This soul society is strange - it's common for squads to have two lieutenants. Lance is one such captain, with Alice and Grom as his Lt.'s. The head captain also has two Lt.'s. Must be a luxury - why did I have to leave Ukitake for this again? They seem fairly well-staffed if not for a little...With a glance at Taydra, I roll my eyes - incompetent.
So, it's time for our first assignment. Paired with Le'Brian and Taydra, we meet Lance at the rear of an Arrancar base. He hands us three of those fire-ball containing beads each, to be used solely for emergencies. We also get radio devices for communication. The synopsis is as follows:
We were to cause a distraction while Lance leads a frontal attack on the base. Although, we feel a strong presence trailing us, Soul Reaper.
As we move onto the battlefield to infiltrate the base, a male with a white shihakusho is waiting to meet us. Immediately this raises a red flag; he is, clearly, an ex-soul reaper. Is this supposed to be a team-member? I no longer have to wonder as Le'Brian hands him a spare radio, and fireball beads.
With a roll of my eyes, I resolve that if Lance trusts him, that should suffice for me. For now. I'll keep my eye on him though.
Moving on and moving through the base, we feel a strange spiritual pressure: one good, one evil, fighting brutally. We'd face them soon enough.
We come to a cross-road, a note pinned to the stone wall. It's from Alice who, I've been told, is known for intentionally falsifying information for the sake of amusement. This seems not to be the case, as the note informs us of a trap-filled path or a "safer" path, albeit with more enemies. The trapped path contains more treasure. I can barely voice my concern with safety before Taydra, being his greedy, drunken self, is shambling down the path to treasure. Le'Brian, being the stand-up, team-oriented individual that he is, follows him.
Midnight is beginning to show some insolent behavior, as, just for the sake of being different, he wanders off on the "safer" path. Being opposed to splitting the team up, I choose to go with Le'Brian and Taydra, the ones whose allegiance I've already pledged to via the Soul Society, despite their apparent greed. The other one - Midnight? Not my problem.
As we are traveling down our chosen path, a vast explosion goes off behind us.
"Shouldn't we...check that out?" I ask, apprehensive. Le'Brian shrugs it off and assures me that it's quite "Normal" for Alice's notes, encouraging me to move along. As he seems competent enough, I trust him. Plus, he's not grudging about my unprofessional behavior as of yesterday; I trust him.
Fighting our way through various hollows, we eventually run into Midnight again; the path had looped back around. As we battle, occasionally, swords connected with chains pop out of the ground to help us block attacks. This is, apparently, Alice. After a meeting with Alice and Grom with sumptuous rejuvenating tea, we continue down the path. A tiny, cat-sized hollow is found cowering in the corner. Le'Brian is interested, and the creature piques my inquiry as well. Spending a few minutes calming the creature with body language while Le'Brian and Jikan heal her, she crawls up to my shoulder to sleep. I don't question it; she's far too cute.
Sweet shy one - I've decided Amai Kamoku is a fitting name for her. Cradling her into my inner pocket for safety, we continue on.