- After the meeting, Hotaru Fujibayashi and the Executive Militia of the Onmitsukidō traveled to the outskirts of Soul Society, to investigate one of the locations that Magatsuhi once frequented.
Initially, there were no problems to be had. Hotaru and her men entered and secured the area in top-notch speeds with nothing strange to be found. The captain pulled out the scrap of cloth from Magatsuhi's old haori, concentrating on the bits of reiatsu that remained within it. At first, there was nothing, then she felt something. It was only a small signature - far from the level that she could recall that that captain-commander could possibly possess, but it was there. She gestured to the others that she found something, and flash stepped forward. They followed behind in a single-file line.
It took only a minute, and they were there. A lone figure was present, but Hotaru could not recognize her reiatsu. She was sure that Magatsuhi interacted with this woman before, and quietly gestured her men to surround the area and remain hidden. They only had a minute to move into position, but it was more than enough time to surround one person. The precise timing allowed Hotaru to act without having to confirm the positions of her men.
After a minute's time was up, Hotaru moved into the open, confronting the person. She did not say anything - the first point was simply to see how the other would react to her sudden appearance.
The woman stood silent for a while but then burst out in laugher; a creepy, and sarcastic laugher as she turned to face the Captain. "Looks like the Captains of Gotei 13 are getting weaker every single damn time." she insulted, looking at the Captain with a look of comparative superiority. "And uglier too." she finished, drawing her short Zanbatō from under her robe.
Hotaru narrowed her eyes at the insult. The comment annoyed her, though there were a few things that she wanted to clarify first. Although the woman drew a weapon, Hotaru did not unsheath hers.
"Are you connected to Yōjirō?" she questioned.
"Maybe, maybe not," the woman implied.
"I suppose you'd also refuse if I asked you to come with me?" Hotaru continued. She was familiar with this kind of talk. It usually does not end well.
Kokura's mouth curved into a small smile, one of anticipation that made the hairs on the back of Hotaru's neck stand up. "If I was going to do that, then why wouldn't I just tell you everything first and spare myself the interrogation process?" she questioned. Her eyes grew hard as she smirked, focusing on the cloth in Hotaru's hands. "This hag is of no consequence, but it's gonna be fun torturing her, and that piece of robe can be my excuse.
Meanwhile some distance away from the two, three men are standing by a cliff and seem to watch the commotion below them. The man in the middle told the two of them to stay, then he approached Kokura and Hotaru slowly, as he goes nearer, the two of ladies immediately sensed him coming. He said sofly, "Well I tried my best to hide my presence, but it seems that I have failed".
It was the opportune moment. Hotaru flash stepped, leaving a clone image of herself exactly where she was standing, and reappeared behind Kokura. The man's appearance should be a surprising enough distraction to quickly neutralize the other. If the man was on this unknown woman's side, the Onmitsukidō in hiding would step in to prevent him from stabbing Hotaru in the back. Already, Hotaru had a flurry of planned attacks in mind: first, discombobulate. A combined strike, with both hands, to the ears would cause air pressure inbalance and disorientation in Kokura's head, affecting judgment and stunning her. Once that was done, a roundhouse kick to the stomach to forcefully remove air from her diaphram, to make Kokura lack the air to make a logical and accurate retaliation. With her speed, Hotaru predicted that Kokura would have recognized the actual direction of attack and attempt to flash step away to recuperate. As she kicked Kokura in the stomach, Hotaru already had a hand entering her shihakushō to draw her zanpakutō to give some reach, albeitly a small boost. Hotaru leaped, providing elevation and leverage against her target as she closed in for the final, crippling blow.
Her eyes narrowing at the sight of the man, Kokura's look of wrath quickly changed to one of surprise and confusion, ears ringing, and then her eyes widened in shock as Hotaru's leg connected with Kokura's stomach. Hotaru's calculations had been for the most part accurate; Kokura was stunned by the first blow, and the second stopped her logic before she could formulate a plan. One thing had been the flaw in the Captain's plan, however, and that was that she simply did not know Kokura. Even without her wits about her, the automatic reaction was to slash towards her opponent's leg. Not able to foresee, in her dazed state, Hotaru's jump, she missed entirely, but through sheer luck had moved herself in such a way that her opponent's blade, instead of plunging into her abdomen, merely made a slash across her arm. With this, Kokura's instincts kicked in, and she leapt backwards, regaining her guard.
"Shatter all limits," Hotaru declared, and her tantō shined in response, splitting itself into numerous seals. Without wasting movement, Hotaru landed on all fours, and those seals flew down before her hands in response, producing an X-shape, with herself and Kokura on opposite sides of the point of intersection. "Kibakuin!"
The seals exploded, kicking up a mass of dust and dirt. One seal remained from the explosion, levitating beside her. She was using it to "memorize" the reiatsu of Kokura, allowing Hotaru to sense the other's location without having to visually see. With all of the debris kicked up by the explosion, Hotaru continued forth with another flash step, to reappear at Kokura's side and deliver a sweeping kick designed to strike at a nerve center in Kokura's leg and hamper the other's movement.
But before she could do so, she felt a blade being pressed at her back.
"Sorry, Kokura. There are more interesting things to attend to than to play with the Gotei," she said.
Hotaru was surprised by approach of another, but her shock and puzzlement only lasted a short while. She turned to aim her kick at the unknown persona, but felt sharp pain in her stomach. Her strength was sapped away at the wound, as she realized she was skewered by a sword. It wasn't just any sword: it was branched - blades protruded along the sharp length of the weapon.
"You..." Hotaru began weakly, but her vision faded to nothingness and nothing more could escape her lips.