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This article, A Reason for Living, is property of AnimeQueen9112.


One hundred years had passed since that day—I don't remember a thing; nada, zip, zilch, zero. My mind is blank as the minds of Hollows, who can only kill. Of course I'm not that stupid, but still.

Anyway, getting onto the actual subject; since that time, I've had no idea why people blame me for Soul Society being on it's way to ruin—the worst part is that the people who know exactly what I am want to kill and eat me…and not the good type of eating, either. And people who do know who I am…when they find out who I am, their perception is warped about me completely and they back off, treating me like a monster.

I said it before, didn't I?

I am alone.

First order of business. Well, in this desolate wasteland, apparently I'm supposed to search out a certain God-King of Hueco Mundo. I wonder if he got the title via debating, and that's how the hierarchy there works.

Trust me; I would be a very bad debater.

You know why? Because I'd begin every argument with 'Listen here you dirty skank'.

Either way, my destination was the palace of the God-King of Hueco Mundo—I don't know his name, but all I know is that I need to take him down and try and convince him never to harm the innocent.

As I reached the spiraling tower that housed the God-Emperor, or as I called him, "Shintei no Hueco Mundo", I noticed a few familiar faces. Those guys simply aren't Espada material. I can say that for sure.

The guy with the scythe? His name is Diosa. I used to know him a while back; and since the revelation that eating my flesh could grant you powers similar to me came to light, he never attempted to devour me, but we just drifted apart.

Although Diosa does possess a certain degree of ability, his thinking is a little conservative and he clings stubbornly onto outmoded rules and ideas. Perhaps an ever-present sense of old-fashioned righteousness?

He always persists in upholding some kind of justice like in the olden days. Then again, as a person, Diosa's always been a cut above me, and he's also a very respectable Arrancar.

The second, Berga? This guy's an idiot. No matter how you put it, he's an idiot. A real endearing idiot, honestly.

Well, he isn't just a muscle-head. When the need arises, he won't hesitate to inspire 'terror' in people. If he was a little brighter, then he may really be able to control Espada single-handedly.

But I still really hope that guy won't become that kind of 'villain'. …Well, he's already quite a villain now as it is.

Last is the youngest, Brilla, but… he's the least likely out of the three. Usually, he gives people the impression of being calm and collected, but in reality he's just pretending to be cool. He definitely knows he’s not cut out to be an Espada, so he persists in forcing himself, intentionally pretending to be a 'ruthless person' to trick himself. But don't get me wrong, I don't really hate this aspect of him.

Even now, I still think of them as best friends. Truth be told, they're all real men. Yup, real men: just like the outlaws in movies. That's the key reason why these three guys aren’t like the Espada.

Isn't this just like a fairy tale? That's because we're in the unforgivably harsh, realistic world of Hueco Mundo.

However, since I said it, I can't get out of it. And the most important thing is that once I form a crack here, I have to face this awkward environment again (human interaction).

Uu…

At first, I just thought that I sensed them staring at my back, but now I could definitely feel their gazes piercing through me from the front. As expected, even this Hanako Suzumega, who is self-admittedly rather incapable of talking to others, am fearful. Even if I like takoyaki—no, I must stay focused.

"Hnn, well, it's nice to see you guys again…"

After I bowed courteously—wait a second? The expressions on their faces seemed to generate a weird feeling, almost as if they were thinking, 'say something more' and 'it can't be just this, right?'

It's impossible for me to rattle on about myself. It's not that I'm uninteresting, but I don't want everyone to hear it. Besides, isn't it more troublesome to talk about ones' interests right from the beginning? I'll scare them if I suddenly talk about 'planting and grafting cacti!', right? On a side note, I'm not actually interested in planting and grafting cacti. I just thought I'd mention it as a word of caution.

"…"

I could feel the sweat trickling down my back. What should I do? What should I say? Speaking of which, why am I here again? I wanna try and find a nice bench to sleep on…

"…Suzumega. Are you honestly going to try and fight the Shintei?" Berga's words echoed throughout my mind as I noticed that they seemed rather cold.

Brilla added in like the annoying mosquito he was, "By way, didn't you go see Oshino about a few years ago to try and remove that Crumbling Orb that works as your heart?"

"Oshino – Oshino-san?" I stuttered. No, no…I don't remember.

"That's right. Oshino Momo." Diosa snarked.

"Oshino Momo, you say… it certainly sounds like a moe name." This person seemed rather cute!

"Don't get your expectations too high. He's a thirty-plus year old man." Diosa flatly replied.

"I see. But he must have been a moe character when he was young." I had my hopes up!

"Don't judge real people like that. More importantly, you understand what "moe" and "character" are? It's common knowledge," said Diosa, looking composed. "They call my character 'tsundere', don't they?" This really was amusing; hearing Spanish based spiritual beings talking about moe.

"…" I think they call your character a 'tundra'.

Diosa continued, "But are you really going to face the Shintei by yourself?"

I nodded. "Of course. Thanks to my reason body and Hōgyoku heart, I think I can take him down for good."

Berga scoffed at me, "…Really now? I think that the attacks you send out are just smashing swings with no technique to them. But that's enough. If there is overwhelming power and speed, there is no room for technique. Techniques are something humans invented to compensate for their weaknesses. Weaknesses are something you don't have. But on the other hand, you don't have any skill…All you do is—"

I cut him off. "…Ahem. You don't realize it, do you? I'm smarter than all of you put together. Not even Yamamoto has ever proven a match for me. He was too predictable. I fight with quickness and wit rather than with brute force and strength….though I do have a lot of the latter two." If I say, "I'm going to break you", I can calculate the amount of effort -in force pounds per square inch and Joules expenditure- needed to do just that in my head. My fighting style revolves around using calculation and observation to succeed. Apparently, I really was an idiot back when we were friends.

Diosa scratched his head. "You're so full of yourself, y'know that? But that's what I liked about you. Some things are worth lusting for because they can't be controlled." These guys, they weren't pulling punches here. Even though I was like 'yeah, yeah' and 'whatever' right now, I really did miss the bonds we once shared.

Why?

Because even beautiful scenery, even a beautiful flower is meaningless when you see it alone.

Tch…This was taking up too much time. Diosa muttered, "Now, now. You think we can let you past easily because we used to be friends, Hanako? Our duty to the Shintei surpasses any previous bond we had…now if you refuse to back down…" He paused. "…We'll have to take you down." The way he sidesteps our near inseparable friendship hurts, but I suppose I should've expected it.

I retorted, "…I don't want to fight you, okay? But if I have to…then bring it on. I won't show hesitation in cutting you three down." Those words…they were painful for me to even think about, but it was necessary. I needed to take down the God-Emperor of Hueco Mundo, no matter the cost.

WHOOSH! In an instant, Berga and Brilla leapt at me…That was strange. Nothing happened; in the air, they merely paused—though moments later…

STAB!

A strike of light which was shot from Diosa's hands pierced through Berga and Brilla's chests. "Pitiful. I even told you the power of this woman's reason and yet you couldn't even release first. That explains how useless you are." Diosa said it while laughing.

The two turned into dust and perished. The power of light? An ability which is similar to that of Tenshi? Or do the Arrancar have research on how Hollows can use Shinigami power? I then saw an unfamiliar device on Diosa's arm. That has to be the source that created the light.

All I could say was, "…Why." Just, why? Why would he needlessly kill his friends like that? I was sure that Diosa, Berga, and Brilla had a strong bond that was almost brotherly. Why would he kill them so mercilessly?

"Isn't it obvious? My job is to kill you—There are as many replacements as we want. If we lose them, we can just make new ones." Diosa grinned maniacally.

Bullshit! I snapped at him, "…But they were your friends—"

He cut me off. "…Ahahaha. It's lacking; you still have hope in you. Because you defeated Yamamoto, my plan turned into a failure. I thought you wouldn't win, even with your reason body. It's an interesting occurrence. Thanks to that my plan was postponed quite a lot, but you finally returned to me. Now I can enjoy you."

I…I wasn't sure what to say. This guy…I did think he was a villain. Something you would call my instinct. It is a vague expression, but I felt the same thing I felt from a Hollow coming from him as well. No, that isn't it. He's not a villain, but a scum who far surpasses a villain! No, he's a brute! A shit like this was talking about love with me!

I was enraged even more than the time Yamamoto decided to genocide the Quincy. Even when I was already at my limits of endurance, Diosa wouldn't stop his sickening words.

"You're still a virgin, right? I'd honestly hate it if you'd already been used up, my dear Hanako…"

This guy…Rape is much worse than murder. The victim has a lifetime of coping, of trying to understand, of asking questions, and, the worst part, of knowing the rapist is still alive. Every hour of every day, the victim thinks of the rape and asks herself a thousand questions. She relives it, step by step, minute by minute, and it hurts just as bad.

I can't keep calm unless I beat the shit out of this guy…

"Maybe after I rip you apart, it would be good to forcefully have sex with you…I will become one with you; it should be magnificent…"

I just…snapped.

"Son of a bitch!" I howled at the top of my voice; I shot forward like a bullet, quickly drawing my Zanpakutō from its sheath. As I swung my blade…my slash missed again. Next moment there were some lights in Diosa's hand forming into something.

"Eat this, you wretch…!"

SPISH

The Spear of Light pierced both my legs. It went deep into both of my thighs. Even with my reason body, I couldn't defend against it.

"Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" I screamed. I felt intense pain through my whole body, but I couldn't get on my knees for something like this. I grabbed onto the spear immediately. The sound of meat burning. Hot! It's burning hot! Is it because it's made up of light!? It started to burn the palm of my hand that was holding onto the spear. There was smoke coming from my hand and from the wounds of my thighs. It was intensely burning my palm and my legs.

Diosa started to laugh at me after watching me trying to pull out the spear. "Ahahahaha! A being of reason trying to pull that spear out is foolish! To reason, lights are intense poison. Just touching it will make you burn. That is the ultimate pain that you can taste!"

"Kyaaaaaaaa!" I screamed, which seemed impossible, but I grabbed onto the spear much stronger and tried to pull it out, bit by bit. The intense pain was caused by the spear that pierced through my legs. The intense pain that was inflicted on me by the power of light. Those things were causing me so much pain. I was about to lose consciousness because of it. It seemed like I would die if I didn't bite my teeth hard.

I was taking out the spear slowly with tears coming out of my face. It hurts. It hurts dammitttttt! But this! What about this! While making a horrible noise, the spear was being pulled out from my legs. When I got the spear out from both my legs, I dropped it from my hand and it disappeared before hitting the ground.

SPLASH

After losing the thing that was blocking the holes on my legs, blood started to flow from the wounds. Even though I took out the spear, the pain still remained. It hurts. It really hurts. I'm crying a lot and I have so much drool coming out from my mouth.

SLIP

I slipped onto my butt after I lost some strength in me. I don't have the strength to stand up. Shit, I don't have any strength in my legs. No, I don't have any strength left in my whole body. This is bad, isn't it?

"…Remarkable. A being of reason pulling out the Spear of Light. But it's futile. My light isn't flashy, but has a high killing ability against reason. The density of the pseudo-reason is strong. Getting hurt even once will be hard to heal, even for somebody like you. Fufufufu, you can't look down on the damage caused by the power of light, you know? Especially my Spear." Like always, he was raving on about his power—that pissed me off. "The light goes around your body, and gives damage to your whole body. If you are late at healing it, you will die. No, you will die normally. Strongly built, aren't you?"

Is that right? So for me, this wound is lethal, huh? Like I thought. I feel pain even inside my body. It's not the pain of getting hit but something worse. It feels as if my muscles and bones are melting because of the heat. The pain is transmitted directly by my nerves, so letting my guard down even once will feel like it's going to screw my head.

I will probably die if I don't get healed soon. But.... I can't just sit here. But I don't have any strength in my legs.

Shit.

Is this the end for me?

As I laid on the ground, Diosa literally went on all fours to hop on top of me like a lizard, smirking, "It'd trouble me if you died too easily—it'd be pretty rude, since I've been waiting a long time for this." I glared at him in defiance. "Come on, beg me, woman. I might save you depending on how you act. I'm going to replace the Shintei; I might consider making you my queen if you're going to be mine—"

"I'm utterly amazed. Are you really that stupid?" Then. Even though the bastard had effectively disabled me and started undressing me, I wouldn't give up.

"W-What…?"

"I'm asking you if you've learned your lesson yet. You're just being used by the Shintei. You should wake up and run away. You might still have time. You should run away as fast as possible if you don't want to die." I snapped.

"Hah! You're just begging for your life! You're the idiot! Who would get in my way now?" Eeek! He ran his fingers along my body…

"Hey." Diosa was punched away from me; by the looks of it, another guy stepped in. He was young, but well-built man possibly within his mid-twenties. He had a healthy complexion, a head of short dark brown hair, and a pair of light brown eyes. He was pretty muscular—overall, he was a real hottie!

What he was wearing…hmm, I was more focused on that toned chest of his, but he wore a dark trenchcoat of a maroon color that was ornamented with several brass linings, over a cream tank-top with a single brown decoration near its collar. He also wore a pair of black gloves, and a dark greenish pair of pants with shoes of a similar color.

The mysterious guy snarled at Diosa, "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's bullies. Especially people who bully women." The mysterious guy disappeared from my sight as Diosa attempted to release—

CUT!

Then the monstrous Diosa who is in front of me is cut into pieces!

"—What the hell… You are too overpowered…"

Diosa who only has his head rolled on the ground while his eyes are wide opened. —He was defeated in a single attack!

My savior finished the battle when Diosa was about to attack! He must have slashed him in godspeed! Uwaa….. I couldn't follow him with my eyes.

STAB!

The guy stabbed Diosa who only had his head left. He finished him off. He got rid of the blood right away by swinging it in the air. The blood spilt makes a circular mark on the ground.

"—You can continue howling to the Togabito in hell."

This guy even said a finishing quote!

That was…pretty cool.

I couldn't even tell Diosa's strength at all. But I do understand that this guy was overwhelmingly stronger than Diosa. Diosa…… I had inseparable relation with him, but his last moment is something I can't describe with words. Diosa was also a victim in some way maybe? No, this isn't the time to think about it.

As I lay motionless on the ground, this man approached me with a broad smile and an extended hand. "…'Ere. You're still probably freaked out about before, am I right?" His words were oddly comforting…and he had such a charming smile!

I muttered, "If you'd touch me, you'd get burned—" …Huh? The s-s-s-soft touch of his hands…it didn't hurt him? What kind of sorcery is this? He smiled at me.

"You're a being of reason, right? Well, with my Odor Sleuth allows me to roam around unaffected by reason—"

…I know what that means. He is…I couldn't say a word, honestly. This was…too amazing. This guy…so that means I can…He added, "I know the pain of being alone, y'know? It makes you feel like you have nobody to fall back on. It's a depressing feeling. I'm sure that you feel that all the time—being what you are. It's things like reason bodies and overwhelming power that makes us envy the weak, right? If you're weak, then you can gather in as large a group as you want. But we can never change who we are; you gotta admit, it's scary, being lonely."

I sighed and nodded. "…Yeah…"

He insisted in offering me his hand. "But eh, it's okay. You're lonely, I'm lonely. I can tell just by a single glance, y'know. But you know what? Together, we're lonely together."

I think…this may be the start of a powerful bond.

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