Shinigami - Makino Isamu - [A-1] Dec 3, 2010 1:25:10 GMT -5
Post by Muffin on Dec 3, 2010 1:25:10 GMT -5
Name: Isamu Makino
Actual Age: 201
Appearing Age: Late-teens to Early-twenties
A strapping young man of about 5”10 with a body weight of approximately 146lbs, Isamu was born and raised to be a fine Shinigami. Beneath his clothes, his body is athletic and fit; the result of many years of training, exercising and healthy eating. If you ever catch him without a shirt on, slightly defined abdominal muscles could be seen, but the chances of this happening is very slim, as Isamu dislikes going out without some form of shirt, even to the beach. His arms and legs are proportionate to his body both lengthwise and muscle-wise, so none of his limbs look out of place when compared to the rest of him.
His face is diamond-shaped, with a distinct, rather narrow chin and a softer jaw line, accentuated by a narrow and slightly pointed nose. Slight bangs cover his hairline, which is straight and flows smoothly like a circle from one ear to the other. His eyes, once large and round in his youth, are have narrowed considerably with age. However, his silvery-gray eyes present a warm, yet mature demeanour; a caring and intellectual personality.
Isamu’s hair is definitely a sight to behold. Long, pale blonde locks fall to just around his waist, straight and smooth. His regular hairstyle is rather simple, with a deep purple ribbon located around mid-back tied around his hair in a very low ponytail that hangs down his back. His bangs seem to be a seamless fringe of hair across his forehead, making an upside-down V in the center of his face. His bangs get progressively longer as it moves away from the center of his face; the longest ends reaching a few centimetres past his shoulders.
His daily clothing consists of the standard Shinigami shihakusho, with a black, sleeved kimono and matching hakama, with white tabi and woven waraji. The main difference between Isamu’s uniform and others is a dark, almost royal-purple sash around his waist. Made of light silk, the belt is loose and flowy, tied at the front with the two ends hanging just above his knees. If you look closely enough, you could see countless repairs made, as it always ends up being charred when Isamu releases his sword. Out of work, Isamu prefers wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, preferably coloured dark purple.
Raised to follow in his family’s footsteps, Isamu is a mature individual that knows how to save face even in the most life-threatening circumstances. Like a true nobleman, he takes pride in his family name, and takes it as an insult to himself if anyone dares to slander the Makino name around him. When this happens, Isamu will not hesitate to threaten those who do so by asking them to repeat what they say straight to his face. His family is extremely important to him, and while he dislikes the many expectations that they pressure him with, he strives to shape himself to be the perfect Makino in the eyes of his family, especially his father. Imposing, harsh and strict, Makino Kamei is a very hard man to please. As the heir to the Makino family, Isamu’s actions reflect the family's honour and pride, and because of it, Kamei has shaped his son to take the Makino into greater heights.
Quick with criticism, Kamei can always find a fault in whatever Isamu might be doing and very rarely does he actually praise his son (although the term ‘praise’ is used very, very lightly in this case). While this kind of relationship seems unhealthy, Isamu takes his father’s words to heart in hopes that he would one day make his father proud, something almost impossible to obtain. Isamu’s relationship with his other family members vary, such as being close with his mother Kaiyou, and having some sort of sibling-rivalry with his sister, Suzume. In short, Isamu at home is an honour-bound, serious, mature individual, attempting to prove himself worthy of his family’s name.
At work, however, Isamu is a completely different man. Seeing his work as something of an escape, Isamu is much calmer and more open at when at work than at home. However, he still upholds his family’s honour, as well as that of Seireitei and the Gotei 13. Similar to how he reacts to slandering his family, Isamu takes any insult to the Gotei 13 as an insult to himself and reacts as such. As expected of him, Isamu is completely loyal to the Gotei 13, and will follow orders to a point, although he does secretly make exceptions when he finds them morally questionable. He is respectful to his superiors, and shows care and consideration to subordinates, maintaining a polite and courteous tone to anyone he meets, regards of status.
Isamu is a man who would much rather settle things in a democratic way rather than fighting, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, he dislikes fighting as it often leads to the ending of one’s life, something Isamu isn’t particularly happy to do. While his job does require him to fight against hollow, he does so to protect innocent lives, something he believes balances it out (that and that hollows arent exactly ‘killed’, but are purified.) Even when it comes to Arrancar, Isamu usually tries to talk his way out of fighting, unless ordered to do so. The other reason Isamu dislikes fighting is the fact that it could lead to him releasing his zanpakuto, something that he doesn’t like to.
While generally a serious, mature man who doesn't approve of child-like or immature antics of playing pranks, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, gambling or any other such things, Isamu can be pushed into doing them by threatening his pride. Because of his pride, Isamu simply can't find it in himself to let anyone, especially Masaru, get away with even the smallest piece of his pride, and won't hesitate to prove naysayers wrong by doing what they claim he can't. His pride really is one of his biggest faults.
Isamu speaks in a very formal, respectful tone and addresses everyone with the proper suffix. His way of speech is very eloquent and expressive, similar to how many noblemen talk. Even when angered, he doesn’t scream and yell, but maintains an eerie calm while describing, in detail, what would happen if the problem isn’t remedied.
Isamu was the second child born to Makino Kamei and his wife, Kaiyou, born 70 years after his sister, Suzume. The Makino were a lower noble-family, nowhere near the status of the Kuchiki or Shihoin, yet Isamu's childhood was a luxurious one. Spoiled and doted on by family members, especially his mother, Isamu was placed on a pedestal and was proudly declared the Makino heir soon after his third birthday, as the family practiced patrilineal primogeniture. From then on, he was taught everything, from etiquette to posture to literature to history.
But as all children, Isamu wanted none of it. No lessons, no teaching...was having a little fun too much to ask? To his older relatives, yes, it was. In their eyes, their greedy, ego-fulfilling eyes, they saw Isamu as the one that would take their family to greater heights, the one that would put the Makino name beside the Kuchiki and Shihoin. The lessons continued, getting harder and more challenging as he grew. But whenever Isamu tried to get out of it, he was met with his father's disproving expression.
"Isamu," he would say, in that cold monotone, "You quit too early. That is not something I approve of."
With a defeated sigh, Isamu would always turn around and continue.
One night, after an extremely infuriating lesson on the politics of Seireitei, Isamu confronted his sister. Suzume always seemed to have Kamei's approval, even though it was him who would end up becoming the family head.
"Suzume, why does Otou-sama hate me?"
The young woman laughed, "Isamu, he doesn't hate you. He just...wants you to do your best."
It was Isamu's turn to laugh, "If he wanted me to do my best, I think telling me to keep up the good work would be better, right?"
Suzume shrugged, "Maybe he pities me. That's why he doesn't care so much. I don't blame him, actually."
When he talked to his mother about it, she said the same thing.
"Oh, Isamu, your father loves you very much," Kaiyou said with a kind smile and loving hair-pat, "He just has a different way of showing it."
But maybe, just maybe, talking about it helped a little
Kamei called Isamu to his sitting room one day, just a little after his 130th birthday. For the first 130 years of his life, Isamu had never been alone with his father, one-on-one, and saying that he was nervous was an understatement. He even dressed in nice clothes, tied his hair back and practiced speaking in a noble way in front of the mirror the night before. When he entered the room, he saw no one but his father, an empty seat, two teacups and a pot of tea.
”Isamu,” Kamei began, pouring tea into the cups as Isamu sat down, back straight as a board, ”I have talked with the family about your progress in your lessons.”
Isamu tensed. Knowing his father, it was probably not good. He braced himself for some very harsh criticism.
”I have decided to continue your lessons at the Shinōreijutsuin.”
With this, Isamu almost choked on his tea. ”The Shinōreijutsuin? But that would mean I would become a-“
”Shinigami, yes,” Kamei continued, ”You did not let me finish, Isamu. I have decided to allow you to attend the Shinōreijutsuin in order for you to learn how to control your reiatsu. It is very clear that you possess the ability to become a Shinigami, you just need to harness it.”
In truth, the Makino wanted Isamu to become a shinigami due to the fact that if Isamu gained a high position within the Gotei, maybe even a Captain, the Makino family would rise up with him. Back then, however, Isamu knew nothing about this, and accepted is father’s reason.
”Yes, Otou-sama,” he said, bowing once before leaving. But as he opened the door, Kamei stopped him.
”Oh, and Isamu,” he said, coughing into his hand once to clear his throat, ”…keep up the good work.”
Isamu nodded numbly as he left the room, closing the door behind him. Did Makino Kamei just tell him to ‘keep up the good work’? There was a feeling inside him, maybe joy? From what he could remember, that probably was the first positive thing his father ever said to him...and it felt...nice. Maybe if he worked hard as a shinigami, his father would finally be proud of him. That would mean he needed to work hard at the Shinōreijutsuin too.
It was his new goal, Isamu affirmed with a nod. He would make his father proud.
When the results of the entrance exams arrived, Isamu waited anxiously for his name to be called. Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait very long, as he was the third on the list.
With a large smile on his face, Isamu turned to look at his father, who simply gave him an approving nod, before turning to walk back towards the manor. Suzume, who came with him, grinned and pinched Isamu's cheek.
"Be good, you got that?" she said, "If I hear anything, I'm coming there with all your baby pictures. Even the one when you were dressed up as a fairy princess."
Isamu wanted to ask her if she was serious, but decided against it. Suzume would probably do it. That was enough of a motivation to stay out of trouble.
But when his family left, Isamu felt something he had never felt before: total freedom. Making sure that no one was around, he leapt into the air with a triumphant yelp and ran towards his new room, hoping to catch his roommate on the way in. Sure enough, there was a small boy with shaggy black hair inside the room, reaching for the top bunk.
With energy and enthusiasm he didn't know he had, he bounded towards the bunkbed, planting a foot on the small boy's head. He didn't even stop to introduce himself, nor did he care to ask if the boy really was his roommate. But 130 years of manners, etiquette and dignity flew out the window for that one, fleeting moment.
"I call top bunk!" he said, using the head as a leverage to hop on the top bed. He looked down at the boy and grinned triumphantly. Poor kid, he probably broke a bone or something.
"Uh, I was gonna take that,"
"Too bad! I called it!" Isamu replied back, before letting out a contented sigh as he leaned back into his new pillows.
Freedom was great. He never knew being out of the house could feel so amazing.
As soon as class started, Isamu reverted back to his old self, especially during the earlier days. His roommate, Masaru, had taken it upon himself to surpass Isamu in, well, anything. When Isamu learned a new kido spell, Masaru would waltz in with a new shunpo technique, but when Masaru leaned another hand-to-hand attack, Isamu bested him with a new sword technique. But no matter how much the small runt tried, he never was able to beat him. Add that to the fact that they were from opposite sides of Soul Society, and a bitter rivalry was born.
Isamu never really understood why Masaru continued to try so hard to become better at him. The fact that he was in the advanced class and Masaru wasn't was enough of a reason to stop trying, or that's what he thought. He focused on his studies, excelling in swordsmanship and kido, becoming moderately proficient in shunpo, but could only maintain adequate grades in hand-to-hand combat. No matter how hard he tried, Isamu just couldn't grasp fighting hand-to-hand. But it mattered very little to him; his skills in swordsmanship and kido was great enough to overcome his lack of skill in hand-to-hand. While Isamu wasn't the top of his class, he was close to it.
When Masaru started to appear in his classes, Isamu tried to hide his surprise. Just how he managed to pull enough passing grades to be promoted into the advanced class, he would never know, but seeing Masaru there was definitely a shocker. At first, Isamu tried to ignore Masaru's presence there, until...
"Oi, Isamu! I'll bet ya all the money I have I can bea'cha ta Hell'n back!" Masaru said, pointing his sword at him.
Two thoughts ran through Isamu's mind at the challenge; Masaru didn't have any money to bet, and Masaru defeating him was impossible.
"Is this some kind of joke?"
When all he got was a simple shake of a head as an answer, he took his own sword and appeared in front of his roommate-turned-opponent, going on the offensive with a downward slash.
"No walkin' out on a bet now!" and with that, Masaru pushed him off, landing not too far away. Before he could respond with something along the lines of Masaru being completely ridiculous, Masaru slashed at his midsection. Blocking it, Isamu countered with another slash, that his opponent effectively blocked as well.
Blocking and slashing. Slashing and blocking. With the occasional stab and dodge, their fight up to that point had been just that. Slashing and blocking. Yet, it was intense, and many of the other students had gathered around them. Not a cheer was shouted; there were no chants, no applause, and no noise. Just the sound of two swords clashing.
Masaru looked like he was having a blast, and seeing that expression on his face had distracted him enough to give Masaru the opening he had been looking for. Before he knew it, his gut met Masaru's foot. He stumbled back, coughing for air, as Masaru began to attack again, with a barrage of slashes and strikes.
"Oi, Isamu! Ain'cha s'posed ta be better than me?"
Oh, that was it. With a low growl in the back of his throat, Isamu spun around and slashed at him with enough power to send the small runt flying towards the crowd. "Guess not."
The mocking smile that Masaru threw at him didn't go unnoticed, and it only proved to infuriate Isamu even more. Why is it that he continued to fight even though it was obvious who would come out the victor. Slashing upwards, Isamu knew that Masaru would move upwards, and then come at him from above. It really was so predictable.
When Masaru did swing downwards, he blocked it, turning his body and taking his sword with it. The two swords clashed, and as he continued to turn, Isamu caught the edge of his blade inching closer towards Masaru's eye.
He could have stopped there; pushed the sword back, maybe even push Masaru away with kido. But he didn't. No one needed to get hurt...but in a way, Masaru already did. He had taken a shot at Isamu's pride by even thinking about being able to defeat him in battle. His pride was his family's pride, and there was no way that a nobody from Rukongai would be able to best him, the heir to a noble family. It just wasn't right, and if Masaru needed someone to teach him that lesson, he would gladly do it.
He wasn't even thinking. It was as if his body moved by itself.
And with a quick yank of his sword as he spun, Masaru's sword flew out of his hand as a thin trail of blood dripped from Isamu's. He stared at it for a moment, wide-eyed as to what he just did as Masaru fell to the ground in pain. He had never made anyone bleed before.
No, Masaru asked for it, and narrowing his eyes, Isamu turned and looked down on him. "Don't mock me, monkey. You could never do anything to me." he said in a surprisingly harsh voice. He didn't even linger for a moment and turned, pushing his way out of the gathered students. "You should have stayed in whatever hole you came from, Takeda; you should stop deluding yourself with fantasies of being any better than any other rukongai rat. You're just a monkey, Masaru."
And with that, Isamu left the room, bloodstained sword and all.
But there was a feeling in him that didn't feel right. He did teach Masaru a lesson...but why did he feel so bad about it? In all honesty, Masaru wasn't half-bad. If his swordfighting was like that, then there was no wonder he was moved to the advanced class. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that in the same way he gave him that cut, Masaru challenged him for a fight.
Pride was a terrible thing.
After cleaning his sword, Isamu went back to the manor. He didn't want to see Masaru. Not tonight.
"Brat, what are you doing here?" Suzume asked, petting a new, white cat that Isamu was sure wasn't there when he left.
"Suzume, can I ask you something?" he said, taking a seat beside his sister. He reached for the cat, only to have it bite his outstretched hand. He yelped, pulling his hand out of the cat's mouth, much to Suzume's amusement. "What is that thing?"
"It's called a cat, stupid."
"I know that! I meant, what is it doing here?"
"She's a stray. Aren't you, widdle-coochie-coo?" Suzume said, cooing at the white monster. "Her name is Nekoneko-tan."
Isamu rolled his eyes, rubbing his hand as his sister continued to shower affection on the cat. "I'm serious. I need to ask you something. It's important."
Suzume took the cat and brought it to her lap, petting its head as it curled around her kimono. "What is it?"
With a sigh, Isamu told her the entire story, from Masaru's challenge, to the end. When he finished, he looked at Suzume with a defeated shrug, "Why does it feel so bad?"
"You remember what they taught you about our family's honour and the citizens of Rukongai?" Isamu nodded. "It's right according to that, isn't it?" Again, Isamu nodded. "This...Masaru kid, did he deserve to be labelled like that because he didn't have a privileged life like we do? He was a good fighter, wasn't he? Maybe you should stop listening to what the big guys taught you, and do what you think is right." Suzume replied, standing up with...the cat still in her arms. "But hey, if makes you feel better, I won't tell Otou-san about this."
He stayed at the manor for the night, and returned to the Academy in the morning. Masaru wasn't back yet...wherever he went. He climbed into his bunk and began to do some work when the door opened and Masaru came inside. He didn't even bother saying anything to his roommate until a pouch came flying his way.
"Oi, Isamu, catch!"
He caught the pouch, looking at it curiously before looking down at Masaru. "What's this?"
""It's the money I owe ya from our bet. I'm a man'o'my word."
Isamu shook his head and sighed, hopping down from the bed and landing beside Masaru. "Look, I don't want your money." He didn't need it. Besides, it probably wasn't enough to by...anything.
"Take it. You won anyways, and it's not like I have anything to spend it on right now." Masaru insisted, complete with a shove.
Rolling his eyes, Isamu held the pouch out, "Baka, that's not the point. I don't want this. You take it."
"I'm not a fuckin' charity case," Masaru snapped, glaring at him with such intensity that even Isamu was surprised. "Take your god damn money, put it in your fucking stuff, and shut the fuck up."
With a defeated sigh, knowing that Masaru's pride had gotten hold of him again, Isamu climbed back to his bunk and tucked the pouch amongst his things. It was the least he could do after the fight. Since then, he didn't even bother talking to Masaru, and their rivalry continued. He thought about apologizing to him about the scar, but knew that it would probably be brushed off anyway.
Things continued like this until their first trip to the real world, where they were tasked to perform at least one konso. Isamu did what was expected of him, but Masaru had gone out of his way to outdo him, with two. And then he brought up the matter that night, Isamu really couldn't care less about the money. He was just too exhausted.
"I know, you beat me. I'll give you your money back in the morning."
And from then, what once was a bitter rivalry turned into a friendly competition. Rivals turned friends, and there was no one in the entire Academy closer than they were. They did almost everything together, from eating to training, and somehow, Masaru even got Isamu to do very...stupid things, usually involving paintbrushes and portraits of important figures (fortunately, Suzume covered up for Isamu during the instances in which they were caught. Thankfully, she forgot about her fairy princess promise as well.) One night, however, a knock on the door turned everything around.
"Isamu, let me speak to you."
With his father at the door, Isamu had no choice but to follow. "Hai, Otou-sama."
Kamei lead Isamu outside to a balcony overlooking the Academy.
"I have seen your records. It is very impressive." Kamei began. Isamu gave him a small smile. "However, I have been hearing things about you gallivanting with a student from Rukongai. I will not have my son and heir associate himself with such people."
Isamu felt a heavy weight in his chest. He couldn't possibly be talking about Masaru...could he?
"Gomen-nasai, Otou-sama; he's my friend."
"Isamu!" Kamei said sharply, "Associating and...befriending someone such as him would do nothing but ruin you. Like I said, I don't want your future to be tainted by someone such as him. I am forbidding you from seeing him."
Isamu sighed and lowered his head. Not see Masaru? But...they shared a room together!
"Don't worry yourself. After talking to your instructors, there's a chance you might graduate early. You don't need to see that...boy anymore."
When he finally returned to their room, Masaru bombarded him with questions, yet they all remained unanswered. Masaru wouldn't understand. He saw everything as it was; no strings attached. He didn't have anyone to please, let alone an entire household of people expecting the best, and only the best from you. Masaru was free, and secretly, buried deep within his mind, Isamu wanted it too.
Isamu couldn't tell him that his father essentially ended their friendship. When this year was over, they would never see each other again.
Eventually, Masaru did get tired of the silence, and attempted to punch the answer out of him. "Tell me what the fuck happened!"
Under normal circumstances, Isamu would have fought back with his own punch or two. But he couldn't. This might as well have been their last encounter.
"You're one lucky bastard." Isamu managed to say, knowing that Masaru would shoot him down almost immediately.
"I almost died when I was little, whaddoya mean?"
"You don't have to worry about impressing anyone. I have an entire house of people on my back."
And sure enough, when the year ended, Isamu found himself amongst the graduating class a year early. His father was there, as well as his mother and Suzume. While they were smiling proudly (and, of course, Kamei simply nodded his approval), Isamu felt...empty. He had imagined that he would be standing there with Masaru, laughing, maybe celebrating together. But when he saw his father's approving nod, and that rare applause, Isamu sighed and knew that...it was probably best that he didn't see Masaru anymore.
Because of his early graduation, he had been given a low-ranking seated position. His job ranged from patrolling, to guard duty, and the occasional cleanup job, but whatever he was assigned, he performed with diligence. On his spare time, whenever he wasn't running away from Suzume's
evilcat, he spent his time off meditating, attempting to get in contact with his zanpakuto's spirit. When he finally did, it was certainly a memorable experience.
As soon as he stepped into the abandoned festival that he assumed was his inner world, he came face to face with a mannish woman with...flaming hands.
"Soo," she drawled in a deep voice, "You're my new master, huh? Not bad, but I hate this belt." she said, swiping towards Isamu's belt. Instinctively, he leapt back, but the flames that surrounded the woman's hand caught the edge of the cloth, setting it on fire. "It doesn't have any purple in it!"
Isamu dreaded visiting the maniacal spirit, but he knew that he needed to if he wanted to make his father proud. So each day he visited her, and each day he was burned, toasted, and sometimes set on fire by the spirit. Even when he changed his belt to match her preference, she still found a way to burn it. It amazed him how he managed to survive all their encounters, yet still come up short on the name.
"You're not really...ready yet, you know? You always run away when I throw fireballs! It's not gonna kill you, you know!"
Frustrated by his spirit's incredible immaturity, comparable to Masaru's, Isamu found himself assigned on patrol duty in the human world. While he did have a handful of skirmishes with hollow, the night was generally uneventful. That is, until his patrol brought him to the beach, where he sensed a powerful hollow and another person, a shinigami with a very familiar reiatsu.
Appearing near the area, Isamu's eyes grew wide as he instantly recognized that shinigami.
"Masaru..." he said as he watched Masaru take down the squid-like hollow with a weapon that resembled a spiked yo-yo, before collapsing on the sand.
"Oh, hey! I remember that kid!" the spirit's voice rang out in his head, "Oh, you used to be a blast when you hung out with that guy."
Ignoring the spirit, Isamu raced towards his fallen friend, picking him up gently. Careful to avoid any of the major wounds, Isamu adjusted Masaru in his arms as he opened a Senkaimon Gate, rushing through it just as the Hell Butterfly appeared. Masaru...what stupid thing did he do this time? He probably dared himself to sneak to the human world, thinking he was capable of fighting against hollow-
"Hey, you know what sucks? He got his shikai before you did." the spirit snickered.
He pushed the thought aside as the gate in Soul Society opened, dashing straight through it and making a beeline to the Fourth Division Infirmary.
"I found him on a beach in the Human World," Isamu said, handing Masaru over to the nearest medical personnel, "Take care of him."
The next morning, however, Isamu's head was filled with the spirit's annoying voice. And Isamu could only ignore so much pestering.
"Ne~! Isamu~! STOP IGNORING ME!" The spirit screamed, her voice echoing in his head, "Doesn't it bother you that whatshisface got his shikai, but you didn't?"
"I get it, stop that." Isamu said, bringing his hand to his temple. He could feel a migrane forming.
"You know, I can make it real easy for you. You see that big-assed tree over there?" Isamu turned and saw a rather gargantuan oak just outside the training grounds, "If I give you my name, you have to burn it to the ground."
"I give you my name, you burn it. It's a win-win situation."
"Okay, how about I give you my name and your burn that tree, or I pull you in here and give you the worst burning you've ever had in your life. It's your choice, really."
Isamu let out a defeated sigh. If he didn't agree, he might as well have been as good as toast. The spirit never joked around when it came to setting him on fire. "Fine, tell me your name, and I'll set it on fire."
He could feel the zanpakuto's excitement. "I knew you would! Okay, here it is, my name is Ba-"
"Sora o terasu, Bakuchiku" Isamu called out, watching in surprise and slight fear as his sword turned into a massive flaming staff, only to turn into a triangular sword.
"And here's the best part. Say this too: Te-"
"Tenka," Isamu said, and instantly, fire slowly covered the blade, inching closer to the tip of the triangle. When the blade was fully engulfed, Bakuchiku's voice rang out in his head again.
"Remember your promise! Go! Burn it to the ground!" And with a sigh, Isamu raced towards the tree.
Weeks passed, and Isamu came home after training to control the stubborn sword slightly charred and burned in some areas. Yet, that wasn't his biggest problem.
"Isamu," his father said, appearing just outside the door to Isamu's room, "I thought I told you not to associate yourself with that Rukongai boy."
"Otou-sama, I don't know what you're talking about."
Kamei walked towards him, "I've heard you encountered him in the Human World. I've also heard he has been asking to see you for the past few weeks."
Isamu sighed, "I saved him as a comrade, Otou-sama, not a friend. I have also declined all his requests."
"...If that is what you say. Why do you look like disheveled?"
"I have been training with my shikai, Otou-sama. It is a very...immature sword."
Kamei nodded slightly, "Good. Work to master it, and if you can achieve shikai, bankai should be no problem for you. Clean yourself up." And with that, he turned to leave, stopping only to nod as Suzume gave him a respectful bow as she stepped into Isamu's room, with the cat following behind her.
"So, I heard about your friend. Are you upset?"
"I don't understand why he refuses to leave Masaru alone. He's a capable shinigami now."
"What's stopping you though? Rebellion's healthy, you know. Take Nekoneko-tan," Suzume said, picking up the purring cat, "Otou-san didn't want her, but I kept her anyway. Isn't that right, bubble-boo?"
Isamu rolled his eyes.
"Long story short, get a backbone. Disobeying once in a while won't kill you. If you wanna see your friend, go do it. No one has to know." she continued, before pausing, "Isamu, I left Nekoneko-tan's yarn in my room. Can you watch her for me? Just a moment. Thanks!"
Suzume placed the cat on the floor and left the room, leaving Isamu alone with it. As soon as the door closed, it leapt forward and sunk its teeth in Isamu's leg.
"Ow, get off my leg!"
"Hey, Isamu," Bakuchiku called out, "Can I kill it? Please?"
Years passed, and there were days that Isamu wished he had let Bakuchiku kill the cat. He grew stronger, trained with the childish spirit and learned how to put up with her tantrums, and with it, he managed to acquire a new ability. He moved from the Fifth Division to the Sixth, hoping for a promotion in the near future.
"...get a backbone...if you wanna see your friend, go do it."
Suzume's words continued to echo in his mind. As he walked home after a long day, he passed by the Academy and let out a small smile.
- Kidō- Advanced
- Hohō - Intermediate
- Hand to Hand - Beginner
- Speed - Intermediate
- Power - Intermediate
- Stamina - Intermediate
- Intelligence - Advanced
Translation - Firecracker
Bakuchiku’s unreleased appearance is a chokuto. Lacking the curve of the katana and katana variations, Isamu’s chokoto has a near-perfect straight blade, about twenty-eight inches long. The guard is a pale yellow triangle with sides that curve inwardly, each point decorated with a three-pronged flame embossed into the metal. The hilt is burnt orange, roughly ten inches long, and the design of the wrap is the standard diamond-like knot. Isamu always takes time to make sure that his blade is in pristine condition before leaving in the morning, and takes immaculate care of the sword when not in use.
The sword’s sheath is a dull burgundy colour, worn on the right side of his waist as Isamu is a dominantly left-handed fighter. He doesn’t have a definite fighting style, but he prefers blocking and parrying, attacking only with calculated strikes.
For the lack of a better word, Bakuchiku has a rather masculine appearance when compared to other women. Her shoulder-length hair is as black as coal, her bangs falling haphazardly on her forehead and around the sides of her face, just in front of her ears. Her eyes are almond shaped, with piercing golden-yellow irises that appear to be ready to set fire on the first thing they see. Her lips are full, dyed a dark, almost purplish-red colour, and always express a somewhat maniacal smile. Her skin is tanned a light brown colour, the muscles in her arms, abdomen and legs well-defined. Her limbs are long and swift, and her hands appear to be in perpetual flames. Bakuchiku’s size varies depending on her mood, ranging from just past 5’0” to a gargantuan woman as tall as a skyscraper.
Her clothing appears to have been ripped, and consists of a crop top with ripped edges and a semi-transparent breechcloth around her waist that reaches her ankles, with two flaps falling both at the front and the back. The top and breechcloth are same colour as Isamu’s belt. Beneath the breechcloth, she wears a black, ripped undergarment, with just enough cloth to cover the necessities. She wears a thick gold pendant around her neck, gold bracelets on her wrists and a thick band around her left arm. Bakuchiku walks barefoot, but she does have thin gold anklets.
Bakuchiku’s personality can be described with two words: unpredictable, and a pyromaniac
Just like a fire, Bakuchiku could be cozy and comforting one moment, raging and destructive in another. She’s extremely temperamental, and acts completely on her whims. What Bakuchiku wants, she wants, and wants it immediately, and what she hates, she destroys in a torrent of intense fire. She’s usually very loud and boisterous, obnoxious and has a very childlike-personality, in a sense that when she doesn’t get what she wants, she will, and does, throw tantrums. These tantrums almost always the result of Isamu refusing to set something on fire and always ends with Isamu on the receiving end of some form of fiery attack. Bakuchiku’s unpredictable emotions make her a very difficult sword to wield, as her abilities are completely dependent on them. On occasion, Bakuchiku is known to spontaneously combust, especially when she’s extremely excited or angered.
Bakuchiku is a pyromaniac, and loves nothing more than to see something burn. In fact, during their first meeting, she attempted to set fire to Isamu’s sleeve, but missed and burned his sash instead. Bakuchiku often pesters Isamu to ‘set XXXX on fire’ during conversations, and their meetings often revolve around her attempts to ignite her master, and Isamu’s attempts of remaining alive. She has a very one-track mind, and her answer to all of life’s problems is to set it ablaze, which is the only advice she ever gives to Isamu.
As a side note, Bakuchiku, and her 'fire', has taken a liking to the colour purple, especially Isamu's purple belt. Isamu would have replaced the belt a long time ago, but every time he does so, Bakuchiku gets upset. The belt stays.
Relationship to Master
When it comes to working with Bakuchiku, the bigger the fire, the bigger the love. This means that the more things Isamu sets on fire, the more Bakuchiku is willing to cooperate with him.
The two have a very odd, love-hate relationship. Isamu dislikes Bakuchiku’s sudden temper tantrums and (literal) fiery attitude, as well as her massive obsession with anything flammable. On the other hand, Bakuchiku hates how Isamu doesn’t see the fun in spontaneously setting things ablaze. The two of them often argue about, well, pretty much everything, and they rarely agree on anything. Isamu often gets frustrated at Bakuchiku’s childishness and extreme pyromania, and the spirit retaliates with refusing to lend Isamu her power unless she gets what she wants. Because Bakuchiku doesn’t have a single fibre of seriousness in her body, it’s difficult to get her to cooperate in battle, even during the most critical of moments. When it comes to that, Isamu really has no choice but to do whatever Bakuchiku tells him to, whether he wants to or not.
Bakuchiku often complains that Isamu used to be fun when he was around Masaru, especially during their Academy days. Despite years of explaining the circumstances in which Isamu couldn’t speak to Masaru, the spirit still doesn’t understand why Isamu even bothers to listen to ‘that old man’. When the topic of their conversations/arguments tread near this area, Isamu promptly ends it, or leaves. Although they have had many disagreements, the two share the tiniest sliver of respect for each other, with Isamu respecting Bakuchiku’s power (when she’s willing to cooperate), and Bakuchiku with Isamu’s loyalty and honour (…usually).
Isamu’s inner world is best described as a never-ending party in his head.
Stuck in perpetual night, Isamu’s inner world is a seemingly abandoned festival of sorts, complete with wooden booths, streamers and paper lanterns suspended from thin a cord hanging between the booths. The sky is clear, with no trace of cloud cover, and littered with millions of stars. Occasionally, fireworks light it up, in different colours and in different designs, usually when either Isamu or Bakuchiku are exceptionally happy. There are signs on each of the booths, all of which contains the same kanji for Bakuchiku’s name. The lanterns are lit, the games are set up, and the booths are open and ready to be visited.
When a fire-crazy being is placed in a surrounding full of extremely flammable objects, obviously, bad things happen. Because of this, Isamu has a
feardislike of visiting Bakuchiku, especially when she’s in a very sour mood. There are occasions when the entire festival seems to have been completely destroyed, but things are always reverted back to its natural state within seconds so that Bakuchiku can destroy it again.
A large, orange and red tent is situated on the opposite end of the street. Bakuchiku likes to claim this as her tent, because its big, spacious, and highly flammable
Call Out Phrase: Sora o terasu, Bakuchiku
Translation – Illuminate the sky, Bakuchiku
Isamu’s shikai is a triangle, but with a little less music, and a lot more fire.
Upon calling out its release phrase, a burst of orange flames erupts from the guard, turning the blade into fire. Isamu releases the grip as it also turns into fire, turning the entire sword into a long, fiery stick. The fire-stick then grows and morphs, bending at three points along its length, turning the fire-stick into a fire-triangle. The fire then dissipates, leaving Isamu with his shikai weapon. This entire process takes a few seconds from start to finish.
The triangle is an equilateral, with each side being approximately one and a half feet long. Two of the sides are the actual blade, while one side makes up the handle where Isamu holds it. This side of the weapon is styled the same as the guard of the original sword, burnt-orange in a diamond-style knot, except positioned horizontally. The two blades are black, with the edge facing outwards.
His sword is fire-based.
- Description of Attack- Like how a match needs to be struck before producing a flame, Isamu must first use this ability to unlock his fire-based attacks. Holding his sword out, he calls out the word 'Tenka', causing the two blades to be slowly covered with reddish-orange fire, starting at the ends connected to the 'hilt' of the triangle. As time passes, more of the blade is covered with the fire, until both blades are engulfed to the tip. This is when Isamu is most powerful, and it's only when the entire blade is fire that he can use his sword's other ability. Just like any fire, it must have some sort of fuel, and the fuel that keeps this fire burning is Isamu's reiatsu.
- Type - Passive
- Range - Self
- Limitation - The fire that is produced with this ability has the normal weaknesses of any fire, such as being weak to water and ice. From the initial activation, it takes approximately sixty seconds for the blades to be completely consumed by the fire, and doing so takes up about 2% of his reiatsu all together. When Isamu is at full power, maintaining the flames drains away 5% of his reiatsu with each passing minute. The damage the fire causes is most effective to people of lower tiers, as the most damage people of his own tier or higher will receive ranges from an uncomfortably hot sensation to feeling nothing. People one tier below will experience something like a mild burn on any exposed flesh, nothing serious, but extremely uncomfortable. People two tiers below will experience some first-degree burns. Anything lower than that would experience something between mild to major second degree burns, the extent of the damage varying based on the person. In order for the weapon to be ignited with the fire, it must be completely dry, as excessive moisture on the sword can slow down the progress of the flames, or stop it completely. If the fire is put out for any reason, Isamu must wait for at least twenty seconds for the weapon to cool down before attempting to ignite it again, and must wait the sixty seconds before full power. Alternatively, Isamu can stop the fire himself, but the twenty second cool down and sixty second wait time still applies. The fire can burn what normal fire can burn, such as wood and paper, but is unable to burn kido or energy attacks and other zanpakuto.
Nensomandara (Burning Mandala)
- Description of Attack - When Tenka is at full power, Isamu can use the fire to send an intense torrent of fire at his opponent. Holding the weapon out, he draws a circle with the flame, about ten inches in diameter. A tunnel of fire then bursts out from the circle with the same ten inch diameter to a maximum length of fifteen feet. Isamu can control this tunnel of fire like a whip as it is still somehow connected to the blade. In a way, this could be seen as a fifteen-foot extension to his weapon. He often uses this attack for long range opponents, as Isamu isn't immune to his own fire. Because of this, bringing the fire too close to himself is dangerous to himself, and most importantly, his purple belt. Isamu can extinguish the fire prematurely, or maintain it until it naturally dies out. Like the fire produced with Tenka, his reiatsu fuels the flames.
- Type - Offense
- Range - 15 feet
- Limitation - Just like Tenka, fire that is produced with this ability has the normal weaknesses of any fire, such as being weak to water and ice. After drawing the circle, there's a delay of about two seconds before the main tunnel of fire appears. It takes about five seconds for it to reach it's maximum length of fifteen feet. The strength of this fire when compared to Tenka is slightly stronger. People of his own tier or higher might receive something like a slight burn, while people one tier below will experience a stronger, and more painful burn. People two tiers below will experience some mild second-degree burns. A full tier below Isamu would experience something that borders around the third degree area. Maintaining the tunnel consumes 3% of Isamu's reiatsu each minute, added to the 5% required to maintain Tenka. Isamu can only keep the whip for about two minutes before it naturally dies out, and he can only make about three of them with each activation of his shikai. If the fire produced by Tenka goes out, the tunnel goes out with it. Isamu has no immunity to his fire, so bringing the whip close to his body will burn him. Because of this, he can't wrap it around himself as a shield. Isamu will start to feel the effects of the fire if it goes closer than two inches away from his body. The fire can burn through mundane things, such as normal wood, paper and other flammable things, with relative ease, but can't burn through kido and other non-physical attacks, as well as other reiatsu-produced things, including other zanpakuto. If, for some reason, the fire made contact with something like oil, the fire does get stronger, but it drains more reiatsu, about 4% compared to the 3% without the oil, and Isamu can only maintain it for half the time.
Translation - If Applicable
Name of Ability
- Description of Attack -
- Type -
- Range -
- Limitation -
"Is that all, Ayasegawa-san?" Isamu asked, flipping through the folder of papers and reports the effeminate man had brought over. Yumichika sighed and tucked a strand of hair behind his ear.
"I suppose so. I think there was more, but that idiot Takeda was too inebriated to answer when I asked him this morning. I can't believe he was actually promoted to Sixth Seat."
Isamu stopped and looked up, an expression of slight confusion on his face, "Takeda. As in, Takeda Masaru?" Masaru was in the Eleventh Division? Well, now that he thought about it, it did make sense, all things considering.
Yumichika nodded, "You know him? I'm not that surprised. He stumbled into the Second Division barracks the other night, too drunk to notice he walked into the wrong lobby. Apparently, he began to call the members there 'ninjas', and referred to himself as a 'pirate'. I seriously think that hair of his is affecting his mind."
Chuckling slightly, Isamu shrugged, "He's been like that since the Academy. His head, or hair, was never in the right place." he said, remembering that black mop of hair that he always tried to get Masaru to brush. But Masaru never did, and no matter how hard Isamu tried, he never did get him to wash it either.
Isamu began to chuckle, when a familiar presence appeared by the doorway. The smile completely disappeared from his face as footsteps drew nearer. Isamu let out a quiet sigh as he ran a hand through his hair.
Both men turned to face Makino Kamei, and while he was no Shinigami, his mere presence was imposing on both. Yumichika cleared his throat, noticing the awkward silence that fell amongst the three.
"I'll be going now. Thank you for your time." he said to Isamu before disappearing in a flash of shunpo. Kamei walked in the room, arms behind his back.
"I suppose making acquaintances with Seated Officers is acceptable. It is, after all, a necessary part of your job." he remarked.
Isamu nodded slightly, "It's important to maintain a stable communication between the Divisions." he replied, purposely ignoring the fact that it was well-known that Yumichika had come from Rukongai as well.
Kamei walked towards the window, looking out at the gardens, "And you have not been seeing that Rukongai boy?"
The man nodded approvingly, "Good. I'll leave you to your work." he said, and made his way towards the exit. But before he left, he stopped, "And Isamu, straighten your back. It seems as though you have lost your pride at being a Makino." and with that, he was gone.
Straightening, Isamu looked at the papers in his hand. Masaru was in the Eleventh...and a seated officer. Technically, they could see each other. Unless his father had some sort of vendetta against Masaru, there should be no problem if they talked.
After all, it was important to maintain a stable communication between the Divisions, wasn't it?
Isamu stood ready for battle, knees bent, arms held out and ready to strike. His senses were at its peak, eyes shifting from side to side, examining the area around him. The ambush could come from anywhere, and he needed to be prepared with the counterattack.
Had this been in the middle of a battlefield, Isamu's alertness wouldn't have been odd, but since he was standing in the middle of a garden deep within the Makino estate, it did stand out pretty well. What was it that caused Isamu to be on his guard?
He spun around, reaching out an arm to grab onto the cat that leapt towards him from behind a bush. As his fingers closed in on it, the cat reached out a clawed paw and attempted to scratch at his face. Isamu stepped back, forgetting about catching it, as the cat landed on the grass.
"Cat, I don't want to fight you. Suzume has been looking for you, and I need to bring you to her now. Come here."
The cat sat down and began to groom its paws.
With an exasperated sigh, Isamu walked towards the cat, just as it leapt and sunk its teeth in his leg. Stumbling back, Isamu hopped on one foot, attempting to yank the beast off his leg. "Let go of me, Cat!"
Isamu stopped, one leg stuck out with the cat hanging from it. Kamei raised one eyebrow questioningly. "Do you not have better things to do than to play with a cat?"
Instantly, the cat let go of the foot, sat on the grass and began to lick its paw. Isamu wanted to argue, say that the cat started it, but he knew his father would have none of it. He should have known better.
"I'm sorry, Otou-sama. Suzume asked me to help her find it. I won't allow myself to be distracted again." Isamu said with a bow. With a sigh, Kamei turned and continue walking down the wooden patio of the house.
Isamu straightened and looked at the cat. It looked at him and purred...it was mocking him. "Next time, Cat. This is not over yet."
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