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Mugen Kurogane

Member of the Fifth Division and holder of little to no ambition.

0 · 678 views · located in Soul Society

a character in “Bleach: Saisei”, as played by PaperCoversRockB*tch

Description

Name: Mugen Kurogane Image
Age: 38
Personality: Mugen is a laid-back and often times rebellious man with little to no regard for how he's perceived by his superiors or others. He exhibits a problem with authority and will often smirk even as he is being punished or reprimanded. In the academy, he was known as a class clown and would often barely pass tests, no matter what class or skill set required for said test. This made others think he just wasn't good enough to be a Shinigami, but his friends would tell you it was just his immature way of trying to mess with the instructors. Despite his flaws, Mugen is incredibly loyal to his friends and does whatever he can for them. He knows some have drive to one day achieve greatness within the Gotei 13, and Mugen wants to help them any way he can. Mugen doesn't like to fight (sober), but will if its necessary. When in battle, he appears calm and calculating, often making jokes and chatting with his opponent. Despite this, Mugen possesses a feral cunning, and will quickly exploit any openings his opponents give him.
Appearance: Mugen stands just north of 6'0" with an athletic build and slightly tanned skin. His most noticeable features is his tattoos. Despite having to search for hours in Rukongai, he was finally able to find an artist who could do what he wanted. He typically wears the Shinigami robes, with little to no modifications made to them. The reason for this, besides his own laziness, is he rarely wears them when off duty. As he prefers the bustle of Rukongai to that of Seireitei, He spends most of his free time there, often sporting a red hoodie, black pants, and boots. Whether on duty or off, he will always appear with his hands taped up. This is mostly due to his habit of challenging people to fights after having drunk too much.
Zanpakutō: Nasshinguto~urūzu
Strengths: Swordsmanship and Durability. Despite losing every practice fight he participated in at the Academy, Mugen is actually a remarkable swordsman who has taken bits and pieces from all forms of martial arts and applied it to his style. Despite this, he mostly just makes it up as he goes along, using his instincts to dictate his next move. It makes him reckless and a danger to any opponent he faces. Mugen is shown to be able to take significant amount of damage before he starts to show any signs of being injured. An instructor once hit him as hard as he could in the face and Mugen only moved a few inches, showing no signs of being hit at all. He later told his friends that it hurt like hell, but his desire to piss off the instructor overruled any other feelings.
Theme Song: Strength To Go On

So begins...

Mugen Kurogane's Story

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It had been close to one week since the latest graduates of Shin'ō Academy had entered the Gotei 13. For the most part they had been regulated to tedious daily duties, designed to make them earn their place within the seats of their respective Division. However, not all Shinigami abidded by such a system, as currently a young man by the name of Mugen Kurogane was engaged in a bar brawl within the Nothern District of Rukongai. "You piece of shit!" one local yelled at Mugen. Smiling widely and wiping the trail of blood from his nose, Mugen looked at the five men before him and motioned for them to attack again. Swinging widely, one of the locals aimed for Mugen's chin, but he ducked with enough time to bring an uppercut squarely on the local's jaw, knocking him the ground. "Who's next?" The remaining four decided to attack Mugen in unison, but were quickly stopped by the sight of a black robed individual entering the bar. Running away and leaving their unconscious friend behind, the locals left Mugen and the robed figure behind, who were quickly thrown out of the bar afterward. Mugen began walking down the street, only to feel a powerful fist hitting him in the back of the head. Cringing in pain, he turned back to the man in black robes, an annoyed look on his face. "Why are you here, Hikaru?" The robed man revealed himself to be a Shinigami, his Zanpakuto tied tightly to his waist.

Hikaru Myuugani, a talented Shinigami who was one year the Senior to Mugen and the others. He wasn't a large man but his long silver hair and piercing blue eyes made him noticeable almost instantly. He first met Mugen when trying to save him from an Instructors wraith, only causing them both to get in trouble. When Mugen's friends came to collect him, Hikaru introduced himself and continued to look out for the group as they made their way through the Academy. He became something of an older brother figure to the seven friends, often being a source of wisdom and advice to the younger Shinigami. Despite only being an active Shinigami for a year, Hikaru has quickly rose through the ranks and earned a Seated Officer rank within the Third Division. Even now it appears that he still looks after his Juniors, regardless if they wanted him to or not. "To stop you from doing something stupid... again. Here I thought I would interrupt some idiots trying to act tough and instead it was just one idiot." Hikaru looked Mugen from head to toe, rolling his eyes and sighing heavily. "And why do you still chose to not wear your Shinigami robes?" Mugen let out a slight chuckle, pulling the hood of his red hoodie over his head and shoving his hands into its pockets. "You have any idea how hard it is to get this type of clothing in Soul Society?" Hikaru patted Mugen on the shoulder and rolled his eyes. "I will never understand your continued fascination with the human world." The two continued to walk together in silence for a few minutes, eventually reaching the edge of Rukongai with the North Gate in sight. "So, I haven't seen you in forever, how is everyone doing?" Mugen shrugged and leaned up against a nearby house, folding is arms and looking toward the night's sky. "Ryuu still scares me. Other than that, Kurai, Hoshiko, Ayami, Touketsu and Tenshin remain the same... all a bit off, all a bit fun in their own way. There, update over." Hikaru sighed and turned back toward Rukongai. "Always the confrontational-type. Anyway, my patrol is far from over. Tell the others I said hi. If they ever need to talk, I'm here every night. We should all get together and catch up." Mugen gave a peace sign to Hikaru as he walked away. "Need to talk? What are you, our dad?" Mugen smirked and began his walk back toward Seireitei.

The Next Morning...

Mugen awoke in the Fifth Division Barracks. He yawned heavily, grabbing his Zanpakuto from under his bed and carrying it in his left hand as he left. It was a day where he would have to work, so he was wearing his standard Shinigami Robes. He never tied his Zanpakuto to his hip, as he hardly took it with him anywhere save for when he was on duty, and even then it was only for appearances. "Let's see, Ryuu and Tenshin are in the 11th, Ayami the Ninth, Hoshiko the Fourth, and Kurai the Second... assuming I remember correctly. So, who should I go bother until I have to be on du-" Mugen cringed, a sharp pain in his jaw from the night before. "Okay, and our winner is Hoshiko." Walking down the street, Mugen noticed several groups of Shinigami, all standing around nervously and whispering amongst themselves. Curiosity getting the best of him, Mugen listened in on what they were talking about.

"Are you sure?"
"I saw them bring in the body with my own eyes."
"Still, it seems a little impossible. When's the last time a Shinigami was killed in Rukongai?"
"Centuries at least. The local criminals are never that brave."
"Did you hear what his name was? Hotaru... Hikaku, something like that."

Mugen's eyes widened, wishing he had heard incorrectly. Listening in some more, he learned Hikaru had been taken to the Fourth Division for emergency medical treatment. Running as fast as he could, he felt lucky that he was already on his way there to begin with. Charging into the Barracks, Mugen ignored his surroundings, only stopping to ask others if they knew where Hikaru was located. Busting into the room, he was taken aback by the sight of the Fourth Division Captain, Nikku Runiko, and the Fourth Division Lieutenant, Sara Hikkigaya. Both were standing over Hikaru, but only Lieutenant Hikkigaya was performing healing Kido. "Can I help you?" asked Captain Runiko, his voice soft yet stern. Mugen ignored him, walking over to Hikaru's body and sitting next to him. "Ah, I take it you two know each other? Well, in any case we already informed Captain Hirasan of what had happened." Captain Runiko looked at Mugen, noticing the clear shock in the young man's eyes. "Its good that you're here. Is there anyone you would like us to send a Jigokuchō for? Someone else who would be interested in what has happened to him?" Mugen nodded his head. "There are six others, one should be somewhere in the Barracks here. Here's their names..." Captain Runiko nodded, instructing one of his Seated Officers to send a Jigokuchō, or Black Butterfly, to the individuals Mugen named.

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Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Ryuu


Despite the early morning, the sounds of yells and the occasional clack and clang of swords could be heard in the Eleventh division barracks. One such person was none other than Ryuu Shosuke, who despite being fresh out of the Academy; literally she had only been there for nearly a week. And at the moment she faced a large man with a rather scary looking appearance. Earlier he had been boasting about being the best of the best that is until Ryuu asked him why he wasn’t seated if he was. What transpired next didn’t go all that well as the scary faced man decided he would fight her for hurting his pride and to apparently teach her a lesson. And so here she was, a few cuts had been given to her new uniform and she frowned at the idea of having to get a new one.

”Say when all this is said and done, you owe me a new uniform.” Scary face didn’t take to well on her comment and blindly rushed at the younger woman. Unlike her, Scary face didn’t look all too well as he had more cuts than she did. Mainly due to the fact that he had only been getting by on his superior strength alone, unlike Ryuu who was one of the best in swordplay in her graduating class as well as her skill in shunpo. That combination proved to be too much for Scary face as in that moment when he thought he had finally got her, Ryuu merely stood there. Thinking he had her, Scary faced raised his sword and ran at her but he was quite the slow idiot. pathetic, look at him run. He looks like a giant bafoon.

Rolling her eyes, Ryuu got into a stance, her sword parallel with her body. Looking straight forwards, Ryuu took a single step forwards and disappeared the only sound that could be heard was a small buzz. Then she appeared behind Scary face, her right eye closed keeping her composure as she sheathed Chomesku. Scary face fell to the ground with a loud thud and a suddenly the crowd of onlookers burst in sound. Those who had been bullied by Scary face cheered, while those who had the same idealism as him booed or simply watched her with cold stares that sent a chill down her spine. Ryuu glanced over her shoulder and locked eyes with one of those men. The two stared at each other until someone got in the way and he disappeared. With that Ryuu turned her back on the rest of her division and headed to the baths.

Once there Ryuu stripped of her uniform, taking off her eye patch and leaving Chomesku in a safe spot. Ryuu never went anywhere without her zanpakuto but the womans bathhouse was the one place she didn’t take it. The only other location in which Chomesku had to stay behind is when she was in the presence of the division Captain. Ryuu had yet to meet him and since no brave soul has chosen to take the title of lieutenant, no one came to welcome Ryuu and Tenshin. Well aside from maybe the few decent minded people who weren’t always battle crazed.

Letting out a sigh as she dipped her body into the hot steaming water, her hair fell over her left eye obscuring it from view much to the girls’ disappointment. No one has yet to hear the story of how she came about to wearing it, not even her closest friends have been acquainted by the history of her eye. And Ryuu didn’t plan on telling them anytime soon, she didn’t like to get close to people. It was one think to be more open with herself among her close group of friends and another thing to just spill her guts out to them because of that bond. Though she would never admit it aloud, Ryuu would give her life to protect those close to her.

After sitting in the baths for a while Ryuu stepped out, wrapping a towel closely to her body as she went to the changing room. Halfway into her uniform, Ryuu was greeted by a Jigokuchō, which surprised her considering she had never received on before. Odd, who would have sent me a message so early in the morning? Ryuu quickly got dressed and picked up Chomesku in her arms, leaving the bath house, Ryuu listened to the message that had been saved. What she had heard made her stop in her tracks, and Ryuu nearly dropped her sword at the news. Shaking her head to quickly compose of herself, Ryuu decided she would check on Tenshin to see if he had gotten the message.

Once she found him, Ryuu would ask and as soon as she got an answer she would head over to the Fourth division barracks.

Once there Ryuu calmly entered the building. Telling one of the many members that were scurrying about one of them lead her to where Hikaru and Mugen where held up. Seeing the lieutenant of the Fourth division performing healing Kido on their friend, Ryuu nodded at Mugen then turned towards the Captain. “Thank you for informing us of our friend’s situation. Now if you’ll excuse me.” giving him a slight bow at the waist. It was unusual for Ryuu to be acting so polite towards those of higher position than her. She walked over to Hikaru’s side and sat opposite of Mugen. A blank expression settled on her face as thoughts rushed through her head as to why this would have happened. It doesn’t add up, who could have done this that lives or has been in Rukongai. No one has ever dared to assault a shinigami let along a seated officer.

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Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by duramon
Tenshin


Tenshin was in a similar situation to Ryuu, facing off with an oaf in another section of the 11th division barracks. The man's face never changing and not a single bead of sweat dripping around his face as he ducked under blows and deflected the large mans attacks. His sword-play wasn't the greatest and nor was he the strongest fighter but he was fast, and his speed in reacting to the larger mans blows allowed him to negate a lot of the brute force behind them before he was able to put his weight behind the advances.

Thus far in the fight he hadn't been hit, but that changed as the larger man swept his feet out from under him and brought his blade down atop Tenshin, a blow that was barely deflected into cutting through his shoulder instead of his chest. The lack of emotion,surprise or even pain on the injured mans face served only to enrage his opponent more, bringing forth the unwise maneuver of attempting to end the fight with an over-head blow from above. In this moment the fight was ended,but not as he had planned, Tenshin was now standing behind his opponent, both his blades held in front of his body as he sheathed them along his back. The man he was fighting falling to the ground, a non-lethal cut across his chest and a large bruise on the back of his skull where Tenshin's hilt had placed itself. The wounded Shinigami smiled a cryptic smile for but a moment until a flit of black caught his eye.

The man listened to the saved message as the small crowd stared in awe around him and then left the Jigokuchō to go on its way, no new message for it required. He awaited the arrival of Ryuu who would assuredly be getting the same message and upon their arrival simply nodded and smiled a sad smile, a rare show of emotion for him, before speaking "I got it, I'll be there soon" He said,before disappearing after a moment. Re-appearing near his belongings and shifting them around for a moment apparently finding something precious. Tenshin sat for a moment and frowned heavily, slamming his fists into the ground several times, bruises already forming along the knuckles before he suddenly stopped. Instead sitting there in silence for a minute or two,just staring,thinking, but it wasn't time yet for him to be like this, he had to see it for himself. He bandaged his knuckles and left the shoulder wound alone before he stood.

His hair was draped slightly over his eyes, barely noticeable tear stains at the base of his cheeks that he quickly rubbed away. He pocketed the item in his robes and pulled out a packet of human world items called cigarette's, lighting one up using the matching lighter and taking a deep inhale, they had been hard to come by but worth it. He quickly utilized Shunpo and appeared in the 4th division barracks, heading to meet the rest of his fellows with the lit cigarette clenched between his teeth. He bowed before the captain and quietly took his place by Ryuu's side, his golden eyes simply staring at Hikaru as Kido was performed on him, he had no words to offer his friends,or in fact anyone at this point,all he could do was stare even as his own wounds spilled forth comparatively small amounts of blood onto the shoulder of his robes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Ayami Keifune Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"'Paint the barrack walls' they said, 'it'll be easy' they said. They lied to me," Ayami complained to herself, slapping a paintbrush against the wall repeatedly. It wasn't that she didn't love painting, just not this kind of painting. The drudgingly boring act of sliding a paint brush back and forth against the wall was not the same thing as a brush dancing along the face of a canvas. One was creative, one was busywork, and she was the busiest. Ayami had been at the wall the whole morning, and her progress was beginning to show. Mostly on herself. Fingers had the odd coat of white on their tips, while stark contrasts stained her robes. Honestly, if given a few more hours, Ayami would begin looking more like a captain than an unseated newbie.

As she worked, she became increasingly aware of an issue of hers. Her height did not allow her the reach in order to get the entire wall. A thin sliver of bare partition slowly made it's presence known, and only further served to irritate Ayami. It was mocking her, she knew it. She could hear it chuckle at her misfortunes. It was just temporary, Ayami had to remind herself, they were just hazing the raw recruit. Before long she'd be accepted, and if not-- well, she'd just have to earn that respect. She was never faulted for having lack of drive. If she wanted something, then she'd work, and she'd get it.

Case in point, the blank sliver of wall. She had just finished the wall and began to figure out how to solve that particular issue. She held the paintbrush in a fist, under her chin being careful to not slap herself in the face with it. The gears were churning something fierce in her head as fingers tapped restlessly against the hilt of Hanayōsei. She could go find a bucket and stand on top of that, but where in the heck was she getting a bucket? She hadn't be in the Ninth Division's compound long enough to know where they hid the buckets, and she sure wasn't going to ask anyone. She was an individual, she was doing this by herself. That did limit her options somewhat.

The clicking her fingers made on her hilt finally managed to filter through her ears, and the gears all but stopped. Her gaze slowly dropped down to her zanpakutō as an idea slowly began formulating in her mind. Pursed lips slid into a grin as she untied Hanayōsei's sheath from her belt and turned it over in her hand. "Hue hue, Amy, you're so clever," She chuckled to herself, taking the rope she had tied her zanpakutō off with and then tied the paint brush to the end of her sheath, thereby extending her reach a couple or so feet.

That solved the problem of the blank canvas. She stood back and examined her work with a smile before twitching slighty. A white wall wasn't the most creative expression she possessed. She could do better. She would do better. Ayami slyly checked both directions before slowly backing up and away from the wall. "I'll be back," She promised the wall, "When you dry, I'll make you beautiful." First she'd have to find some colored paint. Then she'd have to find another paint brush. What had just been a chore moments ago became an extracurricular activity she was looking forward to. She even had the excuse all lined up. "They told me to paint the wall," She told the imaginary shinigami, "They didn't tell me what to paint it," She giggled to herself. Now she was excited.

She was so enthralled in her own devices that she nearly missed the Jigokuchō fluttering around her. In fact, she did at first. It wasn't until it landed on the paint stained flower in her hair that Ayami noticed it. "Oh?" She asked confused. What would one of those creatures want with her? She hadn't done anything bad-- yet. But it wasn't about her, and when it's message was relayed, orange-rimmed eyes widened and her gait quicked directly for the Fourth Division's barracks.

It didn't take her long before her frantic running brought her to the doors of the barracks. Still covered in the paint from earlier, she pushed through the doors into the barracks. There wasn't enough time for her to go and change-- she waste those moments. It was just paint, it'd come off later. It mattered little in comparison. After a few questions she came into Hikaru's room, she became aware that she wasn't the first to arrive. Mugen, Ryuu, and Tenshin had all beaten her. She said nothing to them, only brushing Tenshin's shoulder as she walked past and leaned against the wall silently. She stood in silent vigil for a few moments before a series of tones drifted from her throat. She began humming low song, fitting along with the morose mood of the room. The tune was not for the benefit of her, nor her friends, but Hikaru's. Follow the music back, she thought to herself as the tune continued.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara Character Portrait: Ayami Keifune Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Guest
Image


It pleased Hoshiko that her schedule worked with all the precision and inexorability of clockwork. The Fourth woke early, generally speaking, and her training exercises in healing kidō (taught by one of the fifth seats) and triage procedure took the first few hours of the morning. After that, it was clinic hours, which for the unseated members of the Division, was mostly hospital chores and laundry. None of them were trusted enough to see a patient properly, even if they did have all the requisite skills. This sort of thing might have bothered her, but she’d chosen the Fourth specifically because it meant she’d have to start at the very bottom of things. And for someone who’d been born sitting above most, it was exactly where she needed to be.

Generally, she washed the linens, remade the beds in a hallway’s worth of rooms, spent her lunch break trying to locate her zanpakutō’s spirit in its own inner world (which she never could), gave up, returned to the barracks for her afternoon chore assignments, and found herself doing something menial. Yesterday, it had been repairing a wall the Eleventh had damaged doing who-knew-what. Truly, two of her only friends were in this division, but she had to admit that more often than not, it was trouble for her. At least she hadn’t been harassed that day—members of her division tended to dread doing chores in and around the barracks of the Eleventh because they were often picked on. She apparently dealt with it better than most, which now meant she had to deal with it more often. Perhaps this was part of climbing up from the bottom as well.

When the time came and she reached the highest point she could, nobody would be able to say she hadn’t earned it. Nobody would have any justification to assume that whatever positions she got from here on out were the work of her family’s influence. She would be sure of it.

Once her work had ended for the day, she usually found herself an unoccupied training field in the Seireitei. She’d always been intensely private about how she trained—she did not desire other people to see her struggle. Maybe she just wasn’t brave enough for that. Whatever the case, when she was sure she was alone, she first tried again to find her zanpakutō—and never any luck, though she could almost swear she was being watched in there—and then went to work with the rest, practicing her offensive and binding kidō, or else her shunpō and hakudō. Every other day, she forced herself to stay sharp on the basics of swordsmanship as well, though she held no love for it as so many of the people she knew did.

Today was not like other days.

Her morning classes happened on schedule, of course, but before she could start on her chores, Fifth Seat Kashigawa pulled her aside for a quick exchange of words. “Fujiwara, you’re friends with a guy named Hikaru, right?” Hoshi’s eyebrows drew together, and she raised a well-arched brow, nodding slightly, though she wasn’t exactly sure where this was going. Hikaru had been the older-brother figure of her academy group for a while, and she at least hadn’t minded the fact that he tended to dispense advice even when it wasn’t asked for. He was a skilled Shinigami, and someone worth learning from. “The thing is… he was brought in this morning. Both the captain and lieutenant are with him now. We figured, if you knew him… we could put you on supplies for it.”

“I would… appreciate that,” Hoshiko replied, her tone even despite the fact that her mouth had gone dry. She wasn’t exactly surprised—in the abstract, every Shinigami knew that their comrades were in danger from time to time, and those in the Fourth had to be more prepared than most to see people they cared about on stretchers and hospital beds. They needed to maintain the psychological strength necessary to do medical work on such people. And here, she was being offered an opportunity to help, even in a small way, when there was a life she cared about on the line. There was no way she was going to screw this up.

It was in this manner that she came to enter the room, several necessary supplies for Lieutenant Hikkigaya’s work. She’d gotten Mugen’s message a few minutes ago, but since she was heading there anyway, she tried not to let it compound her anxiety. She was going not as a friend for moral support, but a member of the Fourth, to do the duty she’d signed up to do. Her face was impassive when she slid open the door, stepping lightly around the other in the room to lay the supplies down on the table. Mostly, it was just things that the lieutenant would need in case her strength flagged, like water, and also supplies for cleanup or the healing that could be done without kidō. There was precious little else she could do, however, and as she was making the routine notes on the chart, her hand was shaking slightly.

It was definitely mostly anxiety for Hikaru’s condition—she’d looked him over when she entered, and it didn’t look good. The Lieutenant was immensely talented, though, and the Captain was here, too. If anyone could save Hikaru, it was them. Only once her jobs were done did she acknowledge her superior officer—the Fourth taught that formality was only observed once the necessary work had been completed. She bowed without saying anything, respecting the Lieutenant’s likely preference for silence (unlike Ayame, who she sent a look), and then she noticed that the black of Tenshin’s haori was dampened to a darker shade. She hadn’t noticed the smell of blood, because there was enough of it coming from Hikaru to mask it, but it was still clearly present. Moving to stand behind him, Hoshiko laid the first two fingers of her left hand lightly on his shoulder, concentrating on the kidō she wanted. Murmuring only the short version of the incantation, she closed the wound, but he’d have to clean it himself, since she was still on duty. The healing kido was warm, rather like sitting under the sun on a cool day—that was something that was a bit different with every practitioner.

Though she wanted to sit with her friends, her work kept her from that, for now, and she took up a spot by the door, sitting a perfect seiza, in case she was needed to run for additional supplies. It might not happen, but if it did, she wanted to be prepared.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Kurai was out in the training field like always after classes. Practicing with her zanpakutō, she heard foot steps coming her way and sighed. 'What now...' Slowly turning around she saw that it was one of the few who teased her about her zanpakutō. A small smirk graced her face as she waved, "Hey I didn't think you would be here today after what happened the last time we sparred."

The other shinigami laughed, "You caught me off guard last time. So I decided to try again." Lifting up his hands he got into a fighting stance, not taking his eyes off of Kurai.

A melodic laugh filled the air, "You wish to fight hand to hand? Do you forget which division I am in?" Before he could blink Kurai was gone and now had her fist at his throat, "Do not challenge me in the area I excel at, you may stay alive longer if you think things through." Pulling away she shook her head, "You act like a brute, not everything is solved with brawns, you need to use that brain of yours as well." Turning away, Kurai began walking towards the barracks when she heard and felt him coming.

Letting out an aggravated breath Kurai dropped to the ground spinning, which caused the man to fall. Standing she placed her foot on his chest, "Now stay down until I am gone. Don't push your luck." Applying some pressure to show how serious she was Kurai stepped off and went to clean herself off.

After a nice bath Kurai's attitude went back to the distance and some what shy demeanor. Her hair was up in it's pony tail while slightly damp when she was given news about Hikaru. Her eyes widen and shook her head. Turning around she began running to the fourth division barracks. 'There's no way...not him...why Hikaru?'

Slowing her pace Kurai walked into the room to see the others there. Looking at all of them, Kurai slightly put her head down but made sure to keep Hikaru in her sight. She went to go lean against the wall since their was enough people surrounding Hikaru. Crossing her arms over her chest Kurai did her best to keep her composure intact. 'Please let him be okay...'

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Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara Character Portrait: Ayami Keifune
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The others filed in one by one, none arriving more than a few minutes after the last. Mugen sat across from Ryuu, but he had a glazed look in his eye. He had just seen Hikaru a few hours earlier, now seeing him like this was obviously having a deep affect on him. Despite how he comes across, Mugen cared deeply for those who were willing to call him a friend, and due to that he felt a need to help them anyway he could. But now, he only felt useless as the Lieutenant tried her best to help someone he couldn't. A Jigokuchō flew in through the window, resting gently on Captain Runiko's index finger. The Butterfly played a message, informing them that Touketsu had received the message, but did not send a reply. Runiko released the Butterfly, allowing it to fly back to receive a rest. Runiko looked around at the young Shinigami, but only recognized Hoshiko's face. He immediately knew they were relatively new Shinigami, unlikely to have seen one of their own this badly injured before. "Sara, how does it look?" Captain Runiko spoke to his Lieutenant.

Lieutenant Hikkigaya removed her hands from Hikaru's face, the green glow of her Healing Kido disappearing as she did so. "His physical wounds are fine, but I am unable to restore his Reiatsu." Runiko raised an eyebrow, walking over to his Lieutenant and motioning her to move. He bent down and gently placed his hands on Hikaru's face, closing his eyes and mumbling to himself as he did so. After what felt like a few minutes, but was really a few seconds, Runiko opened his eyes and removed his hands from Hikaru's face, a perplexed look forming not long after. "Sara? Send for Captain Shironame." The Lieutenant nodded, exiting the room after politely bowing as she closed the door. "Do you know what the Saketsu is?" Mugen had a confused look on his face, but the others likely knew, as they actually attended class at the Academy. "It seems at least one person is in need of a lesson. The Saketsu works in conjunction with the Hakusui. The Saketsu works as a boost to spiritual power and the Hakusui acts as the source. It seems that something, or someone, has figured out how to disrupt this process. Usually, this would involve the Shinigami losing his, or her, powers. However, rather than simply stopping the cycle, it seems that Hikaru's spiritual power is being siphoned and removed from his body." Mugen looked at the others, mostly Hoshiko, believing she would be the one most likely to understand what the Captain was saying. "I don't understand. Are you saying Hikaru will lose his powers?" The Captain shook his head, gently placing his hand on Hikaru's forehead. "Normally, that would be the case. Hikaru is being drained of all his spiritual power. If this continues, he will die." Mugen's head dropped, his hands clinching his robes and his arms shaking.

The Captain stood up and walked to the door. "I was unable to flow my own spiritual power into his Hakusui, making it unable to help sustain him. At the current rate, he will likely pass within three days. I have sent for Captain Shironame, he is the Head of The Research Institute. Hopefully, he will know how to save your friend. I'm sorry." The Captain left without another word, clearly not knowing what to say. How does one comfort others when they just said they don't know how to save an important person's life? Believing they would rather be alone, the Captain had the guard posted at the door leave with him, deciding to have him return to his post after the young Shinigami have had their peace.

The group sat in silence for only a few seconds before Mugen spoke up. "This is bullshit. Hikaru is not going to die." Crossing his arms and thinking for a moment, Mugen thought back to the prior night. "I met with Hikaru last night. Its only been a few hours between then and now. He was on patrol in North Rukongai so someone had to have seen something. There were these assholes at a bar I was at. Hikaru came in and scared them off, but it didn't look like they were going to let this slide. Not much of a lead but its a start." Mugen looked at the others, seeing some looks of disbelief and skepticism. "What? I said its a start." Mugen grabbed his Zanpakuto, gently tapping the hilt on his shoulder as he continued to speak. "We have two options; Let this Shironame guy poke around in Hikaru and maybe find nothing... or, we go out and find the S.O.B. that did this and we make em' fix it." Without waiting for any reactions Mugen continued. "What would Hikaru do for any one of us? Odds are he would already be in Rukongai beating the crap outta anyone who even looked at him wrong. Touketsu's still not here, but as soon as he gets here I'm leaving. Though, I really admit I could use your help."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Touketsu


After what felt like days after graduation Touketsu wandered about the eighth division's barracks. "If I knew it would seem so quiet around here I probably would have stayed with the kids... Well it probably doesn't help that I avoid every one I see." With a sigh Touketsu set Mikadzuki in the first place he could find before sitting down himself. 'Might as well get used to it other wise I will just bore myself into a trance' After a short argument with himself Touketsu leaned his head back and starred at the clouds.

'Just how long has it been since graduation?' Placing his hands behind his head Touketsu continued to stare at the clouds "Maybe if I went for a walk I could take my mind off how dull it is." The ground felt cold as he lied there only looking to the sky. Pulling himself back to his feet Touketsu gave a quick look around when he finally noticed the Jigokuchō. "Huh a message this early in the morning. I wander what's so important?" Placing his sword over his shoulder Touketsu allowed the black winged butterfly land on the hilt of the blade, so while he walked he could listen to the message as it was being relayed to him, almost dropping to his knees in the middle of the street from the bad news.

"Hikaru that..." With a faltering voice Touketsu turned on his heels and started going the opposite direction. With every person he passed he picked up the speed until he was in a full on sprint pushing others to the side. "Which way was it to the fourth division's barracks again? Great this is one heck of a time for me to be getting lost." Turning to the right continued looking for the fourth division.

After wandering about for a good sum of time Touketsu finally got to the destination but slid to a stop when he saw the captain standing outside. "Err am I too late?" he stuttered trying to keep his eyes down at his feet. As awkward silence filled the air causing Touketsu began to twirl his thumbs. "I think I'll go in now." With a bow Touketsu walked through the door and was greeted by the sound of Mugen talking about what should be done.

"Yeah Hikaru would go out and beat who ever would harm us to a bloody pulp but don't forget just how skilled he was, err I mean is. For him to be in this state means that who ever did this knows exactly what they were doing and is not afraid to use it to their advantage." Dropping his eyes Touketsu gave an inaudible mumble before looking back to the many rooms filled with patients then back to the others.

"It's hard not knowing what is going to happen but to do something blindly is just like handing your self over to the enemy. One, you'll survive for a short time, but the negative is they will kill you anyway." Placing his hand over his eyes Touketsu shook his head. "Can't believe I'm saying this stuff what have I become a teacher.... any way if your mind is still set on getting revenge I'll help out."

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Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Kurai pushed herself off the wall and walked over to Mugen after Touketsu walked in, placing a hand on his shoulder she smiled down at him, "I'll help you out as well, I'm sure everyone here clearly cares out Hikaru." She gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze before letting go, "So, where should I meet you since you're deciding to leave. The sooner we start this the better no?"

Feeling her Zanpakuto on her hip Kurai gently touched it before letting her hand fall. Knowing that someone purposely did this to Hikaru sent a surge of anger through Kurai. She agreed with Mugen about finding who did this to Hikaru, she didn't want to see him die. What am I saying?! Hikaru isn't going to die, they'll find a way and he'll get better. Kurai was actually praising herself for not being so shy for once with the others. Of course she had a feeling it was because this was just at important to her as it was to Mugen. After all, Mugen said he had seen Hikaru only a few hours ago, and he was fine.

A small sigh escaped her lips as she was processing all this. Hikaru was a wonderful Shinigami so who would want to do this to him? Biting her lip in a nervous habit she looked back to Mugen and opened her mouth to speak, but quickly snapped it shut. I wonder how the others feel about this...

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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#, as written by Guest
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Hoshi understood, perhaps better than most of her friends had reason to, what her captain was talking about, and so even before the man’s words were out of his mouth, she knew what the consequences would be, and her stony expression faltered, for once displaying a certain amount of shock mixed with grief—she already mourned what they were losing. What the world was losing. It was unbecoming of a healer to think on such ways, she knew, but… Hikaru was her friend. One of the first she’d ever made, along with the other people in this room. When Touketsu entered as well, the sum total of the people outside of her family that had ever concerned themselves with her were in one room, losing one of their number.

That hurt, but she knew the Captain was telling the truth. If he said Hikaru was going to die, then Hikaru was going to die. The captain was the best healer in all of Soul Society, and probably a stretch better than what some of the Royal Guard could achieve, even, though it was unwell to say so, regardless of its truth. Still… she understood what he was trying to do, sending the Captain of the Twelfth here. Where traditional medicine ended, research and science began.

Even so… she could not afford to place her hopes with the Twelfth. That they were being sent for at all meant the situation was dire, too dire to have much chance of getting better. If the problem could not be solved on this end, then logically, it made most sense to investigate the other—and that was precisely when Mugen spoke. Hoshi sat back in her seiza bringing her hands to rest delicately in her lap, but this was to disguise the fact that they were faintly trembling more than anything. Her eyes fixed steadily at a point over Ryuu’s shoulder as she considered it.

This was a phenomenon that had never been seen before—the drain, rather than the obliteration, of a Shinigami’s reiatsu. His Hakusui was blocked, presumably by some outside force. Surely, such a wound was not inflicted by accident. A technique like that would have needed to be developed, refined. Thinking about it as coolly and rationally as possible, it only made sense that the person to inflict such a condition would be the one most likely to know how it was done, and, if reversal was possible, how to bring it about. There was no other choice.

Ordinarily, Hoshiko would have assumed that this had been thought of already, but if it had been, then surely, someone would have been sent to investigate, and the Captain would have told them, to give them what hope he could. It was poor to give someone false hope, but such a consideration would have been only unlikely, not false, and she did not think it would be withheld from them. Which meant that there was nobody investigating that part of the Rukongai right now. Assembling a team for the purpose would take too long—unless that team was already assembled, and could still reach the are while the evidence was fresh, which it must be, if Mugen had seen Hikaru so recently.

“So what?” she replied to Touketsu, who seemed to be cautioning against it. “If I weren’t willing to confront things that might kill me, I would not have become a Shinigami. None of us would have. I’m in, as well.” That was not to say she had no reservations, or that she thought they should go into this without caution, blades alight, but they should go. There were so many regulations against this sort of thing that it made her head spin to think about it, but… there was a time to follow the rules, and a time when the rules only got in the way. The latter was rarer, by far, and she did respect the rules, but when a friend’s life was on the line, there wasn’t even a choice. You did everything that you could to save them. That’s why she was a healer at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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"Let's not forget," Ayami broke in, pushing herself off of the wall, "That there are seven of us while there was only one of him," she pointed out. She had nothing but the utmost respect for Hikaru, but surely the seven of them could equal one of him. It was a numbers game, and not to mention that a number of her friends were fierce combatants in their own right, Hoshiko was a healer, and she herself wasn't a slouch in whatever it was Ayami did. "If we do this together, than there's no way we could lose. It's a simple numbers game," She said, forcing a smile to her face.

Even so, behind the veneer of the smile, it was apparent that she was worried. Her hand was clenched where her own Saketsu would have been, mirroring Hikaru's own wound and she winced. However, she did not tremble, nor did she struggle with the weight. Her eyes were ever optimistic, refusing to think about the what-if only the what-is. And the what-is that was going to happen was that she was going along. "I'm behind you guys, always," She said nodding. They would find who done this, they would apprehend him, and then they'd make him fix it. That's what was going to happen.

There was nothing in her mind that told her they were going to fail. In fact, she had already settled that they were going to succeed, but only if they worked for it. An uncommon drive settled into her eyes, as she stared past Mugen and into the door behind him, waiting to leave, and waiting to find whoever was accountable for this. She took a step forward and gently batted the back of her hand against Touketsu's chest, leveling a frown in her direction. "Stop being pessimistic, you'll get nowhere with that attitude," She said, her cheeks puffing out in disappointment at his words. "And it's not revenge-- Hikaru's not going anywhere. It's... Retrieval," she chided. "And no one's dying," She added resolutely, her orange gaze darting back and forth between Hoshiko and Touketsu.

With her piece said, Ayami moved past those two and waited at the door. She certainly wasn't going to be the first one out the door, she had no idea where she was going. She did not know the North Rukongai as much as she knew the East. That was Mugen's stomping grounds, not hers. A tapping then began to emerge from her Zanpakuto as she anxiously tapped it. It didn't matter if she was still covered in a layer of paint, that could wait. Hikaru did not have the luxury of time. She could always take a bath later or peel it off on the way.

Her eyes then danced between Mugen and Touketsu, leaving her shrugging for a moment. "Well, he's here. Whenever you're ready," She said.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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#, as written by duramon
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Tenshin barely noticed the others arrivals, only noting them after a length of time he wasn't even aware had past. Aside from Hoshiko and Ayami, who made contact with his injured shoulder. The warm feeling was strange in a situation like this, somewhat alien, but he was thankful for it and the relief from the flow of blood that previously stained his robes. The Shinigami cringed and kept silent as Touketsu and Mugen spoke, he disliked both ideas and the way they were presented but everyone else seemed resolved to do it, even Hoshiko who was the Healer of the group seemed intent on venturing into the Rukongai for vengeance upon whomever did this.

Suddenly,directly after Ayami finished talking Tenshin stood and brushed his hair out from over his eyes, leveling a cold stare at Mugen and Touketsu "Ryuu and I can go anywhere there's a fight most times, we're from 11th Division, but the rest of you have duties and we all need to make an impression and rise in the ranks. Hikaru didn't help us through the academy so we could waste it all and die. Think about it the lot of you, this person not only severely injured Hikaru but is as we speak draining his Spiritual Power for some unknown purpose, something they achieved either after or during the fight before anyone could find them." He lectured, obviously disapproving of the turn of events, if only in a logical sense. The Shinigami shook his head and took a few steps away from their injured friend, drawing his Zanpakuto from his back and wielding the smaller blades handle reversed in his right hand.

"If you're all committed to this course then I suggest we play it smart and travel in One three man cell and another four man cell and take a Jigokuchō with each team in case we get in trouble or find the one who did this. We'll cover more ground and it'll be less likely for a small group of three Shinigami to be reported in the Rukongai, little own the report making it to seated officers. Personally with no offense meant to anyone, I think it'd be a good idea to split up in a way that...means the Impulsive can be dulled by a Splash of caution." He commented further, again falling silent and moving his hair to cover parts of his eyes, his vision diverted away from his friends as the timer for his public speaking amongst women had apparently run out on that accidentally insulting note. The now nervous Tenshin shuffling under what would assuredly be everyone's gaze at his sudden out-burst and disagreement, he wasn't one to fear public speaking or judgement but never the less these people were different, some of them even anatomically so which only served to further increase his uncomfortableness.

Inside he too wanted to rush out and punish whoever had done this, make them fix Hikaru, in fact even as he fought against it his already injured knuckles were whitening as he tightened his harsh grip around the handles of his blade, but it wasn't as simple as that...even the Captain wasn't able to help him and the Twelfth was being called to assist in even seeing if there was a sliver of hope, they needed something smarter then rushing headlong into the Rukongai, atleast he thought so..it was hard to tell what was Him and what was his Facade at times like these.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Ryuu


One by one everyone followed the call, Tenshin sat beside her, red eyes narrowed at the scent of blood but she let it pass since there were more important matters at hand. Ayami came next without making a sound she leaned against a wall and started to hum a song. Ryuu closed her eyes an almost smile on her lips at the song Ayami hummed. Not long after Ayami arrived, Hoshiko made her appearance but it seemed her business was professional for the time being. Kurai entered the room taking up a spot on a wall besides Ayami and managed to keep a straight face as did the others.


The Captains words to them worried her but she didn’t let it show on her face, nor did she open her eye. It seemed more like Ryuu was meditating than sitting there. After he had left the group sat in silence for a while longer until finally Mugen broke the silence with his words. By his tone of voice Mugen was upset by the idea of Hikaru dying or even the possibility of them doing nothing about it. He began tapping the hilt of his sword against his shoulder and Ryuu couldn’t tell whether it was from nervousness or if he was doing it unconsciously. She listened until he finished speaking unaware until he had spoken up that Touketsu had arrived.


Ryuu continued to sit in silence but hearing the others words of approval in Mugens plans made her remember their time in the academy. Holding her sword tighter to her chest, Ryuu loosened her grip on Chomesku and set her on her lap. However she continued to listen to them as they spoke a calm expression on her face. Its best not to speak yet not until they are done bickering amongst themselves.


Hearing Ayami's words of encouragment to Touketsu or at least you could think that. Ryuu knew Touketsu wasn't at wrong but he was being somewhat pessimistic. The man pointed out a few good reasons to be cautious but Ryuu was sure the others were aware of that already. Well maybe not Mugen seeing as the subject at hand affected him moreso than the others. Does he feel guilty for having been with him so soon and only when he left that Hikaru was hurt.


Ryuu snorted at the word of Retrieval instead of revenge, there were times when Ryuu agreeded with Ayami's choice of words. They should help keep everyone from thinking of this the wrong way. Ryuu most certainly wasn’t thinking of this as a way of revenge. Only if Hikaru left them would Ryuu consider revenge but they weren't going to allow their friend to die. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever only when it was time would he finally leave them and now wasn’t that time.


After a pause in the conversation, Ryuu shifted her weight. Bringing Chomesku onto her shoulder, Ryuu thought for a moment onto what she would say next. She wasn't about to deal with Ayami or even Hoshiko nagging her about being pessimistic. Which wasn't in her nature to think in such a way it may be Touketsu's but having been in the eleventh division for a week now, Ryuu knew being overly cautious could get you killed but blindly rushing in would do the same.


Finally Ryuu opened her eye looking at all those around her. Ayami stood by the door eager to leave while the others stood around Touketsu as if still waiting for more words to spill touse against him. idiots, but their my idiots A small barely noteciable smile appeared on Ryuu's face. She looked at Hikaru's face for a while examining it then she moved onto the rest of his body until they settled on his wound. I wonder just what happened to you Hikaru. Did it hurt when they did this to you? her expression changed from a calm slight smile to one of sadness. [i]But do not worry friend, we'll kill the bastards who did this to you. An eye for an eye is what they say.[i] No longer sad a look of frustration bordering on the point of anger settled on her face.


It seemed Tenshin beat her to the punch line. They could go anywhere where there was a fight brewing that was the eleventh divisions purpose; to fight and they were probably the best. Although most were meatheads there were a few who had a good head on their shoulders and Tenshin was one of them. Not that Ryuu was saying she wasn't a part of that handful of people but she recognized Tenshin's smarts. Making groups would be for the best, that way they could evenly, well almost, distribute their talents amongst themselves.


After thinking through their plans or what she could guess of them, Ryuu spoke for the first time. "Ah but Ayami who said there was only one culprit. As all you said we shouldn’t be overly cautious nor should we be brash and just burst in swords swinging. What Tenshin said is correct it would be best to separate ourselves into groups. Now Mugen do you have anything else to say on this matter. Seeing as you brought all this to mind, I'd say you would be the one to call the shots." Ryuu continued to sit there, a look of determination apparent on her face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Mugen stood up, taking a deep breath as he did so. Despite his personality, he chose to listen to what each of them had to say, realizing that he would likely not have a calm head about the situation. He scratched his head as Tenshin spoke, unsure of what to mae of the plan to split up. He was mostly worried that, should one group find something, even with a Jigokuchō the other might not be able to arrive in time to help. North Rukongai was a big place, easy to get lost in if you didn't know where you were going. But, Ryuu acknowledged that Tenshin's idea was likely the best course of action. So, Mugen decided to go along with it despite his reservations. "First, we have to get to North Rukongai. The bar Hikaru found me at is not that far into the city. We'll start there as it was the last place I saw him, plus its probably the only place that would have witnesses out and about at that time of night. Depending on what we learn at the bar, we'll go from there. If we do split into groups, it will also make a good place to meet back up. Alright, at this point all we're doing is wasting daylight." With that the group left the room, Mugen giving a peace sign to Hikaru as they left.

A few minutes later, Captain Runiko arrived with Captain Shironame in tow, as well as his Lieutenant, Chiho Hosoi. Captain Nagi Shironame was eccentric to say the least. Even now, Lieutenant Hosoi was having to drag him into the Fourth's Barracks, Captain Runiko just smiling happily as he watched the two argue back and forth.

"I just want to stay in my lab!" Captain Shironame yelled, gripping the Fourth Barracks door as hard as he could.
"You have to help, Captain!" Lieutenant Hosoi screamed back, trying to pull Shironame by his torso into the barracks.
"No. I am your Captain and you will let me return this instant!"
"Fine, leave. But then... what will happen to Formula B-7?"
"How do you know about that?" Nagi's eyes widened, his arms releasing hold of the door and his gaze fixed on Hosoi.
"Want to know? Well, first you have to take a look at the injured man." Hosoi looked at Captain Runiko and winked, knowing she had convinced him already.

Captain Shironame entered the room with Runiko and Hosoi in toe, his eyes looking Hikaru up and down. "Strange, I wonder what happened to the others?"
"Did you say something, Captain Runiko?" Hosoi asked inquisitively.
"Ah, its nothing Chiho. anyway, let's let Captain Shironame work in peace." With that the two sat down in silence, Hosoi going over the paperwork she brought with her while Runiko gently sipped tea.

Only a few minutes passed before Shironame stood up. "Is something wrong, Captain?" Hosoi asked, worried with how quickly Shironame was done. Captain Shironame turned around, a wide smile on his face. "Chiho. Have this man transported to my lab." Flinching for a second, Hosoi stood up and left the room, obviously to get in contact with Twelfth Division Shinigami. Runiko had a concerned look on his face. "Does this mean you know what happened?" Shironame looked at his fellow Captain, gently putting his hands on the man's shoulders. "Captain Runiko... I have not the slightest clue. At least... not yet. But, I will. Just when I thought it was getting boring around here, this falls into my lap." Shironame left the room, still grinning. Runiko stood there, a confused look on his face unable to comprehend what just happened. Shironame went into the hallway, Hosoi already ordering people to help get Hikaru ready for transport. "Chiho, this is so exciting. Oh, by the way. How did you find out about B-7?" Hosoi began walking back to Hikaru's room, obviously intending to assist the others in moving him. "I didn't. Just took a stab in the dark. You have always been rather ppor at naming your experiments." Hosoi chuckled as she went back into the room, Captain Shironame standing there with a look that could only be described as a mixture of anger and embarrassment.

Meanwhile, in North Rukongai...

Mugen and the others arrived at the bar, their robes obviously attracting attention from the few patrons who were there this early in the morning. Without skipping a beat, Mugen walked straight up to the Bartender and grabbed him by the collar with his right hand. "Oi, remember me?" The Bartender nodded his head nervously. "That guy who I left with, did you see him again?" The Bartender nodded, agreeing to tell Mugen what happened if he let him go. Reluctantly, Mugen dropped his grip and sat down on the nearest bar stool. The Bartender looked at the group as a whole, noticing their Zanpakuto's first and foremost. "I-I-I... sorry." The Bartender took a drink of water to clear his throat and calm his nerves. Mugen received a few looks of disapproval, but all he could do was shrug and roll his eyes. "After you left, that Shinigami came back in to apologize for what happened. I offered him a free drink for defusing the situation earlier, and that's when the guys from earlier came back. They were hoping to continue with their evening, but were surprised to see your friend was still here. Your friend apologized and they seemed to be sincere in forgiving you, but I know those guys and I could tell it was an act. I heard them say they were taking him out to Kusajishi because there had been some weird things going on out there. Your friend seemed more than willing to help out." Mugen snorted, causing the Bartender to jump a little.

Trying to help someone who you don't even know. Always thought that trait of his would end up hurting him, Mugen thought to himself, but he quickly returned back to the conversation. "If that's all, can you please leave? You're scaring my customers." Mugen stood up and leaned across the bar. "Why would they take him to Kusajishi?" The Bartender took a step back. It was odd to see a man who wasn't afraid to kick Mugen out last night was now quivering before him. Something one could attribute to just appearing as a Shinigami in Soul Society. "Kusajishi in heavily wooded and has a smaller population than most districts. Its not heavily policed so if you wanted to 'take care' of something that would be the place to do it. Its not far, you would be able to get there quickly if you leave now." Mugen turned to the others, unsure of what to do next. "Oh yeah, those guys. You said you knew them. Where do they live?" The Bartender avoided eye contact, seemingly unwilling to tell them anymore. Mugen was about to grab the man again when someone dropped a few coins on the counter, though Mugen turned back around to late to see who had done it. Not necessarily a path Mugen would have chosen, but it seemed to work. The Bartender quickly grabbed the coins and put them behind his station. "Junichi Kuromika and Rong Munikana. The others weren't with them the second time, but I hadn't seen them before so I wouldn't know their names. Junichi lives a ways away. I think he only comes here is because the bars in his area have all banned him from entry. Here, I'll give you the address."

The seven left the bar, Mugen rolling his eyes as the door shut behind them. "Threatened with pain, unsure. Rewarded with money, sings like a canary. This is a messed up society we live in." Mugen crossed his arms and looked at the others. "What? Don't give me that, 'oh, how hypocritical of you' look." Mugen laughed a little, the first time he had done so today. "So, we got two leads, Kusajishi and this address." Mugen looked back up at the group, sighing heavily and tapping his Zanpakuto on his shoulder again. "As much as I hate dealing with those guys again, I'm the only one who would recognize them if we saw them. Otherwise, the ones that go will have to ask around and people tend to cover for their neighbors in the North, especially when its Shinigami investigating. I'll stay here with two others. I don't know much about Kusajishi accept that a few years ago it was a heavily contested area for gangs. So, I think Tenshin, Ryuu, Touketsu, and Hoshiko should be the ones to head out there if we are splitting into groups. they can handle anything that area has to throw at them, and Hoshiko can provide support. Me, Ayami, and Kurai will look into the bar idiots." Mugen let out a small grunt, "Damn, I hate thinking about things. In the Academy it was there's a thing... go kill the thing." Mugen realized he was still tapping his Zanpakuto on his shoulder, so he stopped and leaned against the bar's wall. "So, any complaints are can we be off? I have to be with the group that finds the two idiots, but beyond that its up to you where you want to go. But, the group of four should definitely be the ones to go to Kusajishi, just to be on the safe side."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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#, as written by duramon
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Tenshin stared without emotion at the proceedings, the threatening of the barkeep and the following flow of information at the sight of simple coin. However on the inside he cringed, knowing the Soul Society was like this was not a pretty image, it made one want to change it but the people seemed content despite the obviously well-known gangs and thugs in the Rukongai and their activity's. The shinigami listened to Mugen's proposal and lightly tapped at the hilt of the Zanpakuto now sheathed along his back, flicking his hair out from his eyes before he spoke.

"I'll go to Kusajishi, whoever else is I guess come over to me a couple steps away, Hoshiko you're a key player here so I suggest go with what you think would be best, you have more experience in use of medical Kido and in what situation it would be the most effective so anyone else picking would be some-what redundant. For now I'd like to propose I be leader of the Kusajishi Cell, Ryuu and I have the most combat experience for recent academy graduates so either of us would be the best choice in my opinion." He stated in a flat tone, shrugging once he reached the end and taking a few steps away to stand some-what opposite to Mugen, rubbing at his once injured shoulder which he was thankful Hoshiko had healed for him. He hadn't had much time before they sallied forth to the Rukongai but he'd had enough time to clean the wound to a decent state, at the very least it wouldn't get infected.

The Shinigami's eyes scanned over the remaining group, picking out people in his mind he'd wish to have in his cell for tactical purposes and for personal reasons...for now tactics out-weighed the latter but it didn't mean it wasn't part of his thought process on the matter. He just hoped this didn't end up into a war in miniature run by the recent graduates and the Rukongai gangs, but it seemed that was where this was heading at this rate so he had to prepare himself for all eventuality's, something he would begin to calculate in his head as the others made their choice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Kurai nodded while looking at Mugen, "You wont hear any complaining from me." She understood where Tenshin was coming from, she really know much about Kusajishi either. So going to find some 'bar idiots' as Mugen put it was perfectly okay with Kurai. Being one to prefer handling things up close and personal Kurai cracked her knuckles at the thought of meeting these men. A small smirk appeared on her face, If they cause to much trouble for us I wouldn't mind a second work out for the day. It makes good practice.

Letting her hair down so it could finish drying, Kurai ran her hand through it to get any tangles out while they waited. She couldn't help but think of someone from her past. A small twinge of pain coursed through her chest and quickly dismissed the thought. Pulling out Ayasturu she gave it a once over then placed it back at her hip after making sure her zanpakuto was fine. Pondering for a moment Kurai spoke up, "Ayami what song were you humming earlier?" Looking over to the woman she smiled, "It was soothing and pleasant."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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#, as written by Guest
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Hoshiko could count the number of times she’d been out to any area of the Rukongai on her hands, and the vast majority of those had been in her Academy days and since. She was still quite obviously out-of-place there, especially in the districts that were a bit less… genteel. She was not Mugen, who could fit in with the citizenry here, nor Ryuu who could probably scare them into submission just by looking at them, nor even any of the others, who could at least fit in with body language and a bit of discretion. Though she made every attempt to downplay it, there were subtle things about her that hinted strongly at her upbringing, moreso here than in the Seireitei. Her posture was perfect, she walked generally with the measured, even steps of someone used to gauging every tiny aspect of her actions, and when they weren’t doing anything else, her hands were folded delicately in front of her.

These were habits that had been rooted in her so deeply she wasn’t sure she could be rid of them if she wanted to. This was not to say, however, that she was unfamiliar with situations like this one. Oh, to be sure, interrogations of the sort that she knew were conducted much more gently. The physical intimidation had to be restricted to appearances, presence, and the subtle shifting of reiatsu. Most of the warfare was entirely mental—she’d watched talented shinigami be reduced to quaking messes by people with less outright strength before. This kind of intimidation was crude by comparison, but she recognized that it fit the situation.

Even so, she was not overly fond of it, and it seemed to her that the information they wanted could be got by much easier means, similarly brute but unlikely to sully that hands of her friends. With a nearly-imperceptible sigh, she unclasped her hands and reached with one in between the layers of her haori, pulling free a small coinpurse, loaded down with her monthly stipend from her parents. She usually tried not to spend it on principle, but in this situation, she would have no compunctions. Using her father’s money to bribe a Rukongai bartender was exactly the kind of thing her mother was afraid that being a Shinigami would drive the Fujiwara heir to do, and so it gave Hoshiko a certain odd kind of satisfaction to do it.

The coins, a pittance for her but probably nothing insubstantial for anyone else, clinked onto the bar with that distinctive sound they had, and Hoshi had stowed her purse and reclasped her hands before Mugen was any the wiser as to where the mysterious donation had come from, though she was sure one or two of the others had seen her do it. She didn’t mind—she doubted they would ask. Who she was wasn’t exactly a secret, but she did not generally bother to correct the people who made mistaken assumptions about her background, due perhaps to a lack of knowledge about what went on in the ranks of nobility. She did not consider it a character flaw to lack such knowledge—in fact, she preferred it.

The plan, as such, was sound as far as she could tell, though of course it was still quite dangerous. Perhaps moreso for those who would be on location in the Kushajishi District. As the only person on the team with much in the way of kido at all and definitely the only one who could heal, it was her responsibility to pick the assignment most likely to result in injury, so the selection was obvious, as Tenshin pointed out. “I understand,” she told him. “I will go with you and the others to the Kushajishi District. Please be careful.” This last was directed to Mugen and his group. Thugs or not, those people they were going after were the last ones known to be in Hikaru’s company, so however unlikely it seemed, they were presently the ones who could have injured him in such a way. Though she thought there was more going on here, their investigation certainly merited caution.

Her friends tended to touch or grasp their zanpakuto for reassurance. Hoshiko found the center she’d been developing from birth, that capacity that all nobles were taught to mask their emotions and smooth out the tumult of things they might be feeling at any given time. Too much emotion in ones thinking could be fatal, and though she worried for these people she had come to care about over the past few years, she would not do them the disservice of doubting them. They had earned more of her trust than that. “Lead on when you are ready, then,” she told Tenshin, inclining her head slightly in acknowledgement of the fact that, at least for now, she took her orders from him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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This time, it was Mugen to get the gentle tap of the back of Ayami's hand. "Nobody's looking at you with anything, Mugen. You do what you have to this far out in the Rukongai," she said. Otherwise, she reeled the hand back in and listened to the rest of his words, quietly nodding along. It seemed like a plan, though splitting up still didn't sit too well with her. They were all newly minted Shinigami, they shouldn't be splitting up. Hikaru was a seated member of the first division, they were a ways away from his level. Their numbers together only made them safer. But she wasn't so naive as to believe that. It just how it was. They were going to have to split up if they were going to bring Hikaru back. So it was reluctant shrug that Ayami relented.

Her eyes turned toward Tenshin once he suggested leadership roles, and a brunette eyebrow raised questioningly. "Leaders? I didn't realize this was a division. Here I thought we were in this together," She said with a wisp of a smirk. Though a joke, the point was made. They were in this together, and each of them decided to go into it by their own will. The idea of anyone of them being a leader was ridiculous. She'd listen to each and every one of them closely and intently, because that's what friends did. They didn't need to be a leader to get that from her, they've earned that much.

That much being said, her mind turned toward a different topic at hand. Her eyes darted between most of her assembled friends, all except for Hoskiko. She wasn't in need of the lecture. "Remember guys, not every situation calls for violence," She understood that sometimes fighting was wasted effort, when what they wanted could be acquired by other ways. There was also another point to be made, "Dead men tell no tales." If they all killed the party responsible, then they'd be back where they started, although this time with no more leads. She was fond of her friends, but sometimes they didn't think with their heads. Then Ayami turned to Hoshiko, brushing a white-spattered pink tuft out of her eye, "I expect you to keep them in line," She said with a haughty tone before breaking into a cheery smile.

With what she wanted to say said, she then turned her eyes onto Mugen, "I'm with you. Whenever you're ready, lead on-- else you'd like me to take point?" She asked, taking a couple of tentative steps toward the intended direction. Ayami was eager, but not for battle. Every moment they stood around debating what they needed to do, was a moment Hikaru spent getting his reiatsu. She wasn't going to bring it up though, it was a fresh wound and would serve as a distraction. They needed clear and focused minds, lest they miss important details.

Of course, before Ayami could add to her steps, Kurai brought up the tune she hummed. At first she hesitated, confused about the abrupt change in subject, then confused at the subject itself. That was an odd question, and one Ayami pondered for a moment before shrugging. "I'm... Not sure. They just come to me like little birds, I just set them free," She answered with a shrug. The songs she hummed hardly had words to them, and simply were a series of tones that fit the mood. "If you'd like to hear a real song, I'd be more than happy to sing you one-- After we deal with this of course," Ayami answered with a playful smile. She hardly needed a reason to sing, if asked she'd break out into song at a moments notice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Ryuu


Ryuu followed Mugen to the bar he had met Hikaru the night before. She got quite a few stares as they walked along the street. But those stares were soon averted upon meeting the glare in her eye that said back off. The red head hated it when this happened, she wasn’t embarrassed about it. It was just the reason behind the stares that irritated her but despite knowing the reason behind them Ryuu has yet to change it so they stop. Although wearing the black uniform of shinigami was enough reason to get stared at.

Once they arrived at the bar, Mugen went right up to the bartender grabbing him by the color of his shirt. mm I would have done the same but now isn’t really the time for such things just hurry up and tell us what we need to know. the bartender seemed reluctant to tell them anything but seeing him look down at their zanpakuto’s Ryuu shifted in a way to show it off.

Ryuu shook her head at the remembrance of how Hikaru was. He helped just about anybody who needed it even to strangers. That idiot, despite being such a good shinigami he sure is an idiot sometimes. and right when things were going down south and Ryuu was preparing to force him at sword tip, Hoshiko plopped down a few coins. Why she carried that kind of money with her Ryuu would never understand. It was at moments like these that being from a noble family came in handy.

She said very little to Mugens comment, Ryuu was very much aware of that fact. All she could do was role her eye at Mugen. They had two leads but it was unsure at this moment what they would find at the end of them. Ryuu nodded at his choice in teams though having all the skilled fighters may not be a good idea if Mugens group runs into trouble. Not that Ryuu was thinking they couldn’t handle themselves, rather she trusted that they could well maybe not Mugen he might let his emotions get the better of him.

Though Tenshins choice of words somewhat irked her. She didn’t like being under the command of someone who was even in the smallest sense afraid of her. But it was for the best, in terms of combat experience the two of them had the most but Tenshin was good with strategies so it would help having him as the leader than her. Hoshiko would be a good choice to come with since she is really the only person here who actually took the time in learning kido and she was good with shunpo. So she could get to places quickly if they needed the others help.

As for Toucketsu he was the only other person in their group of seven who could fight on par with her. Knowing he had her back quelled any form of discomfort she may have had. Turning to Ayami Ryuu acknowledged her words to Tenshin. “We are in this together but it would be best if we had some form of structure to follow. Unless you want us to run around doing our own thing, knowing some of us we might lose ourselves and Tenshin’s good with his head. I trust him.”

Ryuu shifted Chomesku in her arms to get a better grip until she decided to just let the zanpakuto rest its tip on the ground. Ayami’s next choice of words irked Ryuu somewhat but she wasn’t sure whether or not she should acknowledge them.it might lead to an argument, something we don’t need at this point. the vyer idea of being babysat by Hoshiko finally got on the better of her.

“Ayami, we can handle ourselves we don’t need babysitters. I’d say more but now isn’t the time for arguments. Let’s hurry and get this overdone with, the quicker we do this the lesser chance our Captains realize what we’ve done.”Ryuu hefted Chomesku over her shoulder prepared to leave the moment she was given the go ahead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenshin Shunsuke Character Portrait: Touketsu Suzuhara Character Portrait: Mugen Kurogane Character Portrait: Ryuu Shosuke Character Portrait: Kurai Yume Character Portrait: Hoshiko Fujiwara
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Touketsu


Touketsu winced when he got called pessimistic but shrugged it off when they finally left. "I didn't say we shouldn't go I was just say not to go in blindly after all I want is to get a hold of who ever did this and wring their neck until they either fix it or until they kill over I just don't want any one to die or end up in the same state as Hikaru." Placing Mikadzuki over his shoulder he gave a sigh but followed closely behind the others. 'Well it may not be the most ideal but if we don't do anything Hikaru is as good as dead.' as he thought about it the more it seemed unlikely. 'I don't see why any one would go after Hikaru unless they wanted to send a message... hmm What do you think Mikadzuki?' Looking back Touketsu quickly caught up with the others so not to get left behind.

After they got to the Northern Rukongai shifting his weight from one foot to the other Touketsu looked around lost in thought until he heard Tenshin speak. "I don't see what good battle experience would do at this point aside from making a pretty bad name for us among the residents." he said tightening his grip on his Zanpakutō. "So until we actually find who it is we're looking for I agree no violence." Turning back towards the bar Touketsu began tapping his foot on the ground allowing the rest to speak. "But splitting up maybe the best option at this point cause we still don't know if their still going to be here if anything they know some one is going to be hunting them down and would probably be on the move to a different location." With a quick twirl of his Zanpakutō Touketsu turned his attention back to the group. "Some one might as well head to the address and search for any clues as to reversing Hikaru's condition. If anything that will be our best lead and more then likely our best chance I suggest some one go with Mugen since he knows this place better then any of us while the rest of us look for the guy responsible for doing this."

Clicking his heel Touketsu stepped back leaning against the closest wall he could find. 'And if anyone finds out new information send a message to the others via Jigokuchō and we'll all meet back here but should any of you happen to run into the target just remember not to face them right away call for back up and lead them away from any populated area to avoid any unnecessary damage to property or civilians." With his ideas out there now Touketsu fell silent his eyes glued to the ground waiting for the decision to be made.