- Taiki Akimoto -
The barracks was barren, but to the new Captain, this was usual. Since the attack, before his own prime, the population had be sparse regardless of the attempts to increase the number of Shinigami. Akimoto walked around nodding and waving to those training or conversing with other squad members. The movements were smooth though he had weights on his arms, legs, and body. With this passive form of training his body, he was usually seen with odd contraptions and methods of hardening his body and further training for that day.
The mess hall was feeding a few dozen shinigami at this time. The Captain, though of high rank and personable demeanor, sat by himself today without making a sound as he knelt on the wooden floor. He began to meditate, almost like was praying, as some unseated shinigami brought him a banquet before him. "So, Mother, am I doing well today?"
"You're doing very well today, Son. I think you should keep those on for the rest of the day while you train more extensively than yesterday when you didn't have the weights, though. You are becoming stronger, my Son, and with your increasing Reiatsu levels, your blade will become heavier." The Phoenix advised atop the hill.
"Very well. Thank you, Mother."
"Thank you, Son."
The food in front of him was plentiful. 10 large platters with various foods piled on was his normal meal-time amount. He ate relatively quickly, as to not stay in a rested position for too long. The weights were heavy, as he increased it the day before due to the request of his 'Mother.' The utensil switched hands numerous times throughout the personal banquet. About halfway through the meal, the Lieutenant approached him.
"Sir, some of the members are thinking of holding a concert this evening to ease the tension within the barracks. I'm asking for your approval."
"Of course! Splendid idea, Lieutenant."
"Well, I..." he tried to deny the credit.
"I haven't heard music is such a long time. I'd love to hear what you all come up with."
"Eh..." he began, "we were also planning on inviting the other squads as well. More of a bonding experience, you know...uh, sir?"
"I like the idea, Lieutenant. I'll contact the Captain Commanders about this."
"Thank you, Captain."
Akimoto only nodded as he continued to finish his meal. "Smiles would be a nice change around here."
With the plates stacked for the kitchen to clean, he left for the training room to begin the exercise regiment her performed yesterday. Five addition reps were added to each exercise along with the body-weights. The other Shinigami watched in awe while their Captain grunted and sweated through the rigorous workout. Ten laps around the barracks, double the normal.
There were the inspired Shinigami who attempted to keep up but could only watch with exhaustion while their leader blazed ahead of them with determination. This determination was not for himself, however. "'Lily of the Valley is the Sacrifice of nature. Its beauty, the envy of man, is reaped from the ground and coveted. Is this the intent of Nature? To produce a wonder to only be taken from Her without Her consent but She so selflessly allows this is definition of Sacrifice.' My pain and fatigue is not so I become stronger than others. My pain and fatigue is to protect those in need. This is only a small sacrifice I can give for the countless innocent souls that don't deserve to be conquered or controlled but to be allowed to live in their own happiness and sorrows and faiths. As long as I can die for everyone to live, I will do so with a smile." He tried to push back the feeling of his determination to prove his worth to the other Captains who knew what they were up against.
It was late in the afternoon by the time he'd finished the advice of his Mother. By now, his clothes had lessened to a loin cloth soaked in the sweat that poured over his body along with the weights tied tightly around his forearms and shins.. It seems the jugs of water he drinks throughout the day are in vain while is seeps through the pores over his body. "Just another small sacrifice." And he went to the bath with a few other men he had the pleasure to motivate. They laughed and joked and gossiped about their 'adventures' which mostly included women as there hadn't been much for them to do other than hunt hollows. They boasted about their pride while their Captain sat there, listening and relaxing. Though the weights remained on his body, the warm water was soothing.
Once dressed properly to approach the Captain Commanders, he left the barracks to the Lieutenant as he went off with his request for entertainment for one night.
"Captain Commanders, The 5th Court Squad would be willing to put on a concert for the entirety of Seireitei. Those willing to come are welcome. I'm coming to you in hopes that you approve of the festivities and are will to take part in them if only for a short while."
With this invitation, Akimoto smiled as he knelt in front of the two leaders in their thrones.
- Seichio Jusuina -
Though a week had passed since she had finally graduated from the Academy, being there longer than any of her friends she had made at the beginning of her years there, she still felt lost. Her duties were unclear other than 'Train.' And though she worked with both the men and the women, she couldn't find any use to any of the resistance training other than swordplay. She seemed to exceed those in seated positions. The ones known for their skill in Zanjutsu were the ones she would train with and learn new techniques and better her knowledge of how to wield her Zanpakuto.
When she took the time to meditate with her Zanpakuto, she would see visions of forests and plains with life abounding everywhere. Akin to her love of nature, the realization that this was the realm in which her Zanpakuto lived only made her pursue the name of her Spirit Sword that much more. But her Kido and Hoho training with her peers got in the way at times as the training would turn into intense games. Kido wasn't her strongest suit but she could keep up with the others. However, she was always one of the fastest Shinigami around. Until a seated officer came into the picture, that is.
But this day, she wanted to relax, so she stayed in the Mess Hall for a while. As she talked, the Captain entered; his famous weights wrapped around his limbs. she knew he could communicate with his Zanpakuto so easily and envied the ability to do so. The two had met in Rukongai before he left for the Academy. And ever since, she fought hard to become a Shinigami herself. The reaction to her placement in Squad of ecstatic.
She believe she had a crush on him when the 'relationship' was in its early stages. However, she soon began to realize that it was more like brother and sister or father and daughter. She looked up to him. He was a great example of everything she wanted to be. Though he didn't notice, she was the one who cleaned up after him.
"Maybe he'll notice me when I sing in the concert. I bet he'll remember my voice."
She wasn't a singer but it was a hobby and she just wanted to fill a spot with her favorite lullaby from when she was a child. She learned the entire song it originated from and would sing it throughout the day.
When the Captain left to receive permission for such a festival she helped the other Shinigami in her squad set up for the concert. She continued to become excited and nervous as they prepared the barracks for the crowd they hoped to have.