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Executioner XII

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It was no more than a normal mission in the eyes of the 12 th  Raven . Just  an ordinary mission, perhaps a bit higher-risk than what normally  got   handed to a single Raven, but the 12 th  Raven ha d  had a reliable track record for a while and  wa s stronger than most Ravens besides. So the 12 th  Raven, the Crimson Seraph, never thought to suspect anything.  

Kisuke Urahara trudged through the small city that served as the only major town in the 56 th  District of Rukongai, searching for the local mafia don.   

“Sorry mister!” a child shouted when they ran into him.  

Kisuke’s hand shot out. “Return my money, if you please,” he said, voice jovial.  

The child pouted at him but reluctantly returned the few  coins  that had been resting in his pockets. Kisuke handed back a couple bits back, and then let go of the wrist he had caught. “Get better next time, kid.”  

The child  ran off with a scowl.  Kisuke smiled sadly, reminded of another child who’d  scowled more than smiled.  

He shook the memory off.   

Now wasn’t the time to dwell on the past like that. He’s committed a heinous crime. He didn’t deserve to see Ichigo again.   

Someone ran into him again. This time, Kisuke let them go off.  He’d  recognised  the  subordinate  of  a certain mafia  family.   It would be child’s play to  follow the  man who had made off with the seeded  lire.   

With almost pointed resol ve , he turned to follow the mo bs ter who had pick-pocketed him.   

The mobster   — who  he’d nicknamed  Floof  Hair at this point — lead him on a merry goose chase through the city. At one point, Kisuke had even entertained the thought that  Floof  Hair ha d  caught onto him and was just leading him around to waste his time.  At least until he noticed that  Floof  Hair was being very careful to bump into a few certain people as well as random civilians and had returned to the same few locals a couple times over.   

When  night finally fell, Kisuke had  tailed  Floof  Hair  through   half the town  and into an abandoned factory.  He scaled the building quickly, dodging the sight-lines of guards until he reached a n extremely out-of-place but also sheltered window ledge.  He climbed into the alcove and  pried the window open a crack.   

“….  g ot all the messages sent around, Boss.  Micheal wanted to know if you wanted to get into contact with the  White Mafia,”  

“Tell Micheal to  order in another ten guns and another numbered  h ō gyoku .”  

Kisuke had heard enough.   

He pulled up his crimson hood,  tugged his face-scarf into place,  threw open the window , and leapt down  onto a catwalk with a loud clang.  

A red envelope  fluttered to the ground at the mafia don’s feet.   

“Oh fu ck.”   

Kisuke  leapt  down from the catwalk, sword swinging loose and wide and already transitioning into a whip made of razor wire and shards of steel.   

“The Crimson Seraph?!”  

Who is  this  White Mafia that you’ve bought hōgyoku from?” Kisuke asked cheerfully, completely at odds to the deadly whip lashing the ground in a screeching of metal and scattering of sparks, “If you tell me, I might be inclined to make your death quick. I need to dissuade people from using hōgyoku, see, and in my  experience,  that’s always best done with an example. You don’t want to be my example, do you?”  

The mafia don swallowed thickly. “ I don’t know who the White Mafia is. I just know that they’re willing to sell us the hōgyoku we need to take over the area.”  

Kisuke ducked  a literal bullet  and tutted. “Did you really think I wouldn’t notice? My, my, being a bit  naughty,  are we? Well then, don’t mind me if I return the  favor !”  

He whipped around to face  Floof  Hair  and shot out  with his whip. A flick of his wrist and  a hard jerk  and the metal whip  wrapped   around  gun, finger, hand, and wrist  and  shredded  it.  The  bloody  meat  that was   Floof  Hair’s hand dropped to the ground . A beat of silence.  Floof  Hair screamed, loud and high, and  Kisuke turned around to face the mafia don again.   

The mafia don  had a gun in hand,  sleek,   long  barreled , and stamped with a symbol that Kisuke knew as intimately as he knew his  Crimson Princess Hōgyoku Then his eyes flew to the number  stamped into the weapon next to that hated logo.  No.125 The raining bullets of tragedy. Bullets would move in unpredictable movements after exiting the barrel and converge on  an area no larger than a meter squared, making it unpredictable and hard to avoid whilst still effective against a single target . Best used against a single opponent  or a back-to-back pair.   

Kisuke had been especially proud of creating the mechanisms within the barrel for the unpredictable movements of the bullets.   

The mafia don laughed maniacally at him. “Witness the power of the hōgyoku,  the  power  that could allow  anyone to kill  even  the Crimson Seraph !”  

Bullets flew towards him . Kisuke’s eyes widened.  He dodged the initial volley as much as he could. Inevitably, some of his clothes gained new holes he would have to patch up afterwards.   

“You  ma y be able to dodge for now,  but with  t his numbered hōgyoku,  the raining bullets of tragedy ’,   the impossible-to-predict bullets , this ‘black rain’, I  will   have your head!”  

Kisuke snarled, just barely dodging . Too  close.  Too close.  Too close!  

He spun ,  whip shifting around him to form a cage of  razor wire that shredded the bullets.   

Too close.  Too close Too close!!  

His vision  shifted  

The  colors  of the world dulled in vibrancy, the  mob boss became high-lighted in red and  the bullets racing for him slowed and glowed  a bloody violent red  

Kisuke dodged the spinning orbs of light  and lashed out with his whip again.   The links of his  Crimson Princess  wrapped around  the hōgyoku  and  sharp tug,  shattered it.  

Kisuke advanced on the shocked mafia boss, whip turned into sword, and eyes crimson from his Blood Eyes.   

“One last chance,” he said, “tell me who the White Mafia is, tell me who sold you the hōgyoku is, and I won’t make your death as  agonizing  as possible ,”  

“I don’t know! I don’t know!” The mafia don screamed, voice high and reedy, desperate.   

“I have no need to delay the execution order any longer then, do I?” Kisuke asked softly, stepping forward until the man’s still outstretched fingers touched his chest.   

The mafia don’s eyes bulged.    

A quick drop to the floor and a swift strike took the man’s legs off at the knees and another separated his arms from his torso. Kisuke watched dispassionately at the screaming man. He bisected the head to shut it up.   

A flash of gold.   

He whipped his head around.   

A familiar voice spoke, one that belonged to his biggest regret, one that he could never forget, “Looking for me?”