For one moment he felt nothing but fear. Fear of death. Fear of Hell. He saw nothing but blackness. “Am I dead?” He thought to himself. “Did I lose? To those Soul Reapers? I hope His Majesty isn’t angry with me. I’m so scared” But then he saw a light, and out of that light a hand reaching out to him. But in moments he felt as if he was falling. Then consciousness…
“I’m alive?” Äs Nödt thought to himself. He had just awakened from death, and remembered his defeat at the hands of Rukia Kuchiki and her brother Byakuya Kuchiki. “How? How can I be alive? My body shattered to pieces and fell apart.” He slowly stood up, unsure of himself. He looked down at himself; he was still wearing his white ankle length trench coat with its many buttons and his hooded cloak. His black boots still adorned his feet. When he glanced at his hands he noticed he still had his black fingerless gloves complimented by his dark fingernails.
He saw his black mask with its four spikes laying a few feet away from him. He felt very tired and stumbled as he tried to retrieve it. While he struggled to get it back on, he tried to understand how he could have come back to life. He felt surges of spiritual pressure in the air; there were many battles going on around him and he knew his fellow Sternritter couldn’t hold out much longer, but he was in no shape to help them, he could barely stand as it was now. “I have to help them, to help His Majesty, and get into the Soul Palace” Äs said in a weak voice. But as he went into the direction of the Spiritual Pressure he crashed up against a wall. The spiritual pressure started to die down; until it was obvious the fights were over.
“What was that about? It just died down.” When he looked up it was obvious what the real cause of the spiritual pressure was. He saw multiple columns of blue light disappear. “So that was the surge of spiritual pressure that I felt, His Majesty used it huh? Did he select me as one of the Quincy’s to revive with Auswählen? Then I must help His Majesty. I must repay my debt to him for saving my life.” Äs continued in the direction he saw the columns just moments ago.
He started to think about the Auswählen. He remembered how it’s used to revive fallen Quincy and redistributes the power of the other Quincy to the one who needs it. But there is a catch, the Quincy whose power is redistributed is lost for them, and that it could possibly kill them. He knew that all the other Sternritter thought that he was dead, and they were right…until now. But why did His Majesty revive him? Was he strong enough to please His Majesty, to make him want to revive him? He wasn’t a part of His Majesty’s elite guard. So why bring him back? Unless it was a mistake, an accident somehow that brought him back to life. Whatever the case, Äs wanted answers and he needed to learn the status of his fellow Sternritter. He felt his new strength and knew he was stronger than before, but it was going to take time for him to put it to use. He still had to reorient to his newly revived body. After all, he was nothing but shattered pieces just moments ago.
He wasted no time in continuing forward, using the wall as his support. Eventually there was no more wall to lean on and Äs Nödt paused, and decided to see if he could stand without the support of the wall. At first he stumbled, but soon regained his balance and was able to stand. He then continued his mission to find his fellow comrades. As he was walking he wondered about Rukia Kuchiki and her brother, Byakuya Kuchiki, the ones responsible for his death. Were they still alive? He knew that when Rukia Kuchiki uses her Bankai it could very well kill her if she wasn’t careful. He grudgingly admitted to himself that he admired her for it, even though it could kill her, she still used it. As for her brother on the other hand, he seemed like a completely different Soul Reaper than the one he fought in the first invasion, he was much stronger. But Äs despised him. That aside, they both still had a very good chance of still being alive. But how would they react to seeing him alive? Shocked? Angered? Surprised? Maybe all of these emotions.
Hopefully, he would find out soon….
Äs kept on walking but suddenly felt very weak, and collapsed on the ground. “Am I dying again?” he thought to himself for he felt weaker this time. He wondered if this was the result of coming back from death and that the massive intake of power received from Auswählen was too much for his body to handle. “No! I can’t die again! I just came back! I must live! I must!” Encouraged by his own resolve, he forced himself to stand.
He suddenly felt dazed. His eyes became heavier, and he felt very tired. “Damn it! No! I must have my answers first! What is this weakness?!? Am I dying or just tired?” Äs Nödt yelled. He soon let himself rest as he leaned up against a nearby wall, too tired to go on. His let his mind drift off to the still raging war. “Can we really still win this now? We have probably lost many more Sternritter since I was defeated. And God knows if the Soul Reapers gained more support from those Fullbringers I’ve heard about, or even the ex-Espada Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, or hell, maybe even Tier Halibel escaped somehow for all I know. Damn it! And I can’t even help His Majesty win the war in my condition! I need to find a way to regain my strength NOW!” Äs Nödt looked around to see if there was anything of use, but there was nothing.
He then used the wall to gain his balance and stumbled over to the nearest barracks, thinking of using the water. Ironically, the nearest barracks was the 6th Divisions. “You’ve got to be kidding me. They better have a sink so I can wash my face and wake up.” Äs Nödt said to himself.
Luckily he came upon a washroom with bathroom stalls tucked in the back, and showers lining the right side of the room, and sinks lining the left side of the room. “Thank God. Now I can finally take a real break, and get ready for my next battle. ” He slowly undid his mask which hid what was there. As the mask came off, Äs looked in the mirror, and revealed the lower half of his face, which had no lips, leaving his teeth and gums exposed. He quickly turned on the cold water, and splashed his face, rubbing his face with the water, he felt instant relief. As soon as he felt refreshed, he quickly put his mask back on and began to walk out of the washroom he heard the sounds of a Soul Reaper patrol unit.
“Great! Now I can test my new strength.” Äs Nödt thought to himself. He slowly walked by them when they suddenly ordered him to stop.
“Halt! I order you to halt Quincy!” ordered the Soul Reaper.
Äs Nödt scoffed at this and impaled them with his reishi thorns.
“I guess you weren’t much, just as I thought” Äs Nödt said mockingly as the Soul Reapers Screamed in fear even after death. As he continued to walk, Äs Nödt felt much stronger, and well awake, like he was ready for any challenge that lay ahead.
But once again his mind strayed, wondering how the Soul Reapers, as well as his fellow Sternritter, would react to him coming back to life. Would the other Sternritter’s reaction be any different from the Soul Reapers he faced? Would they be happy, excited, angered that he was revived by Auswählen? And the Soul Reapers, they were guaranteed to be shocked at least, then maybe angered or mad. As he was deep in thought and distracted, low ranking Soul Reapers surround him and begin charging at him.
“They must have noticed me kill those other Soul Reapers.” thought Äs Nödt, as he quickly dispatched them with his reishi thorns. As he did this, he wondered what the full extent of his power was with his Auswählen, and he was even more curious at how much more powerful his Quincy Vollständig was going to be. He knew he was attracting attention, and maybe even that of a lieutenant or captain especially if he continued like he was. It might even be too late now and more were already on their way.
“We’ll see” Äs Nödt thought deviously.
Just as Äs Nödt started walking again he came upon that which he was looking for. His fellow Sternritter, and the Soul Reapers. They happened to be together working on some sort of gateway, or a type of door. Äs Nödt suspected it would get them to the Soul Palace.
He looks at his fellow Sternritter, and simply says “Bazz-B, Liltotto, Giselle.” He then looks over to the Soul Reapers, and attempts to smile underneath his mask “Renji Abarai, Rukia Kuchiki, Byakuya Kuchiki, Visored’s, and everyone else” He said.
They all looked at him questioningly, except for his fellow Sternritter, and Rukia Kuchiki and Byakuya Kuchiki, and Renji Abarai, whose eyes all widened with shock. Äs cocked his head to the side “What’s the matter? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost. Are you mad? Angered? Scared perhaps?” They continued to stare at him.
“Is that you Äs Nödt?” Bazz-B said questioningly.
“It’s me, Bazz-B.” Äs replied.
“I killed you with Hakka no Togame’s Absolute Zero! How can you still be alive! You shattered to pieces!” Rukia yelled in astonishment.
“I’m not only alive Rukia Kuchiki; I am stronger than I was before, much stronger.” Äs says.
“So you’re the one who was fighting the patrol units?” Byakuya asked, still astonished that Äs Nödt was somehow still alive.
“Indeed I am Byakuya Kuchiki.” Äs said deviously.
“No! No! Why would Yhwach revive you with Auswählen! Why?! You’re not in his personal bodyguard are you?! Then why!?” Bazz-B yelled, enraged by the fact that he thought Äs was one of the few selected for the Auswählen.
“I don’t know honestly why His Majesty would choose me, but I’d like to find out for myself.” Äs replied simply.
“So you say you’re stronger then eh?” Renji said, angered by the fact that this man still lived.
“Yes, indeed, I am much stronger.”
“Well then let’s find out how much stronger! Roar! Zabimaru!” Renji yells, activating his Shikai, which turned his Zanpakuto into a six part segmented blade, each segment wider than the next, with two pick-like protrusions on the front and the back of each segment, with the ones in the front larger than the ones on the back. He quickly wasted no time in swinging at Äs Nödt. Äs too wasted no time in activating his Blut Vene and caught the tip of Zabimaru. Renji’s eyes widened and Äs Nödt wiped Zabimaru to the right of him, throwing Renji with it.
Renji soon recovered though and got up, realizing this wasn’t going to be a quick fight.
“BANKAI!” yelled Renji “Sōō Zabimaru” as the dust cleared Renji soon appeared. He was wearing a gauntlet with a large sword that resembled the top of a snake skull with a cowl of red fur surrounding the base. A long, bony tail that looked like it had vertebra-like structures protruding from the back of the skull trailed behind him and hung around his waist, similar to a sash.
“So I take it that’s what killed Mask.” Äs said, remembering that Mask De Masculine fought Renji before he died.
“Yeah, it did. And you’re next!” Renji yells, he then uses Hihio and a large skeletal arm that seemed to be following Renji’s own arm, came after Äs Nödt. He quickly used Hirenkyaku and avoided it only to be pursued by the skeletal arm. Äs quickly manifested reishi thorns around him and sent them all flying toward Renji, taking advantage of Renji’s openness. To counter this Renji struck the thorns down with his sword, only to have a black liquid splatter out of it. Renji quickly leaned back, detracted from his opponent. Äs Nödt used this attack as a diversion and quickly appeared behind the Lieutenant and manifested more reishi thorns and fired them at high speed toward Renji.
Renji quickly turned around, but it was too late, Äs Nödt had activated his Blut Arterie and sent another wave of his reishi thorns at Renji. A thorn struck Renji’s shoulder, quickly infecting him with Äs Nödt’s Fear inducement. Renji stood there, motionless, wide eyed, sweating, and scared.
“Are you scared Renji Abarai? You thought fear could be overcome by experience. No it can’t be, true fear occurs without reason or logic. It is an instinct, and no one can escape instinct, no matter how much experience you have”
Renji started screaming and yelling. “No! No! Get away from me!” he called out in fear as he backed up against the wall.
“Renji!!!” called out Rukia.
“Scatter, Senbonzakura” Byakuya said as he held his sword in front of him, activating his Shikai. His blade separates into thousands of tiny, small fragments, leaving only the hilt in his hands.
“So you are going to fight me Byakuya Kuchiki? Is that because you want to defend your lieutenant perhaps? Either way, I can’t tell you how much I’ve looked forward to this! ” Äs Nödt called out in joy.
“It appears that way. I will send you back to your grave.” Byakuya calmly states.
“Oh? Let’s see you try then Byakuya Kuchiki!” Äs called out, forming his reishi thorns and fires them at Byakuya. Byakuya quickly flash steps out of the path of the thorns. Byakuya then swings the hilt of his sword; the blades follow as he swings. Äs Nödt quickly reacts, using Hirenkyaku to avoid most of the blades and appears behind Byakuya. Äs quickly created his reishi thorns and fires them at Byakuya. Byakuya tries to swing and knock down the thorns but to little avail. The black substance that was in the thorns still splattered everywhere, but Byakuya managed to avoid it. Äs Nödt looked at Byakuya, intrigued.
“Fighting you I’ve noticed that you’ve gotten much stronger since our last battle. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still stronger than you.” Äs Nödt said to Byakuya.
“That is what you think. But I assure you, you are wrong.” Byakuya simply replied.
He quickly started swinging at Äs Nödt, as the blades follow his hilt.
“How long do you intend
to keep this up Byakuya Kuchiki? I am too fast for your blades to follow.”
As Äs Nödt finished his sentence he noticed Byakuya had stopped swinging at him. He cocked his head to the side and looked to see what his opponent was doing, it became very clear. He had gathered his Senbonzakura’s thousands of blades back on its hilt, and held it upside down with the blade facing down, as he dropped it, it phased into the ground. “Ban-kai.” Is all Äs Nödt heard Byakuya say as he dropped his blade. As soon as he finished saying Bankai, two rows of blades appeared on either side of the captain.
“Scatter, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi.” Byakuya said. As he said this, the two rows of blades scattered into the same blades he saw with Byakuya’s Shikai, but there were many more this time in his Bankai. Within moments he saw the blades heading towards him, and soon engulfed him.