At least one good thing had come out of that awful, rainy, blood-soaked day. Rukia had grudgingly admitted that human or not, Karin seemed to have some of the same innate potential for shadow magic he had, they couldn’t be everywhere at once, and his sister might as well learn something to defend herself. By the time Rukia had been kidnapped and Ichigo had left for Soul Society to rescue her, Karin could patch up small wounds and charge a rock – or a ball – with enough shadow magic to hurt a Hollow.
Wouldn’t kill it, no. But the point was to keep herself alive long enough for him to get there. And that, she could do.
Still, if Sandal-hat hadn’t promised there’d be someone around to look out for them while we were in Tsukikage… I never could have gone. Ichigo shook his head. Still can’t believe Ishida came.
Not after the history the angry Quincy had revealed to him in a Hollow-filled park, arrows of shadow magic leaping from Lone Sparrow to shatter white masks. History of a rare, tragic people who could see the Hollows, who’d lost loved ones to them, who’d fought them….
And who’d realized, two centuries ago, that they were dying out. And tried to expose Hollows to the world, while there was still time.
But if regular people figured out magic to see the Hollows… they’d be able to see shinigami, too.
And once mainstream clerics got the chance to figure out what a shinigami konsou actually did-
Soul Society would die.
Hence the Quincy massacre.
So Ishida had a legitimate beef with shinigami. Especially since someone in the upper ranks of the Gotei Thirteen – and having been there, Ichigo thought he could make a good guess who – had held back the shinigami who should have rescued Ishida’s grandfather from the Hollows.
You don’t get over that. Ever.
But Ishida had gotten past it. Kind of. At least enough to fight back to back with a substitute shinigami against a wave of Hollows. If only so he’d get a chance to kick Ichigo’s ass later.
Funny thing was, later never seemed to come.
He tried to stop Byakuya and Renji from taking Rukia back, Ichigo thought now, heading around the front of the Kurosaki Clinic for the side door that would take them into the main house. Ishida was a few steps behind; a gloomy, morbid shadow. He came with us to rescue her, though I think he had a better idea of the odds we were up against than anyone. He didn’t deserve to have Sandal-hat screw with his head like this.