“How have you been?”
Standing on the hill and looking at the man who was standing a few meters away from her, Nanao asked quietly.
Since her discussion with her captain, she had been filled with a feeling of trepidation and angst.
Of course, even though she denied all the allegations of her captain, she understood why she felt like this.
“I have been pretty well. What about you?”
‘This discussion is so awkward.’
Satoru was anything but a dense man. In fact, she doubted that any man would be so dense as to not understand what was about to happen when thrown in a situation like this one.
Even she had to admit that seeing the usually calm and carefree Gojo acting like this because of her made her happy.
This showed that she had a special place in his heart, even if not the place she wished she had.
Hiding a smile, Nanao turned around, and looked at the moon standing high up.
Nanao hated the night, she hated the moon even more so.
Not out of fear, but for the simple reason that it would always remind her of that fateful night.
Opening her mouth, Nanao talked quietly,
“Would you be willing to hear a story?”
“I love stories.”
Even though she was showing her back to him, she could already feel that the usual Satoru was back.
An infuriating man, always full of confidence.
A frivolous man, who never took anything seriously.
A selfish man, who could watch the world burn without lifting an eyebrow.
At the same time, he was a man who would retaliate at the slightest grievances and who would never give up on those he cared about.
In the end, he was a complex man full of contradictions and in a way, this was what made his charm.
‘My taste in men is really weird.’
Of course, the fact that he was ridiculously handsome also helped. Nanao was no hypocrite.
Even though appearance was not the first criteria, nor even the second. Having a good appearance always helped.
Letting out a bell-like laugh, she finally began after adjusting her glasses,
“My name is Nanao Ise, the heiress of the Ise clan.”
She placed a hand on her stomach, “Did you know? The Ise clan is matrilineal. There have been only female births in all the history of our clan. As such, the clan would always take husbands from other families in the clan.
This isn’t something particularly notable. Even though the other clans do not have a case where only women are born, there are still matriarchal clans or clans where a woman took control.”
The most notable of such examples was the Kasumioji family, a matriarchal clan of master weaponsmiths, and who are only below the four great noble families.
Another example would be the Shihoin and the Feng, which, while not being matriarchal, did not shun women from obtaining power.
“But, there’s one part that is a little different from everyone else…”
A bitter smile formed on her face as she reached this part, “Satoru, how long do you think someone from a noble clan can live?”
“I guess a few centuries at the very minimum.”
“Indeed. But you see, all the men who joined the Ise clan died an early death. Most, not even lasting a decade. People call this phenomenon—The Ise curse.”
“My father… I never got to know my father… He died while my mother was still pregnant. What’s more, he was from the Kyoraku family, a major noble family. So you can imagine how strong he should have been.”
“Indeed. Shunsui Kyoraku, my captain, is also my uncle… Or at least I think he is. I only know that my father is from the same clan.”
She shook her head, this wasn’t the moment to get distracted.
“The Ise clan has four great characteristics. It’s a clan only composed of women, it’s a cursed clan, it’s a clan of Shinto priestesses and finally, It’s a clan without zanpakuto, or rather, a clan with only one zanpakuto—Shinken Hakkyoken”
“So, that’s why you only focused on Kido.”
“Yes, for one, I am really talented in Kido. At the same time, I am fundamentally unable to imprint an Asauchi. The Shinken Hakkyoken is passed in each generation to the next heir.”
Gojo’s eyes narrowed,
‘A zanpakuto that is passed on in each generation?’
This was something that did not make any sense. A zanpakuto wasn’t just some kind of treasure sword. It was a being born from the soul of the user and the two were linked in life and death.
As long as the shinigami was alive, a zanpakuto could never be completely destroyed. But when a shinigami died, the soul in the zanpakuto would slowly deteriorate after losing its connection before dying.
What would be left would be nothing more than a husk, an asauchi without a soul that could be imprinted by another shinigami and that would give birth to a new soul that had nothing to do with the precedent.
From what he knew, this was how Zaraki obtained a zanpakuto without entering the academy, by imprinting on an ownerless Asauchi.
But what Nanao was saying completely broke this law. Everything else aside, using this zanpakuto would mean fusing with a soul that wasn’t yours.
Thankfully, Gojo wasn’t the kind who stayed tied down to common sense. Since it existed, then it meant it was possible. Whether he could accept it or not would not change the reality of the situation.
As such he began to focus more on why it was possible.
‘Perhaps this is why only the heiress can use it?’
If he linked it to an organ transplant, there would be a question of compatibility. Perhaps it was a question of blood? Perhaps the soul in the zanpakuto only wanted to help the heir of his first partner?
“From the fact that you don’t have the sword, I guess something happened?”
“… Officially, my mother lost it and thus was sentenced to death by the central 46. For losing a sacred treasure that belonged to us.”
Nanao’s voice took a dark edge before she calmed down.
It was so ridiculous. What was even the point of the execution? Why did they not even try to understand the circumstances of their clan?
Both Nanao and Gojo understood that there was more to it, but neither Gojo asked nor Nanao said anything.
She may be in love, but she was not stupid.
It wasn’t even a question about trust. Until now, everything she said was no secret and only concerned her.
But the information about Shinken Hakkyoken was something that wouldn’t only affect her if it was revealed. It was something her mother died for without hesitation and a burden her captain carried for decades.
All of this, only to protect her.
All of this, done in the slim hope that casting the sword away would not result in her being cursed and that she would be allowed to fall in love without fearing her husband dying.
As such, Nanao would be insulting their resolve if she divulged this secret without at least the permission of her captain.
This was all he could say.
‘Still, why is she telling me all that?’
He thought at first that she wanted to confess or something of the like, but now, it did not seem so. What could it be?
As if she could feel his doubts, Nanao finally turned toward him, a beautiful smile on her face,
“Satoru…You are not from this world, right?”
: Eight mirrors Divine sword.
(AN: XD XD. You were all baited, right? I am sure everyone thought she would confess. Welp. Now, this is what I call a cliff. The mirror sword isn’t the only sword that can be passed down. There’s another one, Ikomikidomoe. A fucking broken sword that is beyond the realm of broken and also the first Zanpakuto ever created. But the conditions of use are so ass pulls that only two persons in all bleach could use it, and the first one isn’t born yet (I am sure everyone can guess who) and the second one wasn’t created and might never get created. Those who read CFYOW will understand what I mean.)