“…I want to fly.” No. Not quite true. “I want us to fly.”
Toushirou grimaced. “You know what the old bastards think about calling on bankai without a good reason. Usually a Menos Grande-sized reason.”
Ice cracked under Hyourinmaru’s claws, before he made himself ease his grip. “I know.”
“I’ll see if we can get patrol beyond the edge of Rukongai,” Toushirou said bluntly. “If we’re out of range of other souls – we can always say we thought we sensed something.” A shadow of a grin twitched the corners of his mouth. “Heh. If Zaraki follows us looking for trouble again, it’ll be true.”
I doubt we will have leisure for patrol. Not with intruders on the loose. Powerful, determined intruders. But his shinigami would learn that soon enough.
And the offer itself, to the part of his power Toushirou had once feared….
Pleased, Hyourinmaru soared down, coiling about the other half of his soul. “What if there were another way?”
Unflinching, Toushirou raised white brows.
Hyourinmaru laughed, ice crackling on winter branches. He knew his shinigami. He knew himself.
We never could resist a challenge.
I’m alive, sang on the wind; the howl of a wolf reverberating not just off the walls of Seireitei, but from the forest-laced concrete and steel that haunted Rukia’s dreams. I’m coming for you.
Rukia! Saeki! Stay alive!
Caged in the stillness of Sixth Division’s prison, Rukia felt her traitorous heart skip a beat. Impossible. It wasn’t possible. Yes, they’d laid plans with Urahara against her eventual capture; yes, she’d almost dared to hope. But she’d seen her brother strike. She’d kicked Ichigo’s hand as his soul lay dying in the street!
Loki’s power is illusions.
And Ichigo had never been just a shinigami.