A New Era
All eyes shifted to Uryu, Äs Nödt slowly approached him. Rukia followed. Uryu looked at all that were present. He noticed that all his friends were there, except Orihime and Chad. He couldn’t bear to look them in the eye, it was too much. He felt a deep shame for betraying them.
“So what’s it going to be Uryu? Will you join us once more and lead us?” Äs said in a deeply determined tone.
“It’s going to be tough, but we need someone to lead us through this. Even if it is someone we hardly know, you can’t be worse than Yhwach. So, will you be the emperor of the Wandenreich and lead the Quincy or not?” Bazz B said determined to get Uryu to accept.
Uryu took a moment to look around the room. He finally managed the courage to look at their faces. He shifted his eyes from Renji, to Rukia, and finally to Ichigo. Ichigo returned his stare and finally broke the silence that permeated the room.
“Well are you going to accept it or not Ishida?” Ichigo said as he folded his arms.
“huh!? Wait…you don’t care if I accept?” Uryu said, his eyes wide.
“You’re absolutely right Uryu, but I think I finally understand why you did it. All this time you thought you were the last Quincy alive didn’t you? Then you learned about these guys. I can’t imagine how you felt at learning there were other Quincy.” Ichigo told him, his voice sincere.
“Ichigo…” Uryu starts, but quickly lowers his head.
Äs Nödt walks over to him and lays his hand on his shoulder. “Uryu, I realize this is a big decision, but right now we need a leader, someone who can get us through this… without arguing over it. You were chosen to be the next emperor for a reason, show us what you can do.” Äs said as he lifted his hand off Uryu’s shoulder.
Uryu was silent; he felt overwhelmed thinking about everything that had happened. Äs was right. Now that Yhwach was defeated; he was the next emperor of the Wandenreich. ‘But how? How can I lead them myself? They barely trusted me to begin with, and now they want me as emperor, can I really do this? Can they truly learn to trust me? How am I to lead without the trust of my subjects? I know what I must do, if for nothing else, the for the sake of all the Quincy!’
“I know my answer…” Uryu said as he looked around the room “I…will accept, for the sake of the Quincy. If I must lead you, I will!” He said in a voice filled with pride.
A smile played at the corners of Bazz-B’s mouth at the irony. He disapproved of Uryu all this time and now he was his new emperor, for the time being anyways. Bazz-B knew what was at stake, and that is why he knew in his heart that this must happen.
“Well then your Majesty, what is your first order?” Äs Nödt said. It was going to be hard getting used to the idea of calling Uryu ‘Your Majesty’ he thought with a smile. However, he needed to know what to do next, so there was no time to waste.
“Our first priority is to return the Silbern and Wandenreich City to the Shadow Realm, and then we’ll go from there.” Uryu said as he stood up. He then looked over at Renji, Ichigo, and Rukia. “It’s safe to assume that you don’t want our capital on top of The Seireitei so… we’d appreciate some help in returning it to its rightful dimension.” Uryu said in a sarcastic tone.
“Uhh… yeah we’d be glade to help, but…well I’m not too sure about the others. They most likely want to execute you all.” Renji replied.
“Hmm. You have a good point. But even so, I’m sure we can come up with some sort of treaty or agreement that would be satisfactory for all of us.” Uryu said. His voice did not portrait the uncertainty he felt, because he knew he had to make an effort to avoid any further fighting.
“If you say so.” Renji said with no emotion.
“Alright, Liltotto I want you to go ask Head Captain Shunsui if he will help us with this.” Uryu said. He was hopeful that this would work, because he knew Shunsui. The man was much more laid back than his predecessor, Genryūsai Yamamoto, who was killed during the fighting. He knows that if he can come to an agreement with Shunsui, they have a slim chance at avoiding heavy reparations, though it was likely they would have to pay something in return for the damage that was done.
“Um, Ishida I don’t think that’s a good idea, you may want one of us to talk to Head Captain Shunsui.” Renji suggested.
“We caused this war.” Uryu told him. “It is our duty to begin the journey towards peace. And it will be a long road to peace Renji.” Uryu stated.
“Ok, fine. If you’re must.” Renji told him, although his voice held some uncertainty. “We will ensure that it happens though. Come on guys.”
“We’ll go with Liltotto.” Bazz-B said as he followed Renji and the others, signaling Giselle to follow him.
As they began to leave however, Uryu called Äs Nödt to him.
“Äs Nödt, I would speak to you in private.”
“Of course.” Äs said.
As Äs Nödt approached the new young emperor, he heard him ask a question.
“Äs Nödt, I know you were killed by Rukia. I want to know…how you came back to life?” Uryu asked as Äs stopped in front of him.
“You are intelligent Your Majesty. Think about it, there’s only one way I could come back. One word, Auswählen. Though I’m positive it was not meant to happen, it somehow drew me in with it and revived me along with the Schutzstaffel.” Äs Nödt said.
“So that explains how you came back to fight us. Then you must have led Bazz-B, Liltotto, and Gisele this whole time, considering you were the strongest.” Uryu said, knowing he was right.
“You can say that. But I have to tell you, when it came to deciding on a new emperor, I wanted to make sure we were all in agreement… on you. I know you’re going to ask why I didn’t decide to claim the position since I was the strongest.” Knowing Uryu’s mind before he could ask the question. “ It’s quite simple really. I would not make a good emperor, and I have no desire to be one. Yes, I led the Sternritter, but that was because we all had a lot riding on saving you. The fate of the Quincy…will be decided by one person... You.” Äs said.
Uryu was shocked that Äs seemed to know what he was thinking, and humbled by his reasoning. He knew this man would someday be a great asset to him. ‘Could he be the next…’ before Uryu could finish his thought Äs Nödt interrupted him.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make sure they’re not screwing this up for us, I’ll make sure we get the Soul Reapers help Your Majesty, I promise.”
“Good. I need you to let me know how I will be received by our former enemy.” Uryu said in a sarcastic voice, his old confidence rising to the surface.
“As you wish, Your Majesty.” Äs said before exiting the room.
As he walked down the stairs he noticed someone waiting for him. He continued down the stairs and emerged back into the throne room. He looked around and noticed the person waiting for him was Rukia. He couldn’t help but smile underneath his black mask.
“Rukia, I thought you were going with Renji and the others, what are you doing in the throne room?” Äs Nödt asked curiously.
“Well I was but…I decided to wait and go to the head captain with you.” As she said this, Rukia’s face started to turn a bright red.
“Are you going to hold my hand to?” Äs said sarcastically as he raised his eyebrow.
“What! No! I wasn’t going to do that…I… I just didn’t want you to have to walk alone…” Rukia was breathless and very flustered. She felt like her face was on fire!
“Relax, I was just kidding. Your about the same shade as a cherry right now.” He told her with a small laugh. “I’m glad I won’t have to go alone.”
Rukia said nothing, but she did give him a slight smile.
“Well then, let’s be off.” Äs said, signaling her to follow him.
As they were walking down the same long hall the other Sternritter and Soul Reapers had traveled, Rukia spoke to break the silence.
“So…Uryu’s the new emperor after all.”
“Yes, I guess he is. It was the only option we had. If anyone of us Quincy that are still alive, made the claim for the throne we’d be doing nothing but fighting each other. And that would just make us an easy target to be finished off.” Äs Nödt said as he lowered his head.
He couldn’t help but think of what could have happened had he not united the other Sternritter in selecting Uryu as the new emperor.
“I see. But what would you have done if he declined?” Rukia asked as she turned to face Äs.
“I don’t know. I would hope that we would be smart enough to decide which of us would be best suited to be the emperor, and hopefully come to an agreement.” Äs said as he looked back at Rukia. “However, with emotions and tensions running high these days, that would have been doubtful.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound insensitive Äs.” Rukia said as she lowered her head.
“Don’t worry about it Rukia.” Äs Nödt said as he set his hand on the tiny little Soul Reapers head that didn’t even reach his shoulder. Just as he did this, they arrived at their destination.
“I guess this is it. You ready Rukia?” Äs said as he lifted he hand and reached for the door handle.
“Ready when you are.” Rukia replied
Äs Nödt proceeded to open the door and upon entering noticed Liltotto sitting on a large leather office chair alongside Renji. Across from them was Head Captain Shunsui, the only thing separating them was a large Mahogany desk that had had the Wandenreich Star engraved on the front of it. Äs Nödt remembers the desk… it was formerly Yhwach desk.
“Äs Nödt, you’re here, that’s a surprise. Did Ishida send you?” Bazz B asked.
“No, I came on my own initiative. And don’t you agree that we should start addressing him as ‘His Majesty’?” Äs Nödt replied, narrowing his eyes at Bazz B.
“Fine, fine. But it isn’t going to be easy…or enjoyable.”
“Rukia! There you are what kept you so long?” Renji ask with concern.
Rukia was silent for a moment. She was late because she waited for Äs. She knew if she told Renji why she was really late, they would get into an argument over it since Äs and the others were their enemy just a few days ago. Tensions were still running high and there were still hard feelings.
“I told her to wait before she left the room.” Äs’s voice broke the silence as he saved her from answering.
“Why would you do that?” Renji’s asked as he narrowed his eyes on Äs. He was still unsure of the Quincy’s, and especially Äs Nödt.
“If we really want to heal after the war, we should get to know one another. So it’s only logical to talk to each other.” Äs said, shrugging off the fact that Renji’s eyes were ignoring everything else but him.
“…I guess you have a point.” Renji said after a brief hesitation, satisfied with Äs Nödt’s answer. He turned and looked back on the head captain.
Rukia looked over at Äs and smiled. She wasn’t sure, but it seemed as if he was smiling at her, at least by the look she now saw in his eyes.
Before she could think on it more, another voice broke the silence.
“Ahh there we are. Now we’re all set! I take it the young emperor won’t be making an appearance?” Head Captain Shunsui said in a lazy but cheerful voice.
“No, his majesty is still coming to terms with his new role as emperor.” Äs said. What he didn’t tell the Head Captain was that Uryu wanted him to get the feel of the Soul Reapers before he made an appearance.
“Well alright then. Renji and Liltotto told me what you were intending on doing. I want that done as well and we’d help with that. But the big question is what would we do after all’s said and done.” Shunsui says as he leans forward on his desk “We can’t just let you off the hook after the war, and even if we could there’d be to many angered Soul Reapers in the other divisions.” He continued.
“That’s why where proposing a treaty to be formed. We would list our terms and come to an agreement on the ones we like.” Liltotto said in a serious tone.
“The other divisions might not want to negotiate about this, as well as our lower ranking subordinates, not after all that’s happened.” Shunsui said as he lowered his head “I know you all helped us, and that might help reduce any punishment you receive. I would be willing to negotiate but with you but if I did that, I would probably get in hot water with Central 46.” Shunsui said in a saddened tone.
“What if you ignore their rulings?” Ichigo asked curiously.
“It’s not that simple unfortunately. They have the authority to use deadly force. That means they would have the Stealth Force, the Kidō Corps, or the 13 Court Gourd under there command. If we don’t follow their rulings, they’ll make us follow them.” Shunsui replies sadly.
“But that’s not fair! They can’t just force you to do what they say without consent!” Ichigo yells angrily.
“Who says we don’t just use force to make them follow us?” A devious voice asks as someone walks through the door. Everyone’s eyes soon turn toward the mysterious voice.
Uryu slowly makes his way toward the desk, facing the head captain.
“Well, I didn’t think you were going to show up. This was unexpected.” Shunsui says in his normal lazy tone.
“Life is full of the unexpected.” Uryu replies with a grin.
All eyes were now on Uryu.
“Uryu, you’re here.” Ichigo says. “What do you mean by forcing them? You mean fight them?”
“Didn’t I make that obvious Ichigo?” Uryu says sarcastically.
”Knowing how they work, that would be our only option. However, I would like to avoid any more fighting, so I would just start off by ignoring them. I doubt any Soul Reaper would care what 46 has to say at this point.” Uryu continues in a suddenly serious tone.
“Sooner or later, they would order the use of force, what would we do then?” Rukia asked curiously.
“Then we would have to fight back. But, I think we could at least ally with the Stealth Force, since their division is a part of the 13 Court Guard. That would leave only the Kidō Corps to face us.” Uryu says.
“With that many people on our side, I doubt the Kidō Corp would want to fight us. We may even be able to convince them to join us.” Shunsui says, intrigued by this new idea. “That doesn’t solve our problem with the other lower ranking subordinates or the other divisions.”
“They’ll understand that we helped you, and the other captains and officers saw us fighting Yhwach and his guard.” Äs Nödt noted.
“Does that help you make your decision head captain?” Uryu asked.
“I suppose it does. Let’s shake on it!” Shunsui says with a smile and holds out his hand. Uryu complies by extending his hand to shake Shunsui’s. “Great! We have a deal now. But when should we meet again to form a treaty to outline the new peace?” Shunsui asks.
“Next week. Everything should be settled by then. For now we should focus on moving the Silbern back to the Shadow Realm.” Uryu replies.
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll inform the other captains about our plan. Renji, Ichigo, Rukia, come with me.” Shunsui says as he gets out of his chair and signals them to follow him.
“Alright, Liltotto, Bazz B, Äs Nödt. Let’s go find out how Candice has fared.” Uryu said with a grin.