Äs Nödt leaned back on his pillow; the events of the day melted away, and his thoughts focused on the only thing that mattered to him at the moment.
‘Rukia, can I truly believe that you love me? What is there about me to even love? How can you have feelings for someone such as I? Someone who was your enemy not so long ago; someone who takes their enemies worse fear, and torments them with it until they die.
How can someone like that be loved?’
His eyes soon grew heavy, and soon his thoughts faded as he fell asleep.
“Grandmaster Äs Nödt, you must wake up sir!” A stranger’s voice woke him from a deep sleep.
Äs Nödt’s eyes opened. A young soldat was standing next to his bed.
“Sir, we were sent by Emperor Ishida as the Embassy’s security force, and he sent more Embassy staff as well. All the leaders of the Soul Society and the Emperor himself will be present soon for the summit meeting.” The soldat informed him.
“Good.” He told the young soldat as he swung his legs over the side of the bed. “Leave now I must get ready to greet them.” Äs said as he rose to his feet.
“Yes Sir.” The Soldat said as he left the room, closing the door behind him.
‘I never thought we would get this far, we’re finally forming a damn treaty. I have my doubts that we’ll come to an amicable agreement though. Too many pompous leaders with agendas of their own.
We certainly have reason not to trust each other. The Quincy killed one of the oldest and strongest Soul Reaper that ever lived, and as for them? Well there’s the fact that they almost attacked us after we agreed to form a treaty. In all reality, I think the only reason they didn’t was because Bazz B and I were ready for them and luckily it didn’t go that way.’ Äs Nödt thought to himself as he put on his Sternritter uniform with the double breasted trench coat that was ankle length. It was similar to the one he wore on the Wandenreich’s first invasion of the Soul Society. He slides on his hooded cloak and black trench boots before putting on his black mask with its five spikes running directly down the middle of it. With his uniform complete, he heads off.
As he was walking down the hall he noticed that the new staff was in place, and realized that it must have happened while he was asleep. ‘All these people came in while I was asleep? Quite impressive.’ Äs thought to himself right before a voice interrupted him.
“Pretty damn nice huh?” Äs immediately recognized the voice as Bazz B.
Äs chuckles, “I know, I go to sleep, the place is empty. I wake up this morning, the place is fully staffed. Incredible, The Emperor can move people pretty damn quick; I’ll give him that.”
“Yeah…oh by the way, he needs to speak with us. He’s down the hall in the conference room getting ready for the summit meeting. It’s important.” Bazz B says in a serious tone, one he didn’t use very often.
“Alright, then let’s stop wasting words and be off.” Äs said as he headed in the direction of the conference room which was just down the hall.
The Sternritter arrived a few seconds later and opened one of the large double doors revealing the Emperor sitting at the head of the long oval table in a large leather office chair.
“You requested our presence Your Majesty?” Bazz B said as he closed the door behind him.
“Yes Bazz B. Äs Nödt, I just got confirmation that the Kidō Corps will be joining our alliance. I wanted to congratulate you.” Uryu said.
“Thank you Your Majesty.” Äs continued. “But I think there is another reason you came, you wouldn’t come here early just to congratulate me.”
Uryu smiled. “Very perceptive Äs Nödt. You continue to impress me. I want you and Bazz B to be with me while the summit takes place. The Soul Reapers Head Captain is going to bring the surviving Captains and distinguished Lieutenants with him. So I will bring a distinguished Sternritter with me, and the new Grandmaster who kept the Wandenreich intact while they looked for their new Emperor.” Uryu continued. “My father will also be coming, even though he is new, he holds a position of power, such as Äs Nödt. And Ichigo will also be coming. But that is expected, he did defeat Yhwach.”
Both Äs Nödt and Bazz B fell silent, thinking on what there Emperor said. There was a sudden knock on the door, and it slowly opened.
“Someone said you wanted to see me Uryu.” Ryūken said as he walked in and closed the door behind him.
“Father, I need you to join me, Bazz B, and Äs Nödt in the summit.” Uryu said as he shifted his focus onto his father.
“Fine, I saw a few Soul Reaper Captains on my way over here by the way. I assume there a part of the Soul Reapers delegation. I’ll take a seat if that’s ok with you.” Ryūken said as he took a seat next to his son.
“That’s fine with me father.” Uryu replied as he looked back on Bazz B and Äs Nödt. “The other delegates will be here in a moment, we should all take our seats.”
Äs Nödt proceeded to sit next to Uryu, opposite of Ryūken. Bazz B sat next to Äs. A few moments passed, before both the double doors opened and Head Captain Shunsui Kyōraku walked in. Behind him were all the Soul Reaper Captains that survived the war, Suì-Fēng, Shinji Hirako, Tessai Tsukabishi, Kenpachi Zaraki, Jūshirō Ukitake, Kisuke Urahara, and Tōshirō Hitsugaya. Ichigo stepped in behind them with Byakuya Kuchiki and Renji Abarai. Äs Nödt’s eyes widened at the sight of the last person to walk in.
“Rukia…” Äs said under his breath.
Rukia flashed him a smile almost as if she had heard his surprised whisper.
“Welcome, I’m happy that everyone was able to make it.” Uryu says as the Soul Reapers take their seats.
“As am I, Emperor Ishida. And can I say that I’m very happy that we were able to make this meeting happen.” Shunsui says with a smile.
“This is the first meeting between Soul Reapers and Quincy’s in over 200 years. Let’s hope it goes over better today than it did back then.” Uryu says, remembering his grandfather telling him about the Soul Reapers and Quincy’s meeting about the danger of the balance of souls between the world of the living and the Soul Society, which ultimately ended in the near destruction of the entire Quincy race.
At Uryu’s words, Shunsui fell silent for a moment before replying. “…Indeed. So, how shall we start this summit?”
“I will begin. It is my thought that getting to the point of this summit quickly will serve us all well. Having said that, my first proposal is a request for the Soul Reapers to end monitoring of Quincy in the world of the living.” Uryu continued, raising his voice. “That monster you had stationed in 12th division butchered my people for his sick experiments. I don’t want my people subjected to that ever again!”
“You think you’re in the position to make demands?” Captain of Second Division, Suì-Fēng began. “You’re lucky the Head Captain agreed to this meeting at all! How do we know you won’t try to start another war?! That was part of the reason Quincy were monitored in the first place!” Suì-Fēng was yelling at this point, the veins in her neck looking as if they were going to explode!
“You think I would risk a war at this point? The Quincy were nearly annihilated! We’ve only just begun to recover. It is not my intention to have my people die out in some pointless war with you people!” Uryu retaliated; the calmness of his voice belied the anger behind his words.
“Enough!” Ichigo shouted. “I don’t think that this is an outrageous request. I understand their reasons for not wanting to be monitored, and I also understand the reasons for monitoring the Quincy. However, Uryu makes a point, and I think I agree with him. The Quincy we’re subjected to terrible things while they were monitored for over 200 years, and they have payed dearly for it. I know if my people were victim to such things I would want revenge for it. I’m all for Uryu’s proposal.” Ichigo said, as he shared a smile with Uryu.
“Well if Kurosaki thinks its ok, then I see no harm in it!” Shunsui says cheerfully, in and attempt to ease the tensions.
Suì-Fēng spoke up. “But Head Captain…!”
“That’s enough Suì-Fēng, put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn’t you want the same thing?” Shunsui asks.
Suì-Fēng fell silent, unable to argue his words.
“I think I’ll make a proposal as well. I want a guarantee that the Quincy won’t interfere in the business of Soul Reapers.” Shunsui said as he looked the Quincy Emperor in the eye.
“Could you be more specific Head Captain?” Äs Nödt asked.
“When we bring Souls into the Soul Society, or conduct special missions in the World of the Living…” The Head Captain was cut off by Bazz B
“The World of the Living is the home of Quincy! We are allowed just as much rein of it as Soul Reapers! There are still Quincy living in the World of the Living after all!” Bazz B yelled.
“Yes we understand that. But Quincy still poses the threat to the balance of souls.” Shunsui said.
“We can’t be forced to simply cease fighting Hollows! We can’t and we won’t! There has to be another solution.” Bazz B retaliated. Anger filled his voice.
Rukia spoke up in a clear voice. “We should allow the Quincy to fight Hollows, we can’t just stop them from doing that. But we can request that they do not interfere with what we do in the World of the Living when we are engaged with the Hollows or on missions of our own. The same would hold true with us.”
Bazz B was silent.
“I support that proposal.” Äs Nödt said.
“That girl has the right idea, I’ll support the proposal.” Uryu’s father spoke up.
“If the Grandmaster and my father think that’s what is right, then I do as well.” Uryu said.
“If they do, then count me in.” Bazz B said.
Shunsui sighed, “That seems fair enough. I’ll agree with that... But on one condition, the Quincy will surrender their territory in Hueco Mundo; we would also like to set up an Embassy in the Shadow Realm.”
Uryu shakes his head. “We will permit an Embassy, however we cannot surrender Hueco Mundo, it is a part of our Empire, we retain the order there. We reduce the number of Hollows that appear in the world of the living. Of course this may cause a problem with the balance of Souls; so I would request Quincy-Soul Reaper joint task forces that hunts down our rogue Hollows that don’t accept our rule.”
“Alright, I suppose that makes sense. You sound like you have everything planned already. I guess we can…” Uryu interrupted the Head Captain.
“I have one last request before we sign the Peace Treaty. I want to request an Alliance between the Quincy of the Wandenreich and the Soul Reapers of the 13 Court Guard Squad.”