“As one of my unseated officers pointed out, you have the duties of a shinigami, but not the education,” Jyuushirou said practically. “I can’t get you into the academy, but I believe you all have motivation to study on your own.” Thinking of Rukia’s more muttered comments on a certain stubborn orange-haired idiot with more power than sense, he added, “Though I would advise not experimenting with kidou without an experienced shinigami to supervise you. Not that I would know where to find such a person in Karakura….”
Yeah, right, said the paired skeptical glances aimed his way. “School, study, hunt Hollows, more study we’re not even gonna get credit for….” Ichigo groaned.
Jyuushirou raised a brow, selecting one specific volume. “Blades of Limbo: Githyanki Arms and Tactics?”
The captain allowed himself a silent snicker. Ah, to be young, and gleefully enthusiastic about wreaking wide swaths of destruction. Thank the gods he’d grown out of that.
Ishida was leafing through some of the more plain-bound texts. “You may want these back. They look like someone’s notes-”
“They are,” Jyuushirou said shortly. Sighed, and shook his head. “Forgive me. Those used to belong to a friend. I think he would be glad to know they helped another shinigami.” A sad smile crossed his face. “Kaien also had a great deal of shadow magic, and a difficult time learning to control it. If anyone’s advice might help, his would.”
“What happened to him?” Ichigo asked quietly.
“One of Aizen’s Hollows,” Jyuushirou said bluntly. “Years ago. Before you were born. But I still miss him.” He gave them a steady smile. “And there are a few other items in here you might find useful. Preferably-” he took one flickering step forward, brushing shadow over a stubborn forehead, “-after a good night’s sleep.”
Ichigo caught the dark-haired boy as he sagged. “You- he- damn it, he’s going to kill me when he comes to….”
“As I said, I can’t bring you to the academy, but there’s one part of those years you truly shouldn’t miss,” Jyuushirou said brightly, helping his orange-haired subordinate lay Ishida on the bed. “Someday Shunsui should tell you about the fights we used to have, before we admitted how well our magics matched.”