Ch.3 Lessons

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My sigh catches the girl's attention. Her eyes widen a bit as she gets a proper look at me. I look at her with a small glare.

"Are soul reapers supposed to be this childish? And why must you stare at me like that?"

She snaps out of it.

"S-Sorry, you just...look familiar."

"I've never met you before, soul reaper."

"I-I know...I just can't help but feel like I've seen your face before."

"Can't be, I rarely talk to other ghosts. I only talk to Nagi."

"...Maybe because...you look similar to someone I know." she thinks to herself out loud.

That got my attention.

"You know someone who looks like me? May I ask you who?"

"Well...I can't really say for sure."

"Can you please just tell me? My name is Emiko Kurosaki. I've been adopted by this kind family from the streets. I can't remember my real family or where I'm from. But, I'm currently looking for them. If you can tell me, that could help me complete my eight year search."

"...I can't... At least, not until I can confirm it myself. I'm sorry."

"...I see..."

Not trying to look disappointed, I look towards the ground.

"Um, can you let me go already, brat!" Ichigo speaks up.

"You really should respect your elders. Despite my appearance, I have lived ten of your lives. And yet, you still dare call me "little snot" or "brat"? I would kill an insolent fool like you, but the provisional spirit law forbids unauthorized executions."

"Whatever! Let me go!"

"I will let you off with a minor case of paralysis this time. Be grateful, little-snot-nose-brat!"

The stranger suddenly grabs the hilt of her sword.

"And this..."

"W-Wait!"

She pulls out her sword and holds it high in the air. After a second, she swings it down. I watched as she places the bottom part of the hilt onto the ghost's forehead.

I forgot about him. That was the ghost Karin mentioned earlier. He must have snuck in.

Scared, the ghost begs.

"What? No... I... Don't want to go to Hell!"

"Do not presume." the stranger kindly replies. "What awaits you is not Hell. It is the Soul Society. Unlike Hell, it is a restful place."

She removes her sword to reveal a small symbol on the ghost's forehead. It starts to glow, enveloping the ghost in a bright light. Once the light disappears, the ghost was gone.

"What happened to him?" I asked.

"I sent him to the Soul Society. What I just performed is called a Konso, the Soul Funeral. You call it "passing on" in your language. It is one of the duties of a soul reaper."

The girl looks at Ichigo.

"To ask if you believe me or not longer seems necessary. I will explain so a brat like you, and your sister, can understand. So listen closely. In this realm, there are two types of souls."

She sits down in front of Ichigo as she pulls out some childish drawings

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She sits down in front of Ichigo as she pulls out some childish drawings.

"The first type are the "Wholes", the normal spirits. The ghosts you know are of this type. Now, the other type are called "Hollows". Hollows attack the living and the dead indiscriminately, and devour their souls. Hollows are "evil spirits". Any questions so far?"

"Why does your drawings suck so bad?"

Ignoring that comment, the soul reaper grabs a marker from Ichigo's desk and draws a mustache on his face.

"Hey! You took advantage of my helplessness!"

"Let us continue."

The reaper puts the marker back and pulls out some more drawings.

"We soul reapers have two principle duties. First, to conduct Wholes to the Soul Society by means of Konso. Second, to vaporize Hollows. Which is my mission now."

"Hold up." Ichigo interrupts. "You mean to tell us there's a Hollow around here now?"

"There is."

"Are you stupid?! Don't stand there yapping! Go vaporize it!"

"Actually...I have not been able to sense its presence for some time now?"

"What...why not-"

A sudden bloodcurdling howl fills my brother's ears as well as my own.

"Some force must be obstructing my senses..."

"Hey! Soul reaper!"

"What's wrong?"

"What's wrong?! You didn't hear that? What was it?!"

"Hear what?"

The howl fills the air again. By the look on the reaper's face, I can tell she can now hear it too.

"I heard it! It's a Hollow!!

"Ahhh!"

"That's Yuzu!" Ichigo worries.

The reaper suddenly rushes towards the door.

"Hey! Where you going?! That horrible noise was a Hollow, right?!"

"Yes! I'm going to kill it! You two stay here!"

"Hold up! That's my family being attacked! Undo your spell! Now!"

"Don't be foolish! There is nothing you can do! You'll only succeed in adding to the body count! Be quiet and leave this to me! Understood?!"

The reaper opens the door to only hear the Hollow's howl even louder than before. Once the noise stop, a weak voice speaks up.

"Ichi...go... Emi...ko... Are you...two okay?"

The two of us watch as Karin falls to the ground of the bedroom door.

"Karin!"

She weakly smiles at us.

"Good... It hasn't...come this way... It happened so fast... Dad was attacked...and he fell... Then it...went for Yuzu and I so...fast... I thought... Have to warn...Ichigo and Emiko..."

"Karin..."

I quickly went to her side.

"I didn't get a good look... I don't think...dad and Yuzu could...see it... Hurry, you two. Before it finds...you... Run..."

Having finished her warning, Karin passes out. I hold her in my arms. Ichigo was beyond angry.

"It's okay, Ichigo." I try to calm him. "She just passed out. She'll be okay."

"Stop!" the reaper shouts. "What are you doing?!"

I turn my head to focus on the two. Ichigo was struggling to stand and break his restrains.

"No human's strength is enough to break the Kido. If you force it, your soul will..."

"Ahhhh!"

Ichigo breaks free of the reaper's spell. Grabbing a baseball bat, Ichigo rushes pass us and down the stairs. The reaper calls after him as he does.

"Wait!"

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