This article, Branches and Blades! Two Shinigami Fight to Survive!, is property of Suicuideking.

(Note: This is Chapter 2 of The Forgotten and the Banished Arc.)

Having heard the Akashi's fall the Shinigami rush to investigate...

The shinigami all grabbed their zanpakto and rushed to the opening to the cave. A cloud of dust hung in the air. As the smoke began to clear they could see a form in the middle, wearing shinigami robes!

"A soul reaper?" Yuudai said quizzically. Kiyoshi looked on in silence.

"Look it’s just like you said things are changing!" Hanayo celebrated looking back quickly between the fallen shinigami and the stoic Toshio.

"We should go help him, don't you think?" Yuudai grunted, and made a move toward the soul reaper.

"Wait," Toshio moved the blade in his hand quickly in front of Yuudai. "I think first we should eliminate the threat our visitor has brought with him, wouldn't you say?"

"Threat?" Yuudai repeated. He quickly understood as four Menos plummeted down to surround him.

"Now then," Toshio paused. "Go." He said calmly.

"Hmph," Hanayo calmly and with a tone of regret she said., "if we must, Bloom and Wilt, Chiharu and Fuyuki." Her blade began to glow and split into two blades one glowing pink the other glowing black. The large blades then twisted into perfect semi circles. As the energy dissipated, each blade was revealed to have hilts the color of the spirit energy they had been covered in, "Let's finish this quickly," she whispered.

"Right," Yuudai agreed. "Let None Stand, Manasuke!" his zanpakto exploded into a series of five points of white light. Four points came to rest one on the end of each of his limbs, causing his hands and feet to be covered in the energy and as the light lessened a set of black gauntlets and a pair of greaves were revealed white markings decorating them. On his back the last point of light came to rest becoming a body length broadsword, black with intricate white markings like the rest of his shikai's release. The blade was held to his body by a pair of straps that wrapped around from back to chest, clasping the blade in place.

Kiyoshi rested his hand on his blade carefully, "Kiyoshi!" Toshio called out. "Please help me rescue him, they should be able to handle these four, we need to assess and treat his wounds as quickly as we can." Kiyoshi, with a sense of relief, flashed forward with Toshio to rescue the man.

"Chiharu, Entanglement!" Hanayo swung her pink-hilted blade and fired a wave of pink energy from the ground. Suddenly many large vines snaked their way up the menos' bodies. "That should hold them Yuudai. End this."

"Yeah!" He lept high into the air came face to face with a Menos and threw a right punch and his shikai began to glow brighter. The force of the punch knocked a hole in the beasts head and it began to fall to the ground. He pushed off of the falling body and jumped in an arc toward the Menos that was standing opposite of the first. Just before he could land on its face he spun and delivered a kick to the side of its face disfiguring it and sending the Menos to the forest floor. His zanpakto glowing brighter, he flashed into the jaw of the third menos catching its teeth. He pushed off its bottom jaw with force shattering it as he used the moment to pull the upper jaw upwards until the monsters skull cracked open. Finally, he flashed to the last, his weapons glowing even brighter than before, Menos standing on its long nose. He smiled grabbed the hilt of his large powerfully glowing blade. Then he shoved the blade into the Menos' skull a bright flash and its head was gone. As he descended he called to Hanayo, "Now, let's go see about this strange shinigam-" suddenly a pair of menos stepped from the surrounding forest between them and the cave. Behind them several large crashes were heard as more Menos knocked down trees seeking the reiatsu-rich shinigami.

Inside the cave, Kiyoshi and Toshio set down the injured shinigami, "He was injured quite badly. I can't promise I have the skills necessary, but I'll do what I-" The feeling of many more menos on there way overwhelmed Toshio. I know you probably sense that but you need to go join the others I'll be there once he's stabilized." Kiyoshi nodded and flashed away. The fallen soul reaper groaned. Toshio held out his hand and began to heal him. "Let's just hope you are the only one I have to heal today."

Yet another of the menos fell as Yuudai crushed its forehead. "They just don't end!"

Hanayo was slashing at them with her swords with little result. "Chiharu, Entanglement!" A flash of pink erupted from her blade and hit the ground from it several long vines sprung out grabbing at the different menos. Still many others slipped by and still others fired ceros at the vines to break them. "Yuudai, I can't hold them, maybe...yes! Chiharu, Flora's Revenge!" She threw her glowing pink blade into the ground. And it seemed to sink in. A flash of pink went across the trees and their leaves began to grow with the same energy. The trees began to slide their roots through the soil, they effortlessly slid toward the menos. Their branches began to twist together forming multiple arms that held the bodies of their opponents and while others tore open the jaws of the menos. Yet still more and more of them came. All too soon the menos out numbered the trees under her control, and they caused massive destruction to the trees under Hanayo's command with countless cero blasts. In her distress she looked toward Yuudai.

His zanpakto glowing so brightly Hanayo could not look directly at him. "These bastards just keep coming! Hanayo," she jumped at his use of her name, "come on we're running. Get ahead of me!" They began to run toward the cave. The menos pushed one another as they crowded down the path that was barely wide enough for two of them to stand side by side. Yuudai stopped.

Sensing that Yuudai was no longer behind her, Hanayo turned, "What are you doing?"

"Keep running," he said gesturing for her to keep going. "I'm gonna slow them down, but I doubt it will completely stop them..." Hanayo stared at him... "I said, 'go,' Hanayo. Now, go!" She snapped from her trance and began to run she could see a clearing up ahead. "Now... Manasuke, let's show these guys what we can really do!" He grabbed his sword now glowing blindingly white. He raised it high over his head the menos recoiled at the light, he pointed the sword at them and said, "Reciprocate, Manasuke." instantly a massive wave of white energy released from the tip of his blade and tore through the menos. They cried out as many of them were vaporized instantly.

Hanayo felt the tremors of the explosion but she just kept running, unsure what had caused the explosion. Suddenly someone was in front of her. It was Kiyoshi, holding a guan dao in his right hand that was taller than him. "Kiyoshi..." Hanayo panted, "Yuudai... in the many menos." He laid a hand on her shoulder looking into her blue eyes stricken by white petal-shaped marks. "Brother, will you save him?" Kiyoshi nodded and pointed to the cave. She understood, as her brother he wanted to keep her safe, so he was sending her back to the cave. She nodded in affirmation.

Previous Chapter:A New Life in Darkness; A Fresh Face Arrives

Next Chapter: Lightning Strikes! Kiyoshi's Attempt

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