The story continues with the manifestation of the Zanpakutou. In the real world, Ichigo is out patrolling when an injured Rukia suddenly emerges from a Senkai Gate from Soul Society. Moments later, another gate appears and out of it comes the physical form of Rukia's Zanpakutou, Sode no Shirayuki. She attacks Ichigo and tries to get him to hand over Rukia, and he's is surprised to see her use Rukia's signature techniques: Tsukishiro & Hakuren. Ichigo is able to counter and fight back, but his opponent decides to back off for now and retreats. Ichigo then takes Rukia to Urahara's place for treatment, and once Rukia has regain consciousness, she tells everyone about what happened in Soul Society.
Muramasa had revealed that he had sealed away Yamamoto because his Zanpakutou did not want to cooperate with the others. Ikkaku lashed out towards Muramasa and fighting then had broken out between the Shinigami and the Zanpakutou. During the battle, Rukia was saved by her brother, Byakuya, in the middle of an attack. Afterwards, he was then locked in battle with his own Zanpakutou, and she ended up going through the Senkai Gate in the real world after fending off hers. Yoruichi, who had earlier gone to Soul Society to check things out, now returns to report that the Shinigami have regrouped and the Zanpakutou have disappeared for the time being. However, Byakuya is still missing, and Rukia worries about him despite Ichigo's reassurances that her brother isn't someone who would die easily. When Ichigo finds out later that Rukia has gone back to Soul Society on her own, he decides to go after her.