[Garganta, on the other side of the gate.]
A few minutes ago, when the members of the Militia entered and stationed themselves around the entrance, one of them, the last one, pinched and scattered a white powder discretely where no one could see him.
Since everyone had been focused on observing their surroundings, his movements went undetected.
While doing so, his eyes seemed a little empty, as if lacking soul. But, the moment he finished scattering the powder, light came back to his eyes as he shook his head.
His memory was a little foggy, but it didn’t stop him from understanding what was happening around him.
‘What was I doing just now?’
He thought briefly before discarding the question. What did it matter what he was doing? If it was important, he would remember.
Right now though, his mission was to protect the gate no matter what.
At the same time, Unbeknownst to the expedition, in one of the parts of Garganta, a group of Gillians that had previously been stationary trembled before turning toward a certain direction.
Even though the concept of direction in the Garganta was meaningless, they could feel as if something was calling them. It was an irresistible attraction.
If that was all, it wouldn’t be a problem. But, Gillian-level hollows weren’t the only ones that were attracted.
Hueco Mundo was the home dimension of the hollows. Aside from its capital, Las Noches, which was under the control of King Baraggan Louisenbairns, the rest of Hueco Mundo was a vast and seemingly endless white desert under an unchanging night.
Even though high-ranked Hollows were able to think like humans, they were still quite barbaric and followed a more animalistic separation of power. As such, territories were mostly occupied by powerful hollows.
In one of such territories, a small white panther-like Adjuchas stood up abruptly and began to sniff at the air.
All around him, the other hollows, all Adjuchas of different forms and heights stood up in unison, startled because of his sudden action, and looked at him. They did not know why their leader was acting like this, but they were ready.
Finally, after waiting a while without getting an explanation, one of them ventured,
The small panther stopped sniffing and began to growl. Looking seriously at each of his friends, he addressed each of them,
“Shawlong, Edrad, Yylfordt, Nakeem, Di Roy. It’s too soon to give up. Perhaps we will have a chance to step on to the next level. Are you ready to try one last time?”
Even though the panther was the smallest and most docile looking of the group, the aura he was emanating was overpowering, even for the other Adjuchas.
He was Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, one of the most powerful Adjuchas in the Hueco Mundo.
The other Adjuchas looked at each other with uncertainty in their eyes. They were not hesitating because of the order itself. Their loyalty to Grimmjow was unquestionable. It was exactly because of this that they hesitated.
Their leader still had the potential to go further and perhaps become one of the few Vasto Lorde. But they knew that this was it for them. Even after eating three thousand hollows, they could feel no increase in their power. The best they could hope for was to stop their evolution to avoid falling back and become Gillians.
They had already proposed to him that he should eat a part of their masks and reach a higher level of power, but it seemed he had just found another opportunity.
Still, seeing the hopeful eyes of Grimmjow, they all nodded,
“We will always follow you.”
“Then, let’s go.”
Joy flickered in his eyes as he nodded at their response. Then, with a wave of its paw, the space around them seemed to break open like the jagged maw of a beast.
The gate of Garganat was open.
What Grimmjow didn’t know was that, all around Hueco Mundo, different groups of Gillians, Adjuchas, and even some Vasto Lorde felt a pull. Most ignored it, but some could not stop themselves from trying to investigate the source.
“So this is Garganta.”
The moment Gojo and Soi Fon walked through the gate, they began to observe the surroundings. Though, aside from an infinite dark void, there was not much to observe.
‘It feels like my own inner domain.’
Gojo mused silently. Even though most of the other Shinigami who entered felt uncomfortable, he was the only one who felt like he was right at home.
‘The reishi in the air also feels different.’
He did not know how to describe it, but it felt extremely condensed but at the same time extremely sparse.
‘The concentration of Reishi in the air is inferior to that of Soul Society but still far higher than in the Human world. I guess this is why only powerful shinigami can create Reishi platform here.’
[Kogo, how is it?]
[I lost about 20-30% of my maximum output. My gathering speed also lowered. Shape manipulation will be harder.]
“What do you think?”
Standing by his side, Soi Fon finally asked.
Even though the understanding of Gojo’s Shikai was limited, they all understood that he could only be at his maximum in a Reishi-filled environment.
Shrugging he answered, “I basically suffered a large-scale debuff, but it isn’t really a problem. Still better than on earth.”
He wasn’t exaggerating. Kogo absolutely hated traveling in the human world. For her, who fed on Reishi, being on earth was like a human walking on a tall mountain and having difficulty breathing because of the lack of oxygen.
What’s more, with how proud she was, this sensation of weakness was something unacceptable.
Hearing him, Soi Fon nodded, it wasn’t different from what she had envisioned. She looked around and beckoned one of the members of the militia with her finger.
Putting one knee to the ground, the one chosen began to explain,
“The situation is stable. Some low-class hollows were attracted but were then swiftly eliminated. The radars didn’t detect any other high Reiatsu.”
“Very well. The team of scientists, kido users, and healers will soon enter. Protect the gate at all costs while we are absent and if necessary…Destroy it.”
Even though destroying the gate increased tremendously the chances of them getting lost forever in Garganta, Soi Fon did not hesitate to give the order and her subordinate did not hesitate to accept it.
Of course, the chances of such a thing happening were extremely small. The opening of a gate wouldn’t attract a large group of hollows. At most some hollows were coincidentally near the gate at the moment of the opening.
Even so, as the leader of this expedition, she had to prepare for the worst. There was no place for something as flimsy as feelings of hesitation in the secret force. Sacrifices were the norm and even the captain wasn’t above it.
Soi Fon did not hide her conversation from being heard by Gojo nor was she shocked by his lack of reaction.
She was pretty sure that in his mind, he was sure that even if every last one of them died, he would still survive.
Infuriating he may be, but this level of confidence in himself was something she appreciated.
Only those who had such confidence could succeed. That’s why, even when all her siblings died during their missions, she neither shed a tear nor did she become afraid. Because she was sure that she would not fail and as a result, she did not.
Burying her old memories, she focused on the operation as a batch of shinigami entered the gate.
They would at first be a little destabilized, but with Gojo’s help, they could walk, albeit with some difficulty.
Once they opened the gate to Dangai, they would create a makeshift headquarters as a relay and allow the Militia to explore more freely.
Like this, an unknown amount of time passed as everyone did the assigned work.
The opening of Dangai being far easier, it would of course take less time.
Everything was seemingly going well, but it was then,
All of a sudden, Soi Fon and Gojo stopped what they were doing and turned to look in a direction with a stiff expression on their face.
In the end, Gojo shook his head and released a helpless chuckle.
“Man, my luck is really shitty.”
Soi Fon’s expression was far worse. After all, she could feel hundreds of powerful Reaitsu approaching.
The difficulty of the mission suddenly shot through the roof.
(AN: Welp. Serious shit is happening. Also, did I say I hated the name of those hollows? Because I really do. So complicated. An epic fight is nearing. Join Patreon if you cannot wait anymore.)