It was time to return to my Squad's barracks. I need to relax for a while. I swear this whole meeting aged me a few decades, but at least I know they won't try to rewrite me as long as I don't try to fuck with them, which is one thing that I don't need to worry about. I even got some insight into my Zanpakuto, so it was kind of good? I'm still not sure.
I took out one of my many lollipops hidden inside my uniform and started enjoying it.
I'll need a drink tonight. Maybe I'll ask Shunsui-senpai to drink together. It has been some time since I had a boys' night. Why stop at Shunsui? I'll get Sojun, Jushiro-senpai, and Kisuke. I would invite Yama-jii, but he would only reprimand me that if I have time for partying, I should instead train and work.
As I was getting closer to the barracks, I could feel a certain presence that would tear off my ears off if she ever got a hold of it, but as soon as her eyes landed on me, her expression changed from angry to concerned.
"What happened?" Rin asked, worried.
"Nothing much. I experienced a small heart attack and felt like I was in front of Lala's father again. Fortunately, it was just my paranoia talking the whole time. Thanks for worrying, Rin-Rin." I affectionately called Rin using a nickname I made some time ago.
My dark brown-haired lover got embarrassed by this nickname. I usually refrain from using it, so when I do, it has a bigger impact each time.
If I remember correctly, I first used it during our short vacation in the living world. We met Soji Okita, and he taught Rin his swordsmanship for a while. It was a fun but short vacation. I gave him some lollipops as a thank you.
"Most importantly, though, I have one less worry on my mind, so even if it was almost a traumatizing meeting, I'm glad that it's over and-" Before I finished talking, a human missile flew at me, and while it didn't do any damage, I was forced to catch it so she wouldn't hurt herself falling, not like she would anyway.
"Dad! Bya-chan ignored me again!"
Yukima complained to me. It wasn't the first time it happened as Byakuya tried to act calm, collected, and dignified.
"Did you try baiting him? He won't say no if you say things like, 'Are you scared that you'll lose' or 'So the next head of the Noble Byakuya House won't even accept a challenge from a small girl'. Things like that should work on him."
I advised my daughter even if I was being stabbed by a cold stare from Rin, but my advice was met with a sad look from my cute daughter.
"It didn't work..."
There was silence. No one said anything.
"I'm going to have a talk with him." I was ready to leave, but my shoulder was grabbed by Rin, stopping me.
"You are not going to kill your friend's son just because Yukima couldn't annoy him."
"Rin, Rin, Rin, do you really think that I would kill that brat just because he ignores my cute daughter?"
She didn't answer, but her expression answered me plenty.
Does she really think so lowly about me?
"I'm not going to do anything to Byakuya. I'll just teach him a very valuable lesson."
Rin raised her eyebrow. "Which is?"
"Don't make my little girl sad. Bye."
I utilized the secret technique of running away and combined it with a flash step to vanish with a giggling Yukima, still clinging to me. Witnessing my escape, Rin sighed but smiled afterward, nonetheless.
"Why did I fall for someone so stupid." She said quietly to herself while still maintaining a small smile. "Now that he vanished, I guess I will be the one who needs to finish his work. At this point, I'm more of a Captain than he is, at least when it comes to managing this Squad."
And so, she returned to the inside of the barracks to deal with mountains of paperwork that belonged to me.
10 years is a long time, but at this point, it flew by in an instant. Kisuke became Captain, established the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, and life went on, but no one knew what was coming beside me, and the nearer the Vizard incident came, the more stressed I was.
I feel terrible. I feel like I'm betraying my friend by allowing him to be framed as a criminal together with a group of captains and lieutenants.
What's worse is that I need that to happen.
I thought that I was prepared for it to happen, but it still hurts. At least I know that I didn't become heartless or apathetic.
What I didn't become is smarter. I mean, I did gain wisdom with age and all, but I still don't have a plan about who to send with Kisuke. Yoruichi is an option, but I don't want her to leave. Plus, she is a parent. I'm also an option but leaving my children for 100 years now when they are teenagers wouldn't be ideal. If they were older, I would consider it.
Why is my life so complicated? I don't even take walks anymore, and somehow trouble still finds me.
If only Ywhach wasn't that strong, I would prevent this whole incident from happening, but as much as I hate relying on others, I need Ichigo.
No, it's not entirely true. I just need a safety net for us, Ichigo, since there is a chance, we could somehow defeat Ywhach before he obtains Almighty because I sure as hell am not letting another one of my teachers die earlier than they should.
Also, I need to prepare my children for war. I don't like even thinking about it, but at least they'll be adults at this point.
I feel conflicted, and I don't worry about my family, so the only other person who will listen to my worries is an old friend.
And so, I visited Isamu's grave that I made in Soul Society.
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