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This article, Kawahiru Birthright Chapter, is property of Seireitou.

The Kawahiru Birthright Chapter is the term that refers to all the events that take place over two years after the Summer War Chapter. The Gotei 13 warmly welcomes Shōyō Shakyamuni as it's 36th Captain-Commander. Suzaku Kawahiru, thanks to his efforts in the War, was made honorary Lieutenant of the First Division, under Shōyō himself. Seireitou Kawahiru was regarded as a hero of the Soul Society and lives with his officially wedded wife, Shiori Miyamoto, in the outskirts of the Rukongai. The curtain raises once more, as the tale of the Kawahiru enters it's final act.

The Second Hand Of Fate

Shinigami Tourney: Semi-Finals

Picking up two years after the the Summer War, the Shinigami celebrate with a new tradition; a multi-participant tournament which will allow them to test skill, power, and tactics against one another. The preliminaries have soon ended, with the four final combatants attending the semi-finals: Matthew Getsueikirite, Takkun Kōshihi, Atari Nagatō, and Suzaku Kawahiru. Suzaku is seen with Matt, as Seireitou Kawahiru walks over to them, wishing them luck in the finals. He jokingly continues by suggesting that this will only happen, should they not lose against their next opponents. The first match is called, as Matthew and Takkun take center stage. Takkun extends a good luck to Matt, which the latter formally thanks and returns as the starting bell is rung. Takkun takes no time to use Hadō #33: Sōkatsui, as the attack explodes right near Matt. Matt reveals to have blocked it with his sword, facing downwards, using very little effort. Annoyed, Takkun draws his Zanpakutō and immediately charges forward. Matt smiles and suggests that Takkun may not wish to do that, as a cut appears right below Takkun's chest. Matt had used a Kidō known as Bakudō #26: Kyokko along with an immensely fast flash step to conceal his movements and hide behind a clone as the real one appeared behind and struck Takkun when he was defenseless. Takkun commends his opponent for such expert timing in the releasement of the Kidō, but as this occurs, Matt explains that he isn't done. Almost shocked, Takkun finds two energy shackles on his wrists, and is enveloped by a large burst of energy. Takkun falls to the ground, defeated, as Matt is declared the winner. Seireitou comments how much Matt had grown since he took possession of his true Zanpakutō, Kyōjin.

The next match is soon called, not before Suzaku extends his congratulations to Matthew for such an amazing victory. Suzaku and Akari soon arrive on the field, as Akari begins to show a creepy smile etched on his face. Smiling calmly, Suzaku asks if Akari is trying to psyche him out. Retorting to this, Akari merely smiles and draws his Zanpakutō. Following suit, Suzaku draws his own, as the starting bell rings. Suzaku launches off the ground, and slams his sword down on Akari, pushing him into a wall. Akari merely keeps smiling, and kicks Suzaku off effortlessly. Continuing the assult, Akari charges forward and prepares to copy Suzaku's previous attack, by slamming his own sword down on Suzaku. Making light of this, Suzaku uses reishi to gently push his body through the air, dodging the attack and slamming down his sword on Akari's shoulder, forming a large gash straight down to his chest. Silence surrounds the two fighters, as Akari chuckles, saying that Suzaku "has progressed nicely, much like his father." Before this can be questioned, the entire stadium is shocked by a foreign reiatsu as three large Garganta open up, revealing a battalion of Arrancar.

Ambush of the Arrancar: The Man Behind the Mask

The main one in the lead takes a strange resemblance to that of Ichigo Kurosaki's Bankai, but wearing a ram-like mask. The Head Arrancar orders the others to attack, and leave nobody alive. The sky is full of Arrancar, attacking from above with Cero. The Shinigami below quickly respond, drawing their Zanpakutō and charging in to combat the attackers. Seireitou, much like the others, flies up and kicks several Arrancar away, using his own form of hand-to-hand combat. Suzaku is also ready to do battle, but is met with a punch to his gut by Akari, who wears a menacing smirk on his lips. Akari takes Suzaku over his shoulder and disappears instantly, appearing in the air space above. Seireitou catches notice and appears before Akari, questioning his actions. Akari quickly laughs at this, as his skin starts cracking. His appearance shatters away, as he reveals himself to be the man who confronted Seireitou in the Garganta all those years ago; Datara Kawahiru. Datara quickly reveals his true persona, as Seireitou takes on an offensive stance, aiming his Zanpakutō for Datara. He releases Hanullim's Shikai, and charges at Datara with Shikon Hisakiten imbued in it's blade, as he slashes down on Datara. Making simple defensive movements, Datara is seemingly pushed back by Seireitou's assault, but remains calm, merely staring at Seireitou's attempts. After several clashes between the two, and the Arrancar seemingly defeated by the hands of the other Shinigami. The Arrancar Leader appears beside Datara, as Datara extends his goodbyes to Seireitou and the Shinigami. Before leaving, he throws Suzaku's unconscious body at Seireitou and disappears with the Arrancar Leader. Seireitou catches Suzaku as he plummets toward the ground below.

Emergency Meeting: The Gotei 13 Meet Once More

The ambush of the Arrancar left many in a state of chaos, worrying about the possibility of going to war once more. The Gotei 13's Captains are called in, to discuss this matter. Standing outside the door, Shin Fuji asks his captain if he is ready, which Captain Kurosaki tells him to come inside. Shin and Hikaru disagree over Shin's unwillingness to dress up for ceremony they are to attend and the music that Hikaru is listening to. Settling this matter, Shin tells Hikaru that Captain-Commander Shakyamuni has called for an emergency meeting; a Level One Alarm had been sounded. Hikaru, deciding to not get involved as of yet, decides to skip the meeting and do some "investigating" on his own. Meanwhile, 12 of the 13 Captains have attended, choosing to disregard Captain Kurosaki's absence, and begin their meeting. Shōyō explains to the Captains that over the past few days, rumors of Rukongai villagers being kidnapped and then being found exactly thirteen days after their disappearance, having absolutely no memory of the events that transpired between those two intervals. But, Shōyō changes the topic toward something involving an ancient myth of the Soul Society. He explains that when the Soul Society was first constructed by the First Soul King, three mystical objects were used in it's creation. Furthermore, after their usage, the King hid these three in separate locations, far away from eachother. Captain Ken'omaru Imikirau intervenes and says that those three are myth, and only myth. Captain Hokōra Shimura retorts to Ken'omaru's comments, and to allow the Captain-Commander to finish. Taking stead of the discussion once more, Shōyō relates the matter of these three to the appearance of Datara Kawahiru. Most Captains do not believe that he, the actual founder of the ancient Noble Kawahiru of the Royal Family, would still be alive after a timespan of millions of years.

At this time, Seireitou walks out from the shadows, surprising many of the Captains as he explains that he fought with Datara during the recent Arrancar ambush. Also, he had reason to believe that Datara had planned this in order to keep the Gotei 13 on their toes. He goes on to suggest that should these mystical objects exist, the best place to learn if this is fact, would be in the Royal Family Archives. This causes many to go silent, as only the Soul King is allowed to read over that information. No-one, not even the Soul Empress is allowed in that room. Seireitou explains that during his brief status as Soul King, he did read over those notes and learned about the location of one of the objects; the Shinjū Mirror. He suspects that Datara may be after those, and planning to use them in conquering the Soul Society. Captain Keiji Gatotsu protested this, saying that using this time to "chase after fairy tales" would lead to nothing but discombobulation among the Gotei 13's ranks; essentially making them unprepared, should Datara attack once more. Seireitou answers that he will not ask for the Gotei 13's help, for he has an idea of who he will need help from. And with that, Seireitou bid his farewell, flashing out of the meeting hall. Shōyō laughs softly at Seireitou's young spirit, while the other Captains begin to have wary feelings regarding Shōyō. Some believe he is taking this situation too softly, and will even allow one of the Soul Society's greatest assets to just leave for some treasure hunt. Nevetheless, the Captains agree to Shōyō's decision and proceed to exit the hall.

Hunt For The Shinjū Mirror

Gathering the Group

Knowing full well he would not have the Gotei 13's assistance in this matter, Seireitou decided to take Shiori Miyamoto, his wife as of now, with him. He also decides to take Matthew Getsueikirite. He, along with Shiori, arrive in the Human World, looking for Matt and Ryan by extension. Deciding to make matters easy, Seireitou begins to extend his spiritual pressure outwards, it's enormous might surrounding the city with dense waves of energy. It wasn't long until Matt arrived, with Ryan outside of his Zanpakutō Inner World. Seireitou explains the situation in full, as the two partners decide to accompany Seireitou on this search. Having his initially planned group all assembled, he began to discuss their next course of action. However, the group of four are interrupted as a Senkaimon opens slightly above them in the clouds. They see the figure of Hikaru "Shadow" Kurosaki stepping out, and flashes beside the four. Seireitou questions why Hikaru came, when the Gotei 13 announced they will not provide assistance. Hikaru merely answered with "My friends go above my position. If my friends die, and I'm not there to help, then I'll hold onto that fear even as a commander." Seireitou chuckles at this, as his group now includes five.

From there, Seireitou discusses their plan. The Shinjū Mirror is said to be broken up into four components, which must be put together for it's power to function. He goes on and explains that the location of one of the pieces is somewhere in Hell. Hikaru jokingly states that he'll head to Barack Obama's House immediately, earning a laugh from each member of the group. Regaining seriousness, Seireitou states that they need to tear open the Gates of Hell in order to enter; which open only when a Hollow is slain that was evil during their Human lives. Ryan states that they cannot wait for that chance, but he may have an alternative. However, Ryan himself doesn't know, but he knows someone who does. From there, they set off to find the only one who may know how to enter Hell; Sadow Yatsumaru.

The Gates of Hell: Sadow's Answer

Making their way to the outskirts of Rider City, they come across a large warehouse that is kept separate from the Human World, by means of Kidō. Seireitou, taking the lead, proceeds to shatter the barrier. The group move inside the warehouse, where they are greeted by the former Captain of the Tenth Division, Rikuto Nakamura, who kicks Seireitou in the face comically. Seireitou retaliates, punching Rikuto in the face, demanding to know what was that for. Rikuto berates Seireitou for his lacking skill, for the younger Seireitou would have been able to anticipate that attack. Greeting eachother as friends, the group enter the storehouse, coming across Sadow. Ryan immediately greets Sadow, earning him a peculiar look from the latter. Sadow notes that Ryan, both in appearance and reiatsu, seems extremely different. Matt walks up, explaining Ryan's position as a Zanpakutō. This shocks Sadow, but he shrugs it off, stating that "stranger things have happened." Sadow then turns to Seireitou, asking what they wish of him.

Seireitou then moves to explain the recent attack of Datara Kawahiru, and the events that have transpired from the Kamui incident. Finally caught up with the situation, Sadow states that he does know a way into Hell. One of two ways: Either sacrificing a virgin, or finding the portal in the hottest climate of Hueco Mundo. Hikaru steps up, saying that his blood has a mind of it's own, and should work. Sadow also gives a smirk upon ending his explanation, asking why he should help them. This earns him a kick in the groin by an irritated Seireitou, but Sadow quickly makes the same motion; both men holding their groins in pain. Hikaru, fed up with the two children, smacks them both in their heads. Sadow, now rubbing his head in pain, decides to assist them. Using his Zanpakutō to cut himself across the chest, Hikaru spills his blood on the floor, as Sadow begins to draw markings on the floor using that blood. Followed by a chant, a dark red portal opens above the location of the spilt blood, which Sadow says is the portal to the Underworld. As the portal slowly closes, Sadow warns them this is their only chance, unless they plan to wait another 24 hours. Ryan, Matt, Shiori and Hikaru all enter the portal, as Sadow wishes them luck. Comically, Seireitou kicks Sadow in the butt, forcing him to fall through the portal as the former jumps in; the portal shutting close.

Inside Hell: The Hunt Begins

The, now six, Shinigami land in a dark shadowy field; cornered by a motley of corpses. Sadow comically welcomes them to Hell, as he demands to know why Seireitou forced him to come as well. Seireitou explains that Sadow probably has the best idea of Hell's geography, and will be a great asset in finding the Shinjū Mirror fragment. Though reluctant, Sadow accepts his reasoning, and explains that Hell functions similarly to that of the Garganta Space. They will need to use reiatsu as light in order to traverse through Hell. Seireitou uses Hadō #33: Sōkatsui, keeping it in his palm as a light source in order to illuminate the darkness. Looking down the road, they are shocked to find Hollow masks scattered around. Sadow takes this chance to suggest that they split up, with the idea that they can all cover more ground. Agreeing, Seireitou makes the teams as follows: Seireitou with Shiori, Ryan with Matt, and Hikaru with Sadow. Forming their own means of reiatsu light sources, the three teams split up in separate directions.

Elsewhere, deep inside the darkness, a new portal shatters the bloody skies of Hell, as Datara Kawahiru and the Arrancar Leader from the former's ambush walk out. Datara orders the Arrancar to keep tabs on Seireitou's group, and only make their presence known when they come across the Mirror fragment. Bowing to his master, the Leader states that he will follow his orders precisely, as he flies down to Hell. Datara makes note of Seireitou's power, seeing a slight difference upon entering Hell, as his Hollow powers have somehow made way to Seireitou's interfused Hogyōku; seemingly affected by it's infused presence. Furthermore, he reveals the leader's name, Damiano Schiffer; he also makes note that it's time to "step out of the shadows."

An Unlikely Match-up: Hikaru "Shadow" Kurosaki & Sadow Yatsumaru vs the Hell-bounds

Hikaru and Sadow come across a large black gate, which Sadow explains leads to the under-levels of Hell. When the gates open, the two Shinigami slowly and meticulously enter inside. It is explained by Sadow that in the olden times, the Kidō Corps was originally a separate organization to the Gotei 13, and they were originally posted in the deep levels of the Underworld. However, the lower levels soon became a no-man's land as the increasing numbers of Hollowfied Demons became too much for the Kidō Corps to handle. Hikaru takes stead of the discussion, stating that Hell was also the original location of the Maggot's Nest.

The Hell-bounds

The Hell-bounds

As they descend into the foul lower-levels of Hell, Sadow asks if people are really locked up in such a place, even now. Hikaru replies that it is a horrible affair, but it is not a prison; furthermore, many of the detainees were reported to have become Hell-bounds, and thus, abandoned in the prison as the Maggot's Nest moved to a more confined yet maintainable location. While the detainees cannot leave, their movements are not restricted. When Hikaru warns him that someone might suddenly attack him, he asks what they have done. Hikaru tells him that they have not actually done anything wrong, but have simply been deemed to be dangerous elements according to the Seireitei's regulations. Sadow criticises this, but is interrupted by Hikaru, who asks him if he knew any Shinigami from back then who had withdrawn from the Gotei 13. He explains that if somebody has to leave the Gotei 13 due to personal circumstances, it is called a "leave of absence". If that leave of absence prolongs and it is unlikely the person will come back, it results in "Decommissioning". Actual withdrawal is a cover that means the Shinigami has been transferred to the Nest of Maggots. This is all in accordance with the views of the Central 46. As they arrive to the ground level, they witness several strange demonic creatures lurking about. Sadow is attacked by a detainee and reaches for his sword. Hikaru apologizes for not reminding him that Shinigami Zanpakutō have no effect on Hell-bounds.

Sadow and Hikaru are then forced to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the Hell-bounds. Sadow shows quick exhastion, though Hikaru seems to be toying with the demons, stating a short prayer for their lost souls as his kicks make their way through the Hell-bounds. As the duo soon finish off the rest of them, Hikaru makes note of a bright light, eminating from the top-most ceiling of the ground level. Sadow jumps up to discern it's identity, making it out to be a mirror piece. Hikaru states that this must be what they are looking for, as Sadow takes it out of it's burial spot. An earthquake quickly erupts at this moment, the area around them collapsing. Using their flash step, the two quickly exit the lower-level as the entrance caves in.

The Face of Death: Ryan Getsueikirite & Matthew Getsueikirite vs Damiano Schiffer

As Ryan and Matthew continue through Hell, they encounter several Hell-bounds; likely freed Hell-bounds from Hikaru and Sadow's recovery of the Shinjū Mirror piece. They manage to defeat them all until the Arrancar Leader, Damiano Schiffer, confronts the two partners. At first, Matthew flees from Damiano, terrified of the latter's overwhelming power. After Ryan is able to console his Shinigami counterpart, Matthew finds the resolve to face him. Damiano explains that they are wasting their time attempting to fight him, when they should just beg for mercy. With Ryan close by, Matthew disregards this and charges forth with his blade in Shikai; Kyōjin. An electrical spark is sent up Damiano's blade, but the latter does well to block it. Impassive, Damiano arrogantly states that Matthew's attack won't reach him a second time. To his surprise, Matthew charges at him with the electricity still on his sword, wanting his blows to have a stronger effect and disable his opponent quicker, and blocks it as Matthew swings it down on Damiano's blade again.

Slightly impressed, Damiano deflects Matthew's sword; taunting Matthew by reminding him that, even with his Zanpakutō Spirit assisting him, Matthew still wouldn't be able to injure Damiano, let alone defeat, and claims that Matthew's technique won't work on him. Annoyed, and with Kyōjin still in-hand, Matthew angrily side-swings his sword at Damiano again, only to have the latter effortlessly block his attack. Finding a perfect moment to strike, Ryan appears behind Damiano while the two others are in deadlock. He stabs Damiano through the back, sending an intense pulse of lightning through the Arrancar's body as both partners back away from the former. Both watch as the Arrancar is being electrocuted by Ryan's ambush, as a black smoke surrounds the former's body. Once the smoke dissipated, the Arrancar stood in a new appearance. He named this his Resurrección, Nuevo Ánimo. However, before any new fighting takes place, Damiano is cut down by a mysterious stranger from behind. Clearly shocked by the turnabout, a half-dead Damiano demands to know the stranger's name. The stranger addresses himself as Echo Ichimaru, before slashing the Arrancar once more, effectively decapitating the latter.

Shocked at the strength of this man, Ryan and Matthew confront Echo, only to be pushed back by his massive spiritual power. Echo explains that he had no time to "entertain rodents" and turns to leave. Ryan stands up, demanding to know why he saved them. Echo answers by saying he didn't save them, he killed the Arrancar out of self-interest. Having an initial assumption that Echo may be a threat to them in the future, Matthew charges straight for the former, resulting in Matthew's arm being slashed clean off by Echo. Continuing the assault, Ryan kicks Matthew out of Echo's reach and prepares to fight Echo; however, they are stopped by the sudden arrival of Seireitou.

Man and Machine: Seireitou Kawahiru vs Echo Ichimaru - Round One

As Seireitou enters, all eyes are fixated upon him. Shiori, appears at that moment besides Ryan and Matthew, telling the two to not intervene. Echo's eyes narrowed, knowing full well of this man's identity. Seireitou didn't ask what happened, but merely peered at Matthew's injury. He turned to Echo, to ask if he was the one who did that. Impassively, Echo reveals that he was the one who cut off Matthew's arm, which goaded Seireitou into charging at the former. Though he starts off well, being able to match Echo's counters blow for blow, the latter quickly raises his speed, confusing Seireitou with his instantaneous movement. It wasn't long until Seireitou's arm is slashed at by Echo, effectively drawing blood. Taking this reprieve, Seireitou asks why Echo, who never fights with the desire to harm without cause, is actually fighting with him. Echo merely answers that there are not many, besides Seireitou, Kamui, and Hikaru "Shadow" Kurosaki, that can hope to even meet him in an equal level. However, this attitude quickly shifts as Echo proclaims that Seireitou has potential, but will never become strong enough to fight on par with Echo. Angered by this, Seireitou activates his Shikai and uses a full-powered Shikon Hisakiten at Echo. The technique engulfs the latter, giving Seireitou the impression of victory. However, as the smoke from the attack clears, Echo is shown to have very minor injuries; slight burns on his right arm. Slightly impressed, but not enough, Echo charges a Cero-like energy attack, blasting Seireitou through a black wall. Not finished with that, Echo appears behind Seireitou as the latter is plummeting to the ground, and roundhouse kicks him through another portion of the same wall. Not surprisingly, Echo manages to return to that area before Seireitou even lands there. Ryan and Matthew are left with nothing but shock and awe as Seireitou was defeated so easily. Echo, before leaving, issues this challenge to Seireitou: "It is still too early for you to die, Kawahiru. Become stronger, and perhaps, I may humor you with a rematch." As he exits through the hole in the wall, a defeated Seireitou lies unconscious on the floor as Ryan and Matt rush to his aid.

Immediately, Ryan administers first-aid with his reiatsu, as Hikaru and Sadow arrive at the scene; being led by the immense reiatsu being released. Matthew explains the situation, which reveals to have taken little surprise on Hikaru. Once Seireitou had been recovered somewhat, Sadow walks over and examines the reiatsu signature used by Echo. It held trace amounts of a foreign reiatsu, from a being once known as Dahie. Furthermore, Echo now possesses a strange power known as "Nothingness". Hikaru interjects as he reveals that he and Sadow discovered the missing piece of the Shinjū Mirror. Their mission complete, the team prepare to return home. Meanwhile, Echo is confronted by Datara. Datara offers him a position working alongside him, which Echo declines. Eager to use this young man's strength, Datara offers him the chance to rid the plague that is Shinigami-Hollow hybrids. Again, the former declines. Finally, Datara explains that working with him will allow Echo a chance to finally silence that "arrogant, underestimating, Imbecile". Somewhat enjoyed at the prospect of this, Echo agrees to a partnership with Datara.

An Unlikely Ally: Seireitou's Death?!

Barely recovered from his fight with Echo, Seireitou attempts to stand and explain the next course of action. The laughter of Datara is heard in the black skies above, commending them for their efforts. As he says this, a large hell-bound starts forming from the ground. Immediately, the gigantic hell-bound attacks the group with it's large right hand, sweeping all of them away from one another. Hikaru, however, remains standing and charges for the beast. The others, with the exception of the weakened Seireitou, all join Hikaru in battle. The beast, in defiance, spews several smaller hell-bounds from it's mouth that attack them. As the battle rages onwards, the giant beast forms a large black hole from the skies above. Initially, the group members consider this nothing but a fake-out, but the hole starts sucking Seireitou towards it. All efforts to recover Seireitou fail, as he is sucked inside, as the hole closes. Ryan yells his name out, as the beast starts screaming in anger. Millions of hell-bounds begin to form, as Sadow remarks that they can't fight these for too much longer. In a sudden burst of reiatsu, the millions of hell-bounds disappear. In the distance, Ryan sees a dark-haired man in a cloak, holding a blade. He quickly assumes that this man caused the destruction of the hell-bounds. By the time length of a single blink, this mysterious man flashes through the beast, appearing on the opposite end, as the large beast appears to have been cut right down the middle. In a rage, the beast screams as it falls apart, dying upon the moment. As Ryan begins to make out the identity of the cloaked man, his eyes widen greatly. This man is stated by Ryan to be Seireitou's older brother from the war, over two years ago: Madara Kawahiru.

Unable to decide what to think of this, Ryan rushes over, demanding to know how Kamui survived and why he helped them. Kamui, almost ignoring Ryan's rambling, asks what happened to Seireitou. Matthew steps in, nervously explaining that Seireitou disappeared in a large black hole formed by that giant hell-bound. Gritting his teeth at first, Kamui chuckles at this and turns to face them. He tells them that he knows about Datara, and will explain what he knows, on the exception that they allow him to fight alongside them against Datara. Curious as to know what happened to Seireitou, Sadow steps in and asks Kamui what happened to him. Kamui coldly tells Sadow that Seireitou is dead, as nobody ever returns from a Black Hole created by Hell-bounds. Leaving the entire group silent, Kamui opens a large Garganta with his blade's tip, telling them they should return. Trying to grasp this reality and prevent his tears from falling, Ryan nods as the others follow suit.

Invasion of Soul Society

Setting the Wheels in Motion: Datara's Declaration

The group, with the addition of Kamui, arrive in the outskirts of the Seireitei. They arrive to see the entire Rukongai infested with Hollow and Menos Grande. Before making any comments, two unseated Shinigami flash toward them, alerting them to enter inside the Seireitei, for it is a state of emergency. As the Shinigami open the Gate, closing it afterwards, Hikaru demands to know what is going on. The Shinigami merely tell Hikaru that Captain-Commander Shōyō has sounded the alarm for a Class-S emergency, ordering the lockdown of the Seireitei. As Hikaru presses for more information, a large screeching sound is heard as the image of Datara Kawahiru appears in the skies above Seireitei. He explains that he is behind the Hollow attacks, and officially declares war on the Soul Society. He goes on to say that the fragment found by Hikaru and Sadow was nothing more than a fake, implanted there by Datara for the purpose of misleading them. He claims to possess both the Shinjū Mirror and another item known as the Tenkei no Tama, which he will use to "destroy the Plague of Shinigami that is Soul Society." His image shatters as Hollow screams can be heard from afar, attempting to crash through Seireitei's gates.

Elsewhere, Datara is seen in a dark room, with Echo leaning against a wall. Echo asks how Datara plans to start a war, when it's only him and Echo. Datara berates Echo for assuming this, as a black orb, presumably the Tenkei no Tama, begans emitting a dense light. As this occurs, the roof hanging over the two breaks into pieces, as a large storm cloud forms overhead. Datara tells Echo that he has a mission for him, as several strange yet oddly familiar beings begin to descend from the large storm.

Invasion of the Seireitei's Gates

Behind the sealed gates of the Seireitei, the Gotei 13 Captains begin discussing the matter at hand. They had already sent off several Shinigami off to battle the invaders, with the leadership of a few Lieutenants, but the numbers of the Hollow are growing. Captain Kurosaki runs inside, as the Captains all turn to face him. He quickly explains that Datara is behind this, but Captain Ken'omaru replies that they already know. Kamui, along with Sadow, Ryan, Matthew, and Shiori, also walk in. The Captains are alarmed at the sight of Kamui, but Hikaru tells them to stand down. Kamui had rescued their group during their search, and has apologized for his crimes. Showing discomfort to this, the Captain-Commander accepts Kamui as one of their allies, convincing to the other Captains that Kamui will be a valuable asset to them in the up-coming fights. Their meeting is quickly interrupted, as large explosions can be heard from outside the Seireitei. The northern gates fall, as several Hollow began invading inside the Seireitei. As the Shinigami attempt to counter, they are soon struck down by a mysterious red-haired man. The Shinigami of olden times quickly realize the identity of this man, as they soon too are killed. Meanwhile, within the chaos of the Captain's meeting, Kamui quickly takes stead and asks Shōyō to send out an alarm to Reiji Maigo, and asks Captains of the Second, Third, and Fifth to follow him as they attempt to drive the invading forces back.

Kamui, along with the three Captains, jump from building to building, explaining that he will attempt to close up the gates from allowing any further Hollow from entering, while the rest of the group kills off the ones that made it through. Quickly nodding, the Captains flash away as Kamui flashes forward at break-neck speeds. Hotaru, Ken'omaru, and Nichihare make their way toward the center of the Seireitei, brandishing their blades to do battle with the opposing Hollow. One by one, the Hollow fall to the blades of the powerful Captains. As they finish off the rest of them, the trio is surprised as a large fireball hurtles toward them. Dodging it ever so slightly, they look down to see the same mysterious red-haired man from before. Hotaru, being one of the most experienced and oldest of the three, quickly makes the enemy to be none-other than the infamous General who lay siege to the Seireitei all those years ago, Sunryuk Asakura.

All-Out War! Sunryuk Asakura vs Hotaru Fujibayashi, Ken'omaru Imikirau, & Nichihare Kurayama

After helping to defeat the Hollow, Hotaru, Ken'omaru, and Nichihare confront Sunryuk. Hotaru excluded, the other two Captains show signs of sweating from the sheer spiritual pressure of their foe. Hotaru prepares her assault, telling the other two that if they are going to be scared, they should leave now. Without further discussion, Hotaru charges in. Sunryuk berates her for the Captain's rash actions, but Hotaru merely continues forth, as Sunryuk attempts to stab her at incredible speed. However, his thrust goes through an afterimage, meant as a decoy as Hotaru activates Bakudō #62: Hyapporankan, trapping Sunryuk against one of the buildings. After Hotaru pins him down with a binding spell, she releases her Zanpakutō, Takame, confident in victory and prepares to finish him off. Sunryuk, however, calmly forms a fireball in his hands, destroying the wall he was pinned to and uses Shunpō to get behind her. Sunryuk criticizes her for not simply flash-stepping and finishing him off quickly, something he states that he would have done. He then delivers a powerful kick, sending her crashing into a ground below and correctly identifies her as the captain of the second division and special forces.

Unable to stay out of the picture for any longer, the other two Captains step in. Sunryuk berates them for thinking they can defeat him, calmly explaining that "adding one or two more pieces of dust makes no difference." Ken'omaru helps Hotaru up, as Nichihare stands in front of the two. Hotaru pushes Ken'omaru off of her, as Sunryuk appears in-between the three Captains. Sending a kick toward Nichihare, and his sword toward Hotaru and Ken'omaru, all three are pushed back, forces against small building structures nearby. However, Hotaru planned for this, as chains wrap their way around Sunryuk's person. Hotaru stands up from the wreckage, and yells to the other two to attack now. Nichihare and Ken'omaru jump back up, pushing off and charging at the trapped invader. Sending their blades down on him, both Captains make large gashes on Sunryuk as he is pushed back into a wall. Hotaru, being the last, steps in to finish the fight, as Sunryuk smirks at her. Large torrents of flames appear below Sunryuk, directly striking Hotaru dead-on as the other two attempt to escape. Sunryuk, breaking free, explains that these flames are from Ryūjin Jakka, and cannot be beaten by mere Zanpakutō. He quickly declares his victory, as a large torrent of white flames appear from above, colliding with Sunryuk's flames. Seireitou Kawahiru, stepping out of a strange Garganta, seems to have been the controller of those flames.

Licking his lips as if crazed, Sunryuk forms a large grin, overjoyed at a chance to enact revenge on the man who killed him. Before he says anything else, Seireitou appears in-front of Sunryuk, his hand against the latter's chest. Seireitou tells Sunryuk that he "should not say such strong words, for they make him look weak", as he pulls back slightly, flashing to the burned Hotaru. Sunryuk orders Seireitou to return back to him, so he could kill him. Sighing at Hotaru's current state, he calls the other two Captains to bring her to the Fourth Division barracks. Having no choice to seem arrogant in this matter, Nichihare and Ken'omaru nod and take Hotaru, as they flee the battle scene. Seireitou calmly turned to Sunryuk and explains that Sunryuk never had the chance to observe his fully-powered white Cero. Confused by Seireitou's change of subject, Sunryuk merely charges at the former out of anger. Seireitou points his finger at Sunryuk, charging a small white sphere outlined by a dark red, and unleashes Cero Lamparos directly at Sunryuk. It's immense power engulfing the majority of the Seireitei's streets, crashing Sunryuk through a large white tower in the distance, promptly incinerating everything in it's path. Seireitou's Cero Lamparos promptly engulfs Sunryuk and critically injures him, causing large-scale destruction of the northern sector of the Seireitei. Despite Sunryuk being so far away due to the blast pushing him back, Seireitou quickly appears at Sunryuk's location, as the latter is wheezing heavily. Sunryuk is unable to stand, being heavily damaged by Seireitou, and expresses his complete anger toward his attacking. Seireitou points his finger at Sunryuk's forehead, as a lavender-colored reiatsu surrounds Seireitou, unlike his usual black reiatsu. However, a large golden light shines from above, surrounding Sunryuk as he is slowly lifted into the sky. Seireitou comments that it is Negación, and narrows his eyes as Sunryuk disappears from sight.

Seireitou's Return: Quickening of a New Power

Following Sunryuk's escape, Seireitou tracks down the spiritual pressures of the remaining Captains and heads off for their location. He arrives quickly, leaving everyone in a state of initial disbelief. Ryan is reassured in the safety of his friend, as Shiori runs over to him, sobbing on his chest. Seireitou holds her, and reassures her that he will not scare her like that again. Sadow, curious as to how Seireitou survived, quickly confronts him. Seireitou explains that when he was sucked inside the black hole, a strange man named Tōga had rescued him from certain death. Tōga had explained to Seireitou that he was fighting a man who held Dahie's forbidden Nothingness, and had no chance from the start. Seireitou asked how Tōga knew this much, and if so, does he hold a way to battle someone who holds Nothingness? Tōga went on to suggest that Seireitou held some remnant of Nothingness that existed in another form. He identified the species as Shinkūmyō, to which Seireitou confirms. Seireitou went on in his explanation, saying that Tōga trained him to evolve his Shinkūmyō powers to a new level, where he will be able to fight on par with Echo now. Not directly, but Ryan expresses a peculiar look, coming to the thought that Seireitou's claim was indeed correct, but Ryan could feel less of the corrupting negative powers of Hollow within him. Seireitou smirks, revealing to have gained minor mind reading abilities and confirms Ryan's suspicions, saying that his Hollow and Shinkūmyō powers have attained an overlapping peak; no longer requiring or possessing the use of a Resurrección.

State of Emergency: Fleeing of the Soul Society

With everything out in the open, the Seireitei makes plans to flee to Reiji Maigo. Seireitou tells them he will hold off as many of the Hollow as he can, allowing the Shinigami to escape. Shiori leads them through the Senkaimon, as she wishes Seireitou good luck. Seireitou flashes away, as several of the higher-ups proceed to enter the Senkaimon gate. Appearing on the roof of the First Division's meeting halls, Seireitou stares out into the horizon, watching as the Hollow overtake the Seireitei. He sighs at this, only to sense several powerful beings around the Southern and Eastern gates of the Soul Society. Unable to differ these energies as friend or foe, he chooses to go after the Southern gate presence. He is greeted by an off-screen voice, as a man with black hair and white robes appears before Seireitou. Smirking at this man's arrival, Seireitou welcomes Makōtō Kawahiru. Makōtō asks what is happening here, receiving an empty reply as Seireitou disappears to defend the Southern gate. Makōtō, scratching his head, decides to head to the Eastern gate where the other power source is located.

Upon arriving, Seireitou witnesses several Hollow overtaking the Shinigami that are defending the Seireitei gates. Seireitou jumps in, telling the others to flee as he will handle this. Using Hadō #8: Kiriken, Seireitou rushes in to do battle with the invading Hollow. It isn't long before Seireitou is able to kill all of them, but is shocked when three Arrancar-like beings appear behind him, attempting to cut him down. Before having a chance to respond, the three Arrancar are cut down by what appears to be spiritual arrows. Seireitou looks up, shocked to see his old friend, Sōsetsu Taneda, alive and well in the Soul Society. Appearing beside him, Sōsetsu greets his old friend, and comically berates him for turning his back to his opponents. Before long, Makōtō returns to Seireitou, saying that he "took care of the problem" and also ran across an old friend of theirs. Kamui then walks out from the building edge, providing a great shock to Seireitou. Almost hotheadedly, Seireitou charges at Kamui, attempting to kill him. Makōtō stops him, as Kamui attempts to console Seireitou by saying that he pleaded his case to the Captains, and seeks his brother's forgiveness. Seireitou, deciding to end the hatred between them, reaffirms their brotherhood and forgives him; even offering his hand to Kamui, which the latter shakes with a small smile on his face.

Learning that the Shinigami have fled to Reiji Maigo, Seireitou tells the three with him that they need to head for Reiji Maigo, for the situation here has become futile to continue fighting back. Makōtō smirks sarcastically, saying that it's been a while since the four of them (Jōyōmeishishi) worked together. Seeing a tower of smoke in the distance, Kamui quickly opens a Garganta, as the four quickly head inside. Seireitou looks out toward the remains of the Seireitei, shutting his eyes as the portal closes on the military city view.

Arrival in Reiji Maigo: Forming an Alliance

Seireitou, along with the other members of the Jōyōmeishishi, finally arrive in Reiji Maigo's Military City Sinsi, as the Captains have already exchanged acquaintances with the Mudang 11. Haizo Aoi greets Seireitou, as do all of his former teammates. Sakura steps up, hugging him tightly, which causes shortage of oxygen to the latter, for obvious reasons. Shiori pulls her by the hair calmly, pushing her aside. He reprimands Sakura that they have more pressing matters to attend to. Shōyō calls for the Gotei 13 and Reiji Maigo's Mudang 11 to work under one alliance, lead by one Supreme Commander. Captain Ken'omaru immeditately nominates Shōyō for the position, with Captain Kurosaki, Captain Amaririsu, and Captain Fujibayashi's support behind him. All eyes are turned on Seireitou, to which the latter nominates Kamui for the position. Genuinely shocked at this decision, Hotaru asks Seireitou why he would nominate the man who almost killed off the Gotei 13 and the Soul Society by extension. Seireitou explains that Kamui realizes the error of his past mistakes, and also, that he proved himself very capable of military leadership and execution; despite that prowess being used to attack them. Agreeing somewhat, Hotaru still questions if they will be able to trust him. Shōyō steps into the discussion and seconds Seireitou's nomination. Knowing when she lost this argument, Hotaru stood down from further opposition. The Mudang 11 fully support Seireitou's nomination, making it official; Kamui is to lead the Alliance.

Three days past as the newly-formed alliance began making preparations for a counterattack; to reclaim the Soul Society. Kamui, being the new Supreme Commander of the Alliance, began discussing with Shōyō, Hotaru, and Alastor; the most tactical of the Alliance's military force. The Plan, so to speak, was to launch an air-raid over the furthest Rukongai sectors, in an attempt to secure the perimeter; in order to trap the Seireitei in the center of the attack. Then, the ground forces would attempt to push back the Hollow all the way toward the Seireitei, summon a large Garganta by the use of Kidō pillars located at the very gates of the Seireitei. This would force them into the Dangai, which the Kidō Cannon would be ready to initiate the final phase of the plan; total annihilation of the invaders. The night before the War would begin, Seireitou sat with Shiori on the roof of Sinsi's First Division Barracks. The two discuss the upcoming battle, to which Seireitou seems quite nervous about. He tells Shiori about how much is placed on him in this battle, and his stress regarding it. Shiori attempts to console her husband, by saying that she will stand with him, no matter what. The two share a kiss, as Kamui walks up to the roof, jokingly refering to them as Romeo and Juliet. Shiori hugs Seireitou and decides to allow the brother time to amend and talk amongst themselves.

Kamui expresses his regrets for causing the war, two years ago, and hopes to redeem himself in this war as the Supreme Commander of the Alliance. Seireitou compliments Kamui, expressing his lack of doubt in the failure of the latter's plan. The two remain quiet from there, as Kamui thanks Seireitou for his kind words, the latter merely replying "Don't mention it." Elsewhere, Datara stands at the roof of the Seireitei, looking through the eyehole in his mask. He stares out to a conquered Seireitei and chuckles menacingly, awaiting the battle that shall come. Echo, on the other hand, is shown inside the First Division Barracks, staring at his reiatsu-pulsating sword. He shuts his eyes, knowing what battle shall await him when Seireitou returns. Datara is shown once more, as he merely accepts the unspoken challenge by addressing them figuratively with the single statement, "Come, Kawahiru Seireitou."

Declaration of War! Datara Kawahiru & Echo Ichimaru vs the Jōyōmeishishi, the Gotei 13 & the Vizard Forces

The War Begins: Battle of Northern Rukongai

The day has arrived, as the Shinigami within Reiji Maigo begin their attack. Mudang 11's unseated Shinigami make up the majority of their Alliance's ranks. Three large Garganta open as the Shinigami groups start running inside, sword at the ready. The Garganta above the Northern Rukongai sectors, as the Hollow and Arrancar ransacking the area look up to see the Shinigami jumping out. The Shinigami and Hollow begin their battling, as Seireitou steps out of the Garganta, followed by Kamui, Makōtō, and the others as well. Seireitou charges forward, as the others remain in the Rukongai sector. Once he reached a certain location in the air, he came across Echo, who was awaiting his arrival. Seireitou looks at Echo with narrowed eyes, the latter turning his back and charging toward the opposite area. Seireitou closely followed behind, being lead all the way toward the edge of the Seireitei as Echo landed atop the wall borders of Seireitei. Seireitou lands there as well, staring his combatant down. Echo compliments Seireitou for staying alive, and having the guts to confront him again, considering the former's effortless defeat of the latter. Seireitou smirks at Echo's comment, and replies that he won't fall like last time.

Back at Northern Rukongai, Kamui forms a faction of Three Captains and heads down for Eastern Rukongai, sending Makōto and Sōsetsu for Western Rukongai. Kamui leaves Haizo in charge of the Northern assault as he head out. Haizo, watching over his forces prevailing against the Hollow, activates his Shikai, Saitatsu, and charges into battle. The former is confronted by an Arrancar who addresses himself Término Muerte. Smiling at the concept of defeating Término by himself, Haizo raises his sword up, charing in to attack.

Counterattack at Eastern & Western Rukongai

Kamui's faction were ordered to invade Eastern Rukongai, as his Shinigami overtake the Area. Among his Captains, Kenpachi Kiba had jumped into action, cutting down Hollow after Hollow. Captain Amaririsu facepalms at Kiba's wild actions, and slowly floats down, preparing to assist in the battle. Captain Kurayami stood beside Kamui, asking if she should secure the perimeter or join her fellow Captains in battle. Before he gives an order, two powerful combatants appear behind Kamui. This event results in Kamui kicking Nichihare out of the way, as the former barely dodges a sword strike from one of the new arrivals. Kamui looks up, recognizing the two as Omniel and Sydonay Kawahiru, smiling at their arrival, stating that "maybe now, things'll get interesting."

Meanwhile, Makōtō and Sōsetsu's factions arrive in Western Rukongai. Like the others, they order their factions to attack and destroy the Hollow and Arrancar in the area. Makōtō feels somewhat suspicious, wondering why the resistance in the Rukongai is so weak and non-concentrated. However, the two are interrupted by the appearance of Sunryuk Asakura.

Defiance in the Heart of Chaos: Seireitou Kawahiru vs Echo Ichimaru - Round Two

The two stare eachother down, as Seireitou draws his sword, Echo following suit. The latter asks if Seireitou has grown stronger since their last exchange, to which Seireitou retorts that "he'll have to find out" as Seireitou flashes forward, clashing blades with him. Hanullim is shown to immediately enter it's Shikai, as Seireitou's aura turns from black to lavender, signifying his Shinkūmyō power usage. Seireitou charges at him with Shikon Hisakiten on his sword, wanting his blows to have a stronger effect and disable his opponent quickly, and blocks it as Seireitou swings it down on Echo's head. Somewhat impressed, but retaining his usual indifferent persona, Echo deflects Seireitou's sword taunts Seireitou by reminding him that, even with his "Nothingness Counterability", Seireitou still won't able to injure Echo, let alone defeat, and claims that Seireitou's move won't work on him. Annoyed by Echo's underestimation, and with Shikon Hisakiten still in-hand, Seireitou swiftly side-swings his sword at Echo again, only to have the latter effortlessly block his attack.

Seireitou jumps back, throwing a kick out toward Echo, which the latter responds by kicking Seireitou's ankle, disabling the man for a moment as Echo attempts a sword slash against the midsection. In defiance, Seireitou uses his free leg to throw a wheel kick for Echo's head, to which is blocked by Echo's Zanpakutō hilt. Echo charges in close, elbowing Seireitou hard as the latter crashes into a wall, followed by Echo charging in with his blade, lunging multiple strikes at Seireitou. The latter, apparently losing his patience, drives Echo into a wall and lunges his sword at Echo's head, the latter of whom barely dodges, severely damaging the wall as a result. In retaliation, Seireitou swings his sword at Echo's head once more, but the latter quickly blocks the attack with his own sword and side-swings it at Seireitou's head once more. Seireitou then instinctively ducks his head as Echo attacked, drove him to another piece of the wall as the latter had done beforehand, and swung his sword at Echo's midsection, only to have him swiftly dodge the attack by backing up. Echo lunged his fist for Seireitou's face, which he barely dodges as Echo attempts an eye-gouge via his sword, calculating that he would be easier to kill should he succeed.

Making a swift sidestep, Seireitou dodges Echo's fist and blade, attempting a sweep of Echo's legs. The latter jumps up, and attempts a jumping kick which makes contact, kicking Seireitou against the wall from before. Echo rushes Seireitou, as the two collide in a bladed deadlock. Reaching a supposed stalemate, Echo orders Seireitou to use his Bankai, for he will "not hold back any longer." Seireitou, knowing the effects of such an event, refuses and swings his sword to the side, roundhouse kicking Echo back. Apparently annoyed at this, Echo proceeds to release his Zanpakutō's, Shunsei no Jitsuzon, First Seal. His appearance doesn't change much, but Echo's eyes quickly shifts from calm blue to a demonic menacing green. Echo warns Seireitou once more to use his Bankai, otherwise, he will die where he stand. Believing that his Shinkūmyō will be more than enough, Seireitou attempts to charge at Echo, but is immediately blown away by an immense burst of green reiatsu that engulfs the former in a massive explosion.

The reiatsu attack propels a heavily-damaged Seireitou down from the sky, enabling Echo to flash-step in front of him and swing his sword at Seireitou, the force of the blade hitting him in the gut and sending him flying through three of the White Seireitei towers, subsequently "landing" on one of said broken towers. A half-naked Seireitou is then shown kneeling down in front of a newly-arrived Echo, the latter of whom continues to taunt Seireitou by informing him that, even though he possess reiatsu like a Demon and fights like a Demon, he will never be a Demon, and will never truly defeat his opponent, as a result. He even goes so far as to claim that it's "natural" for inferior species such as Seireitou to "imitate" Demonic beings in order to get stronger, and finishes his monologue by stating that, despite the "imitations", those two groups will never be equals. Seireitou is then shown kneeling like a supplicant in a church, light streaming down upon him, with Echo seeming rather beatific, descending from the light, as if he were an angel come to either answer the supplicant's plea, or to punish the apostate and return him to the fold.

Despite his injuries, Seireitou, still refusing to surrender, tightly grips his sword, and somehow finds the strength to slowly stand up, while Echo simply watches. Seireitou's unwavering and unbreakable determination earns him a peculiar look from Echo; as he watches Seireitou struggle to rise from the ground, despite the latter's sever injuries, Echo exhibits an emotionally-ambiguous expression on his face, it's look almost resembling pity or sympathy, as if he could somehow relate to Seireitou's situation. Seireitou attempts to use Shikon Hisakiten once again, which the former's persistence finally sets off an already-frustrated Echo, who desires to win this fight by breaking his opponent's resolve, thereby prompting him to uncharacteristically shout at Seireitou, ridiculing the latter's determination, while simultaneously ramming his sword into Seireitou's gut and propelling him into a wall inside one of the Seireitei towers.

The force of the attack hurls Seireitou outside of the white tower, nearly destroying it in the process. As Seireitou flies across the air, Echo flash-steps next to him and slashes him with his blade, again hurling him into the streets below and destroying half of the structure in the process. As Seiritou's body 'flies' above via another assault on Echo's part, toward another of the remaining towers, Echo flash-steps in front of him and grabs hold of Seireitou's clothes before he falls off, holding the latter's body in front of him as he questions Seireitou's stubborn refusal to activate his Bankai despite the immense difference in power between them currently. Undaunted, Seireitou states that he'll continue to fight Echo, regardless of both his injuries and Echo's greater status as a fighter, even going so far as to state that he will defeat Echo, in the long run. Annoyed, Echo then releases Seireitou from his choke-hold, dismisses his statement as "nonsense", and proceeds to show him "true power", by releasing once more.

Ultimate Echo

Echo's Third Release

Seemingly unfazed by Echo's devilish appearance, Seireitou rises from the ground yet again to resume the fight. Confused and frustrated at his opponents' defiance to use his maximum power, Echo comments on this as Seireitou stands up, states that he'll "rip Seireitou's body to shreds and make him understand true power", and charges at Seireitou, who holds his sword diagonally and defensively, ready to block his enemy's next attack, only to have Echo unexpectedly flash-step to Seireitou's side, grab ahold of his head, and apparently grinds his face aaginst the streets below at break-neck speed. Finishing this, Echo tosses Seireitou's damaged body into the air, and kicks it higher into the sky as Echo's blade starts forming an immense fang of green reiatsu, which the latter launches at Seireitou, the sky filling with the blood of Seireitou and the reiatsu from Echo's attack.

Seireitou seemingly lands on the roof of the large White Prison Tower, as Echo appears at the edge of the tower, staring down at Seireitou. The latter attempts to rise up, and coughs up blood, as he looks down at the sekki-seki that makes up the tower's composure. He slowly rises to his feet, his body being overcome with an immmense yet thin outline of white reiatsu. Echo's eyebrow raises, as Seireitou smirks, stating "This is what you wanted, right? I will... show you my Bankai!" Upon calling out the common phrase, Bankai, Seireitou's body seemingly turned into white flames that combusted, exploding outwards in an enormous explosion of white and black reiryoku whips, that finally fall to the ground as a thick dense rain of reiatsu all over the surrounding area and Echo's body, causing the latter to narrow his eyes in annoyance. In this form, Seireitou takes on physical properties of all three states of Hanullim's inner spirit. His hair becomes more longer and flowing, with a dark red eyeshadow around the topmost edges of his eyes, as well as similar facelines as Ulquiorra Schiffer. The hakama he normally wears remains, as his shihakushō takes on a more similar appearance to Hanullim's inner spirit. Seireitou's body is draped in lavender veils, similar to that of Hanullim's Kaguya manifestation. It appears that Seireitou can will a mirror similar to Kaguya's to appear on his stomach, for an as-of-yet unstated reason. Finally, his eyes take the most dramatic change, as they appear to become a strange mystical white, with a shadowy black outline; extremely similar to the overall color scheme of Hanullim's Kagemmi manifestation's appearance. The physical form of Seireitou's Zanpakutō remains very similar to his sealed state, becoming more of a japanese longblade daitō.

Stunned at Seireitou's unexpected Bankai release and appearance, Echo verbally expresses his shock at this, enabling Seireitou to summon his Zanpakutō with just a wave of his hand, and uses it to destroy a large portion of the ground, whether to display his immense power and intimidate his opponent, or to set a distraction. The scene shifts to the outside of the Seireitei, where a concerned Shiori had followed Seireitou in hopes of assisting him in his battle against Echo. It isn't long until she falls to her knees, expressing an immense fear of the reiatsu she senses from the battle inside the military city. She attempts to get back to her feet, staggering as she expresses her concern for her husband.

Inside the Seireitei, a newly-released Seireitou stares down his devilish opponent, Echo. The latter narrows his eyes in annoyance, seemingly unimpressed with Seireitou's Bankai. Seireitou, making no sound, appears almost instantly at Echo's forefront, the former's blade held right across Echo's midsection as the latter's eyes open with shock. The shockwave emanating from the immense "energy-clash" was powerful enough to destroy a large portion of the Seireitei Tower of sekki-seki. Echo is then shown standing on the ground, bleeding from his left arm while Seireitou slowly elevates high in the air, his menacing white eyes fixated on his injured opponent. Seireitou explains that his Bankai's power involves controlling the interaction between two or more convening forces or existences. With this, Echo will be unable to even touch him.

Echo, annoyed by the arrogance of his combatant, begins emitting a large amount of the dormant Kaosu's reiatsu, corroding the ground beneath him; despite the ground being made of sekki-seki which is made to repel reiatsu. Seireitou holds his blade at the ready, and disappears, reappearing beside Echo, attempting to cut the latter's head clean off. However, Echo makes a quick movement to dodge it and attempts to retaliate, but Seireitou is already ahead of him, cutting once more at Echo. This one, makes contact and leaves Echo with a damaged arm. Not quite done, Seireitou continues and is able to stab Echo's through the chest, forming a close-range Shikon Hisakiten that explodes Echo's chest completely, launching him into the tower's walls. The latter, however, was able to recover the damage due to his current demi-god state. Realizing that Seireitou's strength has firmly surpassed his own, Echo heads to the very highest altitude of the Soul Society's skies, forcing Seireitou to chase after him.

Once he reached a certain elevation, he froze and looked down on Seireitou. After reaching the high elevation himself, Seireitou realizes that they are above the atmosphere of Soul Society and questions Echo as to why he decided to "change the scenery" of their battle. Once ready, Echo explains that his first seal's power revolves around pre-existing life. He goes, explaining that his second involves the control of the atmosphere. Seireitou retorts by saying nothing will work, for he can control and manipulate interactions. This statement earns him an unusual chuckle on Echo's part, as he tells the former not to overestimate his own abilities. As he says this, Echo holds his blade pointed at Seireitou, as the latter's body starts emitting a green aura. He attempts to dispell it via his ability but is unable to, to his shock. Echo explains that his first ability, will allow him to shift one's current presence with the presence of their past self; in this case, the green aura surrounding Seireitou causes him to temporally take on the trait of his unreleased Bankai self, making his special ability null and void currently. Moving ahead with his next step, the clouds around them begin shifting into a dark green, as they all emit a burning light. He bids Seireitou farewell with his usual apathetic persona, as the clouds form an immense and devastating explosion of raw chaotic energy, engulfing Seireitou completely.

The technique causes Seireitou to fall at an exceeding rate, finally making contact with the Seireitei's ground, as a large explosion fills the air all around Soul Society, as Kamui and the others in Rukongai can hear and see the destruction; seeing a large puff of smoke reach the skies, not unlike the Atomic Bomb result during the nearing end of the Second World War. A rather pleased Echo descends slowly from the skies, overlooking the destruction his attack had wrought. However, it was not without cost. Seireitou's attacks from before had, without realizing it at first, damaged Echo's innards far more than he had assumed. Grasping his chest in pain, he soon reaches the ground, looking over the defeated Seireitou as the latter's Bankai deactivates. He goes on with his monologue to state that if that attack he used didn't defeat Seireitou, he would have effectively lost the fight, and possibly have died. Echo commends Seireitou for fighting so well against him, as the former falls to his knees, ready to succumb to his earlier wounds.

However, Echo is confronted by a frightened Shiori who finally reaches the scene of their battle. He looks over to her, as she looks at a defeated Seireitou, worried that he may have been killed. Echo reassures her that his attack did not kill him, apparantly being stronger than even he had anticipated. The latter shuts his eyes, as he falls over, his own release retreating as he returns to his base sealed state, passing out where he lay. Shiori runs over to Seireitou, but takes a glace at Echo, as she attempts to recover the two of them.

The Past's Ugly Face: Madara "Kamui" Kawahiru vs Omniel & Sydonay Kawahiru

The Loyal Kawahiru, the Proud Quincy, and the Dethroned Emperor: Makōtō Kawahiru & Sōsetsu Taneda vs Sunryuk Asakura

Makōtō draws his blade, clashing with his powerful combatant. The two began to fight elegantly, each being able to parry the other's thrusts and strikes. Sunryuk comments that Makōtō's fighting style is unlike that of a Shinigami, more hollow-like. Makōtō states that he is not a Shinigami, but a Hollow/Shinigami unison. As the two clash into a deadlock, Sōsetsu fires an arrow straight for Sunryuk, which the latter dodges as the attack stuns Makōtō. Sōsetsu apologizes, of which Makōtō quickly yells at him for not being careful. Sunryuk appears behind Makōtō, surprising the latter as Sōsetsu fires another, forcing Sunryuk to abandon the planned strike. Makōtō explains that the two will have to work together if they are to defeat their opponent, but as they discuss this, a massive explosion can be heard from far across Soul Society. Makōtō smirks, being able to sense that Kamui was the victor and is heading for the Seireitei. Sōsetsu tells Makōtō to go assist his cousins as he will handle things from here. Having doubts, Makōtō ultimately agrees and flees the area. Sunryuk attempts to stop Makōtō, but Sōsetsu intervenes and fires off several arrows for Sunryuk, which the latter dodges effortlessly.

Revisiting the Bloody Past: Haizo Aoi vs Término Muerte

Once the Shinigami begin mounting a comeback, Haizo faces down the general in charge of Northern Rukongai, Término Muerte. Término introduces himself, as Haizo claims to already know who he is, from The End War all those years ago. He draws his sword, as he releases Saitatsu. Término's facial expression changes slightly as he recognizes the Zanpakutō. He asks if Haizo is one of Seireitou Kawahiru's allies. Haizo smirks, as he answers "maybe, maybe not", and charges in. Término, being as quick as ever, draws his sword to block Haizo's initial slash. However, he follows with an ax kick for Término's head, albeit missing, but setting the stage as Haizo attempts to cut Término's head off. This misses by a small margin, cutting a gash through Término's midsection instead. The latter seems annoyed at this, and prepares to release his Zanpakutō, Vacuoemperador.

Vacuoemperador is released with the command, "Begin my Reign". In this form Término has completely taken on a new form, baring no resemblance to his previous form. His clothing become a mixture of Arrancar and Shinigami clothing to represent his perfect sync state. Also, his mask covers his whole face, which becomes a mixture of black and white, with on the black side, a horn is poking out. His hair becomes longer and purple and his chestal area has bizarre markings of Hollow symbols. Also, he grows two energy wings, one black & purple and one white & blue. He still retains a sword in this stage.

Haizo, remaining unfazed by Término's new appearance, merely holds his blade up and annouces Bankai, Chishiō Saitatsu. Saitatsu itself shifts into a normal-looking Katana. However, Haizo wears silver armor with his hair tied together in the back as a braid; his face also gains thin, black markings. Forming an immense instant Cero at his fingertip, Término launches a Cero straight through Haizo's chest. However, the Haizo he attacked was just an illusion, created by Haizo's Arushen spirit. He then tells Término to not underestimate the power of the Vizard. Haizo then attacks Término with his signature, Sankon Tessō. He reciprocates the situation by matching the attack with a Cero Oscuras and stating the iron law of battle. Their exchange of attacks continues and Haizo tells him another law of battle. Haizo then berates Término for not finishing him sooner, as a large aura surrounds both Haizo and Término. Término, annoyed at the cockiness of his opponent, prepares to end the fight his strongest technique, Cero Cielodios. The large pillar of reiatsu emitting from Término shoots down an immense burst of reiatsu for Haizo, but the latter holds his blade up for the attack. Declaring Uzuko, Término's attack is sucked into a Sankon Tessō and sent back at Término, completely obliterating him in a massive explosion in the skies.

Approaching Seireitei: The Final Battle

Leaders Converge: Madara "Kamui" Kawahiru vs Datara Kawahiru

As the other Captains have successfully defeated their opponents, Kamui makes his way for the Seireitei, only to find most of it in destruction. At the top of the gates, stands a smirking Datara. Datara explains that inside, lies Seireitou and Echo, who have finished their fight. Kamui draws his blade, demanding to know Datara's reasoning behind his attacks and his purpose for invasion. Datara lists various important occurrences in Seireitou Kawahiru's development such as meeting Shiori Miyamoto; his reunion with Kamui, and his battles with Término Muerte, Sydonay Kawahiru, Omniel, Sunryuk Asakura, and Echo Ichimaru. Ultimately, he tells him that all of his brother's battles so far have taken place exactly as he desired. Kamui angerly demands why Datara has been controlling Seireitou's development, to which the latter answers with a burst of reiatsu coming for Kamui dead-on. Quickly making a motion of the arm, Kamui cuts through the incoming attack, and flashes for Datara, meeting him in deadlock, as an explosion of reiatsu emits from both sides.

Elsewhere, Seireitou has regained consciousness, thanks to Shiori's powers, as does Echo. Seireitou looks over to Echo, who stares back with his cold blue eyes. Finally, the silence is broken as Seireitou overhears a large explosion coming from the gates of the Seireitei. He tells Echo that they will need to postpone their battle for now, which Echo merely closes eyes, providing his silent answer of agreement. Echo turns his back, preparing to leave as he compliments Seireitou for doing "better than he [Echo] thought", and disappears from the scene. Seireitou, smiling from Echo's comments, stands tall and prepares to join the battle at the gates.

While meeting face-to-face, Datara continues to explain that he was also in control of Kamui's development and decisions, including the Kawahiru massacre and his invasion prior two years ago. When Kamui apathetically asks what he means by this, Datara tells him not to "be so serious" and questions why the Sōzōshin is so surprised. Datara explains that he helped the two brothers grow because he believed that Seireitou and Kamui would be the perfect subjects for his research. Kamui's eyes narrow at the mention of this, as he dons his Hollow Mask. The overwhelming reiatsu emitting from Kamui causes Datara to block it with his arm, smiling at the density of it. Making no hesitation, Kamui launches a Meidō Zangetsuha for Datara, which the latter is quickly cut up into pieces as all but his head piece is sucked into the portals. Datara berates Kamui for such an attack, quickly insulting the man for believing that attack would deal real damage as Datara's body quickly reforms into it's normal state, causing Kamui to think that it is high-speed regeneration. Datara tells him that it is not high-speed regeneration, questioning the thought that he would turn himself into a Hollow. He reveals that it is a tool instinctively protecting its master, and that the Shinjū Mirror is embedded in his body, with the Tenkei no Tama firmly placed inside his chest. Attempting to preform another maneuver, a large column of white flames erupts from Datara's backside, as Seireitou appears, holding his blade firmly. Kamui, with his Hollow Mask still on, rushes the turned-back Datara, causing the latter to duck from Kamui's blade. However, another blade from another newcomer attempts to stab the ducking Datara which the latter once more dodges via flash step. Kamui notices Makōtō has arrived to the battle, as Seireitou flashes to join his fellow Kawahiru.

The Kawahiru's Personal War: Seireitou Kawahiru, Madara "Kamui" Kawahiru & Makōtō Kawahiru vs Datara Kawahiru

The three Kawahiru share a silent greeting, as they face their fallen ancestor. Giving Datara no chance to start the fight, Kamui drives in, his Mask on, swinging his blade down on Datara. Datara then taunts Kamui for charging-in void of all discretion, commenting on the recklessness of his action. Kamui counters him saying that if he didn't attack nothing will start and that his power would allow him to use that to his advantage. Makōtō charges at Kamui's back, attempting to bifurcate him, as Datara grabs Makōtō's blade with his bare hand. Pulling them both in, Kamui is kicked in the gut as Makōtō receives a back-fist to his face, knocking both of them back. Seireitou stands there, watching his two family members fighting, as he contemplates finding an opening. Kamui, attempting to continue his battle with Datara, tells him that his view on the Kawahiru's nature is wrong and that using power out of a sense of responsibility, honor and restraint, is what the members of the Kawahiru are supposed to do. He says to Datara that he "truly isn't a Kawahiru after all." Datara taunts him though claiming that he should have the most hatred out of all the Kawahiru against him and wonders if it all went away because his brother is safe and sound. Seireitou, seeing an opportunity, attacks Datara from behind but misses. Datara then remarks that he shouldn't be interrupting people in the middle of conversations. Seireitou counters saying that men's conversations are just too boring for him. Makōtō charges in from Datara's side, attempting to put the latter on the defensive. Kamui then warns Seireitou not to get too carried away, as he too joins in with a similar intent as Makōtō.

Wanting to end the fight as soon as possible, Seireitou quickly calls out his Bankai, Shinwaryeok Hanullim. The immense white burst of reiatsu quickly frightens Makōtō and causes Kamui to stand frozen, thought remaining calm. Datara hangs back, smiling at Seireitou's Bankai activation. Using incredible speed, Seireitou dashes past both Kamui and Makōtō and engages Datara in bouts of speed and sword style. Seireitou uses his Bankai's ability to stave off Datara's reiatsu attacks, and after several jumps and attacks, Seireitou is able to deal a severe gash to Datara's shoulder. The latter backs away, and stares at his dealt blow, merely chuckling. Kamui and Makōtō, however, did not merely watch, as they reveal to have laid a Kidō trap for Datara. Two reiatsu chains start forming around Datara's wrist, must to his surprise, as the two Kawahiru yell at Seireitou to finish him. Seireitou, charging a massive Shikon Hisakiten on his blade, rushes at Datara, stabbing him right through the chest, seemingly shattering the Tenkei no Tama that is embedded in that same spot. As Seireitou smirks, believing to have finally defeated Datara, he looks up with horror in his eyes. He did not stab Datara — he stabbed Shiori. This brings a sense of horror and shock to both Kamui and Makōtō, but none more than Seireitou.

Animosity, Fear, and Horror: Shiori's Death & Datara's Counterattack - The Retreat

This event brings great shock, as Datara reappears grabbing Shiori by her neck from the back. Seireitou demands him to release her, as a near-death Shiori attempts to speak up. Datara squeezes the life out of Shiori slowly as Seireitou charges in to stop this madness, as several explosions are heard from all of the Gates of the Seireitei. The bodies of Haizo, Sōsetsu, Shōyō, Hotaru, Ken'omaru, and so many other Captains and Vizard all fall throughout the Seireitei. Kamui and Makōtō look to see the enemies that were killed; Término, Sydonay, Omniel, Sunryuk, and several newcomers, as well as millions of Hollow and Arrancar have all arrived. Datara finally squeezes the remains of Shiori's air from her windpipe, effectively putting an end to her life. Seireitou watches, hot tears rolling down his face as he remains powerless, failing to save the woman he loves. Kamui and Makōtō flash to Seireitou, as the former of the two tells Seireitou that they have to retreat now. They cannot stand against Datara right now, and so many other opponents by themselves. Refusing to leave, his tears still not done falling, Seireitou prepares to launch an attack toward Datara, but is grabbed by the collar and thrown into a newly-opened Garganta by Kamui. Makōtō declares he will hang back and fight as long as he can, to allow them time to escape, wishing them god-speed. Nodding, Kamui states his farewell as he jumps back into the Garganta, watching Makōtō getting struck from all sides as the Garganta tear closes.

Inside the Garganta, Seireitou throws a punch at Kamui, demanding to know why he made them flee the battle. Kamui, thereby prompting him to uncharacteristically shout at Seireitou, tells him that they are the Soul Society's only hope, as well as the only hope of the Kawahiru clan. If they die here, the Soul Society is done. Seireitou, unable to grasp such a simple reason, has his hair cover his eyes, unable to forgive himself for leaving, and for allowing Shiori to die. Elsewhere, in the Seireitei, Datara laughs manically at his victory, as he declares the Soul Society to be his, and the new basis of his Empire.

At the end of destiny, after light and darkness have smeared into a dim gray haze surrounding your every thought... where will peace be found? When harsh lessons wrapped in blood and tears are learned and the journey has spread over eons and far-flung dimensions, is it possible for the mysteries to be made even murkier as the future begins? In between the rays of a warming sun, the brothers Kawahiru will consider the answers that are left once the founder of their once great clan has guided their saga to an end. True sacrifice, the deep love of family, the cruel truths of life and death... there is no great magic that soothes the pain and amplifies the joy of being alive. As the tale of Seireitou and Kamui draws to a close, our heroes and villains reap what they have sown.

Aftermath of Datara's Invasion

Several Months have passed, as the Soul Society has been over-run by the forces of Hell, as per Datara's plans. Soul Society has become one massive Empire, as the Seireitei has been replaced by a massive palace. Datara hands over leadership and dictatorship over the Soul Society over to Hell's emperor. Things look eerie for the future... nay, there is no future. In the Human world, the Kawahiru brothers have obtained reiatsu-dissociating Gigai and currently hide in Karakura Town. Being by themselves, how do the Kawahiru brothers plan to retake their home and free their comrades and friends... alone?

Lost Light and Weakened Resolve: Seireitou and Kamui Reintroduced

The bell to end the school day rang, as Karakura High School's students were now out for the day. Taking up his old teaching position in Chemistry, Seireitou, or known to his students as Mr. Shiro, was done for the day and prepared to head home. The moment he walked through the door, he noticed Kamui on the computer, looking at files that he had hacked from Soul Society's servers. Kamui greets Seireitou without looking over to him, and remarks that Soul Society seems to have been fully assimilated by Hell's forces. Seireitou interrupts and asks if he has arranged any plans for a second counter. This comment results with Kamui's sighing, answering that they lack the power and quantity to combat Datara and Hell's forces right now. Seireitou, still depressed over Shiori's death, cups his hands together and stares down, stating that they have to do something. Before Kamui can make a comment, the two brothers sense a powerful reiatsu in Karakura, with the former seeming shocked at how they were discovered so easily. However, following this immediate shock, they sense the reiatsu right at their door as a knock comes to the door. Dumbfounded, Seireitou walks over and opens, as he sees Sadow Yatsumaru at the door, the latter answering with "Yo."

Seireitou questions how Sadow escaped, and how he found them. Sadow remarks that it wasn't easy, but decides to skip that question for now. Being invited inside, Sadow makes clear that Seireitou's Shinkūmyō powers are very similar to that of Demons, and with some training, his powers may grow even greater. Finding a small ray of light in the darkness of the current events, Seireitou quickly takes up Sadow on his offer. In the meanwhile, Sadow states that Kamui's powers have already been bathed in darkness before and obtaining Demonic powers will do him no good. Perhaps, he states, that Kamui must go through training to obtain Angelic powers. Kamui, knowing that in the past he would been offending to obtain such abilities, knows that he must in order to become stronger and assist his brother. Tightening their resolve, the brothers begin to move forward and prepare for training.

Mastering the Darkness: Seireitou's Training - The First Trial

In order to promote a better surrounding for training without tipping off Datara of his location, Sadow brings Seireitou to a strange dimension within the Dangai. The former states that this was created by the Yatsumaru originally for ambushes involving the Kawahiru, which he remarked the irony of Seireitou's (a Kawahiru) training being held here by Sadow (a Yatsumaru). After walking a long distance, Sadow takes Seireitou to a waterfall that carries black water down. Sadow instructs Seireitou to sit in front of the waterfall and close his eyes. He goes on to explain that demonic powers are not a manifestation of being manipulated by darkness, but rather being a master of darkness and it's flow. Understanding Sadow's words, Seireitou proceeds to sit down in front of the waterfall. While doing this, Seireitou is greeted by another version of himself, who berated Seireitou on how he could allow Shiori to die in front of his eyes like that.

Seireitou questions why Sanagi has appeared after so long, to which the latter states that "the King called him." Sanagi tells Seireitou to recall the former's final words from back during the fight with Omniel. It is revealed that the entire confrontation is going on within Seireitou, as Sadow observes Seireitou still meditating near the waterfall. Sanagi reprimands Seireitou once more for Shiori's untimely death, and remarks that the more Seireitou keeps his feelings and pain inside, the stronger his (Sanagi's) influence over Seireitou's soul will become until the latter is swallowed whole. He asks why Seireitou didn't protect Shiori when he could have, which Seireitou is unable to answer. Firmly losing respect for his master, Sanagi draws his sword and rushes Seireitou, attempting to bifurcate him. Within Seireitou's mind, however, he seems to be thinking why Shiori had to die and why he was unable to protect her. However, he realizes that he was arrogant. He couldn't see, nor comprehend the gap between him and Datara, and this cost him the love of his life. It is because of this, he cannot allow Shiori's death to be in vain without Seireitou being able to understand this lesson. Coming to his senses, finally tightening his feelings, Seireitou catches Sanagi's blade with his bare hand. Seireitou answers by saying that Sanagi is corrent; he was arrogant, overestimating of his own abilities, unable to look down but only up, which is the reasons why Shiori had died. Firmly stating that he will avenge her, and not allow any more of his comrades and loved ones to die, he grabs his own sword and stabs it through Sanagi.

However, this causes Sanagi to be forced back as he looks up weakly at his master. Sanagi yells out how Seireitou can be so foolish, and declares that Seireitou's claims of revenge are meaningless as he refuses to acknowledge the confusion in his heart. Retorting calmly to that declaration, Seireitou says he must have faith in himself, what starts to weaken Sanagi further, making him attack Seireitou once more, asking what's the reason of his existence then. However, Seireitou's next move surprises Sanagi as he allows Sanagi to stab Seireitou through the chest. He thanks Sanagi for reminding him, and comes to the revelation that he will be able to fight. He holds out his hand, grabbing Sanagi's as he tightens a firm relationship between the two (his consciousness and his inner turmoil). Letting go of his own anger at their past, Sanagi's eyes lighten and he gives into Seireitou's warmth, disappearing into Seireitou. Returning to the real world, Seireitou opens his eyes, peering over to Sadow, as the latter states that Trial One is complete.

Stained Glass Suite: Kamui's Training - The First Trial

Story has remained unfinished... Sorry for the inconvience, but the author will not be picking up this story from this point forward. To learn what happens beyond this point, please read the Datara's Invasion arc timeline page. Thank you.

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