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Meeting of the Captains: Where is Magatsuhi?

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The Hell Butterfly arrived in the daytime skies of the Seireitei, arriving to spread Captain Hotaru Fujibayashi's message to the bulk of Soul Society's Captains. Shortly upon receiving the message, newly appointed Captain-Commander Shōyō Shakyamuni sent out the message for a Captains' meeting.

The Gates of the First Division Barracks opened with a mighty roar, like that of thunder, as Head Captain Shakyamuni entered with his newly appointed lieutenant Suzaku Kawahiru following closely behind. Shōyō took his standing position at the front of the meeting hall, awaiting the arrival of the other Captains. Lieutenant Kawahiru stood at his side, being told to be seen but not heard.

The great doors that kept the chambers hidden from view opened to reveal Hotaru striding in. Rather than flash step, she simply walked to her "spot" in the open chambers, pausing only a few steps away from it to acknowledge the Captain-Commander. Her "spot" was not really a spot: it was more like a part of the floor where she had to stand to represent her division. It placed her. to Captain-Commander Shakyamuni's right, as one of the two captains that stood closest to the head of the Gotei 13. Without further communication, she waited for the others to arrive.

"So what have we been called down for now?" asked a sleepy voice. Hikaru Kurosaki, the captain of the 7th Division, took his place in the hall. He stood at his division's spot and looked up at the ceiling. "Things are just getting way too hectic." He looked over at Suzaku, "Wouldn't you agree, kid?"

Suzaku turned to acknowledge Captain Kurosaki's comments, but remembered being told by Shōyō to stay quiet. However, strangely enough, Shōyō merely smiled and nodded to Suzaku. Lieutenant Kawahiru decided to then speak up, "Yes it is, Captain Kurosaki. It seems we never get a chance to relax." he replied.

Hikaru smiled in such a way that seemed to put the young lieutenant at ease. "You're Sei's kid right? Nice guy. Great fighter. I see his spirit within you. I know you'll become a great Soul Reaper someday."

Walking from the same direction as Hikaru, Yōshoku Morimoto casually entered into the room. He scratched his head let out a sigh. "While this is quite urgent, I think I left the oven on." Yōshoku thought taking a seat diagonal to Hikaru.

Ken'omaru Imikirau, Captain of the Third Division, entered the room with his usual swiftness, striding to his place at Shōyō's left with absolute calm, but his passing was still like that of a storm, utterly placid but with lightning ready to be released. After a quick nod to Shōyō, he began to scan his compatriots' faces.

Takeshi and Shion entered with their usual sad but kind expressions, wearing the captain's Haori over clothes obviously of the make of the World of the Living. They seemed bored by the meeting, and whispered something to eachother before standing at their positions of the Sixth Division. Takeshi almost immediately placed his arms in front of his chest and propped his head toward the side; tilting it as so to rest, taking a nap with one eye open. Shion on the other hand retained a more alert position, but otherwise was staring off into something no one else could see but her.

Hokōra Shimura, upset that no one had told her about the meeting, arrived in a hasty manner. After fixing herself, she entered with her trademark seriousness. Striding to her place with calmness & seriousness, she stood straight, politely and lightly. After giving a brief stare to Shōyō and all the other captains, which they knew from her was a hello, she stood at her position.

Aoko Sonozaki, captain of the 4th division made her way to the meeting hall. She greeted her fellow captains with a smile, and then took her standing position. She began to wonder about the meeting as it had been a while since there has been a meeting amongst the captains and that the situation must be serious for the Head Captain Shōyō to assemble all the captains here. She continued to wait patiently, expecting the arrival of the remaining captains anytime soon.

Skipping merrily into the hall came the smallest captain of all, Amaririsu Itami. With a beaming expression, she planted her feet on the ground and waved to everyone in the room crying, "Hiya everyone!" With a few exceptions to the more serious captains, most of them responded to Risu's greeting in some manner.

Though some Captains didn't return Amaririsu's greetings, Captain-Commander Shōyō greeted the whimsical Captain in a similar way. Hikaru also gave a wave as well, being one of the most laid-back of the Thirteen Captains. Amaririsu was also greeted by her fellow Captain, Aoko Sonozaki.

Risu then hopped on her tippy toes to her spot at the end of row on the left of the commander.

Though seemingly late, Captains of the Ninth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Kidō Corps had arrived; Keiji Gatotsu, Kibō Minarai, Kenpachi Kiba, and Kaito Kawahiru all took their standing positions among the other Captains.

Nichihare entered the room casually, staring up at the ceiling. He apparently didn't care about the fact that he was one of the later captains, nor did he great the others. When he reached his place, he stood up tall and began playing with his bell-like necklace, obviously irritating some of the other captains with the sound.

The Meeting Begins

After all the captains had arrived, Hikaru stared up at the ceiling and said, "So, can we get a clue about what is happening? Eh, Shōyō?"

Nichihare looked up to his fellow captain. "Yeah, who's attacking us now?"

Captain-Commander Shōyō Shakyamuni stood up tall, meeting the other Captains at eye-level. "My fellow Captains. As many of you are quite aware of, ex-Captain Commander Magatsuhi Sakyōnosuke Yōjirō went missing over two days prior to the defeat of Madara Kawahiru and the Espada. So far, the trail has been cold. However, just recently, Captain Fujibayashi had discovered the corpses of two Onmitsukidō. After having done a thorough analysis of their bodies, we have reason to believe a special type of poison was used to immobilize them prior to being slashed to death. After comparing the reiatsu signature of the poison used against the Arrancar in the War over a year ago, they appear to be very similar. Does anyone have any questions pertaining to this?" he had asked, after explaining the situation.

Aoko Sonozaki was the first captain to speak, asking "who is responsible for these attacks and is it related to the ex-captain commander's disappearance. She then asked that the bodies of the two Onmitsukidō members be sent over to the fourth division, so they could be further analyzed". Aoko says that she will be able to create an antidote for the special poison used by the attacker, by gathering enough data from the dead bodies.

"Currently, the bodies are being examined by the Onmitsukidō in the field. I will send a hell butterfly to inform my lieutenant to prepare the bodies for your division's examinations," Hotaru said. "There is reason to believe that the assailant is linked to the disappearance of Yōjirō, since bits of his reiatsu signature were detected in the region where the two Onmitsukidō were found dead. However, it is impossible to determine who killed them with the information we have available. The region where the two corpses were discovered is a forested area and would provide a decent place to hide for a while. It was only recently that I obtained what I believe to be a scrap of the former Captain-Commander's haori. Of course, I attempted to use it to track Yōjirō down, but this trail went cold a long time ago."

"So after listining to Captain Fubayashi's analysis regarding the situation, where do we go from here Head Captain Shoyo," asked Captain Aoko. "Will an order for a manhunt be issued against Magatsuhi or shall we further investigate the area where the two Onmitsukidō member's were attacked, since the assailant still might be hiding within the surrounding area," said Aoko.

Shōyō gave a small sigh and looked straight at the Captains once more, eager to hear the Captain-Commander's comments on this matter. "We do nothing." he answered, short and simple.

"Reason?" Hotaru asked. It was an action that she did not expect, especially with such a fresh lead in the form of the corpses. The captain did not take the deaths of her men personally, but it was a lead that was the best that they had.

He turned to face the Captain of the Second Division with a serious yet calming facial expression. "Magatsuhi left for reasons that are surely betrayal. Otherwise, he would have most likely submitted a resignation. I believe he will eventually come to us, and therefore, we must prepare for a possible invasion. As we've learned from the Winter War, and the Kamui Incident, both Yamamoto and Magatsuhi were foolish in sending reinforcements to the enemy. Rather, we should ration our military forces for when Magatsuhi and whoever else he is teamed up with decides to pay us a visit." he explained.

At the Seireitei's Gate

Ryan appeared outside the stone walls of the Seireitei, staring at the Soul Society's night sky. "What a nostalgic sight. It's been a year since I last came to Soul Society." he thought to himself. His goals had changed drastically; he had no more care to protect the Human world or the Soul Society, but he did have a goal and he considered it crucial to his and Matthew's existance. He began to walk closer to the gate, but, as expected, a Gate Guardian approached him and drew it's blade, "Halt! You may go no farther." the large man bellowed. Ryan's eyes narrowed and he slowly drew his zanpakuto, "Cut quietly." he whispered. Soon after, the night sky was filled with the scream of the Guardian and the sound of his collapse, marking his death.

And then, within...

Before the captains could continue their meeting, a loud knocking on the great doors sounded, followed by them opening. Hotaru's eyes narrowed as one of her Correctional Force took several steps in, completely out of breath.

"What in the world are you doing?" she demanded, her voice echoing throughout the chambers.

"My apologies captain," the messenger answered, finally regaining his composure. "The Seireitei has been breached - east entrance."

Hotaru scowled before turning to Shōyō. "My lieutenant is still in the human world, so I'll rally the Executive Militia to arrest the ryōka."

Without waiting for a response, she gave a bow of respect, and flash stepped out of the small opening the doors provided.

Risu asked the the man softly, "When you say the east entrance has been breached, how so? How did this ryōka actually get in?"

As the man explained to the female Captain about the ryoka, Shōyō ordered his lieutenant to find the Ryoka and capture him. Suzaku bowed out and flashed away, appearing on the very roof of the First Division Barracks. "This reiatsu... seems so nostalgic..." he thought, as he flashed forward, heading for the location of the Ryoka.

Ryan walked along the alleyways of the Seireitei. He braced the walls of one of the buildings he was traveling beside and with his free hand, grasped his head; that's when the vision happened. A vision of a forested place with a small watery body at it's center. He then heard a voice echoing out to him, calling him, beckoning him, and then as soon as it had come, it was gone, as was the vision. He shook his head and regained his senses and began staggering forward towards the center of the Seireitei.

Suzaku was quick, as he too arrived to Ryan's location. He halted both his movement and breath, almost instantly being able to make out the identity of the Ryoka. "Getsueikirite-sensei... It's you...? What... why are you here?" he asked.

Ryan halted, and his eyes slid over until Suzaku was in view, "A Shinigami...Vice-Captain level." he muttered to himself, "This will be an excellent demonstration of my power." He reached into his coat and slipped his pointer finger into the hole in the hilt on his dagger-like zanpakuto and slid it into view, "Cut quietly, Kyōjin." he declared. He then held out his free hand and a metal wire materialized from the end of his zanpakuto. He then tossed this wire, which proceeded to wrap around Suzaku's wrist. Ryan began glowing blue and an electrical current was sent down the conductive wire to Suzaku's wrist.

Knowing full well the difference in strength between Ryan and himself, Suzaku quickly drew his Zanpakutō and jumped into Bankai state. Calling out Roiyaru Raikōhitonare, he broke free of the metal wire just in time. Using his powers, he turned into a bolt of lightning, moving at intense speeds. Soon enough, he struck at Ryan's chest.

As Suzaku struck, members of the Executive Militia began flash stepping into the area, creating a perimeter around the rising chaos. Hotaru drew her tanto-sized zanpakuto, watching as the two fought, and waited.

Ryan effortlessly caught Suzaku's bankai with his gloved right hand and gripped it tightly, "Surely by now you know how dangerous to you I am." he said in a soft but stern tone.

Suzaku was stunned at how effortlessly his assult was halted, but spared no time in a secondary attack. Using his leg, he spun around to kick his blade free from Ryan's hand and attempted a reiatsu-charged attack toward his neck.

Ryan blocked Suzaku's kick with his free hand, catching his wrist. Instantly, a metal wire from the bottom of Ryan's blade began to wrap them both many times around. Ryan's eyes lit up bright red and his body was surrounded by a blue aura and electricity volts traveled from Ryan's body to Suzaku's.

A scream coming from the young Lieutenant was heard as he was blasted off of Ryan, and was straight flying into a wall. The bottom lip of Suzaku's mouth had blood trickling down, as he slowly attempted to stand once more. Without even trying to logically think things through, he charged head-first at Ryan. However, a sudden torrent of white flames drew a thick wall between both Suzaku and Ryan. "My My, such a chaotic scene today. And here I thought I was gonna have a day off today." stated a very calm voice.

Seeing the sudden appearance of another redirecting attention, Hotaru quickly pointed her finger at Ryan. "Bakudo #61: Rikujōkōrō!"

Six rods of light appeared and closed in on Ryan, immobilizing him completely.

Ryan gritted his teeth, "Dammit...Suzaku had friends nearby." he thought, looking around at the newcomers. "Haven't the two of you been told by your mothers that it is impolite to interrupt others when they are busy?" he mused.

"Did your mother tell you it's rude to enter without permission?" Hotaru answered, flash stepping next to Ryan with her drawn zanpakuto.

The lack of panic on part of Ryan troubled Hotaru, so she wanted to make sure that he was completely harmless before taking him in. She raised a hand and took a moment to scrutinize Ryan's frame before continuing, to press her fingers against certain points on his body.

The flames started to dissipate by will of their conjurer. The man who summoned them was shown to be Seireitou Kawahiru, his sword in his right hand firmly. Seireitou looked over to Hotaru and Suzaku, and then to Ryan. "Quite the party. Why wasn't I invited?" he so sarcastically put.

Ryan winced and Hotaru's pushing on his body, "My reiatsu is being sealed off..." He sighed, and swiveled his head to observe his enemies, "Seireitou is here..." he whispered, "I will not fight you." He then faced Hotaru, "Impressive technique you have here. Binding me with kido and then sealing off my ability to retaliate. Impressive indeed." Ryan proceeded to turn around to Suzaku, "I applaud your will, to attack one you once referred to as teacher without regard for why he was attacking you is indeed commendable." he applauded. He then shut his eyes and lowered his head. A mask quickly formed on his face and a black reiatsu burst from his body, freeing him from kido bondage and freeing his pressure points, "You are all acting foolish to attack me so restlessly."

Hotaru gritted her teeth as a surge reiatsu undid her work. However, her techniques were not completely cut off. She also aimed at points along the nerve bundles, making it take a moment longer for messages from the brain to reach his limbs. And to finish it off - a quick strike to one of those nerve bundles. She quickly aimed a kick at the rough location where arm and shoulder meet, to hit the nerve bundle and cause a large electrical outburst. This outburst can completely shut down the brain's ability to command the body due to a massive overload.

Ryan's eyes widened, "Shit!" he screamed in his mind as he shouted, "Bakudo #81, Danku!" A wall materialized between them, taking the kick that would've ended things. Ryan then grasped his shoulder as his masked crumbled, "And it appears I was foolish for thinking I could take you all on." he chuckled. It took a moment for Ryan's nerves to return to their normal state, after which he leaped back to gain some distance. "To send a Captain, a Vice-captain, and Seireitou here for one little Ryoka....Soul Society is becoming jumpy." he mused.

Though only noticed by a few present, dark clouds began swirling above, and slowly darkening the sky. The sky had already been cloudy, but this cloud was beginning to contrast with the light gray blanket that blocked the sun...

Seireitou hid away both his sword and his arms inside his long white sleeve. He slowly walked toward the tense Captain and Ryoka, yawning slightly. He turned toward Hotaru and held her shoulder, as a small flickering blue light shined from Seireitou's fingers, pushing the Captain back without harming her at all. He spun around, and faced Ryan, eye-for-eye. "So sourpuss, what's the haps?" he asked.

Ryan looked to Seireitou and smiled softly, "Nothing. Just decided to take a stroll." he scoffed, "I didn't see the sign at the gate that said 'Do not enter', apparently it was implied. He then slipped his zanpakuto back into it's place inside his coat.

Seireitou held his hand out to Hotaru and the others as a sign of assurance. "Lower your blades, this man is an ally of mine." he ordered, as if he was calling the shots.

Hotaru looked like she was about to protest, but was cut off by the howling thundercloud that was now surging overhead. The cloud was very dark against the gray of the rest of the sky, and lightning crackled along it, as if threatening to unleash itself on those below. A flash of slight lightning illuminated a building, and Takeshi who stood atop the building, head bowed.

Takeshi's Path

Whipping out his blade, he called out a double incantation, "Disappear sacred light that gives us sight, lead use to where we need to go with the thunder. Bakudo #11 Ukagau, Hado #-45 Daikou." A dragon of lightning appeared in the sky, before crashing down towards those below. Multiple shinigami present dove for cover, but the dragon stopped short of hitting them, and moved off, weaving through buildings before the head disappeared into the World of the Living. Oddly, the lightning's trail did not vansih, but hung in place, as if being a path to follow. Takeshi then hopped down from the building, and was joined by Shion as he landed.

"Wow, you sure like to make a flashy entrance don't ch'yah Taki!" Amaririsu said from behind Suzaku, seemingly appearing from no where. Her lieutenant, Matsuro Kuragari also jumped down from a near by building and took his place beside his captain grasping his hilt, "Sorry I'm late, Captain Itami." Risu grinned at her lieutenant, "Don't worry Kuro-chan, you're right on time!"

Since when did this become a social gathering? Hotaru thought to herself, giving a sigh. She hesitated in voicing her thoughts, changing her words instead. "Since when did waltzing into the Seireitei become a pastime?"

Matsuro gave a small chuckle at Hotaru's statement, "The worst part is that they are always better than us too." There was an awkward silence for a moment and then Risu kicked Matsuro very hard in the shin and blankly said, "Hush now." Matsuro grew red, "Oh um, Hooah. Sorry."

Takeshi looked focused, but still had his trademark tired expression on his face, "It wasn't an entrance... you see, since you guys were fussing over Ryan, whom for now I trust not to try and kill us, I decided to be constructive, and prepared a double incantation. The first spell is a spell of binding, that allows a person to locate a spiritual pressure with ease, but its limited to the fact that only the person who cast it can follow the trail. The second spell is a spell of destruction, that calls lightning from the sky. By combining the two, I created a trail of lightning that leads to wherever the spiritual pressure is. In this case, I took the captain-commanders words of advice and sent it to a place where Magatsuhi has been to frequently for some reason, but not at currently. I figure it would be a good idea to at least get an idea of what we're up against, though we don't need to actually attack him, Shoyo is right, we don't want to split our resources."

"Yah but you could have said what you were going to do and then do it. Instead you chose to preform a big flashy kido out of no where," Risu pointed out.

Ryan's eyes twitched, "It would appear that I arrived in the middle of battle preparations. Well, well, well it would seem that me coming here this night to stir something up was pointless after all." he stated rather sarcastically before sighing, "Oh well, it can't be helped. For now, I'll leave you Gotei be, but do not think I'm done with you all just yet." he cackled, but before he could leave, his reiatsu began fluctuating rapidly and he grasped his head in great pain, "Besides...I haven't yet figured out what's happening to me yet...I can't fight until I do." he thought to himself before vanishing with Flash Steps.

Takeshi's face looked concerned, he glanced at Shion out of the corner of his eye, whom slightly nodded in confirmation; she had noticed Ryan's problem too. Takeshi's face returned to neutral and said, "Anyways, Magatsuhi's spiritual pressure isn't the only one that's left at this place, why not send Hotaru to work some sabotage?"

"Sabotage is a poor choice of words, but I have no complaints," Hotaru answered, giving a sigh. There seemed to be no end to her work.

"Militia, secure the entrance!" she ordered the Onmitsukidō present. They flash stepped after the trail of lightning that Takeshi left, off into the distance. After waiting a moment for her men to move ahead, Hotaru flash stepped after them, to make sure that her men did their job right.

Seireitou flashed ahead and made sure to stop Hotaru and her team from moving any further. "Are you all idiots? Surely you don't think that if Magatsuhi is found, you'll stand a chance? As I recall, Magatsuhi feigned his defeat at the hands of Kamui. If he had went into his Shikai, Kamui would have been defeated. Did you even consider any of the scenarios of how this mission could go if you find him?" he demanded an answer for.

"Why would someone hide in the place he most often frequents?" Hotaru challenged him. "I don't plan on getting myself or my men killed with a reckless maneuver. If he wants us out of that place, he'd have to reveal that he is hiding there. If he does not, I can track him down with this."

The captain withdrew a white scrap of cloth from within her haori. "It's a piece of Magatsuhi's haori. I can locate his reiatsu with it. If I can confirm he is there, the top priority is informing the Seireitei of his location. Satisfied?"

Matsuro grasped his Captain's shoulder, "Let's not do anything stupid." Risu turned to Matsuro with a cheeky grin, "Aw don't worry Kuro-chan, it will all work out fine in the end!" Matsuro sighed.

Sighing, Seireitou moved to the side, allowing Hotaru access to continue with her mission. He flashed back to Suzaku, "Kid, haven't I told you not to be so reckless?" he sighed, before running his hand through his hair. "There was... something different about Ryan... Not his appearance, but... his soul and reiatsu seem entirely different... It's almost as if..." but his thoughts were interrupted by Suzaku. "I'm sorry, Father.." he said sadly. Seireitou put his hand atop Suzaku's head and chuckled, "It's fine. Just watch yourself next time. And don't use your Bankai like it was a damn Pimp would with a Condom." he referred to.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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