You are Captain Kusajishi Riku, and you and Yoruichi have just succeeded in the immediate goal of rescuing Kuchiki, Arisawa, Abarai, and Sado from their opponents. You killed Cang Du, the “Iron”, after he foolishly stole your Bankai through some sort of quincy reishi-stealing bullshit. He must have thought it would turn him into some sort of shining golden god, but really it just gave you an easy way to poison his soul with Rosa's reiatsu. You're not entirely sure how Yoruichi ended her fight, but you do know that she wrapped it up before you finished your own.“Kakushitsuijaku!” you declare, reaching out to one side with your left arm and to Yoruichi with your senses. “Kuchiki and Arisawa are in rough shape. Can you get to them?”After a moment you feel the subtle sensation of Yoruichi forming a mental bridge from her end. “I plan to... have to give those two the same lecture I gave Renji and Chad.”“Do what you think you must, dear.”“These two got separated early,” Yoruichi explains to you. “They can't say where Ichigo and Ishida ended up... you seen them?”“I have not,” you admit. “Neither Kuchiki nor Arisawa were in a position to explain how they came to be separated either, though I believe I have a rough idea.”“Where are you right now?”“Hueco Mundo,” you tell her. “The Schattenbereich also seems to have a connection to here... or at least the fact that I crashed through the ground and ended up here suggests such a connection.”“Have you incinerated the corpse?”“Already dust on the wind,” your wife replies in a chipper tone. “So you just focus on finding the last two idiots. I'll be in touch.”“Understood. Speak to you again in ten minutes?”“Sounds like a good interval.”>1/2
>>2297950You are Kurosaki Ichigo, and you've just been confronted by an arrancar who confessed to kidnapping your mother and Mrs. Ishida. It's because of that he shouldn't be surprised that you immediately attacked him.“Kurosaki!” Ishida barks. Of course he's upset, he's always tried to play the level headed type.Then something collides with your ribs, sending you sprawling.“Why are you here?” Ulquiorra demands quietly of the newcomer.The black-haired girl pouts. “I was helping you, duh!”“You were impatient,” Ulquiorra contends. “If our opponent had been more alert that might have become a problem. I would advise not trying that with a proper Captain.”“Why is a quincy following an arrancar around?” Ishida demands, apparently confused at the situation.“Because whenever Ulquiorra fights lots of people die!” the girl responds cheerfully.“Just stay put and stop talking so much,” Ulquiorra... well, if it were you you'd be sighing, but you're not sure from what you've seen that the arrancar in front of you has enough in the way of emotions for a sigh. “You'll have what you came for in a few minutes.”“Okie dokie!”The girl takes a seat on a nearby rock and crosses her legs, watching intently.>Um... so what the hell just happened? Who is that girl?>Ishida, you take the girl. I'll beat this asshole then we can move on.>Ishida, I don't like it... but let's focus on the arrancar.>Other?
>>2297960>“Because whenever Ulquiorra fights lots of people die!” the girl responds cheerfully.I'm not liking the sound of this girl. she could be gigi. Hey Queen, can you give us a more detailed descriptor of this quincy girl that's tagging with sadclown?
>>2297975It's absolutely Giselle.
>>2297960>>Ishida, I don't like it... but let's focus on the arrancar.Watch each other's backs though in case she tries to pull a fast one on either.
>>2297960>Ishida, I don't like it... but let's focus on the arrancar.>other: Be more situationally aware. Ichigo goes to handle sadclown while Ishida goes on overwatch. Just keep an eye on the girl and ward her away with potshots if she tries to go for a cheap one.
>>2297960>>Ishida, I don't like it... but let's focus on the arrancar.
>>2297960>>Um... so what the hell just happened? Who is that girl?
>>2297960>Ishida, I don't like it... but let's focus on the arrancar.
>writing>3d10, DC 19, crit 24
Rolled 9, 7, 2 = 18 (3d10)>>2298030
Rolled 9, 1, 5 = 15 (3d10)>>2298030
Rolled 2, 9, 1 = 12 (3d10)>>2298030
Rolled 4, 8, 6 = 18 (3d10)>>2298030
>>2298031>>2298032>>2298035dice. the pain.
>>2298030“Ishida... as much as I hate it, let's take this guy down together,” you grumble, quite literally hating every word as it comes out of your mouth. “And no backtalk... we came here for a purpose.”“I-I was not!” Ishida insists, hastily adjusting the bridge of his glasses.“You're a terrible liar...”You're forced to raise your sword to defend against... a karate chop? As comical as the attack might have been coming from someone else, the side of Ulquiorra's hand sparks when it meets Zangetsu's sealed edge, and the force of the blow slides you back on your feet as the arrancar pushes you across the sands.A series of blue arrows forces Ulquiorra to take a step back as you realize it's purely instinct... with hierro that strong there's no way that Ishida's bow can penetrate it using arrows that weak. He should be concentrating it into one big attack.“I see,” he nods, firing another pointless barrage which Ulquiorra sidesteps again.“Are you even trying to hit him?” you demand loudly, taking a swing with Zangetsu that simply clangs off Ulquiorra's thickened hide.“Now I understand,” Ulquiorra mutters, staring hard at Ishida. “That won't work any longer, quincy.”Instead of dodging he simply takes the shower of blue projectiles in stride this time, ignoring what negligible effects they have on him and meeting your swing with a sweeping kick of his own that nearly breaks your jaw. The force sends you crashing to the sand.“The hell's your problem, Ishida!?” you demand.“I was trying to gauge his responses, Kurosaki!” your classmate snaps. “It's how I always fight, but thanks to you he caught on and isn't giving me anything to work with!”“What does that even mean!?”“Hollows are creatures with strong instincts,” Ishida explains angrily, “so I was trying to see what his instinctive responses were so I could predict his moves more easily in the future.”Meanwhile Ulquiorra simply stares at you. Not frustrated or impatient, but also not amused: it's more like he just can't even be bothered to care.>1/2
>>2298068“Are you really here to rescue somebody?” Ulquiorra asks, narrowing his eyes. Not a gesture of frustration, but more like he's appraising you. “Because if neither one of you wants to fight me seriously, then those humans we took cannot have meant that much to you.”Even Ishida's expression sours at that.>He's right, release Zangetsu and try this again.>Ishida was on the right track, see if you can learn more about this guy before committing.>Other?
>>2298076>>Ishida was on the right track, see if you can learn more about this guy before committing.
>>2298076>other: Yell at Ishida "if your arrows are that weak why don't you make use of that ungodly fire rate for practical purposes!?">He's right, release Zangetsu and try this again.>other: talk to Hollow!Zangetsu if possible and see if you can coordinate with him.
>>2298076>>He's right, release Zangetsu and try this again.
>>2298076>other: say nothing. let your fighting instincts take the wheel.
>deadlockI'll give it five more minutes.
>>2298076>Ishida was on the right track, see if you can learn more about this guy before committing.
>3d10, DC 18, critical 22
Rolled 10, 5, 6 = 21 (3d10)>>2298160
Rolled 8, 3, 2 = 13 (3d10)>>2298160dear god this is painful.
Rolled 8, 7, 1 = 16 (3d10)>>2298160
Rolled 1, 3, 8 = 12 (3d10)>>2298160
Rolled 10, 3, 1 = 14 (3d10)>>2298160
>>2298160Ishida actually has a point... maybe it's better to figure out what Ulquiorra is capable of first and foremost.You swing Zangetsu at your opponent again and again, each time watching the blade bounce off in a shower of sparks. It's like whacking your sword against an I-beam, and it doesn't seem to be anything worse than a nuisance to Ulquiorra.Then you notice something, when several dozen glowing arrows strike the arrancar: when it seems like he's about to get struck in the face he closes his eye on that side. And it makes sense... no matter how tough his skin is, how could he possibly harden his eyeballls? There have to be weak spots on his body, and that seems like the most likely spot to try.With a shout you bring Zangetsu down across Ulquiorra's right shoulder, then raise your right elbow to bring the point in line with his eye. Then you thrust forward and upward...… only to find that Ulquiorra has sidestepped to your left, in a way that you can't follow with your sword. Not only is he damn near impossible to cut, he's impossibly quick on his feet.“Good effort,” he commends you even as his hand connects with your cheek in an almost casual backhand. The amount of force he can put into the blow is startling, but not as much as the sight which greets you next.He draws his zanpakuto.“I tire of this,” he admits.“So you're gonna release it?” you ask, rubbing your chin where it's been badly bruised.“Why would I do that?” Ulquiorra responds, his eyes falling heavily upon you.>Release your sword, quickly.>Ready your blade to parry.>Get ready to get out of the way.>Other?
>>2298213>Release your sword, quickly.
>>2298213>>2298213>Release your sword, quickly
>>2298213>>Release your sword, quickly.
>>2298213>>Release your sword, quickly.Maybe we can surprise him with the initial reach difference as zangetsu releases.
>>2298213>Get ready to get out of the way.
>>2298213>“Good effort,” he commends you even as his hand connects with your cheek in an almost casual backhand.I like the cut of his jib.What? It's not like everyone Ichigo meets, and especially befriends, doesn't get the urge to slap him upside the head or punch him in the face.>Release your sword, quickly.Because I am thinking of the increased DCs if we don't.
>3d10, dc 18, crit 23
Rolled 6, 9, 4 = 19 (3d10)>>2298267
Rolled 1, 2, 5 = 8 (3d10)>>2298267the mediocre streak will continue unfortunately.
Rolled 1, 3, 7 = 11 (3d10)>>2298267
>>2298274If we keep this up, Riku may need to fight zombie Ichigo.
>>2298267“Pierce the heavens, Zangetsu!” you chant, hurrying to release your zanpakuto before Ulquiorra gets a free shot at you with his own sword.Sparks fly as the two blades clash, the large head of your polearm managing to deflect the sword. You try to immediately follow through by hitting the arrancar in the side of the head with the end cap, but he blocks it cold with his bare hand.You try your best to keep Zangetsu moving the way he taught you, but it's hard when anything that connects simply stops against your enemy's arm or weapon.Meanwhile, Ulquiorra still seems bored with your abilities. He effortlessly sidesteps whenever Ishida thinks he's got a shot, and tends to keep you between him and your classmate's bow to keep his line of sight impeded.Even the girl from before seems to be dozing off rather than planning to step in again, or even paying basic attention.Well, if it's interesting he wants...>Use a regular Getsuga Tenshō>Use a bigger Getsuga Tenshō>Use successive light Getsuga Tenshōs>Other?
>>2298327>Use successive light Getsuga Tenshōs
>>2298327>Hold the Getsuga Tensho in your blade as a blade enchantment for better penetrating power.
>>2298327>>Use a regular Getsuga TenshōThis >>2298339 if possible would be a good choice, otherwise regular.
>>2298327Need bigger attacks to break his hide.So>Use a bigger Getsuga Tenshō
>>2298327>>Use a bigger Getsuga Tenshō
>>2298327>Hold the Getsuga Tenshos in your blade and release part of it as light Getsuga Tenshōs while keeping the bulk of it in your blade for penetrating power.
>3d10, DC 19, critical 25
Rolled 2, 3, 9 = 14 (3d10)>>2298401
Rolled 7, 7, 7 = 21 (3d10)>>2298401we're toast.
Rolled 7, 4, 4 = 15 (3d10)>>2298401
>>2298407Not just yet. Though honestly I don't really think it's possible for Ichigo to win without having the power of the protagonist
>>2298436Problem is, resorting to "that" means a chance for roach-girl (gigi) to interrupt the process and hijack "that"
>>2298407>>>2298407Huh. Lucky sevens. Not sure we've gotten that combination before.
>>2298453we did get a combination like that several threads back during the "filler arc interm"
>>2298401If regular sword strikes won't work, then maybe you'll have to spice things up a little.With a low roar you start releasing reiatsu along the length of Zangetsu's blade, which glows with blue flame as you spin it in your hands. The glow slowly takes on the appearance of a bright blue ring... sort of pretty in a way, but more importantly the rapidly spinning blade has kept the naturally cautious Ulquiorra from simply interrupting you.When you feel like the time is right, you attack.Ulquiorra carefully weaves his way between your swings, avoiding your lethally-charged blade for a while. Much to your surprise Ishida joins you, swinging a small straightsword made entirely of vibrating blue reishi. But even between the two of you neither blade scores a hit... until Ulquiorra makes a mistake.He kicks off his foot and into the air, reducing his ability to dodge. That's when you release the mass of reiatsu you've built up all at once.“Getsuga Tenshō!”The blast is possibly the strongest you've ever released, aside perhaps from the single attack you used to meet Byakya's ultimate technique. Ulquiorra disappears completely, and even the girl sitting on the rock nearby falls backwards in surprise.But you're just as surprised to find a blade biting into your neck an instant later.Ulquiorra stares at you, his gaze utterly flat. Then he glances at the wound on your neck, which by all accounts should have taken your head off. The girl on the rock pops her head up from cover.“That boy has blut?” she muses thoughtfully tapping a finger to her cheek. “Well that's troublesome.”“Blut Vene,” Ulquiorra confirms. Looking him over, the only injury you can find from that attack is a slight burn on his left wrist, as if he'd raised it to defend himself... or else to swat the Getsuga Tenshō aside.How?>You confirmed you can hurt him. You just need to refine your new techniques.>That was your quincy power... maybe relying on that more could help here?>This is nuts. He hasn't even released his zanpakuto... maybe it'd be best to run.>Other?
>>2298504>You confirmed you can hurt him. You just need to refine your new techniques.
>>2298504>>That was your quincy power... maybe relying on that more could help here?
>>2298504>>That was your quincy power... maybe relying on that more could help here?Long shot, but Ulq just demonstrated he can speed-blitz us. I'm not sure running away is even possible right now.If we can though...well, okay, cause I'm pretty sure we won't win this fight without Riku or Yoruichi.
>>2298504>>That was your quincy power... maybe relying on that more could help here?when in rome and all that
>>2298504>That was your quincy power... maybe relying on that more could help here?Also, I bet Ishida started setting up a Sprenger trap the moment he started firing arrows.
>>2298504>That was your quincy power... maybe relying on that more could help here?Well if Old Man Zangetsu wanted us to grow into our quincy heritage and use our power properly instead of using it as a "fake zampakuto" and HollowZangetsu wanted us to use him as our "actual zampakuto", maybe we are starting to get it.
>3d10, DC 19, crit 25
Rolled 1, 6, 3 = 10 (3d10)>>2298577
Rolled 4, 3, 9 = 16 (3d10)>>2298577this hurts. so much.
Rolled 7, 8, 7 = 22 (3d10)>>2298577
>>2298587dear god these clutches. they are by the skin of our teeth.
>>2298577If that was your quincy power, maybe it would be best to start relying on him again. Taking Ishida's lead you focus on the reishi in the sand beneath your feet, breaking it down as best you can and mixing it with your own reiatsu as it gathers along the length of Zangetsu's blade.“Let's go, Ishida!” you shout, encouraged by your own progress. To your mild surprise he doesn't disagree, but charges in right alongside you. Each swing of either of your blades now hums slightly, like a lightsaber, and each strike whether it bounces off Ulquiorra's hierro or his sword seems to add a little to the growing sense of density.Like a humid afternoon the air is thick with reishi loosened by your battle so far, and you think you know how your classmate intends to use it.“Now!” he shouts, and you use shunpō to get clear of the circle. You hear a shout, half alarmed and half joyful, from the strange girl who's been watching your every move as Ishida cracks open a gintō and pours out the liquid within.The catalyst triggers the array he's left in the sands, and Ulquiorra disappears for the second time in a massive explosion.“You coulda done that sooner!” you complain as dust obscures your vision.“I thought the girl might tip him off...” he begins, before being interrupted by an overwhelming wave of reiatsu.Ulquiorra is still alive after that blast. Burned even more severely this time, with his uniform tattered, but clearly fit to continue fighting. He glances at the girl.“Giselle, return to the Schattenbereich. Your skills are needed there.”“Right, right,” the girl complains, seemingly opening a portal in thin air. “Just try and leave me a body or two to play with, alright?”“I can't make that promise,” Ulquiorra replies sternly.“You never let me have any fun...”Then the girl is gone.“That man...” Ulquiorra actually grumbles. Seems there's no love lost there... wait a moment...“That was a guy!?”>1/2
>>2298688>“That man...” Ulquiorra actually grumbles. Seems there's no love lost there... To even think that there is someone out there so irritating that even Sad Bat wants nothing better than to kill him speaks volumes about Gigi.
>>2298688>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhMH8SP0G_s“I had hoped not to use this,” Ulquiorra begins, raising his zanpakuto to a ready stance. “Especially not against mere humans... however, your abilities have proven troublesome. On that I suppose you must be congratulated.”“Forgive me if I don't feel grateful,” Ishida grumbles.“I forgive you,” Ulquiorra replies flatly.“Try that again?” you ask.“For invading Lord Aizen's domain. For forcing me to draw my sword. For wounding me. I forgive you.”“Why are you saying that?” you wonder aloud.“Because it would be petty to hold a grudge against the dead,” he explains, locking his slitted eyes on you.“Enclose, Murciélago.”The release of reiatsu feels more like a bomb... you don't recall feeling this unsettled by anything since that first night, when a regular hollow's presence felt like it was smothering you. This energy is dark and oppressive, those qualities disturbing even distinct of its sheer power.The black reiatsu rises into the sky where it boils over, falling to the sands in a green rain, the only 'rain' to have fallen on this parched land since the beginning. Ulquiorra himself stands transformed, seemingly taller with long, wild hair and great bat-like wings, and a long white robe. Two horns rise away from the middle of his forehead, and his fingernails are like daggers.>3d10, DC 24
Rolled 4, 2, 9 = 15 (3d10)>>2298723
Rolled 5, 5, 8 = 18 (3d10)>QM also needs to roll
Rolled 8, 10, 4 = 22 (3d10)>>2298723>>2298731This will definitely end poorly.
Rolled 8, 6, 3 = 17 (3d10)>>2298723
Rolled 2, 9, 8 = 19 (3d10)>>2298723>DC 24we ded>>2298731Ishida ded?
Rolled 4, 4, 4 = 12 (3d10)>>2298723
>>2298742All is kill
>>2298733for a moment I thought we SOMEHOW met the DC when I saw it was above a 20... but it STILL WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
>>2298723Then his gaze turns to Ishida.In an instant, before you can even shout, Ulquiorra's hand is clean through your classmate's chest. His eyes widen as he realizes he's been hit, and he coughs up blood before the arrancar casually tosses him aside.Ishida hits the sand and doesn't move, blood soaking into the sand.“How unexpected. He managed to turn his waist and avoid an immediately fatal blow.”You stare at the arrancar, at a loss for what to do. If you knew the true Zangetsu's Bankai, hell even if you had the old one... no. That wouldn't even help against speed and power like that, it could only delay the inevitable.What are you going to do?Ulquiorra's gaze returns to you.You raise Zangetsu, not entirely sure what you can possibly hope to accomplish anymore.“I see it in your eyes,” Ulquiorra taunts you... yes, his voice carries no emotion, but you can understand what he means. “The hopelessness and despair, the realization that your existence is about to end at my hands, that there is nothing you can do about it.”“Do not worry. It will be over in an instant.”>3d10, DC 20
Rolled 4, 3, 8 = 15 (3d10)>>2298776
Rolled 1, 10, 9 = 20 (3d10)>>2298776
Rolled 5, 2, 7 = 14 (3d10)>>2298776>hopelessness and despairYes, this is dice speaking.
Rolled 7, 7, 4 = 18 (3d10)>>2298776
>>2298797dear lord the clutch.
>>2298797The fucking dice today...I think they're trying to tell us something.
>>2298814it's telling us that shit is real and we should clench our buttcheeks. Also it might be Ichigo's shonen protagonist moment where he pulls his true bankai out of his ass.
>>2298776So, this is how you die? Not even able to move, hell, not even able to breathe in the face of your foe?How pathetic, Ichigo. How utterly pathetic.“How totally, dismally, disgracefully pathetic.”“You?” you demand of the apparition.“Yeah, me. Who else, moron?”“It's over, Zangetsu. I can't fight something like that.”“Course you can't, dumbass! Not when you're using me like that four-eyed brainiac would. I'm your instincts Ichigo, not your intellect. It shouldn't be that hard!”“My instincts...”“Don't think, just do! Pick up your sword, dust off your frilly little skirt, and do what comes naturally!”“What comes naturally...”>Protect.>Survive.>Strike.
>>2298872>>Protect.The other two just don't fit
>>2298872>>Protect.I think Survive is the best thing to get out of the Hollow instincts, but this is what Ichigo would want to be, so I'll let him have it.
>>2298872>Protect.It's his true instinct as a shonen boi. What is an Ichigo if he cannot bear the full meaning of his name?
>>2298872Your family, your friends, your home... your instincts are to protect what should be protected, and they have been from the very start. It's literally right there in your name.You feel yourself slowly exhale, and you raise Zangetsu into a high stance, one you know you've never seen before. Blade facing upwards and the point dipping just beyond the reach of your left fingertips, with the end cap raised slightly higher by your right hand.It feels... familiar. But more than that, you can feel a swell of power: Zangetsu, or something else inside of you, likes being held this way.“You still insist on fighting?” Ulquiorra muses humorlessly. “Very well.”>3d10, higher is better
Rolled 8, 2, 10 = 20 (3d10)>>2298919
Rolled 5, 1, 4 = 10 (3d10)>>2298919>>2298920can't get any better if that's a first roll benchmark.
Rolled 1, 8, 10 = 19 (3d10)>>2298919
>>2298919>It feels... familiar. But more than that, you can feel a swell of power: Zangetsu, or something else inside of you, likes being held this way.Kaien is that you?
>>2298942wait. that ain't right. It should also be Nejibana. iirc from Riku's knowledge of Zampakuto's being a reflected aspect of their wielder, then that means a very small fragment of Nejibana exists within Ichigo.
>>2298919His strike is lightning-fast, but you instantly reposition Zangetsu's blade to parry his clawed hand away. Just as instantly, Zangetsu spins in your hands with twice the force and speed, slicing Ulquiorra's arm clean off.The technique takes a lot of energy out of you, leaving your arms weak and your breath ragged, but you managed to maim the bastard at least.The arrancar stares at his severed limb in puzzlement, then stares at his remaining stump. “You continue to surprise me, Kurosaki Ichigo. Allow me to repay you in kind.”In about a second and a half his arm is right back where it started... no, the arm you severed is wilting away in the sand. Ulquiorra has near-instantly grown a brand new arm where the old one once was, and he flexes its fingers to test it.“Congratulations for penetrating my hierro,” he tells you, “though that is not my true ability. In this form my defensive strength becomes clearer: where most arrancar sacrifice the natural regenerative abilities they had as lesser hollows for greater hierro, I did not. Among the Espada I alone can regenerate at this level.”“You... can regenerate?” you repeat blankly.“Do not make me repeat myself.”Ulquiorra generates a powerful green spear of energy in his right hand, like a shining javelin whose power is greater than you can even guess right now.“Now, if you're quite done I would appreciate if you would hold still.”>1/2
>>2298966“I would prefer that you not kill my nephew.”You slowly turn to see that Riku is standing calmly at the top of a nearby sand drift, arms crossed disapprovingly. Spiritual energy crackles around her already, and eight spectral tails are manifested behind her.“Captain Kusajishi,” Ulquiorra greets the newcomer almost cordially. “I was wondering if you would ever show up.”“Ulquiorra Schiffer,” Riku replies with a pointed stare. “I see you have yet to shake your goth phase. Pity, were it not for the fact that I find you so insufferable I might enjoy your company.”“Is that so?”“You seem like the quiet type. That quality is rare in the Seireitei.”“Hang on,” you protest, lowering Zangetsu for a moment. “You two know each other?”“We have met,” Riku admits, sparing you a glance. “Kurosaki Ichigo... you seem to be improving with your zanpakuto.”“Clearly not enough.”“It was foolish of me to allow you and the others to come here without my presence,” she tells you, her tone making it hard to tell if she's chastising you or herself. “I apologize for your suffering.”In an instant, before you can speak, she's damn near teleported to Ishida and slashed her palm ope, bleeding directly into his chest wound.“That should stabilize his condition, though he still needs rest and more advanced treatment when he can get it,” she declares. “Ichigo, take him back to Yoruichi.”“But I...” you begin to protest.“Ichigo!” she snaps, before quickly regaining her temper. “You cannot protect anyone if you are killed. Consider this an opportunity for growth, give thanks that you survived, and take a moment to consolidate your position.”“Leave this situation to me.”>2/2
>>2299008And on that note the flu has caught up with me again, so I need to take some medicine and get some sleep.Archive's up, thanks for stopping by, and hope you had a good time! If any of you would still like a link to the discord, or if you have any questions/omake ideas feel free to use the thread for that purpose. But other than that, see you next weekend when I'll hopefully be feeling a bit better.
>>2299019Wow, you did this with the flu? That's impressive.
>>2299019Thanks for running mate
>>2299019thanks king, see ya
>>2299019thanks for running Queen. go rest up. you did god's work here.
>>2298966>“You... can regenerate?” you repeat blankly.>“Do not make me repeat myself.”Ulquiorra is a true villain, calling Ichigo out on his parrot heritage. If he has his way, all those poor screenwriters and directors will starve for the lack of padding!Think of the Snakes of the world! Think of Kojima's poor rich children!
>>2299019Omake idea: >What if Lt. Riku met Sad bat (when the latter was still in adjuchas/vasto lorde phase) in ghost mexico? I bet she would try to take in Sad bat and/or try to teach him how to smile (complete with headpats and hugs).To Ulquiorra (Sadbat): >what was the first emotion you've ever emoted/felt? Seeing you grumble is straight up surprising. >on a scale of "nuisance" to "I would immediately kill him if given the chance" How irritating is roachboy (Gigi Giselle) to you?>what was the first food/drink you tried out after you became an arrancar? >Is there any food/delicacies you would like to try out in the future?>how did you find out Giselle was a male? did you find out the easy way (second-hand accounts) or the hard way?To the Ommitsu hit squad that came to Quincy City with Commander Yoruichi:>How many of you are there?>what were your orders/objectives? >How many confirmed kills/non-lethal takedowns so far?>Any plans for exfil?>Good luck and Godspeed commandos. To Nejibana>What is your opinion of the Ichigo boy?To Zangetsu (Hollow)>About time he finally starts to get it. what's your estimate on him being actually ready for bankai? Since you're a reflection of his instinct and he gets that you've spelled it out for him it should come to him naturally right?To Ichigo: >what's it like when you've finally let your instincts take control of the fight and see that you've *actually* improved in Zanjutsu? You feel like you're actually getting better at using Zangetsu 2.0?>Are you *finally* starting to appreciate your aunt more? >You do realize she will face military punishment on charges of going rogue/AWOL...>With punishments ranging from execution to being locked away in solitary confinement for ten thousand years just to save your sorry ass and your friends and your mom and your friend's mom... >And that's the tip of the iceberg in the amount of woes you've gave for your aunt. >And don't get me started on your Great-aunt Inari. you don't even know a *tenth* of the divine politics and strings she's pulling to keep you and your aunt safe. >In spite of all that it's Good to see you've survived. Your surprise raid so far coupled with your aunt and aunt-in-law's support is starting to rack up several scores of bodies with a few high ranking commanders (both Hollow and Quincy) in the mix.To Queen:>So what do you think of this session so far? I myself am super surprised that we actually scored a few hits on Sadbat, and survived long enough for Cavalry Riku to arrive. And that was even with those super high DCs. Almost everyone in Ichigo's raid party is alive.
>>2299019To Ulquiorra: >which arm did Ichigo lop off? right or left?
>>2299280>>how did you find out Giselle was a male? did you find out the easy way (second-hand accounts) or the hard way?The second one sounds like a very risque omake.
>>2299302>>2299019I for one would want to see Queen somehow take this challenge. when he gets better from the flu that is...
>>2299280>I bet she would try to take in Sad bat and/or try to teach him how to smile (complete with headpats and hugs).>what was the first emotion you've ever emoted/felt? As I understand it, Sadbat is a misnomer. He's depressed, yes, to an absurd degree. But that's not the same thing as sad. It's melancholy.He doesn't FEEL anything. Ever. BG9 has displayed a greater capacity to experience emotion than Ulquiorra.
>>2299280Ulquiorra>"Annoyance.">"I would immediately kill him if given the chance.">"Lord Aizen insisted on tea and cakes.">"Not particularly.">"Any one of the Sternritter could tell you."Onmitsu Hit Squad (Selected Responses)>"Classified.">"Wound as many quincy as possible.">"Classified, but at least two for every one of us.">"Plans, sure. Expectations, not so much.">"Much obliged."Nejibana>DATA DEFICIENTZangetsu>"I know, right? Bankai... eh. Physically he's ready, mentally who knows? It's all up to him and he's a moron."Ichigo>"It feels like it comes a little easier somehow.">"Well, yeah.">"She... really?">"That's... they wouldn't actually DO that, right? Like not to a Captain.">"... why do I get the feeling you'll tell me even if I don't ask?">"What does sushi have to do with it? Wait, you can't mean..."Me>"I'm actually kind of surprised myself, but also not that surprised. "Zangetsu" was always weird, after all Byakuya realized that he never even REALLY acted that much like a zanpakuto and that they SHOULD have realized something wasn't right way earlier."
>>2304217>"What does sushi have to do with it? Wait, you can't mean..."Was the shrine visit not canon?
>>2304747Ichigo is not a smart boy.
>>2304217February 14th, a day only celebrated as Valentine's Day in Japan since the rise of rampant postwar consumerism, which itself was a necessity in the ongoing reconstruction efforts which led to Japan's celebrated economic recovery.But that's kind of beside the point.“So, are you going to explain what this is all about?” Yoruichi asks you, skepticism obvious in her tone.You cast a sidelong glance at her, in one of the many expensive yukata she owns more out of expectation than any actual desire. Though it may only be an expectation, she definitely knows how to pick them to suit the season: this one is an austere cream color with violet swirls, a dignified image for a married woman. But it's really her hair that makes her stand out, or rather the fresh flowers and fine ornaments woven into it.“You waited until now to ask? Not... you know. When I asked you to get dressed up? Or when I had us sneak through the Senkaimon?”“Sneak through?” Yoruichi scoffs. “We strolled through. In kimono. With parasols.”True... though your own yukata may be more of an austere, masculine pattern of mists in blue and white, the golden obi you borrowed from Kūkaku was hardly the image of professional restraint.“Just because we weren't subtle doesn't mean we weren't sneaking,” you insist.“I guess,” Yoruichi admits. “We aren't technically supposed to be here, wherever 'here' is.”“Here is... here,” you reply, gesturing at the main gate to the Kitano Tenman-gu shrine.“A shrine visit?” Yoruichi asks. “We came to Kyoto for a shrine visit?”“Not just any shrine,” you point out. “You of all people should know what Kitano Tenman-gu is famous for.”“Plum blossoms,” Yoruichi nods in understanding. “The Kuchiki family based their private plum gardens on this shrine... ours is based more on Saihō-ji.”“But their gardens don't usually open in time for Valentine's Day,” she tells you. “The trees aren't in full bloom by this time of the year.”“Ah,” you nod sagely. “I see. That could be a problem.”Yoruichi narrows her eyes. “What did you do?”“Me? Nothing,” you appeal, your tone deceptively innocent. “What makes you think I did anything?”“We all know it's you,” she replies as you lead her towards the garden. “I thought this wasn't open yet?”>1/?
>>2310244“I may have pulled a few strings,” you admit, pushing the unlocked gate open. “Called in a favor or two. Don't ask too many questions.”Yoruichi looks to you in dawning comprehension. “Tenjin knows we're here, doesn't he?”“Possibly,” you admit. “Why don't you look at the trees and tell me?”“They're in full bloom?” she realizes.You nod, holding out your arm with a smile. “And not another soul here. Just you and me.”The many paths through the grove aren't winding between the gray trunks of the famous plums, tipped only with hints of white and pink here and there, as they should be. Today the branches are laden with petals, which slowly drift like colorful snow on the light breeze, a spectacle that came weeks too early for a single afternoon. The monks are absent, otherwise they would doubtless be having a collective stroke over the whole affair.Instead you're left to wander arm in arm, admiring the simple beauty of the scene as few ever get to see it anymore: without the throngs of tourists from Japan and abroad which descend upon Kitano Tenman-gu every year for the privilege.A perfect moment, stretched over what could be minutes or hours.“This is nice,” Yoruichi admits, leaning up against you a little as you walk back towards the main prayer hall. “To think you arranged this all...”“To get a few moments alone with you, someplace nice like this?” you grin. “Worth it.”On the veranda at the side of the main hall, you find two cushions set out along with a tray: two hot bowls of thick matcha, and a few freshly-made yatsuhashi filled with red bean jam.“I thought we were alone?” Yoruichi asks curiously.You shrug. “Tenjin must have arranged a little extra hospitality. This could have been sitting here the whole time without getting cold.”“That's a little creepy.”“Just enjoy the view,” you suggest, gesturing out at the garden visible from the cushions. “That's my plan.”“And it's a good plan,” Yoruichi agrees, quietly seating herself. “Mine? It's to make this afternoon last as long as we can.”"I love the way you think.">2/2
Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Queen.
>continuing in about an hour and twenty minutes
>>2318577You are Captain Kusajishi Riku, and you have just interrupted a fight between Kurosaki Ichigo and the arrancar Ulquiorra Schiffer.“Hang on,” your newphew protests, lowering Zangetsu for a moment. “You two know each other?”“We have met,” you admit, sparing the boy a glance. “Kurosaki Ichigo... you seem to be improving with your zanpakuto.”“Clearly not enough.”“It was foolish of me to allow you and the others to come here without my presence,” you tell him, your tone turning slightly bitter as you admit your role in the situation aloud. “I apologize for your suffering.”You take a single step towards Ishida, slashing your palm open and bleeding into his open thoracic wound... courtesy of Ulquiorra, no doubt. The blood sizzles slightly in contact with his flesh.“That should stabilize his condition, though he still needs rest and more advanced treatment when he can get it,” you declare, seeing that the wound has begun to close. However, you also know that you are not in a position to keep up his treatment for as long as he needs. “Ichigo, take him back to Yoruichi.”“But I...” Ichigo begins to protest.“Ichigo!” you snap, before quickly regaining your temper. “You cannot protect anyone if you are killed. Consider this an opportunity for growth, give thanks that you survived, and take a moment to consolidate your position.”Your attention turns back to Ulquiorra. “Leave this situation to me.”With a moment's hesitation, Ichigo lifts Ishida and rests him over his shoulder, then takes off running. Either he can feel where you came through based on the reiatsu radiating outward from the Schattenbereich, or Yoruichi has taken over guiding him... you're not sure which.“Who gave you permission to leave?”Ulquiorra finds himself stopped, his wrist firmly in your grasp as Ichigo disappears into the distance.You glare at him. “Who gave you permission to follow?”You are in full release, divine power rippling through your body thanks to Akirashi Shunkō.>Fight against Ulquiorra using physical combat alone, test his limits against yours.>Release Akirashi Shunkō, leverage your greater flexibility while limiting his use of reiatsu.>Release Akirashi Shunkō, but don't let him know that you can still use kidō in Bankai.>Other?
>>2318788And in case I wasn't clear enough, options number 2 and 3 mean dropping the Shunko version of Riku's Bankai and switching to the passive, wide-area suppression version.
>>2318788>Release Akirashi Shunkō, but don't let him know that you can still use kidō in Bankai.
>>2318788>>Fight against Ulquiorra using physical combat alone, test his limits against yours.
>3d10, best of 3>dc 16, critical 20Angry Riku is scary.
Rolled 9, 1, 4 = 14 (3d10)>>2318876
Rolled 2, 6, 1 = 9 (3d10)>>2318876
Rolled 2, 6, 2 = 10 (3d10)>>2318876
>>2318885>>2318881>>2318877I still see our dice is SHIT as always.
>>2318876You elect to test this new enemy, who was so close to killing your nephew. Despite having seen him before, and having felt his reiatsu, you have never really seen him fight... and you are already at your strongest now.If he does not survive, then he was never worth your time to begin with.Without a word you pull hard on Ulquiorra's arm and aim a blow at his stomach, which lifts him off his feet and doubles him over from the impact. Then you follow through with the turning of your waist and swing your leg around to slam your heel against the middle of the arrancar's back. The rapid blows send Ulquiorra sprawling forward, but he manages not to fall.“Cero.”The green blast of energy strikes you head-on, dissipating against your own reiatsu as Akirashi Shunkō essentially disperses in on contact. Ulquiorra himself seems unfazed by the development, having used the moment to recover his balance. A flap of his wings brings him closer, until he strikes out with his clawed hands.“Too slow,” you observe, easily bobbing and weaving your way through the string of attacks until you tire of his efforts. Instead of waiting for him to make a mistake, since it is beginning to seem like he simply will not make one any time soon, you sever his right arm at the elbow with an upward swing of your blade.Ulquiorra takes a step back and generates a lance of reiatsu in his remaining hand... but instead of striking you with it he aims it at the ground in front of you.The concussion from the blast slides you back across the sand at first, but you are more than ready when Ulquiorra re-emerges from the pall of dust his attack created.You raise your blade to meet him, but notice too late that something is off. Not only has his severed arm regenerated completely, one of his eyes is closed and dripping blood...>3d10, taking the second roll only
Rolled 3, 8, 5 = 16 (3d10)>>2318916
Rolled 1, 8, 7 = 16 (3d10)>>2318916this ain't good.
Rolled 4, 7, 3 = 14 (3d10)>>2318916And QM has to roll.
>>2318923I see a 16 beats a 14. I wonder what does that mean...?
>>2318923You see and hear something... a hollow, roughly the size of a human and with a bat-like mask which fully encloses its head. It wanders the moonlit desert alone, for what feels like years, silent and without purpose.What is this...When you recover your senses you find a clawed hand sticking into your chest. With a wince you swipe your sword and leave a shallow cut across Ulquiorra's torso as he withdraws.“That hurt,” you grumble. Thankfully the wound is shallow, tearing flesh but stopping against your ribs. The wound steams as it heals, and even your outfit begins to stitch itself back together.Meanwhile Ulquiorra's own body swiftly heals itself as well, and he glances down at his now-healed body. “You struck swiftly. I can understand why Aizen considers you one worth his personal attention.”>Engage in banter to try and throw Ulquiorra off... what WAS that you just saw?>Ulquiorra could not kill you with a free shot. Continue fighting him as you have.>Ulquiorra may have other tricks. Engage with your full ability.>Other?
>>2318963>Engage in banter to try and throw Ulquiorra off... what WAS that you just saw?
>>2318963> Engage in banter
>>2318963>Engage in banter to try and throw Ulquiorra off... what WAS that you just saw?>other: If I saw what I think I just saw... That was you before you became arrancar. Never knew having a bone headcase would be that horrible.
>>2318963>>Engage in banter to try and throw Ulquiorra off... what WAS that you just saw?
Sorry for the delay, I had to hash out something with my upstairs neighbor real quickly. Bit of a misunderstanding as it turns out.>writing
>>2319008Also, I need another 3d10, DC 16
Rolled 4, 6, 4 = 14 (3d10)>>2319013it hurts.
Rolled 5, 6, 10 = 21 (3d10)>>2319013
Rolled 7, 4, 4 = 15 (3d10)>>2319013
>>2319013“You used the same technique as before,” you realize, understanding the source of the brief but intense vision. “But it was an old memory, not a recent one.”“Perceptive,” Ulquiorra replies, striking at you with a new lance to try and keep you from landing a clean hit on him. “You are correct. What you saw was a memory of my past.”“You were a vasto lorde,” you reply, slicing away one of his wings only to watch it reform almost immediately. “How old are you?”“Old enough to know when my attention is being diverted,” he insists, sacrificing one arm to pin your sword in place with his tendons and slashing at your exposed ribs with his free hand.You release your hold on Tenkotsuki to grab the arrancar's wrist as he swings it, then strike with your right hand against his elbow before reaching out and grabbing your zanpakuto. “You were right.”“But I must admit some curiosity,” you offer as Ulquiorra backs off just in time to keep his head, before ripping off one arm with the other to let it regenerate.“Why?” he asks blankly, a great wingbeat lifting him over your head so that he can test his newly regenerated limb by striking downward from on high. “We are enemies.”“Not because of what we are,” you point out, easily dodging your assailant. “In fact, I do not know why you have even set yourself against me.”“What happened to your anger, Captain?” Ulquiorra asks, removing and regenerating his other mangled arm. “Are you so willing to forgive?”“The anger is still here,” you admit, taking off a leg this time, for all the good it seems to do. “However, a wise woman once taught me to control my anger, to focus it. It tends to leave me more articulate than would typically be expected given my emotional state.”“Are you truly curious, Captain?”>Not really, when it comes down to it. I am not.>You were the one who started showing me your past.>Other?
>>2319087>You were the one who started showing me your past.
>>2319087>>You were the one who started showing me your past.
>>2319087>You were the one who started showing me your past.>other: as for your other question: "It takes one to know one. Ulquiorra. It takes one to know one."
>>2319087>>You were the one who started showing me your past
>>2319087>>You were the one who started showing me your past.Curious at least as to why that memory in particular. If he just wanted to throw Riku of her game, his memory of kidnapping Ichigo and Ishida's moms would probably suffice. Did he just forget to hit "record" then?
>writingAlso taking a break to make a late dinner.
>>2319139He would've also had to record the exact path he would've taken to reach the hostage's holding cells if he had to dangle the memories that involved Masaki and Kanae right in front of Riku.
>>2319148“Why that memory in particular?” you ask, holding your weapon ready but stopping for a moment.Ulquiorra, to your surprise, also halts. “It was not my intention. The memory I ended up choosing was random.”“There is no such thing as true randomness,” you chide him. “Only patterns and chains of events whose source we cannot determine.”“Then call it a moment of existential curiosity,” Ulquiorra replies, taking a halfhearted attempt to stab you. You understand now: he realizes that even in this form, he has no way to make any headway against you. To attack is to waste his energy and nothing else.“Why now?”“You and your companions set yourselves against Lord Aizen,” Ulquiorra explains. “Particularly in the case of the arrancar in your service, I was curious as to the reasons.”“Their reasons are their own,” you reply. “As peculiar to them as they are as individuals themselves.”“You speak of hollows as though their lives have meaning.”“Do you disagree?”“I do,” Ulquiorra confirms. “Put it another way, what gives your life meaning, Captain? If I pried open your chest, is it your raison d'etre...”>3d10, best of 4
Rolled 2, 4, 7 = 13 (3d10)>>2319222
Rolled 7, 8, 5 = 20 (3d10)>>2319222oh dear....with our luck we might as well be rolling the worst.
Rolled 5, 4, 5 = 14 (3d10)>>2319222
Rolled 1, 9, 4 = 14 (3d10)>>2319222
Rolled 3, 10, 3 = 16 (3d10)>>2319222
>>2319222Your fist collides almost instantly with Ulquiorra's jawline, breaking the bone in several places and ending his sentence prematurely while he's forced to regenerate.“That was rude,” he observes.“You were using gratuitous French,” you offer as an excuse. “I can only deal with so much rage.”“If I were to pry open your chest, is it your sense of meaning I would see making your heart beat? If I were to smash open your skull, would I find your meaning there?”“Do you want me to break your jaw again?”“You have something that we as hollows have lost,” Ulquiorra asserts. “Why do you believe you exist? What is your reason for being?”>There are people in this world that I love. They are reason enough.>I have my duties to consider. Duties I personally chose to take on.>I have a cosmological role to grow into, one I feel may prove critical.>Other?
>>2319262>>2319262>>There are people in this world that I love. They are reason enough.
>>2319262>There are people in this world that I love. They are reason enough.
>>2319262>>There are people in this world that I love. They are reason enough.
>>2319262>>There are people in this world that I love. They are reason enough.The other two are both true but I don't think there's any real contest here for Riku
>>2319262Hmm. On one hand, debate with Ulq. Or define Riku. Hopefully not provide intel to Aizen, in the process.Feel like the people she loves is Riku's most heartfelt reason and drive, but the other two are still true. And they may get a better reaction from Ulq.Hmm...>I exist because of random chance. Possibly the machinations of others. I don't care for the exact reasons, because I exist now and I decide what I exist for.Sadclown is nihilist. If you're hollow, you can make your own reason to exist, your own reason to be. Self-determination and agency is probably the most interesting topic to bring up with him.
>>2319262>other: I have a great many values and ideas that prove my reason to exist. Even if you tore out my heart I still exist in other ways. I am that I am. This answer is something that Riku has let define herself. She may not have that reason in the first place, but it is the thing that is the strongest and most heartfelt that kept her motivated throughout the years. >There are people in this world that I love. They are reason enough.
...Man, Ulq is totally going to hear, "There are people I love, they are my reason," and go, "So, what would happen if I killed your loved ones? Let's find out."Time to see if Riku's rage has any limits at all.
>>2319262>>2319293I actually like this reason.
>>2319262After considering his question for a moment, you offer the only response you feel is true. “There are people in this world that I love. For me, they will always be enough.”“You place your meaning in something you cannot see,” Ulquiorra challenges you. “Something fragile, temporary.”“And what happens if I kill what you love?”“I would never allow it to happen,” you declare.“And when they die of infirmity?”“I will live with the pain, that their memory will survive with me until we ride the wheel of reincarnation and meet again.”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvaT8a4Xyd0“What was taken from us was important,” Ulquiorra continues. “Hollows are doomed to this fate. When the need to feed, to survive, is stripped from us nothing is left. To be a Vasto Lorde is to lose one's meaning, is to live a life of eternal despair.”“That is not true,” you contend.“You who cling to such sentimentality cannot understand,” he insists. “I respect you, Captain Kusajishi. And it is for that reason I will spare you the pain of losing your meaning.... by killing you now.”“Murcielago: Segunda Etapa.”The feeling of his reiatsu as the hole in his chest widens is a wave of palpable despair, an unbidden sense of suffering and darkness falling over you. This is... uncommonly dense, heavy, stifling. The weight of years, the silence of total isolation. His robe disappears, replaced by the pallid flesh of his bare torso. His arms and legs from the elbows and knees down are black velvet, like the fur of a bat, his wings take on a demonic appearance, his fingers and even his toes become claws. A long tail whisks behind him, and his estigma form long, thick trails like green tears below his eyes.>Now is the time. This was entertaining, but there can be no holding back any longer.>This is getting interesting. Keep up your ruse, keep your kidō hidden.>Change forms to Higeki no Ōjo. Counteract his cero-based techniques.>Other?
>>2319329>>Now is the time. This was entertaining, but there can be no holding back any longer.
>>2319329>Now is the time. This was entertaining, but there can be no holding back any longer.
>>2319329>This is getting interesting. Keep up your ruse, keep your kidō hidden.>Other: Use Hollow Techniques instead. Start messing with his perception of what makes Kusajishi tick.
>>2319329>Now is the time. This was entertaining, but there can be no holding back any longer.Let the sparks fly
>>2319347>>2319346>>2319340>>2319339>>2319338why are you guys giving away more intel to Aizen? Is there really a need to go all out on sad bat?
>>2319329>>This is getting interesting. Keep up your ruse, keep your kidō hidden.Because I suspect we're being watched, and don't want to reveal all of our tricks yet.Won't be fussed if we go all-out though. Serious Ulq is a legitimately dangerous opponent.
>>2319353I feel that intel gets out regardless of option. Like, each of said options will bring out their penultimate techniques to properly finish sadbat.>>2319329>Other?>Use Hollow Techniques instead. Start messing with his perception of what makes Kusajishi tick.This is probably the only part I support in this write-in, cos I'd like to keep the final kido that Riku learned secret for just a little while more.
>3d10, best of four>DC 18, Crit 23
Rolled 6, 8, 3 = 17 (3d10)>>2319404
>>2319329>>This is getting interesting. Keep up your ruse, keep your kidō hidden.
Rolled 7, 7, 6 = 20 (3d10)>>2319404
Rolled 5, 8, 5 = 18 (3d10)>>2319404
Rolled 1, 1, 2 = 4 (3d10)>>2319404DICE.
Rolled 1, 8, 1 = 10 (3d10)>>2319404
>>2319404“Well then, no sense holding back I see,” you muse calmly.“Of course,” Ulquiorra replies, generating a lance of powerful, barely-contained reiatsu between his clawed hands. “You must give this everything you have, Captain. Do not let your guard down even for an instant.”“Thank you for the advice,” you nod.His attack is nearly instantaneous, sonido bringing him in close. He swings the lance as though it were a staff, spinning in a green glowing blur that forces you to sidestep and slash with Tenkotsuki's edge. He parries you, your blade sliding against his weapon and leaving you open to the other point. It goes clean through an afterimage, letting you bring down your kodachi in a powerful blow that cleaves through his reaitsu spear in a massive pillar of green flames, ignited by Rosa's powers.Half of the spear hits the ground like a dart, exploding in massive blast that shakes the sky and sends visible ripples through the earth beneath your feet. The compression wave throws you backwards... were this a hundred years ago it might have been enough to reduce your organs to mush. But in this form, with this power, all it does is throw you off balance long enough for Ulquiorra to try the trick with his eye again.You see a Vasto Lorde and a large tree with vicious thorns, the hollow finding some sort of temporary solace. His mask begins to crumble...And you thrust your blade into his shoulder, leaving it there to pivot your body around and over it so you can slam your knee into the side of his head. The blade tears its way out through his arm, which swiftly regenerates and fires a cero at you.“Cero oscuras.”Tenkotsuki slices through the black cero, reducing it to a roiling flame that passes on either side of you. But the true purpose was to conceal an attack, and Ulquiorra strikes for your liver. His claw buries itself into your side, only for you to force your blood out through the wound.“Rikujōkōrō.”The bakudō cast through your blood takes on bizarre form, more like golden-yellow crystals which form inside Ulquiorra's arm at random angles to pin him where he is. Tenkotsuki sweeps low to cut him in half at the belly...“That was close,” Ulquiorra muses, regenerating his arm yet again.“You severed your own arm with your tail,” you realize.>Give up Ulquiorra. Your reiatsu will not reach me, no matter how powerful you become.>Why do you insist on fighting me? Surely it cannot be simple hatred or fear. Not with you.>This is a fight to the death. Ulquiorra has made his intentions clear, so end his life here.>Other?
>>2319527>other: Stall for time, try to exploit the eye trick and peruse through his memories. he's Kanae's kidnapper, maybe there's a memory that pertains to her kidnapping and her holding cell.
>>2319527>Why do you insist on fighting me? Surely it cannot be simple hatred or fear. Not with you.
>>2319527Why do you insist on fighting me? Surely it cannot be simple hatred or fear. Not with you.
>>2319527>>Why do you insist on fighting me? Surely it cannot be simple hatred or fear. Not with you.
>>2319527>>Why do you insist on fighting me? Surely it cannot be simple hatred or fear. Not with you.although depending on his response, it may turn out that>>This is a fight to the death. Ulquiorra has made his intentions clear, so end his life here.
>>2319527>>This is a fight to the death. Ulquiorra has made his intentions clear, so end his life here.
>>2319527>You have asked me what my reason for existence is. What is yours? Or, if you believe you have none...>Why do you insist on fighting me? Surely it cannot be simple hatred or fear. Not with you.
>>2319596supporting these. including the write-in>>2319527
>3d10, best of four
Rolled 10, 7, 3 = 20 (3d10)>>2319610
Rolled 2, 4, 4 = 10 (3d10)>>2319610DICE STOP BEING SUCH A WHORE.
Rolled 9, 2, 2 = 13 (3d10)>>2319610
Rolled 10, 4, 6 = 20 (3d10)>>2319610
>>2319610“You asked about my reasons,” you tell him, slicing through the air where he stood an instant before taking to the sky. You charge after him, never giving him a moment to launch one of those spears at you from on high. “Now I am asking about yours. If you claim to have lost your reason to live, why is it that you fight me as though you wish to survive?”“Surely not for hatred or fear,” you continue, exchanging a series of swings that reverberate through the air like thunder. “Even if you felt such things I doubt you would recognize them.”“I fight because it was Lord Aizen who gave me a new meaning,” Ulquiorra informs you.Your blade stops at his neck, his spear stopping midswing as well as his eyes widen for a moment.“You stopped your swing.”“Do you fear death or do you desire it?” you ask.“What a foolish question.”“You cut off your own arm because you cannot regenerate your internal organs,” you guess, explaining Ulquiorra's otherwise apparent overreaction earlier. “That strike would have been fatal.”“You guessed correctly.”“Then you do not desire death,” you continue. “Does your loyalty to Aizen run that deep?”“What are you getting at?”“The alternative,” you clarify, “is that you have no alternative. That you have confused Aizen's tasks for a reason to exist.”“And what if I have? Are you saying that you find such meaning invalid?”>Exactly. Meaning is something you have to make for yourself. I have seen hollows do it.>And what happens when I kill Aizen? Make no mistake... that IS a 'when'.>So you would throw your life away before losing that artificial sense of meaning.>Other?
>>2319636>Exactly. Meaning is something you have to make for yourself. I have seen hollows do it.>other: And I speak from personal experience. I was a Hollow once.
>>2319636>>Exactly. Meaning is something you have to make for yourself. I have seen hollows do it.
>>2319636>>Exactly. Meaning is something you have to make for yourself. I have seen hollows do it.On one hand, that kind of devotion could be a reason to exist. See Sasakibe and his devotion to Yamamoto.But I'm pretty sure Ulquiorra isn't like that. This feels more like, "I have nothing better to do." The phrase, "Be the change you wish to see the in the world." Ulquiorra is apathetic, and does nothing to change. Not really. Apacci and Hallibel...they want to change the world, and it shows in their attitudes. If Ulquiorra truly wants meaning, he needs to find something that drives him, instead of just passing the time.
>4d10, best of four
Rolled 3, 8, 2 = 13 (3d10)>>2319730
Rolled 4, 7, 5 = 16 (3d10)>>2319730
Rolled 8, 7, 3 = 18 (3d10)>>2319730
Rolled 2, 8, 9 = 19 (3d10)>>2319730
Rolled 1, 7, 3, 4 = 15 (4d10)>>2319730Wait, 4d10? Was that a typo or intentional?Just in case...
>>2319743we're in bankai. Bankai gives us best of four instead of best of three.
Rolled 10, 8, 4, 2 = 24 (4d10)>>2319730>4d10now with 4 dice instead of three
>>2319750WHERE WERE YOU WHEN WE NEED YOU? We would've gotten sadbat to not be sad anymore!
>>2319743It was a mistake on my part.
>>2319758And here I was hoping we'd broken into Aizen-tier dice pools. Ah well.
Rolled 4, 6, 5, 8 = 23 (4d10)>>2319730
>>2319750>>2319763Damn good rolls, but too late. Be faster anons!
>>2319730“Meaning is meaningless if it is given to you,” you tell Ulquiorra. That statement is befuddling enough that he even lowers his weapon for a moment to peer at you curiously, both of you simply standing on air for the moment.“Explain.”“Do you believe there is such a thing as objective truth?” you ask.“Of course. To ask that is like asking if I believe that reality exists.”“Then what is truth?” you ask. “Certainly not something that an imperfect being such as you or me can discern. Our minds do not process things the same way, your perception alters how you view the world and your experience gives you a different context within which you test the structure and consistency of what you see and experience.”“So if there is such a thing as truth we can never perceive it?” Ulquiorra asks, a hint of frustration creeping into his voice. “What is such a lesson supposed to mean?”“That we as individuals must discern for ourselves the true nature of what we see and experience,” you explain. “That understanding, the meaning we assign to everything around us including ourselves, must originate within ourselves.”“Hollows are incomplete beings,” Ulquiorra points out. “Doesn't that go beyond simple imperfection?”“Are you familiar with a former Vasto Lorde by the name of Tia Halibel?” you ask.“By reputation. Barragan, the self-anointed king of Hueco Mundo, mentions her with some frequency.”“She and her companions have discovered this lesson,” you explain. “The holes left in their souls, said to be created by the loss of their hearts, have even begun to shrink.”“Such a thing is impossible.”“Yours expanded when you released your Segunda Etapa,” you observe. “Are you saying the reverse is somehow the only process that is impossible? Can you support such a statement, or is it only a belief you have?”“You caught me,” he admits.“Do you serve Aizen because you believe in it, or do you serve him because you simply failed to rise to the challenge of finding your own sense of meaning?”>1/2
>>2319772come on sadbat... don't make me despair at you falling back into edginess...
>>2319772*claps*Loving the exchange of morality and ideals. Fipping Ulquiorra would be a coup. It's also possible he'd bide his time to stab us in the back for Aizen, but if we can convert him we'll have made an ally of an enemy.
>>2319828but Sad bat is a hard one to turn. And given our dice numbers... that's looking at a hard prospect.
>>2319772After several uncertain seconds tick by, Ulquiorra does something you did not expect.He lowers his arm, and the lance in his hand dissipates.His eyes close, as if he is choosing his words carefully. “I believe I understand you a little better, Captain. Your sense of meaning does not exist within your body, or rest with others, but arises from your unique existence as an individual.”“That is part of being alive,” you nod.Ulquiorra reaches up to his face, pulling out one of his eyes and crushing it. “Please remain calm, Captain.”For a moment you see the outside of the massive tower at the center of the Schattenbereich, before seeing that you are leading Kanae and Masaki up to the top. Once there you see Aizen, there's a conversation that is glossed over, and the two quincy are escorted to one of the towers nearby the hall Aizen has been using as a throne room and headquarters.“That is where the mothers of Kurosaki Ichigo and Ishida Uryū have been taken,” the arrancar explains. “The purpose of this was...”“To divide our forces in advance of a full-scale invasion,” you nod in understanding.“You knew and still came here?”“Of course,” you insist sternly. “We have our own plans, moron. To believe otherwise would be arrogance. But why have you told me this?”“I recognize that I cannot defeat you,” Ulquiorra explains. “Your power to dissipate my reiatsu is simply too perfect a counter to my techniques, and my regeneration requires some effort. I doubt I could last more than a few minutes more.”“So the sense of meaning you got serving Aizen...”“... already gone, yes,” Ulquiorra admits. “Though I could fight to the death here, I believe I would rather live a while longer.”>You could always lend us a hand, you know.>Very well. Good luck finding a better reason to live.>Other?
>>2319843>Very well. Good luck finding a better reason to live.
>>2319843>>Very well. Good luck finding a better reason to live.>>Other?>Try not to do anything stupid.I think Sadbat wouldn't join us if you were to ask him directly, but pointing out that if you want to do something smart we would appreciate it a lot could work. Maybe?
>>2319843>>Very well. Good luck finding a better reason to live.
>>2319843>Other: I know of a place where it is nice and peaceful. A far cry from Hueco Mundo. [show him the way to Riku's private Valley of Screams] Why don't you make that your home for the time being?We give him shelter, we give him a place to ruminate his purpose and reason for living.
>>2319843And the Sadbat yields, defeating not by sword but by words.So satisfying. And Ulquiorra even admits the sense of meaning is gone.It'd be nice if he could help fight, and we could trust him. His Pesquia is probably equivalent to RIku and Yoruichi's blindfighting senses, even if he's seen Kyoka Suigetsu.>Very well. Good luck finding a better reason to live.>After the war is over, I can introduce you to my Arracnar allies if you'd like. If you want to meet them sooner....well, you'd be joining the war on someone's side.Asking him to join is like being Aizen. Wish him luck, maybe dangle the offer of speaking to former Vastos like him to perk his interest, see what he latches onto.
>>2319876I am in full support of this write-in idea.>>2319843
>>2319843“Good luck,” you nod carefully, watching the hole through your opponent's chest shrink as he reverts to his sealed state. For the first time in too long, you do the same, leaving only your Shikai released to conserve energy.“I hope you can find a better sense of meaning than the one Aizen insisted upon.”“I will admit, you annoy me Captain,” Ulquiorra replies. “However, between yourself and Lord... between yourself and Aizen Sōsuke, I would prefer that you be the one to survive even if I cannot bring myself to expect it.”“I'll take that as a compliment, I guess,” you sigh.“That is as close as you will get from me,” he admits. “At least for the time being. So far as I am concerned this does not make us 'friends'.”“Didn't think it would,” you shrug. “But it sure beats being enemies for no good reason.”“The others,” he begins, after almost beginning to walk away. “We are kept in line, paired arrancar with quincy, ensuring that any dissent can be quelled instantly with as close to a perfect counter as possible.”“Are you pleading for the lives of your former comrades?”Ulquiorra shakes his head. “Kill them if you must. I simply believed it would be helpful for you to know their state of mind. Do not expect them to be calm or rational.”“I'll keep it in mind.”>3d10, best of four
Rolled 1, 2, 1 = 4 (3d10)>>2319921
Rolled 5, 6, 2 = 13 (3d10)>>2319921oh dear god. I'm starting to hate dice now.
Rolled 10, 7, 8 = 25 (3d10)>>2319921
Rolled 6, 2, 5 = 13 (3d10)>>2319921
>>2319938wew anon. that's a big one.
>>2319938Well done anon, well done.
>>2319921>“We are kept in line, paired arrancar with quincy, ensuring that any dissent can be quelled instantly with as close to a perfect counter as possible.”Thanks for the Big hint.
>>2319921You quickly backtrack to the hole where you crashed through into Hueco Mundo, and retrace your path back into the Schattenbereich through the still-present hole in the sky.“Ah, there you are,” Yoruichi greets you with a peck on the cheek. “I see your fight went well.”“You beat that guy?” Ichigo asks, taken somewhat aback. “And not a scratch on you?”“He was a good match against my Bankai,” you admit, “and even he knew it. So eventually he gave up and left.”“He did what?”“And you let him?' Yoruichi adds skeptically.“I did,” you shrug. “If he comes back and tries to kill me again I'll just finish what I started. But I don't think that's how it's gonna go.”“Suit yourself,” Yoruichi shrugs. “So what now?”“I know exactly where they're being held,” you announce. “Ulquiorra was generous with his hints.”“Huh,” Yoruichi muses. “What'd you say to the guy?”“I'll tell you some time, but it was a lot of boring philosophical stuff,” you sigh. “Tenkotsuki's fault.”“As with all good things,” Tenkotsuki replies cheerfully, “I will gladly take credit when you are willing to assign it.”“What comes next is me,” a voice interrupts.>roll 1d7, taking the second roll
Rolled 1 (1d7)>>2320028I know I'm gonna mess this up.
Rolled 6 (1d7)>>2320028Here we go
Rolled 1 (1d7)>>2320028Another jobber for the pile.
Rolled 6 (1d7)>>2320028>>2320032Had you gone second, we would've been MURDERED by Primera espada.
>>2320051Don't tell me that's Grimmkitty. It's grim cat isn't it.
>>2320051The speaker is a dark-haired... man? You're not entirely sure, but it's clearly a quincy in a long white coat with long black hair and a face mask, from which a series of metal spikes protrude in a vertical line.What a freak...“I am Äs Nödt, Sternritter F,” he declares.“The 'F' better be for fucking off,” Yoruichi grumbles, “which is what you'd do if you had any sense.”“The 'F' is for Fear,” Äs Nödt informs you. “Which is what you are about to feel... the last thing you will ever feel.”“You sure that's a good idea?” Yoruichi grins wickedly. “Cause from where I'm standing it doesn't look like you have much of a chance.”“And that's where I'm afraid you're wrong,” the quincy replies. “Irrational fear is a force that can't be bargained with or argued against, something which grips you from within. You cannot help but feel it, and it erodes your ability to function.”“Your blabbering is eroding my ability to function,” you grumble.“Do you fear something, Captain?” Äs queries, his head tilting at an improbable angle. “Fear of loss, perhaps? I fear Hell of course, a realm of eternal pain can instill such fears in believers. Certainly you have some similar weakness?”“Maybe,” you shrug. “Or maybe I'll just kill you.”“Maybe,” Äs agrees. “Let's find out together.”
>>2320093And that's where I have to stop for the evening. I'll continue next weekend, so thanks for stopping by and I look forward to continuing later!Congrats on talking Sad Bat down, by the way. Let's see how Riku handles this one.
>>2320093>“I am Äs Nödt, Sternritter F,” he declares.>“The 'F' better be for fucking off,” Yoruichi grumblesYoruichi is just the best. No respect for the naming scheme, fuck off and die already you reject cabbage patch kids, you're past your sell-by date.
>>2320093>Äs queries, his head tilting at an improbable angle.WHAT'S THE ANGLE FROM VERTICAL? GIMME THE DEGREES!
>>2320093>I fear Hell of course, a realm of eternal pain can instill such fears in believers.Funny about that Ass Nodt. Riku's already been to hell. And she became Queen of hell too. But fuck you. Riku's too angry to be afraid. she ain't got no time to be scared stiff.
>>2320093Just once I want to see him pull his "super mega ultra double fear that makes you shut down" and the reaction from the person he is doing it to is to just explode, literally. I know it hits you so hard that you end up thinking everything is hopeless so you give up and die but he's never come across someone who just goes full allahu ackbar? You can't tell me no one would do that out of fear.It's a strong power and all but it has that one big weakness being that it doesn't actually make him any more survivable of itself. Guess he is kind of strong on his own, though.
>>2320431It has been said that fear and anger are very close emotions, and you can easily turn one into the other.And Rosa functions best when at maximum rage.
>>2320101Omake series idea: Follow the journey of Sad bat and his search for a meaning to his life. Watch him encounter various characters in bleach canon.
>>2320483As a wise Yoda said: "Fear leads to anger, Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering of the poor bastard that made Riku Angry."
>>2320491I really like this idea. Sadbat wandering around the different worlds, meeting and learning from every person he sees.At the same time, we've just let one the most powerful arrancar have a ridiculous level of freedom to move about and do whatever he wants without anyone really stopping him. But I think that it would be a cool way to see how he deals with each situation.
>>2320431His power does seem predicated on a faulty assumption that nobody would ever respond to pure, undiluted fear with equally pure, undiluted violence.>>2320491I do rather like this idea.
>>2321145keep in mind there is one other arrancar that's also roaming about freely. She's been mentioned multiple times throughout SSQ as a running gag. >>2321388I wonder what happens when sadbat meets that crazy wolf woman...