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Tereya, in a severely wounded condition.

It was dark, illuminated by only an orange glow. A young purple-haired girl was sitting in front of what look like a corpse. She was staring at it blankly as it's wounds healed up. There were others in the room, only shadows in the orange glow.

"How is she?"

One of those shadows had turned from the group and walked out into the light in order to reveal itself. It wore a robe that was similar to that of the Shinigami's, but a variation of blue and green had decked the outfit entirely. Long, violet hair was tied up in a top ponytail. A calm frown was on the countenance, and violet eyes stared upon the corpse of the black-haired woman that had just been shot in the heart.

The girls golden eyes swiveled to her leader and she spoke in a quiet, yet song-like voice. "She will be fine." She said, her voice carrying. "Restoring her heart will take a few more minutes, but it was be as if nothing had happened."

The man pursed his lips together, eyes looking over the woman carefully. "What of the other reiatsu-shot wounds?" He questioned. "How long will that take to heal?"

"The rest of the damage to her physical body is not serious." The girl replied. "I shall begin restoring those cells now." The shot wounds on her body began to close up as soon as she said those very words.

"Very good..." There was now content in the man's voice. He closed his eyes and nodded, as if confirming something. "Very good..." Raising one of the hands clasped behind his back, he motioned over to one of the other shadows. "Tokoshiki. Could you come over for a second?"

A young man emerged from the shadows, his light purple hair tied back in a ponytail, and walked over to Juushin. "You rang?"

Juushin scoffed, raising an arm to wrap around the man's shoulders before pulling him roughly closer, but it was also a move of playfulness. The pull was just enough to allow to see the fallen woman's wounds being healed. "C'mon, don't be shy. I figured you, of all people would've wanted to watch this!" He chided. "This woman could've died with all of those gunshot wounds to the chest. But yet, your little girl says she's going to be fine in a few minutes. Have a little pride, would ya?" He released the man, gently punching the man's arm in a friendly manner.

Tokoshiki laughed. "I am watching and I am proud. Doesn't mean I have to show it."

"It brings out encouragement when you do, though!" Juushin replied. "We all need it, especially with all of the refugees running around..." That was when his tone took on a rather solemn tone, though the transition was gradual. "Wonder who exactly this woman is?"

"Not sure." Tokoshiki replied. "Never seen her before. With a rack like that, though, her husband is one lucky man."

"Well, don't we have all the nerve?"

It wasn't Juushin's voice that spoke the words, but rather a faint and female voice behind them. The footsteps were light and quiet, but Juushin could easily guess that they were close. He allowed his head to turn towards a green-clad woman, arms folded across her chest, and a skeptical frown on her face. "How about you keep your eyes on the face instead of the boobs, Toko?" She asked. "Saves you the trouble of getting slapped." She took a place beside Juushin, as Tokoshiki had the other flank.

"Oh, nice to see you too Hime-chan." Tokoshiki said, smirking.

"Oh, Lord..." The nicknamed "Hime-chan" rolled her eyes, but a smile of humor couldn't help but cross her own face. "Don't try to soften me up with nicknames." Those same eyes fell upon the woman for a moment, first in concentration as she studied the facial features. "I'm surprised you too don't know who she is... am I the only one who keeps track of the new citizens around here?"

Juushin shrugged. "Suppose so. Who is she?"

"She's one of the new Shinigami that moved in with a husband, kids, grandkids, eh..." She swung one hand around for a minute, placing her other hand's fingers to her forehead in an attempt to search for more words. "In short, it's a big family... sort of." She finished, frowning in slight sheepishness. "But this one was the one who played the role of the serial killer in that massacre up there."

Jin stood up and the orange barrier around the corpse shattered. "It is done." She whispered. "She should be back to working condition momentarily."

Briefly, Juushin allowed a smile to cross his face as he looked over. "All right, Jin. You may go now." He said, in a slightly formal tone. Out of respect, he allowed his head to bow in order to show his gratefulness for the girl's efforts.

The girl nodded, but did not smile as she walked out.

"That girl is like ice." Tokoshiki murmured.

Juushin raised an eyebrow in his direction. "You call that ice?" He questioned, in slight amusement. "Then you would've called me Artic in my soldier days." He turned back towards the green-clad woman. "You were saying, Chidori?"

"Er...." Chidori looked rather thoughtful, eyes finding an interest in the ceiling as she pondered. "Well, if she was able to cut her way through those police officers like that, then she's obviously not a regular refugee. Question is..." She trailed off for a minute, her voice sounding even more hesitant. "...will she be a keeper?"

Juushin switched his gaze to the body. "I'm not sure..." He muttered. "Her family's probably on a witch hunt looking for her. But, we can give her back to them at any time. It's not likely that they'll find this place, after all." His expression switched from one of thought to one of brooding. "If we're lucky, maybe we can convince her to our side."

Tokoshiki grinned. "I want to see how well she can fight against us. Sure she took down a few officers, but they don't have much spiritual pressure to begin with."

Juushin smirked. "You may get your wish. Once she wakes up, and introductions are out of the way, we can get settled on gauging our strengths. Just to see if we're worthy of each other's respect--"


He was immediately interrupted by a groan that came from the woman, closed eyes fluttering open. He allowed himself to turn back to her, as she raised her hands up to her face, attemping to pull herself out from her mind's unconsciousness. "Oh, hell..." She groaned. "I feel terrible."

"Oh look at that. She's awake."

All exhaustion was immediately forced from her, upon the sound of the foreign voice coming in her ears. Memories immediately came swamping to her mind; one moment, she had been watching her husband battle it out against the soldiers that were attempting to kill her, and the next... it all went black. Now, she was waking up on some kind of medical bed, with someone addressed her.

She had been captured.

In that moment of realization, her instinctive reflexes kicked in. In a flash, and much to Juushin's shock, she had thrown herself off of the bed and executed a cheerleader-like frontflip away from the three. Then, as she turned to face them, she unsheathed her Zanpakuto and pointed the killing tip straight at the trio. Breathing hard, and with an expression of nothing but pure rage, she only asked one question.

"Who in the hell are you fuckers?!"

Tokoshiko's eyes laughed. "She's not short of energy. Seems Jin did a good job."

Flustered by the other woman's actions, Chidori raised her hands up defensively. "Hey, there's no need to start swinging swords just yet!" She protested, trying her best to put on a re-assuring expression. This made the other woman's anger soften a little into bemusement. She cocked an eyebrow at the green-clad girl.

"What bullshit." She retorted. "If you were trying to take me prisoner, you should've taken my weapon first, you amateurs! But, then again..." A small smirk crossed her face. "I would've simply had the option to bludgeon you to death. Either way, you're not going to have a submissive bitch for an inmate."

"This girl has quite the vocabulary, doesn't she?" thought Juushin, an amused smirk of his own turning the corners of his mouth upward.

"We're not taking you prisoner. crazy woman." Tokoshiko replied. "So why don't you calm down and put that sword away."

"Oh..." The woman looked rather wry. "Why am I finding that so hard to believe... especially when you--" She pointed the tip blade towards Juushin, who remained stoic. "--have the same outfit those motherfuckers called soldiers are wearing?"

"It's salvaged, my dear." He replied, using a calm tone in his voice in order for her to soothe the aggression. "I'm not your enemy, here--" He ignored the scoff that interrupted him briefly. "--but we do wish to test your strength. You're going to be used for something big..."

The woman frowned. "Is this where I'm supposed to say That's what she said?" She remarked sarcastically, making Chidori chuckle a little at her choice of words.

Tokoshiki chuckled as well, a thin grin on his face. "Juushin, why don't you just explain to her? Last thing I need is that sword swingin' my way."

"Actually, Toko..." Juushin extended a demonstrating hand towards the girl. "Didn't you say before that you wanted to see what she could do against us? This could be your only chance to shine..." He said, the last words in a melodramatic manner. Just to top it off, he placed a hand to his head in perfect actor style. Chidori had to stifle the urge to start laughing harder.

Tokoshiki smirked. "Alright. Sounds like it'll be fun." He walked over to the side of the wall and pressed a switch. A door in the floor opened up. "Crazy woman, follow me." He said, jumping down, that smirk still on his face.

For a moment, the woman could only glare coldly at the spot where he had once been. Then, as she walked towards the hole, she sheathed her blade and folded her arms once more. "My name is Tereya..." She muttered under her breath. "You bastard." Then, she took his lead and jumped down into the "doorway".

It wasn't too later that Juushin and Chidori followed close behind.

Tokoshiki vs Tereya[]

"Tereya then." Toko said as she landed. "Nice name. Doesn't suit you at all though."

Tereya herself landed in a crouch position before standing up, folding her arms across her chest. "Flattery'll get you nowhere, honey." She retorted. "'Specially when we're about to fight." A distance behind her, Juushin and Chidori had made their own descent, acting as spectators to the two.

"Like I need flattery to get anywhere." Toko said, grinning. He drew his bejeweled blade and tilted his neck, making a cracking neck. "Think you can keep up with me Boinboin-chan?" He asked in a joking manner.

"Think you're funny, huh...? We'll see how much you'll be laughing once I kick your ass."

Once again, she pushed the thumb under the hilt to unsheathe her blade, using her other hand to slowly pull out the sword. She once again pointed the tip, this time towards the solo man that dared to challenge her. She leveled him with intense glare as she readied herself, settling comfortably into a stance.

He extended a hand. "Hado number four, Byakurai." He said, a blast of white lightning shooting from his finger.

Placing one foot back behind her, Tereya lowered her head and leaped forward, side-stepping the bolt of lightning by only a little. With the kick of Flash Step, she was right in his face, her sword raised and swung down upon his unguarded head.

Toko grinned, leaning back as the sword sweeped over him, and throwing his hand forward, wrapping it around Tereya's neck and he forced her into the ground. Pulling back, he charged his fist with Byakurai's electric current and ran, tearing her through through the ground and he let her go. She flew like a rocket.

Both Chidori and Juushin winced at the muffled yells of indignance and pain that came through the ground. "I think I felt that one..." The green-clad woman thought, watching in amazement as Tereya struggled to stand once more. Thanks to the immense friction, one side of her face was dripping with blood, and her gritted teeth were quivering. She raised a hand off of her hilt to grab the affected side of her face. "You son of a..." She swore angrily, staggering from the rubble and towards Tokoshiki again.

Jin landed next to Chidori and Jusshin, and completely ignoring both of them, sat down and looked at her father's fight.

Toko grinned. "Bet you felt that." He said, spinning his blade so that it let off a vibrating whirring noise. He took he a stance.

Gripping her blade once again in two hands, Tereya swung her sword down to the ground. In doing so, she released a burst of her own raw reiatsu straight for him. Thanks to the influence of her Hollow, it gained a distinctive reddish color as it sped towards him, sending gentle ripples in the air as it tore forward to its target.

Juushin was looking more content, even as he looked at the display. "Immense energy control..." He checked off, raising his fingers to count. "Pleasant speed... and swordsmanship skills. Seems like we have a brute fighter on our hands, don't we?" He commented to the two beside him.

Chidori was kneeling to Jin's level, looking on at the fight with interest. "I'd say so!" She agreed.

"She has no chance." Jin murmured, not making eye contact with anyone. "Her reiatsu is too weak."

Toko caught the blast of reiatsu and threw it to the side. "That actually burned." He said, cracking his neck again. He charged in her direction, zigzagging to avoid being caught on, leaving behind afterimages.

A sneer came across Tereya's face. Once again, she readied herself into a defensive stance. Her eyes, finding a pattern in Tokoshiki's movements, was able to catch on and percieve where he was going. The next move would require timing on her part... and just one window of opportunity that she could take.

Once he came close enough, she stepped forward, just as his real figure flickered back into existance. Thrusting her sword forward and stepping to his side, she swung her arm back in a sportsmanlike backhand, the sword going for the back of his hand. "You are a dead man!" She shouted triumphantly.

The man swiped his hand out of the way, the blade cutting into it, blood spurting out of it. He jumped back, grinning slightly. He charged back in, raising his blade up. "Hado, number four, Byakurai." He said again, though this time the spell was different, the lightning being contained within his blade. He swung it down with tremendous force.

She wouldn't block this one.

Eyes widened in shock, she leaped back, the heat of the electricity tingling the nerves in her cheeks. "You wanna play Kidō again?!" She raised a finger towards him. "I'll gladly oblige. Bakudō 30: Shitotsu Sansen!" From the tip came three rods of yellow light, aimed at his arms and a leg.

"A Kidō user, too...." Juushin nodded in understanding. "And the way she was able to react to his immense speed..." A smile crept onto his face. "She just might be a keeper."

"Such a weak binding spell." The man murmured, dodging the spell before it could come into contact with him. "Bakudō 61, Rikujōkōrō!" He cried, extending his finger and six binding rods of light shot at the woman, aiming to bind her as her spell had aimed to bind him.


Immediately, Tereya's eyes widened, and she felt the stiffness in her midsection as the speeding rods of light slammed into it, effectively holding her in place. In vain, she struggled against the bonds in an attempt to free herself, all the meanwhile passing a withering glare to the man who immobilized her. Her head was throbbing like hell now, and it was taking all of her effort to ignore what felt like constant pecking at her skull.

" "Limit of the thousands hands, respectful hands, unable to touch the darkness." He began to chant, his hands glowing with a bright light. "Shooting hands unable to reflect the blue sky. The road that basks in light, the wind that ignited the embers, time that gathers when both are together, there is no need to be hesitant, obey my orders. Light bullets, eight bodies, nine items, book of heaven, diseased treasure, great wheel, grey fortress tower. Aim far away, scatter brightly and cleanly when fired. Hado number 91, Senjū Kōten Taihō!" He cried, extending his hand and firing several energy spears at the woman.

"You motherfucker..." Tereya swore, eyes widening upon seeing the incoming death approach her. The grip on her sword loosened, and she allowed herself to close her eyes, knowing that death was now imminent. She could make no move to dodge or to free herself. It would only be a matter of time before she would be sent to the darkness once agian... only this time, never to return. But she would accept such a fate with dignity - only cowards panicked in the face of such a threat.

No one, however, notice that Juushin had vanished from his spot.

Instead of an explosion, all of those energy spears collided with what seemed like an invisible force. They melded together, attempting to push against the defense, but to no avail. Then, all of that energy finally gave way, "shattering" and kicking up a smoke screen. When it cleared, however, the leader stood with his sword in a horizontal defensive position, eyes stoic as he stared at his partner.

"That was a little too far, don't you think, Toko?" He asked coolly, lowering the blade and sheathing it. He ignored the wide-eyed look Tereya was giving him, but did spare a glance behind his back towards her.

Toko chuckled. "Sorry about that Juushin. I got a little too into the battle."

"So I saw..."

Juushin raised a hand towards the trapped Tereya, raising his hand briefly. As if on cue, the rods shattered, leaving the exhausted woman to fall onto the ground. "Right... I think she has a definite amount of potential within her..." He said firmly, looking onto all three of them. "And I'm pretty sure you've seen what she's capable of doing. What's your verdict?"

"I say she could get stronger." Toko said, grinning. "Bet she can't even use Bankai yet."

Jin said nothing, merely staring at them all as if she was in a daze.

"Hm?" At her silence, Juushin tilted his head slightly. "I'd like your opinion too, Jin, if you don't mind." He called gently to her. "This is a team matter, after all." He didn't flinch when Tereya abruptly rose up, confusion and exhaustion on her face as she stared at them all.

Jin spoke quietly, but her voice carried anyway, it's musical quality drawing them in to listen. "I agree with Father. She can get stronger and could prove useful. However, if she does have a family as Chidori said, I think it would be best to return her to them. Or at least let them know that she is alive."

"That'll be handled in time." Juushin nodded in agreement. His eyes drifted towards the said woman, who had decided to switch to a cross-legged position. Currently, she had her head lowered, and her eyes closed, as if she was thinking it over. "Chidori?"

She remained silent for a moment more, before she raised her head up and nodded. "Go ahead and let her in. Gives us plenty of time to whip her into shape, won't it?" She emphasized this fact by pounding a hand into her fist.

"W...what? What the hell are you verdict-ing about?" An irritated Tereya demanded, glaring at Juushin's back. Upon the question, he turned to her, a rather friendly smile on his face. "Simple, Miss Tereya..." He replied calmly, walking up to her and pointing a finger at her. "We just decided that you would help us in the effort against the Yuurei's King."

New Recruit Acquired[]

"'re shitting me." Was the words that automatically came from Tereya's mouth as she glared at Juushin. "You can't seriously expect me to start thinking that a ragtag team like you can fighting those hellshots." She snapped. "How stupid do you think I am?!"

"Here we go again." Tokoshiki chuckled.

"You're right." Juushin stated calmly. "The four of us, though strong, aren't enough to fight the soldiers alone. But, luckily for us, we have much more that are willing to help to our cause." He turned on his heel, walking past her and in the direction of another "door". With his hands, he pushed it open. "If you all would follow me, please?"

With a silent urge in her head, Tereya sheathed her sword and reluctantly followed him, a loathing respect now burning in her chest. She passed a glance towards Tokoshiki before passing through the doorway herself. Chidori allowed a smirk to cross her face, before she nudged her comrade in the arm.

"If she didn't have a husband already, she'd be falling head-over-heels for you, eh?" She teased.

Tokoshiki laughed. "Very funny, Hime-chan."

She laughed along with him, before folding her arms across her chest and walking away from him. Before she too stepped into the doorway, however, she made a motion with her head for the man to come follow before she stepped through.

Tokoshiki followed her, a curious look on his face.

As the group moved deeper into what seemed like an ancient, temple-like tunnel, Tereya's ears picked up the sound of children laughing and playing, their voices echoed down to the group's hearing range. She was slightly flustered when she saw three of them run past, seemingly in a game of tag. As they passed by several rooms, they could see several people talking, laughing, and even sparring with one another. She couldn't help but look at the entire scene in astonishment. It wasn't unnoticed by Juushin, who gave her an amused look.

"You like the scenery?"

Tereya was shaken from her shock, and a huffed expression appeared on her face. "It looks good for a dump." She said bluntly. "What'd you do, turn back to the Stone Age?" She didn't catch the faint scowl that appeared on Chidori's lips, for the green-clad woman was behind her.

Tokoshiki chuckled at the scowl on the young girls face. "Hey Tereya right?" He whispered. "Refrain from making Hime-chan over there angry. She may not look it but she packs a punch."

Not bothering to turn around, Tereya rolled her eyes. "And that's supposed to scare me?" She drawled. Chidori blew a burst of hair that was in front of her face in a display of indignity, but said nothing to show reaction towards Tokoshiki's advice or Tereya's arrogance. Juushin himself didn't seem to pay attention to the exchange, more focused on what was in front of him at the moment - a metallic door.

With a calm hand, he pushed it open, stepping aside. "See for yourself why you shouldn't be so skeptical." He said calmly. Tereya scowled in response, but remained silent as she walked through the door.

"Let's see what she does." Toko thought.

The moment Tereya stepped inside, she was practically gawking at the scene before her.

It was a massive, dug-out room structure. In the middle of the room was a ground platform, with several people standing on top of it. The people were separated into two groups, each group seperated into three rows. Each of the first rows had only four people, while the other two had much more. The four that were standing in each row were shouting out seemingly random commands, to which the rest of the group responded by reacting with a short series of martial arts moves. One group was unarmed, while the other group were equipped with swords.

"A massive training ground..." Juushin explained, stepping beside the awed Tereya, but standing a distance to allow his teammates room. "This will soon be the resistance that will be used to fight Yuurei... or rather, the government that controls it. Some are new blood, some are veterans... but either group you'll get used to fairly quickly, if you hang around them long enough."

Chidori folded her arms across her chest, smirking. "And you thought it was all Stone Age stuff, eh?" She taunted.

Toko chuckled. "Seems she's lost for words."

Around the training ground there were a few who were wounded from sparring matched. Jin, who had previously vanished, was over there tending to as many as she could handle.

"In the training rooms adjacent to this one..." Juushin explained. "You'll be taught, too, on how to expand your fighting potential. Right now..." He turned on his heel, slowly pacing around Tereya. She, meanwhile, had finally snapped out of her amazement to resume glaring at him. "You're rough around the edges... restricting your own reach with your own tension. But follow us... and you'll finally be able to extend that hand forward from your own chains."

"What in the hell makes you think I need your help in getting stronger?" Tereya countered, albeit getting slightly nervous of his constant circling of her. "I've come this far without your help, thank you very much!"

"You haven't come very far at all." Tokoshiki replied, his voice a bit more sharp than normal. "I'll admit I got carried away in out battle, but not to be able to break out of a level 61 Bakudo without an incantation... You need training, and this is the best place to get it." This sounded like a mix of a lecture and a sales pitch.

"And who the hell are you to lecture me?!" Tereya snarled, rounding on her defeater. "I should kill you right now, just for making a fool out of this woman!"

"That's just it."

Tereya's furious eyes widened, but she didn't turn behind her just yet at the sound of Juushin's voice. "He shouldn't have made a fool out of you... and yet, he did..." He said, almost tauntingly as he stood behind her. "Those soldier's shouldn't have taken you down so easily... and yet they did. Even with your husband's protection, you only barely avoided death, and had it not been for our help, you would've been dead. You may be confident in your abilities... but that's all you have yet to do.

She turned her harsh glare towards him, but he continued on, daring to look straight into her eyes. "Trust in us, Tereya." He said seriously. "And when this is over, you can be sent back into the world with something that can back up that confidence. I'm sure you have someone you hope to recognize you, after all..."

His words hit her heart, all of that refusal immediately coming down. With a reluctant gaze down at the ground, her muscles relaxed. "Damn it... fine." She relented, folding her arms across her chest. "Do what you will to me. Just don't expect me to be all thankful and worshipping when you're done."

Juushin allowed his hands to clap together in joy. "Great!"

Tokoshiki chuckled again. "So, "Boss"." He said the last word with sarcasm as he turned to Juushin. "Does she begin training now, or is there something you'd rather wait for?"

"We can start right away." Juushin replied, smiling. "Do you have something in mind?"

"All depends on how far she's gotten." He turned to Tereya. "Are you capable of both Zanpakuto releases yet?" He asked her.

At the mention of it, Tereya allowed a faint, but fierce scowl to don her features which caused Chiaki to blink out of question. But all she replied with was "No. You gonna make me learn Bankai already?"

"Seems like the first thing to do." Tokoshiki said cheerfully. "Fighting against your Zanpakuto will be good training for you, even if you don't manage Bankai for awhile. So are you capable of materializing you Zanpakuto? If not we can force it out."

"Wait, Tokoshiki."

As if in a fight, Juushin stepped between the two, hand raised at both of them briefly before he lowered them again. "I don't think she's ready for that yet." He said firmly. "Jin had said before that her reiatsu was far too weak. In any case, we should work on that first."

"Reiatsu training?" Tokoshiki sighed. "Leave it to you to take all the fun out of my day." He sighed. "Alright, reiatsu training then. Though I have methods, it is not my forte."

"Don't worry. You won't have to do much work in this one." Juushin's gaze switched to the green-clad woman. "Chidori?"

"Hm?" Said woman looked up.

"I believe you should do the honors on this one. Maybe you two can get to know each other a little bit better."

A grin fromed on Chidori's face, as well as a frown on Tereya's own. "Sure thing." Chidori replied, stepping past Tereya and raising her hand in a come on motion. "C'mon, Tereya... consider this to be your first counseling lesson ever."

"Oh, joy..." Tereya replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes in emphasis. But she followed her anyway, in the direction of another training room.

Meditation Time[]

Tokoshiki called for Jin, who was at his side in a matter of seconds.

"Jin, we're going to need you around here for healing these two. Or for healing Tereya at least." He said. The young girl nodded but said nothing as the remaining three followed the lead girls.

It didn't take long for the group to reach the said room they were going to be in. Chidori was the first to step in, eyes darting around the room as she took her place in the center. Compared to the one they were just in, it was relatively similar, only smaller. There were also audience stands for a small group of people to sit in to watch.

"All right, Tereya. If you'd just toss your Zanpakuto over there..." Chidori pointed to the far wall. "We can begin." The hot-tempered woman oblidged, unhooking the sword from her waist before tossing it away. When she did, Chidori spread her feet apart, bent her knees, and raised her forearms up to waist level, balling her hands into fists.

"Throughout one's training life, he or she's able to expand their spiritual capability throughout forms of meditation, training, and combat." The woman explained. "You, however, have seemed to have only the latter two. As of now, your spiritual energy's restricted, blocked off by your own tension, as Juushin so easily put it. But, it also at least should be on par with ours, if not over."

After saying that, Chidori promptly closed her eyes. She took in a deep breath, and focused on her own spiritual energy. All that was left was for the watching eyes. Seemingly materializing out of thin air, a gentle torrent of her own reiatsu surrounded her and rose to the ceiling in a tornado-like fashion. Tereya looked on with peering eyes, skeptical at the display.

"Seems like it's about to get started." Toko said, looking on intently.

"Wow. Nice display, but I could do that in my sleep." Tereya boasted.

Chidori smirked. "I bet you could. But can you do it on our level?" The torrent of energy promptly dissipated, and she rose from her crouching stance, arms folded across her chest. "Go on and try it, if you're confident enough." She egged.

A frown came over the Kurosaki's face, but she settled into her own combat stance and closed her own eyes. The same result came up; a torrent of red energy came up from her body, but only reached to half the point that Chidori's own did. An even worse problem was that after a few seconds, the reiatsu started to get out of control, becoming more tornado-like in nature. Chidori was forced to shield her face with both of her arms until the torrent stopped, leaving a rather confident Tereya. "Well?"

Chidori closed her eyes. "I'd give that 5 out of 10, if not a 4."

Abruptly, Tereya's triumphant expression snapped to one of disbelief, and Juushin chuckled out of the amusement. "...Ok, then what's your secret, then?" The Kurosaki demanded, glaring at the other woman with annoyance. Chidori, however, sighed and rolled her eyes.

"There's no secret in this! Your body was obviously too tense in order to release as much spiritual energy, and that tension disrupted your control over it, as well." She said sharply, making Tereya raise an eyebrow. "You have to relax..." She raised a hand up in a "come on" motion. "Now, come stand next to me."

The scowl was ever so present on Tereya's face, but she complied without complaint. Her footsteps carried her over to the place beside Chidori, her arms folding across her chest in waiting.

"Don't think she knows how to relax." Toko murmured.

A tick appeared in Tereya's head, and she could barely refrain from attacking the man for his smart remark. But Chidori continued on as if she didn't hear anything. She settled into her stance once more, and this time, Tereya followed her movements. "You have to let your muscles loosen, and your mind clear of anything that could get you riled up too much." She instructed, opening her eyes to look over at her student. "If you want your spiritual energy to expand--"

Promptly, she raised one hand to give Tereya a rough shove in the arm, earning a yelp as the Kurosaki stumbled to the side. "--You've got to give it some freedom." She finished, turning her head back forward. A heavy sigh came from Tereya, but she settled back into the stance anyway.

Once in it, she closed her eyes and took in deep breaths. Her heart stopped beating as quickly as it did before. Her muscle tension decreased, and her mind was cleared of everything but the meditation. Surprisingly, it felt... nice. It was as if she was on Cloud 9, or asleep in bed. She felt that confidence arise in her once more.

Yeah... she could do this.

"Now, release that spiritual energy as you did before."

Tereya did so.

It was slow at first, but when the torrent appeared, it had that relaxing feel to it as Chidori's own reiatsu, though the tornado was much smaller than Chidori's own had been. "Increase the amount you're exerting from your body..." Chidori instructed. "Little by little..."

When Tereya did so, the torrent slowly got bigger and bigger... but only getting closer to that level.

"Hm...guess I was wrong."

"Good." Chidori nodded in a content manner, raising from her stance and stepping away from Tereya. "Now, try executing a few punches and kicks while maintaining that control."

Was that it? Too easy. A smirk came across Tereya's face. She stepped forward, pulled her fist back, and--

--a surge of pain cut through her skull like a knife through butter. Her eyes immediately snapped open, and she let out a yell as she fell to the ground. Her control of her energy was snapped, and the torrent shattered. She clutched her head, a vicious headache attacking her brain. "A...AAAH!" She could only scream out.

Juushin's eyes immediately widened in shock and alarm as he watched the scene take place. "What the...?"

"Should I do something?" Jin asked, her whisper carrying.

She didn't need to ask. "Jin!" Chidori's voice called out. "Heal her, please."

The girl moved her hands as if she was conducting an orchestra, and the familiar orange barrier appeared over Tereya and the healing process began.

Slowly, the pain began to dissipate. Breathing hard, Tereya could only manage to fall on her back, her eyes drifting towards her instructor. "What...the hell.... happened?!" She gasped out. "I had it...!!"

Chidori shook her head. "Your body tensed at the last minute when you tried to do that punch, and the sudden transition caused your mind to become confused. That's what caused the pain." She replied softly, folding her arms across her chest. "Once Jin's done, get up and start again."

"You're concentration is inferior." Jin murmured. "You were distracted. I felt it.."

Tereya bared her teeth in a feral snarl, glaring at the girl. "I don't need your observation, thank you very much!" She snapped.

The barrier shattered as Jin walked away, completely unfazed by Tereya's remark.

Growling, Tereya was unhesitant in standing up again, getting into her stance. She inhaled deeply, closing her eyes, and focused once more. This time, however, Chidori was slightly nervous in watching her, tilting her head to the side and peering on. Even when Tereya's eyes were closed, her trainer could see them waver in the slightest. Even as the spiritual energy formed around her once again, she could tell that something was off. She still wasn't completely relaxed, even if her spiritual energy was flowing to a near-perfect level.

She was troubled about something.

"She's going to fail again..."

And even as Chidori thought it out in her head, her expectant ears once again heard the scream of pain that came from her student's mouth. She fell into a fetal position, trying desperately not to let the series of agonized screams escaped from her throat as the pain tore through her head once again.

Jin jumped into action again, the barrier falling over her. "I could limit her reiatsu for you." She said, her blank eyes focusing on Tereya. "It might lessen the pain."

"No..." Chidori shook her head. "There's something else that's the problem." She allowed herself to walk up to the barrier, kneeling beside Jin and staring at the prostrate form of Tereya. "She's still unfocused, a little something that's nagging the back of her head." As Tereya's eyes fell on the both of them, Chidori narrowed her own. "There's something troubling you. What is it?"

What seemed like a flicker of panic went through her student's eyes, but it was immediately replaced by the withering glare before anyone had time to notice. But Chidori had noticed it all. "...what are you, my fucking nursemaid...?" She shot back, her voice weakened by the dulling pain.

"If that is the term you prefer." Jin replied quietly.

"Yes, Tereya." Chidori muttered seriously. "We are your nursemaids, as of this moment. So, how about you tell us what's wrong? The sooner we can get over this, the faster we can get through this lesson and onto the next."

Jin sat down not to far form Tereya. Despite her expressionless face, it was clear she was waiting.

"....oh, fine." Though her voice was clearly reluctant and hostile, Tereya raised her arms up and laid them on her stomach, just like she was on a couch talking to a counselor. "I'll humor you. It's about my damn husband."

"Oh, this'll be interesting." Tokoshiki said, listening in with eagerness.

Tereya smiled wryly, knowing how similar it would be to an actual counseling session. "It started when we first met." She began, almost melodramatically. "We had been fighting it out with this guy named Mozou. He could copy our Zanpakuto's abilities and what-not, and we had a hell of a time beating him. It took me, Ahatake, and an Arrancar friend of his to take the fucker down."

"A Shinigami teaming with an Arrancar. Unusual." Toko noted,

"That was when problems first started. I was going to kill the guy, but out of some form of mercy, 'Hatake refused to let me finish him off! If that wasn't bad enough, it was a few days later that he started stalking me out of the simple attraction he had towards me. It would've been cute, had it not been for that every time we actually saw each other, he'd act rather arrogant about it, thinking he had me in the bag. Then..."

Tereya stretched her hands out in the air for emphasis. "Get this. The mother fucker actually uses his reiatsu to nearly crush me and act like it wasn't his fault. Ever since then, I've been wanting to raise my sword to him in order to get even with him. But now, he's too afraid to even lift a finger towards me. It's quite frustrating, knowing there's only one obstacle between you and payback, but you can't do a damn thing about it."

Tokoshiki fell out laughing. "That was rather funny. I could almost see it happening."

Juushin himself remained silent and thoughtful, even under Chidori's stern look towards the laughing man. She turned back to Tereya. "Have you ever thought that maybe he won't fight you because he lo--"

"Don't say it!" Tereya's sharp interruption cut her off. "Ahatake knows I'm well past that lovey dovey shit. He sees me as weak. That's why he chose to protect me from those soldiers. If he hadn't interfered, they would've been dead by now." That caused Chidori to remain silent for a moment.

"If he hadn't interfered, you'd have too much innocent blood on your hands..." Jin murmured. "I think he did the right thing, stopping you.."

Tereya laughed bitterly. "Kid, if you think all of those officers that were shooting me could be considered innocent, you have a fucked up way of thinking. Not that I'm putting you on blast or anything, I could relate..."

"I would not call them completely innocent, but if I have assessed your personality correctly, you attacked first and they merely shot in self-defense." Jin replied, her eyes shifting towards the rocks.

"Whatever." Though Tereya didn't acknowledge it as wrong, she was willing to ignore it. "The fact of the matter is, even if I do go through this, he's just going so see me as the weak bitch that always needs saving--"

"I don't think so." Chidori interrupted finally, standing back up.


"If you do complete these lessons, you'll be much stronger then you were before." Chidori said firmly. "You don't need to raise a sword to his neck to prove that, either. All you need to do... is show him your power. I'm sure he'll understand how you feel after your full potential is finally shown to him... right?"

Tereya could've said something snide in reply. But the words had cut through her heart once more. Her expression was replaced nothing more than bitter thoughtfulness, and she had to look away from the two for a minute, contemplating on what they said.

"Are you sure I should not limit her?" Jin asked one more time.

"Yes." Chidori replied. "There has to be no limits, if this is going to work. Only question is..." She looked down upon the bitter woman. "Are you up for it, Tereya?"

Another brief moment of silence passed. Then, Tereya's contemplating sigh was heard. She brought herself up to her feet, expression solemn. "All right. I think I can do this, thsnks to that little speech.." She muttered. "Thanks."

Chidori smiled warmly. "Glad to hear i--" She was abruptly cut off by a sharp punch to the arm, which made her recoil back in shock.

"But don't any of you tell anyone about this. Otherwise, I will be hunting again." Tereya threatened, though a small smile was on her face. "Let's get started."

"Here we go again." Tokoshiki murmured. "Hope she actually gets it this time."

"Toko!" Chidori reprimanded sharply, before turning back to Tereya. "You know what to do." She said simply, before stepping back to a safer distance, closer to the audience. This time, she sat on the stands herself, right beside Juushin. With her out of the way, Tereya got into her stance and focused immediately.

It was as if Chidori herself was doing it. The torrent of energy that was summoned matched Chidori's demonstration; calm and gentle energy that arose straight to the ceiling. Tereya's body tensed no more when she moved to execute the punch, then a kick, and then, just to show off a little, a bit of poetic dancing. The reiatsu seemed to move along with her acrobatics, gaining the satisfaction of both Juushin and Chidori. The man smiled down on the teacher.

"Nicely done, Chidori."

Tokoshiko grinned. "Seems like she can do it."

When the dance finalized, Juushin whistled in approval and clapped his hands. "That was great, Tereya! Now we can move onto the next lesson without any worries." He turned over to look at Tokoshiko. "Toko? You have the floor."

Bankai Training[]

"Alright." The man grinned. "Now back to my earlier question. Can you materialize your Zanpakuto?"

"Nope." Tereya replied, walking over to grab her floored Zanpakuto.

"Then it seems we will have to force it out." The purple haired man grinned. "Jin, over here." The girl was at his side instantly. "Are you ready Tereya? This may...sting."

Tereya rolled her eyes, spreading her arms out in an open and challenging manner. "Do your worst."

Jin moved up in front of Tereya and began chanting softly, in a melodic tone. "Heed my voice, and bend to my will. Let my voice guide the way to the trap of my whim, and finally obey the one you've come to know as Master." Her hands began to glow orange-yellow and she thrust them through Tereya's chest. Tereya was thrown back, and a shadowy figure was standing where she had been.

"Now watch as your Zanpakuto's spirit solidifies." Tokoshiki ordered.

Slowly, Tereya allowed herself to stand once more, eyes observing the shadow's materialization. Although she knew she would have to fight, she didn't draw her sword out just yet. She stood idly by, folding her arms across her chest.

Nokogiri (spirit)

Nokogiri, Tereya's inner spirit.

Immediately, as the figure started to solify, a dark aura began to fill the room, a mixture of both Shinigami and Hollow reiatsu. The change in temperature was sudden, from room to an ice-cold temperature. Both Chidori and Juushin seemed visibly affected; the male was sweating slightly, and slight hesitance appeared on the countenence of the girl. But Tereya stood there as if nothing about it was bothering her. In fact, it seemed to be boring her more than anything.

For the Kurosaki, the reiatsu was nothing new.

Finally, it formed. A figure was standing silently in chrome black armor. Two swords identical to Tereya's own were brandished in each hand. Lucifer's horns were plastered on the side of the helmet. A gray belt with a death skull in the middle of the waist could be seen. Blank eyes stared at its master, almost as if waiting for the chance to cut her in two.

Nokogiri had made its appearance.

If the spiritual pressure was affecting Jin or Tokoshiki, they did not show it. Jin slowly walked away and sat down next to Chidori.

"What is your name?" Tokoshiki asked the Zanpakuto.

"Nokogiri.." The Zanpakuto replied.

"Do you know what is going on?" The purple-haired Shinigami asked.

"Of course."

"Then I'll leave this up to you." Tokoshiki walked off, standing near a boulder to watch.

Despite the presence, Juushin rolled his eyes. "No wonder you say its your forte." He said in amusement. "All you have to do is sit back and watch while someone else does the work." This made Chidori smile a little.

Tokoshiki threw a pebble at his leader. "Just kick back and enjoy the show."

"This better not disappoint!" Juushin warned, wincing a little when the pebble hit him.

After the words had been spoken, Tereya finally allowed herself to drop her arms and settle into a drawing stance. She gripped the hilt of her blade, slowly drawing out the blade with a slow hiss. A smile came across her lips. "This is going to be fun." She thought.

"Ready when you are, Noko." She called tauntingly.

"You really think you're ready to take me on?" Nokogiri laughed. "Fine! Bring it! If you want Bankai, you'll have to fight like you're going to kill, because I won't hesitate to end you."

Tereya tilted her neck to the side, cracking it in order to relax the muscles. "Ditto to you. But, of course, it won't be Bankai you should be worrying about..." She raised her sword horizontally, placing one hand on the flat edge of the blade. "Too bad you aren't human, though. You would've made a great toy to play with. Tear it up..."

The sword pulsed once, and Tereya felt that energy around her that was the defensive aura. "Nokogiri..." She finished, lowering her sword blade once again to her side. She lifted her eyes one more time as she balanced the sword on her shoulder, meeting her inner spirit's as if trying to see something.

Then, she threw herself at him, sword swinging downwards once in range.

The Zanpakuto mimicked her movement, charging at her with the blade in it's hands. "Impressive on being able to use Shikai, even without me inside that sword." He swung his blade at her chest. "Not gonna help you one bit though!"

"Shut the fuck up and fight."

Tereya's retort was followed up by the turning of her blade so it was once again in the horizontal position. When Nokogiri's blade connected with the claw part, Tereya pressed her free hand on the back of her own blade and continued to charge, a free shot at the spirit's neck.

The spirit however, ducked and aimed his sawed blade at her legs.

Bending over for a moment, Tereya thrust forward once more, over Nokogiri's crouched form. As a result, she did a rolling flip in the ground that landed her with marine-like agility behind him. She sprung upwards to a standing position and turned back around, twisting her sword around as she did so.

In a burst of instinct, he swung his own blade behind him, blocking her swipe. He forced himself up, and at the same time, forced her back, her blade beginning to crack.

Tereya chuckled, even as she fought a losing swordlock against Nokogiri. Even when she used both hands to increase the defense, her sword was slowly withering under the power. "I gotta admit..." She said, almost breathlessly to her inner spirit. "For someone so under me, you're a hell of a fighter. I guess that's why you're mine..."

"Flattery'll get you nowhere!" The spirit said, grinning under the mask as it swept it's sword ferociously, sending Tereya back. The man swung his blade down again, and a wide gash was left on Tereya's torso. It was shallow, but still painful.

Tereya was immediately forced to give ground, skidding back on one foot. It was only when she planted both feet on the ground that she could stop. Her head was hung low, and she was breathing heavily thanks to the sharp pain the wound applied. It was to keep from, in her terms, "screaming like a bitch". Her own blood dripped down to stain her feet.

"If you're hurt from that small wound, do not even speak of obtaining Bankai." The man taunted.

"This is nothing..." Tereya shot back, raising her head up to give him a dead-eye glare. "...compared to what I'm going to do to you." In defiance, she raised her breaking blade once more, pointing it at him daringly.

"Just try it!" Nokogiri cried, and swung his blade down on Tereya's skull.

Her energy once again came to the surface.

It erupted from her body, throwing the spirit back before he had a chance to cut the woman down. She raised her blade over her hair, the torrent of energy once again following its path towards the ceiling. Her eyes themselves seemed to glow with the immense power that swirled around her.

"Maybe I will." She taunted, the arrogant grin once again rising up to her face.

"This...this power!" Nokogiri's eyes widened as his attack was deflected and he was being pushed back.

Tokoshiki grinned. "Told you this'd be good to watch."

"Kurosaki Tereya will never surrender for anyone!" Tereya shouted. "Don't you ever forget it!" Her hands tightened on the hilt one last time, and her energy swung back behind her, like a gun ready to fire. Then, she swung her broken blade down to the ground, releasing all of that energy in a condensed and forward torrent. A wave of death, straight towards the spirit that was losing ground.

Out of excitement, Juushin leaned over, eyes widening in apprehension.

"Sure takes alot of pride in that surname." Tokoshiki noted.

"Shit!" Nokogiri was enveloped by the wave of energy Tereya had unleashed. "How does she have so much power?"

"Go back to where you belong..." Tereya breathed, watching the final display that would be in the fight. The creaking blade finally snapped in two, the upper piece falling to the ground. But it didn't matter - victory was now hers. She looked on with triumphance as Nokogiri dissipated, and her blast followed seconds later.

It was a good thing Chidori had taught her before Tokoshiki did, she supposed.

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