[BSD-RP] Soul Society: Northeast Seireitei




Nine Months Later

Nao Murakami

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Listen While You Read

The cool early morning air swept across the Seventh Division, flowing unhindered throughout the deathly still compound toward she who commanded those that called this place home. The Captain of the Seventh allowed the breeze to approach, lucent hairs stiffening alongside goosebumped skin, the briskness caressing her to the point of elation, and yet her single bright-green eye remained open and ever-discerning, as she gazed down upon that which was hers.

The sky yet basked in night, the only light shone upon the Shinigami’s scarred face and long ginger hair that of burning ornamented braziers at her sides, fashioned to resemble elegant phoenixes: an additional pair dutifully nestled on either side of the only passageway in and out of her office’s balcony, and countless more strewn leading into and about the Officer’s Command Station. They roared night and day as a reminder to both familiar and stranger, that the flames of the Seventh would never be quelled, rising up again and again from the ashes until the end of time.

With a deep nasal exhale did Nao rid her lungs of the exquisite plum scented tobacco, hastily refilled with an equally deep puff of her smoking pipe. The cool breeze forced the purple haze away, forever lost to the darkness, and yet the sweet aroma of plum lingered, surely noticeable to the on-duty officers beyond the walls, as they worked diligently from within. Her gaze shifted from the Officer’s Barracks that lay below, and which surrounded the Command Station, to the near West where a congregation of buildings stood firm, they too illuminated by blazing fires.

An ardeus nine months had seen the Seventh rebuilt, and although there remained a great deal of work to be done, the foundation for its inevitable rebirth was put into place. Within the Command Station, to which stood hundreds of miles north of Sōkyoku Hill, the fabled landmark towering in the backdrop even beyond the reach of the Seventh's highest vantage point, resided the Surveillance and Dispatch Unit. A top priority even before her acceptance into the venerable pantheon of Captains, Nao’s initial pursuit upon promotion was the acquisition of the capability to monitor the Rukongai in its entirety, which ultimately required a direct petition to the Central Forty-Six. A lengthy inquisition, and exhaustive yet persuasive back-and-forth with the Speaker of the House, Kyosai Tsunayashiro, came to an inevitable resolution: in the end, the Captain of the Seventh would be granted that which she sought. The Tsunayashiro Noble Family would provide the Seventh Division with a restricted and heavily monitored edition of the clan’s Visual Surveillance Department, to be handled only by the Captain and a handful of those most trusted in her command. A decree that Nao accepted with delight, evidenced by her deep bow and thankful declaration of, “May the Soul King bless you, kindest of the kind, Speaker Tsunayashiro”.

Nao giggled at the recollection of events, enjoying another sequence of tobacco exhalation and inhalation, as her thoughts were seized elsewhere. To the near West resided the High Threat Crisis Response Unit, to the East the Builders’ Corps, and yet East of that, the Rukongai Patrol Command, each housing their respective Enlisted Barracks. The entirety of the Seventh Division spanned for endless miles, although to Nao, the total distance may as well have been nothing more than a meter; a common occurrence for Divisioners to be graced with their Captain’s presence, when a mere breath before, she stood at the opposite end of the Division grounds. But such was the nature of work under Captain Murakami, who led by example, always available to those under her command.

The red of her pipe's chamber brightened, accompanied by a new series of ponderings.

The Kenpachi Games came to a resounding and fateful close, the title of the strongest in all of the Seireitei bestowed upon a most fitting Shinigami.

Ken…Pachi Hageshi,” Nao whispered to herself as she thanked a Security Patrol duo making their rounds below.

A combination of title and name with an exceptional roll off the tongue, held by a Soul feared by most. Although Nao never met the woman, acquiring a general understanding of another’s soul could be reasonably ascertained from their demeanor, particularly in the heat of combat. Fierce, unrelenting, and in all sense of the word, a monster; Captain Hageshi overcame all obstacles placed before her, an unstoppable force that would simply never yield, and in the end so too did the Fabled Fairy fall victim to her might. A gruesome ordeal that left the Seireitei’s premier healer to bathe in the warmth of his own lifeblood. Most intriguing were the powers displayed for all to see, their respective Bankais a spectacle that led Nao to wonder about their precise machinations, in an attempt to bridge the gap between what she’d heard from the many stories and that which she’d seen with her own eyes. To fell the Fairy with a single swing, outright unfathomable the power that Captain Hageshi’s Zanpakutō held. Also peculiar that as Captain Nakamoto lay motionless, he somehow yet still was able to rid the Beast of her arms. Indeed a ghastly confrontation, but one that instilled a sense of security within Nao, for she held no doubts that if the Soul Society were ever to face the inevitable threat, it would be crushed post haste.

A lethargic line of orange sketched across the Eastern horizon, the sun rising at last, accompanied by a methodical rumble from the same distant East, the sound echoing through the earth, reverberating through the foundations of the Command Station, and into her very bones. Every dawn that set brought with it a series of events to which the Captain of the Seventh looked forward to, signaling the start of yet another relentless day.

As the Officer Corps did much the same, lining up in their assigned elements, and then squadrons, their Captain peered down at them absently, her thoughts elsewhere but for a brief moment. A cloud of purple smoke burst from her nostrils, dancing with the flames of the burning braziers at her sides.

Only recently Nao came to learn that she was not alone in her ascension to Captaincy.

Captain Honoka Oki, the once disgraced noble, took that which was always within her reach. It came as no surprise that when faced with an ultimatum, the poor woman rose beyond the occasion, for her capabilities as a Shinigami were never in question. Even so, Nao couldn’t help but feel for the noble, as it seemed that destiny set the matron upon a path of utter tragedy.

What was a surprise, although delightful simply for the fact that she finally heard his name after what must have been a century, was the promotion of Captain Shizuka Hyouzoku. Ever since their meeting centuries past, she knew the day would come when Shizuka took the reins of the Tenth, for he possessed power very few could dream of attaining. Although she wondered…if he was still the same work-averse bundle of joy, or if he’d changed? Life always held the strangest twist and turns, the experiences often affecting Souls in equally mysterious ways. And the circulating rumors regarding what had transpired in Naruki City, if true, were testament to just how cruel life could get.

Nao pulled out her Soul Pager, taking the ornate pipe from her pink lips and into the gentle fingers of her left hand. She opened a new message, the recipient Shizuka, noting their last communication having been over ninety years past. A bemused chuckle escaped her.

My, how time flies.

Shizuka!!! My love, how-

She stopped, wondering if her candor was out of place. It truly had been a long while, and in light of their recent circumstances, she chose to address him accordingly.


Captain Hyouzoku!!! Congratulations on your promotion! I know it’s been a while, I’d love to see you again. Hope all is well. 😊


The sending of the message was confirmed by the tone of flapping wings, to which the device then returned to its place within her Shihakusho.

As she returned the pipe to her lips, they coiled into a bright smile.

On the matter of Captains, her thoughts of that man could never be curbed, perpetually forcing their way to the forefront. From within the reflection of her green eye, the re-enactment of Suiyo Kusotare’s test came to life, the blurred dance of his ebony blade a display of Zanjutsu perfection. By his swordsmanship alone, she concluded his true identity with certainty, for she could count on the fingers of one hand the Souls capable of matching his skill with the blade. And that Zanpakutō he wielded, with a power of which she simply couldn’t fully piece together, was a mystery all on its own. How exactly had he manipulated the Senkaimon, and subsequently escaped the Valley of Screams? Hypotheses that she surely would come to answer someday.

Of the countless Rukongai Legends she encountered, only two matched the tale feat by feat: the White Death, and the Soul responsible for her unhealable scar. No surprise then, that the old man was given a haori and a Division to lead, although she did wonder how the Eighth would function under such a…unique character. Alas, inconsequential musings for in the end, the Thirteen Court Guard Squads had bolstered its ranks with yet another giant.

With the sun half-risen, its light illuminating the Seireitei in a dull orange, shingled rooftops reflecting intensely, and the Officers standing at attention in formation, one last thought came to her. That of a young and boisterous Shinigami, full of immense potential, that reminded Nao of herself when she was younger…although a hazy memory, and one she wasn’t entirely sure of. Regardless, the power within this Shinigami’s soul had been noted and subsequently, a direct interest taken. With the heartbreaking disappearance of Lieutenant Ise, and the unfortunate loss of the Ise Clan’s Ancestral Zanpakutō to the wilds, the Captain of the Seventh required a replacement, and that she would have upon the flourishing of one named Noi Momotomo.

As she awaited the arrival of her protégé, Nao took one last gander at the immaculately still rows of Officers beneath her, and the mass formations of Enlisted Squadrons in the distance, until her gaze met with that of the Commanding Officer leading the morning’s roll call. He looked up at her with reverence, expectant of her orders. Although she was a Soul who weaved through life with unapologetic gusto, treating those under her Command as if they were family and in the process, elevating an environment brimming with morale, it didn’t preclude her from running a tight operation.

She drew in the deepest inhale of tobacco yet, and nodded, the single gesture leading to the simultaneous recitation of the Division’s Creed, a unified and harmonious bellow that would be heard across the entirety of the Seireitei, ensuring that if the other Divisions were yet slumbering, they would awaken and be reminded of what it meant to be the Gotei 13.

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With a quick pull behind her head, Noi swept her peachy hair up into her ponytail. Being up so early was still difficult for Noi, despite how she'd grown somewhat accustomed to being up and about far earlier than she'd ever been, her steps always trailing behind her Captains as the older woman would go about her duties, she still struggled today. While it seemed to be a day like any other, Noi's stomach bubbled and tossed as she finished getting herself ready, taking a final once over in her mirror.

Today really was just another day at this point, a day she was to join her Captain for training. A scenario Noi never truly saw in her future, to actually train her unrefined skills with the aim of taking a Lieutenant position. As a noble, even one low ranking, perhaps it should've been her goal from the onset to take a seat, to gain honour for her clan name. Noi, however, could only grimace at the mere thought, her nose scrunching up in distaste. Going with the flow was the girls only true goal, seeing where life would take her, if it'd lead the perfect man to her to sweep her off her feet in a tidal wave of romance and passionate love. Certainly not to do anything her grandmother would approve of. Duty this, duty that, Momotomo this, Momotomo that, the nagging she could still hear echoing through her skull.
Noi adjusted her obijime, tightening it around her waist, trying to shake the train of thought from her mind.

With a huff, the girl turned on her heel, smile overtaking her features with all the power of the early morning sun inching through her room. She couldn't let her squadmates see her frustrated so early in the morning; Noi had an image to uphold now, people to impress that weren't on her romance radar. A newfound pride in not only her skills, but how she was perceived as well. Not yet a Lieutenant, yet everyone in the squad knew she was going to become one, taking the spot of the missing one in what would end up being no-time flat thanks to Nao's tutelage.

Ever the last to arrive, as Noi finally made it out of her room she heard the familiar bellows of her squad reciting their division creed- Something that would normally be what woke Noi up most days. She hurried her pace just a bit, and met her Captain with a bow just as the voices of 7th Division petered out.

"Good morning, Captain Murakami," the unspoken 'Nao-chan' wavered beneath Noi's voice, present even as she addressed Nao properly. The comfortable familiarity a stark contrast to what their squad had been presenting since Nao took the mantle. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be to begin today's training,"









Eight Months Ago

An Unexpected Invitation

The resolution of the crises in the World of the Living came with a period of recovery. The damage done to the two cities was significant, but the losses were even more devastating.While the Seireitei’s best swung at each other for the title of strongest, souls were lost. Lives had been cut short during the noise of the festivities.

What this all served to prove was that the forces of the Gotei Thirteen needed to prepare even more than they already had. The weight of these threats weighed heavier than they had in a long time. At any point, havoc could be brought forth again if change did not come within the ranks of the Shinigami.

After his return from Naruki, Hiroka had time to sit with what had transpired. In the span of a few hours, he had resigned from the Games, Jinnosuke had been killed, Shoumetsu had been severely injured, and that was just in regards to those within his own ranks. The only soul within the Eleventh to come out of that day with anything to rave about was their Captain, since she had claimed the title of Kenpachi. For the rest, they were left with a bittersweet taste. Their leader had attained the coveted accolade, which meant celebrations were in order, and yet the division had also been greatly humbled by the initial living world expedition.

Hiroka had always placed training at the top of his priority list, but this time there was something different about his motivation. His body moved through each step of his kata with flawless precision, but instead of the usual ferocity in his gaze, there was a look devoid of light. A strike to the air just above his head, to a downward strike, a pivot of his feet, and into a frontwards jab. Each movement moved to a familiar beat that left little room for improvement. But even with that, Hiroka was silently judging his own actions as if they were the movements of an amateur. What started as a simple half-hour warm up became something that consumed an entire hour. The solitary space that the Ikari had occupied aided in the passage of time, for it gave no real sign of time’s progression. He was not pressed for time and had the day to attend to his own affairs.

The Fourth Seat trailed through each form over and over, increasing in pacing as the session continued. The moments blurred together until...
"Excuse me. Fourth Seat Ikari."

The audible call for attention led to Hiroka dropping his stance and turning to face the source. I immediately spotted a division member with blonde hair and thick rimmed glasses on her face. Her posture looked as if she had something important to relay.

"Go ahead. What is it?"

She cleared her throat before closing the space between them a bit, revealing an envelope that she promptly extended forward to the taller reaper.
"Someone from the Ninth brought this over and said I should get this to you as soon as possible."

Hiroka accepted the wrapped message from the unseated member, looking it over for a moment. He’d dismiss the messenger and begin slowly tearing into the package, seeking out the letter that was housed within. After he had fished it out, he scanned the words on the page. It was a formal offer for the position of Lieutenant of the Ninth. Hiroka had to read through it a second time to confirm that he had even read it correctly. During the clarifying peruse, his eyes stopped on the word "Lieutenant". He held his breath for a few seconds as he focused on that word before his lips parted to make only one sound.




Six Months Ago


Striking the Match

Clack! Clack! Clack! Clack!

The sounds of bokken clashing against one another filled the courtyard of the Ninth Division's training ground. The arrhythmic clacking is born from the long-spanning efforts of many souls as they hone their combative prowess. All of which was orchestrated by their rather newly appointed lieutenant. His own wooden armament collided with those of a unified group.

The allied shinigami that worked to land a strike upon the battle-scarred reaper found no end to their effort. Each solitude or coordinated assault was met with swift retaliation. One that often felt as if it had no origin. Just as quickly as they advanced, they were struck down, sent afloat by an array of calculated swipes.

Hiroka remained where he was, having not moved from the general area where he had begun his instruction on this specific group.Where some of the souls had been paired one on one, these few he wanted to practice with directly. He opted to have six soldiers stacked against him on his own.

For him, it was a routine session to make sure he could maintain a battle against multiple enemies simultaneously, and for them it was a lesson in coordination. Not all those that filled the ranks of the Gotei 13 had the power to handle threats on their own, but if they were to coordinate together, they might find victory. Combat wasn't simply something that had to be decided by the strong. It was perfectly fine to rely on one's peers. In fact, in his eyes, it was encouraging. There was no point in trying to be a hero when that was outside the range of most. Dying a senseless death progresses on the front. All it does is rob that entity of another loyal ally in their fight.
"Jeez, does he think this is the Eleventh or something? We aren't an expeditionary division. "

One of the group souls muttered to another while they wiped away sweat from their brow. Their face clearly expressed their frustration at this seemingly fruitless exchange. The half-blinded Suneater heard with full clarity what most would have missed.

"That's a really lame mentality to have. It shouldn't be up to the frontline divisions to pull the weight of the Gotei 13. "

Hiroka's posture did not change, fully prepared to retaliate should any of these souls decide to make a move to attack him during this response. After all, this could just be a tactic to land a blow on him. But in the instance where this was genuine, he felt it needed to be addressed.

"We all hold the same responsibilities. So I expect no weakness among us. And if you lack the strength on your own, then you will lean on your peers to achieve your goals. This is true for all of you, the officers above you, myself, and even Captain Yugure. I'd hold her to the same expectation as she would for all of us. "

His words were more powerful than any strike he had made during this training, but it would not be his final action. The Suneater rose his bokken to align with the outspoken shinigami's face.

"Now enough of this banter. You've got a job to do... Strike me down."

And so they resumed.



Present Day


An Uphill Battle

Hiroka stood with his back pressed against a pillar, looking just along the edge of the structure at the woman that was afloat in the skies above. Her vigilant gaze was scanning for where the Suneater had run off to a moment ago. He ran through a few scenarios in his mind as the remnant scent of recently released detonations filled the air. He was no longer in the Seireitei, but in a world plagued by a constant heat that sprawled along a seemingly endless outdoor corridor. The only pathway through this plane appears as ancient ruins that were forever highlighted by the infernal light of a star above. This place was the inner world of his beloved Zanpakuto and the woman that hung in the air was none other than Ikarihime.

The pair were in the process of a test, one created by the wrathful princess. All she desired was for her wielder to snatch from her the blade that was held in her left hand. It is a simple task, or it should be, to disarm her of the familiar vessel of their collective power. If he sought the revelation of her most intimate name, then he must humor her little game.
"Roka! You aren’t getting anywhere by hanging around down there."

Ikarihime’s voice rang forth preluding a swipe of her arm, causing with it a series of explosions to fall upon the decrepit corridor, ruining it even further. As the lingering smoke coated the space, the blazing spirit did not drop her vision from where the Ikari should have been. Her focus may have betrayed her as the tanned male appeared behind her and swung a sturdy kick towards the side of her skull. Her eyes moved to look at the nearing foot with haste, but what was even faster was her raising hand. It intercepted the loaded boot and was followed by a pivot upon her heels to land a strike upon the male’s core. That blow was also stopped, but this time by the Suneater. The two continued their own respective melee assaults, though neither made any traction, for their movements were mirrored in proficiency.

The exchange only came to an end once Ikarihime had landed a punch that was laced with her eruptive ability. The detonation echoed several times until Hiroka was sent like a comet to the ground below. Rather than the sound of a collision following those blasts, there was none. Instead, he was back again, right before her, his hand reaching for her face. His grasp connected with her visage, tightening its hold so that she could not break away. That limb would be bound as she raised her free hand to pry away the appendage that was bound to her. The Tendoriru o Tanoshimu (テンドリルを楽しむ, Reveling Tendrils) that were wrapped around Hiroka’s outstretched arm loosened and tied together both of their extremities, preventing any chance of her breaking free in that moment.

He pushed her head back as he pushed off from the Reishi plate on which he stood, dragging them both downward towards the ruins below. While they fell like Icarus, he reached out to snatch the steel vessel of Ikarihime from her grasp. Yet just as his fingers brushed against the heated blade, it jumped from her hand. Casting it back upwards into the heavens by a series of powerful yet contained explosions directly formed from the weapon. A grin spread across the spirit’s face as she sent the sword way beyond the reach of her master.
Where she had an expression forged from her amusement at what had transpired, Hiroka instead wore one of upset. The flame witch noticed he tried to draw back his arm, but she did not let that happen. Instead, she brought her now vacant left hand to his grasping limb, closing her hand upon his wrist. If he had wanted to bind her so badly, then he got what he wanted and she returned the favor.
"Our name certainly has a loud connotation to it. However."

Flames gathered along her feet and elbows, causing the pair to rotate during their descent. The speed of these revolutions picks up with each second of their spiraling fall. He would not be able to break free from her grasp, no matter how hard he tried. Instead, she pulled him closer to her and began to drag his limb a bit away from her delighted visage. And just as she broke his posture, her lips parted again.
"You are lacking the proper-"

Preluding the conclusion of her sentence, the duo headed right for a structure along the ravaged temple. As their bodies were about to meet the building, the last word came.

The exact second before they collided with the structure, the impact never came. Instead, Hiroka’s eyes jolted open, immediately met with the shining sunlight from the clear skies above. He turned his gaze towards the Zanpakuto that rested against the tree beside him and then proceeded to scan the area around him. He pressed his teeth firmly against each other as he grasped at the cloth of his pants. The agitation that clung to him was palpable. What could she have meant by a proper approach? Was that clash not what she expected? What other option would there be to achieve the challenge she had set out? He quickly got to his feet and snatched the weapon from where it rested.

"Why must you be such a pain in my ass? Tch… Whatever."

The Ikari walked away from the solitude spot to which he had conducted Jinzen and made his way back towards the common space of the Ninth Division’s barracks.




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Her brain was frazzled yet constantly firing off in different directions. Mind you none of this went anywhere. Shiori's brain really only had two clear objectives in caveman mode: get to the 4th division and alert them that a patient in critical condition was on the way, and get people out of the path of whoever was carrying Kururu. Did it slow her down a little? Probably, but the trade off was that hopefully those who were hauling the injured teacher to the 4th division would have an easier time getting there. Hopefully more than Aiya would be carrying the woman. In retrospect, Shiori probably should have stayed back and helped carry her instead of leaving Aiya alone to do it. Girl was a trooper, but she was small.

"Out of the way! Someone's dying! Get the hell outta the way!"

Thankfully people had been largely responsive, parting as she charged down the path. She glanced back, making sure Yuuki was somewhere near by. Was she? Yeah, ok she hadn't lost her yet. She turned back in time to see someone in front of her, who she barely dodged around. The guy yelled something about her coming out of nowhere. Bullshit, like she hadn't been wailing like a damn banshee about clearing out of the way because someone was injured. She used Shunpo again to carry herself further down the street in the blink of an eye.

Shiori charged up the stairs of the division, the people here seemingly much more receptive to her shouting. She'd lost her shoes somewhere a while back, but she didn't care, her feat pounding against the cold stone of the steps. Ever since the division hq had entered her line of sight, the seriousness of her task, and the task handed to her and the Munetoshi sisters was a dead serious endeavor with true life or death consequences. For both Kururu in a literal sense, and herself and the sisters in terms of career. What division would take students that let someone die?

"Medic! We need a medic! Someone's got... Someone's dying! They're coming from the 3rd division! Anyone, help!​