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This article, Secrets of the White Zangetsu, is property of Ten Tailed Fox

Continued from here...

Zangetsu's secrets[]

Raian sat in the depths of the ship he was traveling on, on his way to Yāolù, in a meditative stance. Recent events had irked him. It was time that he venture into his inner world and learn about his Zangetsu as much as he could. He calmed himself and before long he awakened on top one of the sideways buildings. A young man, dressed in pure white met him on the side of the building, long flowing snow-white hair flowing behind him. "Where's old-man Zangetsu?" Raian asked the young man. "That hurts, Raian. Don't you recognize me? Though...Zangetsu isn't really here." he replied. Raian raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean? What could you possibly mean by all of this?" The white haired man let out a half sigh-half laugh, "What call your Bankai?" he asked. Raian's eyes widened, "Tensa Zangetsu?!" he blurted out. "Exactly!" Tensa Zangetsu shouted.

"It's no wonder you're confused." the spirit continued, "Even though Ichigo has described my Bankai form to you, I've undergone some changes." As he said this, he materialized the white blade of his Bankai form. "Tensa Zangetsu..." Raian said. "Tell me...everything. I wanna know why I have Ichigo's Zanpakutō and powers. Why didn't I get mine back?" he asked. Tensa Zangetsu frowned. "Don't ever refer to me as Ichigo's power again. I may have the same name as his blade, but I'm very much your power. Still, I suppose I should answer your questions. You see, Ichigo has been storing reiatsu in an attempt to regain his power for several years. When you and Ichigo used the soul link, Ichigo had more reiatsu, since you had only lost your powers a month prior. That meant that his soul had more of an impression initially and gave you his Zangetsu. When this happened, Ichigo's powers were split. You were given the Hollow portion of his reiatsu, while he kept the Shinigami portion. In other words, at that time I really was part of his power." Tensa Zangetsu explained. "Then why did you tell me not to---" Raian began, but was cut off. "I'm no longer part of his power. You see, use of the soul link also reawakened your Shinigami powers. Over time, they've been developing causing my transformation into this. I look exactly like Ichigo's former Hollow spirit now because I was once the Hollow portion of Ichigo's power. Because of this, Ichigo's power occasionally leaks into your power and taints them. Do you remember the original color of your Getsuga Tenshō?" the spirit asked.'

"Yeah, it was purple." Raian replied. "That was a sign of taint. His zanpakutō is black, so it produces a black Getsuga in Bankai. Yours is white, yet it produced purple waves until you put on your Hollow mask." he further explained. Raian looked down, "I'm confused, but I think I get what you're saying. Because you were once Hollow powers, I'm only able to use your full power when my mask is on." he said. "Wrong." Tensa Zangetsu replied. "At least partially wrong. Right now, you can only use my full power with your mask, but there is away around that." Raian looked interested, "How?" Tensa Zangetsu gestured towards the rest of the inner world, "This world is the combination of you and Ichigo's. Half of this city is yours, and half is his. You need to construct a mental wall between you and Ichigo to keep his reiatsu from seeping into yours." Raian nodded, "Alright."

Mental Separation[]

Raian sat on the edge of the building for what seemed like days in the inner world. During that time, he and Tensa Zangetsu spent a great deal of time simply talking and laughing. The two were really becoming close. Both helped the other construct the wall via meditation. After what seemed like a week, it was done.

Raian got up to leave, "Well then, thanks for all the help Tensa, but I think it's time I returned to the task at hand." he explained. Tensa Zangetsu stopped him, "Not yet. There is something else I need to teach you...." he said. "A Bankai exclusive technique, I have feeling you'll be needing it. It's called, Gesshoku."

"Gesshoku?" Raian asked, confused. "Tensa, I've already learned how to use a lot of techniques Ichigo can't with Zangetsu. Shouldn't you be teaching him some of these things?" Tensa Zangetsu comically swatted him over the forehead, "I told you already. I'm not part of Ichigo. What his Zangetsu teaches him is their problem. I want to make you strong, but it will take time." he said. "I don't have a lot of time." Raian replied. "We're almost to our destination, and then I'll have to be with Sei-san again." Tensa Zangetsu smiled, "I've got a solution; the Dangai Precipice World. Go there. There you can train for several months while only minutes pass by here." he explained.

Raian nodded and exited Jinzen. Then with his spiritual power he opened the Senkaimon and leaped in, leaving his teammates behind briefly.

Lunar Eclipse[]

Arriving in the Dangai, Raian immediately took his meditative pose and slipped into Jinzen once more. Tensa Zangetsu was waiting for him. "Let's begin." he stated. "The Gesshoku is a Bankai exclusive technique. Using it is the perfect alternative to the "Final" Getsuga Tenshō in that it's powerful enough to take down most enemies, freeing you from having to use the former technique at all. To get it you have to subject me. I won't simply give you this boost. If you want to become stronger, you have to want it badly. If you do this, I'll not only give you control of Gesshoku, but also your Hollow powers." Tensa Zangetsu explained.

Raian prepared his sword and got ready to do battle, "Alright." he stated. "Let's go...!" Tensa Zangetsu declared. The battle lasted months. Tensa Zangetsu clearly had power and wasn't afraid to use it. At several points, Raian thought he would loose, but persevered anyways.

3 months later

Both finally took a break from the battle, "How can you move forward like this? I sense regret in you. I sense grief. Don't turn yourself into that man, who despairs everytime someone is lost!" Tensa Zangetsu demanded. "How can you say that?!" Raian blurted. "Seireitou has lost his wife, his friends, and even his brother. How could he not despair?" Tensa Zangetsu sighed, "He actually believes that despair is part of who he is! I cannot imagine what his Zanpakutō is feeling right now. Despair destroys one's inner world, as does grief. Before long....Hanullim will not work properly. Not until he truly finds who he is. are about to go through that very thing. Right here and now, I'm going to show you who you really are to me. I'm going to pull out the source of your 'grief'.." he stated. With that, Tensa Zangetsu reached into Raian's chest and ripped out a mass of reiryoku; throwing it behind him in the process. The reiryoku took on a human form. Raian gasped when he saw it; it was the form of his brother, Mashū Getsueikirite.

"Wh-what?!" Raian cried. Tensa Zangetsu narrowed his eyes, "Do you see now? Everytime he is mentioned to you, your heart sinks into the depths of the sea. You cannot stand the very fact that you were not born glued to his side. You blame yourself for his faults, for his shortcomings; for his sadness, fear, anger, you blame yourself for ALL of it!" Tensa Zangetsu roared, suddenly sounding furious. "You grieve because you could not protect him, you grieve because you could not save him, but all of these are false thoughts! I will tell you why it is you truly grieve. For as long as you can remember, you have looked up to him. Sure he was younger, but age means nothing. Everytime you saw him, you wanted to be like him. You wanted to be as 'cool' as him, you wanted to have his personality, you wanted to be like him in every aspect."

By this point, Raian was gritting his teeth in frustration, tears slowly seeping out of his eyes. Tensa Zangetsu continued, "Then, when you two started to become close, you realized that the two of you were more alike than you had previously thought and at that point you just wanted him to acknowledge you. You just wanted him to love you like you loved him. But he wouldn't do that! He was wrapped up in his own little world, worried more about finding him some arm candy or become popular with the jocks in the Shinō Academy than about noticing you and your efforts to be his very best friend. Inwardly, you knew this, but you denied it. You lied to yourself that perhaps somewhere, he was thinking of you; trying just as hard to be your friend as you were trying to be his. When your lies were disproved right before your eyes, one after another, you grieved, but you didn't learn. You continued to lie to yourself!!! The foolishness! It's beyond me! Admit it! Right now! You grieved...because the one person you ever wanted to acknowledge you, the one you cared about most, wouldn't do it. Now that he's dead, it brings you more pain than ever." By this point, Raian was sobbing greatly. His tears caused rain to fall in the inner world as a heavy torrent.

"I won't allow you to continue this way..." Tensa Zangetsu once more continued. "I want the best for you. I want to help you!" he shouted through tears of his own. Raian looked up at him, "I..I accept your help..." he sobbed. "Then you have to do it...Right now, you have to beat the source of your grief. Only then can you move on." Tensa Zangetsu finished. Raian gripped his sword tight, resolve shining in his eyes, "Alright, I'll do it."

Source of Grief[]

"No you won't." Tensa Zangetsu abruptly interjected. "Not like that anyways." Raian looked surprised, "What do you mean? I just said I would!" he shouted back. Tensa Zangetsu narrowed his eyes again, "I can sense your emotions. Too much sorrow is spilling from your sword to allow you to attack this image of him. I want you to do one thing....Let go..! Let go of everything that hurts you or holds you back. Let go of it all! Those are things that God will take care of! You focus on you and the things you want to protect. I want to protect you! But I also want you to protect what you want to protect. Do it...Just let go!" the spirit commanded. Raian closed his eyes and gripped his sword tighter. "Mashū...there are so many things I wanted to share with you. You were my friend, no matter your thoughts. I enjoyed our time together. I would do it all again if I had a chance. So much has changed in the short time since you've been gone. I'm still going from one fight to the next...Sei-san is always beside me, so I'm never alone. I have to let go now. I have to move on. I will continue to remember you, always..." Raian thought. After opening his eyes, he realized that the rain in his inner world had stopped and that the figure resembling Mashū had fallen to his knees. The sun was now brightly shining down on the forest-city inner world. Slowly, the figure dissolved and seemingly joined with Tensa Zangetsu.

"That's it." the Zanpakutō said. "By letting go of him and your grief, you've allowed him to become what he should've been from the start; a source of strength, not a source of despair. You're ready now, to learn the Gesshoku technique."

Gesshoku - The "Full Powered" Getsuga Tenshō[]

Tensa Zangetsu then summoned his sword. "This technique can also be dubbed the 'Full Power' Getsuga Tenshō. When you leave here the essentials of the technique will come to you automatically. Using it comes with its own price, however. You see, you who know the final ability of your Zanpakutō, such as you did with Inyō, and has learned mine via Ichigo's knowledge have gone beyond the level of Shinigami and Hollows. Hence why your reiatsu is un-sensible to those around you. When you use this technique, you will be brought back down to the level of Shinigami and Hollow for a total of one month, during which time it'll be impossible for you to use the technique, while your powers recover."

Raian nodded, "I understand." he replied. "Aside from that," Tensa Zangetsu continued, "You have achieved complete harmony with me during this session. I will grant you the ability to materialize my spirit wherever you are to aid you." At this he smiled, "After all, I did say I wanted to help you. I will protect you as you protect those you love. Now go..." he ordered.

With that, Raian returned to the Dangai and reopened the portal to the ship, leaving behind the training grounds for new adventures.