Chapter 27: The Battle for Hueco Mundo Part 3
Aizen vs Elite Sternritters and Yhwach
"A Shinigami captain?!" Lille Barro scoffed at Aizen as he lowered his rifle briefly and glared at the suave enemy.
Aizen had a passive grin as he looked over the elite sternritters and Yhwach, "You must be the leaders of this little army I take it?"
"You stand before Yhwach-sama, the one true god-emperor of the universe and his holy elite sternritters. I suggest you reconsider whatever it is you're thinking about trying. You're no match for any of us…let alone his majesty," Lille said hatefully.
"Is that so? I wonder why you're waiting in reserve back here then. Perhaps it's simple pride and a lack of interest. Perhaps you don't wish to sully your hands with battling hollows. Or perhaps you're back here guarding your all-powerful emperor. Would I be wrong to assume as much?" Aizen smirked.
"Sosuke Aizen…you're the traitor captain that murdered the Central 46. I assume you're the reason the hollows are this organized and powerful?" Yhwach asked with annoyance in his voice.
"I suppose you could say so…the resurrection of the ancient hollow king Zangetsu was quite a feat. Although if I'm being perfectly honest here, White has done most of the work himself. While I was initially responsible for putting these events in motion…White has developed greatly on his own. He has surprised me with his growth, power, and personal ambition. For once I can actually rely on someone else to help me accomplish my goals. Only he and I have the power to match the Soul King," Aizen explained with calm suaveness.
Yhwach stared at Sosuke Aizen with intensity, "Zangetsu?! I haven't heard that name in millennia. You're saying that White is Zangetsu reborn?"
Aizen smiled wickedly, "Oh, you weren't aware of that? I find your ignorance truly surprising. Ichigo is the reincarnation of Zangetsu's soul…but he's even greater than before. Those who stand in heaven are our enemies…and they will face judgment."
"It is my desire to purge the Shinigami and the Soul King. Your goals are quite similar to mine from what I understand. If you are opposed to the Soul Society, then why are we enemies?" Yhwach countered.
"You've all been spying on the Soul Society…I'm certain you can discover the answer to that for yourselves. Regardless of the situation, I'm afraid I cannot allow you to disrupt all of the progress that Ichigo and I have made here in Hueco Mundo. You're an obstacle to my goal that I would prefer to remove sooner rather than later. Our goals are similar, but I will not trade one false god for another…" Aizen threatened calmly.
"So you know the truth…how unfortunate for you." Yhwach trailed off briefly.
"Your majesty, allow me to remove this arrogant Shinigami from your presence at once!" Lille spat.
Askin looked between Aizen and Yhwach for a second and shook his head, "Do you know this guy, your highness? What's his deal?"
"Kill him," Yhwach replied simply after a brief silence.
Before anyone could make a move, Aizen began to taunt them, "From what I can tell, you're not back to your full power yet. I wonder…how long can you spend away from the Silbern, Yhwach? Would exerting your own energy speed the process along?"
"This guy doesn't seem to take us seriously," Askin chuckled in amusement at Aizen.
Haschwalth glanced over at Lille, "I'll handle him…you should refocus your attention on the espada fighting Royd and Lloyd. I imagine they will overpower them if they activate these second forms."
"Ah, so you saw that did you?" Aizen asked.
"It doesn't matter…you still won't defeat us," Haschwalth countered calmly.
Aizen smirked as he drew his zanpakuto in front of all of them, "Let's see how you handle my bankai. Shatter Kyoka Suigetsu…"
All of the sternritters present watched with disbelieving shock as Aizen's "bankai" took shape. It was a water-based bankai. Pillars of water erupted all around them into cyclones of destructive power. The blade itself appeared to be made out of water now and was glowing brightly as Aizen flurried it a few times.
"Take his bankai," Yhwach said dismissively to the display.
Haschwalth held up a medallion which began to glow with energy. It sucked all of the power out of Aizen's zanpakuto leaving it in a weaker shikai form. Aizen feigned shock at the display as Haschwalth held up the bankai in his hand, "Quite an interesting bankai you have…care to explain how it works? This will be useful against the firelord Yamamoto."
"H-how did you steal my bankai?!" Aizen continued the farce. Unbeknownst to all of the sternritters and possibly Yhwach, they were in Kyoka Suigetsu's illusion now.
'I will keep them distracted until Ichigo arrives. That ought to minimalize casualties for the time being,' Aizen thought to himself.
Harribel Starrk and Lilynette vs Lloyd and Royd
The elite espada were faring exceptionally well in their battles against Lloyd and Royd. Both were in their resurreccions battling their own doppelganger opponent. Nothing of worth really happened in the battle yet, but all of them stopped briefly when they looked further away and saw Aizen and the elite Sternritters in some type of clash.
What shocked all of them was the fact that Haschwalth was swinging his sword around at nothing while Aizen and the others all stood there mostly motionless. Some of them would occasionally jump around as if they were dodging attacks or environmental damage.
Lloyd seemed especially concerned about it as he glanced over at Royd, "Something is happening with his majesty right now. We need to dispose of these espada and return to him at once!"
Realizing that Aizen was buying time for the army, Harribel immediately intercepted Lloyd and smashed him back. Lloyd was currently in the guise of Starrk. Having had experience training with and against the other espada for quite a bit recently, Harribel knew what to expect as she reengaged in combat.
"Starrk, we have to keep these guys away from the Shinigami and the elite sternritters! He's buying us time right now!" the blonde woman announced urgently.
Starrk nodded stoically as his face was very serious for once, "There's no point in holding back with these grunts. We need to take advantage of the distraction and kill those elite sternritters before they can wreak havoc on the battlefield."
"You have no way of defeating us…we possess all of your powers in these forms," Royd spoke blankly to Starrk. He was wearing Harribel's guise.
"You can copy our powers but try copying our souls. Segunda Etapa, Harribel…we'll destroy them with overwhelming power." Starrk actually growled.
"I was just about to suggest the same thing," the stoic blonde nodded.
Lloyd cocked his head confused, "Segunda Etapa?"
His confused response was answered instantly as the two espada began to glow with exponentially greater power and take on new forms. Royd was especially concerned when he saw a third figure standing next to Starrk in the same form as him.
"Hollows don't have greater forms…that's impossible! This wasn't in your memories when we copied you!" Lloyd gawked.
"Drown in oblivion!" Harribel growled as she buried the sternritter in a crater with a high-water pressure blast. It was so powerful that it went through the surface of the ground and shot below in the Menos Forest.
Harribel wasted no time following the sternritter down there. Meanwhile, Royd was massively disadvantaged fighting against Starrk and Lilynette now. Despite having Harribel's resurreccion, he could do little to fight back against the double team.
"Draw him off Starrk…they'll be too much friendly fire if we fight him this close to the army," Lilynette suggested. The brown-haired man nodded in response as he began to guide Royd away with gunshots.
Nnoitra vs Mask
The rabid mantis espada was whirling strike after strike against the burly wrestler sternritter. Much to his annoyance, Mask could tank the attacks extremely well and seemed to be constantly healing from the obnoxious James kid and his cheering.
Nnoitra made many attempts to attack the child but was unsuccessful in all of them. Luckily, Nnoitra's endless swinging of his four scythes had put the sternritter on full defensive now. Mask would occasionally get in a sucker punch here and there as well but was typically punished with a brutal slash.
The espada's advantageous onslaught was short-lived unfortunately as Mask managed to tank through a series of stabs and slashes pouncing on top of Nnoitra. The wrestler proceeded to disarm and break each one of the Espada's arms before even ripping one off.
Nnoitra growled in pain as he regenerated and reached for his weapons which were all slightly out of reach now. Mask repeatedly bashed and punched him in the face causing the two to go sinking into a crater again and blood to splatter everywhere. Realizing the danger he was now in, Nnoitra regrew his missing arm and swiftly impaled Mask through the throat with a bony hand.
Blood was everywhere as Mask began to gasp for air and bleed out. Nnoitra followed up by squeezing tightly around the impaled area and shouting, "I'll rip your fucking spine out!"
Doing just that, Nnoitra ripped out a large chunk of the impaled throat causing Mask to fall over and gasp in dying agony. Nnoitra didn't waste time getting up and instantly going after James now.
He knew he would only have a small window to kill the kid that was healing his opponent.
"Mr. Mask, no! You have to get up! SUPERSTAR SAVE ME!" James cried out in terror as the mantis espada brutally jumped towards him like a rabid beast.
"Die you annoying little shit!" Nnoitra howled with complete hatred.
"Vollständig!" Mask's voice drowned out the battlefield.
Despite his efforts, Nnoitra came up short as something grabbed his ankle from behind. He immediately felt himself being hurled around like a ragdoll and being repeatedly slammed into the ground. In his brief recovery, Nnoitra looked on in shock to realize that Mask was now in a winged and glowing form.
'For fuck's sake! I can't fight this guy with this god damn kid healing him! I need some damn backup!' Nnoitra thought to himself. While he detested the idea of wanting help in this situation, even he realized the danger he was now in.
Luckily for him, backup seemed to arrive as another hollow appeared at his side, "Nnoitra-sama, do you need my assistance?!"
"Tesra?" Nnoitra spoke the name of his fraccion.
"Will I be in your way, my lord?" Tesra asked cautiously.
Nnoitra looked at him seriously, "You see that annoying little bitch kid over there? He's healing my enemy…kill him while I deal with this damn guy!"
"As you command my lord!" Tesra nodded.
Mask immediately went in to try and attack Tesra now but was unable to land a hit as Nnoitra intercepted him with a fast swipe.
"We'll see how tough you are without your little cheerleader!" Nnoitra shouted as he began to relentlessly repel Mask with rabid attacks.
Despite his best efforts, Nnoitra was extremely disadvantaged against Mask in his holy form now. The sternritter turned around to body slam him before charging after Tesra. Unfortunately for Mask, his attempted rescue was cut short as Nnoitra impaled him from behind with all four scythes. Sinking his legs into the sand he pulled back with all of his strength.
This didn't stop Mask, but it slowed him to a struggling walk. Nnoitra roared at Tesra as he held the Sternritter, "Kill him Tesra!"
Wasting no time, the blonde numeros viciously attacked the child and began to start hacking his body apart with his blade.
This sent Mask into a frenzy as he broke free of Nnoitra's grip and howled like a madman, "JAMES! NOO!"
To his utter horror, the unusual child was now dead in a heap of blood. Mask instantly went berserk upon reaching Tesra as he snatched him by the throat and began to squeeze as hard as possible. The arrancar gasped for air as Mask choke slammed him as hard as possible into the ground.
"You will pay for attacking him you monsters!" Mask bellowed as he raised his leg to curb stomp the now unconscious Tesra.
Before the finishing move could land, Nnoitra pounced on Mask from behind again impaling him with two scythes. With two of his free hands he forced his claws into Mask's eyes and tried to gouge them out again.
Mask screamed in pain but managed to throw Nnoitra off of him before too much damage could be done. The espada panted with furious adrenaline as he got back up and stared the sternritter down again. Much to his relief, Mask was no longer regenerating at any noticeable rate. His holy form even seemed a bit dimmer than before.
Nnoitra quickly turned his gaze to Tesra who looked like he was in very bad shape. He watched with curious shock as James' body began to dissipate into holy energy. He didn't have any time to contemplate the unusual event as he saw Mask's holy form dissipate as well.
He felt a bit of relief until he saw the residual energy reconverting into the James kid again. Mask's anger calmed afterwards as he spoke with approval, "I will not fail you again young James!"
"You got this superstar! Beat that monster!" the newly formed James shouted.
'What the fuck?! Did he use his own power to recreate that annoying little shithead?! Damn it, I'm worn out and he looks fully healed again,' Nnoitra thought concerned.
Ayon Vs Many Sternritters
The monstrous hollow chimaera, Ayon, rabidly battled off scores of enemies as more and more soldats and sternritters tried to focus fire on bringing the beast down. Candice engulfed the beast in a tempest of lightning and stunned it which gave the others a brief window to land attacks.
Bazz B fired multiple burner fingers into its limbs while Meninas repeatedly bashed at the legs trying to bring the creature down. As Nodt followed up by placing the creature in a daze and impaling it with blackened spikes. While these attacks were successful, they proved somewhat ineffective at doing any major damage. To their dread, the hollow was regenerating at an unusually fast pace.
"How powerful is this damn thing?! The five bitches that turned into it sure as hell weren't this powerful!" Candice demanded as Ayon seemed to be breaking free of As Nodt's fear powers and getting up.
All of the sternritters present were in their Vollständig forms minus As Nodt. Liltotto looked at Candice urgently, "Keep that lightning going, Candice! I'll restrain if further!"
"Oh yeah?! How the fuck do you plan on doing that?!" Candice demanded as she amplified the lightning surge that was pushing Ayon into the crackling ground.
"Venusfliegenfalle!" Liltotto channeled maw like plants out of nowhere as they began to coil around Ayon's limbs. The maws of these massive venus fly traps began to bite into Ayon ripping chunks of flesh out. Most however stayed clamped in order to hold the beast still.
The largest venus flytrap bit into Ayon's shoulder crunching through its hardened bone armor. Hollow blood began to spill out it which left a sizzling burn on the plants that was akin to acid. Liltotto's mouth then inhaled exponentially larger than her body as she sucked in air. She proceeded to spit some strange mucus all over the plants and Ayon causing a slimy adhesive tar to coat them. This protected the plants from Ayon's blood, and it forced Ayon into a literal sticky situation.
The largest venus flytrap seemed to be sucking out the creature's energy as Ayon's wild writhing began to slow down a noticeable amount.
"When the hell did you learn how to do that?!" Candice gawked as she landed next to her ally in a crackling jolt.
"Go for the back of the head! That's the only weak spot I can detect on that thing!" Liltotto announced.
Doing just that, As Nodt moved in fast and impaled Ayon in the head with a black arrow. Ayon slumped over motionless afterward as it finally stopped moving.
The Sternritters seemed somewhat relieved by their success as they all got closer. Candice eyed the motionless hollow cautiously, "Is it dead?"
"Wait, get back!" Liltotto shouted, but her warning came too late as the snake head tail from Ayon bit into As Nodt with blinding speed. The sternritter hissed in pain as the snake tail threw him away. Ayon proceeded to howl in anger as its body glowed red.
Bazz B wasted no time scorching the creature in a massive inferno afterward creating a towering pillar of flame. Candice added to it with lightning. Turning its attention towards Candice now, Ayon snapped out of the venus flytraps restraining it.
A colossal cero formed over the beast's antlers as it aimed towards the mint haired woman. She looked notably nervous and quickly flew out of the line of fire. Ayon's beam fired right as she moved and proceeded to follow her through the air blowing apart countless Soldats, lesser hollows, and the environment. The beam streaked throughout the skies engulfing them in destructive energy.
The beam nearly hit Candice until Meninas jumped on the back of Ayon's head and grabbed it by the antlers she squeezed with all of her might to force the beam upward now. Seeing an opening, Liltotto forced her Venus flytraps to bite around Ayon's neck finally forcing it back down.
Barragan vs Gremmy
Countless things materialized into existence and rotted away into dust as Barragan was slowly winning the battle of attrition. Gremmy was literally powerless to do anything to stop the Primera's power. Realizing that he could very well lose, Gremmy was completely serious in this fight now.
He flew up into the air as he began to glow like a star, "You've truly pushed me to using my full power, Espada! I imagine you're about to experience a rude awakening on just how powerful I truly am! Vollständig!"
Barragan stared blankly as Gremmy grew wings and developed into an angelic form similar to his creations. He then imagined himself much larger and covered completely in holy armor. A holy sword manifested in his hand and he swung it immediately. This caused a tremendous wind of spiritual energy to blow away Barragan's miasmic cloud of decay.
Seizing his opportunity to strike, Gremmy delivered a powerful angelic strike of reishi at the hollow king. Barragan grunted in pain as it enveloped him in a golden light. Seeing it was effective, Gremmy attempted to amplify these attacks tenfold.
This forced Barragan onto the defensive now. Each time he attempted to recall his miasma; it would blow away with deafening holy winds. Gremmy's voice spoke loudly with an added bass over the loud wind and the battlefield below, "Your miasma can no longer touch me or anything! My holy winds negate them entirely! I am a divine angel! A god of visionary power and might! Any last words before I kill you?"
Gremmy's smugness was short-lived as a blinding surge of black and purple spiritual power exploded outward. From its light emerged an armored skeletal knight riding on a spectral flying horse. An aura of miasma leaked uncontrollably from him in all directions as he flew towards Gremmy's angel form.
Now matched in spiritual power, Barragan's miasma began to push back against the deafening winds of holy power. He slowly encroached as Gremmy attempted to force him back with a giant reishi barrier.
"What is that form?! Did you just transform again?!" Gremmy demanded with evident shock.
The Primera was getting closer to him now, which brought Gremmy greater and greater distress. Realizing how drastic the situation was becoming, the sternritter reached his hand up skyward and summoned a meteor overheard. It engulfed the skies in red as it got closer towards Hueco Mundo.
"I'll kill everyone on this battlefield if you let that meteor hit the ground! I doubt even you would survive a blow from that!" Gremmy boasted.
Looking up at the sky, Barragan saw the colossal celestial body moving unnaturally fast as it was on a collision course. Barragan growled as he began to gather power in his axe, "Hacha de singularidad!"
A colossal hole formed around the axe head as it began to suck in all light and spiritual energy nearby. Gremmy could only gawk in disbelief as Barragan then swung the weapon at him. Much to his shock, Gremmy felt himself being sucked in by an unstoppable force.
He struggled to the best of his ability to resist the gravity he was now caught in but wasn't able to break free. Barragan proceeded to swing his axe as hard as possible which reversed the pulling force and sent Gremmy flying towards the encroaching Meteor.
To the Primera's satisfaction, Gremmy collided with it causing it to crack and shatter a massive chunk into pieces. Before the angelic sternritter had a chance to recover, Barragan launched a tiny black orb from his axe into the sternritter and the crumbling meteor.
Everything condensed into the singularity as it completely consumed the meteor and even began to start ripping chunks out of Hueco Mundo's ground. As this happened, Barragan got closer and closer towards the singularity point now.
At this range, time was almost paused as nothing moved at a speed one could even see. Gremmy himself looked around in horror when he realized his situation. He tried imagining things to escape this situation but couldn't.
Time was frozen and he was stuck. Barragan's voice caught his attention a moment later and spoke with stoic malice, "Nothing you imagine will break free from a black hole. You're in the event horizon now…eventually you will die in this eternal purgatory as it slowly rips your body apart atom by atom. Mere seconds for me will be an eternity for you. You will feel the pain of your final seconds of death for a very long time!"
"W-what?! NO! I can't be stuck here! AGHHH!" Gremmy began to howl in hysteria and now pain.
"Only a being of greater spiritual power could escape…and you're not more powerful than I am. Part of me wonders how long it'll take before you just kill yourself in there," Barragan laughed wickedly.
Meanwhile, outside of the singularity, Barragan watched a colossal explosion supernova out of his collapsing singularity now. The blast radiated throughout the skies as a meteor shower rained across the battlefield from meteor chunks that hadn't been sucked in or vaporized. He shook his head a moment later, 'If he could imagine anything, then cutting through space and time might have freed him from that attack. What a fool.'
Despite his success, Barragan was somewhat disturbed to see how the battles were faring around him. Part of him wanted to go assist some of the others that obviously needed help, but he knew getting to the elite sternritters was a much more important task for him. Nevertheless, the sight of Nnoitra on his back about to die did catch his attention.
With divine haste, the primera descended from the skies on his spectral horse towards the fight. He seemed to arrive just in time as Mask was about to kill Nnoitra. Barragan's spectral steed dissipated into miasmic energy as he landed on the ground.
Mask could only watch with terror as Barragan held up his axe and began to pull him closer. Nnoitra looked up with relief and astonishment as Barragan's singularity axe forced Mask to get pulled towards it.
"Rot away…filth," the hollow king spoke with calm stoic malice. Mask's bravado seemed to instantly disappear the moment Barragan's miasma touched him. James cried out in fear, "MASK NO! FIGHT BACK!"
Holding up his free hand, Barragan charged an unnecessarily large black and purple cero. James and Mask could both only watch helplessly as the cero vaporized him and leagues of landscape behind him. Barragan didn't bother finishing Mask off quickly as he watched the screaming Sternritter cry out in horror at his decaying body.
"Die…slowly," Barragan said with pure hatred as he watched Mask's futile suffering. After his body completely decayed, the Primera turned towards Nnoitra and spoke gruffly, "Can you fight still, Nnoitra?!"
"Yes, primera…I can," Nnoitra responded as he stood up.
He was clearly wounded and didn't look to be in good fighting shape despite his claim. Barragan scoffed at him, "You would serve better assisting the numeros and recovering wounded. Make yourself useful and assist the others. The lesser hollows are falling apart without Wonderweiss directing them!"
"I'm an espada! It would be a waste for me to gather wounded!" Nnoitra growled.
"And as an Espada, it is your duty to protect the Numeros! Do as I command, Nnoitra! You can rejoin the front once you're finished with this task!" Barragan ordered.
Despite usually being one to dismiss authority, Nnoitra was visibly intimidated by Barragan's Segunda Etapa. He nodded without hesitation, "I'll recover a few wounded and get them back to Szayel. Should I help Wonderweiss too?"
"I will take care of that!" Barragan bellowed before flying off.
Wonderweiss vs Robert Accutrone
Covered in gunshot wounds, Wonderweiss coughed up blood as he tried to get up. He saw Robert Accutrone slowly advancing with a stoic determination. The moustache quincy spoke with strong distaste, "You creatures fight like animals. You may resemble a human, but your kind are nothing but a rabid horde of barbarous monsters."
"What was that power you just used?" Wonderweiss asked as he finally managed to stand up.
Robert Accutrone tilted his head at the Espada, "Your ability to stand is quite remarkable considering your current condition."
"Not going to tell me huh?" Wonderweiss followed up.
The sternritter sighed, "I find it foolish to explain my abilities to an enemy, but for the sake of humoring your dying moments I'll tell you what my schrift is. N for Nexus."
"Nexus? So that's what the portal was then…" Wonderweiss grimaced as he felt himself swaying.
"There's far more to it than that, but yes. The difference between our power is apparent. I haven't even used my Vollständig yet. Surrender creature and I'll show you mercy…make one more step and you're dead," Robert announced as he raised his pistol.
The Septima Espada shook his head, "This fight is far from over, Sternritter…"
"You can barely stand…don't make me kill you. We didn't even come to exterminate your kind. Our Emperor demands assimilation into his grand army and your obedience to his divine rule. Stand down and you will be spared," the sternritter followed.
"You offer subjugation over extermination?! That's even worse! Go to hell! I would rather die than be a slave to your kind!" Wonderweiss growled with uncharacteristic anger.
"So be it…" the sternritter shook his head.
Before either opponent could make a move however, they noticed a massive meteor falling through the skies. Robert looked up in shock at the sight of Barragan and Gremmy both fighting each other in their ultimate forms.
"Gremmy, that fool…he'll kill us all with that meteor!" Robert spat.
Wonderweiss looked up as well and saw Barragan launching Gremmy into the meteor with the incredible power of his Segunda Etapa.
"Did that Espada just transform into a second form?" Robert gawked at the sight in the distance.
"You underestimate the might of the Espada…Open Extinguir!" Wonderweiss bellowed as his body glowed in purple and black energy.
Robert Accutrone stepped back with calm cautiousness as he watched the espada enter his release form. The Sternritter frowned at the sight of it, "So you've chosen death…"
Wonderweiss' release form was something interesting to behold. He looked similar to his base human form, but was completely covered in hollow-like armor. It was almost metallic looking as it had sleeved plates covering his limbs and back. His mask fragment was shaped into a full visor like helmet now with what appeared to be vents coming out of it. His violet eyes were shining brightly through it and his scleras were now black.
On his right arm there appeared to be purple crystal-like blade sticking out and his left was an unusual looking nozzle cannon.
Robert didn't take much time to examine him as he immediately fired a barrage of reishi bullets. Wonderweiss dodged the bullets relatively easily but was shocked to see a portal appear out in front of the bullets.
He looked around desperately for another one to open, but to his shock dozens opened in all angles around him as bullets rained on him from all directions.
Holding up his extinguisher arm, he tried to suck in the reishi bullets and nullify them. To his relief it was successful as he absorbed the ones from the front portal and ran out of the barrage from the others. He wasted no time moving in to slash Robert now with enhanced speed and power.
Right as he reached the sternritter he slashed at the unmoving quincy as powerfully as he could. His attack immediately went through a portal and reopened in one behind him. The espada felt a slash go across his back now much to his horror.
His own sword was imbedded in him from behind. The sternritter then closed the portals cutting his arm off and leaving it stuck into his back.
Robert didn't give Wonderweiss a moment to react to the aftereffect as he fired several point-blank shots at his head. Wonderweiss dodged all but one, but it was still enough to send him flying back into the ground.
Robert took this brief pause to glance up and narrowed his gaze in shock when he saw the supernova go off where Gremmy and Barragan had been fighting. Many of the nearby soldats and lesser hollows all went flying to the ground from its concussive force.
'He killed Gremmy…this is bad. At this rate the elite sternritters will have to join the fight,' the sternritter thought concerned.
Leaping up during the man's distraction, Wonderweiss fired his cannon releasing a massive energy wave towards Robert as well as Reishi bullets. The man leapt out of its trajectory but was quickly met mid air by the espada. Expecting the portal this time, Wonderweiss used his left arm and nullified the area in front of him.
Robert predictably tried to create a portal but failed much to his disbelief as the Espada jabbed a hand through his chest. This quickly sent the duo crashing into the ground. Wonderweiss' successful attack was short-lived as he felt the sabre pierce his stomach upon landing.
Wonderweiss couldn't move in this state and could only watch in shock as Robert shot him in the head again. Both his hand and the sabre came lose from the force of the attack causing injury to both fighters. Robert dropped his blade as he clenched the wound from Wonderweiss' hand.
He immediately activated Blut Vene to start healing and with his other hand, he repeatedly shot the downed Espada.
'His hierro is remarkably strong. I don't know how I haven't vaporized him yet,' Robert thought incredulously.
Now healed up a bit, he retrieved his sword and moved in quickly to impale the Espada through his remaining extinguisher arm.
Charging a massive amount of Reishi into his pistol, he held it over the Espada's downed body, "You won't live through this shot…"
Before he could make the shot however, Hooleer charged in closer and bashed the man away. With his pistol still charging, Robert grimaced in annoyance, "Why haven't you men killed this damn thing yet?!"
A nearby Soldat quickly apologized, "Sorry sir, but its armor is too tough!"
The sternritter aimed his weapon at Hooleer now as he finally fired the supercharged reishi blast from it.
To his disbelief, Hooleer countered with a cero of its own. Robert hadn't seen the creature use one at all with the gillian line and was nearly caught off guard by the colossal blast. Thinking fast, He opened a portal between both blasts causing them to go shooting through it.
Both his blast and the cero then came out of dozens of more portals all around Hooleer. Both blasts were weakened by this division of power, but it proved effective at finally bringing the Menos Guardian down. Massive holes covered its body now as the creature collapsed next to Wonderweiss. The Gillians quickly fell into disarray as Hooleer fell making them easy targets for the Soldats to focus down.
"Keep it up men! I want these gillians dead!" Robert commanded before making his way towards Wonderweiss who was still alive somehow.
Right as he reached Wonderweiss, he felt several tentacles snatch all four of his limbs holding him completely still. A cero then shot through his chest from behind much to his horror.
Robert immediately formed portals to cut the tentacles off of himself, but he fell to his knees from the surprise attack. Nearby soldats opened fire on the newly arrived combatant, but they were swiftly wiped out by a barrage of balas.
"You cut off my tentacles with portals?! You damn bastard!" the voice of none other than Luppi announced.
Luppi's tentacles were quick to regrow as he moved in and fired another cero at the injured Robert Accutrone.
The man barely dodged this one as he rolled out of the way and turned around to face his opponent. Luppi was in his ressureccion and looked pissed. Blood covered his white attire which was a clear indicator that he had been killing a lot of people.
Robert coughed up blood and felt his vision fading as he looked disgusted, "How…how did you sneak up on me?!"
"I can camouflage myself as well as my powers. Fun little trick for surprise attacks against assholes like you," Luppi replied. Unlike his typical smug self, the arrancar seemed very serious and upset.
"You're not even an Espada…what makes you think you can stop me when this one failed?!" Robert demanded as he forced himself to stand again.
"You're not going to kill Wonderweiss…I'm his fraccion and its my duty to protect him," Luppi replied.
"I've had just about enough of you monsters! Vollständig!" Robert shouted as a surge of Reishi blinded the battlefield.
During the sternritter's powerup, Luppi was quick to retrieve Wonderweiss' mangled body and gain some distance. He didn't make it far before a winged Robert crashed down in front of him.
The moustache quincy was now in his holy form and looked completely healed much to Luppi's concern.
"I think it's about time you got a taste of my true power, hollows…" Robert announced angrily as brandished his blade.
Before he could do anything however, a terrifying Barragan landed in front of him. Robert actually backed away when he saw the miasma instantly decay all near by soldats. His eyes were wide with shock as Barragan slowly advanced with his axe raised.
Luppi looked terrified of Barragan as the Primera glanced back at him, "Luppi…get Wonderweiss back to Szayel."
"As you command, Primera…" Luppi nodded without hesitation as he began to flee.
Barragan didn't give Robert a chance to stop them as he moved in for an axe sweep. A cloud of miasma flew towards the sternritter engulfing him in its power. Before the power could hit him, Robert Accutrone disappeared through a portal.
Barragan looked around annoyed half expecting the man to reappear, but he didn't. 'Did he just flee? I suppose he's not entirely foolish then.'
Looking over the disarrayed Gillians and the downed Hooleer now, Barragan let out a massive hollow howl. The Gilians immediately reformed ranks and many nearby ones moved to drag Hooleer away. Barragan could sense a small amount of spiritual energy coming from the creature as he watched a dozen Gillians drag Hooleer back past the gillian line, 'The Menos Guardian is still alive, but it's dying. Hooleer and Wonderweiss won't be here to direct the sternguard. Someone has to keep them in line, but I'm needed at the front.'
Barragan remained there for a moment as he watched the various battles unfolding in the distance. He was drawn from his oversight when Nnoitra came running up with Tesra over his shoulder and dozens of arrancars. Among them included the original horned Rudbornn. They all looked relieved to see Barragan there.
The primera glanced at Nnoitra, "I need you to protect the Sternguard, Nnoitra. Wonderweiss and the Menos Guardian are both out of the battle. Make sure nothing reaches Szayel and his payload in the back."
"But I thought you said I could rejoin the battle?! Grimmjow and Neliel are getting their asses beat right now!" Nnoitra protested.
"Szayel has the payload in the back. I need someone here in case that sternritter that was fighting Wonderweiss returns," Barragan explained.
"I thought you killed him though…" Nnoitra tilted his head in confusion.
"No…he disappeared. Be on your guard and cover the line. I don't like the idea of entrusting this to you, but I have to help Starrk and Harribel against their leaders," Barragan explained.
"Fine…murder those assholes for me, primera! I'll watch the numeros as they fall back and keep sternritters off the gillians," Nnoitra nodded.
"Fight well, Octava!" the primera replied before making his way to the front.
Looking around at the various numeros and other arrancars remaining, Nnoitra spoke to them, "Those of you that can still fight, stay here and hold the line with me! Rudbornn, get your clones to take the wounded back to Szayel."
Rudbornn nodded as he directed various clones to carry away wounded arrancars. Most of the numeros stayed however along with a vast chunk of Rudbornn's clone army. They stood in line and watched as more Quincy soldats charged forward.
"Gillians keep firing! Focus your assaults on that group!" Nnoitra commanded the gillians as he pointed towards the sternritters around the pinned Ayon in the distance.
Dordonii, Cirucci, and Gantenbainne all ran up shortly after he took command of the sternguard. They looked at him somewhat relieved but also concerned.
"Nnoitra? Where's Wonderweiss and Hooleer?" Cirucci asked concerned.
"Injured! Barragan ordered us to hold this line and guard the wounded to the rear. Szayel should be deploying the payload soon. If you guys can still fight, then stick around and help my ass out. Some sternritter ran away when Barragan showed up, but he's probably still here!"
"You want our help?" Cirucci asked a bit disbelievingly.
"Yes…" Nnoitra said almost painfully.
Dordonii smiled, "It would be our honor to help you Octava!"
Zommari, and Yuzu
Zommari appeared to be leaving the battlefield now as he held Yuzu in his grasp. He was completely behind the gillian line now. His escape was short lived however when Bambietta blocked the way forward with a series of chain explosions. Zommari stopped instantly before crossing into them causing Yuzu to yelp as she closed her eyes.
"I'm going to return you to your brother, Yuzu Kurosaki. He's on his way back now, but we need to get you away from the elite sternritters," Zommari tried to explain to the terrified teenager.
Yuzu didn't have time to muster a response as Bamibetta's voice echoed loudly, "You're not going anywhere with her, arrancar!"
Slowly turning around now, Zommari made eye contact with the winged Bambietta. She stared Zommari down with intensity, "Hand the girl over, now!"
"No…I will not allow you to use White's sister as a bargaining chip," Zommari responded sternly.
The dark-haired woman shook her head, "You hollows probably think you're winning right now, but you're not! The elite sternritters are going to kill all of you! Hand me the girl and I'll let you crawl back into whatever hole spawned you!"
"The high king is on his way back right now…your invasion will not succeed so long as our King lives. I will gladly die to protect his sister from fiends like you and your Wandenreich," Zommari countered.
Yuzu looked up at Zommari somewhat uncertainly, "Is Ichigo really coming here?"
"He is, Yuzu Kurosaki. Stay with me and I will keep you safe until he arrives. I won't be able to fight this sternritter while holding you. Can you stand?" Zommari asked the girl.
She nodded quickly causing him to place the quincy on her feet. Yuzu then looked uncertainly between Zommari and Bambietta.
"Stay back, Yuzu…but don't wander off too far." Zommari instructed her.
"Yuzu…don't be stupid! Yhwach will kill you if you try and defect! Come here…now!" Bambietta threatened the girl.
Suffering from Stockholm syndrome, the girl couldn't help but feel compelled to obey Bambietta as she took a few steps forward.
"That's a good girl…don't be stupid. The hollows aren't winning this battle." Bambietta stated.
"Yuzu Kurosaki! Stay where you are!" Zommari commanded.
"I…I'm sorry, but I c-can't," Yuzu replied meekly before running back to Bambietta.
Before Zommari could grab her again, Bambietta engulfed him in a massive explosion. Still wounded from earlier, the espada went flying back from the concussive blast. Bambietta wasted no time snatching the teenager up.
"I will keep you safe, Yuzu Kurosaki…once your brother arrives, we will negotiate the terms of their surrender," Bambietta tried to reassure the girl.
Zommari attempted to stand up now and desperately ran in to retrieve Yuzu. His futile efforts were in vain as an unseen power forced him off trajectory.
Bambietta and Zommari looked confused for a moment until they heard the sound of Giselle's giggling, "Ah you found Yuzu-chan!? Great job Bambi-chan! I was worried for you both!"
The sternritter immediately jerked around and looked at Giselle now. Bambietta's noticeable concern was evident as she took a step back and clutched Yuzu tighter.
She tried to maintain her composure nonetheless, "Gigi? When did you get here? And…are those all zombies?!"
"Yep! Nianzol, Berenice, and Cang Du all got killed by hollows. I went ahead and picked them back up for us to use! I found some arrancars too!" Giselle chirped with creepy delight.
Bambietta didn't seem convinced when she saw all of the blood covering their clothes. Despite their wounds being healed, the zombies were covered in suspicious looking blood stains. Ones she was familiar with seeing before.
"I have Yuzu now…you should return to the battle." Bambietta said after an awkward silence.
In this pause, Zommari attempted to swipe Yuzu again, but failed due to Nianzol's power.
Giselle continued to smile, but her eyes were dark and sinister. She spoke with amusement, "You should let me watch Yuzu-chan…I'm better suited to protecting her now."
"Did you kill Nianzol, Berenice, and Cang Du?" Bambietta finally asked the zombie sternritter.
The ditzy psychopath put a finger to her lips, "Why would I do that? They're our allies after all."
"I'm not giving you Yuzu…" Bambietta blurted out immediately afterwards.
Giselle frowned, "Awww, why not?!"
"The hollows know who she is, and this guy is trying to take her. If you want to make yourself useful then get rid of him!" Bambietta hid her fear with commanding annoyance.
"Give me, Yuzu-chan…" Giselle followed up in her dark and creepy voice. Yuzu shivered from it as she was well aware of Giselle's true personality.
"Why do you want her?!" Bambietta demanded.
Before Giselle could answer the question, a storm of reishi bullets littered the area as BG9 and Szayel arrived. The pink-haired arrancar was noticeably annoyed as he saw the bullets wind off the bubble like area they were all standing in.
Seeing Zommari getting caught in friendly fire, Szayel immediately raised his hand, "Cease fire, BG9! Zommari is over there!"
"More arrancars! Shit…c'mon Yuzu, let's get out of here!" Bambietta shouted as she attempted to fly away.
Her escape was cut short when the Cang Du zombie batted her out of the air. He pinned Bambietta down as activated his iron skin. Despite her explosive retaliation, Bambietta's attacks couldn't do much to get the zombie off in time.
Bambietta could only watch with horror as Giselle now wrapped an arm around Yuzu's shoulder. She spoke with malicious delight, "There, that wasn't so hard was it?"
Szayel and his entourage walked up as they watched this scene and had bewildered expressions of horror. The scientist himself jaw-dropped when he saw the arrancar zombies up close now.
"Yylfordt?! You killed my brother?!" Szayel hissed with fury.
Giselle chuckled almost evilly, "He was already dead, but I reanimated him."
Szayel's typical attitude was now one of hatred and anger, "Damn it! You'll suffer for this, quincy bitch!"
"Ah uh uh! You wouldn't want Ichigo's sister to get caught in the crossfire, now would you?" Giselle smirked.
"Yuzu! RUN!" Bambietta shouted as she attempted to draw off the zombies and attack Giselle. Despite Nianzol's winding power, it couldn't fully negate the concussive explosion of her attacks.
"Deploy the payload! NOW!" Szayel said venomously to a few nearby arrancars with him.
One of them with black hair and an unusual mask fragment addressed him concerned, "I thought we were waiting for that, sir. We still have wounded coming in behind the gillian line."
"DO IT Aaroniero!" Szayel hissed.
"All of it or just for this bunch?" he asked.
"ALL OF IT! I WANT THESE QUINCIES DEAD!" Szayel lost his cool as he shouted angrily.
Yuzu didn't hesitate to attempt running from Giselle during Bambietta's distraction and Szayel's tantrum, but it was ultimately futile as Giselle held up her hand and froze Yuzu in place. She felt a horrible uncontrollable itch in her bloodstream now as her body betrayed her and stopped in place.
"Why did you stop?! Run Yuzu!" Bambietta shouted.
"It's no use, Bambi-chan…I healed her arm a while back and I left a little surprise in there in case I needed to do this," Giselle smirked.
Bambietta attempted to move in and pick Yuzu up again but was too slow this time as Zommari finally grabbed her.
Unfortunately for Zommari, he couldn't escape in time as the zombies all piled onto him and held him down. Now buried under Zommari, arrancar zombies and sternritter zombies, Yuzu began to panic. Moments later her body started glowing unusually bright.
"LET GO OF ME!" Yuzu shouted as her fear transformed into raw spiritual power. This sent everyone near or on her flying away as a towering beacon of light shot into the sky.
Everyone present gawked in disbelief at the fountain of power as it continued to shine into the sky.
'Damn it…that's going to draw a lot of attention here,' Giselle thought concerned. She briefly turned her eyes back to the battlefield to see if anyone was coming towards the light. Noticing a few moving closer, she quickly attempted to puppet Yuzu back towards her, but it was to no avail.
Yuzu almost seemed possessed in her now frenzied state of power. The young teenager immediately focused the light energy in Giselle's direction completely engulfing her in its burning and blinding light.
Even Nianzol's winding couldn't bend the light away much to Bambietta's disbelief as the light power blasted Giselle and her zombies far away from them.
Szayel looked shocked by this development as he held his hand up, "Hold the payload for a moment!"
Seeing everyone in sight as monsters now, Yuzu reflexively began to start blasting everyone away with her light powers. The more she used them against the arrancars and Bambietta, the more powerful it seemed to become.
"Yuzu can you even see anything right now! You're attacking everyone!" Bambietta shouted over the howl of spiritual power.
"Ichi-nii! Help me!" Yuzu cried out in fear before her powers erupted in all directions across the battlefield like a tidal wave of light.
After it subsided, the girl collapsed to the ground crying. Bambietta was quick to recover and come back over towards her. She wasted no time scooping the girl up and flying high into the sky. The dark-haired sternritter spoke with a bit of relief in her voice, "That was amazing, Yuzu-chan…I can't believe you just did that."
Yuzu was still a bit delirious, but she looked up at Bambietta frightened, "What was Giselle trying to do?!"
"I don't know…but we should regroup with the elite sternritters!" Bambietta said seriously.
The dark-haired woman swiftly made her way back towards the heart of the battle. As she got closer towards the elite sternritters, a black and white blur blindsided her and sent her spiraling to the ground.
It was none other than Zommari once again. The Espada tried to grab Yuzu midair as she and Bambietta fell to the ground, but his effort was punished with a massive shield bash from Gerard Valkyrie.
The elite sternritter instantly caught both Bambietta and Yuzu as he landed on the ground in a heroic crash. After recovering from the hit, Zommari regrouped with Gin, Nel, and Grimmjow who were all looking a bit roughed up.
Zommari found it a bit worrisome that they seemed to be making no progress with the elite sternritter despite Neliel's Segunda Etapa. It was made ever worse by the fact that Gerard Valkyrie didn't even appear to be using any real amount of his power.
"Was that the girl's power I saw just now, Bambietta?" Gerard asked.
The woman swiftly nodded, "Yes, Gerard…the hollows were trying to capture her and so was Giselle for some reason."
"Really now?" he asked surprised.
"She had Nianzol, Berenice, and Cang Du all as zombies. I believed she killed them herself. Giselle was trying to take Yuzu from me before that light attack, she just unleashed," Bambietta explained.
'Do they have a traitor in their ranks?' Gin thought surprised as he watched the conversation unfold.
"You did well by retrieving the girl, Bambietta…remain here with me. I will ensure none of the hollows take her." Gerard nodded.
She nodded without hesitation, "As you command!"
The burly blonde man's sword glowed with pure reishi as he redrew it and faced the Shinigami captain and three espada now. He looked them over seriously, "Stand down or you will all be dead before your King arrives."
"Not a chance in hell! I'm going to strangle you with that stupid ass cape!" Grimmjow growled.
A moment later, a sniper shot blasted towards the espada. All three jumped away barely dodging the shot. Gerard looked at its point of origin now and noticed Lille Barro in the distance firing off shots in many directions at high priority targets.
'I thought Captain Aizen had them in an illusion…don't tell me they broke out!? Was it that light just now? That should be impossible.' Gin thought shocked as he glanced in the direction of Aizen and the elite sternritters.
Aizen Vs Elite Sternritters and Yhwach
Mere moments after Yuzu's light eruption blinded the battlefield, Aizen was surprised to see that Haschwalth was no longer trying to attack his illusions. The blonde man looked around shocked, "What just happened?!"
"It was an illusion! He's had us under an illusion this entire time!" Lille spat angrily as he raised his sniper rifle.
'How did they break out of Kyoka Suigetsu? That should be impossible for beings like them…perhaps that light reversed my own illusion. Is it a sternritter's scrift I wonder?' Aizen thought calmly despite the situation he was now faced with.
"Woah what the hell is going on?! Where's Gremmy and the old guy? I thought we were winning the battle!" Askin said shocked as the now lifted illusion revealed a much different reality than the illusion that they were all in previously.
Looking through his sniper scope, Lille locked on to the residually fading pillar of light where he saw Yuzu. The man smirked slightly, "The girl's schrift broke the illusion. It looks like the hollows are all around her, but I see Bambietta and Giselle as well as…zombies."
"Is that why you gave Yuzu the Light Schrift, your highness? Were you expecting this shinigami's illusions? Does this mean your Almighty Powers are nearly back?" Haschwalth asked Yhwach.
"Wait, we were in an illusion just now?" Uryu asked shocked.
"Looks like it. That Shinigami's real power wasn't water at all. It was illusions. That's a scary bankai," Askin noted casually.
"That wasn't actually my bankai…only my shikai. You never stole my bankai as I never actually activated it," Aizen replied with suave coolness.
Uryu shook his head at Yhwach, "Is that pillar of light in the distance, Kurosaki?!"
The Quincy Emperor remained silent as he stared at Aizen.
Aizen tilted his head curiously at him, "I suppose you were aware of Kyoka Suigetsu's real power then yes?"
"You tell me…" Yhwach answered stoically.
"Quick deal with him before he can cast another illusion on us!" Lille shouted as he fired multiple shots at Aizen. The Shinigami captain easily avoided the shots as he distanced himself. He now stood a greater distance away as he smiled at them.
'At this rate I might need to use the Hogyoku or my real bankai. I wasn't expecting this development. If I had to guess, that power must have come from Yuzu Kurosaki. Strange how she was able to do that,' Aizen thought briefly.
"Why's he so smug still?" Askin asked confused.
"Pernida, go deal with the Shinigami…Lille see if Gerard has the girl yet," Yhwach commanded.
Pernida immediately went after Aizen as Lille raised his sniper to survey the battlefield again. He shook his head, "Gerard's fighting three arrancars right now. Probably Espada. I'll take them out before they even know what hit them…"
As he fired several times, he looked annoyed by the espada dodging his shots. He quickly refocused on other high priority targets and attempted to shoot them down. One of which was a now recovering Ayon that was still fighting against the sternritters restraining it.
Focusing his rifle into the back, he then saw Szayel and a host of arrancars loading strange glass barrels into some type of artillery.
"They're attempting to deploy some type mortars in the back past the gillian line. I'll make sure they fail," Lille said seriously as he pressed his hand on the trigger.
His aim was immediately ruined as a powerful gunshot hit his arm and caused his aim to jerk skyward.
"What the hell was that?!" Lille howled in anger before spotting none other than Harribel, Starrk, and Lilynette. They all landed in front with their Segunda Etapas still active.
"It would seem Lloyd and Royd failed to stop them," Haschwalth sighed.
"ENOUGH! LET US FINISH THIS NOW!" Barragan's terrifying voice drowned the battlefield as he swooped in from behind and attempted to behead Yhwach.
Barragan's attack and his Miasma seemed ineffective against both the elite sternritters and Yhwach as a holy energy completely negated it.
Despite this development, Barragan rabidly swung the axe at Yhwach trying his best to kill him. Haschwalth was quick to intercept him as the two began to duel.
The grandmaster scoffed at Barragan, "You're not even a match for me let alone Yhwach."
"Hueco Mundo will stand! AND YOU WILL ALL DIE!" Barragan howled as he used his gravity to force Haschwalth into the air.
"I'll rip your body apart!" the primera howled as he formed a singularity overhead.
To his shock however, Haschwalth completely nullified the gravity in mere moments before coming down with a devastating holy slash. The attack was parried by a massive axe swing before another battle of blades began.
"You're at your maximum power right now and I haven't even used a fraction of my own. Do you honestly think you hollows can win?" Haschwalth asked condescendingly as he got a powerful slash through Barragan's armor.
Meanwhile, Lille was now in a gun battle with Starrk and Lilynette while Askin battled against Harribel. Aizen was still facing down Pernida, but none of them had really done anything major in their battles yet.
"Your highness, look!" Uryu announced causing everyone present to turn their attention to glass canisters exploding all across the battlefield. They released a gaseous blood that was causing all of the Soldats to start choking.
Many of the sternritters fighting Ayon also began to cringe in agony as the biological weapon swept across the battlefield.
"A biological weapon?! The hollows look completely immune to it!" Uryu gasped as the tide of the battle was swiftly turning against the Quincies.
"I will deal with this…" Yhwach said carelessly as he levitated into the air. Everyone stopped fighting and only watched as Yhwach used a massive amount of Reishi to completely wash over the battlefield and dispel the biological agent. He then formed a holy bow and aimed for the rear.
Right as he was about to fire in Szayel's general direction, Yhwach felt rain starting to fall from the sky. He looked up a bit bewildered by the newly formed clouds before a voice sounded, "GETSUGA JUJISHO!"
Yhwach couldn't turn around in time to stop a colossal black and red x-shaped beam as it blasted him clear through the skies of Hueco Mundo. Every single one of the elite sternritters gawked in disbelief as Yhwach wasn't able to stop the massive attack and went flying into the distance with it. Rain began to pour harder now as it drenched the battlefield in darkness.
Haschwalth's eyes went wide when he saw a black cloud follow. A quick examination revealed it was no cloud at all…but a swarm. Countless thousands of pit dwellers drowned across the battlefield as they swooped in to assail the Quincy army.
Shining in the moonlight above them through the clouds, the Quincies and hollows all saw Ichigo in his first release form. Lightning streaked across the sky followed by thunder as his terrifying form was illuminated for the entire battlefield to see. The horned king shot through the air at godly speed as he locked on to Ayon's location.
"It would seem the High King has finally arrived! Hahaha!" Barragan laughed as he continued his assault against Haschwalth. Newly invigored by Ichigo's arrival, all nearby hollows did the same.
"Ichigo is here?! About damn time!" Lilynette announced as she and Starrk both fought with increased fury against Lille Barro.
The Elite Sternritter seemed shocked, "Where is Yhwach?! That attack couldn't have hurt him!"
"You underestimate our King!" Harribel spoke as she blasted both Lille and Askin back with a tidal wave of water.
Pernida didn't have much of a reaction but was staring up at Ichigo. Aizen only smiled at the arrival, 'Good timing, Ichigo…'
As the pit dwellers immediately went to work massacring every non hollow in sight, Ichigo flew in and landed next to Ayon. He wasn't entirely sure what it was, but he could sense his fraccions' powers coming from it, 'Did they fuse into this thing?'
The sternritters nearby looked terrified of Ichigo as he effortlessly blasted them away with a monstrous cero. After freeing Ayon, Ichigo did a quick survey of the battlefield and spotted Yuzu finally. He immediately flew in and landed in front of Nel, Grimmjow, Gin, and Zommari. All of them looked relieved at his arrival.
"So the King has finally arrived!" Gerard chuckled almost joyously.
"Yuzu!" Ichigo called out her name ignoring everyone else present.
"Ichi-nii?!" Yuzu replied almost disbelievingly when she saw him in hollow form.
"White?! What the fuck took you so long?!" Grimmjow demanded as Ichigo stared Gerard down.
"Ichigo!? Thank goodness you're here!" Nel exhaled.
Zommari held his head in shame, "Forgive me High King…I tried to retrieve Yuzu, but the Quincies have been fighting to keep her from us."
Before anyone even realized what happened, Gerard went flying from a Getsuga Tenshou. Ichigo immediately moved in towards his sister, but right as he got to her, Yhwach reappeared in front of him out of shadows and grabbed the girl from behind.
Ichigo stopped upon seeing this and glared hatefully at Yhwach as he now held the girl up, "Quite an impressive attack, you're lucky that my almighty powers haven't fully returned yet or it would have failed. Surrender now…"
Bambietta looked scared as she backed away and watched with disbelief, 'Is Yhwach going to kill her?'
"Ichigo!" the voice of none other than Athena sounded. The former primera landed behind him next to the others along with the entourage they arrived with.
"Ulquiorra, who are all of these guys, and what are these damn bats?!" Grimmjow demanded.
"I'll explain later…they're on our side though," he replied.
"Yuzu…everything's going to be alright," Ichigo spoke to the terrified young teenager as tears streamed down her face.
"The girl is a Quincy now and a sternritter. She belongs to me. Soon your hollow horde will kneel as well. Surrender and I'll let you stand by my side as we kill the Soul King. Enough have died today…let this battle be ended. Your Espada are no match for my elite sternritters and you're no match for me," Yhwach announced.
"Segunda Etapa!" Ichigo howled as his body began to transform. Power drowned the horizon as the hollow king transformed into his second form.
By this time, Gerard Valkyire had finally returned. The elite sternritter stared at the transformation with astonishment, "So he has a second form too."
Yhwach sighed as he handed Yuzu to Gerard, "Take the girl…I will dispose of him. Once he dies the rest will surrender."
"Get your god damn hands off my sister!" Ichigo shouted before unleashing a deafening hollow howl throughout the battlefield.
It was enough to make Bambietta fall over in fear. Every surviving Sternritter minus the elite sternritters now felt fear creeping in.
Right as Gerard tried to flee, Ichigo used a sonido to appear next to him and smash an energy sword at him. Gerard predictably raised his shield, but it wasn't enough to stop the attack as Ichigo cleaved it in half. He then stabbed both blades into Gerard before slashing out getsugas forcing the man back.
Before Yhwach could make a move Barragan appeared out of nowhere and began to assail the Quincy Emperor with relentless aggression. The elite sternritters were quick to abandon their battles as they all reappeared next to Yhwach.
They were immediately surrounded by Espada on all sides. Yhwach looked around at them all and shook his head, "You've fared better than I ever could have expected, but this is all futile. I am a god, and none of you are a match for me."
"That's what you think…" Aizen's voice followed up with amusement as he moved in towards Yhwach.
Before he could reach him, a portal opened up nearby. Barragan wasted no time intercepting the surprise attack from Robert Accutrone giving Aizen an opening. The brown-haired captain swiftly pressed the Hogyoku against Yhwach's chest. None of the elite sternritters could react in time as the Hogyoku activated.
It unleashed a terrible surge of power that caused Yhwach to scream in anguish. Aizen spoke condescendingly, "You have two choices…stand there and die to hollowfication or use your remaining power to escape."
Realizing the situation he was now in Yhwach gasped out in anger, "Retreat!"
"Your majesty, are you sure?!" Haschwalth asked concerned.
"Do as I command!" Yhwach called out.
"You're not escaping on my watch!" Barragan howled as he tried to take advantage of the situation. A shining force immediately blasted all of the espada back as Gerard Valkyire smashed Barragan away.
A portal then opened behind them as all of the elite sternritters retreated into it. Many portals also opened for various sternritters and Soldats across the battlefield.
"Don't let them escape!" Barragan ordered as various hollows did their best to prevent people from fleeing. Some did and others didn't. Seeing Bambietta trying to escape into a portal, Harribel immediately grabbed her in a chokehold.
Ichigo cracked a fist in anger after Yhwach and his guard was gone, "Damn it! Why did you make them retreat, Sosuke?! We should have ended them here and now!"
"We will, but all of your followers would have died in the crossfire if you actually fought them. The battle is over…we won," Aizen replied calmly.
Ichigo looked annoyed but nodded, "Yeah…where's Yuzu?!"
"She's right here…I managed to get her after you attacked that sternritter," Zommari answered as he walked up with the petrified girl.
Looking over at her now, Ichigo saw Yuzu shaking in fear as he approached. He receded his powers back down to his base form as took her from Zommari. The girl looked at her older brother disbelievingly as he returned to normal.
"Ichi-nii…you came for me?" she asked.
"That's a big brother's job isn't it?" he replied with a smile that she remembered all too well.
The girl immediately clutched onto him as her tears flowed nonstop, "I was so scared! I thought you were dead! And…and all this stuff happened! I want to go home!"
Clutching her tightly to his chest, Ichigo sighed, "It's over now Yuzu…I'll keep you safe and those people will pay for what they did to you."
Finally feeling safe now, Yuzu simply passed out from the overstimulation of the battle. Ichigo kept holding her nonetheless, 'I can't believe Yuzu's okay…she even looked happy to see me.'
"What should we do with this one, High King?" Barragan asked Ichigo as he pointed at the struggling Bambietta who was hopelessly outmatched in Harribel's grip.
"Capture all the quincies that didn't manage to escape and gather them here," Ichigo commanded.
"We'll gather them quickly," Ulquiorra nodded as he and the alphas departed.
A short while later
Close to an hour passed in the aftermath of the battle. It was still raining, but the hollows had no trouble gathering up Quincy survivors that couldn't escape. Various Espada and numeros all gathered around as more and more survivors were piled in front of Ichigo. Everybody had questions about the new hollow arrivals, but Ichigo explicitly told everyone he would explain it once they returned to Las Noches. The various espada all offered reports on their kills to him as well as Aizen himself.
Ichigo was a bit surprised to hear that Yuzu's power dispelled Kyoka Suigetsu but figured it could be discussed and speculated later. One by one sternritter survivors were subdued and tossed into a group at Ichigo's feet. None had the courage to say anything and most seemed convinced that they were going to be executed.
Yuzu was still unconscious in Ichigo's arms and he didn't dare put her down as he continued to watch the other arrancars gather the survivors. Finally, one Sternritter was brought up with a large escort of hollows and she was smiling. It was none other than Giselle. The Sternritter quickly made her way closer to Ichigo and spoke to him, "Ichigo! It's great to see you here!"
The captured Sternritters present all looked a bit shocked by her words. Among them included Candice, Bambietta, Bazz B, Liltotto, and Meninas. Ayon was standing behind them as well as most of the espada. The chimaera hollow was still covered in wounds, but appeared otherwise fine.
"Is this all we captured?" Ichigo asked Ulquiorra.
The other arrancar nodded, "I believe she was the last one. All of the sternritters we captured are here. From what I've been able to discern, most of the sternritters were killed in battle. Only a few escaped. Grimmjow killed one, Barragan killed two, and several were killed by unknown means. This one right here claims that she killed her own allies and was trying to rescue your sister."
Bambietta's eyes went wide, 'What?!'
"Oh well Bazzy-kun was in on it too. He took really good care of Yuzu-chan in the Silbern. We were going to try and return her to you, but things sort of happened," Giselle explained casually as she rubbed the back of her head.
Ichigo looked at the survivors, "Who's Bazz B?"
"Me…" the mohawk Quincy announced as he stood up.
"You and Giselle were both in on this?!" Candice demanded.
Bazz B nodded, "Damn right I was! I hate Yhwach! I knew the bastard was afraid of hollows and he proved it here today! I want nothing to do with the Wandenreich! I want my freedom and I want him dead!"
"High King…we should just execute these Quincies and be done with it." Barragan spoke up.
Looking at Giselle now Ichigo shook his head, "So you want to join me then?"
"Yes!" Giselle spoke excitedly.
Before Ichigo could say anything, Szayel interrupted hatefully, "She turned my brother and Grimmjow's entire Fraccion into zombies! I say you kill this Quincy bitch, High King!"
Grimmjow's eyes went wide, "What?! I was wondering where those asshats were. They're all dead?!"
"These Quincies deserve no mercy!" Szayel hissed.
"I agree…their corpses should be flayed across the entrance to the palace!" Nnoitra spat.
"They might have useful information though…it would be wise to at least interrogate them first," Ulquiorra replied.
"Oh I'll interrogate them!" Szayel spoke with malicious enthusiasm.
Looking over the others for a moment Ichigo addressed the surviving sternritters, "Do you any of you want to die?"
All of them shook their heads fearfully. Ichigo stared at them briefly before shaking his head, "Does anyone here have a reason why I shouldn't kill you?"
"I do! I'm not loyal to Yhwach! I'll join your army!" Bazz B announced.
"Fat chance, mohawk boy…you think we'd let your asses just waltz into our world and join us? You ain't hollows and I'm pretty you killed a lot of our kind too!" Grimmjow growled.
"Even if we escape, we're dead anyways…kill me now and get it over with!" Bambietta tried to be brave.
Neliel took a step forward, "If you insist…"
"Wait…" Ichigo held his hand up.
"Why?! Don't tell me you're going to let them live!?" Nel spoke unhappily.
"I'll let Yuzu decide if any of them are worth sparing…" Ichigo stated.
Many of the nearby hollows were quick to voice their disapproval in a small uproar, but Ichigo immediately silenced them, "All of them except her…"
Everyone stopped talking when they saw Ichigo pointing at Giselle. The Zombie Quincy looked confused by Ichigo's remark.
He looked angry as he stared the Quincy down, "Zommari told me Yuzu was trying to run away from you and that you used necromancy on her. Nobody fucks with my sister!"
"But I…" Giselle didn't know what to say as the various hollows surrounded her.
"Kill her!" Ichigo commanded.
"With pleasure!" Barragan cackled. Grimmjow and Szayel also encircled Giselle now.
"W-w-wait! I can help you! I can heal your friends! Please don't kill me, Ichigo! I was only trying to get Yuzu-chan to safety! I can fix these arrancar zombies too!" Giselle protested.
Ichigo didn't even look at her as he simply began to walk away with an entourage of hollows. The sound of Giselle's screaming could be heard as the hollows rabidly worked to murder her.
As he continued walking, Ichigo glanced up at Ayon who was following closely next to him. He looked up at the creature curiously, "You girls can unfuse now."
Heeding Ichigo's command, Ayon's massive form dissipated away. What shocked Ichigo about it however was it didn't break into its creators. Ayon was now in the form of one girl. Ichigo looked at Ayon's humanoid form with surprise, "You're still fused?"
"Master…I apologize. The girls used up all of their power to make me. I'm not sure if I can separate now," Ayon spoke.
Looking over the fused hollow's form now, she resembled Apacci the most in the face. Her mask fragment bore resemblance to all five of the girls that created her with apacci's horn, new antlers, Sung-sun and Mila Rose's mask shape, and a covered eye fragment similar to Loly and Menoly. Ayon had long Raven black hair with streaks of blue and blonde in it. Parts of each side was pulled into twin tails that looked like Loly's hair, but most flowed freely behind her. Her eyes were a unique mixture of Pink, blue, and green around the irises. She had Sung Sun's cheek markings on both cheeks and Apacci's trademark red eye shadow. Her skin was slightly darker in complexion likely due to Mila Rose and she had the lioness' physique. Her appearance resembled Apacci's the most and considering she was the strongest of the bunch, Ichigo assumed she was probably the dominant personality.
"So which one of them is controlling you? Is there a dominant personality?" Ichigo wondered.
Ayon looked at him confused, "I…don't know. I have their memories, but I'm…a different person it feels like."
"This is troublesome, but I guess it's just another thing on the list of dilemmas to deal with. I'll try and see if Szayel can find a way to fix you," Ichigo replied as he looked at the fused arrancar.
"I…if you want to," Ayon replied as she looked away a bit sadly.
"Something wrong?" he asked.
"N-no…they would want to be themselves again," Ayon replied.
'This is strange…I'm glad the girls are okay, but they're pretty much gone now if they made this girl. She doesn't seem to like the idea of unfusing. I suppose that's the same thing as dying to her. Damn it! I don't know what to do about this!' Ichigo thought concerned.
"What's your name…you look the most like Apacci, but I don't know if it's truly appropriate to call you that," Ichigo asked.
"Ayon…it's the chimaera they were able to make out of their own body parts. They just used up too much power and their entire bodies were combined in the process. I'm…sorry, Ichigo. I just wanted to protect the others," Ayon replied sadly.
Ichigo sighed as he glanced back to see the recovering hollow army moving back towards Las Noches. The sight of Hooleer being carried by gillians was concerning to him as well as the news of Wonderweiss.
'So many sacrifices because I was too slow to get here in time…I hope Wonderweiss and Hooleer are okay. This war is far from over…' Ichigo's mind trailed off as the hollow horde marched back home. The pit dwellers were also following them and Ichigo was already contemplating on how he was going to explain this to everyone later. Explaining Soifon, Athena, and the pit dwellers was going to be quite a chore. Plus he had quincy POW's to deal with now too.
Looking at the sleeping Yuzu in his arms still Ichigo exhaled a breath of relief, 'At least Yuzu is okay...for a second I thought he was going to kill her. Is she really a sternritter now? I want to have a nice long talk with her when she wakes up.'
Gin and Aizen
Trailing in the back with Aizen now, Gin glanced at the man curiously, "Aizen-sama, have you seen Kaname anywhere? I didn't see him the entire battle."
"No…I assumed he was going to help the rear. There's no sign of him?" Aizen asked curiously.
"No…also, what are these hollows Ichigo returned with? Who is that purple haired one?" Gin asked.
Aizen shook his head, "Ichigo said he would explain it later. I'm more interested in seeing Captain Soifon was with them."
"Y-yeah…that was rather surprising," Gin replied as he looked away.
"Something bothering you, Gin?" Aizen asked.
"I thought she would be dead. Yet she returned here with Ichigo…do you think she's joining the hollows?" Gin wondered.
"Quite possible…though Ichigo purposely set her to be found and returned to the Soul Society. I find it odd that she is back in Hueco Mundo. It's possible she never left at all, but then when would he have had the time to pick her up? I do look forward to the meeting once we return to Las Noches. This is an interesting development," Aizen replied.
"It should be rather enlightening…" Gin nodded.
'Soifon knows about me…I'll be in serious trouble if she says anything. This is bad,' Gin thought as he kept a foxy grin on his face.
Well here's the yearly update for you guys. Anyways I apologize if this chapter felt slightly anticlimactic, but it's time to move on to other things. I was getting a bit burnt out writing all these battles and was eager to advance the plot. Fear not though, this was only the first battle of the war and many more moments of epic fighting will be here in the future. Here's the overview as usual:
So a lot of quincies died in this chapter…damn near most of the sternritters. That being said, none of the elite sternritters busted into full power. Yhwach is also going to get a bunch of reinforcements here soon so don't be distraught if you think they're on the downhill slope. Once Yhwach recovers his full power, shit is going to go down.
I hope you guys enjoyed Barragan's insane fucking powers as he destroyed Gremmy in Segunda Etapa. That's the main reason I made him the Primera…because of that shit right there. You can tell I don't like Gremmy based on how horrific his death was. After Barragan kills him, I'm sure many people expected him to go after the elite sternritters immediately. Surprisingly however, Barragan rescues Nnoitra from Mask and Wonderweiss and Luppi from Robert Accutrone. Now good on you if you guessed his schrift right, but to be honest I wouldn't be surprised if anyone didn't. Nexus isn't exactly a common word. That being said, the nexus power is actually super fucking strong. You guys only got to see a taste, but to better understand it, the power is similar to Kurogiri's power from My Hero Academia (which I binged recently and want to start a story for…but I won't until I finish my others…promise). The full power of Nexus will be understood and revealed in later chapters but trust me it's powerful.
Now I know a lot of people were hoping for/expecting more hollow deaths, but those are going to happen when you guys least expect them…George R.R. Martin style. The Quincies were massively disadvantaged with Yhwach in a weakened state and their lack of understanding on just how big the hollow army was. It all worked out this time, but victory in war comes with a price…and even our heroes/villains (Whatever you consider the hollows) will have to pay it.
I was going to make a lot more fighting POV's in this chapter, but it would have stretched it out too long or into another chapter and I'm sure everyone was just ready for Ichigo to finally get there. We'll get some exposition on how it all went down next chapter, but to state the obvious one Luppi killed Pepe. Now the real mystery of this chapter is what the hell happened to Kaname?
As for the Ayon fusion...turns out it did have unforeseen consequences. Apacci, Loly, Menoly, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun are now fused into one hollow. How is Ichigo going to unfuse them and should he?
In addition to that, the hollows managed to capture Bambietta, Bazz B, Liltotto, Giselle, Candice, and Meninas. Despite Giselle's claims to offer allegiance to Ichigo, he orders her execution. What fate awaits the others? You'll have to wait and see. Next chapter is going to have a lot of dialogue and plot stuff, so it'll be a nice little break from the fighting for a while. Also good news guys…I will be including the fullbringers in the story soon. Aaroniero also made a brief appearance but didn't do much. You can expect him to play a bigger role later as well as hollows like Grand Fisher and Orihime's brother. Stay tuned for the next chapter and as always, thanks for reading! P.S. please stop asking me if the story is dead. I'm going to update my DXD fic again before the next chapter here so don't despair.