68 CHAPTER 70: A Dangerous Mission

The moment Kisuke's proposal escaped his lips, a blanket of silence fell over the room. Yoruichi's eyes twinkled with amusement. Just as she'd predicted, Kazuya's composure was rattled. To him, Kisuke's suggestion was nothing less than a call to step back into his own haunted past — the Gotei 13, home to his murderer, the wolf in sheep's clothing Aizen Sosuke.

"What?! How could you ever think I'd say yes to that?" Kazuya responded, his surprise masterfully acted. He had a hunch about Kisuke's real plan, but playing dumbfounded seemed necessary to keep things smooth.

Kisuke sighed. "I admit I have an amazing sense of humor but this isn't one of my pranks. Kazuya-san, if you were to pick one between the 4th, 8th, or 13th Squad, what would it be?"

"I don't know. Why are you asking me?"

"In this mission, your goal would be to steadily climb ranks and grow close to one of those captains," Yoruichi said as she sat up straight. "Hmm, when you're comfortable enough, reveal the truth about Aizen. Captain Unohona, Captain Ukitake, and Captain Kyoraku are the closest to General Commander. They will do the job of convincing General Yamamoto. With your rich knowledge of the Seireitei and Aizen's plans, it won't take more than twenty years."

'Twenty years.'

The words echoed in the depths of his mind, reverberating like a gong. For Kisuke and Yoruichi, twenty years was a blink. But for him, it was almost his entire life.

'Their plan is utterly useless.'

Aizen was absurdly strong even without his Zanpakutō, Kyōka Suigetsu. The only beings currently capable of fighting Aizen were the Royal Guards or the Sternritters. He doubted any Captain, even Yamamoto, could apprehend Aizen. Yamamoto may have a chance of killing Aizen in a battle.

Then he remembered the names of Captains Kisuke recited to him.

'Captain Unohana… Is she worth risking my life for? Absolutely!'

His determination wavered as soon he recalled the elegantly psychotic captain.

Yoruichi gave a knowing nod as she noticed Kazuya's gradual understanding. "They won't recognize you if you become a Shinigami with your current appearance… your soul form, I mean."

"Still…" he drawled, reluctant despite the anticipation that bubbled within him at the prospect of meeting Unohana. "Aizen will be there… I'm not confident I can fool Aizen… Why not do it yourself?" His gaze flicked to Kisuke, questioning him to take up the challenge instead.

"This guy is prohibited from entering Senkaimon," Yoruichi said as her gaze softened. "Besides, wouldn't you feel at ease after you send Aizen to Central Great Underground Prison with your hands?"

While Yoruichi and Kisuke didn't harbor personal grudges, they would still relish the sight of Aizen's downfall. Yoruichi believed that Kazuya, too, should seize the opportunity to bring Aizen to justice, considering his own grim past with Aizen.

"I don't really care."

The Central 46 might already be under Aizen's hypnosis. There would be nobody to judge Aizen.

Seeing Kazuya's indecisiveness, Kisuke scratched the back of his head. "Yoruichi-san, you promised to lend a helping hand if he resisted."

Kisuke had foreseen multiple objections from Kazuya. Who in their right mind would voluntarily risk their life for a couple of Gigai? Yoruichi was his secret weapon in swaying Kazuya's decision.

"I know, lazy bum," Yoruichi retorted, playfully pawing at his waist. "Kazuya, I'll be there with you. If things ever go wrong, I swore I'll get you out of there. Flash Goddess Yoruichi wouldn't let anyone lay a finger on you."

Kazuya couldn't suppress a chuckle at the contrast between her solemn promise, her deeply masculine voice, and her adorably feline form. "I'd get a little more confidence if this oath didn't come from a cat."

Exploring the Seireitei with Yoruichi on his side — it was more than enough compensation from Kisuke.

Yoruich burst into laughter. "I love this form. It provides an abundance of freedom. I don't even need to wear clothes!"

"Freedom is priceless," he replied thoughtfully. "I wouldn't have met my end if I'd fought for my freedom… but then, I wouldn't have crossed paths with those wonderful women without dying. My death was a new beginning."

Kisuke lazily swished his paper fan. "How admirable of you to view your death in such a positive light."

"He truly cherishes them," Yoruichi chimed in. "You should have seen his face when he saw Sung-Sun wounded. He took down an Adjuchas Arrancar with a single punch. His head went splat just like a ripe watermelon."

His rage alone had dissolved any suspicions Yoruichi harbored about his intentions. Someone who cherished his companions so deeply couldn't truly have an evil heart.

"So," Kisuke said, lifting his head to lock eyes with Kazuya, his gaze unwaveringly sincere. "Will you help us banished fools?"

"Say it, lad. Say that you want to take down evil with your hands!"

Under their hopeful gazes, he nodded in affirmation. "I will. But, I have four conditions."

Kisuke leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms over his chest. "Go on," he urged, his tone light but eyes sharp, not missing a single detail.

"I need some time before I leave," Kazuya said, his gaze steady and resolute. "Like a month."

He needed time to spend time with his family as well as get used to his Resurrección.

Kisuke nodded, giving a casual wave of his hand. "No problem."

"Yoruichi-san will not intervene if I feel like spending time with my companions here. What I am saying is, I can leave Soul Society at any moment."

"That's a very specific one," Yoruichi chuckled, the amusement clear in her eyes. "Well, I'll humor this condition and let you fuck your women at any time."

"Keep your head out of the gutter, Shihōin-san," Kazuya continued with a calm expression. "Next condition. I'll abandon my mission if any of my companions are in danger."

"Forget about this condition. They are safe here."

"They won't stay here forever, and I don't like to restrict anyone's freedom."

"Hmm…" Kisuke hummed, running his hand through his hair in thought. "I'll be a heartless man if I deny this condition. Anything else?"

Kazuya shook his head, the slightest of smiles playing on his lips. "That's all. Yoruichi-san, my memory of Seireitei's customs is hazy. Refresh my memory on some things later."

Understanding the survival-driven focus of Hollows' lives, she didn't blame him for forgetting unnecessary details from his previous life. "Sure thing."

And just like that, a pact was established — the most unsuccessful plan to expose Aizen and a whimsical plan to seduce the Captain of the 4th Squad, Yachiru Unohana.

{Partner, you're such a devil. It's a delight to see you play your games,} Nami's excited voice echoed in his mind, as she found amusement from observing the unfolding drama. {How will you become a Shinigami, though?}

She reminded him of the primary challenge tied to Kisuke's proposal. More importantly, how did Kisuke expect him to have the power to become a Shinigami?


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