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“Hi Mikasi!” greeted Amaririsu. “Hello there,” he reciprocated bowing to them, “So how are you ladies enjoying yourselves?” “We are enjoying ourselves quite well,” Risu giggled, “isn’t that right Umi?” “Oh yes, most defiantly,” she replied in her usual soft spoken tone.
Out of the corner of her eye, Umi noticed a brown haired man kneeling on the ground talking with a group of people, mostly children, that surrounded him, “Hey you guys,” Umi began, “who is that man?” The other two turned around to see who she was pointing to. Mikasi explained, “That’s Kakutasu Itami. He’s the head of the Itami family and he’s also the one who proposed this entire festival and came up with its name.” “Hu, Itami … wait doesn’t that mean …” Umi looked towards her friend. I a more demurred state, Risu replied, “Yah, Kakutasu Itami is my uncle.” “Your uncle?” Umi reacted. Risu nodded, “my father used to be the head, in fact he used to be the captain of the 7th Division with my mother as his Lieutenant, but one day they were both killed by a group of extremely powerful hollows. Now looking back on it though, those hollows were probably some of the ones Aizen experimented on. Anyway, neither of us was old enough to take on the role so it fell to my uncle.” Umi confusedly asked, “Neither?” “Me and my brother, Suītopī.” Umi was shocked, “I didn’t know you have a brother.” Risu became very grim, “Had a brother. He died fifteen years ago.” It was quiet for a few moments as the two understood what she was implying; Fifteen years ago was when the winter war with Aizen took place. Mikasi broke the silence by clarifying, “But I’m sure your old enough to by now to be the head, you’re old enough to be a Lieutenant, and it’s your inheritance.” “Hmm, I guess I never really thought about it before … but there’s really no point … I mean he’s doing a wonderful job and I don’t think the family elders want me ruining a good thing, besides I really don’t think I would be any good.” “Ah, that’s not true. I’m sure you would do a fine job.” All three Lieutenants were startled by the forth voice. While Mikasi and Umi looked to see who spoke Risu recognized it. She slowly turned around and bowed, “Hello Lord Kakutasu.” He chuckled and patted her lowered head, “You know you don’t have to be so formal Risu-chan.” Risu stood up straight but yet still did not meet his gaze. “I apologies for eaves dropping but Risu-chan you shouldn’t doubt yourself like that. You’re a very talented and caring girl and when the day comes for you to take up the title of Head of the Itami Family there is no doubt in my mind that you will do a brilliant job. That being said, I also don’t wish to pressure you into something you do not feel ready for. But when you are, I will more than willingly give it to you no matter what anyone may say.” Her eyes took upon a wistful expression, “Thank you very much Lord Kakutasu.” Again he laughed, “Well respect is a very admirable quality. I shall let you three get back to your brake then,” Kakutasu bowed to all, “Good-day Mikasi, Umi, Risu-chan,” and with that he headed off, strolling down the rows.
Risu remained melancholy. Mikasi noticing her expression and feeling concerned as well as confused asked her, “Risu, is everything alright?” But before Risu could answer, Ren Yamatoro came up to them, “Hey you guys!” “Oh hi Ren,” greeted Umi, “But wait, what are you doing here? I thought you were on guard duty.” He surged and smiled, “Mizuki said that he didn’t mind if I took off for a bit. I just had to see the booth everyone was talking about, the one with Comander-General Omaha.” “Oh right,” Umi remembered, “we were headed there ourselves.” Mikasi laughed, “It’s hilarious! I’m suppried that she would agree to something like that.” “So you’ve already been?” inquired Umi. Mikasi smirked, “I was her first customer.” “Well then what are we all doing standing here, let’s go!” cried Risu, back to her cheerful tone. The four headed over to the very popular booth. There was a giant crowed surrounding it, mostly shinigami, all cheering and laughing. Ren, Risu, and Umi all got in line while Mikasi stood witht the other on-lookers. Umi was still clue-less as to what the booth actually was until they got closer. Umi gasped, “No way, I’m not going to do it.” “Ah, come on Umi-chan,” pleaded Risu. “If the she didn’t want this to happen then she wouldn’t have agreed to it,” Ren pointed out. “But still …” she began but Risu cut her off, hugging her arm. “It’ll be fine Umi after all, what are the chances that you will actually hit it?” Umi reluctantly said as the line moved forward until it was her turn. She hesitated. “Just throw the ball,” Risu cheered. Ren also piped in, “Relax Umi!” Umi took a deep breath and chucked the ball hitting the target dead on and dunking the Commander-General. Everyone laughed and cheered except for Umi who began to freak. Risu clapped her hand together and exclaimed, “Perfect, just the way I planned!” At this Umi realized what her friend had done, “You used your Zanpakuto earlier to make sure I’d hit it didn’t you!” A broad smile crept onto Risu’s face, “Maybe.”
The rest of the festival went off without a hitch; the people of the Rukongai enjoyed themselves immensely as did many of the shinigami and others of the Sereitai, including the Commander-General.
After the festival, Kakutasu Itami returned to the family home for some well-earned rest.
Kakutasu, dressed in his nightly attire, made his way down the candle lit hallways. The resonating silence of the house brought a comforting peace to him. He gently slid open the door to his room and laid down for the night. A few moments after he had finally drifted to sleep, his door once again opened. The footsteps of the stranger crossed the wooden floor to where Kakutasu slept. The once asleep man instinctively opened his eyes. He rolled over in his bed, sat up and looked directly into the eyes of the intruder.