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Hueco Mundo has been silent, as it had always been. Fights broke out every now and then within Las Noches, but they usually ended in a stalemate. Which is good: the hollows who follow Herrera Tresckohen were strong. And they recognized each others' strengths. At times, Herrera longed for the chaos that was around during the time of Aizen's rule, but he despised his former leader with a burning passion. He should have been executed for what he had done. But Soul Society is led by weak fools: Aizen was only incarcerated.

Herrera rose from his throne, stepping down to the two hollows who ended their fight in a deadlock. Both were panting, fatigued from the duel, but they each looked at each other with eyes that glint with frustration. They had no love for each other, but there was respect. This was what Herrera wanted.

"Excellent," Herrera praised them both. "I could care less if the two of you hated each other to the point of wanting to play dirty, but I can see the respect you have for each other. Respect is indiscriminate."

The two gave their thanks to Herrera, stepping aside for the arrancar king to continue on his way. Their rivalry will not cease, Herrera was sure, though their caution to each other would serve well on the true battlefield: against the shinigami. Herrera is doing what others have chosen to avoid: a war against Soul Society is futile if it does not result in its complete and utter destruction. Aizen was a fool for going after Karakura Town instead of after Soul Society. The Gotei 13 was protecting more than their Soul King: they were protecting those who they swore to protect for millennia. Cutting off the beast's head is how one kills, not its tail.

Outside, Herrera's eyes surveyed the deserts of Hueco Mundo, but it was not the endless sands that he was focusing on. His range of pesquisa extended beyond that of his own dimension. And he felt an old power that he had not felt for several hundred years.

What was his name again? Mūkane? Mūkare? Something along those lines. That shinigami was strong though: enough to overpower Herrera while he was a mere adjuchas. But times have changed. People have changed. Herrera was no longer an adjuchas menos: he was the King of Hueco Mundo. The world knows his name, but not that shinigami's name. How much stronger could that shinigami have become in the time that he and Herrera was away from each other? It did not matter, since Herrera knew he was much stronger than before. Few could achieve the rate of achievements that Herrera had achieved.

"I am only here to harvest jinki fragments," the shinigami told him. And Herrera denied him that opportunity.

He raised his skeletal claw hand before him, admiring the sleek, yet lethal, design that he had refined over the years he was in exile. It was too bad that Nnoitra Gilga was dead: Herrera would be more than pleased to kill the former-Espada himself. The arrancar imagined splitting the smug face of that shinigami in half with its talon-like fingers, giving himself a level of comfort.

"Are you concerned?" a voice behind Herrera asked.

Herrera did not turn to look at the other. "Only that the hollows would get overly arrogant about picking their fights. Fallen hollows mean nothing to me."

"Of couse," the other answered, walking up to the king's side.

Herrera did not need to say her name: he knew who she was. Luccia Botta, his second-in-command. Like him, she also once followed a shinigami overlord, though not the same one as himself.

"Tenkuko is getting impatient," she said.

"And she will have her fun shortly," Herrera answered. The rogue zanpakutō spirit was a valuable ally, though quite troublesome to keep around. She was only with Herrera's army for her own interests, mostly for "fun." It was something that Herrera thought was pointless, but he had to compensate for her, due to the value of her powers.

"We will be moving very soon," the arrancar king continued, "my men are getting impatient. I would wait a little longer, but immediate reimbursement is necessary to maintain followers."

He turned away from the desert landscape, returning to Las Noches.

"Let's not be late," he said.