He really should have done this sooner.
Time and time again, Isshin had asked himself why. And he’d never had an answer. Maybe he was scared of being hated. Maybe he didn’t know how to face the accusations. Perhaps he didn’t want to admit that he had been powerless and it was actually his fault Masaki died.
Or maybe it was the promise he’d made to Masaki. That he’d keep their son, their daughters, their family away from the mess that was Soul Society and the Shinigami. That he’d do his utmost best to protect Ichigo from the betrayals and the backstabbing and the closed-minds. He’d hoped that if he never explained anything, Ichigo would never have to become involved.
He’d been terribly wrong.
So why hadn’t Isshin acted sooner? Why hadn’t he said something when it became increasingly obvious that his son was getting entangled in Shinigami politics? By then, maybe it was too late to have said anything at all. To have done anything. And at that point, he would only be hated. Better to be thought a fool than that.
Now… now, he couldn’t stand idly by anymore. Kisuke had a point. And for Yuzu and Karin’s sake, he had to protect their brother. Ichigo needed him; he could no longer ignore that fact. And it was time he did as he was supposed to, as a father was supposed to. It was time he ignored the consequences and weakness bedamned and went to save his son.
With that in mind, Isshin left his daughters in Kisuke’s care. He could count on the blond to protect them as if they were his own. He also left his carefully crafted gigai with the man and stepped into the world – for only the second time during his self-imposed banishment – in his spirit form. It felt strange to him, like wind blowing on raw skin, abrasive but freeing.
His zanpakutou thrummed at his side, reiatsu stretching from his body to seek out anything familiar. Anything powerful. Practically eager to test its mettle, much like himself. Skills he hadn’t used in years suddenly seemed as easy as if he’d been practicing every day. His decision settled across his shoulders, and his feet felt lighter than they had in years.
It was about time he did this. He really should have done this sooner. He could only hope that Ichigo would forgive him for the deceit.
Isshin was going to Hueco Mundo.