|Role-Play Name: Garden of Kings|
Date Started: 17 October, 2018
One to OneEdit
"What... what's this place?" His voice was rough, his mask was gone. His vision was fading, his being was tired.
The moonlight shone upon the water, which reflected enough of it to brighten up the grass. A shipwreck stood much to the water's side, plants and trees covered the border of the area.
A laugh, "Ya' don't remember?" Her voice was calm, her face was bright. Her senses heightened, her body stood strong. "It's so close to your home. I know it's been a while..."
Breath. "Close ta' home?" His back laid against the umid ground. "I-"
"I can smeeeell that doubt," She sighed. "It'd be cool if you trusted me."
"...Ya'd be the first in a long time."
"How lovely, I'm jumping in happiness," She sat on the ground, crossing her legs. "Go to sleep, ya're better when quiet."
Another breath. "S't okay for me to be 'ere?" He spared a glance at her face, "That dude may come to get ya' guys-"
"Awww, worryin' about us now?" She tilted her head, part of her hair flocking into her face.
Beat, "Yeah, maybe-" His eyebrows arched. "Except for he-"
"Except for her, yeah." She said in unison. "Don't worry, she is not here... yet. Plus, our other leader is, like, amazing." They stopped for a second, then, laughed.
"How's yer father...?"
Her teeth sank into her lower lips, "I haven't... found him-"
"Sorry, shoulda' not asked." They both lowered their stares. "Though," Her head perched up. "On the subject... I know one that lost two-"
A gulp, "You mean... amongst those in the rescue operation?" He nodded. "I see... and they are coming soon, right?" Another nod. "Alliance. I wonder if this would even work, considering our differences-"
"Hmmm?" He hummed, finding no strength at all to speak full sentences. "Why?" His eyelids felt heavy.
She smiled and his breath caught in his throat. "Oh, y'know, the Round Table Pirates are quite rowdy, yet, we manage our own business!" He chuckled in his sleep.
Upon the TableEdit
"We arrived! Finally!" Elizabeth repeated to herself, figure standing several meters into the air outside the island of Brine. Breezes hustled by her face, prompting her to take in a large intake of air and smile. "Aaaah, the sanctuary... what's that smell?"
Meanwhile, Harlan still hung asleep by her side, "It's the smell of a crowdy bunch of idiots that I love!!" Elizabeth continued with screams, the sound of her voice travelling through ripples. Turning to her asleep partner, Elizabeth crossed her arms, "Wake up, furry!" She swatted at the air.
He was so eager to arrive and then he was sleeping. Then again, she didn't really pay too much attention if he was still floating through her power. "WAKE UUUUUP!"
"GHASDGASHDGDS!" Harlan exclaimed, jerking his eyes open and moving wildly about while he floated in the air. He saw Elizabeth and groaned. "Damn it, I wasn't having a nightmare, you're actually real..." he murmured.
The hybrid looked around the vicinity, taking in his surroundings. The overwhelming stench of seawater filled his nose, the gentle cool breezes blowing by. "This... this is where those... Brown Cable Pirates are?"
"Says the guy with the scary power," Elizabeth mused, suddenly they were both hovering towards the base of the island. "Y E S, it is!" She replied at his question, "Rsrsrsrs! That's a good nickname for them." Not even glancing back at him, Elizabeth only eyed the island before her, the both of them arriving to its base.
Well, it was a base of sorts. A good deal of the island floated in the sky, while this bit of the land was on the ocean's level. The part of the beach they reached had an inward oval outline, vegetation could be seen from afar, covering a good deal of the rocks. Amongst the plants were several palm trees, moss hung from the rocks. Even more afar were large mountains.
Much to the side were some tents and wooden buildings, although small. Behind them, was a wood platform that extended into the sea, akin to docks. Many ships could be seen docked, something which didn't go unnoticed by Elizabeth, it meant most of the members were present.
"These are some of the civilians that C H O S E to live with us!" Elizabeth suddenly gestured for the small buildings, "Some of the Alliance members also have shops, since not everyone leaves the island." She clapped with a smile and eyed the exit of the beach, which directly led to a small, round town. "Salin, ahhhh, we should be meeting anyone soon!" In fact, she could already feel many auras coming in her direction, all at different distances.
The clatter of steel on steel could be heard approaching the pair. A giant of a man, standing over ten feet in height and clad in plate, was slowly walking towards the pair.
"I greet thee Lady Elizabeth, I hope your trip went well. The king has sorely missed you in your absence. I trust your trip went well?" Yoroi Armis boomed from underneath his helmet with a deep bow. "I also must ask there, who is this knave that you carry with thee?"
"Tiny-head!!" Elizabeth beamed and clapped her hands, looking up to see his face properly. Gosh, was she the only one with a normal height in that group? "I bet she did," Her eyebrows went up and down twice, she took out a pocket mirror and briefly checked if she was presentable. Although Elizabeth was about to ask about details on Judith, she recalled that they had set up a meeting with this Tombstone guy.
"It was nice! I went to this niiiiiiice brothel in this island, got to claim a treasured sword! The fake owner chased me down," Elizabeth slapped her lap and threw the mirror aside, "But he got no shit on my bitchself."
At the mention of Harlan, Elizabeth whipped her head around and laid her hands on her hips. "Oh, just some lost puppy, rsrsrsrsrsrsrs!" Her eyes widened, "Armis-kuuun, don't use those C O M P L E X words in front of him, he can't understand it. How you been though?!"
"God yer so annoying. Mostly late too, not that I particularly care." An ominous voice rang out from the area. The hand mirror in the sand shook as a blue clad arm shot out of it. In grasped the sand as it another arm shot from it, anchoring itself to the sand as well. Finally with a push a head and the upper torso of a blue haired man emerged from the mirror. Shortly followed by his lower half. This was Griffith Francis, known to the Round Table Pirates as Agravain. He raised an eyebrow at the three. "Oh stop gawkin yeev seen me hop outta yer damn armor before Armis." Francis commented.
Screeching in on a tricked-out motorcycle is Fergus D. Frederick now coming to greet the rest of the crew. "Yo Elizabeth, Wassup". Frederick steps off of his motorcycle his belt clanging as he steps of his motorcycle. he takes off his helmet to reveal his face hanging it on the handlebars of his bike. "Damn, there's only four of us so far, I don't think I've ever been this early". He walked closer as to join the conversation further. He moves next to Armis standing at the same height if not taller than him. He slaps the back of his suit with a loud clang. "How's it shakin small head." He then throws a playful punch at Harlan. "How bout you, Candy Corn, doing anymore spookin these days"
Armis politely bowed to his two superior officers before responding to the Lady and both of them in turn. "I shall endeavour not to confuddle the knave with my superior vernacular, and I have been well. The king keeps me busy, but I did get that one knot in my shoulder out that has been bothering me for some time. It's made life easier."
"I had forgotten just how flexible you were Sir Agravain. My apologies, my armour is a much greater mirror." He responded before turning to Palamedes. "Everything is shaking fine sir, I am just keeping to the patrol schedule."
Elizabeth clapped her hands once again, a large object flying beside her while wrapped by some cloth, "You guys truly are random!" She eyed Francis and suddenly pointed two fingers at him, "Don't use my mirrors like that, P E R V E R T! ...Do it when I'm taking a bath or something!" Her arms opened wide.
Turning to Frederick, Elizabeth beamed again, "Indeed, this is a first." She gave him a thumbs-up and mentally noted, "Reminder to mock whoever else for arriving after fuckin' Fred." People were really slow these days. Which was completely their fault, she nodded. Her line of thought, however, was shattered once Armis responded her request.
"PFFFFFFF- RSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRS!" Elizabeth laughed loudly, "KEEP IT UP, ARMIS-KUN." She floated to pat his head lightly, the object floating along. "So, what is the schedule for the Alliance today?!" Her hands rest upon her hips yet again.
When Harlan first heard the term Armis had used to describe him, he shrugged it off, but of course, Elizabeth had to open her mouth. "HQKEFHJSKDKHSJGJKLS DO YOU WANNA FIGHT AGAIN?!" he exclaimed. "I'LL SQUARE UP WITH YOU RIGHT NOW, HURRICANE BITCH!!!"
He growled at her, but then Harlan looked around the group of newcomers. They looked as if they for some reason actually respected Elizabeth. That mere fact baffled Harlan beyond comprehension. The growl faded away, replaced by confusion. "So," he began. "How drunk do you all have to be if you willingly...respect this...green-haired thing?"
"AAHHHH yer fine Armis, just keep poishin that beauty there." Francis laughed before whirling his head to Elizabeth. "I've already used em while you're bathin and I will again ya daft harpy. If ya want me to pop out of em maybe wash yer damn underarms." The knight exclaimed, turning the rest of his body towards her and grinning. Due to Fredrick's lack of greeting towards him, Francis simply ignored the man. "Oi cat boy don't ye be disrespecting yer elders. In the underworld people like you get sold to the weirdo pirates for disrespectin and sometimes existin." He shouted, pointing a finger at the Harlan's wolf ears.
"HAHAHAHAHA! GREEN-HAIR DOESN'T DESERVE ANY RESPECT!" Harlan retorted. "AND I AM NOT A CAT, I AM A MACHINE OF DEATH!" he spat, a low growl in his voice. "Plus, I'm clearly about to be sold for free to this gaggle of...idiots, willing to look up to Hurricane Bitch."
"The king is currently in a meeting with Mr. Redgrave, Sir Lancelot is off doing his thing like usual. That's all for tonight, but in the morning Sir Palamedes is due in the tribunal for the four hundred and sixty-one noise complaints that have been filed against him in the last month. That is all of note beyond various minor meetings. Though I think there may be a full council assembly coming up, the King has not given me an exact time." Armis responded matter of factly. As the King's squire and secretary, he was intimately familiar with the crew's schedule. "Is there anything else I can help you with Lady Elizabeth?"
Then he responded to her... Hostage. "Drinking while on patrol is a dereliction of duty. I guess manners is the first thing you will need to be taught."
"Shush, shush, shush," Elizabeth waved repeatedly at Harlan, not even looking at him and still sporting a smile. "Shit gets sold all the time in the undeworld, rsrs," She shrugged. "Plus, I earn my respect."
Eyes perking up at Armis's response, Elizabeth clapped, "I see everyone is still doing their J O B!" Indeed, that was how they operated, never stopping, never sleeping. Well, not never sleeping, she was sure they were not that crazy yet. Maybe they were. "Oh, of course he is due," Elizabeth rolled her eyes.
It was only when the mention of an assembly that Elizabeth paid full attention and responded yet again, "Oh yeah! That is supposed to be T O D A Y!" She gestured for the floating islands above their heads, "This dude Redgrave is to meet with all of us! Indra, Judith, Archer, and me!" Elizabeth eyed the object flying next to her for a second. "I will be going- Guys, show the island to this furry!" She pointed around and quickly took flight, pushing some sand away.
"COUGH, COUGH, HGXCFTESAK WHAT THE FUCK, A TRIBUNAL, AGAIN" Frederick began wheezing and coughing out of anger and shock. "Time to break out the DILF shirt again, round up my 80's Rock CD's, and get the bicker gang back together. I'm sure you all remember what happened the last time I had a tribunal, nobody got to sleep for weeks, at least I get to where that DILF shirt again, it really shows of my guns, I've had sex with 48 guys, 58 girls, and 9 okama's in that shirt". Frederick lets out a large grin, as he drools recollecting his past sexual rendezvous. Blood dripping down his nose he reaches into his motorcycles trunk area pulling out the famous DILF shit. "O shit there's a stain, from god knows what let's just hope it gets clean in time for my riot." Frederick vigorously begins scrubbing at said shirt drifting off away from the conversation
"Have you tried not riding your motorcycle through the middle of the town at 3 am?" Was Armis's only response.
Harlan looked up at Frederick, a perplexed expression on his face. "Yeah, theres no way you've ever gotten laid. Unless...whatever you slept with was drunk beyond hell. Or it was a rat."
The hybrid looked at Armis, and chuckled. "You are way too...stoic."
Frederick looked at both Armis and Harlan with a smile then began to clean his shirt once again only saying. "Armis, when I choose to ride my bike is my business if you have a problem with it confront me face to face and Harlan if you talk so much shit your breath will smell just as bad as the shit you talk." He said trying to be serious and intimidating but instead begins laughing uncontrollably. "HAHAHAHA, ya'll know its all jokes around here". He grabs both Harlan and Armis wrapping his arms around them pulling them into a hug. He then mounts his motorcycle, waving and speeding off in what seems to be the direction of the Bar.
Francis glanced between the three before looking at the now distant motorcycle. "Why'tha hell does that man talk ta people." His eyes flicked back to Harlan. "They'd still sell ya on the market in this warld, cat or dog." He tilted his head.
A surging scream filled everyone's ears, "SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Should anyone look towards the floating islands, they could catch sight of a humongous beast, whose feathers were green and wings were wide open. Beating its wings, it caused several air waves through the beach and pushed some sand away.
Before any of them could talk about it, another flying thing soared through the skies, briefly covering the sun. Clip-clop, clip-clop, the monster bird roared back at it. "Keeping me waiting... is out of question~" It was a person, someone singing and sitting on top of something akin to a... Pegasus.
Its roofs stepped on the air itself, while its wings beat from time to time. "Who do you think I am?" The person on top of it had strikingly blue colors, their robes, their hair. They held a Lance with their right hand, a silver jousting lance with blue borders and several small holes.
They jumped, the lance held tightly, a faint amount of Haki surrounded it, "Amanogawa!" A feminine voice. She slice the air before her, throwing the lance in a spinning motion towards the beach, much like a disk it shone brightly. Due to its holes and the air passing as a rotation through them, some kind of melody ressonated throughout the base island.
It hit the bird just as it entered the trajectory, landing on its blunt tip and producing an air ring. Coughing saliva, the bird weeped and sank into the beach, while the impact itself sent the lance flying upward back towards the person. The person still hovered high in the sky, opening their right hand as the lance flew towards her, she clutched it and went even higher, back to her "Pegasus".
As soon as the monstrous bird hit the ground in another weep, the woman and the pegasus quickly descended, landing over the monstrosity. It was then that they were much more recognizeable... with the Pegasus not really being a Horse, but, actually a white Alpaca with bird-like wings.
"Apologies, my seniors!" The person unveiled their pilot-helmet, letting long blue hairs fall to her back, the lance rested at the Alpaca. "Thank you, Hatsune~" She beamed at the animal, before returning to the others present. "One of the monsters ended up escaping the fauna sanctuary of our island!" This was indeed, Miku, a Squire of the Round Table Pirates.
"Why does everything have wings, but me?" Harlan thought to himself as the winged...alpaca landed, and a girl slid off of it. Harlan looked at her with confusion, wondering where she had found such an animal.
As Harlan looked at Hatsune, his stomach growled, and a smirk appeared on his face. In the past, he had obviously had chicken wings before. But never alpaca wings; he'd be the first person ever to have such a delicacy!
Harlan pounced at the alpaca, a wild grin on his face. "FOOOOOD!"
Hatsune made a typical animalistic sound, even going towards Harlan. However, Miku's eyes widened and she put herself in front of the alpaca, "NO! Tsu-chan!" Hatsune's expression looked puzzled, though, it hid behind Miku. The latter looked behind briefly, "This is a big bad wolf!"
Another sound went off Hatsune's mouth as its eyes widened and she covered them with her frontal limbs.
Turning to the others, Miku asked, "Who is this, Senpais?! How did he get into our land?" Her right hand held the lance, while her other arm waved around.
Harlan noticed the Alpaca retreat behind Miku, and Harlan managed to stop his pounce, landing awkwardly. He shot back up like a bullet and smiled. "GWAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! SOMEONE RECOGNIZES THAT I AM A WOLF!" he yelled in pride. Elizabeth was wrong; he wasn't a furry, he was a mighty wolf!
"I am Harlan, a WOLF." The hybrid began. "As to how I've gotten here, I fought the green-hair bitch, we destroyed a town, and she kidnapped me! She wants me to join the Clown Stable Pirates or something."
"Green bitch..." Miku mused.
"Don't treat your future comrades as food, animal." With no sign of movement or noise besides her voice, a woman appeared out of nowhere by Harlan's back. Her right hand was gently rested on his left shoulder before pushing him back with moderate strength as she moved to the middle of the crowd. She dressed in an emerald green armor, with a very lady-like design. Her dark blonde hair floated as she flipped it over her left shoulder, with the pair of wings in her head slightly moving with the wind. Her presence was unique and strange, as her steps over the ground or her armor lacked any clinging sound. It was Wiela.
"Well, what we have here? The same lowlifes... with a few additions." She didn't look direct into her comrades' faces. Her eyes were strictly focused on their armor and weapons before doing so. "I have a lot of work to do here." She approached Miku with her hand extended. Her expression was extremely serious. "Take off your clothes."
"WHO YOU CALLING AN ANIMAL YOU WING HORNED WOMAN?!" Harlan retorted, jumping over Hatsune to create distance between him and Wiela. He stared her in the eyes. "Are all the Gown Maple Pirates such weirdos?"
"Greetings, Wiela-san!" Miku beamed towards one of the Knights, only for her expression to widen at a subsequent request. "But, Your Knightess, why?" Miku stepped forward to Wiela, "We're in the middle of town!" She gestured around, only to be briefly interrupted by Harlan. "You- Respect my seniors, please!" Though not as a threat, Miku mindlessly pointed her spear at Harlan.
"You don't have to worry, little one." Wiela said, patting Miku's head. She walked past the girl and her spear, slowly approaching Harlan. She held her head high, stopping right in front of where he was standing. Despite having about the same size as the man, she looked at him like if he was nothing but an ant. Her imposing figure was built on pure confidence over her many years of life as a queen and, later, as a Goddess. "You, dog. Where is your leash?"
"EHHHHH?!" Harlan yelled in surprise. This woman was getting on his nerves, and his anger rose. "My leash? It's up your ass with that silver spoon!" he taunted. "And why are you asking blue girl to strip?"
"A big mouth you have, dog. Luck you I didn't bring my hammer, otherwise it would already be stuck in your throat." She flipped her hair, turning her back to Harlan. Wiela was a confident one; she didn't mind insults to herself, but couldn't stay silent when someone inferior to her was being insulted. And, for a matter of fact, there was no person in that place at the moment that she considered to be superior than her.
She walked towards Miku one more time, staying by her side as she faced the rest of the group. "And don't mind, little one. You won't be the only one naked. YOU!" She shouted, pointing her right arm with her palm open to her front, as she gazed into the skies. "STRIP FOR ME!"
"I'd kick your sorry ass before your hammer got anywhere close to me!" Harlan spat. "And stop asking people to strip, stop being as sad as Frederick with his claims of all the people he's totally had sex with."
"Yer all so fekkin annoying." Francis chimed in. The man had previously been leading on a large mirror he had made. Using a smaller mirror to spy on the ongoing conversation inside. "Stop bullyin the cat dog Wiela. He be a guest or somethin."
Harlan spun to the source of the voice. "YA DAFT CUNT!" he yelled. "W-O-L-F. THIS WAS MENTIONED EARLIER. I AM A HALF-WOLF MINK."
"Aight fuck it." Francis replied. "Strip the fox an hang im that's my new plan." He glared down at Harlan. He pulled a belt from the mirror beside him. "Ya know where I come from we beat disrespectful children." He leaned back on the large mirror.
"Your plan sounds brilliant. You just gotta find a fucking fox first!" Harlan retorted. "Oh we beat children where I come from, hur dee dur dur. I didn't ask what you did to children where you come from did I? Nor do I give a shit."
"I'm lookin at one, ya fucking cat eared twat." Harlan would feel a chill run through him, like a presence moving through him. He would then feel a slight pang in the left side of his chest. Almost like someone had tapped his heart. "Don't be disrespectin yer elders. Ya little shit."
"Stop tickling my innards, you kink-freak!" Harlan responded, shivering. "That's kinda weird. And I'm the one saying that, so take that into account."
"A guest? Funny. Who would bring such a disrespectful creature to this meeting? At least the Alpaca is a being of manners - and it is not even half-human, as you proclaim yourself to be. I guess you're more in the level of our horses, but even they don't act in such a uncivilized way." Wiela snapped out of her stripping fascination to answer Francis and directed her harsh words once more towards Harlan.
"Well, do whatever you want, Francis. It is better hearing 'it' screaming than 'its' disgusting words." She flipped her hair while watching the scene.
"Wow." Harlan said, an expression of genuine curiosity on his face. "How far up your ass did you shove that silver spoon?"
"Elizabeth apparently. Girls a loony fuck. Guess it stands that er crew would be too." Francis replied to Wiela, directing his gaze to Harlan with his last quip. "I can do a whole lot more than tickle em ya raccoon." He grinned, tossing the belt back through the mirror.
"That sounds very kinky, and I'm not a fan of that." Harlan replied.
Wiela sighed. "Words won't penetrate your little brain. I'm done with you already." She seemed to not be bothered by his insults. "If Elizabeth brought you here, you're at least of some use for her. But remember: just because you're useful for her, it doesn't mean that you're useful for the rest of the crew. And your worth is only valid if you leave this meeting alive."
"Yeah, I didn't ask to be here. I just fought Elizabeth and she brought me here." Harlan responded. "I'm here so I can get stronger, and then beat her."
Breezes soared by the location, the atmosphere made sweaty the normal humans around. Something akin to a fog blew by, before, suddenly, it began to take from. Blue eyes shone throug the fog, an arm forged, a leg forged, the other limbs following straight after, fingers held out and clothes began to appear. It was as if the very wind itself stopped by to let the steam come together.
After a full second, a figure stepped through the hot air. This figure was tall, completely clad with clothing and armor, while atop his head was a hat akin to Wano's. At the left side of his hips, there was a sword within its scabbard. His wooden steps echoed through the place, "Greetings... companions."
Nanashi, a man worth 130,000,000, had finally decided to join the welcome of their new recruit.
Harlan looked up to face the newcomer, a behemoth of a man. "You..." the hybrid began. "Are very red. And long."
"Well, what we have here?" This view wasn't something new to Wiela, but it was a surprise to see that man after a really long time. She, much like him, had a very travel-based routine, so seeing each other was something really rare to occur.
She walked towards him in slows steps, facing the remaining heat of the steam cloud. Wiela stopped by his front, clenching her first and gently punching the armor three times. "It holded up pretty well, huh. When was the last time you came to repair this thing?" She wasn't much interested in Nanashi himself, but in his armor - and certainly, his sword.
"Nanashi what are ye doin here ya red bastard." Francis exclaimed, resting an elbow on his shoulder. He stood an inch taller than the armor clad man. "S'been at least a month since I last saw ye."
Nanashi offered a nod at the responses he got, his torso even bowing slightly. "It have- hath been... a lar- long time," He coughed briefly, raising a hand for Wiela. Then, he swiftly turned to offer a gaze at Francis, "Why, Sir Francis. I art here because it is my lair." His shining eyes hovered over the rest of the background, "I see that many of us... are here." He really should remind himself to train his dialect again.
"Oh," Miku beamed, still holding onto to Hatsune, "It's the old man." She puffed her cheeks and simply stood behind everyone at the conversation.
Fittingly, Nanashi spared her only a glance, before shifting fully to Harlan. "And who is... this new person?" His arms lowered and his hands stood at sword reach.
Harlan eyed the alpaca for a bit, wondering what it'd taste like before Nanashi spoke again. "I'm Harlan." he responded.
"Honoured to meet you," Nanashi bowed and, this time, placed a hand by his chest. "I art Nanashi," His eyes observed every detail that Harlan offered with his expressions and gestures. "Forgive me... for not greeting yo- thee earlier. I was busy," Head briefly turning to look at the floating islands, Nanashi gave out a sigh, "What is your... business here?"
"Er," Harlan began. "I fought Hurricane Bitch and she brought me here. I'm supposed to join the Pound Fable Pirates or something."
For a second, Nanashi tilted his head to the right, but then, something clicked, "Oh, you refer to Lady Elizabeth and us," Waving his hand, he showed the others present. "The Round Table Pirates."
"YEAH!" Harlan exclaimed. "That's the name. She brought me here and dropped me off, and this gaggle of idiots swarmed around me soon after. You're not bad though, you're fairly nice."
A young girl would now be arriving in the distance, she was seemingly floating in on a large boulder, she planted her rock down on the ground next to Harlan unknowingly then stood to greet her peers. "Hey guys, sorry I'm late, I'm Bastian Asha, how is everybody doin". She had a bright warm smile on her face only illuminating her current beauty.
"Yeah, don't care." Harlan responded, turning back to face Nanashi. "You've known Hurricane Bitch for a while. How strong do I have to get to beat her?" the boy asked, as if the question wasn't as foolish as it sounded.
Asha turned to Nanashi disregarding what Harlan had asked him. "So you're Nanashi if I'm correct right, as if you height wasn't enough for me to know immediately, Its an honor to meet you, I'm Asha if you didn't already hear me". Asha says turning her back to Harlan directing her attention to Nanashi.
"...I hath," Nanashi uttered, glancing to his sides a single time, was this squire okay? "Doth thou not... remember our first meeting...?" Shaking his head lightly sideways, Nanashi turned to his other companions again, "How strong? That truly art... a tough question." Suddenly, he was gesturing for a long road out of the town they were in and, then, the floating parts of Brine.
"Regardless... it is of our duty that we... go attend to our superiors in a... situation like this," Nanashi gently stepped away from where they were all reunited, "If thou really wish to take this seriously... thou art to climb the Great Rock of Brine. All of thee," Nanashi gestured for the others present, "Come with us."
One to TwoEdit
"D'ya... d'ya really wanna' do it?" His voice was soft, it complemented the quiet and small waterfall of the pond. He was much close to her now.
She took a step back. "If, if you don't touch me," She whispered out, he blinked and stopped just before doing so. He would surely laugh at her, how could she ask that, knowing that she was a fighter? Someone who was constantly in fights, she shut her eyes, "I-"
"Y'don't need to explain." Her eyes opened to glance at him, pupils trembling. He sighed, though, a smile came to his face and his eyebrows perked up, "I mean it."
The atmosphere was dark, it was still night, the night before that reunion. She still had time.
"Yes," She said.
"I want to. I have a way for us-"
"Yeah. The warmth would still be there..." She fidgeted with her fingers, looking down, just like he did. Her hand extended towards him, "L-Let's sit."
He only nodded.
"She's 'ere," Her eyes flickered open, only to meet his clutching over her forehead gently. They widened, sunlight partly filled the area.
"You..." Yet, she felt heaviness on her eyelids, even if she pushed them, they still threatened to close. "What..." She had to get up, stand up. "You... touched..."
His figure was a blurr in her vision, "Sorry." He muttered and stood up, the sound of steps faintly reached her ear. "I won't kill anyone."
"Wh... yo... com..." Her body shuddered, her head only rose so much before it fell down. Get up, move, she had to, she would. Her teeth grinded weakly against one another.
Glancing upon the floating islands that stood at the middle of the land, he sighed. Before he bent his knees to jump, he told her, "Temporal Order lasts for a while." One of his hands held a rock, while his other hand prepared to apply it on himself.
"G-" Her eyes shut close.
"-Then, I hath dialed the correct signal." A deep voice said, pertaining to a man that was completely clad in some sort of orange armor. A wide hat could be seen atop his head, his robes akin to a kimono. To his left side, there was a sheathed katana.
Splash, water descended through the rocks and air, forming a waterfall to his right side. Moss could be found on some of the side rocks.
In the man's armored hand was a Den Den Mushi, from it, came a somewhat rough voice, "Yes-gar-" A cough, "Apologies. Are you pretty sure of it then...?"
"Most certainly," The man nodded. No regrets, only certainties. That was the path that he chose to take.
"Very well, we shall be organizing ourselves to arrive to this meeting." The voice laughed, "Thank you for your cooperation, good-bye."
A pair of blue eyes shone through the man's intricate mask, "It art no trouble." He moved to switch the Den Den Mushi off, "Sir Ascalon." Indeed, only certainties.
He rose from the rock which he sat at and took hold of the katana.
Dinner of KingsEdit
Indeed, much like Elizabeth had imagined it, there really was a reunion planned between the Pirate Alliance and a man well known throughout these seas. Much further into the territory, one could access a special elevator that could take them to the upper yards of Brine.
The Space Gardens, also known as Eden, were a special area within the upper reaches of Brine that only a select few individuals could access. It was, as its name described, a garden situated atop the clouds. The plants that were grown here bore a medley of distinct colors and shapes, providing an eccentricity to an otherwise very simple area.
In the center of this grand garden lay a single, silver round table, accented with helmet, sparrow, phoenix and bovine insignias across the center of the table. On the far north end of the table sat a knight, adorned completely in their light gray armor, including their helmet. They sat with a high posture, and authority exuded from even their breathing. Three figures sat on the same table, with one man with bright red hair directly opposite from the masked knight.
"Your feats are impressive, Redgrave." The individual spoke, and a deep, but feminine voice, was projected from the helmet. "However, wealth alone would not grant you a position among us in the Alliance. Exactly what can your archaeological prowess provide to us, that the Sparrow Pirates do not already?"
This was Dianoir Judith, Arthur of the Round Table Pirates and the founder of the Pirate Sanctuary Alliance. She was a woman, no, a knight of noble convictions. But more than that, she was a pirate who sought freedom from the oppressive power structure that exists in the modern world. To that end, she required allies. But she could not simply welcome everyone in her banner. Much to her chagrin, she had to employ the same methods as those dreaded Yonko in order to fight against them.
She was a woman who steeled her resolve after years of failure and betrayal. No smooth talk would pass through her armor, and nobody would be able to resist the spear of her interrogation. Beneath the helmet that concealed her eyes, a powerful gaze from her blue eyes sought to peel the truth of this man before her.
Redgrave regarded the Knights words with some deliberation. He knew the power in words, for they were no less than any weapon held in hand. But the words he heard did not reflect the conflict and resolve in the heart of the King of Knights. Her armor, elegant and masterfully crafted would no doubt withstand the might of any attack, but it has no place in this battle. She must rid herself of its defense if victory is her ambition.
"Speak Knight King! Speak truly and justly. Wield your tongue as you would your blade. Do not speak as though its edge has become dull and rusted. Hide not the true intent behind your words, unsheathe the veracity of your resolve!"
His words cut through the tension before them, his intent clear. If they were to speak it must be in a language of pure meaning, unburdened and unbound by mere convention.
"My wealth and my gifts to you were just that, gifts but they are not what you seek. Such baubles could be provided by any nobleman, and I am no nobleman. What you desire is the strength to stand against the Three Great Powers. Speak to me O King of Knights, lay bare your words that possess your convictions."
A snicker found its way out of her throat, "My, this is a first!" Elizabeth revealed herself above her designed chair, floating with her legs crossed and holding a large sword. Looking at Judith, she blew a kiss and several ripples went through the air, forming a gaseous small heart that would approach Judith.
Through her power, Elizabeth had been briefly invisible, the various ripples resonating on the air around her. "I am Elizabeth, as you probably knoooow," Even so, Elizabeth knew that it was just something fancy, after all, by a man with an aura so large, she knew that she could be sensed.
"This is for H E R to respond," Elizabeth stuck a tongue out towards Judith with her eyes closed and swiftly went back to Redgrave. "You chose some good words there, but, to stand against... is not to seek these fights." She crossed her arms, knowing she was already overstepping the boundaries. After all, it was redirected for Judith.
"Crunch, Crunch... CRUNCH!". The sound of eating resonated through the room, cutting the tension like butter under a knife. The conversation soon turns to a man sitting at the farthest side of the table, Bovidae Indra. She sat legs up on the table comfortably with a bag of his favorite chips. He placed the bag taking his last crunch, he squirms further into the curves of the chair as to get even more comfortable.
"I guess, I should introduce myself". Indra lets out a sigh before arising to a normal seated position revealing his incredible height. "I'm sure you know of who I am but just as a formality, I am Bovidae Indra, Captain of the Bovine Pirates, and member of the Pirate Sanctuary Alliance. Formalities now aside let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
"Elizabeth, your laugh, giggles, and your incessant snickers, aren't needed, it's rare I take any situation seriously, so on this rare and special occasion can you grant me this kindness and act less like a child". Indra spoke directly at Elizabeth. he then returned his gaze towards Redgrave. "So, Mr. Redgrave do you feel as though you have the strength to help us challenge the Three Great Powers, how so, because contrary to what you say, all I see here is another nobleman speaking words to big for him to back up, so rather than dodging the initial question asked of you by Judith, show us what you can provide us with". Indra returned to his past comfortable seated position feet up and leaning deep into the cushions of his chair.
The intriguing gaze in his eyes disappeared replaced only by a cold and calculating stare. His posture, once respectably relax now lethal and deadly. "Even with two eyes you are blind to the world before for even your ears deceive you." He did not face Indra as he spoke, his attention was focused like a razor's edge on the King of Knights. "I shall reiterate once more. I am no nobleman."
Redgrave then fixed the Mink with a bemused smile. "Shall I illuminate the truth your eyes refuse to see? A sword rests at my side. I did not travel by ship nor crew and I lack the fresh scent of seawater. Yet here I am, wealth and treasures abound. If you possessed the awareness, a simple observation would have revealed the biography of my travels and ability. Yet your eyes show a reality found only in the realm of imagination. "
With that he turned towards the Knight of Kings, dismissal of the Mink evident in his posture and features. His hand found the pommel of his sword. Its golden hexagonal shape fitting comfortable in his palm. The gesture itself was not deliberate as it was an unconscious natural action. He spoke again, his voice was bold and measured. "I will part the veil you have cleverly weaved for yourself. The Sanctuary is an enemy to the Three Great Powers. You will find neither allies nor mercy among their ranks. For your ideal of freedom to bear fruit you must become a power all on your own."
He stood from his chair, a fluid motion that beguiled preternatural grace. His stride took him around the assembled as he traced the perimeter taking in the aesthetic beauty of Eden. He peered out from the garden towards the clouds below. "The fear they shall come to know at your growing presence will embolden them to destroy you. Wealth will fund your operations and fill the bellies of your people. Treasures, weapons and armor will guide those whose ambition pushes them to even greater heights. But most importantly the mighty strength of your Knights, Pirates and all those who take up the gun and sword will defend and if necessary obliterate those who desire your destruction. It is the last that you lack, and the last that you so terribly need."
He turned to face the King of Knights. "I am not here to beg nor grovel for a seat at your table. You are here to convince me as to why I should."
"Ideal of freedom?" The King of Knights spoke, after listening to the discourse of her fellow Alliance members. "If you are aware of that much, Redgrave, then please reminisce on what my ideal truly was." A pause. There was something that Judith had to do before confronting Redgrave about the reality of this situation. It was an action she rarely undertook, but it would be discourteous as a knight to continue this charade any longer.
Placing her hands at the side of her helmet, she slid it off her head, revealing Judith's long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes that had their sights set upon Redgrave. "I won't continue to talk to you as the Faceless Knight, but rather, Dianoir Judith. I am not so discourteous as a knight to engage in this discussion without revealing who I am."
Judith's tone was strong, but it was not malevolent. She was simply speaking her truth. However, her face was quickly painted with a splash of irritation, "My ideal of freedom does indeed require us to possess enormous power." Judith began to speak, "But, do not forget, I dreamed of this vision with the eyes of a knight. As a knight...no, as the King of Knights, I have but a single duty – to protect those who have flocked under my protection."
Judith's raised voice had calmed down now, "Now that you understand my intentions, Redgrave. Let me explain one more thing to you. I ask of your power not to turn this sanctuary into a battleship. Think of this sanctuary...as Noah's Ark. With mighty power, we will sail the seas with our heads held high. We will have power, indeed. But that power will transform into a mighty shield that will ensure our resolve does not cripple, and we will stand, holding our own vision of piracy, continuing to move forward."
Judith took a breath, but did not remove eye contact with the man before her. Her silence indicated that she awaited a response.
A pregnant pause filled the void following her words. If Redgrave was impressed by the removal of her helm, he made no indication of it. Yet she could detect the faint traces of someone who is pleased that a plan is going accordingly. Drawn out of her thoughts his voice pierced the silence. "The worth of a thing, even an ideal can be determined by only one arbiter --- that thing's ability to exist, to go on existing, and to remake existence to suit its survival."
He paused and his face took on a pensive look, nostalgic even. He continued almost ruefully. "To protect others is a noble cause. To become the shield for the weak, the sentinel that stands ever vigil against tyranny. This, I know. Heed my words Lady Judith. Do not allow yourself to be possessed by senseless heroism that you deny the people you protect the true lesson of life--- the ability to adapt and endure, to reshape the world around them entirely for that purpose. You must make them strong. Strong enough to step beyond the shadow of your shield. Never forget these words of mine Lady Judith. They will serve you well."
He fixed Lady Judith with a hard gaze, conviction steeling in his eyes and body. To determine the measure of her leadership, he could not be kind. For the Warlords, the Pirates and the World Government will not. They will sully her name, degrade her cause and undermine her efforts at all possible levels. Will she bend to pressure? Or will the veracity of her claim rise to the surface? He would see it, must see it before he decides.
"Your argument to appeal to my heroic sensibilities was admirable, but mistaken. If I am to ally with you, provide for you resources, wealth, arms and armor and treasures beyond the ken of imagination, then in doing so I will become an enemy of the Three Great Powers. What do you have to offer that would make such a risk worth taking? And if I leave here not as an ally, what will you do to ensure that I do not reveal what I have learned and seen here?"
This man... this man was something. Elizabeth's mind, body, spirit, all concluded it, she shouldn't be thinking it again. She had to speak up as well, Judith was, Indra was, not for her pride, but, for the alliance. "We are not only those that protect the weak, Mister Sir Highness Redgrave," She clapped her hands briefly and opened her arms wide, "A sanctuary is a place to rest, to defend, to be taught.
"An ever learning place, life is just about that," Elizabeth rose one finger, the cloth conceiling the Caladbolg floating by her side again. "If you leave without our comradeship, you have already seen and been told about our beliefs, our resolve. You just proved to us that not everyone truly knows our objective, and that is undoubtely one of the factors that allowed us to grow without absurds amounts of strength."
Elizabeth smiled, though, it was more of a tender one, "But, if you stay... you will be contributing not only to our objectives, also to your own." She clapped and several ripples flew across the area, taking the form of birds. "In this sea, birds don't survive alone."
Jacquie sat quietly in the corner while this unfolded, a small animal resting in her lap. It didn't feel as if it were her place to speak within this increasingly tense conversation; indeed, Jacquie wondered why she was here at all. Given her status as a keeper/sniper, she figured her purpose was to stay put. Yet here she was, watching three captains of the Sanctuary Alliance negotiate with a powerful, wealthy, and highly wanted fugitive in Redgrave.
For now, she resumed stroking the sleeping animal, awaiting Redgrave's response to her captain's words.
Judith thought to herself as the conversation continued to transpire. To be cornered this quickly, this effectively...she was losing her edge. No, perhaps, there simply weren't enough people that could bring her to think this deeply. But a grin crept upon her face, before she laughed aloud, "Mormormor!" A bizarre laugh, but the intention was clearly to cut through the tension that lifted the air, even if all the attention was drawn back to her.
The King of Knights spoke, "You aren't wrong, Redgrave." She admitted without hesitation, a bold move. "Under my guidance, my people have gone soft. No, rather...I began this endeavor with soft motives to begin with. I stretched out my own hand to no longer be helpless towards the tidal wave known as the Three Powers. But our vessel continued to run, and run, and now it holds too much weight, and can no longer move backward."
Her eyes lit brightly, as if an epiphany struck her. "This is where you make your mark, Redgrave D. Zelgadis!" Judith spoke boldly, "I will offer you this refuge, and this military power, but I require you to assist me in shaping this sanctuary into a blade! A blade so sharp, so powerful, that any manner of obstacle will be cut in its wake!"
"Of course, if you refuse even after all this, then we shall have nothing more to do with each other. But be warned, there are few in this world that will appeal to topple the hierarchy of the seas. As I have learned myself...a lone man cannot endure the storm, no matter how mighty his vessel. Will you see your ambitions capsize, and fall into the sea, forgotten?"
"POP". The sound of a popping snot bubble resonates in the ears of a dozed off sleeping Indra. He slowly opens his eyes and ears only to hear the end of Judith's last statement. He looks down seeing that his chips have fallen, he gets slightly angered at how long this deal is taking. "Before you make your decision Redgrave take into consideration this".
Indra sits up in his seat once again most likely for the last time she folds his hands resting his chin upon then directly addressing Redgrave. "If you decline our offer, how simple do you think you will be able to leave?" Indra says raising his eyebrow at Redgrave. "Though you haven't seen much of our more sensitive secrets, tactics, and plans, you have seen more then most have of our island we call brine, if you decide to decline depending on the terms of your rejection we may have to take more extensive actions as to ensure the safety of our sanctuary. Just to remind you as Judith said, a lone man cannot endure the storm, no matter how mighty his vessel. If you decide to leave here today without our alliance the storm to take down your vessel may just be us, so I just ask you take this into consideration not as a threat but as a friendly reminder as to your position compared to ours". Indra rather than putting his feet up he raised his hood leaning back on his hand resting on his armrest, once again dozing off.
Redgrave looked around the room, carefully observing the reactions of the others, his gaze lingering on Indra for a moment before returning to Lady Judith. He smiled joyfully and laughed. It was boisterous tempestuous laugh that boomed and thundered like the heavens clashing against earth. He swept his arms wide. "In one hand you offer peace, in the other war! Indeed, your cause is a worthy one to consider. Keen is your mind to see where I stand. A single man sailing through the storm that is the Three Great Powers. Such is their might that should I brandish sword in hand, mine would be the life that is consumed by their overwhelming might. Know this Lady Knight. A King that cannot hold his power, must|will be betrayed. Should you take this blade of mine, I will keep you sharp. At your blessing those who serve you will be tested, their strength and mettle pitted against dangers once guarded by your impervious shield. Thus your blade will never dull."
"On th' subject of blades," A voice filled the open area, Elizabeth's eyes widened and her hair flared. Before she could turn her head around, something blurred by her, an arm. She jumped and rolled into the air, followed by the Caladbolg. If they could, Elizabeth's eyes would grow even more, for she did not simply swallow the fact that "he" stood before them.
Elizabeth had landed swiftly on both feet, "You!" Her index pointed at the figure of Blumenthal Gerhard, who wore some kind of large leaf around his neck and jaw. The aforementioned pirate simply chuckled and wrinkled his eyebrows.
Flashes of many days ago filled her head, "How are you even A L I V E?" There was simply no way, Elizabeth clutched the hidden Caladbolg.
"Cool of ya' t'ask," Gerhard arched his eyebrows, "I've been hidin' and eatin' CUP NOODLES! Like some fuckin' homemade soup," A scowl filled his face, whilst he waved his hands in a cupping formation. Suddenly, his eyes widened, "Oh, gentleman-" Gerhard glanced at all the other figures present, taking one slow step backward, "I didn't notice y'all 'ere... so many... serious people." He clapped his hands.
A grin was about to appear on Judith's face in response to Redgrave's affirmations, before another voice awoke in the room. It caught her off guard, and her eyes murderously stared at the newcomer. From the leaf that he wore, Judith was a little bit confused by the identity of this man. Although, to brazenly be able to make their way here must mean he was taken care of.
"Elizabeth...have you been playing your games with this man?" Judith sighed. It was a habit of Elizabeth to play around with people that often bit Judith back, but she couldn't change her ways now, so she played along. "Mind enlightening the rest of us before he runs away?"
As soon as Gerhard moved his finger, Elizabeth cut him off through her hurried words. She bit her lower lips and pointed her right index at Gerhard, "That guy over there tried to S T E A L! Like, wow, no dignity!"
"Mate, 'xcuse me?!" Gerhard bit back, though, he took a step backwards instead. "Run away? I mean, yeah, why not." Sweat glistened his face at the many looks pointed at him, "Tis' shit is me property!" That time, he turned to Judith, "Apologies, mat- Ma'am? Yer' Knightness? Th' name's-"
Elizabeth took a glance at Judith, "Do you see it, Jout?!" Her teeth further sank into her lips, "This man, whom you may know as Blumenthal Gerhard," The aforementioned pirate rolled his eyes, "Barges in the middle of our reunion and accuses me of playing games!"
A frown, "T'was 'er," Gerhard pointed at Judith, "Who said I-"
"We don't lie in this place," Elizabeth wrinkled her eyebrows and slapped the air, "How are you here anyway?! I know that Marine emprisoned you for trying to steal this sword back at that island! I was simply passing by, Jout, so as a tresure, I took it!" Caressing the hidden Caladbolg, Elizabeth laughed, "Rsrsrsrsrs! Captured like that, you got to be the lamest pirate I've seen-"
"But at 'east you've heard of me," Gerhard shrugged.
Elizabeth blinked, teeth fully visible, "I said 'seen'."
Beat, Gerhard pushed a finger into his earlobe, "Fuckin' shit, mate..."
"Elizabeth." Judith sighed as she spoke her name, listening to this conversation drag out. "Your teeth have blood on them, you know?" Judith knew Elizabeth for many years now, and one of her biggest habits was biting her lips when she was lying. Clearly, the woman didn't try maturing even after all this time.
"So then. We have a sword-stealing archaeologist in our midst. Don't worry Leaf Mask, we'll give you your sword back. But firstly, Elizabeth, let the man identify himself." Judith spoke rather calmly in in between this bickering.
At the mention of blood, Elizabeth's forearm blurred by her mouth, wiping it out, "But... Jout-Jout," She clapped her hands together, looking with trembling eyes at Judith.
"Leaf mask..." Gerhard uttered and blinked rapidly, "Ok, miss, like... th'sword s'mine. My pa' gave't to me." He formed his fingers in a heart position for a few moments. "What else d'ya want? Like, I already gave ya' my name, did'ja want height, weight, or whatever th'fuck to register me in these daycare hospitals?"
It was then that Judith finally gave him the word, "Niiice! 'Kay, so, y'all probably read't in the news a while back about the Notch Pirates. Those who defected from that Yonko," He inhaled some air, glancing randomly around, "So, I'm one of 'em, as I said, Blumenthal Gerhard." Before he even noticed it, Gerhard was closer to the table than he wanted. "Doctor of Games or somethin'..."
"...Oh, this is convenient." Judith chuckled for a moment. She had gained a powerful ally in the form of Redgrave, and now another powerful crew that wandered the New World had appeared before her. At the very least, a representative. "Say, Blumenthal...I will be direct with you here. Do you think your Captain, Nerthus Freyja, will accept joining this alliance with the Notch Pirates?"
Judith's stare pierced through to Gerhard. Her intentions were clear as day now. Redgrave knew, and so did the others...this alliance required power. And the biggest floating power on the seas right now was the Notch Pirates; there was simply no better candidate. Not to mention, as an elite member of their crew, there was no possible way they wouldn't appear before them soon.
"You... shan't worry about that, Dear oh Dearest Faceless Knight!" A singing voice entered everyone's ears just as Gerhard was about to respond Judith.
Gerhard's eyes widened, that voice was more than familiar. "How... Freyja, y'skippin' stages now?" Indeed, before everyone, entering the area was Freyja, the true captain of the aforementioned Notch Pirates.
Hips swaying, her heels clicked one in front of the other, Freyja smiled at everyone present, "Good afternoon! I even brought some members along."
"Wha'... wha's this?" Gerhard spun around, facing his captain and the mentioned members. His eyes caught the approaching Ascalon, along with two of the crew's Horsemen, Downer Dimitri of Famine and Almasy D. Laszlo of Death, "Wa' th'fuck y'all here?!"
Ascalon was the first to speak, "We have received a call from one of Lady Judith's crewmembers." He took a look at the other participants of the table, "So, we hurried to attend this meeting."
"Mormormor! Perfect! I already have a rough idea on who brought you here, so this is perfect for us." Judith stared at the Captain of the Notch Pirates directly, and was unfazed in the slightest by her sudden appearance. "Now that you're here. What do you think of my proposal, Nerthus? Do you have anything to lose?"
"Are you really planning to shack up with these 'knights' or whatever." Spoke a green eyed man beside Ascalon. He stood only two feet shorter than the massive lion mink as he loomed over the table. The black hat atop his head and the large cloak he wore seemed to dance in place, emitting wisps of what looked like darkness. This was Dimitri, The Horseman of Famine. "We're already dealing with one psychopath. So I guess hopping into this melting pot of pirates with 'good intentions' is the logical move in that case?"
“Excuse the dumb ass,” Laszlo apologized, his tone and words directed towards Judith for Dmitri’s behavior. He looked back at the taller man. “You fuckin’ idiot, don’t you know anything about diplomacy? You don’t ask the captain about whether we’re going to ally with someone right in front of them. That’s just fucking rude.” He turned his attention back to Judith, stepping forward in front of the group. “But, aside from that, I’m more worried about your proposal. What exactly is it? And don’t hide any details from me.” His ears twitched. “I’m listening…” he gave Judith a pointed look, “to everything.”
Freyja stood, once again, with wide eyes and a smile at the actions of her subordinates. How could she not? Placing her hands on her hips, she glanced at them while they laid out their thoughts, all of which only made her smile even more, it seemed that plan of hers truly would be the best decision to go for. A decision that could shake the New World with the wake of the True Notch Pirates.
"...Fuckin' shit," Gerhard cursed out suddenly, his eyes rolling while he turned and walked away from nearby the table, feet stomping over and over the dry and short grass. "I'mma' just get my sword later on, 'kay?" Not even turning back, he waved at Judith and Elizabeth, the latter of whom stuck her tongue out to him, "Y'guys just discuss yer' elite shit."
The first to take a step was Ascalon, who reached a hand for his subordinate, "Ger-"
"Nah, don' bother boss," Gerhard waved again with a yell, having been close to the area's exit.
"My my," Freyja mused while giving out a goodbye kiss towards Gerhard's back, "That one has been rather wild as of recently, running away on his own." With a spin, she was facing Judith and the others again, her left hand tapped at her cheek, "I hope he was not any trouble~" She clapped her palms and took to approaching the table.
In a lick of her lips and an arch of her eyebrows, Freyja continued to speak, "If I'm honest, Your... Knightess... I have nothing else to lose." A pout, she shrugged, "Only recently, the world has recognized and discovered that I'm the Captain of this bunch," Briefly, Freyja gestured for the Mink and Horsemen behind her.
Raising his hand, Ascalon spoke once he wasn't interrupting anyone, "We couldn't just... go beyond if we stood under Sigma, after all, he accumulated debt after debt." Freyja nodded at that and snapped her fingers, prompting Ascalon to retreat any other word he would give.
"Before I lay out my suggestion," Freyja breathed at her fingers and rested her head on her palm, gazing at Judith, "What about you, your Knightess? What do you have to lose?"
"Excuse yourself Laz." Dimitri responded in a monotone growl. Only stopping for his captain.
"Hmmm...What do I lose?" Judith thought to herself, thinking almost rather comically at this point. "Why, I lose an ounce of sleep every night making sure my mind thinks you aren't going to double cross me...and that your breaking away from the Xros Pirates wasn't a big publicity scandal to move the media away from Shiguma himself."
Freyja tightened her two fists, no hair perked up, no eyebrows arching up or down, only keeping her smile and gaze directed towards Judith. Waterfalls and animals went silent in the distance.
Ascalon's fur shot up slightly along with some sweat, and he was sure the Horsemen behind him may have had similar reactions, his eyes hovered over Freyja's backside. "Frey-" Her hand rose up gently, eyes not even looking nor head even turning to Ascalon. He dared not to speak again or even think about it, she has had all this time to think things through, a whole week. They worked long since the Xros Pirates, Ascalon had to continue trusting her, his fists tightened and blood threatened to spill from his claws sinking.
"Your Knightess," Freyja's smile only rose and her body trembled, "I apologize if that is the impression you have gotten from me." A hand reached to touch her bust, another breath left her lips, "I have made a mistake to leave Ascalon commanding-" Before anything could be questioned, Freyja just continued, "-In my stead, I should have taken the frontal row. After all... who is to trust a leader that stands by the sidelines?"
Rising her hand for the others to see, Freyja gestured for how it trembled, "I'm really emotional for this... At this very moment," She bit her lips and shook her head a bit, "I really want to- BASH-" Freyja cupped a wrist with her other hand. "But, these emotions are... to remain with the Freyja from before. They have costed me many things already," A single glance was offered at her belly, then she rose to meet the other looks there. "It is why... I thought we could help one another."
Arms opening wide, Freyja looked at her crew, Ascalon's mouth gaping, and then at the peope on the table, "I WANT TO RESIGN AS THE NOTCH PIRATES'S CAPTAIN!" She beamed loudly.
There was a distinct look of confusion on Laszlo’s visage that was often quite rare considering his specialties. He stepped forward. “Freyja, you can’t be serious. Don’t you understand the consequences of your actions?” There was a level of concern layered in his tone. “We left the Xros Pirates for you. That puts a target on our backs, but we didn’t care because we did it…for you. If you need us to step up, we’ll step up,” Laszlo said, slamming his palm onto his chest. “Hell, I’ll do more; the Gods know that I don’t do shit. I can’t pretend what it’s like to…” he stopped himself. “Look, if you need a break, take one, but please Freyja. Without you, I don’t know what to do.”
He took another step forward. “Don’t you? You said to me that even if I could hear the echoes of the past, the whispers of the future, the prophecies of the gods themselves that you would help me. You told me it didn’t matter that I glimpsed my own death, because you would bend fate to your will. Have you forgotten all about that?”
Seeing Laszlo's eyes kicked the oxygen out of Freyja's lungs, "Laszlo." Such first name escaping her first name made Ascalon frown, in a hurry her legs got her off the chair and towards Laszlo. "I do..." She stared out for him, "I really do... now." Her eyes run from one direction to another. "I... didn't mean it like that," More steps, Freyja slowly approached Laszlo's figure.
Some sort of aura seemed to flow out of Freyja's being and envelop the small area the two stood in, "My break... won't keep me away from any of you. Specially from you," Freyja rose both hands, trying to hold Laszlo's shoulders with them, fingers pressed into his clothes. "Can we not allow ourselves some home... here?" Arm swinging, she gestured for the island itself.
Turning back to Judith, Freyja smiled again, "Given what you've seen earlier from one of my subordinates, your Knightess, I truly wanted to test out their loyalty... my loyalty. I'm giving them this much freedom so that I see their true faces!" That time, her teeth flashed into a smirk instead, "This is something you would call a," Her eyes rolled, "Test of honour, no?"
"No." That single declaration cut through the light-hearted cheer like a blood-stained blade. There Redgrave stood his being radiating authority, as if his word itself could be made into physical law.
"You," he spat, "are not worthy of the title of Captain. I do not recognize you." he said to Freyja with barely concealed contempt. "How many lives stain your hands? How many dreams lay ruined at your feet?"
He closed the distance between them, his every step like a clap of thunder. "The strength I sense within you could only be borne by climbing to the summit of power on a mountain of corpses!"
He straightened, his stare penetrating into her own. "You are a pirate." He stated it as if it no different than the sky and ocean were blue.
He leaned forward, until his face was inches from here own. "You were one who ventured into seas unknown, with only blade and cunning at your side. Where has that pride gone? When you left the Xros Pirates, your subordinates followed after. They saw in you a Captain worth fighting for. Worthy dying for. Yet this is how you repay loyalty!?" The ground beneath them shuddered under the force of his words, his anger pooling around him like a thick miasma. Wisps of power oozing at his feet lashed out, arcs of lightning darted across his person, and his eyes ... those eyes burned like the fury of a storm unleashed, a primordial force enfleshed in human form.
==Redguard==Laszlo had a string of emotions running wild deep in the depths of his soul. Some anger, some confusion, a lot of attraction, but none of that mattered in the grand scheme of things, especially not while some guy was insulting his captain. He stepped forward in between Freyja and Redgrave, his eyes piercing Redgrave’s own.
“Yeah, you make a good point…She can’t just leave, not after this. Everyone in this crew is willing to kill for her, pillage for her, die for her. When you got people like that, your life is no longer yours. You have a responsibility to lead. But you forgot one thing pal.” Laszlo paused.
“It also means when you insult her, you are insulting the rest of us. I don’t have any pretty words to dress this up, or some fancy speech. My captain means more to me than anything ever will, even if she is taking a break on us. So, whatever you got to say to her, you’ll say to me first, and then I’ll decide if it’s even worthy enough for her ears you fuckin’ prick. And if I judge them not worthy, then I’ll do my job and put my life on line to make sure you don’t ever utter them again, you insignificant piece of shit.”
Laszo slid his hands in his pockets carelessly. “You don’t know shit about my captain, so don’t act like you do. Now you have two seconds to back the fuck up, before I make you back the fuck up…got it?”
"...What?" With a foot slide, Freyja turned around to glare at the man that identified herself as Redgrave, though, it was a shaky step. After all, the pressure of such a man sent shivers not only through the earth, but, through her very being. "Man that has been silent for a while, you dare question my actions upon recognizing my own errors-" Before she could even say anything else, the presence of Laszlo fell over her own, and over her mind. Eyes wide and mouth agape, Freyja let surprise wash over her.
She really couldn't explain the sensation that tried washing at her over and over again, it was so different from when they were alone. Under sheets, under skins. No one to look at them, no one to tell them anything. Warmth, quietness.
Even as memories overcame her, Freyja tried stepping forward, "Your Knight, normally, you would think I would jump at you... as I was saying earlier." She coughed, trying to gesture around her, "That is the past me... I request," Freyja looked at Laszlo and then at Redgrave, "That all of us calm down and think this through! This is a chance for all of us, is it not?"
One to ThreeEdit
"Who, who, who," Gerhard mused to himself, whilst he walked through some of the floating streets of Brine's top half. He still wondered, "Who... just who told 'em?" Chatter and steps filled the atmosphere, after all, he was passing through one of the islands's villages, which was pretty spread out throughout this specific path.
"PIRIRIMPIM!" Something echoed through the roads, Gerhard glanced to his right, "Piririmrimpim!" Then, to his right.
It was then, when Gerhard glanced forward and stopped dead in his tracks, that he saw a short person clad in red suit. Their face was littered with make-up, round much like the mask of a clown, while the hair was blond and divided into two buns, a large strand on their forehead. The person clapped, "Pirimpim."
Blink, Gerhard shook his head and shoved the person out of the way, "Good day t'ya too." His next step was his last, Gerhard spun around and grabbed the clown's hand, twisting it, "Wha' th'fuck?!" Their... its eyes, black and red, stared at Gerhard's own.
"Pirim..." They uttered, hand slipping from Gerhard's, and smiled wide. Another round of clapping, out of their back the clown took a red crutch and swung it with their left hand. Gerhard made a movement and the clown clapped again, "Pirimpiiiiiim!" He stopped as soon as the clown stretched his left arm, prompting the crutch to reach Gerhard.
On its tip was a paper, Gerhard arched his eyebrow, but took it nevertheless. "Igor's Bar" His eyebrows rose even more, he glanced upwards to talk to the clown, "I-" It was gone, Gerhard glanced around again and everyone who walked seemed unfazed.
Maybe Gerhard should hurry more, after all, he did make her sleep with his powers. She would probably never forgive him. He shook his head, prompting his eyes to catch sight of a location's name, Igor's Bar, they widened.
In a heartbeat, Gerhard stopped walking and glanced at the place beside the road. "Nah, no way," Facing forward, he ended up colliding against someone's figure and made them fall backwards, "Apolog-"
"Wow, Mister, Mister!!" The person was short, covered in bandages, their hands moved around the ground, "Coins coins, you made me drop my coins!"
Okay, Gerhard could take that one, he bent his knees and lowered himself to help the young person, "Here-"
"Coins for meeting!!"
"Meeting, yes!" The person continued to chant rapidly.
"Cross, at Cross-" A sudden burst of wind erupted between the two, stopping both. Gerhard looked at the person's eyes, meeting a grey color, the person smiled goofy, "Teehee!" No way. Gerhard's eyes widened.
Swiftly, he rose from his hunched position and glared at the person, "Cher-"
The other person jumped from their position, interrupting Gerhard, "No!" All of the bandages surrounding their body exploded in confetti, revealing an iron plate and helmet, both of which were covering the person... the girl's figure along leather. "No no no! Whoosh!" Blond hair flowed out of the helmet, "I am Knight of the Round Table!" She picked some imaginary sword and ran around.
Eyes following the girl, Gerhard budged not from his spot, "Is it true?" There should be a reason for it to be there and then... Right? Yes, he knew better than that.
"No no no!" The girl stopped suddenly, large eyes glancing nowhere, "Oh, maybe?! Maybe!" She sang, smiling into the wind and running again. "I'm not her, I'm a Knight!" The free hand moved to pick something in a bag.
"I see..." Gerhard uttered, then his eyes widened once the girl threw something out of the bag and into his direction, "Oh." It really was it, he eyed the orange mask that had been caught by his left hand. "It's... true, I see..." Taking the leaf off his face, Gerhard swiftly put the mask on, breathing into its contents, "Much... much better."
"Knight Knight Kniiiight!" The girl cheered again, "I'm a Knight!" Again, her hands searched through the bag.
Without waiting another moment, Gerhard simply continued on his path, "Thank you, Cheryl." He uttered, half-lidded eyes glaring on the road ahead. It seemed the time was nigh, Gerhard had no reason to stay a lot of time anymore.
Yet again, Cheryl continued to sing and run around in her robes, "No no no!!" She took out a black clothing out of the bag, "Not Cheryl, no no no! I'm a Knight, yes yes yes!"
Cheryl unveiled the clothing and revealed a symbol, "Cheryl would use this! Me, a Knight, do not!" A skull which was crossed by red paint and wore a hat.
Nanashi stood quiet through the whole trip, unless spoken to, the group was already close to the mountain located on the middle of the base island. From it, they would all walk several places until they started to tranverse the flying steps to reach the floating islands.
Harlan had been hopping from spot to spot, always staying near Nanashi. It'd been a while since he had asked a question; around 15 seconds ago. "Mr. Red, you haven't told me how strong I have to get to beat Hurricane Lady. Are there people that can beat her? Like, I know my ol' friend Robo-Man could maybe beat her, but are there other people you know that could beat her? And if yes, how do I get stronger than them? Actually, who's the strongest person in this world? Can you answer my questions pleeeeease??"
Wiela walked in front of the group several steps ahead from them. She already knew the location and where they were headed to and, on top of that, she wasn't in the mood to keep hearing Harlan's voice. She kept walking quietly for a while; however, without a warning, she just disappeared from their view. It was such a soundless moviment that it looked like she was erased from the space for a moment and suddenly appeared in one of the floating islands. Wiela kept doing the same until she was too far to be seen or followed.
"Vanished..." Nanashi uttered out along the howling wind, since even Wiela's presence kept itself a large distance away, he presumed she wanted not to be disturbed. "We ought to continue... our journey, my companions," Swiftly, he motioned for them all to follow.
Indeed, Nanashi's group made inclusion of Harlan, Asha, Armis, Francis, and Miku. Not that they seemed to mind accompanying him, ahead of them stood the large chateau of the base island, which connected to floating paths and mountains, and so on, eventually reaching the other floating islands. Amongst these many rocks were either houses or waterfalls, giving place for trees and vegetation to grow around them.
Before Harlan could ask another question, while they all travelled, it was Miku, who walked alongside Hatsune, that answered, "She is one of our group's strongest." Even when she said so, she only looked ahead on the path they all walked, "Maybe..." Hatsune did some low sounds while Miku went deep in thought, "Maybe you would need a single Shichibukai to defeat her, yes." She did wonder, after all, how much it would take out of one.
Harlan scrunched his eyes together as he stared at Miku. "What the hell's a Shichibukai? If I can beat one of them up, does that mean I could beat Hurricane Hoe?"
"A Shichibukai is a Pirate who sold their soul to the Marines in exchange for a removal of their bounty. All four active ones would wipe the floor with you knave. But if you were able to beat one, yes you would likely be able to fight Lady Elizabeth equally." Armis responded to Harlan's rather stupid question.
"First off, don't call me a knave. I don't know what it means." they hybrid retorted. "And I'm pretty sure I could handle one Shichibukai thing. I fought Hurricane Hoe, and I mean...I didn't die, so that's a start."
Sparing a glance at Armis, whom she smirked to, and then to Harlan, Miku replied, "Precisely!" She pointed a finger at him, "...one of them is a really nice fellow, I think the Grey General." Yes, he was better off doing that than being there with them.
Miku waved at Armis, "Turtle-kun here has regularly seen power close to that of a Shichibukai!" She rose both her fists into the air, "He is trained directly by our leader!"
"That art true," Nanashi said suddenly, gesturing for everyone to proceed into a large crevice. "Challenging someone such as... A Shichibukai is foooish." Beside them were now trees etched into stone and waterfalls in all sides. The path ahead led into a rising way, houses visible at the end of the rise.
"You guys say that like that'll stop me." Harlan responded. "I'll beat a Shichibukai up, no problem. And then I'll beat Hurricane Hoe. That's the plan."
Nanashi briefly muffled a snicker, "We art to see how that... goes, knave." Beat, "A Knave, much like you... asked, is a young person without... home." They had walked quite a bit, much close to the buildings at the end of the ascending path, their style seemed to be various, mixture from different cultures and countries. "If thou truly joinest this... crew, we shall make sure you.... won't die."
Walking by Armis's side along Hatsune, Miku commented yet again, "That's if he's accepted, Sir Nanashi, with all due respect." She glanced briefly at Harlan, then focusing ahead. "The world has more than Shichibukai and us, but," Holding a fist tightly towards nowhere, Miku flashed a quick smile, "We are quickly walking up!" However non-literal she was, the group was indeed pretty much close to a city.
Eyes going red for a second, Nanashi stared ahead into the town, though he walked in the middle of the group, thus, hushing no one to speed up.
Harlan turned to Miku, squinting. "What do you mean, accepted? I could kick all of your asses right now, and then I'd be accepted, right? Pft, women."
"I doubt you could even scratch my shell, let alone beat me. I am the king's squire for a reason." Armis boasted in response. "What are you going to do, shoot me knave?"
With her hair flaring up, Miku glared at Harlan, "Watch your tongue, K-Knave!" She pointed a shaking finger.
"I'll take any of on, anytime." Harlan responded. "Trust me, I'm not as weak as you morons think I am." he continued, growling slightly. He hated being underestimated, he wasn't a child anymore. He had been trained by that robot man for two whole years. He could handle anyone that came him way, he knew it.
Before they all even knew it, the many voices from the small town completely entered their ears, as they found themselves at the Round Tavern. It was the island's biggest tavern, in fact, often mistaken for being a town, when in reality it was a bar spread out in the open. Many of its tables littered the place, made out of a tree's body with a ship's wheel as the platform.
"Don' call me tha', old man," A voice stood out amongst the many groups, two figures clearly visible due to their stature. One of them stood in purple typical-piracy clothes, garbs basically, while the other seemed more modern, including a jacket and jeans.
The elder man, hair brown and beard present mostly on his chin, spoke out with a wave of his beer, "But J-" This was Henry, a man worth 100,000,000 for the many deeds he comitted throughout his long life.
"OLD MAN PLEASE!"
"Okay, tell me how's your mom-"
"SHE PRAYIN' TO JESUS-"
"I mean it, J-"
The younger one crossed his arms and shook his head, "Gerhard's just fineee, I don' needa' birthname, whooooo!" Indeed, the Horseman of Conquest, Gerhard, waved his hands, both holding bottles. A hiccup escaped his muffled lips, how was he even drinking with that mask on? "GEEEEEERHARD, HARD FOR THE PEEPS YOOOOOOO!" He howled, beating his feet against the ground, which prompted the entire area to shake.
Nanashi's eyes instantly landed on the duo, then they went over to the ceiling, rather, the bottom of the floating islands. It seemed like the Notch Pirates truly attended his call. "Well, well," He muttered in a sigh.
Harlan looked around at the new scenery. "Why? Why do I keep meeting such weirdos? First, you have Alpaca Girl. Then there's this turtle-looking guy with the weird bowlcut. Red guy's cool, he just tries too hard to speak in that weird noble knight thing. Now, there's an old man with an eyepatch. And, there's a guy with a beak kink? What's that thing on your mouth, booze bird?" he asked pointedly to Gerhard.
"Haaaaaah?" Gerhard stared instantly at Harlan, head tilted slightly, "Pa, who's that?" Before even waiting any kind of response, he was already moving up and towards the group. Henry stretched his arm only for his mouth to go agape.
It was Nanashi, head low and eyes hidden, who first gestured at the walking figure, "My friends, as some of you would know... this-" Before Gerhard finalized his approach, his body bolted forward and he almost hit the ground head-on, though, he used a hand to hold himself and swiftly got up.
"He-" Nanashi took a quick breath, "-is a member of the Notch... Pirates. The Doctor, Gerhard." Head finally rising, Nanashi looked around once again, wondering where that other person was, though he saw some sort of wind hovering above the ground.
"He's a doctor?" Harlan asked, obviously perplexed. "This guy, with the bird beak thing and the case of drunkingnessing?" Harlan turned to face Gerhard, looking up at him. He leaped over him, grazing his fingers on his shoulder. As he landed, he turned to face him once more. "Gah, I can smell your booze breath from a mile away."
As the miasma began to collect in his hands, Harlan let a smirk appear on his face. "You're strong, right? You got one of those fancy names. So," the miasma began to ebb out of his hands, attaching itself to Gerhard. "What do you fear?"
"Booze's good man," Gerhard uttered, rolling his eyes while his cheeks puffed. Looking at Harlan's hand, he pushed his own forward, but, as they touched, Gerhard could see the miasma that surrounded him. Then, it just jumped off his being, eyes following it, "Huh?" Were the others not seeing it?
It flowed like some sort of hybrid between liquid and gas, beginning to take form. Arching an eyebrow, Gerhard eyed it. Limbs began to attain visibility, it spun more and more until it compressed itself. Hands, feet, body parts, and finally... a beak. Gerhard's eyes widened at last, heart hammering into his chest.
"Hey," The figure's voice echoed. Staring back with a tired face at him, was... Gerhard, as well. It waved at Gerhard, smiling behind its mask. Taking a step, blood leaked from it, but, it didn't seem hurt, its arms were wide open.
At that very moment, Gerhard's hand shot towards Harlan's, gripping it harshly while trembling. A sharp sensation went through both's arms. Before anyone could blink, red splashed against the atmosphere, painting the ground, Harlan's arm, and Gerhard. Was Harlan screaming? Gerhard didn't hear nor did he bother, after all, his eyes were set on his other self, "Ya'... don't just do that..." Muttering came out of Gerhard's mask. "Tell it to... go away..."
The miasma dissipated as Harlan began to yell in pain. "WHAT THE FUCK MY HAND?! WHAT DID YOU DO TO IT?! SHITTY FUCKITY FUCK GOD DAMN JESUS CHRI--" he continued, wincing and leaping around. "GIVE ME MY HAND BACK OR I'LL KICK YOUR ASS BOOZE BIRD! YOU WANNA SEE THAT THINGY YOU SAW AGAIN?! HUH?! FIX MY DAMN HAND, YA ASS-CUNT!"
Armis stared in confusion at the murky substance that had come out of the drinking man. He had never seen anything like this before, though logical conclusion was that it was due to a devil fruit ability. Most likely a paramecia type.
"I'm not paid enough to deal with this..."
Yelling, all of the yelling finally entered Gerhard's ears, "...Ah." He mouthed along a sigh, glancing at the hand that rested within his palm. As a larger human, it was no difficult task for Gerhard to completely hold a person's wrist and hand... a smaller hand, memories of his own hands grasping something went by his drunk mind. He shook it.
"...I don't like kids a lot, but," Gerhard held Harlan's severed hand with his right one, thus, he would use his left one to touch the other part of the wound, Harlan's wrist. "This as'n't fair with ya', don'tcha think? Pureyayayayayaya," He laughed, even. This event had actually made him think back to the Notch's time at Annunaki, when he ended up fixing Joseyvisk's hand. Only a few have come to understand how his powers even worked, but, in fact, they were the key right there and then.
"Oh, bleh, bleh, I don't like kids." Harlan murmured, mocking Gerhard. "Maybe you wouldn't have to deal with them if YOU DIDN'T SEVER THEIR HANDS YOU DUMB BITCH!"
He had, indeed, blew off Harlan's hand through the use of his Ichi Ichi no Mi, and it would be through its very use, that Gerhard would put it back. "Don' worry, y'll scram mor'," With his right hand, Gerhard proceeded to issue Chaos, rupturing its wrist apart in a blob of blood and viscera, yet, none of it splashed anywhere, not on Gerhard, not on the ground. Meanwhile, his other hand was in position to grasp Harlan's arm, however, it shot and cupped the mess that was Harlan's hand. White, red, these colors flew through the air, signalizing the blood and bones flying by Gerhard's command, his free hand held Harlan's arm, also blowing part of it.
"Chaos & Order," Gerhard said, and all of the viscera dashed through the air and into Harlan's wound. Hands shooting up, he took a step back from Harlan's figure, "Pureyayaya," laughing once again as he noticed his work. Indeed, through exploding part of Harlan's hand and then part of his arm with Chaos, Gerhard could stagnate the true halves into one through Order. It successfuly reconnected all of the flesh, bones, blood vases, and the nerves themselves, though, such a process didn't spare the target from the immense pain that was feeling all of the events above.
"YOU SON OF A FUCKING OGRE!" Harlan roared, staggering back. "FIRST YOU POOF MY HAND OFF, THEN YOU POOF IT BACK ON. AND IT HURTS, OH SHITTITY SHIT SHIT! FUCK YOU, BOOZE BIRD!"
Truly, this was the first day in a while that Gerhard let himself free, "Pureyayayaya!" He laughed yet again, not even bothering to take a look at the others present. Indeed, then, he was already off and back to his table at the tavern, "Oi," He stopped briefly and glanced at Harlan, "Lemme' buy ya' some booze."
Jaw fallen and eyes wide, Miku could only utter, "W-What was even t-that?! Did you see that, Armis-kun?!" She ran towards Harlan while he tried getting up, Hatsune following in tow, "A-Are you ok?!" Glancing at Gerhard and then at Harlan, Miku rasped, "Your hand!!" Indeed, that was the first thing she looked in Harlan at that very moment.
"Those were the powers of his devil... fruit," It was Nanashi who stood close to the two, "Its powers art still a tad... strange to me. Its name is Ichi Ichi no Mi." He lowered his head and silently walked towards the Tavern itself, "If thou wish to take a rest, I am to give... several minutes."
Harlan kept shaking his hand, the pain slowly but surely fading away. "Oh, I don't drink booze." Harlan responded. He knew that if he did, she would find out, and he wouldn't hear the last of it. But then again, she wasn't here. And Harlan had always wanted to try some. "Actually, yeah. Gimme some booze!"
"Sure," Gerhard waved for the table that he and Henry were sitting at, though, it seemed the latter hadn't been there anymore. "Y'know, Harlan, y'reminded me about a story," Gesturing for him to sit, he took hold of one of the bottles, "A story about a young boy saving a friend's daughter from a murderer."
The bottle was shoved into Harlan's hand, it had a label with the name Player Killer. Gerhard clapped, "Since ya' a good dude, I'll share't with ya'," In fact, he waited not even a confirmation or agreement to his statement. "A friend of my mother said their daughter had been missin', she'as sick, had gone to a doctor-"
"They'd tol' me to, to find the doctor, Benedikt Boris," Gerhard glanced to the left and to the right, only smoke, "The... the couple tha' asked h'said they entrusted their child to 'im. Her name... Apolline Hannah." Beat, beat. "Hello?" No answer. "S'anybody home?" Smoke and steam hissed from somewhere.
Looking around again, Gerhard grabbed the door's handle, it silently crumbled to the ground. A mask hid his face. He was invading somebody's home, alone, completely alone. "I's... sixteen, barely seventeen. I didn't... know th'world tha' much," He had completely entered the dark house by then. "I didn't do much investigation to reach tis' house... but, I wish I could've found't faster."
His dungeon had already surrounded the entire house. With a flicker of his fingers, Chaos generated flames to lit the facility. Gerhard's eyes trembled even more at the presence of rags, "T'first I didn't believe th' kid 'as there." His eyes hovered over a fridge, still turned on and locked by some kind of device.
"But then... I found 'em," His hands easily got rid of the device. The refrigerator's door flew open.
"I, I stared at the kid... and they stared back t'me," Gerhard's eyes were wide and his body unmoving. "At least... what 'as left of 'em." An arm hung from the refrigerator and Gerhard stepped away.
He ran to the backyard, mask gone while he barfed. Crows observed him from atop the walls, not for a single second, their gazes left him. Gerhard glanced back with half-lidded eyes. "I heard steps from th' other side of tha' wall."
"Huh, the handle's fell again?" A voice came from behind the door, "God damnit!" Entering through was a middle-aged man with well done beard and short, wavy blond hair. None other than Boris.
He briefly turned around to push the door closed, while Gerhard sat at the window to the backyard. When Boris turned, he was gone. "Wha-" An explosion pushed him to the side, smashing him against some furniture, "ARRRRGH!" Stone and rocks flowed much like water, enveloping Boris's torso, "Who- Who is there?!!" He barked, eyes glaring at the surging figure of Gerhard. "What are- What are you doing here?!" Eyes wide, he choked out, "A b-boy-" Boris shook his head.
Breath, he needed. "It, it doesn't," Gerhard quickly took hold of his black mask and put it over his face. "It doesn't matter whom I'm." His hands tightened into fists, nails threatening to spill the blood of his palm.
"Why are you here?!" Thud, a hand found itself thrown by Gerhard and landed on Boris's lap. "That's-" His pupils grew and his teeth grinded, "That's not-"
"BULLSHIT!" Gerhard's mask almost ripped off with how wide his mouth was, breathe, he needed to breathe. His eyes had their veins visible, "A child- They were a kid," Breathe. Boris couldn't help the shudder coursing his body, though he still smiled, swallowing saliva.
"That 'as the day... tha' I concluded..."
Hurried breaths escaped Boris's mouth, overlapping with Gerhard's own, "L-Look, man," Sweat glistened his frown. "I-I swear i-it wasn't anything personal-" Gerhard walked in circles, Boris's eyes following him. "Just t-turn me in- t-to the Marines, a-aye?"
"Tha' those who roam around are men, animals..." Gerhard saw the man's unwavering smile, "...and demons."
Around and around, breath, Gerhard needed to breathe, his hands trembled. "M-Man, turn me i-in, just get d-done," Boris spat once again. Taking a look at his hands, Gerhard almost closed his eyes, they hovered over his hands and, then, over the doctor.
Then, they weren't bloodshot anymore.
Step, Gerhard turned to Boris with his right hand held out. "Man! J-Just-" Breathe, Gerhard had to breathe. Breath, breath, breath. Droplets of rain started to provoke sounds against the poor ceiling.
"Back den', a par' of me always wondered..." Boris tried moving within his emprisonment, Gerhard stretched his fingers. Breath, breath, "What if I... used that command..."
"I-I'm worth some millions man!!" Breath. "Like-" Step, the hand reached out. "-Million-" Breath, Boris trashed around. "Please!!" Tears erupted from his eyes, going down his expression.
"On a human..." Gerhard uttered one last thing out, "Please. Was that... wha' she said before ya' killed her?" Boris froze.
Creak, squish. Blood splattered across the room's wall and over Gerhard's hand, leaking through the bottom of the stone. He lowered his gaze to the ground, the sole of his footwear standing over it. He clenched his hands and stepped over the blood, and again, and again, and again.
"Three people'd died tha' day..." The rain went on, falling over Gerhard's figure as he hurried out of the house, washing over his clothes, his skin. "Benedikt Boris, Apolline Hannah," His self. "And Blumenthal Gerhard," Gerhard cupped his head, heading nowhere in particular, just away from himself.
Gerhard cleared his throat, having somehow sipped his booze several times as he told his story.
The hybrid looked back at Gerhard, a blank expression on his face. His expression become one of glee, as a loud hiccup left him. Harlan had been paying no attention to Gerhard's fascinating story, instead, the boy had gone through two bottle of some sort of alcoholic substance. "I hic like this bo- hic -ooze."
"PUREYAYAYAYAYAYA!" Allowing himself to cut loose, Gerhard closed his eyes, this dude sure was something, "I had more ta' tell ya', but ya' seem to be on yer last furs?" Head turned to look at the others there, Gerhard gestured for Armis, "Wha'cha about ya' Tinyhead-kun?"
"I am currently on patrol, so I may not drink while on duty." Armis responded politely. "Thank you for the concern however."
Harlan started giggling wildly, before slamming his head into the bar, breaking the section of the the bar table. He looked back at Gerhard, abs if nothings had happened. “Where’s Hurricane Hoe?” he asked.
"Either at the meeting if that's going on still or she has retired to her chambers for the night. Either way, she will likely not be rejoining us for the evening. And its LADY Elizabeth, not Hurricane Hoe." Armis responded with disdain.
“Alright.” Harlan began, hopping off the stool. He left out a mighty belch before wiping his mouth with his forearm. “Let’s go visit Lady Hurricane Hoe.”
"Would anyone be remiss if I forcibly ejected this miscreant from these levitating premises onto the terra firma below?" Armis asked the rest of the group as Harlan spewed further disrespect towards his liege's paramour, making sure to use as many big words as possible to disguise his meaning from the knave.
Laughter erupted once again from Gerhard's muffled mouth, "PUREYAYAYAYA!" He clapped wildly, shaking the area, "Y'guys amazing, d'ya do like, one of those stand-up shows?" Shaking his head, Gerhard continued to snort, "Man, tis' crew's just greaaat!"
It was none other than Miku, who had silently stood there most of the time, that walked to Armis's side, "Psss..." She tried whispering at him, even if he didn't look, he would because Hatsune proceeded to make a loud call, typical for an Alpaca. "How, how many minutes have passed?" After all, if they took more time than Sir Lancelot gave them, he was surely to report this to Arthur.
In fact, much to the end of the extremely large tavern, Nanashi stood alone, facing a quiet road that would swiftly lead them more islands upward.
"Tinyhead-kun," Gerhard tried saying, "I wouldn't min', but tis' guy's cool!" He pointed finger guns towards Harlan. "He also out fa' Hurricane Hoe's head, hell yea!!"
Harlan spun around looking at the crowd. He squinted, and tilted his head. "Where's long-man?" he murmured. Harlan turned towards the end of the bar and spotted his target. He leaped over Gerhard, yelling "Talk to ya soon, booze bird!"
The hybrid landed and made his way to Nanashi. "So, long-man," he began. "Whatcha looking at?"
"Pff," Gerhard dismissively waved his hand at the leaving Harlan, not even glancing at his distancing figure. Instead, his hand held another bottle, which he proceeded to rise and press into his mask.
Upon Harlan's landing, Nanashi slowly turned his head, "Oh, knave." Then, he was back to looking at that same road, "I art merely reminding mine... person of the routes within the... island." Finger poking out his robes, Nanashi pointed forward, "This one is the one that we... art to roam to."
With a quick glance to the earths above their heads, far into the distance, Nanashi continued to comment, "Is is then that we shall... meet our leaders." He nodded, perhaps failing to realize Harlan's current state of mind. With a single wave, Nanashi gestured for the others to follow as well.