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You are Tenjirō Kirinji, the 'Hot-Springs Demon', and you're currently locked in a fight with the traitorous former Captain of Fifth Division: Aizen Sōsuke. You'd have to grudgingly admit at this point that he's not bad, in fact his technique and reiryoku aren't out of line with one of the Royal Special Task Force. But that's still not enough for him to beat you.

Your peers didn't get their titles for nothing after all. Each of you has done something extraordinary in the history of the Soul Society, giving the shinigami a creation of note. With the Monk it was the concept of Bankai and the system of releasing zanpakutō as they currently exist. With Ōetsu it was the Asauchi, a nameless blank sword capable of being imprinted upon. A sword that could become anything. Your invention is something that doesn't see as much use on its own, but the theories and concepts around it are used in kaidō.

White Bone Hell is the name of the technique you're going to use on Aizen. A hot springs water of such heat and with a specific content that allows it to purge a spirit body of its damaged portions in preparation for a second technique that replaces the damage done, which also restores reiatsu. Using that first technique, but without the second technique called the Blood Pond Hell, you can boil Aizen like a lobster and simply not undo the damage.

That's the plan at least. But Ōetsu's gaze causes you to pause, at first simply trading blows with Aizen's blade. It's the fact that the “Tōshin”, the Sword-God, is watching that sword with obvious distaste in his features.

“Did you lose something over here?” Aizen demands, taking a step back to disengage from your own sword. “God of the Sword?”

“Not yet,” Ōetsu replies. “You can't hear it, so I'm not surprised you can talk so calmly.”

“Hear what?” Kirio asks.

“I can hear especially strong zanpakutō, pretty much all the time,” Ōetsu explains. “And right now, I can tell you Kyōka Suigetsu's screamin' in agony. Poor girl.”

“Zanpakutō are nothing more than tools,” Aizen declares, staring for a moment at Ōetsu Nimaiya. “Tools, created by you...”

You don't let him finish the sentence.

Swiftly releasing your zanpakutō Kinpika, you use the extra boost of power to summon the water of the White Bone Hell. The dancing, frothing waves of boiling water wash over Aizen and show their effect immediately, like you're washing away a painting of Aizen with soapy water. The burns simply melt away his flesh right down to the bones, leaving a burned and mutilated corpse in their wake.
>1/2
>>
>>3088833
“How disappointing,” you spit towards the corpse before sheathing your sword. “Seriously, to make us come all the way down here and all...”

“... that was quite rude,” an impossible voice chides you, forcing you to raise your sword and turn to face the speaker.

It's Aizen, his face still in the process of regenerating with a strange purple light. So this is how he's doing it...

“As I was saying,” he continues as his face slowly repairs itself, like watching a candle melt in reverse until the face of a man stares back at you. “The zanpakutō in my hands is nothing more than a tool created by the Royal Special Task Force, to constrain shinigami from reaching their full potential. It is a hobble, even if you speak of it as an asset.”

“Poor dumb bastard,” you hiss. “That thing's obviously eating away at your mind... or, what little mind you ever had.”

“For a supposedly brilliant healer your own intellectual ability is rather lacking,” Aizen shoots back. “I know what you exist for.”

>I don't follow you (lie).
>I... REALLY don't understand. Are you high or something?
>What is it you put in yourself, Aizen?
>Switch out
>Other?
>>
>>3088839
>>What is it you put in yourself, Aizen?
>>
>>3088839
>I don't follow you (lie).
>>
>>3088839
>>I don't follow you (lie).
>>I... REALLY don't understand. Are you high or something?
>>
>>3088839
>>What is it you put in yourself, Aizen?
>>
>>3088839
>>What is it you put in yourself, Aizen?
>>
>>3088839
>What is it you put in yourself, Aizen?
>>
>going with pressing Aizen for answers, will call for a roll later when I actually have time to sit down and write
>>
>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 2, 5, 2 = 9 (3d10)

>>3090489
>>
Rolled 6, 10, 8 = 24 (3d10)

>>3090489
>>
Rolled 9, 8, 1 = 18 (3d10)

>>3090489
>>
Rolled 8, 10, 6 = 24 (3d10)

>>3090489
>>
>>3090328
“What've you done to yourself, you bastard?” you demand of Aizen. “You shouldn't be this capable. Keeping up with me for a bit I could see, but regenerating like that? Nah, that's not something I can just write off.”

“If I told you it would spoil the surprise,” Aizen replies, bringing his sword down against your own with a loud clash of metal on metal. “And that would take all the fun out of it.”

You push against his blade with a shunpō that places you behind him, where he manages to parry your sword. Another shunpō places you to his weak side, and you cross blades with him again as he thrusts with the point of his sword and pushes the swing upwards and over his head. But when he brings down that blade you're already gone, having taken a step backwards to get out of the way.

This game between the two of you lasts entirely longer than you thought possible, before finally you manage to slice two of Aizen's fingers off with a well-placed counterswing. But that doesn't seem to accomplish much, since he just grows them back almost immediately.

“I suppose I can offer you a hint,” Aizen muses as he slices your ear with a near-miss. “It's the Hōgyoku.”

“That's supposed to be a hint?” you demand, your sword clanging off Aizen's zanpakutō. “Didn't you just give it away?”

“Ah, but the surprise is what the Hōgyoku can do,” Aizen replies. “Not even Urahara Kisuke knows the truth.”

“That the Hōgyoku is a ball of coagulated shinreiryōku?” you ask.

Aizen narrows his eyes. “At this point who doesn't know that much?”

“Okay then, so what are you saying?”

“That the Hōgyoku has its own will,” Aizen declares. “And that it can be bent into the service of one whose own will and power are sufficient.”

“That is what I have done.”

>You're insane. Talking to a literal ROCK.
>Are you sure this rock of yours is the one serving you?
>You think you can beat us with your unearned power?
>Other?
>>
>>3090533
>Are you sure this rock of yours is the one serving you?
>>
>>3090533
>>Are you sure this rock of yours is the one serving you?
>>
>>3090533
>>Are you sure this rock of yours is the one serving you?
>>You think you can beat us with your unearned power?
>>
>>3090533
>Are you sure this rock of yours is the one serving you?
>Cause the way it looks to me, is that it's just letting you think your in-charge, while it alters your body and mind like a piece of clay to fulfill it's own goals.
>>
>>3090533
>your sword is crying because you’ve become plot rock’s personal whore. you’re so high on shinreiryoku that you’ve actually become weak
>>
>>3090533
>>Are you sure this rock of yours is the one serving you?
>>3090576
I really like this line.
>>
>>3090533
“You moron,” you grumble.

“Pardon me?”

You glare at Aizen as you clarify. “You really think that rock of yours is working for you?”

“That was what I said,” Aizen declares. “Yes. Good to know that you were listening.”

“Remind me, which one of us can still use their zanpakutō?” you challenge him. “Yours is literally screaming at you. That should be a real sign to you.”

“Of what?” Aizen replies calmly. “Of the Hōgyoku freeing me from the shackles placed on me by the Royal Special Task Force? Of helping me transcend the current system of defining 'shinigami' and 'hollows'?”

“He's insane,” Shutara sighs dramatically as Ōetsu plugs his ears with his fingers, as if trying in vain to keep the sounds of Kyōka Suigetsu's apparent distress at bay. “Committed, but insane.”

“Why don't you just get this over with?” the Monk quizzes you.

“Funny,” Aizen muses aloud. “I was just thinking something similar.”

>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 9, 3, 7, 6 = 25 (4d10)

>>3090533
>QM roll
>>
Rolled 1, 8, 9 = 18 (3d10)

>>3092218
>>
Rolled 4, 9, 4 = 17 (3d10)

>>3092219
>>
Rolled 2, 7, 5 = 14 (3d10)

>>3092218
>>
>>3092218
You begin to realize in a moment that Aizen is up to something, a brief flutter in his reiatsu. Then you sense a larger change. There's a pulse of violet reiatsu to accompany the feeling as well.

“I can't hear Kyōka Suigetsu anymore,” you hear Ōetsu declare.

You're not sure what that actually means, but you get the impression that you won't have to wait long to find out. In fact, you're not inclined to wait at all.

In an instant you step forward towards Aizen, who raises his sword to meet yours with a confident grin.

“What have you done this time?” you demand.

“What I have been trying to do for a while now,” he replies with that same confidence. “You had a point about Kyōka Suigetsu of course.”

A sharp, sudden pain draws your eyes down to your left shoulder, where a sword now protrudes. You stare back at Aizen, seeing that his expression hasn't changed. Nor has he moved so much as a single muscle, you can't even really tell if he's breathed since he spoke. Almost like...

“... a static image,” you realize.

“Exactly,” Aizen's voice confirms, coming from behind you now.

“So that's why Ōetsu can't hear your zanpakutō anymore,” you grunt, pulling yourself away from the sword and turning to face Aizen where he now stands. “What, have you let that rock eat your zanpakutō now too?”

“An inelegant way of putting it, but yes,” Aizen confirms. “That is not an inaccurate summary. The Hōgyoku has now taken control of the abilities of mine which were once subjected to the whims of Kyōka Suigetsu.”

“You traded an imagined 'master' for a true one,” you grumble, taking a moment to use your own hotspring waters to heal the injury to your shoulder.

>Shut your eyes, focus on your reiatsu sensing to fight Aizen.
>Allow Aizen to strike you, then counterattack.
>Switch out for someone else.
>Other?
>>
>>3093655
>>Shut your eyes, focus on your reiatsu sensing to fight Aizen.
>>
>>3093655
>Shut your eyes, focus on your reiatsu sensing to fight Aizen.
>>
>>3093655
>Shut your eyes, focus on your reiatsu sensing to fight Aizen.
>>
>>3093655
>>Shut your eyes, focus on your reiatsu sensing to fight Aizen.
>>
>>3093655
You close your eyes, knowing that fighting while relying on nothing else but your reiatsu sensing abilities to fight will be the only way that you can counteract the effects of Aizen's new powers... what once would have been Kyōka Suigetsu. But you don't know anymore whether Kyōka Suigetsu even exists anymore.

“How fascinating,” you hear Aizen's voice in front of you. “You believe that trick will work? Let me share something with you. The more heavily trained and experienced a warrior is, the more they instinctively rely on their senses.”

“It took a hundred years of specific training for Shihōin Yoruichi and Kusajshi Riku to do what you are attempting.”

>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 5, 10, 6 = 21 (3d10)

>>3095506
>>
Rolled 8, 3, 4 = 15 (3d10)

>>3095506
Here comes the fail!
>>
Rolled 3, 3, 5 = 11 (3d10)

>>3095506
>>
Rolled 3, 5, 5 = 13 (3d10)

>>3095506
And they aren't me.
>>
>>3095506
“Behind you!” you hear the Monk bark loudly. You swing your blade almost entirely as an instinctive response, only to find a blade biting into your shoulder.

Rolling with the blow slightly to stay below the edge of Aizen's sword preserves your arm, this time at least, and you manage to sidestep away from your unseen assailant.

“You responded quickly,” Aizen muses. “Vision is not the only sense that I can influence, of course. While you have taken the appropriate first step and removed one sense from my arsenal, perhaps the most important one, I still have ways of influencing you.”

“I'm getting real tired of your shit, Aizen,” you grumble. “Quit your babbling.”

“Interesting,” Aizen continues, his voice now directly behind you. Focusing on his reiatsu reveals this as a trick. “Since when were you under the impression that I was actually speaking?”

Aizen's reiatsu moves and spikes briefly, but in the direction of your compatriots. It takes an instant for you to cross that distance and interpose yourself between his blade and Shutara's neck with a clashing of steel.

You can sense Shutara moving away by her reiatsu, but hear nothing from her. Aizen must be preventing you from hearing her voice... instead you can feel the sensation of your hairs standing on end. But is that just Aizen making you feel that sensation, or is it actually serving you still? You can smell blood, but is that your own or is Aizen simply making you imagine it?

While you're definitely faring better than one might expect given your handicap, you're still making very little headway... and you've yet to figure out a means of effectively counterattacking against Aizen.

>Try letting him hit you, then countering. That is the easiest way to ensure he can't parry.
>Use kidō to raise a barrier trapping him near you, then go to town on him once his movement is restricted.
>Tap out for another member of the Royal Special Task Force who may have an answer. They'll be able to sense your reiatsu... you assume.
>Other?
>>
>>3095584
>Try letting him hit you, then countering. That is the easiest way to ensure he can't parry.
>>
>>3095584
>tank the hits, when he goes for a stab or any attack, go for the blade instead of Aizen, see if you can pull him into a grapple and grab his sword
>>
>>3095584
>>Try letting him hit you, then countering. That is the easiest way to ensure he can't parry.
>>
>>3095584
>>Try letting him hit you, then countering. That is the easiest way to ensure he can't parry.
>>
>>3095584
>>Try letting him hit you, then countering. That is the easiest way to ensure he can't parry.
The Kenpachi-approved strategy!
>>
>3d10, best of three
>DC 21, crit 25
>>
Rolled 4, 9, 8 = 21 (3d10)

>>3095645
>>
Rolled 4, 3, 7 = 14 (3d10)

>>3095645
>>
Rolled 7, 5, 8 = 20 (3d10)

>>3095645
Welp time to die~!
>>
you know it’s pure bullshit when fighting Aizen feels like choosing how you will die
>>
Rolled 6, 8, 7 = 21 (3d10)

>>3095645
>>
>>3095645
You're barely managing to stay alive right now, but really that's how you define victory, right? At the end one man's alive and the other is dead, and the one that's still alive is the winner. So in a sense all you really have to do is not die long enough to find a way to kill Aizen outright.

And of course that's where you get a risky idea. But it may be your one shot at landing a decisive blow on this bastard now that his increases in power have begun to run away from you like this. You can only hope it ends up hurting him more than it does you.

The next time you feel a spike of reiatsu from Aizen you raise your sword to defend from what you assume will be the likely attack of choice, and then take a lunging step towards him that ends in a powerful flat thrust that completely misses his body. You can sense him moving to your side, where the spine of your zanpakutō leaves an obvious blind spot, and instead of moving to defend yourself as you normally would you lean further into the attack to open an invitation.

It's an opening Aizen seizes upon immediately.

You feel his sword dig into your side as you turn your waist at the last second, and when you feel the tip emerge from your back you reach down with your left hand and grab at what you hope is Aizen's wrist. You miss and end up grasping the base of his blade instead, but that will work too.

“You...” he grumbles as you bring your sword down through his wrist, severing his hand. “Are you happy now? You've wounded me.”

“Could have gone better,” you retort. “Coulda cut out your damn tongue instead.”

“Oh, but where would the fun in that be?”

“Gettin' some peace and quiet,” you contend. “That'd be great.”

“Well, sorry to disappoint,” Aizen apologizes. “But you got my wrist.”

You can tell he's not sorry at all.

>Keep this up for as long as you can.
>Try to signal for backup?
>Try and signal to swap out.
>Other?
>>
>>3095766
>Try and signal to swap out.
>>
>>3095766
>>Try and signal to swap out.
let's see how long he can keep this up.
>>
>>3095789
Are we still in arms length of Aizen? Or did he back off after we cut off the hand holding the sword we grabbed?
>>
>>3095766
>>Try and signal to swap out.
>>
>>3095766
>Try and signal to swap out
>>
>>3095766
>Swap out
>other: Run away with his sword.
>>
>3d10, best of three
>this will set the DC for the next character to take over
>>
Rolled 6, 1, 1 = 8 (3d10)

>>3095860
>>3d10, best of three
does that mean the lowest, or the highest in this case?
>>
Rolled 6, 1, 10 = 17 (3d10)

>>3095860
>>
Rolled 9, 1, 2 = 12 (3d10)

>>3095860
>>
Rolled 7, 4, 3, 8 = 22 (4d10)

>>3095860
>qm rolling

>>3095868
My intention was basically that certain results would reduce the DC for the next character to hit, which a 17 doesn't do ALL that much.

It's a bit squidgy.
>>
>>3095894
Unfortunately, there's only one way that you can reliably signal that you want to switch out with someone else, given that there's currently someone interfering with your ability to communicate with them. It needs to be something that will be clear, and that they'll understand is not the effect of Aizen trying to goad them into acting in a way that will leave them vulnerable.

And that one clear signal would be to suppress your reiatsu. Essentially, any pronounced drop in the one thing about your state they can reliably sense will be the only way to signal that they should step in. This will make them either think that you have been killed or at least stricken.

So that's precisely what you do.

You suppress your reiatsu for a second, and feel Aizen's sword slice into you. The wound isn't unexpected of course, you did after all give him an opening. But it's not as bad as it could have been, and you can sense that someone behind you has taken the hint.

>Shutara
>Ōetsu
>Kirio
>>
>>3095937
>>Ōetsu
i get the feeling Oetsu would be fucking pissed after suigetsu was silenced
>>
>>3095937
>>Ōetsu
I want an inside look at his rage and sorrow over what happened to suigetsu and Aizen's treatment of her.
>>
>>3095937
>>Ōetsu
>>
>>3095937
>Shutara
>>
>>3095937
You are Ōetsu Nimaiya, and you've got something special in store for Aizen Sōsuke after what he did to Kyōka Suigetsu. While you've never been a fan of zanpakutō which influence the mind, what he's done is something that cannot be forgiven. You've seen all sorts of relationships develop between shinigami and their blades, and while there are those who treat their companions as mere tools it's a wholly new experience to see an experienced shinigami not only abandon their zanpakutō, which they know to be a part of themselves, but do... this.

It's a total betrayal, a savage rejection of a part of himself that you know better than he only ever had his interests at heart.

“My turn,” you declare. You were sure to take this with you, having had Mera locate it for you and hand it to you. This is the only sword that you would knowingly keep out of its sheath, rested over your shoulder. Because really, it's not even a sword per se.

“I was wondering when the manufacturer of the Asauchi, and in turn my own former zanpakutō, would choose to step in,” Aizen muses in a cruel tone. He knows what he did had to have upset you. “And here you are. Do you wish to avenge your creation, your subordinate?”

“That is fine.”

“I know you may not care too much to learn new names at this point,” you shoot back, “knowing how you feel about zanpakutō. But this is a name you might wanna remember: Sayafushi.”

“Scabbard-cutter?” Aizen replies. “A boast, or something else?”

“Lucky you,” you reply. “You'll get to find out.”

>Attack head-on. You may take some damage, but a hit from Sayafushi might prove lethal.
>Draw in an attack. Slashing at his limbs will rapidly lead to a fatal blow.
>Try to use kidō to pin him in place so you can finish him with Sayafushi.
>Other?
>>
>>3096050
>Draw in an attack. Slashing at his limbs will rapidly lead to a fatal blow.
>>
>>3096050
>Attack head-on. You may take some damage, but a hit from Sayafushi might prove lethal.
>>
>>3096050
>>Attack head-on. You may take some damage, but a hit from Sayafushi might prove lethal
Don't want to repeat strategies, Aizen would find that... boring.
>>
>>3096050
>>Attack head-on. You may take some damage, but a hit from Sayafushi might prove lethal.
>>
>>3096050
>>Attack head-on. You may take some damage, but a hit from Sayafushi might prove lethal.
>>
>3d10, best of three
>dc18, crit 26
>>
Rolled 4, 10, 9 = 23 (3d10)

>>3096149
Fail train!
>>
Rolled 4, 7, 10 = 21 (3d10)

>>3096149
Maximum over-cutting
>>
Rolled 9, 3, 10 = 22 (3d10)

>>3096149
COME ON!
>>
Rolled 6, 6, 10 = 22 (3d10)

>>3096149
>>
>>3096149
You decide that it's time to attack, because while you may take some wounds in exchange you only need to land one strike for it to cause serious injury or even death. That's how Sayafushi works.

So you run down Aizen, judging solely based on where his reiatsu is, and swing Sayafushi in a wide, powerful arc. You actually want him to try and parry it. But when he doesn't you suspect something is up.

At first you suspect that Sayfushi itself is to blame, since a blade that cuts so cleanly might not give you any real indication that you've just cut through something. Then the blow to the back of your head suggests he may have suspected that your sword might have that problem, and used the powers he took from Kyōka Suigetsu to confuse the one sense you could use to tell whether or not you hit him: touch.

It's kind of hard to tell anymore.

“Gotcha!” you declare as you swing the blade through the spot where Aizen should be after landing a hit, and a brief fluctuation in his reiatsu suggests that this time you hit him.

Still no sound, no tactical feedback, nothing of that sort. So that fluctuation after you've landed a strike is probably going to be the only way you can tell that Sayafushi found its mark.

“What a pain in the ass,” you grumble. “Fightin' like this, it's hard to tell that anythin's happening at all!”

“You could always try striking up a conversation,” Aizen retorts.

You can tell that the sound came from somewhere other than where you can sense his reiatsu... interesting. So this is what Kirinji was facing.

>Try to release as much reiatsu as recklessly as possible, sense the movement of that reiatsu.
>This is getting absurd. Pin this bastard down so the Monk can have his way with him.
>Surely Shutara or Kirio can do something to help out? Come on, this is goin' the same way as Kirinji's fight!
>Other?
>>
>>3096254
>>Try to release as much reiatsu as recklessly as possible, sense the movement of that reiatsu
Fuck it, damn the torpedoes!
>>
>>3096254
>>Surely Shutara or Kirio can do something to help out? Come on, this is goin' the same way as Kirinji's fight!
>>
>>3096254
>>Try to release as much reiatsu as recklessly as possible, sense the movement of that reiatsu.
>>
>>3096254
>This is getting absurd. Pin this bastard down so the Monk can have his way with him.
>>
>>3096254
>>Try to release as much reiatsu as recklessly as possible, sense the movement of that reiatsu.
>>
>>3096254
>This is getting absurd. Pin this bastard down so the Monk can have his way with him.
>>
>3d10, best of three
>dc18, crit 23
>>
Rolled 3, 6, 6 = 15 (3d10)

>>3096364
>>
Rolled 9, 3, 5 = 17 (3d10)

>>3096364
>>
Rolled 3, 5, 2 = 10 (3d10)

>>3096364
>>
wow.
I know this is supposed to be the final boss and all that. but jeeze.
>>
Rolled 3, 8, 2 = 13 (3d10)

>>3096364
>>
>>3096364
You decide to take one last stab at using a new trick to fight against Aizen, releasing a massive amount of reiatsu in order to use movements of that to track his passage, like looking for a 'wake' of sorts. Sensing such disturbances might even let you know when his sword is about to find its mark.

“That will not work against me,” Aizen declares confidently. “Not if your reiatsu-sensing ability is worse than that which Kusajishi Riku and Shihōin Yoruichi trained to achieve.”

All around you can sense a mass of reiatsu, like a kidō building up. You slash through it, thinking it must be Kurohitsugi. That would after all be what you would use in Aizen's place. But that's not what he used at all.

Several distinct blasts hit you from all sides, only one having been split by Sayafushi, and you fall to the ground.

Damn it all.

It's hard to believe that Aizen would go so far as this, to throw away everything in pursuit of whatever he thinks this 'Hōgyoku' is promising him.

But for the time being, it seems like avenging Kyōka Suigetsu is going to have to fall to someone else.

You wonder if that's the end of her role in this story...
>>
>>3096438
And I need to grab some rest now, thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hopefully keeping this up and getting back into the swing of a 'normal' schedule.

There'll be Claymore tomorrow, and probably continued updates through the weekdays, so keep an eye on Twitter and see you then!



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