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[center [i 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?]
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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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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