The King’s Death

Chapter 4:The Kuchiki Mansion

I am done. My feet are asleep and they will be for another three hours with the rate we
e going. Ive been sitting here waiting for this princess wannabe to be prepared to come out for nearly two hours now. I bet you shes going to look like every other suitor Ive seen so far; a slut. Honestly none of these girls stand a chance against Rukia but Im humoring their families. I sigh and Haruto moves closer to me for a moment before looking to Kenshin.

”The King is growing weary please tell the suitor to hurry or we are leaving. ” Haruto says quickly and powerfully. Their eyes go wide and one stands. His hands are braced on the table but I can see the indecision in his body because his arms wobble a bit and his fingers start twitching as he speaks.

”You can do that! ” He shouts his voice cracking while he points a shaking finger at me. Haruto opens his mouth to speak but a deep fiery voice echoes around effectively cutting Haruto off and gaining everyones attention that are seated in the room including my own.

”Do not speak to your king in such a way and if you choose not to listen to my order I will personally deal with you. ” Kenshin says shocking me to the point where I nearly fall out of my seat and on to the ground gazing up at him as his lips move and words come out!

I crook a finger at Haruto and he bends down his body rigid and his eyes wide as saucers. ”Haruto…please humor me and tell me I did not just hear something that no one else did. ”

”Uh…I believe we all heard Kenshin speak Kurosaki-dono. ” I nod and turn my head away from the now silenced man to my left as the doors fling open. Three maids follow out my suitor who is dressed in the finest of silk. Layer upon layer is folded over her body each folded over another to reveal her chest and shoulders. Her tight blonde hair tumbles out of a set of hair sticks and drape over her shoulder where a soft pink hair comb is places by her ear. Granted, she is beautiful but shes a bit too much for my taste. Everything is just too much. I like simplicity. I sigh and she bows before me fluttering her eyelashes in a way that she presumes is seductive.

”Hello Kurosaki-dono, its a pleasure to make your acquaintance. ” I nod as she moves forward and takes my hand pressing her lips to it and nearly slobbering all over it. Imagine kissing that. With a sigh and mental shiver from Hichigo, I stand and bow back respectfully. Ive already decided that I do not want her and I cannot spend another moment in her presence.

”Yes its nice to meet you as well. Although your beauty is astounding I feel you are not the right woman for me, I apologize. ” She gapes at me openly making her resemble a fish almost before the look is washed from her face like footsteps in the sand as the tide crawls up the beach. Her eyes drain until they are darkened with anger. She moves forward to yell at me as I wipe my hands off on my pants getting any specks from the silk. That in itself is annoying. Why they would give me silk anything is questionable considering I can even keep white shirts clean.

”We shall be leaving now. ” Haruto says before glaring at the woman as I turn and walk toward the door a migraine beginning to form behind my eyes from her perfume.

”You fool you will regret not picking me! ” She shouts behind me loudly and I hear her foot hit the ground and echo around the room. I shake my head and shunpo away from her and her annoying house as well as my guards. They go to follow and I flick a hand shooing them away before heading toward the back field that Rukia always sits in after her shift. I hit a tree without a sound and close my eyes basking in the soothing presence of her reiatsu. Opening my eyes I find myself transfixed with the scene of Rukia crying silently into her hands.

At first glance one would presume she is just tired or stressed but if you look closely enough you can see her small shoulders tremble with each breath she takes and releases. Whats wrong, has something occurred in her family. Has someone died and I was not alerted. I know she worries about Ukitake could it be him? I very nearly break my resolve not to move and go to her before locking my muscles and staying where I am.

Rukia…I hope she doesn hate me for not telling her but she didn give me the chance to. I hope I can find a way to be with her forever an always if she doesn except my proposal.

”Oh Ichigo god I miss you. I hate my family for doing this to me! If you were here I wouldn feel so lost and alone! ” She sobs quite loudly shocking me and making me stumble a bit on the tree branch. If she wasn upset she would have heard me but its obvious shes upset. I feel my reaitsu move from me and weave toward her wrapping around her slender shoulders and calming her as much as I could without actually touching her. Her body shakes fiercely and I sigh and turn my head from her. She cries continuously but her voice is silent. I hadn realized how much I missed her voice. I move from the tree and then toward my home for the time being. I sit down and sigh, my mind whirling with thoughts all centered on a certain raven haired midget.

Im brought from my thoughts as a shadow appears in front of the shoji screens. They move to the left door and bow silently before knocking. I grunt in acknowledgement of their presence and Haruto begins speaking quickly and quietly a bit fearful of interrupting my solitude. ”Kurosaki-dono someone is here to see you, he says his name is Chad and he has along a guest whom did not state their name, is the pair permitted to speak with you your highness? ”

”Yeah let him in, Chad is my friend from the human world. ” Chad walks through the door with Ririn by his side bouncing silently in her girl gigai. Her eyes lock on mine and she screams lunging at me joyfully. Her tiny arms wrap around my neck as her legs wrap around my waist before she slip to the ground still hugging my hips with her arms.

”Ichigo I haven seen you in forever! ” Her arms tighten around me and I laugh softly messing up her hair. She doesn swat me away like usual instead she giggles softly showing me how much she actually misses me.

”Hey Ririn, how are you getting along without me? ” Tears well up in her eyes; pooling for only a moment, before she hides her face in my chest hiding them from me.

”I miss you. There I said it you jerk, I miss you. ” She cries shaking softly. I rub her back soothingly and try to calm her down. I bend forward and pick her up like I do Karin and Yuzu when they cry since Im so much larger than them.

”Ririn I missed you too. ” I murmur softly into her hair as she tries to calm herself down.

”She made me take her with me and I couldn stop her. I just wanted to see how you were doing after your latest injury. ” Chad says in his usual deep base of a voice. It brings me the sense of normalcy that I had been wishing for all day. I swear Chad knows when something is wrong. I sigh quietly offering him a nod of acceptance not realizing that I had actually done it until he sighed and sat down against the wall. .

”Well Ive been better emotionally; I saw something today that I don think I ever want to see again. Aside from that Ive been okay…hey Ririn would you like to stay with me until my wedding? ” I murmur. She pulls her face away from mine and a grin brightens her face as she nods excitedly. I look to Chad and notice his eyes are looking to Haruto and Kenshin. I turn my attention to the pair and realize exactly why my friend is looking at them so oddly.

”I don know Kenshin…I mean he is giving off but what is he? ” Kenshin sighs and hits Haruto across the head with a slap full of spirit energy. ”Oh…I suppose that could be it but they don seem to have known each other for that long. ” Kenshin sighs and shakes his head again before his eyes dart to the two of us. He growls silently and hits Haruto again.

”Would you two mind sharing what you
e talking about? ” Ririn asks sweetly from her position in front of me. The pairs eyes dart to me and Haruto bites back a remark upon seeing my raised eyebrow and smooth glare in his direction.

”Uh…well…we want to know what he is. ” Haruto motions toward Chad and Chad and I share a look. Chad frowns and allows me to speak unable to put it into words. I always one to talk wasn I?

”Well Haruto we aren quite sure hes a human with spiritual powers that we call fullbringers. Other than that weve got nothing… ” Haruto nods and Kenshin sighs softly shaking his head at our explanation. He seems deep in thought before he turns and begins murmuring something to Haruto.

”Kenshin thinks you
e wrong. He says that his energy is too close to something else to be that. Perhaps its because hes human Kenshin. How would that happen though? ” The bigger one looks to Haruto and nods slowly his eyes widening.

”What do you mean? ” Haruto rubs the back of his neck, a trait he picked up from me when Im trying to explain something to them and his eyes narrow slightly thinking of how to state it.

”Kenshin is from a long line of protectors in the royal guard they are usually just spirits and are never reborn as humans so its understandable that Chad confuses him. His spirit energy is so much like Kenshins that its scary. It doesn feel the same but its close in the way it moves. You see when he is around someone he is close to it tends to fluctuate to determine how much danger the person is in. Kenshins people are marked as different because they only fight to help others that they see as deserving. Am I right in assuming Chad would do anything to help you? ” I sigh and sit down on my butt in a very ungraceful display followed by Lirin and Chad who just seem to sink to the floor.

”Yeah Id do anything to help Ichigo. ” Chad says shrugging. ”He helped me before so I decided Id help him whenever I got the chance. ” I hear Kenshin speak slowly and it reminds me of the way Chad speaks just deeper and older…more mature almost.

”He fought humans that you wouldn . ” He didn ask he stated which was odd in its self but the way he said it made me think back to the day I fought those guys to get Chads coin back.

”Yeah, howd you know? ” Kenshin shrugs and falls silent again.

”Haruto please continue. ” I say looking at him expectantly.

”Well, his family is called Shields, as to why his tattoo, but they are born with that tattoo. Only his family bear that tattoo and only the highest in your family have a shield and a sword. I am a sword, hence the tattoo, and usually a person only receives a sword. Shields do fight and are bigger than swords; they do not speak often and have a quiet but strong sense about the way they present their selves. They are ultimately loyal to whoever they befriend and are often noted to risk their life for causes their friends believe in with a passion. Some spirits resemble shields but do not have the same abilities as the man you see before you. ” Haruto stops to take a breath and I speak slowly stories flashing through my eyes of all the thing people have told me about Chad.

”I asked if he wanted to just give up, after all he had only known Rukia for three months, but he said that if you were willing to risk your life to save her then he was. ” Captain Kyōraku said laughing softly and placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder.

”Rukia… ” I murmur softly looking over to Chad. ”Captain Kyōraku told me about your fight once. He remembered something you said. ” Her face enters my mind and I can almost see our group of friends sitting on the roof of the high school eating lunch together and laughing softly. I miss that. At first I hated it because everyone was so loud and they just invaded my solitude but after some time I just got used to it and it became a normal occurrence that I tended to wait the entire morning for. The days that I didn go to school because I was sick or injured Rukia would stay with me and sit beside me as we had drawing contests until school was out and everybody dropped by to see how I was doing. I miss that a lot. I miss sitting with the Vizards when Rukia would go back to the Soul Society from time to time as well.

”If you were willing to risk your life for Rukia then he was willing to risk his. ” Kenshin says standing and bringing me from my own mind and back to our conversation.

”Chad I think Kenshin might be right. ” I murmur softly and Haruto nearly falls out of his body in anger. I nearly chuckle at his crestfallen face.

”But I told the story. ” He mumbles a dark aura glowing about him in depression. Ririn laughs softly and stands pulling me up with her.

”Ichigo can we go shopping I want to wear a kimono for your wedding but I don have one and Uryuu-sama won make me one? ” I nod and pull myself up off the floor.

”Sure Ririn, are you two coming or am I just going with Ririn and Chad? ” They stare at me in shock before nodding quickly. Haruto hands me my cape-like hood and I done it with great ease. I watch as Ririn dances in front of us pulling me along with her. Chad falls into step with Kenshin and Haruto trails slightly behind me but in front of Chad and Kenshin.

We make it into town and I watch as everyone gasps at the young woman beside me. We walk into a kimono shop and I lean against the wall.

”Ririn pick out any one you want and well get it okay? ” I murmur running my hand over her hair softly. She nods and looks at one.

Its pink and has tiny red flowers dotting it. The obi is dark cherry red with thin strips of pink along the outsides of the sleeves. Yuzu would love it. Another one catches my eye. Its midnight blue with small black tree branches surrounding it. Pale blue and silver butterflies dot it also. The obi was soft silver that shone brightly at even the smallest fleck of light hitting it. This one would be perfect for Karin. I grab them both and move to a sales woman.

”Could you put both of these on my tab and gift wrap them separately, they
e for two very special women, my little sisters. ” The lady smiles and bows softly.

”Of course Kurosaki-dono, they will love them. ” She hurries away and Ririn comes out to show off her first choice. The kimono was soft sea foam white with light blue flower petals dancing across it and the obi was the same shade of light blue. She sighs and turns around slowly.

”Perhaps you should not pick white Ririn. ” Chad says softly. She nods slowly and turns to change. Next she comes out in a very light almost watercolor yellow kimono. It had soft pink petals that reminded me of Byukuyas swords attack but I liked it on her. The obi was a soft blue that was nearly white but it all looked very nice.

”I like that one Ririn. ” She nods smiling brightly and goes to change deciding to get that one. I walk over to the combs and notice a black one and a dark cherry red one with three small orange stones dotting one side.

”Excuse me is there anything else you would like Kurosaki-dono? ” I nod and turn to face her.

”Yes I would like to buy the kimono the blonde girl is carrying and these two hair combs. Also could you bright me any hair combs that might match that kimono. Thank-you. ” She quickly does as I asked and bring the combs over to me slowly.

”Ririn come here and pick out a hair comb. ” She dances over and her eyes widen, she shakes her head back and forth.

”Ichigo those are expensive I could never let you get me one plus Urahara-san will be disappointed that you spent so much money on me. ” I push her toward the box with my hand and she nods slowly looking over them and picking up a soft blue one.

”Can I have this one Ichigo? ” I nod and the lady takes it slowly and wraps it along with everything else. Her fingers move quickly and she smiles before looking up from her work.

”Kurosaki-dono would you like the combs with the kimonos they match? ” I nod swiftly and she hands me the boxes after placing the combs in them.

”Here Kurosaki-dono allow me to carry them. ” Haruto takes the boxes and we leave the shop slowly.

”Hey Ichigo, for whom are those other two boxes? ” Ririn asks gripping my hand in her smaller one and is looking up at me with a bright childish joy sparkling in her eyes.

”I got one for Yuzu and one for Karin. I thought I should get them something to show I miss them. ” She nods and skips beside me silently.

I hear hushed whispers as we get to more crowded streets.

”Who is the little girl with the new Spirit King? ”

”Im not sure but shes cute. Maybe she is one of his younger sisters. Masaki did have two daughters right? ” The other woman nods and they continue gossiping. Ririn looks down ashamed and drops my hand. I pick her hand back up into mine and she looks up confused.

”Is it okay if I consider you one of my sisters Ririn? ” She nods brightly and begins skipping beside me again. We return home and I look to Haruto.

”When do I need to decide? ” He looks to his schedule and holds up a finger.

”You have two days, Ichigo. ” I nod and look to the boxes.

”Perfect, then, we are going to the world of the living. Ririn does Urahara have our gigais prepared? ”

”Of course silly he was expecting you to visit soon. ” She says over her shoulder from where shes laying reading a comic book with her feet kicking in the air.

”Shall we have the portal opened? ” Haruto says. I send him a look like duh and he move out the door quickly followed closely by Kenshin.

”Hey Ichigo youve been wanting to tell me something all day haven you? ” I look up at Chad and plop onto my butt.

”Well I wanted to know if youd look after Yuzu and Karin for me while Im here. I really worry about them and I know my dad is a shinigami and all but I don want him in charge of their safety. ” Chad smiles at me and nods once quickly alerting me to his agreement.

”Um…Ichigo, are you serious about me staying with you until the wedding because I really miss Noba and Kurōdo. Could you just stay in the human world for two days and then I can visit some other time after you
e married? ” I nod softly and pat her head as Yasu rushes in bowing softly.

”K-Kurosaki-dono t-the portal is r-ready. W-we apologize for t-the wait. ” I laugh loudly and shake my head at her fear of me.

”Yasu calm down, Im not angry but thank-you for telling me. I want you to do me a favor and send word to the Kuchiki clan tomorrow night that I wish to marry Rukia. Also ask them to tell Rukia I wish to meet for lunch in two days time. Thank-you Yasu you may go now. ” She bows quickly and hurries out. I grab Yuzu and Karin gifts and Ririn trots happily beside me as Chad carries her gift in one arm. We pass through the portal with ease and come walking out in Uraharas underground training area. Hes standing there with Gigais for all of us. I slip into mine after handing him my sisters gifts and he looks at them curiously.

”Open either and Ill kill you. Those gifts are for Yuzu and Karin. Do I look the same in this Gigai and do they remember me? ” He nods an answer for both and I grab the gifts back from them. ”What is my story for being away? ” Yoruichi slips beside me and begins speaking softly to me.

”You are getting married to the daughter of your fathers long time best friend who is from a very noble family and then you are moving far away to go to college and help run their family business since their father passed away. ” She smirks and tweaks my ear.

”Yes Yoruichi I chose Rukia. ” She smiles softly and scales the ladder with ease. I do the same but use shunpo so I don have to use my hands. We reach the top and I fix my clothing before looking at the car waiting out front for us.

”We arranged for a car to take us to your house since you are marrying someone of the noble class. Also it would be very ill mannered of us to have our king walking the streets. ” Haruto says bowing deeply. I hit him on the head as Kenshin does and he rubs the back of his head as we all climb in the car. Thats when I hear it.

”I-CHI-GO! ” Keigo wails running at me. I turn in shock and Haruto puts his arm out closing lining him and making him fall to the ground. Mizuiro walks up and looks at Keigo.

”Mr. Asano you might not want to keep laying on the ground someone might step on you. Oh hello Ichigo, where have you been lately? ” I smile softly and hand the gifts to Chad to put in the back.

”Ririn I want you to stay here for a bit Ill come back and get you then. ” I murmur pushing her toward Yoruichi, who is now in her cat form.

”Okay Ichigo. ” She skips over and into the shop disappearing behind the doors.

”Actually Ive been pretty far from here, Im getting married to one of my dads old friends daughter. Weve known each other for quite some time actually. Ill be living there to help out with their business after graduating from college since her father passed away. How has everyone been? ”

Keigo just now stands up and looks at the boxes.

”Everyone has been good; we were all worried when you didn come back to school. ” Mizuiro says smile softly.

”Hey Ichigo whats on the boxes? ” He says going to poke the boxes. Haruto slaps his fingers away and glares at him.

”They are gifts for Miss Yuzu and Miss Karin, do not touch them. ” He murmurs darkly. Keigo lurches back a bit afraid. Haruto looks to his watch and then speaks directly to me. ”Master Kurosaki we are going to be late if you wish to make it there for dinner. ”

”Wait he calls you master that must be cool. Are you marrying into a noble family or something? ” I put my hands in my pockets and flash a look to Haruto and Kenshin who get in the car pulling Chad along.

”Yeah, I guess you could say that. Hey look, Ive got to go, maybe Ill see you guys tomorrow when I stop to say goodbye to everyone. ” They nod and wave as I get in the car and we drive off.

”Master Kurosaki would you like us to return to Uraharas shop and help train Chad? ” Haruto says softly.

”Yeah but could one of you help me with the boxes because no doubt my dad is going to attack me. ” They nod and Kenshin gets out while grabbing the boxes. He follows me in silently and I round the corner to see Yuzu and Karin lying on the couch watching TV. I turn to Kenshin and he places the packages on the kitchen table silently before moving out the door. He bows lowly and runs out. I walk over and grab the remote before changing the channel. My heightened senses pick up on two reaitsu that have been oftening our home. The strongest one, which is common because hes been on assignments in the world of the living and always stops by to see Karin, is Toshiro while the second is Hisagi, who is currently his partner on missions. The reiatsu signatures of the two guards sat heavily in the air but I knew them and had extensive background checks done on them so its fine if they are here.

”Hey Ichigo whyd you do that? ” Karin shouts before her eyes turn into saucers and she screams loudly tackling me. Yuzu does the same and they squeeze the living day lights out of me. Toshiros reaitsu swirls around Karin meaning he was here recently and it centers on a small ice colored bead hanging from a chain around her neck. My old man rushes in wondering what the yelling is all about and laughs loudly helping all three of us up.

”Ichi-nii what are you doing here? ” Yuzu says looking up at me with huge glossy eyes. I wipe away a stray tear from her cheek and kiss her forehead softly before kissing Karins forehead too.

”I had some time off, plus I knew I just had to bring you two the gifts I got, I mean they
e over on the table if you want them. ” Both of their eyes widen and they dart to the table grabbing the elegantly wrapped boxes and check which on is their box. They both peel back the wrappings until they pull out the kimonos. Yuzu runs her fingers across the silky material and Karin traces the patterns with her eyes before turning to me.

”I know you did not wrap these by yourself. ” Her smile ticks me off to her happiness and thankfulness because her words, as usual, don . I must admit that something in her smile has changed and Im guessing it has something to do with the reiatsu swirling around her.

”Oh thank-you Ichi-nii you
e the best big brother in the world! ” Yuzu says going to stand.

”Wait there is one more thing in the boxes Yuzu. ” Karin says lifting the small black box out of the larger one. Yuzu follows suit and small gasps of surprise move through their lips as they pull out the small delicate combs.

”Wow Ichi-nii these are beautiful. ” Yuzu murmurs softly. Karin is still speechless.

”Ichigo they look like the ones mom wore in her wedding. ” Karin murmur softly tracing the stones.

”I know… I want you two to wear these to my wedding okay? ” They nod brightly and my dad places his hand on my shoulder.

”Ichigo those are beautiful. ” I look to my sisters and watch in astonishment as tears flooded Karins eyes. She sets the things on the table and grips the bead tightly in her fingers still not turning to me.

”I missed you Ichigo! ” She shouts before turning abruptly and lunging for me. Her long figners grip my shirt tightly and she buries her head in my chest. Her tears wet my shirt and I run my fingers through her hair.

”I promise that after everything is over and done with you can visit if you want to. ” My dad sends me a look and I glare back at him over Karins head telling him everything I want in one gaze.

”Yuzu, Karin why don you both run to your rooms and place your gifts somewhere safe so they won get messed up before the wedding? ” They nod and shuffle up the steps with their gifts clutches to their chests. My dad turns to me his heavy gaze leveling on my own. ”Ichigo are you sure you want to bring them into our world? ”

”Dad I am not abandoning my sisters and Im not sure when Id have time to come here for more than a day or two. Plus I want them both to be there for my wedding. ” He nods and touches my shoulder reassuringly basically saying that he understands my wishes and will grant them. He then retreats to our living room to open a draw by the couch and dig through it for a few moments. He pulls out a small black velvet box with a triumphant grin. His figners tighten around it before he tosses it to me and I catch it with ease.

I lift the lid to see a shimmering black diamond set against a pale silver ring band. Its wasn thick and solid it was long thin lines twisted around each other creating small holes. On either side of the diamond two holes shaped like hearts sat starring up at me. I remember my mother wearing this as a child before one day she was wearing a different on.

”That was your mothers engagement ring that her father gave to me before he died. When you were younger she took it off and placed it in our safe saying to give it to you when you wanted to marry. She then wore the ring I gave her for our seventh anniversary until her death. I want you to give that to Rukia when you propose. ” I nod and close the box slipping it in my shirt pocket.

Flopping onto the couch I watch the station I had previously turned on as Yuzu and Karin come back down to sit beside me. My dad sits on the chair beside us and Yuzu and Karin each curl up on one side of my body with their heads resting on my legs. My arms are sprawled out across the back of the couch and it felt nice to sit like this. It felt nice to be a family again. I really missed my family. Ever since mom died it has been oddly different around our house.

Looking down I notice Yuzu and Karin are both fast asleep. Karin begins muttering in her sleep and clutching my jeans tightly in her hands.

”Ichi…nii…I love you…Ichi-nii. ” She murmurs before snuggling deeper into my side with ease and tightening her grip on my shirt. I drape my arm around her and smile softly down at her.

”Ichigo you do know Im proud of you above all else right? ” I look up startled at my fathers voice. It had shattered the silence but it was still barely above a whisper so not to wake my sisters.

”Yeah I guess so. ” I rub the back of my neck as he nods and turns to the TV thinking about what to say next. After a few moments he speaks again reining in my attention.

”You will make a very good father one day Ichigo and a very good husband. ” I frown and gently remove Karin and Yuzu from me before heading toward the kitchen. He follows behind me meaning we
e not done talking and I look to him before grabbing some of dinners left overs and heating them up to eat them.

I sigh softly before speaking the one fear I have yet to admit to anyone. ”Dad what if Rukia denies me? ” He turns to me and his face is very serious something I haven seen in many years.

”She won deny you Ichigo; she loves you as much as you love her. ” I sit down beside him and for the first time in a very long time we have a quiet father son moment. It was weird but it was nice, I really miss how thing used to be with mom here. Wed always spend the night on the couch watching TV or playing board games, that stopped when mom died, we at least for me.

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