Six months after the end of the war with the Wandenreich, the denizens of Soul Society have not been told much. They have been told that Ichigo Kurosaki successfully defeated the enemy leader, Yhwach, and that the Gotei 13 successfully defended the Soul King Palace. What they were not told was that Ichigo also (unintentionally) killed the Soul King. This truth was only known to the captains and lieutenants of the Gotei 13, and those with high positions in Soul Society, lest panic spread throughout the realm.
Moments after Yhwach's death, Shunsui Kyōraku visits the palace, where he finds Ichibē Hyōsube preparing Yhwach's body to become the new Soul King. Together, they reveal that, had Yhwach not absorbed the Soul King, it would be Ichigo who was turned into the Soul King—this being the reason Kyōraku gave his friends soul tickets. Kyōraku laments the plan and shows disdain for the heads of the Five Great Noble Families whose will it was that the Soul King be replaced in this manner.
The two are interrupted by the arrival of Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, who had rescued Tier Harribel. Grimmjow attempts to pick a fight with the Shinigami, but Nel admonishes him. Grimmjow notes that, with the Quincy defeated, the Shinigami will surely go back to killing Hollows and Arrancar. Instead and to the contrary, Kyōraku offers the Arrancar an escort back to Hueco Mundo and promises to turn a blind-eye to them. Grimmjow initially takes this as a sign that Kyōraku is looking down on them, but the Shinigami captain explains that if the Shinigami were to purify masses of Hollows, the already fragile balance would be upset even more, and the worlds would risk calamity.
Harribel takes notice of Yhwach's corpse and admits that she can see why Sōsuke Aizen detested such a thing ruling over Soul Society. She then apologies to Kyōraku for the trouble the Arrancar caused Soul Society and vows to repay their debts. Kyōraku merely asks her to keep quiet about all she's seen when she returns to Hueco Mundo and to thank Ichigo when she has a chance, as he was the true reason for her rescue. The Arrancar then leave and Ichibē goes to revive the Royal Guard.
After his revival, Ōetsu Nimaiya notes that a Zanpakutō has been stolen from the depths of his palace, and the Manifestations that guard it defeated. He notes that the injuries on the manifested Zanpakutō looked to be the result of multiple thieves. He reveals that the Zanpakutō stolen is called Ikomikidomoe and that it cannot be wielded by just anyone, suspecting that it must be one of the four remaining Great Noble Families that had taken the blade.
Back in the present, Shūhei Hisagi attends the resealing of Sōsuke Aizen. General-Commander Kyōraku is wary of Aizen despite his being strapped to a new chair, as his ability to speak means that he can still preform Kidō. Even so, Kyōraku asks Aizen if he has any last words, to which Aizen retorts that he only wished to speak to Ichigo a bit longer. However, Ichigo is not present thanks to Kisuke Urahara, who feared that Aizen might attempt to manipulate the Hollow within Ichigo. Kyōraku says that he hopes when Aizen's prison sentence is over he will return to being an ally of Soul Society. Aizen scoffs at Kyōraku's belief Soul Society will even exist then and asks if he saw its "original sin" at the royal palace. The General-Commander doesn't reply, causing Aizen to muse that he must fear evoking memories of treacherous Shinigami, like Kaname Tōsen.
Just then, Hisagi shouts at Aizen for brining up his former captain. Hisagi states that he finds it preposterous that Tōsen abandoned his convictions over Aizen's words alone; but Aizen reveals that Tōsen had been his subordinate before Hisagi ever became a Shinigami.