In the Menos Forest, Muramasa is still wandering killing Hollows even in his weakened state, but then comes across a shadowy figure. Elsewhere, Hinamori and Rangiku are having trouble against their respective Zanpakutou, and Tobiume even tries to turn Hinamori against her friend. The Shinigami girls, however, outsmart their Zanpakutou spirits with a combination of teamwork and spells. Hinamori is able to capture both Tobiume and Haineko, and afterward, she talks about how she wants to grow older and not be naive.
Meanwhile, Hitsugaya tries to assert that Hyourinmaru belongs to him, but Hyourinmaru doesn't believe it because Hitsugaya is just a child. He wants proof and attacks Hitsugaya to see how strong he is, and Hitsugaya has trouble against the ice powers. When Hitsugaya questions what Hyourinmaru's instincts say, the Zanpakutou reveals he's seeking where he belongs. This reminds Hitsugaya of many years ago when he had felt similar because he had been ostracized by people who were afraid of him. Back then, he had a recurring dream of an ice dragon calling out to him, and one night, Rangiku had visited him because his powers had been uncontrolled while he slept. She had been the one who told him to become a Shinigami, and he had left his grandmother to do so.
With these memories, Hitsugaya now summons the ice dragon and attacks with it, freezing both him and his Zanpakutou spirit in ice. He then reminds Hyourinmaru that it was he who heard the Zanpakutou's voice, and Hyourinmaru realizes who he is. Ichigo emerges from his own ice prison just in time to see all of this happen, and he watches as Hyourinmaru carries Hitsugaya back to the ground. At around this same time, back in the Menos Forest, Muramasa seems to have defeated the shadowy figure and then does something with the body.