Her physical form locked in the Chamber of 46, Sode no Shirayuki stalked a mindscape of snow and frozen rivers. If only she’d been stronger. If only her shinigami had had the heart to draw her, to fight, instead of retreating from the red-headed idiot who had been her best friend-
A wolf’s howl, echoing from forests of glass and steel that still haunted her, weeks after Loki and Ichigo had returned her to her proper soul. The sword-spirit tensed, almost willing to feel Kurosaki’s soul close about her once more, if it would give her any chance to save her wielder-
A hell butterfly?
No; not quite. What fluttered toward her looked like a hell butterfly, black and fragile-winged. But the crackle of red-black power about it….
Daring, she held out a pale hand. The butterfly touched down, feet static-prickling her skin.
“Greetings, my lady.”
The voice was his, fierce and steady as storm wind.
“Benihime swears this will work. If not, the two of us will have a shopkeeper to mangle.”