Katrina had gotten another challenge. And this time she was to face captain Hirako, in a kido barrier. She didn’t understand why that was, but captain Hirako had explained it had something to do with his Sakanade, his Zanpaktou. She wondered what its abilities would be.
Katrina took her stance in the centre of the barrier and drew her Zanpaktou. Shinji walked in, as calm as ever, wearing his strange smile, like facing Katrina was going to be a walk in the park. Katrina looked around and saw many soul reapers had gathered on the roof. Multiple chairs had been placed and Rangiku was slowly starting to become rich. And captain Ukitake was continuing to sell candy, making Yachiru his number one customer. Other captains had also gathered, willing to see how Katrina fought against this captain.
Katrina took in a deep breath and calmly said: ‘exhale, miasma.’ Her Zanpaktou grew in size, split into two and took the form of gothic tiger hooks. Shinji nodded and said: ‘don’t worry, just to keep this fair, I won’t put my hollow mask on.’
Katrina nodded and the battle began. She flash stepped forward and started an assault with her dual Zanpaktou on captain Hirako. He blocked them precisely and swiftly and slowly took steps backward, as if Katrina was overwhelming her. But he made no attempt to counter attack. He simply made sure that neither of her blades cut him. Having experienced what it did, he’d rather it not happened again.
Katrina than crossed her blades and slashed them forward. Shinji blocked them and Katrina pulled her blades together, trapping Shinji’s Zanpaktou between the hooks. She pulled her blades down, stabbed his blade into the ground, jumped up and launched a double kick into the captain’s face.
through the force of the double kick, Shinji was pushed out of the blade lock, but he still smiled. Hiyori had kicked him enough in the face to make his flat face hard enough to take an assault like that without any harm. He smiled and said: ‘collapse, Sakanade.’
his Zanpaktou didn’t change much. A large circle appeared at the bottom of the hilt and the blade was suddenly filled with holes. Shinji held his hand in the circle and the blade spun around. The air around him seemed to become a little pink and Katrina smelled something sweet. She didn’t know why his Zanpaktou was so dangerous a barrier had to be installed, but she would find out soon enough.
Katrina rushed forward, but Shinji countered by flash stepping and swung his blade, slashing her across her chest. But, as the blade struck her, a bleeding scar appeared on her back. What had just happened?
Katrina turned around and saw captain Hirako standing there. She slashed her left blade at him and he stepped to her right and followed with an attack of his own. Katrina quickly raised her right blade to block. But as she did, she was cut on her left arm.
Katrina jumped back. Something was wrong here! Ever since captain Hirako had released his Zanpaktou, his movements and what happened to her didn’t seem right. He slashed her front, she felt it on her back. His blade slipped through her block somehow, so it should strike her right arm, yet it hit her left arm. And now that she thought about it, it had seemed to come from behind. Everything seemed reversed. She would try that.
Katrina saw captain Hirako coming at her again, from her left side. She turned to her right and saw captain Hirako coming from there as well. so there was a fake. One was the illusion, this one was real! Shinji attack from above and Katrina blocked, but suddenly got slashed over his belly from bellow.
Shinji smiled and said: ‘very good. You’ve figured out much. But when you think, everything is reversed, than that means everything. Up and down, left and right, front and back and even the direction from which you’re slashed. You know, the people outside of this barrier, the ones that haven’t smelled the sweet aroma, they haven’t fallen into the inverted world. So, what they are seeing is you looking the wrong way and acting strange, blocking an attack that comes from the other side. And no matter how skilled you may be in battle, you cannot quickly work through this in your mind, not even if ya know what’s going on.’
Katrina stumbled back. She knew this was true. What she relied on most in battle were her eyes. But in this case, that was what she couldn’t rely on. So, she might have to do something stupid here. But it seemed her only chance.
Katrina closed her eyes. She knew where captain Hirako was. He was surrounded with that sweet aroma. And the closer he was, the stronger the small. And all she needed was one direct hit. she would have to trust her ears and not act rashly.
Shinji saw this, flash stepped to behind her, stamped on the ground, drawing Katrina’s attention to his position, just as he flash stepped again, to close behind her, swinging his blade at her back. Katrina her the slice through the air and quickly put her right blade behind her. She felt and heard the clash of the blades and she quickly followed up by stabbing her left blade backward. The weight of the opposing blade disappeared and Katrina focused on the scent. The sweet smell came from her right. She turned to that point and slowly walked to it.
suddenly the smell surrounded and she felt a blade on her shoulder, the sharp side having scathed a small piece of her neck. Shinji nodded and said: ‘I guess you have learned a valuable lesson, haven’t ya?’
Katrina nodded, turned around with a flash step and slashed both her hooks at Shinji and she felt her blades hit. and she sensed the poisons work right away.
Katrina opened her eyes and said: ‘I sure have learned some new battle tactics, as well as this lesson, once your blade connects, I know where you are. And if you want to take someone’s head of, placing the blade behind the chin would be better. That way your blade could come from two sides.’
Shinji nodded and said: ‘point taken. Well, how about ya stop this bleedin before I’m empty and we call this battle a draw.’
Katrina nodded, stopped the poisons with a thought and the barrier was taken down. Shuhei walked forward for his usual interview with both combatants while Rangiku walked around them, snapping pics. Hanatoro and Isane started healing both combatants during their interview and after everything was over, Shunsui Kyoraku walked over to Katrina and said: ‘well, this is usually not my style, but I’d like to make a reservation to be your next opponent. Whenever you feel up for it, come to the squad 8 barracks.’
Katrina could barely believe it, people were now making reservations to fight her. What was next? A movie about her?