The Sexta Espada let him come at full speed, the rise in reiatsu strong but not impressive in the slightest. Just when the tip of the spear reached Grimmjow’s flesh, he easily side stepped it and grabbed onto the shaft.
“This the best you can do, princess?” he sneered at him, his hold on the wood crushingly tight. “Better call for more back up ‘fore I decide to skewer ya with your own stick!”
With a shout he attempted to toss Ikkaku up using the shaft as a handle. If he could get him airborne, it would be piñata whacking time!
As the Arrancar jerked on Houzukimaru the shaft seperated and Ikkaku flipped the end in his hand, continuing to drive forward and looking to bloody the blue-haired freak's nose up a little. Ikkaku loved having a zanpaku like Houzukimaru- not only for the fact that at first glance everyone always took it for a simple spear but also because Ikkaku had spent decades working his technique to take every advantage of the versatile and unpredictable nature of his weapon.
This wasn't going to be an easy fight for himself, Ikkaku knew, and he'd be damned if he was going to make it easy for the invader.
Nanao frowned as she watched. Her zanpakutou spun in a steady wheel in front of her, glistening in the moonlight.
It looked as if the Arrancar had a high enough reiatsu to make low-powered attacks totally worthless, much like Zaraki-taichou. Couple that with impressive speed, and he was very dangerous. She'd need full chant if she was to have any luck in getting kidou to affect him, and she'd need some of the higher-level kidou at that. Either binding to hold him still while Madarame hit him, or blasting while he was distracted by Madarame.
She racked her brains for suitable incantations as she watched the fight, ready to move at a moment's notice if the Arrancar decided to blast more of the surrounding architecture.
Grimmjow’s eyes widened slightly as the weapon’s shaft seemed to collapse in his hands. What, were their zanpakutou’s that weak!?!
‘No,’ he thought as he saw the chains connecting the three pieces together. This wasn’t a spear at all.
Taking advantage of his surprise, Ikkaku aimed a piece at Grimmjow’s face, but he caught it with his other hand. Now holding the two end segments of Houzukimaru, Grimmjow grinned at the shinigami.
“Nice trick,” he sneered. “But that won’t save you from me!”
Tugging at the weapon again, he yanked Ikkaku towards him while driving his head forward, seeking to head butt the other.
The invader's reaction time caught Ikkaku off-guard and even as he's jerked forward, Ikkaku leaned back, minimizing the damage to a bloody nose instead of anything broken.
And, even as he was pulled in his foot kicked up, the force of the head-butt meeting foot halfway should make the Arrancar's eyes water and throat choke in retaliation.
Ikkaku wiped the blood from his face, sneering and grinning. "You think that's somethin' you've had a sad existence." He gripped Houzukimaru in both hands in a defensive position and waited for the next move.
It was good to see that Ikkaku wasn't going down on the first blow, but somehow Nanao didn't think the intruder had shown his true strength yet.
Irritatingly, the two were both close-combat fighters. That meant she couldn't use any wide-scale blasting spells -- Ikkaku would probably be caught in the area of effect, and if she were to use enough power to hope to damage the Arrancar, she'd certainly damage Ikkaku.
That meant it'd have to be one of the more exotic spells. Black Coffin would be perfect, if she could handle it -- Nanao was prepared to admit that she wasn't Aizen Sousuke's equal in kidou. And the Abolishing Flames kidou required a degree of reiatsu that'd overpower the target's own level; again, something she wasn't quite sure she could manage. Maybe if she had a better idea of Grimmjow's level. Maybe if she kept watching.
In the meantime, slowing him down couldn't hurt. She set her fingers in the pattern for the Iron Pillar kidou. "Walls of iron sand," she muttered, focusing, "a priestly pagoda, glowing ironclad fireflies . . ."
Releasing the shinigami’s weapon, Grimmjow jumped back a little, his eyes burning at the kick.
“Huh,” Grimmjow grunted as he massaged his throat, the guttural noise also serving to clear his airway. So this punk liked to brawl, did he? He should have brought Edorad and a few others along with him; it might have been half-entertaining to see what would have happened.
But it was just him now, and as he blinked some tears away, he grinned. Well, he’d just have to tell his fraccion all about this one when he got back to Hueco Mundo.
Tucking his left hand into his pocket, he motioned Ikkaku forward.
“If ya got more than that, ya better bring it out now. ‘s rude to keep a guest waitin’!”
Content to let the other make the first move, he was completely unaware of Nanao chanting her spell.
Well, she certainly wasn't going to keep their unwanted guest waiting.
"Standing upright, silent to the end," she completed the incantation, and raised her hands to release the kidou. "Quintet of Iron Pillars!"
Five huge thick pillars of iron unfolded out of the air, slamming into the ground around Grimmjow, tight enough to near-crush him between them.
Nanao pursed her lips thoughtfully. If he could break these, it'd give her some idea of his strength. At the least, it should distract him.
And maybe she'd better be ready to dodge, just in case he was a lot stronger than she'd imagined.
[OOC: Grimmjow can probably shatter/topple these with an effort. He is tuff d00d, after all.]
At the last of Nanao's incantation, Ikkaku slammed the sections of Houzukimaru back together, putting a bit of distance between himself and Grimmjow. He twirled the spear in two hands- building up greater momentum than if he used just one. When the pillars crashed together, Ikkaku shot forward at full speed and while he probably had a split-second of surprise to make a killing move, most likely the higher ups wanted this one alive for questioning. He thrusted Houzukimaru, intent to if not take off an arm at least leave it useless.
“The Hell?” Grimmjow exclaimed in surprise as he suddenly found himself trapped. Bright blue eyes stared at the iron pillars surrounding and confining him, his arms and legs pressed tightly to his sides.
With great difficulty he turned his head around, just enough to catch the shinigami woman standing a distance away from them. Shit! He thought she’d run away like a coward, but it seemed she’d stuck around for the show. When he broke free from this cheap prison (and he was working on that already, his muscles tensing as he tried to push the pillars over) he was going to shove one of these things right through her guts!
But his thoughts of revenge were what cost him the use of his arm.
Grimmjow suddenly yelled in pain as the familiar feel of a blade entered his left shoulder, dark gouts of blood immediately staining his white jacket. His hierro skin kept the blade from completely piercing through to the other side, but he felt the tip of the weapon scratching against his bone. Facing his opponent again, the arrancar snarled at him.
“You can’t fight me on your own, punk?” he growled as he grabbed Houzukimaru’s shaft again, one of the pillars breaking right in half. Grimmjow’s reiatsu flared to threateningly high levels, the rest of the pillars cracking and buckling under the pressure. Small pieces of his prison started to come off the columns and fly into the air as it rode the currents created by his power.
“You’ll regret not making that a killing blow!” he grinned manically.
Nanao hastily relocated herself to a rooftop a bit further off, as Grimmjow began to shatter the pieces, and spared a very irritated thought in the direction of Aizen Sousuke.
This monster was . . . strong.
A pity that they couldn't send an invitation to Zaraki-taichou; then again, if the two of them started fighting, they might have to rebuild half of Seireitai again.
She started to frame the words of the Abolishing Flames kidou, and hoped that she'd have enough reiatsu to make it felt.
Ikkaku's jaw clenched tight tight enough to pop, coming to realize what exactly it is he's up against. The grip on Houzukimaru didn't budge as he tried to pull away, bits of the kidou flying past him. Ikkaku kicked at the wound- slightly mulified that he was at least capable of incapacitating him.
The reiatsu was almost sufficating and Ikkaku felt it pressing down in his brain, his insides. Shit, he didn't want to have to do this. Especially not where any and everyone could see him. If the vice-captain's next attack didn't put a hurting on him, Ikkaku would be forced to go all out, like it or not.
The kick was enough to break him loose from his already collapsing prison. The five pillars fell to the ground far below them as Grimmjow was propelled backwards from the shinigami’s strike. More blood stained his jacket further as the wound leaked uncontrollably.
“You’re dead now,” he said as he flexed the hand he’d been using to hold Houzukimaru. His entire left arm felt numb, a feeling he wasn't completely worried about. “I didn’t think I’d have to-“
Abruptly cutting himself off, he jumped into the sky as another kidou spell came perilously close to incinerating him. Glaring at the rapidly burning roof tiles, he spat bloody saliva into the fire.
“But first, I take care of that interfering woman!” he exclaimed, turning his sights on Nanao and pushed off the roof, aiming straight towards her.
Nanao had sparred with her Captain enough times to know what to do when an opponent of superior physical strength and reiatsu came in her direction.
Three words. Run like buggery. Well, run, dodge, and otherwise avoid. And meanwhile, she hoped that Ikkaku was going to take the opportunity to launch a full-strength attack while the opponent was occupied elsewhere, since now it was her turn to hold his attention.
Nanao flashed from rooftop to rooftop like a rabbit who had mastered the art of flash stepping, dodging from side to side to avoid any blasts, more concerned with staying ahead of Grimmjow than trying any immediate counter-measures. However, her running wasn't entirely at random; she was moving in a circle, hopefully leading him around and back to where Ikkaku would be able to get in an unexpected counter-strike.
Ikkaku bristled as Grimmjow bolted from him and was about to shout after him as he started attacking the vice-captain. It's not so much that Ikkaku didn't think she could handle herself but this was his fight, dammit! He was already making concessions working with her and now this? Feh, see if he tried to play nice with other divisions ag-
Wait... ooooh, he got it now. Ikkaku grinned and dropped out of the sky and back into the alleyways going on an intersecting path to Ise. He stopped under the overhang of a roof, focusing his reiatsu and waited.