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The Mystery Deepens - Forgotten Secrets are Unveiled

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Tōsan Getsueikirite sat at his desk in the dark office of the Eleventh Division barracks, thinking over recent reports. He had sent a special invitation to Seireitou Kawahiru to discuss some matters after hearing news of Ryan Getsueikirite's appearance and rampage in the Seireitei hours prior. He sighed and thought of his son, Matthew. "What is going on, son...Is this really your brother..?"

A knock came to the door, as three seconds passed and it exploded into little wooden pieces. After being yelled at, Seireitou answered with "I knocked on the door, I waited three seconds, what was I supposed to do?" he so angerly put. He walked over to Tōsan's desk, and then spoke seriously, "So what's up? You called?"

Tōsan looked at his door, his eye twitching as he did, and then focused his attention on Seireitou, "Thank you for coming General Kawahiru. I believe you already know why I called you here. Ryan....and what he's becoming; I was hoping that you, someone who knows him better than anyone in Soul Society, could tell me what it is you think is going on with him." he said seriously.

Seireitou sighed as his facial expression turned grave, "His soul and reiatsu by extention seems to have changed greatly. It is much darker and thick than ever before. However... it does not seem like it is the power of a Hollow, and not that of a Shinigami... It's almost like... he's not even a recognizable species anymore..." he answered.

Tōsan nodded, and stood up, turning to the window at the back of his office, "I agree. The last time I saw that boy, he was about three years old. Seireitou, what I'm about to tell you may shock you greatly; I assume by now, you've thought that I am Ryan's father because of our surnames and due to his relationship with my son Matthew, but I can assure you...Ryan is not my son." he stated gravely.

At this, Seireitou held a disturbing look on his face but then looked down, as if in immense thought. "But... that would mean... if he isn't Shinigami, Vizard, or even Quincy... he must be..." he started, as if expecting Tōsan to finish that statement.

Tōsan nodded gravely, and turned to face Seireitou, "He's something entirely different. For over fourteen years now I've searched for answers. He appeared shortly after Matthew's birth, but not even my wife knows where he originated. After all these years, I think I have come up with a theory...Matthew thinks he is human, but he's really a full-born Shinigami. If what the reports lately state are true, then his zanpakuto has refused to release for him. This is odd for a Shinigami. Ryan's devotion to Matthew is also a heavy indicator of your suspicions. But I have not the proof I need, despite knowing all of this. If Ryan were indeed a Zanpakutō, why is he in human form and not in Matthew's Inner World? And why is he unaware that he is a Zanpakutō? These questions remain unanswered, so for now, I cannot give a proper label to what he is exactly." he explained.

Seireitou looked up, and closed his eyes. His mind had brought his conscience to his inner world, where Hanullim stood at the top of the mountain. Seireitou is lying ontop of the lake, which was surrounded by a range of mountains; a calm sky was above them, with an aurora borealis shining above. Seireitou did not look at Hanullim, but still spoke directly to him. "I'm confused as to what to do... Hanullim-sensei, what do I do now?" he asked, showing a confusion lacking in him before. Hanullim sighed, but then jumped onto the lake, being able to stand on the water's edge. "If my guess is correct, Ryan is no longer a Shinigami and possibly has become Matthew-san's Zanpakutō. However... I don't see what power could have willed such a transition." he explained. Seireitou sighed and thanked his inner spirit for his assistance, returning to the real world. "I see." answered Seireitou.

Tōsan tapped his desk with his fingers before coming to a conclusion, "Seireitou-sama. Can you bring me Ryan and Matthew? Bring them here? Perhaps then we can question them and spark a response."

Seireitou thought for a moment. "Bringing Matt here would be no problem... but... Ryan didn't seem to answer so easily to me back at the Seireitei Square. But.. very well. I'll do it." he answered, and finished with a flash step, leaving the office.

Searching for Ryan and Matt: The Truth Behind Truths

Ryan sat on the edge of a large building in Rider City, looking over the city as night time settled in. "Bukyokumaru...! Bukyokumaru...!" said an echoing voice in his head. He clutched his head in frustration, "Why am I thinking of Matthew's zanpakutō? Is it because he was trying to release it again the other day?" he thought aloud, "Bukyokumaru hasn't ever released for him, he says he can't detect a spirit with that name anymore within the sword, I wonder why that is..." He walked to the center of the roof and looked up towards the stars, "Yet I feel somewhat similar...I can't communicate with the spirit of my blade either...and yet for some reason, it still releases for me. Well, except for Bankai...it won't let me use that." Ryan reached into his coat and drew his knife-like zanpakutō and started at it, "Kyōjin....what am I?" he whispered silently.

Meanwhile, in his backyard, Matthew was in a battle stance, with his zanpakutō outstretched, "Bukyokumaru...! Bukyokumaru...!" he shouted in frustration, "Bankai!" And yet, nothing seemed to work. "Dammit! Why won't you obey me, Bukyokumaru?!" He then thrust his hand into position over his face and tugged down, trying to call on his Hollow mask...nothing. "What is going on?! My powers won't obey me anymore!" he thought frantically.

A lone Garganta opened in the night skies of Rider City, as Seireitou stood at the dimensional rift's edge. "Well well... there he is." he muttered as he jumped off, standing ontop of the roof of where Ryan was. "Yo Kid."

Ryan looked back towards the source of the voice, startled. He put his zanpakuto back in it's place and turned to face Seireitou, "Yo." he replied, floating up to Seireitou's location. "What brings you here?"

Seireitou looked at Ryan, "Ryan, I need you to come with me. For some questioning in the Soul Society." he explained.

Ryan inched backwards slightly, "Tch..Why questioning..?" but before he could finish, he was floored with an immense headache. "Ahhhh!" he bellowed, falling to his knees. His skin turned almost white, his hair as well, and his eyes became black with golden irises, appearing just like an Inner Hollow. "HAHAHAAHA!" he cackled loudly, "So that's what happens when he tries to summon the mask! I suppose, just because his sword doesn't hear his voice, doesn't mean I don't hear it, eh, King?" the hollow said, seemingly speaking to itself.

Seireitou was shocked by this, as he stepped back, brandishing his blade. "Who the hell are you?" he demanded.

The hollow looked up at Seireitou and laughed maniacally, "Who am I? I DON'T HAVE A NAME!" it shouted loudly. "Though I suppose you could say that I am simply another manifestation of Kyōjin, because to be honest...I DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM!" it roared again, followed by more insane laughter. It then drew the dagger-like zanpakuto out of it's coat and held it with the blade pointing backwards, "I think the real question is, who the hell cares what I am?! I'm free, that's all that matters!"

Seireitou sighed and aimed his blade, laughing slightly. "Looks like I get a chance at some fun." he mused, as he swung his blade up. He dashed at the Hollowfied Ryan, striking down his blade on it.

"HA!" the hollow shrieked, catching Seireitou's blade in the forked part of it's zanpakuto and effortlessly hurling him away with a flick of it's wrist. Black reiatsu erupted from the being, forming a pillar in the sky. "This power is amazing!" it yelled in ecstasy.

Seireitou froze in the air, and looked down at the Hollow. Bakudō #63: Sajō Sabaku, Hadō #91: Hyōga Seiran were then used by Seireitou in conjuction, sealing the Hollow's movements and then freezing him with a burst of ice.

The hollow's voice continued to echo throughout the area, "It seems I have to retreat for now...but this won't be your last encounter with me." it declared. A burst of black energy followed, freeing Ryan's body from Seireitou's kido. He seemed to be back to normal. "What's...happening to me.." he thought, before falling into unconsciousness and dropping from his place in the sky.

Making quick movement, Seireitou jumped up to grab Ryan's body before it hit the floor. A Garganta opened with this motion, as he fell into it with Ryan.

Arriving in Soul Society

Before long, he arrived at Matt's location with Ryan over his shoulder. He walked to a exhasted Matt, and smirked, "Working Hard or Hardly Working?" he mused.

Upon seeing his friend, he smirked and fell back on his back laughing, "I think a little of both." he replied, chuckling before noticing Ryan's mangled form. He leaped to his feet and ran over to Seireitou, "Oh my gosh, what happened?!" he yelled in panic.

Seireitou was going to tell Matt what really happened, but instead decided at the last moment to not do so. "He... fell down the stairs?" he smiled innocently.

Matthew's eyes twitched and he face-palmed, "You're gonna tell me what happened later." he snarled, "But for now I can tell you're here for business. What do you need with me, Sei?"

"Well, I need to take you in for some questioning with your dad. I hope I do not need to use force to get you to go." he wished.

Matthew's eyes became wide, "My dad?! B-but, he's dead!" he exclaimed. "Unless...." He then looked up, sweat forming on his forehead, "Alright, take me."

Seireitou nodded and grasped Matt's sleeve, flashing away with him. It took only a small while to return to the broken remains of Tōsan's wooden door. "I'm back." he announced.

Tōsan looked up from his desk, eying the battered body of Ryan, "Good Lord! Do you destroy everything you touch!" he exclaimed jokingly. "In all honesty, though, thank you." He then turned to Matthew, "My son...I haven't seen you since you were a young boy." he said, almost sadly. Matthew's eyes narrowed, "Some father...leaving his family alone in the Human world..and here I thought you were human...turns out, you're a Shinigami too." he spat. Ryan's eyes opened slightly, and he moaned, "Ugh...my aching back.." he complained.

Comically, Seireitou kicked Ryan's head as he flew into the wall with a thud. "Hey! You awake yet?!" he called out.

Ryan wobbled to his feet and rubbed his head, "Remind me to pay you back for that one later." he grunted comically. Tōsan wandered his eyes over to Ryan, "Ah, it's you boy." he said rather menacingly. Matthew's eyes narrowed further, "Why talk like that to my brother. He's your son too, you know." Matthew spat. Tōsan managed a few muffled laughs before composing himself once more, "No, son. He is not my son, nor your brother." he told the group coldly. Ryan and Matthew's eyes both got wide, "Y-you lie!" Ryan shouted. "No, I'm telling the truth." Tōsan cut in, "You appeared mysteriously after Matthew's birth. No one knows where you came from, or why you appeared. We don't even know what you are. I was actually hoping you could answer that for us."

Ryan's shock invaded his mind once more, and he grabbed his head in pain. Tōsan continued, "Boy, no Shinigami grows as rapidly as you have, even those who have achieved Hollow powers. Not only this, but according to last night's reports, you were wielding a different zanpakuto than you were last seen with a year ago during the Kamui Incident. This is not normal, Ryan, of any Shinigami." Tōsan finished sternly. Ryan clenched his fist and his reiatsu began to react again. Matthew noticed that Ryan's Hollow side was beginning to influence him again as Ryan began to speak, "From your statements, I can see that you are basing your assumption on what would be considered a 'regular Shinigami', but the truth is, when I'm around Matthew or Seireitou, I don't know what I am anymore." he cocked his head and grinned somewhat evil-like, "It doesn't even matter does it? You were planning on sending me off to the Twelfth Squad to be experimented on eventually anyways, right?"

Tōsan looked stunned at this, "H-how...how did you..?" he stuttered. Ryan leveled his head to look Tōsan in the eyes, "Not sure, premonition I suppose." he responded. "There is no way...he could only have known that if he read my thoughts..." Tōsan thought, looking to Seireitou for support.

Taking a few steps over to Ryan, Seireitou poked his forehead. "Tōsan, what course of action will you take? Kill him? Kill the child who sees you as his Father? If so, then allow me to do the honors. Unless... you, the Lieutenant of the Bloodthristy Division, have decided to spare your enemy?" he asked, wondering what action Tōsan wished to take.

Matthew's reiatsu shot up, causing the air to get dense in the small room, "Sei, no!" he shouted. Matthew's reaction alerted Ryan to the danger he was in and he noticed his own reiatsu had began to react to the change in the environment. Tōsan looked stern on the unfolding situation, "I am a noble man, and for that I wish nothing more than to protect my son at all costs. I think that the boy you touch now is a threat to him and I wish nothing more than for him to be eliminated." he replied, seeming almost remorseful.

Seireitou sighed, and then nodded, "Very well. I shall eliminate the threat." he said, forming a cero at Ryan's forehead. However, his next action shocked all as his hand moved toward Tōsan and shot a cero straight at him. An explosion followed, as Seireitou closed his eyes, not regreting his action.

Tōsan flew backwards into the wall and slid to the floor, "W-why...? I only wanted what was best for...-" But he was cut off by Ryan's developing reaction to the intense reiatsu in the area. "My power...where is my power...?" asked a voice in his head. "S-stop it..." Ryan stuttered aloud, "STOP THE VOICES!" he roared, falling to his knees.

Before taking notice of Ryan's rising power, Seireitou decided to answer his reasons for attacking Tōsan. "It's not a sense of justice. Protecting my friends, and finding my own path is how I live life. If you measured good and evil deeds by current laws, I would be responsible for many crimes. The same way you like to hone your skills and live your own lives, for me too it's simply prolonging something I enjoy doing. That's why I only fight those that pique my interest; it's not justice at all. And if it means being able to protect a friend or becoming stronger, I don't and will not play fair. I'm a dishonest, cheating person who hates losing." he explained, and then turned to Ryan. A single finger, charged with reiatsu was touched upon Ryan's forehead, pushing Ryan into a wall.

Ryan hit his head upon hitting the wall, falling unconscious soon after. His reiatsu stopped acting up and things calmed down. Matthew stared at him, dumbfounded, "What...the hell?"

Seireitou walked over to Ryan and threw him over his shoulder, and turned to Matt. "Are you coming? Or to stay here, only to be experimented on?" he asked.

Matthew continued to look shocked by slowly nodded his consent, "What ever you say gray hairs. Let's get out of here."

Making a quick movement, Seireitou grabbed Matt by the sleeve and flashed out of there.

Escape

It was not long before Seireitou appeared with Ryan and Matt in tow, in the outskirts of the Rukongai's forests. "Well... looks like we made it."

"Well now that we're here, I might as well ask you what's going on. My 'dad' shows up out of nowhere, Ryan's been going nuts for months and now we're on the run from Seireitei. Care to clear things up for me, Sei?" Matthew asked, clearly concerned.

"Well, from what I know, Tōsan hypothesized that Ryan is your Zanpakutō's inner spirit. That's why it won't release when you call it." he explained.

Matthew's eyes twitched, "Ryan...a zanpakutō? Sei, I've heard a lot of crazy things, but this has to be the craziest...still, if you're repeating it, it must have some merit." he looked over to Ryan, "What do we do?" he asked Seireitou.

Seireitou scratched his head and looked over to Ryan's body. "Well... perhaps you should try to do a mental linkup with Ryan through spiritual touch. Perhaps it may spark something." he suggested.

Matthew nodded and shut his eyes, escaping into his mindscape. Meanwhile, Ryan awoke in a forested area, at the edge of a pond. He slowly got to his feet, when he realized he wasn't alone. Standing across from him was his Hollow side, who was staring down on him, "Dang. You took a beating, eh, Kyōjin?" it said mockingly. Ryan narrowed his eyes, "Why are you talking to my blade when it's just you and me? Did you finally go psycho or something?" he asked angrily. The Hollow laughed insanely at this, "You still don't get it do you? Did you ever find it strange that as Matthew's power got stronger, so did yours. Or when you gained Hollowfication, he underwent the same process mysteriously? How about when Kamui's Fourth Espada took over his mind? Remember that? It wasn't your words or you power that brought him back, was it? So then what, if anything, happened? I'll answer that for you; Kyōjin isn't your sword, YOU are Kyōjin!" it roared maniacally. Ryan's head throbbed as he looked on shocked, "W-what?!" The Hollow smirked, "Oh don't act so shocked. You've been hearing his voice in your head, haven't you? Calling for your power, calling for you to help him!" it continued on.

Ryan shook his head, "That's impossible! I'm Ryan Getsueikirite!" he shouted, hoping to reassure himself. "Don't lie to yourself!" the Hollow spat, "The one called Ryan Getsueikirite was a Captain Shinigami of long ago! Somehow his memories and affections for Matthew have echoed on to this day, but you are a zanpakuto. You and I are one and the same!"

Outside in the forest, Matthew opened his eyes, "I can't...there is too much conflict going on in his heart right now..." he sighed.

Awakening the Will: Seireitou vs Matthew

Seireitou grinned evilly as he walked over to Ryan, kicking him into the lake below in order to wake him up. He then drew his sword and lunged it at Matt, aiming to cut his head off.

Matthew blocked, but only barely, with his drawn katana, but was still thrown back. He caught himself in mid air and looked down, "I don't understand...what's going on..?!" he shouted in the air, preparing to defend himself. Meanwhile, Ryan sunk to the bottom of the lake; in his Inner World however, he and the Hollow where still talking when they noticed the water in the pond become disturbed. "Looks like the King is in danger. Are we gonna help him, Kyōjin-san?" he asked, rearing for battle. "I'm not a zanpakuto!" Ryan shouted in retaliation, "I can't help him until I wake up!" At this response, the Hollow seemed angry, "I WOULD SAY YOU WERE RIGHT FOR ONCE! You need to wake the hell up! You're a zanpakuto, not a shinigami, not a human, and not a Hollow!" it roared in defiance. Ryan sulked, "Prove it." he said stupidly. The Hollow chuckled at this, "Fine. Will his blade to defend him and feel with your mind what happens." the Hollow responded.

In the real world, Matthew again braced himself for the oncoming assault.

Seireitou slashed his sword at Matt in defiance, using his free hand to punch Matt through a tree. To continue his assult, he charged Hadō #33: Sōkatsui and fired it at Matt's chest. Finishing up, he backed up using the momentum of the spell and whispered, "Bakudō #81: Danku, as he charged forward with the mirror shield as if it was a battering ram.

Inside of Matthew's Inner World, things were heating up. "Lawdy! That Seireitou is stirring it up. What's say we kick some ass?!" the Hollow side shouted. Ryan grinned, "To fight Sei for fun...in this state? I must be drunk...but alright, let's give it a shot." he concurred. Outside, Matthew was stunned as a surge of power hit him. His iris turned golden and his sword moved on it's own, pointing itself at the Danku. Instantly a burst of invisible reiatsu shattered the kido, and Matthew's blade guarded him instantly.

A shocked look approached on Seireitou's face, as he used his free hand from earlier to grab Matt's blade empty-handed. Without muttering it, Seireitou covered his blade in Hadō #54: Haien, and slashed at Matt's unguarded side.

Inside of Matthew's Inner World, it was like a sporting event was being watched at the ESPN Center; "Oh snap! Our landlord's gonna croak if we don't do something!" the Hollow shouted. That's when Matthew's voice echoed in the area, "If anyone is there, I need help! I don't care what your name is, stupid sword. Just help me!" he plead. Ryan felt bad for him; it was at that moment he realized he couldn't deny fate anymore, he was Matthew's sword..Matthew's soul. "If you want my help...then it's time for you to call out my name, my real name. My name is.." he communicated, giving his comrade the words to finish. Outside, Matthew shouted the finishing statements, "Kizu jojo, Kyōjin!" he roared in the full Japanese statement, his sword shrinking down into a forked dagger, and with the blade firmly in Seireitou's grip, it unleashed a powerful jolt of electricity.

Taking this possible situation into account, Seireitou moved back as he smiled over to Matt. "Has this cleared the clouds for you?" he asked.

It took a moment for Matthew to realize what had happened, but after looking down at the lake and noticing that Ryan's body was no longer there, he realized what had truly happened. "I'm here Matthew..." he heard the familiar voice from within his head. Matthew turned to Seireitou and nodded, "Yes...I think it did for both of us." he replied.

Seireitou yawned and resheathed his blade, sitting down on a rock formation. "That's good. Now then..." he pondered.

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