Disclaimers, etc.: See chapter one and/or Disclaimers Page.
This chapter written on 08/07/2022
Opening Theme: Kuchibiru Kara Romantica by AAA
Ending Theme: Aitai Riyuu by AAA
Across the Dimensions
Fifth Division in the Red
Chapter Ten: Son of Princess
While our heroes balance both the fun of setting up the princess and the seriousness of a potential invasion from the royal realm (though no one tell the princess), who could forget the others, the heroes of Karakura Town? Well, before they join Momo’s plans, there is a little misunderstanding that should be cleared up.
Of course, the danger of clearing up a misunderstanding is leaving a different mess in its wake . . .
A little while ago, before Shirahime passed out in the eleventh division:
KARAKURA TOWN – URAHARA SHOP
Kisuke Urahara thought it strange that he would ever sit down to have a conversation like this with Soi Fon. Truth be told, he used to feel awkward around her thanks to her Yoruichi worship. Since Shirahime and Soi Fon officially became sisters, the awkwardness only increased.
He supposed this would make him Soi Fon’s father now.
About as much sense as Yachiru being older than Daichi.
No, no. That actually made sense. Regardless of how they looked, Yachiru was in fact older, both in shinigami standards and in former god standards.
Seated across from him, Soi Fon sipped her tea. Her eyes remained on the folded note, the Chinese characters for “great wisdom” written in bold strokes. It was in three characters, not two.
Without the last of the three characters, Kisuke would have first read it as the Japanese name Daichi rather than Chinese. Except anyone who knew would be aware the reincarnated princess did not write in Japanese. She wrote in Simplified or Traditional Chinese, and everything she sent was in either. The day she wrote in Japanese would be the day anyone knew she in fact did not write the document.
“So, this is it, then?” Soi Fon nodded at the paper. “This is the reason you had Unohana and Kurotsuchi bring sister and my nephew back here?”
“They were both going to die,” he said.
Not too long ago, Shirahime went on a mission that ended horribly wrong. She was hardly recognizable, but she still cradled Daichi to her chest. She used her spiritual power to keep him alive and try to heal him. It was a losing battle, but she would give anything to save her kids. She would have at least tried.
“She was too injured to save both him and herself,” Kisuke admitted. “Yet she would have given her life for any of her kids, you know that.”
“Of course, I do. Only a fool doesn’t. Just like only an idiot actually believes Daichi is adopted and not her actual son.”
“Well, I’m a bit pleased Soul Society has such idiots.”
“Because of his father?” Soi Fon guessed. “So, they won’t ask that question? This note has only a phrase referring to Daichi’s name. It has nothing else on it. But it did, didn’t it?”
“Come on, Urahara. I think I should know.”
“The less people the better.”
“Then why don’t you and Lady Yoruichi just acknowledge Kenpachi Zaraki as his father? There, problem solved.”
Urahara said nothing.
“What, are you afraid of what she’ll say or what Daichi will say? Because I’m telling you right now, Zaraki will not mind. I think the only thing he regrets – besides her recent kidnapping and broken engagement – is that they haven’t had other kids yet. Believe it or not, he’s a family man. And I’m more than certain them not having more children is not from lack of trying.”
“Then there’s Yumichika.”
“Yeah, not from lack of trying there either.”
Urahara looked away.
“I’m no doctor. I’m no scientist,” Soi Fon said. “But it’s clear zero division and who knows who else over in that realm did something to her. And by that I don’t mean the obvious. I meant something to prevent her from getting pregnant. Surely, you’ve already figured that out. I won’t believe Mayuri Kurotsuchi is actually ahead of you on something.”
“Not impossible these days. Not when it comes to her.”
Soi Fon rolled her eyes. “You can’t be serious about the two of them.”
“He worships her. I’m sure the head of the stealth force figured that out already.”
It was her turn to look away.
“I’ve passed it off as scientific curiosity,” she explained. “Somehow in his older age, Sou Taicho doesn’t seem to notice certain things. Then again, it’s hard to explain Sou Taicho’s relationship with her. Technically, he has to answer to her. I know he can’t wait for her to be gone. But still, it’s better he doesn’t know about Kurotsuchi. The fact that Yumichika is gay by popular opinion probably keeps him from noticing his relationship with her. In the end, what can we do? They will drag her back eventually. The only thing keeping them away now is whatever is going on over there. She knows, of course, but she’s not going to tell us.”
“Probably protecting us. In the end, we are mortal. And she isn’t. At least I don’t think so anymore.”
KARAKURA TOWN – ELSEWHERE
Yoruichi Shihoin wandered into a local bakery. The large three tier wedding cake caught her eye. She eyed the strawberries decorating it and thought that this was only display, surely not all cakes looked this good.
“Hello!” the shopkeeper greeted her. She caught her eying the cake. “Planning a wedding? I can help you find the perfect cake.”
“Oh, well, that got postponed for a bit,” she admitted. “Actually, I am looking for a birthday cake.”
“Well, cold feet happens quite a bit. I’m sure things will clear up in no time. Any requests for the cake? Ideas?”
“I’m not sure. It’s for my grandson. We’ve never had a birthday party for him before.”
“Oh, how exciting! His first birthday.”
“You could say that.”
“Well, since he’s so young, he may like anything. Though chocolate is usually a hit.”
Yoruichi nodded. “Maybe he’d like that.”
“At that age, they’re usually easy to please with sweets. I’m sure you remember when your child was that age. I bet his mom or dad was just the same.”
Yoruichi plastered on a smile. She tried to imagine Shirahime when she was Daichi’s age. She wondered if she had a favorite cake flavor. Yoruichi thought of all the things she saw at human birthday parties and fought back tears knowing she had never had those moments.
If only Kisuke had actually wanted her.
She looked to the door. Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends just came in.
“I thought I saw you in here,” Ichigo said.
“Are you looking for a cake – a wedding cake?” Orihime asked.
“Wedding cake?” Ichigo asked. “Who’s getting married?”
Chad looked to him. No way he was this clueless.
“Hime-sama and Zaraki, remember?” Uryu prompted.
“Hime-sama?” Ichigo repeated. “Shira? No way, I’m not even eighteen yet. And what do you mean to Zaraki?”
“Uh, Ichigo, you do remember Shirahime was getting married to Zaraki, right?” Orihime asked.
“Over my dead body! Dad promised he’d give me permission to get married when I’m eighteen.”
“Oh, how cute,” the shopkeeper cut in. The group nearly forgot the woman. “You must be her grandson’s father,” the woman assumed. “How good to see you being responsible.”
The woman turned a sympathetic look to Yoruichi. “How hard it must be to have a child so young.”
“Her grandson’s father?” Uryu asked.
“Yes,” the shopkeeper said. “Will you be picking out the birthday cake as well? It must be so exciting, your child’s first birthday.”
Ichigo’s friends looked to each other. Chad mouthed “first birthday?”
“Oh, you’re mistaken,” Orihime began, “Ichigo’s not -.”
“Why, yes, my son’s birthday cake. Of course.”
“Ichigo!” Uryu hissed. “Daichi isn’t -.”
“Of course, he’s my son. Yachiru’s my daughter, so he’s my son.”
“Oh, twins!” the shopkeeper exclaimed. “What a blessing. You should have mentioned both.”
“Ichigo!” Yoruichi yelled at him. “We will discuss this later.”
She turned back to the shopkeeper. “Yes, chocolate. A good choice. His sister likes that, too. I wanted to get a separate cake.”
“How about a chocolate cake and a strawberry cake? Besides, their father is named Ichigo after all.”
“What a good idea,” Orihime agreed, not catching the last part about Ichigo’s name.
“I think that’s great. Everyone will like it,” Chad agreed. It seemed everyone skipped right over the reference to strawberry.
Uryu kept his gaze on Ichigo. It was not good he said he was the father of Shirahime’s children again. He had to quit doing that. People were really going to lose it if they saw them side-by-side. A teenage boy claiming he was the father of an adult woman’s child. And now, more than one child. Uryu figured Shirahime would kill him before the wrong person heard that.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Yoruichi decided. She paid the deposit for the cakes and took a business card. She apologized for having to leave so quickly, but the shopkeeper brushed it off as the stress of having to put up with such a young family. Much to Yoruichi’s surprise, the shopkeeper didn’t start shunning them after Ichigo gave her the impression he was a teenage father. Well, forget impression, he actually said it.
Yoruichi waited until they were a decent distance away from the shop when she turned on Ichigo.
Ichigo beat her with a question. “Why didn’t you mention it was Daichi’s birthday?”
“What?” she asked. “Hang on. No, that’s not what we’re discussing. Why did you say you were his father?”
“I’m Yachiru’s father. So, I’m his father, too.”
“Clearly your father didn’t explain to you that baby talk, did he?”
“You’re not Yachiru’s father.”
“Yoruichi, of course I am.”
Yoruichi turned fully to him. “Ichigo Kurosaki, you may be the reincarnation of Yachiru’s father, but both you and Yachiru are on new lives now. You are not her father. Kenpachi Zaraki is.”
Orihime frowned. She was getting a bad feeling about this.
“Then why is Shirahime Yachiru’s mother or Daichi’s? It’s not like she gave birth to them or anything.”
Ichigo’s friends stepped back.
Yoruichi punched him.
“What’s the difference, Yoruichi?” he asked as he rubbed his lip. “If she can say she’s their mother because she is the reincarnation of their mother, then I can say I’m their father.”
“You’re a child, Ichigo. That’s what she thinks of you. She’ll never agree. And Zaraki would kill you.”
“Then why does she let Hitsugaya follow her around? I’m older than him.”
“You have no idea.”
SOUL SOCIETY – TWELFTH DIVISION – AROUND THE SAME TIME
Mayuri Kurotsuchi sat in his room, his mind replaying Shirahime’s visit. He missed her, that other her. That part of her might not come back.
Nemu came in quietly.
“Are you alright, Mayuri-sama?” she asked.
“Fine. Just thinking of how to fulfill Shinnouhi’s request.”
“I’m certain you will succeed, Mayuri-sama. You are the best scientist Soul Society has ever seen.” She smiled, something she did not do often.
“Is there something else?” he asked.
“Would it be wrong of me, Mayuri-sama, to be pleased she came by again? Since she came back, she’s been avoiding it. Avoiding you, Mayuri-sama, if I may say so. Still, she came here today. Would it be wrong of me to wish things were the way they used to be?”
“No,” he answered quietly. “And I’m sure you aren’t the only one.” He didn’t mention himself, but maybe Nemu knew. Perhaps he didn’t mention himself, because he did not want to admit it.
He allowed his mind to wander, to older times.
Until suddenly he felt that same boom everyone else did.
KARAKURA TOWN – URAHARA SHOP
Yoruichi’s argument with Ichigo lasted all the way back to Urahara’s shop. Ururu and Jinta knew it was trouble the minute they heard Ichigo calling himself the father of Shirahime’s children.
Ichigo’s friends stopped outside and decided they would be safer out there. Ichigo would be in for another level of a world of hurt once Urahara joined in.
“Did you just say you were my niece’s and nephew’s father?”
The three friends heard Soi Fon Taicho from inside.
“He’s as good as dead,” Chad said.
“I don’t understand,” Orihime said. “Shirahime doesn’t want Ichigo to keep saying those things, but he does sometimes.”
“She said he’s having problems with his reincarnation. That his past self has been interfering,” Uryu said.
“Well, she did just get back from the other realm,” Chad explained. “Ichigo just about lost his mind while she was away.”
KARAKURA TOWN – URAHARA SHOP – INSIDE
Ichigo Kurosaki was going to experience some serious pain.
Only to be saved by an urgent alert from Soul Society.
Soi Fon picked up her communicator, only to find it was not the one beeping.
Urahara glared at Ichigo as he hit a button on the computer screen in the main room.
“I hope she’s in a good mood,” he said as he watched Nemu’s face appear on the screen.
“Urahara,” she greeted. “Lady Yoruichi needs to come here now.”
“What’s happened?” Yoruichi asked.
“We don’t know yet. But it would be a good idea to -.”
Soi Fon grimaced as she heard her fukutaicho’s voice.
“Soi Fon Taicho, you’d better come back.”
“What’s going on?” Soi Fon asked him.
“We don’t know, but this spiritual power is -.”
Both Soi Fon’s communication device and the connection with Nemu went silent.
Speechless for a moment, Urahara finally muttered, “We’re blocked out.”
“What do you mean blocked out, Urahara?” Ichigo asked.
Uryu and the others rushed in.
“Did you feel that?” Orihime asked.
“Feel what?” Ichigo asked.
“Well, it’s just -.” Orihime began to stutter.
“Just?” Urahara prompted.
“My Shun Shun Rikka – it’s like they disappeared.”
Soi Fon looked to Kisuke who was suddenly uninterested. “’Fess up.”
“About what?” he asked.
“Kisuke!” Yoruichi snapped.
“Orihime’s power comes from the Soul King,” Kisuke admitted. “That’s why it doesn’t work on your sister. Her little fairies are scared to death of her. Orihime can’t ever be their master. Shirahime is the only one who could be.”
“Not even the king?” Soi Fon asked.
“You have no idea what a mess things are there. But among other things, the king’s an elder god in title only.”
“Great. So now you inform me.” Soi Fon was ready to hit him.
“You mean you knew all this time?” Ichigo asked.
“Are you serious, Urahara? What’s next, she’s the king’s daughter and not his would-be daughter-in-law?” Uryu asked.
“Hey!” Ichigo objected.
Kisuke looked away.
“Now’s not the time to pretend you know nothing,” Yoruichi insisted.
“Shirahime’s title as Imperial Princess isn’t based on marriage,” Kisuke admitted. “She keeps that title no matter what.”
“Then why do they keep insisted on marrying her off?” Uryu asked.
“Blame him.” Yoruichi looked to Kisuke.
“Do you have to bring that up now?” Kisuke asked.
“No,” Yoruichi admitted. “We have to find a way in.”
“Well,” Soi Fon sighed. “Since you’re in an admitting mood, Urahara, anything else we should know? Like who Daichi’s father is?”
“I’m his father,” Ichigo insisted.
“Shut up, Ichigo!” Uryu and Chad screamed.
I recently read that Japan changed its age of consent for marriage a few years ago. This story does not take place in the present (2022 at the moment). For purposes of this story, during the year this story takes place, people in Japan can get married without parental consent at age 20. With parental consent, they may get married at 18. This is just for purposes of this story and not any reflection or commentary on actual laws.
In case someone did not catch it, nobody is happy Ichigo ever calls himself the father of Shirahime’s children. This reincarnation identity crisis has been an issue since White Princess Rebirth’s final chapter, but clearly shows up in The Reincarnation.