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Seeing Ichigo Kurosaki's oncoming Getsuga Jūjishō, Candice Catnipp attempts to counter it with a physical attack, prompting Ichigo to yell at her to get out of the way. She is successful, but loses her left arm in the process. Cursing loudly, Candice orders Giselle Gewelle to restore her arm, prompting Giselle to sarcastically ask her if she can do so. When an angered Candice tells her she should be able to heal it without blood, Giselle admits this is true and notes she cannot turn a living Quincy into a zombie before using the corpse of a nearby Shinigami to regenerate Candice's arm. Liltotto Lamperd tells Candice to calm down, for she will not win otherwise, but Candice tells her to shut up and attempts to attack Ichigo once more, only to be pierced by Burner Finger 1.
Bazz-B stands nearby with his Quincy: Vollständig active and pierces Meninas McAllon, Giselle, and Liltotto with Burner Finger 1 as well before apologizing and asking them to die for a while. When Candice curses him, Bazz-B tells her she has no right to complain before claiming it is normal to steal another's prey and that those who arrive late are the ones who get to do so. As Bazz-B asks Ichigo if he thinks the same thing, PePe Waccabrada, NaNaNa Najahkoop, and Robert Accutrone arrive behind him, with NaNaNa noting he should have arrived a bit later and Robert proposing they split Ichigo evenly. Liltotto, Giselle, Candice, and Meninas stand back up, with Liltotto noting this will be 8-on-1 before proclaiming whomever kills Ichigo will get all the glory.
As he prepares to fight the Sternritter, Ichigo is startled by a beam of light piercing the heavens behind him. After learning of Yhwach's intention to go to the Soul King Palace, Ichigo attempts to confront him, but Meninas grabs his head before slamming him through several buildings. As Meninas notes he is naive for thinking the Sternritter with simply let him confront Yhwach when he is surrounded, Ichigo breaks free and blasts out of the rubble, but NaNaNa leaps into the air before attempting to hit Ichigo with a double-handed strike. Ichigo dodges and moves away from him, but Robert casually puts his gun to Ichigo's head while commending him for withstanding a direct attack from Meninas before firing.
Ichigo pushes his gun away, but Bazz-B appears behind him and grabs Ichigo before firing Burner Finger 1. However, Renji Abarai appears and deflects the blast with Zabimaru. When Ichigo berates him for nearly cutting the back of his neck open in the process, Renji notes this did not actually happen before telling Ichigo to go, for he will handle the Sternritter. After Renji tells him he will leave Yhwach to him, Ichigo leaves, prompting Bazz-B and NaNaNa to attempt to follow him. However, they are interrupted by the arrival of Rukia Kuchiki, Byakuya Kuchiki, Shūhei Hisagi, Ikkaku Madarame, and Yumichika Ayasegawa.
After counting how many Shinigami have arrived, a disappointed Bazz-B notes that there are not enough for 1-on-1 battles before asking Robert how many Special War Powers are among them. When the Sternritter reveals that there are none, Bazz-B summons his Spirit Weapon, a crossbow, and proclaims he has no business with the Shinigami in this case. However, Ikkaku attacks him, forcing Bazz-B to dodge, and destroys the ground beneath him. When Bazz-B attempts to fire a Heilig Pfeil at Ikkaku, Rukia encases his arm in ice before reiterating Renji's statement of not letting them pass. Ikkaku tells the Sternritter they should die if they want the Shinigami to leave, prompting Yumichika to note this does not make much sense before stating this is fine, as he understands Ikkaku's craziness. As Bazz-B shatters the ice encasing his arm while examining his injury, Liltotto suggests that they all enter their Quincy: Vollständig in order to take on the Shinigami, which Bazz-B agrees with. After activating their respective Quincy: Vollständig, the various Sternritter rush toward the Shinigami, who prepare to engage in combat.
However, the combatants are split up by the massive explosion which occurs when Yhwach, Jugram Haschwalth, and Uryū Ishida depart for the Soul King Palace. Afterwards, Renji pushes rubble off of himself and Rukia with Hihiō before asking Rukia if she is okay. Confirming this, Rukia thanks Renji and notes how powerful the explosion was as Renji asks her if she noticed. Rukia confirms this as well and notes she was not hallucinating before wondering why Uryū betrayed them, prompting Bazz-B to ask her what the problem is. Bazz-B stands in the air above Renji and Rukia while noting Uryū was their friend before offering to help them kill Uryū, as he does not like Uryū either, which surprises Rukia.
Renji responds by throwing large chunks of rubble at Bazz-B before telling him to shut up, for even though they are not happy about Uryū joining the Wandenreich so suddenly, they are strong enough to confront him without needing Bazz-B's help. As Rukia asks Renji if he was actually mad, Bazz-B notes Renji called him a "rooster" and demands to know if Renji is ridiculing his mohawk. When Renji taunts him by describing what chickens do, an enraged Bazz-B proclaims Renji is dead. Pointing four fingers at Renji, Bazz-B compliments Renji's eyebrows, prompting a shocked Renji to state Bazz-B is actually a nice guy. However, Bazz-B proclaims it is too late and uses Burner Finger 4, creating a large sword of fire around his hand, before slashing at Renji and Rukia, which results in a huge explosion.
Main article: Battle of the Zombies
Meanwhile, Ikkaku and Yumichika confront Giselle, who attempts to goad them into attacking her. When Yumichika sees through her ruse, Giselle summons a zombified Bambietta Basterbine, who blasts them away. Soon afterward, when Ikkaku decides to attack Bambietta head-on, Yumichika backs him up with Hadō #57. Daichi Tenyō, allowing him to impale Bambietta. However, an unfazed Bambietta merely blows Ikkaku and Yumichika away. Giselle prepares to zombify Ikkaku and Yumichika, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Mayuri Kurotsuchi and his lieutenant, Nemu Kurotsuchi. Giselle has Bambietta launch several bombs at Mayuri and Nemu, only for Mayuri to counter them with Reishi Kotei Sōti. Eventually, Giselle summons several zombified Shinigami to fight for her, so Mayuri brings out four resurrected Arrancar to fight for him.
The Arrancar begin slaughtering Giselle's zombie army. Giselle heals Bambietta's injuries, but Charlotte confronts them and easily overwhelms Bambietta in combat. Realizing that Bambietta's power will not be enough, Giselle brings out her trump card - a zombified Tōshirō Hitsugaya. Hitsugaya begins cutting down the combatants in rapid succession, but Mayuri eventually halts his onslaught and proclaims that he has a variety of medicines to test on him for the good of the Seireitei. Mayuri manages to make Hitsugaya enter a drug-induced time loop and incapacitates him. As Mayuri administers another drug to Hitsugaya, the now-zombified Kensei Muguruma, Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi, and Rangiku Matsumoto appear behind him, prompting Mayuri to send his Arrancar to deal with them. Eventually, Mayuri informs Giselle that he has successfully taken control of Kensei and Rose before having Kensei stab her through the heart.
Elsewhere, Byakuya stands surrounded by rubble after defeating Candice, NaNaNa, and Robert, who are lying on various buildings in the area, with his Shikai. Nearby, Liltotto derides the defeated Sternritter for being weak, prompting Meninas to note that it is only logical that the two of them would remain standing if Liltotto is referring to their abilities. Admitting that Meninas has a point, Liltotto wonders if Byakuya is really the same Shinigami whom Äs Nödt defeated during the first invasion and states he is a better fighter than she initially thought he was before cursing him and his new level of power and wondering where PePe is.
Meninas states she does not mind if he is not here because she thinks he is creepy, only for Liltotto to point out that he is better than nothing. Meanwhile, Hisagi appears and informs Byakuya that he has also defeated a Sternritter before realizing that Byakuya has already defeated three and chiding himself for getting cocky after a single victory. However, Byakuya knocks Kazeshini away without warning, causing Hisagi to ask him what is wrong before swinging Kazeshini at him. Byakuya blocks with his Zanpakutō and asks Hisagi if he is being controlled or is an impostor, which Hisagi denies.
As Liltotto realizes what is about to happen, Hisagi proclaims he is only trying to please PePe before attacking Byakuya once more. Watching from nearby, PePe proclaims he can split hearts in two and make someone's heart and body belong to him forever before telling those present to be hanged on his rope of love. When PePe forms a heart with his hands, a startled Liltotto moves out of the way, only for a heart to hit Meninas. When Meninas expresses affection for PePe, Liltotto tells her to snap out of it, but Meninas increases the size of the muscles in her arm before punching Liltotto as PePe announced his intentions to have everyone kill each other so he can take all the credit for himself.
As Hisagi continues to attack Byakuya, PePe explains his view of love being the source of all conflicts instead of justice, as everyone loves something, before proclaiming that this means conflicts are both saddening and beautiful. However, he is interrupted by Byakuya, who has incapacitated Hisagi and asks PePe if he is done talking before stating he finished a while ago. Byakuya notes PePe's speech about love was very passionate and points out how he has the ability to manipulate people through love before stating that this is easily countered by immobilizing the victims. When Byakuya notes that he simply has to kill PePe to permanently sever his hold over Hisagi, PePe admits this is what he expected of Byakuya before proclaiming he is scary and firing a heart at him.
Byakuya dodges the heart, prompting PePe to fire a heart-shaped beam at him while continuing to proclaim he is scary. After moving around to avoid the beam, Byakuya seemingly deflects it with his Zanpakutō before pointing out that PePe cannot take control of objects that do not have hearts. Confirming this, PePe asks Byakuya why he blocked with his Zanpakutō if he knew this, prompting Byakuya to express shock as Senbonzakura attacks him and draws blood. PePe reveals that he knows Zanpakutō have hearts before explaining how he did not steal any Bankai during the previous invasion because he can always take control of a Zanpakutō with The Love, prompting Byakuya to throw Senbonzakura into a wall.
Asking Byakuya why he is discarding his Zanpakutō, PePe notes Byakuya is merely giving him a chance to have someone who loves him wield a weapon that loves him as Hisagi pulls Senbonzakura out of the wall. As Hisagi coughs up blood, PePe states the power of love is very noble because it allows people to stand up from any attack or strive toward important goals and overcome great difficulties. Hisagi begins attacking Byakuya with both Senbonzakura and Kazeshini, forcing Byakuya to defend himself with Hakuda. Noting he might kill Hisagi if he uses Kidō, Byakuya chides himself for discarding his Zanpakutō instead of simply breaking it.
PePe uses Love Kiss, which hits Byakuya's shoulder with a heart, but Byakuya manages to keep defending himself from Hisagi. Noting this, PePe wonders if Byakuya has no love in his heart and states it is unacceptable for Byakuya to not accept his love before proclaiming he will not stand for this and activating his Quincy: Vollständig, Gudoero, which destroys most of his clothing. PePe tells Byakuya to look at his pure body and states it must make Byakuya want to love him before using Love Rope, which immobilizes Byakuya by impaling his shoulder with three strings of hearts. When Hisagi attempts to attack Byakuya, PePe tells him to wait and states he wants Byakuya to die by his love before pulling a bow and arrow out of his mouth. As PePe proclaims this is the ultimate love, he is kicked in the face and sent flying away as Byakuya sees the zombified Kensei and Rose have arrived with strange markings on their faces.
As Byakuya wonders what has happened to Kensei and Rose, Hisagi attempts to attack his former captain from behind, only for Kensei to swiftly knock him unconscious before giving a startled Byakuya his Zanpakutō. Mayuri arrives and notes that the enemies have appeared on-time as usual before explaining the current situation to Byakuya. Stating he understands, Byakuya asks Mayuri why he did not simply kill Kensei and Rose, only for Mayuri to point out that fighting for the Seireitei until death is the deepest wish of every Shinigami. PePe attempts to take control of Kensei while noting he has taken control of Giselle's zombies before, but Kensei merely punches him in the face. As Mayuri reveals that his zombies do not know what love means, Kensei hits PePe with Sandbag Beat, sending him crashing into a building. Proclaiming he will never forgive them, PePe is startled to find Liltotto standing near him.
Expressing shock at Liltotto's arrival, PePe attempts to appease her by saying she looks well, but immediately backs up several feet when Liltotto takes a step forward. As her Quincy: Vollständig wings form near her shoulders, Liltotto points out how PePe tried to kill all of them before stating he needs to take responsibility as her mouth begins to deform in preparation for The Gluttony. Screaming, PePe begs for forgiveness as Liltotto devours him.
Later, Giselle drags Bambietta within a cave formed by rubble and begins to drink her blood in order to revive and heal herself. When Bambietta attempts to prevent Giselle from drinking too much, an angered Giselle violently beats her while proclaiming that Bambietta is already dead and should return her blood to Giselle. However, Giselle accidentally kills Bambietta, prompting her to hug her corpse while proclaiming Bambietta is cute even in death. Liltotto finds Giselle and notes she is still alive, prompting Giselle, who has her Quincy: Vollständig activated, to confirm this before pointing out Liltotto's injuries. Liltotto explains how PePe used The Love to turn Meninas on her, which forced her to incapacitate Meninas and kill PePe. As Giselle expresses disgust, Robert appears and places his gun against Liltotto's head.
When Liltotto asks him to explain himself, Robert asks her if she is aware that Yhwach has headed up to the Soul King Palace. A confused Liltotto states that she asked him to explain himself as Robert points out how they were not chosen to go up with Yhwach, which prompts Liltotto to confirm this before claiming that they can simply fight down here until Yhwach returns. However, Robert notes she is completely oblivious before hysterically proclaiming that this is the end for all of them because they have been determined to be unnecessary for the upcoming battle. As a shocked Liltotto wonders what he is talking about, Robert notes that newcomers such as Liltotto and Giselle have no idea of what terrible things Yhwach is capable of and proclaims that the Sternritter exist for Yhwach's sake before revealing that Sternritter whom Yhwach deems unnecessary become targets of Auswählen. A beam of light engulfs Robert, who has his flesh stripped away, as a shocked Liltotto leaps away with Giselle to avoid two more beams of light. Noticing her Quincy: Vollständig wings being stripped away, Liltotto realizes that the beams of light can take their powers away even if the Sternritter are not hit by them. NaNaNa and Bazz-B are engulfed in beams of light as Liltotto wonders what is going on before demanding to know what the Sternritter are to Yhwach, who states that they are comrades as he uses the power stolen with Auswählen to revive his elite Sternritter.