He allowed Ronan to lean in to compare his eyes – close enough that Ronan felt his breath on his cheek – and he allowed Ronan to study the palm of his hand. The latter was not strictly necessary, and they both knew it, but Adam watched Ronan closely as he lightly traced the lines there.
“…you’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it. Sorry about that, Y/N.”
“I wouldn’t worry, I don’t think these are actually predicting the future. Your cup says you’re going to become a king, and then get attacked by a bunch of brains with tentacles. Yeah, that’s likely to happen.”
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I mean…not that the current Soul King is really dead. Unless he is. He, like, got eaten or something. Does this mean that at the end of Bleach, some current character will be forced to take the Soul King’s place? Let’s say yes. If so, then here are 10 likely candidates, presented in no particular order!
Ichigo is always everything. Human, shinigami, hollow, Quincy, noble, fullbringer….it’s a little hard to believe that he *wouldn’t* also become the Soul King. Plus, there were all of those foreshadowy things that Kyoraku said to Ichigo’s human friends (for some reason???) about how Ichigo might develop a power that might prevent him from reentering the human world. A power like becoming the Soul King, we might ask?
Soul King: Don’t worry, my delicious strawberry! It wouldn’t be so bad!
Soul King: You might be trapped forever in a crystal, motionless and alone, but at least your limbs could still have fulfilling lives!
Soul King: I bet that sexy left arm of yours could get your high school diploma!
Soul King: [winks]
Ichigo: Is it too late to go home?
What is the Soul King best known for? Other than making Aizen spit with rage? His tendency to rip out his own body parts, of course! And who do we know who already has that skill? Why, Komamura, who was cool with tearing out his own heart. Plus, having Komamura as Soul King would solve so many problems! Well, a few problems. Okay, mainly just the one problem - the problem of people like Aizen declaring that they cannot serve that “thing.” Nobody could have that sort of negative attitude about a PUPPY Soul King!
Aizen: It is true that I have a soft spot for puppies.
Aizen: This is why I allowed one into my army of evil.
Komamura: You made my best friend EXPLODE in my face.
Aizen: Yeah, but I let you two talk first.
Aizen: Soft spot!
Ukitake is already partly the Soul King, after all. Or at least, he was. He had the Soul King’s right arm. So it would therefore make sense (?) for Ukitake to go ahead and step up to the plate and just become the Soul King for real. His buddy Kyoraku is the Head Captain, after all. It would make a sort of sense for Ukitake to also step into an administrative role - as the Soul King.
Ukitake: My first act as Soul King will be to send my lungs away so that they can lead their own coughing, blood-spurting life away from me!
Soul King: There’s more to me than just body parts leading independent lives, you know.
Ukitake: Don’t destroy my dream, please.
The Soul King is right. I shouldn’t fixate on his weird body part thing. There’s also the power thing. The Soul King is, presumably, super powerful. A powerful linchpin who can hold the universe together. And who do we know who is both powerful and able to sit for a really, really long time? Someone who also happens to fucking love giant throne chairs? Aizen!
Hinamori: Tiny objection - Aizen is an enormous, super evil, unrepentant douchebag.
Aizen: That’s often a plus for royalty.
Hinamori: I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS PLAN
I mean…Yhwach already absorbed the Soul King. Maybe they’ll just trap him or something and force him to be the new Soul King forever!
Ichigo: See this? Now this is a plan.
Ishida: But then there would be a QUINCY in charge!
Ichigo: Just like if I were the Soul King.
Ishida: …oh yeah.
This is technically an Ishida arc - or should be, since it’s Quincy-focused. And while I’m not exactly expecting Ishida to sacrifice himself, I haven’t completely discounted the possibility. One way for Ishida to “sacrifice” himself without dying would be for him to somehow become the new Soul King.
Ishida: Then at last it will be revealed that my A epithet has stood for… “A Soul King!”
Ishida: Yeah, I really shouldn’t have started that sentence until I knew how it would finish.
Oh man, remember when I super believed that Yamamoto couldn’t really be dead because they mysteriously never recovered his body which is never a plot point unless the individual is secretly still alive? Yeah, I still kinda believe he’s still alive. And maybe, just maybe, hanging out waiting for his moment to become the new Soul King. It would all make sense! He’s hiding so that Yhwach doesn’t see him coming (let’s ignore Yhwach’s supposed omniscience for the moment) and since Yamamoto is super powerful or whatever, he could probably be the linchpin!
Ichigo: I like the old dude.
Ichigo: But, like, his release command is “burn the universe to ash.”
Ichigo: Isn’t that a red flag?
Speaking of theories I just won’t let die…what is the deal with Mizuiro? There’s been all sorts of hints that he’s more than he seems, and yet Tite Kubo hasn’t really done anything with the character. That may just be because Mizuiro is actually a minor character with no powers. OR MAYBE at the end of Bleach he’ll just stroll right in and take the Soul King’s place. I’d be there for that.
Keigo: I-is that why Kyoraku gave us Soul Society tickets?
Keigo: WHY AM I ALWAYS THE LAST PERSON TO KNOW THINGS???
Urahara is both powerful and devious. He uses people as pawns. He thinks ahead at least as far as Aizen, and maybe further. Imagine if it turned out that this whole time, Urahara had been plotting to take the Soul King’s place. Either for noble reasons, because he knew that somebody had to be the linchpin and was prepared to sacrifice himself, or for evil reasons. Because he’s secretly been the big bad this whole time!
Aizen: DON’T YOU TAKE MY THING, URAHARA KISUKE
Urahara: Don’t worry, Aizen! How has me as ruler of the universe been in any way foreshadowed? It’s not like my power involves reordering reality or anything!
Urahara: Oh wait…it does.
Aizen: DON’T YOU DO IT
Orihime is my secret, dark horse guess for new Soul King, if a new Soul King appears. She has a godlike power which is not only way more powerful than anyone else’s (she can raise the dead. With her voice), but is also the only one that doesn’t fit neatly into any of the established categories. She doesn’t have shinigami power or hollow power or Quincy power. She has Orihime power. Add to that the royal imagery (her name means princess) and her desire to protect Ichigo, and, well….I could see her taking the Soul King’s place both to protect Ichigo, and because she’s maybe the only one who can.
Ichigo: Maybe I’m cool with taking the Soul King’s place after all.