While Kurotsuchi continues to try and figure out the Zanpakutou problem, Hinamori and Rangiku have their own Zanpakutou taken to the 4th Division. The two are now concerned about Hitsugaya, so they go looking for him, and by chance they run into Ichigo who tells them what happened. The three of them then happen to see Muramasa emerge from a rift, and he appears to be in bad shape. Muramasa reveals that Ichigo's power is useful to him, but because of his own condition right now, he's unable to use his powers effectively against the Shinigami. Fortunately for Muramasa, Senbonzakura appears and protects him. Knowing that he's fighting Byakuya's Zanpakutou, Ichigo initiates bankai, and he's even forced to bring out his mask to break out of the sphere that Senbonzakura tries to trap him in. In their next clash, Ichigo is able to break off part of Senbonzakura's mask, but after that, to everyone's surprise, Byakuya himself appears and puts an end to the battle. They're even more surprised when Byakuya attacks Ichigo with a spell to get him to back off and appears to be on Muramasa's side. Byakuya claims that he's doing this all on his own will, and he warns Ichigo not to interfere with Muramasa or else risk death. Ichgio thus can only watch in shock as Byakuya, Senbonzakura, and Muramasa then disappear in a pink wave.