[K]Week 66: Another Brick in the Wall

xero_ghost

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Chapter 84: Another Brick in the Wall
Word Count: 1061

They'd arrived in Huerco Mundo through the senkeimon without a hitch, the kakuremino working for the most part without any blips or flops or any other terms that could be used to signify a failure in the design. For those in the underground divisions, the day would undoubtedly be a busy one, as they had to double time it to the tunnels ahead of everyone else.

For the rest... they had tent duty along with one of the hardest tasks involved in any theatre of war. Waiting. They were to wait for the signals in order to launch their attack, they were to be prepared for whenever it was that the others accomplished their goals.

The silence and the wind both cut like knives, forcing everyone to take up brand new hobbies. Many people had taken to sharpening their zanpaku, despite the fact that the swords would always be as sharp as the users intentions. Others took to conversation. Aki had chosen to try and get some rest, it would be a while before they could get some shut-eye later.

Leaning back against a tree in a sitting position, he was awoken from his slumber by a blonde woman with piercing green eyes, her finger was to her lip, telling Aki t remain silent. "C'mon, we're heading up to the mountains to set up the perimeter. Do you have your gear?"

A light pat to the pouch beside him and Aki was on his feet. "A few of those nasty *** concoctions for replenishing kidouryouku. I didn't want to be bogged down by too many things so I packed light." He adjusted the glasses that had slid down his nose during his rest, beginning to feel the effects of the sleep wearing off.

She gave him a speculative eye before responding, "Good thinking... better to be quick and mobile when following the demon's path isn't it?" , turning away after with a quiet laugh. She spoke quietly to herself in a voice that Aki could just barely hear. "... so people do think ahead in this army..." She was fidgeting with something on her shoulder, letting Aki start to catch up to her before she disappeared into a run.

The woman was fast, and strong too by the feel of it, if she'd gone into a burst of shunpo there would have been no chance of him ever catching up to the woman. He wasn't afraid of a little fatigue at this point, they still had another day of recovery before they began their part of the operation. Just one more day till they began their barrage on the hollows.


~_~_~​

They'd survived. The war in the Valley of Ultimo Crepsculo, the counter-strike in Seireitei. The fighting had been fierce and trying, wearing away at the nerves of some of the most hardened warriors that Aki had ever set eyes upon. The battle for survival had taken its toll on every combatant, leaving Seireitei in the subdued state it currently found itself in.

Most people had gone to see family and loved ones, many were still in disbelief that the war might actually be over. Others worried for the officers who'd gone into the Emptybones Fortress, Aki counted himself among them. Their success would ultimately become the success of Soul Society, their downfall... their downfall would be the doom of every soul in existence.

~_~_~​

The first hollows broke upon them like a wave broke upon the shore, being torn apart by the kidou bombardment as the blindly charged to escape the slaughter that was happening inside the valley. But for every hollow that was taken down by a kidou, two more would fill in to take its place. Just like a wave upon the shore, they wouldn't stop their rush, despite how they were torn asunder.

He'd chosen to stick to low level hadou and bakudou for his part of the bombardment, only using the midlevel spells whenever one of the hollows got within easy range for a hit. It preserved his strength, and weakened the hollows for other, stronger kidou users to finish off.

Ducking underneath a heavy strike from a three horned hollow, Aki leapt upwards to take the hollow's mask with an uppercut. "... Hadou #27, Breaking Palm!" The kidou in his fist exploded outwards, destroying the mask as if had never existed in the first place. There wasn't even enough time to enjoy the purification, for he found himself still facing a charge of hollows desperate to escape the canyon.

~_~_~​

Rising from his bed, Aki quickly changed into his uniform. He didn't put on the kidoushuu suit, he preserved the thing only to use whenever they entered a battle. It wasn't all that practical to be worn in everyday life... the leather chafed. The sun was already overhead, giving him an idea of how long he had slept, ...this late in the day meant that I've slept too long. He didn't bother with his hair as he disappeared out the door.

He ran his fingers along the wall of the Kidoushuu Tower, marvelling at how the craftsmanship from the past age was still left standing despite everything that had been done. The work in the walls alone must have been extensive, for they were still reinforced enough to withstand the strongest of kidou and almost all energy blasts. There had been a rumour floating around that one of the captains had gone so far as to test that little fact out himself in this very tower.

The fact that it was still standing either attested to its ability to ward off energy blasts, or simply reinforced that the rumour was in fact... just a rumour. Either way, Aki tried not to put too much thought into the fact/rumour, it wasn't his thing to get into the private lives and details surrounding the captains and higher level shinigami.

He made his way to the stairs, ascending the ridiculously long pathway until he reached the roof of the tower. You could see almost all of Seireitei from the viewpoint. From the rebuilding efforts (... again...), to the shinigami that were trying to get their divisions back into working order. The sight washed away the melancholy from Aki's system, reminding him that things were only darkest before the dawn.
 

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