Welcome to the world of Hueco Mundo. An eternal wasteland where the night never ends. Here, in the darkest depths, a human soul has been taken captive by orders of Aizen. Held prisoner and watched day and night by Espada Ulquiorra Cifer one wonders when will she be rescued? Or perhaps, shes not the one in need of saving?
[i In the beginning I was nothing. A lonely existence populating an endless sea of emptiness through the land known as Hueco mundo. But than, within the void of time and space you came along. Giving my life purpose and meaning. I suddenly had a a purpose. Tangible evidence was given to me by simply carrying out your will. All I needed to ask whenever I wondered about my existed was simply, what is your will?]
Deep within the sandy ruins of Hueco Mundo stands a vast fortress known as Los Noches. Arriving on time, the male took a seat amongst his fellow companions as they waited for the man who gave them all purpose to descend upon them and give then their orders to carry out. War was approaching between them and the soul reapers which resided in the soul society. And as such, there were key components that needed to be address before the attack could be launch. One of that was a woman, specifically a healer which had piqued the interest of Aizen. Standing before them, he nodded before he took a seat down at the table and slowly leaned back.
"My dear Espadas, let us commence this meeting. First things first, our goal is to kidnapped Orihime but make it look as if she'd come willing of her own free will. Therefore, you, Espada seis, will lead an attack on everyone she loves. As for you, espace cuatro, you will meet with her and informer of that if she doesnt come willingly than all she loves will be hurt.. however, you will allow her the option to say goodbye to one person. However way she wishes."
It was a simple plan. A kidnapping that meant little to the male whose existence revolved around tangible. On the night of the attack, he appeared before her holding a rose in his hand and a blank stare upon his face. "Orihime.." His voice came out a little cold and distance as he step towards her in the midst of the attack. "Right now as we speak, your friends are being attacked. Unless you willingly come with us.. theres no telling what will happen. I can call off the attack, but only if you agree to our terms. First, you must wear this rose in your hair. Itll make you invisible to the world got the next twelve hours. Second, you may choose to heal the injuries of only one person who was injured in our attack and third, you must meet one here afterwards so that I may escort you safely back to our castle."
He spoke those words softly as if to not cause any alarm or harm. He had no doubt that this plan would work. It seemed logical enough.
Everything went so quickly downhill at once. For an instant she had been enjoying a quiet moment of peace with her father and family and the next everything had gone to Hell. Orihime was a simple girl, for the most part. Amidst the chaos she heard the voice and saw the strange looking man with a rose in his palm, a splash of beauty in an ugly scene. Hot tears threatened to overspill sparkling eyes and she tried to adjust to what she was being told. What exactly did he want with her?
Her mind went to her father, he wouldn’t recover from something like this, not naturally and Orihime stared at the man, eyes full of resentment but a yielding within her. “My father.” She said, voice full of stubbornness, edged with a little worry as she shuddered at the thought of her father being harmed. This was as confusing as it was terrifying. She reached out and took the rose, not careful of the thorns as it pricked her fingers but she didn’t care. She glared at the man and narrowed her eyes, “Fine.” She muttered as she clasped the rose. She was leaving, and she didn’t know where to and she didn’t know for how long. But she wouldn’t risk her friends lives.
Tears followed trembling words as she tried to explain to her father what was happening. A press to not attempt to find her, a reassurance that his injuries were taken care of and finally she stepped away. She wouldn’t ever forget the look of complete confusion in her fathers eyes. She swallowed thickly as she twisted the rose into her red hair, making sure it was secure as she went back to the spot the man had met her with, now shielded from the world. Orihime was a stubborn girl, who didn’t enjoy taking orders but what choice was she left with? Her father was safe, her friends were safe that was all that mattered. Orihime had been told her gift would bring her unwanted attention and she knew this day would come but she didn’t expect it like this, not at the cost of injuring others.
“What do you want with me?” Orihime asked into the silence, “You did not need to attack those people.” The soft voices stranger had acted so gentle and yet had incited such violence.
He'd waited patiently for her return. Standing within the midst portal which lead between the two different worlds. All thr while contemplating on how to tell her thoroughly the truth which most mortals had been blind to despite it circling all around them. She was a meek child. Something so fragile and yet so strong and defiant and inner strength seem to glow from within. Or perhaps he was giving her to much credit? The moment when they were reunited he stood as he heard her words permeate the silence between them. Turning towards her, he cocked his head to the side before he reached for the zipper which hung from below his chin. Unzipping it downwards, he reveal a black hole that formed at the base of his neck. It was completely see through and surely, if he'd been a normal human he'd not been able to survive such a wound. Yet he wasn't. He was simply something so much more.
"If we did not stoop to such drastic measures than kidnapping you would've prove to be more difficult. My lord, Aizen, wishes to make use of your special abilities in the oncoming war. Are you familiar with soul reapers?" He asked as he stood before her.
"To put it simply, they're in charge of carrying the dead to the next world. Whenever a soul is left behind due to resentment, it sometimes changes into a monster. And they are known as hollows. It's the soul reapers job to return the soul back to normal by slaying the monster is becomes... but sometimes, the monster is able to regain some of its humanity. And it turns into what I am.. an Arrancar." Lifting a finger in the air, he poked it and suddenly a thin black line appear in the sky before opening up as if it were some door way. Beyond it, lay a land of sand with a silver moon that seemed to shine unbelievably bright.
"I've been ask to take you to our home. Where the souls that cannot find peace go. A place between heaven and Hell. As you humans who believe in the religious fairy tales would put it."
Orihime watched the Male, looking more and more confused and there was a tinge of fear nipping at the edges as he spoke. But there was also anger, anger that he had thought attacking those she loved was the only way to go about this entire ordeal. This was a nightmare, it was a bad dream and none of this was real and yet here she stood. The doorway opened up to something else, something beyond her very comprehension and she swallowed thickly.
“You could have asked.” She said quietly, although there was no conviction behind her words. What was she going to do? She couldn’t lash out at him, he knew her family and friends and he would hurt them. Orihime raised an eyebrow at him, still not quite believing this. “Lost souls?” She didn’t imagine such a thing existed and yet here he was. Orihime was in no mood to listen to this man but she was utterly shocked at the powers he had.
“Who are you?” She asked him, not daring to step through the doorway, not brave enough to take that step but apparently brave enough to question someone fully capable of harm and inflicting it upon those she loved and cared for. A small part of her didn’t want to do what he commanded, she was not a servant to him and yet here she was, kidnapped for her compassion.
"It was not my plan to question. Nor is it my place to ask why such things occurred the way it did. I merely follow the plans of Aizen. And as for who am I." He found amusement in that question. He never pondered the point of his existence nor why he'd spent what felt like an eternity in solitude. Instead he was only grateful that that man had come and rescued him from the barren waste lands of Los Noches. shifting from one foot to another he decided it best to answer her question.
"Ulquiorra Cifer, I'm the fourth Espada that serves under our Lord Aizen " he explained holding out a hand towards her he waited for her to follow him into the realm which laid behind him. He was patient. Even if it took an hour or the rest of the night or a day, he waited for her to join him and venture onto the other side. Despite the fact that there were those who weren't as patient as he was.
"Tell me human girl, am I suppose to have sympathy for you? I have a hard time understand the attachment to others that you humans feel. It I were you, I'd be anger not at me or my comrades that carried out the attack. But at the weakness of those unable to protect you form being snatched away."
Bright, confused eyes watched the man before her. She was utterly confused still and even when he answered her question of who he was, it only served for more questions. But she didn’t have time to linger on that, eyeing him at his point over why no one had protected her. Evidently he didn’t understand emotions if that’s how he viewed everything. Did he really not feel any trace of guilt or sympathy? Orihime guessed it made no difference for her or the situation she found herself in as she watched him.
“I’d rather they were alive, that’s what you do for people you care about.” Orihime said, her tone sharp and pointed at him because evidently he didn’t understand. She stepped through the doorway, shielding her eyes from the change of light as she blinked around. This wasn’t right. She shivered slightly and looked to her supposed new guardian. He was the only one who knew anything about this place and what exactly was going on. He was the stealer of her life, no remorse and no pity for her.
“What makes you so sure I’ll help any of you? You or your Lord?” She muttered, but then of course they knew her family and friends, they would hurt them again and she huffed at that, feeling effectively out of options. “Are you always this cold and calculating when you’re ruining other people’s lives?” She asked him, probably unwisely. She couldn’t help it though, if she gave in being angry then it would only make way for fear and grief at the life she now left behind, the life he had stolen her from.
As she explained her reasoning he nodded his head in understatement. Into the portal they went and soon they found themselves in the world of the hollows. It was nothing more than a desolate wasteland stretched as far as the eye could see. However beyond in the distance was a rather enormous building that seemingly towered over everything. It was Dome shape at the top and seemed to be a spherical structure. This, this was the castle which his Lord and his comrades lived in. The place known simple as Los noches [i the night.] Ironic since within the building the skys where always a bright blue reflecting that of a bright summer days. Leading her towards the entrance he marinated carefully on the questions she asked him.
The first question he deem was meaningless to answer. For if he hadn't believed her to he useful than he wouldnt have wasted his time escorting her this far without harm g her. She had eyes which were able to observe how confident they'd thought themselves to be in eventually getting her to help them. The last question though. As he continued to lead her to through the gates of the castle and into the throne room he spoke.
"Ruining? You speak as if we plan on keeping you forever. As soon as you purpose is done you'll be reunited with those you've hold dear.. As for the first half, I simply execute orders as concisely as I can." As he spoke those words the two soon found themselves in a room of others dressed exactly like him. Furthermore, sitting on a throne above them all, was the leader which they'd followed.
[b "Well done, Ulquiorra. You've brought our Princess. Welcome Orihime to Los Noches, a fortresses I've built in order to prepare for our oncoming war."] As he sat in his seat, he looked at the girl through inquisting eyes. He was very curious about the rumors surrounding her powers, and so he couldnt help but ask her in a soft tone. [b "You friends fought hard during our battle. It seems as if one of my soldiers took damage. If you'd be so kind, I'd like for you to demonstrate for us your special abilities. I heard rumors that you possess healing powers... powers that even surpasses that of the Gods?"]
His voice came out softly as he motion for a blue haired male to step forth. His left arm had a scar on it that looked fleshed as he step forth he looked at the beauty and cocked his eyes. "Oi, so ya some kinda healer? I bet this is gonna be something to see."
Orihime watched Ulquiorra but she didn’t respond as she stepped into the building. This place didn’t feel right, she wasn’t sure how she felt about it at all and she eyed the man on the throne. Two raised eyebrows was the response he got at his statement, she was no princess. But it was a relief to know she could go back to her life after all of this. She looked to the man who had accompanied her, then the lord. She felt like a trickster, a jester beneath him and she hated it.
She looked to the soldier who stepped forwards and then to the Lord on his throne. Why would she heal one of his? He had attacked her family, her loved ones and this was horrific. She was not some show pony that would trot around for them to gawk at. “I’m helping him because I’m better than you.” She stated, bluntly and eyed the soldier and his injury. She didn’t want to do this, no part of her wanting to help these people but she didn’t have a choice. She had lost so much, and it didn’t feel like she was just here temporarily.
She placed her fingertips over the injury, watching as everything seemed to blue around her, rewinding time, but Orihime stayed focused, eyes not leaving the injury as it sealed and no evidence was left of the injury. She released him and stepped back, glaring to the others. She was left a touch breathless by the expenditure of her power, exhausted but she wasn’t about to let it show. “You attack my loved ones and kidnap me but you want my help? Have you any manners?” She asked them, red hair falling around her face. This was horrific, this was a nightmare and she hated every second of it.
Orihime felt out of place, struggling to be bold but she didn’t want to take this lying down and being an easy and submissive girl. She looked to Ulquiorra, was everyone here as unfeeling as him? There was something about him though, probably curiosity. She tore her eyes away and back to the Lord.
All eyes where on the girl as she stated her reason for helping them.. Before her, stood the male as watch was his wounds seemed to regress back in time. Widening his eyes, he grinned a little bit before he slowly spoke. "OI.. OI! Oi! Espada seis is back to fight again bitches!" As he roared with laughter, he threw his head back almost ignoring the response that the girl gave after she got done healing him. Shaking his head in disgust, the male which brought her here looked back to the male sitting upon the throne as he smiled warmly at the prisoner who'd spoke her mind. So the girl did have a back bone. A spine and a will to that wasn't easily going to be broken. Shifting in his seat, the male slowly looked down upon the girl before he stood up and easily started to walked towards her.
"If I recalled, we gave you the chance to heal one of those we've attacked. And as for your help, well.. your simple a pawn in a bigger game beyond the scope of your imagination. I only wished to study these powers... Simply because I have a goal. And to reach it I'll do anything to grab hold of it." He spoke those words softly before shrugging his shoulders.
Turning towards the male who brought him here, he grinned before clasping his hands together. "Ulquiorra, show her to her room. Its quite spacious. Also, give her a new change of clothes. Ones that match our uniforms..." Nodding his head the male moved to follow orders before he stopped and looked at the girl. [i "Lord Aizen, is there anything else you want of me?"] He asked turning his head to the Male. To that, the Lord smiled a little before looking at the girl.
"Make sure that her needs are met and study her.." It was a simple request and one that would be fulfilled without question. The war wasn't set to happen till the winter and they still had months to prepare and study the powers which laid dormant in the girl. Who knows perhaps they was even a way to make it stronger? Turning towards the girl he gave her that same look. Cold. Calculating. "Once you've gotten settle you'll be able to move around the third floor as much as you please though it is rather huge." He explained.
Orihime watched the Male she had healed and took a step back as the Lord approached her, watching him. She didn’t trust these people, she didn’t want to trust them in the slightest but they seemed to know more about her than she knew about herself. It was awkward and uncomfortable and she looked slightly offended when he mentioned studying her. She followed Ulquiorra, not exactly in the mood to explore any floor and she wondered why everyone was so fascinated. She could heal people, did they not have that here? She was not a soldier, she was not a warrior and Orihime was sure she wouldn’t ever be such a thing. These people, creatures, whatever they were, they were hardened, stony and ready for battle it seemed.
She watched Ulquiorra and followed him, mulling over everything for a while and it was a very strange feeling to be completely alone in this world. “Why don’t you have emotions?” Orihime asked him, suddenly. The quiet was not pleasant for her, she preferred conversation even if it was with a kidnapper. Perhaps she could irritate them enough that they would just send her home. Did he not feel anything? Or had he made a choice to be distant and cold?
She stepped into the room she had been given and stared in silence for a long time. She had never been in such a large room and she looked almost confused. This couldn’t be for her? She had a humble beginning back with her home, something that had taught her how to live small. She looked to Ulquiorra and seemed entirely baffled by the room. She didn’t say anything, although it was written in bold letter across her face what she thought of the accommodation. It was too much for just her.
She stepped to a window and peered our at the landscape. It was quiet, and it made her on edge somehow. She didn’t want to stay here. Couldn’t she stay at her own home and come by every day? “I’m not a soldier, I’m no use to you in a war. Can’t you let me go home? Tell them I escaped or outsmarted you?” She murmured as she turned over her shoulder to watch him. It sounded childish, but she was scared of these people, scared of Ulquiorra.
On the way to her new room she asked a question which struck him as odd.. Emotions? Why would he had use for such things which made one irrational? Hands in pocket he debated on whether or not to answer that question before he simple started to speak slowly. [i "According to Espada siete it has everything to do with how we died before we became hollows. The one you heal, Grimjoww, has an extremely destructive personality. Its suggested that the reason why he loves go fight and destroy things is because he died a violent death. And thus, he never being able to take vengeance against those who harm him he now seeks to destroy everything as to make himself not seen as weak ever again. I believe that this theory is nonsense. I simply don't have emotions since I've seen them interfere with logical rational decisions."]
Ending they're conversations he watch the way she explored the room which she was being held in. Indeed, it had everything that a human would need to be comfortable and as she turned around he'd saw the confusion on her face. Cocking his head to the side he didnt understand why the confusion. Did she believe that they'd keep her in a cage as if she were some wild animal? Or perhaps, she thought by studying her that meant they would prod her with needles and such. Walking past her, he open a door which reveal to be a closet. Reaching inside, he grabbed a white uniform that looked alot like his and tossed it down to the floor at her.
"I have no say in the matter of whether you leave or go. And that outfit is design to monitor your heart rate, and location. Even if I turned my back the others would be able to find you.. and because we are warriors escape would be impossible. Allow me to show you why." For a moment he was there, than in another moment he'd see seemingly vanish only to appear behind her and place a hand upon her shoulder.
"Its called sonido. It allows us to move as fast as the speed of sound.. each Esapada is able to use it different. As for me, I prefer not to use it unless necessary. Please, dont make me do unnecessary things." He spoke to her softly. Stepping away he walked towards the door and spoke. "I'll give you your privacy to change. And a moment to adjust to your new surroundings. I'm going to bring you back dinner."
Orihime watched him. They were dead, right. She swallowed that fact with some discomfort, but really what did she expect? She didn’t believe he had simply turned off emotions though, no one could do that. She eyed the outfit at her feet and she sighed softly. There was no escape, she could run from this and when he vanished only to reappear behind her, she stumbled a little. Despite everything, he seemed quieter and softer spoken than the others she had met thus far and she wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Her eyes followed his movements, it seemed like by the minute he got more intimidating.
She didn’t utter a word as he left her, sitting on the bed to breathe for a few moments. This wasn’t right, she should have been home laughing with friends, cooking something for dinner. She eyed the outfit and she supposed she should at least obey one command without question. She shivered a little as she washed her face and changed into the outfit, smoothing it down. White was too clean a colour, too pure and innocent for her predicament but she figured it was best not to argue as she adjusted a sleeve and tied back her hair, some loose strands falling into her face. This wasn’t her home, and she didn’t expect anyone here to understand given her guardian or mentor was an emotionless robot.
She returned to the spot by the window, watching the foreign landscape and feeling utterly dejected. She felt alone, lost at sea and she wasn’t sure what these people planned to do with her. Her escort was at least calm, but it didn’t take the frost from him. He didn’t seem human, or approachable and Orihime wiped at the stubborn tears that had landed on her cheeks. She didn’t want to be part of a war, she didn’t want any of this and she hadn’t asked to be ripped away from everything. In the solitude she could at least express her emotions without being ridiculed or mocked for being ‘human’. She sighed out shakily, catching herself before she dissolved into a complete mess. This wasn’t right.
[i "Well, well, well, she's quite the cutie. Have you tried seeing how obedient she is yet?"] Ignoring the crude remark from his fellow comrade, the male simply took a seat at the table as all of them gathered to discuss the upcoming plans that would lead them to victory. As they gather around the meeting table their Lord was accompanied by two of his fellow leaders who had staged a rather huge fiasco back at the soul society. Sitting down at the table he grinned at those before he leaned forward and pointed towards the top three ranked members which gather at the table. Everyone knew without question what that meant. While the rest would stay here and prepare for the inevitable, those three would go with him to the land of the living and fight in the war that was quickly approaching.
From then on, it was quite the normal conversation with those who were obnoxious being so and those who were calm being so. Later on standing on, the male whid captured the female nodded towards the others has he headed out towards the land of the living. He wasnt entirely sure what was required to fully sustain a human but that didnt matter at all. In his absence orihime had a visitor.
Knocking on the door, the blue haired male whom she'd heal was grinning ear from ear as he flexed his arm which was pain free. [b "I wanted to personally thank you for what you did. Ha, ha, Our lord Aizen thinks that your friends are gonna secretly mount a rescue attempt to come and save ya. And I hope as shit he's right. One of your friends, he's half human half soul reaper. And he gave me one hell of a fight the second time around. He keeps on getting stronger and stronger. And I'm sure with you being here he'll only be mad as hell making his strength explore through the tufkin roof. I love strong guys. It's more fun when I crushed them!"] With that he let out w violent laugh. Shifting from one feet to another, he walked towards her and slowly dropped his voice.
[b "Why you look so down for? Uh? I said ya friends are probably gonna save ya in the next month or so. Time here moves differently than it does in your world. One hour here is like a second there. A month here is like a week there. If I were you I'd take advantage and try to get stronger. After all! The strong survive while the weak perish."] Crushing his fist into his palm he grinned before leaving the room.
Orihime glanced up when someone returned and she thought for a moment it would be her mentor and captor. The shock of blue hair was a surprise and she watched him, a little perplexed. He seemed to have emotions, despite being so loud and outgoing. “I miss them.” She said quietly but he was already leaving and Orihime guessed it was as least good that she wouldn’t be absent for all that long in her own world. What if she couldn’t return? What if something happened. One of her friends was half soul reaper? She gave a small smile at that. She had good and loyal friends but she didn’t want them to come here. She had come willingly, for the most part. She didn’t want them to foolishly give up their own safety.
“You’re welcome.” She murmured and shrugged a little. He seemed kind enough. She watched him leave and got up, mopping up her face, cleaning up because the last thing that she needed was her stone faced captor coming back and making some snide remark at her misery. She figured that the man had been right about it one thing; she needed to get stronger. The quicker this was over with, the quicker she could leave it all behind.
Orihime wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed, and hide away from everything. She felt stupid here, like a performing monkey. She sighed as she pulled a thick blanket around her shoulders to keep out the chill that was setting in. She huddled on amongst some fluffy pillows and gave a small yawn. She wasn’t even hungry, she just wanted to rest and forget this whole thing and maybe wake up in her own home.
He'd returned to find her asleep and resting in the bed made for her. Setting down the food he brought for her close to her bed he left the room. There was nothing to do now but await for her to wake up and continue the daily routine of watching her regardless of whether she wanted to or not. Stepping out into the vastness of the castle he began to walk around. There was an eerie silence that he found was rather comforting and as he made his way to his own room he studied it. It was a purple room that only had a chair in it. It was quite comfortable or so he thought so. It ass a minimalistic as could be. Sitting down on the chair he folded one leg over the other and closed his eyes resting for just a moment.
He'd no idea how long he slept for. The sun never rose on the land of the hollows. It was eternally night. Except in some places of the castle the ceilings were made to mimic the bright blue skies of the soul society and the human world. Time seem to almost be nonexistence in the world of Los noches and the Hueco mundo. Heading towards the prisoners room he stood at her door waiting for her to awaken from her sleep.
On the way there he ended up bumping into the first Espada. Cocking his head he looked at the male as he yawn before closing his eyes and stretching. "Training... training. I rather be sleep than preparing for this invasion. I cant imagine how boring it is watching a human girl." As he spoke those words Ulquiorra simply shrugged his shoulders. It was neither boring or exciting to the male. It was just part of his mission to serve Aizen.
Food had materialised at some point and Orihime had awkwardly picked through some of it as she tried to wake herself up. She had no idea what today would have in store and she washed and tried to make herself look respectable but it was difficult with her mood being low. She stepped outside and was immediately met with Ulquiorra. She eyed him over with tired eyes but didn’t have a snide remark or sassy word for him. She looked to the corridors as they walked and she cocked her head at the other males words.
“What’s wrong with humans?” She asked, narrowing her eyes because she hadn’t asked to be here. We’re they forgetting that they needed her for some reason or were they going to pretend she was just a nuisance and of no matter to them? She shook her head and glanced to Ulquiorra. This was incredibly scary for her and she was doing her best to cope with everything but the endless tradings about being a human were starting to work on her nerves.
“Will I have to fight?” She asked him, her tone a touch softer because it was painfully obvious she was not a fighter and she wasn’t even sure if she could pretend or learn such a thing. Then again, she didn’t know why she was asking the robot with no emotion, he wouldn’t understand and it was starting to tick her off a little. She wasn’t weak and she wasn’t some feeble being who wanted to be looked down on. They needed her. She hadn’t come here for a vacation!
Walking beside her, the male couldn't help but take in her question before remaining stoic. There was a room where she'd be able to pratice her healing abilities, or rather they'd be able to study it and see how it truly worked. As they walked through the door, he wondered if she'd be shock to see clear blue skies above hand and terrain that resemble the outside. It was a welcome break from the monotony which came with the dreary outside which was home. Shifting from one side to another he turned towards her and spoke softly. "No. A healer is infinity valuable. You life shouldn't be needlessly risk. You'll stay here till the battle is over to treat the wounded and then we'll release you. After all, our battle isnt against the living but the soul reapers who are opposite of us."
Stepping away from her, he shifted from side to side and looked at her softly. Hands in pocket he slowly shifted from side to side before he spoke again. "This is our training room. Here is where we'll be seeing how useful your powers truly are. Our leader thinks that along with healing, you can use your powers in other ways. Like maybe creating a shield to heal people? This area is special since its filled with spiritual power that can help increase the powers of normal humans.."
As he explained he turned his head towards the side. He wondered if he should demonstrate even more of his powers or if he should keep it to himself. After all, the longer she spent here the more and more he'd get a chance to see her grow.
Orihime was surprised to see clear bright blue skies and she didn’t realise that she had missed that. She looked up and enjoyed the light for a while as she listened to Ulquiorra speak. She looked to him, a little bewildered that all she would be doing was healing people but it was a relief to know she wouldn’t be at the front line against beings she didn’t even know.
“A shield?” She had never tried, there had never truly been a need and she furrowed her brow a little, still enjoying the blue brightness that seemed to put her at some amount of ease. She liked colour, the drawl greyness of this land was dull and not like home but this was different. She looked to Ulquiorra, studying his features and wondered what he would be doing in this great battle.
“What do you do?” She asked him quietly, not wanting to be disrespectful by any means but she had seen a slither of his powers before. But would he face combat and open war? She didn’t know why she was so bothered if he did or didn’t. “Will you fight?” She asked him. He had been kind in his own way to her, not that she was particularly fond of him or anything, she didn’t want to see death and injury. “You understand using my powers takes a lot out of me, right?” She had barely used her powers and so healing a lot of people or using it more frequently was bound to exhaust her, at least until she got used to it, and got more powerful and strong.
As she kept on speaking and speaking the male looked at her studying her features.. of course he would fight. Though, not on the front lines. After all, it was his duty to protect her as best he could. So as she sent on spouting of statements and questions he slowly started to answer everything that she had asked. "I simply observe. I watch things play out and than act accordingly to said outcome." Walking towards her he slowly started to study her closely. He remember he seeing a little weaken after using her powers. Perhaps? There was a way to help her use her powers to its fullest potential and put less of a strain on her body. It was worth a try though he'd wouldnt know without studying her more and more.
"Since I've been assign to watch you onto the war is over I'll only fight if Los Noches is invaded. Though, I doubt that such a thing would occur." During the last meeting their Lord had predicted such an invasion would occur. Hence why he'd ordered some of his Espada to remain to guard the castle. Yet Ulquiorra himself doubt that such folly would occur. To launch a rescue mission against him and the others would truly be suicide.
Stepping backwards he looked at her once more with those dissecting eyes before murmuring. "Yes.. so it would seen. Perhaps there is a way to maximize your power and decrease the stress it puts on you. For example, we Espada are able to shoot spiritual power through something known as Cero. We focus all out energy at one point and fire. Using maximum power with minimum effort. If there was a way for yp8 to heal quickly without straining... but in order to do so I'd need to ask how do you go about healing?" He asked. "I've seen in in action but I dont exactly know how it works."
Orihime watched him, he seemed a little more bearable now somehow. He clearly felt passionately about this place so the best option was to stay on his good side, at least for now. She shifted a little as he came closer, lacking a good sense of trust in him because he was her captor, not her friend. She raised an eyebrow at him. They had kidnapped her and didn’t even know how her powers worked? Seemed foolish.
“And if it’s invaded, then you’ll fight.” She murmured and was slightly offended that everyone seemed to think she would need a babysitter but she didn’t press the subject. She watched him, his bright eyes were off putting somehow, too sharp and too much like the skies above. She shrugged a little and scuffed her feet. It would sound foolish to him and no doubt coming from a human it would end up sounding ridiculous.
“I reverse the time.” She said to him, “If I cut your palm right now, then I heal it by rewinding the time and then it doesn’t happen. It’s... complicated.” She explained and she wasn’t sure how that would ever be trained into her because every time she did it, it took a chunk of energy from her but maybe he knew better than her. She watched him, “Doesn’t work on me, I’m not good at crossing my own timeline and healing myself. It’s dangerous.” She commented with a very small, half amused smile. She hadn’t smiled since getting here but the blue skies were helping.
Orihime moves some loose strands of hair from her face and smoothed her outfit down, awkwardly. She turned her gaze back to the blue skies and let her feet wander the room, listening to the man and his response.
It seemed as if the change in atmosphere was effecting her mode in a rather positive light. It was something he noted. Taking in her explanation of her powers, he nodded his head slowly before he stopped and spoke softly to her. "Interesting.. So, you have the power to reverse time... Tell me, have you ever tried using that to. Effect inanimate objects?" Closing his eyes he was trying to figure out exactly how well her powers could best he used. If it only served the purpose of reversing time than it sounded like a rather limited power. Yet, at the same time it held endless possibilities. Shifting from one foot to another, he closed his eyes trying best to explain how well he could paint the picture of her using a shield to protect herself and those around her.
Lifting up a finger, he slowly pointed it away from her and concentrated his energy. Slowly, a black ball with a green outline to it was forming at his fingertips. As he did so, he slowly started to speak. "Our spiritual energy manifest from within. Sometimes we're able to control and cause it to take whatever shape we please before releasing it." As he spoke, the ball suddenly turned into an energy wave of shorts and blasted an an object in the distance. It caused a small cloud of dust to form in the air before settling down.
"If there was a way for you to take your healings powers... and someone channel it to wrap around you... or someone. It could shield them from attacks by reversing the time around then to where the attack never hit causing it to disappear. Or perhaps it could speed up time causing the attack to turn to dust.. it's all just theories.. ideas to play with..." he murmured softly.
Orihime watched him, carefully taking in his words and she only shook his head at his question. She had never felt the need to use her powers for anything other than healing. She figured it was because she had naturally trained herself to only respond to injuries and wounds, she had never been in a panicked situation to explore other possibilities.
Her eyes turned the ball of energy he created and she watched as he turned something in the distance to dust and she flinched slightly. War was not something she was accustomed and she only dreaded to think what would happen to people in his way. She looked back to him after the dust had settled.
“I don’t know.” She said simply because she realistically didn’t know if his ideas would work. “I’ve never tried.” She explained and shrugged a little, “Why would I? Never been in a war.” She added as she shifted a little uncomfortably. She really didn’t like any of this. “What happens if I die?” She asked him, she didn’t know him, she didn’t trust him to keep her safe at all. Would she be stuck here for eternity in this grey place with stoic people who didn’t seem to care for anything other than themselves and their lord.
As she spoke those words he turned towards her cocking his head to the side. It seemed as if she truly missed the stupidity of her own words. Placing both of his hands in his pocket he looked her up and down before he venture to speak again this time louder than before. [b "What if your power isnt just the ability to reverse time? What if it's the ability to complete reject reality? Alter what's occurred in real life and shape it how you want it to be. If that's the case, than you'd be able to project the image of a shield protecting you and it should just naturally materialize. That was Aizens theory the first time he saw you heal someone."]
As he shrugged his shoulders he doubt that it was such a complex idea. His Lord had never been wrong and as he saw that they would probably get no where from this training session he began to straighten himself up and slowly speak to her in that soft voice which he assumed she found so comforting for reasons unfathomable for him [b "I give you my word you will not die. Do you fear death? Nothing in this world is mortal, not even the soul itself is immortal. Everything is destined to fade into oblivion eventually."] He spoke as if that thought of eternal nothingness should comfort her.
[b "Tell me more about your powers. How old where you when you first discovered them? And of course, in return I'll answer any questions you have about me and this world your slowly being expose to more and more."]
Orihime watched the man before her, he spoke as if it was some simple thing and yet it baffled her. “Reject reality?” He hummed over the idea a little before supposing it wouldn’t be the strangest thing to happen. At least, not this week. She eyed him at his answer about nothing being mortal and rolled her eyes, “Not everyone sees things the way you do.” She muttered quietly, looking back to the blue skies.
“I was... a child? I think. My friend cut his knee when we were out playing, it wasn’t big or anything but it just sort of... happened.” She answered him and shrugged at that. She knew it was strange but she didn’t necessarily think about it, it just happened. She had only been a child and her friend had been sworn to secrecy. “I thought it was a fluke, a one time thing but more people had cuts and scrapes around me, broken bones now and then. I used to practice on birds I found that had fallen out of the nest. I knew people wouldn’t ever believe me, but i still wanted to help. Car wrecks, hospital waiting rooms. I’d help who I could and never let them know who I was.” She explained to him. It probably still sounded odd to him but there was little she could do about it.
“The human world doesn’t like strange things.” She said to him. She thought about her next question for him, “Did you die? Like the soldier I healed?” She asked him, remembering him speaking about how people died affecting their personality.
Everything that she said made sense to him. From his own personal perspective, it as if she wanted to be as useful to others as she could. The reasoning behind it didnt matter to him. The evidence that she was able to heal as well as she did proved that all she'd done had neennfor something. Now, it was her turn to ask him questions and in return he would answer her. Though, he found her little remark about not everyone seeing things the way he did amusing. Why? Why was it so hard to wrap ones mind around the simple fact that everything which had a beginning also had an end. It mad plausible sense. Regardless, he slowly spoke to her.
"Its hazy. But yes.. I believe that I did died. I don't remember anything.. only waking up in a strange land and being utterly alone. I wondered and wondered the sands.. back than, I couldnt control my powers so everything around me seemingly turned to nothing.. but when I met Aizen, one who was infinitely stronger than me, he taught me how to control my powers. How to be normal.. Since than, I've thrown away everything that would make me useless to him and his goals."
Perhaps there was a part of him deep down that didnt feel like remembering why he'd died. After all, it was just an idea brought up by the crazy scientist who was always trying to come up with ways to experiment and past the time. As for himself, he slowly closed his eyes.
"How exactly do your powers work? Do you... summon the energy from within.. Do you use a spell of sorts?" That was his second question.
There was some weird sense of comfort in how he explained death. He didn’t remember, he just woke up, that was somehow nicer than remembering every morbid detail and Orihime only nodded. If he did remember then he didn’t want to share details and she was alright with it. She did wonder what sort of man he had been when he was alive, did he have a family? Loved ones?
Orihim glanced to him at his question. “I... don’t know. I see an injury, I heal it. I don’t think I have to do a spell. It must be energy, I always get exhausted afterwards.” She murmured thoughtfully as she tapped her lip with a fingertip. She had never had to say words or prepare, she had always just leapt into action and done what needed to be done. She furrowed her brow, his questions were helping her to better understand herself and the redhead shifted slightly as she watched him.
“Do you remember your life before this?” She asked him. Maybe he had been a man full of emotion before, stoic now thanks to his death. Somehow, she doubted it. Would she forget herself in all this? She sighed out a little and fought against thinking of her own family, her own friends. It would only serve to upset her and she wanted to know more about this man, this mentor who had kidnapped her from the life she once knew.
He nodded his head as he heard the way she explained her powers. It sounded as if she couldnt properly control the flow of energy, why else would she be so tired. And once more with the questions about his life before become an Espada. He found no reasons as to why the past was something which he needed to remember or expand upon. What happen happen. There was nothing he could do to change the fact that he was here in this moment with her. Shifting from on one feet to another, he slowly closed his eyes and spoke. "There's no need to remember something which couldn't help me in the current situation. Now, I want to try and exercise.. Close you eyes like I am.. and hold your palms flat. Imagine that healing energy forming into a small ball in your hand. "
He figured that if it was possible for her to actively summon it than it would be easier for her control that power and even more easier to use. "I predict the reason why your tired is because your over using your energy to heal faster than what needs to be done. If you can visualize your power in the midst of using then than perhaps you'll feel less tired and be able to heal the same amount of damage. The good thing about being a healer is that once the healing process starts, time isn't a factor. Especially in your case. You could take all the time you need."
Nodding his head he spoke again. "You said that it's hard healing yourself? That's another reason why its important you exercise more control. if you get in a dangerous situation where after you've healed someone the battle is still going on and they have to get back.. you'll wont have enough energy to protect yourself.. that's simple unacceptable." He wasnt trying to be harsh or cruel with her. As he spoke those words his voice came out softly. That scenario was the most realistic one he could come up with.
Orihime watched him and raised an eyebrow, looking perplexed. He didn’t want to remember his life? This was a little irritating to the redhead because life was so valuable and yet he just chose to shrug off his life like it was nothing? She watched him before sighing out and deciding it wasn’t worth arguing with him, this would be over quicker if she just did what he asked her and she closed her eyes. Focusing her energy was difficult, especially with the circumstances but she did her best.
Just as Ulquiorra was talking, there was a faint glow starting in her palms and a little orb of light appeared. It wasn’t particularly powerful but it was a start at least. However, his words caused her to lose focus and it faded swiftly as she narrowed her eyes at him. “You know, for someone who doesn’t want to remember their life, you’re a real piece of work in the afterlife.” She said as she lowered her palms and took a step away from him.
“Seriously, were you all doom and gloom and emotionless in life? You might work like that, but I don’t. I can handle myself.” She muttered as she waved a hand dismissively to him and turned her back on him. He wasn’t human but she was, and she couldn’t cope with being ripped away from her loved ones and stuck in this pit of a world with someone who didn’t care an ounce about anything.
The look on the Espada face was one of confusion. He didnt understand how his words had upset her to the point where he concentration was being lost. It was such a shame due to the fact that her powers were finally starting to show something. Promise. And now, as she spoke about how she said she worked a certain way he blinked his eyes once before. Blinking again. Of course! It all made sense to him now. Holding up a thumb, he did his best to do what he heard most humans crave. "Positive reinforcement " Apparantly humans react more successfully whenever they are given positive words
"Goid Job on controlling your Power Orihime. You've made progress." Those words didnt match his tone which came out as cold and as distance as ever before. And he choose to ignore her last question about how he was in his past life. In truth, it didnt really matter to him. The past was that the past and it belong there. Shifting to one feet to another he slowly closed his eyes and spoke once more.
"I'm not like GrimmJow, or Stark, or Hannibel. I dont understand how emotions work. Or why people belief in the intangible." Lifting his finger, he pointed it towards her face before speaking softly "If I cracked open your skull, would I understand than?" Moving his hand down below, he pointed at her breasta before speaking again "If I pried over your ribcage, would I be able to understand the human heart than?" It was a question which he wondered if she'd be able to answer with satisfaction..
Lowering his arm he placed it in his pocket again before slowly speaking to her in a soft whisper. [i "I'm going to fetch you some water. Hydration is important."]
Orihime watched him over her shoulder as he spoke. He wasn’t lying or putting on some sort of bravado, evidently. He really didn’t understand. His words were filled with violence despite his soft toned voice. But his words did make her think for a while. Where did emotions come from? “No.” She stated, with some air of confidence. She found it difficult to believe he didn’t feel anything. “Haven’t you ever gotten angry? Upset? Happy?” She asked him, it seemed utterly foreign that he had never felt anything.
She sighed softly and just shrugged as he went to get her water and she sat on the ground, cross legged and she knew it wasn’t her place to question him, or to try and provoke some sort of emotional response but what was the point? She looked over as he went to get water and took a moment to be by herself. Emotions weren’t all good, she knew that. But she didn’t think she could live without them. She wasn’t a robot and she didn’t think this man was either.
She slowly got to her feet again, perhaps something awful had happened in his death to prevent him feeling anything. She ran a hand through her red hair and looked down at herself, smoothing the uniform like dress she had been gifted down. This was going to be long and difficult. She figured there was no point in relaxing around here and she didn’t want to be waited on hand and foot by this man and she followed where he had gone to get her water. She took a cup and eyed the substance, as if not trusting it was just water.
He heard her answer followed by questions which he wasnt even entirely sure how to answer. Sure, he'd seen others Express said but has he himself ever come close to such sensations? It seem as if it where honestly doubtful. He was so deep down in his thoughts that he'd not notice that she had been following him. Turning around, he handed her the water before he watched her expression. Finally she was doing something to him which made sense. Examining it to see if it were poison or if it where safe to drink. Once more they were back in the building where the back drop was the endless night sky and barren desert.
That landscape which looked so lonesome and pitiful. Out in the distance if one listen closely they'd hear the roar or cry of a hollow. Hands in pocket once more he again wore that expression that came off as devoid of all feelings and watched the human till he was satisfied. He had no need to be like a butler to her. Serving her every needs and making sure she got all the substance that she'd required. He was only under orders to make sure that she didnt run and was useful.
"I... can .. I can be more positive.." His words came out soft as he closed his eyes. Contemplating the next words that came out of his mouth he chose them carefully. "I.. will.. be... more... encouraging." As if he knew how to be. The melancholy state which he'd always been couldnt be lifted just because he was being influence by someone who had a jovial atmosphere about them. Try as he might he didnt see it as possible. Yet.. Yet.
Footsteps echoed down the hall as a longed hair male walked by them. He had an eye patch on and as he turned towards the human, he grinned at her in almost a leering way. Grinning, he spoke aloud. "Such a beauty is wasted on the liked of this dumbass." Laughing to himself he walked off and Ulquiorra merely smirked.
"Funny, this dumbass can end your existence with a single swing of a sword." Stopping suddenly he turned around and instantly the air filled with heavy pressure. It felt as if the air was getting heavier and heavier. "Oh~ you wanna go Dumbass?"
Blinking, ulquiorra spoke. "You know its forbidden for espada's four or higher to unsheathed they swords in Los noches. The very act of it would be enough to destroy the castle itself. It must pain you being only numero cinco. You try so hard to be powerful only to fail."
With that, he growled be he looked at him. He was indeed taller than Ulquiorra Cifer. Grinning he looked at him before smiling. "Ha! Me? Fail.? I've taken down Espadas higher than me before, and I'll damn sure do it again. Mmhm~ now, how about you and that Bitch go off somewhere. Before I take her to my room for some fun?"
"Your jokes fail to amuse me." Throwing his head back, the male laughed before he slowly stepped away. "Watch your back Ulquiorra, Aizen want always be around to protect his favorite pet bitch." With that he started walking down the hallway and Ulquiorra shrugged.
"It might be safer if you stayed in your room for a while."
Orihime gave Ulquiorra a small smile at his words and figured at least he was trying. She was about to speak when another male appeared and she raised an eyebrow. She didn’t get a good vibe off of him and it seemed the two males were at odds with each other. Orihime did not enjoy his leering or his threats, however. But she was in no place to fight with a man she didn’t even know. His threats of harm and a ‘good time’ were disturbing and she narrowed her eyes as he left. She was somewhat surprised at Ulquiorra’s response to the man and she stayed silent as the man stormed off.
She looked to Ulquiorra, a little shaken but she was doing her best not to show fear. “Who was that?” She asked him, curiously. She wasn’t sure if the other man was serious with his threats or not and she didn’t want to find out either. She looked out the night sky and barren land, finishing her drink and glancing to Ulquiorra, still somewhat confused and bewildered by what had just happened. “He doesn’t scare me.” Orihime pointed out but that was a bare faced lie because she didn’t know what these people were capable of but she did know that she wasn’t going to be some delicate flower in need of constant protection.
Orihime let her eyes drop from the landscape, a little depressed by the bleakness of it as she looked back to Ulquiorra and just shook her head. “He doesn’t like you.” She murmured quietly with a small tone of amusement at her own pointing out the obvious. She didn’t ever think that the men here wouldn’t get along with each other and it made her curious in all honesty.
Quite an astuteness observation the girl had. Looking at the female he watched as she finishes her drink before he started to speak up quietly. "His name was Nnoitra. Out of all the Espadas hin and Grimmjow are the most bloodthirsty, though his bloodlust surpasses even Grimmjow I suppose. He use to be the eighth Espada.. but due to certain events throughout the years he was able to advance and change his rank from being number eight to five. He's a rank below me and thus is desperately trying to surpass me.."
As he spoke, he turned and looked at her before cocking his head. "Have I told you how our rank system works? Each Espada is assign a number 9 being the highest and 0 being the lowest. The lower the number, the stronger the Espada. It can be rather confusing at times." As he spoke he continued to act as if the event which just transpired didnt matter to him in the slightest. After all, he didnt need to draw his sword and that, to him, was the most important factor in all these things.
Stepping towards her, he simply shrugged his shoulders. "Nnoitra only cares about battle and dying on the battle field. Whether it comes from friend or foe, hes desperate to die a warriors death. Such a thing I can't understand. It causes him to be needlessly reckless." There was no exact reason why the male was explaining this all to the female yet he felt as if he should.
"Do you want to rest for a few hours? The next time we go out to the pratice field, I want to try my best to see if we cant stabilize that healing powers of yours. I'm confident that as long as you envision it shielding you, itll happen."
Orihime listened to him and it was baffling to think anyone could be like that. But Ulquiorra seemed unbothered by it all and she guessed he didn’t have any fear for his life. Their ranking system made sense, she supposed but she didn’t quite understand the fascination with power but perhaps she would in time.
Orihime nodded at his question of rest, it made sense that she should rest although she was wary of the threat within their own ranks. She didn’t say anything though, she guessed he would only laugh at her or admonish her fear of the other. “Don’t you worry what he might do to you?” She asked him as they walked towards her room, Orihime doing well not to get lost. She stopped at the door and paused, thinking for a while.
“What do I do if he comes back?” She asked, she was in no position to defend herself against such a man. As a woman, she was aware she was vulnerable to a man’s wants and desires and she couldn’t protect herself. She realised she must have sounded wary and frightened, she sighed and rubbed her eyes.
As they entered into the rooms he blinked his eyes. Worry? Looking at her he slowly spoke in that calming voice. "The difference between our strength is the same difference between heaven and Earth. If he dare raised a sword to me he wouldnt stand a chance. While it's true, he did once defeat a rank 3 espada, the ones that came before us were infinitely weak..the former number 3 couldnt even stand up against our ninth Espada and he's the weakest of us all." He spoke those words confidently before he saw the way she slept.
Shrugging his shoulders he slowly stood beside her "I plan on standing by and watching you rest. Unless you'd want me to call Halibel? Shes our third ranking Espada and she's quite the fighter." Nodding his head he almost cracked a grin in amusement. Of course he also had his own fraccion but he rather not bother to summon then.
“How did you get to your rank?” Orihime said softly as she eyed the room and looked him over. He was emotionless, it didn’t overly bother her who stood watch but she did wonder if he ever needed rest or was exhaustion an emotion to him? She figured it didn’t matter and somehow she didn’t want to know if he had murdered others to get to his current standing.
“No, it’s alright. You can stay.” She said to him with a quiet tone, sitting on the bed and watching the ceiling. This seemed insane still to her and she still wanted to wake up in her own bed, surrounded by her friends. She figured that wasn’t going to happen until this war was over with and she brought a blanket up, consumed by the warmth and it was a struggle to keep her eyes open. She hadn’t realised how tired she felt from the short amount of work, then again she hadn’t used her powers in such a way before and she knew it was only going to get more strenuous as time went on.
Before she could fight it, she was asleep, tucked beneath a thick layer of blankets and content enough to rest knowing she was being watched over and the man from before wouldn’t get away with anything.
How did one get there powers? It was simply assign to then by the strength of their own spiritual pressure. Something which was hardly in there control.. One was either born with undeniable strength or one wasn't. Or at least, that was how Aizen saw things. To the male he didnt bother diving to deep into thoughts which didnt outright thoroughly concern him. After all, he was content with just existing and being in a state of constant awareness. As he watch the way she slept, he walked over towards her. It was amazing to consider that such extraordinary power came from something so soft and weak. He'd seen the way she slept and the way she struggle to summon the power deep within her. He wonder what was going on through her her mind.
Stepping back, he slowly turned his back on her and walked towards the entrance of the door. He was confident that no one would bother trying to foolishly come and distract her from her sleep. Any saved Aizen. As he walked down the hall, he grinned a little as he saw the way Ulquiorra stood guard over her. [i "You've taken such good care of our princess. Amazing isnt it, two days have passed already and in her qorld only two hours have gone by. Her friends are still asleep unaware that she's been missing for quite a while."]
"So far, you've plans going off without a hitch. If it takes a full forty-eight hours to recuse her that gives me a month and a half to help unlock her true potential. She'll truly be a powerful asset for us when the time has come for to launch our attack."
[i "Indeed."] Aizen smiled as he walked off. Watching him leave, the male slowly cocked his head to the side. He couldnt help but feel as if he were hiding something.
Orihime woke after a few hours and sat up, rubbing at her eyes sleepily as she got up out of the bed and washed her face, reducing her hair so it wouldn’t be in her way. She didn’t know why she had felt so irked but she put it down to the hard worth with Ulquiorra previously. She let her mind wander on the man who had challenged Ulquiorra in such a manner. It didn’t make her feel safe.
She stepped out of the bathroom and made her own bed, looking to the landscape outside, Greg and unforgiving. She looked over her shoulder and eyed the room. She thought that Ulquiorra was going to stay with her and that put her on edge slightly as she approached the door and opened it, peering out side and taking a step. She wasn’t sure if wandering around by herself was particularly safe or not, but she did know that there were rules in this place, of course. She figured she would be fine.
Orihime set off down one of the corridors, stretching her legs and wanting to know the place a little better than she felt she did. She couldn’t get over how everything was so dull and grey, no sunshine or even weather.
He'd just been away for a moment after all, how was he to know how long humans needed to sleep? Yet when he returned the caged bird was always gone. It didnt matter, he'd be able to find her in an instant. Yet, it seemed as if she'd quickly gotten over the fear which came from others being present in her sight. Hand on the hilt of his sword. He started to pace the corridor seeking the woman whom had gone off on a scroll to stretch her legs. Walking down the hall his eyes wondered the scenes which surrounded him. He'd never question the landscape. How empty and desolate it was. Nor the deep and endless void of hopelessness that its feelings brought to those hollows who'd traversed it. It was from the depths of that despair he was born and crawled out towards to become more than.
Cutting off those thoughts, he caught up to the woman but rather make his presence known to her he instead started walking behind her. He calculated the chances of her risking an escape as being slim to none. So he'd had the leisure to scroll. All the while a scene was playing in the back of his mind. The first time he came to the human world. How small and pitiful these humans seemed. So eager to live they life to.the fullest possibilities..Every present of the fact that death waits they try futilely to weave together evidence that they existed. Existence, is, and will always be feelting.
That was Ulquiorra Cifer's flaw. He was utterly and completely a nihilist. He believed in nothing. He acknowledge it. Yet, he did nothing to fix it. Shrugging his shoulders, he continued to be like a shadow and follower the girls footstep. Being the darkness to her light.
Even wandering, Orihime couldn’t shake the feeling that she was just stuck. There was no freedom in this, she had no choice and it was a strange feeling to have. She was scared and dare not admit to such a thing around Ulquiorra in case he mocked her or cut at her with his words. He didn’t understand, and that was okay but she wanted him to at least pretend to be empathetic, even just once. She stopped midway down one of the halls and sighed out. She was glad it was empty, or so she thought as she leaned against one of the walls and eyed the setting. Everything seemed dull, no colour or brightness. Would it be so bad to want some paintings?
Orihime looked around and figured she had been gone long enough. She turned and started back towards her room, pausing for a moment as she tried to remember the way back. “Uh..” She huffed our as she realised she was very much lost. This was great, and it would add further embarrassment to her case when Ulquiorra caught up to her. She could hear voices of others, unfamiliar ones and she pressed against the wall as they passed into one of the rooms. She didn’t recognise them and nor did she want to, like a frightened bird.
Orihime waited for a while, not daring to move until she was sure the coats was clear and even then she sort of just seemed frozen in place, lost and vulnerable.
The whole structure of the castle was base upon that of a sphere. With interlocking hallways within the circles. Even if she were lost, with enough walking she'd be able to find her way back. Still, seeing as he was following behind her, he wonder if he should lend her a helping hand. One could call the castle maze-like. It indeed did mimic it. Following closer behind her, he was going to wait till she stopped before his hand reached out and was placed on her shoulders. She truly was lost; such a thing wouldn't do him or her any good at all.
The voices which the pair heard were just higher ranker members of the Arrancar's speaking and discussing war tactics. Such a droll and boring conversation that the male was glad this time he had no part time. Instead of giving her a side remark, Ulquiorra simply spoke up to her in a soft voice. [i "The castle is base upon a spherical maze design. Its quite easy to get lost. If you require my assistance to get back to your room than I'll be more than happy to oblige."]
A hand on her shoulder caused her to whip around as Orihime was startled by Ulquiorra’s presence. She looked relieved to see him, which was new considering their latest interactions. Loathe to admit that she did need his help to find her way back. [b “Alright.”] She murmured as she chewed her bottom lip. [b “How do you navigate all of this?”] She asked him, a touch more at ease around him given she had rested and he had come to her aid.
Pale eyes searched the corridors as if wary they might be set upon which was a little irrational but she had seen the confrontation between Ulquiorra and the other man earlier. There had been sparks in the air from that size up and Orihime wasn’t sure she wanted them to test each other like that. A question crossed her mind then as they walked, [b “If this isn’t... well, the normal realm. Can you die? Your kind I mean.”] She asked him, curiously. This was all incredibly new to her, foreign and she knew she could probably die and be stuck here forever which somehow seemed a harrowing thought given she was imprisoned here.
Orihime wasn’t sure if there was set time sin this place, nothing seemed to change from day to night, everything just seemed to merge together and it was odd. [b “When do you rest?”] She asked him, curiously. She hadn’t seen him rest but then she wasn’t sure how much time had passed in this place.
Leading her through the maze of the place the male simply smirked to himself. It took time and effort to learn the lay out of the place. However once it was known it was pretty easy to navigate. Still, for the first question he decided it best to keep quite and continue to escort her back to her chambers. As for the second one, he stopped. Turning those eyes upon her, he began to question if what she said was real question or if she just pretend to be this dumb. No one, he was sure of it, no one could be that dumb in this world. [i "Everything in this world has an ending and beginning. I can bleed and I can surely die."] He spoke those words coolly before turning a corner and waiting for her to follow.
He understood that getting use to the eternal night here was a challenge. For those who were foreign to it he wondered how it must have felt. But for he himself, for as far back as he could remember this was all he'd ever known. That silver sea of sand and the infinite blackness stretch well beyond eternity. Had he not visited the human world or gone to the places within the castle where there was light he'd had assume this was all how worlds were. As for when he that final question it was again silly to the male. [i "I rest whenever I feel tired. I don't fatigue as much as my others. Mostly because they gave up the ability to heal in exchange for more power. I kept mine."]
That was also the reason as to why Aizen had ask him to instruct Orihime to be under his care. And-before she could ask he spoke again quickly. [i "By healing I mean self-regeneration. As long as the damage isn't to serve I can heal it. For example a cut is manageable. But restoring a severed a limb isn't."]
Orihime didn’t think her questions were stupid, Ulquiorra acted like an entirely different species and she wasn’t sure what sort of a man he was. She also wanted to know so much about him because if something terrible happened in this place and she couldn’t go home, then it was better to know at least one person who could keep her company. Then again, this was a duty to him, nothing more and he saw her as weak.
Orihime wondered if he was wrong. She knew she had powers to heal and to protect but maybe that was all there was to it. She nodded to him as he spoke and eyed the door to her room when they arrived. She chewed her lip thoughtfully, [b “Are you human?”] She asked and then paused, [b “And stop looking at me like I’m stupid. I don’t know this place or you.”] She pointed out. She didn’t see him as stupid or uneducated but he surely saw her as such. This was a new place and Ulquiorra acted as if she was supposed to know everything that went on automatically.
Orihime wasn’t even sure she could heal a severed limb, she had healed serious injuries before of course but nothing as extreme as that. [b “Sorry.”] She remarked quietly for her earlier snapping at him about treating her as stupid.
"I don't think you're stupid. No one told you how things work around here.."
Stopping in his tracks he turned towards the girl now that he'd safety escorted her back to her room. There was honest truth in what he said to her. There was no ill will towards her; he understood that she simply didn't know what or who they were. As the Hours continued to tick on by in this world he knew that pretty soon it would be time for those whom she loved to discover that she was missing. Such was how the passage of time worked in this world that was seperated from the humans. At her other question he simply smiled giving her one that was filled with a tinge of sorrow. It wasn't like him to betray himself and show emotion but at that question he couldn't help but do so for just the briefest of moments before shaking his head.
[b "No.. were are not humans. We are Arrancars."] Unzipping his shirt he pointed towards the whole in his chest that was empty. It was completely see through and it was right well his heart would've been had he had one. Zipping back up his jacket he spoke to her softly. [b "When a human dies with regret he becomes a ghost right? Most ghost are able to to find peace but if they don't find peace... and become bitter.. they turn into monsters.. Sometimes, those monsters are able to regain apart of their humanity and they become what we are now."]
Ulquiorra’s display caused Orihime’s jaw to fall open, a little shocked and she didn’t expect such a sight. He quite literally didn’t have a heart. She never expected it but somehow it explained a lot about his cold exterior. Her eyes lifted to his after a moment of trying to process what she had seen. She had intuitively taken a step back, a single step or wariness because it was a solid reminder that this was not a man before her, not a human.
[b “Why did you turn bitter?”] She dated to ask him quietly. Her gaze didn’t falter at her question as she watched him, more curious now than ever before about him. He certainly didn’t seem as threatening as the others but that was perhaps because he had taken some time with her. She knew him more than the others. Orihime swallowed the slight lump in her throat and eyed the door to her room, thinking for a while but not entering as she glanced back to Ulquiorra.
[b “Where is your heart?”] She added a question again. Did she really want to know? She had a funny feeling that this wasn’t some tragic story and would turn her stomach like everything else here. Orihime took a moment to actually look at Ulquiorra and commit his image to memory. Sharp eyes, an odd devoid expression that showed nothing except the plain facts of the here and now. Even if he did ever get a heart back, gain back the ability to feel, would it destroy him?
So many questions the swarmed around the head of the female. So little time to answer it properly. Looking at her he closed his eyes; it wasn't as if he didn't want to answer her question. He simply had no recollection of that human life he live. His entire existence-as far as he was concern-started the moment he breath in the air of Hueco Mundo. Still, the question as to where his heart was was an entirely different matter. He didn't need it to exist, he was still pretty much alive and well. Despite there being a hole in his chest. So, for all intensive purposes he was fine with just existing like so still.
[i "I simply do not know where my heart is. I exist and that's all I know. I try to only focus on the things that matter. The things that are and the things which I can physically observe."] He was a straight forward guy and there wasn't any chance that that'd change within anytime soon. Nodding his head, he slowly moved towards the door.
[i "By now, enough time has pass to well those who we have taken you from will be waking up. I suggest you get some rest.. unless you're ready to get back to working on your healing powers?"] he asked her as lingered longer at the door waiting for her reaction.
Orihime was still confused and it was just so exhausting to try and work out what was going on around her half the time. She wasn’t sure she would ever truly like this place, but she wasn’t stuck here. They had said she would go home after this and return to the life she had. Ulquiorra though, he was stuck here and she couldn’t help but wonder if he ever wanted another chance at a proper life? She didn’t put a voice to her curiosity though, instead thinking over his question. She had rested, enough to at least try again.
[b “We can try again.”] She said to him with a small shrug. She had to get better so she could at least help. There was a thought that passed her mind for a moment, if Ulquiorra didn’t feel the same way as others, if emotions were foreign then it was likely she wouldn’t ever see him laugh, smile let alone weep or get angry. It was odd, like being around a robot of sorts.
[b “C’mon, I need to get better at this.”] She said to him as she gave him a small pat on the shoulder before retracing her steps to the training room from earlier. She was grateful for the blue skies in there as she fixed her hair.
His voice came out nonchalantly as he followed her to the place where they'd trained earlier. It seemed as if her incessant questioning had cease; a thing which he was slowly glad had been over. He'd never been one to reflect on past or ask why's. He'd was simply accepting of everything which present himself. A bitter nihilist to the end. Stepping out into the clear blue skies he slowly turned towards the girl and once more spoke softly.
[i "Do you remember last time, how we tried to get you to use your powers to create a shield around you? I think it would be helpful if we'd picked up where we started.."] Once more, he lifted his finger and pointed it towards a random point in space. With ease, he started to fire up a Cero and has the black greenish ball circled around his fingers, he spoke once more.
[i "Imagine your healing powers deep within, pull it out of you and than use use it as a method to cover and protect you.."] Inhaling, he slowly watch as the ball of energy dimished before disappearing. [i "I know you can do it."]
Orihime watched him as he spoke, eyeing the ball he made from nothing. She wasn’t sure she was that powerful but she figured she needed to start understanding how to protect herself. Healing was all well and good but she knew that protecting herself was important. She stepped into an open area and glanced around. Healing took a lot from her but she listed closely to her new found companion.
Ulquiorra had so much control, so much ability and some part of her didn’t want to disappoint him. She swallowed and chewed at her lip, doing her best to just focus on visualising her healing ability. It was exhausting but after some time of her just quietly standing, a shimmer appeared before her, distorting the air ever so slightly and producing a honeycomb sort of shield in front of her and she cracked open an eye. She hadn’t expected that and she was stunned to silence. It moved with her, keeping her covered and she looked to Ulquiorra. Was this what he meant?
After a few minutes, it flickered and vanished, in a soft breeze and she just stood, bewildered at herself. She shifted slightly from where she stood. “That’s never happened before.” She said to Ulquiorra, for once quiet and her questions ceased. Orihime has to wonder though, was it possible that as much as she could help and protect, maybe there was a way to turn this to an attack or some sort of burst of energy capable of pushing back foes.
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