Role-Play Name: Man Up

Date Started: March 10, 2019
Date Completed: Ongoing
Users Involved: User:Dal101, User:DamonDraco, User:GeminiVIII, User:Ash9876. User:Dragon Lord Erin
Setting: Gallanholm Atoll, Mountain's Rest
Characters Involved:

Man Up

"Which one, which one... which one should we do first?" Graham Alexander said as he looked over the wanted posters sprawled across the table. Dozens of posters were laid about, grouped into eight distinct piles. Eight crews, rookies all. Eight prizes that the Manly Pirates planned on gifting to the world government. This new wave of blue was their ticket to a life free from persecution until they could retire. This wave was their captain's path to becoming a warlord.

Alexander discarded three piles out of hand, removing the lowest of the crews out for their first effort. Easy prey wouldn't impress the Marines they had talked to. It would be better to take them out in the middle, taking a couple of the targets who may be able to fight back first, that left five crews.

Ghosts, Dreads, Busters, Bandits, and Feathers. The Ghost's location was unknown, and they had amassed quite a crew. They would be best handled last. Like the others, they were set aside. The Bandits only had a single member worth mentioning, as such, they could be handled at leisure. The captain of the Busters was a small fry, outshone by one of his own crewmembers.

That left two, two targets that would be both worth the effort and tough enough that the Manly Men could impress. Alexander decided that those two should be handled first, taking them out with a quick one-two punch.

"Heads Dreads, Tails Feathers it is then," Alexander mumbled as he pulled out a coin. As it hit the ground, it bounced once before settling, exposing it's back to the words.

"I guess it is the Angel's unlucky day then," Alexander uttered as he held up a poster of a young blonde woman. A halo shone over her head as she flew on snow white wings.

Alexander held up his thumb to his ear as his pinky lay across his lips.

A ringing sound could be faintly heard as he commanded, "Phim D. Sera."

The Call


Sera was flipping through the inventory of their latest heist, the sacking of a ship filled with part of the Heavenly tribute, when she heard the Den Den Mushi at the desk of her small cabin ring. She walked over to the snail hanging upon the wall before picking up.

"Hello, who is this," Sera questioned to the snail as she picked up the call.

"Phim D. Sera." was all that was heard before the caller hung up.

Sera scratched her head for a few moments before softly putting the receiver back. Then with a shrug, she exited her cabin. Today was their last day on Gallanholm Atoll. The Feather Pirates were making their final preparations to leave before setting sail to their next destination. All the supplies for their voyage were bought, her people had had plenty of time for rest, the log pose had finished setting, and they needed to head out soon before the Marines found them.

She walked out on the deck, smiling as the crewmembers smoothly packed the last few crates of supplies down into the hold.

She spied her first mate managing everything, the ever-capable Brisei Augus. Walking over to him she ask, "Any problems Augus, or is everything going as good as it looks?"

Wind breezing by his hair, Augus stood around, arms crossed, and face stern. After all, just like Sera noticed, he had been managing everything that happened around them, that was his duty as Batma- As the first mate of the Feather Pirates. Sera's sudden question had him turning around, though, he kept a calm expression, "Yes, Cap'n!" Augus blinked, "I mean, it's all going fine!"

Augus, much like Sera, also harboured a Log Pose, picking it from his pocket. "I have already given some instructions to the rest of the crew..." Sweat covered his face, "Since... well... our navigator disappeared." And people insisted he was the shady one, sure, right.

"I figured she had gotten cold feet after she didn't follow us around. Oh well, she's the one who's still going to end up with a bounty and no one around to protect her." Sera finished with a sigh. "Nothing to do about it now but get going."

Sera turned towards the rest of the crew looking over them before shouting loud enough to carry across the deck and over the noise. "Finish packing everyone, Anchor up in thirty."

Turning back towards Augus she'll just smile as she states, "I have a good feeling about this trip."

The sound of light breathing could be heard from near the helm of the ship. As one peered forward, they would find the figure of Aries Ovis lightly sleeping as the ship was docked, using a soft, woollen pillow to do so. One would think that being the Helmsman of the crew, he would be the most attentive to their course, but that wasn't true at all. Whether someone could wake him up or not, was another story entirely...

Up in the crow's nest, the loud sound of jazz blared across the ship. A symphony of trumpets spouted their sweet music from the back of Jazzman G. Nathaniel, the crew's musician and temporary lookout. He'd already clambered up to his perch with glee and was just biding his time as he stared at the waves.

"Well, it's about time to get going," Sera announced to Augus as a small white light formed in her hand. A small stone made out of light materialized, Sera applying just enough power to create it. "Now to wake Ovis up, and hopefully not end up passed out on the deck in the process..." Sera added dryly. She had become extremely wary of the effect Ovis's power had on her over the time she's known him.

A small pop could be heard as the bolt of light struck the helmsman on the ear. Hopefully, it'd sting him enough in order to get him up enough to take the ship out, if not there were always bigger bolts.

The sleeping helmsman suddenly felt something akin to a needle being shoved deep inside his ear. "Aaaah!" Suddenly, Ovis exclaimed for the first time in his life in front of the crew. They were so used to hearing a muffled sound from his voice that something like this would have no doubt shocked them.

"Ow ow ow ow...what was that for?!" Ovis was visibly irritated for a moment before the pain subsided and he calmed down. "Ah...sorry..." The helmsman returned to his naturally lethargic way of speaking. "I'm extra sensitive to pain, for some reason, so even small things cause me to scream like that..."

Shaking his head, Ovis looked to his Captain and Augus. "We're going now?"

"Indeed! Much like Cap'n said," Augus yelled with a smile and eyebrows high. He pointed in the aforementioned direction while covering part of his body with a wing that had suddenly sprouted from his shoulder, "The one we are to go to is..." Augus glanced upward, finger falling, "Is..." He glanced to his sides, using his finger to scratch the side of his head.

Everyone was quiet, but Augus almost exploded in beads of sweat. "I-I don't work well during the day, okay?!" Suddenly again, he had pointed at Ovis, "You- This is your power destroying me!" Tears flowed out of his eyes.

"Next stop is the island of Schluesselschloss, Ovis." Sera explained with a hint of annoyance. "You slept through me explaining this the last time I talked to you about it, then buried me in wool." She turned to Augus before adding, "Augus, if you need to get out of the sun for a bit, I can handle things from here."

Turning back to Ovis, she added, "Take the ship out and set us for course 13-24-81. Should take us where we want to go."

"Oh...sorry, Captain, Augus-san. I'll...yawn...try to keep awake." Ovis responded to Sera and Augus affirmatively and took hold of the helm. He began to follow the coordinates that Sera asked for, as he began to turn the wheel to hoist the ship in the appropriate direction. "Sails are good, the wind is in our favour and the sea is calm. We should reach our destination in good time, although...this is the Grand Line..." Ovis said with a hunch of uncertainty. He was used to calmer waters in the Blues. He'd hoped that the Grand Line's erratic weather did not cause the ship to veer off course.

"Please do that, I'd like to not have a repeat of the Pudding Island incident," Sera responded with a shiver. She didn't like to speak about the Pudding Island incident.

Augus crossed his arms but tried to give out a reassuring smile. Not that Ovis could even see it. "I can keep you awake with my echolocation bullets, Ovis-kun!!" Of course, just a bat's specialization, "No rush on our destination." Or should they rush? He honestly forgot if the Captain wanted to go as soon as possible. Augus, too, shuddered at the mention of the incident.

Taking a few steps towards Ovis, Augus stood between him and Sera, then turning to the latter. "Why don't we explain the isle to him again, Cap'n?" Another smile, "After all, as you said, he did sleep through it all." A chuckle escaped Augus' lips.

"Probably should." Sera agreed with a pause before continuing on. "Schluesselschloss is an island that a lot of trade goes through because it's where another grand line path merges into ours. It's a winter island, though a mild one. There is a moderate Marine presence, just due to its rather strategic location. On the bright side, however, the log pose reset time is only two days. They also are one of the largest exporters of mint in paradise. Most toothpaste contains mint from this island, and they even have their own brand of floss known as Schluesselfloss."

"Schluess..-" Ovis bit his tongue trying to get his head around using the island's name. "Can I call it SLS, Captain..?" Ovis asked, almost pleading, not wanting to put in the effort into saying that island's name repeatedly. "Well, anyway...If there are Marines there, do we want to port away from the official docks?" He tried to hold back his yawns, though one could just feel the tiredness oozing out of his eyes. " is nice..."

Augus scoffed, "Who would ever guess we would visit a tooth-paste island? But, yes," He clapped loudly and looked to overboard, "Mint is nice! During a cold night, aaaaaah." Augus inhaled the sea air and coughed for a second. "If there are Marines there," Face wide, he pointed towards the sky, "We shall defeat them!"


Alexander walked through the halls of the manliest of ships, The Mountain's Rest. An island sized ship that floated through the grand line. Built by the ancestors of their captain to rival the ark Noah itself. Now it served as a base for the Manly Pirates, a crew of pirates and thieves that had plied the oceans for over a decade now. Nearly a thousand strong, the crew was one of the most formidable groups left in Paradise. Unlike so many others seeking out dreams of grandeur in the New World only to be crushed under the heels of the Yonko, they had been successful enough in Paradise that they had simply decided to ignore the New World entirely. Nearly a dozen crews had come under their sway, leading to a crew of nearly two thousand at their fingertips. A good sized number for a ship such as theirs.

Alexander reached the captain's hall, a massive room at the heart of the ship where his old friend could command the crew. Nearly a dozen aides ran to and fro, bringing and leaving with messages to across the entire island ship.

Alexander gave an informal bow as he addressed his old friend and captain, Drax Douglas. "Captain, I have done as you asked. The Feathers are on their way here." He announced as he held up four wanted posters showing Sera, Augus, Quinn, and Ovis. "I've also alerted the Marines that they will soon have their first set of gifts."

"A-Alexander-san!!" A crewmember yelled, which prompted Alexander to notice the absence of his very captain. "Cap'n's gone for a swim, b-but!!" The person pointed for the sea shakingly, wherein waves formed and rose through the air, a large shadow crept from the waters.

Sharp teeth, many rows of those, became visible, pertaining to a dark snake-like monster. "HE GOT EATEN BY T-T-THAT!!" The same crewmember let tears flow out of his eyes, shaking uncontrollably. And then it would surely devour all of them.

Saliva flew into the sea, the monster roaring with all its might, or so it seemed. Its cheeks bloted, eyes widening and part of its body hunching backward, it roared again and moved around, sending myriads of ripples in all directions. The ship likely went from one side to the other, gradually meeting with the waves.

Yet, even as that happened, the monster roared another time, which shot an immense amount of saliva. Though, it had red mixed in. From inside, an observant person could see someone... spinning inside the saliva. This shot flew towards their ship and soundly landed with a large explosion, another shadow stepped from this mass of saliva, one with red skin and large form.

Drax Douglas stepped out of the mess on his tip-toes, arms waving around. "HMHMHMHM!!" He mused, eyes closed.

"Grand Show, Captain." Alexander announced as he flexed his flagrant pectorals in appreciation.

"I see you've opted for some manly exercise first thing in the morning, my old friend. If it wasn't for the fact that I can no longer swim I would have been more than willing to join you." He continued with bemused laughter.

"OARARARARARARARARARA!!" Douglas rested both fists as his hips, closing his eyes in a loud laughter. They opened and he winked at Alexander, "Yes, my boy!" Then, smile still full, Douglas pointed at the fleeing Sea King. "I was taking a BEAUUUUUTIFUl wash time inside that beast's stomach!" Hands rising and being brought together above his head, Douglas spun several times in place, sustained by one leg while the other rose.

Still spinning, Douglas mused at Alexander. "Any news, good friend?!"

"The Best of news. I have done as you asked, the Feathers have fallen into our trap. They are on their way here as we speak." Alexander boasted as his biceps bulged in excitement. "The Marines are already diverting a prison ship our way to collect them once we have caught them."

Douglas extended his arms and clapped his hands gently, faced with Alexander. "OARARARA! Marvellous, most beautiful!!" Feet on their tip toes, Douglas soundly walked across the deck, "This means that the Shichibukai status is not far from our dancing haaaandsy, teheeeee." He cupped a crewmember's check and slapped it gently.

"Now, what was our plan-" Douglas halted, shaking his rear a few times and jumping in place, "-To convince them further that we mean NO harm?" He waved a hand at Alexander, after all, as his right hand man, it was no surprise he kept track of all their plans. Where had Lee Jin been anyway? That guy too was not only cute, but highly organized.

"I am here, sir!" Lee Jin's voice peeked from a distance, as a muscular, shirtless figure with a pair of black hakama came jogging down the path that Alexander and Douglas stood on. "Like yourself, I was engaging in some training, sir!" Jin was a military enthusiast, serious to a fault but ultimately wishing for the best for his crew.

"I believe we should hoist a white flag, sir! That may let us talk to them with ease!"

"That sounds like a most magnificent suggestion. We draw them in with the allure of our glistening diplomacy, then snap the jaws of our trap down with our glorious glutes." Alexander laughed whole-heartedly. "Then all we have to do is deliver these flattened Feathers to the Marines, then we can do the same to the next group."

"OARARARARARAR!" Douglas clapped with the tip of his fingers again, "I never regret having brought you all along to this-" Knees bent, Douglas tapped his feet at the docks, jiggling his arms widly, "-RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE!" Another round of applause came through, some crewmembers did just the same, stopping their activites even.

A final clap brought everything to a stop, birthing a gust of wind. "This means... we are to get the dance started!" Douglas opened his arms widely, laughing loudly. His legs moved and his feet skidded along the ground, shifting his gaze over Jin's, Alexander's, and everyone else's forms. "Any other pointers or doubts?!"

They had come such a long way, when it had been just him and the former two. While his gaze went over everyone, Douglas felt like embracing the two of them and taking them into some sort of ballet or galla. But, not then, they had business to do.

Feather Overboard

It had been two days since they had left Gallanholm, clearing the archipelago upon which it sat without much issue. It had been a rare stretch on the Grand Line where not a single storm had lashed their ship. It had been all smooth sailing, much as Sera had expected when she set out on this course. After all, she had a good feeling about all of this.

Everything seemed completely normal as the ship came into a thin fog back, reducing their line of sight to well short of the horizon.

Sera looked around at the approaching wall of fog, trying to think about and remember more about winter islands. She had never been on one herself, but she was fairly certain that fog may surround them due to the cooler air. That being said, she was fairly certain that they still had around another week of travel before reaching it.

"Anyone else think we shouldn't be approaching an island yet?"

"Yes, it is odd, very odd. We should have had at least a week before we even came close to another island." Breaking from the thin fog that gently coated their ship and now entering the line of sight of their captain Sera was none other than their main engineer and scientist, Archimedes D. Alana. She took a place standing to the side of her captain. "If you would like I could have my mechanical bird friend here take a look past the fog? Only if you deem it necessary of course." The bird sat upon her shoulder looking off into the distance, almost as if he could look past the fog.

"Go ahead." Sera responded curtly. "At least we can make sure we aren't about to run ashore that way."

"You heard the lady, fly free little bird." Alana smiled warmly to the bird, he let out a gentle tweet before taking off into the fog. "Here, its eyes are connected to a display, so what it sees, we see." Alana pulled a small screen from her pocket. The screen showed footage from the bird's point of view, all that could be seen for miles was fog. As the bird made it about a few miles out from the ship what could be seen was a large mountain, it seemed to have emerged from the fog almost out of nowhere. "Well, at least we found something in the seemingly endless fog. If there is an island up ahead it's surely covered in this thick fog." Alana tapped the screen and spoke closely to it as if to send a message to the bird. "That should be all, great job! Fly back now, be safe." As the bird went about making its return to the ship Alana spoke to Sera. "How should we proceed? Doesn't look like there are any obstructions for miles, so sailing as we are now should still be moderately safe.

"All right, I am of the opinion that we should investigate the random ghost island, all in favor?" Sera responded enthusiastically to both Alana and the rest of the crew.

"Aye aye Captain." Ovis said in a very matter-of-fact, lazy tone, as he continued to direct the ship towards the island, blinking repeatedly to avoid going to sleep again.

"Ovis is actually staying awake," Sera said with a hint of surprise. She had become used to his regular naps while steering. "Maybe he's excited about the island afterall."

The ship creaked through the fog, the low visibility meaning that all eyes were on deck to make sure they weren’t about to run ashore. They could see barely two hundred feet off the edge of the ship. It was a sailor’s nightmare, running this close to land without being able to see it. But the Feather’s persevered on, curiosity triumphing over caution. They were running quarter sails and barely moving, but between all of the eyes watching and a solid crew, their captain was confident they could navigate this fog.

Sera was currently flying in circles around the ship, using her wings to their advantage to extend their vision out with her ability to patrol around the ship. That being said, this island was curious. Usually, by now there would be some semblance of land visible in the ocean below, rocks or reefs that surrounded the island showing up as a lighter colour of the ocean. But as far as she could tell there was nothing but deep sea beneath the ship. Even so, they couldn’t afford to be reckless. Coming to this island was enough.

“I don’t see anything suggesting we’re about to reach an island, I’ll fly ahead and check.”

Sera flew forward ahead of the ship, her Halo shining through the fog even as the rest of her body disappeared from sight. Her four wings flapped in harmony, quietly carrying through the air, the breeze ruffling her hair.

Barely clearing the small waves and eddies of the ocean below, Sera soared along with the sea, looking for the island ahead. The ocean below her remained mercilessly dark for several minutes before she finally saw signs of lightening in the water below. She was finally nearing land.

A beam of light shot up in the air, alerting her crew to follow forward even as Sera explored further on. The sea lightened up further and further, until about half a mile later she could finally see the land ahead. She had found the island.

Sera was back on deck aboard the now anchored ship of Feathers. They had laid anchor off the beach she had found. Rowboats were being lowered into the water as they prepared a landing party. While a majority of the crew would remain on the ship, Sera and several other key members would go ashore and explore this new island. If it proved welcoming enough, they’d probably camp there a few days to explore before heading on their way.

“Augus, Ovis, Nathaniel, Alana, and Berkley. You come with me. We’ll explore the island and make sure it’s safe for the rest of the crew.” Sera ordered her subordinates, speaking gently but firmly. She had picked the stronger members of the crew, her first mate, musician, technician, helmsman, and one of the soldiers who had joined her from Floweria. That’s what her landing crew would consist of.

She looked over at the crew members who hadn’t been called and in particular one large redhead, “Quinn, you’re in charge of the ship while we’re gone. Make sure we’re ready for anchors up at a moment’s notice. This island isn’t on our charts. I have no idea what to expect." While Quinn would normally go along with the group, to keep stock of everything that happens as well as to be another of their competent frontline members, someone had to stay and watch the ship. Quinn was an experienced sailor and merchant, making her the obvious choice for such a responsibility.

Sera was waiting at the beach when the rest of the crew showed up on the boat. There was only room for four, and it made sense to her to have someone go ahead and watch the shore while the crew members, only some of which could fly, approached. Anyone who knew her well would be able to tell that something was slightly off with her, she seemed more excited to be visiting this island than she probably should be.

As the rowboat made its final approach, the fog started to thin as the sun rose higher in the sky. Beyond Sera, the crew of the feather pirates could see the island starting to come into view.

The mountain that Alana had noticed earlier dominated the island and its horizon. A large forest surrounded on this side, though from what the Feathers could see from the boat it thinned out towards the western end of the island. Beyond that, several rolling hills could be seen to the east as the forest thickened up and what looked like a town was spread across on flank of the mountain. All in all, this island seemed like a relatively nice place to live and visit. At least it looked like it.

The other five members of the group hit the beach, footprints deep in the soft sand. Sera looked over them as she waited for them to get ready.

"So here's the plan. We're going to split into two groups. The group I'm leading is going to head towards the mountain town. The other one will be lead by Augus. You guys can pick where you want to go. I'll leave that up to you. Any objections or group preferences?"

"I'll go with Augus-san...yawn...he helps me stay awake, I think..." Ovis said, slowly wobbling over to Augus' direction while awaiting further orders. His eyes were blinking fast, showing he was trying his hardest to stay awake.

"I-I suppose I'm with you then Cap'n. I-I mean we worked umm like good no no, well. We worked well together last time." Nathaniel sputtered as he moved to stand next to Sera, rubbing his arm sheepishly.

Augus frowned, despite his smile, and patted Ovis' shoulder when he passed by. "We are probable to proceed cautiously throughout the wilderness," Finger pointed at the forest, Augus waited for whoever else, if there was even anyone else, to join him and Ovis.

Given how quiet the two could be, it was no wonder that the route would be taken. They could provide some intel about the island, just maybe, and discover something hidden within the woods. Plus, it would surely be dark inside there, with all those leaves and trees banded together.

"All right then," Sera announced. "Berkley, with me. Alana, follow Augus and Ovis. We'll check out the island and then return here shortly before dark."

With that, she motioned the Nathaniel and Berkley to follow her towards the town.

Cloudy with a Chance of Feathers

The deep forest towards the southern end of the island was quiet, the thick canopy leaving it in perpetual shadow. It was obvious not many people came here. A couple of small cabins could be seen here or there, but the few the trio of feathers walking through the woods were empty. It was obvious that they had been occupied recently, but for now, the trio were the only souls around.

The steps of the three feathers could be heard with the crackling of leaves and the snapping of sticks echoing around the otherwise silent forest. But they were far from the only ones there. For unbeknownst to them, they were being stalked with a quiet... "fran... fran... fran..."

"This place..." Aries Ovis began to say, trying to suppress a yawn while walking slowly. "Is kind of creepy...and makes me sleepy..." He was with two other members of the Feather Pirates and hoped that their nocturnal behaviour would cancel his eternal sleepiness.

Actually, unlike the other two with him, Augus seemingly made no sound as he stepped through the environment. "We can't have you sleeping, Ovis-kun," He mused, not even sparing a glance at his comrade, but, sending a sound wave at his body, surely, that could stir him up a bit. However, doing this required Augus to interrupt his echolocalization from time to time, allowing whoever was in these houses to remain undetected.

"I... agree though, it's like out of a book," Augus crossed his arms, "...It feels like we are alone, but, the opposite also feels true."

The sound jolted him awake. "T-thank you, Augus-san..." Ovis said with a smile. "A lot of people, including myself, don't take me seriously because I sleep a lot...but I do try my hardest..."

Augus shot a thumbs-up at Ovis. "That's because people don't look beyond the covers! People judge someone by the appearance, however, we don't, therefore you don't have to worry!" With a whip of his head and shoulder, Augus gestured for them all to continue, but, the way his lips were, almost like he bit into them, was to tell another message.

A message that he wouldn't have time to express in more detail.

A moderately sized man with hair of brown stepped out from behind a tree, blocking the path the three were taking. "Fran Fran Fran..." the man said as he stood in front of them. "You are a mighty brave bunch to be travelling these woods with just the three of you." He said as he brandished a length of bread. Anyone who knew their bakeries would realize that the man was carrying a baguette, which gave his crew its name.

"My name is Jean Van Jean, and I'm going to need the three of you to come quietly, Fran Fran Fran. Before me and my men have to bonjour your way to an early sieste." He stated as several dozen men wielding rifles likewise revealed themselves. "So will you be good little birds and surrender like a proper man?"

"Fran Fran?!" Augus almost yelled out of his lungs upon spotting the man before him. Such appearance, such way of speaking, "It's just like he says! This person is worth Beli17,000,000, the captain of the Baguette Pirates!" But, how strange, Augus had read how he had seemingly disappeared into the Grand Line...

Standing in front of the other two, Augus made sure to try and do signals with one of his hands, which motioned backwards. Then, forward.

All of a sudden, even more blackness emerged into the night, a purple aura surrounding Augus' body and prompting it to shift. Bones, skin, all of it expanded and darkened, revealing two large curtains and horns. Through his very transformation, Augus wanted to cover both of his comrades using his wings, and maybe surprise Jean with the sudden pace of it, keeping his guard down for both himself and the others to act.

"All right then, Fran Fran FIRE!" Jean announced as he watched the man in front of him transform, his sword pointed straight at the trio.

The various men raised their guns and let loose their bullets, the hail of them aimed directly at the trio. "Should have surrendered Fran Fran Fran." Jean laughed softly as he just shook his head.

"No...!" Ovis said with a surprisingly loud voice, as suddenly, a wave of white wool appeared before him and his two comrades, stopping the advance of the bullets in their track. At the same time, he pushed the wave forward, intending to engulf his enemies in the mass of the wool and make them fall asleep. "We'll get through this, Augus-san..."

"Fran Fran, Pan Pan." Jean laughed again as he saw the wave of wool approaching. His men had started to turn towards the trees, aiming to put the wooden pillars between them and the waves of wool aiming to drown them in the fluff. Jean, on the other hand, pulled his blade to the sky, He flipped the blade over, almost as if he was going to plunge it into his own gut as some act of surrender, before driving it straight into the ground below.

"PAN PAN BAGUETTE BARRICADE!" He yelled as the earth in front of him rumbled, a series of pillars of bread rising up to impeded the wool wave. The bread creaked and cracked as the soft wool piled up on the other side, but held up under the abuse.

"Fran Fran... Baguette..." He said as he reversed his grip on the bread sword again, "BASTILLE!" Jean added as he pulled his sword up and forward, another series of pillars raising up under the wool as they raced through the ground, aiming to impale the Feathers from beneath.

"Mofu Mofu Volcano..." Ovis said with a faint, sleepy voice, as suddenly the ground beneath himself and his comrades had turned a blanket white, before the fluffy material had them rising in the air, until eventually, the wool had transformed the ground beneath into a volcano, that they stood atop of. The bastille of bread had clashed with the volcano, and Ovis had outstretched his arm, and clenched his fist, so to try and keep the construct in place despite the relentless assault of Jean.

"Mofu Mofu Bullet Storm..." Ovis' eyes could barely keep him awake. He was falling asleep under the effects of his own wool, but he had to protect his comrades. The Feather Pirates were the only people who accepted him despite his lackadaisical nature and shallow ambitions. The least he could do was help him in their time of need.

In the air before Ovis, a group of five large balls, the size of Ovis' face, appeared before him, and were being launched directly towards Jean and his crew, bypassing his barricade through their aerial bombardment.

"Fran Fran Fran, I knew you were going to do that!" Jean boasted loudly. Five more spears of bread began to poke through the ground to intercept the falling wool.

"Bullcrap, no you didn't." One of his men yelled back as he ran for cover.

"Pan Pan Guimauve Empalement!" The pirate announced as four spears of bread punched into and through the wool balls, halting their momentum through the air with a hiss. The fifth ball careened onwards, slamming into the loud mouth hard, leaving the sleeping man embedded in the dirt.

"Completely saw that coming Fran Fran."

Dough began to form out of his free hand, taking the shape of a large croissant laying on his shoulder. He raised his leg like a pitcher, before throwing the croissant at the pair with all of his might.

However the croissant arced upwards at the last moment, missing the pair completely as as it flew off past them.

"Fran Fran, that wasn't supposed to happen."

"WOAH, WOAH!!" Augus yelled, flying to one side to avoid the many rising pillars of... bread? "Are you sure about t- AAAAAH!" One of them nearly hit him, merely bruising by his dark figure, his body flew backwards into some trees. At the very least, however, Augus having opened his wings provided enough time for Ovis to properly counter-attack Jean.

Standing much behind the fight itself, Augus hovered his eyes over the situation, standing on his two legs over the tree's leaves. To one side or another, his eyes went, accompanying both combatants. With a flick of his lips, Augus sent a low message of sound towards Ovis, "I'll prepare an attack."

Indeed, with his next breath, Augus held his fist out, which began to vibrate.

"...Okay..." Ovis' voice was unsteady, but he continued to persevere regardless. As opposed to launch a new attack, Ovis instead decided to manipulate the wool he had fired into the distance. Widening the distance between both of his hands, the woolen balls followed suit and seemingly split in half, transforming into cylindrical shapes that would possess a stronger piercing impact.

Similarly, because they were closer to Jean's original position, Ovis thought that they had a better chance of hitting him. Of course, he remained as vigilant as he could, but due to his sleepiness, his sense of awareness for things that he wasn't focused on was draining.

Bread began to climb up Jean's ankles when he noticed the wool surrounding him move.

"Pan-Marin..." The pirate said as the wool slammed around him, cutting off vision of him as the wool piled upon him in greater quantities.

At the same time however, his Croissant came back as it finished its arc. Now we'll behind the three feathers, it raced to strike the Wooly Mammal in the back of the head.

Ovis, as a Helmsman, was used to hearing sounds of movement in the distance. It was mandatory for him to have decent hearing in order to react to things, whenever he wasn't sleeping that is. He could barely hear it, but a faint buzzing sound came from behind him. He didn't have all that much stamina left, and had hoped that he allowed Augus to prepare his attack properly.

"Mofu Mofu Blanket..." Ovis said, barely awake, as he covered himself in a wool blanket. By the time the croissant had reached, the impact still had hurt Ovis considerably, but it wasn't enough to completely knock himself out. Instead, he had been knocked out by his own Devil Fruit powers, and was sleeping with unusual calm on the tower of wool he had made, which had slowly begun to decompose with Ovis' lack of consciousness.

"Sorry Augus-san...your turn now..." Thoughts raced in his mind, before Ovis slept.

Indeed, as soon as Ovis fell out of his awakened state, having pushed himself so much, Augus rushed onwards without waiting another heartbeat. He had hid himself in the leaves barely, much like stated before, and sought to reach Jean once the wool was out by swooping in.

Making use of his wings, his large legs, and the stealth provided by the shadows, Augus heighted his velocity and pushed the fist he began to vibrate at Jean's frame. "PRESLEY PRESS!" Augus roared, unleashing a rippling impact upon the air around him, though, he didn't aim anywhere in particular on Jean's frame.

Should he even try to use the breads to block it, Augus was sure the rippling could rip the mass apart and posibly get to Jean with some power still.

The cocoon of bread that had protected Jean receded with the wool, and the man was brushing himself off as he announced, "Woosh, that waz a close one." He announced as he saw the sleeping Ovis upon his tower of wool. "I guess that what happens when you challenge a man with 8 times your bounty."

"Now, where is the other o.." he started to say as he heard the roar behind him. Jean was fast, but even still he barely was able to get his baguette between him and the giant bat of man.

The Baguette resisted, slowing the blow momentarily before with a crack it snapped in two.

Jean grunted in pain as he took the large man's blow directly in the ribs. Red spittle escaped from his lips as he was sent sliding along the ground, the vibrations reverberating through his body to cause further damage.

Jean was nearly thirty feet away by the time his momentum failed. He coughed slightly before he raised his broken baguette at Augus. "I will make you regret that Le Bat." He will finish by spitting out the last syllables.

He will jump, almost disappearing into the air as he leapt up into the sky. Raising the baguette into the air, he yelled out "Baguette Bopper!"

The broken baguette began to grow, and grow, and grow as Jean poured bread into it. By the time Jean started to swing it, it was easily the size of a tree. A whistling sound could be heard as the pillar swung down, ready to bop the bat below it.

Recoiling his fist from the impact, Augus clenched his teeth and the aforementioned fist. Except then, at the same time, Jean had leapt through the air. "I still feel pain from this attack," With all the vibration, Augus' whole arm shook, almost paralyzed. Damnitt, how did this guy recover from the punch so fast?

Eyes wide, Augus could barely look as the oversized baguette aimed for him, his movement reduced due to the shaking through his own frame. "GAAAAAAAAH!" A scream made its way through between his lips and echoed around the area, accompanied by blood, body smashed by the baguette.

Augus tried to clutch it with his good hand if his claws could even sink into it, while his two feet hit the ground soundly. The pressure continued as it threatened to smash him flat against the ground, the area started to shatter slightly. "GRAAAAAAAAAAH!" Augus attempted to hold it above his head, making use of his enhanced strength as a Zoan user, though, he wouldn't hold it for longer.

The baguette will press down more and more, attempting to crush the bat beneath it. However, a shooting pain will race up Jean's side as he attempts to finish the feather off, lessening the pressure of the strike enough for Augus to make one final play.

Taking advantage of the sudden opening, though Augus frowned at the occasion, he pressed up, tensing both his shoulders. "ORAAAAAAAAH!" An attempt to finally push the monstrous baguette off himself, so that he would be free to glide away from underneath it. However, instead of doing just that, another idea popped inside his mind.

"HAVE IT, BREAD PITT!" Augus flew towards the baguette itself, crashing head-on against it with his entire body, in order to send it flying back into Jean's frame. He couldn't have had enough manoeuvrability to circle around the construct and attack Jean again.

"Sacré bleu!" Jean yelled out as the giant baguette flipped around. He couldn't dodge it in mid-air, and none of his bread constructs was close enough to protect him. He crossed his arms to shield himself from the strike, but it wasn't enough.

The bread slammed into its creator with a meaty thud, launching him into the ground with its massive weight. Birds will take flight from all directions as the ground shatters under the impact of the defeated Frenchman. By the time the dust settles, Jean will be embedded three feet into the ground, groaning as he stares up at the sky.

Bread, Jean, and Augus, all crashed into the very ground. The latter's eyes almost shot out of his skull and breath was knocked off his lungs, his body bouncing off in the opposite direction due to the impact. Augus rolled against the ground until he was close by Ovis' frame, panting, "Hah..." He shrinked down, reverting to his human form.

"Ovis... hah," Augus tried to rise his head in order to look and check if Jean was even coming back. "We- hah, hah..." Sweat and blood glistened down his form, "We have to get up Ovis!"

"Jean has been defeated." A female voice said into the Den Den Mushi she carried. "Guess the Feathers are a bit tougher than we expected. Still, one of them is down, and another was significantly injured by him. So I guess the man accomplished something at least."

"Good, good." Alexander's voice came through the snail. "Drax and Jin captured the captain. So the big target is down. All we have to do is mop up. Keep following them Maria, we'll send some people to support you while Brandy takes their ship. Alexander out."

Maria stored the snail in her outfit before hopping down from the tree branch. The pirate with a bounty of Beli Small65,000,000 landed in front of her crew with a soft step, a massive sword resting on her shoulders. "Ladies and Gentlemen," she announced as she addressed her crew. "We have some Feathers to pluck."

Up a Creak without an Oar

The town near the mountain of the island was deserted as they entered. Signs of life abounded, trash lay on the street in places, dirt showed footprints quickly leading to various doors. The flash of eyes could be seen through the shutters and curtains on the windows at the three strangers in their midst. Two men and a woman walked through the streets of this town, lazily making their way to the centre of the town as they explored this strange island. An island that by all means shouldn't exist.

"You know Captain, I don't think the locals really appreciate us being here." the tall man walking in back yawned as he voiced his observation.

"They probably think we're pirates." The woman responded matter-of-factly.

"We are pirates." The man will bluntly note back.

"I suppose that is fair," Sera admitted with pursed lips. "Well, at least we aren't here to steal anything."

"Yo, Nathaniel." Berkley will prompt to the third member of the group, "Whatcha think the odds that we can get these people to trust that we're not going to rob them?"

Nathaniel thought for a moment before shrugging as he moved his hands up and down, almost as if he was weighing a scale. "I-I'd s-say like umm 50/50 maybe umm. Yeah, that."

"Oh come on, I'm sure that they will be reasonable, Or try to kill us," Sera added in with a huff. "Least they hopefully won't be like the featherholes in Alnora."

Nathaniel let out a small chuckle at Sera's attempt to censor herself. "Worst comes to worst we can just take em all out." He spoke between laughs.

"Yeah, worst comes to worst we should be able to fight our way out." Sera nodded in agreement.

"You know Nathaniel, I think this is the first time we've actually worked together." Berkley will comment to break up the silence after Sera's affirmation. "Where are you from anyway. Out of all the new guys don't think I really know anything about you."

"Oh?!" Nathaniel was caught a little off guard by the comment. No one had really asked him much about his personal life since he'd joined the crew. "Haha well umm, I was umm uhh." He shuddered, brushing his temples with his hands as he started again. "I'm originally from a small island named Firwalt. It's close to Drum Island if you know where that is."

"Heard of Drum Island, but haven't heard of Firwalt before," Berkley responded. "So you're originally from the Grand Line then?"

"I haven't heard of Firwalt island either, but to be fair, Gallanholm was the first island I went to that wasn't just rehashing my prior visit to the Grand Line." Sera chimed in. "Andre and I are both from the same island in North blue. So I assume he's the same. What's Firwalt like if you don't mind me asking?"

"Indeed." Nathaniel nodded to Berkley. "It's nice. Leaves are constantly red and orange, sunsets are beautiful. Quite serene honestly." Nathaniel replied, answering Sera's inquiry. "Smaller island, only like three towns on it. Got my start as a musician in the plazas and taverns there, a fun time indeed."

"Must be nice to be from such a simple island," Sera mused. "Flower Island is one of the largest in North Blue, two major cities and around 45 villages. More noble houses than you can easily keep track of."

"Was a really great place... Until Redrik," Berkley added in. "Hopefully your place never had to deal with that kind of trouble."

"Can't say I know what who or what Redrik is or was." Nathaniel commented, "However Firwalt was too small and unassuming, not to mention a small time smuggling outpost. Their influence was just strong enough to keep away the riff-raff and just inconsequential enough that actual threats never saw a reason to do anything." Nathaniel's hand tensed a bit, gripping some object that was no longer there for but a brief moment.

"Well, it's good that everything was peaceful enough for you. If only all islands were that way."

"Redrik was our Lord's younger brother. Our Former Lord." Sera said with a distant look. "Shortly before I became a pirate the Flower Kingdom was the subject of a six-year civil war. The side Andre and I was on lost after the Marines chose to back Redrik. The rest is history..."

Berkley took a moment and sidled up next to Nathaniel, "Yeah... the war's still a pretty touchy subject whenever Sera gets reminded of it. She and her Father were on opposite sides. If you've ever seen the line on her side, it's where he ran her through." Berkley will pause for a moment before continuing. "She'll get over it eventually. So did you leave just out of wanderlust, or get kicked out for some reason?"

"I haven't seen it but it sounds rough." He replied, shaking his head. He didn't really have much to add besides that. He was pretty sure by now any 'best wishes' or whatever would just be seen as pity so he left the subject. "I actually just left Firwalt cause I needed to branch out ya know." An awkward grin on his face as he continued. "Can't really make it as a musician with only three villages paying you, especially when half of them aren't into jazz."

"And now you're a pirate. Probably not what you expected when you left your home island, am I right?" Andre chuckled as he heartedly slapped his crewmate on the back. "I think we're all in the same boat there."

"Not really no, not the life I expected or planned for but we're in it now." Nathaniel nodded as he gave a friendly jab to the man's shoulder in response. "So how far away is this anyways Sera?"

"Town centre should be just up ahead," Sera responded as she snapped back to the present. The trio finally had arrived at their destination, the place that had called.

Several dozen villagers wielding pitchforks were on the other side of the square, lead by an old man with one arm. Numerous scars covered the man's face, his large body hidden by a cloak.

"Ah... a welcome party." Sera sighed with annoyance.

"So we fighting them or what?" Nathaniel asked, flexing his right hand. "To be entirely honest you could probably just grow some wings and scare em Sera. They look impressionable enough."

"I could always show them my full zoan form." Sera chuckled to herself. "Now that would scare them... But no, let's try and be friendly here. I don't pick... We don't pick fights with civilians. So just try to look friendly."

"I mean I.." He quickly stopped himself. "Showing them a real angel would be funny though. I doubt they'd even be able to appreciate it." With that, Nathaniel clammed up and aimed to be as welcoming as possible to the mob.

Sera approached the group with hands visible, doing her best to appear welcoming. Most of the villagers in front of her appeared apprehensive, levelling their weapons at the approaching pirate.

"Now, now, there is no reason for alarm. I'm not here to start a fight." Sera said softly as she got closer. "Who's in charge here.?"

"I am Miss." The old man responded with a polite bow. "We saw your ship come in, and we want no trouble. We've already prepared a tribute for you to just leave us alone."

"There's no.." Sera tried to get out.

"Please miss, we don't want any trouble. Just take it, and leave us alone." He'll interrupt as he points to the large treasure chest.

"I'm serious, we..."

"Mam, please think of the children. Take the tribute and go." The old man said sharply.


"Please." He said finally as if begging.

"We A..."


Sera gave an exasperated sigh as she looked at the chest. "Fine..."

Sera walked over to the large chest. It was easily twice the size she was, if not more. "Where did they even get a chest this big this big..." She mumbled to herself as she walked over and looked at it. "Might as well see what's inside."

With that, Sera jumped up to the lip of the chest, and placing her feet on the bottom of the lip, pulled the chest's lid why open.

"Feather my life..."

Without even a word, a suited man leapt out of the chest and immediately attempted to land a powerful punch square to Sera's face, which had been just above him. This man was Lee Jin, and even in this compromised position, he had managed to use the bottom of the chest as a foothold for his leap. Truly, an impeccable Martial Arts worth his infamy.


Sera's nose made a disgusting sound as the man in the box hit her face dead centre. Her head rocked back as an arc of blood ejected from her nose. Sera's eyes nearly rolled back into her head as she was knocked off the chest, landing on the ground below. However, despite the sudden shock to her head, she remained conscious. "I think you broke my feathering nose..." She groaned as she rolled over.

Sera shook her head a couple of times in an attempt to clear it, her vision showing double even as she grabbed her nose.

But she couldn't afford to focus purely on the pain with an enemy above her. Four white wings grew from her back, spiking upwards in an attempt to pierce through the man who had wounded her.

"You fucks!" The words shot from Nathaniel's mouth as he assumed a crouched stance and rocketed forwards. Trumpets erupting from both arms, facing backwards as they emitted a loud blaring noise. The sound rocketed him forwards as he dashed through the air at the man that had just punched his captain, swinging his right fist for his temple.

"You must be faster, Angel!" Jin proclaimed loudly, as he observed the wings spiking up to attack him. As opposed to evasion in mid-air, he clenched both of his hands into tight fists, and rapidly punched all four wings, near-simultaneously, pushing them back with such force that they went flying left and right.

At the same time, the wings that flew to the right would get in the way of Nathaniel's advance, and before his fist would launch towards Jin's body, he would have to get Sera's wings out of the way. As this manoeuvre occurred, Jin's body finally landed onto the ground, putting him on an even playing field with his opponents.

Notably, despite the treasure chest being seemingly empty, a rattling noise did not stop humming from its interior. Was there a bigger ploy in all of this..?

Jin didn't hesitate to take advantage of the confusion he made, and dashed forward with all of his might, reaching before Sera nigh-instantly. His left fist was clenched at his waist, and he shot it forward with great speed, hoping to land it squarely on Sera's stomach and knock her out from this battle. At the same time, his right hand had been curled up into a fist as well, but left in a dormant position, awaiting any possible interference from the other Pirate.

A shadow peered over from inside the treasure chest, quickly vanishing into the environment around everyone. Suddenly, the entire atmosphere seemed more humid, rendering difficult most people's breathing, even if slightly.

Sera was still seeing double as blood dripped from her nose to the ground below. The first blow had shaken her bad. Her balance was barely there, and she needed a moment to recompose herself. A moment her assailant wasn't willing to give her.

Her wings had barely retracted in time to defend against the blow, wrapping around her torso as the man struck it. They deadened the blow, though Sera rolled several times away from the strike under the force. She attempted to reach her feet by rolling with the force, though she overcompensated and nearly fell backwards in the process. Only by switching to off her wings to act as an extra pair of legs was she able to stay upright, still seeing double this entire time as she struggled to breathe in the saturated air. She was punchdrunk, but not out yet.

As Sera's wings flew at Nathaniel, he twitched as trumpets jutted from his shoulders. They blared upwards as he slid under the wings. As his slide brought him within a critical distance of the mysterious man, the trumpets on his shoulders disappeared and the trumpets on his arms re-engaged, rocketing him upwards, his left fist poised to strike the man's chin in a shattering uppercut.

Jin's manoeuvre was almost a complete success, and he had managed to injure the Captain to a degree that the Manly Pirates could execute their manly plan. Now, there was simply a matter of dealing with her subordinate. His eyes peered towards his right, where Nathaniel had moved with blistering speed. While he acknowledged that the powers of, what seemed to be, his Devil Fruit was enough to surpass human limitations, he didn't possess the training needed to beat Jin in this situation.

While Nathaniel attempted to uppercut Jin's chin, what he didn't notice while blitzing with his speed was the dormant fist on his right side. Without any obvious preparation, the fist was immediately raised and was sent out in a straight punch, intercepting Nathaniel's strike by attacking the inner part of his elbow bone before the punch could fully connect. The resulting force caused Nathaniel's own fist to shift in angle slightly, narrowly avoiding Jin.

"Your fists require more discipline! Be faster, not louder!" Jin spoke to the younger Pirate, taking a single back-step while keeping his attention distributed between Sera and Nathaniel.

"Grahh" Nathaniel grunted as his fist was expertly knocked off course. He pulled his hand back as his opponent stepped away. He too stepped back, whacking his elbow with his other fist, almost rhythmically. "Not louder? How the hell am I supposed to jam with no music?" He called out as lines of trumpets erupted from his shoulders to his lower back. They began to blare, the sound reverberating through the air and Nathaniel. His grin grew wider, eyes narrowed in focus. His loose hand held firm before his face as his feet took their place in his stance.

He moved forward with his guard up, aiming to counter when the man struck him again.

Jin viewed the trumpeter before him, and the ostentatious sounds he made and formed a scowl on his face. A fighter that relied on noise in such a manner was not worth a fight with him. He was doing this as part of his duty to the Manly Pirates, but he still possessed his honour as a military man, and as a man of Martial Arts. Therefore, to maintain his own honour, he instead went back to completing his initial task: capturing Phim D. Sera.

Without delay, he dashed towards the slowly recovering Angel and attempted to appear behind her with a sidestep that would avoid her wings. He intended on grappling her by the neck and keeping her bound, ensuring that the subordinate would not be able to do anything with his Captain in check.

Sera had nearly finished collecting herself by now, and with her regained clarity of thought reacted to the other man's moves.

Sera's palms stretched out and a golden light flowed out from them. By the time Jin's arm reached her neck, the golden light had formed a bubble around her. A golden shield to protect the angel from her attackers. A shield that kept expanding as Sera began to force Jin away from her in an attempt to reset the fight back to square one.

"Six!" Andre announced as another of the various enemies fell to the ground behind him, the man's pitchfork cleft in twain. "Came at me you Curs!" He yelled as he charged the next group of men coming after him.

Andre was a blur as he moved through his attackers. Sword whistling through the air, he parried and rolled through strike after strike even as his own blade rang out again and again. By the time he halted behind the group of men, each of them began to rock forwards, collapsing at the same time as their wounds proved to be too much.

"Now, are there any decent swordsmen around here?" He asked aloud.

A shot rang out as Berkley boasted, nearly hitting him in the head, though the young duelist leaned out of the way at the last moment.

Andre turned around towards the source of the shot, not seeing anyone until he looked towards the ground. A small monkey, barely two feet tall, stood there, a flintlock in one hand and a Cutlass in the other.

"Who gave this monkey a weapon!" Andre exclaimed loudly in surprise and annoyance as another shot went off.

Andre jumped backwards as the bullet whizzed by again, barely dodging the second one. His sword shrieked through the air as he stabbed towards the monkey, which rolled out of the way before jumping towards the feather. A lattice-web of sparks was all that could be seen as the two swordsmen went at each other in a blur of motion, each giving and asking for no quarter.

Across the plaza and near where Sera and Nathaniel were attempting to handle Jin, a loud beat could be heard echoing through the houses. Another group of men rounded the corner towards the square, though they looked nothing like the rest of the people in the square.

Heavy Denim clothes and jackets donned the men, obvious even under the large amount of gold coloured jewellery they wore. Each carried a weapon of some kind, from clubs to chains, to flintlocks and maces. One carried a metal box, the Den Den Mushi blasting out a beat. The group stepped in tune to the beat, keeping pace as the man in front began to rap to the beat."

"Here comes the Boss,
Here to give these losers a loss.
Just one hit to the face,
Has already put this captain in their place.
Those trombones are lame,
You will hate that you even came.
But now Marshall is here,
So let's show these wannabes the meaning of fear."

As Mathers Marshall finished his lyrics, Alexander just groaned. "Young people and their terrible music..."

As the two subordinate crews started moving into the plaza, the rank and file of the Manly Pirates started leaving in a hurry. Their job had been to keep the pirates in place until the crews arrived, and they had performed their job well. As such, they left the rest of the crew to do theirs.

Two of the fleeing men, in particular, crouched behind some boxes as they watched fight occurring in the square. "I can't believe they sent both the Hill and the Rapping Pirates to deal with one group of rookies. Mathers and Billy Jo both have a bounty comparable to that crew's entire bounty. Hell, Little Timmy is fighting on par with their swordsmen, and he has a bounty of Beli Small18,000,000. Jin is also matching the captain and the other guy straight up by himself." The larger of the two men said to his companion as he watched the fights.

"Yeah, even discounting Jin they gotta deal with Beli Small169,000,000 in terms of bounty. Beli Small73,000,000 from the Rapping Pirates and Beli Small96,000,000 from the Hill Pirates. Those rookies are screwed. Well, at least we get to watch. Where is Billy Jo anyways? I only see Little Timmy out there."

"He'll show up, all we can do is wait."

A screech could be heard as the sword fight finally ended, a trail of blood spreading out from the primate as Andre's sword finally met its mark. The primate fell to the ground, defeated.

"Awh Shit Brother Billy Jo, they got Little Timmy" Could be heard from up on one of the roofs. Andre looked up in response to the comment and just froze. Nearly forty humanoid apes of various sizes stood upon the roof. In the front, a massive gorilla in a vest and denim pants stood, staring at the pirate below. "He'll be avenged Terrence, he'll be avenged.

"HOW DARE YOU HURT LITTLE TIMMY!" The Mink roared as he leapt from the building, smashing his fist into the ground with all of his might. Rock cracked and dust flew as his fist embedded itself into the stone road where Andre had been standing moments ago. "You're gonna die, son. Gonna die for hurting my cousin."

"As Sera would say, Feather My Life..."

In the meantime, the Rapping Pirates continued their advance into the square, walking towards Nathaniel, Jin, and Sera in step with the beat, their captain at their head. It wasn't looking good.

"Nathaniel, Get Andre and get out of here," Sera said as she calculated just how badly the odds were stacked against her, her golden barrier having given her time to fully recollect herself, though blood was still dripping from her broken nose. "I'll buy you guys time to get out of the town, then fly away to meet you. Go find Augus."

"Absolutely not," Nathaniel spoke, his eyes alight with fire. In a couple of mere seconds he, his captain, and their entire crew had been insulted. Not to mention that fucker refusing to box with him. An army was marching towards them and he was about to show them what he was made of.

"Sera I want you to trust me here." The usual hesitation an awkwardness of his voice was far gone. The confident speech from their ballroom battle was back again. The blaring music fell silent as a trumpet manifested in his hands. "Watch my back ok, this is my stage." He placed the trumpet to his lips and began to play. An eerie chorus blasted from his being, looming in the air. Then over it a very distinct noise, the horns of war. Nathaniel stood motionless, eyes closed and focused on his music. Then a yelp was heard from one of the pirates as a ghostly monkey slashed him across the face. Laughter was heard as spirits of those who died at war rose up, swords and guns in hand. Their hollow yellow eyes trained on his foes. A hearty laugh reverberated through the square as the spirits of war began to march to the tune, an ethereal army dashing on Nathaniel's behalf.

The Rapping Pirate shot back at the army of ghosts, but their bullets right through them. Noticing his men starting to panic at the army in front of them, their captain began to chuckle.

"Now don't get wack,
looking at that attack.
To deal with the ghosts of this fool,
all you gotta do is kill this massive tool."

Mathers crouched for a moment, tensing his legs as he slipped a hunk of metal around his right fist.

"Berzerk Hammer..." He announced as he sprung into motion, his legs pushing the ground so hard it cracked beneath his feet. He disappeared from sight for an instant as he ploughed straight through the ghost army faster than it could attack him, drifting through the mist and smoke comprising their forms as it dispersed in his wake.

His hand was cocked back at his sides as he appeared in front of Nathaniel. The light around his hand distorted as he rammed his fist forward, air collapsing upon it almost as if it was making a shell around his fist. A shell of air backed by steel knuckles with THUG emblazoned on the front aimed right at the other musician's face.

The metal fist blasted forwards, knocking ghosts aside in a mad dash towards Nathaniel. Swords and bodies tried to intercept the charge but they were all knocked away or pushed through. Spirits had unbelievable durability but they could still be moved. The hunk of metal impacted the end of the trumpet as it continued to blare its tune, crunching the brass inwards as the fist drew closer and closer to Nathaniel.

The metallic clang echoed through the square as Nathaniel was sent flying into the nearby tavern, crashing through the wall he shuddered beneath a pile of splintered wood. "Hey asshole," He let out a harsh cough, spitting some blood from his mouth. "Musician's code, never interrupt another while they're playing." His form rose from the pile, rips and tears in his clothes and a couple of wounds bleeding from the impact.

The ghosts had faded upon the hit, with no more sound to lure them from their world they returned. Nathaniel however still had that spark in his eye. Walking out through the hole he'd made he stared down Mathers. "I really appreciate the help Sera." He called out sarcastically, not even breaking his gaze to look at her. The man before him though, maybe he could give him a proper fight. Unlike that martial artist, starting up a fight and fleeing from his challenge.

"Listen up dude,
You're being a dick,
stop being so rude,
And I'll make this quick."

Nathaniel smirked, trumpets bursting forth from his body. He stepped back with his hands ready to beat the rapper into submission.

"Sorry..." Sera apologized to Nathaniel as her attention was split between dealing with Jin and trying to stop Andre from being pancaked by an angry gorilla.

Almost as if on cue with her thoughts, Billy Jo made another enrages leap, Sparks flying from his fists as he tried to strike the nimble swordmen again. Like the last three times, he had tried however a wall of light formed between the combatants, and try as he might Billy Jo just couldn't smash right through it.

"After I get this injun you're next..." He growled as Andre's Riposte stabbed him in the shoulder, doing little more than annoying the mink.

Even as she did this, her wings lashed out in a lethal pattern in an effort to skewer the martial artist, all five forming a daunting gauntlet to protect her backside.

Mathers tilted his head with a smile at Nathaniel's challenge, responding with some fire of his own.

"Your rhymes are weak,
My fists are heavy.
So prepare to get beat,
Till you look like mom's spaghetti."

He paused for a second as he put on the second knuckle of brass.

"Rappu Goudo."

He began rapping with lightning speed, each beat flowing with a fist flashing out towards the musician at a blistering pace even as the beat increased. A hammer of sound pounded across the square from the impacts of dozens of fists, the afterimages making Mathers look like a demented Asura.

Dust billowed in and around his assault covering up Nathaniel from view even Mathers continued his assault.

Silence rang as the beat ended with Mathers taking a deep breath to refill his lungs. "Little man was all tal..." He started to brag when Sera yelled, "Nathaniel, Now!"

The dust settled slightly as the wind in the square blew it about, revealing a golden barrier between the two pirates. A barrier that was dissolving as Sera released the power shielding Nathaniel from the rain of blows right as the enemy pirate let his guard down.

Nathaniel narrowed his eyes, glancing from Sera and back to Mathers. It wasn't helping her that she had to split her power between her battle and protecting him and Andre. He could feel her willing them to leave. Even if this was a losing battle he swore he'd protect her. This time though they needed to regroup with the others, they were clearly outnumbered.

"Andre on me, literally." He shouted as trumpets began to blossom from his body, all facing towards Mathers.


The trumpets all froze for a moment before a massive blast of sound erupted from them. Cascading across the dirt and causing a towering cloud of dust to form. Bits of wood and stone were also fired by the chaotic tune. However, the true purpose of this attack was to rocket Nathaniel, and hopefully Andre, into the sky and out of the town. Back towards the rest of the crew.

"You better know what you're doing Sera."

Andre dodged another monstrous fist, sidestepping it even as he spun away from the mink. His attention flicked towards Nathaniel calling out to him, an instant of inattention that Billy Jo attempted to take advantage of, only to be blocked by another bubble of light with a guttural clang.

"That blasted shield..." Billy Jo growled.

Andre turned from the mink, his first several steps not gaining traction before he sped off, moving faster and faster with each and every moment.

"Stop them from escaping!" Billy Jo roared, still blocked off from the young duelist by the wall of light.

Half a dozen pirates from his crew leapt, landing between Andre and his escape route with weapons raised.

Andre went low, falling towards the ground as he gripped the wrist of his right arm with his left. "Doccia..." He announced as the light from the sun glinted off his sword. For a moment, the minks saw what seemed to be rose petals flow off the young pirate's sword.

"ROSA!" He announced as he took a particularly ferocious step. For a brief instant, Andre disappeared from the view of the pirates raising their weapons to strike him down. In that brief instant, he had travelled well past the six pirates, flicking blood off his sword as he ran straight towards a tavern that Nathaniel was about to pass over.

The Minks began to turn to face him but never made it. A line of rose petals flowed from where he has once stood, echoing the path his sabre had taken as he had manoeuvred through the interlopers. As the petals reached the first mink, his side opened up, the sword strike eviscerating his size as it gouged through the large ox of a man. As the blade reached past the head of the mink, it arced towards the next at a right angle, turning again to repeat the process on the next pirate from head to tail. The Ox had already collapsed to the ground as the roses began to fade.

Andre didn't even bother looking back at the pirates as he reached the tavern. He leapt to a bench, before making a second hop up to the roof. Ignoring the minks chasing him, he crossed the tavern in an instant before leaping after his musician. Andre gripped him on the ankle, looking back at the square as the pair rocketed off, a grim look on his face.

"That bitch, that actually hurt..." Mathers grumbled as he dusted himself off. He had been launched into the wall of a nearby shop and had just extricated himself from the rubble. Looking around, he noticed that only one enemy remained. "Well, we only needed her anyways. Least there's that."

Sera breathed a sigh of relief when the other two had retreated. A sigh that quickly turned into a grunt as one of Jin's fists slammed into her arm. She slid back a couple of meters as she took stock of the situation. She was surrounded, easily a hundred pirates occupied the square. Of those, only three were really a threat on her own. The martial artist warily circling in front of her, the giant gorilla with a heavy punch, and that terrible musician.

"All right Sera, you can do this." She uttered to herself as she finished taking observing her surroundings.

Jin rushed her as Sera opened her wings, a hail of feathers firing in every direction as she aimed to reduce the numbers of her opposition. Sera crossed her arms, taking the man's first punch on her steel guards, being knocked back several inches as she used the man's momentum to spin, bringing her clenched fist around towards his side, "Downy Flamberge!" She yelled.

Jin curled his arm, taking the strike on his bicep as he blocked the strike. Flowing with the hit, Jin let himself be moved around Sera by the strike, shifting his weight to circle around Sera laterally with the blow instead of being knocked away.

His return stroke was blocked by one of the angel's wings, the feathered appendage shifting Jin's strike to the side as Sera sprung up to deliver a powerful kick at the manly martial artist.

Jin ducked the kick, lashing out with a heavy fist that Sera parried with her other shin even as she landed back on the ground. Sera bounced back a couple of steps to create distance as Billy Jo and Mathers Marshall entered the fray.

Sera solidified her stance as she raised her hand towards the pair. A golden shield formed between the four combatants, the mink and the man impacting upon the barrier of light. Recoiling from the impact, the two fell backwards as Sera dropped the shield. She spiked her wings outwards, aiming to impale all three of her opponents in a single go.

Jin twisted around the wing, leaning to the side as it pierced through the area he had just occupied. Grabbing onto the snow-white wing, he pulled. Sera whipped upwards as one of her wings was jerked and twisted, slamming into the ground with a heavy thud at the other end of the arc.

The other three wings dug into the ground, pushing her out of the way as the two subordinates slammed into the ground she had just occupied.

Sera whipped out another barrage of feathers, aiming to skewer the three. Mathers slid in front of the three, his fists launching out cannonballs of air as he blew the feathers right out of the sky.

The three Manly Pirates charged Sera at the same time, aiming to hit her all at once while her wings were out of a position to manoeuvre around to protect her.

"When will you people learn, you'll never get through my barrier. So just LEAVE US ALONE!" She shouted at them with hints of arrogance and anger in her voice. Sera was confident in her shield, in her ten years of combat it had never once been broken. Raising her hand once more, a large wall of gold sprang into existence between the four combatants.

Three fists struck as one into the wall, the blows shrieking as they attempted to shatter the wall between them and their prey. But to no avail, as the dust whipped up by the impact cleared, it still stood firm.

Sera observed the three pirates staring at her through the wall of gold. "What do you even want? We didn't even come here to pick a fight."

"Well, you see here little lady." Billy Jo chuckled as he observed the young woman in front of him. "I would tell you, but I think that's the boss's job."

As soon as Jo's voice announced that, water had suddenly sprouted in the vicinity and, from seemingly inside it, a blurry figure emerged and provoked a new impact over the wall of god that separated hem, the atmosphere acquired a blue hue. Water droplets and gusts of wind flew off due to such an action.

"You cuties having trouble with this?!"

The figure smashed their fist soundly against the wall, having appeared so suddenly it was like they birthed out of thin air, they stepped forward to increase the pressure more. Red and tensed muscles pressed even more firmly at the wall, "Gohyakumaigawara Seiken!!" The figure screamed finally, mouth wide in a toothy smile. A technique of Fishmen Combat, Fishman Karate, that pushed forth all of the surrounding water into a focused punch to strike an opponent.

Sera raised her hands further, reinforcing her wall of gold with the energy radiating from her hands. The large man's fist crashed into the barrier of light with a screeching crack that could be heard across the island. Jin, Marshall, and Billy Jo were knocked back, the water streaming off the shield after their impact lashing out at the three. The three landed on their feet, guards raised to protect from further backlash.

Sera's eyes widened at the impact, especially so once she noticed a crack beginning to form in her shield of gold. A crack that widened, and widened, and widened. Slowly but surely, Douglas Drax forced his way further and further into the barrier of gold before he shattered it completely.

Sera didn't even have time to voice her surprise before the giant fishman's fist flew between her arms to strike her dead centre in the chest. The angel rocked back from the blow before her feet left the ground entirely. Wood and Stone barely slowed her flight as she slammed through several buildings from the force of the impact.

She came to rest as she cleared the town, lying embedded in a hill towards the centre of the island, groaning from the impact. The last thing she saw before she lost consciousness was several pirates holding chains walking towards her.

"Oh, feathe..." she uttered as she finally passed out.

Free Falling

Pound of Feathers

The trio of feathers continued their trek through the forest, the site of the French ambush having been left behind them as they continued onwards. The Baguette pirates had fled as their captain had been defeated, and those too dumb to get the message had swiftly been dispatched by the trio. Now they approached what was probably the first occupied building they had seen on the island, what appeared to be a large hunting lodge situated behind a large hill. Smoke rolled from its chimney and the light of a fire could be seen in one of the windows. The building itself was maybe forty feet long by thirty wide and was surrounded by thick trees. It would soon be nighttime, and the trio had been walking for several hours now.

Normally Sera would have checked in by now, but she had been oddly silent since the two groups split back up on the beach. That being said, they've seen no other signs of enemies since that one singular ambush.

With a few bruises and bandages over his body, Brisei Augus walked alongside his companions, having taken the lead and being ahead of them. After defeating that large bread of a man, they all surrounded him with Ovis' powers and attached him to a large tree. Rather than he was the one to see the building first, Augus heard it first, the slight disturbance in the air caused by the smoke.

Augus rose his hand in front of his crewmates, "I'm hearing sounds from something up ahead... it seems like people in a building."

Alana halted in her tracks as she was urged by her fellow crewmate. "I thought I was the only one getting a weird vibe from this place." Alana was cautious as she stood, looking around at her surroundings frantically. "It's like we go from one challenge to the next, haven't even gotten a chance to recuperate." Alana said as she watched Augus's bandages like a hawk before going on. "So how should we approach this?" Alana would say directed at her two crewmates who accompanied her.

Ovis was hardly able to walk. In fact, he wasn't walking. He dragged himself, or rather, was being dragged around by Augus, on a wagon made by his own Devil Fruit. Following the fight with the Baguette Pirates, who had injured Ovis to some degree, Ovis needed time to recuperate. Unlike the other crew members, Ovis suffered from a crippling low endurance, and his Devil Fruit's side-effect did not help him either. While Alana spoke, Ovis was trying his best to peacefully sleep through the travel before the next major battle, though he winced, almost as if he could feel someone in distress.

As the pair debated, and Ovis slept, there were few developments. Sometimes someone would walk in front of a window, and there would be the occasional flash of light from inside the main room, as if someone was stoking a fire. One significant thing that occurred is a woman briefly left the cabin, picking up an armful of firewood before heading back inside. She wore a habit, making her some kind of religious follower, a nun.

Eyeing Ovis and then Alana for a second, Augus focused upon the building, his senses alerted him of some things. Though, it was still difficult to fully gauge what had been going on, "Hmmmm, Ovis-kun is sleeping..." He looked at the entrances and windows of the place, it really looked to be some sort of tavern. Then, "Do you think you can try to go in as a customer, Alana?"

Finger pointed for the front door, then a window, Augus commented, "I can survey from outside and mask myself... I could aid you through echo bullets." If there were too many strong opponents, they would have to act even more cautiously and fast.

"A-ah...sorry Augus-san..." Ovis rubbed his eyes, as he was slowly waking up. "My eyes wouldn't wake up..." Ovis then peered around the area, unfamiliar with where he was. "U-uhm...what are we doing, Augus-san...?"

Eyes widening, Augus spoke to Ovis in a whisper as not to disturb him. "We- We are checking over this building over there," He gestured with a swipe of his head, "So that we can safely gather information."

"Sound like a plan then." Alana spoke in response to Ovis, keeping a hushed tone as to not alert any potential enemies. Alana began to diverge from the group, walking towards the building. "I'm going in, make sure to survey from outside, Augus. I'd hate for this to go left." Alana said, looking to a recovering Ovis then back to Augus, motioning him to join her as she walked towards the building of strangers.

Ovis managed to remain somewhat stable as he finally woke up. He decided to stay back so that his sleepiness would not compromise the operation. Upon thinking back, Ovis realized he might have been a more preferred option for this assignment. If only he was a bit more awake...but in the meantime, he did not want to burden his crewmembers, so he stayed outside, hidden from plain sight.

"I will, of course!" Augus held in his voice, though a smile came from his expression. "If anything happens, me and Ovis-kun will swoop right in," He gave a look at the sleepy Ovis and patted his shoulder. "Don't worry too much friend, I'll be having both of your backs!" Then, all Augus did was wait as Alana ventured into the building, ready to get close to the windows.

Pound of Lead

"You know, this really kinda sucks," Andre complained as he slogged through some mud on the northern side of the island. The pair had lost their pursuit nearly an hour ago and had fled into a small marsh while they tried to track down their comrades. "If I wanted to walk through the mud again, I never would have let the civil war end."

Finding a log to set down on for a moment, Andre observed his companion a minute before adding, "Sera's strong you know, you don't have to worry about her. If she felt it was the right call to have us retreat, she would have had a good reason."

Nathaniel sighed, rubbing his temples as he attempted to figure out their next move. "We have no idea what those others are capable of. We had trouble with them and Sera was spread thin. Not to mention that was without the brunt of the forces on her. Angels have limits too." He adjusted his tie and grabbed Andre's arm. "We have to find the others and get back to her ok. Get the hell up."

"And I have faith in her. Those barriers of hers can withstand cannon fire from a Marine Battleship. I'm not sure if it's possible to break them. That being said, the reason I stopped was less that and more to let the person struggling to catch up to us through the mud appear. I can hear the heavy breathing." Andre responded as he looked at a nearby bush.

Emerging from the bushes, clothes covered in mud and leaves was a tall young man with short black hair that to the two pirates was nothing more than a stranger. "Damn, that bastard got away." The man said has he makes his stop and begins cleaning his outfit. Underneath all of the filth, he could be seen wearing a long collar brown jacket with several pockets and bucklers decorating its sleeves, under a plain brown shirt and some dark pants with matching shoes.

"Oh, you are the fellas that arrived early." Turning his attention towards the previously referred pirates. "I'm Alfons, you guys didn't by any chance see a big fella holding a knife and a frying pan running by?" Moving closer to them Alfons begging motioning his hand toward them as with the intention of handshaking them.

"Can't say I have stranger... Alfons. You also a recipient of one of this place's... welcoming parties?" Andre will ask. "I'm Andre by the way, Berkley Andre. This here is Nathaniel."

"I guess you could say that," Alfons said while retracting his hand from the formerly rejected handshake. "One of those bastards took my Fishbones and Ignis, they better keep them clean." Stopping for a moment to compose himself. "But either way, what happened to the rest of your comrades?"

Nathaniel narrowed his eyes at the man. "Andreas I don't know this man and I'm not too keen on working with some stranger after what happened in the square." He turned to Alfons, trumpets beginning to bloom from his body. "I suggest you leave before I make you."

"He does make a good point, we don't really have any reason to trust you," Andre added as he stood up. "Have anything to say on that front?"

"Right, you guys are pirates I'm a random stranger," Alfons said while slowly backing up. "But I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be having this conversation if we were on different sides." Now having raised his hands just above his shoulders. "Where would you guys place your bets on, fighting by yourselves or getting an extra pair of fists. Cuz ether way ima be fighting the one who stole from me."

"Punch me," Nathaniel spoke flatly.

Andre is just going to watch the exchange for a moment.

Shocked by the man's statement Alfons takes a couple of seconds to analyze the situation. "Wait...What!"

"Fine." Nathaniel moved in an instant, powered by the trumpets already on his body. They blared blasting air to propel him even faster as he aimed to punch at Alfons' jaw.

"I guess it had to come to this." Alfons thought to himself, just as the previous attack is about to reach his face. But right before the impact he very rapidly moved his arms into a defensive position in an attempt to block the former.

The punch would impact Alfons arm and send him skidding back a bit. Nathaniel wasn't sure if he broke anything or not but he glared at him. "Next time hit first, block later. You can at least take a punch and at this point, that's enough." He looked to Andreas. "We need to find the others and get back to Sera now. Let's go you two." He grumbled as began to march onwards.

Recovering the previous, Alfons turns his attention towards Andre. "Is he always like this?"

"Eh, not usually. But we've been having a pretty bad day. Between finding this random island, getting ambushed, having to leave our captain behind to avoid getting our asses beat. You know, the usual." Andre added with a shrug. "We should probably follow Nathaniel though, need to find the rest of our crew and make a plan before our hosts find us, you know?"

"I guess that's one way of becoming temporary allies," Alfons said, still shrugging his arm from the previous attack, directing his attention now towards Nathaniel's direction. "Damn the day I got on this Ship." He said as he began to make his move.

"Ship..." Andre questioned to himself as he watched the new young man walk past. Then with a hearty shrug, he continued onwards

"That's a lot of dudes..." Andre noted from his vantage point overlooking the camp that was springing up in front of him. The newly formed trio was currently sitting in the woods near the northern edge of the island. Below them, a camp of Manly Pirates was setting up for the evening, easily seventy strong. They were currently pitching their tents for the night and did not appear to have yet noticed their feathery watchers.

"So... I don't think they know where here yet. What do you two want to do about these guys?"

"I mean your boy over there seemed to be ready for a fight just a minute ago," Alfons said towards Andre while pointing to Nathaniel. "Me, at least for the time been, will follow you guys soo just say the word."

"Recognize any of them from before?" Nathaniel spoke, directing his words to Andre.

"Nope, no minks, so we don't have to worry about the Gorilla. This seems like a pretty good chance at teaching these folks a lesson though." Andre responded. "Just gotta make sure that they don't get a message out."

"So who wants to give these guys some payback for the town?"

"Oh good, I need some warm-up before I find that damn thief," Alfons said as he began to stretch his arms and legs. "And don't worry trumpet boy, I will hit first."

"Excellent, I just need you both to make sure they don't get to me. Or else we're gonna lose the numbers advantage." He placed the trumpet at his lips and began to play, a haunting but fierce tune, the blaring trumpets of war. The soft earth around the camp rustled lightly as from it floated spectres, long dead in previous battles. They rose from their graves as restless spirits armed to the teeth, for this was their curse.

It all happened quite quick with Nathaniel giving no indication to his teammates besides the words he'd spoken. The risen spectres began to run rampant through the camp. Firing and slashing wildly at the opposition. All while Nathaniel played on anger in his eyes.

Half a dozen men went down almost immediately, unable to even get to their weapons out before they were struck down by the spirits invading the camp. The remaining pirates began to fight for their lives, grouping up in clumps as they struggled to repel the spiritual invaders.

However, eventually, they started using their heads, noting Nathaniel playing up on the hillside. In their desperation to survive, several pirates called to charge the man playing his instrument, deducing that it must be the cause of the spectres attacking them.

The pirates formed together in several groups, banding together for protection from the spirits in their midst as they began a mad dash towards the feather lookout. While several ran away from the commotion, about half the total pirates formed two groups and charged at the position from either side, eager to silence the ghosts of the past.

"I got the one on the left, Alfons, handle the right," Andre shouted as he drew his blade. The feathery pirate charged down the slope, racing towards the front of the column charging at him even as the ghosts picked at their flanks.

His blade drew back as he shifted to the left, the sword crossing his body as he prepared for a devastating riposte.

"Rosa Diluvio!" Andre announced as he slid towards the very front of the column. His sword flashed out, blurring out as petals seemed to flow from the myriad stabs of the heirloom sabre. The first three men in the column didn't even stand a chance, their bodies pockmarked by the flurry of thrusts. But there were plenty more to worry about. Something that Andre planned to rectify.

The other column continued their charge, racing towards the hill and their attackers. In the lead was a beast of a man, easily nine feet tall, carrying a length of thick chain that he was swinging above his head.

“I got it!” Alfons said towards Andre as he made his way towards the charging group. “Damn I wish I had fishbones with me this would be a lot faster.” He said while frantically looking all around him, stopping once his eyes meet with a loose knife close to him, “You would do.” He said while swiftly grabbing it. Now just a couple of meters away from the charging group, Alfons with a knife on his left hand and a clenched right first he begins to slow down in await of the pirates.

And the moment three grunts got close, “Collagen Skim” With a group of swift and fast movements all of them fell to the ground, with two showing dozens of cuts all around their arms, legs, and chest with the other one collapsing with a visibly broken nose.

"Damn this knife I missed half of their tendons." He said as he continues to make his way towards the rest of the group.

The pirates recoiled for a moment at the sudden display of speed, most didn't even see the man move. As more ghosts picked at their flank, they almost seemed on the verge of breaking before one particularly loud man held out this spear.

"This bastard only has a knife, and there's one of him. Get him and we can get rid of the ghosts. Let's go!" He yelled before he began leading the charge back into Alfons.

The pirates split up in an attempt to force the young man to split his attention. A large man with a sword slid off to his right stepping back towards Alfons with a vicious swing aimed at his mid section, while a skinny man with a club did the same from his left.

In the meantime, aiming to further exasperate the young man's situation, the loudmouthed man leapt, spear cocked back before he thrust it forward in an attempt to skewer the knife-wielding man.

Founding himself surrounded Alfons took a second to quickly analyzed his attackers, "Damn, meatheads". From the outside, it would look like Alfons had no way of escaping, when suddenly *Crack* a sudden breaking noise was heard as the knife that was previously on his left hand was now broken and on one of the grunt's shoulder. While at the same his now bloody right hand was seen holding down both the sword's and spear's blade of the two other pirates. "How long can you guys hold on?"

Letting go of the now stabbed club-wielding grunt, Alfons placed his full attention towards the other two, now holding the sword's edge, on one hand, and the spear's on the other he violently moved his arms and broke the edges while looking directly at them. "You better tell me where that damn thief is."

"What Thief?" The loudmouth shouted as he drew out his pistol, aiming it directly at the young pirate as he lined up a shot. His companion was attempting to draw his as well, though a ghostly sword ran through the pirate's back before he could, the ghost disappearing a moment afterwards as Nathaniel moved.

"I guess you fellas are just grunts, no can do." Quickly closing the gap between him and the one who apparently had the biggest balls on the attacking group, Alfons duking under the gun's line of fire placed his right hand on the grunt's face silently whispering under his breath "Blame Drax, not me." Right before launching him several feet towards the rest of the charging grunts with an immense force. "Now let's finish cooking the rest of you." Craking his knuckles Alfons spent the remaining couple minutes dealing with the dozen or so pirates that were at this point demoralized after seeing their biggest fighter go down.

Despite the desperate charges, not all of the manly pirates had decided to rush towards the three pirates. Several had rushed to the other side of the camp, where they took the canvas off of three mortars, which were now being rotated to face the offending feathers. They adjusted their sights towards Nathaniel, working as fast as they could to get their first shot off while they can.

Nathaniel eyed the mortars with a mental sigh, though the two had done their best they couldn't get them all. The trumpet fell from his lips clattering the ground as it disappeared, the spirits with it. "You all better cover your ears." He spoke softly, trumpets beginning to bloom all along his being. "This is for all you sorry souls out there, Bore." In one loud harmonious tune, sound ripped forth from his being, impacting the mortars as they fell, splitting them apart as their explosions lit up the sky.

Nathaniel rocketed down the hill aided by his trumpets, jetting him across the sand with sound. "Fuck you." He spoke as his fist met the face of one of the pirates, slamming them cleanly into the sand.

The pirate's morale surged even as the mortars devastated their loaders with multiple explosions, the pirate's decision to focus on them having broken the ghost army.

Nearly half a dozen began to charge at Nathaniel, swords in hand. They were lead by a giant of a man, nearly twice the size of his kin, who had a slab of steel in the shape of a sword raised over his head right as he whipped it down, attempting to crush right through the young musician in front of him.

"I hate you all, so much." He spoke through his teeth, the music steadily growing stronger as he seethed with anger. "Angel Choir." He stated, staring the group down as harmonic melodies began to blast from his back as sound built up in the numerous other trumpets on his body. Then in one devastating burst he released it, a short score paced into one concise attack. Every note was a punch as he dashed forwards, propelled by sound. Guts, faces, and even nether regions were not safe from his relentless hail of blows.

As he reached the largest one he began to climb him as he hit, strafing up his body as he continued to pummel the beast of a man. The notes began to wind down, the song coming to a close as he landed behind the man, trumpets beginning to blossom on his right hand. He didn't utter a word, the music spoke for him as he spun around to deliver a massive blow to the man's back. The shockwave of sound enough to send even a house flying. "Praise be." He muttered, turning to face the rest of the pirates that dared exist in his way.

Bat out of Water

"Hey, Quinn," Churchill Winston called out to the quartermaster. "You've spent a lot of time out at sea right?"

The young man was currently staring over the side of the ship, looking at something. "Cause if so, whirlpools tend to have some sort of sign that they are normally there even when they aren't active, right?"

As he looked over the side, he noted that where they had laid the anchor was currently surrounded by such a whirlpool, one that he had watched form in mere seconds despite that making no sense in the water they were currently in.

"Cause one just formed in like 3 seconds and I'm 90 per cent certain it shouldn't work like that."

Sluggishly getting up from her lazed posting on the ship Quinn moved towards the ship’s railing before taking a look at the sea below. Pausing and raising an eyebrow Quinn casually flicked her cigarette into the swirling water, watching as it casually got swallowed up.

Turning towards Winston She gave him a deadpanned look die to his previous statement. "What do you mean 90 percent Winston"? She questioned as she hazarded a glance back towards the sea.

"I’m 100 per cent positive that whirlpools can’t naturally form in only a few seconds". She stated as she analyzed the whirlpool before glancing around in an attempt to locate the source of the sea’s abnormality.

"Keep your guard up, it’s obvious something is about to happen". She said in a slightly commanding tone as she shifts her hands into claws in preparation.

"I only said 90 because the grand line's weather is weird. We literally got here because water flowed up a mountain. Why would a whirlpool being weird end up being that impossible..." the pirate asked with a bit of incredulity. That being said, he wasn't going to question her orders. After all, Sera left her in charge for a reason.

"All right everyone, prepare to repel boarders!" Winston announced. While he didn't know if there were actually going to be boarders, it seemed the best general call to send out for this.

"Heh, you think that will help." Came a waterlogged voice from below. The ship shuddered, shifting forward as the entire boat was rammed into the ocean floor farther up the island, beaching the ship. "Now you can't escape." Several men ran down from the back side of the boat, rejoining those who were moving from the depths of the ship.

Upon the railing in the back, a woman could be seen. A shark-fishwoman.

Scotch Brandy, former captain of the Brandy Pirates, had been tasked to secure the ship of the Feathers, which would be going nowhere now. Least not while it was still beached on the Mountain's rest.

A pirate worth Beli Small52,000,000 had now arrived on the scene. "So, everyone who mattered has already left this ship, and here was me thinking that this would be fun." Brandy grinned.

Cursing mentally after hearing Brandy’s voice, Quinn spun around quickly while limping back a bit to create some distance between her and the intruder on the ship. Narrowing her eyes as she caught sight of Brandy that stoop upon the back railing looking pretty smug yet pleased with herself.

"Scotch Brandy". Quinn muttered as she recognized the intruder from her recent study of the current generations notorious Pirates. Without a noticeable motion her eyes darted over towards Winston before returning to Brandy.

"What would the former Brandy Pirate, Captain want with us"? Quinn questioned as she mentally willed her wings to manifest beneath the captain’s coat she currently wore, which had the added bonus of hiding them from Brandy’s view. After feeling the ripple of her flesh, Quinn stood up straight yet still guarded before once again looking towards Winston to see his reaction to the intruder.

Feathered Serpent

Sera groaned as her consciousness flowed back into her head. Opening her eyes, she found it was nearly as dark outside of her eyelids as in. To shed some light on the situation, she manifested her halo or at least tried to. As she willed the circlet of light into existence, she felt even weaker as it failed to appear.

"What in the feather is going on?" She said quietly as she attempted and failed to manifest her wings as well. "What in the world could stop me from using my devil fruit.

Sera took stock of the situation. Her hands were bound together by what appeared to be stone shackles, and she was in a wooden cell of some kind. The bars were steel, and there appeared to be another cell across from her, making it seem like she was in some sort of prison block.

"Well, this is just feathering great."

Manly Meeting

"Well Captain Uveto," Alexander said to the Marine standing across from him. "We have successfully captured the first captain of this so-called... Blue Wave. Phim D. Sera is now in our custody and the rest of her crew will soon be joining her. "

"Good, maybe this deal will work out after all Alexander. The Elders will be pleased with my report so far. Have there been any complications?" the man asked in an almost singsong voice.

"One of my subordinates flubbed the captured of the First Mate. But I have two others on the way to... deal with that particular problem. My apologies."

"See to it that they don't escape. It's either all of them or the deal is off Alexander. Let Drax know that."

"I will Captain Uveto." The old man will bow as the Marine walked out of the room.

Finally being on his own, he added to himself, "Zat man always gives me the creeps."

Alexander left the dock where the marines had their ship stored next to the Manly's small fleet, returning towards the centre of the mountain that was the main base on the island.

Alexander wandered the halls until he found Douglas and Jin, aiming to report the results of his brief meeting. "Everything seems to be going according to plan old friends. How did the new blood fair?" he asked, referring to the new rookies. "You zeemed like you had a bit of trouble with them."

"Trouble?" Drax Douglas said, "OARARARARARARA! Tell different jokes, my friend." He spun while in place, "that Angeeel held herself for a moment though!" Stopping his rotation, Douglas clapped wildly, the fact Sera even managed that only brought a smile to his face, nay, his existing one widened even more.

Walking a little bit, Douglas continued, "But, we're yet to capture the other stars of the show, many crews are onboard the island!!"

"There were some irritating soldiers, but nothing we couldn't handle, Alexander-sir!" Jin made a salute to his senior in the crew. "Apologies, General Douglas, for not making shorter work of the rookies myself!" Jin bowed to his Captain. He was deeply apologetic for his sorry performance against Sera and her crew and vowed to make up for it later.

"OARARARARA!" Douglas' laugh seemed to come very often, he held his belly while his eyes were closed. "Don't worry, Jin friend! We have been putting ourselves at stakes, but this shall all be worth it!!"

"Yes, it shall my old friends. No more marines chasing us, no more worrying about what tomorrow shall bring." Alexander grinned as his two companions. The three had been working together for years, over a decade in fact. The three had been through thick and thin, and now they were in their endgame. "We just need to take these rookies down, and a life of freedom awaits." He laughed as he announced this.

However, at this moment a messenger appears. "Captain Douglas, we've spotted a ship on the horizon, it appears to be a group known as the Chateau pirates are near the island."

"Yes, indeed!" Jin sprung upwards with glee at what Alexander said. "A life free from strife and risk is a good life, sir!" Jin bowed once more, and then perked upwards. "Chateau Pirates? Would you like me to intercept them, sir?!"

Black Eyed Pirates

Murasaki Mori sniffed the air as the Chateau Pirates sailed into the mist. It smelled like land, but it made no sense. There wasn't supposed to be any land in this area, the nearest island wasn't supposed to pop up for another six days.

"Mr Noir, I think there might be land ahead." She yelled down from the Crow's Nest. The mink hopped over the side, slipping down the netting to the deck with ease. "But there shouldn't be any land yet."

The mink's voice erupted through the silence of the ocean. The newly established Chateau pirates had been sailing for quite some time. After the extensive training with Mr Donatelli, where the billionaire fashion designer revealed how vast the powers of New World's pirate were, the Chateau Crew found themselves using his journal for guidance. They needed to get to the New World immediately. But their ambition could only last so long after sailing over such a distance. Mr Noir needed to make sure that his crew were able to rest and restore their strength.

He moved to the edge of the boat and squinted in an attempt to see what Mori's blessed nose picked up. Unfortunately, his horrible eyesight making such a task impossible. Still, he trusted his most valued swordsman despite their short time together. And so he nodded. "I don't see anything...But I trust you, Mori. Let's head over to that island and use it to restock. We should never underestimate the annoyance that is the Marines."

Mr Noir closed his eyes and took slow breaths as the ship continued to sail through the thick fog.The power to open the mind's eye. He thought back to the nights he spent training with the famous Donatelli. A man who knew his mentor and master personally. Between the underworld dealings revolving around his own crew member and the desire to discover the truth, one would expect Mr Noir's black hair to grey. However, he wanted nothing more than to see these people reach their dreams. To help Catherine clear her name. Give Mori a place to belong and Meredia a life. And finally, to help Rowing figure out what the hell he wanted to do with himself. Was this what he spoke about living to serve others?

Mr Noir shook his head. He needed to concentrate. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. He felt something returning his breaths. As if two life forms were communicating. A sudden wave threw him off his focus. "Fuck." He spat angrily. Either way, the island emerged from the massive enigmatic cloud which allowed the crew to steer towards it unhindered. Eventually, they arrived at the targeted area, where the ship was docked near a cliff which led up to a forested ascent.

Mr Noir looked up at the distant cliff and cocked his head before returning to his crew. "Someone leave a note for Catherine that she is on guard duty when she awakens. Meredia. Mori. Rowling. You guys will come with me. I know we planned on restocking...but this island is giving me the heebeegeebees. Let's explore a bit before making our presence known."

And with that, Mr Noir dashed up the ship's mast before launching himself towards the cliff. Expecting his designated members to land behind him.

Rowing jolted awake at the sound of his name being spoken by his captain. Most of his time was spent sleeping away his worries nowadays. He groaned and stretched but after noticing the creepy aura of the island they had stopped at, he became more alert. "Out of all places, we end up here. I really regret my life choices," he spoke just loud enough for himself to hear. Now that he thought about it, it was only a year ago that he was a student attending university at Hippo Campus. Now, he lived a life of danger and he never knew who or what he'd encounter next. He still couldn't tell if this was the future he wanted. He'd need a lot more time before he was clear about it.

Seeing his captain fling himself over to the cliff, Rowing reluctantly followed behind him.

Mori likewise lept across the gap, landing on the rocky cliff to the west of the island. A heavy forest lay in front of the pirates, obscuring all but a mountain on the eastern portion of the island. Smoke could be seen rising from the base of it, suggesting some level of civilization existed here.

The forest itself was primarily deciduous, and this appeared to be some kind of spring island as best Mori could tell. The trees were tall, and the underbrush at the edge was decidedly thick, almost as if it didn't want visitors to know what awaited them inside.

"Do we really want to visit this island, Mr Noir? I got a bad feeling about this place." She responded to Chateau after she had finished her observation. "Don't have a good reason why, just a feeling though."

Chateau patted Mori's head, careful to avoid touching her ears. His warm smile complimented by a golden gaze deep into her eyes. "It's okay. I have the same feeling." he could feel the mysterious, enigmatic force within his body rumbling at the thought of this island. Almost attempted to draw him away from it...Something was going on beyond the beautiful foliage and seemingly serene fog. "If you want, you can stay with Catherine and protect our home. I don't want to drag you anywhere you feel unsafe. But I'll protect you regardless."

"Isn't protecting you my job? I am a guard after all." Mori will shoot back. "I got a bad feeling about the place, but I'm pretty sure that we can handle whatever comes our way."

Chateau chuckled. "That's the spirit. We can never know what happens on the Grand Line. But as long as we stick together, nothing will surprise us." Chateau nodded and started onward, expecting his crew to continue as well.

Hagakure Sayuri would tag along behind the two, surprisingly quiet the sound of her footsteps barely being heard. "I can't promise I'll protect you though, Chateau. To be honest, if I accidentally knick you with my Kuroyuri I wouldn't be surprised." The girl would say shrugging as she sped up, now walking adjacent to her crewmates.

"Kuroyuri loves me!" Chateau chuckled. "Though I'll be alright. I vow to protect Kuroyuri as a member of this crew."

Sitting on the edge of the ship, cleaning her antique pistol, Meredia looked at Chateau by just raising her eyes. She saw her crew members launch themselves following their captain.

"Sigh... They have too much energy." She spun the pistol around and holstered it on her waist.

Meredia lowered herself, and jumped over, following her captain and crew. She landed with a thud, her strong and beautiful legs allowing herself to land safely.

She scanned the island with her eyes and addressed Chateau. "Cha-Cha, we're all wanted pirates, so we got to be extra careful. Especially this goof." She said while pointing a finger to Rowing.

"Rowing, please do your best to not pull off some stupid stunt".

"Gachichichichi! Yes, Rowing. Please try not to get us killed." Chateau said with a playful smile. Hearing the words Wanted Criminals sent a shiver down his spine. Not due to regret or fear...but the reminder that his actions had consequences. As Sinclair and Anyu demonstrated. The world they now traversed meant deadlier opponents and scarier enemies. But the thought excited his blood. For this required one to grow stronger and closer with his crew.

"Though I'm shocked there hasn't been any signs of activity yet. I wonder if that fog is an artificial defence measure."

"Maybe just no one has noticed that we are here yet?" Mori questioned. "It was pretty foggy and we're anchored next to a cliff. Unless someone was watching this particular stretch of coast they might just not noticed us."

"I chose this area because it would be the most protected by natural defences." Chateau rubbed his chin as they moved onwards. "Still we should keep our attention for any traps. It'd make sense if their base was elsewhere."

"Who's base?" Mori will bewilderedly ask.

"No idea. But whoever they are...they're giving me the chills even from out here." Chateau said as he gazed into the distance. His eyes were locked in a certain if staring beyond what his eyes could see.

"Right..." Mori said suspiciously before shrugging. "Well, since we're here we might as well go do whatever we are going to do."

The group wound its way into the forest below, a slow but steady trek through the untamed lands of the island. The terrain was rough and the trees were thick, but not so much that they couldn't be moved past. It was in one particularly rough section of the terrain that Mori first noticed signs that they were no longer alone in the forest. The slight rustle of trees and leaves that no longer sounded quite natural. Shadows that seemed to almost move in the corner of her eyes.

"Mr Noir... I don't think we're the only ones in this forest."

Chateau reached his hand out in hopes of stopping everyone. His nice black blaze pressing against Mori in a protective motion. Just as she felt it with her superb senses, Chateau came to the same conclusion in a manner which seemed to surpass the physical realm. Something was there. Chateau just couldn't put his focus on it. He could feel the energy within him sway around as the thing danced around the group. The captain remained still in hopes of catching a reaction.

"Show yourself...And we'll allow you safe travel."

"Allow me zafe travel? You're the ones trespassing here." A gravelly voice came from behind one particularly dense set of trees. A giant of a man, almost eighteen feet tall, walked into the clearing. A large rifle sized for him, making it a cannon by the average man's standards, was slung by his right arm. A large cloak obscured his left, as a hood covered his face. "This is me and my coworker's island. Noir Chateau, I recommend that you leave here."

Alexander was talking to the group to buy time while waiting for his reinforcements to show up, as he was aware that the group in front of him exceeded his bounty, though they were still rookies. That didn't mean he underestimated them. The captain in particular nearly exceeded his bounty by himself, Beli Small100,000,000 to his own Beli Small120,000,000.

Chateau froze, slowly moving so that his body covered that of Mori and Rowing. It was the captain's duty to keep his crew safe. But the fact that this man recognized him upon sight was the downside of the recent development. In only a few weeks, Chateau skyrocketed to becoming one of the Super Rookies of the Grand Line. Whether this was because he literally devoured a marine captain or he demolished two marine platoons on different islands. Or maybe the perceived connection to this mysterious Wung Family...He hadn't the slightest crew. He just knew that the World Government was furious at him and so were other pirates. After all, the once ebony explorer perhaps received the highest bounty increases among the other rumoured pirates.

Right now, the rumours of the sea spoke that he stood beside the horrid captain of the Ghost Pirates, the angelic warrior captain of the Feather Pirates and the mysterious crew-mate of the Buster Pirates. Chateau heard his name whispered among these other famed sailors as if they would fulfil some prophecy. He didn't care though...For Chateau knew he needed to become stronger. Which meant that this competition existed for him to overcome. Besides...He'd tasted blood for the first time and, as much as he hated to admit it, felt a certain craving throughout the night.

"What's going on here?" Chateau asked, noting at the strong pained vibrations reverberating throughout the island. He could feel the deceit radiating from the man's skin. The second they turned around, he would surely empty his ammunition into their backs. And besides, the fact he blatantly disregarded the rules of Xenia pissed him off. "And don't you know that you're supposed to be more hospitable to travellers? By the fifth rule of Xenia, you must invite us for drinks and a meal!" Chateau demanded.

"I'm afraid I don't know what that is," Alexander grunted. He frankly wasn't that interested in what it was either. All he cared about was solving the problem to the Manly Pirate's plan that these four represented.

335 Million between the four over a simple accusation. Alexander thought to himself. Luckily their bounty isn't deserved, or this could be a severe problem.

A rustle could be heard behind Alexander, letting him know that his reinforcements arrived.

"If you could hold for a second, I can make a call." Alexander held up a finger. He set the musket down on the tree next to him before placing his right thumb to his ear and his pinky to his mouth.

"Chateau Noir." He said quietly.

Almost as if it was a command, the quiet of the forest rumbled to life.

A hail of musket balls tore through the undergrowth, shredding trees and brush as the line of destruction walked across the ground as it tracked towards the Chateau pirates, aiming particularly towards Meredia.

Mori had begun to turn towards the loud noise as she felt a presence behind her. Her hand was already on the hilt of her weapon before she had a chance to comprehend her own actions, her instincts taking the fore.

Mikazuki slid quietly from its sheath as Mori reversed her momentum, the blade slipping out and around her with dangerous purpose. But where she thought that her sword would reach bone and steel, only a few balls of clay. Mikazuki sliced cleanly through the clay, releasing a spray of powder into the air, a powder that burst into a cloud of smoke that covered the mink and blocked her from sight.

Plumes of dirt would surround Rowing as bolts feel from above, impacting the ground around him as several dozen sharpshooters poured indiscriminate rounds from above.

Rowing was immediately thrust into the action, and there was little he could do to prevent himself from being shot down by the shooters. However, as he stood in place, gripping at the sides of his head with the fear of dying, he realized that he had been unscathed by the numerous rounds. Instead, the bullets had liquidized before they could make contact with his body. They floated above his head like water, peacefully, as if they weren't made for digging holes into Rowing's body. "Amazing.. once again, it seems as though I've changed an inorganic material into liquid!" he said to himself nervously. He looked around him at his crewmates and saw his captain battling the man which had approached them earlier. "Captain!" he called out, but he remembered Noir's strengths and the damage that he caused in Alabasta only several weeks ago.

His mind then ran to the next thought of Mori's well-being. As his eyes dashed to her previous location, he could see only smoke and assumed the worst. "Mori!"

"Tch..." Lord Commander Kit Kat of the now absorbed Candy Pirates grumbled to himself as all of their bullets were knocked out of the air by that man's weird aura. "Guess we have to do this the old fashioned way. Boys, Chocolate Rain time." He announced as he leapt from the trees.

A dozen men followed, leaping down from the trees with blades and hammers of chocolate in their hands. Each was dressed in a rich dark brown, almost black in colour. At their head was their commander, a pirate with a bounty of ({B|S}}56,000,000 leading the charge. A massive great hammer was in his grip, the weapon nearly twice the man's height. A weapon that was now blotting out the light from reaching the young Rowing as it threatened to flatten him like a pound cake.

"Shit." Rowing said to himself as the group of armed men approached him. He sighed heavily and ran his fingers through his hair to relax himself a bit. "It's really interesting that we have to meet one another in these circumstances. I'm sure in some other situation, we'd have a chat and share a few laughs over something to eat. But we're in this one, where we have to fight to death. It's unfortunate. I'm Rowing by the way." he spoke politely to his enemy, but he was no fool. He understood that this battle would be a test of strength.

The hammer came down with a mighty impact, cratering the ground around it as the falling pirate stared at the youth with a look of utter confusion. "You do realize that we are trying to kill you, right?"

As the Chateau Pirates found themselves caught in a crossfire from all sides, Noir wouldn't have time to interfere with his crew's situation. It was almost as an invisible hand picked up the pirate, dragging him straight through the air as Alexander drew back his hidden left arm. His cloak was blown off by the large steam vents on the back of Alexander's mechanical left arm.

Numerous gears and cables pulled taught as the forearm of the pirate's prosthetic shortened, the tension of the pneumatic cannon building up as Noir approached at high speed. As the rookie came close, Alexander rammed his arm forward, the high strength of his arm plus the release of the tension creating a whistling sound aimed towards Noir as he announced.

"Moshi Cannon!"

Indeed, Chateau hadn't the slightest moment to react. For he found himself being dragged towards this gigantic beast of a human. But the ebony captain trusted in the strength of his crew. In fact, the only person he worried for was Rowing. Who'd been nothing more than a student several weeks prior. It was probably stupid for him to have invited Rowing on this dangerous mission. But Chateau needed him to become stronger. For none other's sake but his own. Regardless, these thoughts would waste time. So he immediately focused upon his own situation.

Just as the man's cannon-arm shot forward, the ebony captain's body seemed to change in a flickering second. His left arm vanished as the man's thrust collided with something extremely hard. The force of the strike, however, did not go ignored. For it sent Chateau flying across the makeshift battlefield and into a tree that was behind the first which his body snapped in half. He stood to his feet with a tightened grin. "Don't you know the third rule of Xenia!? How dare you..."

I might accidentally hurt them if I go Full-Beast. Even if I localize it to a half partial transformation. But I can't use hybrid... Chateau thought to himself as memories of townspeople and visitors screaming in horror flooded his mind. Hesitation. He took a deep breath and charged forward. I can't go for an all out assault either in this cramped area. The trees might end up colliding against my crew. Fuck!

He leapt into the air and mimicked Alexander's own motion, thrusting his arm forward. However, it disappeared into thin air. Seemingly transforming into a giant wall of force capable of extensive damage.


Alexander blinked for a second at the impact of his fist upon the young man, it didn't feel like it should when he struck Chateau, the man's body was much harder than he expected.

I forgot, he can turn into a giant skeleton... Alexander thought as he watched the youngster impact through several trees.

He started shifting to the side as Noir came back, his arm disappearing into nothingness as his punch rocketed forward. Alexander shifted his weight, dashing perpendicular to Chateau, getting as far to the side of the oncoming fast as he could in the few seconds he had available.

"Chateau Noir." He called once again as he raised up his mechanical arm in front of him to protect himself.

Chateau would find himself dragged forward once more, though this time more to the side than directly forward. Alexander had grabbed the man sideways after running to the outside of the punch, shifting the angle of the strike right as it impacted him.

Sparks flew from Alexander's arm as the skeletal arm shrieked across it, only his movements and last-second redirection preventing a direct hit. The Giant of a man slid back across the ground before slamming hard into a tree, cracking the trunk as it failed to handle the impact. The several foot thick oak groaned at it's splintered bark, before slowing toppling over onto Alexander. Alexander groaned at the hit for a moment before regaining his senses.

"Timber," he chuckled as he regained his footing to sidestep the forest giant, right as it began to fall on the rapidly approaching rookie.

Chateau quickly leapt out of the way of the falling tree, tumbling several feet as he used all the power he could muster. The skeletal captain jumped to his feet but found himself struggling to regain his balance. He's so big! He thought. I could go bigger but...but..No. I got this. He claimed his footing and dashed at the man once more. This time leaping onto a nearby a tree and launching himself off the trunk. He brought his arm down in a devastating chop. This time slamming, what was now a massive skeletal hand, down upon their attacker.

Alexander grunted as he took the impact with his raised right arm. The big man stood up underneath the blow for a moment, but this impact was too great. Alexander was forced to one knee as the weight of the arm was forced down upon him, but he held his ground underneath the impact.

"Well, zat's going to hurt in the morning. But you've left yourself wide open youngling." Alexander laughed through clenched teeth.

He raised his left arm up, pointing it at the now mid-air pirate. A pirate with nowhere to dodge. His hand seemed to disjoint for a moment as several tubes popped from the mechanical arm's wrist.

"Noir Chateau... MOSHI BURNER!" The manly man announced, drawing Noir to him once more as flames ignited from the tubes on his wrist. A wave of flame unleashed from the arm, drenching the area in front of the veteran with a blistering inferno, a blistering inferno aimed directly at the young pirate in front of him even as the forest around him began to ignite under the heat. Chateau realized that he gave up a valuable position with this foolish move. His eyes widened as the inferno rapidly approached him. He could only do one thing. His hand suddenly returned to normal while his leg shot outward. A massive skeletal appendage, for he hadn't the time to waste keeping it concealed, rocketed from his hip. The leg collided with the earth and pushed Chateau out of the way of the Inferno. However, his right arm was caught within the flame. Not only did it ruin his suit but also left a terrible burn upon his ebony skin. Still, he managed to evade certain death by the skin of his teeth.

The Skeleton stood back up to his feet, his body back to normal. Shit. Shit Shit. He groaned in pain. We need to find somewhere with more space! I can't fight here...and I can't use that transformation! Chateau cursed himself. He cursed the powerlessness tainted his mind. Pain radiating from his arm reminded him of the struggle he just walked his crew into. The thundering of Alexander's bullets... We can survive this...We have to

Perhaps a retreat? No. Chateau was too stubborn for this. Especially after getting such a high bounty. Whether they got it wrong or not, his crew would live up to the reputation they earned. And so, Chateau approached the monster of a man with a demonic smile. This man's a one trick pony. I've figured you out. He thought to himself. His menacing golden eyes stared into Alexander's eyes.

"I hope that's not all you got." Chateau gloated.

"All I got? Zat's great." Alexander laughed at the youth's bravado. "We've already achieved our objective. I'm just here to size you up, and I find you lacking."

A ding could be heard from Alexander's arm as a timer went off. "But my time is up, so I'll leave you with a parting gift."

Alexander raised his arm at Chateau as a silver point could be seen jutting from his wrist. "Moshi..." he announced as plumes if smoke started emitting from his arm, obscuring the man bit by bit.

"Piercer!" Shouted as he shifted his aim, moving the spear leaping from his arm on a plume of fire as he aimed not for Chateau, but for the preoccupied young man behind him. The smoke from the launch finished obscuring Alexander completely.

"Amateurs" Meredia whispered to herself as the barrage of bullets came unto her. From her chest, she pulled out a large shield that would cover her and those behind from the assault. The shield had a small opening covered with a bullet-resistant glass, which enabled Meredia to pinpoint where the shots were coming from.

"There". Once again, from her seemingly endless inventory, she pulled out four grenades and threw them at four strategic locations, where she believed the majority of the shooters were concentrated on and where it would cause more damage.

She pulled out her two favourite guns, a pistol and a shotgun, and waited patiently for the grenade's effect.

She looked at her crewmates dealing with the situation in their own ways and thought of how unprepared these enemies were to deal with them, even if she knew somehow Rowing would just begin to panic. For her, this was just another Tuesday afternoon, earning her paycheck.

The explosions rattled the forest, damaging trees and stripping the foilage around them as they went off. But no screams were heard in the process.

"Armour piercing is a go!" A male voice rang out with an announcement. Another stream of bullets hosed through the trees, cutting down trees as they disintegrated underneath the hail of fire. A boulder followed, pierced through and ripped apart as the stream of bullets tore through it with little effort as the stream walked up towards the shield, an object that the weapon's wielder was confident his bullets would pierce through.

But even as the rounds tracked up towards Meredia's shield, the man started to move, running up the side of a falling tree to gain some height. He finally became fully visible to the Chateau pirates as he cleared it. It was Derring Harry, former captain of the Derring Pirates, another outfit that had been absorbed by the Manly Pirates over the years. A pirate captain with a bounty of Beli Small56,000,000. A pirate captain that not only was firing his trademark Minigun Big Bertha at Meredia with murderous intent and a single hand but was also pointing his oversized Bazooka Terreria at her as well. A bazooka that just belched forth a torrent of fire as it launched its explosive payload right at her. A shell said to be able to be on par with the legendary Buggy Ball of ages past.

"Shit", Meredia said to herself as she quickly knew those armor piercing bullets would decimate her armor. Not only that, the man shooting a gatling gun appeared nearby, the source of the armor piercing bullets, to make matters worse. She had to move out of the way, and quickly.

"Soru!", the technique she had caught both Chateau and Rowing off guard with, landing serious blows in their meeting fight. She used it to move from the rain of bullets aiming to take her down. She appeared in a nearby branch on a tree. Every time she used it, it reminded her of her former associate, one she had abandoned by joining the Chateau Pirates. She still hadn't heard of him, which troubled her. However, this wasn't the time to reminisce.

The man aiming his minigun at her also carried a bazooka, and with a fiery blast, aimed a rocket right at her, as she just regained her composure on the branch.


The explosion took down many trees with it, creating a wall of fire in the area as it exploded in a mighty blast, followed by a strong shock wave.

The culprit would no doubt believe Meredia had been taken down, but just as Chateau had learned first hand, she was a tough customer, and her speed and stealth were top notch. Meredia would appear just besides Harry, with a long chain wrapped in her left hand, and her gun in the right. In a swift motion she would aim a front kick into Harry's bazooka, trying to kick it from his hand, and wrap it alongside the minigun with the chains she had extended.

Even if the bazooka would not fly out of Harry's hand, it would be damaged, as Meredia carried significant power in her kicks, plus her heels are nigh-indestructible, the soles and tip being made out of Kairoseki.

Extending her right arm, she would also shoot four rounds with her pistol into Harry's frame, trying to take him out quickly.

Harry had already begun dropping his single shot bazooka when Meredia's foot impacted into it, the clanging alerting him to the other pirate's presence.

"A fast one!" He shouted out, an unstable smile upon his face. The bazooka impacted his shoulder with a loud thwack, knocking the pirate back, an action amplified by Harry's quick reaction to push on the now crumpled mortar for more distance between him and Meredia. Distance that took him just beyond the chain aiming to ensnare his minigun, the chain only snagging the less valuable weapon.

Harry twisted around in mid air, using his Gatling as a shield, the metal casing deflecting the first three bullets with little issue, however the fourth shot deflected at a far too shallow angle, striking the pirate in the right shoulder.

Harry finished his rotation as he continued to fall away from his assailant. He shifted his aim with Betty Lou, his beloved armament, to point directly at Meredia before announcing as the first rounds leapt from the barrels with a staccato, "My turn."

As Harry jumped away, and managed to keep his beloved weapon beyond her chain's range, Meredia caught her balance, keeping the chain to the side, holstering the gun she grabbed on her hip. She waved the chain around rapidly, in preparation for Harry's move. To her delight, he was hit by one of her bullets, now, she needed a decisive shot.

She noticed his shift and how he recovered balance, before shooting several, lightning fast rounds at her. She was closer than before, which meant, much less time to react.

"I've been in gunfights ever since I was six, so this, is nothing!", she yelled to Harry as, instead of pulling away, she instead faced straight ahead into the bullet shower. With her keen senses, speed and flexibility, she tried to dodge as much bullets as she could, avoiding her vitals, using the chain she waved around as a way to block incoming bullets.

As she was fighting her way through the attack, she shot six of her own, two aimed at the minigun itself, and the rest focused on Harry's arms, in order to weaken them so he could no longer hold the weapon.

However, Harry's bullets grazed her body, on her legs, arms, forehead and shoulders, though one managed to hit just in the middle of her left thigh. But, this was a sacrifice needed to be made, as once she was close enough, she would jump high into the air, doing a front flip, being almost above Harry himself, though this caused her to get hit in her right shoulder as she ascended. While in midair, she did a graceful spin, several times, in order to avoid any bullet if Harry were to follow her movements, and to also, mask her own attack.

Her chains spun around her, covering her body as they took a spiral shape, before being launched by her with great force, either aiming to land on Harry's hands or the weapon itself, at least knocking it down or forcing his grip to loosen. As she descended from the air, the gun she was previously holding would fall first, descending faster than Meredia. However, what she had traded for her weapon would've already left her hand, as four sharp knives rained down on Harry, one aiming on his right arm, one at his chest, and two aimed for his eyes.

As she fell down, she aimed to fall right on top of Harry's minigun, catching her own gun, and finishing him off, if the knives didn't previously. Once again swiftly maneuvering her chain, she'd try to grab Harry's foot with it, as if, even if she didn't land accordingly or he managed to evade her, she'd be able to close the gap once, again, and take him down.

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