9 Training

Sora's eyes widened with shock and disbelief as he stared at the hand that had passed through his body. The pain was excruciating, radiating through every fiber of his being. He could feel his strength waning, his body growing weaker by the moment.

He gritted his teeth, retreated, and used the healing ability of his sword.

"Cleansing Current"

The water element within Mizuryu responded, enveloping Sora in a gentle, restorative embrace. The pain that had once overwhelmed him began to subside, replaced by a soothing sensation.

However, the wound didn't seem to close instantly, only stopping the bleeding and pain.

As Aizen was observing this, he thought, 'Not bad, his Zanpakuto is very versatile. I will start teaching him about Shunpo and Zanjutsu after testing his abilities a bit more.'

"Hydrokinetic Wings!"

As Sora uttered the command, a surge of spiritual energy coursed through Mizuryu. The crystal wings on the hilt began to shimmer and transform, manifesting as ethereal wings made of water.

His wings flapped, propelling him towards Aizen at high speeds. Aizen dodged Sora's body effortlessly, remaining unscathed. However, Sora wasn't so lucky, he couldn't control his speed, and destroyed a few trees before crashing into a rock, stopping him.

Sora emerged from the hole in the rock, his face flushed with embarrassment, but he quickly regained his composure.

'I still have much to learn and refine my new abilities' Sora thought, determined to master his new powers.

Aizen, who watched Sora's previous actions, was a bit amused.

"Well, it seems you still have some work to do in controlling your newfound power," Aizen remarked, his voice tinged with amusement. "But don't be discouraged. Mastery takes time and practice."

Sora nodded, "Let's continue, Aizen-san. I still have a few things I want to test." he said, and Aizen replied with a nod.

He took a deep breath, refocusing his energy and summoning Mizuryu's power once again. The water wings on his Zanpakuto shimmered, and he felt the surge of spiritual energy flowing through him.

Sora took to the air, his hydrokinetic wings carrying him effortlessly. This time, he focused on controlling his speed and maneuverability, adjusting his wings' movements to navigate himself with precision.

As he soared through the air, he launched controlled bursts of water projectiles towards Aizen. Each projectile was carefully aimed, exhibiting both power and accuracy. Aizen, recognizing Sora's progress, dodged some of the attacks while gracefully deflecting others with his own spiritual energy.

"Bakudō #4. Hainawa"

Aizen said the incantations of a sealing kido, generating a crackling yellow Reishi rope within his hand, and threw it towards Sora.

He was caught off guard by the rope flying towards him, and it wrapped tightly around his body, immobilizing him in mid-air. Sora struggled against the restraints, his wings losing their fluidity as his movement was restricted.

Aizen approached with a calm and collected demeanor, his gaze fixed on Sora. "You've shown promise, Sora, but there is still much to learn about control and adaptability in battle. This is an opportunity for you to understand the importance of situational awareness."

Sora struggled against the restraints, attempting to free himself, but his efforts were in vain. Aizen continued, "Remember, power alone is not enough. Understanding your opponent's abilities, anticipating their moves, and adapting accordingly are essential aspects of combat."

As Aizen's words sank in, Sora's determination resurfaced. He focused his energy, summoning his spiritual power to push against the restraints. With a burst of strength, the yellow Reishi rope shattered, freeing him from its hold.

Sora's wings unfurled once again, their watery form shimmering with renewed determination. He looked at Aizen, his eyes filled with resolve and eagerness. "Thank you for the lesson, Aizen-san. I won't let myself be caught off guard again."

Aizen summoned his Zanpakuto, and said,

"It's time for you to learn about Zanjutsu, Sora," Aizen declared, his voice calm and composed.

"What is Zanjutsu?" Sora asked with a curious look.

"Zanjutsu is the art of swordsmanship, Sora," Aizen explained, his voice filled with knowledge and experience. "It encompasses the techniques, forms, and strategies used in wielding a Zanpakuto effectively. It is a fundamental skill for any Shinigami."

Sora's eyes sparkled with excitement as he absorbed Aizen's words. "You know, I always admired these Shinigamis. They risked their lives to retain balance in the world, and they were, in a way, heroes. I'm very excited to learn about their skills!"

His enthusiasm grew, and he eagerly awaited Aizen's guidance. "Please teach me the ways of Zanjutsu, Aizen-san!"

"Very well, Sora. We shall begin your training in Zanjutsu."

Aizen stepped forward, assuming a stance with Kyoka Suigetsu, his Zanpakuto, in hand. "The first lesson in Zanjutsu is understanding the connection between you and your Zanpakuto. It is not a mere weapon, but a partner in battle. You must develop a harmonious relationship with your Zanpakuto, treating it with respect and listening to its guidance."

Seeing that Sora nodded, Aizen continued, "Next, we will focus on the basic strikes and movements in Zanjutsu. The most fundamental strike is the vertical cut, called 'Shomen.' It is a direct and straightforward attack that allows you to exert your strength."

As the training session progressed, Aizen introduced various Zanjutsu techniques, such as thrusts, parries, and counterattacks. He emphasized the importance of footwork, timing, and adaptability in combat.

As they finished their training session, Sora was lying on the ground, exhausted and covered in sweat. The hole in his body has already healed, leaving only a scar on his stomach.

With their training session concluded, Sora and Aizen began to descend from the mountain.

"Sora, what is the situation in the Fire Temple?" Aizen asked, and Sora replied.

"Well, thanks to you, the monks became quite weird. They started to exhibit unusual behavior and some of them strange abilities, " Sora replied, wiping the sweat from his brow.

"For example, Toshin has.." Sora didn't seem to find the right words for this, but continued, "He has become a woman. And.. he seems to enjoy his newfound.. things very much." he finished, struggling to hold back his laugh.

'A woman? What a weird fellow.. was that really his deepest desire?' Aizen thought, a bit disgusted and amused.

"I see, that is indeed quite weird. What else?"

"Well.. it's quite difficult to explain, you'll see once we arrive."

Sora and Aizen continued their descent from the mountain, making their way towards the Fire Temple. The curiosity and anticipation grew within Sora, eager to show Aizen the peculiar changes that had occurred among the monks.

As they reached the outskirts of the Fire Temple, the atmosphere seemed different, almost eerie...

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