Categories > Anime/Manga > Bleach > The Rise of the Hollow King

The Rise of the Hollow King

by Karasu-Tenka 0 reviews

To protect the one he loved, he became a monster. But now, that beast will not be caged any longer. This is a somewhat darker take on the events following Kurosaki Ichigo's death at the hands of th...

Category: Bleach - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy - Characters: Arisawa Tasuki,Inoue Orihime,Kurosaki Ichigo - Warnings: [!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2017-11-11 - 5842 words

"Impossible." His voice was as emotionless as ever as he stated what should have been a simple fact. "You should not be alive." He walked slowly away from the human he had been about to kill, coming to a stop facing the man who had seemingly risen from the grave. "What is that form?" He asked, "Who... Are you?"

His thoughts were reeling in confusion. This... cannot be Kurosaki Ichigo. He thought again, almost as if he were trying to assure himself of the fact. Kurosaki Ichigo is dead. I killed him with a Cero Oscuras at point blank range. Nothing could survive that. He considered the creature standing before him, the collapsed form of Inoue Orihime sitting just in front of it with an expression of a mix of shock and horror on her face. It stands at about Kurosaki's height, and it's muscle structuring is the same. His mind analyzed it as he considered it, However, it's skin has changed to a pale white color. And it's hair has... lengthened. And that mask... it is similar to his, I admit. But... no, the markings are different. He continued analyzing everything about the thing that now stood where Kurosaki Ichigo had lay. But the more he looked, the less sense it made.

Then the creature moved.

It's hand flexed, and Tensa Zangetsu leaped from the ground, spinning through the air to it's waiting grasp. It then swung the blade up, and then back down in a simple reflex. The ground split, as a chunk, easily twenty feat long, and ten wide was shattered from simply the force of the displaced air.

Inoue shrieked as the eruption of air flung her away towards the tower. "Look out Inoue-san!" Shouted the other human present, as he hurled himself behind her to absorb their impact, his left arm hanging uselessly from the wounds that Ulquiorra had dealt.

The Arrancar seemed completely unfazed by the show of power. "Perhaps you did not hear me." He said calmly, "I asked you who you were." The thing that had been Ichigo threw it's head back and let loose a terrible shrieking, howling roar in response, one that seemed to shake the entire world around them. "Hmm... It seems that words do not reach you." Ulquiorra seemed almost disappointed as he raised a finger, generating a Cero Oscuras and preparing to fire.

Ichigo brought it's head down once more, it's horns pointing right at Ulquiorra. Then something impossible happened. From between the horns, a blood red Cero appeared, charging swiftly before being unleashed at the same time as the Arrancar's attack.

To an outside observer, it would have looked as though some form of cataclysm had suddenly been visited upon the roof of Las Noches. Not only did the red Cero stop the usually more powerful black one in it's tracks, it completely overpowered and obliterated it. The resulting explosion engulfed the area, and what appeared to be the very fires of hell rose high into the endless night of Hueco Mundo.

Ulquiorra burst from the flames into the air, his mind racing. Impossible. He thought, for the second time in as many minutes. That was without a doubt, a Cero. He watched the massive flames burn upwards, Furthermore, it was one powerful enough to obliterate a Cero Oscuras. But this cannot be. No matter how much he may resemble a hollow... For a mere human to produce a Cero at all is...

He didn't get a chance to finish his thought, as Ichigo appeared above and behind him, already generating another Cero between it's horns.

Dammit! He thought, before shouting, "Don't underestimate me!" He turned, thrusting his finger towards the creature, and firing another Cero Oscuras.

The result was the same as the first time, the black Cero Oscuras was completely overwhelmed and engulfed, before an explosion rocked the surrounding area, forcing Ulquiorra to retreat once more. That's twice now... my Cero Oscuras has been...

Again, Ichigo appeared, this time directly behind him. Ulquiorra tried to turn, but felt his enemy's taloned hand close around his wrist. His eyes widened in shock as the creature raised it's sword and swung, cutting the arm off just above the elbow. Even as he fell away from the thing, it's leg flicked around and smashed into the side of his head, hurtling him towards the ground.

The thing that had been Ichigo let loose a howling roar of triumph before turning to watch the Arrancar rise to his feet once more.

Meanwhile, a ways off, Inoue and Ishida watched the battle unfold, their expressions both utterly horrified by what they were witnessing. "No way..." Inoue whispered, "Is that... really Kurosaki-kun?" She seemed completely unable to comprehend what she was witnessing. Even the normally level headed Ishida Uryuu had difficulty with it.

Ulquiorra's breath came in small gasps as he recovered his footing. Looking up into the air where the Ichigo creature stood, he considered it for a few moments, and then looked down to the stump that had been his arm until a few moments before. "Hmph." He sneered, before a new arm suddenly sprouted from the stump like some form of macabre plant. Inoue and Ishida both gasped at the sight, the Ichigo-thing simply stood there, not even twitching.

Clenching his clawed fingers to make sure that everything had grown back properly, Ulquiorra once again considered his opponent. Something is wrong here... He thought. Something about this battle just doesn't feel right... Suddenly his eyes widened in shock. Wait... I can't... I can't sense his reiatsu... He couldn't believe that it had taken him so long to notice it, but looking back, he realized that Kurosaki Ichigo's reiatsu had completely vanished once this thing had stood up in his place. And what's more... There seems to be no reiatsu emanating from this creature that I now fight. But that is impossible. Nothing can produce a Cero without reiatsu. Nothing can stand on the air without reiatsu. And NOTHING could cut through my Hierro without an immense amount of reiatsu.

His mind reeled trying to discern the cause of this impossibility. As he thought, he placed his hands together, drawing reishi together and forming a shining green spear of energy, "Lanza del Relámpago." He stepped forward, taking up position to attack, "Don't move." He said, "I'd prefer not to be anywhere near where this strikes." With that, he threw the lance of shining energy at the Ichigo-thing with as much force as he could muster.

The creature simply shifted it's head slightly, allowing the attack to sail past it unopposed. The attack flew out towards the desert of Hueco Mundo, coming down what seemed like kilometers from Las Noches. That distance aided in making the size of the resulting detonation slightly easier for the two onlooking humans to comprehend.

It was larger than anything they had ever seen before. Swiftly dwarfing even the enormous Las Noches, it continued growing larger and larger, until Ishida began to worry that it would still hit them even there. The wind picked up, displaced by the massive detonation, it blew hard enough to even extinguish the massive fire that the combatant's Ceros had caused. In the desert below, sand was thrown against the walls of Las Noches like the waves of some vast ocean.

Unbelievable... Ishida thought in shock. How can he generate so much power from a single attack?

"Hmm... Missed." Ulquiorra said, seemingly talking to himself. "These really are difficult to control." As he spoke, another green lance of reishi coalesced into his open hand.

What?! Ishida couldn't even bring himself to voice his fear aloud, He can use that ability more than once?!

Through all of this, the Ichigo-thing didn't move. It didn't even seem to breathe. It just stared down at Ulquiorra with the empty black eyes of it's skull mask. Something about it's complete disregard for the power that he had just displayed made the Arrancar pause. "I asked before who you were." He said, "I realize now, that is the wrong question. A better question is What are you?"

The creature said nothing, it simply continued staring. Then, suddenly, it just vanished. Ulquiorra's eye's widened in shock, before he felt a grip of steel close around his throat. Looking down, he found Ichigo's taloned hand crushing off his air, and lifting him up. And he saw the eyes of the mask, glowing like yellow-gold flames.

"I..." A rasping, bestial voice echoed from the mask. As he heard it, Ulquiorra felt his eyes widen even further, he felt his long black hair bristle, and he felt something cold creep down his spine. It took him a moment to realize that he was terrified. Something about this creature that now held him in a vice-like grip evoked a bone deep, primal fear in him. Him! The creature spoke once again. "I... am... Shiro."


Everything was darkness. Everything was pain. He lay there, dead eyes staring blankly ahead. A thought crystallized in his mind, Am I... dead?

"Yup. That sounds about right, King." A cruel voice echoed across the darkness. "You died. Had a hole bigger than your head blasted clean through you. It was quite spectacular to watch honestly, even if it did hurt like a fucking bitch."

A pair of feet stepped into his view, they wore pure white straw sandals, and pitch black socks. A flicker of recognition came to him. Y-you're...

"Yeah." The voice laughed again sadistically, "I told you that you wouldn't be able to ever get rid of me for good."

The figure before him knelt down, bringing his grinning face into view. That... face... my face... I killed you... He tried to move, tried to get up, to find his sword, to kill his double again. But he couldn't move. He could barely keep his eyes open. He couldn't even speak. He could only think, and hate.

"I told you boss, I am Zangetsu. You can't kill me, because I am your own damn soul. You could only keep me under control, caged like some kind of animal. But now? Now all bets are off." His grin vanished, replaced by something unreadable. "You died. But even through that, you still somehow heard her... and when she called for your help, you tried to answer. But the only way you could do that, was to let me out. So guess what? Congratulations. You and I are going to trade places, and I am going to be King now."

No... I... have to protect... her.

"Awe, so sweet. You think you have a choice."

Always have... a choice. He willed his body to move. Screamed at his arm to reach up and stop him. I'll... always stop... you... Hatred welled up inside him, as he thought of all the pain he had endured. All of the battles he had fought against this... double of himself. Hatred, and anger.

"Hey, hey... That's not a healthy attitude boss." His voice seemed... concerned. "I'm your soul man. Hating me is literally just hating yourself." The hatred continued to grow, and grow. If it hadn't been for him... If he had just never existed... "Then we both would have died. Ages ago. I've kept us alive more times that either of us can count and you know it."

It didn't matter. Nothing he said would keep the hatred down. I'm going to kill you.

"Alright, new plan." A white hand closed over his eyes, while another hand reached under his chest and rolled him onto his back. "Look." The hand left his eyes, "What's done is done. The simple fact of the matter is, You. Are. Dead. You have a hole in your chest. I don't know if even my abilities can heal that. And more importantly, I don't care. You let me out. You asked for my help. So I am going to do just that. And I think I'll bring you along for the ride."

His blank gaze looked out into the darkness, only his double standing over him in his gaze. How?

"By merging. We're both parts of the same soul. Together, we may be able to save our life. But... what comes out of that merger... I don't know what it will be." He seemed nervous, the usual cruel grin, gone from his face. "And no. You do not get any say in this. I am telling you what is going to happen, not asking for your fucking permission. I'm your soul. The only thing I have ever tried to do is protect you, if that meant that I needed to step in and take over in order to do so, then that is what I did. But now, you have put us into the worst situation possible. And I am going to save us."

He lay there, unable to move, unable to speak, unable to even feel. Even the hatred he had felt before had died out in the face of the overwhelming blackness that yawned out before him. Finally, with immense force of will, his eyes shifted to lock onto his double, that pale white being who had tormented him for so long. Just... promise me. You'll protect... them.

The white man knelt down, an uncharacteristic smile on his face. Placing his hand on his chest, he said, "We will. One way or another. We will."

Suddenly, a brilliant flash of light consumed everything, driving away the darkness. As the wave of light grew and grew, a different, familiar shade of red-tinged black began to weave its way into the light.

His eyes opened, and he saw his taloned hand around Ulquiorra's throat. "I..." It hurt to talk, as though his throat was raw from screaming. "I... am... Shiro..." He forced himself to finish. "I... am... Alive."


"I... am... Alive."

At those words, the skull mask that covered the creature's head seemed to shatter. It fell away from his face, revealing Ichigo's features, a blank, almost bored expression resting on his face. His skin was still the pale white that it had been during their battle.

Ulquiorra suddenly realized that part of the mask hadn't broken. specifically the section covering the top left part of his head. It sloped back, starting just above the ear and continuing up to the middle of the skull, and around the back of the head to the middle as well, but stopped before it reached past the hairline, leaving the eye unobstructed. A long horn had also survived as well, set in the middle of the section that now sat on Ichigo's head. That... looks like an Arrancar's broken mask... He suddenly realized in shock.

Ichigo's eyes were open and gazing at the Espada in his grip. They were yellow, surrounded by black, just like they had been when Ichigo had donned his hollow mask during their battle. But there was something in them now that caused another shiver of fear down Ulquiorra's spine, something so inhuman. Like he was no longer looking at the Espada as an enemy to defeat, but as an insect to crush.

Ichigo's mouth opened, "You... are Ulquiorra." His voice was deeper than it had been before. It still held the bestial quality it had held before the mask broke. And it sounded as though it were several different voices layered on top of each other and then crushed together. But it seemed like he wasn't used to using it anymore. "You... killed... me." It almost sounded like he was trying to remember something that had happened decades ago, instead of a few scant minutes.

Is this... really Kurosaki Ichigo? Ulquiorra wondered as he clawed at the hand that still held his throat. He noticed in the back of his mind as he fought to escape the grip, that the fingers that held him were no longer clawed, but instead were the long decidedly human fingers that Kurosaki Ichigo had had before his strange transformation. He fought for breath in the strong grip of his captor, and finally managed to gasp out a word, "Kuro...saki?"

Ichigo blinked, a look of odd surprise crossing his face before dropping the Espada. Ulquiorra slumped to the ground, coughing as air forced it's way back into his lungs, and he breathed once more. Meanwhile, Ichigo looked at his hand curiously, as though it were some kind of alien entity.

Ulquiorra coughed once again, before pushing himself shakily back to his feet. "Are... you really Kurosaki Ichigo?" He realized once again that he still couldn't sense any reiatsu from the man before him.

"I..." Ichigo started to reply, but then stopped, his gaze moving across the rubble strewn battlefield and locking onto the two humans sitting almost a hundred feet away. He suddenly vanished, reappearing in front of them, staring down at them with a completely unreadable expression.

Ulquiorra blinked in shock once again, the speed with which the man had just moved literally defied anything he had ever witnessed before. Meanwhile, Ishida tried to position himself between Inoue and the man towering over them. He was in shock by the speed he'd moved at as well, and something about the man that bore Kurosaki's face made every bone in the Quincy's body scream at him to flee.

It's like the feeling I had while I fought Ulquiorra! He realized, It's the same sensation... but so much stronger that I can't even stand. Finally he found his voice again, raising his arm as though it would shield Inoue, he spoke, "Kurosaki... If that really is you... what... happened to you?"

Ichigo said nothing, he just continued staring down at them, his long hair swaying in the wind. Finally, Inoue broke the silence, "Ku-Kurosaki-kun?" She said fearfully, "A-are you... alri..." Her voice broke off as her gaze finally broke away from his inhuman yellow-black eyes and took in the rest of his form, eventually locking on the hole that still rested in the center of his chest. Her hand reached up, almost as if she were trying to grasp something, then moved to her lips. Shock and horror coalesced into her expression once again, and tears began to well up in her eyes. "Kurosaki-kun..."

"Inoue..." The voice that growled from Ichigo's lips was alien, causing the two humans to gasp, as pure, primal terror crept into their very bones at the sound. "You... are Inoue..." He seemed almost uncertain, as though he were dredging through memories that weren't his own, and from a long time ago. "You are... ok?"

She blinked, surprised by the question for some reason. Slowly, she managed to nod silently. Ichigo's eyes then shifted to Ishida, "You..." He didn't have the chance to finish whatever he was thinking, as his hand snapped up and caught a green lance of condensed energy that had suddenly speared it's way through the air. He then angled his wrist and flicked the lance into the air where it seemed to shatter before exploding. However the detonation wasn't nearly of the magnitude of the previous 'Lanza del Relámpago', and even in her shocked state, Inoue managed to bring up her Santen Kesshun around her and Ishida before the blast reached them.

Ichigo turned towards where the lance had originated. Ulquiorra stood there, another lance in his hand. "Did you forget?" The Espada asked calmly, "Did you forget that we are in the middle of a battle, Kurosaki Ichigo?"

Ichigo considered the Arrancar for a moment, before crossing the distance between them in the time it took a heart to beat. "You..." He said, locking eyes with the shocked Espada, "You are starting to annoy me."

Ulquiorra blinked in surprise, both from the bluntness of the statement, and also because the statement had been the first uninterrupted sentence that Ichigo had spoken since his mask had broken. His shock was interrupted by blinding, white hot pain as the blade of Tensa Zangetsu cleaved through his chest, knocking him to the ground in a spray of blood. There was a crashing noise, and Ulquiorra looked back behind him as he fell, seeing that the shock wave from just Ichigo swinging his blade had shattered almost three hundred feet of stone in an arcing cone behind him. Unbelievable... He thought as his back hit the ground, Just what has he become?

Inoue and Ishida stared in shock as the battle that had torn it's way through the throne room of Las Noches and up onto the roof, the battle which had shattered the stone towers that had risen hundreds of meters up from the top of the palace of the Arrancar, came to a terrifyingly abrupt end. Ishida looked at Ulquiorra's prone form, remembering vividly just how powerful the Espada was as pain once more shot up his ruined left arm. He's completely outclassed... He thought.

All thoughts of Ulquiorra came to an abrupt halt as Ichigo once more appeared before them. Once again, the movement had been so fast that neither of them had even comprehended it. One heartbeat, the man who had once been their friend was standing over the fallen Espada. The next, he towered over them, his inhuman eyes gazing down at them, and his very essence seeming to radiate instinctual terror. Whoever this... thing... is, Thought Ishida, It's not Kurosaki.

Ichigo's eyes tracked across them, lingering for a moment on Ishida's left arm, where Ulquiorra had ripped his hand off. Then he locked eyes with the young Quincy. "You tried to protect her." It wasn't a question, Ishida realized. He nodded nervously. "Then I will let you live for now."

Inoue's eyes widened in pure horror. He really just said that... She realized in shock. "Kurosaki-kun?" Her voice was tiny, barely a terrified whisper, but his eyes, those terrible yellow-black eyes, shifted to her anyways.

"No." His voice held a note of genuine sadness to it, even through it's inhuman, terror inducing deepness. "Kurosaki Ichigo is dead." Her eyes widened even further, and she seemed to slump back as though something inside her had just broken. "He died trying to protect you. I am what remained of his soul afterwards, I am Shiro."

Ishida felt the fear he had been experiencing intensify, and he knew that all of the color had drained from his face, just as it had from hers. He gulped, forcing his suddenly bone dry throat to work again, before asking. "Wh-what are you? Are you Shinigami? Or Hollow?"

'Shiro' seemed to pause for a moment, a look of uncertainty flickering across his face, "I... I am... me." He finally said, nodding to himself, as though that was the only possible answer.

"Then... what do you plan to do now?" Ishida asked, struggling to stand. He felt Inoue behind him, her eyes seemed to have gone blank, as though something inside her had died. This is bad... He thought, I need to get Inoue to safety. "You said that you were going to 'let me live'. So now what?"

Shiro looked around again, before blinking once again across the distance between them and Ulquiorra. He reappeared a moment later, holding the fallen Espada by the wing. "I think I'll go send a message."

With that, he blinked away once more, stopping a few hundred meters away from the two humans, and a few meters up in the air. There, he looked down at the roof of Las Noches, aiming his horn at it. Then, at the end of the horn, the angry red light of a Cero began to glow, and quickly grew into the single largest Cero blast that Ishida Uryuu had ever seen.


Kuchiki Rukia was nervous. For the past several minutes, she had been unable to sense Ichigo's reiatsu. It wasn't just that the other reiatsu above the dome of Las Noches was so oppressively heavy, even through that, she could still sense Ishida and Inoue. But about twenty minutes ago, Ichigo's reiatsu had just vanished, and she was worried.

It had gotten bad enough that she had almost died several times, as she fought against the Arrancar Rudbornn. Fortunately, Sado 'Chad' Yasutora and Abarai Renji had arrived to help her, and they had succeeded in defeating the Arrancar executioner. However, things then went from bad to worse, as the massive Espada Yammy had appeared.

The three companions faced down the enormous Arrancar, preparing for another grueling, painful battle.

"Shit." Yammy said, "There's no way I can work off all of my rage at that four-eyed bastard on a couple of useless little shits like you." He smashed his fist into the large stone wall behind him, smashing the already heavily damaged structure into rubble. "I guess I'll just kill you all and go find him."

The three friends all tensed, preparing for his attack. Suddenly a massive shaft of harsh, angry red light ripped it's way through the top of the dome above them and smashed into the sand several hundred meters away from them. The blast of wind that followed forced everyone, even Yammy, to brace themselves to prevent being knocked over.

"Now what?" Asked Chad, his eyes wide as he watched the destructive blast.

"It came from the roof!" Shouted Renji, shielding his eyes from the blowing sand.

Rukia watched the blast, a terrified expression on her face. "There's no Reiatsu..." She said, causing everyone, Yammy included once again, to look at her, and then back to the blast once again.

Yammy frowned, trying to figure out what he was seeing. "Hmm... That's definitely a Cero..." He said aloud, "But the little Shinigami bitch is right... I can't sense any reiatsu... What the fuck is going on here?"

Finally, the Cero blast dissipated, leaving a massive hole in the dome, and a similarly sized crater in the sand. The four combatants stared at the hole in the sky, all of them trying to figure out what had happened, their own battle seemingly temperarilly forgotten. A figure descended from the hole, small with the distance, but growing larger as it floated down. As it descended, Rukia noticed that whoever, or /what/ever it was, it held another, winged figure in one hand.

The being then seemed to notice the four of them watching it's progress. It turned, and threw the winged figure in it's hand at them. The body streaked across the distance like a meteorite, colliding with Yammy with enough force to knock him back and through the wall.

"What the fuck!?" The massive Arrancar coughed, grabbing the body that had hit him and standing back up. "What the... is this Ulquiorra?" He examined the smaller Espada's unfamiliar form before shaking him roughly, "Oye, oye! Ulquiorra? You alive, you little shit? You ain't gone and died on me have you?"

"Shut up." A deep, inhuman voice cut through the air. Yammy looked back up to the other figure still standing in the air a few dozen meters away from them, gazing down at them. The figure was dressed in what remained of a tattered, battle-worn outfit that left only his legs and his right arm covered. His skin was pale white, there were also what looked like tufts of red fur or hair around his wrists, ankles, and along his collarbone, and there was a hole in his chest, but what caught Yammy's attention the most, was the person's face.

"You!" He suddenly roared, dropping Ulquiorra to the side unceremoniously. "I've been wanting to kill you for ages now after you cut off my arm!" He ripped his Zanpakutō from it's sheath, "You hold still you little fucking shit! I'm gonna fucking kill you right now!"

Chad, Rukia, and Renji watched the Arrancar's display of hatred, and then once again looked back to the figure in the air. But it was gone. "What the...?" Renji started to say, before a shock-wave from an attack impact knocked the three of them away once again.

Yammy meanwhile gasped in pain and shock as the smaller figure buried a fist into his solar-plexus. The force of the punch sent him tumbling away to smash into the sand several dozen meters later. Slowly, he rose back to his feet, gasping for breath and trying not to throw up from the pain. "What... the... fuck...?" He managed to croak between retching breaths.

By this point, Renji had regained his footing, and found himself staring in wide eyed shock at a figure that bore a disturbing resemblance to Kurosaki Ichigo, but was very clearly no longer human. "I-Ichigo...?" He asked quietly.

Rukia and Chad also got back to their feet, finally locking eyes on the figure. "What the hell?" Asked Rukia. "Is that... Ichigo?"

Chad felt his throat grow dry, and a sense of bone-deep foreboding began to creep into his stomach. "We need to get out of here..." He said, struggling to not let the pure terror that he felt sound in his words. "Whatever is going on here... We're out of our league."

His Shinigami companions both exchanged shocked glances with each other before turning their gazes back to the large human. They had never once, in all the time that they had known Chad, heard him suggest a retreat from a battle. Even in the worst of situations, he had always been a silent bastion of courage and strength. As they looked at him now, they both realized how very right he was. They both felt the same primal terror that seemed to emanate from the being before them.

The being that looked like Ichigo simply ignored them however. His gaze remained locked on Yammy, his expression looking almost bored as the large Arrancar regained his breath. "You are... Yammy, yes?" His voice was deep, and utterly inhuman. It sounded almost bestial, but at the same time it was somehow smooth and refined. The terror that the Shinigami and Human felt seemed to intensify as his words echoed through the air. "Kurosaki Ichigo fought you. In the park back in the world of the living."

"Eh? You mean you ain't the Kurosaki brat?" Yammy seemed genuinely confused.

"Kurosaki Ichigo is dead." The statement was simple, but it caused everyone present to gasp slightly. "I am what remained of his soul. I am Shiro. And I am going to kill you, Yammy."

Yammy paused for a moment, seeming almost stunned by the statement. Then he started to laugh. "Gyahahahahah! That's rich, you little shit. You don't even have any reiatsu!" This statement caused the other three present to do a double-take, looking back at 'Shiro' with a mixture of shock and confusion. "Enrage! IRA!" A massive wave of reiatsu burst forth from the Arrancar as he unleashed his Resurrección, the sand surrounding him swirling up to obscure him from view. Suddenly the sand burst away, revealing a giant where the Arrancar had stood.

"What the hell?!" Renji gasped, looking up at the released form of the massive Espada. Yammy was now easily over a hundred feet tall, the lower half of his body looking like some disturbing centaur-like thing, as six enormous legs held him aloft, and a massive clubbed tail swung back and forth from the end of his body. But what caught the Shinigami's attention most, was the number tattoo identifying him as an Arrancar. It had changed somehow. Instead of the "10" that it had read, all that seemed to remain was a massive "0".

"Cero Espada. Yammy Riyalgo." The monstrous Arrancar roared with a booming voice. "I am the most powerful Espada! You stand no chance!" He swept his enormous fist down, aiming to crush the man who had identified himself as 'Shiro' with a single massive blow.

"Look out!" Rukia shouted, prompting Renji and Chad to leap away.

Shiro simply stood there, his expression unchanged. "You really are nothing more than an animal, aren't you?" He suddenly sighed, just before the fist struck. The resulting shock-wave from the attack knocked the Shinigami and Chad back even further.

Yammy let loose a bone shakingly loud roar of pain. His arm was suddenly hanging limply to his side, a massive cut right up the center of it and all the way through, that stopped just before the shoulder joint. The arm had literally been cut in half lengthwise.

"Sorry." Shiro's voice was calm, almost conversational, but everyone heard it as though he were inches from their ear. "I meant to cut your arm completely off. I guess I missed."

"You... You little shit!..." Yammy gasped, clutching at his now useless arm. "I... I am going... to fucking...-"

"Shut up." Shiro's expression darkened. "I'm tired of hearing you talk." Suddenly he just vanished, reappearing behind the Espada's head, blood suddenly coating the dark blade of his Zanpakutō.

Yammy's eyes widened in shock as arterial blood began busting forth from a massive gash that had somehow opened across his neck. His eyes seemed to bulge outwards as he struggled to speak, or even breathe. He clawed weakly at his throat, as if that could somehow fix the damage that had been done.

On the ground, not far from where Shiro had stood, Ulquiorra groaned. Shaking himself back to full consciousness, he shakily rose to his feet, trying to take stock of the situation. His eye's widened in shock as he saw Yammy.

"You are awake Ulquiorra?" Shiro apeared in the air above Yammy. "Then watch closely." He pointed his horn towards the Cero Espada, and the telltale glow of a Cero blast began to grow from the tip.

The blast engulfed Yammy in a flash of harsh red light so bright, that it forced the onlookers to shield their eyes. When their vision cleared, the sight that awaited them left all of them completely stunned. Yammy Riyalgo's entire upper body had been vaporized. The lower 'centaur' half of his body remained standing, however the front pair of legs had been sheared in half, blood pouring forth from them onto the sand. As they watched, the legs seemed to rock for a moment, before the simply collapsed. The knees on the remaining legs seemed to just give out and they slumped forward.

Shiro stood in the same spot that he had fired from, gazing down at them. His expression unreadable, but somehow even more terrifying than he had ever been. "I am Shiro." He said, his voice ringing out loud and clearly. "And as of this moment, Ulquiorra Cifer. You. Serve. Me."
Alright, so I have been working on this fic for a while now, and it's had some very excellent reception on, but as I recently found this site, and wanted to become a member of the Ficwad community, I figured I would also post it up here. It is incomplete at this time, and I promise that I AM still working on it. However that progress is extremely slow for me, so it can sometimes go months without an update. That being said, I hope that you all enjoy the tale of the Hollow King.
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