Ren woke up with a splitting headache. He looked around at the small room he was in and let out a sad sigh. The tatami mats on the floor, the futon he was sleeping in, and the sword that was right beside him. All of it was still there.
‘So I’m not dreaming. I’ve really come to Soul Society.’
‘Ren’ was a normal human on earth who was a slight nerd. He had read various manga and seen a few anime but he was never a huge fan. More like a casual interest in them. Even still, he had read several stories and seen several shows about being reincarnated or transmigrated. And that is exactly what happened to him.
He was no longer the same man who was working on his law degree. He was also not a recent graduate of the Shinigami Academy who had just finished his exams to try and become a member of the Gotei 13.
‘Ren’ inherited all of the memories and experiences of the former Ren as well as Lawrence Smith. It was not like he was one who inherited the memories of another but instead it was like the two beings fused souls and had truly become one new individual.
He had taken 3 days to finally understand and accept his new situation but now that he had, he had another issue to face.
He had just taken the examination to be put into the Gotei 13 and passed. The only problem he had was deciding which division to join.
‘I don’t even know the exact time period I am in or who the captains are. Besides Yamato and Unohana, the rest of the captain positions had been switched around a few times. I have no idea what any of their personalities are like or what they have been through before the main series began.
Ugh. Let’s go with what I know.
1st division is under the old man. He has a stick up his ass and is a stickler for the rules. I don’t think joining the 1st division would be a good fit for me.
The same goes for the 2nd. Not sure if Yoruichi is in charge right now, but once she is, it turns very strict since she is also in charge of the ninja/assassin division as well.’
He pulled up two fingers as he began counting the divisions that were not suitable for him. He wanted to make sure that he did not skip over anything.
‘3rd division will be led by Fox-Face and that depressing guy. Not sure I wanna get involved in that mess.
That also leaves out the 5th and 9th divisions as well since Aizen and Tosen are the captains of those. Out of 13 divisions, 5 have already been knocked out.
Oh. Also no 12th division. Whether Mayuri or Urahara, both of those guys are mad scientists. To be under them would basically be me asking to get killed.
Oh. That would also be the 11th division as well. That is the division where the only way that new captains arrive is by new guys killing the previous ones. Those barbarians are far too savage for my taste.
And Byakuya ruins the 6th division with all of his rules and nobility talk. Renji would make it almost tolerable but I just can’t put myself through that. Komamura of the 7th is similar except he is more about honor than rules.
So that’s 9 of them out now. Wow. Only 4 divisions left. Who else is there?
Oh. You have the sick guy and the flirt who both have dual-wielded zanpakuto. the first has to deal with the family drama of Rukia while the latter only likes playing with women. That knocks out both of them.’
Ren was going to keep counting but he realized that he had run out of fingers. He slapped his head in frustration as he realized that most of the divisions were truly terrible in his opinion.
‘Either that or the show just portrayed them really poorly. That just leaves the 4th and the 10th.
The 10th has the kid prodigy and the sexy lieutenant. They had the least amount of inner faction issues by what I can recall. Not including the movies of course.
Wait. Are the movies canon? Are the fillers? I should have paid more attention to this stuff.
Back on track, Ren. The 10th division’s only issue is that they are the first ones who fight the rebels. In fact, I think they get in the most fights out of all the divisions throughout the show. But then again, only the captain and lieutenant are shown fighting. Not really the rest of them.
The other option is the 4th division. Those guys are all healers and I don’t think I have seen more than that one guy fight when he unleashed the red wave. Or was that just the ability he got in that video game?
I think they did something during that late manga arc cause I kept seeing something about their captain but I’m not sure what it is. It’s only their captain though. Probably was just the one that saved Ichigo or held off some bad guy until a stronger captain arrived.
Since I passed the exam, I have to join a division. That means I am left with the 4th or 10th division if I am looking for a place to slack off. Let’s just flip a coin.’
Ren went through his pockets before he found a coin inside. He placed it on his thumb before deciding that the 4th division was Heads and the 10th division was Tails.
He flipped the coin and it flew through the air for a few moments before gravity started to affect it and it came crashing down onto the ground. Ren just looked at it as it touched the ground and saw that his fate had been decided.
‘I see. Looks like I am joining them then.’
Ren walked through the streets as he made his way to the new division he had decided to join. He was, apparently, a big deal during his time at the academy and had the potential to become a captain. There were quite a few seated officers who wanted him to join their divisions since they had an ineffective or crazy captain that they hoped would eventually replace him.
Sadly for them, Ren had already made his choice. Well… he let fate make his choice. And therefore, he was now a member of the 10th division.
Soon, Ren arrived outside the gates of the 10th division. The gates were surrounded by a large white building with red, wooden arches all over it. It also had the 10th division kanji in the middle of the wall.
Ren knocked on the door as he patiently waited for someone to let him in. While he was there, he was thinking about what he heard from the various shinigami as he made his way there.
Besides the Captain-Commander and Unohana, none of the 5 captains besides them were anyone that sounded familiar to Ren.
‘They might just be one of the Vizard. Never paid attention to any of their names. Or it means that I am so much further back than I had originally thought.’
With both of the options, he had hoped for the latter. This was because it meant a long time of peace before the chaos that Aizen and Ichigo brought about came into play.
‘Which gives me so much more time to train and get prepared.’
Ren kept waiting and knocking at different intervals for 30 minutes. Eventually, he got tired of waiting and just walked through the gate, the building it was in, and then the last gate on the other side.
When he made it to the other side, the first thing Ren saw was an empty plot of land covered in grass. On the sides were pathways that led to different buildings within the division.
Ren looked around and found that no one was nearby but saw a building that was twice the size of the other buildings in the area. Without thinking too much, he began walking toward that building as he followed the paths.
As he walked along the path, he would occasionally see some shinigami who were running in different directions. Whenever they saw him, they either ignored him or waved before rushing off to continue whatever task they were doing.
‘Huh. Looks like these guys are busier than I thought. Still doesn’t mean they will be as busy as the medical division who has to heal everyone,’ Ren said as he tried to console himself when he saw that the shinigami of the 10th division were so busy.
He soon arrived at the building that he figured was the officers’ building. He could smell the strong scent of alcohol before he had even entered the room. He opened the door and the smell just assaulted his senses.
While neither of his previous lives was heavy drinkers, they would be able to take some liquor or being in a bar. But this building smelled like it had been soaked in liquor for a few hundred years.
Ren powered through and began making his way to where the smell was the strongest. He walked up to the second floor and stopped in front of a door. The smell was originating from this room.
Ren held his breath before he opened the door and saw a man passed out over the desk in there. All around the room were bottles of alcohol. The man had a white haori over his shoulders as he laid collapsed in a pool of vomit and some other liquids.
‘So this man is my captain? Ugh. It seems like I should have gone with the medical division. I will apply for a transfer later. For now…’
Ren closed the door and decided to look around. He knew that whenever there was a lazy captain, they would have at least one officer who took care of things. He was going to find that officer. Both the lieutenant’s and 3rd officer’s rooms were empty but he finally found someone when he reached the 4th officer.
The man was working on some documents and had his head down. He did not look like anyone that Ren remembered so he figured that the guy must have died before the show even starts.
‘Then again, the other officers were never shown. Maybe he just kept his seat this whole time.’
Ren knocked on the door to make his presence known which caused the man to pause his work and looked up. He had a look of surprise on his face like he was not expecting Ren.
“Wow. You are the first to actually come all the way to me even after having smelled what the building is like, seen the captain, and noticed that the other two weren’t here. Most would just bail and try to apply for another division.”
He muttered to himself about what a gem he had found thinking that Ren could not here but sadly for him, Ren could. He shook his head and put his hand forward to shake Ren’s hand.
“Well welcome to the 10th division. I am the 4th seat and the one who handles most inner division issues as well as discipline. Name is Takeda Moro.”
Ren shook his hand and replied,
“Ren. Hope we work well together.”
Ren was told about his basic duties as well as given a tour of the 10th division’s barracks. The 10th division had been tasked with entering Hueco Mundo previously and lost many of its members including the previous individuals who held the 2nd-13th seats on the day after Ren took his exam.
Takeda was, originally, only the 15th seat. They had gotten their new 3rd seat from another division while the lieutenant was the previous 14th seat. All in all, the 10th division was pretty much crippled at the moment.
That was why all the shinigami he saw within the division earlier appeared to be so busy. They had to pick up the slack since there were only 30 members instead of the usual 300.
Ren was currently put on standby and would be trained on his tasks in the future when everyone had more free time to do so. There was too much work that needed to be completed and just not enough qualified officers who could teach at the moment.
So once Ren was shown his room, Takeda quickly went back to the officers’ building in order to catch up on more paperwork. Ren did not mind this though. He decided to use this as a chance to visit the division’s library. Ren wanted a better estimation of when he was.
He left his room and followed the path that Takeda had shown him earlier until he entered the library. There was no one inside to watch over the area so Ren just casually walked inside.
He walked from shelf to shelf and got as many books that he could find that related to history. After picking up 8 total, he found himself a seat and began to flip through them.
After spending two days inside, he finally got as many answers as he was going to get. What he found out was that the Gotei 13 had only been around for about 200 years. He also knew that Yamato had killed a powerful Quincy about 100 years prior.
‘But it said nothing about the quincy extermination. Does that mean that they are not willing to write about it or that there was more than one battle between the shinigami and the quincy?
I am no closer to finding out when I am than when I began. Ugh!’
Ren kicked over the chair next to him. He left the books on the table while he took himself to the canteen to get something to eat. Since he had not eaten for a few days, his stomach was crying for something to eat.
When he entered, just like every other place he had been, the place was empty. Aside from the occasional worker who he saw making food in the back, Ren was all alone. He made himself a large plate of food before picking it up and taking it back to his room for the day.
By the time he got back to his room, half the plate of food was already gone. He devoured the rest pretty quickly before he sat in the lotus position and placed his zanpakuto across his legs.
Ren began to quietly meditate as he bonded with his zanpakuto. Ren had been doing this ever since he entered the academy but had yet to achieve shikai or learn his zanpakuto’s name. It was not due to lack of effort or trying but simply due to the uniqueness of his zanpakuto’s spirit. Once his mind was clear, he entered his inner world once more.
Ren’s inner world was a large forest filled with lush, green trees that gave off a strong feeling of vitality. Ren ignored all these trees and walked in a particular direction. He kept walking until he reached a tree that looked half dead.
Ren walked up to it and placed his hand on the trunk before speaking to it.
“Still as silent as always, huh? I’ve been feeding you for about 3 years now and you don’t even make a peep. Makes me wonder if I should keep doing this.”
Even though he said this, Ren picked up the same sharp rock he always did and cut his wrist before letting blood spray on the tree. The blood did not just stay on the tree bark after it touched the tree but was rapidly absorbed by the tree.
It kept absorbing more and more blood until it could no longer take any more in. Then, the blood simply sat on the surface of the tree.
Seeing that his spirit was full, Ren just kaido to heal himself while he looked at the tree that had been drinking his blood for years.
“You just take as much as you want before giving me the cold shoulder. Sigh. What a terrible spirit you are.”
Ren kept teasing the spirit but it would just not respond. He would have thought that the spirit was dead or defective but he could tell the difference in the tree. Every time he fed it blood, he could feel more vitality and life energy gathering at the center of the tree.
Ren put his back to the tree before sitting down and getting into a comfortable position. He decided to take a nap underneath the dead branches of the tree in order to avoid the sunlight on the other side. Ren quickly fell asleep under the shade.
It was quiet in the forest for a while before something occurred. A being emerged from the tree and looked over Ren’s body with no emotions showing in its glowing eyes.
By the time Ren woke up, he was already outside of his inner world and felt sore all over. He looked outside and saw that it was already morning.
“Wow. I did not expect to sleep that long. Been here for 3 days and still no word of when the old man will send more officers to replace the old ones. I’ll go out and practice for a bit.”
Ren went to the empty training hall and decided to practice his Zankensoki forms. Even though he remembered everything that Ren did, he still thought it was better to experiment with them himself.
The Zankensoki forms were the 4 ways that shinigami engaged enemies in combat. All 4 were taught in the academy but few had truly learned them well.
The was Zan was for Zanjutsu, Ken was for Hakuda, So was for Hoho, and Ki was for Kido. Although it seemed like characters attacked however they wanted in the show, that was just because Ichigo was the main character and never had formal training.
Zanjutsu was the fighting style of using one’s zanpakuto for combat. There were 3 levels to divide users of it. The common shinigami did not even qualify under these 3 levels. Those who had reached rank 1 in this were mostly officers. The 3 ranks were Swordsman, Expert Swordsmen, and Master Swordsmen.
Hakuda was hand to hand combat. This was rare among most shinigami but essential for anyone who worked in the Onmitsukido. Those individuals used their bodies almost exclusively due to the environment in which they had to work. The ranks of Hakuda were practitioners, combatants, expert combatants, and master combatants.
Hoho were footwork techniques that were very advanced. Most shinigami were unable to even use them. There was also a divide between users. Even for those who were at the top rank, there was still a large difference in skill between them. It was also the skill that had the second-fewest number of captains had reached the highest rank historically just due to the difficulty. The ranks for Hoho were practitioners, experts, and masters.
Lastly was kido. These were spells that were used for offense, defense, sealing, or healing. The spells were divided into two main categories: Bakudo and Hado as well as a few minor categories which were kaido, barriers, and seals.
The best kido users were usually in the kido corps and not the Gotei 13 but there were exceptions. The ranks of kido were practitioners, experts, and masters. This had the fewest masters of all the fighting styles.
Ren was not ranked zanjutsu but was a practitioner in all 3 of the other skills which made his skills equal to or above many officer ranked shinigami. No one else knew this however since Ren wanted to keep some trump cards.
‘It seems like my predecessor was wary about the Gotei 13 but I can understand why. From the show and the way these guys act, it is less like the military and more like murim from those Korean stories.
You got 3 high-level people who betray the entire military, 1 who purposefully holds back to have more fun fighting, and then that mad scientist who turned his own subordinates into bombs.
Even though I am not sure about the current generation, I’m pretty sure I should try to make sure I do not stand out too much.’
He began to train his Zankensoki in the lonely training field. For the next few weeks, that is all he did. Train, eat, sleep, and enjoy time in his inner world.
After a few weeks, Yamamoto had dispatched more shinigami to replace the dead officers. After they had all arrived, Ren was finally trained for the duties of shinigami as well as being sent on missions or given tasks.
This continued for the next 100 years of a constant repeating and boring life. Boring if he did not count the few occasions he had to hunt down hollows.
— 100 years later—
A man with purple-blue hair stood with his hands clasped behind his back with his zanpakuto hanging on his back as if he was just on a leisurely stroll. The sword seemed like any other zanpakuto in its sealed form with a hilt that appeared to look like a star.
Behind Ren were 6 shinigami who had their swords drawn with fearful looks on their faces. This was because in front of them and Ren were 20 hollows.
The group was just sent out to check out a disturbance that the Central 46 had detected. Everyone thought it would be 1 maybe 2 hollows at most. No one was prepared for 20 hollows.
It took groups of 3-4 shinigami to take out most ordinary shinigami while officers could take them on solo. This was why Ren led the 6 others on the subjucation mission. But when they saw that they would face over 20 hollows, the rest of the shinigami had looks of fear in their eyes.
“This is a bit more than we were expecting. You all can retreat and go get back up. I will hold them off here until you return.”
One of the shinigami immediately replied
But he saw Ren turn around and shake his head. Ever since he was given the position of 20th seat, he had made all those in the division call him…
“Lord 20th. We can’t just abandon you.”
Ren nodded. He was pleased to be called Lord 20th. He never liked official titles that all the other captains or officers were given.
“You all will just die in vain here. We also do not know if there are any more and the messenger might get ambushed along the way. Just go. I will be fine by the time you return.”
The other shinigami looked at each other before nodding and running back to Seireitei as fast as they could. Several hollows tried to chase but a large blue barrier appeared behind Ren. If they wanted to give chase, they could not do so immediately.
“Haha fine. We will just kill you before we go and consume so more souls,” said a large hollow that resembled a featherless bird that was twice the size of Ren.
The hollows began their assault and all closed in on Ren. Ren was able to dodge them all casually with his hands still behind his back. He would bend here, duck there, shunpo over there. No matter what the hollows did, they were unable to land an attack on him.
This continued for a few minutes before they all stopped and looked at their prey in a new light. They could all see that the shinigami they initially thought was weak was in fact very dangerous.
Seeing none of them continued attacking, a faint smile appeared on Ren’s face.
“Well since you are all done. I guess it is my turn.”
Ren made a few hand gestures and the barrier that just covered the one directions soon surround him and the hollows from all sides. Then a red aura began to form around Ren with his Zanpakuto having an especially dark red aura around it.
“Blood for the blood god! Skulls for the skull throne! Khorne!”
20 minutes later, the shinigami who had originally left Ren behind were returning along with 20 more unseated shinigami and 2 officers, both lieutenants. They had left a message for someone else to inform a captain immediately but they did not want to be too late and rushed ahead.
When they had arrived, they saw that Ren stood in a similar position as to when they left with no hollows in sight. Everyone looked very confused.
“Where did the 20 hollows go?” asked the female lieutenant ask she had her zanpakuto ready to slay some hollows.
Ren gave her a small, friendly smile before explaining, “It was only a single hollow. It had a special ability to create very powerful illusions. It could even give those illusions the ability to give off energy.
I was only able to find out after I had kept getting attacked from a single direction and not all of them.”
The others nodded at their words. It was not the first time that they dealt with hollows with strange powers. Some of the more powerful ones had unique abilities similar to a shikai’s. The shinigami did not think much of it before they began to return to Seireitei.
They met the captain of the 3rd squad along the way and informed him that the matter had been settled. The captain looked Ren up and down before congratulating him and taking off in another direction.
When they arrived back at Seireitei, Ren and his squad members split off from the other shinigami before returning to their barracks to report what happened.
Ren let his men go rest while he went to the officers’ building to fill out all the paperwork. Or at least he was supposed to. He simply left the form on his lieutenant’s desk. When the lieutenant returned and read it, he spat out the coffee he was drinking while he had a look of frustration on his face.
‘No matter how many times I yell at him about this, he never learns his lesson. This incident even involved the officer of 3 other squads and he dares to watch this? I will definitely teach him a lesson this time!’
“Ren!!!!” he yelled before he ran out of the building to try and find Ren but he knew it was of no use. The only person who could find Ren was the 4th seat. Otherwise, no one would ever be able to find him if he did not want to be.
What was written on the report was:
Original mission: Recon/Lunch
Enemies?: A few insects but no one that deserved to be called an enemy was present.
Summary of what occurred: Wouldn’t you like to know? Oh, yeah. Guess you would. I was planning to take my subordinates for a light jog but then noticed I forgot the lunch. I asked one of them to go back and get it for me but they all went since they did not want to leave that burden to anyone of them. I let them be while I waited by a tree. When they returned, they brought back not only the lunch I made but even more, people to enjoy it with. But before we could eat, it started raining so we had to return early.
Notes on subordinates: One did not call me Lord 20th at first but we had that corrected.
And just like he knew would happen, Lieutenant Sharu was unable to find Ren. But this did not upset him. In fact, he decided to use it as an opportunity.
Ren had risen up to the rank of the 20th seat about 50 years but had never been very active in the division. He would only take on missions when he was forced to and never engaged the other shinigami unless he had to.
Even with his personality, most of the weaker shinigami did not mind him nor did half of the officers. Ren was the type that did the bare minimum but when he did work, he completed all of his tasks perfectly. He was the only officer who had never lost a shinigami on a mission as well.
As for the other half of the officers, they did not like Ren’s laid back attitude. While they could not complain about the work he did, they would constantly complain about the work that he refused to do.
Whenever a mission sounded too complicated or difficult, Ren would decline. He also would not respond to threats. Whether it was with violence, finances, or even with demotion, Ren was unafraid of it all.
Sharu had warned Ren several times about the way he had filled out mission reports and had even reported it to the higher-ups who had given Ren numerous warnings. With his latest act, Sharu finally had an excuse to deal with Ren.
Soon, a meeting was called for all officers of the 10th division to show up and was given by the captain. This meant that every officer who was not on a mission was forced to attend.
Without a choice, Ren had to come to the meeting but he already figured it had something to do with him. And when he arrived, his guess was confirmed. Sitting in the meeting room were 12 individuals including Ren, the lieutenant, and the captain.
As soon as Ren took his seat, Sharu stood up and pointed at him.
“He needs to go! I am tired of dealing with his terrible attitude, lack of regard towards decorum, his refusal to try his best like every other member of this unit does, and simply the fact that he is unqualified to be an officer!”
Many people let out sounds of agreement when they heard this. Of the 12 people present, 9 were in the camp that did not like Ren, while only one of those who liked Ren’s attitude was present. The other two people present were the person in question and the captain who had to remain neutral.
Sharu had truly picked an excellent moment to strike at Ren. Most of his supporters or backers were away and he truly had nothing to say to defend himself against the accusations. But Sharu did not want to make it that easy for him. He did not want Ren to get away with just a slight punishment.
He wanted him out of the division. So he put the pressure on Captain Hayato.
“Him not taking this potential disaster seriously is my last straw. I can not stand to be in the same division as him. Either he leaves or I do!”
“It can only be this way!”
No one else was expecting to take things this far but they were already on the rollercoaster so they had no choice but to go along with the ride. The rest of the officers threatened to leave the division for another.
This put Hayato in a difficult position. Ren had not done anything truly wrong but he could not afford to have his officers poached away by another division. Of the ones threatening, 3 of them were in the top 5. They were the elites of his division.
Hayato let out a sigh before silently remembering that he would owe Ren a debt for the wrong he was about to impart on him.
“Ren. I am sorry to say this but it seems that you are no longer welcome in the 10th division. I will write you a recommendation to any other division and recommend you as an officer to compensate you for your loss. I will also give you a bonus in the form of your salary for the next 10 years.”
These words were barely comforting to anyone else who heard them. Most shinigami were rich compared to other souls. They also had dangerous jobs so they would be paid extra. Officers were paid even more.
Even with all this money, most barely spent their salaries since they got free food and lodging from their divisions while the hobbies one could pick up would never be very expensive. So 10 years of salary sounded nice, but Ren had most likely saved up more than that easily during his past 100 years in the division.
As for the recommendation, that was even more of a false offering. Anyone who had been forced out of their squad by almost half the officers would have a hard, if not impossible, time trying to get the position of an officer once again.
But to everyone’s surprise, Ren looked very calm. As if the situation had nothing to do with him.
“Fine. Please write me a letter for the 11th division,” he requested in a calm voice that seemed unnerving for the situation he was in.
As for why he agreed so easily and without a fight, it was very simple. His zanpakuto spirit.
Khorne was not like most zanpakuto spirits. Because Ren remembered Khorne from Lawrence’s life. Not from Bleach but from another universe. Another thing he was a casual fan of. Warhammer 40K!
Khorne was one of the 4 chaos gods who represented blood, war, and murder. His domain covers the most basic and brutal of sentient emotions and actions, such as hate, anger, rage, war, and killing. He was not just the god of mindless violence though. He was also the god of martial prowess and honor. Thus, many prayed to Khorne before battle.
Of the 4 chaos gods, Khorne was the oldest and most powerful. He had come into existence before the others were even thought about. He had seen their birth and what each represented. And he hated it all.
Even though he hated all 3, he hated two of them especially. The tricker god, Tzeentch and the pleasure god, Slaanesh.
Tzeentch because he was a magic user and expert one at that as well as his use of subterfuge. Khorne hated most magic with a passion and preferred to take his enemies on head-on and let the winner be decided by martial prowess and not intelligence.
Slaanesh because he was his polar opposite. Slaanesh represented inner growth and pleasure while Khorne wanted outer strength and ability. Slaanesh, let his followers experience life to its fullest while Khorne wanted his followers to die willingly for his cause.
This is the official reason that most were told. But insiders such as the other chaos gods and their champions knew there was another reason.
Slaanesh had killed one of Khorne’s most loyal and devoted followers when she rejected his advances. Khorne would eventually bring her back to life and marry her but the debt of blood must be paid.
As for the Khorne that was his zanpakuto spirit, it was very similar to the original god. It had a very similar look and personality. Ren was unsure if his soul as Lawrence corrupted or changed the original spirit but once it fully awakened, he was shocked by who he saw instead of some spirit or fae.
Khorne was a being that demanded blood and skulls. It said that the ones of shinigami and hollows were far better than any of the beings it had tasted before.
It was like a quincy though. Khorne would take souls out of the reincarnation cycle where they would be consumed by him. This was the only reason why Ren went out on missions at all, to keep Khorne satisfied.
But Khorne cared not just about eating souls, using blood to fill his rivers, and skulls to raise his throne. He was also very picky about other things. Such as when Ren used kido.
Recognizing it as magic, Khorne would throw a fit and may not even allow Ren to use his shikai if he used too many kido spells. Ren believed this was due to Khorne’s dislike of Tzeentch in his past life or true self. Whatever the reason, the pair agreed on 10 kido spells per year.
Ren also had to train like hell. It turned out that the original reason that Khorne did not awaken was not due to the amount of blood he was being fed but instead because of Ren’s low level in all 3 of his combat skills (Khorne ignored kido). All 3 had to be at the practitioner level before Khorne would awaken.
Khorne had been nagging Ren for years to leave the division and find more opponents so he could fill his rivers with more blood and have his skull raised higher. Ren did not understand what was going through Khorne’s mind but he did not care too much.
He was growing bored of his repetitive lifestyle so did not mind leaving the 10th division. He was just waiting for the right time. And they had definitely provided it.
So Ren packed up his few belongings, collected his bonus, his recommendation letter, and left the place he had called home for the past 100 years behind.
He had to travel around Seireitei in order to reach the 11th division. They were located on the outer edge of it and located in the east while the 10th division was in the west. He did not mind the walk. He had barely had any time to relax in past few years since Khorne had forced him to reach the expert grade in all of the combat forms.
As he was walking through the streets, he took in the view of the various people walking around: the nobles shopping, academy students hurrying around, and shinigami taking breaks. It was truly looking peaceful.
Just as Ren had left the busy market district he was just in, he ran into 3 familiar faces that almost crashed into him. All of them were wearing the academy uniform with the girl in red hakama and the guys in blue.
One of the males was a man with tanned skin who had a mustache on his face and glasses. The other male was a young man who had blonde hair and dark circles under his eyes. The last was a young black woman with purple hair in a ponytail.
‘Wow. These must have been super old because I’m pretty sure the plot does not start any time soon.’
The three looked at Ren with different levels of shock in their eyes while he also had some shock in his eyes. These 3 academy students were not just anyone but some of the most formidable people in Bleach in the future. Ren was actually a fan of two of them while he knew enough about the other one due to his relationship with the other two.
The glasses-wearing guy was Ren’s least favorite of the trio and would become the leader of the kido division. This was a division made up of only powerful kido users who could use their spells with such efficiency and power that normal shinigami would have a hard time going up against them even with their zanpakuto.
And as the leader of the kido division, his skill spoke for himself. He could take on captain level opponents without ever unsheathing or unleashing his zanpakuto. This was none other than Tessai Tsukabishi.
The blonde man would be even more famous. He started off as just the childhood friend of a very famous person but would become one of the best scientists and inventors in all of soul society. This was Kisuke Urahara.
He would graduate around the same time as Yoruichi before becoming a member of the Onmitsukidō alongside her. Even though he seemed lazy and unmotivated, Yoruichi had promoted him once she had risen through the ranks and put him in charge of the Detention Unit.
Many were against this decision due to his personality but he had proven himself capable. To be in command of the Detention Unit meant that Kisuke’s skills in hakuda and kido were great. Inside the prison, no zanpakuto was allowed to be carried, even by the guards and wardens. This meant he had to subdue some of Soul Society’s most dangerous criminals with his bare hands.
After being in command there for an unknown number of years, Kisuke was recommended to become captain of the 12th division by Yoruichi. After passing the Captain Proficiency Exam, he became the captain of the 12th division without any issues and led it for a number of years while showing several inventions that revolutionized Soul Society. He would accomplish much more even later in life.
‘Even though he did all that, the one ‘stain’ on his career in my opinion is the fact that he released Mayuri and even given him so much power.’
The last and only female of the group was Yoruichi Shihoin. Ren would be lying if he did not say that she was one of the women he had a crush on in the anime. But it was not just because she was beautiful but she was powerful and also had an amazing background.
Born into a noble family, she entered the shinigami academy unlike most other nobles and made her way through it with flying colors. After she graduated, she became a member of the Onmitsukidō against her family’s wishes but still rose to the top position while never forgetting her friends.
As for her abilities, she was given the nickname ‘Flash-Step Goddess’ because of how skilled her hoho techniques were. In all of Soul Society, only 2 people have been comparable to her without relying on external techniques or abilities.
And all 3 were standing in front of him. Ren could not help but look them over a few times. But to the trio, it felt like they were being stared down by a beast.
All 3 had unusual instincts that would save their lives or help them out in situations in the future. And those instincts were telling each of them that the shinigami who had neither a lieutenant badge nor captain’s robe was more dangerous than most of the shinigami that they had seen before.
Neither side moved for a minute or so. Ren finally stopped staring them down before he nodded at the group and resumed his journey. He walked away without even looking back at them. But before he could walk to far, he heard Yoruichi call out to him.
“Wait a sec!”
Ren stopped and turned around but did not walk back towards them. Even though he was a fan of them, he was not the type to go fanboy crazy.
Seeing that he seemed to recognize her but still did not bow to her status made Yoruichi have a positive feeling about the shinigami in front of her. So she decided to ask what she felt.
“My instincts tell me that you are strong. Like super strong. I wanna see for myself just what the difference is between us. The 3 of us vs you. What do you say?”
Ren held his chin with his fingers as he thought for a moment.
‘They are definitely not my match at the moment but still don’t mind sparring with them a bit. I can even say that I had beaten all 3 of them in the future no matter how strong they get.’
“Sure. A week from now in the east forest. I should be available then. Until then,” he said as he waved and ran away. He wanted to leave a mysterious impression on the group.
Ren made his way toward the 11th division while thinking over all the information he knew about them.
‘Besides the fact that they are the close combat division and seen the most combat out of every division, they also have the strongest captain after the old man. But what I can’t understand is, how was Zaraki able to take the title of Kenpachi.
These guys are currently on their 4th Kenpachi but I don’t dare to underestimate this bastard. How the hell was that crazy bastard able to get the position?
Actually, I think the answer is pretty obvious. Including the fillers, I think there were at least 3 different rebellions during the year or two that the show took place. I can only imagine how many took place in the hundreds of years beforehand.
One of the Kenpachi’s must have joined a rebel group or had been killed by the rebels. Either way, that must throw off the 11th division’s captain system. Zaraki’s predecessor was most likely not a true Kenpachi but a false one who did not truly earn his title.’
Ren kept thinking about the differences in Kenpachi as he made his way to the 11th division. It was such a strange thing to see the Zaraki from the anime who seemed so powerful look really weak when he saw the Kenpachi of the past.
He had seen both the 3rd and 4th Kenpachi in battle during his past hundred years. Both had gotten the approval of Khorne who even wanted Ren to go out and battle those two monsters.
Ren arrived at the 11th division barracks and the gates were not closed.
Actually, that was wrong. The gates had been torn off the hinges and thrown away somewhere. Ren walked inside since there was no one to stop him. He walked straight ahead since he had been there a few times. Every now and then he would have to deliver some information to different divisions so he had visited many before.
As he walked towards the officers’ building, he saw a bunch of men fighting each other or working out while shirtless, gambling, or eating like some savages. Of the occasional woman that he saw, they all looked closer to men than women.
‘They really don’t give off the feeling of a military division but instead some bandits who are backed by the government. They suit Khorne’s style though and I have no major complaints.’
When he entered the building, he made his way straight toward the main office. While it was called the main office, it was actually a large dojo that had 3 desks in it for the few officers of the division that did paperwork.
When he entered, he saw 3 men who were sending each other death stares and nearly had their zanpakutos drawn. It seemed like a fight was about to break out.
Not wanting to delay his chance of getting his officer position cause the people in charge got injured and knocked unconscious, Ren coughed loudly to announce his presence.
The trio looked at Ren and he took that as his signal to walk forward and hand one of the men his recommendation letter. The man he handed it to was 2 meters tall and had scars over his arms and face. He wore white haori that seemed to be ripped all over with one of the sleeves even missing.
That’s right. The man Ren handed his recommendation letter to was not just any officer who was about to fight with some other ones. It was, in fact, the 4th Kenpachi and the man who currently held the title of the strongest shinigami, Kenpachi Kojuro.
Captain Kojuro opened the letter and read through it quickly before he threw it to one of the other men. He also read it before throwing it toward the third who quickly read it before throwing it in a trash bin.
These other two men were the lieutenant and the third seat of the 11th division. Each of the three looked at each other as if communicating silently before they looked back at Ren. It was the captain who spoke up.
“We don’t have a spot for the 20th seat but our 12th seat just got himself killed. If you can beat the 13th seat, it’s all yours.”
Ren wanted to say that he was surprised to hear this but he was not. The 11th division lost the most officers and captains in the quickest amount of time. They would lose an officer at least once every 3-4 years while they would get a new captain about once every 100 years.
“When do we fight?”
Hearing his reply, all 3 of the others had savage smiles on their faces as they reevaluated Ren. Ren did not look like a warrior nor did he give off the aura of a warrior but with his words alone as well as the look in his eyes, it was easy to tell that he was good at fighting.
“Haha. You two will battle in 5 minutes. I suggest you get ready,” the lieutenant said before the three of them ran out while shouting different things at their members.
“Figth for the 12th seat in 5 minutes!”
“Koda! Get your ass out here if you want to get the position of 12th seat!”
“Come see what the disgrace of the 10th division can do, you lazy bastards! He thinks he is better than all of you and can become an officer just after he has arrived!”
Ren walked calmly out of the officers’ building and not minding the three. It was better to say he was distracted actually.
Whenever Khorne saw a powerful opponent he wanted Ren to fight, it would appear in spiritual form behind Ren and silently follow him while giving a stare that could chill the souls of adults and scare children to death.
And Khorne had appeared the moment that Ren saw the captain with the stare growing more intense with every second.
The training area was filled with over 60 shinigami of various sizes all looking at the arena in the center. All of them had come to watch the battle for the 12th seat to see just how strong the newest member of their squad was.
On one side was a tall-ish man with periwinkle hair that would shift from looking purple to blue depending on how the light hit his hair. On his back was a zanpakuto with a red sheath. The man stood casually with his hands in his pockets as he looked at his opponent.
The shinigami in the arena was a man who looked to be in his 40s and had a muscular build that resembled a gorilla. Instead of the katana that most shinigamis’ zanpakuto were in their sealed states, his was a large nodachi.
Koda was the name of the officer who looked like a gorilla and wanted the position of 12th seat. It was a rule within the division that the higher your rank, the more missions you were allowed to take on. Koda had already reached his limit for the month so the only way he could take on more was by raising his rank.
He was much weaker than the previous 12th seat and above officers so he did not dare battle them for it. But with the death of the 12th seat, his only rival for the position was the 14th seat who he had beaten in a duel the previous day. He was expecting to be given the position but did not expect Ren’s arrival.
So understandably, he was pissed. Especially when he saw Ren’s body. Ren did not look like the type that fought often and looked more like a scholar instead.
“Oi. This is your only warning. The position of the 12th seat is mine. It can either be mine either before you have an arm and leg broken or after. The choice is all yours.”
Ren looked surprised at these words before a smile appeared on his face and he unsheathed his zanpakuto. He held the blade in his right hand and pointed it at Koda.
His answer was clear.
Koda unsheathed his sword as well before holding it with both his hands as he pointed it at Ren. Koda unleashed a large amount of yellow reiatsu. This caused most of the weaker shinigami to take a few steps back but the officers all ignored it.
Ren who was the focus of this reiatsu also did not seem to mind it as he released an equal amount of reiatsu toward Koda. This caused those with excellent senses to raise their eyebrows. Ren did not just release a similar amount of reiatsu but the exact same amount.
This meant that his true limit was coincidentally the same as Koda’s or that he had read Koda so well, had such a large amount of reiryoku, and had such excellent control over his reiatsu, that he could imitate and counter Koda’s.
Both possibilities sounded equally insane since many captains did not even have the ability to do that. Captain Kojuro saw that both men so ready so he decided to start the battle.
“Let’s get this started!!!”
As soon as the words were said, Koda rushed ahead and slashed down on Ren. Ren deflected the blow with one move as if he was swatting away a fly. He was not even pushed back by Koda’s large frame.
‘Ugh. That was just lucky. Let’s see how he handles my Storm Set!’
Koda did not take this lying down and began launching many attacks toward Ren. His ‘Storm Set’ was just a bunch of attacks launched as fast and with little thought as possible to overwhelm his opponent.
But each of his slashes and cuts was deflected. No matter how strong or weak, fast or flow, thought out or instinctual, none of them were able to pierce past Ren’s defenses.
Koda continued his assault for another minute before he knew that if he continued this way, he would end up losing the battle. Koda using shunpo to back away rapidly and get to the spot where he was when the battle started.
A large amount of reiatsu surrounded Koda. When it dispersed, Koda could be seen holding a spiked club similar to what an Oni would be seen using. This would intimidate most but the only thing that Ren could think was…
‘Wow. Bury, Inugami? That is a cruel joke. What kind of messed up person says that?’
Koda shared toward Ren while raising the club above his head and bringing it down toward Ren. The club seemed to triple in thickness while the spikes seemed to shine even brighter.
This was the special ability of inugami in its shikai form. It would not only strengthen the club and the spike but would also cause the club to grow larger and heavier. This made it excellent for crushing attacks.
But the club that was supposed to crush Ren was held back with a single sword. Koda actually let out some cold sweat because he had used his strongest attack but it had been unable to even move Ren, let alone hurt him. Koda backed away and tried to surrender.
Before he could finish, Ren shunpo’d in front of Koda and swung his sword 3 times before backing away and sheathing it. When the sword was sheathed, both of Koda’s arms, as well as his legs, were cut off with a large amount of blood being sprayed everywhere.
The amount of blood that covered Ren and the arena was surprising. Kojuro and the other members did not find the scene very dramatic with many of them beginning to cheer. They loved to see a good fight and Ren had certainly shown them a large amount of power.
“The new 12th seat of the 11th division will be Ren. Congratulations!
Someone go and get a member of the 4th division over here or bring Koda there fast. He needs his limbs to be healed as fast as possible but make sure they leave scars so he learns his lesson.”
Is the cover of this novel showing Old X-gene of fate for anyone else? I have it as a death butterfly but still showing old cover in my library.
The officers were very impressed by Ren and most wanted to fight him. He was able to beat the 13th seat with ease and had even done it without releasing his shikai. No one in the squad disliked a powerful member.
Ren sheathed his sword and walked towards Captain Kojuro. He wanted to know more about his duties and what to expect. Right after Ren approached, Kojura clapped Ren on his shoulder in a friendly manner but Ren felt as if a club kept hitting him.
“Haha. You have great strength and even greater potential. I will be sure to sharpen you into a fine blade. Your first mission is with me. We will head out tomorrow morning to do a bit of weeding. I suggest you get prepared and get a good night’s sleep.”
Ren nodded and left for the dorms. If they were anything like the 10th division, the dorms would be numbered with the officer in charge of that dorm having the best room inside of it.
He soon found the 10th dormitory and went inside to find the officer room. Once he did, he entered without a word and sat down on his bed. Ren could finally relax a bit.
He looked at Khorne who had been staring at him this whole time with a look of frustration.
“You know that’s not what I meant. Stop staring at me. This is not a place where we can fight willy nilly. By challenging the captain there, it means that I would have to kill him.
In order to kill him, I would need to at least unleash my shikai. And by killing him with my shikai, our secret would be found out. We can’t let soul society know about what we can do. Yet.
Once we get powerful enough, it does not matter whether they know or don’t. I will fill your realm with rivers of blood and plenty of skulls.”
Khorne seemed pleased to hear this and returned inside of the zanpakuto. With his spirit gone, Ren could let out a sigh of relief.
‘Finally! I need to find out a way to suppress that guy and make him my loyal servant or at least bring his ego down. He seems to still believe that he is the god from the warhammerverse and not just a part of my spirit.’
Ren spent the rest of the afternoon going over his various goals and plans as well as doing some reiatsu training. His reiryoku was incredible but the amount of reiatsu that he could unleash was not even 10% of it. He had a long way to go.
It was not until morning that Ren finally finished his training but he did not even think about sleep. Instead, he got out of bed and went toward the officers’ building to wait for Kojuro. He was curious about what mission that the captain needed to personally go on but he knew he would get his answer soon so he did not let it consume him.
Kojuro swaggered into the room and was surprised to see Ren already there.
‘So he is the diligent type then. We could use a few of those in here.’
“Good. You’re already here. Let’s go then.”
Kojuro turned around and started running toward the east side of the division. Ren could only follow along. After Ren caught up, Kojuro decided to go faster while he jumped over the division wall. Ren sighed and caught up. The pair kept repeating the act of speeding up until they were running at their top speed while also throwing in the occasional shunpo until they arrived outside of Seireitei.
They met up with several individuals in weird outfits that hid their entire body and face. Ren had sent them a few times before so he knew who they were.
‘The Kido Corps. And them being here means that we need some powerful Kido. And being on the edge, I’m guessing we are heading somewhere dangerous in order to not endanger the center of Seireitei. So that means we are most likely heading to Hueco Mundo or Hell.’
“We are going to Hueco Mundo to kill a being called an arrancar. These are hollows that have torn off their own mask to gain a human form and a zanpakuto. Most of them are pretty weak and can only be compared to a low-rank officers but this one had killed off two vice-captains in the past year along with the squads they were with.
He always left a single survivor to spread the word of what he had done. The Onmitsukidō had finally tracked him down. We are going in, killing him, and getting out before any more powerful hollows arrive.
Ren shook his head but was inwardly shocked.
‘I thought Aizen created the Arrancar. Maybe his are stronger or consistently stronger since each one of his Espada was able to take on at least one captain while the fraccion were still pretty dangerous and could take on lieutenants.
If one being able to kill a lieutenant is rare, this guy should be the rare outlier.’
As Ren thought about who they were going to face, a black portal opened up for Kojuro and himself to enter.
“This barrier will be reopened in 3 days. The Onmitsukidō have already marked the location on the other side so just make sure you arrive back there on time and you will be able to make it home,” said one of the Kido Division members.
Neither Ren nor Kojuro responded. This was the usual practice when entering Hueco Mundo. Soul Society did not want to risk any hollows forcing the kido corps to let them go free in the so it was more like a military unit dropping in before waiting for an evac from a helicopter.
The pair entered the portal and ran along a bridge of reiatsu for a few hours until they had reached the other side and landed in a white desert under a night sky.
The duo stood on the sand and watched the black portal close above their head. When the portal was gone, all they could see was the full moon and the stars in the sky. This was the usual sight of Hueco Mundo since it would always be night there.
Kojuro pulled out a compass that had an arrow made out of red reiatsu and was pointing in a certain direction. Kojuro started running that way and Ren had no choice but to follow along. He hurried to tear off a piece of his uniform and tie it to a nearby tree before he hurried to catch up.
The pair ran for a few hours until they finally saw their target. They had seen several hollows but most were standard hollows with a few gillians every now and then. Their target was the only human looking figure that they had seen.
The man had a muscular build, black and orange hair, and a bone mask that covered the left side of his face. The man was naked from the waist up with bone armor covering his entire lower body as well as a striped tail. He had a hole in the middle of his chest where his heart should have been. In each of his arms was a thick and large tonfa.
The first thought anyone would come up with when they saw him was that he was similar to a tiger.
‘He is in resurrecion already? Actually, seeing the destruction around him, he most likely just got out of a fight.’
The arrancar turned and looked at Ren and Kojuro who were looking down on him from a sand dune. Both sides just stared at each other for a few moments.
“It seems that my acts have finally gotten some proper attention. I have been waiting for one of your captains to come along. Guess it took two dead lieutenants to finally happen but it did,” he said while looking at Kojuro’s white haori.
He turned to Ren and said, “I don’t know what your rank is but since you are not a captain, I have no need for you. Leave if you wanna live.”
Neither shinigami was really bothered by his words but both unsheathed their zanpakuto.
“This guy is already in his resurrecion. That is comparable to bankai or shikai depending on the arrancar. Begone with the thunderclap! Kirin!”
Lightning began surrounding Kojuro’s body. When it dispersed, Kojuro’s upper body was bare. All of his scars were glowing neon blue as if lightning was about to shoot out of them. His zanpakuto had transformed into a large blue and black guandao.
Kojuro and the arrancar charged towards each other. When their weapons clashed, a large amount of lightning and reiatsu was released. Ren looked on from above since he wanted to see how strong the man who took the name Kenpachi was.
The pair clashed once, twice, three times. Each time they unleashed more and more reiatsu. The duo did not battle with elegance or grace but instead fought like savages. It was a comparison of raw strength instead of ability. And the weird thing was, Kojuro was winning.
With every blow, although neither was injured, both sides would get knocked back slightly. But with every knock back, the arrancar moved twice the distance as Kojuro. This made Ren shocked.
Shinigami were more about technique. They compensated their weak bodies with zanpakuto, kido, hakuda, hoho, and other means.
Hollows were more animalistic and cared more about physical abilities. Although the rare hollow had special abilities, the rest used their pure strength to kill shinigami, quincy, or anyone else that they came across.
Even arrancar who broke parts of their masks to gain humanity were considered more beast than man. And their bestial traits, their raw strength usually surpassed shinigami by a large margin.
So for Kojuro to be able to overpower a tiger-type arrancar in their resurrecion with only his shikai, that was unbelievable.
‘No. It’s actually not. Even after all these years, I still have not gotten over it. Zaraki and his predecessors were really weak. This guy. This is a true Kenpachi!’
Just as he thought that another clash occurred. But this one ended with Kojuro breaking through the arrancar’s defense and landing a blow on his chest. This caused a large gaping wound to appear on his chest.
The arrancar backed away and stared at Kojuro in rage.
“You dare! Rondando La Montaña!”
Black and green wind began to gathering around both of the arrancar’s tonfa and formed small tornados around each one. He let out a roar before charging toward Kojuro with the intent to kill him with a single move.
Kojuro pulled his guandao back as if it was a spear he was ready to thrust.
“Umi O Utsu Inazuma!”
Blue and purple lightning ran along the length of the weapon before gathering at the tip. Kojuro dashed forward and let his zanpakuto meet the tonfa of the arrancar.
This time, there was no explosion. There was no clash. There was energy wasted and unleashed upon the environment.
Kojuro’s attack was able to pierce through the arrancar’s attack, cut apart his weapons, and stab into his chest before unleashing the lightning within its body.
The lightning ran its course through the arrancar’s body as it began to glow blue and purple before being destroyed from the rampant energy running through its body.
‘So this is what it means to be the strongest. I could probably take him on if I used by shikai but if his bankai makes him 5-10 times stronger just like anyone else, I’m not sure if I could beat him with just my shikai.
No, I definitely couldn’t. I would need to use my own bankai to match his. Even then, I’m not sure what other abilities he has. This place is full of weird abilities.
My best bet would be to kill him before he could unleash either of his abilities to give myself the best chance of winning.’
Even after seeing that fight, Ren still thought about his chances of battling. No matter how strong Kojuro was, Ren knew that he had to eventually take the title of Kenpachi. He needed a surname afterall.
Kojuro let out a breath of frustration after he had just killed the Arrancar. He had expected a better fight from a being that could kill off two lieutenants and the members that they brought with them.
‘This guy was probably a Gillian that accidentally tore its mask. This could not be an Adjuchas if he could not even force me to use the full extent of my shikai.’
Kojuro turned around and was bout to tell Ren that they could return to the pickup location before he saw the look in Ren’s eyes. Ren’s face looked calm as if he did not mind the battle that occurred or was not surprised by the battle, but his eyes said that the battle had excited.
Kojuro could see that Ren was measuring himself against either Kojuro or the Arrancar in his mind. Trying to see how well he would fare or how easily he would beat either of the two.
‘This kid sure has balls. That is the look of someone that thinks they can win. And he is not staring at the ashes by my feet. This little bastard is staring at me.’
Kojuro let out a laugh which broke Ren out of his thoughts. He could tell by the look on Kojuro’s face that he had been caught. Ren let out a small laugh and was about to make an excuse but before he could say anything, Kojuro beat him to it.
“Don’t even try to deny. You think you can take me. I will gladly prove that you can’t.
Since it is just us and we need to survive after the battle, we will limit ourselves to our shikai. The time limit will be 30 minutes. What do you say, 12th seat?”
Ren knew that he had been caught. He also wanted to see if his guesses were correct about how well he would fare against Kojuro and learn more about his zanpakuto.
Besides the main ones in the series, Ren had not seen any other ones so he was curious about the limits of a true zanpakuto without nerfs or powerups due to the power of friendship. Ren unsheathed his sword and pointed it at Kojuro to give his answer.
“Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! Khorne!”
Red reiatsu surrounded Ren in a cyclone before coming to a stop. When the reiatsu disappeared, Ren stood there with his sword and sheath no longer present. Instead, he wore red, fingerless gloves on each of his hands. Each of the knuckles had a small, black spike on it.
“Pick a number, Taichō. 1-4.”
Kojuro did not understand why he had to pick a number but decided to go along with it.
“Hmm. Must have to do with your zanpakuto ability. Do you need your opponent to actually pick a number to use it?”
“Nope. Just giving you a chance to pick. I could also choose on my own.”
Kojuro nodded. If it was the former, he would be severely disadvantaged against other opponents.
“Hmm. I choose 1 since I am the number one, then.”
A creepy smile appeared on Ren’s face. Kojuro chose the number that was the worst matchup against him. The palm of the right glove began to glow as a rune lit up on it.
“Fine then. Gift Of Arms!”
4 ethereal weapons appeared behind Ren. They were a black and red long sword with a few long jagged spikes coming out from various parts of it, a spear with silvertip a few smaller blades behind it, a great sword that looked pure white, and a great ax that dwarfed Ren that was made of blood, brass, and bones.
Ren’s shikai had 4 different abilities that each did something very different. They were each called gifts. These were based on the 4 Gifts Of Khorne. The original Khorne would bestow these on his believers who had done excellent work for him or killed many of his enemies.
The first gift was the Gift Of Arms. The version that Ren’s zanpakuto carried allowed Ren to use 4 different weapons that were wielded by champions that had served Khorne with each weapon having a unique ability.
Ren held the black and red sword in his right hand while he held the spear in his.
“Aghhh!!!” he yelled while charging toward Kojuro with his sword. Kojuro let out a shout of his own as he charged toward Ren.
The initial clash between the two was just like it was between Kojuro and the Arrancar. Both sides clashed with neither gaining an advantage. But Ren was smarter than the Arrancar.
While the sword had been knocked away, Ren attacked with the spear. Kojuro hastily blocked with his guandao. He knew that while he would be pushed away since would not be blocking properly, he would still not be injured by Ren.
But the force of the blow did not come. Instead, Kojuro saw the spear pass right through his guandao’s body and neared Kojuro’s chest. Kojuro tried to retreat rapidly using shunpo but he was still wounded by the spear stabbing into his body deeply.
When he landed nearly a hundred meters away, Kojuro looked down at the wound on his chest. While it was not something that would slow him down, most shinigami would be at half their fighting strength. He looked at Ren with eyes that asked, ‘What the hell was that?’
“This spear is called Slaupnir. It can pierce any defense. It does not simply cut through defenses but avoids them all together by becoming a phantom-like weapon.”
Ren decided to give Kojuro a short explanation without going into full details and telling the weakness of the spear. The weakness was that it could only phase through things that the blade of the spear had touched. If anyone wanted to parry it, they would need to stop the shaft.
Kojuro did not ask anything else. He knew that it would foolish for Ren to explain the weakness of his technique and had only told him since he saw Kojuro use one of his abilities against the Arrancar.
“Don’t think this little injury can stop me. Round 2, 12th seat!”
“Bring it, Taichō!”
Ren charged with his sword brandished to take the initiative with a shunpo. He had already let Kojuro have it once but would not allow his captain to have it again.
“Sprinkled on the bones of the beast! Sharp tower, red crystal, steel ring. Move and become the wind, stop and become the calm. The sound of warring spears fills the empty castle!”
Kojuro held up his left hand and pointed his palm at Ren. A yellow ball of electricity formed in front of the palm with a few discharges coming out of it.
“Hado #63: Raikoho!”
A beam of energy shot out from the orb and rapidly approached Ren. Since he was already mid-step, Ren could not move to the side and could only try to block the attack. He crossed his spear and sword across his chest while hoping for the best.
‘Fuck you, Khorne!’
The blast hit Ren directly and created a cloud of dust. Kojuro used that as a chance to charge forward and begin his counter-attack.
“Umi O Utsu Inazuma!” he yelled as he charged into the smoke cloud. Kojuro had already sensed Ren’s position and knew where to strike.
Ren pushed through the smoke with his blade and appeared before Kojuro. Ren was covered in burn marks all over his body and although none were too severe, he was still injured a good deal by the last attack.
He swung his sword and covered it with a large amount of pure reiatsu as he was about to clash with the lightning-clad guandao. A small smile appeared on Ren’s lips.
The sword vibrated for a moment before a loud roar came out of it. The roar stunned Kojuro for a moment and caused him to lose control of his body for a moment. Ren took that chance to slash and stab toward Kojuro’s undefended body.
The stun did not last as long as Ren was hoping and Kojuro was able to soon recover as he stabbed toward Ren’s heart.
Both shinigami stopped their attacks before they landed since they were not trying to kill the other. Ren had his sword on Kojuro’s neck and his spear was against Kojuro’s heart. Kojuro had his lightning-tipped guandao against Ren’s waist which would have been a killing blow if what he saw from the Arrancar was true.
The match between the captain and the 12th seat of the 11th division had ended in a draw. This surprised both the combatants who were sure of their victory.
‘He definitely has another ability. He was going to use it but he decided to change his mind at the last moment.
That means it is something that is useful for a life and death situation and is his shikai’s trump card. May even be his zanpakuto’s trump card in both forms.’
‘This kid only used two of his weapons. Those other two must also have special abilities. As for what 2-4 options are, I’m afraid to even ask.
Sigh. I knew he was strong but did not know he was this strong. Why did I have to invite him on this mission? The next generation is catching up so fast and I don’t know what to do about it.’
Both men had accepted their loss without any bad feelings between them. There was even respect when they looked at each other.
They sat back to back on the ground to catch their breath and try to recover their bodies as quickly as possible. They were in dangerous territory and fighting right then had been foolish but neither regretted it. Both had been able to fight a nice opponent.
“I know some basic Kaidō but not sure if I can heal your injuries. Or even all of mine.”
“Hmm. No need to worry. Besides, we have other stuff to worry about.”
Just as Kojuro said that 10s of Gillian and several Adjuchas coming out of nowhere. The pair were surrounded on all sides.
The duo shinigami stood up and held their weapons out as they saw all the enemies around them. Both let out a small groan of disappointment.
“Can you loan me that spear of yours? You got extra weapons after all.”
Ren tossed the spear up in the air and Kojuro caught it with his left hand. Ren put the greatsword in his right hand which caused the temperature to rapidly rise. The greatsword was not just painted white but instead covered in flames so hot that they were white.
“Haha. You had something like that on you? You could have forced me to use my other two shikai abilities if you used that.”
“I don’t have the best control over this weapon. But desperate times call for desperate measures.”
“Haha. It is good to know your limits. Let’s make a competition and bet since we tied in battle. We shall compete for kills. Every Gillian is 10 points, Adjuchas is 100 points. Any random hollow we kill is 1 point.
Oh, yeah. If you use bankai, you lose 500 points.
If I win, you must challenge the lieutenant and become my second in command. If you win, I will assign all your paperwork to another one of the officers. What do you say?”
“I always wanted an assistant. But I don’t want just anyone else to do my paperwork, I want you to do it. Feeling confident, Taichō?”
“Bring it, boy!”
With that agreement, the ambush where their lives were on the line had been turned into between the two. And it had officially begun.
—3 days later—
Two men in shredded clothing that was covered in blood were standing beneath. A black portal opened up above them which the two immediately entered.
“Make sure that you don’t get left behind. I don’t want to lose my new lieutenant that easily.”
Ren made a grunt of agreement. They each made a bridge of reiatsu for themselves as they ran through the portal.
It had been a little over a week since Ren had returned from Hueco Mundo along with the captain. Just like he had promised with the captain, Ren went to the 4th division to get some healing for his body before he challenged the lieutenant to a battle before the entire division. Ren used the gift of arms during the fight and beat him by using just Bloodhunger and Slaupnir.
With his victory, none of the other members had an issue with declaring Ren as the lieutenant of the 11th division. Ren spent the rest of the week learning about his new responsibilities as well as the missions that his sub-division was in charge of.
It was called a sub-division but the only member was Ren since he had not invited anyone into it. His main job was to work with the second and third divisions on missions that required cooperation between the divisions.
But that was all in the future. Ren was currently standing in a forest. Ren had his back up against a tree as was waiting on the trio who challenged him to arrive.
Soon, the three arrived. Each of them was no longer wearing their academy uniform but instead had on kosode and hakuma of different colors. Each one of them wore their zanpakuto on their waists and seemed as if they were prepared for battle.
Ren was about to greet them but before he could say a word, he saw Yoruichi disappear and try to cut him with her tanto but he was able to see through her moves easily and dodge them.
The other two did not stay still and began their assault as well. Kisuke charged ahead with Benihime and cut towards Ren a few times but the lieutenant dodged each slash effortlessly.
‘So guess no one here knows how to be polite. I thought that they would be like Team 7 in their younger years but these guys are more like Team 10.’
“Bakudō #4: Hainawa.”
Ren heard Tessai say from the background and saw the kido spell shoot toward him. Ren did not dodge but instead released his reiatsu in the direction of the rope to destroy it before it even made contact.
The spell was easily destroyed but Ren felt as if he used too much energy to do so. Even as the spell was destroyed, Yoruichi and Kisuke kept attacking from his sides to try a pincer maneuver.
Yoruichi focused on using hakuda and hoho while occasionally threw in her zanpakuto. Kisuke, on the other hand, was using a perfect mix of kido, hakuda, hoho, and zanjutsu. Neither was able to land a blow but were at least able to keep Ren on his toes.
‘Mmm. I could have used 70% less and I would have most likely gotten rid of that thing. These kids will be great for teaching me how to hold back.
They have excellent team work though. If I was a normal shinigami they would have overpowered me instantly. They might even be able to take on an officer with their teamwork.
Sadly for them, I know that I am captain material which makes me far outside of what they can handle.’
Yoruichi tried to perform an axe kick on Ren from above but he easily parried the move with one hand.
“Your moves are both powerful and fast but you leave openings because of that. Against weaker enemies or those who are equal in strength, you have no need to worry. But with anyone who is faster or can tank the attack, you are just asking for death,”
Ren said before striking her in the abdomen with his palm. Yoruichi felt the wind get knocked out of her as she flew backward and crashed into a tree.
Kisuke got distracted when he saw Yoruichi injured and let his guard down which made it even easier for Ren.
“Don’t get distracted in the middle of battle. Worry about your allies after you are sure that you will survive.”
Ren shunpo’d in front of Kisuke before giving him a palm attack to the gut just like he did Yoruichi. He was also sent flying and crashed into a tree.
Tessai saw that the battle was going downhill so he started chanting to use the most powerful spell that he could. Ren appeared in front of Tessai before he could finish even the first verse.
“Chanting when the opponent is faster than you and you have no allies to distract them? Very foolish for the kido prodigy of the Academy to make,” Ren said as he grabbed Tessai’s face and shunpo’d in front of a tree before slamming his head into it.
Ren stood back and admired his work. Yoruichi had broken through her tree and landed on the ground behind it. Kisuke was stuck in his tree and left a human-shaped crater within it. Tessai let a small dent in the tree from where his head was struck.
Even though each of them seemed like they took a heavy blow, the three were actually much better than they looked. Although they would not be getting up anytime soon, they would be fine with some rest and a trip to the 4th division hospital.
Ren pulled out his zanpakuto and carved up the earth to leave a message for the trio when they woke up.
Nice try. It was some decent exercise for me.
I don’t mind kicking your asses biannually or semiannually. Whichever is correct here.
Anyway, get some medical attention and I will see you in 6 months here if you dare to show your faces again.
Sincerely, Lord 2nd of the 11th Division
The trio woke up within the next 20 minutes and saw the note left for them by Ren. They felt upset, embarrassed, helpless, and some admiration.
Upset and embarrassed because they were the ones who challenged Ren but they were unable to land even a single blow as well as each being taken out by a single blow. Helpless because they realized that Ren was not only a member of the 11th division that focused on close combat but was an officer of said division.
The trio did not know this before because Ren was not a lieutenant when they first met and he did not wear his lieutenant badge for the sparring session. They thought he was an officer before but did not know how powerful he was.
The trio also could not help but feel admiration for Ren. They were each a genius with a large amount of pride but they were beaten so easily and effortlessly. No matter how much they disliked losing, they did not mind losing to someone so strong.
“So are we gonna meet him again? We only came here because of Yoruichi this time. I don’t wanna get my ass kicked so hard twice a year,” Kisuke asked Tessai. He already knew Yoruichi’s answer but wanted to hear the opinion of the third member.
“I’m indifferent. While I don’t want to get beaten up as we did before, this man is an excellent sparring partner.
He knows just how much energy and effort to put into each blow to take us down without killing or severely injuring us. This means that we can go all out without having to worry about being killed in return.”
Yoruichi hopped in between the pair who wanted to continue discussing.
“No need to talk about it. Just like the note says, we can either show up or not. He will be here. I’m gonna use this as a chance to get some real combat experience against someone who does not care about my status and will not hold back.
I can definitely break through my limits faster if I take this guy on. And since you are my two friends, you must come with me. We go through thick and thin together.”
The pair of guys shared a look before grieving about their future being punching bags. Although both were willing to accept the sparring sessions, they were planning to only visit 1 every year instead of both. But with Yoruichi, they were going to be forced to go to every session.
For the next few years, until they had graduated from the academy, the trio would meet with Ren twice a year at first before it was upgraded to once a month to get training/ their asses beat. But with each battle, Ren would give them advice on their fighting style during battle or would answer questions that the three had.
Yoruichi and Kisuke had even awakened their zanpakuto during their time at the academy which had never been heard of. Tessai may have also been able to awaken his zanpakuto under the pressure of constant combat with Ren if he did not get pulled out of the academy and brought into the secret academy of the Kido Corps.
When Tessai left, both Yoruichi and Kisuke were depressed for a while since they could not see their friend for years. The Kido Corps members would be very restrained in their movements and actions unless they became high ranking members.
They were also depressed since they had one less member to back them up while they were fighting Ren. Tessai would usually provide a decent distraction/target to let the pair get an opening on Ren. But with him gone, the pressure on the pair had increased by a large margin.
But they did not care too much. The trio had learned to get along and respect Ren as an authority figure and had even addressed him as a teacher. After 5 years, the pair graduated from the academy and joined the Onmitsukidō which meant they had less time to see Ren.
Ren on the other hand also felt delighted to teach them. By teaching them, he was perfecting his control of his reiatsu and even gained new ideas of how to fight from watching them.
Ren would go between being a teacher for the trio to being the lieutenant of the 11th Division. He much preferred the former since the members of the 11th Division were those who lacked in intelligence for the most part.
They were truly battle addicts who had no thoughts outside of battle or training. Ren could not truly say he was much different though.
With the trio, Ren could talk about various things. He also learned more about how the noble families worked and the political powers.
Ren had also grown much closer to Kojuro and had truly accepted the man as his captain. The duo would often spar since they were almost equal in strength. At least to Kojuro’s knowledge.
Ren had seen the limits of Kojuro for years and realized that he had surpassed him. His reiatsu much stronger and with Ren’s perfected shikai, he could beat Kojuro’s bankai if he was careful. Due to their friendship though, Ren never challenged Kojuro for the position of captain or title of Kenpachi. He did not wish to kill his friend.
But after 30 years of his repetitive life, a change finally occurred. Kojuro was challenged for the position of Kenpachi by the lieutenant of the 5th division.
A large number of shinigami were gathered in the training area on the outskirts of Seireitei. This is where the official duel for the position of Kenpachi would be held. At least a third of all shinigami were present as well as 6 captains including Kojuro. These were the captains of the 3rd, 4rth, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th divisions.
The 11th division captain was Kojuro was he had to be there. Since the challenger was from the 5th division, their captain was also needed. The captain of the 5th division was a man who did not look like anything special.
Retsu Unohana, captain of the 4th Division, was present as the referee and to ensure the survival of the winner. Most matches were close battles and would end with one member dead while the other was on the brink of death. Unohana’s job was to ensure that only one captain-level individual died that day instead of two.
The remaining 3 captains were just there to watch over the battle for entertainment officially. The battles for the 11th division’s captain position were always interesting to view. They also wanted to see just how strong those who wanted the title of Kenpachi truly were.
The unofficial reason and true reason they were there was to keep the peace. If anyone tried to interfere with the battle, the three other captains were to kill anyone who got involved in the battle.
The person who challenged Kojuro was a young woman who appeared to be in her early 20s at the oldest but no one thought that was her true age. She wore the standard shinigami uniform and had her brown hair tied up into a ponytail.
She stood opposite of Kojuro with her zanpakuto already in its shikai form. Her shikai was a traditional scythe that most would think about when they thought of the Grim Reaper. Kojuro stood opposite of her with his guandao ready.
“Little girl. This is your only chance to stand down. Once this battle begins, it will only end with the death of one of us.”
The woman readied her weapon as she bent her body forward like a predator ready to strike its prey. Kojuro also readied his weapon and aimed it at the girl.
“Fine. Let’s do this then.”
Unohana raised her right hand before looking at each fighter. She looked at the girl first then Kojuro.
“This is a match between shinigami Suzuka and shinigami Kojuro for the position of captain for the 11th division as well as the title of Kenpachi, the strongest shinigami.
The battle will be to the death. Anyone who interferes with the battle shall be executed. Are both fighters ready?”
“When my hand drops, the match shall officially begin!”
Retsu looked at both sides one last time before her hand fell. As soon as it did, both combatants used shunpo to close the gap and clash with each other. And just like with the battle with the Arrancar, the clash produced a large amount of pressure and reiatsu.
All of the weaker shinigami fell to their knees or even collapsed on the ground due to the sheer pressure that the two individuals were giving off. A few had even gotten injured just by being in their presence as the pair exchanged blows.
Many officers were also having a hard time in their presence. They could feel just how dangerous the two people in the center truly were.
Only those with captain-class or above spiritual power were able to be in the presence of the pair comfortably. But even they knew just how strong the pair were battling were. The captains of the 3rd, 8th, and 9th divisions looked at the pair in the center like they were truly monsters.
The only person not staring at the two shinigami battling was Retsu Unohana. She was looking at Ren. No matter how all the other captains looked, they still felt intimidated by the pressure the two were giving off. It was only Ren and Retsu who looked comfortable with the pressure. This showed that their spiritual power was greater than the other captains.
‘It seems like the lieutenant of the 11th division is also a monster. He might even be more deserving of the title of Kenpachi than these other two. In fact, he gives off a similar feeling as ‘him’.’
If Yamamoto or any of the older captains heard her thoughts, they would be shocked. To be praised by Retsu Unohana was something rare. This kind looking woman who was the best healer in Soul Society was not just a simple medic.
She was in fact the very first Kenpachi who was unbeaten by anyone. The number of individuals who knew about this and were alive numbered barely 1000. She had only given up her title for reasons known to less than 10 of those 1000.
Her eyes never left Ren. No matter how much lightning, reiatsu, or dark energy was released by those who were fighting. What did take her eyes off of Ren was when both those in the arena said the same thing.
Kojuro and Suzuka were both covered in wounded. Suzuka had cuts and burn marks all over her body while Kojuro had rotting skin from all of his wounds.
“It seems I have underestimated you. If I want to take your title of Kenpachi, I will need to go all out.”
“Hmm. I also looked down on you. But after we go all out, you better be prepared for what I unleash.”
The reiatsu in the air increased by a large amount as Suzuka and Kojuro entered into their bankai states and there were blinding lights. When the lights dispersed, neither of the pair looked the same as before.
Suzuka now wore a hooded black robe similar to a traditional Grim Reaper while also wearing a skull mask over her face.
Kojuro’s guandao had changed from its black and blue colors into a green and gold form. It also had a dragon’s head holding the blade as it came out of its mouth. Kojuro’s outfit changed into a green kimono that left his right arm bare.
Even though neither of them had a major change occur to their bodies/weapons, the captains could tell just how powerful each had become.
“Shine through the stormy night!”
“Drown in the abyss!”
A bright, jade light filled Kojuro’s half of the arena while darkness that no one could see through had filled Suzuka’s. Unohana hurried to create a barrier around the arena. There was one previously created to protect against stray attacks but the moves that the pair had just unleashed would easily destroy the first barrier.
And just as Unohana had expected, the first barrier did not last more than 5 seconds before it shattered to pieces. Luckily, her second barrier was ready to hold back the move.
“Jade Dragon’s Wrath!”
“Death Comes For All!”
No one could see what was happening in the barrier but they could hear the roar of a dragon as well as the chattering of bones before a loud explosion occurred. After that, the people who were conscious could hear the laughter of the two people battling.
Blow after blow was traded. The number of injuries on each of them grew. It would have been a truly horrifying sight if anyone could see it. But fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the sight was blocked.
It was only when one of the two died that their element took over. The jade-green light started to recede as darkness took over. Soon, the entire interior of the barrier was pitch black.
“Enough, Suzuka! End your technique!” Unohana yelled.
Suzuka must have heard her because the darkness started to fade away. The first to appear was Kojuro. Or what was left of him at least.
All that remained of Kojuro was his skeleton and the asuachi that used to host his zanpakuto spirit. The skeleton had several parts that were broken due to damage in the battle.
Suzuka appeared afterward. The young woman’s entire upper torso and arms, as well as part of her legs, had burns that still had green lightning shooting out from them. There were several deep cuts on her body and even one of her eyes was lost due to an attack.
It was easy to tell just how narrowly Suzuka had won the battle with the amount of damage that was inflicted upon her. She was barely alive as it was.
Unohana dispelled the barrier and jumped into the arena to heal Suzuka. With her help, Suzuka’s life was soon out of danger but the new Kenpachi still needed more attention to be fully healed. Unohana had a job to do though.
Unohana stood in the middle of the arena and began to declare the winner.
“With his death, Kojuro has lost the position as captain of the 11th Division as well as his title of Kenpachi. With her victory, Suzuka has earned the position of captain of the 11th division as well as the title of Kenpachi.
From this day on, let her be known as Suzuka Kenpachi, 5th to the name, and the Strongest Shinigami!”
Everyone took a moment to digest that new information before the captains started to cheer. With the captains taking the lead, the rest of the shinigami present all cheered. All except for one.
Ren was looking at the dead body of his friend. He felt angry and frustrated. He knew that Kojuro would eventually die but he still did not wish to see others cheer at his death.
—–Night before the battle—–
Kojuro and Ren were sitting across from each other and drinking sake. Both knew that it might be the last night that they could hang out like this. Only those who were confident or foolish challenged a Kenpachi.
“Ren. Let’s make another bet. This is a bet on whether I live or die tomorrow. I’m betting that I will die. And I’m sure that you are betting that I live, correct?”
Ren nodded silently.
‘Of course, I am betting that you will live. What friend bets that the other would die?’
“In all these years, you have never won a bet against me. What makes you think tomorrow will be any different? Doesn’t matter. I will lay the terms.
If you win, for the first time ever, you must challenge me for the position of captain. You have been slowing your growth by staying as my lieutenant. It is time for you to spread your wings.
As for me winning…”
—-After the battle for the title of Kenpachi—-
Ren jumped onto the stage after Unohana had finished her speech. Seeing this, the other 4 captains also jumped on stage to prevent Ren from doing anything foolish.
“What is the meaning of this, Lieutenant Ren?” Unohana asked
“I made a bet with Kojuro. If he died, I would take up the mantle of captain for another division. I’m here to challenge the captain of the 8th division for his position!”
All the shinigami who were preparing to leave stopped when they saw Ren jump on stage. They had no idea what he would do. Ren always followed the rules and never created any trouble while he was in the 11th Division.
When they heard that he was challenging the captain of the 8th division, they were even more shocked. There had never been two battles for the position of captain in a single day before. It was completely unheard of.
The captains were just as surprised as Ren. They even thought that it would make more sense if he challenged the new Kenpachi or the captain of the 5th division to get revenge for Kojuro. The fact that he challenged another put a positive impression of him in Unohana’s, the 3rd division, and the 9th division captains.
The 8th was upset he was being challenged and did not have a positive impression of Ren. The positive impressions of the other captains would crumble if they heard Ren’s thoughts though.
He truly wanted to kill the girl to get revenge for Kojuro or kill her old captain to repay the debt that he owed her. He did not challenge the girl, not due to a sense of honor but because he did not want to disgrace Kojuro’s legacy.
As for the reason he chose the 8th, it because he knew the future and fate was against him. He could not challenge the 11th due to honoring him and he could not challenge the 4th since he knew Unohana’s true identity after hearing it from Kojuro. He also was not that great at Kaidō and did not want to kill patients.
As for why he could not challenge the 3rd, 5th, or 9th division captains, it was due to Aizen. Each one of those positions would be would not only be the positions that Aizen and his crew took over but all of them were also turned into Vizard (Visored).
Ren did not want to get involved in Aizen’s plot or schemes so he had planned to stay out of the man’s way as much as possible.
This was not due to fear but he had not seen the end of the Bleach. He was unsure of what threat came after Aizen but he knew Ichigo would be important in stopping it. So Ren wanted to cause as few issues as possible with canon history to ensure that Ichigo would grow as strong as possible with his MC Halo.
So with all 3 of those captain positions being suicidal to challenge for, Ren could only battle against the 8th Division’s captain.
Unohana took a moment to think it over before it agreeing.
“If Captain Okuda accepts, then I see no reason to disagree. We have enough shinigami and captains present to bear witness to this.”
All the captains turned to look at Okuda who looked furious.
‘He thinks he can challenge me just because he was the lieutenant of the 11th division? This kid will die today or I will spell my name backward!’
“Fine. I hope that Captain Unohana will be a fair judge.”
Unohana agreed before she pulled out her zanpakuto and unleashed her shikai silently. A large, green manta ray-like creature emerged out of nowhere. The creature ate Suzuka before flying into the air.
“This is Minazuki. It will heal whoever is within its belly. With this, I will not have to worry about captain Suzuka and can watch over your match.”
Unohana picked up Kojuro’s remains and carried him outside the arena while the other captains jumped out as well. All the shinigami who were standing immediately went back to their seats to enjoy the show.
Unohana stood on the side and raised her right hand into the air before looking at both the shinigami in the arena.
“This is a match between shinigami Okuda and shinigami Ren for the position of captain for the 8th.
The battle will be to the death. Anyone who interferes with the battle shall be executed. Are both fighters ready?”
“Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! Khorne!”
Ren zanpakuto transformed into their shikai form while Okuda zanpakuto became a large bastard sword. Okuda pointed his blade at Ren while Ren got into a basic guard boxing position.
“Pick a number. 1-4. This can be the last choice you will ever make.”
“Haha. You are truly arrogant like a member of the 11th division. But fine. I will go along with your game. I choose 3.”
“Good. I’m all ready!”
“Whenever is fine!”
Unohana dropped her hand which announced the beginning of the battle. Neither moved. Okuda wanted to see why Ren wanted him to pick a number while Ren was going to let Okuda take the first move. But when he saw that Okuda did not want to take his chance, Ren made his move.
The palm of his left hand began to glow as a run appeared on it.
“3rd gift! Gift of Flesh!” After the rune was activated, Ren’s body underwent a rapid change.
Ren’s muscles started to swell and grow as he tore through his shitagi and kosode before his skin started turning black with brass lines and patterns covering his body. Ren’s eyes became a pure white while his reiatsu started to give off a wild and savage feeling.
All those who were looking at Ren felt a bit of fear in their hearts. Ren no longer looked like a shinigami but a demon from legend. Ren looked at Okuda and showed a savage smile.
“I gave you a chance to make the first move. Now it is my turn!”
Okuda did not comprehend what Ren said at first but when he saw Ren’s body disappear, he immediately raised his sword to block the incoming attack.
As soon as he did that, Okuda felt a large amount of weight on his weapon before he was sent flying through the air and crashing into the barrier. Okuda’s body caused cracks to appear on the barrier.
Seeing this shocked everyone. To be able to damage the barrier with pure physical strength would leave anyone confused. Shinigami were not known for their strength but instead of their technique. Ren broke that concept in front of all of them.
“Hmm. This is what a captain is capable of? Too weak!”
Okuda wanted to refute but when he looked up to see Ren, Ren had already disappeared once again. Okuda looked towards both sides to try and predict where Ren would attack from but he could not tell.
‘Shit. Right, front, or left! Shit! Gotta pick one!’
Okuda blocked towards his right but he did not feel any weight from an attack. He tried to switch his guard to his left and jump to his right but he could already feel the fist in his side. Okuda was sent flying again and cracked the barrier once again.
Unable to divert any of the force with his sword, Okuda’s body took the entirety of the attack. Okuda was lying on the ground barely able to breathe.
The spikes of the gloves had pierced his kidney. The rest of the force damaged and shook up his internal organs. Okuda could not even stand up at the moment, let alone fight back.
“Come on, Captain Okuda. You can’t take a couple of punches?”
Okuda felt furious. He had never been mocked like how Ren was mocking him. Okuda used the sword like a cane to lift himself up with and to make sure he did not fall over. To be able to stand, even with the sword as a cane, proved the tenacity of Okuda. This was physical ability but pure will power.
“Haha. I can’t die like this. I’m going to unleash my bankai and kill you! Ban…”
Ren went all out this time. When he used shunpo to interrupt Okuda’s bankai, he did not use pure technique but also used his monstrous physical strength along with it. The pure force of the movement destroyed the very ground he was standing on.
When Ren reappeared, he was standing next to Okuda. Both were standing still as if they were statues and not people. But one of the statues had its head missing. The missing head was in Ren’s hands.
Okuda’s body soon collapsed and his great sword turned into a plain katana. When he was sure Okuda was dead, Ren reverted into his normal form and threw away Okuda’s head to a random part of the arena.
Ren was left standing in the middle of the arena bare-chested as he was waiting for Unohana’s announcement.
Everyone was surprised to see Ren’s speed. With that level of speed, Ren could be in the top 5 for the fastest shinigami.
They were also surprised by Ren’s ruthlessness. He had killed Okuda after taunting him but with only 3 blows. One as a warning, 1 to cripple him, and the final move was an overkill move.
‘This boy is pretty good. He definitely has the potential to be a Kenpachi. I want to see what his full strength is like. This boy makes me want to use my sword once more.’
Unohana gave her praises to Ren silently before she jumped onto the stage to announce the results. Unohana stood in the middle of the arena and began to declare the winner.
“With his death, Okuda has lost the position as captain of the 8th Division. With his victory, Ren has earned the position of captain of the 8th division.
From this day on, let him be known as Ren, captain of the 8th division!”
Ren took Okuda’s blood haori off his body before he put it over his shoulders. He then left the arena without speaking to anyone. Ren was going back to the 11th division to grab all of his stuff before he moved into the 8th division.
Ren grabbed the few items he had as well as his clothes before packing them into and bag and getting out of there.
All of the division members could tell that Ren was leaving due to the death of the captain but none knew that he had officially become captain of another division.
They just thought he was going rogue and were giving him a head start before they were ordered to hunt Ren down and kill him.
Those who looked carefully and saw that the haori was the one for the captain of the 8th division and was not the one belonging to the 11th division were shocked. They could tell what it meant for Ren to have it.
As for the members of the 8th division, they were surprised and upset to see another person wearing the haori of their division. A few tried to stop Ren but they were quickly dealt with.
Ren entered his new room and got rid of all the old things within before placing his down and setting up his space. He then laid on his bed and looked at the ceiling while planning his next thoughts.
While Ren was relaxing in his room, all the shinigami in Soul Society found out about the two new captains. The lieutenant of the 5th division who took over the 11th and the lieutenant of the 11th division who took over the 8th. This was a big deal as it had never happened before.
The official ceremony for the promotion of Suzuka and Ren would be held the next week when all of the captains and their lieutenants would be present.
Ren was currently in the lotus position and meditating. He was waiting for Yoruichi and Kisuke to regain consciousness. Even though they were now in the Onmitsukidō, Ren still treated them like children with their beatings. But ever since they had awakened their zanpakutos, the duo had been getting closer and closer to injuring him.
During their latest session, they had even gotten Ren to unsheath his zanpakuto before brutally beating them down. Ren proceeded to give them each a bit of healing but he could not help but feel proud of his two students as he meditated.
‘Haha. I am really starting to see these two prodigies as they were in the show. The woman who would be known as the Flash Goddess who could battle an immortal Aizen without her zanpakuto and the man who invented his own kido and took on Aizen without even using his bankai.
I can truly see those future personas emerging. These two may even surpass their original selves due to my intervention. Haha. What a day that will be to see the new heights they have reached.’
He was pulled out of his thoughts as he heard footsteps approaching. Ren did not sit up since he was familiar with both sets of footsteps. Kisuke sat down calmly in front of Ren but Yoruichi sat down restlessly.
“You seem to be having an internal issue, Yoruichi. Would you like to share or should I just pretend I did not notice and ignore it?”
Yoruichi glared at Ren as if to say, ‘you already brought it up so how could you act like you did not notice you, irresponsible man!?’
“I am feeling frustrated. I thought that the gap between us was closing but you were able to beat another captain with only 3 moves. There are even rumors that say you could have done it with two if you truly tried. How can I shorten the gap between us?”
Ren actually opened his eyes to seem like Yoruichi. Even looking frustrated, it could not detract from her beauty. The young woman was growing more and more beautiful over the years.
He then turned to look at Kisuke with some frustration in his eyes. He really wanted to break that guy’s head open and to see how underdeveloped some parts of his brain were due to his genius in other things.
‘Even I can tell that this girl has feelings for you but you will still be unable to tell in a few hundred years. This woman will give up her future in Soul Society as well as being the future head of her clan for you. You are either very dense or very shy. Either way, I will be sure to fix this in the future.
Enough about that though. Let’s think about how we can help this girl with this problem instead of the other one. One problem at a time Ren. Should I introduce the concept of Shunko to her?
How much should I give her though? The final product or just an idea to build the basis with? Hmm. She’s smart. And if she has any issues, I can just leave it to Kisuke to help her.’
“I have an idea that I was planning to use but my zanpakuto spirit was very against and would not allow me to use bankai if I used it so I can give you the idea for it. I will only explain the basics. You will have to learn the rest on your own.”
Yoruichi seemed like a puppy that just heard the door open after being at home all day alone.
“Really? Is it powerful? Will it make me able to beat you? Can I learn it instantly?”
Kisuke also looked interested in the technique. It seemed that he was tired of losing as well. But Ren decided to shoot down Kisuke’s interest in a moment.
“You. Get out of here. You are already busy with your kidō spells, hakuda, hoho, zanjutsu, your research, and various inventions. You also have that temperamental zanpakuto spirit of your own.”
Kisuke wanted to refute but he knew Ren was right. He was already trying to learn so much and he had a very limited amount of time.
“Fine. Best of luck with the demon instructor, Yoruichi,” was Kisuke’s last words before he took off to get back to his room/lab.
Yoruichi was left alone with Ren in the forest. She still looked eager to learn about the technique but Ren was thinking about how he would fix his two students up.
‘Later. Later. You need to focus Ren.’
“The technique is the apex technique of hakuda by using kido to enhance yourself. The main focus is to drive the kido along your arms and legs to increase your physical abilities higher than what most shinigami are able to.
This would be a technique for increasing speed, defense, offense, and even allowing one to perform long-range attacks without having to chant spells since their body is the spell.”
Yoruichi nodded with every word as she felt more and more enlightened. As soon as Ren was finished Yoruichi started running away to her practice area in the forest to try and learn the technique as soon as possible.
“Thanks, Teacher! I will be sure to master the technique that you can’t use and beat you with it!”
Ren decided to let her do as she pleased. He gave her as much information as he could. The rest, she would have to learn on her own through trial and error. Ren put on his red haori that had the symbol for the 8th division on the back.
Today was the day that he would be officially inducted into the Captain’s Council of the 13 divisions. Ren hurried to make his way to the 1st division barracks for his first official meeting with the other captains.
Haha!!! Released 1 minute before midnight!!! Beat the timer!
Ren had arrived at the 1st division barracks in no time. He had escorted Kojuro there and to the council’s chambers several times before making his way to the lieutenant conference many times over the past 30 years when he was a lieutenant.
‘Looks like I rushed a bit. I’m here a little early. Guess I can walk around a bit until it is time for the meeting to start.’
Ren began making his way to the first division’s training field. As he walked, he attracted the attention of all the other shinigami. Even the most serious shinigami could not help but gossip with others when they saw his appearance.
“I can’t believe it. Two shinigami captains emerged on the same day because of him.”
“Not just that, he killed the other captain even more easily than new Kenpachi did.”
“To think that the 11th division had someone capable of killing a captain with only their shikai. That is almost unheard of.”
“Wait! He did not use bankai?”
“No. Both were in shikai the whole time. When the former captain tried to activate his bankai, Captain Ren killed him immediately.”
“So does that mean Captain Ren does not know bankai?”
“It might. From how it sounds, it seems like Ren was afraid of letting Captain Okuda unleashing his bankai.”
“With the difference in strength in their shikai forms, I’m not sure that Captain Okuda’s bankai would have made him win.”
“Whether he would have won or not if Captain Okuda used his bankai was not the point.”
“Oh. Then what is it?”
“It means that Captain Ren would be the first person since the Gotei 13 was founded who has gotten the position of captain without having mastered bankai.”
As soon as these words were said, the entire group of shinigami was silenced. None of them had ever thought of it like this. Most shinigami were just talking about how powerful Ren was or how vicious he was. No one considered that Ren might lack a bankai all together.
And with this single sentence, it was spread all over the first division in minutes. And all of Soul Society within an hour. All the shinigami were talking about the new captain who might not even know bankai and would definitely be the strongest if he did.
There were also many who wanted to defend the new Kenpachi but after hearing about how she had barely won against the previous Kenpachi, few could truly defend. Many said that the wrong person inherited the title of Kenpachi.
Without him knowing, this is how Ren would soon become the enemy of all the future captains of the 11th division. But that is a story for the future.
By the time the Captain’s Council’s meeting began, everyone was curious about which of the two new captains were stronger. Even some of the captains and lieutenants present.
When Ren swaggered into the council room, he gained the attention of the people already present. Of all the divisions, only 4 had arrived. These were the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and lastly 8th since Ren had arrived.
‘Wow. These captains never learn about punctuality in the hundreds of years before canon even starts.’
Ren walked over to his seat but he could feel a gaze that burned as hot as the sun on him. Ren did not even look at Yamamoto to know it was him. Ren also knew why.
He had seen the episode in the anime where the old man was upset at Byakuya and Zaraki for losing their haori. He felt they were very sacred and did not like drastic changes to them or when captains lost them. And since Ren had dyed his blood-red, it was definitely on the drastic change side.
‘I’m sure your student would have died his pink instead of wearing a kimono over it if he was not so afraid of you. As for me, I don’t give a damn. Not like you can punish me over this.’
Ren nodded toward Captain Unohana and Captain Kyōraku as well as their lieutenants. The current captain Kyōraku was not the same as the series but instead his older brother who would die eventually.
Behind them were Seinosuke Yamada who was Unohana’s lieutenant and Mei Ise who was Captain Kyōraku’s wife and lieutenant. Ren got along well with Mei but did not like Seinosuke too much. Their personalities were too similar which caused the pair to have conflicts but he still respected the man as a competent lieutenant.
The 4th division was the same as it had always been, the division of medics. But because Yoruichi had not yet become captain and combined the 2nd division with the Onmitsukidō, the division was focused more on anti-quincy matters.
Ren took his seat alone. He had not brought a lieutenant because he had relieved the previous lieutenant of their position. Not just the lieutenant but all officers who were ranked between and 2-11 from his division were demoted while the rest of the officers were removed from their officer positions altogether. Ren was planning to restructure his entire division.
The captains slowly trickled in with their lieutenants and within 20 minutes, everyone was present. Yamamoto stood up and slammed his cane/stick on the ground. With this, the first battle Ren would enter as a Captain had begun.
23 Chapter 23
The meeting was divided into three parts. The first was to cover new business or news that affected all 13 divisions. The second was to cover old business and what the divisions had been doing. The final part was to introduce the 2 new captains officially.
Ren paid close attention to the first segment of the meeting. He wanted to learn about the various things that were going on around Soul Society so that he could be prepared for any rebellions or unexpected occurrences going on.
All he knew about were the Aizen incident and the quincy war that happened before canon. Besides that, Ren was unsure of any other major events that may have occurred.
But all that the group was informed of were a few new policies by the Central 46 as well as the banishment of the dueling method for becoming captain. The only division that could do that would be the 11th division. Ren could feel several pairs of eyes look over his body when this was announced.
‘So they want to keep this brutal act in the 11th Division? Fine with me. I already have my captain’s position.’
Ren started to daydream after that. None of the other new matters were very important or related to him.
When old matters were brought up, it was less about mission reports and more about complaining to the boss about what their department wanted or needed. And the main thing that they wanted was money and members.
Due to the constant raids on Hueco Mundo, skirmishes with the Quincy, hollows in the human realm, and the occasional rebellions and terrorist acts, the shinigami were always short on members. But they were limited in the number of shinigami that could be apart of their divisions due to the central 46.
The only division whose numbers never reached drastic lows was the 4th division since they rarely, if ever, left Soul Society.
The rest of the divisions were short members and requesting for the central 46 to double their member limits. But the only person who could put forth the request the captain-commander so all of their complaints had to go through the old man with a balding head and white hair that covered the rest.
Yamamoto kept massaging his head as each captain kept repeating the same request in different ways. Only 3-4 were serious about their requests though. The others were most likely doing it just to annoy the old man since he could not complain about them doing it in an official meeting.
After spending 2 hours in the room and going over the old and new matters, it was finally time for the captain initiation ceremony. The table and seats were removed from the room as the captains and their lieutenants stood on both sides of the room.
Suzuka and Ren were kneeling on one in the middle of the room before Yamamoto and his lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe.
“We are here today to welcome two new captains who shall help keep the peace in Soul Society.
The first new member is she who has gained the title of Kenpachi. She is the 5th to get this title and the strongest amongst all those to gain it. Let it be known that she shall be the leader of the 11th division until her death.
Suzuka Kenpachi. What are your plans for your division?”
“I plan to have my division continue its duty of being the first on the battlefield as well as the division that slays the most enemies of Soul Society.”
“Good! Stand and join the captains of the Gotei 13 as you are now one of us.”
The other officers in the room applauded for Suzuka’s promotion as Suzuka stood and walked to where her lieutenant was waiting for her. Yamamoto let them clap while he looked at Ren.
“Ren. You have defeated the former captain of the 8th division and earned the position of captain for the 8th division. The position will be yours until your death. But there is a question that I must ask you before you officially join us or what you plan for your division.”
The other captains were curious and looked between Yamamoto and Ren. This had never happened before but they did not think the old man would treat Ren unfairly so they just looked on from the sides.
Ren looked Yamamoto in his eyes. Chōjirō was about to say something but Yamamoto held his hands to tell the man not to interrupt.
“You have beaten Captain Okuda without using bankai. Are you unable to use it?”
The other officers were curious about this as well. They had all either seen or heard about Ren’s battle. Everyone wanted to know if he was the first captain in history to reach the rank of captain without mastering bankai.
Ren had to think it over. It would not hurt him to let others believe that he was unable to use bankai. He could always keep it as a trump card.
‘Then again, even if I say I know it, I do not need to prove it. I have already earned the position of captain fairly.’
“No. I can use bankai. I just killed Okuda because I did not want to have to use more than three moves to end someone so much weaker than myself.”
Ren’s words were arrogant and displeasing to some but others found his words admirable.
‘Why should we put in extra effort to beat someone when we can do it very easily?’
Yamamoto nodded and did not ask Ren to perform it. He was merely curious and asking for the sake of asking.
“Ren. What are your plans for your division?”
“I plan to create the new strongest division that surpasses the 11th in pure combat strength.”
The other captains were shocked once again by the honest and arrogant declaration.
“Good! Stand and join the captains of the Gotei 13 as you are now one of us.”
Ren stood up and walked between the captains of the 6th and 10th divisions on the right side of the room.
Yamamoto said a few more words of encouragement before all the captains left with their lieutenants. Ren stayed behind and asked to speak with the captain-commander in private for a few minutes.
They talked for over 20 minutes until Ren came out of the room with a smile on his face and two pieces of paper in his hand. Behind him was Chōjirō with a shocked face and Yamamoto with a tired face as if he had just gone through a rough business deal.
“Captain. You know that I will rarely if ever question you but why would you agree with his request? He might end up wiping out the entire 8th division!”
Yamamoto was stroking his beard to calm himself down. He knew that what Ren requested was unreasonable and downright insane. But if his plan worked out, the 8th division would grow to new heights.
Yamamoto let out a sigh and did not answer Chōjirō. The man also sensed that he was troubling Yamamoto by asking his questions so he stopped prying and only hoped that Ren would not betray Yamamoto’s trust.
Ren left the first division and went toward the Kido Corps barracks. He went to visit the reception area that processed requests and presented one of the two pieces of paper Ren got from Yamamoto. When the receptionist read it, she told Ren that he had to speak with one of the vice-commanders about hi