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"On a good day, he's an antihero. On a bad day, he's a villain. Most of the time he's just a dangerously intelligent, functional sociopath who fucks with people's lives for his own personal amusement and profit."
Yoruichi Shihōin
Shihouin Kurama
Shihouin Royal Guard
Name Shihōin Kurama
Kanji 四楓院暗
Romanji Shihōin Kurama
General Information
Race Shinigami
Birthdate December 1st
Age 180
Gender Male
Height 181 cm (5'11")
Weight 66 kg (145 lbs.)
Eye Color Gold
Hair Color Purple
Professional Information
Previous Affiliation Gotei 13, Onmitsukidō, Soul Society, Shihōin Clan
Occupation 24th Head of the Shihōin Clan

Captain of the 2nd Division
Commander of the Onmitsukidō
Corps Commander of the Executive Militia

Partner Kazuo Hanazawa
Base of Operations 2nd Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society
Personal Information
Marital Status Single
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Family Shihōin Clan
Education Shinō Academy
Status Active
Zanpakutō
Shikai Unknown
Bankai Unknown

Kurama Shihōin (四楓院暗間, Shihōin Kurama, lit. "Four Maple Temple's, Time of Darkness"), is the Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō and the Captain of the 2nd Division following the Quincy Blood War. The devastation wrought by the Quincy Invasion had ended the lines of several noble clans, and with resources scarce, and an uncertain future on the horizon, many clans began vying for power in the ensuing vacuum. Kurama was one such player, but his role in the war, and the previous conflicts would not come to light for some time. He had strategically maneuvered himself in a position of influence, having long since been a confidant of the 24th Clan Head Yūshirō Shihōin following Yoruichi Shihōin's defection over a century ago. In the aftermath of the war he swiftly seized control over the warring factions, unified his clan and through careful political maneuvering gained leadership of the Shihouin by decree from Yūshirō himself.

Within months the coronation of the 24th Head of the Shihouin Clan was well underway, and with it Kurama had achieved absolute control over the Shihouin, the 2nd Division and Onmitsukido. At long last his plans had finally come to fruition, the disgraced noble had done the impossible. In the intervening years, Kurama gained notoriety as his rise to power came under heavy scrutiny. There were many that he had trampled over to quickly obtain his power, and their dissent became well known. The political atmosphere was tense, made even more abundant by the rise of other prominent figures who lacked proper lineage to lead their own clans or organizations, but those dissenters were soon dealt with. As swift as his rise to power was, Kurama took his time in dismantling the web of connections and power plays employed by the nobility.

Using his position he pushed several laws that unilaterally tightened restrictions on the nobility, increased the resources and recruitment for the Gotei 13 and paved the way for even more influence in the court for the Shinigami. Under his leadership he restored the Shihouin to prominence once more, and he did this all through the power of information. So infamous was his ability to discern secrets he gained the moniker of Kaigan no Kurama (開眼の暗間, lit. "Divine Eye Kurama"). Despite his fame, few know him truly and those who do speak of him either do so in reverence or in abject terror. He is an enigma, a man shrouded in mystery, his life is the stuff of intrigue. The nobles fear him for his strength, while the Shinigami despise him for his political connections. Yet Kurama finds this position comforting, for he is exactly where he needs to be. His efforts regardless of morality have all been to ensure the continued and thriving existence of Soul Society. He is its deadliest assassin, one of its greatest fighters, and most ruthless protector. There is no sacrifice too great, no risk too deadly that would deter him from doing what he has set out to do. There is a reason he is Clan Head of the Shihouin, Captain of the 2nd Division and Commander of the Onmitsukido.

Appearance

As a man of noble heritage, Kurama possess striking characteristics that embody the regal yet exotic features of the Shihouin clan. Dark skin, almost amber in its hue like the rest of his Clan, reflects off this tall man whose body is seemingly hidden beneath his bellowing kosode and Captain’s haori. He shares the trademark deep lavender hair of the Shihouin, wild and untamed it frames his head like the mane of a lion. Beneath it lies a pair of cold unyielding golden eyes, not unlike that of a fierce panther that are said to quench the light of the sun. Golden light shines off of the dangling cross-shaped necklaced pierced into his left ear, a gift he comments from a treasured friend. Atypical of most Shinigami, is that Kurama wears a distinct set of vambraces and greaves. Every-time one comments as to their purpose he often invents some epic tale, espousing that they were forged from the fire's of the once proud Sōkyoku, by the master bladesmith Ōetsu Nimaiya himself. Whatever the tale spun, their craftsmanship is undeniably masterful. Fashioned along with the same motif as his earring, they bear the image of a cross as their symbol.

When he moves it’s as if he's floating, his feet barely if at all touch the ground, but the movements are sinuous like liquid, there is a unique flow to them, deliberate, casual but cautious as though waiting to tense and spring into action if danger presents itself. His form, lithe yet powerful, agile, perhaps even indestructible; forged by the anvil of training, tempered by the heat of combat, he is a man of action, purpose. Shadows seem to dance with every step he takes, eerie and silent as the dead of night itself. Even at the brightest hour, his form seems to fade into the very darkness around it, as though welcoming its shadowy embrace. Obscured by his haori hints of a sword hilt can be seen, but just as quickly as it comes into the light, it disappears into darkness, as though it never existed.

As a Captain of Soul Society, he exudes an aura of command, and authority, accentuating his already impressive charisma, yet there is an undercurrent of something darker, dangerous, but oddly alluring in its capacity. As the insignia of his haori flashes in the light, the prickling sensation turns to fear, for realization dawns on those who understand its significance; a primal instinct long since buried beneath the veil of intellect rises to the surface demanding flight lest there be destruction. He is a messenger of death, a being knowledgeable in countless ways by which to snuff a life and end an existence within a single breath. But as he greets you, the palpable fear that gripped your heart, the sinking feeling of approaching death vanishes the instant he smiles bemusedly, offering a polite greeting in its wake. Those feelings are replaced by an aura of calm, a sense of relaxation that washes over your body with its subtle touch. Dread is replaced by awe, anxiety by admiration, even comfort. When he speaks a voice resonates with an impossibly smooth tone, yet deeper than what most Shinigami should be capable of reaching, but welcoming nonetheless.

He introduces himself by name, followed by pleasant conversation but before you realize what is afoot, every secret you've kept buried up till now has somehow spilled into his listening ears. Things that would destroy your honor, your family, even yourself are revealed to the world, and it is only then you realize the trap. But he pays your words no heed, simply nodding appropriately and continuing the conversation as though nothing had ever happened. Shortly after you excuse yourself, hurrying along to your home, unaware of the shadows that dance beyond your senses and then darkness. As the last vestiges of consciousness leave you, a white haori flutters at the edge of your vision, accompanied by a familiar voice, and then nothing.

Personality

There are many mysteries surrounding the enigma that is Shihouin Kurama. He arose seemingly from nowhere within the Shihouin Clan, wrested control and lordship from its previous heir and possess power and prestige that is perplexing yet frightening. He is both ally and enemy to those within the Gotei 13, and to those outside it. His disposition has been the subject of many a debate, though none are truly able to understand him nor his actions. He is sophisticated and charming, and when he speaks it is with a presence that others strain to listen to with rapt attention. But these traits mask a ruthlessness and cunning that has not been seen since the likes of Aizen himself. However, whereas the former traitor covered his nature with honeyed words, Kurama makes no effort to do the same.

In person he is generally polite, if mockingly so, and has a habit of deliberately inserting tid-bits of information about person, only they would know into his conversations simply to put them on edge. Some of the time, they are deep and meaningful, offering great insight into a person but more often than not, they are intended to intimidate, or make light of the individual in question. Sarcastic and witty to a fault, Kurama has no qualms with releasing personal information to humiliate or dehumanize those around him. In short he can be a bit of an asshole, though he generally only shows this side to those who are within his inner circle. To others he is rather aloof, condenscending and supremely arrogant. It seems that after achieveing his ambitions of ruling the Clan and becoming a Captain he has dropped all pretenses. 

Whether by nature, or the dozens of alias's he's adopted over the centuries Kurama is rather unpredictable and is prone to seemingly random shifts in his personality. He can appear serious when light-hearted, relaxed and courteous while furious, even both at the same time, but actually feel completely apathetic towards the situation.

He is an impish man whose nature is wrapped in the very deceptions he weaves around himself. His actions one day may be earnest and beneficial, going above and beyond friendship. And like a sudden breeze, the next day he will use all of his resources to destroy that very same person. Even Kurama himself is unaware of how he'll change from day to day. His perception of reality itself is to blame perhaps. And therein lies the very heart of the matter. When only a glance can tell him the thoughts of a person and a moment of concentration reveals their memories like an open book it can be very difficult to treat any individual with any degree of seriousness. He's found that people live in their own delusion, a reality only they perceive despite what is happening right before them. Thus he has no qualms about misleading others nor exploiting the very lies they tell themselves. Its for this reason that he finds it all too easy to adopt aliases, and is such a natural spy. He lives to manipulate others and find himself morbidly amused with the act. So he beguiles those around him with a practiced ease, weaving the strings of influence like a master puppeteer.

Sometimes though, the master is fond of cutting the string, and watching it dangle helpless before him. Yet in the same hand he may shed genuine concern and worry over one of his many thralls. To become embroiled into the lives of those he manipulates one must invest a part of himself to make the illusion even somewhat true. So however rare it may be, Kurama may find himself showing genuine concern and worry for those he has enthralled. He uses this persona to draw himself closer to the people around him, who often wonder what is beneath the cold and emotionless exterior. To find that he possess such emotion only seems to endear him. It is the perfect trap. There is one thing about him that regardless of whim remains constant. He is completely and utterly fearless. This stems not from the bravado, or even the arrogance and security of his own station. To Kurama, there is nothing to be feared, only understood, experienced, touched and felt. In such cases he usually finds himself in wonder at experiencing something so raw, so new, and in any case thoroughly enjoys it while it lasts.

So it is very unusual that Kurama has declared his loyalty to Soul Society and the Gotei 13, given his obvious preference for chaos . Having spent a lifetime in the Onmitsukido, Kurama has seen the darkest aspects of his society and those of the Human World for centuries. The Shinigami who have worked them with him are wary and rightly so given his earnest attitude in executing his duties as a Shinigami. He appears to care a great deal about his comrades and subordinates, often leaving them gifts or throwing welcoming parties for successful missions. However he has on occasion been rather devious and malicious in his actions, for seemingly no discernible reason at all. But then again, others simply can't read minds with the ease that he can. There is a running bet as to whether this is to demonstrate that he is capable of his own ruthlessness and is very well able to betray any one of them at a moments notice...or not. It can be very difficult to tell either way when it concerns Kurama.

For a man gifted with cunning, and a talent for manipulation, Kurama strangely does not lie about the kind of person he is. He warns others that they should not trust him or anything he says, yet his actions only seem to draw them nearer. He is apparently a man of his word, assuming any can get it out of him, but even if he does, whether it ends in their favor is up in the air. Yet he has forged deep and powerful relationships fellow nobles and Shinigami of all stations. Are they real and true, or merely a facade, a stepping stone towards whatever goal he has in mind? None are sure where his true motivations lie, for everything he does is a contradiction. Many are unsure of whose side he's even on, yet they all seem to overlook the most obvious answer ---his own.

History

"Knowledge is power, and secrets are the but the most potent form of that power. Secrets can ruin the noblest of heroes. Secrets can topple empires, entire civilizations. Secrets are everything; they are our greatest triumphs, and our greatest failures. When you know an enemies secret, you hold the key to your victory."
—Shihouin Kurama

The Veil

Though a man of extraordinary talent and noble station, Kurama's early life was beset by deception and humiliation. Is it any wonder that he became the man he is today, because of what he endured? Kurama was born into the Shihouin Noble family and raised as any noble should. He was afforded an education, given training and and possessed all the opportunities afforded to one of such noble lineage. As a child he was bright, full of youthful exuberance, a head full of lofty ambitions and foolish dreams. He followed the family tradition with pride and trained in earnest to become a member of the Onmitsukido. Quick witted, and a natural charmer, he demonstrated a talent for infiltration and espionage, skills that made him quite invaluable when fettering out secrets. 

There is a saying, "Pride cometh before the fall" and he should have known better, for he has more than once exploited such weakness. So against all reason he basked in the praise and adulations of his admirers, lavished the attention he recieved from the nobility and allowed his own arrogance to blind him. Soon he began working for various clan members, and at first the work was innocuous, little errands but nothing overt. Pass a piece of information here, escort someone there, the kind of grunt work meant to build trust, a game if you will, one he was all too happy to play. Eventually he earned that trust and was given more difficult tasks; assassination, espionage, and more became common for Kurama, and he revelled in it. He loved the thrill of a good chase, the power he had in the secrets he obtained, and indulged himself in the power plays going on behind the scenes. He knew not whether he did this purely for the enjoyment or whether it was for loyalty to his clan. Regardless both he and his clansman benefited from the arrangement for some time. But his growing prowess did not go unnoticed, and with the amount of information he had amassed, Kurama had unknowingly become a threat, and loose end. 

Tasked to assassinate a noble that was pushing a blockade of laws against the interests of one of his family he fought against their bodyguard. It was a brutal fight, but wit and cunning won over brute force and he overcome his adversary. Using the opportunity to gain more intel he uncovered the assassin's mask, and to his horror discovered that he killed a member of his own family. He stood there, frozen in shock. Everything he had done, every vile despicable act he had committed was all in the name of his clan, for his people, and organization. But this? This revelation cast doubt onto everything. Shaken as he was, there was only the seed of doubt, not conclusive evidence. So he carried out his mission, as his training dictated and returned to his masters once he was finished. He dared not speak up, but he quietly began examining all of the information he had been acquiring for his masters.

A hint here, a clue there, it mattered not, every bit of evidence led him further down a trail to the truth, till eventually he found it. He had wanted to feel disgust, to feel such rage at being used so ruthlessly as a tool to be used and thrown away at their convenience. But he couldn't. Their will, his hand. Even if he was ignorant, the truth was still right in front of him and he had chosen to ignore it, blinded by his hubris. He was no different then them. Had he not infiltrated numerous positions? Had he not garnered the trust of others, only to toss it aside all in the name of his mission? He thought himself doing good, that by serving his clan he was ultimately serving the needs of Soul Society, but that wasn't the case, it was never the case. He was the shadowy assassin at the beck and call of the corrupt echelon of the nobility. The hidden knife in their political games for power, prestige, and more often than not, amusement. Try as he might, Kurama could no longer perform as he did before, the veil had been cast aside.

His subtle inquiries and innocent grabs at innocuous pieces of information did not go unnoticed. As good as he was as the game, Kurama was a novice when it came to acting against the nobility. He should have expected it, those who no longer serve a purpose are instead made an example of. But they wouldn't kill him, he was not worthy of being considered such a threat. Instead Kurama found himself shamed, and humiliated. A mission gone wrong that exposed his involvement, and the scandal that erupted had all but obliterated his reputation among his family and peers. He was devastated. His family would only look upon him as a failure, and a reminder that even they who are elevated above the rabble, can still be brought low. He became a cautionary tale for children, and an example for the fate that awaits those who dare step out of line. Still he was a proficient Shinigami and the Gotei 13 has use for people like him. Those unfit in the higher circles are best served as fodder against their enemies beyond the walls of Seireitei. 

The Revelation

The Question

White Invasion

Kurama is first seen addressing the Elder Council of the Shihouin Clan following its heiress---Yoruichi's defection. He and his squad were one of the investigative task forces of the mysterious disappearances occurring throughout Rukongai, preluding the Hollowification of the Visored. He revealed information regarding his own private investigation where he met with Chamber 46 Council member Takeda. During this meeting he made an inquiry regarding how the Council 46 was made aware of Urahara and Tessai's apparent betrayal, when there was no such information to begin with. He would find that the Council member had been manipulated using a subtle Kido before quietly excusing himself out.

To this end he explained to the Elder Council, that Yoruichi's defection was likely a result of information only she was privy to regarding the safety of their clan and all of Soul Society and presented a plan, to appease all parties involved. He requested that the council grant him charge of the teams that would be sent to seek out Yoruichi, and asked that they allow him full control over the investigation. After much debate they agreed, and Kurama was placed as the chief of the task force assigned to search and observe Yoruichi's movements. He would use this opportunity to contact Yoruichi and establish himself as one of her primary sources in Soul Society, while remaining behind the scenes for the duration of the White Invasion, providing intel and helping to coordinate their movements in the Human World with Soul Society.

Powers & Abilities

"For you to become great, you must first know weakness. For you to ignore pain, you must first walk through the fires of agony. For you to win, you must first learn to lose."
—Kurama to the Onmitsukido

High Intellect: If there is anything to fear from Kurama, it is his immense intellect and vast library of knowledge and secrets. Kurama is a shrewd man, with a highly perceptive eye and remarkable intuition. He possesses a genius that is rarely matched, and it is prevalent through his mastery of the four forms of Shinigami combat. While others were content simply to achieve the power, speed and technique of the known forms, Kurama was interested in developing his own, creating a variety of techniques and abilities to suit his needs. But among the traits that define his intellect, his ability to discern even the most closely guarded of secrets is where his true prowess lies. Kurama's is infamous for knowing many of the secrets that lie within the walls of Soul Society. From the clan heads themselves, to even the lowly servants, there is nothing beneath his notice. It was once believed that his network of contacts extended as far into the Zaraki district of Rukongai. Kurama by nature is a very inquisitive man, whose curiosity has led him to develop a highly developed analytically eye. He is capable of discerning virtually all known fighting styles, ancient, incredible deductive reasoning in understanding unknown powers, magic and technology.

Master Manipulator: One of Kurama's chief exploits have and always will be his ability to manipulate the hearts and minds of others around him. Coupled with his immense intellect, and understanding the ways of the court, he has developed considerable experience in discerning the ambitions and motives of those around him. Even in his childhood he displayed an uncanny and keen sense of awareness of others, spending much of his youth cultivating a mask of mediocrity, fooling virtually everyone around him. By appearing weak to his peers, he enabled for himself countless opportunities to observe unnoticed, subtlety pushing and prodding those around with innocent inquiries, or favors to further his own agenda. It was nearly half a century later did anyone begin to realize the ploy, and even then, if one were to judge the results, the supposed revelation of that knowledge may have been all part of his plan. His ability is nearly prodigal in its capabilities, and immensely widespread in its influence; from currying favors from members of even the Central 46, to the devout loyalty he inspired in the Onmitsukido. He is a master at reading those around him, and is particularly ruthlessly in exploiting their weaknesses; using their doubt and fear as powerful weapons of coercion. He has developed a fearsome reputation few would dare openly cross. Many are initially wary of Kurama, yet despite such obstacles, he still manages to manipulate those around him, who ought to know better. His reputation is both a blessing and a curse, as many are unwilling to trust him, and expect him to betray them at a moment’s notice. Yet if there is knowledge one desires, a secret that one wishes to unveil, you go to him. In a world where words cut as deeply as any sword, he is either an invaluable ally, or deadly adversary.

Master Orator: Kurama is an exceedingly skilled master of the spoken word, able to maneuver himself in favorable situations and coerce even the most resilient minds to comply with his desires. As evident in his speech, Kurama is very polite, and soft-spoken, speaking in a very eloquent manner, often using suffixes such as ~dono or ~sama to whomever he is addressing, even his opponents. Even after the spread of his infamy, causing many to remain cautious of the man, he is still able to get within their comfort zone, calling him a staunch ally, and valuable friend. Despite the absurdity of the claim, Kurama's words are his power, they are enchanting as they are potent, slipping through the carefully placed defenses within the minds of others, and subtlety coaxing them into showing him varying degree's of favor. Even when his machinations end disastrously, his ability to calm the situation and establish dominance with but a few words is just a testament of his skill. Even to those he has blackmailed and coerced in the past, they remain allies, if only tentatively, though whether this is due to his words or the unspoken promise of swift and lethal retribution remains to be seen. The fact that he is such a skilled orator is very much a surprise to those who know him personally. He retains his soft-spoken voice, but his speech is blunt and insulting.

Master Strategist & Tactician: Without knowledge of strategy and tactics, his schemes would fall apart before they ever began, and his words would be hollow and without meaning. To be proficient in one or the other, the wielder must first have at his grasp understanding of the ways of war, for without that, his skills are founded on nothing more than a deck of cards. Kurama's expertise in the ways of strategy is as vast and expansive as the limits of his imagination, he is a brilliant strategist, capable of devising plans and contingencies as necessary. He was personally tasked with leading the genocide against the Quincy and has led numerous incursions into Hueco Mundo to quell potential Hollow attacks. His stratagem is nearly legendary in his ability to utilize his abilities and those under his command to the absolute best, ensuring overwhelming victory against his adversary's.

Master Assassin: As the Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō, Shihouin Kurama is one of the foremost masters in the arts of stealth and assassination. He boasts considerable knowledge in spiritual anatomy, demonstrating the ability to swiftly execute a wide range of spiritual entities, even those with no discernible anatomy. His precision is such that he can even disable the use of some of their unique spiritual powers, or remove the ability outright by targeting their vitals or weak points. His mastery of stealth however is by far his renown skill. Shihouin Kurama is like a phantom, able to appear and disappear at his whim, leaving no trace of his existence if he so wishes. His familiarity and penchant for illusions, give him the skill and talent to remain virtually undetectable from physical or magical senses. He is able to cloak himself from sight, remove his scent, move with deathly silence, and mask his spiritual signature with but a thought. Simply put, he is an immensely skilled assassin and saboteur, further illustrated by the masterful ease in how he is able to remain unseen, even after striking a target. His tactical use of illusions, mastery of kido and the techniques taught by the Onmitsukidō, make him one of the deadliest assassins in the history of Soul Society.

Hakuda Master

Since the establishment of Soul Society, Hakuda has remained as one of the four cardinal fighting styles of the Shinigami. It does not rely on the mystical abilities as seen by those who wield kido, nor the relationship and wondrous powers of one's zanpakutou, but instead is dependent wholly on one's own body and their skill in wielding it as a deadly weapon. For eons the Shihouin and the Onmitsukido have been held as the greatest and foremost practitioners of Hakuda. Seen as peerless warriors of immeasurable skill in hand-to-hand combat capable of defeating even the most fearsome of foes with nothing but skill. Few can match this ideal, than its heir apparent Shihouin Kurama. Since birth he has honed his body to become one of the most deadliest weapons in his arsenal of techniques for it epitomizes everything he adores about deception, and strength. His movements are small and gentle, like a leaf fluttering in a summer breeze, or the rush of water in a small stream. The attacks of his opponents simply fail to find purchase, as Kurama slips between the cracks of the onslaught with the barest hint of effort. He is always moving, gliding forth like a phantom never resting, never staying in one position, it is the dance of death. His attacks appear as though he were trying to touch and caress the air itself as one would a lover. His fighting style is every bit as romantic as it is deadly, for the power held in any one of his strikes carries such devastating power that a mere touch is capable of obliterating an enemy outright. The essence of his skill and prowess lies in his immense speed and control over his spiritual power. Every movement, and attack flows with the indescribable power of mythical forces woven into the tapestry of combat that paints the battlefield with the blood of his enemies.

General Hand-to-hand Prowess: In terms of raw combat skill, Kurama's hakuda is considered to be above and beyond the ability of even the most skilled Captain in the Gotei 13 with regards to Hakuda. His skill has reached such a level where he is capable of performing extraordinary, even superhuman feats with simple gestures and only slight movements and sometimes, not at all. Such feats generate rolling masses of power, the world bending and distorting as a mere stab of his fingers causes primal forces to barrel into his opponents with the ferocity of a storm. With a flourish of his arms he can unleash waves of rippling energy that are so potent they serve as a formidable defense in the face of the strongest destructive spells. But it is not these feats that make his hand-to-hand ability so fearsome. While they are considered extraordinary in the eyes of their master, they are simple parlor tricks. No, his real ability lies in the sheer level of skill he has accrued through rigorous training, and countless battles stretching across known and unknown worlds. His experience in battle and assassination, make him an extremely deadly, efficient and unpredictable combatant. He has acquired knowledge of literally thousands of fighting styles, both armed and unarmed, and honed his techniques until they became a fluid, near liquid form allowing him to transition from one movement to the next seamlessly. He has demonstrated the ability to defeat powers of unknown ability and origin with just his bare hands, deflecting burning swaths of Cero's with practiced ease and grasping hold of spells with the same technique as though he were fighting and disarming an armed opponent. He has fought and defeated several Captain-level opponents, without sustaining any visible injury, while only incapacitating his adversaries. Rather than kill his opponents, Kurama simply disables them so thoroughly that they are unable to ever fully recover. Some would call this mercy, but Kurama believes it to be purgatory; knowing that instead of your life, it was your skill, and power that were not just beaten, but killed, and destroyed, forever gone.

  • Seikuuken (精空乾, lit. "Purity of the Empty Heavens"): For three-hundred years, every day without fail he meditated on his failings. Looked deep within himself as he examined his hubris, exploring his innermost thoughts and feelings until they too evaporated away into a vapor. All that was left was the comforting embrace of the void, a stillness in the chaotic maelstrom of existence where only he and the universe existed. Eventually his mind began to broaden, to encompass the essence of his being, and reach out in communion with the elements around him. Soon it became as simple as closing his eyes and the world would melt away revealing itself to him, his senses expanding beyond his person. He can hear the whispers and the secrets carried by the wind, feel the patter of footsteps across the earth stretching from one horizon of Soul Society to the next. The heat of the sun as it illuminates all banishing the darkness leaving only that which is pure and true. Finally as though hit by realization he gave voice to that which he experienced, a name bestowed to grant power and meaning where only understanding existed. Despite Kurama's less than forthcoming personality, he is on many levels a deeply philosophical individual who has contemplated the thoughts and ideas that make him who he is. This is merely the manifestation of three-hundred years of meditation, a strength, or talent born out of diligence and gradual understanding of the world. It isnt something that can be taught, for words while powerful are merely the lens by which sapient beings reveal their perceptions. Seikuuken resembles in many ways a technique due to what it allows Kurama to accomplish but that is merely a side effect of revelation. Kurama describes this practice as a form of communion, though even that is barely sufficient as far as descriptions go. He can allow his senses to merge, or flow into the elements around him; the air, the earth, the heat, the water, everything that exists within nature, they become apart of his senses. It is a transcendent form of awareness that grants him the ability to see, and hear, and feel and touch using the world as his hands and fingers. In battle this gives Kurama an unparalleled form of battle awareness, a level of insight or intuition that prevents conventional ambushes, or suprise attacks from truly working against him. When he fights he smiles, there is ill intent, no lust for blood in his actions. He is simply aware, and when his gaze falls upon those in his domain he can hear the rhythm of their heart, each breath they take, feel their movements as if they were his own. Thankfully he rarely employs the use of this ability, simply because it takes away the sheer joy he gets out of battle, the rush that comes from fighting a deadly adversary. Yet it remains a trump card, a power to employ when his mind must be free from temptation and victory must all but be assured.
  • Souzousha no Me (創造者の眼, "Eyes of the Creator"):
  • Gensoukyokuken (幻想曲拳, lit. "Phantasmal Fist")
  • Tenchikaimei Ryuu (天地開明流, "Enlightened World Flow")
  • Shunkō (瞬閧, lit. "Flash War Cry"):
  • Muukuuken (無空拳, lit. "Empty Fist"): It is an ancient martial arts technique thought lost over a thousand years ago, said to have been the embodiment of the fist itself. It is a state rather than a mere technique in which one's martial arts transcends heaven itself. Muukuuken is the crystallized embodiment of the concept of the "strike of the fist". It is the fundamental of all techniques, namely the will and the physical action of striking. The body moves in accordance to one's will to execute the most basic of attacks; the thrust of a fist. But when this has been transcended, the fist becomes the thought, and the thought is the fist, by the will of the practitioner, the strike has occurred without physical effort. Kurama is one of the few beings who has achieved this remarkable feat, and is capable of harnessing it as one of his most well known forms of combat. When he attacks, he has no need to physically go through the action of attacking. The fist itself has become a thought capable of manifesting on his will. When he attacks, the strike simply materializes into existence and hammers away at his opponent. Distance nor range, these things have no meaning to Kurama. It is as if a great wind bellows around him as fists, kicks, and other strikes simply phase into existence, wreathed in oily shadows that cackle like lightning against his foes. His is a fist that has become its own mystery, something that has transcended the physical to become a legend in of itself. It is regarded as one of his most prized martial arts techniques, an ability so powerful he could battle against the very forces of nature itself; and indeed he has done so. Even against the formidable might of Kido, he can attack flames, earth, even air itself as though it were an opponent, slamming fist after fist into such attacks until they too become nothing but dust. Against a rogue master of the magical arts, he stood solemnly against a tsunami of blazing fire, only to tear it asunder with a relentless assault of attacks. There is nothing his fist cannot strike, be it real or illusory, so as long as it is recognized as an enemy it will be destroyed like any other.
  • Tamashi no Hochou (魂歩調, lit. "Soul Cadence"):

Onmitsuken: Kurama is renown for his mastery of arts ancient and transcendental, but many have forgotten the art that had become such. Although it remains nameless among the operatives of the Onmitsukido, the martial training they receive is more thorough than what is taught in the academy. Onmitsuken training is brutal, with many perishing before they ever reach completion. It is not a singular fighting style, for it is the culmination of hundreds if not thousands of different martial arts styles that have been absorbed, and refined over the centuries. It contains techniques encompassing virtually all known forms of combat even the more esoteric varieties that include the manipulation of energy both within a Shinigami and in the surroundings. Onmitsukido are required to gain a level of proficiency that exceeds the standards typically accepted in the Gotei 13, for often their work requires they infiltrate, spy and utilize various techniques for espionage and disguise. The use of a Zanpakutou is therefore impossible for most operatives, thus training to master one's body simply isn't a requirement but a necessity. They train to overcome the limits of their bodies, to break through their pain threshold to achieve victory at any cost. They achieve flexibility, agility and physical strength far beyond their peers allowing them to combat even Hollows unarmed. Onmitsuken is more widely known as the style for assassins, for its practitioners are capable of high-speed attacks design to cripple and obliterate opponents. Yoruichi Shihouin and Sui-Feng are both well respected for their prowess in this field, and have obtained a degree of mastery few can challenge; save for Kurama himself. Within every art there are numerous secret techniques, each unique and powerful. One such technique is Shunko, a hybrid technique combining Hakuda and Kido into one. Yet there are many others that have yet to be revealed, some Kurama himself is not even aware of. Yet to those he has discovered, he has mastered and made his own, becoming one of the undisputed masters of Hakuda in the history of the Gotei 13.

  • Sayajikage (明持影, lit. "Light Grasping Shadows"): Is an Onmitsuken secret technique; its name is derived from how light is always chasing after shadows, but never catches them. The technique is regarded as one of the most dangerous of the Onmitsuken for if one loses control for even an instant, their body will be utterly destroyed. The technique originally evolved from the practice of fighting enemies under the cover of darkness, smoke or mist to obscure sight then advancing upon one's foes. As the embodiment of that combat style, Sayajikage, is a kido-hakuda combination technique that wreathes an Onmitsukido in darkness, which rolls around them like oily shadows. Their opponents are much like the light, always searching, chasing, but never finding purchase, the shadows simply slip away. In battle, the practitioner is able to more easily fade into areas of limited visibility, rendering themselves undetectable. This is further enhanced by the techniques apparent roots in concealment magic which helps to conceal their scent, their breath, their very existence from their enemies. Their ability to hide, even in the midst of an attack is considered legendary, their bodies seemingly nothing more than mist or smoke as attacks seemingly flow through them with little resistance. Those of true skill in this art are capable of the greatest assassinations, able to slip in unnoticed, and slay an opponent without ever drawing attention before creeping back into darkness. As a master of the Onmitsuken, Kurama has unearthed and mastered this noble technique, and is capable of bathing not only himself but an entire area in magical darkness. In this madness, he is a force of nature unto itself, the embodiment of all sentient fear. In this state he is nearly unmatched.

Onmitsukidō Techniques & Kido Abilities

Kido Master: As Captain of the 2nd Division and Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō, Kurama possess great knowledge and mastery of Kidō. Although he is more well known for his mastery of swordsmanship and hakuda, his kido prowess is his greatest source of power. The Shihouin's bakemono heritage grants them a natural talent in the magical arts and Kurama is one of his generations greatest prodigies. For as long as Kurama can remember magic has been at his fingertips; illusions grand and small weaving through his hands with the finesse of those centuries his senior. He possesses a keen intuition and a natural cunning that allows him to employ his Kido in unique and dynamic ways. Combined with his mastery of strategy and tactics he is capable of devising elaborate and ingenious methods by which to turn his art into the ultimate form of assassination. His mastery of Kido is subtle, and extremely difficult to detect, due in part to the sheer number of techniques he is constantly employing. To an assassin such as he, manipulation, misdirection and deception have always been his creed, and thus it is reflected in his magic. He has harnessed control over his phenomenal spiritual reserves to obtain immense levels of control, in order to give his magic incredible precision and exactitude. He has spent vast amounts of time and resources to acquire many secret techniques from the Kido Corps, using his contacts within to steadily develop and expand his knowledge of Kido to rival their own masters. From the courts to the battlefield, Kurama has a vast library of spells at his disposal, casting them with impunity at his whim, some to further his goals, others to secure critical alliances and resources, while others are simply for his own perverse entertainment.

  • Eishōhaki (詠唱破棄, lit. "Incantation Abandonment"): A class of Kidō Incantation where the Kidō practitioner forgoes using a spoken incantation at all. While it decreases the time needed to release the Kidō, it drastically weakens the spell. Despite the difficulty of this skill it is one of the first that Kurama learned and mastered. For an assassin and an illusionist the ability to perform one's spells without alerting the enemy or those he wishes to remain ignorant is the most critical of skills. His genius was such that he subtlety began the steps necessary to achieve this skill long before he was given instruction. He has since mastered this skill as any true Kido Master should; demonstrating great proficiency and mastery in manifesting his spells with just the barest of thoughts while retaining the full scope of his spells power.
  • Kōjutsu Eishō (後述詠唱, lit. "Spoken-After Incantation"): A class of Kidō Incantation where the incantation is recited after initiating the spell in order to boost its power. Although it is a skill most Kido Masters refrain from using, Kurama's own genius has allowed him to develop a unique means of using this technique through his own mastery of illusions. This technique is generally combined in an Eisho Ichiren combination of a minor binding spell that mimics sound, Kagami Togire to create a visual image which houses the necessary spiritual energy along with another spell that binds the two together. The final spell is a seal which sets the conditions and allows the apparitions a degree of autonomy based on the conditions Kurama sets. While Kurama silently casts his spells, the apparitions can recite the incantation to give any one of his spells an enormous boost in its power. Even with a spell-chain combination the apparition will simply recite the various incantations as a stanza to empower the effect. Even more is that Kurama can swap out different combinations of spells to bind and stabilize the apparitions be they barrier spells or even destructive spells. He can utilize them to create territory, or to create phantasmal assassins.
  • Eishō Ichiren (詠唱一嗹, lit. "Incantation-Chain"): A jealously guarded secret technique of the Kido Corps due in part to its incredible difficulty and the scope of its power. It is a method of incantation that allows the caster to perform a rapid series of spells in sequence that are chained together to create an effect that combines the sum of its parts. This skill was by far the hardest for Kurama to attain, discovered purely by chance in a meeting with one of his contacts. After learning of its existence, Kurama poured his resources into discerning the secrets of this technique, requiring over a decade of effort to finally unravel its secrets. His single-minded pursuit of power had nearly erupted in war with the Kido Corps, but his silver-tongue had managed to smooth the fall-out over through an undisclosed agreement along with sizable funding towards the research department of the Kido Corps. It would take another century and a half for Kurama to finally obtain enough skill to even use this technique as a battle effective strategy. Kurama's skill in this technique is considered prodigal even by the standards of the Kido Corps, as he is able to weave the effects of numerous spells together to create extraordinary and new powerful magical effects. Such spells are manifested simultaneously, in rapid succession or form together to create an even more powerful effect. 
  • Hitei Kamae (否定構え, lit. "No (negative) Stance"): A class of Kido manipulation that allows the practitioner to perform kido without adopting a stance; ie the physical movements or gestures typically involved in the casting or performance of a spell. Demonstrating a level of skill and prowess comparable to the eldest practitioners of Kido, Kurama is able to perform much of his Kido with no outward physical movement. As a class of kido manipulation that is above even incantation abandonment, Kurama devoted much to mastering this skill as it too was necessary for his ambitions and profession. Naturally such skill affords him a massive number of advantages in combat, allowing him to employ tactics other practitioners are incapable of. With his mastery of the other kido techniques, Kurama's prowess in Kido has solidified him into one of the greatest assassins in the history of Soul Society.

Illusory Kido Master

Master of Illusions: While Kurama is indeed a master of Kido, and capable of utilizing several high-level even forbidden techniques to accentuate his spell-casting ability, all pale in comparison to his prowess and mastery of the illusionary arts. He is a master of weaving subtle illusions whether on himself, another person or within the world around him, playing upon perception, using only the barest of effort change one's entire world, nudging his victims along the paths and choices he desires. From the arch of an eyebrow, his dazzling smile or even a nondescript gesture, his illusions can take hold and overpower even the greatest of minds. His fearsome illusory abilities appear to go beyond the bounds of known kido, either stemming from a possible innate ability or perhaps the mastery he has over his own spiritual powers as they are capable of taking on a plethora of forms and effects. He has within his arsenal two distinct branches of illusion magic, though it is the former by which he is most known for, while the latter remains one of his most jealously guarded secrets.

  • Saimin Sazanami (催眠細波, lit. "Hypnotic Wave Ring"): One of the simplest means of weaving an illusion is through simple eye contact. By weaving this spell with his eyes, and meeting the gaze of his intended victim Kurama is able to entrap them in an illusion. His reiatsu manipulates the way a target perceives the world by targeting their senses, allowing him to create any sort of illusion he desires. However the strength of this spell is at its strongest when he uses it for suggestion. By implanting a suggestion in their mind, it is far more difficult to counter and when combined with his other illusory techniques, makes this spell invaluable. By weaving a masterful illusory construct and then using this spell to strength their belief in it, he is able to ensare a victims mind completely in his grasp.
  • Tsukikage Hansei (月影反省, lit. "Moonlight Reflection"): Another illusory spell used by Kurama, and considered one of the most basic fundamental illusory spells in his arsenal. It functions by bouncing light around to create visual illusions. Rather than create phantasms within a victims mind, this spell weaves illusions from light itself, bending and twisting it until it forms a new image. Because the illusion takes place outside the mind, disabling it is immensely difficult. What makes this spell so unique is the manner in which light is manipulated. Because Kurama is using a physical source to create an illusion he has since developed means of weaving hado spells within such illusions, disguising their true effect until it is too late. A fierce wind could reveal itself to be a spiraling ball of flame. He is also able to craft grandiose illusions of such size and detail that entire villages and settlements could spring around him.
  • Tenchikage Yokuterasu (天地影欲照らす, lit. "The Worlds Shadow Illuminates Desire"):
  • Kagetsuki Hisoutensoku (影月非想天則, lit. "The Shadow of the Moon Lacks the Perception of Heaven's Decree"):

Kido Techniques

  • Kagami Togire (鏡途切れ, lit. "Broken Mirror"): This Kido is a rather old and nearly outdated technique archived within the limitless library of the Kido Corps. The spell creates an illusion that can be held for upwards of a minute or two by the average caster, however due to requiring heavy concentration, especially in the middle of a fight, it has fallen out of practical use. While this spell can be used to create any sort of illusion, it is best used as a means of projecting an image of the caster. Kurama's speed while using Kamui no Kage Hokou is due to the integration of this kido into his movement. With it he is able to, create speed clones capable of independent, seemingly self-aware action. With the barest of movement, Kurama can send a number of seemingly solid clones at his opponent, and for all intents and purposes they register as him, in both sight, scent, touch, even reiatsu. Furthermore these clones even after accomplishing their objective can remain thereafter, further adding to the illusion and giving way to a new level of deception.
  • Hikage Kyouzou no Tamashii (灯影鏡像魂, lit. "Light and Shadow Reflects the Soul"): Another kido, Kurama extracted from his dealings with the Kido Corps, it is an ancient and largely unused technique, due to its immense difficulty. The caster is able to send their thoughts or in the case of a Shinigami a broadcast of their own spiritual body that is then amplified through the spell and manifested as an illusionary body at another location. The caster is able to observe their surroundings as easily as if they were physically there and engage in conversation, even use Kido. The projection appears as the original however it is translucent and indistinct, with its primary color scheme a reflection of the color of the Shinigami's own spiritual power. This spell is useful for long-range communication and with appropriate preparation can even cross dimensional boundaries. As the caster is insubstantial they are incapable of interacting with the environment unless through the utilization of techniques or spells. However the difficulty of this spell lies in the vulnerability the user suffers as the must remain stationary whilst using this technique. Kurama however is beyond such weakness as through the use of his Zanpakutou can simply occupy a shadow to use this spell safely.
  • Madoi Aijin no Yume (惑い愛人の夢, lit. Dreams of an Illusory Lover): A powerful mind influencing kido acquired by the Shihouin thousands of years ago. Reputedly it was an ability known only to sages, the Shihouin have since either acquired the secrets to its inner workings or developed a kido that merely emulates the effect, regardless, it is one of the most potent mind-affecting kido within their arsenal. Innately complex in its design, this kido functions by targeting all of the senses of a target at once. Its potency is as ingenious as its delivery method, as the caster performs the spell, they use conversation, physical contact, eye contact, body language, even the casters reiatsu to hypnotize their targets, all without their knowing. The power of the word is by far the strongest, for words can change a very persons perspective and design. Coupled with physical contact, the spell weaves its way through the targets own body, eye contact helps delivery into the brain, placating it, and allowing for easier manipulation. The casters reiatsu is a potent device as it envelops the target, further sending its subtle tendrils within the target, the spell slowly changes their perceptions into accepting the caster, considering them an ally, a friend, and depending on the circumstance, even a lover. When it has finally entrapped the target, it has proven itself to be a powerful means mind control, even domination. The target becomes highly suggestible to the caster, granting them near supreme authority. However this kido is inhibited greatly by those who possess powerful reiatsu themselves, for it works by integrating itself within the cracks and uncertainty's of the target. Those with greater levels of spiritual power are more difficult to manipulate, though this depends on the casters own level of spiritual power, and their skill. As powerful as this kido is, first and foremost it requires time and patience to use effectively, though depending on the casters own interpersonal skills, this factor can be mitigated. Whether the effects takes place over the course of a single conversation or days, weeks or months is all dependent on the casters skill with diplomacy. Furthermore a target, particularly an intelligent one, who is keen and magically talented may notice the subtle weave of the magic as it affects them, making it dangerous to use against one's fellow Captains.

Hoho Mastery

Hoho Master: Since the Shihouin have existed, they alone have held the title of Master when it concerns the art of Shunpo, afterall they ‘’invented’’ the technique. It is through their line, that Shunpo has been honed and refined to levels that never reach beyond the walls of their mansion, few if any are truly able to comprehend the complexities of the technique, or even grasp its innermost secrets. As the Clan Head and leader of the Onmitsukidō, Kurama is not only expected to uphold mastery, but to define it. His skill is considered the best in all Soul Society, perhaps even surpassing the Flash Goddess Shihouin Yoruichi herself! Whether such a claim is true or not is irrelevant, Kurama has mastered all of the strengths and weaknesses of Hohō, possessing incredible speed and agility befitting the Commander of the Onmitsukido.

Immense Speed & Agility: Liquid movement, no other analogy exists to describe the way Shihouin Kurama moves. It is a movement that flows from one form to the next, changing its cadence appropriately to the rhythms of his opponents, slipping through their attacks with masterful ease. There is nothing extraordinary about his movements, truly they are simple in design, lacking the flashy appeal most acrobats and Hoho masters would have one believe to be true speed and agility. But in their simplicity lies the heart of it all, there is such comfort, such casual ease by which he dances around the whirling blades, claws and demon magic hurled on the battlefield. There is no sense of urgency, almost as if he can read anothers movements long before they are made, intuitively responding to their attacks with a well-placed step, or subtle shift in his frame to dodge within a hairs breath of an intended attack. So swift and subtle are his movements one would think he were an illusion; impossible to physically grasp. Only one word can describe the sheer complexity of his method; experience. There is in incalculable level of experience in his movements, as though he knows that anything more would be a waste, one cannot dodge too prudently, nor too hastily for there is yet another battle to face. His form blurs and melds into a haze that is all but impossible to track, there is nothing, be it a physical or magical that he cannot evade, such is his skill, the very realm of movement is his domain, and he is its king.

Kamui Shinjisoku (神威真事速, lit. "Majestic Stride of the Gods"): Since times ancient stretching past thousands of years long before the dawn of man, or the rise of Soul Society, the Shihouin have always known Shunpo. To them it is not a technique but a rite of passage. When the kits, young and small initiate their first leap it is a cause for celebration. From there they are trained, and learn to harness this innate skill. For the Shihouin are hunters, predators and this translates to an aptitude in stealth, and reconnaissance. To the Shihouin, mastery of Shunpo is not just a measure of speed, but in stillness, quiet. It is only when one can leap off of a leaf floating in a stream without disturbing it, does on reach true mastery. Yet to the amazement of his peers and clansmen, Kurama has achieved finesse and skill that reaches far beyond even that. He has achieved a level of control in which he could literally run across the surface of a Sokatsui without being burned up in the process. At its most basic; Shunpo's prowess lies in its wielders control, without it, his own steps would be no more different then the bastardized version they have taught the other Shinigami. His Shunpo however has evolved into a power all of its own, becoming more than just a pure measure of speed but a quasi-magical step method. Evident by its name, his Shunpo has roots in magic relating to illusions, and shadows. It is a type of movement in which he becomes a mirage on the canvas of reality, a flickering phantom whose existence is as transient as the illusion it leaves behind.

  • Kamui Hitowo Izari (神威人を躄, lit. "Before His Majesty You Crawl"): The achievement of this level of speed is widely reserved for the truest masters of Shunpo. It represents the very height of speed achieved by many of Soul Society's foremost practitioners such as Yoruichi herself, Byakuya and even the Captain-Commander Yamamoto. As one of the most proficient masters of Shunpo, Kurama has achieved such skill with it, that he has internalized Shunpo, allowing him to use it almost naturally. In the eyes of Kurama, those who delude themselves into thinking they have achieved true speed, are but crawling on their hands and knees before his majesty. He often comments at how troublesome it is, as he must consciously restrict himself from using Shunpo in his everyday affairs. The fact that this technique represents Kurama at his slowest, yet it alone is the level where virtually every practitioner aspires to reach is a testament to the true extent of his speed based abilities. While moving at this level of speed, Kurama embodies the perfect Onmitsukido agent; virtually undetectable in his movement, his steps are completely and utterly silent. So swift is his speed that his body appears to naturally bend light around it, obscuring his form as though he had cast the infamous spell Kyokkō making it all but impossible to track him through sight or detecting his reiatsu. He is able to flawlessly create speed clones that are so life-like that they are impossible to discern from the original. To the onlooker there is no distinction between Kurama and his afterimages, as his speed is so flawless that even in the midst of battle he is freely able to speak from any of his speed clones with no break in his verbal cadence. Abilities that would ordinarily reveal his location, instead show that he inhabits all the spaces where his speed clones reside. This aspect of the first step method is simply put a mastery of the Utsusemi (空蝉, lit. "Cicada") technique, and his ability to use it at will. As a testament to his skill, Kurama generally requires only one step to achieve virtually any distance he desires, though given his propensity for extravagance the truth remains illusive as ever.
  • Kamui No Kage Hokou (神威の影歩行,, lit. "In the Shadow of His Majesty You Walk"): In the realms of speed, Kurama has achieved a nigh unprecedented level where even a single step can take him where he pleases. He has achieved supreme silence, mastered the art of remaining undetected in his movement and is one of the fastest Shinigami in all of Soul Society. Yet it is but one of many levels of speed he is capable of. Rarely is he required to take his speed to this level against an opponent, and if he does, he expresses a mixture of profound joy and gratitude towards the opponent, commending them for allowing him the opportunity to indulge himself. While moving at Kamui no Kage Hokou there is the distinct distorted warble noise as he moves, as though space itself strains to contain his speed. The speed of Kamui no Kage Houkou is characterized by the warping of space itself as he moves through the world. This phenomena manifests as the world quite literally contracts, with space itself shrinking along with the perceptions of those in the area becoming distorted as though the world was curving inward. This contraction of both space and perception is the true power of this level of skill, for even if they tried to run, in actuality, they would be walking. Dodging his attacks becomes nearly impossible for to even move the necessary amount to evade a single attack by a hairs breadth would require movement that would require them to traverse several meters worth of distance. Everything is skewed, from space to their very perception of it, that those who manage to excite Kurama to enter this stage find themselves helpless before his assault, they might as well be standing still. 
  • Kamui no Joukei Hashirikakeru (神威の情景走り掛ける, lit. "Before the Gaze of his Majesty You Run"): Exceeding the principles of bounded reality, this step seemingly borrows concepts from demon magic to achieve its speed. For most the ability to traverse distance is accomplished by either folding or bending space; shortening the distance between themselves. Kurama however uses a step that folds time. In the second step, Kurama initiates speeds capable of warping space itself, bending the distances of reality and distorting ones perception of the world itself. Such a feat is considered the height of speed, an achievement that would exalt him as a legend for eons. Yet it is merely the second step in four. That which differentiates this level of speed between the first and second step is that this level is capable of bending the flow of time. It uses advanced spiritual theory regarding time manipulation combined with the movements of Utsusemi and Speed Clones to temporally displace himself from the time stream. Kurama likens it to hiding within a mote of time and using that to ride the current. The effect is nothing short of extraordinary. In addition, to all the effects of the second step when he moves, due to his temporal displacement, Kurama is capable of phasing through physical objects for its duration. Because his movement exists but yet doesnt within the span of a moment, eyes cannot track him and magical means of detection simply fail to find him. His moves do not disturb the physical world making this technique one of the greatest speed tools for assassination. Even against abilities that alter time, he retains the ability to act, albeit at speeds comparable to his second step. To an observer, the event of his movement seemingly never existed, when he reappears, it is as if he had always occupied his current location.
  • Kamui Banshou Tomari (神威の万象止まり, lit. "Before His Majesty, All Things Are Still"): Existence is but an empty canvas in which creation is painted on. A blank world of white illumination from which all things are born. It is the everlasting void, it is the birthplace of all that exists, has exist or will, and it is this realm where Kurama finds himself upon reaching his maximum speed. On using the fourth and final step of his Hoho, Kurama is able to shed the fragility of reality entirely. Kamui Banshou Tomari serves as an extension of the third step method. Rather than hiding within a mote of time, Kurama is capable of expanding that moment, like driving a wedge into time itself, not necessarily stopping its flow but splitting the stream and walking within the void that exists in-between. Kurama refers to this place as the Hakusuki (白透き, lit. "White Space" or "Blank Interlude"). A world consumed by brilliant luminous white light, and the pinnacle of speed, buried in the flow of time itself. Compared to the third step method, Kurama does not move from one point to another, he exists within that moment for however long he remains moving. In essence he can use this step method simply to move forward in time, by expanding several moments in time altogether. To an observer he for all intents and purposes vanishes from existence, only to reappear a moment later. Fighting at this speed is virtually impossible, for it is the pinnacle of speed where all things in nature dissolve. Due to the nature of this step method, Kurama can actually intercept those using methods of trans-location such as teleportation or one moving at this same level of speed. Combat in this realm can extend for minutes, days, even hours while only a single moment passes in the real world.

Trivia

  • Kurama shares his birthday with the samurai and ninja Hattori Hanzo.
  • The Kido Kagami Togire was adapted from the fanfic Hammered Down, all credit goes to the original author for its creation.
  • The idea of the whitespace was originally coined by User:Njalm2 after his observation of the battle between Yoruichi and Soifon. Theorizing that the whitespace indicated a unique realm of speed, he extrapolated that true masters of the art could achieve such a level where even an instant in real time can be seconds, minutes, hours, possibly even days relative to the time passing for those fighting within the whitespace. At the moment, Kurama and Grimmjow are the only known practitioners to regularly engage in battles in this dimensional realm of speed.
  • Miscellaneous Information:
    • Kurama's hobbies include a variety of activities many would not expect out of the Shihouin Noble. Beyond the typical training, he often spends his time attending to a personal garden, writing short stories that are posted in the Shinigami Magazine, painting, and calligraphy.
    • Kurama has a tendency to address persons with unusually respectable honorifics, using ~sama, and ~dono regularly, which mean lord or in some cases master. For his subordinates he prefers ~kun and ~chan, though in this case it appears somewhat condescending. In other circumstances he chooses to add suffixes such as ~hime for his female friends meaning princess, and/or ~heika for both females and males, which means majesty. The reasons for this remain unclear, as he is known for his polite and humble speech in public, yet sarcastic and witty humor behind closed doors.
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