109 The Battle of a Decade  

However, what puzzled Ailin was why Shinji Hirako would tell him that he distrusted Aizen.

At the moment, Ailin pretended to be puzzled and asked, "Captain Hirako, since you don't trust Vice-Captain Aizen, why did you make him your vice-captain?"

"It's precisely because I don't trust him that I want to keep him under my watchful eye."

Upon hearing Shinji Hirako's words, Ailin couldn't help but feel pity for Aizen. Serving under Shinji Hirako's watchful gaze must have been truly difficult for Aizen.

It was fortunate that Aizen's Zanpakutō ability was strong enough to allow him to gradually break free from Shinji Hirako's scrutiny and eventually successfully turn the tables on Shinji Hirako.

Recalling Aizen mentioning that Shinji was too wary of him, which led to him being easily deceived by Aizen's Kyōka Suigetsu and mistaking a stranger for him, Ailin's eyes suddenly shifted.

"Captain Hirako, I don't know how you determined that Vice-Captain Aizen was problematic. But I know of this saying—If an evil person pretends to be a good person their entire life and never commits a single bad deed until their death, should that person be considered good or evil?

Perhaps in your eyes, Captain Hirako, Vice-Captain Aizen is that evil person. But during all these years in your division, this 'evil person' Vice-Captain Aizen hasn't done a single evil deed. Captain Hirako, have you considered that if Vice-Captain Aizen has truly never done anything evil, is he still an evil person?

The fact that you keep Vice-Captain Aizen under your watchful eye proves that in your view, no matter what evil deeds Aizen commits, you have the confidence to take him down. In that case, why not give Vice-Captain Aizen a bit more trust?

Here's what we can do – Vice-Captain Aizen mentioned wanting to transfer Gin to the 5th Division, right? As long as Gin himself agrees, I have no objection to this. Captain Hirako, why don't you start by placing some trust in Vice-Captain Aizen with this matter?

If Vice-Captain Aizen betrays your trust later on, I believe you won't have any mental burden taking him down, right?"

It was the first time Shinji Hirako had heard such words, but he had to admit that what Ailin said made sense.

Shinji Hirako nodded, "You're right, I was too wary of him before. From now on, I'll try to place more trust in him. Thank you, Captain Ailin."

"No, I should be the one thanking you. Gin is my disciple. When he eventually joins the 5th Division, I ask that you keep an eye on him, Captain Hirako. Of course, if he's willing to follow Vice-Captain Aizen and you discover Aizen's misdeeds, please allow me the honor of personally handling him."

After discussing official matters, the atmosphere between Ailin and Shinji Hirako became much more harmonious, and they chatted about some lighter topics.

"Sigh, one could say you're the most relaxed captain in the Gotei 13, Captain Ailin."

After their pleasant chat, Shinji Hirako felt envious of Ailin's current lifestyle.

In the entire Gotei 13, the other captains had to deal with division affairs to varying degrees. When their subordinates couldn't handle major Hollows, the captains still needed to take action themselves.

But in the 11th Division, there was Zaraki who was no weaker than other captains, and the 4th Seat Kiganjo who had achieved Bankai at the "weak captain" level. Ailin's presence almost seemed like a formality.

"Haha, I learned that from the great Captain Yoruichi of the 2nd Division."

Ailin laughed, "Captain Hirako, you know I used to be the vice-captain of the 2nd Division. Back then, Captain Yoruichi was often absent from the division, leaving nearly all division affairs to me and the current Vice-Captain Soifon. So, since I can relax as a captain, why would I go out of my way to find more work for myself?"

"Well said."

Shinji Hirako gave Ailin a thumbs up. "It seems I should indeed place some trust in Vice-Captain Aizen, starting by letting him handle division affairs! I'll be going now."

"Yes, take care, Captain Hirako."

After seeing Shinji Hirako off from the Kuchiki estate, Ailin hummed a tune as he walked back.

He wondered if allowing Shinji Hirako to place more trust in Aizen would make him truly realize that the person following him wasn't actually Aizen.

Or perhaps, due to Shinji Hirako's trust, Aizen would have to spend more time dealing with him, delaying his creation of the Hōgyoku?

As for Gin, Ailin had taught him everything he could. Everyone had their own life, and Ailin would not arbitrarily interfere with Gin's decisions just because he liked him.

Of course, during the battle in the Fake Karakura Town, Ailin would definitely pay special attention to ensure Gin wasn't easily killed by Aizen like before.



A golden spiritual pressure surged skyward as Zaraki swung his Zanpakutō, launching an attack at Ailin.

Clang! Clang!

With every clash of their blades, the ground beneath Ailin and Zaraki's feet would be shaken by the powerful shockwaves, creating cracks. The immense shockwaves radiated outward from Ailin and Zaraki.

Anything caught in the shockwaves would be torn apart by the raging force.

If such a battle occurred in Seireitei, Ailin and Zaraki would undoubtedly be summoned by Captain-Commander Yamamoto for tea. Fortunately, their battle took place in the most remote Zaraki District of the Rukongai.

When Ailin invited Zaraki to join the 11th Division, he had told Zaraki that he could accept one challenge every ten years, and they would only battle with swordsmanship.

This battle was the challenge Zaraki issued to Ailin ten years after becoming the 11th Division's vice-captain.

Within ten miles of their battle, all the 11th Division members not on duty watched the fight in awe.

Especially the members who had joined the 11th Division within the past ten years – it was only now that they realized the one they had been calling "Captain Zaraki" was actually just the division's vice-captain.

Initially, they wanted to voice their objections for Zaraki. After all, Captain Zaraki was so powerful, and it was Captain Zaraki who led them into battle. Who was this so-called captain suddenly appearing?

But this battle silenced everyone. They couldn't even withstand the shockwaves from the two captains' battle.

Only the 3rd Seat Yachiru Kusajishi and 4th Seat Kiganjo could get closer.

If their puny limbs got any nearer, the two captains might not have finished fighting before they were already down.

They even had to constantly watch out – if the two captains' battlefield moved in their direction, they would have to immediately retreat to watch from elsewhere to avoid being caught in the shockwaves.


As their blades clashed, Zaraki's expression grew increasingly crazed. He enjoyed battle, enjoyed slaughter, enjoyed the elevation of the soul on the brink of life and death.

Unfortunately, it was only in battles with that woman that he could experience the thrill of unrestrained slaughter.

Unlike his battles with that woman, he did not sense an evenly matched opponent when fighting Ailin. But there was still the hot-blooded feeling of challenging a stronger foe.


Ailin wielded his sword with one hand. Over the years, Ailin had created several powerful "Pirate Series" weapons, incorporating the pirate swordsmanship styles into his own.

He had yet to create the black blade "Yoru" of the world's greatest swordsman, Hawkeye Mihawk, but Ailin was confident that in the pirate world, perhaps only Mihawk could pique his interest now.

After creating the "Gryphon" supreme sword of the Pirate Emperor Shanks, aside from familiarizing himself with other pirate swordsmanship styles, it did not significantly improve Ailin's skills.

The Pirate Emperor Shanks was certainly a powerful swordsman. But his swordsmanship was still a step below the world's greatest swordsman, Mihawk.

Shanks' Haki mastery, however, surpassed Mihawk's. In particular, the Haoshoku Haki imbued in his strikes was the main reason Shanks could be considered a formidable opponent by Mihawk despite his swordsmanship being inferior.

At Ailin's current level of swordsmanship, each swing of his blade unleashed a powerful strike dozens of meters tall towards Zaraki.

Facing Ailin's strikes, ever since being blasted away once, Zaraki had gripped the hilt of his Zanpakutō with his left hand as well.

Against these dozens-of-meters-tall strikes, Zaraki raised his Zanpakutō high, gripping it with both hands, and slammed it down fiercely.

Sword technique - Two-handed grip!


Golden spiritual pressure burst from Zaraki's sword, forming a powerful strike that collided with Ailin's.


The golden and blue energies intertwined and finally exploded, producing a mushroom cloud hundreds of meters tall.

The powerful shockwave radiated outward, and the 11th Division members watching from ten miles away immediately unleashed their spiritual pressure to steady themselves, but some unlucky souls still lacked the strength to withstand the shockwave and were blown away.


Having failed to injure Zaraki with his released strike, Ailin used his Shunpo, leaving an afterimage as he charged through the explosion from the clashing strikes, sword raised to slash at Zaraki.


At this moment, Zaraki was still gripping his sword with both hands. Their Zanpakutō collided, unleashing a shockwave no weaker than the previous clash of their strikes.




The sky and earth had now become Ailin and Zaraki's battlefield.

Wielding his sword with both hands allowed Zaraki to exert force several times greater than with one hand.

As the battle dragged on, Zaraki's instincts awakened, his suppressed spiritual pressure erupting once more, allowing him to barely match Ailin's swordsmanship when gripping his sword with both hands.

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