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.
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?
"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."]
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.
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."]
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.
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."]
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.
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.
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."
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