...head slowly, "I just can't see her right now, okay? I need to get out of here for a little while and wrap my head around all of this. Can you tell her that for me?"
"Of course I can...but you do need to talk to her soon. She has some very important things to tell you and I think that knowledge will help you make sense of it all." Retsu smiled at the conflicted young man and turned to leave the room. After she left, Ichigo quickly threw on some clothes and rushed out of the villa.
He headed straight for the stables, bridled Diablo, and rode out bareback at a dead run. The pair ended their mad dash in a little meadow Ichigo found on one of his earlier rides. He removed Diablo's bridle and let the massive beast meander freely about while he collapsed on top of the cool, spring grass. Ichigo closed his eyes in an attempt to allow his fevered mind a bit of rest but it was not to be...
"What do you mean, he's gone?" Rukia asked disbelievingly.
"It's not like he left hours ago, Rukia; he just left and I believe he headed toward the stables. I told you the boy needed some time to himself to process things," Retsu tried to reason.
"But Retsu, he can't process things if he doesn't know the truth! I know how Ichigo thinks and right now he's probably raking himself over the coals for what he did to me. He thinks he's this horrible, out of control monster and I need to make him understand that he's not crazy and he's ...