The doors shut behind them as they entered. They saw a garden, not unlike the ones that Lord Seiryu had, white walls and gold roofed buildings, and men in black hakama running towards them with forked poles.
"This doesn't look like your description of Huecho Mundo," said Ryoga casually tossing aside the closest guy with a forked pole.
"You think?!" said Akuma shoving aside another.
"Don't draw your weapons or hurt anyone," said Lien Hua. "I think we are in the Soul Society!"
"Are these Soul Reapers?" asked Shiori the Aosagibi disarming another and using the pole he took to push others away.
"No, but I am!" said a man approaching with drawn sword. He wore a very dark blue hakama and long white haori with black diamond like markings at the hem. His long dark hair was gathered and separated into three strands by an odd ornament on the left side of his head. "Put your weapons down and submit to my guards.
"We haven't even drawn weapons, and we'll stand as still as you like if you call your dogs off," Akuma snapped back. "Better yet, Xin Le Hua, why don't you just take out your key to open the door again so we can just get out of here?! We're obviously in the wrong place!"
"No," said Lien Hua."There must be some reason why we came here instead. Perhaps they have some information on Hueco Mundo, or another way of getting there... It won't do any good to just go back and try again. This is where the key and the butterflies led us. I don't know of any other way to rescue Takumi and his family."
"Well I'm not going to let myself be manhandled by some humans!" said Akuma.
Key? Humans? Thought Arashi Kuchiki, the shinigami in blue and a captain's haori, as he noticed tendrils of plants reach up and grab his guards as hell butterflies circled the smiling red haired man with a large sword on his back, who was singing softly in a strange language, hands partly raised palm upward. "What are you?" he said sternly, raising his sword.
Conchobhar's group relaxed and did nothing as the men with the forked poles struggled with the twining plants (though Akuma did laugh at their discomfiture). With the attack stopped momentarily Lien Hua decided that now was the time to introduce themselves and state their purpose. "I am Lien Hua Fu," she began with a bow, speaking in a very friendly and apologetic tone of voice, "a soul reaper, but not of the Soul Society. I am such because of the Dragonsword and my association with Captain Korosu, my first teacher, and Kazuki who was with the Soul Society and a guardian of Falcon 6 Town in old Locura. This is my Nobody Xin Le Hua, and our husband Prince Conchobhar of Yokaisekai, who is half fay and half yokai," she said gesturing at each in turn. "These are my husband's team mates, Akuma, Kenka, Ryoga, Ekibyo, Shiori, and Dobutsu, all yokai from Yokaisekai. Our friend Takumi's wife and young children were taken to Hueco Mundo by a hollow and Takumi followed after. We were attempting to follow his trail and bring them back home, but for some reason we ended up here instead of there. I'm sorry for intruding where we should not have, but we must continue our journey somehow. I don't know if Kazuki is still here to vouch for me... so much has changed in the splitting of the world."
"Oh, I am well aware of what you are, Lien Hua the dragon princess," said Arashi Kuchiki coldly. He quickly sized up the group, a pretty motley one, but he was aware of the strange forms yokai had, as well as the power of fays, though the Soul Society had yet to enter the main areas they inhabited, Aleriand, the islands, and Yokaisekai, as they were considered nearly as dangerous Hueco Mundo. "We finally got the whole story from Kazuki, and no, he is not here. He and many others went missing when the world split, which seems to be the fault of your own people, princess. It isn't surprising to me that the renegade Korosu was your first teacher, even if we did consider him dead. You have caused us considerable trouble..."
"Yet her people came to Primavaldia long before yours did," Conchobhar pointed out, "and if the Great Fay Sulis, my mother's friend, had not come to your aid at the falling of it, and sacrificed her own life, those of yours that had come would not have survived."
Arashi glared at the grinning fay. It was very irritating to be caught off guard like this, in his own estate. Even if it were a "lesser" branch of the main family that now existed in some far off universe, he was still a Kuchiki, and head of the family in this one, as well as a captain of one of the 13 court guards. On top of this he knew that they would be needed alive to answer some of the questions that plagued their world, yet they didn't look like they would just let themselves be trussed up and delivered to the inquisitors. He sheathed his sword. "Release my guards and come with me," he ordered. "There will be no further further attacks on your party as long as you continue to refrain from aggression, and I shall forgive you your discourtesy of invading my estate." The red haired fay waved his hands and the plants gripping the guards went back into the soil, and the hell butterflies stopped circling his head and flittered off. Arashi turned to leave, keeping an eye on them anyway. Lien Hua noticed the markings for the number 6 within a black diamond outline on the back of his his haori.
"Come with you?" said Akuma disdainfully, "That all depends on where you're taking us!"
"I thought perhaps, into the house to have tea," he said rather imperiously.
"But we just had a big breakfast..." Ryoga complained.
"Not a meal, you bull headed lout," said Akuma, "tea... where you sit down, drink tea, and talk."
"That sounds pretty boring," the red oni grumbled.
"Well you can go take on the whole Soul Society, or whatever, if you want," said Kenka. "I just want to find out where Takumi is and get him back to Yokaisekai in time for the Tournament. If drinking tea will help, I'll drink tea."
"Talking would be good," said Lien Hua taking the lead in following the soul reaper. "I'm afraid I know very little about how the Soul Society works, and proper procedure here. Kazuki was rather vague," she said apologetically.
"I can imagine..." Arashi Kuchiki said leading the way along various buildings to a fairly large room. As the servants came bringing cushions and low tables like the ones used by both Lord Seiryu and Lord Byakko, Arashi Kuchiki excused himself for a moment. Away from his "guests" he composed several notes and sent them by messenger before returning. Then he sat down to be served tea.