|Central 46: Chronicles of the Forbidden|
The Dark Heart
Skyline of the City
The night was bright as the city lights shone up at the inky sky and people walked around the city's outskirts, oblivious to the roars that shook the air. A beast prowled the night in ravenous hunger, drawing itself in on the souls of living humans. The monstrous abomination of a hollow was seeking its prey, choosing a morsel to sate its apeptite. It took up position perched over the a lone target on a quiet street, not that it mattered whether the steet was quiet or not. Most humans would never hear or know of the existence of hollows, even if heir life were to be ended by one. Without a mircale to intervene the emptiness of the hollow's existence would consume another soul.
On this night the hollow was not the only hunter prowling in the darkness, this night the hunter was also prey. Concealed in the shadows of the rooftop the figure of a man ran from building to building chasing the wretched being's presence. He came to the edge of the rooftop glaring over at the hunched over monstrosity, as it salivated over its meal. The man stood tall his eyes staring coldly at the hollow as it crouched to pounce upon the mortal below. He raised his left hand and from it came a glow of silver white light, in a moment the light grew into a wide pointed cross. His right hand reached into the centre of the cross and from it drew back eight strings, one attached to each side of a cross point. In its centre a shaft of light was aimed directly at the hollow. His deep voice spoke out drawing the hollow's gaze "Time to run from the light monster.". His right hand released the strings, sending the shaft of light streaking through the gloom. The hollow screamed in pain as its arm vapourised from the strike of the shot.
The creature wheeled a fled for its miserable existance, dashing across the city skyline hdeaing for downtown. The hunter stepped forward and pushed back his white hood, watching his quarry move further into the city. He rolled his eyes and spoke to himself in an exhasperated tone "Of course Jurgen, why would it just run home? It can just pick up a snack to heal itself before he drops off the face of the world." He stepped forward off the edge of the rooftop and vanished into thin air.
Jurgen reappeared ahead of the hollow on another rooftop, his Hirenkyaku carrying him across the sky in the blink of an eye. He held his hand out once more and called forth his Giest des Jägers and drew the glowing bow's string once more. "One more clip and that should send hungry here running home to mundo." Jurgen said to himself under his breath and let a the shot fly.
The hollow roared again as the shot sliced across the bottom of it's back and turned in another direction. Jurgen knew the city fairly well and saw it was headed to the outskirts again. He bit his lip as he watched the hollow flee, he hated this new way of fighting. Why were all the hollows behaving so strangely lately? Hollows weren't meant to make tactical retreats, they weren't meant to hunt in grid patterns. Yet over the last month he had seen them do exactly that.
He knew something was off in this town, his spiritual senses felt strange when the hollows appeared here recently. It was as if they were quieter than hollows should be, like they were trying to hide their presence from something. Jurgen sighed internally he preferred it when they were near mindless monsters and he could just kill them.
He stepped off the roof using his Hirenkayaku to dash across the rooftops, his movements faster than the eye can follow. His mind focused on the hunt as he shot through the air using his sense tracing the feeling of corruption emanating from the hollow. Tonight he would do the unthinkable, he would interrogate a hollow.
Jurgen felt a shift in the air as the flow of reishi beneath his feet carried him to the edge of the town. He smiled wolfishly as he saw the shimmer in the air ahead, the beast had called out a Garganta trying to flee from harm. He pulled out six Ginto tubes, one between each finger, as he saw the rear of the step through the dimensional rift. He sped across the night sky reaching the portal as it closed, flicking two of the ginto tubes into the gateway they spilled their energy forcing open the gateway. The remaining four he poured over himself and began chanting "Energie des körpers wird wechsel, transzendenz der form als körper wird seele!" (Lit. Energy of the body becomes change, transcendence of form as body becomes soul!). He could feel the ginto beginning to work as he dived into the Garganta following the monster into its lair.
The moon of Hueco Mundo glimmered in the eternal night sky, its brilliance making the sands shine like a sea of miniature diamonds. In the midst of these glistening sands a single figure stood, bathing in the brilliance the moon radiated down. She stood with her eye fixed on the beauty of the sky above her, the wind catching her fiery red hair and sweeping it around her. A gentle smile crossed her lips as she soaked up the light. "Time to get your moving Kurenai" she said to herself as she pulled her gaze away from the sky. She reached behind her, feeling her Zapakuto was still in place before beginning to move.
Kurenai knelt down on the sand feeling for a gap back down to the Forest of the Menos below. As she dug she remembered when Captian SoiFon had given her the orders to come start hunting her target. The seriousness of her words as she told her who her target was and the strangeness of when her captain had told her about her target's crimes. Normally it wouldn't matter what her target had done, the assassination order was all that was needed. Having the details explained to her was unsettling, but not enough to divert her focus from what needed to be done. The intel had come through to the human world earlier in the day, her target was going to be the Forest of the Menos and now was the time to strike.
She broke through the sand into the towering cavern below, her eyes staring out into the gloom. She reached out with her sense seeking her target, as her mind ran over the intel she had been given. The orders from the soul society had come through telling her that the renegade would be hiding behind enemy lines. So she was to go to a particular part of the cave systems of the Forest of the Menos and complete her mission. The details that had been passed on were clear in some aspects and vague in others. She silently cursed whoever had gathered the information and lowered herself below the surface.
As she dropped down into the giant crystaline trees holding up the surface sand. She felt the myriad of monsters moving beneath, their energies mixing together like a writhing mass of negativity. The sensation was sickening but she pushed it to the back of her mind as she searched for her target. Finally she picked up the faint traces of shinigami reiatsu intermixed with that of the hollows. It was barely a hint yet it was enough draw her attention. She focused her mind trying to cut through the interference of all the hollows, but there was no other traces to be found.
Kurenai reached behind her running her fingers gently over the hilt of her zanpakuto. Something felt off, yet she couldn't put her finger on what it was. Her instincts were telling her to get out of this nest whilst her sense duty was pulling her in deeper. She moved silently down the forest floor in the direction of the trace of shinigami reiatsu.