After crippling the Tres Bestia with ease, Quilge Opie seems happy to see Ichigo, and unlike Ichigo, he knows all about him. His king has designated him a “special threat” that he’s to neutralize with all due haste. When Ichigo demonstrates he can catch and deflect Quilge’s projectiles, he levels up to a stronger form.
Ichigo hangs in there while Inoue shields Chad, Loly, and Menoly, but Quilge blocks his Getsuga Tenshou. In the midst of gloating, he’s suddenly coldcocked by a giant fist: the Tres Bestia have come to, and each sacrificed their left arms to create Ayon, a massive berserking brute of an Arrancar. It pummels Qulge into the sand, arresting the degregation of Inoue’s shield.
In the living world, Ishida pores through the books in his father Ryuuen’s library, and is scolded for doing so. He then rifles through Ryuuen’s desk, and finds an old black Quincy tome with some manner of secrets that aren’t disclosed to us, but give Ishida great pause.
In Soul Society, the Gotei 13 prepare for war, not waiting the five days indicated by the initial Quincy invaders. The Sixth seat of the 13th Squad tells the two scrubs that while Shinigami are all about balancing souls, Quincy utterly destroy them, resulting in an imbalance that will eventually destroy both worlds.
How exactly this benefits the Quincy is unknown, at least to me. Do they dwell in some realm beyond both worlds, or do they have no intention of surviving those worlds’ annihilation as long as Soul Society pays for their genocide? Revenge at any cost?
Whatever the case, Captain Kurotsuchi blames Head Captain Yamamoto-Genryuusai for this whole mess, for failing to kill the Quincy King when he had the chance centuries ago. Kurotsuchi, by the way, is the one responsible for the deaths of 28,000 denizens of Soul Society, all in order to balance the scales of souls
The Tre Bestia stand over the fallen Quilge, but when a gloating Apacci approaches him, he runs her through with a sword of light, then uses his Quincy powers to absorb and merge with Ayon to become what he deems an unattractive but ultimately necessary monster. He’s ready to kill one and all of the assembled Arrancar and humans, but then Ichigo intervenes in his Bankai form, ready to rumble once more.
But ultimately, Ichigo has already fallen right into the Quincy King’s trap. While he’s busy fighting Quilge in Hueco Mundo, the King and the other Stern Ritter (the equivalent of Captains or Espada) arrive at Soul Society and waste no time slaughtering the hapless lower-level Shinigami.
Pillars of blue flame erupt from all over, resulting in looks of concern from all the Gotei 13 captains and lieutenants you’ll already know if you’ve watched a sufficient amount of Bleach like I have throughout the years. I’m overjoyed to report that among them is our girl Kuchiki Rukia, who finally makes an appearance. I just wish it was under happier circumstances.