The night air was chilly to the bone yet around a small fire burning behind the bar where Yoshiro's friends and family had gathered sat Kenji Hiroshi and Kusaka Kori. Although the two had drunk their fair share of raw vodka they still had their faculties about them, though drink had clearly eroded their better sense of restraint. On this cold night Kenji wore what many had called his “war attire” which consisted of a sleeveless black kosode and black-as-night hakama. Kusaka too wore his battle clothing, which consisted of a black jacket, white under-shirt, black denim jeans, a tight leather belt and a pair of studded fingerless gloves.
“It's time.” Kusaka whispered as he drained his final half.
Some things you could let slide. Others could be forgotten or forgiven. This was neither. Arturo was going to have a very rude awakening.
“Yeah.” Kenji extinguished his cigar and placed the remaining half inside his inner pocket for later.
Kenji split the air with a wave of his hand. The scenery of Hueco Mundo replaced that of Horiwari and the two brothers-in-law stepped out onto the sandy dunes. Shinrei and Kentaro Hiroshi greeted them with a sharp nod of their heads. Tonight Shinrei wore his commonly seen white regalia whilst Kentaro wore little more than a pair of high-waisted trousers that accentuated his adomiinal pecks in a swath of cloth and a pair of stout black leather boots.
“Do you have him?” Kenji asked of Shinrei.
“Three miles from here, to the south.” He replied.
“He's not alone.” Kentaro noted. “I sense Averian.”
“Wait, what?” Kusaka asked. “How can you sense him when we can't?”
“... Your using the power he didn't mean to give you to find him aren't you? Good boy!” Kenji declared.
“He's gone now.” Kentaro said, surprised.
“Okay, get out of here.” Kusaka interjected. “Your father and I will handle this from here.”
The two cared little about revealing themselves or the extent their powers yet, but they needed the element of surprise on their side if they where to have any hope of toppling Averian. Arturo was powerful sure but he was merely a side-show.
“It's time to close the curtain.”
Before Shinrei and Kentaro could leave they bore witness to something neither had expected. Kenji and Kusaka, who where the two strongest men either knew, struck their blades together. Their spiritual powers equalised completely for a brief moment and then surged around them like a beacon! When the light faded they where no loner separate beings but one entity! This being had black hair that extended to the base of his back with uniquely coloured eyes; they where brown at their core but at the edges where shades of Kenji's natural green and Kusaka's natural violet, which appeared to be blended perfectly. He was taller than Kusaka by at least three inches and wore a white kosode and black hakama with a flowing white haori draped over his shoulders.
“Leave.” The man said. “Now!”
He wasted no more time. The man appeared before Arturo with a single impressive step and immediately drew his Zanpakuto.
“My name is Ronin Kori. Do you remember Yoshiro? No. Don't answer. I'm ending this. Right now!”
|Arturo didn't know what to think of this new arrival but he was nothing if not arrogant. He drew his own sword and proceeded to engage Ronin in combat. Their initial skirmish was nothing more than the two testing the waters. They emerged without a single injury. Or so Arturo thought. His shoulder suddenly spewed blood!
“Can you hear it?” Ronin asked. “That was the sound of the wind.”
Arturo healed his wounds and they closed once again but Ronin was a marvel to behold. His swordsmanship was both graceful and strong, which was reinforced by a degree of skill and experience that seemed impossible for one single man to amass. But then he wasn't strictly one man. Not really. He effortlessly parried Arturo's attacks and landed three swift strikes to his midsection before moving away via Shunpo.
“Nothing impossible about it. You did something very foolish Arturo; and I will punish you.”
It wasn't a battle anymore. The only word that could be attached to what this had developed into was butchery. Ronin released Kenji and Kusaka's pent-up rage in one masterful schooling! He made Arturo, who was a centuries old being with power potentially to rival his creator, look like a snivelling brat. And in mere minutes he had laid the mighty Arrancar low! Arturo was wide-eyed and disbelieving but Ronin did not relent. He hefted his Zanpakuto and released one lightning-wreathed energy blast at point-blank range that bore a distinct resemblance to both the Jitsugen and the Reissen. Nothing at all remained of Arturo.
“I hope you where watching Averian.” Ronin whispered before swiftly departing.