“You have bankai,” Jyuushirou reminded him. Remembering a conversation far too many decades ago, with another stubborn, wild-haired shinigami. You have shikai now, you need to be more careful around the new recruits…. “You’re not near Zaraki-taichou’s level of frightful presence, but if you have to use it, you may just end up knocking poor Kurumadani off a roof.”
“He’s not a dragon,” Ishida muttered.
Well, of course not; most dragons native to Tsukikage tended to steer clear of Soul Society out of sheer self-preservation. Though Ichigo’s nakama had probably torn through the area too fast to learn that piece of lore. “You were born with shadow magic yourself, Ishida-kun,” the captain pointed out. “I’m not certain you realize how much it shields you.” And being part of Ichigo’s nakama shields you even from the brunt of a captain’s aura. Benihime had good reason to be smug. Whatever Urahara had done, without that strength, none of the other Earth-born ryoka would have survived.
But that was something he didn’t want the former Quincy thinking about too hard. Not yet. “As a substitute, you don’t have an official patrol,” Jyuushirou stated, eyes on Ichigo. “You are, however, expected to deal with any Hollow close enough to set off your badge. And given Kurumadani’s abilities, if you or your nakama sense a Menos, or something worse-”
“Like that thing we ran into tonight?” Ichigo broke in.
“Thing?” Jyuushirou said warily.
Which triggered a rapid-fire description from the pair of them of something not githyanki or Hollow, but combining some of the worst aspects of either…. “Arrancar,” he breathed.
“It has a name?” Ishida asked sharply.
“Barely,” the captain acknowledged. “They’re rare. Once in a century, perhaps, the mind flayers might capture a githyanki to sacrifice in a rite that creates an undead of even greater power than the oldest Hollow….”
“Well,” Jyuushirou said at last. “The Commander-General may still be incinerating pieces of landscape when your names come up, but I for one am very glad you are in my division.” He bent down, drew the miniature bookcase out of the pack, and set it on Ichigo’s desk. “And you’re obviously going to need these sooner than I thought.”
“Doll books?” Ichigo slipped one out of the top shelf – and almost dropped it, as the tome swelled to its true size and weight. “Hey!”
“A few centuries running a division – or a clan – makes for very large libraries,” Jyuushirou observed, amused. “If we hadn’t learned a few tricks, buildings would be collapsing from the sheer weight of books all over Seireitei.”