[Seireitei, Gotei 13]
Back in the Seireitei, the mood could be said to be at an all-time low and tension ran high.
In the vast plaza where the operation took place, not only were the captains of the 12 and 4th division present, the captain commandant, Yamamoto was also standing, observing the broken gate and listening to the reports.
Even though the situation was serious, Yamamoto did not feel the slightest amount of fear.
After all, even in the worst-case scenario where the coordinates were leaked, should any Hollows be foolhardy enough to enter, he would immediately reduce them to ash.
What pained him though, was the fact that he may have lost two captain-level fighters as well as a vice-captain.
‘Gotei 13 is constantly weakening.’
It was a disheartening sight for him. Even though no large threat like Yhwach or Ikomikidomoe existed in the present times, the world was still filled with dangers.
Dangers that could not be purged without possessing enough power.
The Gotei 13 was created to represent justice. But justice without the necessary strength to back it up was nothing but empty words.
Still, there was one thing he had remarked,
“Neither of you two seems particularly worried.”
Although they had most likely lost important subordinates, be it Unohana or Mayuri, none of them showed a worried expression.
It was something he didn’t find surprising coming from Mayuri. Yamamoto was sure that even should all the Seireitei be embroiled in a huge fight, he would not care one bit and would be more interested in his next experiment.
Unohana though, despite her callous exterior and admittedly disturbing hobbies, was a caring captain and would have been distraught even at the loss of an unimportant subordinate.
At the word of Yamamoto, Unohana squinted a little.
She would need to be a fool to be worried about Gojo. After all, she knew very well that he could teleport as he wished.
The moment she had heard the report from the Militia about how he was ready to sacrifice himself without hesitation and how Gojo was a man worthy of respect with an incredible level of loyalty towards the Seireitei, she had to fight the urge to laugh out loud.
‘So he finally found an opportunity.’
Though she didn’t know why he had been searching for a way to escape the soul society without being branded as a traitor and explore the world.
Even so, there was something fishy about this whole situation. It was impossible for such a huge number of hollows to attack just because of the activation of a gate.
Something seemed afoot.
“Before discussing Gojo, we should incarcerate all those who passed through the gate and examine them.”
Yamamoto was not senile enough to not understand that she was subtly trying to change the topic. But, he did not call her out of it, after all, her suggestion was completely sensible.
‘One would need to be completely blind to not see that this situation is not normal.’
Thinking of Kaname Tosen, he coughed a little and rectified his thoughts,
‘Even someone blind could see that this situation was not normal.’
“Was it prudent?”
Looking out through the window, Gin sat with a thoughtful expression. Sitting next to him was what looked like an ordinary member of the 5th division.
He was the one who had asked the question as he looked straight at the man sitting behind the desk in the office.
Aizen, who was methodically dealing with his paperwork, adjusted his glasses and settled his attention on the one who spoke.
For anyone entering this room, all they could see was an ordinary-looking middle-aged man with a rather weak Reiatsu.
But in Aizen’s eyes, the one who addressed him was a tall dark-skinned male with dreadlocks and a large pair of goggles. That man was also wearing the usual shinigami uniform, but on his back was a white cloak with the number 9th on it.
It was Kaname Tosen, the current captain of the 9th division and the second collaborator of Aizen.
“Could you repeat your question?”
“I was wondering if your move was really prudent. The last big incident was only sixty years ago. With all our actions in recent times and the loss of two captains level fighters, it would be impossible for the Gotei 13 to keep ignoring the situation.”
“Indeed. They are not so stupid that they would not smell a rat. But what of it? Do you think that the serious, kind and loved Captain Aizen could be seen as a potential culprit?”
At this question, Kaname closed his mouth while Gin, who had stayed silent until now, let out a chortle.
It was indeed the case.
The current reputation of Aizen could only be seen as spotless.
Even if his illusions were not taken into account, the last person to be suspected would be Aizen.
After laughing a little, Gin began to walk while showing his usual suspicious smile,
“Also, I think you are misunderstanding something. Do you really think that this mission appeared out of nowhere?”
He raised his hand and began to count with his fingers, “How do you think the whereabouts of the Fallen clan that had vanished for a thousand years were suddenly obtained? How was it possible for the central 46 that usually takes years for a single decision to be unanimous so fast? Why were only three out divisions singled out for this mission?”
Even though he was blind and could not see the actions of Gin, Kaname understood perfectly what Gin was implying,
“So, all of this was part of the plan?”
Aizen smiled noncommittally. Everything had indeed been part of his plan.
He had found the whereabouts of the Fallen clan more than a few decades ago while traveling through Garganta.
He was even the one who helped them understand how the blanks worked and what they could possibly do with it. Though from their viewpoint, this understanding must have come as a sudden insight.
Back then he had decided to leave them as a hidden blade that would bring trouble to the Seireitei when necessary.
But, since Gojo proved to be a threat, he had decided to discard that card and use it to kill Gojo. At the same time, this allowed him to kill another powerful and loyal captain. So it was like hitting two birds with one stone.
Of course, Aizen had also taken into account the slight possibility of Gojo surviving and coming back. Even then, it would not matter.
He had left absolutely no trails. As long as he stayed in the shadows, killing Gojo was only a question of time.
‘Satoru Gojo, if you manage to survive this, then I will have to give you the same danger rating as Kisuke Urahara and Shinji Hirako.’
“Fuck! Why did I meet so many hollows on my way?”
In the great void of Garganta, a black-skinned woman wearing a tight outfit that barely hid her form grumbled and cursed as she advanced while lightning enveloped her whole body.
It was of course Yoruichi Shihoin.
After entering Garganta, she had been ready for a long and boring journey before she reached her destination, but it had been anything but that.
Garganta, which should have been calm and nearly devoid of activities, was filled with Hollows of all kinds.
During all the way she had been forced to purify so many hollows, she had lost count after a hundred.
What should have been a relaxed and simple mission changed into a veritable chore?
Thankfully, while she had been a little rusted, the hollows she faced were only Adjuchas or Gillians. Nothing to worry about.
Just as she decided to take a rest, she suddenly felt the space tremble slightly before a crack opened.
A portal with a shade of black even darker than that of Garganta appeared not far from her.
Out of it, three people came out, or precisely, One woman wearing what she recognized as the uniform of the healing department was holding a passed out Soi Fon like a sack of potato over her shoulder and was helping a silver-haired man walking out of the gate.
Yoruichi immediately recognized the silver-haired man as the kid she met about five years.
She did not recognize the voluptuous black-haired woman, but she could feel that the Reiatsu of that woman was eerily similar to that of Mayuri.
‘Did that weird guy have a child?’
When the trio saw the person standing on the other side of the gate, a short silence fell as everyone found themselves in a rather awkward situation.
At least, everyone aside from Gojo,
“I know what you are thinking. You must think that this really looks like a kidnapping, right? Well… You wouldn’t be wrong in believing so.”
Even in this situation, he did not hesitate to throw a joke.
In the end, Yoruichi could only look at the smug face of that man and sighed.
‘I want to punch him so much!’
(AN: I think I grasped the most important point of Aizen. Making super plans that always result in making the Protagonist stronger one way or another. Lol. He doesn’t know that his plan helped Gojo greatly. But really in Canon, he wounded Isshin, causing à chain of events to Ichigo’s birth. Tricked Rukia, causing Hogyoku to be close to Chad and Orihime. Giving them power. Trying to kill Rukia, ended up with Ichigo learning Bankai. Created the Visored, ended with them beating the Espada. Killed the sweeper in the Dangai, which allowed Isshin to train Ichigo in Dangai without problems which brought Aizen’s defeat. Aizen is so smart that he defeated himself lol.)