Categories > Anime/Manga > Bleach > Witness0 Reviews
A low ranking soul reaper observes the initial battle between substitue soul reaper Ichigo Kurosaki and espada Grimmjoww Jeagerjaques, now he must assist Urahara in the lead up to the winter war.
Granted, it was night. Sure, there were streetlamps casting a deep orange glow across the landscape. The similarities, however, ended there.
The blare of sirens and alarms echoed through the night. The whining screech tore through the empty street. Sparks flew through the air as came to a sizzling end as they entered into several puddles that lined the guttering of the road.
A set of traffic lights had been, basically, ripped in half. The shattered glass and fragmented metal was lining the roadside, mixing with the dusty, gray, rubble of a recently formed crater.
The entire centre of the road was clouded with dust and smoke, remnants of when the crater was formed. Barely anything was visible through the carnage.
Hovering several dozen feet in the air, as if standing on some kind of invisible platform, was a man. His hair was a bright shade of sky blue. Around his eyes, markings, as if painted on in dark turquoise, stood out in contrast to his skin. As if fixed to his face, a piece of fragmented jaw bone stood out in a pale shade of white.
Glaring down into the smoke, the man broke into a sneer as his lips parted and he shouted out: “You disappoint me, soul reaper!! Is that all you got?!?!”
All I could do as I watched was tremble. Reaching up with my right hand, I tugged at the collar of my shihakusho as my gaze flitted between the crater and the man, suspended midair. What could I do?
As if prompted by instinct, my hand automatically reached for my zanpakuto. My poor, nameless, zanpakuto.
Who was I kidding? How could I, a rankles soul reaper, do anything to help. Even at this distance, I was being crushed by the outstanding spiritual pressure that seemed to be radiating from the area. I could practically feel my knees giving in.
It was then that I heard it. A hoarse shout, emanating from the smoke filled crater.
Almost instantly a shockwave rippled through the air, clearing the smoke. Standing amidst the crater, severely beaten, was another soul reaper. A soul reaper with orange hair. Swinging the midnight black blade of his sword towards the man above him, a jet black blast of spiritual pressure in the shape of a crescent moon flew through the air.
The explosion that ensued was enormous. Rippling through the landscape, the blast seemed to shake the very ground.
Staggering back down the alleyway, in which I was hiding, I let out a cry of surprise. These people were monsters. Everything I had witnesses so far should have been impossible. People with that kind of power shouldn’t exist. They were almost of the level of head captain Yamamoto. It was terrifying.
Peering back around the corner I realised that I had missed something. The orange haired soul reaper was clutching one side of his face. The blue haired man had a burn scar running down his torso, and seemed ready to attack. And…behind him, a man had appeared. Call me stupid, but it looked like captain Tosen. The one who had defected with captain Aizen.
“What the…?” I mumbled to myself, watching the ensuing conversation.
Suddenly, the very sky behind them seemed to rip open. I found myself mesmerised by the swirling blackness that occupied the dimensional tear.
Disappearing into the blackness, the blue haired man and former captain Tosen began to disappear, when the orange haired soul reaper called after them.
“Looks like we’ve got some trouble,” arose a cheerful, if not slightly goofy, voice from behind me.
Turning around, I found myself face-to-face with a man. His mouth was twisted into a cheerful smile. Below this smile, his chin was lined with stubble. The top half of his face was shrouded in shadow due to the low rimmed hat that he wore.
“Who’re you! How can you see me?!” I cried out, reaching for my zanpakuto. How the hell did this man sneak up on me?!
“Me?” the man questioned, slightly amused. “I’m just an innocent candy store owner!”
“What?!” I asked, raising one eyebrow and tightening my grip on the hilt of my sword.
“Steady now,” he smirked, holding up his hands as if trying to deter me. “I don’t want any trouble.”
“Then what do you want?” I persisted.
“You saw that all, didn’t you?” he asked, suddenly growing strangely serious.
“So what if I did!?” I replied harshly, squinting my eyes slightly and pulling back my top lip, in an attempt to intimidate the odd individual.
“What do you think was going on there?” the man continued, bowing his head ever so slightly, shrouding his face in shadow. “Who do you think those two were?”
“I-I dunno…!” I stammered, slightly confused. “The one in the crater…he was a soul reaper wasn’t he?”
“Yes…” the man replied. “That was Ichigo Kurosaki.”
“Ichigo Kurosaki?” I repeated. I was sure I’d heard that name before somewhere, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
“He was among the ryoka that infiltrated the soul society,” he replied, a smile plucking the corner of his mouth. “He was the one that defeated captain Kuchiki.”
“What?” I muttered, finally coming to some form of recognition. My train of thought, however, came to an abrupt change. “How do you know all that!?” I questioned, finally drawing my zanpakuto and pointing it towards the individual.
“Calm down, calm down!” he said, raising his hands comically. “As I said, I’m just a poor lowly merchant!”
“Don’t give me that!” I shouted, finally recovering my confidence, now that the crushing spiritual pressure had finally disappeared. “Who are you!!?”
“I think you’d better come with me,” he said, returning to his serious demeanour.
“I’m not going anywhere until you, at least, tell me your name!” I said, hardening my gaze.
“My name is Urahara,” he said, smiling. “What’s yours?”
As the cool night air enveloped me, I found myself tugging the material of my shihakusho around my body. Ahead of me was a small, squat, building. Above the entrance was a large sign that read: “Urahara Shoten.”
“This way,” Urahara called over his shoulder as he strode towards the entrance.
“Why do I have to follow you, again?” I asked, my hand still occupying it’s position on the hilt of my nameless zanpakuto.
“Because,” he started, “you’re one of the few people to come into contact with an arrancar. Even though it was only at a distance, you’ve still come out alive.”
On their way to the ‘store’, Urahara had explained what the arrancar were. Apparently they were part of former captain Aizen’s army.
“I don’t see why this means that I need to come with you,” I said, still dubious about the situation.
Why would this man want me? I didn’t even know my zanpakuto’s name. I was the lowest of the low when it comes to soul reapers.
“There are only a handful of people who have even encountered an arrancar,” Urahara explained. “Even though first hand combat experience is more valuable when it comes to information gathering, you’ve seen an arrancar at a distance. You’ve been able to observe a full view of their movements.”
Reaching the entrance to the store, Urahara reached out and opened the door, before beckoning me inside. Once inside the building I stared around myself. There was an apparent lack of furniture and decoration. Stacked up against the walls were several dozen cardboard boxes.
It was then that Urahara said it: “If you don’t mind, I need to know everything that you saw, concerning the arrancar.”