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Sly Wit Makes Dead Men is an article belonging to User:Bombadcrowftw, and may only be used or edited by him, unless you are given his permission.

Sly Wit Makes Dead Men is an article created by Achrones150. Use is allowed with the permission of the owner, with the exception of collaboration-created articles.

Pushing Up Daisies, Hueco Mundo[]

Where did cleverness get you? A sword in your chest if you didn't keep your mouth shut.

Afable Jugador walked through the desert, his voice huffing... he had been in this heat for awhile now. And not to mention the last fight... well... lots of fights he had nearly escaped out of. He hadn't stopped running... but now he could, he couldn't sense them anymore. Halting his movements, Afable brought his hands up to fasten his gloves and pull his hat back to it's normal position. "Ahh, now that the ruffians are discarded..." he continued on, hands in his coat pockets.

It was the heat of day in Hueco Mundo.

The sun was beaming overhead. There were no clouds in the sky, no sign of rain to intercept this awful heat. No Shinigami would've liked to stay longer than a day in such conditions, unless one wished to have some sort of beach party (which no one in their right mind would be doing). However, the Hollow, one who had been born in such conditions, thrived in such heat, continuing to wander on and fight each other as if it were the cold of day. There was nothing less or more to expect from such a desert, regardless of any complaints that crossed its surface.

Cortez Selestino walked through the sands, a rather tired and bleak look on her face. One would've gladly said that she was simply depressed about something, or slowly succumbing to the heat. However, the reason was simple - she was just so tired! For hours, she had been searching for a few Arrancar in order to join her cause. So far, all she found were Adjuchas who wanted to eat her... she didn't even bother to sling her sword of the blood that was dripping a bit from her two sheaths. It was so agitating... so bothersome... so tiring... and she couldn't even find a place to rest.

How could life be so cruel to one woman?

"Gah... forget it..." She muttered in resolution, finally falling to her knees. Then, she twisted herself so that she would land on her back. "I'll wait until night-time to continue this." She was just going to go right to sleep! She didn't care about anything who crossed her... what were they going to do to her? Hurt her? Kill her? Bah. None of that mattered to her... all she wanted to do was get some zzz's! Shifting onto her side, she allowed her eyes to close.

It would be an oddity to see a woman carelessly sleeping in the sands.

But, who said she needed to give a care?

Afable would.

Or maybe not... the view of a woman was clear. There she had walked... and lay asleep, or atleast trying to get some sleep. Brutes... the lot of this Arrancar and the dissidents in this pathetic sand-pit. Why were Arrancars such careless oafs?

Soon, he appeared infront of her, creating a shadow over her face. "Hey." he would be polite before he iniated combat and added her power to his own. It was only because he was a gentlemen. Cursed as he was with this attitude. "I suggest you stand."

Groaning, Cortez opened one eye to the voice. If he had waited a moment, her vision would've been blurry at first. But, as it was, she could see him after a millisecond. "Mmmm... not night-time yet... go away..." She complained, roughly shoving herself in her lying position so that her back was facing him. Whoever it was, she didn't need to take his orders! Why didn't he go off and bug someone else? She never did anything wrong...

...or were those Adjuchas back there his friends?

That would be bad.

"Why must even women of my own species be so uncoothed..." "Pity." drawing his rapier Zanpakuto, he didn't even need to think. A quick stab of his sword would pierce her spine. Why was there no one else like him? It was... just sad. So very sad.

Maybe counting sheep would make him go away.

"One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four...." Cortez mumbled to herself, eyes still closed. In her mind, she began to see the sheep jumping over a wooden fence in a cartoon-like manner. Oh, what a pretty sight... "Five sheep, six sheep, seven sheep, more... oh, look, there's a black sheep, that must mean I'm lucky... or something..." She giggled a little, idiotically happy at the sighting.... though, it was helping her sleep a bit more...

A twitch mark appeared on his fore-head. Not only uncoothed... but now also incredibly annoying. Afable thrust his sword forward.

He should've stabbed her right where it hurt.

It was so unfortunate that he had no idea who she was... and why she had been roaming the area.


The hand that wasn't pinned down by her own side thrust out like a snake. Her palm closed around the rapier, her fingers wrapping around the steel with a natural ease. She managed to open her eyes in a half-lidded position, a slight scowl on her face. So she wasn't going to get sleep, after all... a sigh escaped Cortez's lips, and she allowed herself to finally push herself up into an Indian-style position, all the while keeping the grip on Afable's blade as she did so.

"All right, all right...." She muttered exasperatedly, using her other finger's pinky to clean out her ear. "You've managed to ruin my chance of sleeping. What'dya want....?"

"I suggest you let go of my blade, cur." Afable demanded. "I'm here to kill you... your powers... evolving... all that good stuff, ya' know?" Afable pulled back on his blade, preparing to loose it from her grip.

"Blah, blah, blah....." Ok, she was disinterested now. However, she knew she wasn't going to get any sleep now... he would just keep prodding at her until he got that evolution... sheep... whatever. She still chose not to let go of his blade, instead tightening her grip for a moment. "You've gotta stop beginning your sentences with I suggest..."


Within a moment, Cortez had snatched the rapier from Afable's hands, holding it in her own two. "Makes me think you're trying to threaten me..." She muttered boredly, mildly idolizing the way it was made. It must be difficult to use swords that can only stab, after all...

Afable was irritated... she had just disarmed him... with her hand! But a factor he had wanted was in play. She was an idiot...

Coating his rapier in his life-draining properties, it would act as if it were a toxin or deadly poison to her skin, even with Hierro... it didn't harm that. It would cause her to rot and age. Her Hierro would rust... what more could he ask for? Then a foe willing enough to take her weapon from him... chiding, "I wouldn't hold it for too long... you might get hurt playing with swords, miss..." "Heh."


That's when Cortez looked closer. Grimacing at the slow changes happening to her hand, she immediately tossed it away from her as if it was the plague.... which, at the moment, it was. Slowly, she allowed herself to stand up, stretching a little. It was very apparent that this man was quite serious. "Yare yare... Guess I got no choice." She muttered. Immediately, she gripped one of her swords, unsheathing the blade and leveling at the man. "If you wanna kill me, then I'll just have to stop you, won't I?" Her voice still held that rather bored monotone in it.

Afable noticed her disdain. Grasping his Rapier, he grinned. "Your surprisingly dull witted. You think one could have seen that technique coming." Suddenly, a flash of his Sonido lead to a whuur sound, as his blade thrust forward to pierce her chest, a total of 3 piercing jabs.

Cortez's body moved quite elegantly.

With every jab, it seemed to pierce straight through Cortez's chest and stomach.... but every time one blow connected, her image faded away to where it would hit the next time. That process repeated until Afable reached the third strike, to which she re-appeared a distance away. "Who're you to say that... Mr Dress-Up-san?" She retorted, raising her sword up again defensively.

"Your attempts at humor or taunting me are pointless, I assure you." this time, he only looked to her, not closing the distance, he made a total of 10 stabs. Each sending out a total of green Bala, in needle form. Each was filled with the same life-draining properties.

Cortez took a stance; her sword side was facing where the Bala would strike. Throwing her sword to one finger, she slung it around in a repeated circle. Where the Bala would've hit her body, it was instead dispelled by the swinging of her cutlass sword. "C'mon... at least lighten up a little!" She complained. "You made me go through the trouble of keeping my eyes open, after all..."

"Ugh, such sloth." pointing his Rapier, he conjured strings of spiritual energy in the air, swinging his sword in a horizontal strike, the strings flew across the field, ripping the sand in the air, and would most surely cause damage to her Hierro. Each were infact Immensely condensed and flexible Bala.

Immediately, Cortez snatched her cutlass back up in one hand, studying the attacks. "Such good energy control... good use of Bala... and the elegant manner in which he swings his sword..." She smiled softly, even as she moved to evade once more. Despite his way of talking, this man seemed to be quite a fighter. Could this be the man she was looking for? If so... it was best not to hold back... at least, not completely. She wanted to see what this man could do, before she gave him her proposal.

For now, she would have to fight.

Immediately, she used one more Sonido to re-appear out of the strings' path. Her movement was a swift one. In a move that would make Byakuya Kuchiki proud, she re-appeared behind him, taking the last few steps to complete her position. Then, her blade turned, aiming to impale him through the back and out the chest cavity.

"Tsk. Tsk. So cocky." One of his hands resided by his side. "Don't you think that I would have planned for you two target my back? It's chess dear, not war." gripping his free-hand, he snapped the strings that he had placed underneath his backside, strings of Bala outreached directly under her, some missing by a few feet, some spot on. And even some placed directly a centimeter infront of his own spine for protection, all swaying about freely for damage. Too bad he was cocky.

At that moment, Cortez managed to leap back once more. "You sure enjoy talking a lot..." She commented lazily, raising her sword up defensively. "Tell me, how often do you run that mouth a day?" It was now a matter of keeping her cool. The Bala's properties themselves were proving to be quite dangerous... however, she was beginning to memorize their power. Despite his confident attitude, it was obvious he wasn't at the evolution level as she was.

"Shut your yap!" suddenly, the strings intertwined, shattering themselves into tiny splinters, each a piece of the condensed spiritual pressure. It wasn't a show of force or power... it was a mistake. An explosion caused by lack of concentration. Letting out a breath, he exhaled. Talking to himself in a whisper. "Keep your head down... she can't reach you, so don't panic."


That was when Cortez lowered the sword, blade swinging downwards as she did so. However, there was no warning when she fired the crimson beam of death straight for her target. Considerably wide, and potent in condensation, one direct hit would be enough to kill the man if he blocked. However, the woman was surely confident of his abilities...

Afable had to make his move. His speed was what kept him alive. Not his Hierro, but his Sonido. The swirl of sand signaled he had used it. And now... he stood directly beside Cortez. Looking at her with the corner of his eye, he took in an inhale as the world came back to normal speed. He thrust his sword toward her rib-cage.


Cortez, even as she moved aside to catch the blade in her free hand once more, was aware of the life-draining properties it contained. However, she was now fully sure of herself after memorizing his power... no. It wasn't even that of an Adjuchas. Instead, all she sensed was that of a Gillian-class. The lowest of the levels versus the highest? There was no contest now... "You asked me that if I thought I wouldn't be able to target your back... so how about this. Why did you attack me from the side, knowing how capable I am? Or..." Her eyes drifted towards him. "Do you know what I'm capable of at all?"

At that point, her reiatsu came to the surface this time...

...and her hand clenched his sword, snapping the blade in two.

As his blade snapped, his Zanpakuto's physical form, his own eyes snapped wide. Breathing as ragged as he could have ever been, he knew that this foe was much more serious then his usual troubles. Afable gulped. He didn't have an answer... he was at a lack for words. "Gauging my enemies strength was never my highlight... I survive on my speed and my ability to flee when things get darkest. Apparently, that's a habit I should have kept instead of engaging you..." grimacing, this was really bad.

A small smile came across Cortez's face. "Guess I'm not so much of a slouch now, am I?"

Then, she turned herself to face him, blade rapidly raised in the air in order to point at his throat. For a moment, she didn't allow herself to speak, staring into his eyes for a moment. Then, she closed her own eyes and sighed softly. "You have quite a habit of boring the hell out of me... you're smart, aren't you? If so, then you should pick up my spiritual energy. It's not like yours, which is of Gillian nature. I am of a far stronger breed of Arrancar, and I could easily pick you apart..."

Then... she lowered her blade to her side.

"... but that would take too much work. I am what you would call... a Vasto Lorde." She tilted her head to the side, continuing to study him for a while. "And you don't have to keep calling me dear and all of that petty talk. The name's Cortez Selestino."

"True... but I look at the failures and defeats as smaller opportunities. As a means to show you how grateful I am to you for letting me live... how about I become your Fraccion. Your personal servant? What do you say, Vasto-Lady?" he was sure his tongue would get him in more trouble, but he had a rebuttal. "I mean... Cortez, heh." he was disarmed, and poised to be killed why was she taking so long to finish it?

Personal servant?

That made Cortez's eyes light up for a moment. "Really?" She asked, a grin on her face that clearly showed satisfaction. She sheathed her blade. "That works out fine with me! I happened to be looking for a Fraccion to help me, after all..." It sounded like she was being so trusting of this man... but she didn't like having to watch over him every second of this point! That would be too much work, as well!

Afable was beginning to wonder if this was a good idea...

"Yes really, mam." he sighed, he was sure she'd want him to do something to prove himself. Most likely demeaning or embarrassing, she seemed to 'happy' to do something violating. Atleast, he hoped. "What's your first wish, oh master of the lamp?"

Cortez clapped her hands together. "Get down on your stomach." She instructed, eyes squinting into the upside-down U shape. "You owe me as of this minute." Of course, her voice didn't sound suggestive or alluring or anything like that, but it was still rather conversational.

"B-but my precious clothes!" Afable bit his lip in a pout, darn this fight! Why couldn't he just be smart like he thought he was and just left her alone? "Fine..." a small near fake-tear dropped down his face. I'm sorry clothes! he laid down on his stomach as orderered. "Now what?"

It was no sooner after that Cortez's weight gently fell down on top of him. Her arms wrapped themselves around his upper-torso, and she rested her head on the back of his, careful not to force his face directly into the sand. Her front rested against his back. "Since you ruined my nap..." She muttered, sounding sleepy again. "You're gonna be my little pillow until night-fall. You can't move, either...!"

"Yes, mam." He laid his head to the side as to keep from placing himself in the sand. He closed his eyes. Alright... maybe I paniced too much. Maybe being her... servant won't be so bad. This was his prayer... "Night then." he rolled his eyes at himself. Curse himself for being a gentleman.


She immediately closed her eyes, wasting no time in going to sleep herself. When they awoke, they were going to search for who would be the 5th Espada to the developing group - Nicolao Jandro. After the Winter War's end, the man was the one to have the Las Noches fortress reconstructed. His many Fraccion would prepare the support needed to get the other Espada... or at least, most of them.

For now... she... and possibly her new Fraccion... could relax.

The End