Emerging from a dark cloud with his mask on, Ichigo claims that he doesn’t have time to explain and immediately attacks Grimmjow with a point-blank range Getsuga Tenshou. Across town, Hitsugaya isn’t able to do any damage to Yammy without activating his ban kai, and Yumichika’s faring poorly against Luppi. Ikkaku doesn’t help his friend because he isn’t interested in fighting two against one, though this gives Luppi an idea. He asks Yammy to give him Hitsugaya and then proposes that he fight all four Shinigami at once in his released form. Remembering what Shawlong could do in his released form Hitsugaya activates his ban kai and charges Luppi, but he doesn’t make it in time to stop him. Before the dust can clear from Luppi’s release, a tentacle strikes out at him, though Hitsugaya is able to block it with his ice wings. As it turns out, Luppi’s released form gives him eight tentacles, and he proceeds to attack Hitsugaya with all of them at once, causing the captain to crash into the ground. Meanwhile, Rukia has arrived in the real world and finds Renji getting a massage from the three mod-souls, so Renji explains how he exhausted his spiritual pressure in training and how Urahara went out instead of him or Sado.
Back above the city, Grimmjow is badly wounded from Ichigo’s attack and realizes that this isn’t a Shinigami’s strength. He demands to know what Ichigo did in this past month, but Ichigo reiterates that he doesn’t have time to explain and sandwiches Grimmjow between two Getsuga Tenshou attacks. As Grimmjow falls towards the ground, he manages to fire off a Cero blast that forces Ichigo to stop and defend himself. Grimmjow then flies back up and clashes swords with Ichigo several times before Ichigo regains his advantage and gets ready to make a swing that will end this. Unfortunately for him, his mask breaks right at that moment, and Grimmjow quickly uses the opportunity to retaliate. By now, Luppi is fighting Rangiku, Ikkaku, and Yumichika all at once and manages to grab all three with his tentacles. Admiring Rangiku’s body in particular, he sprouts some spikes on another of his tentacles and offers to fill her with holes. Before he can do so though, Urahara shows up and cuts off those two tentacles. However, shortly after Urahara introduces himself, Wonderwice Margera attacks him, and Urahara has to defend himself.
In Soul Society, Inoue is allowed passage through the dangai to the real world and is given two Shinigami as escorts. As they’re running through though, a rift in the dimensional fabric opens up and Ulquiorra appears. Recognizing him from the previous battle, Inoue tries to stop him from hurting her escorts, but he ignores her and blows away half of one Shinigami. Before that Shinigami can die, Inoue uses her power to start healing him and tells the other guy to run away. That escort doesn’t get a chance to do so because Ulquiorra blows a huge chunk out of him too, forcing Inoue to expand her healing to cover both men. Admiring Inoue’s power, Ulquiorra tells her to come with him and instructs her to reply with a yes. If she says anything other than that, he threatens to kill not her, but her friends who are currently struggling in their battles in the real world. He then reveals that Aizen wants her power and that he’s been sent to bring her back unharmed, so he’s ordering her to come with him.
In Las Noches, Ulquiorra and Yammy arrive in a room as Aizen about to complete an Arrancar using the 50% awakened Hougyoku. Despite its state, Aizen knows that he can temporarily fully awaken the Hougyoku by fusing it with someone who has twice as much spiritual pressure as a captain - someone such as himself. It is through this method that he finishes creating a young-looking Arrancar who identifies himself as Wonderwice Margera. With this done, Aizen sends Ulquiorra to execute the instructions he gave a month ago, and although he lets Ulquiorra choose who he wants to take with him, Aizen personally asks Grimmjow if he wants to go. Back at the Vizard camp, it’s been one month since Ichigo started his training, yet he’s only able to maintain his Hollow form for only 10 seconds. With two months left, Shinji feels that time is running out. Meanwhile in Soul Society, Hisagi finds Ukitake watching Inoue and Rukia train after Rukia had come to him personally to ask him to open up the training area. He’s glad that Rukia has a friend even if it is with a human, though he admits Inoue isn’t any normal human. As for Hisagi, he’s here to give Ukitake a magazine since he’s taken on of more captain duties in the absence of so many people. After Hisagi leaves to take care of other business, Ukitake thinks about little time they have and hopes that this temporary peace can last a little longer.
In the real world, Yumichika is getting quite frustrated with his zanpaktou while the others are trying to having a quiet dialogue with their swords. Soon after Ikkaku notices how fast the clouds are moving, all of them sense the arrival of four Arrancar. Among this group is Grimmjow who flies off as soon as he realizes that Ichigo isn’t here, and though Yammy tries to get him to stop, the Arrancar named Luppi thinks that it doesn’t matter since Grimmjow isn’t an Espada anymore. As Yammy leaps down to fight, Hitsugaya meets him halfway and the two introduce themselves. Luppi, the new No. 6, meanwhile faces off against Ikkaku and Yumichika while Rangiku tries to fight Wonderwice, but the boy is too intrigued by the nearby birds to care. Across the city, Ichigo has also sensed the Arrancar’s arrivals and wants to head out, but he’s held back by Love and Kensei. To their surprise, Shinji lets Ichigo go, and Ichigo rushes off.
News of this has also reached Soul Society, but Inoue can’t go back to the real world until she can get safe passage through the dangai since she doesn’t have a Hell Butterfly. After saying that she’ll be waiting for Inoue, Rukia hurries towards the gate thinking about how it’s too early for the Espada to have appeared.
By now, Ichigo has reached Grimmjow and almost immediately initiates ban kai. Grimmjow isn’t impressed, but Ichigo reminds him that the scar he has is from an attack Ichigo did while in ban kai. When Ichigo then asks Grimmjow about his absent left arm, Grimmjow claims that he threw it away and doesn’t need two arms to kill Ichigo. As Grimmjow starts to power up, Ichigo gets ready to put on his Hollow mask, knowing that he has to finish this fight in the 11 seconds he can stay in that form. Over at Urahara’s shop, Renji tries to keep Sado from leaving to go help in the battle, but Urahara wants both of them to rest and decides to go personally in their place.
Returning to the room where the Hougyoku was stolen, Aizen dissipates Ulquiorra’s body and sheaths his own zanpaktou. After Aizen sits down, Ichimaru shows up and comments on how Aizen is letting Patras think that he killed Ulquiorra and took the Hougyoku. Aizen admits that he sent the real Ulquiorra to do something else, and when Ichimaru claims that he could have taken care of this, Aizen says that that would have been boring. Meanwhile, in the real world, Ururu and Jinta both try to attack Patras, but neither can hurt him, and when Renji emerges from the nearby rubble, he instructs them to go get Urahara. With them gone, Renji initiates limit lifting and ban kai, and the force of Zabimaru’s subsequent attack surprises Patras. It smashes Patras through the ground and into training area below the store, but Renji is aware that the battle isn’t anywhere near over yet. Elsewhere in the city, Hitsugaya and Rangiku are having a bit of trouble with the Arrancar that they’re facing whereas Ikkaku is having a bit more luck getting through the armor of his opponent.
Back at the underground area, Patras uses the level ten version of his attack, but it isn’t able to stop Zabimaru, so Patras has to get out of the way. Although he generally looks down upon Shinigami, Patras decides not to take Renji lightly and decides to change into his real form. Now at max level, Patras’ attacks are finally able to stop Zabimaru, and one of them actually breaks the skeletal links. Renji manages to protect himself from the attack, and afterwards, he questions what Patras intends to do with the Hougyoku. Patras’ admission that he wants to take over the world makes Renji realize that he’s rebelling against Aizen, but right as Patras is saying that Hueco Mundo shouldn’t have a Shinigami become its ruler, his two allies come crashing in from above. Heavily injured and on the run, both of them want to know if Patras has found out how to use the Hougyoku, and after finding out that he hasn’t yet, both die. Renji then re-links Zabimaru and attacks one more time, but he’s unable to overcome Patras’ attacks and gets thrown against some rocks. With Patras getting ready to finish Renji off, it’s the mod-souls who come to the rescue once again to distract the Arrancar while they help Renji to a safer location.
Having apparently figured out Patras’ weakness, Ririn sets up a plan with Renji and then confronts Patras head on. She taunts him into attacking her, but right after Patras finishes firing and tries to close his claw, Claude appears and prevents him from fully doing so. Ririn then reveals that she knows Patras accumulates his energy in his sheath and releases it with his sword, meaning that if he can’t sheath his sword, he can’t attack again. Patras then tries to shoot them with his other arm, but Nova appears with his shield to take the hit, and Ririn gets Renji to finish Patras off. One large blast later, Patras is dead and the Hougyoku drops to the ground. Both Urahara’s group and Hitsugaya’s group show up soon after, and Urahara reveals that these Arrancar were being manipulated by Aizen. The Hougyoku that Patras had was only a fake, and Urahara thinks that they had probably been set up by Aizen’s zanpaktou - Kyouka Suigetsu. He isn’t positive why Aizen intentionally let them have the Hougyoku, but he does think that it has something to do with how, on the way back to the store, he and the others had accidentally run into Ulquiorra at the spot where Ulquiorra and Yammy had originally appeared. Urahara thus suspects that Aizen had a different objective and was using Patras to create an uproar as a diversion.
Around this time, in Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra is reporting on his investigation into Inoue’s powers and how they could help Aizen. As for where Inoue is right now, Ulquiorra only knows that she isn’t in the real world, and Aizen commends him on job well done.
n Las Noches, an Arrancar named Patras arrives in the room where the Hougyoku is being held, but he gets caught by Ulquiorra who reminds him that this is a place he can’t enter without Aizen’s permission. Patras, however, doesn’t understand all this reverence to Aizen and questions why they have to do what a Shinigami tells them to and why their freedom has been taken away. Feeling that this place changed after Aizen showed up, Patras doesn’t intend to obey a Shinigami and wants to use the Hougyoku himself to control this world. When Ulquiorra doesn’t think that someone who’s not even an Espada can do anything, Patras reveals that he has two allies who promptly attack. Ulquiorra is caught off guard and ends up getting slashed and stabbed until he falls. Patras then takes the Hougyoku with the intent of becoming king and heads off to the real world with his allies to find the person who knows how to use it. Hitsugaya, Rangiku, Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Renji all responds to the Arrancar arrival, though since Renji is furthest away, he doesn’t join the others in facing off against Patras’ friends, both of whom release and transform.
While one Arrancar fights Hitsugaya and Rangiku and the other gets to battle Ikkaku, Patras is in the meantime passing through the city when he encounters Kon. Shortly thereafter, Renji finds a scratched up Kon who reveals that Patras is headed for Urahara’s store. Already there, Patras tells Jinta and Ururu that he wants to meet the person who knows how to use the Hougyoku, but Renji arrives in time to tell him that Urahara isn’t here. In fact, Urahara, Tessai, and Sado had earlier headed off to make some purchases to restock the store, leaving Renji and the others to tend to the shop. Since Patras wants to wait for Urahara’s return, Renji draws his zanpaktou and starts the battle. Ririn and the other mod-souls meanwhile return to their human-sized bodies so that they can help out, and they save Renji from getting hit again by Patras’ super-fast sword draw technique after he had already gotten knocked into the ground by it once. They then use their powers to catch Patras off guard and manage to land several hits, but the Arrancar soon turns the tables by knocking all three out. With Renji still rearing to fight, Patras proceeds to use the second level of his twenty level sword technique which hits with so much force that it knocks up a cloud of dust that covers the entire store. Unbeknownst to them, a recovered Ulquiorra has also arrived in Karakura.
When Kon and Rangiku see a girl fall into the river after trying to retrieve her stuffed animal from the water, Rangiku brings out Kon’s modsoul and throws it into that stuffed animal so that he can save her. Kon succeeds, but afterwards, the combination of the young girl not letting go of him and a crowd gathering to see what happens prevents him from returning to his normal body. With Rangiku leaving him behind, Kon is taken to the girl’s home, and the fact that he is alive is soon given away when she tries to blow-dry him through his mouth. However, the girl, whose name is Miyuki, is delighted rather than surprised because she had been wishing for Shintarou - her dog stuffed animal - to come alive. Kon then notices that Miyuki appears to be living alone in a relatively large and well-furnish apartment, so she explains that her mother is at work and that they left their father because her mother that felt he wasn’t good for anything. When Miyuki wants to play, Kon has no choice but to let her put a dress on him and feed him rubber dolls because he doesn’t want her to cry.
Afterwards, Kon suggests that they go outside to play with friends, but Miyuki refuses because she doesn’t have or need any friends. The only reason she had been outside earlier is because she had wanted to see her old house where she had lived with her parents and a real dog named Shintarou. Unfortunately, the real Shintarou had gotten hit by a car around the time Miyuki and her mother left her father. Seeing how lonely Miyuki is, Kon decides that they should go to this house, and the two have relatively little difficulty getting there. However, no one seems to be living there anymore, and across the street, Miyuki finds the flower and vase that mark the spot where Shintarou got hit by a car. When Miyuki touches the vase, Kon suddenly senses something bad and says that they should leave. The roar of a Hollow causes the electricity poles around them to topple over, cutting off their escape and giving them no choice but to enter the grounds to the house. Before they can get very far though, a two-headed Hollow appears before them.
Kon attempts to kick a bucket at the Hollow and then run away with Miyuki, but the Hollow heads the other way around the house and cuts them off. Saying that he’ll protect Miyuki, Kon attacks the Hollow, however his stuffed-animal kicks have no effect and he gets batted around instead. Still, with the Hollow going after Miyuki, Kon gets back up and continues trying to fight, even as his body is getting ripped up and smashed into the ground. What ultimately stops the Hollow from advancing towards Miyuki is her calling out Shintarou’s name to come save her, and it causes one of the heads to bite the other. It is at this moment that Rangiku enters the battle to slay the Hollow, and Kon sees the souls of two dogs emerge from it afterwards, one of them being the real Shintarou. When Miyuki comes over to hug his battered body, Kon tells her that she was saved by the real Shintarou, but he also makes it clear that she can’t rely on him and should make other friends. Recalling his own past as a modified soul and how his friends have helped him, Kon tells her that she should make friends if she’s lonely. Since he has to go now, Kon promises Miyuki that he and the real Shintarou are always watching over her, and he urges her to do her best.
In the aftermath, Miyuki gets reunited with her mother, and Rangiku returns Kon to his normal body. When she asks Kon about why he supported Miyuki so much, he proudly says that it’s because he’s an idol to children.