Hold down the fort while we’re gone, Tatsuki. I know you can do it.
…And that was the last he’d better think about Karakura for a while. They’d put themselves right into the heart of enemy territory. He had to focus on here, and he had to focus on now.
The world flowed like water, scents and sounds flaring into awareness. He felt the wind catch snow-pale hair, the sun warming white skin, the icy blade over his shoulder Zangetsu had vanished into without a murmur of protest-
Drew in a breath, and howled.
Renji bolted upright from his perch on Sixth Division’s roof, almost toppling over the side. That was- that couldn’t be-
A hungry Rukongai brat knew the sound. Packs didn’t come too far into the edges of the worst districts. Usually. But sometimes, if it was winter, and so cold even the deer came sneaking close to human souls’ hovels for warmth and stolen greens….
Wolf. But it’s not winter!
And there was something different about this howl. Not the wailing, hungry noise a smart street rat feared almost as much as a Hollow’s roar. This one sang, well and whole and fiercely joyous-
Sang. And echoed.
Renji started again, seeing the baboon-snake of his sword-spirit appear, misty and incomplete. Zabimaru? You hear that?
:Something’s coming.: Slit and dark eyes met his. :And we don’t know what it is.: