The Lost Agent is the forty-ninth volume of the Bleach manga series.
After a long battle, Ichigo Kurosaki loses his Shinigami powers... Ichigo now leads a quiet and peaceful life until he is approached by a mysterious man. What does the man want and how does it relate to Ichigo's lost powers?!
As he finally lives the normal life he always dreamed of, Ichigo meets a mysterious man.
Ichigo wakes up in the morning, 17 months after his fight with Sōsuke Aizen and its aftermath. He is 17 years old, has orange hair, brown eyes, he is a high-school student. He can't see ghosts. Yuzu Kurosaki, now with longer hair, shows Ichigo her junior high uniform for her admittance ceremony that day. Ichigo ignores her and asks for the soy sauce. Yuzu, angered, hands him the sauce and says she won't put any of the burned rice that he likes in his bowl. Ichigo informs her that her zipper is open; she accuses him of being a pervert. Karin Kurosaki is bothered by two ghosts, but refuses to acknowledge that to Ichigo. Isshin Kurosaki asks Yuzu what sort of tie would go better with his suit. She tells him they are both fine, much to his frustration.
Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue filled in the blanks about Ichigo's powers to his other friends while he was unconscious. They believed it immediately, which is not surprising, considering what they've seen. Since Ichigo's Shinigami powers disappeared, Karin's powers have been steadily growing and she is now at the level he was before becoming a Shinigami. She behaves as if it is a disability, but hasn't discussed it with him. Ichigo meets up with Mizuiro Kojima and the two walk to school together. Keigo Asano welcomes Ichigo with his usual enthusiastic manner, which Ichigo ends by clothes-lining and grabbing his head in a vice. While looking for Tatsuki Arisawa's video game in his backpack, Ichigo comes across his Substitute Shinigami badge and realizes he has forgotten to return it. The badge seems to have lost its powers as well, since Ichigo can see it and it won't respond to the presence of Hollows. The badge remains as the only proof that Ichigo ever had Shinigami powers.
The duties of Hollow control in Karakura Town have become the sole charge of Uryū Ishida, since Zennosuke Kurumadani has proven to be incompetent. Rukia Kuchiki hasn't even come to visit once since they last departed. Keigo asks if Ichigo started plotting a career path and reminds him that his grades have dropped since the ninth grade. He then wonders aloud about Rukia, saying it would have been nice of her to drop by every now and then. Ichigo says since she is no longer the representative of Karakura Town, it's obvious why she hasn't come. Keigo asks if Ichigo misses her, which Ichigo denies. He says this is the kind of normal life he had always hoped for.
On their way home from school, Ichigo, Keigo, and Mizuiro witness a robbery. The robber passes between them after grabbing a man's bag. This reminds Ichigo that he has another memento from his Shinigami days. He gives his bag to Mizuiro before going after the thief. He effortlessly catches up to him and punches him in the face. When the robber draws a knife, Ichigo grabs his hand and knocks him out before returning the bag to its owner. Ichigo's body retained his heightened speed, strength and agility, which are remnants of his training regime as a Shinigami. The owner of the bag is impressed with Ichigo and offers to buy him lunch. Ichigo politely refuses and only asks that the man doesn't speak of the incident. The man agrees, but after Ichigo leaves the man says Ichigo is surprisingly wary, calling him by his name, as he puts back a Substitute Shinigami badge into his bag.
While Ichigo is highly sought after for a sports club, a gang turns up at the school looking for him.
Ichigo has a strange dream in which shadows of Lieutenant Renji Abarai, Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, and Rukia tell him to wake up. Suddenly, he is woken up by Isshin, who tries to jump on him and almost falls down the window in the process. Ichigo tells him that because of him, he has weird dreams. When Isshin asks about his dream, Ichigo says that he forgot.
At school, Ichigo negotiates with a number of sport clubs that want him to join them. Mizuiro tries to enter, but seeing that Ichigo is busy, doesn't interrupt him. He talks with Keigo about the negotiations, and they wonder if he does it because he wants to save up money and leave home after graduation. Finally, Ichigo comes out of the room, choosing the soccer club.
While preparing for training, he meets Tatsuki, who is working as an assistant in the dojo they both used to go to. While walking through a corridor, Orihime notices Ichigo and Tatsuki outside of the window and greets them. She then slides down a drainpipe, prompting Tatsuki to hit her in the head for her recklessness. After a brief discussion, Tatsuki rushes to work while reminding Ichigo that he has to call in his work too. When the soccer club calls him to practice, he throws his gloves at them.
Ichigo talks with his manager by phone, and is fired by her. After ending the call, a group of people with weapons enter the school gate, and their leader asks for Ichigo to come out, because he beat up one of his gang boys. Uryū tells them to stop and takes them on. While Ichigo rushes to stop them, someone watches on from nearby.
Ichigo and Uryū beat up some delinquents but the brawl ends abruptly when Ichigo is abducted by his boss.
Obuta gives his cronies the order to attack Uryū. They charge forward, but the first guy is dropped to the floor and grabbed in a knee wrench by Ichigo, who sits on top of him and starts counting, ignoring the thug's cries of pain and surrender. The gang member previously beaten by Ichigo identifies him to Obuta. Ichigo's count reaches thirteen when he is kicked in the back by Uryū. Ichigo asks him why he did that, but Uryū turns the question back to him. Ichigo says he intervened to help Uryū. Obuta, a slow thinker, finally realizes he's looking at the person he's come to find and yells out Ichigo's name, but since he interrupted their argument, both boys then punch him in the face, breaking three of his teeth.
Having dropped the gang's leader, Ichigo and Uryū resume their debate: Ichigo claims that the gang came to find him, so Uryū should stay out. Uryū, on the other hand, claims that he's made it his business so Ichigo should stay out. Ichigo maintains that Uryū needs to consider his position as head of the student council and stay out of brawls such as this one, but before the Quincy can retort the gang members attack them, using the winning argument that Ichigo aught to be fighting them and not Uryū.
While they're both fighting the hooligans off, Ichigo asks if Uryū isn't over doing it a little in the Hollow fighting department. Uryū replies that he isn't fighting the Hollows, but exterminating them and that all the calls go out from the Urahara Shop, so it should be alright. Ichigo reminds him that Urahara himself was a fugitive from Soul Society until recently. As they are busy finishing the last of Obuta's gang, Uryū says this is not the time to talk about it and asks that Ichigo texts him later. Ichigo doesn't have Uryū's number and is surprised Uryū even has a cell phone. Uryū shows him a new phone, given to him by Kisuke Urahara. Ichigo says the phone probably won't work in the Human World.
At that moment a new voice calls out Ichigo's name. The voice belongs to Yokochini who says he's glad to see Ichigo is doing well and asks if he remembers him. Ichigo does have a blurry flashback of the events that transpired four years ago, but denies it to aggravate Yokochini further. Yokochini begs him to try harder, but Ichigo says he didn't know him to begin with so he cannot recognize him after having his hairstyle changed. Yokochini says since Ichigo beat him up, he had to move when his father's work transferred, and now, after four years this is the attitude he gets. Ichigo says he doesn't care to hear Yokochini's life story, but before the latter can finish his his threat to beat Ichigo up, a mysterious assailant kicks him in the back of the head and knocks him out.
The unknown assailant proceeds to defeat the entire gang as well and eventually turns out to be Ichigo's boss. She tells Ichigo she is done putting up with his days of slacking while in her employ and orders him to keep quiet and let her kidnap him. Ichigo refuses, but the woman grabs him, tucks him into her van and drives off. Over at the Unagiya Shop, where Ichigo is employed, the woman, Ikumi Unagiya, throws the bound Ichigo on the couch. She says she'll only untie him if he promises not to run away. She then gets a call from a customer who mistook the shop for an eel shop. Ichigo suggests she changes the name of the shop to a less confusing name, but she refuses.
Ikumi looks through her drawers and lays a long list of work orders on Ichigo. Ichigo tells her she can do all those herself, but she says she's busy enough in the office, which is why she hired him. Unfortunately their yelling wakes up Ikumi's son, Kaoru Unagiya. He calls out for her, prompting her to quickly put on a motherly apron and remove her business persona embodied in her work hat and gloves. By the time the door opens, Ikumi has transformed into the perfect doting mother. Kaoru walks into the office and says he is hungry. Although it was forbidden for him, he walked in barefoot. Kaoru then notices Ichigo and asks what he is doing there. He then tells Ichigo he cannot have his mother, even though she is pretty and adds a raspberry before being taken out of the room.
Ikumi apologizes for her child and asks Ichigo not to say the things he probably wants to say. Ichigo asks if she means like the fact that he has no interest in an old woman like her and gets hit in the head by a ledger. Ikumi, back in her business persona, says she told him to hold it in, not spit it out. She starts untying Ichigo when they hear the doorbell. Ikumi opens the door and invites the would be customer in. The customer is the man whose bag was stolen and retrieved by Ichigo the day before. He is carrying takeaway ramen and offers it to Ichigo. Ichigo refuses, saying this is an eel shop which Ikumi denies. Ichigo is in a bad mood.
The stranger wants the Unagiya Shop to investigate Isshin. Karin goes to the Urahara Shop.
Orihime frantically looks for Uryū having heard about Ichigo's abduction. He assures her that while it might have looked that way, it was in fact Ichigo's boss, who simply came to pick him up. Orihime then says she's been getting a strange feeling around Ichigo for the past two days and asks Uryū if he doesn't feel the same. Uryū denies it, saying he's always felt strange around Ichigo. He then notices Orihime's bag and asks her if she wasn't on her way home. Orihime suddenly realizes she's late for work and runs off. When she leaves, Uryū has to admit to himself that Ichigo has lately been showing signs of Reiatsu.
At the Unagiya Shop, the unnamed man and Ichigo sit at a table. Since Ichigo refused to touch the ramen, the unnamed man eats it himself. Ichigo tries to get the man's attention, but is ignored. Eventually, he gets off his chair and demands the man's attention and tells him to go eat at his own home. Ikumi agrees with her employee and asks the strange man what his business is at her shop. The man says he is a customer and asks for some oolong tea. When the man finishes drinking Ichigo asks him what he wants of him. The man denies wanting anything from Ichigo and simply states that he was looking for a place of business that deals with troublesome tasks and by coincidence entered the Unagiya shop. Ichigo asks if it is also a coincidence he was carrying ramen, to which the man replies of course. The man realizes this bickering will get them nowhere and asks Ikumi if she's the owner of the business. When she confirms it he asks her if she wants him to reveal his request to her.
In front of the Urahara Shop, two young boys are playing baseball. One hits the ball shouting 'Jinta Home Run!' and the ball flies towards the other boy only to be caught half-way by Jinta Hanakari himself. Jinta pegs the ball back to the batter, hitting him in the stomach and causing crumple with pain. He tells them not to play baseball in front of other people's houses and that the only one who allowed to use the 'Jinta Home Run' is himself. Tessai Tsukabishi hits Jinta over the head and slings him over his shoulder, telling him he shouldn't throw a ball at a person without a baseball glove. Ururu Tsumugiya bows to the two boys and apologizes for Jinta's behavior. She asks the injured boy if his stomach is alright and then asks the boys to play with Jinta despite his childish and foolish behavior. The boys blush and promise to do so.
Back at the Unagiya Shop, the unnamed man continues with his request. He wants the Unagiya shop to do a background check on a man and shows the picture to Ichigo. Before the man can say the name of the man Ichigo recognizes him as his father, Isshin, and says his name. The man feigns a surprise and asks if Ichigo knows the man. Ichigo replies that the man in the photograph is his father and if there's anything he'd like to know about him he can just ask Ichigo and he'll tell him. The man says it's quite a coincidence that Isshin is Ichigo's father, but that Ichigo doesn't know enough to answer any questions about Isshin.
At the Urahara Shop as Tessai, Ururu, and Jinta are heading inside when a figure steps up and asks if Urahara is there. Urahara welcomes his newest guest says who turns out to be Karin Kurosaki.
Karin visits Urahara's shop to purchase Plus-repelling supplies, only to be seen by Ichigo.
Ichigo questions the unnamed man about what he asked him. He responds with asking Ichigo in turn what he does know about his family, and if he isn't curious at all. He is interrupted by Ikumi, who tells him he will takes the picture and consider about taking the job or not. He leaves, but not before telling Ichigo to go to Urahara's. He hints that he may see something of interest there.
When he leaves, he is confronted by two of his comrades, Riruka Dokugamine and Giriko Kutsuzawa, demanding why he couldn't convince Ichigo. He responds with asking them what they are doing, and argues briefly with them till he says they need to go.
Back in Urahara's shop, Urahara is showing Karin some special products designed to repel souls. She asks if she needs to pay, but he waves her off, saying he owes Ichigo, so it doesn't matter if she does or not. He asks her how Ichigo is doing, and is responded with a fine. He then asks her if her feelings haven’t changed. She responds with no, then says its fine because Ichigo has already protected her so much, and its now her turn to protect him. She turns to leave, but is stopped by Urahara, who says that if she ever needs anything, to ask him. She looks at him suspiciously, but he assures her just if anything happens. She thanks him, then walks outs, and looks around before leaving.
Ichigo watches her run away, wondering what Karin is doing at Urahara's. He is startled by the arrival of the unmanned man behind him. He asks him if he isn't worried about his sister visiting a shifty guy like Urahara. Ichigo protests, saying he’s not shift. He is interrupted by the man asking him if he helped them. Ichigo asks him what he knows. The man responds by saying that he should make his move now, if he wants to protect his family, that is. Ichigo asks him for his name. The man says he is named Kūgo Ginjō.
Orihime tries to get information from Ichigo while Uryū chases a mysterious man.
Ichigo tells Kūgo that he does not trust him. Kūgo says that was to be expected and gives Ichigo an item. Upon arriving home, Ichigo is greeted cheerfully by Yuzu, who shows him the results of her first test, in which she scored highly. Ichigo is happy for her and says that Isshin should be too, asking where he is. Yuzu tells him that he has been gone since the morning, which Ichigo brushes off and says that he will be in his room. Yuzu feels that something is wrong, but does not say anything.
In his room, Ichigo wonders where Isshin and that if he had his Shinigami powers, he could find him, but reminds himself that he does not have them anymore. He hears a voice outside his window and sees Orihime with a box full of bread. He invites her in before saying he cannot eat all of this, even with everyone in his family also eating it. He says he'll take a part of it before asking why she's is fidgeting. Orihime replies that she didn't think that he'd let her in his room. Ichigo says she should not be surprise and that she has been there before. They bicker slightly about the bread being leftovers or discarded. Inoue then asks if something has been wrong and Ichigo replies no, asking why. She says intuition and says she feels as if he is being followed or something. Ichigo says that it'd be more like picking a fight with him, and she's the type to be followed. Orihime then quickly replies that her intuition was wrong. Ichigo then tries to find the manga that he borrowed, Orihime saying it's okay.
Uryū arrives outside the clinic and notices that Orihime got there before him to ask about the weird sensation they've been feeling around him and wonders if he should check if there are any disturbances around town when he notices a person reading on the roof of the clinic, who then disappears. He begins to chase the mysterious person across town, noting that he wasn't traveling at a Human speed, nor was there any disturbances in the Reishi around him, implying that he wasn't using Shunpo. Uryū gets distracted when he sees a light on the telephone pole that the person stepped on, then being attacked by the person.
Ichigo sits at his desk, thinking about the thing that Kūgo gave him, when he hears a noise close by. He goes to the window. Uryū is lying on the road, a pool of blood around his shoulder. The item on Ichigo's bed is a card that says, "welcome to our Xcution".
Ryūken Ishida brings Orihime up to speed. Ichigo makes a move derived of frustration.
At her apartment, Orihime notes that her face is still red and expresses her surprise that Ichigo had invited her inside, idealizing what actually happened. She says that Ichigo is so nice for telling her to pick out the bread she liked to bring it home. Spinning around, she becomes dizzy and falls, knocking a picture of Sora Inoue. She picks up the picture and apologizes before saying that Ichigo is hiding something. Her phone rings, startling her. She answers, finding that it is Ishida.
At the Kurosaki Clinic, Karin asks Yuzu where Ichigo is as they have dinner. Karin then teases her about how she thinks of Ichigo, causing her to storm off. As she wonders if Ichigo had been cold to Yuzu again, she decides to make him console her later. However, Ichigo rushes passed her and leaves.
Ichigo arrives at Karakura Hospital to find Orihime already there. He asks about Sado, but Orihime tells him that he did not answer his phone. Seeing that she called Ichigo, Uryū says that she is taking things too far. As Ryūken Ishida mocks him, Uryū says that he should not have any visitors as his wounds may worsen. Ryūken dismisses this, saying that he performed the surgery himself. He scolds his son for telling his doctor what to do after he was defeated. When Ichigo inquires what they are talking about, Uryū tells him it does not concern him. Ichigo insists that they should work together, and Ryūken states that it is important to share information. Uryū tells them that he cannot tell them anything and asks them to go home.
When Ichigo offers to walk Orihime home, Ryūken tells him that he will drive her home and that he should hurry home to avoid aggravating Isshin. Ryūken tells Orihime that Ichigo does not seem to be able to help and informs her that he examined the Reiatsu left in Uryū by the attacker. He reveals that the attacker was not a Hollow or Shinigami, but rather was something that he had not encountered before. He theorizes that the assailant was a Human with powers, similar to Orihime and Sado. Noting that Quincy broadly fall into this category, he warns her that she or Sado might be in danger.
Concerned by being kept out of the loop, Ichigo rings the number on the card that Kūgo gave him and is connected to Xcution. The speaker informs him that they are aware of him and welcomes him to Xcution.
Ichigo makes contact with 'Xcution' at their headquarters.
Ichigo is told to go through a complicated procedure to contact Kūgo. Once connected, Ichigo tells him that it was a "real pain in the ass". Kūgo tells him that things would be difficult for him if things were not done that way. Ichigo tells him that he wants to talk about something, which Kūgo acknowledges before giving him directions to a meeting place in Naruki City where they can talk the following evening at eight o'clock.
At school the following day, Orihime asks Ichigo if he knows anything about Sado's condition. Ichigo inquires if he is sick. Orihime tells him that she went to his class to inform him about what had happened to Uryū, but it seems that Sado has not been in school lately. She tells him that she was planning to take a get well present to him after school and invites Ichigo, who declines, saying that he has plans. She tells him that she will let him know what Sado's condition. Ichigo thanks her and walks off, wondering if something had happened to him as well.
At Sado's home, Orihime finds that Sado is not in. She remembers Ryūken's warning, but quickly dismisses such negative thoughts and leaves some bread and prays for him.
In Naruki City, Ichigo reaches the meeting place three minutes early and is greeted by Kūgo, who asks him what he wants to talk about. Ichigo tells him that a friend was attacked and he wants Kūgo's help. Noting that he knows about him and Isshin, he states that Kūgo is probably not a normal Human. Ichigo sates that it is not a matter of him trusting Kūgo, who replies that Ichigo has nobody else to turn to and asks him to follow him inside a derelict building.
Kūgo reveals that the request to investigate Isshin was a ruse to pique Ichigo's interest. Arriving at a keypad, he tells Ichigo to swipe his card in it and presses some of the buttons on the keypad. Inside, Ichigo sees a number of other people and a bar. He asks why it is so big inside, to which Kūgo replies that the walls and floors of the adjacent rooms had been knocked through. He reveals that some of Xcution's members have some money. He then tells Ichigo that the group's objective is to restore Ichigo's Shinigami powers.
Kūgo demonstrates his ability, Fullbring. Riruka brings an acquaintance of Ichigo's to Xcution's hideout.
Riruka and an unseen man are walking through the streets, with Riruka complaining about having to go find the latter and that Kūgo should have gone himself. The other person remains quiet all the while other than answering questions and apologizing.
Back at Xcution's hideout, Ichigo demands how and why they are bringing back his Shinigami powers. He starts to get worked up when Kūgo tell him to calm down. The man says that it's impossible for him to answer everything all at once and that they've got time tonight. After sitting down, Kūgo asks Ichigo what he wants to drink, saying that he can't serve alcohol to a kid. Ichigo says that he doesn't want anything, so Kūgo tells Giriko to just get him orange juice. He starts explaining, saying that they are Humans, but Humans with a special ability. He continues saying that it'd take too long to just explain and that it'd be easier to just show Ichigo. He then uses his powers on his drink with Ichigo noting that there is a light, and has the liquid go into his mouth. Kūgo says that their power is to pull out the "souls" that reside in matter. He explains to Ichigo that all objects have souls and asks that if he's ever felt like his capabilities of wielding a tool he's used to rise, and that that means he's understood the tool's soul and that all souls of objects are equipped with the ability to help the ones who use them. They, Xcution, take the souls of objects and pull it out, boosts it with their own souls to make it into a great power. He gives some examples, continuing by saying if they are used to a tool and have a good compatibility with it, they can even change its form. Kūgo then removes his necklace, telling him to watch and changes it into a broadsword. He says they call their ability 'Fullbring'.
Just then, Riruka returns. Kūgo says she's earlier than he thought she'd be and asks that if she found him. Riruka then says that she found him. She asks if his sword was what was shining and if he's stupid bringing it out. She says that it's too dark and she can't see anything, demanding that Kūgo add more lights to the hideout. Kūgo replies that he has no intention of doing so and that she should put on her glasses. Riruka complains about glasses and contacts, and Kūgo says he never asked about that. Ichigo asks who she is and Kūgo introduces his ally. She asks who he's speaking to, with Kūgo saying he'll introduce her to him later. She then snaps at someone behind her and tells him to get inside. Ichigo is shocked to see Sado, who is just as shocked to see him.