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Rain. It was coming down hard in the small temple at the edge of the desert. It seemed so odd in the middle of a heat wave, yet in a place of so much mystery one couldn't predict everything. One of the monks had jsut finished his praying and left on an errand to pick up some supplies in a near by village. He peered through the thick drops that blanketed the atomsphere to notice a small speck miles away. A droplet hit his eye, causing him to wipe his eye involuntarily.
When the blurry side effect diminished the speck had vanished and there was a figure in a black overcoat standing before him. his glanced into figure's eyes to see the most terrifying bombardment of evil energy he'd ever seen. He sielntly prayed that the figure would be spared by God, for he saw the sin within him.
The figure, apprently a teen, was completely dry despite the torrent of rain. "Hello."
Boom! The monks inside the temple turned to see one of their own blast through a stone wall, a hole in his throat and bulging veins all over his scarred body. His eyes were melting, smoldering with steam. The teenaged figure walked a couple steps into the temple. "I have a few questions, answer and your end will be quick."
"Good sir." Said perhaps the head monk. "Please, ask and leave us in peace."
The young man turned to the elder, cuasing the man to shiver slightly. "I'm looking for a place, a sacred place in which all forms of land unite. It houses a special plant that can instantly unlock one's abilities."
The elder looked at the teen like he was crazy. "My boy, there is no such land to our knowledge, you must be confused."
Echo sighed yet kept the same composure. "Wrong answer."
As he said this Echo drew his sword and attempted to slash the man in half. But his attempt failed as a figure in a black cloak appeared out of nowwhere and blocked the attack with a blade that oddly looked like a key.
Echo folded his arms as his sword was already back in its scabbard. "I suppose greetings are in order."
The figure shrugged, his sword having disappeared into light, "Not really... you don't need to know who I am Echo..."
"Fair enough," Echo wasn't surprised, the popularity of his name was growing among inhabitants of the Soul Society. "But if you're going to interfere with my business, it's my right to know who you are and why."
"Why do you seek the Hatsu Plant?" asked the figure quietly. "Yes I know what you seek... I know how to get there... but the only thing I'll tell you is the name... Riku no Hatsu... the land of hearts..."
Echo narrowed his eyes. "Interesting...I seek the plant to unleash what normally can't be unleashed without large sacrifice."
"You mean Kaosu?"
Echo's face was puzzled. "Excuse me?"
"You don't even know the name of the demon inside of you that gives you such power? " asked the figure.
"Who would there be to tell me?" Said Echo conclusively. "Explain what you know."
"I'm pretty sure I know more about you then you know about yourself... and if I told you it would take forever..."
"Yes, I detect much experience in your eyes, experience I have yet to see."
"Hmm... you have an extremely apathetic personality, neglecting any emotion as pointless banter. After having your only friends brutally taken away through murder, you assumed carelessness to prevent future suffering. You always have a simple careless face at any moment. You are extremely intellegent, more so than most beings. Because of this you often passes the time with games of strategy like gambling, riddles, and fiddling with coins. One of your hobies is poetry, with the Haiku being your favorite."
Echo folded his arms. "I'm flattered, truly, but if you will, I'd like to hear a bit more about this "Kaosu" figure."
"Ah of course... Kaosu means chaos... and for good reason... Kaosu is a monster of chaos created by demons... it is a monster of incredible power... at your birth it fused with your soul..."
His eyes widened a moment. "Why me though, was it mere coincidence, did my parents have any involvement?" He was surprising himself, taking the word of a complete stranger, yet he somehow knew the man was speaking the truth.
"hmm... it seems that... the heart of Kaosu, now virtually a mindless entity, had begun causing random and hanus acts of evil in the human world before entering the Soul Society after a month. The Society's most well known nobles were about to have their beloved child, you, when the creature preyed upon them. The heart's descension onto the couple caused your father to blindly accuse your mother of having multiple affairs, snapping psychotically and repeatedly stabbing his formerly beloved moments before she went into labor, then committing suicide himself. You were mortally wounded from the inside, and as your mother felt the weight of an unsurpassed grief on her shoulders, the heart preyed once more. The agony from the young women gave the heart enough energy to find a route to the physical realm again, this time entering you-and used its own leech like abilities to permanently bond itself to you and becoming your soul..."
Echo looked at his sword's hilt. "That explains my unique zanpakuto, it's spirit is more of an essensce than a creature...I am the creature."
"Your soul is the creature... however every soul has a heart... and it's your heart within Kaosu's heart-turned-soul... Kaosu simply formed the basis... you are still the core of your own being..." said the figure who seemed to somehow know everything about Echo and his past.
"I beg to differ, the crossroads of fate have seemed to hand me a fate that is doomed to darkness." Said Echo, recollecting on his recent past.
"I hate it when people begin to talk about fate like it's embedded in stone... because fate never truly is... and when people begin to believe that it is embedded they never try to follow their dreams and do what they want to do..."
"If only that were true, then I could've changed the fate of Nome and Sora." He narrowed his eyes. " But the fact is, there was absolutely nothing I could've done to save them. That's why there's no point in building bonds, because I am virtually unable to control how long they will last."
"That is true... you can't control something... but you can guide something..."
"My path was sealed before I knew how to guide anything."
The figure sighed, "Guess I won't get anywhere... oh well..." he then turned to leave the temple.
Echo glanced at the monks before turning to follow the figure. "Is the journey to your home long? The last time I ventured there it was by pure chance."
"Trying to get me to tell you how to get there?" as the figure said this he kept his voice level, though he actually hoping Echo would get to Riku no Hatsu again for reasons he kept to himself.
He kept his usual blank expression, but his eyes narrowed. "I will do whatever it takes to discover my purpose, and this is the first step."
The figure shrugged and began to walk away knowing that Echo probably wouldn't let him leave, "Do what you think is right..."
"I intend to." He turned and prepared to follow Kai. "But if you're returning to that land, so am I." He challenged.
The figure was silent, and continued to walk away.
He caught up to the figure and walked beside him.
"I see you won't let me leave without a fight huh? Darn I'd hoped I wouldn't have to fight... oh well..." The figure's blade materialized from light which was then thrusted at Echo.
He hooked the figure's blade with his own ridged sword, dislodging it from his hand. "You don't have to fight, just lead me to the realm."
"If I did that you would learn nothing... and since the Hatsu Plant only grows in that realm you'd have to eventually find a way back... but you won't know how to and be stuck..."
"You don't understand, I need that plant to ensure that I won't have to watch people I care about die."
"Hmph grow stronger... you have free will do what you want with your life... if you want to protect your friends then protect them without the help of a flower that you have to travel into another realm to find."
"If along the way to gaining power i make a new friend, what if they die? I cannot take the risk."
"I really wish you'd abandon the subject... do you even know how powerful Kaosu is?"
"That's what I'm saying, I honestly do not know my potential."
"Well... Kaosu's power... the Hatsu Plant you grabeed before must have been found in the outskirts of Riku no Hatsu... and because of that they did not fully unlock your power... Kaosu's power is too powerful for even you to control... you'd kill everyone if you simply were given the plant right now."
"Then simply allow me to sample the weaker plants, I need to see if I have any releases. I clearly don't have Shikai and Bankai." He pleaded.
The figure stared quietly at Echo and pulled down his hood revealing a boy with blackish brown hair and light brown skin around Echo's age. "Your Zanpakuto's name is Kaosu... it has three forms... you only got to the first form... but I'm sure that if you were to be able to unlock the first... eventually you would accidently unlock the second form... I'm sure that you would loose control... kill everyone in sight... then enter the third state and destroy the universe entirely... you want that to happen?"
"Of course not, I've seen enough pain, I just have the need to see for myself what I'm capable of.
"Oh sorry I thought we were talking about protecting your friends not seeing your power..."
Echo tilted his head. "How am I supposed to protect them without the assurance that I am capable of such?"
"Haven't you figured out that no matter what there will always be someone stronger than you..."
"Perhaps me, but not Kaosu." He added.
The figure sighed and opened a portal of darkness ahead of him and said, "I'm not going to get anywhere with this... guess I'll go..."
"Then you must know that if you're leaving, the I'm indeed coming with you."
The figure turned, "No..." In a flash he was through the portal, and was gone, along with the portal.
Echo's finger had steam coming off of it, he had fired a corruptive wisp into the portal, easily taking over its darkness. Yet he would the corruptivity dormant to keep a sort of tracking device on the Rika no Tatsu. Echo hoped that things would end that way, he had it all planned out. Play the innocent kid who just wants answers and let the fool play psychologist until he left. He closed his eyes detecting the portal miles away, the battle had began.