Getting to know you.
Chapter 1, Formalities and introductions.
It's been 6 years since the end of the Negativo's tale and much has changed in the Soul Society. There has been a reshuffle in the Gotei 13 with new captains and lieutenants from orders by central 46 and the introduction of new programmes, groups and specialized members being brought in to take over. The academy had been revamped with Seishin Haramoto taking charge and making changes to improve the education system in order to stop Central 46 from 'ruining' it, which takes us to where our tale begins.
7:30AM at Shin'ō Academy, with graduation being in two days, there is excitement in the air for most of the students and many are arriving to class early. This includes the hero of our story, Shou Kazuko, one of the younger students in the academy who shows a great deal of potential. Shou is a grade A student who has flown through the academy with flying colours from hard work, determination and a goal, a goal to move his mother a brother into a safer home and to be able to provide for them. After the death of his father Shou gave himself the aim to become a shinigami and be as great as a man as he was. In a way he already has reached his target, he has the compassion and kindness of his father as well as his passion and determination.
Shou steps into the class with a wide smile. The first lesson of the day was with his favourite teacher, Rika Eri, the well known ex Negativo with a fiery temper and strong dislike for Central 46's 'special' members that had been brought in over the years. A young, human girl who has abandoned the idea of having a normal life and settled down as an academy teacher, where she's surrounded by people stranger than her. Despite being human she always wears a shinigami uniform with pride, though she has modified it for comfort. Her lessons are fun, lively and Rika understands that people learn at different rates, which is why he loves the lessons...and why he was saddened by the idea of it coming to an end.
“Oi magpie, why the long face?” A deep voice says, followed by the ruffling of Shou's already messy chestnut hair.
“Ah? Oh hey Hiroki!” Shou said, his pale blue eyes looking over to the person behind him.
The guy behind him is Hiroki Hotaru, the son of the ex Negativo Rena Hotaru.. Hiroki is hard to miss in terms of appearance because of his yellow eyes,long hair and arrancar mask on the right side of his face, shaped like the fangs of a wolf. Being an arrancar also makes him quite an odd sight at the academy, he's there as a part time student because his mother feels he needed to know how shinigami fought as a precaution for any future treasons or attacks. He's normally quite reserved but with Shou he is quite social and a little too competitive. The pair are best friends, but their rivalry is what they are known for, they compete in simple tasks and often get into fights. It's cliché but that's how they are.
“Have you seen Daiki or Kita yet?” Hiroki asks as he steps away from Shou and places a hand on his head.
“Kita will be late...again.” Shou answers with a sigh. “I'm not sure about Daiki though.” A puzzled expression grows on his face as he looks around, trying to spot the face of his classmate but with no luck. He soon gives up with a shrugs. “I'm sure he'll be here soon, it's not like him not to show up.”
The two carry on to talk until Rika signals the start of the lesson. She's leaning against the against the wall when she calls everyone over and once all students are in one area she begins to talk. “So, graduation...you all ready?” Rika asks with a smile, getting a mix of responses. She sees several uneasy expressions and stands up straight. “This might be because you're my first class but I'm really proud of you all.” She says with a gentle smile. “You've all worked really hard these last few years and have achieved so much. Being shinigami will definitely be difficult but I know you'll all do great.” This causes the group to relax a little, but obviously there are a few that are still concerned. “And remember, just because you've graduated doesn't mean I won't have time for you , always feel free to come see me if you need anything.” Rika continues. She then steps forward and places her hands on her hips.
“So Rika -sensei, what are we going to do? I think you've taught us everything.” A voice calls from the back.
“Well, I know tomorrow you will meeting your new squads so you know where to go after graduation.” Rika muses. “For today though, I guess you can all practise any skills you're still struggling with and I'll help as much as I can.”
Rika goes to speak again but stops herself as she sees two students hurrying into the room. “I should have known Kita would be late again but Daiki? This is new.” Rika says with a sigh.
“I...I'm really sorry Rika sensei. I went to make sure Kita was on time but ended up being late too.” Daiki says as he looks to the ground. Daiki Hoshigumo is one of the younger students, not even in his hundreds yet. Both his parents are shinigami, his father is a part of 10th squad and his mother is a fierce member of 11th which is what inspired him to join the order. He has an athletic build with quite pale skin, short black hair and light green eyes. His appearance doesn't match his personality much though, Daiki is quite shy and lacks in confidence, he tends to get nervous very easily and is very easily put down but he is very difficult to discourage, he is a determined person and sticks to his word, which is one of the reasons he's made it this far.
Kita simply shrugs. “Soz” She says, seemingly not bothered. Kita Yukimaru has been a fighter for most of her life, only joining the academy to get away from trouble. She has a bit of a attitude problem and is very indifferent, which has caused most of the teachers to worry about how she'll survive in certain squads. Though her attitude isn't the only thing that makes her stand out, her light blonde dreadlocks,red lipstick and collection of piercings also makes her rather noticeable. Kita is a one of the best in academy because of her abnormal speed a development and the abilities of her zanpaktou, though we'll get to that later.
“Soz? Geez you sound like me 6 years ago.” Rika huffs with a hand placed to her head. “Anyway, today we're just working on last minutes skills. You guys can do that however you want as long as it doesn't put others in danger.” The students then go off and start working.
Shou goes with Hiroki, Daiki and Kita. “So what do you guys need to practise?” He asks with a soft smile, his arms loosely folded. Both Hiroki and Kita shrug and sit down, earning a frown from Shou. “Don't all shout at once.” He sighs. Kita responds to this by laying down and groaning.
“I need to work on my reiatsu control...Happy now?” Kita grumbles, covering her eyes with her arm. “What about you guys then?” Shou thinks to himself for a moment before being interrupted.
“Well Kita, I can help you with your reiatsu control.” On turning round Shou sees Rika holding a note. “Shou, Captain Suki needs you to go to her lab for some last minute training.” Shou nods to show he's acknowledged what she's said.
“I'll go now if it's okay with you?” Shou replies with a smile and Rika nods. With that he waves to the others and hurries off.