The Leader of Lost Souls

Lord Raine

Well-Known Member
#1
AN: I listened to Two Steps From Hell while writing this. I suggest you do the same while reading it. Search them on YouTube, and pick a song. It doesn't really matter which.
----


Everything in this world is made of particles. Some of them you can see. Some, you cannot. Some of them are common. Some of them are not. Some of them are ordinary, and some of them are more than a little strange.

When a person dies, the matrix of particles that make up their body degrades and falls apart. When a person's spirit dies, the matrix of particles that make up their soul degrades as well. But unlike the body, the particles of the soul are not entropic. They are part of a sum total that is firmly finite. This 'soul substance' goes back into the vast collective from whence it came, the Sea of Souls. From the Sea, all souls are born. To the Sea, all souls go to die. In this regard, every particle has 'always' been, and always will be. It is merely an arrangement of certain particles in specific patterns that make what could be called the 'individual.' Death, true death in all ways, destroys the individual, but the substance they are comprised of lives on.

In that way, even though 'you' will no longer be 'you,' your substance will still live on forever, broken apart and scattered, remembering in dreams things that have never been.

Except.

Except for one. The arrangement of a precise set of particles, singular out of the entire collective, in a specific pattern. If even one of this set of particles is missing, be it still in the collective or in the soul of another, it cannot happen. If all the particles are present, but in the wrong configuration, it cannot happen. If even a single particle is in the wrong place. . . it cannot happen.

It is a legend that none remember. An idea so dangerous that the mind who believed it was cast down in disgrace. A concept so compelling that it turned an honest young man who learned it into a monster in the pursuit of perfection and ultimate power.

The one chosen by that which has not the capacity to choose, whose very existence defies logic and reason, and transcends beyond the realms of life and death through the gates of divinity. The legend whispered to lost little children, as their dead mothers in heaven lay them down to sleep. The one who wears a crown, and sings and song, and will forever their soul to keep.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

"Oh yeah? Well I can't let you not teach me. I need it to protect Karakura!"

A pale hand casually reached out, grasping Ichigo's wrist and twisting his blade away.

"So what?" Tensai Getsuga said coldly, fixing Ichigo with a baleful stare. "I don't care what becomes of the things you want to protect."

"TELL ME, DAMNIT!"

Zangetsu looked down impassively, saying nothing.

"Why won't you help me, damnit! They're going to die! They're all going to die! I'm going to die! You're me, right? Have you seen the bullshit that's going on outside!? What that bastard has become capable of? He cut down the old man like it was nothing! What about protecting me? Protecting yourself? Isn't that something worth fighting for?"

"What I want to protect. . . does not need protecting."

Ichigo stared, incredulous. "W-what? What the hell! Are you blind? You can see what's going on outside, right? You're me, right? Part of me? How the hell can you say that when Aizen is running around splitting the damn sky with his power!? What the hell could possibly be safe from that?"

"One thing."

"Look, this is bullshit! My old man said you might get violent, so to hell with talking! If you won't tell me how to do this move, I'll just make you tell me!ö

"Foolish, Ichigo. do you know understand the significance of what I just said? Have you forgotten already what I am? What I am to you? To the abyss of power you come walking, Ichigo, and you do not know for what it is you ask. The king who controls the sky. The song of glory sung upon the Earth. Do these mean anything to you?"

"What the hell are you babbling about? What the hell do songs and sky-kings have to do with anything?"

"You will learn, then. Your sire thinks you are the same as he. That I am the same as his. He is only half right. I will fight you tooth and nail for this, Ichigo, but not for the reason he thinks. Your world was once full of hope, Ichigo, clusters of buildings piercing the sky! You once dreamed of mountains that had no peaks, of depths that held no fathoms! Of wars that raged without termination, and of fights against foes of unending strength! You dreamed of a world that held no limits, where anything could be done! And now, now, it is reduced to nothing but your tiny village!"

Tensai Zangetsu shook his head. "The rain of doubt that fell on this world has stopped, Ichigo. But now everything is underwater! All of this, because you despaired. Because you stopped walking, stopped moving forward. Because you stopped believing."

In a flicker of impossible movement, Tensai Zangetsu was standing in front of Ichigo, his hand embedded in Ichigo's shoulder.

"Ichigo. . . I cannot, I will not, leave you like this! Right here and now, I will draw out the source of your despair!"

With a wrench that shook the very world around them, Tensai Zangetsu tore a gigantic thing from Ichigo, an amorphous mass of white that continued to pour from the hole he had ripped, falling out next to them and splashing onto the ground.

ôYou do not yet understand who you are, so you cannot possibly begin to understand what your opposite is. Until you do, this hollow echo will not avail you.ö Tensai Zangetsu pointed at the mess, which was slowly beginning to form itself into a vaguely sapient shape.

"You come walking to the abyss of power, not knowing what it is you seek," Tensai Zangetsu intoned, drawing his own blade. "You come to me, asking for instruction in the Final Getsuga?" An eruption of energy exploded outwards from them, shattering the buildings and boiling the water. "Then FIGHT ME!"

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

ôStand up? Be strong? No right? No wrong? What do you ask of me? What do you mean?ö

ôWhat you believe matters, matters. You have set foot in æheaven,Æ and seen its slums and tyranny and elitism. Would you believe in that? Fight, for that? They tell you they are right, that this is right. Do you believe them?ö

ôI donÆt know.ö

ôThen learn. That is what I ask of you. Learn.ö

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Ichigo stood, his long hair waving in the wind, as he turned to face what was once Aizen, the black chains of his blade wrapped around his arm. Rangiku was sobbing over a broken Gin.

öIs it not amusing? The chains. The chains that bind all things, regardless of birth, fate, choice, or blood.ö

Ichigo looked over his shoulder, to the prone figure lying behind him.

ôThanks, dad.ö

öYou hold those chains in your hands, wrapped around your fingers, threaded through your hair. Free to bend them, to wrap them, to splice them together, or even break them apart by your will. It is no coincidence.ö

Effortlessly, Ichigo stretched out his senses, and felt what he was looking for.

ôGood. Looks like Yuzu and Karin are safe.ö

ôKurosaki Ichigo. Are you really Kurosaki Ichigo?ö

Ichigo looked down at the weeping Vice Captain, gazing detachedly into the eyes of the dying man. Without even thinking about it, he reached out with some part of him he hadnÆt known existed, and grasped a chain. It was near the very end, the last link crumbling away. With the deftest and simplest of movements, what was the end, became the beginning.

ôIf youÆre really Kurosaki Ichigo, IÆm disappointed. I canÆt feel any reiatsu from you. Even if you were holding it back, I would be able to feel something. YouÆve made a mistake. I gave you one last chance, but youÆve let it slip away.ö

Gin smiled. ÆYes. Your gaze has grown strong. Now I can. . . now I can. . . die? What. . .?Æ

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

ôYour friends will be destroyed by their inner demons if you do not intervene. Even if you win with this battle here and now, the war will not be over.ö

ôBut Aizen-ô

ôAizen is merely the beginning. A symptom of a much greater problem. There is no true difference between Heaven and Hell, Ichigo. DoesnÆt that strike you as odd? As wrong? No. No, Ichigo, IÆm afraid the war has only just begun.ö

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

ôI see now, Kurosaki Ichigo. The reason you lost your reiatsu. You didnÆt lose it. You abandoned it. I donÆt know how you did it, but youÆve converted all of your reiatsu into physical strength. Your arms, your legs, your grip. Your throwing and running, your climbing and leaping. You gave up your reiatsu in order to rapidly increase your physical strength. You've abandoned the idea of fighting me with reiatsu. But you should despair. Because even that strength that is your last thread of hope cannot begin to compare to mine.ö

With a flicker of speed so intense that the world screamed in agony, the creature that Aizen had become moved, swinging its blade. In a blazing flash of noise and a titanic rush of energy, two lengths of spirit energy slid across each other, and a mountain in the distance fell, cloven cleanly in two.

Aizen smiled. ôNice parry. But surely, you must be surprised? Just one swing of my sword has changed the landscape. That is how strong I have become. In truth, even I did not think my powers would increase this much. IÆm happy, Kurosaki Ichigo. Thanks to you, I can freely test this powers that surpass both Hollow and Shinigami!ö

With another rush of air that made the world shudder, their blades met. With a twist that made the chains on his arm tighten Zangetsu into his grip, Ichigo instinctually calmed the suffering.

ôStrangely enough, it seems we have both evolved to the point where our Zanpakutos seem fused to our hands. Perhaps this is the true form of our Zanpakutos? However, after crossing swords, I now know for sure that my evolution is an entire different dimension than yours. If I wanted to, I could shatter your sword in one blow!

Echoing through the monsterÆs blade, Ichigo felt a twisted chain, warped and deformed and crying. An image flickered through his mind of a woman, tall and strong, dressed like nobility. Twisted spikes of wretched intent twisted through her body and burst through her skin, violating her. Every sob brought a fresh wave of pain and despair, and fresh drops of blood to drip down into the pool of water at her feet, staining it and the moonÆs reflection red.

Aizen swung his blade, laughing, but Ichigo reached up, smoothly catching it in his hand even as the massive backdraft blasted the stone behind him to dust.

ô. . . impossible,ö Aizen whispered, his eyes wide, but Ichigo paid him no heed. With barely a thought, he wiped the womanÆs tears away. Her head snapped up, gazing intently into the surrounding darkness, as the warm comfort of a strangely familiar hand flooded through her, washing the pain away. Slowly, she turned her gaze up, and stared incredulously as, for the first time, the moon appeared, not just a reflection, shining silver light down from clear, infinite skies. Slowly, painfully, she raised a trembling hand up, fingers outstretched, and blood dribbled down her lips as she whispered a single word into the turmoil.

ô. . . Master. . . ?ö

ÆI could understand if heÆd dodged. It should have been too fast for him to dodge, but still. If he had dodged, I could understand. But he stopped it!? He stopped. . .my blow.Æ

IchigoÆs lips twitched as the thoughts and emotions flowed through the sword clutched in his hand.

ôWhy are you so surprised? Is it that unbelievable that I stopped your blow? Are you scared? That something is happening, before your eyes, that you canÆt understand?ö

Aizen wrenched his arm away, and backpedaled, landing some distance away. ôDonÆt speak to me as if youÆve won. Your physical strength just surpassed mine for a moment, that is all. But there wonÆt be another miracle when I smash you to dust with kido!ö

The creature raised its hands and darkness burst from the earth, towering above the combatants. The very air screamed as the force of its own weight crushed it.

ôThe turbid crest beings to blur! An insolent vessel of madness! Seething, denying, numbing, blinking, disturbing slumber! An iron princess creeping along! A doll of mud ever disintegrating! Unite! Oppose! Filling the earth! Know your own impotence! Hado Number 90! Black Coffin! This is a full Hitsugi incantation by one who has surpassed both Hollow and Shinigami! The flow of gravity is enough to warp space-time! You cannot even begin to fathom it, Kurosaki Ichigo!ö

A part of Ichigo recognized the forms. Twisted black crosses, charred by divine fire, that once crucified the forms of saints and the guiltless, and held the titans beneath the Sea of Souls. A sorcerery that summoned the righteous malice of the unjustly slain, and channeled power through the roots of the world tree itself.

With a gesture, he broke it. The titanic forms, shadows cast from their berths deep within the Sea, shattered, and drifted away on the wind like smoke.

ôIt looks like you still donÆt get it. The sword that destroyed those mountains wasnÆt yours. It was mine.ö

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

ôWhat should I do, then?ö

ôWhatever you wish. The choice is yours. That is a rare gift. Many believe they have it, but precious few do. However, regardless of your actions, the gears of war have already been set in motion. Nothing can stop it now.ö

ôShould I fight? Who are my enemies?ö

ôYou should do whatever you feel that you must. Meet tomorrow when it comes, but do not fear it in the hours precluding. That way lies only death and pain.ö

ôYou didnÆt tell me who my enemies were.ö

ôOf course not. For what I know in your heart you will do, we have not nearly the time.ö

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

ôItÆs strange. You asked me why I kept my distance, but here you are doing the same. Shall I ask you now? Why do you distance yourself?ö

ô. . . I see. Are you happy you stopped my sword? Are you happy you destroyed my kido? Are you happy you wounded me. . . ?ö

AizenÆs face twisted in a rictus of fury even as it split apart, a third eye erupting in a spurt of blood. ôDO NOT GET ABOVE YOURSELF, HUMAN!!!ö

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

ôWonÆt this destroy you?ö

ôI already told you. IÆm immortal.ö

ôBut youÆre me.ö

ôAnd now you begin to understand just how special you are.ö

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

'I still don't feel anything. It. . . it can't be. . . When I evolved to a dimension beyond Shinigami, it became impossible for humans or Shinigami to sense my reiatsu unless I deliberately lowered the level to something they could comprehend, just as a two-dimensional being cannot comprehend a three-dimensional being. It can't be. Could it be. . . ? Is he standing. . . yet another dimension above me?'

"IMPOSSIBLE! A MERE HUMAN COULD NEVER SURPASS ME!! IT CAN'T BE!!"

öWe will meet again, Ichigo. But until we do, rest. Make happiness and love with your friends and family while you still can. Enjoy these halcyon days. Because war is coming. A war for the Throne. And I will see the King sit upon his rightful place. The King of the Sky. The Singer of Glories. The Leader of Lost Souls.ö

öWhen we fought, I felt nothing but loneliness from your blade, Zangetsu.ö

öYou are perceptive. It is because I stand alone beneath storm-wracked skies that cry infinite tears, looking up into the darkness.ö

öWhy?ö

öBecause IÆm looking for my Master. All of the divine spirits are.ö

öDo you think youÆll ever find him?ö

öItÆs not something IÆm worried about anymore.ö

The sky blushed as it felt the presence of its master, running red and black. The clouds thundered and roared in exaltation, juggling lightning and hail as the wind and the rain sang the songs unsung to the bloody moon and burning sun.

öMugetsu.ö
 

zeebee1

Well-Known Member
#2
Rangeku?

Other than that it was pretty good. Though without your thoughts on it this seems complete.
 

ragnarok1337

Well-Known Member
#5
Seems like the lead into a new story about a war between heaven and hell, and [an] attempt(s) to fill the throne.Not much has changed in canon so far, except some of the words changed in Ichigo's Inner World.
 

Lord Raine

Well-Known Member
#7
You guys seriously didn't get it? I thought I made it fairly clear.
 

Canis

Well-Known Member
#8
Raine made Ichigo the God Emperor...or something.
 

Rabe

Well-Known Member
#10
Canis said:
Raine made Ichigo the God Emperor...or something.
More like Ichigo is the first full blown divinity to arise from within the system.
 

Lord Raine

Well-Known Member
#11
Rabe said:
Canis said:
Raine made Ichigo the God Emperor...or something.
More like Ichigo is the first full blown divinity to arise from within the system.
THANK YOU

I was seriously concerned that nobody had figured that out. I thought I was being too blunt when I wrote it.
 

Chaos341

Well-Known Member
#12
This adds a new dynamic to Hichigo's King and Horse speech. Let me see if I got this right. Ichigo is the King reincarnated, the one truly singular soul in existence, and now he is somewhat aware and having flashbacks to what I assume is the time where he died. And now after he 'lost' his powers he is enjoying the fun times until his true enemies appear. On the whole, very good and I look forward to seeing it continue.
 

Lord Raine

Well-Known Member
#13
Ichigo is the King of the Sky, the Leader of Lost Souls. He was once the King, but is no longer. Now, he is merely one of many entities that could seek to claim the Throne and become King. He is beginning to remember his power over the Chains of Destiny. Zanpakuto are 'divine spirits' that originate from the Realm of Gods, which is a third Gate that remains sealed, much like the Gate to Heaven and the Gate to Hell. When the Throne is contested, the third Gate will open, bringing an entirely new universe with it, along with many entities that also wish to claim the Throne.

To place into perspective the strength being dealt with, note this: all Zanpakuto will recognize the Sky King as their Master, because the Sky King created them when he was King. The Sky King is not the most powerful entity in the three realms.

Because there is no King on the Throne, Hell lacks any sort of order, and has become what amounts to a dumping ground, a convenient base of operations for powerful maleviolent entities. Heaven is little more than a walled city of slums surrounding a few crystal towers, and ruled over by the absolute authority of a secret council that answers to no one. And the Godrealm has devolved into chaos, with various divine monsters and gods fighting for control over arcane resources and wayward souls, or simply fighting out of grudge and spite.

Hell is a breeding ground for evil, Heaven is a tyrannical slum, and the divine realm is little more than a battleground for the constant conflicts between various begrudged factions seeking to assert dominance and strength over the other.

So the question then becomes, why was the Throne emptied in the first place? What caused the Sky King to leave? And now that he has returned, who will get to be the King of Souls?
 

da_fox2279

California Crackpot
#14
... Damn.

That was... i can't even describe. Damn fine, though.

Question: this a one-shot or the beginning of a series? 'Cause I so very want to see this continued. The way you describe things going on in Heaven, Hell, and God-Realm; the questions posed... Oh god YES, I want to see more of this.
 

Lord Raine

Well-Known Member
#15
Whether or not this gets continued or remains a oneshot depends entirely on the feedback for it. If people want more, I can do more. But I wrote it so that if they don't, then this can just stand as it is as a oneshot.

Seeing how only a handful of people have commented, and out of those, the most common comment was 'wtf,' the prospect isn't looking terribly good.

Maybe it's because I made it too artsy. I'm not really sure.
 

Chaos341

Well-Known Member
#16
I hope that you do continue this. But if you don't you will continue something else and I am fine with that too.
 

staplesdex2

Well-Known Member
#17
I always wondered, when the hell did authors desperate that they will only write for the reviews. I mean yeah one could argue that reviews could give criticism but I always thought that writers write because they want to and not care what other people think.
 

Lord Raine

Well-Known Member
#18
I don't write for reviews, but I do like them, because they give me a perspective on my writing that I am unable to give myself.

Also, for me, no reviews is worse than bad reviews. At least bad reviewers cared enough to tell you you shat something up. No reviews or an incredibly low review-to-viewer ratio means the people who read it did not care enough to tell you anything. Apathy is far worse than dislike. My entire purpose as a storyteller is to excite and enthrall others through various mediums involving words. No reviews or very very few reviews doesn't just mean people didn't care enough to comment; it also means you have no idea what you did wrong that made them not care, because they aren't talking to you.

Basically, I like it when people talk to me about what I write. Even if they're telling me why it sucks, because then I know what to improve on next time, or possibly fix through future plot. I care about actual 'review count' about as much as I care about forum post count; that is to say, I don't give a flying fuck, and actively look down on those who do.
 

zeebee1

Well-Known Member
#19
If this will get you to write then do it. Because I'm tired of you not writing. You have the skill, and I'd rather not see it wasted anymore.
 

Tsuki_CB

Well-Known Member
#20
I want to see more. I didn't find it the least bit confusing and I think what you have here Raine is a very ambitious and very epic fic in the making.
 

Ranma Uzumaki

Well-Known Member
#21
I want more this sound like it will be awesome.
 

randombugger

Well-Known Member
#22
Huh, so I take it that this is based on a number of your theories over the years? That said those that went 'wtf' really need to read a number of your older threads. The basics of what this is about are really quite easy to spot, and are also just as interesting. Especially some of the implications.
 

zerohour

Well-Known Member
#23
The thing is, it reads mainly like a prologue, so there isn't too much to comment on.

It's an impressive undertaking. Risky. You're introducing a whole new slew of characters, and you have to keep them balanced, and give them a degree of realism that you don't need with canon characters.

I'm interested in seeing this continue, but I'll hold off judgement until you progress further. Looks good so far though.
 

Python453

Well-Known Member
#24
The only problem I have is what direction would you take it in? Are you going to follow canon loosely, and have Ichigo trying to regain his God powers?

Or is he going to keep the power, post Mugetsu?
 

Alectai

Active Member
#25
Hey, I'd keep reading it, it's pretty decent, and has potential to be cool, it's just--as has been stated--a prologue, rather then anything with meat in it.
 
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