Bridge ficit – Rescue Rukia 8

Its own name.

Thoughtful, Hyourinmaru took to the skies again, circling into the center of Toushirou’s soul. Here, no stifling heat of summer would ever dare to come. All was wind, the soothing curtains of freezing rain, and endless sculpted cliffs of ice.

And there, on the white plain below, was where Toushirou had first stood when he’d summoned a young child into their soul-scape. Shaking. Afraid. Knowing other children looked at him and saw a monster, and never knowing why.

I wish you remembered, Toushirou. At least then you would understand.

He remembered, even if that winter night so long ago was only tatters of images and feelings. Toushirou had not been an easy soul to konsou, oh no; young and frightened and oh, so in love with the clear winter stars. He’d wanted away, wanted wings, to soar through winter forever….

And the hilt had struck, and he had shattered into we, all the power of ice and starlight buried with Hyourinmaru in a young, frightened soul.

We were almost youkai. We were almost free.

He did not regret becoming his shinigami’s zanpakutou. The battle against the Hollows was as noble a cause as any dragon could wish for. And yet….

I want to fly.

Toushirou was a captain. And Captain Hitsugaya followed the rules, no matter how asinine he thought them. And the rules of Seireitei meant, all too often, Toushirou did not even carry his blade. As for releasing shikai….

I want to fly!

“Hyourinmaru?”

Wings furling, the dragon coiled around a spire of ice, regarding the worried shinigami who had appeared in their soul-scape. “I did not mean to wake you.”

“You’re upset.” Toushirou stepped forward, hand lifted and open. “What can I do?”

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26 thoughts on “Bridge ficit – Rescue Rukia 8

  1. D’awwww

    *ignores Toushirou’s dirty look for making that noise in reference to him*

    But also ouch. Poor kid. But it makes sense. There had to be a reason that the other children (aside from Hinamori) were always afraid of him, spiritual pressure not withstanding, when he, as said, had never done anything to them. Suppose one could also go for that fact that he looked different (most of the mundane souls we see seem to have dark hair and dark eyes) and for some kids that would be reason enough but . . .

    Of course that begs the question about why so many of the Shinigami, who are judging by their names the souls of Japanese people, have so different hair and eye colors, including several that do not typically occur in humans (like pink)

    Mmmm . . . and if Toushirou’s spiritual presence was noticable enough to make mundane souls ansty, why did nobody before Matsumoto try to recruit* him as a Shinigami?

    *For a given value of recruit. I don’t think the Seireitei simply allows powerful souls not to become Shinigami and not just because their mere presence is dangerous to mundane souls – they don’t like such powerful souls out of their direct control. And even untrained, Toushirou was probably too powerful to be allowed to refuse training.

    AND now I’m starting to wonder if this restriction of when and where Shinigami can carry their zanpakuto is another piece of the plot or the Central 46 continuing control issues?

    After all, unless you are really good with kido or hakuda, without their zanpakuto, Shinigami can’t put up much of fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, canon we know has a lot of normal procedural restrictions on Shinigami. We know because of them being released on a temporary basis to deal with the various emergencies.

      I can think of at least three other influences that could explain it.

      1. Japanese culture on arms restrictions.
      2. Modern military and police forces often have restrictions on what their personal may do, and what may be done with issue weapons. Consider barracks versus field.
      3. I’ve run out of sense to explain the next, but consider the Roman rules that differed between the city of Rome and everywhere else.

      Captains are a special case, given that they are strong enough to keep their subordinates under control without releasing their full power, and that their full power has side effects that are considered harmful to reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are probably a lot of reasonable explanations. Not sure about those are it . . .

        1. Japanese culture on arms restrictions.

        Which didn’t even begin to exist until 1588 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi banned the peasants from owning swords. After all, only Samurai were allowed to carry swords and if I’m remembering correctly anyone outside of that class was restricted on other weapons as well. There is a reason most ninja weapons are based on or are actually farming tools.

        Firm arm manufacture was also extremely restricted, making them uncommon even in the Samurai class.

        Samurai lost the right to carry swords in 1867

        The current heavy restriction laws on guns and swords in Japan were not put in place until after the Second World War.

        So while that culture might have influenced the author, I’m not sure how it would have influence the Soul Society.

        2. Modern military and police forces often have restrictions on what their personal may do, and what may be done with issue weapons. Consider barracks versus field.

        Key word there is modern. the Soul Society isn’t the most modern place in the multiverse in many respects.

        Such practices probably again influenced Tite Kubo in his decisions about the rules but that still doesn’t explain the Gotei 13 and the Central 46’s reasoning.

        Further thoughts:

        I could understand if they were restricted from releasing their swords willy nilly. And yes, not being allowed to carry them most of the time does prevent them from releasing them but it’s a little extreme . . .

        given that they are strong enough to keep their subordinates under control without releasing their full power,

        And yet aren’t trusted to maintain enough discipline over their subordinates to keep the majority of them from releasing their zanpakuto in the Seireitei outside of regulated training fields without a very good reason?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry for taking so long to find my brain.

        I was thinking of Japanese arms restrictions mainly as cultural influence on Tite. Releasing procedural limits does has a history in anime and manga as a cheap way to raise tension.

        What serves a purpose in a modern military could serve the same purpose in a fantasy military that shares the necessary prerequisites. The thirteen divisions have bureaucracy, the lifespan could make the culture more alien, and the swords may be considered issued rather than personal property.

        I think what I was fumbling towards with the third point was distinctions between civil and military authority. There are sound reasons and historical precedent for restrictive customs and laws. 1. They can help the soldiers shift from a war mindset to one that is closer to ideal for living around their own people. 2. They can help prevent coups. 3. Historical armies could be pretty close to bandits.

        Soul Society has distinct civil and military authorities, so they might find such rules desirable. Seireitei should be somewhere between large and very large. My smaller estimate suggests it is not so small that the military buildings and training fields need be more than a very small portion of the whole. If Fort Bragg and DC were next door neighbors, what is a guy with a weekend pass going to be allowed to take into the Smithsonian?

        I think it’d be funny to have formal armories where Shinigami sign their weapons out of the vault. I don’t think there is support for it in canon, and it doesn’t really go with the theme.

        I dunno.

        I think Hitsugaya might have business in areas where arms are not customary, and Zaraki is not invited. I also suspect that the sensibilities of a weapon spirit might be outside the comfort zones of quite a few others.

        But maybe I haven’t found my brain, as it seems to be missing.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Oh they probably have a good solid rationale and it might well be based on the fact that Seireitai is mixture of civilian and Gotei 13 space.

        Through considering a zanpakuto is a part of the Shinigami’s soul, I doubt they leave them in a giant division or company sized vault somewhere. A vault to sign weapons in and out of works for something that is impersonal or if the swords were just swords. But they aren’t. They are a piece of soul. Not to mention alive with their own thoughts and opinions.

        Granted it is likely the opinion of the zanpakuto that they should never be left behind.

        And my brain might be overly suspicions because the all or nothing extremes.

        Because outside of wartime and similar exceptions, they don’t seem to be allowed to carry them at all in the Seireitei. Even when the Shinigami in question is actively on duty. Unless said Shinigami is going out to patrol in the Rukongai or the Human World. Granted both locations are more likely to have Hollows than the Seireitai but still . . .

        You can be armed around the civilians least likely to possess the power to harm you but not the ones most likely to possess spiritual power of their own?

        But again, maybe my brain is just being hyper-sensitive and paranoid about Aizen and just how many fingers have gotten into just how many pies . . .

        Like

      4. Nobles seem to produce a fair amount of Shinigami, but the Central 46 do not seem to necessarily have any great amount of spiritual power.

        Think respectful protocol for a President, Senators, or Supreme Court Justices. (It is good that we do not select such for the ability to form and maintain a Praetorian Guard. The US military takes a great deal of care to ensure that such officials will not have a real need for one.)

        That said, I came here to retract ‘Soul Society has distinct civil and military authorities’, as that seems open to interpretation. I feel my thinking has been too confused for the length I’ve written on this.

        Different readers have different interpretations because of bringing different backgrounds to the experience. There’s a range of valid interpretations where tastes can differ. I think a minimal Aizen can fit, and that seems to please my sense of verisimilitude the most, but canon is unclear.

        I suspect the ambiguity is for the sake of future revelations. 1) I think I’ve heard that Bleach will be ending ‘soon’. 2) Thousand year blood war arc could be ultimate or penultimate. 3) The circumstances make a number of revelations about Aizen plausible.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Manga, we’ve seen the Soul King.

        He has been killed recently, but his ‘heart’, ‘left hand’, and ‘right hand’ are apparently alive and doing stuff.

        When he was alive he recruited five Shinigami Captains to run his palace guard. He changed them into living keys for the pocket dimension he lives in above Seireitei. We’ve also seen the five, and some of their subordinates. Combined they are said to be more powerful than all the Shinigami in Seireitei.

        The palace guard purportedly conveyed the Soul King’s directions on how Seireitei was to be governed. This included the set up with the Central 46, and probably a lot of the restrictions on Shinigami, Captains, and disclosure of information.

        One of the early purposes of the Shinigami armed forces in Seireitei was the war with the Quincy. Which again apparently started as an internal matter involving the Soul King. After the Quincy were defeated, the Shinigami became more of a peaceful force that fought Hollows.

        First the Shinigami temporarily killed the head Quincy a thousand years ago. Then they ‘exterminated’ the Quincy two hundred years ago, which was apparently when the Gotei-13 started shifting from a martial to a policing focus. There were two surviving populations of Quincy. One being the ordinary sorts living on earth. The other being select elites hiding invisibly inside Seireitei. The first group was killed, except for five people, ten years ago. The second is dying now, which powers up the head Quincy.

        In conclusion, I think Bleach uses these mass battles where other Shonen Jump titles use tournament arcs. I think Kubo Tite made his world building to fit that need. I don’t know he has much room to pull many more of them off.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Evil undead organs, strictly speaking, doesn’t seem to necessarily apply to any single one of them. They may be titles, or a sign of how alien the Soul King is. The one that is most likely actually undead seems to be on the side of the good guys.

        Living keys I made sound worse than they are. They are still Shinigami, otherwise unchanged as far as we know. It is just that a certain set of very important locks is keyed to their biological material.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. *G* The anime hair does make it a bit more likely there’s something possibly inhuman in the mix, doesn’t it?

      Hmm. My bunnies think Matsumoto may have been the first shinigami the dragon liked enough to not freeze solid? Or maybe he distracted them into not finding him….

      And ouch, yeah, not having part of your soul on you just smacks of Bad Idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Something tells me Toushiro’s reaction to Ichigo is going to be a lot more interesting then cannon.

    On a side note, my copy of Count Taka arrived today. Anti Hentai wards. I haven’t laughed like that in years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. >Anti Hentai wards.>
      Heh, reminds me of one of Monty’s Twitter posts back in the day:
      “RWBY will be tasteful, clean and responsible. I implemented very effective ANTI UPSKIRT TECHNOLOGY! for this show.”

      Yeah, no panty-shots. Ever.
      That thin wailing or horror and sorrow that you heard on the wind a few years ago was the Japanese fanbase finding out.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Toshiro’s interactions with his Zanpakutō was pretty hardwarming.
    I like the idea that the most powerful Shinigami comes from being part something else.
    Okay now I can just imagine a scene where after Toshiro sees Tatsuki in her dragon form his sword starts flushing pink. Much teasing ensues from Rangiku.

    As for what crime they will charge Rukia with.
    If they don’t pull the ‘interfering with the living’ card, they might have an ‘umbrella charge’ called something like “unauthorized use of a forbidden technique” that covers a lot of ground and with a lot of different punishments. – from a fine to the death sentence.
    Thinking about it, Bankai would likely be classified as a forbidden technique. If not for the collateral damage alone, the bit about damage to your Bankai is permanent would probably do it.
    Thinking about most spiritual techniques in bleach and soul society. It’s actually likely that there isn’t a list of “forbidden techniques”, as much as there is a list of “permitted techniques” and a list of “super ultra-banned techniques we straight out will execute your ass for” everything not on either list is just forbidden unless they permit it.
    Whenever someone has discovered a new technique, it probably has to be examined and determined which list it should be put on. – it’s probably the Kidō Corps’ job to judge that kind of thing.
    Probably also how Aizen got nearly everyone in the Gotei 13 with his hypnosis powers.
    I have noticed that the Gotei 13 has a culture of secrecy, nearly everyone has secret techniques and has never used most of their skills in living memory, the thing is before Aizen, hollows didn’t have an intelligence network. So just who exactly are the Gotei 13 usually fighting that they have to keep their powerful skills secret.
    I think it’s the likely reason why everyone in the Gotei 13 improved that much in the time skip. it is because they have actually been using their full strength more than once a century at most.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heh. Given bunnies say Tatsuki’s actually a fire dragon, the two are more likely to prowl around each other like strange cats. At least until Yuzu hands out dinner.

      “Interfering with the living” probably works. Though the idea of the Kido Corps judging what is and isn’t something to forbid is interesting… and might fit with why Mayuri was in the Maggot’s Nest!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was checking to see which, if any, divisions were assigned MP duties.

      There are two. Second, which overlaps with the otherwise independent secret police. Ninth. Plus there is a prison on First territory. The secret police have a division whose remit includes suppressing rebellion inside Seireitei. Which implies potential for rebellion there outside of the Shinigami. The impression I get is a great deal of internal paranoia.

      Justified by canon, sure.

      Aizen and his two confederates emptied six captaincies in the one Hollowification incident. (Aizen had some followers before the two, but they apparently were disposed of at some time prior.) The Hollow experiments were probably how Aizen was able to fill three of the openings. (Implying he might’ve wanted access to Third instead of Second, Seventh, or Twelfth.)

      Liked by 1 person

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