitō-chan… you’re so loud…” he groaned, receiving a swift kick to the face as a result, causing blood to shoot from his nose.

Yugitō stood over his beaten body with her arms folded, triumphantly flaring her nostrils in anger.

Job that Pays the Bills[]

Inside the brothel, Bakuto sat with a bag of ice resting on his head and a bandage on his nose. “You’re so hot blooded…. Just like your mother.” Bakuto said through the pain.

Yugitō on the opposite side of a counter was cleaning a glass cup with her eyes shut. “If you weren’t a good for nothing drunk…. I wouldn’t have to teach you a lesson like that.” She berated. Pouting in displeasure, Yugitō quickly changed her tone. “So you’re here for a job, I’ll take it…” she said.

Bakuto removed the ice from his head, moving in closer to Yugitō. He calmly said “Yea, I need some quick cash… you got anything good for me?”

Yugitō placed down the glass and motioned under her counter, shuffling through several papers before quickly pulling out a single sheet. “Here’s one… a death warrant for a member of a Bandit’s Guild in Hanging Dog. It’s commissioned by a Lesser Noble Family who wished to remain anonymous.” Yugitō stated, sliding the paper to Bakuto.

He briefly read over it, before pocketing it. “Thanks.” He said without meaning to Yugitō, standing from his seat. Bakuto glanced to the right, noting the two large breasted women eyeing him. Giving a perverted smile, he waved at them with a snicker.

“Idiot!” she yelled, leaping over the counter and kicking Bakuto out the door.

Opening the wound once more, Bakuto’s nose shot blood as he flew out into the street leaving Yugitō to sneer in disbelief at the man’s actions.


The Bowels of the Soul Society[]

Walking through the streets, Bakuto planned out how he would go about his most recent job. Wanting it go quickly without any problems, Bakuto wanted to get every detail perfect. “His names Atsui and he is a former member of the 12th Division who went AWOL shortly after a project known as Project MARROW.” Bakuto read to himself. He couldn't help but wonder what a lesser noble family would want with him.

Bakuto’s eyes were locked onto the paper to the point where he wasn’t even aware he had wandered into the darkest corner of the Soul Society, the door that lead to the largest black market in the Soul Society located in Hanging Dog. Glancing up from the paper, Bakuto was astounded by the figure guarding the door.

He stood at least nine feet high and was draped in red-colored armor, his eyes had no emotion whatsoever. “Hey there, big guy” Bakuto said rather awkwardly.

The man remained silent.

“I need to get in there…. So if you’ll excuse me.” He said, trying to walk past the man.

“Not so fast…” the man said, placing a hand on Bakuto’s shoulder. “I don’t remember hearing about any guests tonight.” He said.

“I was invited by Atsui…” Bakuto said, trying to use deception to get past the man.

It was on perfect cue that the man busted out laughing, pushing Bakuto back in the process. “Atsui? Haha! Atsui is the sorriest excuse for a thief I have ever seen! He doesn’t even come close to having the authority to allow a guest in.” the man bellowed.

Bakuto remained still, unsure about how to react next. “Alright then.” He finally said, folding his arms. “If you don’t let me by, I’ll have to use force.” Bakuto said.

The man busted out laughing once more, despite his size it seemed humor was a quick way to get him distracted. “Look kid… just run along before I bend you over my leg and break your spine.” He said, folding his arms and stepping an inch closer to the door.

Bakuto remained still, sighing at the man’s remark. “Have it your way…” he said.

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