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for whom the bell tolls

Momo wakes up in Aizen's room, and finds that she overslept and her Captain is gone. Momo hurries of to a meeting, but stops in her tracks when she finds Aizen... impaled on his own zanpakutou ("soul cutter," a special sword with unique abilities belonging to Shinigami) high up on a building. She screams, and other Shinigami come running. They all look on in horror as Momo cries out to her Captain. Then Gin enters the scene, with the usual smile on his face, asking what all the fuss is about. Momo recalls Hitsugaya's warning, and flies into a rage, rushing at Gin with her sword drawn, accusing him of killing Aizen. Gin's Vice Captain and Momo's long time friend, Kira Izuru, blocks her attack. Momo demands that Kira step down. He refuses, and the two release their zanpakutous and begin a fight, until Hitsugaya jumps in and stops the scuffle. Momo and Kira are restrained and arrested, while Gin looks on in amusement. Hitsugaya warns Gin that if he makes Momo shed even one drop of blood, he will kill him. Gin tells Histugaya not to let Momo near the bad guys.

Locked in a jail cell, Momo receives a letter from Hitsugaya's Vice Captain, Matsumoto Rangiku, containing Aizen's last words. In the letter, Aizen apologizes for causing Momo grief and hiding what he had learned from her. There was a conspiracy, he learned, and the name of the one behind it leaves Momo in absolute shock. Meanwhile, Unohana Retsu, Captain of the Fourth Division, examines the corpse and determines that it was a homicide. News of Aizen's murder spreads through Soul Society, shocking nearly everyone it reaches. This shock indicates the opinion that many held towards Aizen; he was respected and well-liked by most, and the fact that anyone could want to murder the man was a gigantic surprise.

As the intruders get closer to Rukia, the chaos in Soul Society increases. Word reaches Hitsugaya that Momo and Kira have escaped from their cells. Hitsugaya leaves to find Momo, and runs into Gin and Kira. As he begins to draw his sword on Gin, Momo leaps onto the scene. Histugaya warns her not to attack Gin. But Momo turns her sword on Histugaya, tearfully accusing him of killing Aizen. His final letter revealed that Histugaya intended to use the power of the soukyoku, which will be released for Rukia's execution, to destroy Soul Society. The night Momo fell asleep in his room, Aizen left to meet Hitsugaya. If he failed, Aizen's final wish was for Momo to carry it out. Histugaya argues that the letter can't be true, but Momo's faith in her Captain pushes her to attack him, even though she did not want to believe that he was guilty. Hitsugaya stops the attack and knocks Momo out, determining that Gin must be the one wanting to make him fight Momo. Noticing that her hands are bloody from gripping her zanpakutou, Hitsugaya fulfills his promise that if Gin made Momo shed one drop of blood, he would kill him. Hitsugaya releases his bankai, and the two begin to fight. The brawl stops when Matsumoto arrives and Momo is brought back to recover. Then the word comes that Rukia's execution date has been changed, and she will be executed the next day at noon. Hitsugaya hears the news, and leaves to go after Gin, believing him to be the one wanting to destroy Soul Society.

"Bleach" and its characters © Kubo Tite. All other content belongs to Michelle.