A shocked Ichigo watches silently as Yhwach slowly approaches him.

Yhwach: How sad. I've broken your sword, your horn, and now, it would seem I have broken your spirit.

Ichigo remains motionless.

Yhwach: I had such hopes for you too; you are my greatest creation, after all.

Orihime: Sōten Kisshun!

Orihime's barrier surrounds Ichigo; almost immediately however, it shatters.

Orihime: Wha-what?! But how-

Yhwach then drops the broken remains of Orihime's hairpins from his hand. Orihime then collapses on her knees in shock.

Yhwach: "The future can be changed." And lo and behold, it has. But only I, only the God of this world has the right to bring about such change. So tell me, Ichigo Kurosaki; have you finally come to realize this ultimate truth?!

Rukia and Renji then appear behind Yhwach.

Rukia: Hakuren!

Yhwach is frozen by Rukia's attack. Renji then attempts to slash him, only for the ice to explode, knocking everyone back.

Renji: Dammit! He broke free just like that?!

Rukia runs over to the collapsed Ichigo.

Rukia: Ichigo! Get on your feet!

Ichigo still wouldn't respond.

Rukia: Ichigo! Snap out of-

Before she can finish, Rukia is blasted away from Ichigo by one of Yhwach's Heilig Pfeil's. Renji then stares enraged at Yhwach.

Renji: You bastard! BAN-

Before he can react, Yhwach appears in front of Renji and blasts him away from the battlefield.

Yhwach: Tch! Impudent pests.

Orihime: Rukia...Renji...

Yhwach continues approaching Ichigo.

Yhwach: So tell me, Ichigo: did you realize it just then?

'in Ichigo's mind'

Ichigo: What do I do? What can I do? My sword, my inner hollow, I...I have nothing left!

As he is contemplating, it is shown that Byakuya and Hitsugaya have been defeated by Gerald, Izuru is at his limit against the Lille clones, and Shunsui is being healed by a distraught Nanao.

Heh, heh. How amusing.

Ichigo suddenly comes back to reality as he hears a familiar voice in his head.

Ichigo: It...can't be...Aizen!

It is shown that Aizen is using Tenteikura to communicate with Ichigo.

Aizen: I must say, it is truly sad. After defeating me before you were at the pinnacle of your true power, now, with your strength at its peak, you've been bested just like that? Are you truly that pathetic?

Ichigo clenches his teeth in frustration.

Aizen: I suppose if you have nothing left, I have no choice; or more specifically, you have no choice, don't you Shunsui Kyōraku?

Shunsui is shown barely conscious, listening as Aizen speaks.

Aizen: I have to say, you botched this up royally, haven't you Head Captain? The Seireitei is on its last legs, your captains have fallen, and your so-called 'ace-in-the-hole' has all but given up. It would seem you're down to your last move, aren't you?

Shunsui: I told you, Aizen; I can't undo your remaining seals.

Aizen: Don't patronize me, Shunsui. We both know you wouldn't have taken me out of Muken if my role in this battle was to be so minimal. You can release me at any time, can't you? Or is that remote in your haori just for show?

Shunsui takes out said remote from his haori, holding it up in front of the morning sun.

Nanao: Wait! Captain, don't!

Aizen: We're at a crossroads, Shunsui. You can either unbind me from this chair or watch as this world crumbles to nothing. So what will it be?

Shunsui stares at the remote despairingly, his finger resting on the button.


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