When the Vandenreich attack Seireitei, Captain Byakuya Kuchiki is quickly alerted about the blue pillars of flame caused by their arrival. He and other Gotei 13 officers quickly head out to battle. As the Vandenreich’s attack begins, Byakuya’s Renji Abarai arrives to saves a Shinigami from Äs Nödt. Renji attempts to fight the Stern Ritter. He attacks with Zabimaru, but is perplexed to see the blows are completely ineffective. In response, Renji decides to try attacking faster, but is suddenly ambushed by another Stern Ritter. He dodges the initial attack, but is surprised at the Stern Ritter’s speed when the Quincy attacks again. Before the attack can land, Byakuya intervenes and saves Renji with his Shikai Surprised by the arrival of his captain, Renji silently listens to his captain tell him that he not try to read his opponent or take pity on him. He continues, saying that the Vandenreich are obviously enemies because of their intent to slaughter Soul Society. He then concludes by imploring his lieutenant to use his full strength to defeat them.
As Byakuya walks towards Renji, Renji still finds himself surprised at his captain’s arrival. Byakuya reiterates that there is no need to show mercy to the Quincy, pointing out how they cowardly shed blood in Seireitei without any notice and are the enemies of Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe. Renji is taken aback from his captain’s words, saying that he was not showing mercy. Despite the arrival of a Gotei 13 captain, Äs Nödt remains silent and takes a step forward
In response, Byakuya orders the Stern Ritter to not move and swings his Zanpakutō's hilt. Byakuya’s Shikai is then directed at Äs Nödt. Renji tells him that it's impossible for their blades to hurt the enemy. Byakuya is slightly perplexed by Renji’s statement as he watches the Stern Ritter be exposed to his Shikai. He then quickly tells Renji that this is not true as Senbonzakura manages to slice Äs' hand in several places. Äs Nödt still remains silent as Renji is surprised that his captain’s Shikai could cut the Quincy. The other Stern Ritter is shocked to see Äs get wounded so easily, and wonders what his fellow Quincy is doing. He then tries to scold Äs Nödt for having his Blut Vene so easily broken, but is interrupted when Byakuya tells him that he should not move so carelessly either. The Stern Ritter then is surprised to find that the ground under him suddenly collapses and falls due to Byakuya having modified it earlier with Senbonzakura. Now that the odds have shifted towards them, with two of them against Äs Nödt. The captain then reforms his Zanpakutō's sealed form and tells Renji to activate his Bankai to defeat Äs Nödt if his Bankai were to be sealed. Surprised at his captain’s request, Renji disapproves because they both know that the enemy could seal both of their Bankai from Lieutenant Sasakibe’s report. Even so, Byakuya retorts that their opponents cannot be defeated without using Bankai. As a result, he intends to use Bankai so that they can observe how the Vandenreich seal Bankai and form a way to counter that. Glaring at the Stern Ritter, Byakuya drops his Zanpakutō and activates his Bankai. In response, Äs Nödt quickly takes out his medallion. The thousands of small, tiny blades that were once circling Byakuya are all absorbed into Äs Nödt's medallion. Äs Nödt simply smiles as a shocked Byakuya stares at the medallion and realizes that his Bankai was not sealed, but rather stolen.
Renji is shocked at what just transpired as well. Frustrated, Renji tries to use his Bankai as well, but is ordered to not do so by his captain. Renji then angrily protests, wondering how are they to fight the Quincy if they cannot use Bankai. As their battle goes on, both Byakuya and Renji are later notified via transmitter swords along with the other captains and lieutenants by Rin Tsubokura that Ichigo is currently heading to Soul Society. Byakuya then finds himself pressured by his Quincy opponent as he is slashed by Äs Nödt. Renji moves to aid his captain, but Byakuya orders him to stay back. Byakuya tells him that attacking an enemy whose abilities are not understood is a foolish plan that causes one to lose advantages. As such, he orders Renji to watch the battle for now to learn Äs Nödt’s abilities. Renji then offers to be the one to do this, but Byakuya tells him that he does not feel his lieutenant has the proper skill necessary to make Äs Nödt reveal the full extent of his powers. Renji finds himself unable to argue against this, and lets it be. Byakuya assures Renji that he will make the Quincy reveal its powers quickly, so the lieutenant should just observe for now. As he says this, Byakuya finds it strange that it feels like his limbs are frozen. This leads him to wonder if the Reishi Thorns that Äs used had some sort of poisonous property. Äs Nödt notices the captain's puzzlement, and tells the captain that his initial thoughts of being poisoned are incorrect. He begins to tell Byakuya that the thorns have infected him with something that he has most likely lost a long time ago: fear. Renji is surprised at this revelation as Äs says that it is impressed because a normal Shinigami would have screamed out, go insane and cause their heart to fail from the intensive amount of fear that is induced by the thorns. Äs Nödt further explains that its “arrows” cause victims to lose control of all rational thought and have a deep-seated fear towards the Quincy. Äs Nödt commends the captain for resisting with willpower alone, noting that it is surprising. The 6th Division captain quickly strikes at Äs Nödt at the chest, but it is ineffective as Äs Nödt asserts that Byakuya’s heart is already stricken by fear. 
As Byakuya continues to resist his newfound fear, he says to himself that fear is ridiculous as he has overcome it each time on the verge of death and acquired power to continue forward. In spite of that, he ends up imagining Rukia in a gruesome state, and Äs Nödt takes advantage of the momentary distraction to deliver a blow straight through his opponent's chest. The Quincy notes that Byakuya’s legs have stopped moving and states that most experienced fighters believe that fear can always be overcome when it is a “fear that comes from reason.” However, the Quincy asserts that “true fear” is a primal instinct that can never be stopped or escaped from. The Stern Ritter claims that “true fear” has no reason or limit whatsoever, similar to a horde of bugs crawling up one's body. As Byakuya finds himself overwhelmed by fear, he loses his cool temperament. He once again tries to eliminate the Quincy, who simply jumps up to dodge Byakuya’s attack. Äs then takes out his medallion to use Senbonzakura Kageyoshi on the Shinigami, causing Byakuya to fall to his knees in a torrent of blood.
As Byakuya falls to his knees, he is only able to glare at the Quincy. Äs Nödt remarks that it is unsurprising that the captain can do nothing else, given that there is no possible way to defeat his own Bankai with only Shikai. Suddenly Renji appears from above, enraged by the result of the battle and claims that the Quincy has no right to be using Senbonzakura Kageyoshi. He uses Zabimaru in an attempt to assault Äs Nödt, but the Quincy blocks the attack with only his hand and Blut Vene. The Quincy then tries to get rid of the lieutenant with the stolen Bankai, but is stopped by Byakuya. Äs Nödt faces the captain again, who forces the Shinigami to face torrents of his own blades over and over, further worsening his already weak state, and sending him crashing into a wall. Overcome with anger, Renji yells at the Quincy to stop and tries to use his Bankai, but he is stopped and send flying by the other Stern Ritter that had fallen down the pit earlier knocking him unconscious in the process and injuring him. Äs Nödt tells his fellow Quincy that he was foolish and should have allowed it to steal Renji’s Bankai as well. The other Stern Ritter expresses his surprise as he thought that only captains had Bankai, to which Äs Nödt tells its comrade that he should go back to their headquarters and review the “Daten” that Yhwach gave them. Defeated, Byakuya leans on the wall he was send into as his Zanpakutō begins to break, and silently asks that Rukia and Renji forgive him for his failure.
When Ichigo arrives to Soul Society, he goes to speak to Byakuya, who is now in a near-death state, and assures the wounded captain that Rukia and Renji are alive. Byakuya says that he is glad that they are, but he himself will not last much longer. He expresses his shame of being unable to prevent the deaths of many Shinigami, causing their families to suffer. He then asks Ichigo to forgive him as well and to go do what he was unable to: protect Soul Society. After the Substitute Shinigami leaves, Byakuya comments on how typical it is of him for his lack of reply. Trusting that Ichigo will protect Soul Society, he drops the remaining part of his Zanpakutō, letting it disintegrate.After the Vandenreich’s assault ends, Byakuya is reported to have narrowly escaped death, but is in a comatose state that makes it uncertain if he will be able to resume his duties as captain or even wake up.
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 494, pages 1-4, 17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 495, pages 9-10
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 495, pages 14-18
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 496, pages 4-5
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 496, pages 4-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 497, pages 2, 14-16
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 500, pages 2-4
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 4-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 502, pages 1-3, 5-14
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 512, pages 8-13
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 513, pages 1-3
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 515, page 13