"They're gonna hang me... in the mornin'... fore' the night is done..."
A dry and shrivel voice calmly mused a quiet hymn as fireflies and sparks rained through the night sky. An immense flame had all but consumed what appeared to be a small home and threatened to cause further destruction in the woods beyond it's borders. The figure who spoke these words, wearing a large brown coat and sporting a brown colored cowboy hat seemed to pay the destruction no mind as he walked away from it and towards a particular couple that had fled from the wreckage just prior. A lit cigar in his mouth, the cloaked man grinned as he finished his hymn and aimed a fairly long colt revolver at the two of them. "They're gonna hang me in the mornin'... I'll never see the sun..."
He finished the hymn with a wry cackle that would echo into the night in unison with the wavering flames.
As the shriveled, grey figure inched closer and closer, one of his soon-to-be victims began to push himself up on his hands and knees. Blood began to seep profusely from the left side of his face as his chest was severely burned due to the explosion prior. His compromised position did almost nothing to rebellious will, a force of inner strength that only arises when one had something to protect. He glared at the truest expression of the Grim Reaper with a seething anger and resolve in his eyes. He curled his fist and launched it towards their assailant.
On his side, a petite woman whose long, white hair had been stained by the blood that covered her husband, clutched her womb as she thought about the precautions they took to secure the safety of their son. They knew this day would come sooner or later, their fate was sealed. However, she would not let the insidious organization that would hire such a creature to do their dirty work acquire any access to her child. Regardless of what power he presumably held.
The cloaked man did not initially respond to his target's lunge, for he inwardly mused his admiration for the man's strength. So often do his opponents simply cower in fear and beg for their lives, but this one... this one had chosen to go down fighting, like a true warrior. He pulled the trigger of his gun slowly, savoring the chance to kill a man so bold. The clicking of metal, the pop of the hammer hitting the bullet chamber, and finally the thunderous roar of the bullet exiting the barrel of the gun, all would pass by in a second. The bullet would fly through the man's abdomen and, as he would fall to his knees, the cloaked man took aim at the man's forehead, and pulled the trigger once more.
The blazing hot bullet ran it's way through the man's stomach with no resistance as it ran straight through his liverlike a hot knife through butter. Whereas the flames had seemingly cauterized any wound he received before, all of that had been undone as the bullet exited through his back, causing him to slam into the earth beneath with a thud. He lifted his face to look his personal reaper square in the eye, a will of fire still burning bright in his eyes as he awaited the last noise. Yet, a smile sneaked across his face when he grabbed hold of the hand next to him. The ferocity dies down as he became more gentle and assuring. As though he were promising his beloved wife that all would be well.
The woman known as Sraosha returned the smile as a single tear slid down her cheek. As the booming noise of the revolver resounded through the entirety of the wooded area and her husband lay face down the next moment, she looked towards the skies above and a strange sense of peace fell over her. While they may meet their ends this night, their son, their Mikado would be safe. And he would finally have the peace they worked so hard to secure for him. She closed her eyes and imagined the young boy. His white hair was only a few shades darker than hers, and he had inherited her chubby facial structure as well.
She could still see him and Seizan laugh as he playfully pulled his hair with his short arms and tiny hands. She had no regrets about how she would go on. Well, except for the obvious not being able to see her son grow. But who knows? Perhaps she could watch him from the heavens...
... and with one last bullet, the cloaked man ended Sraosha's life as quickly as he had done her husband's. A bullet would run through her jugular and out of the top of her head, causing her body to drop lifelessly on it's back. Her snow white hair would now be stained with both the blood of her lover, and that of her own. The cloaked man, named Vengeance, calmly sheathed his gun before pulling his cigar from his mouth and exhaling a disturbing amount of smoke from both his mouth and nostrils, before placing it back in his mouth once more. Stepping around the bodies of the deceased, he calmly walked away, each of his footsteps causing the sounds of rattling chains to echo throughout the night before he disappeared into the night forest, with not a trace to be left in his wake.
Within the confines of the Sakahone District, a white-haired young man walked towards the wooden architecture that he called home. Covered in bruises that indicated the boy had been involved in activities that required strenuous usage of one's bodily strength, He wiped several beads of sweat from his brow and removed his dirty sandals before entering into his home. The house looked even smaller inside than it did on the outside, however, it still had the essentials. Two bedrooms to the left of the structure and a bath that he would most certainly enjoy to the right.
As he stepped in and closed the door behind him, he removed his garments and ran the hot water. He let the scalding hot liquids run over him as he began to think of how he would confront his grandfather about his parents. Everytime he had done so before he merely shrugged it off or changed the subject. Perhaps he did this to protect him from walking down a path of violence. He could still see the words his mother wrote for him as he read them every day and imagined what her voice sounded like.
Remember this, above all else. Never raise your blade solely in hatred and vengeance. As you would only be consumed as it's destructive nature is written on your heart.
Why did she write that? It was pretty much a dead give away that she didn't die of natural causes. After spending at least thirty minutes washing himself thoroughly, Mikado stepped from the small room into his own bedroom where he changed into his standard, sleeveless black shihakushō with ragged ends that happened to be split down the middle. Which in turn revealed a white shirt and black pants. He couldn't take it anymore, he had to know what happened the night they..."disappeared".
Nanashi sat in a sage-style position in front of what appeared to be a shrine of sorts, one that was composed of smooth and carefully composed wood and alight with several candles. His palms clasped together and his eyes shut, he appeared to be praying to the makeshift shrine. To whom or what he was praying to was not known and ultimately not important, as he could feel the presence of his grandson behind him. His wrinkled eyes cracked open, gazing still upon his shrine while his voice would be directed towards the pale-haired Shinigami. "Started training early in the morning, have you?" he said. "That is certainly a first for you, Mikado. Around this time I would be trying to wake you up; why the sudden change?"
Mikado chuckled at his grandfather's remark. "You know me to well grandfather, I was never much of an early bird. I suppose that skips a generation." Mikado walked up towards Nanashi's right as he mimicked the later's meditative stance. The god of whom he prayed to so religiously was none other than Amatsu. Rumored to be a fallen demigod who guarded the Sakahone in the steed of Mimihagi after the war that happened over a decade ago, he was continuously sought for miracles and intervention. Mikado himself had no reason not to believe in the gods. With the great power they held, it was hard to not see some divine point of origin in the Seireitei.
However, that didn't mean he particularly liked them. It was those same divine beings that almost wrought irreparable destruction upon all the realms over a petty squabble between father and son. Such carelessness certainly didn't inspire much piety in Mikado. Yet, for the sake of his Grandfather who sternly believed in their wisdom and benevolence, he would keep his comments to himself. "I see you're keeping Amatsu busy, what wisdom has he brought us this day?"
While Nanashi had attempted to resume his posture, closing his eyes and all, he popped an eye back open to glance back at his grandson. "Wisdom? Bah, I'm just trying to look busy so you wouldn't get upset." he said with a chuckle, grabbing a wooden cane next to him and using it to help stand himself back up and walking towards the house's kitchen. "The Gods may demand that we pay our respects, but some days, I feel like they just aren't in a mood to listen, so I don't even try." he continued as he grabbed a cup of water that was left on the counter and sipped it calmly. "And for some reason, today feels like one of those days..."
"I've never heard such irreligious things from you, Grandpa. If it helps, I've never been one for praying. Seems like the only difference between us and the Gods is scope of power. " Mikado himself stood to his feet before letting out a sigh, "You don't need to pretend to be busy Grandpa, if I were you I'd laze around more so than usual. At least then I'd have an excuse." His elder might not have known this, but Mikado was actually praying to the gods for an answer on how to confront him about his parents. He was old enough to handle the information...wasn't he? He had practically been raised by them up until 110 years ago. All that time, he deserved some explanation didn't he?
"Grandfather, there's something I need to ask you..." He trailed off as he almost knew that Nanashi would automatically realize what his question would be.
The sudden shift in tone caused Nanashi to pause in the middle of his drinking, the water remaining dormant in his mouth for several agonizing seconds. He finally swallowed it before placing the cup back on the counter, sighing. He knew exactly what Mikado was about to ask him; he could see it clearly in his eyes, and he now wished that the Gods would have heeded his prayers and kept him busy. "And what is it you need to ask, Mikado..." he started, but his eyes flashed open with surprise as he remembered something from earlier that day, something that he needed to tell Mikado, and could also use as a way to distract him from his current train of thought. "Oh, oh! Wait wait." he began, walking back around the counter and closer to the shrine. "There was a girl here earlier this morning. I think... yeah, yeah her name was Naomi. She was asking to see you and said that she would come back later."
As he approached Mikado, he gave a nervous smile before nudging the latter's elbow with his own. "Maybe she caught you working out and is looking to get in on some action, eh?"
Mikado's eyes steadied upon his Grandfather. He was trying to change the subject. Again. Problem was, this conversation had been along time coming. He respected his Grandfather not wanting to talk about something so dark: the death of his own daughter. But, that didn't change the fact that...."She was my family too, Grandpa. She was my mother. Don't you think I have the right to know what happened to her? I know you're trying to protect me, maybe even yourself, from something. However, keeping it a secret from me won't change the truth that it happened. And it also won't absolve the issue of whether or not I'll run into whoever was responsible o the field someday."
His picked up his zanpakutō from the coach a few feet away from the two and strapped it across his back. "Wouldn't you rather me hear it from you now than from them later? At least they won't be able to use it as something to sever the only family either of us have." He walked towards the door and opened it, leaving his Grandfather with some time to absorb the information Mikado gave him so that he could, hopefully, make the right decision and finally open up about it.
Nanashi's expression lowered and he let out another sigh, watching as his grandson made his way towards the door. Mikado couldn't imagine how much his grandfather wished to speak about the death of their family, just so that he might relieve the tension that would build up each time they came close to discussing it. But Mikado was right in believing that Nanashi kept this secret to protect them both, for speaking of the one that carried out the murderous act towards his parents was a curse in it's own right; he wished to prevent Mikado from ever having any contact with that being, even if it meant keeping a secret from him forever.
"What happened in the past... will always remain the past, Mikado." he said as he sat back down in front of the shrine, resuming his prayer. "And for many things, it should stay that way... lest your future be destroyed."
Mikado wouldn't have a chance to respond, for once he opened the door, he would find the female Shinigami that Nanashi mentioned just minutes prior: Naomi. Her hand was balled and reared up, indicating that she was just about to knock on the door when Mikado opened it. "Oh, Mikado." she started, letting her hand drop and raising an eyebrow. "You're all dressed up and ready? I thought you were still in bed and I was gonna have to wake you."
Mikado opened his mouth to speak but was silenced by the fact that Naomi stood before him, ready to announce her presence. His Grandfather was wrong. Mikado was strong enough not to let his parent's sacrifice for him to live in peace (as far as it pertains to not lifting his blade for needless bloodshed) go to waste. He wielded his powers only for what is right to the best of his ability to do so. He wasn't perfect, by no means, but he tried. And more often than not, he succeeded. Pushing those thoughts away for the moment, he smiled wryly at Naomi. "Jeez, what is with you and Grandpa talking about my sleeping habits? They're not that bad, are they?" He chuckled as he patted her on the shoulder as a form of greeting.
Naomi smiled in a likewise manner, rolling her eyes. "They must be if everyone keeps pointing them out; hopefully today will be the start of you breaking that habit." After she finished, she calmly grabbed his wrist and casually pulled him out of the house. "But regardless, since you look prepared we can get straight to work." She wanted to properly greet and depart with Nanashi, as she found him to be a very kind and endearing person, but she didn't want to interrupt his prayer (or at least what seemed like a prayer). She let go of Mikado's wrist and began walking at a calm pace, assuming that he was still following her. "So, how have you and Nanashi-san been? It's been a few weeks since we last talked."
Before she could start elaborating on why she came, Naomi thought it would be appropriate to start the conversation off in a more casual manner. Even though she hadn't known Mikado for very long, their previous encounters were positive ones, and she hoped that she could keep it that way for the future.
Mikado followed her out of the house before waving goodbye towards Nanashi. He saw the elder nod his head in response. Jeez, did that guy really have eyes in the back of his head? He laughed to himself as Naomi slowed down towards a more common pace. "We're...breaking new ground, to say the least." Mikado didn't really want to involve Naomi into his personal affairs. He preferred to not only keep things professional, but to establish some level of boundaries. After all, it was not as though they were lifelong friends. They had only known each other for a few weeks, and while a friendship was certainly starting to develop, he didn't want to creep her out with what he and Nanashi were going through at the moment. Not to mention the fact that most of the meetings had revolved around a mission of some kind. "So, what is it you came to talk to me about? Other than my less-than-admirable time devoted to being unconscious, that is. Is it a mission?" He chuckled as he nudged her elbow with his own in a joking manner as they headed towards the forest that separated Sakahone from the Seireitei.
Naomi smiled and nudged him back with a light grunt. "Well, it is to an extent... but it's nothing official." she started, scratching the back of her head in a nervous fashion. "As in, the Captain's Council hasn't exactly approved this and it's more of a personal favor to me." she continued before slowing her pace and looking over at Mikado directly. "I've been doing some investigation into some murders that have been taking place in Naruki City and... well, they're not like any that I've seen before. I mean, I've seen pluses eaten alive, slashed, blasted, and turned into dust, but what I've been seeing recently is... pretty brutal."
Her attention was then put back on the trail ahead of them. "The 10th Division seems pretty covered up right now, otherwise they would have probably already solved the issue, so I decided that I would do it for them, and I think I'm going to need your help on this one."
Honestly, Mikado was mildly surprised. He wouldn't have taken Naomi to.... well, she wasn't going against orders. She just didn't bother to receive them. If a string of brutal murders were occurring in Naruki, then Mikado didn't really have a choice but to step in. Street-level threats such as these usually go unnoticed by their higher ups anyway. So, it wouldn't hurt to nip this in the bud. "Sure, I mean we can't just let this guy run rampant. And besides, the Council are far more busy restructuring the Soul Society after the war with Yhwach to be bothered with something that could very well amount to be some psychotic Fullbringer. We might as well handle it so it doesn't escalate further."
Mikado then lifted his index finger and awaited for a black butterfly to set upon it. "It should be easy getting past the regulators. After all, I am the Substitute Shinigami of Naruki City. It's my job to oversee any abnormal spiritual activity. I was just heading there before you came along, lucky me." He said as he used Shunpo to head towards the Senkaimon.
She smiled and moved towards the Senkaimon along with him. "Actually, I think the luck applies more to me in this case." As they walked into the portal, her tone and expression became a little more cautious. "In all seriousness, we need to be very subtle in what we do over there; I really don't want any of the Divisions dropping what they're doing just to come and drag us back here." she continued. "Whoever is committing these murders certainly doesn't use any sort of caution or stealth; a lot of the bodies I've found were in broad daylight."
"I wonder whether or not these were spiritual or physical bodies. Doesn't matter, whoever this guy is doesn't care much for discretion and needs to be stopped. I just hope we don't have to put him down." Mikado wearily sighed, hoping that this threat could be stopped with minimum casualties.
Naruki's typical night time dissonance would be shattered by the spectral sounds of weary panting and desperate footsteps. A fairly aged Plus sprinted through the hauntingly empty city streets, his face one of sheer terror as he would look back behind him several times as he bobbed and weaved through the town; someone, or something, was chasing him, and he was not at all interested in finding out what. Running out of breath, he quickly darted into a nearby alleyway and hid behind the side of a dumpster that faced away from the streets. Curled up with tears swelling in his eyes, he clenched his head tightly as he could hear calm footsteps and rattles of chains getting agonizingly closer and closer to his location. He could feel the urge to scream for help welling up in his gut, but before he could even attempt it, the loud banging sound of a gunshot would shatter his eardrums for a split second, before a bullet sailed clean through the dumpster and into his head. The bullet's gruesome exit from the Spirit's head caused his face to practically implode, creating a bloody mess along the ground and walls.
The being known as Vengeance stood in the middle of the street, his right gun at his hip and aimed directly at the dumpster. Smoke drifted calmly from the barrel of his gun before he sheathed it in it's holster, staring a the spot where the spirit had been executed. Unbeknownst to him, Naomi was carefully watching him from inside the bottom floor of a building to his left, opposite of the dumpster victim. She gritted her teeth as she watched the scene unfold, knowing that she could probably have prevented the Plus's execution, but likely would have been killed in the process. "Shit... that's him right there." she whispered to Mikado, who was crouched next to her peering out the window. "And he just gunned another one down like it was nothing... what's his gain here?"
Mikado clenched his fist to the point where his knuckles turned white and blood trickled from his palm. He was ready to take this bastard, and would have had Naomi not pulled him back. He couldn't let his emotions get the best of him, the way this mercenary so peerlessly executed his victims told him that he would have no trouble dispatching both of them if they don't proceed with caution. And with the intent to kill at the first opportunity. "Some men aren't looking for the big score or anything of the like. Beast like this, seem to only want to watch the world burn and stand atop the fireheap."
He looked towards her with his sky blue eyes shimmering, "Naomi, I was hoping that we could just apphreend him. But, I know now we don't have a choice but to take him down. For good." Mikado didn't want to kill him. He prefered not to kill if that was an option. However, "people" like this needed to be stopped at all cost. He grasped the hilt of his Zanpakutō. "Naomi, I need you to be in charge of defense. If we're going to fight this guy we need to optimize our strengths so we can end this quickly."
A comical nerve vein popped up on Naomi's forehead as she glared at Mikado in a frustrated manner. "Who put you in charge again?" she said, her volume still a whisper but also able to convey her irritation. The matter wasn't a serious issue in her mind, even if her statements made it seem so; she just wasn't the type to be told what to do in any case and preferred to be on the opposite spectrum when possible. "Alright, yeah, sounds like a good idea though..." she began to trail off as she looked intently at the cloaked man outside. "... I'd really like to know who he is and why he's doing-". She was cut off and promptly frozen by the sound of another gunshot, this one being aimed at her and Mikado. The glass of the window they were looking out of shattered and the bullet went right between them and burned a hole into the wall just behind.
They had been found.
Vengeance's face carried a smirk as he looked at the two Shinigami, but after firing his first shot, he appeared to lower his gun to his side before speaking to them in a shriveled, dry western accent. "Lil' late for you kids to be playing hide n' seek." he began with a sinister chuckle. "Or are you tryin' to play spies er somethin'?"
Mikado hadn't even heard Naomi's presumably comical tirade as the bullet flew towards them at mach speed. "Shit!" He swore as he grasped Naomi around her lower waist and used shunpo to escape from the building before the bullet could even slam into the wall. Mikado was one of the fastest Shinigami within the Seireitei. Outrunning bullets was of no consequence to him. However, he could not help but find himself impressed with the master gunplay of this individual. "Playing spies? Look who's talking Mr. I'm Ripped Straight From A Clint Eastwood Film." He shot back at their enemy.He glared at this strange individual as he held his now unsheathed blade to his side. "What say we take this somewhere else? I wouldn't want to dirty this alley with your remains." Mikado taunted as he, with Naomi still in his arm, raced towards a secluded location.
The Shinigami wouldn't get far. Just as he would move to escape the area, Vengeance's hand would grasp hold of Mikado's ankle, having moved at speeds that only a Captain would be able to muster. "Now hold on, son." he said with a grin before slinging Mikado out of the building and into the street. He and Naomi would slam into the road before flying into the sides of the other buildings across from their own. Vengeance then casually stepped outside of the broken window, lighting a cigar and putting it in his mouth before resuming. "I wasn't done talkin' to you two yet. Yer pappy ever teach you any manners about speakin' to yer elders?"
Naomi recovered quickly, standing on her feet while briefly clasping the back of her head, the spot that she had hit when she and Mikado had been thrown. "This guy's pretty fast..." she thought before looking over at Mikado. "Don't do anything rash Mikado." she said in a hushed voice, placing her hands on her katana and preparing to draw it. "Maybe he just wants to talk..."
Vengeance looked over towards Naomi and tipped his hat briefly before looking back at Mikado. "See? You be nice to me and I'll probably be nice to you..." he continued before inhaling on the cigar and then exhaling smoke in Mikado's direction. "...emphasis on the probably, heh heh."
The moment Vengeance grabbed hold of Mikado's ankle, Shataiyō, which was still within his free hand, began to set ablaze. He allowed the flames to spread over his body which would inturn engulf Vengeance. Hence the reason he so haphazardly flung both Naomi and himself into the street. This thing was exceedingly powerful. Was he a Vasto Lorde? The strength and speed it wielded undoubtedly matched a Captain. This made Mikado all the more glad for Naomi's presence. While he himself was classified as an "above-captain level" opponent, it still wasn't to the point where he could dominate anything.
As he flew across the street he managed to stop himself short of crashing into a building by stabbing his blade into the ground, causing sparks born of the friction between earth and metal to fly until he skidded to a halt. He rested the burning blade across his shoulder, "Yeah, my dad taught me to respect those over me. But, there was at least one criteria: they had to respect the lives of others. At least to the point where they wouldn't mercilessly take them, y'know?" He glared at the abomination standing before him. How dare he speak of his father, and of respect no less? He knew nothing of the sort. All morality seemed lost on this...thing. Yet, Mikado had only known him by one action and within a few minutes. Maybe this character could be redeemed.
He paced over towards Naomi and stood beside her as she tended her wounds. "Y'know, you're not exactly the discrete type. Soul Society's been retrieving reports about mass killings for the past few weeks now. If you're establish some sort of dominance, now is definitely not the time. As they would sooner slay you than ask about your motives. And right now I can't say I'd blame them. So, you mind telling us why you've been stacking bodies higher than the Empire State building?" Mikado spoke towards the gunslinger.
Vengeance only grinned as he placed his cigar back in his mouth. If only the two Shinigami were aware of what sort of dangers Vengeance had been in. He had slain countless beings and even stood against one of the strongest beings alive and lived to tell the tale. What they failed to realize was that the Gotei 13 had indeed tried numerous times to kill him, but no matter how often they tried... he always seemed to return with no harm done. "Cause it's my job, son." he began. "I ain't got no real name, but people prefer to call me 'Vengeance'."
Naomi rolled her eyes. "Well aren't you hot shit?" she said in a sarcastic tone, her expression deadpan in response to hearing the man's name, finding it lacking in terms of intimidation.
"The name carries some truth to it, at least." Vengeance responded. "People come to me when they need someone else taken care of, well, more like when they feel someone deserves some karma. Revenge is a pretty hard thing to do on your own when the person you're wantin' to get back at is a helluva lot stronger than you, or is already dead. So, to feel content with their lives, they come to me and I bring them the satisfaction that is revenge." His grin lowered as he pulled his cigar out of his mouth and pointed it in the direction of the deceased Plus they had witnessed die earlier. "That shit stain over there? He broke into a man's home and beat him nearly to death, before rapin' his ten-somethin' year ole' girl and then killin' her."
"Uh-huh, I'm sure of that." Naomi said in the same tone as before. "Do you really think we'll take anything you say at face value? Criminals always try to think of ways to justify killing when they're cornered."
Vengeance's grin widened once more before his eyes began to shine with a bright white light. "Don't believe me?" he said as both her vision and Mikado's would be consumed in the bright flash. "Then how about I just show you?" With that, Mikado and Naomi's vision would be assaulted by images and snipets of the horrific act in which Vengeance spoke of. The deceased plus, as a man, breaking down the door to the home before brutally beating the father, throwing him into a wall before thrusting himself upon the man's helpless daughter. Naomi almost heaved, closing her eyes and covering them with her hand in an attempt to make the images stop, but they wouldn't, for Vengeance was imprinting them into their minds. It ended with the attacker lifting a hammer into the air before slamming it down on the incapacitated girl. The moment the hammer touched the surface of the girl's skin, the images ceased and their vision would return to normal.
As Naomi panted and wheezed, clearly shaken by what she had seen, Vengeance casually looked towards Mikado and smirked. "Still think I don't have respect for life, boy?"
"Vengeance, eh? Well, sorry if this offends you but I'll have to side with Naomi on that one. I don't honestly care who you've stood before," He pointed his blade at the entity known, somewhat fittingly, by one of the most common human dseries within their nature. "You stand before me now." Mikado's bravado would quickly be torn asunder. Without warning his sense where assaulted and then conjoined on one event in time. As he beheld the abominable acts committed by the very soul he was seeking to avenge, his iris became black while the scarla turned into unnatural yellow color. Mikado stumbled as he lost his footing, only firmly planting his feet into the ground as he held Naomi close. Not so much as to aid her with standing, but to provide him with a foundation.
"No...no, this isn't possible....You have to be pulling some kind of trick. An illusion!" It had to be. Some kind of kidō spell this bastard used in order to reinforce his point through deception and sorcery. Yet, Mikado knew better. For all the magnificent illusions kidō could produce, deep within one's soul they knew it to be false. There was no such feeling with the images they just beheld. Not caring to think about it any more, Mikado raised his blade horizontally before swinging it in an arc. A purple wave of flame launched itself from the sword's tip before speeding past Vengeance an incinerating the soul of whom he just murdered.
He shot daggers at Vengeance with his glare, "You fulfill a basic need in all creatures - balance. The comfort in knowing that the scales of morality won't tip one way or the other. You beget violence, you have it come back on you twice as hard. That's a virtuous occupation, indeed. But what makes you think you have the right to carry that weight on your own?"
Vengeance only smiled, his gaze being turned towards the skies. "Why... through God's infinite mercy and grace am I bestowed this position, of course."
He wouldn't be able to continue, for Naomi grasped Mikado's sword arm and held it down to the ground, glaring at him with eyes just as fierce as his own. "What the hell's gotten into you?! If you keep firing off random spells like that for no good reason, we'll both get caught!" she finished as she threw his arm down whilst still staring at him, though her expression seemed to soften. "There's no sense in charring the corpses of the dead; leave them where they lay, and like I said before, restrain yourself, please."
With that, she turned her attention to Vengeance, drawing her sword and also pointing it at the bounty hunter in question. "Justify your actions however you please, spirit; that doesn't change the fact that you're acting completely without jurisdiction or regard for the well being of others. On behalf of the Gotei 13, I, Naomi Shirogane, am placing you under arrest."
Vengeance let out a coughing laughter, brief but still intimidating. "You're more than welcome to try."
He shot his cold eyes back towards Naomi with a venom rarely ever seen; a malice that could only be kindled when children are involved. "What's wrong with me?! Did you just not see what that...thing did that little girl?!" Mikado snapped as he snatched away from Naomi. The Haien spell was soundless, yet the sudden loss of a spiritual signature would no doubt alert someone with the Seireitei. Yet, they had not time nor resources to investigate, leaving them completely incognito. They wouldn't get caught for one or two mid to low level spells.
Mikado then smirked cruelly towards Vengeance's twisted sense of humor. "Mercy? I wouldn't attribute mercy to a deity that could have prevented such a tragedy from occurring but did nothing. I heard her Vengeance..." Mikado spoke lowly as his eyelids lowered as he looked towards the ground. "I heard her beg God for mercy, and he did nothing. Now I'm supposed to believe that just because he sends you after the culprit that he's absolved from any fault? Bullshit. " Mikado then calmed himself down a few degrees. Naomi was right, just because the Soul Society's current predicament allowed them much more freedom, didn't mean that they should abuse it by causing too much destruction. Hell, the way things are now, they may cut some losses and send someone to this location just to prevent another uprising.
He pointed his sword towards Vengeance. "I'll be honest, I never really cared for people who impose their will upon others for naught more than the fact that they believe a divine command was brought to them. The Gotei 13, they at times can be no different than you. Which is why I watch over them as well, to guarantee that they do not cross the line and become the merciless creatures they once were."
Leaning towards Naomi, he whispered in a far more docile and even light-hearted voice. "I know how that sounded, but don't ruin my hero speech, eh?"