Marechiyo Ōmaeda walks along with six Shinigami behind him and states it is ridiculous to make him check out the archive records to see if a Zanpakutō called Muramasa ever existed. Taking a bite of his cracker, Marechiyo proclaims it is a pain as a Shinigami in the back of the convoy tells the Shinigami across from him that Marechiyo is a whiner, prompting the other Shinigami to say Marechiyo took Ukitake's offer because he knew investigating the Seireitei would be much more work.
Marechiyo looks over his shoulder and asks them if they said something, prompting the two Shinigami to turn to him and deny this. As Marechiyo frowns, his foot catches on something, causing him to flail his arms before falling over as his crackers spill on the ground in front of him. As the convoy runs up to Marechiyo, one of the Shinigami asks him if he is alright. Marechiyo gets up and wonders who left a log in the middle of the path before looking down to see an unconscious Shinigami.
Expressing shock, Marechiyo stands up and looks into the courtyard, where he sees several more unconscious Shinigami lying on the ground. As Marechiyo wonders what happened here, what is going on, and who is responsible for this, the Shinigami are sent flying past him and land on the ground behind him. Upon seeing Gegetsuburi and Hōzukimaru, Marechiyo demands to know who they are as Hōzukimaru notes they were division members before proclaiming this is pathetic because they were not even good for a warm-up.
Marechiyo and Gegetsuburi express surprise and walk towards each other, each carrying a bag of crackers, before each taking a cracker, eating it, and proclaiming it is tasty. When Marechiyo asks him if he is who Marechiyo thinks he is, Gegetsuburi confirms he is the mighty Gegetsuburi. As they laugh, Marechiyo pats Gegetsuburi's shoulder and says he understands. Marechiyo looks over Gegetsuburi and proclaims he is a stylish man like him, prompting Gegetsuburi to express surprise before asking Marechiyo when he last looked in the mirror.
When Gegetsuburi proclaims he has seen more hair on a baby's bottom, a surprised Marechiyo states he is not going bald and claims this is simply the way he styles his hair. Stating this is lame, Gegetsuburi proclaims Marechiyo is the reason his manifestation is so overweight before saying he is lazy, prompting an angered Marechiyo to claim Gegetsuburi lacks the basic understanding of what beauty is despite being his Zanpakutō Spirit. As Gegetsuburi expresses anger, his bag of crackers transforms into Gegetsuburi. Asking Gegetsuburi if he wishes to fight, Marechiyo draws his sword.
Marechiyo proclaims he will make Gegetsuburi surrender to him once they are done, but Gegetsuburi claims this is not likely before telling Hōzukimaru to stay out of this, prompting Hōzukimaru to note it is not his style to interfere with the battles of other people before stepping aside as Marechiyo and Gegetsuburi stare at each other. As Marechiyo and Gegetsuburi begin to circle each other, a drop of sweat rolls down each of their faces. Marechiyo and Gegetsuburi yell and prepare to attack, but a large chunk of stone is launched from a nearby wall and hits Marechiyo, who is sent flying away before crashing into a wall. As the portion of the wall Marechiyo hit falls over, Gegetsuburi and Hōzukimaru express surprise as Ichigo Kurosaki, having kicked the chunk of stone, notes he hit the wrong guy.
Stating it is no big deal because it is Marechiyo, Ikkaku walks into the corridor and notes he did not expect to find Zanpakutō Spirits here before proclaiming this is perfect because Ichigo will see the results of his training. As Gegetsuburi demands to know who Ikkaku is, Hōzukimaru yells as he runs forward before striking at Ikkaku with Hōzukimaru. Blocking with his sheathed blade, Ikkaku struggles with Hōzukimaru, who states he has missed Ikkaku. A confused Ikkaku asks Hōzukimaru what he is saying before expressing surprise upon seeing Hōzukimaru. Confirming his identity as Ikkaku's Zanpakutō Spirit, Hōzukimaru strikes at Ikkaku, who leaps back.
Hōzukimaru walks forward as Ikkaku asks him if he is really Hōzukimaru. When Hōzukimaru asks him if he wishes to confirm this, Ikkaku asks him how he would do this, prompting Hōzukimaru to proclaim Ikkaku can do it however he wishes. Agreeing, Ikkaku says they will do "that" because Hōzukimaru seems ready and willing. Hōzukimaru asks Ikkaku what "that" is, but Ikkaku says Hōzukimaru will be able to keep up with him when they go for it if he is really Hōzukimaru. Chuckling, Hōzukimaru states he understands and says they will go.
As Ikkaku states they will do it, Hōzukimaru agrees, and they begin walking on their toes while chanting. Extending their right legs behind them, Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru hold their weapons in front of them while continuing to walk on their toes. Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru extend their left legs behind them while holding their weapons in front of them and cross their feet before leaping into air while chanting. Stabbing their weapons into the ground, Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru land on the ground and hold their weapons in front of them with their legs spread out before finishing their chant.
As Ichigo and Gegetsuburi watch in confusion, Ichigo asks Ikkaku what they were doing, prompting an enraged Ikkaku to ask Ichigo if he forgot about it. Gegetsuburi moves away as Ikkaku proclaims this was his Tsuki-Tsuki Dance and angrily says Ichigo should remember. Telling a confused Ichigo to forget about it, Ikkaku turns to Hōzukimaru and states his dancing was perfect before noting this proves he is Hōzukimaru. Ikkaku proclaims this is perfect because all of his Zanpakutō's power will once again be his to use after he defeats him.
Hōzukimaru asks Ikkaku if he believes he can defeat him, prompting Ikkaku to say he will give it a shot. When Ikkaku states Hōzukimaru should know his rules for fighting because he is Ikkaku's Zanpakutō Spirit, Hōzukimaru confirms this and says battles are always fought one-on-one. Unsheathing his sword, Ikkaku confirms this and begins to state whoever dies has no regrets as Hōzukimaru assumes a battle stance and finishes Ikkaku's sentence.
Ikkaku leaps forward and strikes at Hōzukimaru with his scabbard. As Hōzukimaru blocks, Ikkaku slices at him with his sword before attacking him with his sword and scabbard. Hōzukimaru blocks before jabbing at Ikkaku with Hōzukimaru, which Ikkaku knocks to the side with his sword. Forcing Hōzukimaru back, Ikkaku repeatedly strikes at him with his sword and scabbard, which Hōzukimaru block with Hōzukimaru. As his sword cuts Hōzukimaru's abdomen, Ikkaku continues attacking Hōzukimaru and cuts his face.
Cutting Hōzukimaru's bicep, Ikkaku continues to slash at him while demanding to know what is wrong with him before proclaiming his Zanpakutō Spirit would not be this weak in a battle. Hōzukimaru blocks Ikkaku's strikes and tells him to not be so quick to judge before proclaiming this battle has only just begun as he swipes at Ikkaku with Hōzukimaru, which separates into a sansetsukon. As the bladed segment of the sansetsukon swings toward him, Ikkaku ducks and knocks the sansetsukon aside with his scabbard before slashing at Hōzukimaru with his sword.
Ikkaku ducks behind Hōzukimaru, who grabs the other segments of his sansetsukon before lunging at Ikkaku. When Ikkaku strikes at him with his scabbard, Hōzukimaru blocks and swings the tasseled section of the sansetsukon at Ikkaku, who slashes at him with his sword, forcing Hōzukimaru to block. Stepping backward, Ikkaku leans back to avoid the bladed segment of the sansetsukon and stands up, only to dodge two jabs from the sansetsukon before leaping back to avoid a third. As he lands, Ikkaku compliments Hōzukimaru on his fighting skills.
When Hōzukimaru notes Ikkaku is bloodthirsty, Ikkaku chuckles and says they are both bloodthirsty before proclaiming this is where the real fight starts. Chuckling, Hōzukimaru states he should get serious in this case before rejoining the segments of his sansetsukon. Hōzukimaru raises Hōzukimaru above his head and twirls it before slamming its tassel into the ground, causing a large amount of steam to emanate from the ground as lightning crackles around him before an explosion occurs, creating a large amount of smoke. Ryūmon Hōzukimaru falls from the sky and embeds itself in the ground around Hōzukimaru, prompting Ikkaku to grin.
Later, after Ichigo defeats Gegetsuburi, Ikkaku is sent flying past him. Ikkaku crashes into the stairs in front of Ichigo, who calls out to him. Running to Ikkaku, Ichigo asks him if he is alright as Hōzukimaru asks Ikkaku what is wrong while standing behind them with Ryūmon Hōzukimaru. As Hōzukimaru asks Ikkaku if this is all he has go, Ichigo turns to him and curses, but Ikkaku tells him to wait and steps out of the crater. Walking forward, Ikkaku tells Ichigo to not interfere and assumes a battle stance before proclaiming that it is his battle and he will handle this.
Panting, Ikkaku leaps forward as Hōzukimaru does the same. However, they are interrupted when 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng appears and tells them to stop. As Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru express surprise, several Keigun surround them as Ukitake says they have Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru surrounded. Shunsui apologizes and states they will have to interrupt, prompting Ikkaku to demand to know what they are doing and before proclaiming that it is his fight because it is his Zanpakutō Spirit, only to express surprise upon hearing something.
Ikkaku turns around to see Ryūmon Hōzukimaru embedded in the ground next to Hōzukimaru, who says it is not much of a fight. When Ikkaku asks him what he said, Hōzukimaru states he is done fighting for today, prompting Ikkaku to proclaim Hōzukimaru cannot quit now. Grabbing the central segment of Ryūmon Hōzukimaru by the handle, Hōzukimaru yells as the dragon crest on the blade begins to fill. As a strong wind blows through the area, Hōzukimaru continues to yell as he spins Ryūmon Hōzukimaru above his head.
Telling the Keigun to not just stand there, Suì-Fēng orders them to bring Hōzukimaru down, prompting the Keigun to run towards Hōzukimaru, who slams the central segment of Ryūmon Hōzukimaru into the ground. As red Reiatsu erupts from the central segment, several Keigun are thrown back as an explosion occurs. The smoke clears to reveal Hōzukimaru is gone. As the Keigun wonder where Hōzukimaru went, Suì-Fēng orders them to chase him, prompting Ukitake to say it is no use because his Reiatsu is gone. When one of the Keigun calls out to them, Suì-Fēng and Ukitake turn and look up to see two Keigun holding a restrained Gegetsuburi.
One of the Keigun states they managed to get one of the Zanpakutō Spirits as the other one asks Suì-Fēng if they should hand Gegetsuburi over to Marechiyo. When Suì-Fēng wonders where Marechiyo is, a Shinigami calls out to her and brings her an attention to Marechiyo, who is lying unconscious on the ground as another Shinigami tries to wake him up. Suì-Fēng tells the Shinigami to not bother and to leave Marechiyo, prompting Shunsui to note Suì-Fēng is very strict as Ukitake suggests they hand Gegetsuburi over to the Department of Research and Development for a full investigation.
Turning away, Suì-Fēng states this is fine before moving away with Shunpo. Ukitake realizes something and wonders where Ichigo is, prompting Shunsui to say it is obvious where he is. Elsewhere, Ichigo chases Hōzukimaru through a corridor. As Ichigo tells Hōzukimaru to not think he will get away from him, a blade petal cuts his face. When a mass of blade petals obscures Hōzukimaru and moves towards him, Ichigo draws Zangetsu and slashes at the petals before activating his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, to disperse them. However, Hōzukimaru manages to escape.
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