[BSD-RP] The Valley of Screams

Nao Murakami

New member

Listen While You Read

The final whimper of the inferno shuddered, giving way to a solitary stillness that befell the Valley of Screams.

Left in Umōmaru’s wake was a land forever scarred, brutalized into an undoubtedly familiar existence from the countless clashes before, though one it would surely never get used to. A heavy, black shroom of smoke presided over the immediate battlefield, wishing nothing more than to suffocate those still alive and trapped within its primordial purpose; a fluid pillar of black rose to the sky in an attempt to spread its influence, dark clouds forming an overcast at the chagrin of the sun. The very earth on which Nao stood, ever weary and patient, groaned as it finally realized it had been desecrated, scorched, and cratered. Ears, single-eye, and spirit attuned, Nao listened to the world as she shook hands and became one with silence. Although history proved that no one yet could sustain Umōmaru’s wrath and survive, she found herself in uncharted waters. Captains were in a league of their own, especially her proctor, who happened to be a spawn of the ever elusive Snake; speed, trickery, and lethality were always unquestionably at the ready.

As such, when the immediate thickness of the black soot gave way, and all that came to view was the Ninth Captain’s discarded haori, the panic of a lesser combatant never surfaced. What Nao already understood to be true came to be as the severed, fluttering white fabric fell to reveal emptiness, not a trace of Yasu to glean, physical or spiritual. A maneuver which the Captain-hopeful had used earlier in their bout, one she knew inside and out – again, no surprise. What many never came to realize until it was beyond their control, Captain Yūgure possibly an exception, was that their current environment, birthed by the fury of her Zanpakutō, was her domain. How many instances of these exact circumstances – obstructed by dust, debris, and suffocating fumes – had she lived through over centuries of Shikai use? An answer that would be presented in her actions soon to be unveiled.

Demeanor unchanging, spiritual senses alert yet ineffective due to her proctor’s mastery over both Shunpo and the Art of Deception, Nao remained still with Umōmaru’s lengthened blade raised to shoulder-height, pointed at the empty space where Yasu once stood; her fingers loosened around the comfortable handle. She breathed a waft of the tainted air, her existence unbothered, like a cigarette would be to a life-long smoker. The sensation of the thick smog surrounding her shifted, the anomaly registered through sight, sound, and touch; a discrepancy immediate to her front, the smog making way as something coalesced around her Zanpakutō. Unbothered by this initial cue, Nao’s determined green eye shifted left as the second, and nearly simultaneous indication occurred to her flank; the likelihood that the changes in the environment were in fact, a delayed effect of a much faster cause, was accounted for. Such that when what the brawler intended to happen, did so without surprise.

As the bubbling ooze made contact with her fingers, so too did Yasu’s being come to life before her like a demon from the shadows. Although the Swamp Queen’s sludge felt cold to the touch, and downright gag-inducing as it licked its way up from her hands to her forearm, and then yet still further as it wished to ensnare the Captain-hopeful completely, Nao’s heart, and in extension, her exterior, remained stoic; she had no purpose for such weakness, her determination taking the reins. Although she didn’t sense her proctor’s intent to scramble her brains, best accomplished by way of a monstrously executed knee, the happenings around her whereabouts spoke enough of the tale to paint the grim picture. Based on her anatomical knowledge, alongside the Captain’s ever fluid and transitioning disposition, it would only make sense that which she felt behind her head, through the parting smog, was the proctor’s hand. A gesture of goodwill gone noticed, for Nao understood the implications of the course in the making. The gurgling sludge continued consuming, having reached her right clavicle, the putrid scent assaulting her sense of smell, an otherworldly gut-wrenching. But Nao pressed on uninhibited, focused eye settled onto Yasu’s cold visage.

While the Captain’s impending assault neared but a foot from Nao’s face, an unsuspecting current of exceedingly persuasive force swept up and across the brawler’s shin and flexed leg, placing enough opposing power to reduce the intended lethal dose to something manageable – chiseled knee met frail nasal cavity, crushing her nose into a bloody mush with a crunch heard across the desert. Nao reeled back from the force, her head coming to rest under powerful yet somehow still gentle fingers. Her eye rolled back with elation, for a moment numb to the pain coursing through her face, as a plethora of sensations rushed into her being…finally, she had met the real Captain Yasu Yūgure.

Reikaku was a tricky thing, a complex interconnection of pathways that at times eluded even the most masterful of practitioners. This was doubly true when faced against those capable of completely closing themselves off – Reiatsu and all – from the world. Nao had learned over the centuries that the one true way in which to differentiate the fake from the real, was to be in direct contact with that which you sought to demystify. With the brawler’s propensity for subterfuge, Nao needed to be certain without a shadow of a doubt that the Yasu before her, now coupling her head so firmly, was indeed the real one.

The very moment that practiced fingers met delicate skull, the Captain would feel a harmless thud against her forehead, a sudden paralysis seizing her in place as the sound of rattling chains finally reached her ears – from nothing, would be born…Umōmaru? A confused glance down at the examinee’s right arm, to which had once held the weapon, was instead found covered in bubbling goop, sword-less; a panicked glance at her other, and supposedly free arm, would surely evoke equal confusion. No blame would befall the Captain, for even many of Nao’s colleagues, themselves masters of Zanjutsu, held difficulty comprehending that which Nao found to be as simple as a fleeting thought – indeed, the force that had softened the blow was executed by a physically and spiritually elusive Umōmaru, telepathically, though with as much power as if it were being swung by her own hand. The blade’s edge had traveled with silent and unseen haste, and with such immaculate precision, that its trajectory, to which had outlined the proctor’s body like an artist would a stencil, had made no contact with the Captain’s person. The Zanpakutō hovered at the center of the brawler’s forehead, orange Reishi humming as it outlined the woman’s form, supported by a dense Reiatsu that increased in weight by the second – an advanced application of Shitonegaeshi (褥返し, Cushion Return), that in the hands of a master swordsman, placed an effect on the victim equal to that of a master’s Kidō.

Though Nao’s deepest desire was always to end a fight with the edge of her blade, to which she’d entertained many hypotheses she wished to test in the moments leading up to this predicament, she conceded upon Umōmaru’s behest. Nao’s flaw, or virtue depending on who you were, was her selflessness, an irresistible core component of who she was deep down – she would sacrifice her life for those she loved. An acceptance to be assaulted by a most detestable substance, cold and vile, that with every passing moment hungered to consume her whole, to suffer a stinging red-hot pain that felt like knives to the face brought on by a nearly fatal blow, and in the end, the possibility of abject defeat – all of it done to facilitate the will of her Zanpakutō. In the end, Umōmaru’s displeasure at its power having been effortlessly shrugged off by the Captain, was a persuasion beyond explanation.

The sound of tearing flesh came to bear as Nao’s arm ripped from its socket, an indescribable pain forcing her single eye to close, teeth crunching down hard…but she gave no audible cry, instead the hurt and distress controlled through sheer will and disciplined breathing, all of it let out with a deep exhale. She looked up at her proctor’s frozen face with a caring sadness.

Listen While You Read

So pretty…

Still in physical contact with her proctor by way of the coupling hand, to which Nao was ever so thankful as her head felt heavy, the woman’s emotions were made clear; Captain Yasu Yūgure, known to most as a Demon, a Brawler, a grotesque abomination, a heartless bitch…deep down, past the tainted Hollow signature and a killer’s intent, existed a beautiful, kind-hearted soul. A powerful guilt befell Nao, and in that moment, all she wanted was for them both to stop, to return to the Soul Society and forge a deep bond, and enjoy all that life had to offer. But such things would not, could not come to be…just yet.


Words spoken softly through labored breaths, her proctor’s black ooze having spread to cover her entire upper half, compressing her chest with crushing force, her frail frame buckling, lungs screaming for air.


The immediate area – the earth, air and reality itself – groaned as a heavy pressure fell from above, increasing in strength and growing out to cover more space by the breath, Nao’s dense Reiatsu flaring up to levels yet unseen.

An earth shaking hum resonated from above the trapped Nao, just ahead at eye level of the immobilized Yasu, a subdued red glow in the shape of a foot-long feather emanated beyond the smog, and then it was gone. The light flared again, but brighter…and then it spread in all directions, more red-shaped feathers glowing up as a larger frame came into view. Again they disappeared into the smog, and again they returned, brighter and louder, starting from the original center red, and then pulsating outward, at some point transitioning from red to orange, and then eventually to a shimmering teal. The intervals came and went faster and more pronounced, but mere fractions of breaths, accompanied by an ever louder reverberation of pulsating energy, snaking around them and overhead, the lights coming together to form a dome. The sheer amount of Reiatsu pouring down upon them had reached a fever pitch, the intensity shackling, a gravitational pull beyond measure; Yasu's black tar, that which covered Nao and otherwise, began to buckle under the pressure, screeching as it peeled away, forced to the ground; the earth crumbled and cratered under the weight as far as the eye could see, dunes and boulders imploding from the abuse. Two large and red hues manifested above the two combatants, their shapes resembling eyes, equally distanced by mere meters.

A sudden and invisible force struck at the thick air, dispersing the smog to reveal the truth: behind Nao stood a giant Phoenix, its majestic and perfect frame coating them in a second layer of shadow, formed by thousands of feathers***. The Phoenix’s enormous wings came together around both the still Nao and Captain Yūgure in a fury-filled embrace, encasing them completely. It came as no surprise that the Captain had yet to glean the exact capabilities of Umōmaru, this encounter being their first meeting of blades. The feathers used in their earlier exchange numbered in the double digits, nothing more than a fraction of what had been created. And if Yasu had sought answers through the spiritual realm, she would only find a thick signature surrounding Nao, for the Reiryoku infused in these feathers – done so even before their creation into the world – was hers, and as such there was no distinction to be had.

In the realm of monsters, the Phoenix was at the top of the food chain.

The Phoenix cocked its nape back, then lunged its head forward at Captain Yūgure, beak agape in a scream that deafened all – such a sound couldn’t possibly reverberate from a creature comprised of inanimate objects, and as such, what the Captain heard was the existence warping clamor of a calamitous eruption – a blast declared through the simultaneous detonation of thousands of feathers, all of the Reiatsu melded into one ominous release, the power produced equivalent to three fully-incanted Hadō #88. Hiryū Gekizoku Shinten Raihō (飛竜撃賊震天雷炮, Flying Dragon-Striking Heaven-Shaking Thunder Cannon). Unfortunately, hearing would be the last sense affected, for it was the slowest element of an explosion to manifest, meaning one would already have been subject to those that came before. The first element to go was sight, eyes burned even beyond closed lids, for the light born from the blast shone brighter than that of any sun. Next came the force manifested by the blast, the strength of which utterly destroyed all Reishi in its outward path, and then the inferno, temperatures reaching millions celsius, disintegrated whatever monsters were sturdy enough to survive the shockwave. The sphere of the blast continued outward and upward as far as the eye could see, and then proceeded further, the Valley submitting, shuddering as the layers of its earth were erased, leaving a miles-long crater in its wake. The sky, now a moody black, roared as heavy clouds grumbled.

Nao reveled in the catastrophe, unperturbed by the sounds, sights, and sensations brought forth by Umōmaru. The flames were like a warm blanket that eased her pains, the vile black ooze completely obliterated, releasing her from its vice grip; she took in a deep breath through the mouth – the fire itself sustenance – as she lay in absolute weightlessness and ecstasy, uncaring to the fact she was missing both her nose and her right arm.

If Captain – Yūgure in the form presented throughout their ordeal so far – was a monster beyond Nao’s reach, somehow capable of matching the monumental Reiatsu birthed by thousands of Reiryoku-infused feathers igniting simultaneously, and emerging unscathed; and if she were capable of reacting quick enough to evade Umōmaru’s singular efforts at immobilization through Shitonegaeshi (褥返し, Cushion Return), where Nao had sacrificed her body in the hopes that it may succeed; and if she were capable of deceiving the Captain-hopeful, who read the very source of one’s soul by way of direct touch with the Captain’s body.

Then Nao resigned the license for the venerable monster to drag her to the Seventh Division by her hair, and throw her back into the hole from which she’d crawled out of, for she would be undeserving of such esteemed company.​


New member


The sickening crunch of Nao's face seemed louder than any explosion that she could produce. However, the blow had been softened up just enough for Nao to keep her head on her shoulders, even without Yasu's assistance. Accompanied by the sounds of her fracturing nasal structure was the rampant tearing of flesh and crushing of bone as the Captain-hopeful becomes disarmed in more ways than one, and the path of her gargling Shikai only slithers about to cover more of Nao's body.

Even in as much pain as she'd suffered, Nao Murakami held a gentle gaze as she roved the features of her proctor's stone expression. The fingers that cradle the back of her examinee's head seem frozen in place, as does the rest of her body. The world around the two combatants seems to have come to a full stop, save for the rough and raspy breaths that escaped through pained and gargled words that escaped Nao.

Even as the putrid slime coiled around the entirety of her examinee's upper body and even traveled down further to consume the lower half just the same, Nao still had plenty of fight left in her to garner respect from the Ninth Division Captain. It often happened that examinees would call off fights at the moment they had become mutilated, and not even to this severity. The title of a Captain was a precious one and not one for the faint of heart. People wanted the glory of the prestigious white haori and its benefits without truly understanding the amount of sacrifice it takes, and everything else entailed with the responsibility of it. Among the failures of many, so very few have accrued the title of "Captain", but rightfully so.

Yasu's attention is still locked on Nao, and whether or not she would rise or fall would be found out eventually.

Pressure begins to fill the area around them as Nao's reiatsu comes ablaze in roaring fury as Nao exerts her reiatsu in order to attempt to disrobe the contents of Yasu's Shikai from her body. The ominous red glow of these multitudes of feathers emanates the amount of power Nao struggles so roughly to produce in order to break free. Dust and debris are blown away to allow a clear view of the entangled duo of the bright and glowing, concentrated manifestation of the Captain-hopeful's reiatsu. A mythical creature of beauty and rebirth, life, and longevity shines brightly upon those two and begins its lunge towards the ever-still Captain with a feinted screech that shook the heavens and earth with a rupturing blast, elicited from the insurmountable amount of detonated feathers left in disarray from their prior engagement. In a kamikaze attempt, Nao had the idea of putting her body on the line to take out the Ninth Division Captain in what could be considered a last-ditch effort to show exactly what she was made of to her proctor.

Even amidst the chaos, Yasu's focus is solid and unbreakable, even as blood splashes across her face and stains her supple flesh and upper body.

Punishment: the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.

The tearing of flesh sounds amid the battle of both manifestations of one's reiryoku, one where Nao would ultimately lose as Yasu meets the flurry of amplification of her own power unto Nao's to cripple her even further. Yasu's reiatsu left those exposed to her murky purple reiatsu to be subjected to crippling, not of the body, but of the mind. Being in her grasp as close as she was, Nao's exposure was of the thickest potency, and if the effects of distortion plagued Nao too much, then what would bring her back to reality would be the pain and humiliation of further dismemberment as both of Nao's legs would follow suit and abandoned her body, one limb torn at the knee and the other at mid-thigh. These dismembered limbs are held in the writing grasp of Yasu's Shikai, waving around rather loosely.

Nao's remaining arm is lifted up and outwards forcefully as the tendrils snake around the limb and slither against cloth and flesh alike. Although Yasu is unmoving, just as Nao is capable of controlling her feathers and zanpakuto so through telekinetic control, Yasu, too, is able to will the contents of her zanpakuto to do her bidding with her mind just the same. In tandem with the dismemberment of her leg, tendrils of Yasu's Shikai that reside on Nao's zanpakuto connect back to the grime that vomits out of the hilt as it had sat poised before Yasu under the guise of paralyzing her with the use of Shitonegaeshi (褥返し, Cushion Return). Perhaps if she was young and inexperienced, the technique would have left her subjected to its unruly effect. A move that would cause novices to adhere to its intent is nothing compared to someone of Yasu's stature and capabilities.

Yasu does not break any eye contact with Nao, purple and green clashing as Yasu finally moves in what had seemed like eons. Their positions would be all the while shifting, Nao's body coming to reside with her back against the brunt path of her explosive feathers as Yasu's empty hand takes a grasp of the handle that belongs to Nao's zanpakuto. It was rather insulting, but Yasu knows no shame, a product of the Second Division to use anything and everything to her disposal, even if it included the opponent's prized possession. There was no honor in any battle, no matter what any righteous person preached. If she were a true enemy, this would have ended differently. Instead, the sharpened blade of Nao's zanpakuto would cleave right through her bicep from a single and precise swing from the monstrous shinigami known as Yasu Yugure and sever the final limb that her examinee possessed.

Above them, at the pinnacle of this forsaken dome, erupts the disastrous and destructive force of Nao's abilities bestowed by her Zanpakuto from the sea of feathers released prior to her earlier assault. Yasu makes effort to show fear or panic about the explosive force entails. Well aware of just how extreme fire was and how it could counter the extensiveness of her Shikai and obliterate it, the young captain seems undisturbed even in the face of such a dangerous aspect that incinerates everything and everything. Although a specialist, the potency of Yasu's kido is considerably powerful, especially having only adhered to select kido under the heavy hand of the Kido Chief's assistance. Using her Shikai, Yasu pushes the body of Nao Murakami towards her own creation and pointed her finger toward the heavens, and uttered-

“Bakudō 81: Dankū.” (斷空, Splitting Void; Viz "Airtight")

The initial impact from the blast that looked forward to laying waste to the Valley meets a dense, translucent barrier that spread far and wide, and for but a moment is stalled, but the pressure is more than what a specialist can cast. Yasu knows this and is aware upon its casting that it wouldn't be enough to completely stop it, but stalling it was more than enough for the captain to use that pressure to rocket towards the ground. Yasu lands with a resounding crash as the bottoms of her feet embed themselves onto one of the thousands of pillars that plague the Valley of Screams. On the one hand, Yasu holds the everlasting fountain of her own Zanpakuto, and on the other, the jingling of chains as Umōmaru resides, away from its master. The torn cloth and flesh rest elegantly before her as the murky depths of her Shikai come to a gentle wave versus its prior thrashing.

With the wave of her hand, the ground beneath Yasu cracks, and a towering slab of one of these many pillars come apart, its size dwarfing the Captain by well over one hundred times her body mass. Yasu is seen using her Shikai, wrapping around the slab of rock and sediment and the amount of power and strength used is so severe that the sleeve of her shihakusho top shred apart, revealing the rippling muscles that rest beneath the black cloth. Strained and slick with sweat from exertion and the incoming heat that threatens to eradicate the expansive vastness of the Valley. The explosion will meet a thunderous force of a severed pillar, in an attempt to meet one destructive force with another.

Nao Murakami's body is vacant of its limbs and of its zanpakuto and it is susceptible to reverting back to its sealed form due to the state at which she proceeds. The power of her explosive feathers is extreme and expansive and is met with the stalling of a bakudo and a pillar large enough to upset the balance of its intended destruction and keep it from touching down to the earthen landscape. Yasu is poised with both weapons in her hands, and should even the nature of this thousand-fold attack break past the massive slab of rock, Ninth Division's captain was ready to move at a moment's notice should anything happen.


Nao Murakami

New member

Listen While You Read

Turn Back The Pendulum

The ominous roaring of burning buildings permeated the air, accompanied only by labored breathing.

In Jigokukairō, the faraway 57th District of the Southern Rukongai, a young brunette Soul stood amongst a sea of dead; the corpses bloodied – eyes wide white and mouths breathlessly agape – numbered in the hundreds, a mix of black-robed Shinigami and tattered Rukongai rebels. Dirt roads were charred to a crisp, cobblestone melted, homes and businesses crying out under the oppression of an inferno that stretched for miles.

Her breaths came and went raggedly, eaten away by the blazing heat. Bloodied face brimming with fury, thick red liquid poured over her hazel eyes and into her mouth from a gruesome gash across her forehead. In her left hand rested a two-meter long Zanpakutō, the kashira of which sprouted three chains, each ending in distinctly colored feathers: one red, one orange, and one teal. Two small reishi-born wings – each no longer than five meters – rose above her shoulders, flickering ethereal flames screeching their discontent. A single glance of the power displayed about her person would undoubtedly force the mind to question: how was a young Soul, dressed in the disheveled clothing commonly worn by Rukongai citizens, wielding the ultimate weapon of the Shinigami?

Who was she?

Far ahead, beyond the endless corpses fitted in black, brown, and gray, stood a giant of a man, devilishly grinning from ear-to-ear; although he shared in the thuggish disposition so common to the criminals that littered the Rukongai, there existed but a single differentiating feature, one with an implication to which the brown-haired girl understood all too well: a Captain’s white Haori, torn at the edges. His paralyzing, pupil-less white demonic eyes glared at her with the hunger of a wild dog as he made his way toward her, slow and powerful steps forcing the world to tremble. A hyenas cackle escaped his shit-eating grin. His laughter fell upon her with immense heaviness, a weight like she’d never felt before.

The sound of her own breaths was the last thing she heard before her world went black.

Listen While You Read

A Return to the Present


Excessive self-confidence was, indisputably, a staple of those who comprised the Gotei 13. Although a characteristic often present in the rank and file, it had unfortunately permeated the halls of the greatest Souls of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads; a conclusion born from centuries of judicious observation: a single thread woven into the fabric of the Seireitei, that with every little tug, exposed the festering disease that had taken root deep into the foundations of a once mighty army. No better example of this disappointing reality, than the Captain of the Ninth Division.

This infested pride had placed wool over the proverbial eyes of the Seireitei, leaving them blind to the dangers lying in wait within the Rukongai, ever-watching for an opportunity to consume the weakened beast whole. Most were ignorant to the perils lurking in the shadows of the Seireitei, distracted by what could be seen, chalking up the very real existence of monsters like the Banshee Queen and the White Death to urban legends. How wrong they were, and not one Soul understood this more clearly than Nao herself. In an attempt to disperse what they perceived to be the gathering of an inevitable storm, the Seireitei had decided to host the Kenpachi Games; although the intended effect held merit, the execution had, in truth, fallen flat. With the inclusion of a white-haired Rukongai citizen, who challenged two Captains to a near even match, and whose swordsmanship roused Nao’s suspicion, the result had in fact accomplished the opposite.

Though there existed the possibility that Commander Kagayaki and those under his direct command were aware of all the failings of the late Captain Asakura, did they ever beg to question who was responsible for keeping the hungering tide from crashing down upon the Seireitei? It came as no surprise, to those with eyes even half open, that the deceased Captain of the Seventh did more harm than good, injuring those in need of mending, sewing chaos in Districts already crumbling, and creating problems where none existed prior. In matters requiring surgical precision, the deranged Captain instead struck with a forceful and indiscriminate hand. His misguided actions combined with his criminal inaction, had forced the Rukongai into a state of complete disarray. In the end, one Soul, a mere seated officer, held the weight of the Soul Society upon her shoulders — every fire ignited by the self-proclaimed Mad Dog, put out through gentle diplomacy, and when the endless demons emerged from the dark corners of the Rukongai, she stood in their way, each monster cut down by the sharp edge of her blade. The stability of the Rukongai was paramount to the welfare of the Soul Society, and it was due time for Nao to acquire the authority commensurate with that burden.

Nao Murakami was an obscure name belonging to a Shinigami lost within the ranks of the Gotei 13. Those who knew of her, only saw an ordinary soldier fulfilling her lifelong oath, and those more closely acquainted, found themselves in the presence of an exceedingly amiable person. The truth of the matter was, did anyone really know who the red-head was? To know someone for how they existed on the exterior was fundamentally different to understanding who they were deep down. All Souls, from Humans to Shinigami, were born beholden to every characteristic in existence, and it was up to the individual to elevate or suppress that which they wished to embody – the Duality of the Soul, as Nao termed it, bestowed every individual with the capacity for equal measure of good and of evil. Like a balance, the scales upset in favor of one side or the other, but in the end, they existed together nonetheless; they were in essence, opposite sides of the same coin.

Listen While You Read

The external Nao – the joyous, courteous, playful, and amicable – was a representation of the good, the balance exceedingly tipped in its favor. But as Nao had learned, the brightest lights cast the darkest shadows. Within the deepest recess of her Soul, beyond even Umōmaru’s fury, resided an aspect of herself that she wished to remain unseen; to the extent that she’d compartmentalized that side of her, and locked it away where no eyes could pry. She’d suppressed this devil with such control, and for such a long time, that in a twist of poetic irony, she’d lost its conscious command to the subconscious. She no longer held the capacity to willfully force this evil to surface, ushered forth only by a masochist's desire to be inflicted pain. Never judge a book by its cover would be a fitting description of the Captain-hopeful; a wanton disregard for her own well-being – equal parts a byproduct of her self-imposed restraints and the power granted by her Zanpakutō – in addition to the absolute refusal to strengthen her physical form, were just two of the subtle outward manifestations of the darkness hidden within. Upon the release of the valve pressurized over centuries, emerged an uncharacteristic killer; merciless and uncaring, with an intent focused solely on the eradication of her unsuspecting victims. Umōmaru, knowing its master better than any Soul possibly could, used this condition to unleash the will of its full wrath. If one wished to permanently rid the world of the Phoenix, it would be in their mortal imperative to ensure that she was felled before any blood could be spilled.

Like the countless cut down by her blade – who realized their errors as their Souls were already on their way through the Circle of Reincarnation – Captain Yūgure had committed the same irreversible mistake.

Nao’s mastery over Reikaku bestowed upon her a gift beyond the understandable, a sixth sense that witnessed the world in a state beyond the present. Although this tide-turning capability could be sidestepped by the equally masterful employment of Reiatsu suppression, so often a tool at the disposal of the Phantom and his minions, her proctor no longer held that luxury. Having maintained physical contact, the pink-haired woman’s intent was made ever so clear, even before the plan of action came to bear within her vile mind. Thus, where Yasu’s will had been to further dismember the Captain-hopeful, such a thing would never come to be.

Battles between spiritual beings were won and lost on the heels of many conditions, none greater than Reiatsu. Spiritual pressure was simply the force manifested upon the expenditure of Reiryoku, and as such, there was a limit to how much could be exerted; the physical body could only handle so much Reiryoku consumed and Reiatsu released at once, though every Soul possessed a unique ceiling, and some – like the Hollowfied, when masked – were able to force it higher. A fact best exemplified by Kidō practitioners, who often were capable of casting a single spell at any given time, a limitation surpassed by Masters, though they too were constrained in the quantity they could manifest. Again, a necessary and instinctual protective restriction of the physical body. Arguably Umōmaru’s greatest feature was its unique capacity to circumvent this obstacle; its feathers were infused with Nao’s Reiryoku upon their creation, each plume functioning as its own vessel. When one feather began the process of igniting, much like the red-head’s own body, the Reiryoku within released an individual source of spiritual pressure. Although Nao and Yasu would likely be matched in Reiatsu under different circumstances, when thousands upon thousands of plumes made their presence known simultaneously, the result would be beyond the reach of the brawler in her current state.

Such that Yasu’s attempt to subjugate Nao’s mind, one battle-hardened over centuries, through the use of a cold and crippling spiritual pressure, simply failed. Instead, it was the Captain-hopeful’s oppressive pressure that forced its way into her proctor’s very existence, frying the brawlers synapses and nerve receptors; the heat that Yasu believed to be emanating from the obliteration to come, was truly her nervous system misfiring – her sense of touch had been replaced with a constant, red-hot burn, one that prevented her from recognizing that which she held so dearly in her left hand. Her body ignited from the inside out, her face going flush, eyes watering.

To believe that the unheard of telekinetic manipulation of one’s actual Zanpakutō – in the proverbial hands of one of the Soul Society’s greatest swordsmen – would be comparable to the command of individual components birthed from it, was insulting. Did the Sludge Queen understand what it was like to have a mere fleeting thought become reality, instantly? The command of Umōmaru by way of the mind surpassed that of any other appendage, for its manipulation was instantaneous, foregoing the need for the brain to communicate with limb; though a seemingly small distinction, even the tiniest advantages separated those who lived and those who died.

Listen While You Read

Before the weakened sludge could slowly spread to Nao’s bottom half, a compelling force zipped past, taking the ooze along as it was pulled off her body; the space where Nao once resided displaced with multicolored feathers, the ooze seamlessly returning to its original design with a second tug in the opposite direction, no semblance of tampering to be gleaned. A sequence of occurrences both instant and simultaneous, completely imperceptible physically, for Umōmaru – which itself had long abandoned its place at Yasu’s forehead, leaving an afterimage in its likeness, it too replaced by feathers – traveled at incomprehensible speeds, capable of matching that of its master’s. An action also imperceptible by the spiritual, for Nao’s presence surrounded Yasu completely, miles on end, functioning as a veil to which she traversed undetected.

The reality of what the brawler perceived to occur, as she quietly reveled in the cold dismemberment of her examinee, would come to light only after Nao lifted to the sky, limbless, held up by the bubbling ooze. Unfortunately, Yasu would never come to understand that which resided within the grasps of her ooze and hand, were in actuality dormant feathers. The calamitous explosion set in motion barely moments ago, finally erupted; simultaneous to the brawler raising her finger in a baffling display, the absurdly bright light produced by the blast burned Yasu’s retinas away, taking from her the sense of sight.

The proctor’s calling of the Dankū was heard by no one, for the absolutely deafening roar silenced all else, Yasu’s eardrums bursting from the earthshaking impulse. For the first time since the commencement of their bout, surprise befell the examinee. Hubris had taken the Captain to levels of delusion beyond reproach; whether an attempt at disrespecting her examinee or intentional self-sabotage, the implication was equally disappointing. Although not out of the realm of possibility that a Shingami who’d spent all of her days sharpened under the ever-watching gaze of Captain Mukuro, could learn Kidō, to have mastered such a prestigious spell was unlikely – a theory unequivocally confirmed as the erected spiritual wall was consumed whole, erased instantly from existence. The eruption brought forth by Nao possessed the power of three fully-incanted Hadō #88, Hiryū Gekizoku Shinten Raihō (飛竜撃賊震天雷炮, Flying Dragon-Striking Heaven-Shaking Thunder Cannon), supported by Reiatsu beyond what a non-mastered, un-incanted Dankū could handle. In the end, the power discrepancy was inconsequential, for even in the hands of a Kidō Master, the casting of Bakudō #81 would serve as an inadequate defense. The explosion had erupted around Yasu – who was the epicenter – for the feathers that ignited simultaneously, surrounded the proctor from all sides; the effects of the attack came from everywhere – from above, from the sides, from the back, and yes, from the front – and thus, the wall erected to her front would be of no benefit.

Bright light, immense force by way of pressurized air, blazing inferno, sound shockwave; these were the order of the effects presented by the earth-shattering bang. Having been robbed of her sight and hearing already, the ominous reality was that Yasu had been exposed to what preceded. The initial component of the pressurized air forced its way through the Captain’s undefended body – in between the very Reishi particles of her existence – and into her bloodstream, collapsing her lungs and causing immediate cardiovascular failure. Her muscles tightened beyond her control as her nervous system shut down; the Captain, in essence, was already on the brink of death. Her capacity to speak, too, had been taken from her. The physical force of the pressurized air came into effect next, crushing the individual particles of Reishi that comprised her physical form into nothingness, followed by the scorching flames heated up to millions celsius, doing a second pass over in wait for any semblance of Reishi to survive. Whether through sheer will or through the grace of the Soul King, Yasu’s physical form fought to hold itself together, and to an extent, succeeded.

As the cataclysmic eruption reached its peak – endless miles away in but mere seconds – the flames left in its wake began to buckle, imploding inward back towards the epicenter, where Captain Yūgure’s sightless, deafened, mute body knelt nearly lifeless. As they arrived but mere meters from Yasu, they suddenly stopped, the small dome of red and orange flames twirling once before they were vacuumed down to reveal six versions of Nao encircled before the defeated Captain, their right arms sizzling from cauterization, a trail of smoke rising from where the hilt of Umōmaru and its elongated sheathe met. The change in the Captain-hopefuls sudden disposition was subtle, a somber yet calm killer’s intent visible within her only eye, not a semblance of the characteristic grin to be found – how could she display any bit of joy, even that born from the elevated sadism, when she’d been presented with this. The Valley of Screams shook uncontrollably, crying out desperately in a worthless plea to stop the pain inflicted upon its existence; beyond the capability of sight, the landscape, its dunes and pillars lay flat and cratered deep. The skies were now pitch black, casting a baleful overcast over the landscape spanning far and wide, the clouds frightened enough to finally cry.

In the backdrop, miles away, red-haired specters came and went, but mirages left in the wake of the cataclysm. A sound unlike any other heard yet, a reverberating hum that shook the very core of the Valley of Screams, resounded throughout its entirety. The once overcast earth was overcome by a pristine and beautiful overlay of twinkling reds, oranges, and teals. Surrounding the nearly petrified Captain, and the six encircling Nao’s, an ocean of pulsating feathers covered the world as far as the eye could see, in all directions, near the ground and up high into the sky, and even beyond that, giant feather-born Phoenixes hovering amidst the enveloping swarm.

As the six green merciless eyes looked upon the slowly disintegrating Captain, several thoughts pondered her mind; although the overbearing drive from within was to witness her enemy perish, she understood that the death of a participant during a Captain’s Test was punishable, and so she hoped that the Commander, Captain Nakamoto, or any of those capable, would come and prevent such a tragedy from occurring. A second and equally concerning thought, was why Captain Yūgure, whom Nao knew for a fact possessed the capacity for greatness, had fallen so far from the monumental expectation – a question to which she would someday seek an answer, in a manner as to not incur the unnecessary ire of the Phantom of the Seireitei.​


New member


Her examinee was valiant and extreme. The amount of power displayed was never one to scoff at, and Yasu would her respect where it was due. With every move, Yasu had matched every move made with gusto and received a hearty response from Nao in return.

The blackened tendrils were relentless in their pursuit to consume the examinee's body wholly and pry her apart limb from limb. To have been grazed by Yasu's Shikai was considered dangerous. The danger entailed by allowing such a large mass to crawl up one's arm and zanpakuto and further its reach to the entirety of one's torso and venture past that point in tandem would go unsaid. The black sludge attached to the zanpakuto had connected back to its roots simultaneous to the tearing of her legs from her body. The strength that Yasu possesses overshadows the speed with which Nao attempts to rip her zanpakuto away from its premise of paralyzing her prior and from then, attempt to create a vacuum that would pull the contents of her proctor's Shikai off of her mangled body. Even if the vacuum of air from the allotted swing were to shift any of the tendrils off of her body, those spaces would be filled without any form of hesitance to keep a hold of their prey and continue its horrid actions.

For over a century, Yasu has bored the weight of ginjōtan nearly eight-hundred times her body mass, constantly and only adds on further weight when she begins to feel untroubled. Coupled with the Jūreijō and Seitoushin bestowed upon her by her former Captain since the alleged coup, both Yasu's control of her reiryoku and her reiatsu has skyrocketed since then. Invisible to the eye of all but the bearer, these cuffs have significantly hidden the true potential that Yasu is capable of, and will continue to do so. The needles embedded into her muscles prevented any unnecessary movement from being made as any wrong or overextending move would elicit pain unlike any other. The severity of this ruthless training is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing to a constantly-evolving Shinigami, and a curse to the opponents she faces.

Since the loss of one arm, Nao Murakami lacks a vent in which to expel her reiatsu, and from that loss, she has chosen to exert a formidable amount of reiatsu, so thick and potent in its attempt to overpower Yasu and attack her nerves and the likeness. Instability would ensue, whether or not she is aware of the harm entailed with the loss of an arm, something Yasu is more than aware of after having been in a similar situation before. A wild and fiery attempt to subdue her proctor is unable to perform as designated after having met a force equal to its output in an instant and then overwhelming it even more so in full and thick concentration at such a close disposition. The fear-inducing effect is more than apparent when the need to escape from Yasu skyrocketed with Nao's attempt to substitute herself away only to fail from the crippling of both body and mind. Nao, who has suffered greatly by sacrificing an insurmountable amount of reiryoku to create this kamikaze, falls short against her proctor who had yet to fully expel her reiryoku to its full potential with her immense pool that was capable of overwhelming and killing those close to her long before she joined the academy.

The rattling of Nao's zanpakuto is apparent as it lies in the grasp of her proctor, though not of Yasu's volition. Yasu feels the struggling pull as it desires to answer the beckoning of its master, but it only serves to cause Yasu's grip to tighten even further, keeping a deathlock grip on the weapon as it takes away the final limb. A mental fortitude does not measure up against the strength that the young captain has honed for decades on end, yet Nao would not be the only one to suffer. Many sacrifices had ensued, from taking the knee to the face to confirm that it was truly Yasu before her had brought her in close, and elicited in getting dismembered of all four limbs, all whilst charging and releasing a thunderous attack that rained down relentlessly, creating a Hell on Earth that Yasu was unable to stall for even a second, and she would suffer for it. Thousands of feathers that surrounded her and charged with the reiryoku that resided within Nao's body detonated to produce a red horizon.



Destruction plagues the surrounding area from the blast force hashed out from that effort and the flames that licked every surface within its reach. The defenses placed by the Ninth Division captain had not sufficed and barreled down against her in a wild blaze and completely shielded her form from the eyes of its caster who suffers in lieu of the events before them.



What breaks the plumes of fire is a vicious and explosive force to combat it, nearly blinding white and purple. Light breaks through the cracks of the Valley of Screams in between the stone pillars and parts the seat of red, dispersing the flames within a hundred-meter radius from the epicenter. It only seems to grow larger and larger when the dome breaks and shatters, leaving only the world Valley to groan in pain from the devastation that became scarred in its bedrock. Silence ensues in the Valley of Screams, save for the sizzling and crackling of the surrounding area as the dust settles from the explosive force executed under Nao Murakami's order and the detonative outburst, courtesy of her proctor.

However, rather than the burned, nearly-lifeless corpse at the behest of the fire-fest elicited, what stood amidst the chaotic aftermath was Yasu Yugure, her clothes completely disheveled and many patches of the woven cloth still alight from the blaze. Strands of her hair follow in the exact likeness, several ends of it sizzling as smoke stems from them, considerably shorter from the blaze. Her shihakusho top has been completely incinerated from the force, and the weighted ginjōtan is slowly prying from her upper body at the shoulders as well as at her forearms only to drop to a resounding splat, leaving only her compression top, and even that was susceptible to egregious amounts of burning. The flesh of Yasu's shoulders, arms, and even bits of her backside is dirtied, welted, and heavily scorched, nearly scalding to the touch as steam and smoke billow off of it. However, the other portions of her open skin were bearing much lighter damage, but damage nonetheless. It seems almost too painful to move even an inch. The force of the attack was indefinitely life-threatening, and such a monstrous method had required a drastic decision to be made to prevent the likeliness of succumbing to a perilous endgame.

A guttural exhale sounds from Yasu as the clouds part and reveal the white mask that alluded to the plague that befalls her person. If not for the mask, the depth of her injuries would be truly severe under that layered pressure Nao bestowed on her proctor. The stark-white mask that covers Yasu's face can be seen from miles away, and as Yasu flips her hair back and out of her face, she looks around, scanning the horizon for the signature that belongs to her examinee. The hold that she possessed on Nao's zanpakuto hadn't wavered, for if she let off for even a second, she wouldn't know what would happen. For the moment, everything seemed still, but Yasu Yugure knew better than anyone to relax amid battle. To always expect something, the muscles in the captain's body flexed with her movement as she soundlessly rolled her shoulders back despite the grievous appearance she possessed.

Nao Murakami has lit a fire in her proctor's heart and set it ablaze. A layered howl reverberates throughout the Valley of Screams as Yasu bellows out a battle cry that makes the ground tremble from just the roar alone. The jaws of her mask came nearly unhinged from the cry that mimicked the sound heard during her bout in the Kenpachi games that left fissures in the grounds of the district she battled in. What was able to shake the world would shake Nao to her core. A call to the wild, Yasu can only await an answer.


Nao Murakami

New member

Although Captain Yūgure had made several miscalculations, it seemed that Nao, with her singular mishap, met her proctor with an equal dose of failure.

What the Captain of the Ninth entertained in her head regarding the intricate relationship between Reiryoku and Reiatsu was unequivocally correct – when Reiryoku expended, Reiatsu released from one or both of the vents located at a spiritual being’s wrists. Her further ruminations on the reduction of one’s capacity to exert Reiatsu from the body upon the loss of such an outlet – to which Nao found herself prime example – would also be indisputably true. But again, what the young Captain seemed incapable of comprehending was that Umōmaru presented an unorthodox stipulation to this universal reality; the Reiryoku that infused the Phoenix’s feathers was consumed upon their activation telepathically. Nao’s Reiryoku transferred to the plumes at the moment of their creation, when she'd still possessed both arms, and thus the Reiryoku within hadn't been weakened, such that the Reiatsu to which befell the proctor had done so unhindered by Nao’s current limbless predicament; additionally, the majority of the Reiatsu hadn’t come from Nao’s body, but rather the culminating, simultaneous release of thousands upon thousands of feathers. The release of one’s Reiatsu through the body had limits, and even though the Captain held a sickeningly powerful spiritual pressure, in that very moment, she’d been outmatched.

Such that Nao’s intent to be released from the Sludge Queen's physical and spiritual grasp succeeded, the ooze removed from every speck of her person just enough for her to be gone to the winds, far beyond the brawler’s reach – an act conducted out of surgical consideration, not a single drop of fear to be hopelessly licked. Whether the Captain would in turn fall victim to the boiling effects of Nao’s overbearing Reiatsu, would soon come to light.

It was a reality that came much too soon, for as Nao’s already retracting eruption neared its epicenter – where the Captain’s disintegrating corpse should lay – a monumental Reiatsu spewed into the world, one that the Captain-hopeful had never experienced first-hand. A spiritual pressure so monstrous, so eye-opening, so relentless, so absolute that it tugged at Nao’s instinctual chord, immediately compelling her existence to be far removed from the white and purple bubble soon to be manifested. With the Captain’s bodily restrictions finally upended, her insatiable and overbearing presence was made aware, the once predominant Shinigami tainted with the scent of a most detestable Hollow. The Demon had finally emerged, made bare for the world to witness once more. Its desire to diminish the effects of Umōmaru’s wrath were made real, the shattering counter explosion having worked to fight against the blinding light, the lethal air pressure, the existence-eradicating flames, and the deafening roar; a defensive countermeasure made clear long ago, and as such, the once six versions of Nao had already coalesced into one, beyond the monster’s reach.

As the earth trembled from the dynamic clash of forces beyond its comprehension, Umōmaru’s imploding flames and its pollutants redirected to a location away from the overbearing source, where they twisted, twirled and roared until a single fire-borne silhouette of Nao stood firm; the fires were sucked in toward her hip, and upon their extinguish, only a sheathed Umōmaru came to be, a line of smoke trailing up from where its hilt met the scabbard’s mouth. Yet armless and nose broken and bloodied, she stood resolute under the blackened and roaring sky. With the flames and its pollutants cleansed, the far-reaching ocean of humming feathers took the stage. In her eye remained the indistinct and calm killer’s intent that bespoke an insatiable desire to slay the Demon summoned before her very eyes–


thundering voice beckoned all of her attention, a rattling sequence that forced the killer back down into the depths.

A black line of sludge came to her peripheral view, its origin emanating from somewhere on her person, tracing its way towards the white-masked Captain – time slowed, Nao’s eye opening wide as she looked down in disbelief. A small, inconsequential bit of that damned ooze had found its way onto the handle of her Zanpakutō; the trailing sludge finally connected with the hilt of Yasu’s blade, and with a powerful thrust, Nao’s dearest possession was yanked from its resting place; although Umōmaru struggled to force itself away, its rattling was made fruitless, mere moments later finding itself within the Demon’s undeserving grip. A disastrous miscalculation on Nao’s behalf had left her – for the first time – disarmed, though a feat manageable only by the Captain due to a shocking emergence of Hollowfied power.

The once dark crevice of Nao's elongated sheath grew brighter, a roaring red that no longer possessed a plug to keep it contained.

“Ohhhh deeaaarrrr!”

Nao’s sudden proclamation came simultaneous to the hasty repositioning of the scabbard; the black maw of the sheath pointed to the sky and from it erupted a torrent of red-flames, growing large in a cone-shape as it roared up into the already distraught skies, the endless sea of feathers parting with haste to make way. The immense heat came and went with a flash, the final bits of calamity emerging from the smoked opening of the scabbard with a burp.

A bead of sweat fell down across her cheek as an embarrassed laugh escaped her. She was NOT expecting this. Although circumstances would be different if Umōmaru were to still be at her side, the power within Captain Yūgure was irrefutable. The sea of feathers immediately dissipated as Umōmaru returned to its sealed state within her proctor’s grasp.

“Captain Yūgure!”
she yelled from afar, waving her hand in a show of non-violence. “I humbly forfeit…on the counts that well, you’ve got my…”

Nao reached into her Shihakusho and pulled out a melted candy bar, one that she’d hoped to have presented to the Captain before the start of their bout. She raised the droopy wrapper sheepishly so that her proctor may see.

“If you’d so humbly accept…a trade?”