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    Default [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Magatsu dropped his pack from his shoulders as he finally reached the training location he'd scouted out long ago. Beyond the farthest reaches of the Rukongai, deep in the mountains, he had discovered a valley half-filled with forest and accessible only through a short tunnel formed by a rockslide. It was remote, it was quiet, it was private, and it was also where he had achieved Shikai. Reaching his next level here had a certain poetry to it.

    The valley was nice enough; bushes laden with edible berries and roots grew near its edges, the grass was soft, and a small waterfall poured from a cliff face into a clear pool that quickly ran off into a stream vanishing beneath the rockslide.

    "We're here, Nasumi."
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi rushes from the tunnel, panting and cheeks red of extertion. "Whe... where is here?", she asks between breaths. It'd taken almost two days just to get to the forsaken place - it would've taken at least thrice as long of Nasumi had been the one to set the pace. The poor girl is exhausted and sore - with little how idea how she's supposed to train after all the running.

    Why couldn't they have just used on of the empty execution grounds? Or a formal training facility? Why on earth had it been necessary to come all the way past inhabited parts of Zaraki to this forsaken place.

    Aieee! This is going to kill me!, Nasumi whines mentally as she dreads what direction Magatsu will take next, and silently hopes they won't walk a single yard more. Hey, at least he dropped his backpack. Nasumi starts unbuckling her own, hoping she'll be allowed to drop it as well.

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Huh. She's still standing. Better than I expected. Magatsu smirked a bit. I can at least give her a breather before I start to beat on her. Train with her. That's the term to use when I actually say it.

    "Here we are, Nasumi. This is where I met Eien Uzumaki. The water's good to drink and there's a few bushes with edible berries around the edges of the forest. We start in ten."

    Magatsu was slightly tired from the trip, but still going strong. After all, the hike wasn't nearly as much exertion as combat, and he had anticipation lending him strength. He could do this. He would attain Bankai and force the Seireitei's respect.

    "We're starting with some blade meditation before moving on to sparring with sealed blades. If you're still mobile after that we'll practice releasing and resealing Shikai. From there, let's see where the mood takes me, hmm?" His grin was vicious but purposeful. He wasn't going to beat Nasumi too badly; he needed her to help him train, after all.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Ah, again this talk about releases. "... but I don't have a sealed blade", she mutters under her breath. She'd understood that not all sword spirits are strong enough to manifest by themselves, and would need a dull blade to house them until their owners would be ready to talk to them. But Shinkagenja had never needed that, so what'd be the point of sealing it now? How would she even be supposed to do that?

    It's not the only thing she doesn't get. "Um, what's blade meditation?", Nasumi, contemplatively placing a finger on her lips, eyes as empty as her head.

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Congratulations. Nasumi actually managed to render her Vice-Captain speechless. Magatsu raised a finger, trying to find words, but failed for several seconds.

    "You... what? You don't know how to enter your Inner World?" He racked his mind for options. Training had just hit its first unexpected hurdle.

    What's wrong, Magatsu-kun? Having trouble?

    Shut up. I'll deal with you later.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "Inner world...?" Nasumi's voice trails off. Then, her eyes brighten like a malfunctioning lightbulb which decided to light up after all. "Oh, you mean visiting Shin-chan! Yes, I can do that. Not that I understand why you didn't say so in the first place..." Blade meditation? That's such a goofy term, really. Obviously, some ancient Shinigami came up with these words just to make conversation difficult.

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Magatsu facepalmed for a moment. "Yes. Visiting your Zanpakutou. We'll start with that. We'll figure out where to go from there. Nasumi, just..." He sighed and rubbed his forehead. He'd known this would be a challenge, but he hadn't realized just how much. "Please... try to learn the terms for things. It makes talking easier."

    Okay. Maybe get some sparring done after this. I'll figure something out. Today's going to be easy, though... the real challenge doesn't start until tomorrow.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi pouts. It's not my fault you use difficult words for fun and profit!, she grumbles in her mind. Oh well, at least putting the backpack down is a-okay. She places it leaning against a nearby rock, then sits down on the ground, assuming a lotus position and placing Shinkagenja on her lap.

    "Um... may I begin?"
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2011-05-23 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "Go right ahead."

    Magatsu sat in a similar position, though as he laid Eien Uzumaki across his lap he could have sworn he saw a grinning hyena staring out of the flat of his blade for a brief moment. Possibly a trick of the light.

    Come on in, Magatsu-kun. Only polite to say hi to me before trying to drag me out into your world, isn't it?

    Magatsu just scowled and focused, letting the world fall away into a familiar burning city.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Faint scrunching sound accompanies every footstep as the girl walks briskly across the frozen sea. If not for the contrast provided by pale snow and ice, it'd be too dark to walk a single yard. Shivering from cold, she whispers a few words to kindle a small flame in her palms, to ward off the freezing wind and the surrounding pitch-blackness.

    Strange shadows play around her as she walks past sharp figures of frozen waves, like menacing spirits biding their time just outside reach of her light. Ahead, the pale scape encroaches to the empty sky until abruptly ending, like spikes of ice reaching for the heavens. Only barely can one trace a silhouette even darker than the eternal night, the outlines of a nightmarish mountain standing tall at the center of the dead world.

    Rows and rows of dead trees surround the girl as she starts climbing, bravely yet painstakingly scaling the slippery rocks and cliffs until she stumbles upon a path she knows. A narrow path makes its way under the snow-covered branches, their burden bending them down as if in shame, their twisted forms reaching towards the girl like eerie hands wishing to brush her hair.

    Silently, she walks down the lane, until it disappears into the mountain, cold open air being left behind as she starts her descend to the bowels of earth. The tunnels twist, turn and branch as if wanting to mislead her, to make her get lost in their labyrinthine passageways, never to be seen again. From the walls, roots of the long-dead trees stick out, like withered arms of men buried alive. And as she gets closer and the path becomes more cramped, they seem to come alive, grasping the hem and sleeves of her clothes to stop her dead in her way...

    "Tee-hee! Stop it. That tickles!", the girl says cheerfully and brushes them aside.

    Smiling widely, she crawls over the last obstacles to arrive in a chamber only she has ever seen, or knows the way to. Giant bars of iron stand from floor to the ceiling, a massive brazen lock hanging from a likewise large cell door, sealing off most of the cavern.

    Behind the bars lie the only other sources of illumination, four blazing fires like windows giving view to the inside of a furnace. But as the girl gets closer, they begin to move - a dreadful, dragging sound, reminescent of the slither of a snake, only many times magnified, breaks the oppressing silence as the hellish orbs come closer. The flickering flame held by the girl is but a fading candle compared to them, but its light gives color to the creature, giving shape to the horror behind the bars.

    Scales the size of a man's palm reflect the light each in a slightly off manner, their colors running a spectrum from deathly white to all shades of heated and tarnished copper, to colors that seem like corrupt mockeries of those until mercifully fading into blackness of the dark. A serpentine head, with a maw filled with fangs size of daggers or small swords, chews on a finny tail in frustration. Silhouette of the rest of its colossal form can barely be seen coiled in its cell, and claws of its myriad unseen legs scratch against hard stone as it presses its snout against the bars, regarding the little girl before it with contemptous curiosity.

    "Hello, Shin-chan. Long time, no see", the girl says to it, waving as a greeting. "How are you doing? I hope you haven't been too lonely in here. Oh, but have you heard the news? Vice-Captain Magatsu has taken us to a training trip! Isn't that great?"

    The serpent stops chewing its tail to glare at the girl. Of course it has heard, her ears are its ears what comes to the world outside, how could it not?

    "It's a great honor to have been chosen to train with him, isn't it? I'm just a paltry unseated, afterall. He must have seen great potential in me. I hope I can live up to his expectations."

    The snake lowers its head to the ground, resting it against the rough floor. The girl smiles to it and reaches to pet it, scratching its nose as a sign of goodwill. It doesn't seem to mind.

    "He wants me to help him attain this thing called 'Bankai'. I haven't really figured out what it's all about, but it sounds important. He's had this really focused look in his eyes for the last few days. It must mean a lot to him."


    The draconic being is fairly indifferent to the girl's babbling. It shifts its head slightly so the girl can reach to scratch the side of its jaw as well.

    "What's the matter? Aren't you going to talk to me at all?", the girl asks nervously, her smile becoming disappointed as she fondles the creature. Her strokes become slower and lighter, until she stops alltogether and lets her hand drop to the side. Sighing sadly, she turns to lean against one of the iron pillars and lets herself slump to the ground. "Shin-chaaaaan... it's boring to hold a conversation alone", she whines, playing with the flame in her hands before leaving it just floating in the air, resting her hand on her lap.

    "Oh well, I guess you're tired of the march too... my feet are so sore... you can't believe how hard it was to walk all the way here after all that. I feel like I could sleep for a century..." The girl yawns, her eyelids drowzily drooping down.

    "I guess I'll do just that... sleep for a while... I mean, I really need it. Wake me up before Amagatsu-sama does, Shin-chan..."


    And so, the girl falls asleep against the cold metal, the small flame giving her warmth eventually dying and leaving her in the dark, only the serpent to watch over her in the forlorn abyss...

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Thunder rumbled across the sky as lightning flashed down to blast splinters from the cracked cement of an abandoned office building, leaving a khopesh embedded in its wall. Broken glass and dead leaves crunched beneath Magatsu's feet as he wandered the ruined city's eternally orange-cast streets.

    Empty windows yawned like crow-pecked eyes in shattered buildings. Each bolt of lightning racing to the ground washed out the city for a moment and sent shadows stretching across the wasteland beyond like hundreds of blades reaching deep into the desert, seeking out the hearts of anything that might have escaped the death of this world.

    Always, the dark mesa loomed at the city's heart, its eight devastated skyscrapers stabbing into the sky and penetrating the endless clouds into the glowing orange sky. The storm was always worst around the broken spires, churning with fury unmatched by any Earthly hurricane.

    Magatsu picked his way through streets clogged with the rusted husks of automobiles. Vines had broken through the pavement beneath them to tangle around their axles and wheels before dying into a dull brown tangle. More than one vehicle had been transfixed by storm-spawned weapons, blades cleanly piercing metal warped and discolored from heat. Always, he approached the center.

    A radio antenna crashed to the ground in an alleyway as he passed it. Magatsu glanced towards it, unfazed, as the storm lit the wall beside him. Eight silhouettes had been burned into the wall by unimaginable heat, dark outlines in poses suggesting absolute terror and despair. Something had carved cleanly through the bricks above the char, hacking words into the wall.

    He hunts you as you're sleeping
    And when the sunlight fades
    Worlds burn and nations die
    For the Lord of Endless Blades

    Magatsu smirked and continued on. The eternal squall overhead failed to drown the city's deafening silence. A dry, burning wind howled down the street as he drew ever nearer to the mesa and the treacherous steps carved into the weathered stone, billowing his shihakushou. The labyrinth of roads was no obstacle by now.

    At last Magatsu passed the burning corpse of a fire station and the street crumbled apart, overtaken by the dirt and sand of the mesa's feet. Uneven steps curved up the sheer cliff face, vanishing out of sight.

    Magatsu began to climb.

    Blades slammed into the narrow pathway both ahead and behind, beginning their slow dissolution into sparks the moment their lightning faded and left metal crackling and hissing from the heat, but still he climbed.

    At last he reached the top and stumbled as the shrieking desert wind caught him full-on. He snarled defiance at the storm and pressed on, threading between the skeletons of withered trees and tiny lumps of dead scrub brush towards the eight skyscrapers at the mesa's center. Finally, after a moment's eternity, he stood at the heart. Massive, elaborate facades yawned emptily into each tower like hungry mouths, long since starved to death but still seeking to devour.

    "Welcome home, Magatsu-kun." Eien Uzumaki's voice echoed off the buildings, cutting through the wind like a razor. The air within the circle of buildings becalmed in an instant, though the maelstrom still raged outside.

    The massive hyena-headed figure clad in dark armor slowly floated down from above, his bladed wings motionless and arms spread wide bearing a scythe and a glaive. The orange light filtering from the glowing vortex of clouds above split into sparks on the edges of his wings and weapons. Endless green flames danced in his empty eyes as his feet touched the ground, scorching the sand.

    "You know why I'm here. Give me what I need."

    Eien Uzumaki bared its teeth in a smile as heartless as Magatsu's. "You're going to change the worlds, Magatsu-kun. All of them. I've seen your heart, known it better than even you ever will." He shrugged and was suddenly holding a sickle and a dirk when Magatsu blinked. "But desire alone isn't enough. Power must be controlled or it will destroy its own destiny in vengeance for its weakness. Can you control your own heart, Magatsu-kun? Your soul was made for killing. Can you rise to become a lord?"

    Magatsu grinned back. "I know my destiny. It's not to fail here."

    His sword spirit spread its wings further, rattling their blades and sending sparks flying. "Destiny is a lie!" He screamed with surprising venom. "A crutch! A tool for the weak to justify themselves! A prison! Transcend destiny! Kill it! Accept nothing as your master! We can kill anything, Magatsu-kun! Shatter the ties that bind you to your past, break any last echo of that weakness! Become who you have always meant to be and murder fate itself!"

    Eien Uzumaki quieted, the inferno behind his eyes calming. "Live."
    Last edited by Wahrheit; 2011-05-25 at 12:34 AM.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    A shiver of cold wakes Nasumi up. Ooops. I guess I fell asleep, she thinks drowzily, covering her mouth with one hand as yawns. Quick glance at the sky tells, however, that she couldn't have slept for long - the sun is still in the same position - unless she slept for a whole day straight.

    That couldn't have happened. Fuku-taichou would've never allowed that
    , she thinks, her mismatched eyes wandering until they fix on Magatsu's still meditating form. Curious, the girl picks herself up, hoisting her sword over her shoulder. Staring eyes wide open, she starts circling Magatsu.

    "... how long is he going to meditate?", she muses as she counts seconds. "Ummm, Shizuka-san? Weren't we supposed to train today as well...?"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "We both know we can do this, Magatsu-kun, but you have to be worthy. Oh, the sights I have to show you..." Eien Uzumaki smiled cruelly and far too sharply. "I'll see you in your world soon, Magatsu-kun."

    The storm returned to full strength as Magatsu left his Inner World, cracking his neck loudly before resheathing his blade.

    "Murder fate? Lousy cryptic bulls***." Magatsu muttered sourly. He glanced up and found Nasumi circling restlessly. "So. Let's get some sparring in. I won't be releasing Shikai for this."
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi fidgets nervously as she gets in her place, bowing to Magatsu before unsheathing her blade. Noxious-looking clouds billow out in its wake, obscuring the girl's form momentarily before settling into seven, concentric rings around her.

    "So... ummm... we start, I guess?", she mumbles in a somewhat embarrassed tone. Rhythm of practice had always been easy when training in formation, or under supervision of a training instructor - someone had always been there to tell exactly when to start, and when to stop.

    But Magatsu's presence makes her nervous, and she isn't quite sure if he's man who values traditional training protocols. She has this nagging feeling he might do just anything at any moment. And she still isn't sure what her superior actually expects of her for the purposes of this trip...

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Magatsu slowly drew Eien Uzumaki, holding the straight blade in a casually ready stance with the ease of someone giving a handshake to an old friend. Reiatsu shimmered around him, distorting the air and tinting it vaguely green, but something about it was odd... he wasn't flaring his reiatsu into the world at large, but into his Zanpakutou. Almost-invisible tendrils twisted and curled around him, plunging into his blade and making the already-strange reflections in its steel warp and shift even more with every movement.

    Magatsu took a deep breath, focusing. He expected no real threat of harm from Nasumi, but this was incredibly distracting.

    "Begin." He lunged into a simple horizontal cut, though slower than his norm. All the while, his reiatsu plunged deeper into his Zanpakutou and Inner World, seeking out his sword spirit...
    Last edited by Wahrheit; 2011-05-30 at 02:09 AM.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi easily sidesteps the lunge, backing outside Magatsu's reach. "Um..." She's hesitant to do much... anything, because it doesn't really look like he's concentrating on the sparring. At all. I might accidentally hurt him!

    "Green cloud!", she yelps, swinging her sword in Magatsu's general direction. The slash itself goes so wide it never runs the risk of hitting Magatsu, or anything else for that matter, but it causes one of the colorful clouds surrounding them to come alive and subsume Magatsu.

    In blink of an eye, the whole world feels like it's been tilted 90 degrees to the left, with Nasumi looming horizontally above Magatsu with a sorry look on her face. The ground, on the other hand, has suddenly become a sheer cliff, and Magatsu can feel himself start falling towards the mountainside...

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "Bzuh?!" Magatsu's eyes widen in surprise as he suddenly falls sideways, tumbling through the air several feet before he forcefully halts himself with airwalking.

    I wasn't expecting her shikai to do THAT.

    He suddenly felt the distinctly uncomfortable and highly odd sensation of blades stabbing through the reiatsu tendrils he had pushing into his Zanpakutou. Problems, Magatsu? You're going to have to try harder if you let little things like this distract you. Heh heh heh.

    I'm only starting. Magatsu bared his teeth in a snarl as he redoubled the force of his pressure, driving the feeling of blades away, and looked "up" at Nasumi.

    "Better than I thought. Useful." He leapt at her, kicking off the ground to his side to change the angle of his thrust at the last moment.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi let's out a barely audible "Eep!" as Magatsu leaps towards her. Fortunately, his former stumbling created a bit of distance between them. "Brown cloud!", Nasumi yells as she flees out of Magatsu's way, flailing her arms seemingly ineffectually - expect, as a result Magatsu can feel the world roll over again as the green tint around him is replaced by brown one, consequently leaving him in a very inconvenient position in relation to the ground - and feeling like there are rubber strings holding his limbs back.

    Meanwhile, Nasumi is busy hiding behind a rock.
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2011-05-30 at 03:47 AM.

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "What the fu-" Magatsu's curse was cut short by a rather uncomfortable sideways impact into the ground. He lay on the ground for a few moments, feeling his Zanpakutou snickering, before forcing himself back to his feet. Magatsu was wiry but still quite strong, but even so Nasumi's Shikai ability made moving a strain. He rather liked it.

    This is perfect for strength training...

    Also perfect for knocking the big bad Lieutenant flat on his back. Eien Uzumaki snickered more.

    Magatsu started to stomp his anger down to resume his concentration, but stopped and embraced it instead. He wasn't going to let anyone, not even his own sword, make fun of him for not expecting a reality-warping Shikai.

    "All right, if you want to make fun of me, do it to my face." Magatsu snarled through clenched teeth, his reiatsu flaring into a murderous bonfire before pouring into his blade. He felt its net snag something large, sharp, and struggling, and began to pull.

    The reflections in his sword grew more and more distorted before seeming to "break" and began reflecting a vast, ruined metropolis beneath a storm-torn sky. Then reiatsu blazed from its flat, slowly dragging something out of it.

    An arm. Huge, muscular, dark-furred with dark metal armor strapped to it, the blackened steel's spikes and edges complementing the wicked claws on the pawlike hand perfectly, it emerged up to the bicep before clenching its fist and slowing its emergence.

    Then it punched Magatsu in the face.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi shirks away little. He's not talking about me. Right? Of course, who else would his lieutenant be talking to? It's not like there's anyone...

    Nasumi blinks as an arm reaches out of Magatsu's blade. She waits for a while for Magatsu to recover, peeking from behind the rock. "Ummm... the spar is still on, right?"

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "Yeah... yeah, it's still on." Magatsu reached to hold his eye very slowly thanks to Nasumi's Shikai as Eien Uzumaki's arm disappeared back into the sword. "Bastard doesn't pull his punches..."

    He shook his head, trying to clear it, and launched into a simple overhead slash at his punching ba- I mean, training partner. Well, "oozed into" is probably the better term, though he'd started to adjust slightly to the force needed to move inside the brown cloud.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi sidesteps the slash and aims her own at Magatsu's midrif. It seems her tension eases slightly - maybe it's because Magatsu slowed down by two thirds is much more manageable to her. She just has to take care to not be swallowed by the brown cloud herself.

    The sparring match continues on an even track for quite some time, with Nasumi slowly becoming more daring with her attacks as she starts to pick up Magatsu's rhythm. The only thing more she can hope for would be that her Lieutenant tires first.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    The training continues for a while yet; being on the cusp of Bankai, Magatsu's already-high spiritual energy is trembling higher yet. Still, he does eventually tire. Turns out that three times the effort for every action will do that to you. For his efforts, he only got punched once more by a partially-manifested Eien Uzumaki. Well, and kicked once, and actually dropped his sword when one of his Zanpakutou spirit's wings of blades emerged. Still, he was making progress.

    At last, though, he called it a day and set up his sleeping mat, preferring to sleep under the open stars.

    The next morning, and the day after, he had plans to continue the same exercise interspersed with breather periods of making sure Nasumi was up-to-date on basic Shinigami techniques.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "I thought he'd never quit!", the girl complains to the horrid beast chewing its own tail. "You think he'd at least need to take a pause to eat, but noooo! Good grief, I'm hungry! At this rate, I'll starve to death before this training is over..." As if on cue, the girl's stomach rumbles loudly.

    "And what's with his sword? It like they hate each other"
    , she continues. The serpentine abomination perks its ears slightly. "Aren't Zanpakuto and the wielder supposed to be bestest friends? Help each other out? I know we are friends, at least..." She reaches through the massive bars to scratch the serpent's side. It growls acceptingly.

    "I still don't get why he brought me, of all people. Why not Shishimaru-san? Or Koishima-fukutaichou?"
    , she muses and pouts. "I really don't know if I can hold up, and I really don't want to get in his way. It doesn't feel like a safe thing to do..."

    The serpent doesn't answer. A heavy silence fills the cavern at the heart of the mountain. After a while, the girl yawns loudly, putting a hand before her mouth. "Sorry Shin-chan, I must really bore you with my ramblings. Let's talk later tomorrow. Good night..."
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2011-06-05 at 03:25 PM.

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Several days later

    "Come at me again." Magatsu settled back into his deceptively-casual ready stance, waiting. They'd begun training again at the break of dawn, as they had for the past several days, breaking only for brief rests or to eat. Admittedly, he didn't seem terribly concerned about the bruises and scrapes he kept giving her; the closest he got to showing actual concern for her well-being was making sure she ate, and being careful not to actually strike her with Eien Uzumaki when he practiced with his Shikai.

    Actually, the training was getting more brutal. He wasn't actually causing serious harm to Nasumi, but he was very plainly holding back less and less regardless of their difference in skill. As the training wore on and he failed to manifest more than a single limb of Eien Uzumaki at a time, his mood soured more and more and his excercises became rougher and rougher, as if he were using Nasumi as a cathartic punching bag.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Aieee! Not again! Nasumi stays on the ground for a moment, rubbing her forehead before slowly crawling back up. She wipes her face quickly to the large sleeve of her Shihakusho, to hide the tears of pain in the corners of her eyes. Magatsu might not be causing her any serious harm, but he is causing some serious hurt.

    Grudginly, the unseated grasps the hilt of her sword with both hands, lips squeezed together tighly as she prepares for round umpteen. Seven concentric clouds waver slightly around her. In the past few days, Magatsu had started to get a hang of what each color did, so he isn't falling for the same tricks anymore, much to Nasumi's chagrin.

    This isn't fair! I'm a person, not a makiwara!
    , she thinks as she shufles around, trying to think what to do next. She'd pretty much exhausted her ideas for the day already, and Magatsu had eventually countered them all. So there isn't really much more to do than try to hit him faster and harder this time, which will only lead to her being hit faster and harder again.

    Then she makes her decision. "White cloud!", she screams, the pale wisp darting through the air like a colorless serpent. At the same time, she sprints to Magatsu's side, aiming several quick slashes at his torso, as forcefully as her tired muscles just allow. She'd stopped caring for the wellbeing of her superior hours ago, as it seemed no matter what she tried to do, he always came out on top. Maybe, if she'd injure him, they'd have at least a decently long break...

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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Magatsu tightened his grip on his blade, pouring his reiatsu deep within it again, as the cloud boiled towards him. If he'd been in a better mood he'd have dodged and counterattacked. If he'd been less frustrated he'd have parried Nasumi's tired strikes.

    And if Eien Uzumaki wasn't a complete troll, he'd have noticed Nasumi wasn't holding back this time.

    You really think this is making a difference, Magatsu-kun? Eien Uzumaki was silent for a moment, until the last possible instant before Nasumi's first strike reached Magatsu. TRY HARDER!

    The mental shout startled him just enough. His parry jerked slightly in midair, shoving Nasumi's first strike aside far too sloppily. The impact of her much larger sword against his to pushed Magatsu just barely off-balance, forcing him to scramble even more sloppily to deflect her second strike.

    As he began to regain his footing to deal with her third, the white cloud struck.

    "What the-" Temperatures flipped around Magatsu, making the pleasantly warm day become suddenly chilly. He hesitated for a split second with the distraction, already furious with himself that he let it take him by surprise as he attempted to recover.

    Eien Uzumaki flashed out in a oddly-glittering arc and met Shinkagenja at the wrong angle.

    Magatsu froze as a sudden hot wetness spread across his chest, staining his shihakusho. A shallow foot-long cut, perhaps a quarter-inch deep, raked diagonally down his chest. When he looked back up at Nasumi, his pale blue eyes had gone past his strong irritation to downright murderous.

    "Nasumi-" he hissed through clenched teeth, knuckles growing white on his sword. Oppressive green reiatsu exploded around him, trying to suffocate the area... and suddenly vanished, whirling into Magatsu's blade in a torrential vortex of sickly green flame. The Vice-Captain screamed in surprise and rage, sounding almost more animal than man, and for some reason his primal roar had an undertone of a hyena's dark laughter.

    An unnatural stillness settled for a moment, barely a heartbeat, before the reflections in Magatsu's sword twisted into themselves, becoming a blade-shaped hole in the air leading to a storm-wracked, burning city built around a mesa. Green flames poured out of his sword into a tornado stretching into the sky, washing the valley in noxious light. A sudden blast of wind howled out of the flames in all directions with the force of a hurricane, flattening grass and pressing the trees' branches back, as a sense of overwhelming pressure began to settle. The pressure grew stronger and stronger as the sound of myriad knives scraping across metal grew louder, coming closer.

    At last, just as the pressure became almost unbearable, the reiatsu hurricane exploded outwards in a raging wave to fill the valley with a blinding emerald conflagration. Magatsu blinked the spots out of his eyes.

    Bloodstained wings of jagged blades spread wide, stretching their newfound freedom. An enormous, muscular hyena-man, clad all in dark armor, stood between Magatsu and Nasumi, idly scratching his chin with vicious claws.

    "Oh, don't stop on my account." Eien Uzumaki smiled with all of his teeth. The expression didn't reach the holes into an eternity of green fire that were his eyes.
    Last edited by Wahrheit; 2011-06-18 at 12:19 AM.
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Nasumi jumps back as she wounds Magatsu, flinching at the obvious fury of her superior. She squeezes the hilt of her sword hard, shaking in anticipation as she's sure Magatsu will beat the snot out of her now. She pouts, a mix of aggravation and embarrassement running through her as she realizes she's disappointed she didn't incapacitate Magatsu with her strike.

    But her focus on the fight isn't enough to keep her mouth shut. The frustration she's been holing inside her demands a let out. "What!?!", she shouts against the torrent of energy, tears in her eyes. "You've been whaling on me for no reason for days! It's not like I asked to be here! You think it hurts? Well, screw you! You think I don't hurt? It's only fair you get a taste of your own medicine! I've had eno-"

    She barely registers Magatsu is screaming while she speaks, or why. The unnatural stillness, calm before the storm, goes likewise unnoticed. It's only when the storm of green flame billows out that the girl is abruptly cut off and thrown on her butt on the ground. Nasumi rolls on the ground, trying to get down and shield herself from the blast. What on earth is happening!?! Her rage is washed away and replaced with panic of a little animal before thunder - it's easy to feel indignant towards a person, less so towards what looks like a natural disaster.

    Then the storm abates. Clutching Shinkagenja as she lies on her stomach, Nasumi raises her head slightly to peek forward. She blinks in wonderment and curiosity as she regards the gnoll.

    "Uh... who are you...?"
    , she asks. "You look kinda cud-... oh, sorry." Her face turns beet red as she realizes what she was about to blurt out. People had told her it's not proper to express desire to hug terrible monsters that might kill you any moment.

    But at the same time, there's a nagging feeling, a shiver running up and down her spine. As if... she'd seen something like this in the past. There's an emotion she can't put her finger on, like a faded memory just barely escaping recollection. She scrapes herself up from the ground, wiping dust and grass off her clothes.

    Deep within her, a gargantuan snake stops chewing its tail and presses its snout against the bars of its prison...

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    Eien Uzumaki stared at Nasumi for a moment before bursting into laughter. "Cuddly? Oh, I like her, Magatsu-kun." He raised an eyebrow at the look of bewilderment on his wielder's face. "What, surprised to see me? I told you I'd be out here soon. You just weren't worked-up enough yet. Red doesn't suit you, though, I have to say." He turned back to Nasumi and jabbed a thumb at Magatsu.

    "I'm him. Or at least his sword. Eien Uzumaki. And speaking of swords, that's an... interesting... one you've got there." He snickered again, a verbal tic at the end of almost every sentence.

    "All right, you're here, Let's get a move on already. I'm not letting you keep Bankai from me any longer." Magatsu collected himself, though seeing Eien Uzumaki in the real world, not just in his soul, unsettled him a bit. He'd trained for this moment, been expecting it, but there's still a very fundamental difference between meeting a psychotically-grinning blade nut gnoll in your own mindscape and in the actual world.

    In the instant neither Magatsu nor Nasumi were looking at him, the broadsword and wakizashi in the Zanpakutou's claws became a katar and a halberd. "Fair enough. You pulled me here, I'll set the stage. While things get ready, though... you." He looked straight at Nasumi, Why don't you tell Magatsu-kun what you had to say again? I don't think he heard you the first time."

    Eien Uzumaki spread his wings to their full span, rattling the blades as he held his weapons into the air. Bolts of reiatsu rained from the sky around him, slamming into the valley and forming into hundreds of bladed weapons jammed point-first into the ground, all with blades of the wrong-reflecting metal of Eien Uzumaki's wings and Magatsu's to. Here's the game, Magatsu-kun: when we start, all you have to do is find your Zanpakutou and hit me with it. Simple, isn't it?"
    If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rallicus
    I picture some NPC kid running up to the wearer, going "Sir... why are you wearing a chopped off hand?", at which point the wearer launches the kid's hat 15 feet away and snarls, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? THIS IS TRUE POWER!"

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [BitP:R] Episode 9: Bankai! A Quest for the Power to Change!

    "Ummm... thanks... I guess...", Nasumi mutters as a reply to the gnoll's compliment, if you can call it that. She watches the short exchange between the two in befuddlement. She blinks at the beast's request - the sudden turn of events had pretty much wiped her mind blank. "Tell again what I was about to say...? What... oh, that..."

    Next moment, she finds herself ducking behind a large rock as various sharp implements start falling from the sky. "Aieee!"

    She hides for a good while as the priorly serene landscape is mutilated, Shinkagenja next to her on the ground as she shields her head from shrapnel. But as she sits there, gears start to turn in her head. The full weight of what the two had said is finally revealing just what her place in it all is.

    They don't need me anymore.

    As the maelstrom ceases, she grasps Shinkagenja and stands up. I'm not important. They never needed me in the first place.

    The iridescent clouds around the girl start to slide across the ground in a restless manner, as if sudden gust of wind had picked them up. She stands with her back turned on the pair, thinking. No... that's not right... he picked me because I stood up to him. Dared to defy him. Of course. It's all starting to fall in place now. It was all just some petty grudge.

    "Not worked up enough. So that's what this was all about, then?"
    , she mumbles. The coloured clouds start to converge, becoming a single stream slithering conspicuously like a large serpent, spiralling slightly upwards.

    "I've just been here so you have something to feel angry towards? To be your glorified punching bag? How selfish of you."
    Her voice is uneven and tense, and she has to swallow a sob once or twice. Her mind wanders back to what she'd said to Shin-chan... about how it'd been an honor... all this time, she'd hoped there was something in for her in it as well...

    Lies. Nothing more than lies!
    A bitter taste rises to girl's mouth as it strikes her just how false her hopes had been.

    All her time in her foster family, all her time in the Shinġreijutsuin, it'd been drilled in her that her superiors and elders would be wise people... to be respected and feared for their knowledge and power. That she should behave herself and obey them because they knew better than her. But Magatsu had proven to not be like that... instead, he's just a sadistic bastard. Nasumi had seen more sympathetic people in the Maggot's Nest.

    Yet... he's not even the worst culprit.

    "You", Nasumi says and lifts Shinkagenja with one hand to point at Eien Uzumaki, facing it sideways so only her right eye, the gold one, is staring at the spirit. "What kind of a sword spirit are you?"

    Nasumi's head is hurting - it's like there's something at the back of her head, a presence or an emotion pushing against her brain, demanding to be let out. Around her, the stream of colours explodes into violent motion, weaving around her like a constrictor snake leaping around its prey.

    "Zanpakutou are... *sniff* supposed to be one with their wielders. They're *hick* supposed to help each other." She thinks to the time Eien Uzumaki's hand first emerged from the blade to punch Magatsu. "You... you could've come out any time. You... you meanie you... you didn't have to punch him! You didn't need to get him angry! You did it just to spite him!"

    Nasumi lowers her sword to take a step forward. Her hand reaches towards one of the blades that mirror the sickly reflection of Magatsu's own, wrapping around its hilt and drawing it from the ground. Around her, several more of the weapons are suddenly smashed through ground like nails driven into soft wood - indeed an area several yards in diameter around the indignant fille is abruptly flattened as if an invisible cylinder of great weight suddenly fell on it.

    "You... you knew he was going to take it out on me! You watched it happen all along! And you thought it was all fine and dandy, didn't you?"
    Nasumi's voice is slowly but surely becoming a shrill shriek that probably won't do good to her vocal chords - or the eardrums of those listening, for that matter. "You... you are both colossal jerks!" If Nasumi wasn't fuming as badly, she might take a moment to lament that any stronger curse words have slipped away from her vocabulary.

    "It's insane you are a Lieutenant! You just treat other people like dirt for your own amusement! It's unforgivable! Un. For. Gi. Vab. Le!"

    As her rage continues to reach new heights, Nasumi's demeanor suddenly turns oddly calm. For a moment, her expression is perfectly plain, with lips together softly, and her grip of the swords eases slightly. Her pupils dilate, to the point where for once once could imagine her eyes being of the same color.

    Pitch-black.

    "People like you should be locked up"
    , she whispers, her head falling to the side slightly. "You should be kept in chains and sedated so no-one gets drawn into your egoistic schemes ever again. What right do you have when I'm kept under lock and key?"

    Above Nasumi, the clouds have become still again. One can still tell they're insubstantial, but... the form they've taken is more detailed than ever before. A horrifying draconic form, with shreds of each cloud serving as its scales, with myriad of legs like a centipede and four patches of empty air as its eyes, glares down at Magatsu and Eien Uzumaki.

    "You are a disgrace. You ought to be stopped."

    "Just like they stopped me."


    With a scream of rage, Nasumi hurls the borrowed blade at Eien Uzumaki and starts running towards Magatsu...
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2011-06-18 at 08:06 PM.

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