Orihime's return from the Soul Society is interrupted by the ArrancarUlquiorra, who has a different, terrifying path for her. Using duplicitous tactics, Ulquiorra convinces Orihime to accompany him to Hueco Mundo, which brands her as a traitor in the Soul Society's eyes and therefore unworthy of rescue. Ichigo refuses to abandon his friend, and sets out to storm Hueco Mundo to set her free! But can he win when the entire world is against him?!
Ulquiorra explains his intentions to Orihime, while the rest of the Shinigami continue their battle against the Arrancar.
Ulquiorra mocks the Gotei 13 for only giving Orihime two bodyguards, but states that this is more convenient for him. Orihime recognizes Ulquiorra as the Arrancar that attacked before and one of the bodyguards questions who he is. Ulquiorra is about to kill him, but Orihime yells at him to stop since she believes he only wants her. While he tells her she's correct, he still attacks the bodyguard and ends up knocking him unconscious. Orihime immediately uses Sōten Kisshun on him and tells the other bodyguard to run away. However, he too is knocked unconscious by Ulquiorra and Orihime calls out Ayame to increase the range of her Sōten Kisshun. Ulquiorra is impressed that she is able to heal injuries that extensive and tells her to come with him. Orihime is about to object, but Ulquiorra tells her she's not allowed to speak or else he will kill all of her friends and brings up three monitors of Ichigo, Hitsugaya, and Rangiku fighting. He then explains to her that she has no rights and that the only power she has right now is to save her friends by coming with him. He then states that this is not a negotiation, but an order and that he has been told by Aizen not to harm her and reiterates that she has to come with him.
Wonderweiss fires off an attack at Urahara and he asks Wonderweiss what that technique was. All of a sudden he's attacked from behind by the same attack and Yammy is revealed as the one who did it. He explains that the technique is called Bala and it is 20 times faster than a Cero, but not as powerful. Yammy then fires off a barrage of Bala's at Urahara, which Luppi is angered at as he wanted to be the one to kill Urahara for getting in his way before. Luppi than looks over at his captured opponents and states that he's going to finish this now. Before that though, he makes fun of Rangiku for getting captured again after being saved by Urahara. Rangiku tells Luppi that he talks to much and that she hates men who never stop talking. Luppi begins to remind her that her life is in his hands, but is interrupted when his remaining tentacles are frozen. He see's that it's Hitsugaya, who tells him that Hyōrinmaru can be revived as long as there is water. He then mocks Luppi for not finishing him off when he had the chance and explains that all the water in the atmosphere is his weapon. He then uses Sennen Hyōrō and the pillars of ice around Luppi crush him. Hitsugaya then states that his eight tentacles weren't enough to defeat him.
Urahara and Yammy continue their battle, while Rukia comes to assist Ichigo.
Yammy notices that Luppi was killed by Hitsugaya and begins to get worried. He is about to state that Aizen will get mad at him, but Urahara appears behind him and finishes his sentence. Yammy angrily swings his arm at him, but Urahara easily dodges and appears in front of him. Yammy attempts to ask him how he's still alive, but Urahara finishes this sentence as well and mocks him. This causes Yammy to fire another Bala at Urahara, but he appears behind Yammy and brings his Zanpakutō to his neck. He tells Yammy that because he's seen him fire off so many Bala's, he won't get hit by them anymore. He then uses his Zanpakutō's offensive ability across Yammy's entire body and asks him if he's thinking why he's still alive after being hit by so many Bala blasts. He explains by blowing on a balloon and forming another Urahara. He calls it a portable Gigai and Yammy tells him he's never seen anything like that. Urahara explains by saying that he made it and never showed it to anyone before, and that even if he did they probably wouldn't be able to control right. He then asks Yammy how he did since he couldn't tell when he switched places and this angers Yammy enough to fire off more Bala's. Urahara appears in front of Yammy though and stops him from firing by simply bringing his Zanpakutō to his arm. Urahara reiterates that he won't get hit by those anymore because he's analyzed the techniques spirit particle composition and even the muscle movements in Yammy's arm when he fires a Bala. He then asks Yammy if they should finish this battle.
Ichigo is overwhelmed by Grimmjow and attempts to bring out his Hollow mask again. It doesn't work though and Grimmjow kicks him across the town. He speculates as to why he can't use the mask anymore, but states that it doesn't matter anyway and uses his Zanpakutō to hold Ichigo's arm in place. Grimmjow then begins to form a Cero and tells Ichigo not to worry since from this distance it will wipe his head clean off. However, a beam of ice attacks Grimmjow and freezes his arm. Rukia is shown to be behind him and she uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, to completely freeze Grimmjow. Rukia then goes over to where Ichigo is to take out the Zanpakutō holding his arms together and tells him not to talk. She says to him that he was a pretty reckless power and Ichigo tells her to shut up. All of a sudden Grimmjow breaks out of the ice he was encased in and grabs Rukia's head. He tells her she was foolish to think that freezing him with a thin layer of ice would stop him, and begins to fire a Cero.
Shinji arrives to save Rukia and battles Grimmjow.
Grimmjow attempts to fire off his Cero at Rukia's head, but he is stopped by Shinji. He tells Grimmjow that he doesn't like getting involved in Shinigami fights, but he can't just ignore people fighting when they're so close by. Grimmjow asks him if he's one of their friends and Shinji tells him it doesn't matter. Grimmjow then takes his Zanpakutō out of Ichigo's arms and states that he agrees with him since it has nothing to do with killing him. He then heads straight towards Shinji and ends up destroying one of the buildings when Shinji dodges. Shinji tells him to stop destroying the buildings or he'll be forced to stop dodging. Grimmjow goes to attack him again and Shinji decides to take out his Hollow mask. He then attacks him and Grimmjow tells him because of his mask he must be one of their allies. Shinji reiterates though that it doesn't matter who he is and begins firing off a Cero. The Cero hits its target and sends Grimmjow towards the town below. Shinji commends Grimmjow because he used a Cero to minimize the damage from his own Cero. Grimmjow then goes to attack again and begins to release his Zanpakutō until Ulquiorra appears and stops Grimmjow. Ulquiorra tells him the mission has been completed and a Negación appears around them to take them back to Hueco Mundo.
A Negación appears around Yammy and Wonderweiss as well. A Negación then appears around Luppi, breaking the ice he was encased in. Luppi tells him to remember his face because the next time he see's it he'll be killed.
Ulquiorra looks at Ichigo and realizes he's gained some type of new power, but isn't worried by it as "the sun" has already been set in their hands. The Garganta they entered then closes.
In the Dangai, Orihime is still healing the two bodyguards that were nearly killed by Ulquiorra.
Orihime tries to figure out who to say goodbye to while Rukia tries to help an unconscious Ichigo.
As Orihime begins fixing up her house she has a flashback to her conversation with Ulquiorra.
Ulquiorra gives Orihime a bracelet and explains that while she wears it she will be surrounded by a special spiritual membrane that will allow only Arrancar to sense her presence. It will also allow her to pass through any solid object. Ulquiorra tells her not to take it off and then gives her twelve hours to say goodbye to a single person. He then warns her that if they notice her she will be in violation of her orders and reiterates that she can only say goodbye to one person.
Orihime leaves her house and writes down in her notebook "goodbye, halcyon days".
Tessai attempts to heal Ikkaku, but he doesn't allow him to. Ururu then holds him down and Yumichika tells them that they can't force him to be healed. Hitsugaya overhears them and thinks to himself that their obnoxious wherever they go. He then notices Urahara and thinks to himself that he's a mysterious character and that he's been deep in though ever since the Arrancar vanished. He then notes how lucky they were to get through a battle with so many Espada. Matsumoto then states that they have to begin their own preparations and wonders just how much quicker they can be ready if they hurry. Hitsugaya notices Matsumoto and asks her if she made contact with Soul Society.
Rukia tries to contact Orihime in Soul Society and wonders if some kind of spiritual interference is occurring. Hachi is shown holding an unconscious Ichigo and states that since his powers aren't exactly healing and that they're more of a time-space regression he needs the target's state of regression to be precisely indicated. He explains that since the Arrancar's Reiatsu and Ichigo's own Reiatsu are mixed in his wounds, it's best to keep him away from people like him who have Hollow like Reiatsu. He tells her to take him home and let him rest and Rukia agrees.
She takes the unconscious Ichigo home and wonders who those guys were, what kind of power he's trying to obtain, and why the Arrancar decided to leave in the middle of battle. Rukia then decides that because she's so confused, she's going to leave and cool her head. However, she overhears Karin and Yuzu arguing. She goes out to see them and Yuzu asks if it's okay to have dinner in Ichigo's room. Rukia tells her it's all right and then leaves.
After they finish eating, the two of them decide to sleep in the room as well. Orihime then enters the room and is surprised that she is actually her and tells an unconscious Ichigo that she wanted to say goodbye to a lot of other people. She then notices that Yuzu and Karin decided to eat in here today. She speculates that they went in here because Ichigo's never been around and they got lonely. Orihime then realizes that this is the first time she's been in Ichigo's room and notes that it even smells like Ichigo in here. Orihime then attempts to kiss Ichigo, but she can't and begins to cry. She then states that she wanted to do many things and then wishes she had 5 lives so she could do everything differently, but then states that she would fall in love with the same person 5 times. She then thanks Ichigo and says goodbye to him.
Yamamoto declares Orihime a traitor and orders Ichigo to not go after her.
Ichigo falls out of bed as he wakes-up. As he rubs his head he notices that his injuries have been healed. As Ichigo detects Orihime's Reiatsu on his hand, Hitsugaya appears and tells him to follow. There is a situation.
In Orihime's apartment, which is currently also home to Rangiku and Hitsugaya, Ichigo finds the others gathered around the communication device. When communication is established with Soul Society, Ukitake appears and informs them that he was the last person to see Orihime when she went through Senkaimon. The two guards accompanying her have returned alive and told of how they were intercepted by an Arrancar. Ukitake suggests the possibility of Orihime being abducted and possible killed, leading Ichigo to have an angry reaction where he informs everyone of how Orihime healed him last night and how traces of her Reiatsu still linger on his hands.
At this point, Yamamoto steps in and declares Orihime a traitor. His reasoning is that if Orihime had been taken against her will then she would not have been allowed time to heal Ichigo. Therefore, she must have gone over to the Arrancar side of her own freewill. As Ichigo moves to argue with Yamamoto, Renji stops him. Pointing out that Ichigo will simply make things worse. Renji then offers to go to Hueco Mundo himself in order to open Orihime's eyes to her folly. However, Yamamoto refuses his request. Saying that as the stakes are one persons life verses those of the rest of the world, there is no argument here. He then orders everybody to return to Soul Society - abandoning Orihime. Rukia protests, saying that she cannot obey that order. Yamamoto reveals that he anticipated that reaction and took precautions.
A Senkaimon opens to reveal Byakuya and Kenpachi, they explain that they have been authorized to use force if they have to, but everybody is to return with them. As this all unfolds, Ichigo speaks up and states that he alone will rescue Orihime and all Soul Society has to do is tell him how to get to Hueco Mundo. Yamamoto responds that Ichigo is not allowed to act on his own as his strength will be necessary in the upcoming battle and that Ichigo is to wait until he receives further orders. As the Senkaimon closes on Rukia, Ichigo falls on his knees.
Ichigo, Chad and Ishida resolve to go to Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime.
At the Visored base, Mashiro brings in a bundle that was left outside. Shinji opens it to find some bandages with a note of thanks. Shinji deduces that they are from Ichigo and calls him a fool.
In Karakura High School, Ichigo was chewed out by his teacher, Misato Ochi, for being absent for so long. Later on, Keigo and Mizuiro meet up with him and reflect on how long it has been since they last saw Ichigo. Mizuiro then presents Ichigo with tickets for a movie that will screen December 5th. Ichigo says that he will try to be back before then. Mizuiro is stunned at the comment, but before he can say anything, Tatsuki arrives and demands to know where Orihime is. She has been looking for her, but can't find her.
Ichigo yells at Tatsuki, demanding to know why he would know where Orihime is and tells her to take another look around. Tatsuki grabs him and states that Orihime's presence that Tatsuki has always felt has disappeared. Commenting that for awhile it was as if the presence was behind a wall, but now it has completely disappeared. Tatsuki once again demands to know where Orihime is. Ichigo yells at her again and even mocks her. Tatsuki asks him if he truly believes that she doesn't know anything. She then informs him that she has seen him wearing a black Kimono, fighting strange things. She pleads with him to tell her everything. Ichigo tells her that it is none of her business, causing Tatsuki to punch Ichigo into the glass plane window behind him. Upset and crying Tatsuki demands what she is to Ichigo, reminding him that she has always been there for him and wonders why he won't tell her what's going on now. Ichigo simply walks away, asking Keigo and Mizuiro to look after Tatsuki and not to associate with him any more.
Later that night, Ichigo makes his way to Urahara Shoten. Urahara explains that he has been expecting Ichigo, confessing that he always suspected that Aizen would target Orihime for her powers and tried to keep her from the front-line. However, due to his hesitation in removing her, Orihime managed to attract Aizen's attention and that is why he will do all he can to get her back. Ichigo asks if Urahara is really okay with that given that will involve going against Soul Society, but Urahara assures him that this is why he is there in the first place.
As they arrive at the under-ground training facility, Ichigo is greeted by Ishida and Chad. Both of them tell him that they are going with him to Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime. Ichigo starts to refuse their help, citing their power-level. However, Chad demonstrates a bit of his new power and then demands if Ichigo still thinks they aren't strong enough to help him. Ichigo is rendered speechless, prompting Urahara to call their attention and ask if they are ready to be on their way.
Urahara opens a Garganta and provides instructions on how to cross it to get to the Hueco Mundo. Before he leaves, Ichigo asks Urahara to look after his family and tell them something that will make them not worry about him. With that Ichigo leaves with Ishida and Chad.
Following their departure, Urahara tells Tatsuki, Keigo, and Mizuiro to come out. The three had followed Ichigo to Urahara's Shoten, like Urahara knew they would and left the way behind them deliberately open so that they could sneak in. Urahara comments that it was naive of Ichigo to believe that he could sever his connections with the three just by being cold to them. He then turns away, commenting that he now has his own work to do.
In Hueco Mundo, Orihime is brought before Aizen, who asks her to demonstrate her power by regenerate Grimmjow's arm. Luppi is incredulous and demands to know how Orihime is supposed to do something like that, demanding to know if she was a Kami. Orihime effortlessly regenerates Grimmjow's arm, much to Luppi's shock. Aizen explains that while Ulquiorra perceived Orihime's power as a form of space-time regression, in truth her power is something that is greater then that. Aizen explains that her power is event rejection and her power is such that it allows her to transgress into the realm of Kami by rejecting events dictated by Kami himself.
With his arm restored, Grimmjow asks Orihime to heal the burn that obscures his Espada tattoo. Luppi demands to know what Grimmjow is up to, in response, as soon as Orihime is finished, Grimmjow puts his hand through Luppi's abdomen and disintegrating him with a point-blank cero. Thus reclaiming his spot as the Sexta Espada as Aizen, Yammy, Wonderweiss, Ulquiorra, and Orihime watch on.
Ichigo and his friends arrive in Hueco Mundo and Ryūken talks with Isshin.
Inside the Garganta, Ichigo, Sado, and Uryū are deep in a dark void as they head for Hueco Mundo. Both Ichigo and Sado are having trouble keeping their footing along the spirit path. Uryū, however, has no problems and is asked by Sado about the promise he made to his father. Sado had heard from Urahara that in exchange for the Quincy training, Ishida was not to get involved with the Shinigami. To answer the question, Uryū recalls how Urahara had visited the training place and told him about Orihime’s abduction. Urahara had also mentioned that Ichigo was going by himself to go save her, and upon hearing this, Uryū had asked for clarification. After Urahara explained that Soul Society had dissociated itself from this matter, Uryū had decided to go with Ichigo. His reasoning is that Soul Society has abandoned Ichigo, so Ichigo isn't really a Shinigami, meaning that he’s not breaking his promise by doing this.
Back in the Human World, Ryūken finds a note that his son left behind. Ichigo’s father, Isshin Kurosaki, shows up and asks about the letter. Ryūken is surprised to see him in Shinigami garb, as this means that Isshin’s powers have returned. Ryūken says that he does not need to read it because he already knows what it says. Isshin thinks that Ryūken sent his son on purpose, but Ryūken notes that he merely restored his son’s Quincy powers. Whether he keeps the powers alive or kills them is up to Uryū himself — that includes living and dying too. Isshin tells Ryūken that he's a pretty bad father, which Ryūken replies that he's better than what Isshin is doing.
In Las Noches, Orihime sits alone in her room staring out the window and worrying about if she should have come here. She realizes that healing the Arrancar will lead to more fighting, but she also feels that she has to make the them think that she has value, at least until the preparations for the battle are complete. Suddenly, Orihime senses a great spiritual force. Aizen feels it too from his own room, and he knows that someone has come.
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.
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.
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