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Arrival in Hueco Mundo
Ichigo, Sado, and Uryū burst into Hueco Mundo and find themselves inside a building that is not quite what Ichigo imagined. Uryū tells Ichigo to be quiet and hide themselves, but Ichigo doesn't listen to him. Suddenly, something appears behind them and asks them who they are.
It seems that Ichigo, Sado and Ishida are discovered by an Arrancar, but instead of facing him, Ishida and Sado run away, dragging Ichigo with them. Ishida has realized that they are underground, as there are no windows, and so they cannot risk collapsing the building by fighting in the narrow hallway. They soon arrive in a large circular room, though Ishida is still more interested in the exit on the far side and goes to check it out. But a second Arrancar appears in front of him, and the first one soon arrives behind them. Ichigo is ready to fight these Arrancar by himself, but Sado elbows him out of the way and insists that Ichigo be the one who steps back. Both he and Ishida think that Ichigo should save his strength until they find Inoue, and Ishida also reveals what they know about the Arrancar. Their opponents are the small and fast Aisslinger Wernarr and the large and strong Demoura Zodd. Sado initially fights the former while Ishida battles with the latter. Demoura uses a technique that gathers surrounding spirit energy into his palms for attacking, which prevents Ishida from gathering spirit energy to construct his own weapon. As Ishida is wishing that he could get more distance between himself and Demoura, he notices Sado having a hard time hitting Aisslinger due to the distance between them. Because of this, Ishida stops moving and lets Sado punch Demoura instead. Ready to counterattack against a foe he is better matched against, Ishida forms his new bow and tells the Arrancar to get ready for a counter-attack.
Ichigo notices Uryū's new bow and questions if it really is a bow since it resembles a small pentacle. Uryū tells him he wouldn't use any other type of weapon and the pentacle reforms into the shape of a spider web. He then states that this is his new spirit bow, Ginrei Kojaku. Uryū then fires an arrow at Aisslinger. While this is happening Sado breaks the mask of Demoura and tells him he shouldn't have done that since he looked much better with the mask on. Demoura angrily punches at Sado, but he easily blocks the blow. He then picks up Demoura and flips him over. Aisslinger attempts to run away, but Uryū catches up with him and asks him if this is what they call Sonído. Aisslinger tells him that there's no way for a lowly Human to catch up to him and Uryū states that he isn't human, but a Quincy. He then explains that he uses Hirenkyaku, something he feels is superior to a Shinigami's Shunpo. Aisslinger states that he's never heard of a Quincy and Uryū tells him he should be ashamed of his ignorance. Aisslinger then goes to attack him and tells him that him being able to keep up with Sonído means nothing if he can't keep up with his Uña Tirotear. He then rapidly fires blasts of energy from his fingertips and Uryū begins firing Quincy arrows to defend himself. Aisslinger mocks Uryū's attempts to do this since his Uña Tirotear can fire 108 shots consecutively, but Uryū tells him his Ginrei Kojaku can fire 1200 shots consecutively. Uryū's arrows then fire straight through Uña Tirotear and begin firing at Aisslinger himself. Demoura tells Sado that there's no way someone like him could beat him and fires his tongue out at Sado. Sado easily grabs his tongue though and speculates that that must have been his final attack. He then states that he doesn't like to deal the deathblow to opponents who have lost the will to fight, but that he can't say things like that now. He then uses his new attack called El Directo and fires off a huge blast of spiritual energy.
Sado tells Demoura it's over and Demoura falls to the ground. Uryū tells Aisslinger to give a message to Sōsuke Aizen that the Quincy are the ones he should fear and not the Shinigami. Sado and Uryū then notice that the place is collapsing and Ichigo tells them it was probably because they went wild. Aisslinger corrects him though and states that this room is meant to collapse if they are to fall. As Ichigo, Uryū, and Sado attempt to leave, Aisslinger tells Uryū that it's funny that he should say Aizen should fear him as Aizen fears nothing and that that's the reason the Arrancar look up to him.
Meeting of New & Old Friends
Nel Tu is first seen being chased by Pesche Guatiche, Dondochakka Birstanne, and Bawabawa. While Ichigo, Chad, and Uryū are running to Las Noches to save Orihime Inoue, they come across Nel and think she is a young Human being chased by three hollows. After Ichigo and his friends attack the three, Nel yells at him to stop being mean to them. Ichigo then realizes that Nel is actually a Hollow herself and not a human. They all then apologize to Ichigo and his friends because they didn't think their game of "eternal pursuit" would cause such a misunderstanding and they all introduce themselves. Nel tells Ichigo that Dondochakka and Pesche are her brothers and Bawabawa is their pet. Ichigo is confused by this as he's never heard of Arrancar having siblings. Dondochakka explains that he just found Nel lying around and that he just had to become her brother. Everyone then decides to ride Bawabawa to get to Las Noches faster.
On the way there Ichigo questions if they are really Arrancar since they have a different feel than the ones he met in the Human world. Nel explains that the ones who went to the Human world were Numeros, who are Arrancar, who are at least as strong as Menos Grande. She continues to explain that they are ruled by the Espada and are combat experts who are "filthy bugs". She then notices that Ichigo is not like an Arrancar either because of his lack of mask and black clothes. Ichigo then tells her he's a Shinigami and that causes to Nel to panic thinking that they will all get killed if they go to Las Noches. All of a sudden, Runuganga, the guardian of the white sands, appears and confronts Nel and her friends.
Runuganga explains that he got information from Las Noches about people invading and that Nel joining with them is unforgivable and Nel tries to explain that she isn't with them. All of a sudden, Ichigo uses Getsuga Tenshō and splits Runuganga's head in half. Ichigo believes he's won, but Runuganga gets back up and brings his head back together. Nel explains that he is all of the sand in the area and that he can always come back together. Ichigo, realizing he can't be beaten, decides to escape and think of a strategy. Runuganga says he won't allow that though and forms a massive pit in the sand that starts sucking them down. Ichigo asks Nel if he has a weakness and she explains it's water and he asks where they're going to find that. All of a sudden, a huge blast of ice comes and completely freezes Runuganga. The ice breaks and kills Runuganga. Ichigo looks to see who did that and finds Rukia Kuchiki and Lieutenant Renji Abarai. Ichigo jumps off of Bawabawa and goes to meet Rukia and Renji. Nel is panicked by this continuing to think that Shinigami are bad. Ichigo returns with Rukia and Renji and they begin riding Bawabawa again. They eventually make it to the side of Las Noches and break into the palace with force.
Meeting of the Espada
Ulquiorra appears again during Aizen's meeting about Ichigo, Chad, and Uryū entering Hueco Mundo to save Orihime. After Aizen warns the Espada to treat the intruders with caution as just four of them went into Soul Society and faced the Gotei 13, Zommari Rureaux notes that he is missing one as there are only three intruders currently. Ulquiorra mentions that they are missing Orihime, he then sits silently as the other Espada argue until Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez interrupts them by attempting to walk out against Aizen's orders. He, alongside the other Espada, sits silently while Aizen subdues Grimmjow with his Spiritual Pressure to keep him in line.
Shortly after, Ulquiorra arrives in the room where Orihime is being kept in Las Noches and informs her that her friends have infiltrated Hueco Mundo. When she asks why Ulquiorra explains they have come to rescue her and that is the only reason they need. He then states that for her that should have no more meaning, because in both mind and body she is their comrade. He explains that her wearing the same clothes as the Arrancar signifies that concept. He then forces her to acknowledge that her clothes signify that her mind and body exist for Aizen's will.
As Ulquiorra leaves, he ponders that although she showed dismay for a second and didn't flinch at his questions, he acknowledges that this is a girl of strong spirit. His thoughts are interrupted by Nnoitra Gilga who asks how is his handling of the girl, explaining how he knew all about how Aizen had entrusted her care to him. He then asks how far along he has gotten in "taming" her, but Ulquiorra ignores him and walks away calling him degenerate scum. Undeterred Nnoitra uses Sonído to move in front of him and asks Ulquiorra to not get testy as he is only asking if everything is going well. Ulquiorra can't comprehend why Nnoitra really cares as it's trivial, but tells him not to worry as Orihime has been under Aizen's spell even before she arrived in Hueco Mundo. Nnoitra then questions if Aizen has used Kyōka Suigetsu as usual, though Ulquiorra assures him that this situation was not that big of an issue to warrant its use. He further explains that the moment that she was invited there multiple psychological cages were put in place, by putting her friends in danger she was forced into a situation where she couldn't refuse and made her surrender. Following that they gave her the 12 hour period to say goodbye to one of her friends. Nnorita still doesn't get the significance of the psychological cage that was being spoken about. Ulquiorra further explains that she is basically set to believe in her own mind that they are not the enemy and then she will follow them of her own free will. He also makes note that by allowing her to say goodbye to a friend of her own choosing, it will allow her to leave evidence of her free will in the event so she will be looked at as a traitor to her friends. Finally understanding Nnoitra states that plan is well thought out and would expect nothing less of Aizen, though Ulquiorra corrects him stating that such things to Aizen are nothing more than a game. If she is trapped then that is good, if she is not then that is okay as well, as either way she does not have the power to escape from Hueco Mundo or even the will to turn against them. Ulquiorra arrives as Aizen presents the Hōgyoku to Orihime.
The event culminates in Ishida and Chad showcasing that since their original showcase of power, they have gained strength just as Ichigo has. It also marked the resolve of Orihime as she realizes that she has an important role as well.
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 241, pages 16-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 242
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 243
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 244, pages 1-6
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 245, page 19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 246, pages 1-4
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 246, pages 7-9
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 246, pages 10-12
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 246, pages 13-20
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 247, pages 8-9
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 247, page 13
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 247, pages 19-23
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 244, pages 15-19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 245, pages 4-12
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 247, pages 18-22
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 248, pages 1-4
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 249, pages 5-16