|Role-Play Name: Merged Blood|
Date Started: March 31, 2018
Date Completed: July 23, 2018
Users Involved: User:EmperorSigma, User:DamonDraco, User:Dal101, User:Ash9876, User:Ninshū, User:SuBash, User:Tabor gorilla, User:AbysmalShadows, User:Yesdemia
Setting: Reverse Mountain
Characters Involved: Stevens Orobio, Gallus Erel, Fairisles Margaret, Middwun, Lildwun (mentioned), Bigdwun (mentioned), Lambert Cecilia, Charlemagne Amira, Vortigern, Michael, Huarwar, Gratzianowi Serena, Zheng Sih, Phim D. Sera, Badwolf T. Bigby, Rak Roberts, Sinbad, Crickett Anne, Morgenstern, Syn Maxwell, Hijorelle, Deanna
Rowdy Reverse Mountain
The sun shined bright over the entirety of Loguetown. Its intense rays gave off an extreme amount of heat, nearly unbearable to those incapable of dealing with high temperatures. A woman fanned herself with a paper fan as she strolled through the streets of the town. Sweat slowly dripped down her neck, creating a path down to her chest, slipping right between her breast. Her shirt had already been damp. The paper fan she held was being used as some sort of medium for cooling herself from the intense temperatures.
She wiped her other hand across her forehead and let out a deep sigh. She then began to fan herself even quicker than before. She threw her hands into the air and began heading towards a nearby bench. Taking a seat, she placed her damp shirt over her face somewhat cooling herself off. She placed her attention on the children within the town, who seemed to be playing through the heat as though it didn’t even exist.
The News Coo flew overhead, one deterred from its flock landing on the bench the lady sat on. Reaching into her pocket, she threw a couple into its back and reached for one of the newspapers. Opening it, the first main headline read a single word printed in bold font. Before reading more she looked up towards a building that bore the exact same word—”Marines”.
“I’ve got to say...” Finally, she spoke for the first time. “It’s been a lot more peaceful with those guys around. Yet, at the same time, it’s been pretty boring as well.” She turned her attention over by the docks.
West Blue Ops
Workers, all dressed in Marine attired plagued the docks. They lifted the anchors and saluted as the two ships bearing the flag of the Marines set sail, both following the same direction. One of the ships was much larger than the other which was probably due to the Giant that had been aboard it.
The Giant was none other than Captain Stevens Orobio. The moving ship allowed wind to pass by his face cooling his over-sized body down a bit. Even though he was a large being, the breeze managed to lift his golden air as though it were flowing in the wind. He looked down to the man standing next to him looking out to the sea in front of them.
"Grehehehehe!" He laughed. "A simple spotting of a group of Pirates heading towards the Grandline at once got Lil 'Miss' Cecilia all geared up to go! Greeeeehahahaha! Once we're done Erel, waddya say to a drink?"
Though the breeze passed by and howled, it disturbed Erel only slightly, as his nose hunched up from time to time. However, this time to time was directly related to when a slightly stronger breeze went by. Erel made sure to be on point with the sea current. He stood tall, arms and legs crossed. As a Captain of the Marines, Erel had been personally called for this mission.
"Hmmm, of course!" His eyes widened as he smiled widely at Orobio. "Be specific though, what time? Regardless of defeating the pirates in time, we must be on point!" Erel nodded at each of his statements. Just like he had said yesterday night, he had woken up exactly 5:50 AM and cheered for everyone to wake up too. Ever since then, Erel has been blinking every two seconds.
Orobio threw his hands into the air, "Grehehehehehe!" He laughed yet again, but this time at Erel's words. "I can't give you an exact time, Erel! That's your kinda thing!" He reached for an oversized wooden cup next to him on the dock. He began drinking from it taking deeps gulps. Wiping his mouth he let out another laugh.
"Hey... Erel. You shave your own head, right? So, grehehehe, is there a time you choose to do that as well. Grehehehehehehe!" Honestly, Orobio was drunk, which was the reasoning behind his stupid question. Then at the same time, he was truly only taking a jab at Erel's obsession with sticking to his schedule.
"How sad..." Erel mused off at Orobio's non-care of the time, not even looking as a giant mug had been gulped down by Orobio.
Eyes peeked at Orobio, due to his comment about Erel's head, as the latter cocked one eyebrow, "Yes, I've done it by myself since I was a child." Erel shrugged with a smile, "9PM of each day, I check it up!" He closed his eyes, nodding at his own words. No hair would be left alone at the top of his head, Erel liked the breeze up there.
Looking forward as his eyes opened, Erel bore a neutral face, "When are we reaching our destination, my dear friend?" He pursed his lips, narrowing his eyes to improve his vision over the horizon, noticing the many waves hitting against their vessel.
"GREEEEEHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" He laughed for the third time, this time more uncontrolled than the previous. "So you've been bald since ya were a kid? Greeeehahahahaha!" Orobio could not stop laugh and laughed so much that eyes began to water up. "Greeeehahahahaha! Erel, you're too funny to even for your own sake. Grehahahahahahahaha!"
Overtime he was finally able to calm down. "I dunno." He answered in response to how long he thought it'd take to get to their destination. He then burped and began holding the cup upside down revealing its emptiness. "About thirty minutes to an hour seems accurate enough for me. I ain't too sure about the rest of the Blue Sea Ops though." Orobio leaned back and pulled his mask down a bit more to cover his eyes.
Erel only felt like smiling at Orobio's antics, eyes closed as he flashed his best grin at the giant beside him. He just... he just didn't have any other reaction, the other people around his rank were too serious for his own liking. So, Erel definitely appreciated someone as Orobio being as easy-going as he was being now.
"Oh, I see." Erel mused, opening his eyes to stare forward while Orobio mentioned the other Ops, "What are we, the West Ops?" He cocked one eyebrow up and simply stood there, arms crossed as he waited for them reaching their destination. Hopefully, they would arrive on time.
"We are whatever you want to call us pal." Orobio let out a deep breath. "Imma' take a nap, while we travel to our destination. I leave my sleeping life in your hands, Erel. Grehahahahahahaha." Seconds after his laugh the giant instantly fell into a slumber and began snoring. His snores were so loud that they began to disturb nature's peace. Birds made it their personal goal to avoiding come near their ship as his snores began obnoxious.
"Hmmm," Eyebrow still up, Erel adopted a grin, although his teeth didn't flash. "Feel free to, friend, I shall overlook our surrounds and wake you up if needed." He shrugged, smiling at the thought of waking Orobio... again.
Orobio's snores really were something, not unexpected for someone as large as him, Erel thought. The waves, the bird's songs, everything had been covered by Orobio's snores. Ah, there was a way to deal with them, and return peace to their surrounds, this plan made Erel's eyes narrow as a large smirk printed over his expression. A glint passed by his eyes, as his figure walked towards Orobio's sleeping one.
Erel had been training for this, and this was the perfect opportunity. Mouth shaped like a 0, Erel sucked in a large amount of air, puffing up his chest. His body hanging mid-air temporarily, Erel drew both his arms and legs back, head inching forward, "COOOOOOOOOCK-AAAAAAAAAAA-" A large gust of wind pushed everything over the deck away, the waves soaring off from the ship, "-DOOOOOOOOOOOODLE-DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" It seemed as if the shout would destroy everything around it, yet, it was loudly heard only around the two of them.
The sound of the waves and the song of the birds came back, as Erel smiled and cleared his throat. Orobio's snores had stopped, yet, he still drew breath, even if slowly, and slept soundly. However, a minute later, a snore came back... yet, they didn't continue.
Erel's outrageous outburst was nothing to Orobio. Despite the man's attempt at waking him from slumber, Orobio's snores grew ever louder than before. It seemed as though the shouting was like a means for helping him sleep even better.
He rolled over to his side, swinging his arm over as well. The giant cup just happened to be in his hand as well. Either Erel's positioning was just bad, or Orobio had enhanced senses while sleeping because the cup had its upside nearly about to cover Erel and lock him within. Regardless of him succeeding or not, he continued sleeping as though nothing ever happened.
The ship of the Dread Pirates made its way towards Reverse Mountain, having picked up a handy map from some idiots who thought it would be fun to sail around looking for adventure under a Jolly Roger. Maybe they had learned the hard reality that pirates aren't nice people in their deaths, but the Captain of this violent group of savages doubted it, smirking as he thought back on it. As pitiful pirates they made, he was thankful, in his own way, that they had their hands on a map leading to the entrance of the Grand Line, as what once was theirs now was his. And Roberts mulled over these thoughts, taking a heavy sip of his favourite rum, as he steered their commandeered ship, the Bluenose, for they still wanted for a proper Helmsman.
Standing up high in the crow's nest, Crickett Anne watched out into the horizon with her spyglass, as she had the best eyesight among the small group. She wasn't quite sure what exactly she was supposed to be on the lookout for, she was just told to keep her head on a swivel and to report anything that needed reporting. There were a large number of pirate ships ahead of them, all with their own unique Jolly Roger, though her Captain had mentioned that there was going to be a large rush of pirates trying to make their way into the Grand Line all at once. He had said that we might as well let all the idiots rush in before us, and that most of them wouldn't even know what they were looking for. Just a bunch of simpletons heading east, and some morons even trying to just go straight north from wherever they were.
"We have a map," he had said, "there's no need for us to show them where they're going." She could see the logic in that, but to her, all these ships just looked like fish in a barrel. Easy pickings for her to gun down. Just as she was thinking that, something caught her eye in her peripheral. Quickly turning, she looked through her spyglass to see two vessels that didn't belong among the pirate ships. Two vessels that, instead, were the bane to pirates everywhere, with one being significantly larger than any ship she was used to seeing. And on that ship, was... "Oh, that is just not fair..." she muttered under her breath. "CAAAAPTA~IN! WE GOT A BIT OF A PROBLEM!"
Having dodged Orobio's large cup, Erel bore the man no ill, holding a neutral expression- Then, his eyes widened at the sight of Pirate Ships. "Oi, Orobio-kun, you ought to wake up." Erel gently patted Orobio's head, moving his hands as to shake the entire giant's body. Not wasting any time, he gestured for the other men in their ship to quickly move the vessel in course against the Pirates.
"Those are Pirates, Orobio-kun." Erel smiled and turned to his men, "Guys, wake him up, please." Before they could question him, Erel jumped away in a myriad of parkour movements and landed near the front of their marine vessel, preparing to stand face to face with the many ships.
Erel's left hand opened, while his right hand had just the index finger pointing forward. His eyes sharpened and his mouth went thin, "And those are the... DREAD PIRATES!" But then, it opened widely as screams left it. His eyes could clearly see them, even if there were ships in front of them, those pirates weren't as dangerous, Erel didn't recognize their flags.
"Dreaded Roberts worth 40,000,000 and Buccaneer Anne worth 10,0000,000. A total bounty of 50,000,000!!!" Erel spat and pointed a shaking finger at them, veins visible in his being, while the other hand covered his face soundly.
White feathers appeared from his forearms, "You guys- COCK-A-DOOOOO- shall not pass!!!" Erel squeaked, strengthening his poise as to straighten the feathers with the hardness of Tekkai, "HAAAAAH!!!" Erel crossed out his arms in front of his torso, sending the many feathers flying like bullets against the many ships coming their way, most of which began to sink upon being hit in strategical places.
Earlier, Orobio exhibited the ability to nearly sleep through anything. Even grabbing his hand and patting his head was not enough to disturb what would appear to be an endless slumber. At this point, Orobio had been so deep into his sleep that a sleep bubble had formed from his nose. Each inhale causing it to get small while his exhales increasing its size.
"Pirates." The word rang through his head like a bell. No, that would be too subtle, it was like a venomous bite from a Black Mamba. Orobio's body sprung into the air as though he had been thrown up by the men attempting to awake him. Turning so that he could land on his feet, the impact from his large body falling down caused the ship to shake a bit, nearly pushing the water back.
"Fear not!" Orobio shouted, pulling his cape down so that it flowed in the breeze. He reached to his hip and drew his blade and stabbed it slightly onto the deck of the ship. Orobio grabbed the hilt of his blade with both of his hands, standing in a comical pose much like Erel. "Orobio, Superman, shall not allow any evil to past this point!" Orobio's voice was much more different from before. In fact he sounded much more like a common superhero from a western story.
"Hmmm, you're right. They brought a giant out to act as West Blue's gatekeeper to the Grand Line. That certainly is going to be a bit of a problem," Roberts mused after hearing Anne's report, keeping his eye on the now standing giant. "But even though he hasn't done anything yet, those other ships are sinking fast. Seems they brought a few monsters with them. Good thing we have that buffer of idiots in front of us." Thinking about the problem that literally stood before them for a brief moment, he then called together the entire group he currently called his crew. "Alright everyone! A serious Marine force is ahead of us. Do what you must to prepare for battle. If we can get through this, the Grand Line will be ripe for our plunder!"
"This should make for an exciting chapter of our journal," claimed Morgenstern. "I'm looking forward to seeing how it will play out." Taking up his sword, with a glass of red wine in his other hand, the Chronicler kept watch of everything that was going on.
"Hahaha! So the Marines are finally taking us seriously, huh? I like it," exclaimed the First Mate of the crew! "I just need to get changed, and I'll be ready for some action!" Dressed in his usual leather jacket, he rushed to put on his demonic pirate attire.
"Fufufufu, are you forgetting the time that the Marines poisoned our food with mold? Or what about when they tried to sink our ship with their weather manipulation device? The Marines have always been taking us seriously, Sinbad-san. This is just their most upfront method thus far. Fufufu."
Anne rolled her eyes. "There goes Syn with his ridiculous conspiracy theories again. Out of my way if you're just going to stand there laughing to yourself. I need to get my babies." She pushed her way past the gas mask wearing doctor to get to her designated room, so she could grab her various guns, before hurrying back to the deck so she could move the cannons to the front of the ship. "Come Masako-Ue, Beatrix-Ue. We need to get ready to greet those pesky Marines. Don't be difficult now, Leonore-Ue. I know you don't like to be moved, but it's important. Maria-Ue, Caroline-Ue, Diana-Ue, you too. Let's do this properly now." Setting up the six cannons so that there were three on both sides of the bowsprit, with each one expertly aimed at the Marine ship ahead, she placed chocks behind the wheels to keep them steady. Armed with a botefeux in each hand, she waited until the massive Marine vessel was within range, then fired the primed cannons two at a time.
Erel further narrowed his eyes, looking past the sinking ships, "Hmmmm, now I can see that the whole crew is there." Noticing the other pirates, he quickly remembered each of their Bounties, "The Minotaur Sinbad with 20,000,000... keep an eye out for him, friend." Erel mused, sideways, at Orobio. "Miracle Max and his 15,000,000, and finally, that former reporter of the West, Book Worm Morgernstern with his 20,000,000. Certainly, an uprising crew."
Not deciding which one of them would be the most dangerous- Erel's eyes widened as the opposing Crew prepared to fire several cannonballs at them.
"NOT TODAY!" Feathers formed from all the way of his ankles to his knees, quickly gaining size, "Tekkai!" He tightened his buttocks, straightening and sharpening his feathers, which were then launched forward, as Erel jumped and sliced in front of him. "Rankyaku: FLOCK!!!" The many feathers got enveloped by a blue air slash, taking the form of many birds, as they flew violently to meet against the six cannonballs.
An explosion followed suit, sending waves and wind crashing against both parties, "As of the moment, this is not over!" Erel yelled once again, on the prospect that Orobio would also do something, he continued to produce feathers from his legs, a direct product of his Zoan fruit.
Spinning horizontally, Erel continued, "FLOCK!!!" Many stars filled the view of whoever had been there, as these took the form of birds and traveled towards the Dread Pirates.
"Such high bounties for those considered Rookies! Nonetheless, they shall not pass us, Erel! For they are darkness and we are the light!" Orobio babbled to his partner-in-justice.
Orobio watched as his partner began an arsenal of attacks. The first to help defend the naval group from the enemies launch of cannon balls. His ability to defend against the attack did not faze Orobio as much, but it was something else. Specifically, Erel's unique legs. "You attack with pride, yet your legs show you have cowardice." Orobio had been referring to Erel's. Truthfully he thought the man was so scared, that he became delusional and began to turn into a chicken. Or maybe Orobio was the one who'd become delusional.
Regardless, he couldn't ponder in his partner's squareness and the waves of wind helped him snap back into reality. "It is fine, Erel! You shan't fear as Superman is here!" A smile formed on his face. He then pulled his sword from the deck of the ship, Orobio swung it with the force of two colliding admirals. A force of wind two times than that of what resulted in the explosion previously was sent crashing towards the opposing ship in front of them. A true testament to his raw strength as a Giant.
This powerful gust had two objectives. The first; increasing the overall speed of Erel's birds. By doing this he'd increase their piercing power. Additionally, a gust this strong would be able to slow the ship down if not push it back.
As soon as she had fired off the first six shots, Anne began readying the cannons to fire again when she saw the cannonballs get shot down by a skilled marksman of their own. Having her own shots get countered so easily angered her, so she decided to use the smokescreen created by the cannonball explosions to pull off a bit of a trick shot. However, she also knew that they would be sending more fire their way, so she armed two cannons with carcasses, and the other four with long chain-shots. "You think it's so easy to defeat me in a battle of artillery? Think again, you Marine scum." Spitting on the ground, Anne fired two of the cannons at a high angle, then fired the next four head on.
A flock of air slashes shortly pierced through the smoke, with the gust behind it blowing all the smoke away. Due to the long chains used on her chain-shots, they managed to knock all the birds down, while the incendiary carcasses she fired flew well above the impending gust, and were aimed to fall behind the giant standing on the ship so as to burst on the deck.
"Looks like those birds were flying on a tailwind. Wouldn't want to get caught up in that," shouted Sinbad as he ran forward to furl the sails so they wouldn't be damaged by the strong wind headed their way. Having spent years as a sailor, he was able to quickly get it done by himself before the unnatural wind blew by their ship. Waiting for the right time, Sinbad then unfurled the sails just before a strong breeze began blowing from behind again, jerking the ship forward just as it had began to slow. Before, they only had a few of their sails down, as their goal wasn't speed at the time. But now, Sinbad had unfurled all of their sails, showing off the true strength of this vessel initially built for speed.
Roberts steadily steered their ship, knowing full well that this obstacle before them was not going to be an easy challenge. But he also knew his smaller ship would ultimately be able outmaneuver the clunker housing the giant. The other Marine ship was still dealing with the scattered pirates, and may not necessarily even be a factor for his crew if they could slip past this behemoth. Though Roberts wouldn't stand for just sneaking away from an enemy like that without so much as putting up a fight.
Having gotten closer to the Marine ship pestering them, Anne fired six shrapnel shots that looked just like regular cannonballs, all at different angles so they would be more difficult to shoot down. Though if they were shot down, that would just cause them to shower the fragments inside sooner than intended, and that could still prove devastating at this closer distance.
Despite his intervalled spinning, Erel kept his gaze fixated upon the ship of the Dread Pirates, his eyelids almost not closing, despite the amount of seconds which had passed. "They aren't just any Pirate Crew..." His thoughts whispered at him as the pirates managed to use his own attack to move their ship. Erel had read all of the newspaper they were featured in, at lunch-hour of everyday, he made sure to check those.
Something which had plagued his mind for a long time... were Pirates truly the scum of their earth? In his short twenty eight years, in his even shorter six years of working for the Marines, Erel couldn't reach a solution, a decision. The Pirates he has met were so different from each other, the world had felt so vast for him who was merely a young chick. There were similarities between them, but, no set patterns.
Just like there were corrupt Marines, there were corrupt Pirates... it had all been an individual thing, he supposed. These pirates would determine their spectrum to Erel, without him even asking, his fixation was just that strong. Was it time for their journey to end, or was it time for an even dangerous sea? If Erel failed, his superiors would take the front and try to stop these people.
At the getting closer and closer, just as stated before, Erel kept an eye on everything, and that was why his chest inflated and his attacks stopped. As if he was about to launch a breath attack upon them, white feathers exploded from his figure, "COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" The veins on his face sprouted, as his scream engulfed everyone present within that large area.
And then, all of a sudden, despite the random aim of the cannonballs... they all exploded, seemingly in the same second, as a white blur passed by. If one had looked at it, they would notice that the birds far away from there took smaller intervals with their flapping, while the ones closest flew... normally.
A gust of wind followed, as if a big hawk soared through the skies, looking for its prey. But, instead, what everyone would see was a large white bird, which stood menacingly in mid-air... by beating its arm-wings. However, one would quickly notice that he was keeping himself mid-air by kicking the area below him, usage of Geppo.
The course of the battle changed twice following Orobio's previous attack. Cannonballs where shot, ships moved unnaturally, and to top it all off, his partner became weirder and weirder. Truly, he could not make light of the situation pertaining to Erel, but he continued to believe that the Marine was honestly frightened.
Well, actually he could. Orobio just felt that the story would be much better to tell if he mentioned Erel was so scared he actually became a chicken. That was if the duo would make it out of their current situation alive. "Very well then." His words flowing as he threw his blade into his right hand. His actions were cut short at the resonating scream coming from Erel, who's form seemed to have changed.
Each of the cannonballs exploded instantly after man's shout, leaving Orobio still for a moment. "Wonder, Chicken Little," Referring to Erel's most recent actions. "It seems when one is truly frightened, their true powers awaken. Maybe cowardice is your power and it shall be used to stop these invading foes!"
"Very well then." He continued on from before. This time he lifted his blade high into the air and the sword began to glow red. In a single swift motion, Orobio slashed at the atmosphere. "Red Hawk's Crescent." The three words where like a spell that caused the red light illuminated even more and once the slashing motion was complete, a crescent of red flames went flying towards the enemy ship.
Anne watched in shock as her six shrapnel shots were all destroyed simultaneously, and much faster than she could have predicted, as the shrapnel inside could not reach any of the men aboard the Marine ship. She also noticed that the bald man who had been standing at the bow was now nowhere to be seen after having crowed like a cock. Despite the unexpected readiness for her direct assault though, she found herself quite pleased. Her carcasses had gone unnoticed and would be crashing onto the deck soon.
Roberts saw the white blur move from the Marine ship to destroy all of Anne's shots. He was right about there being another monster sent by the Marines. With how conspicuous he is, the giant was almost more of a distraction so they might ignore this other beast. Sure, the giant would be no easy task to overcome, but they would almost certainly be eliminated if they focused solely on the obvious threat and ignored the one hiding in his metaphorical shadow. But now Roberts had his eye on the chicken in the sky. However, just then, he saw the giant making a move behind this now exposed monster. With a glowing red sword, he made an embellished sword slash, and Roberts instantly knew it was trouble. "ANNE! Fire short fuse shells with all cannons into the water right in front of us! NOW! Syn! Morgenstern! Help Anne load the cannons! Sinbad, throw as many impact shells as you can where Anne will be firing!"
Anne immediately grabbed six cannonballs with the shortest fuses she had, and threw three to Maxwell and three to Morgenstern so they could both load half the cannons while she aimed them down into the water. While they were doing that, Sinbad grabbed two full brass monkeys and tossed the cannonballs stored on them high enough into the air so they would land in the water shortly before Anne fired her cannons. Using three botefeuxes in each hand so she could fire all cannons at once, Anne fired.
They hit the water right where Sinbad had thrown the other cannonballs. A second later, the six short fuse cannonballs exploded, causing the surrounding impact shells to explode in a chain reaction. This massive underwater explosion threw up a wall of water in front of the Bluenose just in time to douse the encroaching flames. Meanwhile, Roberts had begun turning the ship as soon as Anne fired, so he could get below the high end of the slash if it managed to cut through the first line of defense he had prepared. It was a good thing he did too, because while the water managed to extinguish the flames, the mighty slash continued right through and would have easily cut the ship in two.
Just then the two carcasses crashed onto the deck of the Marine vessel behind the giant, setting the ship on fire in two places and releasing noxious fumes. Anne silently celebrated when she heard them hit the ship and the cries of dismay from the seamen, who found themselves immediately affected by it, all while she prepared the cannons to fire again when necessary.
As he inevitably brought them closer to the Marine vessel, Roberts made sure to keep an eye above to search for where that chicken monster had made his way to. When they had gotten close enough, he gave the order to his crew. "Syn, Morgenstern, Anne! Prepare to board the enemy ship! Do what you can to ensure that they will be unable to pursue us as we make our dash to the Grand Line. And with those carcasses burning, you may want to wear gas masks."
The three of them agreed, and while she knew that it would be necessary, Anne couldn't stand the idea of having to borrow a gas mask from Syn. The three of them each made their way up to the end of a yardarm, and each threw a line with a grappling hook to catch the gunwale. Having secured their lines, they swung across the gap between the two ships to board the Marine ship. As she climbed on board, Anne reluctantly pulled her gas mask on.
As those three were boarding, Roberts spotted the bird he had lost sight of before. Pulling out his flintlock pistol, he fired a deadly accurate shot to get his attention. "Hey Chicken man! Let's see what you're made of, huh?!"
Erel, in his strange chicken form, squawked at the sight of fire within their ship. He had been so focused on taking down the straight cannon shots, that in his bliss, he didn't take care of those side attacks. Of course, Erel had Orobio as his comrade there... but, this wasn't the time for this, "Calm down, men!" His voice had gained a slight pitch to it.
The pirates boarding their ship would just prolongate the problem, that was definitely bad news, Erel had to act faster than ever. If they were wearing masks, the fire had more to it than it seemed, Erel wouldn't know, having shit his nostrils just in case. All of a sudden, his head ducked, prompting a shot to pass by nearly in a graze.
"Why, Chicken-Man, I am not!" Erel mused, his eyes widening and gazing at Roberts, "I am a... Chanticleer-Man!!! User of the Tori Tori no Mi, Model: Chanticleer!" He flapped his wings in a successive manner. "Orobio!!! Get the others!" He yelled, flying towards Roberts with the use of his Geppo, Erel launched a myriad of feathers mid-way through his travel, spinning all the while so that they went erratically and his own body dodged Roberts' possible shots.
The explosive force from the cannons caused the Marine ship to shake and Orobio, because of his massive size, was nearly knocked over. Once regaining his balance, he heard the cries of his men below. While they all were different in sound alone, the purpose behind them was similar: agony. To make matters worse the pirates had infiltrated their ship.
At the moment there wasn't much Orobio could do, as a step could literally be the end of one his men. The flames limited his movement, yet his size allowed him to avoid the immediate effects of the gas, giving him a small window to act in. He then threw his sword to his hip.
"Will do, Chicken Little!" He shouted, bending his knees and swiping his hand to grab as many of the marine officers he could. His large arms caught a handful of the flames as evident by the giant's facial expressions. Still, it was a small price to pay if it meant the safety of his comrades. Still bent down, he tightened his calf muscles and veins began to sprout all over his forehead and arms. Moments later he lunged upwards high into the sky above. His massive size nearly enough to bring darkness during the day.
Finally descending he landed on the marine ship that had just been past his own. "This is how a real hero preforms!" Releasing the men from his grasp he stood straight up again, his heroic smile as lively as ever. The blade now back in his hands he pointed it up toward the sky. Pressing against the end of the hilt, he revealed a button which caused the "X" on the cross-guard of the blade to spin and replaced the current shell-like construct that was there with another.
"Chicken Little, sir! I will continue to assist you from afar with my Ultimate Dial Blade!" Following his shout, the blade began to spark with electricity. Pointing it towards the previous Marine ship that was now invaded by the Pirates, he let off a powerful condensed bolt of electricity which made its way towards the Marine ship with haste.
Roberts shot down the fearsome feather projectiles, firing the last few bullets that were still in his pistol before tossing it aside. Grabbing his twin estocs, he knocked the remaining feathers away. "Now, Sinbad!" Roberts thrust at Erel from below, while Sinbad jumped down from the poop, swinging his Punisher at the mutant chicken from above.
While the pirates three were just about to finish climbing their ropes to officially board the Marine ship, it suddenly lurched, causing the three of them to get thrown on-board. Anne took a moment to recover from being tossed on her ass. "What was that about," she mumbled to herself? Quickly realizing her situation however, she rushed to her feet, taking two pistols out to defend against any Marines from attacking her in a prone position. What she saw though was a serious lack of opposition, including no giant. Looking around in confusion, she saw the giant in the distance, landing on the smaller Marine ship. "Huh. He ran away... That was a lot easier than I expected." Looking down at her two companions, still lying down in a daze from their rough landing, Anne just sighed to herself, putting her pistols away. "Get up, you two. What if the Marines had been waiting for us to board, huh? You two would have been easy targets," she said while kicking them.
"Such an uncomfortable landing, I must say," Morgenstern complained, finally getting up with Anne's prodding. "There is no need to be so pugnacious, dear Anne," he said whilst dusting himself off. "Now what was this about someone absconding away?"
"Fu-! The giant is gone," Max exclaimed in shock! "He must have just been a large cutout to scare us into surrender... I told you giants were just a rumour spread by the World Government to keep the peasants in line! When they saw that we were about to board, they must have realized that we would see through their charade if they kept it here. Little do they know that my eyes have already been opened, and I know all about their precious secret."
"No you idiot," Anne yelled, slapping Max in the head. "He jumped over to the other ship the Marines brought." She made her way aft, while avoiding the burning fires, so she could get a better view of where their enemy had gone to. "He must have taken some of the Marines with him when he did, since I don't see anyone out here." When she got to her destination, she saw him prepare an attack in their direction. Recalling the strength of his last attack, she knew this would be trouble. Running so she could get to a lower position off the poop deck, she yelled to her crew mates. "GET DOWN! He's attacking us again!"
The bolt of lightning released from the tip of his sword shot towards the ship he previously occupied, and went right through the area Anne had just been standing. Striking the mizzenmast, it fell, crashing into the main and damaging it as well.
"Orobio-sama. Erel-sama. What's all this shaking up here? Do you need us to fire the cannons," a Marine, who came up from below deck, asked? Seeing Anne, with her bicorn pirate hat, he became confused. "What the-? A pirate? What's a pirate doing-"
Seeing the confused Marine, Anne pulled out one of her pistols and shot him right between the eyes. "Good shot, Moe-Bō." Rolling up to her feet, she called her comrades to arms. "Get up you guys! There are still some Marines below. You guys cover me while I go down with Demi-San." Putting the pistol in its holster again, she replaced it in her hands with the demi-cannon that was holstered across the small of her back.
"Fufufu. Alright, let's slaughter these giant-fakers. Fufu."
"I suppose it wouldn't be so easy as just that, now would it? Well then," Morgenstern said, unsheathing his sword, "I shall cut down any Marines that should happen to seek you harm."
The three of them made their way below deck, with Morgenstern and Max killing any Marines they came across. This was because Anne was saving her shots with her demi-cannon for specific locations.
Another squawk left Erel's beak, but, it was not because of any surprise. He was capable of using his power once again, and wasted no time, "COCK-A-DOODLE-DO!!!" Erel screamed, the sound filling everyone's ears along with a shockwave, making everything grey for but an instant. Same instant in which Erel seemingly disappeared through the air... and became that white blur from before.
With this ability, he would always be on time, while, everyone else wouldn't, but, not for long. It was extremely imposing on him, yet it was very effective, though only against living beings... his throat also hurt. After this one, he would rest.
Using this supposed sudden speed of his, "Geppo!" Erel attempted to double-kick and press his feet against Roberts' face, which would successfully send himself up and crashing against Sinbad's figure. Tekkai!" Erel yelled to no one, too fast for anyone to hear, his hardened body would smash on Sinbad's own. He would have tried to hit the other pirates, but, his time was short.
Sinbad was sure that their two attacks would hit their mark. He would first crack him across the back, sending the chicken to be directly skewered on Roberts' sword, creating their own yakitori in the process. But then he suddenly felt completely winded, unable to breathe, his stave thrown out of his hands to land on the ship, and him flying backwards toward the sea. He was unable to even remotely comprehend what had just happened to him. All this with that damn chicken's squawk ringing in his ears.
Roberts wasn't sure exactly what had occurred in that moment, wherein he found himself crashing backwards into the deck he was previously standing on, now with a bloody face, but he was sure about one thing. This man had crowed like that back when he became a white blur that destroyed Anne's cannonballs. This unnatural speed was likely connected to that bird's cry. What did he say it was again? A chanticleer? He supposed they might be similar in a way. Standing back up while sticking the points of his swords into the deck of his ship, Roberts casually stretched his neck to both sides, blew the blood out of both nostrils, one at a time, then wiped the blood from his face back into his hair.
"Goburahaha. I was right about you, alright. You are a monster," Roberts claimed, pointing at his opponent. "Allow me to introduce myself," grabbing his twin estocs from where he had stuck them into the deck, he continued, "I am the Dread Pirate Roberts, and, at least for the purposes of today, you are my foil. Now, if you would be so kind as to tell me your name. I simply must know the name of the man I will be killing here today." Roberts looked the Marine down, giving a viscous smile dripping with blood lust.
Anne made her way to the various gunrooms spread throughout the ship, containing the cannons, with Morgenstern and Max following close-by, killing the Marines who would try to attack the invading pirates. When she would reach a gunroom, Anne would shoot two smaller carcasses from her hand held demi-cannon into the room before leaving.
"I'm sorry, mina-Ue. I would bring you all back with me if I could," Anne voiced her regrets to the cannons, tears welling in her eyes. "Unfortunately, you are all imprisoned in your positions, and I don't have the time to rescue you today."
After finishing their business, and before making her way back above deck, Anne fired two more carcasses by the stairs before putting Demi-San away. Once above deck again, they made sure to lock the remaining Marines down below where they would either suffocate from the noxious fumes, burn to death by the flames, or...
BOOOM! BOOOM! BA-BOOOOOM!!!!
... Or get killed by the cannonballs that had just exploded from the fires that Anne had started in the gunrooms.
The fires started by the initial two carcasses had really begun to spread by this point, making above deck not much safer than below. But that being said, they couldn't leave a chance for any survivors, now could they? "Koari-Tan! Moe-Bō! Let's clean up the rest of them," Anne called out as she pulled out her two pistols again so she could shoot the panicked Marines who had escaped from below deck while they were busy lighting fires. "Alright, we're done here, don't you think," she asked her two crew mates when she finished shooting the last Marine who had been lucky enough to avoid being locked down below?
"I should say so," Morgenstern agreed. "This vessel will hardly prove to be any further threat to our journey into the Grand Line." Having said that, he deftly swung his sword, cutting the ship's helm from it's perch, to ensure that no one could potentially steer the burning ship to become a weapon against them.
"Well then, let's get off this viking funeral, and back the Captain up." They made their way around the fires to the poop deck to jump overboard. The Bluenose had already passed the burning Marine ship, but it had a rope with a buoy trailing in the waters behind it for them to grab hold of. And not just that, it would seem. "Hey, is that Sinbad floating in the water? The enemy must be stronger than expected! Let's hurry," Anne shouted, as she spotted the First Mate. The three of them jumped into the sea below in order to return to their ship.
With another squawk, Erel fisted his hairy chest, "My name?" He breathed in, and released another scream, though, a normal one, "GALLUS EREL!!!" Muscles flexed and feathers straight, a shockwave emerged from Erel's figure. Why had this man been smiling? Had he figured out Erel's ability?
Or was it because... he was having fun? Erel shook his head, he would be late to the battle if he thought too much. He needed more acting. Erel bent his knees, "Eject!!!" His many feathers erupted from his body, gently but steadily covering the entire area in a white sheet. As that had happened, Erel had spun his leg around, while the other pressed against the deck, serving as support for him.
The feathers on his hanging leg got straight, hardening through his Tekkai. Like a pivot, Erel danced through the many feathers and towards Roberts' direction, which he remembered, kicking the air several times like a saucer and cutting up many of the feathers easily, Erel dashed through the place in seconds, "Rankyaku: Torika!!!" He yelled when he was already closed enough to hit Roberts.
Sinbad floated in the sea, coughing as he tried to regain his breath, while his ship left him behind. Finally managing to breath properly again, he still didn't move. Instead, he just stared up at the sky above while thinking of nothing for a moment or two, before his mind seemed to return to him. Shaking his head suddenly, Sinbad looked around as he shifted from a back float to treading water. Seeing how far the ship had sailed ahead, he began to swim towards it. As a life long man of the sea, Sinbad was a highly proficient swimmer, and without anyone to steer the ship, he was sure he could catch up without much problem. But as he swam towards the Bluenose, he noticed a trailing rope, remembering he had thrown it into the water before attacking the Marine, and hanging on to it further back, were his crew mates.
"Oi! Are you guys already done dealing with the giant? I thought you might have been going on a suicide mission," he called to the three behind him.
Maxwell and Morgenstern were merely hanging onto the rope, unable to pull themselves closer to the ship, unlike Anne. As she was fighting her way back towards the ship, she heard Sinbad call out to her. "Naw, he ran away before we even boarded. Maybe he doesn't have as much confidence fighting up close, especially on a confined space like that. So instead we just burned the ship down, getting rid of the guys he left behind. Check it out behind us."
Sinbad looked back and saw the flaming wreckage of the Marine ship. It was an impressive sight to behold, that was for sure. He just couldn't believe that the giant would abandon ship that easily. Maybe they weren't the vicious warriors he had read about. That wasn't what was important at this moment though, so he put the thought out of his head. He sped up his pace, reaching the aimless ship so he could pull the rope in for his comrades.
Not giving his Marine rank, eh? I wonder if he forgot about that in his excitement. Roberts pondered this when Erel suddenly created a smokescreen of feathers, a featherscreen if you will, possibly to act as a potential distraction. But if that was his intention, it failed as Roberts remained entirely focused on the opponent before him. He watched as Erel began to spin on one leg with the other out horizontally, looking similar to a top. Despite looking silly though, Roberts could tell that that kick was dangerous. It was slicing right through the feathers that filled the air, and he thought he could see something similar to that flock of "birds" that Anne had shot down. Something that gave off a dangerous air to it.
This Erel fellow, of unknown Marine rank, was quickly moving straight towards Roberts. Diving over the razor sharp kick, Roberts spun in the opposite way, stabbing at Erel multiple times while he moved past him, aiming for his eyes, shoulder, kidneys, and lungs. Rolling into a somersault, Roberts stood up and spun around to see what damage he was able to deal.
Back on the ship which housed Orobio, he kept his sights on the battles unfolding before him. Erel worked solo and managed to keep their opponents at bay, causing a smile to form on his face. It was simply justification that Erel did not need his support and he could continue on as he'd like.
Switching his sights to the group that found themselves in the water, he smiled even larger than before. "Fiends!" He shouted to the pirate group while lifting his sword up straight into the air. "You evildoers will not be allowed to go on any further! The sea will be your resting places!" Slamming his sword past the deck of the sea into the ocean, it began to spark with electricity. That same electricity would travel down his sword and into the sea where the pirates floated gripping on a rope.
No doubt had been plaguing Erel's mind, he knew that, sooner or later, Orobio would also join the fray and in his own circumstances. Even so, at no point, he took his eyes off his own fight against Roberts.
In fact, his own kick wasn't only meant to merely cleave Roberts in half with its violent spinning, but, also kick-start many of the feathers floating. Erel passed through them so fast, that it took them another instant before they flew off in random directions, charged with several energy slashes. He had been the wheel going through the several sheaves that were the feathers.
It happened at the same time that Roberts dashed against him, striking in several different places. Erel only kept spinning around, sure that some of his rotating feathers would hit Roberts, as he felt blood coming out of some spots from his body. Roberts had stabbed him some three times, in the chest, thigh, and abdomen. Due to their movements, though, Erel managed to not let all of them sink into his flesh.
As he passed through and Roberts did the same, Erel instantly stopped spinning and looked back to check how much damage he would have done himself. "This was pretty good!" He yelled.
Sinbad stood on the stern of the ship, pulling the rope in to bring his crew on board, when suddenly the sea began crackling and lighting up with electricity. Turning around to look in the direction of the remaining Marine ship that was still plaguing them, Sinbad realized this must have been the giant's work. "Shit," he muttered under his breath as he began pulling them up as fast as he could. Anne was the first one pulled up, as she had been hauling herself along the rope before getting electrocuted. Further back, he pulled up Morgenstern, and finally Maxwell.
From Sinbad's view, they all looked pretty bad, convulsing from the powerful electricity that had flowed through their bodies, when suddenly Max's spasms became stronger than the others. "Shit, he might have been in there for too long," he criticized himself for his slowness in such a critical moment. But just then, Maxwell's body suddenly stopped shaking. He opened his eyes, and sat up. "What the-? Syn! You okay?"
Standing up, the gas mask wearing member of the crew simply looked at Sinbad as if confused by the question. "Of course. I merely offset the convulsions in my body and defibrillated my heart back into a regular rhythm. However, it was a bit tiring." Moving over to the other two, Max placed two hands in different spots on Anne's chest, pushed down once, then moved over to Morgenstern. "Hmmm... I've always suspected the government was running a secret electric current underwater, hiding the good electricity away from the plebs. This just confirms it."
Anne started to get up, as her arrhythmia was fixed. "No, you idiot. That one doesn't even make any sense," she scolded Max as she removed the gas mask that had likely saved her from drowning. "What the fuck is good electricity? Fucking idiot." She held her head, both in recovery and at Syn's stupidity.
Morgenstern was in worse condition than Anne was, so Max had to do more work on him. Starting around his legs, over to his arms, then moving inward towards his heart, Max would press down in seemingly specific locations with just the index and middle fingers of both hands, abating his convulsions before regulating his heart's rhythm as he had already done for Anne and himself.
Pulling his own mask off while coughing, Morgenstern sat up after recovering thanks to Max's magic fingers. "Well, that was certainly an experience." Grabbing his notebook from his pocket, which had waterproof paper for just this type of situation, he began enthusiastically writing about the occurrence on a new page.
Diving through a cloud of feathers that turned into miniature flying swords had, perhaps, not been the best move he could have done, but it was fruitful nonetheless. While Roberts was now covered in mostly shallow cuts, he had managed to land three clean hits of his own. Sure, it looked like he missed all the major organs he had aimed for, and taking out an eye or stabbing a kidney would have been a nice bonus, but those were meant more as distractions. Roberts acknowledged this man as a monster when compared to his previous opponents, so he had to distract him by threatening those vital areas to allow the less critical strikes to get through.
Seeing the chicken man standing before him, blood dripping from his wounds, Roberts smirked. "That was pretty good yourself, Marine Erel of unknown stature." Pulling out a flask, he took a heavy sip of rum, drinking in the blood that flowed down his arm with it. Holding it in his mouth for just a moment, Roberts sprayed the liquid out from his mouth in Erel's direction, leaving a maniacal smile on his face. "Goburahahahaha... But not good enough." Returning the flask to his pocket, Roberts rushed Erel, attacking with a flurry of offense; stab, stab, back fist, thrust kick, elbow, stab, stab, stab. With various targets in mind, aiming for the gut, throat, jaw, and the spots he had already struck in their previous exchange, Roberts made sure to turn the pressure up and keep Erel on his toes. In the midst of this rush, he called out to one on the stern, "Sinbad! Initiate Protocol #3!" This was where the fight would start to turn in his favour, and the thought of breaking this mighty opponent down just brought a smile to his face.
Despite not having done much damage, Erel smiled, "Make that unknown stature a Captain stature, my man!" He spat in a smirk, this had been so different than with other pirates. But, why? The others had been so simplistic, to ransack, to rob, to destroy... Erel hadn't even exchanged much conversation with this one. However, as much as Erel had come to respect him... it seemed Roberts forgot one crucial thing.
"COOCK-A-DOODLE-DO!" Erel yelled once again, the feathers from his neck perking up as his scream resonated through the entire area, filling the unprotected ears of whoever was nearby. One of whom was Roberts, for he had not protected his ears within that time frame. Even then, this scream was not as pushy as his previous one, making the period in which time slowed down to be smaller. In fact, this was merely a test scream, so that Erel could see Roberts' attacks coming.
Against the stabs, Erel responded with a deflecting punch, while the rest was merely intercept by cutting kicks, imbued with sharp feathers, as to cut up whatever limb Roberts used. He had been bleeding, sure, however, it wasn't deep and not so grievous as of yet. Erel would take advantage of this with his scream.
Hearing the rooster's squawk, Sinbad jerked back to alertness. While he had been recovering here with the others, Roberts was still in the midst of a grueling battle, one which he was supposed to be helping with. Rushing to peer down on the battle, he could see Roberts in a mad dash against a white blur that he couldn't touch. Ready to jump down to his Captain's aid, they briefly locked eyes, and he was given a direct order. With that simple command, Sinbad's frantic mind cleared. He had done the right thing in helping his comrades, and this fight was still within Roberts' wheelhouse.
"Anne, get to the helm and get this ship back on track. Just continue heading east until you get about a cable length from the Red Line, then turn due north." Having gotten somebody to steer the ship for him, Sinbad immediately punched a hole in the deck, allowing him to drop into the Captain's quarters below. Protocol #3 meant that he needed to take the shortest route to grab as many weapons as he could, and that was through this room. Grabbing multiple knives and pistols, Sinbad made his way back onto the deck, but through the doors this time, spilling the weapons as he reached the outside air.
Shit, his cool down has already finished? It wasn't easy to keep someone this fast under pressure, but Erel seemed to be paying attention to him for now, which was what he wanted. Even if that meant getting cut up because of it. Even when this Marine Captain had slowed back down into focus, Roberts kept up the assault. He was starting to tire, and could use a breather, but could ill afford one now. He would just have to hold out for a bit longer.
Just then, one of the knives spilled about the deck was silently thrust towards Erel in his blind spot, as it was held by an ugly, short, green thing.
Truth be told, Erel actually had no intention on capturing most of these Pirates, at least, not anymore. His great friend, Orobio, would surely be ashamed of his actions, if both of them indeed survived this... some Marines sought to solely capture Pirates, that was just the justice Erel followed. And this man certainly deserved to be alive, this Roberts.
Due to the Pirate's repetitive blows, Erel could coordinate his own much easier and increased the pace of each of them. All as they consecutively deflected Roberts' own. Erel's eyes widened, however, when an attack from his rear soared towards his body, "Kami-e!" He gritted his beak as the knife rasped on the his hip, instead of piercing it. With that single thing, his whole body had tensed, blows having gotten heavier upon Roberts' own figure.
"What had been that- No, focus, don't lose the time of your blows!" Erel's mind screamed at him, he could only wait the effects of whatever that was, while his blows would supposedly overwhelm Roberts' own.
Roberts' arms were getting heavy as Marine Captain Erel continually deflected and overwhelmed his own attacks, but that was alright. He would force the tides to turn in his own favour. He wasn't sure how that man had managed to only get nicked by that silent dagger, but every drop of blood spilled would play into his downfall.
At some point, two ugly, humanoid creatures, about 120 cm tall, with scaly green skin, had appeared on the ship's deck. The first one of these had been what tried to stab Erel in the back earlier. With it's attack having missed, it jumped back. Meanwhile, as Roberts' tired attacks were being batted away like they were nothing, the second creature was off to the side with a pistol, and fired at the Marine's limbs each time he made to counter Roberts.
Having fulfilled his duty to bring these weapons, Sinbad made his way across the deck to grab his own weapon again. Admiring the weight in his hands for a brief moment, he ran over to the two dueling opponents, and swung his Punisher at the intruder's legs in a wide sweep.
Even if Erel hadn't known of the blood spill effect, his wound closed shut anyway, with the help of Kami-e, since it allowed him to flatten his flesh and thus joint the gap shut. With his senses focused solely on the opponent at hand, Roberts, Erel hadn't fully noticed the other creatures spawning on the area, nevertheless, he only knew he had company.
"GAAAH!" Erel squawked at his forearm getting a hole from a bullet, which instantly decreased the speed of his own blows, though, mostly from that specific arm. Just who was shooting?! "Ghhhhh!" His other forearm got grazed by another bullet, so, it was when Erel decided to not only use his arms, but, spin his whole body.
In a rotation, Erel would try to manage and deflect all of Roberts' blows, all the while, trying to dodge the incoming bullets. Even then, he had felt his movements slow down considerably due to the wounds.
Just as Erel started to spin, his legs were taken out from under him by the crushing momentum of Sinbad's stave. Following through with his swing, Sinbad brought Punisher straight up above him, before allowing gravity to bring it crashing back down on the Marine.
Watching the enemy fall, the creatures also made their move. The first one rushed in to stab at Erel again, while the one with the gun fired a couple more shots at him.
With Sinbad's attack connecting, Roberts was able to back off for a moment. His arms felt heavy, covered in wounds as they were. With how sloppy he had been fighting for those last moments, that Marine should have been able to finish him before Sinbad and the goblins interfered. It was as if he was just being toyed with, and as angry as that should have made him, he just couldn't think straight with that damn ringing in his ears.
After being in close proximity to two of those god-awful squawks in quick succession, everything was being drowned out by an annoying ringing sound, and he was pretty sure his ears were also bleeding. Ripping off a piece of his shirt, Roberts stuck a wad of cloth in each of his ears, to muffle any noise, giving him some peace of mind.
Another squeawk, though, this one carried full seriousness behind it, as Erel's eyes sharpened and his body hung in the air due to Sinbad's intervention. So, it was as his senses told him, his enemy had aid, but, even then... EVEN THEN... Erel couldn't let himself get killed or crippled by the next volley of attacks. For both himself and this newly worthy opponent he had discovered.
With the devastating slam from Sinbad's attack, Erel hadn't stopped spinning at all, and took both the pain and impulse of the first attack. A bullet rung in his left leg, earning another grunt, and one of the creatures was coming for him. "O-OROBIO, YOUR EARS!!!" He screamed as much as he could, puffing his chest.
Even if he was flipped over due to Sinbad hitting his legs, the momentum was still there, and with Kami-e once again helping to flatten his body, Erel would fling through the deck of the ship, thus evading the slashing creature and viciously crashing through the iron. Erel vomitted blood at the impact, yet, continued to fly into the ocean, covered in red, "COOCK-A-DOODLE-" He gasped, eyes wide, "DOOOOOOOOOOO!" Erel sung for the final time that day, seeking to slow down his enemies before they somehow got to him.
With the damage to his ear drums, and the cloth in his ears, Roberts couldn't hear anything over the muffled ringing. But now that he had gained some modicum of peace, Roberts realized the rage that he had overlooked before, and rushed overboard to attack the injured Marine Captain.
As he ran to the edge of the Bluenose, chasing after where Erel had been sent, he noticed that everything else around him seemed to suddenly slow down, but didn't pay it any mind. He just pounced towards his prey, prepared to sink the fangs of his estocs into the prone man from above.
"W-What-" Erel squawked at the sight of Roberts, who retained his normal speed. But, then, his mind rejected the idea of bewilderment, the idea of anger... Erel just couldn't feel any ill will towards this man at that very moment. A pirate? He was one. Yet, Erel would also recognize his tenacity as a warrior.
His arms, his legs, his entire body was damaged throughout the whole ordeal, more so by Roberts than by his own movements. Erel couldn't move well, his throat was sore, he wouldn't be capable of doing any counter-attack.
Maybe he didn't even need to counter-attack, but, that could be disrespectful to Roberts. Erel couldn't help but wonder if these wounds would have him arrive late to the marine reunion. If he even survived- He had to survive. Gritting his beak, Erel tightened his muscles as much as possible and stood straight as he flew over the ocean, "T-Tekkai..." He managed, seeing how his body wouldn't move, it was the perfect opportunity for a solid iron body, which increased his defenses greatly.
Though, even then, Erel knew that this was just to delay anything that could happen. He couldn't do it anymore, Erel lost both as a marine and as a warrior.
Sinbad was thrown off by the rooster's crow yet again. He was pretty sure that he had dealt a damaging blow right before the scream this time around, and looked up towards his Captain to see if he would take advantage of the injured Marine. But when he looked over to where he had just previously been standing, Roberts was nowhere to be seen. Looking around briefly in confusion, he was startled to see that the remaining Marine vessel had gotten close, within attacking distance even.
"Shit," he cursed to himself. Anne wasn't comfortable at the helm, so they weren't travelling as fast as they could be, and no one had been keeping a watchful eye on the threat behind them. Making his way towards the helm, Sinbad took command. "Anne, the Marines have crept up on our tail. Prepare the cannons to fight them off. I'll take control of the ship." Looking down at the mischievous goblins still on the ship, he knew it was only a matter of time before they became problems themselves, what with Roberts away. "And Morgenstern, you can clean up the goblins now that you have rested."
"Ah yes, those disobedient critters will be searching for blood soon, won't they?" Picking up his sword, he made quick work of the two creatures.
Even as Anne was rearranging the cannons though, she fired off two shots with her pistol, killing another couple of goblins that had nearly finished growing. "You should thank Kaori-Tan for having your back, Morgen. You almost missed those ones."
Landing on top of his quarry, Roberts' fangs made to sink into Erel, swinging down with the full force he could muster. However, it was as though his estocs were thrust into a steel wall, unable to pierce it. Roberts continued trying to push his weapons down for a moment after before giving that up entirely, throwing the swords away behind him, sticking into the Bluenose's hull. Having abandoned his weapons, Roberts instead began raining punches down on the Marine, attempting to break through the iron defense with his own bloody fists as he sought to extinguish the source of his rage.
"GAAAAAAAAAAAH!!" Enel yelled, coughing blood as the many strikes collided against the bluntness of his strengthened body. Shoulder, biceps, stomach- Everywhere, even if the flesh was enhanced, the impact still carried on. As it happened, his opponent's crew mates even did their own deeds, having come out safely from his scream.
The punches weren't supposed to have any different effect upon Erel's figure, yet, due to the damage accumulated on his skin, he was feeling them even more. Even then, even then Erel didn't soften the tensity of his muscles by any single bit or fiber. He was stationary while in mid-air, which meant that the impacts wouldn't only damage him, but, likely push him away towards Orobio's ship.
At least, Erel hoped it would happen before he lost consciousness, no, he would make it sure for it to happen.
Nearing the Red Line, Sinbad made a hard turn north to search for the entrance to Reverse Mountain. Based on the map, it was almost hidden if you were going at it from the west, but just a slight turn off when approached from the south. It should just be a matter of time before they found the entrance to the Grand Line, if only they could get the Marines of their tail. It concerned him that their Captain had gone missing though, but he couldn't just stop steering. "Somebody find Roberts! If he's not on the ship, he could be overboard, and he swims about as well as an anchor."
As Roberts' blood mixed with Erel's coughed up blood, goblins started to form on Erel's stiffened body. Feeling the catharsis that comes from releasing his pent up rage in such a way, the Dread Pirate gave one last punch straight to Erel's forehead, then jumped back towards his ship, leaving the budding monsters on the Marine. "See ya around, Chicken man," he called out to his foil. "Well, if neither of us drowns here, that is."
Knowing he didn't have great footing to get a proper jump off his birdbrained opponent, he looked behind him to see how far away he actually was from the Bluenose. Well shit. I might actually drown here.
"EREL-KUN!!!" A cry filled the area between the many ships, pertaining to none other than Stevens Orobio, who had been observing the fight from his own marine ship. His palms were stretched out and his body had lunged forward into the ocean, before Erel could even land into the waters. "I GOT YOU!" Orobio mouthed, eyebrows low as Erel landed atop his palms, and fell into the water.
Erel squeaked almost like a whisper, "O-Orobio..." He finally shifted back into human form, his figure covered in blood and bruises, hand trembling as he tried to rise it. Even so, Erel smiled weakly, "T...hanks." Though he had said so, the goblins summoned by Roberts were still on him. Orobio swatted them away with his large hand, making them fall into the ocean.
"No talk," Orobio's legs beat against the water, as a non-user of Devil fruits, he could still swim and had much pride in his skills at that, "Let's go back, friend." Orobio said once again, carrying Erel in one hand and using the rest of his body to swim back towards the ship. It was not today, but, both knew they had done their best.
As Anne got the cannons into place, she saw the giant falling towards them into the sea. Turning away from the incoming slash, something green caught her eye. When the water calmed down again, she turned back to see her Captain sinking into the sea. Hesitating for a moment, with the two problematic Marines being so close to her cannons, but quickly shook that thought off. "Syn! Captain's overboard and sinking over here. Jump in and I'll pull you both up!"
Anne grabbed a length of rope to throw into the water as Max jumped to rescue his drowning Captain. As he swam forwards, and away from the ship, Syn saw Orobio's massive figure swimming back towards his own vessel. "Wow, these Marines even painted mountainous rocks to look like Giants swimming, just to keep up their illusion. But you can't fool me." Diving down, he grabbed the sinking Roberts, and swam back up to the surface. Grabbing hold of the rope that trailed from the ship, Anne began pulling them back in.
Having been hauled back onto the ship, Roberts began coughing up seawater. As he regained the strength that had been robbed of him, he sat up. "Geho, geho. What happened to the Marines?"
Anne quickly went into apology mode. "I'm so sorry, Captain. The Giant and chicken were right in front of me, and I probably could have shot them down, but I had to pull in the line to bring you back in." Suddenly remembering about her previous exploits, she perked up. "Though we did burn down the big Marine ship that we boarded. It was a lot easier than I expected, since their Giant jumped away to the other ship as soon as we got there. Isn't that right, Morgen?"
"Yes indeed. He was more saltorial than expected." Morgenstern, despite not doing much this time around, was pouring himself a celebratory glass of wine.
Roberts was shocked. "You mean that he jumped from the big ship, and landed on their smaller one? Hmm, that may be quite the blessing. That first ship was clearly built to handle the Giant's mass. There's no way that ship is in the shape to make it up Reverse Mountain to chase after us..." Roberts stopped to look at the skyward current that now stood before them.
Sinbad was just then steering the Bluenose into the unusual mountain current, trying his best not to crash into the rocky walls. "Hang on guys. This could get a bit rough!"
Roberts then continued his thought, "... which means that we've made it past the gatekeepers the Marines had set up to stop us. The Grand Line is ours for the taking." He grinned to himself at the thought.
East Blue Ops
A woman adorned in a white military uniform, decorated with a large skirt across her waist that covered up to her ankles, paced around the base with anticipation. Despite being the one in charge of this operation, she was, at her core, frightened. "What if we fail?" Was the first thought circulating through her head, "What about our reputation?" She thought again, before her thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of another.
"Captain Lambert! More Marine forces have made their way here, would you like us to let them in?" The officer spoke, bringing Captain Lambert Cecilia back to reality.
Lambert Cecilia was a Captain within the Marines and by virtue of her skill, was given authority to supervise Loguetown, a popular place for Pirates to gather to try and break into the Grand Line, and observe where the Golden Age of Piracy began. She had organized this large Marine gathering for the sake of preventing a soon-to-be influx of Pirates into the Grand Line, stopping the seeds of chaos before they could bud into venomous plants.
However, Cecilia was still young. Her youth and inexperience gave her doubts, like any normal person. But she knew that if she had shown hesitation, the morale of her troops would crumble, and any success they could have would be broken. Accordingly, she responded, "I will greet them myself." She followed the soldier's path towards the entrance of the base, where she awaited the arrival of her comrade.
A tall woman with long, platinum blonde hair approached the Loguetown Marine base. Surrounded by ten of her own subordinates, Marine Captain Charlemagne Amira had been thus far unimpressed with the city. It was supposed to be a hotbed of pirate activity in this peaceful sea, and she was hoping that she could get some early fun in by cutting down any pirates she happened upon as she strolled through the town, and yet she had found nothing out of the ordinary. This had put her in a rather foul mood, so when she reached the base which acts as a stopgap for pirates from entering the Grand Line from this East Blue, she simply let herself in, throwing the doors open. She was certain that her vessel would have been seen by someone here, and that there would be some commanding officer coming down to greet her at the doors if she had waited long enough, but she was in no mood for such things.
On a roof far away from where Amira stood, an unknown figure laid flat on his stomach. He looked down the scope of a sniper rifle, that was held up on the barrel by a bipod and at the recoil pad by a monopod. The sight of the scope was much more advanced than seen wielded by most marines, take it marines didn't even use scopes. As he looked down the sight, he turned it on the blonde-haired woman.
"Target spotted." He stated, reaching for the gun by its handle and throwing it to his back, placing the strap over his chest. As he fully stood to his feet his appearance became known. The cut near his mouth and short cut straight hair gave away who he truly was; Ban a lieutenant commander of the Marines. Leaping to the streets beneath him, he ran over to the dock and boarded one of the two ships running to the highest point of the ship.
Cecilia had noticed another individual coming into the base, arms wide open. She recognized the figure, and made her greetings accordingly, "Welcome, Captain Charlemagne." Cecilia bowed, maintaining the dignity of a noble family. After all, she descended from House Lambert, a prestigious family that produced several different weapon types for the Marines. Even if she found the behavior of the individual before her audacious, she had to keep her wits about her...a difficult task.
"Have you, by chance, seen Lieutenant Commander Ban on your journey here? He appears to be running late." Cecilia inquired, anxious to begin the operation as soon as possible. "Granting those measly Pirates even seconds could be troublesome..." She thought to herself, clenching her fist to avoid tension appearing on her face.
Looking at the woman bowing before her, Amira could only frown. "I take it you are Captain Cecilia, the one who arranged this whole gathering. No, I have not seen the Lieutenant Commander anywhere," she said, glancing around the interior of the base. Setting her eyes upon Lambert, she then leaned in close to her fellow Captain, whispering into her ear. "Now, I wouldn't blame you or anything, but you wouldn't have already finished toying with those cute little pirates who were thinking of storming into the Grand Line, would you have?" Pausing long enough to playfully lick her ear before continuing. "Because I would be a little peeved if my coming to this sea had been a waste of time." Amira pulled back, giving a chilling smile.
"I see..." Cecilia responded, hoping that the Lieutenant Commander would make his appearance soon. She looked towards her fellow Captain, rising her head, and noticed that Amira's breath traveled down her ear, causing Cecilia to shiver. The sensation of being licked caused further confusion in Cecilia, who soon shot up and stood upright. She tried to control her hand from wiping at her ear, but was unsuccessful, and looked like a flustered maiden in front of her fellow comrade.
"Ah!" Cecilia squealed slightly to herself, remembering that Amira had been in front of her. "O-of course not." She responded to her query, "I-I believe the Pirates will soon move out, so I was hoping all the Marines for this area would be present soon..."
"Mmmm," Amira licked her lips, moaning with Cecilia's response, shifting from her chilled expression to one more heated. "That's lovely to hear, my sweet Captain. Mmm, and I do mean sweet," winking at the flustered Captain before blowing a kiss in her direction.
"Bure-bure-bure-bure-bure. Bure-bure-bure-bure-bure." The brief silence that was in the air was interrupted by Amira's Den Den Mushi. The subordinate tasked with holding it rushed forward to provide his Captain with the sudden call. "Bure-bure-gaccha," the ringing stopping with Amira picking the receiver up.
"Captain." On the other end of the call was a man wearing blood red armour, squinting as he was looking up towards the sky, shading his eyes against the sun with his free hand. It was one of Amira's top subordinate's, Vortigern. "Some weirdo with a gun ran onto the ship muttering something about camping and IRL. I don't know. Either way, he's sitting up in the crow's nest now," he explained to his Captain.
Hanging up the Den Den Mushi after being told all the necessary information, Amira pondered while the man responsible for carrying the communication device returned back to his original position. Posing a question to Cecilia, Amira spoke up. "This Lieutenant Commander that we are waiting for, does he happen to be a marksman?"
"Ah...yes he does. That Den Den Mushi must have been about him, then." Cecilia was baffled by the Lieutenant Commander's eagerness, though she found it somewhat admirable as well. "I suppose we were the ones keeping him waiting. Then let us depart swiftly, for we cannot be late." Cecilia beckoned to her comrade, beginning to walk towards the ship stationed for her.
"Mmhmm, it would seem as though he has already introduced himself to my crew, so to speak. Yes, I simply must agree. We wouldn't want to be late for our date with those naughty pirates." Amira turned on her heel and walked alongside Cecilia, grabbing her hand to hold as she walked toward the ship.
Flinching for a brief moment, Cecilia continued to walk onwards, with Amira's hand interlocking with hers. It was a very bizarre sensation for her, but she had to bear with it, until enemies came into sight, at the very least.
Both Amira and Cecilia had found their way to the two docked ships. Cecilia abruptly let go of Amira's hand in front of her subordinates, and recomposed herself with dignity appropriate for a commanding officer. "Captain Amira will take one ship with her own subordinates, and I will take another with Lieutenant Commander Ban under my supervision. We are to intercept any Pirates that come across our path, is that understood?"
There was a resounding sound of approval from the rest of the Marines present, although the Captain had a hard time tracking down Ban. No doubt he was on a vantage point, and would make himself known shortly.
Vortigern saw his superior walk on board the Marine ship holding the hand of Captain Lambert before she had pulled her hand away, and he also noticed the blush on her face. He chuckled knowing that this Marine Captain had become his superior's new plaything. Walking up to Amira, he addressed her on his present situation. "Captain. I've finished helping Captain Lambert's men prepare their ship."
Amira smiled at her subordinate for his report. "Why thank you, Vortigern. I appreciate the report. Well then, my dear Cecilia," Amira said as she turned to face the Captain. "I guess this is where we must part ways, for now. But I anticipate doing it with you," she said, emphasizing the word 'it' with a smack to Cecilia's ass, followed by groping it. Looking at her squirm, Amira laughed. Turning to leave the vessel together with her subordinate, she clarified herself to Cecilia. "Of course, by it I mean fighting pirates... unless you had something else in mind." With that, Charlemagne Amira made her way to her own ship where her crew awaited her.
"A second longer, capable or not, I'd have went to carry out the mission alone." Ban stated, staring down the scope of his previously held sniper which was aimed at Cecilia herself. Considering his rank and his fighting style, Ban was aware that he wouldn't be able to take on a group of Pirates alone if they were to reach a certain point.
Timing was everything to a sniper such as himself. A millisecond off could literally sabotage the perfect shot, so Cecilia and Amira's late arrival bugged him quite a bit. Nonetheless, they arrived and there was really nothing he could really do about the past. Turning to face the front of the ship he held his sniper over his ship. "I'd advise we depart with haste, I'm sure the rest of the Operatives have already reached their destinations."
Shivers went down Cecilia's spine as Amira spoke to her once again, and smacked her buttocks, before she finally departed. She had begrudgingly started to get used to this treatment. "Yes, let us leave." Cecilia stated, snapping back into reality before moving onto the ship and commanding her subordinates.
"Let us depart as soon as the ship is ready! When confronting enemy forces, make sure you heed the advice of Lieutenant Commander Ban! He is our eyes in this operation. Do not fire artillery without his guidance! Every cannon ball must hit its target without fail! Melee combatants, maintain your guard and ensure the artillery men are secure. I will fight directly with you all in this battle!" Cecilia announced to her men, raising their morale.
"We will not falter in our pursuit! We are justice! Remember that as we cut our enemies down!!" The Captain shouted once again, with her voice even reaching Amira's ship, no doubt. Resounding roars of affirmation filled the sky, and the determination of her subordinates would no doubt play a great role in this battle.
Cecilia had promised herself, from the moment she had submitted her plans to headquarters...she could not fail.
"What was that," asked one of the Marine soldiers aboard Amira's ship. Some unidentifiable noise, possibly of cheering, could be heard coming from the ship next to them. The noise was mostly drowned out by the noises of the harbour.
A pompous looking man with blond hair down to his shoulders looked over at the lackey. "How would I know what those intellectual inferiors would be doing? Someone such as yourself would be much better equipped to such a task as understanding those half-wits."
"YES! Of course, Michael-sensei," the Marine replied in fear. "How could I be so impudent as to imply that you might be equal to those ants over there. Please excuse this useless gnat!"
"By inferiors, were you referring to me, Michael-chan?" Amira and Vortigern walked onto the ship, with Amira smiling menacingly at her subordinate.
"Of course not, Amira-sama. It is good to see that you two have returned. We may finally depart then."
Basking in the Sun
A lone ship sailed through the ocean. It was a sizable brig with four cannons on each side and flying green sails. Upon the deck sat what looked like a young boy. He was grinning from ear to ear as he played with an odd looking reptile that looked like a crocodile with odd protrusions on it's back and feet much like that of a geko. The boy was none other than Cicero D. Melodias, the 120 year old captain of the Dewdrop Pirates.
He pushed the beast off him with a laugh and rolled away, standing up and stretching his back. The creature stood on it's hind legs and walked over to the edge of the ship before jumping into the water and disappearing below the waves. Melodias quickly pulled out one of his books and began jotting down notes on the beast. "Hey Alva can you bring me a barrel from the lower deck?" He called out, continuing to scribble.
Alva stepped from the underdeck of the ship carrying with him an immense barrel. "Ay, that's no problem of course, but me wonder what ye need this barrel for kiddo?" Alva had actually known what Melodias planned on using it for; at this point, it was simply ritual for him to inquire about the necessity of pretty much anything Melodias asked. He was a crazy kid alright.
Still, Alva shook his head disappointedly. "Ye still documenting them beat in that notebook of ye?"
"Of course I am." Melodias chirped back as he grinned at the barrel, before placing his hand on it. A green flash enveloped the barrel before fading away, leaving an exact copy of the beast that was previously on the ship. Melodias studied it carefully, looking around and patting it as he added more notes to his book. "Seems like this guy is really versatile. He can use his feet to climb wall and get otherwise unreachable prey and even anchor himself to boats or rocks underwater to feed or save himself from bad currents. It also seems that his back has plates that can take in water and blast it out the other side, much like a propulsion system in an squid, only more advanced."
Asclepius watched with amusement as his Captain used his power. He always found it to be mildly amusing the way he would turn various objects into different animals. He floated around Melodias.
Beside the ship, at the water stood Aosame, a green-shark Fishman, who had been swimming for most of the Dewdrop's trip. He certainly liked staying in touch with his ambient, doing so with his back against the water, it was one of the best feelings ever, such a shame that some people couldn't prove of it. The aquatic life sung into his ears, as Aosame was constantly asking them about their surrounds.
"Cap'n," Aosame mused, eyes closed while a sharp smile bore into his expression. "These fishinos have been tellin' me we got company ahead," He rotated within the water, the fish dancing around him. His body submerged for an instant, and then, with a jet of water, it rose through it and beyond to the air.
Aosame spun vertically and landed just on the Dewdrop's deck, straightening his legs and opening his arms wide. The fish at the sea just splashed some water, as if congratulating his landing, somehow. Aosame opened one eye, "They are at the Reverse Mountain~"
"Aosame!" Melodias grinned, clapping at his landing. He was quite fond of his new crew member and quite intrigued by him to. Aosame was the first fishman he'd ever met and had only furthered his interest in the world, causing Melodias to demand that they eventually visit fishman island. "Company?" Melodias tilted his head. "Is there someone up ahead that wants to meet with us?" He asked, oblivious to the negative use of company.
A grin came at the clapping, Aosame was really fond of entertaining Melodias. "Indeed," He replied, looking towards where they were headed once again. "Not just any company. Marines, judging by the wavelength of their ships." Aosame rose a finger, while another rubbed his chin.
"Then we outta go the other way, yeah?" Alva quickly concluded. "Me will go turn the ship around about right now then. We probably don't wanna mess with those darn marines, right? Why don't we wait until nighttime or something when they leave, then we will head into the grand line."
"Why are would we turn around, chou," Asclepius asked Alva, with genuine confusion on his face? "Don't we want to go this way?"
"I don't care about any Marines." Melodias replied, staring firmly ahead. "If they want to stop us we'll push our way through." He was still sore about that Marine who had nearly put him to death after burning down a whole forest for the hell of it. He grabbed a bucket from the deck and in a flash of green it had become a grayish bird perched on his shoulder, it's wings looked as if they were made of metal. "This is called a Metalhopper. They're extremely powerful sensor birds that can be used to detect and survey wide areas. They perceive things that are too fast for our naked eye." He turned to the bird and muttered something in a language none of them could comprehend. The bird nodded and took to the skies. "He's going to go survey the Marine's position."
"Marines are dangerous fellas ye guys should know!" Alva exclaimed, his voice filled with an almost sort of desperation. "Ye guys don't understand. They'll kill us if they see us as pirates! Me can't die here. Me still have to find me people's. Ye understand right?" Alva inquired, directing his inquiry to Asclepius. He was aware that when Melodias made up his mind, there was almost nothing they could do to change it.
Snickering at Alva's comment and nodding at it, Aosame said, "Alva-kun here is right, Cap'n, as much as you dun' care on 'em, they are gonna' oppose us want it or not." His gaze had been on Melodias, but then, shifted to Alva. "Don't worry, mate, I'll protect ya' just fine." Aosame tried patting Alva's shoulder.
"Oh," Asclepius responded to Alva in wonder? "They're dangerous, chou? Then we can just beat them, right? That seems like the easiest way, chou."
"I get that they're dangerous, I'm not a child Alva. But I'm not going to let them stop me from reaching the grand line. We've deal with some crazy people before, I don't see why we can't do this." He spoke with a grin as he pointed towards the direction of the returning bird. "Charge!"
It had been a while since the crew had spotted Marine ships. They were intercepted by some cannon fire, but they managed to deflect it in time. Suddenly, however, the crew would find themselves in an odd position. A woman, seemingly flying through the air, soon landed on their ship with the utmost grace. A...peculiar entrance, to say the least. In fact, her skirt was mechanical, and spun around using electric mechanisms to simulate the flight of a helicopter, using blades lined at the edge of the skirt to do so.
"Stop right here, Pirates!" The woman boldly announced, her figure standing proudly on the ship, while confronting four Pirates simultaneously. This was no doubt going to be a tough battle, "I, Captain Lambert Cecilia of the Marines, will face you! You shall not be granted entrance to the Grand Line!" The Marine Captain boldly announced herself, as she clicked her fingers, leading blades to slide out of the sleeves in her dress. She wielded both of them in her hands, lined with seastone, she was prepared for combat.
"I hope you provide me with appropriate support fire, Lieutenant Commander Ban." Cecilia thought to herself, without losing her composure.
"No!!!!" Alva shrieked, putting his hands out defensively. "Me tell ye, we ain't pirates!! We just travelers ye see?! We have no bounties! We committed no crimes! Ye making a grave mistake thinkin we dangerous, me promise!" Alva looked around desperately at his crewmates, tears on the verge of streaming down his cheeks. "Someone, don't just stand there! Tell 'er!!!"
Melodias was confused at the situation, he'd been playing with a bunch of Metalhoppers and then some lady had shown up on their ship. He didn't know who she was but based on Alva's freak out he assumed she must be a Marine. Melodias stood from his sitting position and looked the Marine dead in her eyes. His intimidating voice severely hampered by his 5'4 frame and the chirping birds that covered him. "Do you like the environment?!?!" He shouted, pointing a finger at the woman.
Eyes widening, Aosame glanced at the newcomer, this certainly spelled trouble for them. She was one of the people that the fish told him about. Aosama gritted his sharp teeth.
"..." Cecilia looked upon the man that had begun crying, and was somewhat perturbed. If they were not Pirates, then why were they moving along with a fleet of Pirates? Cecilia had been encountering many oddities today, and she was sure these four were part of the same boat. As soon as the other man spoke however, she rose an eyebrow. "The environment?" Cecilia asked herself. Were these men...environmental activists? She had briefly heard of some activists making their name known for their peaceful protests regarding land occupancy, but she had no idea they would be Pirates.
"I do 'like' the environment." Cecilia responded with tact, her gaze sharply focused on the man. "We appreciate the environment for different reasons, however. While you no doubt harbor concerns for the environment itself...I must nurture the environment as a tool for advancement." Cecilia spoke boldly, uncaring for the response she would be provided with. "If you will intervene with the World Government's occupation of environment for the peace of the Blue Seas, then I will cut you down here and now." Cecilia declared her intentions. No matter the nobility of their cause, these men were Pirates that would intervene in the World Government's path. It was Cecilia's duty to stop them in their path.
"Huh...A tool for advancement?" Melodias cocked his head, confused at the statement. "You mean that you work with to make the environment better so that It can help you more. Hey that sounds pretty great, actually. She's okay guys." As he spoke these words various creatures came out from their dens, all creations of Melodias. A couple deer wandered up to Cecilia and looked at her as a couple rabbits hopped up by her feet, bouncing around her curiously. "Hey I think they like you." Melodias laughed, a smile now on his face.
"Did you not hear me?" Cecilia asked, hearing the man's half-hearted response. "I nurture the environment, and then take from it, as a tool for personal advancement." Although she was not one to instigate fights, she was a bearer of the truth. She had kept her guard up, and her eyes peered towards her newfound enemies. There was no doubt that all four of these men had decent combat abilities. But, from a cursory look, they appeared untrained. She had only hoped that her skills as a Marine were enough to tackle these men, and prevent them from making a bigger impact on the world.
"THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU MEANT, MARINE-SAMA!!!" Alva called out desperately. "YE SEE, US HERE, WE LOVE THE ENVIRONMENT! ALL WE WANNA DO IS PROTECT IT, ME PROMISE! JUST LET US GO PLEASE!!!"
Aosame's eyes budged out of his skull at Alva's screams, prompting him to look at the man with a questioning glare.
"I thought I heard you quite well, I guess my interpretation of your phrasing was a bit off though, see I thought you meant you help the environment." He sighed looking to the deer and rabbits beside her. "It seems though that you're just another one of them." His voice began to crack as he looked down. "Come back over here you guys, she's not someone you should be with." His voice becoming even more distorted as droplets of water began to hit the deck. "WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE YOU DO THINGS LIKE THIS!?!?" He screamed, looking up at Cecilia, his face red with a mix of rage and sadness. The deer and rabbits rushing to his side, nuzzling up against him. A couple of the birds took flight and glared at Cecilia, their metal wings ready for combat as two of them dashed dat her with all their might.
"..." There was a modicum of surprise coming from Cecilia's face as she heard the cries of Alva, and subsequently Melodias. She observed the birds, and quickly dashed forward. She crossed both of her arms, and had her sword's tips pointing upwards. As she was approaching the birds, she ducked slightly, leading her body to be on a lower elevation to the birds, while the swords remained at the same elevation.
The swords' tips touched the birds, and the birds seemingly morphed while in contact. As opposed to being cut, they turned back into, what appeared to be, lumps of metal. Both lumps soon fell onto the ground, and for a brief moment, Cecilia was distracted. "A Devil Fruit power? How peculiar..." Cecilia tried to analyze the nature of this Devil Fruit power, in an attempt to remove the disadvantage she possessed against these no-name Pirates.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit." Aosame rushed at the same moment that Cecilia decided to attack Melodias' birds, his face's expression wide, Apu-san always told him that Marines could be trouble. This woman only seemed to possess two swords, and since had used them against the birds, she would probably be left open guarded.
Aosame had ducked his wet body along the wood, due to his swim at the waters, which made it slide as he prepared to deliver a double kick against Cecilia's legs, seeking to stagger her.
With Aosame sliding in to kick the Marine's legs, Asclepius flew behind her, posing as a harmless butterfly. Once behind, he aimed to used his dwarfish strength to push her upper back, so that she would stumble forward while her legs were kicked back. This would hopefully force her to fall flat on her face, as he attempts to pull off a team maneuver with the fishman.
"...!" Cecilia noticed the movements of the Fishman and Fairy-like being just an instant too late. As the Fishman kicked the Marine Captain's legs, he would find his strength resisted by the force of an armored skirt, although his sheer strength nonetheless caused a dent, angering Cecilia. As the impact dispersed, causing her to spin slightly, Asclepius' push gave her even more momentum.
Stuck between two rocks, Cecilia only knew one thing to do. Anchoring her left leg to the ground, Cecilia used the momentum gained from the team attack to violently spin her body, causing her armored skirt to float upwards and, with its weight, hopefully push back the two Pirates that attacked her. At the same time, she regained her stance, and leaped upwards, standing at the end of the ship's deck. Although it was a risky maneuver, the narrower the space she was in, the less chance she could be attacked by more than two Pirates at once, a necessity for someone in her position.
Melodias watched as his bird crumbled before him. He narrowed his eyes at Cecilia. "You..you..you bastard. You damn bastard. I'll have nature take you over, take you back to nothing and nourish it." Melodias roared, raising his hand as he looked down, down at the ship. Yes this boat would do nicely. Yes this boat would help make her pay for what she had done. For who she was.
Alva observed Melodias carefully. "NO MELODIAS! IF YE DO THAT WE'LL DROWN!!" he shrieked in a fit of cowardice, throwing his body into Melodias' blow himself, catching the full brute of the life energy he had channeled into his fist, intended to the wood of the ship. Alva rolled across the desk almost silently, remaining quiet for a duration of the time, and then, suddenly, his muscles expanded tremendously, and his eyes fell pupil-less. He stood up, exhaling a steam of air and looked directly towards Cecelia directly.
"...What a cruel Devil Fruit ability, and even more cruel is the master of it." Cecilia looked upon the lifeless form of Alva, and then looked at the butterfly and fishman before her. "Both of you should get out of the way. I do not enjoy seeing people being murdered by such foul abilities."
A terrible memory of the past resurfaced, of a young boy being enveloped in a terrible power, and the adults only making a mockery of his powerlessness.
Barely holding onto her sanity, Cecilia prepared herself for combat once more. She clenched her swords tightly, and prayed the seastone within them would grant her enemy a form of relief from this torture.
With a grunt, Aosame closed his eyes and barely managed to shield his body with both arms, as Cecilia's ingenious usage of their team attack pressed against him. "GHHHH!" However, his body didn't stop slidding and skidded through the deck, ripping some of its wood apart. Then, Aosame's back met the side of the deck and an explosion surfaced, producing a mild boom.
"This marine..." Aosame struggled to get to his feet instantly, "Is she... the Armored Maiden?" His sharp teeth grinded against one another due to Cecilia's words, get out of the way? Pupils hovering slightly at the sea, Aosame wondered if he could indeed just do that, could he trust this marine at all?
Having been spun around due to the Marine countering his attempt at an attack, the butterfly dwarf was feeling dizzy. He wasn't used to fighting, and this was a little too much for the little guy. He landed on the gunwale, and held on tight as he felt nauseous.
"A-Alva?" Melodias glanced up at the man, shocked at what he had done. There was much he still did not understand about his power. For now though he could not afford to question, he could only strive to stop what was before him. He reached into a bag of grain near him and tossed a cloud into the air. The sky was soon filled with buzzing as a swarm of wasps dove towards Cecilia while other waiting in the sky for their turn.
Within that moment, Cecilia realized that this crew were not proficient fighters in the slightest. At least, not all of them. The greatest threat was no doubt the Captain and the mad beast Alva had turned into. Seeing the swarm of wasps that had appeared before her, Cecilia had only one other option to ensure she was not stung horrifically. Tearing out the outer rim of her skirt, and leaving only white tights with pockets filled with weapons covering her body.
She lifted the skirt above her body, using its properties as pseudo-armor to prevent the majority of the wasps from stinging her. Although one or two broke through the barrier from above and stung her, she managed to kill them before any considerable harm was done. Following said action, Cecilia split the skirt from its seams, ripping apart the majority of the fabric to reveal a smaller, more efficient shield in her hand, while dropping one of her swords onto the ship's deck.
As soon as her composure was regained, she acknowledged the title mentioned by Aosame. "Armored Maiden? Is that what I am called by Pirates?" Cecilia briefly questioned, and focused upon Alva and the wasps again. "Well, it matters not. My priority is preventing you all from moving into the Grand Line. That is all."
There was restraint in Alva’s motions as he decided on whom he wanted to attack, his mind indiscriminately making everyone in his vicinity a foe and an ally. However, Cecilia’s speech drew his attention, and he pounded on his chest furiously. “Alva!!!!!” he exclaimed, his voice echoing across the known horizon as he dashed from his place towards Cecilia, throwing his fist towards her armored frame without no hesitation, or any real consideration for his own well being. "Smash!!!!!"
"I'm not stopping here. I'm gonna save nature from the likes of you!" Melodias roared as the rest of the wasps dived for Cecilia. She was clearly skilled, adapting to the unorthodox without much worry. However Melodias was still partially blinded by his rage. He grabbed another couple handfuls of grain and tossed them out. The ones that fell too the floor became bullet ants that began marching towards Cecilia. The ones thrown above turned to a swarm of Flannel Moths, some of which dove towards Cecilia while the others flew around the ship. She was being assaulted on all angles by stingers and venomous spines not to mention Alva.
"Urgh..." Cecilia was pinned down. It was difficult to handle such a multi-faceted assault. She rose her shield at an angle that just narrowly caught Alva's powerful fist, but her physical power was nowhere near his enhanced prowess, causing her to buckle down to her knees. The insects begun to bypass her defenses and sting her in exposed areas, leading to excruciating pain. Even for Cecilia, this was becoming ridiculous. Not to mention, Ban's support fire wasn't coming from anywhere.
"SNAP OUT OF IT!" Cecilia screamed at the top of her lungs, using the sword in her right hand to try and stab the arm of Alva whose punch had made square contact with Cecilia's shield. She had hoped the Seastone within the blade would remove Alva of the negative effects of Melodias' fruit. "You two! Can't you see what your friend is like now?! Why aren't you trying...-" Cecilia winced in front of the pain, but continued to speak regardless. "WHY AREN'T YOU TRYING TO STOP HIM!?"
Aosame gritted his teeth once more, standing up, "Boss!! Focus on the matter at hand for once!!" Their captain always let himself get misguided through his emotions, he guessed humans were just like that, but, then again, this was too much. The things Aosame did for this man...
"RAAAH!" He roared and pushed his right arm backwards, its muscles buffing, his quick steps made loud sounds as they passed through the deck until he was nearby Cecilia's figure, "Hyakumaigawara Seiken!!" Aosame pressed his fist in a straight line to crash against the Marine, a shockwave of gaseous water resounding along with it.
"Huh yeah ok you're right. I gotta take control of this situation." Melodias nodded to Aosame. "Alright alright calm, calm, calm, rational. Breathe. Respira." He thought, attempting to calm himself. "Ok so what if I tried to calm him down. Yeah yeah maybe I can reach him through my music." With his plan set in motion Melodias pulled his flute to his lips. "Alright AlVA LISTEN UP." He shouted before blowing into the flute. From it a sweet sound was birthed, it was as if Melodias was conveying his very thoughts to Alva through his music. "Alva please I need to you to calm down, focus that life in you for something good. Come back to your old self. And Lastly please help us get this Marine off our ship."
Alva momentarily looked back at Melodias as he heard his flute being played, stopping in his tracks as the man's voice made contact with his mind, as if he was one of Melodias' creations. The child's face, his voice, it all ruminated deep in his blanked mind. But then, Cecilia's blade made contact with his arm, tearing through his flesh, and ripping Melodias from his mind. "RAWWHWHWOWHA!!" he shrieked in pain, launching his other fist toward Cecilia's face as the sword stuck through.
"...Not enough Seastone?!" Cecilia thought out loud to herself, as two fists were rapidly reaching her figure. "Haaah!" She pulled out the sword with some difficulty, and narrowly managed to slide underneath the hulking figure of Alva, avoiding both punches simultaneously. Reclaiming her ground for a moment, Cecilia gathered her strength together and, with the weight of her weapons upon her legs, attempted to kick Alva onto the ground with a powerful straight kick, hopefully leaving him on the ground long enough for her to return him back to normal.
"Sympathy for a Pirate now...tch, what are you doing Cecilia?!" She thought to herself in anger, as she kept her guard up, for both Aosame and Melodias were still active.
Gritting his teeth yet again, Aosame felt his eye twitch, this woman was clearly above the likes of her rank. He managed to midly surpress his punch before it hit Alva, as Cecilia went below him, though, even then it caused a brief pressure on the air before it. However, due to her maneuver, Alva collided against Aosame and made him stumble, "GAAAH!" He grunted as they fell over one another.
Melodias' bugs continued to dive bomb Cecilia as the fight raged on. "Alva! Aosame!" He called out. He scanned the area quickly attempting to find something else to distract her. And lo and behold his eyes fell on it a large barrel still lying on deck. He grasped it as green light exploded from it, and there before them stood a large red bird. Only Alva would probably recognize this creature, a large avian species that they had encountered much earlier in their adventure. This was a Cavalier Birdman. "Take her off my ship." He stated as the bird took to the skies, creating a powerful gust of wind as it did, the insects scattered for the moment as the bird floated within the air before Cecilia. Some of the much smaller Metalhoppers flew around it, letting out metallic chirps. The birdman flapped its massive wings in Cecilia's direction, letting out a massive gust of wind. A gust strong enough to knock a grown man like Alva over completely. Based on the positioning of the bird in the air though, this gust was not aimed to knock her down, but back and off the ships edge.
"U-ugh!" Cecilia was bombarded by the bugs continuously, causing considerable amounts of swelling on her body. Not to mention, the bird that had been summoned erected ferocious winds that sought to sweep her off her feet. But Cecilia wasn't going to go down that easily...or at least, not without one last stand.
"Lambert Secret Technique: Iron Throne!" Cecilia screamed, before smashing the shield in her hand on the ship's deck, which had cracked under pressure. With her other hand, Cecilia seemingly pressed a button on her right thigh, causing the machine-based compartments that the Armored Maiden's weapons held on to release all at once, ripping apart her tights, while enabling the weapons to protrude outwards and stab directly into the ship's deck, causing further damages to it, and even puncturing it slowly, but surely.
Iron Throne was not actually a technique meant for this purpose, but Cecilia had little other option but to face indignity in this battle. "I don't know what happened to my reinforcements...but now it doesn't matter. Even if I lose, I'll bring you all down with me! My life and reputation are on the line!"
Suddenly, an inky figure arose from behind the Marine Captain, and leader of this Operation, coming from out of her shadow. Stopping only after towering over Lambert and gaining a proper form, the darkness began to drain down the body of Charlemagne Amira. "I've come to sweep you off your feet, Cecilia-chan," Amira said as she wrapped her arms around Lambert's body, pulling the embattled woman into a tight embrace. Leaning in close, she then whispered into her ear. "And I see you've already started stripping down for me. How forward of you." Her hands groping around the body that was within her grasp.
"A-A-Amira...!?" Cecilia shrieked with embarrassment, as the fellow Captain began to grope her body. While she appreciated the powerful Captain's assistance...like this, she may-as-well have died. "Not right now, Amira! Well, never, actually! Let us focus on the enemies, please?!" Cecilia pleaded, with groans being made as Amira began to grope her body.
"M-m-my ship." Melodias stuttered as a massive amount of weapons shot into it, breaking parts of the deck as wood tumbled into the ocean. Just as he began to panic a figure emerged from Cecilia's shadow, she immediately began groping Cecilia. Melodias looked on in confusion, unsure if the new face was a friend attacking the girl or a foe stimulating some sort of power in her. "Get." He was welling up with anger. "Get the hell off my ship!" A crocodile-like creature burst from the sea behind him, hopping from the ocean to the deck. It was bathed in a green glow, once again becoming the barrel Alva had brought from the lower deck before the battle had begun. As the barrel flew through the air it grazed Melodias' outstretched fingers, bathing it in a green glow as another Cavalier Birdman emerged. The Birdman spun through the air, greeting the other one as they both began to fly in a unique pattern. They spun the air with them as they flew, looping it and concentrating it as they both finished their dance. Flapping their wings towards the marines they created a massive wave of wind, blowing bags and barrels on that side off as well. Melodias even held onto the rail on his side, keeping himself stable from just the backdraft.
Amira became annoyed by the sudden gust attempting to blow her off the ship. Taking Joyeuse in her left hand, she stabbed into the deck for added support, while moving her right hand over to grope Cecilia's right breast. "I only came here to steal my Cecilia-chan away, but now this brat has soured the mood," she said to no one in particular. Standing strong in the gale, Amira's shadow lashed out at the petulant child and the two birds with umbral tentacles, while she played with her captive's nipple.
"AMIRA!" Cecilia shouted in response to Amira's incessant groping, with a visible flash of anger across her face. But her anger wasn't directed towards Amira herself, but rather, her unfortunate situation. There was nothing more she could do in her situation. Her weapons exhausted, her body exhausted — and now being harassed. She was a disgrace to her clan, but she had to live for another day. With another day, came new opportunities. New opportunities to prove her own strength, and new opportunities to defeat Pirates.
"Come on, we have to go. At the very least, we have destabilized their ship enough so that reaching Grand Line will be- ah!" Cecilia squealed. "Stop touching me there and let's go!" Cecilia yelled to her overly affectionate comrade, while blushing, realizing she was being prostrated in front of Pirates.
Covering his face from the many clashes and gusts of wind, Aosame gritted his teeth, "Just what is this development?!" Having recomposed himself from his impact against Alva, Aosama was much to the side of the deck once again, a deck so damaged by the fights taking place atop it. He eyed the two marines engaging against his Captain, hands tightening into fists.
If he were to strike, then would be the time, as they were too busy to react. Or maybe it was just a waste of time, after all, they were keen on leaving. Aosama's expression widened, "GET AWAY FROM THEM CAP'N!!" He waved one hand around while screaming, "FOCUS ON GETTING THE SHIP TO BE PULLED TOGETHER!"
Aosame didn't even wait for the Marines to leave and jumped with a backflip into the water, the dryness of the ocean instantly surrounded his senses. With a single beat of his feet, Aosame found himself at the rear of the ship, without another heartbeat he pressed his hands against it, "HAAAAAAAAAAAH!" He yelled within the water and beat with his feet again, muscles bulging and expanding as they tried to push the entire ship through the ocean, before it could be broken apart.
They just kept hanging onto his ship why wouldn't they just leave. Why wouldn't they just stop bothering them and go away? As the umbral tentacles bared down on him the two Birdmen dived in, stopping the tentacles as they wrestled and bit at them. It may have not been effective but it stopped them from getting to Melodias. Aosame was right though, he needed to be a captain right now. "Please both of you, this fight is over. Just leave my ship and crew alone." His somber voice floating through the air. "Respira" He thought as a massive amount of pheromones released themselves from his body, rapidly expanding over the ship. Anything that breathed them would become increasingly calm to the point where fighting and anger was just impossible. "Just please go."
His piece said he felt the ship begin to move, courtesy of Aosame. "I have to help him." He turned and raced to the upper deck, tapping any barrels or barrel sized objects he could fine. Green lights flashed from the upper deck as six of the crocodile like animals Melodias had been playing with earlier hopped from the upper deck into the water. The creatures nodded to Aosame and latched onto the bottom of the ship with their feet, using the propulsion systems in their body they began to jet water through themselves, helping to push the ship.
Amira found herself calming down, no longer so irritated by the interruptions to her lustful advances. This was something that she attributed to Cecilia's words of wanting to be taken away. "I knew you wanted this after all, Cecilia-chan. Don't worry, we can go have our fun now."
Withdrawing her shadow back from the birds, Amira decided to leave the pirates with a little parting gift. Coalescing her shadow together beneath her feet, she then shot it out in a single downward thrust that even pierced the ship's hull. The two Marine Captains then began sinking into the gloom, while Amira's left hand left her sword to rub Lambert's belly before snaking down between her legs. Just before they completely disappeared, a shadowy tentacle grabbed Joyeuse and brought it into the abyss with them, leaving the pirates to their now sinking ship.
With another hole put through their ship, a mostly knocked out crew, water coming in very fast, and panic all about Melodias did the one thing he could. "CHROME." He shouted to the wind, his voice loud as it could be. Nothing happened of course that's what it looked like from the surface. Only Aosame would see a massive tentacle like object, larger than even the ship, rise from the depths of the open ocean as it placed itself below the Brig. Gaston began to rise as it was pushed upwards, resting comfortably above the water as the massive object moved the ship along. "Aosame come back up and help me take a look at this. We need to get this thing repaired enough to sail again." He took a moment. "Oh and Alva we need to get ourselves a shipwright."
Grunting in distaste as his eyes glances towards the far distance already smelling the coppery scent of blood in the air Bluebeard scowled at the prospect that lay before him something that made his blood boil.
"In th' end it seems that we shall 'ave t' smash our way into th' Grandline aft all." he grunted out as he turned away from the sea to face his first mate with clenched fists. "Soko 'ave those maggots we hired prepare fer battle I plan t' sink any 'n all that get in me way." He finished as he makes his way towards his cabin.
"Aye, Captain." Soko responded. She turned towards the way her Captain was facing, welcoming the fresh scent of the blood. It meant that she would get to participate in whatever was going to happen.
She went to the lower deck, and slammed her fist against the ship wall. The 'maggots' shot up, groggily wiping their eyes. "Listen up! Get cha' filthy bottoms up and ready. We're going to be heading into combat, and if you're not ready in four minutes, I'll tear ya' from limb to limb. Do I make myself clear?" she yelled, a wild smile on her face. They nodded and began to prepare themselves. Soko went back up to the upper deck, still smiling.
The Grand Line. They were coming.
There had been a few pirate ships that Amira had encountered since leaving from Loguetown, though not enough for her taste. It was certainly no fleet of pirates rushing towards the Grand Line from this East Blue. A flotilla might be a more apt description for these numbers, and Amira had been single-handedly wiping those ships out as they came across them. Enhanced by an almost liquid-like cloak covering her body, she was jumping from ship to ship, fighting the pirates on board before sinking the ship and jumping to the next.
Meanwhile, her ship followed behind, unable to keep up with her speed at the moment. Vortigern was starting to get antsy. He had hoped that he would get a shot at crushing a few of these crews who were foolish enough to try making their way past them to enter the Grand Line, but at this rate he wouldn't get his hands on any of them. The other ship was dealing with a few pirates themselves, sinking ships with their cannons, but theirs didn't even get that. Hell, even that woman that Amira had taken a liking to had boarded another pirate's ship. The Captain had said that they would be allowed to go after any ships that slipped past her, but that seemed unlikely at this point, and he certainly wasn't going to disobey her order just to get a piece of the action. He still valued his life, after all.
After destroying another ship, Amira jumped over to the next one she could see. She was starting to get bored with these weaklings who didn't put up any fight. She was thinking that she might leave the rest after this last ship to her crew to finish cleaning up. One last attempt at having any fun in this weak sea, landing from an adumbral streak on this ship with the blue figurehead.
Sitting at the wooden desk located in the captains cabin Bluebeard sat contemplating staring towards the litter of bounty posters in his wall that depicted the various well known pirates within th Grandline and New World. "Six years" he mumbled to himself as he closed his eyes envisioning his crushing defeat at the hands of the Mad Monk followed by the mutiny of his former crew.
"For Six-Years, I’ve dreamt of this very day when I make my way back into the Grandline which would put me closer to my end goal" he continued to mutter to himself as with the opening of his eyes a large pillar made of earth pirced through the bounty poster of the Yonko. "I have gained so much in place of what I have lost" he thought as he slowly raised to his feet making his way back towards the main deck before pausing at the door frame to glance towards a single framed photo hung backwards on the wall to block it from view.
"This time you I will have your head" he spoke aloud with anger seeping within his voice as he grits his teeth in anger before storming out the cabin slamming the door behind him which caused the single framed photo to fall off the wall and onto the floor revealing the picture to be of a blue haired young man standing along side a beautiful woman surrounded a small crew of people.
Having landed on this ship, Amira saw that she was surrounded by nameless stooges. "Haah, I don't want no scrubs," she sighed to herself. Drawing Joyeuse out of it's scabbard, she leapt forwards to cut down these lackeys. Before she could though, someone stronger looking caught her eye, and managed to actually stop her sword with their bare hands.
"Hmm, so there's actually someone with a backbone on this ship, is there? But that's not enough." With that, Amira's shadow suddenly shot out and stabbed the slight, black haired woman multiple times. With this stronger opponent down, Amira continued with her previous attempt at removing these eyesores from her sight. "This weak little sea is the perfect place for your journeys to end. Don't go chasing waterfalls." Once that was done, she pulled out her Baby Den Den Mushi to call her ship.
"Bure-bure-bure-bure-bure, gaccha. Pekopeko, Captain Amira... pekopeko... is that you?" The snail relayed to the Marine, with her recognizing the voice immediately.
"Ah, Huar-chan, yes it is me. You can let Vort-chan know that I'm leaving the rest of the ships to him." Amira then hung up her Den Den Mushi. "I wonder if that woman was the Captain of this ship..." Gathering her shadow around Joyeuse, she then stabbed the deck of the ship, causing severe damage to the vessel. As the ship began sinking, she smiled to herself. "Maybe I'll go check on how Cecilia-chan is fairing," she said as she sunk into her own shadow.
A large raft was probably not the best vessel one could ask for while attempting to cross the Grand Line, even from the relatively more placid seas. For Deanna, that was what she managed to get: larger ships were simply too big to be maneuvered and maintained efficiently by a single person, and Deanna hadn’t found anybody worthy of sailing with her, not with the money she had collected in her lasting year as a bounty hunter. Rents were rather expensive, while bounties were low.
Not that, in her opinion, the Marines had somehow underestimated the power and dangers of the local pirates. In all the time she had worked either as a bouncer for the local nightclubs or as a part time bounty hunter she had met perhaps one or two self-proclaimed sea wolves she couldn’t take out with a single slap, and no one she couldn’t beat as they were toddlers. That city, while beautiful, had disappointed the girl: given the record of the two Pirate kings coming out from the weakest sea, she had hoped to find some diamonds in the rough, someone with enough guts to set the world on fire. All the people there were either losers or really nice people whom she liked to help but were unfit for the life of a pirate.
Deanna moved the mast constituting the helm with just one of her arms: even though she looked like a slender girl, she was strong, and could pack a hell of a punch. She didn’t need anybody: she knew how to fight, how to sail, and how too cook. While small, she had chosen a raft made of strong wood, one robust enough to sail on the current flowing up and down the Reverse Mountain. Her storage was filled with enough food and medicine to carry Deanna’s on for more than a week. The weather was excellent, a gentle breeze flapping her short twin tails under a shining sun. Everything at the moment was pretty much perf….
Well, nothing, except numerous marine galleons blocking the entrance of the Grand Line, lined up in war asset. Askance, the amazon noticed other Pirate vessels joining the fray, eager to storm through as she was there. For a moment, Deanna felt worried crawling through her ship: while it had good craftsmanship, her ship was still a mouse heading to a snake pit, no cannons, no real deck. Then, everything turned in excitation, even jubilation. That was the challenge she had been waiting for, a Battle Royal to get through the Grand Line. Deanna had the opportunity to test and witness the true mettle of East Blue’s best and baddest.
“C’om, pals”. The warrior shouted; both her hands come to her waist, gripping two Kris. Her smile was turning wider and wider, her inner beast itching to rage on. “Lets how well you face against the pride of the Kuja!”
As the raft began getting near one of the Marine ships, a loud voice was projected out from it. "WARNING TO THE REMAINING PIRATE VESSELS! THIS IS THE CHIEF NEGOTIATOR UNDER MARINE CAPTAIN CHARLEMAGNE! NO ACTIONS WILL BE TAKEN AGAINST YOU IF SINK YOUR OWN SHIPS WITHIN THE NEXT FIVE SECONDS..... NO ONE? ALRIGHT, THEN I MUST PERSONALLY ELIMINATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!"
Suddenly, a fully armoured war horse, with a knight in blood red armour riding it, jumped off the Marine ship, supposedly to their own watery grave. Instead, the horse began running on top of the water as if it were dry land. This bizarre phenomenon seemed to be possible due to the horseshoes worn by the equine. Around each foot was a shoe that looked like a small ship, and carried a small dial on the back that expelled air, pushing the horse forward. Galloping towards the nearest pirate ship, Vortigern steadied his lance before lunging with full strength, piercing the ship all the way through, sinking the aspiring seafarers.
Next, without losing any speed, he turned towards the raft carrying but one person. It didn't matter to Vortigern how unassuming the ship that stood before him, he was given the chance to participate in this battle thanks to his Captain growing bored with these East Blue pirates, and he would make the most of this chance. He steadied his lance for another strike.
For the young amazon, the sight of a fully armored knight galloping above the sea waters was as strange as it was beautiful. Deanna had been reading chivalrous novels since her youngest age, scraping through all the books she could find from the merchants brought in Amazon Lily by the Spider Tailed- Horned Viper Queen. Meeting one of those in person was already a dream came true. Battling against one of those noble warriors? Priceless.
“Trying to bring a lovely lady such as myself down from the saddle, which I have bought with my sweat and toil, is a rather un-knightly behavior, Sir”. Deanna half-jested; her eyes were gleaming with joy. “Still, I consider myself a warrior and a pirate before being a young dame. En-garde, you fool”. Her voice rose to several pitches, ending in a squeak: she had just thrown down her first gauntlet with the typical jousting phrase!
Deanna waited patiently the knightly Marine, standing in utter defiance. Her whole body crisped with her energy: that was her level of excitement, but also the power of her Zoan Fruit itching down below, waiting to explode in a transformation. As with any of the more awesome duels, she waited for the last second to act, until the knight himself was to close to avoid a direct blow.
Once the time had come, the full brunt of Deanna Zoan energy manifested all in flash. Her feminine, relatively human-sized frame expanded several times its normal size; a shell emerged from her back, bone protrusions blended onto each in a thick, jagged carapace. Eating that Ancient Zoan had granted the girl the power to transform in a Tarchia, an animal bearing a natural armor matching that of the noblest knights.
It was with that new shell Deanna meet the spear thrust, back-on. The lance struck one of the thicker scales, which led the blow slide slightly and the tip embedding in her skin with diminished momentum, enough to stay firm between her bones, but not to reach the skin below. With an agility belying her bulk, she managed to do a full split in her hybrid Zoan made, lifting a frame so heave that her own raft lowered a foot in the sea below. A move like that was to catapult knight and mount to the water below, using their own impetus against themselves. To make sure the knight couldn’t hold an easy grab in the spear, she slammed her tail onto it, hitting the metal with the mace on its tip.
Vortigern wasn't expecting to run into such a sturdy defense and was caught off guard. He was nearly thrown into the water by her actions but jumped off his horse before he could be. Ready to pull his lance from her scutes, he was forced to drop his weapon when her tail slammed into it.
Falling onto the raft, Vortigern rolled back into a standing position. Checking his surroundings quickly, he made note that his steed was trotting around still, staying close to its master. Satisfied, he returned his gaze to his opponent, unsheathing the longsword on his hip. With the way his superior had been sweeping through all the ships she came across, he was expecting little resistance from these pirates. He was quite pleased to find this unexpected gem. Maybe now he could have an actual fight on his hands.
"Pirate scum! How dare you attempt to renege on the negotiations, and resist the cleansing of my lance," he called out to the one who stood before him! "It is your duty to be eliminated by my hands!"
After its slight dip, the raft rose again, making some of the only splashes one could hear in the placid ocean. Deanna’s half hybrid form stood tall on two legs; compared to the knight, who was by all account not a short man himself, the amazon looked like a towering cliff of muscles, scales and spur several times his size. A far cry from the statuesque, but still slender and womanly built girl she usually was.
Deanna did not like at all to be the obese version of a paleontologist’s fever dream, but she loved the power packed behind bulk. How tall and big she was, and how people were forced to look above to see her and taking her as a force to be reckoned with. The Marine knight did recognize in her a worthy opponent; she could see in his fiery visage all the exhilarating emotions herself was used to whenever she was facing an opponent worth struggling against. Despite all the eventual protestation about “Justice” and “Yadda yadda” that those law enforcers tend to expose.
“Your duty means little to me, sir”. The girl giggled in her forcefully archaic tone. “What our hearts truly long for is a fight between equals. Draw your courage forth, as you did with your blade, and show me that this panoply of yours means more than a mere shell of lacquered plates! Show me your mettle”.
The dinosaur woman planted her weight on her feet. The only drawback of her massive size was a downgrade in her agility and mobility. Where in her human form she could flip and leap from tree branch to tree branch, from vine to vine, dashing through the height pluvial forests of Amazon Lily with the same ease and sense of freedom as a runner would sprint on polished road, her hybrid and full Zoan moves moved sluggishly and slackly, taking their time to plow through obstacles.
Space available was also an issue: Deanna frame occupied a not insignificant part of the raft, so much so she had herself hung on a rope to avoid to accidentally fall down and plummet in the surefire death for every Devil Fruit user. She could feel already her raft going unbalanced, rolling over and over under the slightest shift of her gargantuan heft.
To reach the desired speed, Deanna had her hips torqued on herself, making her massive tail spring in a sideways slam. She directed her attack on the right, so to knock out the Marine out of the ship but not hitting the poor horse, cause unnecessary animal cruelty was just plain shitty. Her upper body was also alert: Deanna placed her hands in a sumo like moves, palms open and ready to grab or strike. To anticipate any tentative of the knight to get for her soft belly and stab her with his broadsword.
Seeing her swing her tail around at him, Vortigern turned to face the impending strike, taking the full brunt square in the chest. Yet despite the incredible force behind the blow, he didn't budge an inch. Then after holding his position for a moment, just long enough to ensure a psychological dig for effortlessly withstanding her attack, he then lunged in to attack slash at her front side.
"So.. Awesoome!" Very few things someone would expect in a fight, especially in one where sworn enemies such as marines and pirates, to have an outlaw gushing about the power shown by a defender of Justice right on his face. Deanna mood was all like "holy shit, that knight man got wrecking ball on his chest and he didn't move a centimeter, knights are the coolest thing ever! Chivalry is so freaking hardcore. W King Arthur, Tristan, and Roland the Paladin! W Monthy Pythons and the Holy Grail!" Then the flash of Vortigern sword, few palms closed to her bare chest, snapped the young amazon back to reality. Being carved like a pumpkin wasn't awesome at all!
Vortigern's downward slash was too close to be avoided or parried without accusing any damage. Deanna did the best she could by turning her hips sideways; she avoided the tip of the blade, thus the brunt of the stab, but its edges still bit her skin, opening a bleeding scratch on her side. In response, her arm closest to the knight sprung in a fast hook, aimed to her opponent bare head.
Having only nicked his opponent, Vortigern rushed forward in an attempt for a body check but was stopped and pushed back by the blow to his head. As he stumbled backwards, he swung his sword up, attempting to slice her arm off.
Regaining his balance, Vortigern eyed his opponent. "You are indeed a worthy foe for me to do battle against. Tell me your name, warrior, so I may properly honour you in your death."
Vortigern’s faltering slash wasn’t nearly as precise as the blow before, only itching Deanna’s forearm before it returned in a guard position. The words of the knight, in contrast, couldn’t hit deeper. The young Amazon’s facial scales run the entire gamut of hue from deep red to bright purple in the span of very frantic heartbeats. Her breath became as heavy as basalt boulder, sweat poured from the forehead which the confrontation didn’t manage to draw out. Under all her massive size and imposing might, Deanna was showing her true nature as girly and gushing young woman.
“S-sir, I-I am most honored by your request”. She muttered, lowering her head a bit to pay respect to the Marine. “I am called Deanna; I come from Amazon Lily, the greatest reign of female warriors under the sun. May I ask you to reciprocate your courtesy and tell me your name?”
Vort had asked his foe her name for the simple purpose of making his feat more accomplished when he gives his report. Felling a named warrior, with a notable background in this case, is more impressive than many nameless lackeys. Yet despite the inauspicious reasons for his query, he found it to have dealt a surprisingly strong blow to his opponent. He ordinarily wouldn't respond to a pirate's request like this, but perchance this could help him gain a mental edge over the young girl.
Holding his sword valiantly across his chest, swinging it away, Vortigern conducted himself in as knightly a fashion as he could muster. "My name is Vortigern, proud knight of the Marines, serving aboard Marine Captain Charlemagne Amira's ship as her Chief Negotiator. It is an honour to meet thee in battle as such."
Hoping that his conduct would be enough to knock this Deanna off her game, he then lunged forward, thrusting the pommel of his sword towards the gushing pirate that stood before him.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice... Deanna may have been transformed an in a lumbering giant, but she remained quite quick on her wits. Her infatuation with knights had thought her they were at her most vulnerable at the peak of their stabbing charge. Only the unique, a seemingly innocuous point of the sword gave her some doubts: nobody was stupid to touch someone with a blunt tip of a sword. Unless that, by itself, was far more more dangerous than it looked like.
Because of that, she could not allow to be hit by that thing; the best way of which was to actually keep it closer to herself as possible. Her push on Vortigern's head had earned the girl enough time for a proper dodge and counterattack: she shifted her position in the crucial seconds not with an awkward movement on her hip, but a far steadier positioning on the symmetrical side of the odd stab, avoiding it in its entirely. Her hands were even quicker than her feet, gripping the knight's lunging forearm and forcing it down. With the help of the momentum gained from the charged, Deanna had pinned down the very arm holding the pommel on the raft's deck.
"I am most pleased to make acquaintance with thee, Sir Vortigern". She jested. "To pay my respect, I shall grant a perfect opportunity to try and sink my raft once more. Beware, though; thou must be ready to sink alongside your prey, for my grip on you shall be everlasting". A next step worthy of a lady: using Early Modern English pronouns.
Well, not everlasting: just all the time it would require to knock the noble knight down. Which she immediately tried doing by slamming the hammering bone at the top of her tail just on the knight's back of the neck, as, unlike the knight armor, it seemed to be devoid of substantial protection.
Yes, I guess I should go back to my original plan. Just sink the raft. As his arm was being pulled down, Vortigern activated something within his armour, causing the three spikes on each shoulder to suddenly, and brilliantly flash, to temporarily blind his opponent. At that same moment, he lowered his left arm down onto the deck, releasing a jarring impact that shook the entire raft to worsen her footing, and even caused some heavy damage to the logs composing this makeshift vessel. Next, pushing forward, he checked into her, pushing her off balance while simultaneously evading her tail shot. And with her in such a state, he was able to thrust his sword pommel closer towards her unprotected belly, unleashing an X-shaped, cutting blast of air.
Stepping backwards, he hoped that this would allow him to free his arm from her grip, giving him some room.
The sudden gleam stripped away Deanna’s sight, while the rocky concussion took her sense of equilibrium. The confident, yet inexperienced warrior saw herself lost in the most crucial moment, blindsided and then tackled by the knight full of tricks. Her desperate instinct supplied to the lack of clarity: the amazon redoubled her grip on Vortigern, seizing his arm with her other hand. She almost wanted to cling at the elder knight to obtain some sense of stability, a stable anchorage to help her while her world was spinning in glistening vertigo.
Because she used Vortigern as a swindle, Deanna succeeded in slipping past the x-shaped air slash. Yet only through most of it: the outer edges of the cross hit their mark, clawing the already damaged hips of the girl. To compensate for this near-avoidance, both the air blow and her frame fell ruinously on raft’s logs. The sharp blades of wind clove into the woods until the very hull, followed by a tumble which shook the boat to its core. From her position near the ship’s floor, Deanna could hear sea currents swooshing at the bottom of her raft, creeping on the storage rooms. The amazon’s boat was embarking water to a slow, yet inexorable pace. No good, no good at all.
Deanna’s heartbeat rumbled as frantic as ever, her wounds were spitting fresh blood; she had to do something, or it meant dying drowned. A part of her wanted to scream, begging for help. Her mind turned to the distant greenlands of Amazon Lily. She knew her elder sisters would have never fallen on their back like amateurs and clinging on her opponent for comfort. Their nerves would remain steady and their pride intact. Talia would never be as messy and stupid, she would never fall for cheap dirty moves…
She… she would tell to quit bitching, stand up on her legs and fight! She would remind Deanna she was a child of Kuja, the island where women have taken a life free from the shackles of machismo, where women could fight as fiercely as any man, where strength was beauty and beauty was strength! If Deanna was fated to go down against her first hurdle, she wouldn’t do that gently. Her grip became firmer yet fiercer; jolts of adrenaline pumped through her veins and arteries, sweeping away any fear and filling the young woman’s heart with mad courage.
The amazon had another weapon to use, a last piece of her which her Zoan form had endowed with a defense: her forehead, which Tarchia have it covered in scales thicker than a knightly helmet. She swung her head up and down, gather strength for a smashing blow; her arms followed in sync to bring the Marine close enough to be hit. Deanna struck the knight’s forehead, bare and relatively soft, with her own, one time, two, three, many times over, the carapax making cracking noise with each collision.
After taking so many headbutts, Vortigern was knocked back when Deanna finally let go. Feeling dazed, he had enough wherewithal to release a second impact upon the battered raft's deck. This proved to be too much for the small ship, as the force caused it to break apart, starting to sink. That was when his hand came across his previously dropped lance, as he grabbed hold of it on instinct. Vortigern fought to remain conscious, grabbing onto pieces of the raft to ensure he wouldn't drown.
Deanna's quartered ship rumbled and rolled, the sea swallowing it by the seconds. The girl had won the fight but had no time and little reason to celebrate. Her hybrid form returned back to normal, more lithe form. The amazon turned her gaze left and right, frantically looking for a mean of transport, a way out from her broken boat; her hips ached, dripping with blood. Her chance of safety came with a pirate frigate passing nearby. She had one chance to reach. Deanna took the deepest breath of life, pain and fatigue didn't mean anything to her anymore: she took a running leap and made a long jump. She landed right on the ship's stern with a cartwheel under the eyes of stupefied pirates.
"Well, fellas. You see the Marine on the raft?" She pointed at Vortigern, still clutching on the logs with the leftovers of his strength. "He would have rammed and sunk your boat if I hadn't dealt myself with the guy. I suppose you should be thankful and give me a ride, pretty please?" Deanna was all good manners and acrid tones. To further prove she wasn't someone they could boss around, her left hand jerked to her Kris.
No one dared to complain: they have all witnessed glimpsed of Deanna's fight with Vortigern and her massive Tarchia form. The pirates stared at the warriors with fearful eyes and trembling limbs, already ready with bandages to medicate her wounds. "Geez," she thought, "what a bunch of losers". Her disappointed in the East Blue crews was second only to the joy of her first joust against a true knight. Deanna's gaze stared at the fallen Marine with melancholy: she bowed her head one final time, a salute from an honorable warrior to a worthy foe. She had met a first one after all the time spent dealing with weaklings: that was a good sign for things to come.
Yet a lingering sense of disappointment remained: Deanna raft was no more. She had storage, no vessel, and no friends. She shrunk on her shoulders. Perhaps she would be luckier in Paradise, where much stronger and bolder pirates are found. The sky laid bright before her: why her future should be any different? In those cases, her master's motto always came handy: "when life gives you lemons, squeeze them with your bare hands until you spill each drop of juice, drink it raw, smile to the sun and kick plenty of asses!
The young girl walked on a small staircase, reaching the ship's prow. She already knew her next stop: Whiskey Peak, where alcohol flows in rivers and brawls are everyday matters! A perfect den for true Pirates. Her elation came forth in a joyful shout:
"Paradise... HERE I COOOMEEEE!"
Captain Charlemagne's ship came up to the beaten knight and pulled him in, with his horse not far behind. The hollow face of the Lead Nutritionist looked down at Vortigern. "Pekopeko~... you aren't looking so hot, Vorti..."
Vortigern spit some blood out of his mouth. "Shut up, Huarwar. Did you guys at least make sure to sink that bitch?"
"No, pekopeko. We're not dumb enough to try to interfere with someone you're hunting. I'm pretty sure she hopped onto a passing ship."
Goddammit, Vortigern cursed to himself. It pissed him off that she was still alive. But the Grand Line will chew out a lone pirate like that in no time.
North Blue Ops
The thunder rolls, the lightning strikes. The sea roils and swells, rises and falls. The fury of nature, beautiful and terrifying in all of it's glory reigned upon this day. A thunderstorm, one of the largest in a decade, struck upon this day of battle and blood.
A pair of ships sat bobbing up and down, their helmsman struggling to maintain their position in the sea. Behind them sat a mountain, stretching so high that it pierced the clouds above. Each of these ships was nigh identical, sisters in name and design. Both bore the heraldry of the world, just as it bore the name of those who watched over it.
These ships were the ships of the Marines. A proud force dedicated to the protection of the world, and the destruction of those who would violate it. Today they sat here, waiting for those who would attempt to get past them, to leave the seas of the north to head to the Grand line.
Zheng Sih sat on the bow of one of these ships, sitting in the rain as she stared across the roiling seas before her. She had her trademark spear over her shoulder, waiting for those who would attempt to pass. Something she fully intended to make sure they failed at.
Serena’s gaze stared firmly at the dark horizon, her green, monocular visor stretching her focus to its furthest. She had taken the highest position possible, standing tall on the lookout post so she could spot her next preys as soon possible. On the ship deck below, marines were shouting orders, curses and prayers, firmly gripped on everything they could find, as each jump and pitch of the ship threatened to send an incautious sailor straight to the black depths of ocean. Serena couldn’t care less: her hands were busy keeping her blonde twin tails at bay, to not let them flail in the wind and whipping of her face or snag in her fangs. Her dad used to tell her she was, as with all fishmen and merfolks, a daughter of the seas, and that she couldn’t find a safer place than the cradle of water.
She could perceive small brigades coming closer and closer, floating and pitching in the roaring waters like a bunch of bugs or floating leaves. A promise of what was yet to come; pirates crews sailing in droves with the goal of reaching the Grand Lines. Morons destined only to die, either by the merciless tempest or the staunch hand of the Marines. More important than any of those, they were scrumptious meals to bite, crunch and gulp. She could savor already the delicious fattiness of human flesh swimming in her mouth, the perfume of blood inebriating her noise. So, so yummy…
Saliva started dripping from her mouth: good luck there was a storm to wash away any trace of her hunger. Serena needed to be careful to not show her unique “tastes” to her colleagues. The former monk was so fucking snobbish she would have thrown up in disgust; that cook with an animal fixation couldn’t have recognized good food if all the greatest chefs in the world started giving him lectures. Besides, taking out as many pirates as she could was the perfect occasion to get a promotion. Mommy and daddy always wanted to open a skylight in their new home, and she would love to give more money to help.
On the same ship as Serena was a far more humble-looking man. Adorned in a simple Marine uniform, he looked out to the horizon with an anxious, almost fearful glare. Shivering at the blistering weather, he was, unusually, wrapped by a giant white and blue snake, appearing reminiscent of a King Cobra. This man was Lieutenant Commander Bryant Leon, a beast-tamer that made his name among the low-ranking Marines for his unusual pets.
The snake that kept him warm and secure was named Vasuki, and was part of the King Cobra sub-species, Naga. "Sorry, Vasuki-kun..." Leon spoke in a somewhat mournful tone, "I'm so unreliable...but thanks for always being here! Now, we gotta get ready and keep those Pirates at bay!"
The snake's expression loosened, and his forked tongue licked Leon's face, before hissing comfortably with his owner wrapped around him.
Back over on the other ship, away from the fish and cook. Zheng Sih continued her watch, roving her eyes over the darkened horizon in order to spot the slightest hint that the pirates she knew were coming were about to show. For now at at least, she saw nothing. Nothing but the water, lightning, and the ever blasted wind.
She pulled a small snail out of her pocket, one that clearly had the same symbol as the ship. A den-den mushi. "Zheng Sih here, no sign of anything unusual on my end, though this storm will make it hard to intercept any ship at range. The pirates picked a good time to cross if they are in this storm. Anyone else have any better luck?" she broadcast, both to the various watchers along her ship, as well as to those on the other, waiting for a target to focus on.
Serena could hear her pocket den den mushi squealing like a pig; she brought it out, recalling Zheng Sih. As she suspected, the martial artist's crew had severe deficits in range of sight. Typical of the cheap equipment their superiors had provided them. She entered in the conversation to share her discovery with the colleagues.
"Here is Lieutenant Commander Gratzianowi Serena. I can spot few Pirates frigates coming north-northwest to the Reverse Mountain. There aren't many of'em, though: just a typical bunch of fools. The great breakthrough has yet to come, I suppose". She said. Her lips were curling in a sarcastic smile. "I was thinking I got really lucky to have bought my new experimental visor with my own money. Another cut to our funds, and we'll have to catch pirates in brasseries and underwear".
"Considering the mental fortitude I have seen from pirates, they'd probably be so distracted with the view to fight properly. Who knows, a budget cut might make our job easier then." Zheng responded with a slight bit of humor.
"As for the pirates, since you're the one with a visual, engage them now or wait for them to close?"
"Gratzhgratzhgratzhgratzh!" Serena expressed her amusement in her typical cackling. "Didn't know that monks were capable of humor! Or having naughty thoughts, for that matter". The monk was probably right though: given the beauty of the ladies involved, many delicacies would have fallen for their naked hotness before falling before Zheng Sih pole-arm or right in Serena's stomach. Turning to less trivial matters, the half-fishman started to map the terrain; her eye was not only focuses on calculating the distances between the Marines and the ships, but to gain the clearest view on every obstacle, every whirlpool, every stumbling cliff lurking in the turbulent waters.
"Since there are three of us, I'd say we better not break our formation. We could use long ranged attacks to take down every ship we can once their are close enough. There are many sharp cliffs waiting just below the surface; perfect to send boats crashing down, but can make us sink as well if we don't dive carefully. Wasting time and risking our necks to catch down small fries doesn't seem worth a damn effort. Whad'ya think?"
"Y-yeah...I agree..." Although Leon was normally confident enough, in the face of the two Lieutenant Commanders before him, he turned into a fumbling mess. Was it the storm? Or was it their overpowering personalities? It was anybody's guess. "I-if we attack now without looking at all the threats, a stronger crew might intercept us and prove troublesome."
Serena’s grin widened for the enthusiasm, turning shark-line. “Let’s get these appetizers swimming before the main course arrives!” She took a tennis ball from the many stored below her mini-skirt, so numerous they underpinned her lower garment like a yellow blanket. They were an excellent tool for long-ranged fights, one that not only complimented perfectly her passion for the sport, but was also useful to hide her most intimate and sweet part from horny gazes. She rose up the projectile just above her head, balling her weapon, an enormous racket jagged with teeth of steel, big enough to function also as a spade; after a quick lock on the target, lasting millisecond, she served her blow with a smashing motion.
The tennis ball flew high in the stormy sky, its bright colors making it stand out from the dark clouds. A helmsman in one of the many pirate frigates perceived a blurred, yellow line; once the projectile hit right between the eyes, the world flashed, and he passed out. Green, ominous vapor exuded from the ball while still embedded in the pirate’s forehead. The ship was soon covered in thick urticant haze: everyone inside him found his eyes burning and watering, completely blinded. Without clear guidance, the ship meandered for a while before stumbling in sharp cliffs which quartered its hull and sent the crew to the bottom of the ocean.
“That’s an ace, motherfucker!” Serena hollered in elation. Then she served her projectiles again and again; each of her attacks resulted in small fries crashing down against rocks. Yet Serena’s volley, which was an intentionally conservative display of force and ammo on her part, could properly affect only frigates sized ships. Bigger meals required greater effort, one that Serena was actually welcoming. She was starving for challening preys: two digits-pirates could just sink straight to hell.
"So noisy..." Zheng said as she heard the other woman's display. "But if she wants to let the storm take care of them, I guess I can oblige."
The world seemed to slow down for a moment as Zheng finally stood from her position on the bow of the ship. The wind seamed to cease and the rhythm of the waves became apparent as she focused on the world around her. She had finally started to see the ships of her foes come into view.
Up and down, up and down. She felt the flow of the ocean, how it rocked her ship up and down. She felt how the wind blew her hair and the rain lashed down upon her. There were a thousand things she had to take into account on her end alone, and a thousand more on the side of the pirates in the distance.
She raised her Guan Dao, pointing it directly towards the first frigate that her companion hadn't already taken care of. A shrill hum could be heard as the blade started to glow, heating up from the friction of the intense vibrations.
She watched carefully, waiting for the precise moment to strike.
She knew the moment the instant everything lined up, and her spear flashed forward, a line of flame extending from the tip. The spear of fire shot true, running straight towards the ship, cresting it's bow as the from of the ship dropped.
The last moment the helmsman of that ship would know would be watching the spear of flames pierce straight through his chest, searing his internals as if he was a well done steak.
"If that didn't get their attention, well nothing will..." Zheng said to herself as she prepared a second shot.
"T-they're here. Very well!" Leon exclaimed, trying to resolve himself. "Vasuki!" He ordered the naga, who soon slithered behind the Lieutenant Commander, where numerous cannon balls were placed. In addition to Serena's own artillery, Vasuki flung cannon balls with his incredible size and strength, intending on submerging small, vagrant ships that had not prepared themselves for confrontations.
He soon turned his attention towards his fellow Lieutenant Commander, and announced, "Lieutenant Commander Gratzianowi! I will assist in your artillery bombardment, just give me orders!"
A Large galleon-class ship can be seen crashing against the waves as it sails along with a rushed pace normally this wouldn’t be outta place if it wasn’t for the black colored sails adoring the ships masts, Sitting atop the figurehead of of the large galleon-class ship with ominous black sails.
"Can we not go faster you lot" shouted out the woman as she turns away from the sea to look at the scattered lot of men and woman aboard the ship, all who were dressed in various semi-luxurious clothing.
Stepping forward a overly burly man dressed in a suit that seemed to strain against his muscular frame saluted towards the woman causing his suit to tense and strain even more. "If we imcrease our speed anymore Captain Quinn, we’ll be likely to be thrown off course as we’re nearing the Reverse Mountains and it’s dangerous currents" he replied as he stars up towards the newly named Quinn.
Smirking towards her hired lackeys, Quinn merly stood upon the figurehead casting her single eye across every person upon the main deck. "I ain’t hire you to tell me what I can and can’t do, remember this you lot I’m A woman who does whatever the hell she wants" she spoke as her visage brakes out into a savage and feral smile. "I can flip this World upside just for my own amusement, I can steal the Moon from the sky because I want it, I can drown the Devil himself and conquer the very sea, and you know why that is ?" Questioned Quinn as she hops down from atop the figure head and walks towards her gathered crew mates who all spotted similar smiles to hers. "Because I’m/Your Catarina Quinn and I/You do whatever the hell I/You want". they finished along with her as the aforementioned burly man yells for them to release full mast and speed up, while the rest of the crew begins to sing Binks' Sake as Quinn herself once again seated herself back upon the figurehead overlooking the sea. "I hope your ready for a little Chaos World". She thought as her smile once again became feral.
A wave of feathers shot out to meet one of the explosives arcing out towards the pirates, detonating it prematurely.
Phim D. Sera, captain of the Feather Pirates stared impassively across the storm as the snow white attached to her shoulder pulled back. She was obviously soaked, but completely ignored the discomfort. She had been standing at the bow of the ship the entire time they had traveled towards the mountain, prepared to protect the ship from whatever response that was thrown at them.
"Seems that the Marines knew we were coming." She said to no one in particular as she bit her lip. They were going to have to break through.
"I guess this is going to be harder than we thought Augus. But I guess we don't have a choice."
The cold wind hit against an unruly black hair, which reached down to his cheeks. Hand on a book, this person paid no mind to what had been happening, as his captain had had everything in control ever since a long time, no matter how much he tried to help, he would be turned down. A tea had his other hand occupied, drinking it while reading this fascinating story while in the cold was certainly nice. Damn, Augus had to act more like a pirate now.
Brisei Augus shot his head up at the mention of his name, eyes narrowing, "Oh my... that's certainly some defense..." He eyed the Marine ships, but then, saw some Pirate ones as well, "It is evident we have company, my Captain," This time, August took a glance at the nearby Pirates, were they going to be allies or enemies too? They seemed to be singing something he hadn't heard in a long time.
"Do you want me to take a closer look?" Augus smiled, closing the book without any marker, as he would remember where he stopped, and throwing the tea cup somewhere.
"If you want, Augus. I should be sufficient to protect the ship" Sera replied as she adjusted the gauntlets encasing her lower arm. While no longer a knight, she still wore the gauntlets and greaves of one.
"Just be careful."
Augus hummed in response, also nodding at Sera with a smile, she shouldn't have to worry too much. The atmosphere would help him hide his own presence within all the rain and the fog, for sure.
Suddenly, his muscle mass began to expand, as his skin shifted into a darker tone, claws surfacing from his fingers. His hair's size increased, falling back like a wave, and gained horns atop it, while his body size had him twice as he was normally large. This was his Hybrid Form, product of his Batto Batto no Mi, Model: Flying Fox, the largest species of bat in their world.
Wings wrapped around himself, Augus looked out at the sea, "Man, it really feels nice." He mouthed, mostly to himself than to Sera. Entering this form always increased his senses, and as a reader and historian, it always felt nice to take everything in. "If anything happens, I'll send you an echolocation signal, okay?" Augus turned his blank eyes at Sera, and on the situation that she confirmed it, he vanished, almost like a shadow.
The thunder and rain greatly overshadowed the beating of his wings, as he steadily flew through the storm. His echolocation allowed him to determine everyone's locations in some seconds, prompting him to turn himself upside-down and hook into the mast of one of the marines' ships. It was the mast with the weakest signals, so, it was less likely that someone would find him there. Wings blocking his figure, Augus calmly observed this ship and the other one, looking for anything useful.
Biting Down Wings
While Leon was supporting Serena's attack against the enemy ships, he soon found the cannon ball fire to come to a halt. As Leon turned towards Vasuki's position, he found the Naga unresponsive to said commands. Instead, the majestic blue serpent's eyes focused towards the mast of their ship, and his long, forked tongue was pointed upwards towards the mast's location, vibrating with great intensity.
"Miss Serena." Leon referred to his comrade, who had been firing repeatedly against enemy ships. "I believe Vasuki has located an intruder on our ship's mast." He said quietly, while directing Vasuki to come closer to Leon. "What do we do? He's probably noticed us already..." Leon said, slowly turning more nervous.
After hearing Leon’s report, Serena hummed. Her peer was a spineless crybaby with the culinary talent of a lobotomized sperm whale, but maybe Vasuki’s pleas were a bit savvier in its judgement. Unless Leon constant cuddling and pampering had somewhat ruined his animal instinct, which was a possibility, given how mollycoddling the Lieutenant Commander could be at times. Regardless of her feeling about her colleague, an intruder in located on the mast could mean two things only: either the Naga was mistaken, or a Devil Fruit’s user had intruded on the sly. The latter case posed a considerable danger both to their lives and reputation as Marines.
“If you are 100% sure that we have enemies at board, then give the alarm, you are fucking moron!” She growled on the Den Den Mushi. “We can’t allow any lowly scum to just come and sit idle on our ships! All Marines need to keep their attention high, lest not getting screwed over by some sneaky bastard”.
To unravel the mystery, she stared at the horizon, when two stronger brasses had made their entrance: the Quinn Pirates and the Feather Pirates, their galleon flapping up and down over the roaring waves. She reasoned that only a Devil Fruit user with powers related to flight or teleportation could have crossed the impetuous sea without she and the rest of the Marines noticing anything. She recalled that both pirate captains had eaten a fruit with such properties, incredibly rare and powerful Zoan. Yet Quinn was still standing on the Santa De la Cruz with a defiant smile, while Sera was directly staring at the two Marines’ frigates with grim defiance.
An underlying was the responsible, then? But who and for what crew? A memory suddenly flashed out: the second in command of the Feather Pirates had also eaten a Zoan Fruit. Brisei Augus has come to pay a visit. Serena tightened her grip on the racquet, her hands trembling for the rage, hunger and sheer excitation.
“To all the Marines, here is again Lieutenant Commander Gratzianowi Serena”. She spoke again in the Den Den Mushi. “An intruder had managed to sneak up on our ship. His name is Brisei Augus; according to our sources, he had eaten a Zoan Devil Fruit with the power to shape-shift in a bat. He is the first tough cookie we’re facing, the exact type of bastard we need to keep out of the Grand Line.
Here is how we deal with all of’hem: Zeng Shin, you will tackle the Santa De la Cruz. It’s quite big, so it will make a great barbeque. Leon and all the marines out of there, you will have to engage with Augus right here. Do not lose sight on Phim D. Sera: she might decide to fly and help and her partner, should he struggle. She must be kept at bay at any cost, for from our frigate, or we’ll sink in even deeper shit. Our honor as defenders of Justice is on this table; we must not let these scums get away at any cost. Over and Out”.
As for Serena… she jumped straight out of the lookout post, her thin frame and scarlet racquet plummeting straight in the dark waters. “If Phim D. Sera is so eager to play board games,” She thought, diving deeper and deeper until she was invisible to the naked eye. “I’ll give her just a taste of her own medicine. Let’s see how well hens can swim”.
At the sound of his name in their lips, Augus shivered, his shoulders going up and his eyes widening. They had fount him out sooner than he expected, and here he was, trying to soothe his presence by sending signals everywhere with his echoing voice... so much for that. Why... he was a failure as a bat now, he couldn't look at his ancestors-
With the sound of people walking over the deck, Augus' ears perked up, his eyes glancing down at them, while the rest of his body was shrouded in the storm's fog. Breath, Augus swiftly dived into the air, opening his wings, and snatching one of the soldiers in an instant. Breath, he was back at the top of the ship, and the soldier had been shut down, a quick blow to veins on the neck.
Breath, another soldier, who struggled more. Nevertheless, he was soon quiet. Augus focused on the lonelier soldiers, that kept drifting away from the main group and the other commander. All the while, Augus sent different echoes throughout the place, as if to confuse everyone of his true presence.
"That's enough!" Leon commanded, "Vasuki!" He roared once again, and in the instant that the bat-like form attempted to take another lonely soldier, the snake swiftly moved to intercept the man's actions, intending to wrap himself around the bat and hold it in place. Meanwhile, Leon took out a rifle from his back, and wielded it facing towards the bat, that was in the middle of flying to the top of the mast once again.
It might escape the senses of humans, but a Naga's sense, once they found their prey, were forever locked on. Brisei Augus would not escape this place unharmed.
"Nghh!" Augus grunted, eyes wide as the serpent wrapped itself around his wings, which had been circling his body. He made sure to have them expanded wide, if not, the snake would likely crush his body. How did it follow that man's exact commands? Was he from some sort of tribe? Augus' eyes shone, he never thought he would find anything rare in the entrance already.
Yet, Augus didn't stand still, a gust of wind followed. Even with the snake circling around him, Augus took immediate flight, once again, and spun side-ways through the air itself. It would possibly unbalance the snake itself and allow for Augus to aim head-on against Leon.
Vasuki struggled against the rising Augus and was forced to untangle himself and leap away from the bat, leading him to land on the ground with a degree of impact. He was a small distance away from Leon.
As Augus was swooping towards Leon, the Lieutenant Commander was not going to go down without a fight. He shot two bullets towards the incoming Augus, attempting to divert the man's flight patterns to allow Vasuki to traverse the distance between them, and hopefully bite Augus from behind.
Eyes widened at the pistols aimed for him, Augus let a gasp come out of his lips. However, instead of his body simply going to the left or the right, he ducked under the bullets and increased his speed, "HAAAAAAAAH!" A cry from him followed, as Augus came close to colliding against Leon himself.
"...!" Leon's eyes widened at the action Augus had taken, as the screech thereafter left him off-guard. In that moment, he had enabled Augus to come far too close to him. However, in the mere moments he had left, Leon stretched out his arms, and intended to grab the swooping Augus with both of his hands, gripping him by the shoulders and keeping him in place. If there was one thing he developed while working with exotic animals, it was the strength to keep them at bay.
Vasuki's senses noted Leon's peril, and his body sped up accordingly. As Leon intended to block Augus' path, the snake moved ever-so-faster, intending on having the first bite against the bat from behind him.
A gasp escaped Augus' thick lips, as his eyes widened, had this man gone insane? To think that he deemed himself capable of holding Augus down. As much as Augus knew how much of a fighter he wasn't, his form was bulky and large, enabling him to tackle his enemies away and escape unharmed. Right?
It was what he believed in, until that very moment.
His body felt heavy, as Leon's hands brought Augus down with surprising strength. No, he had to at least do something- Augus, taking advantage of the push he received, lunged forward with his head instead, seeking to headbutt Leon directly with his thick skull. As he did so, Augus left himself open for the snake which crept behind him.
"Agh!" The pain jolted through Leon's body, as the stress of holding onto Augus' body and receiving his headbutt. But he had to stand strong, for it was Vasuki's time to shine.
The snake pursued the duo with even greater speed, and eventually managed to catch up to them. Within the next moment, he leaped towards the bat, his mouth wide open in order to catch him within a bite of tremendous force.
"!!!" It was at that moment that Augus truly knew, that getting out off them was out of question. The way he was now, whatever attack he directed at Leon, the Marine would either catch or counter-attack. The way he was now, whatever block he put up against Vasuki, the Snake would bite or circle him.
Books. Augus read in his books that normal people don't JUST survive out in the sea, so, it meant he had to go further beyond.
His next action was a simple decision, yet, quite reckless. Augus' large wings tried to surround partially him and Leon, due to their physical closeness, while his clawed feet lunged backwards, surging like a razor spike against Vasuki's teeth and neck. Augus protected himself from Leon, who should have been attacked, and jabbed at Vasuki, whom he should have proteced himself against.
As Vasuki closed in on the bat, he would be surprised to see the claws impale into his body. A screech echoed throughout the ship, forcing everyone around to be stunned and draw their attention to the gigantic snake.
However, another scream was unleashed in the process. "WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!" A loud yell from Leon's voice came out. To see his precious Vasuki injured in the process of this battle was unbearable to him, and he gathered the last bit of his adrenaline to use the grip he held on Augus, to hopefully throw him above Leon's own head, and then down towards the sea.
Maybe Augus had focused too much on Vasuki, because, his ears suffered way more than other people's, due to being a bat's. "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!" Augus wailed, not only that, but also, he reverted back to his human form slowly, gripping his ears.
Why was he there? Why was he fighting? That damn scream nearly deafed him, while his own and Leon's felt like nothing. Augus' yell went interrupted by his own gasp, his body being flung over in such a rush that he almost felt as if he was being smashed against the air. "Sera!!" He remembered, of course, he was there with Sera...
Eyes looking down, Augus could only see blue and knew that given the speed he was flying at, there was just no time. Damn, defeated so soon by a Marine- No, Augus should have asked his name, and his snake friend.
Sera saw the marine jump into the water, wondering briefly what they were about to do. But she didn't have much time to think about it. It was time to return the bombardment.
A dozen glowing Spears pointed towards the nearer of the two Marine ships, shining through the rain and surf. Constructs of light, they were more than powerful enough to break the bow of the larger ship, sinking it in one fell swoop without endangering her partner in the area.
"Let's see you try and stop these marines..." Sera said rather darkly, taking aim before launching the volley of light out. "At least you will get a little bit of what I owe you."
The coal-like ocean was shimmering under Sera’s light; Serena could see her brightness from well below the surface. The hen above was evidently preparing for an attack, trying to sink hers and Leon’s ship, taking down many Marines while helping her partner in the boarding. On a gut level, she thought that Sera’s attack might prove to be beneficial on the long run: should the hen succeed in sinking the Marine frigate and Serena attacking the hull from below, the pirate would have been cut from any viable mean of navigation. No matter how skilled or strong as a pirate Sera could be: without a boat, it would be game of anybody, let alone Devil Fruit users.
Still, she remembered a few chatters with her dad, all concerning his time back in the Neptune’s army. He used to talk a lot how much the fulfillment of a mission should be balanced with the care of one’s comrades, as they constituted the backbone and flesh of an army. “Through unity comes strength”, an echo rang in her head. Serena has always taken her dear father’s advices to her heart, she did want to live up with the same standards as he did. Minus the cannibalism and torture, regrettably, but human flesh and screams of pain were just too yummy for the Marine to resist.
To save that fool of Leon from an impending sink, Serena grabbed a large mass of water with both hands, balling and molding it in a globe as the liquid was a dough. A technique of Fishman Jujutsu, a prime skill of her race to manipulate ambient water and turning it a devastating weapon. Serena struggle to keep the ball consistent, liquid was slipping through with each struggling movement of her wrists and fingers. Compared to her dad’s, Serena’s technique was still sloppy and amateurish; she had just one shot, and one she had to deliver at close distance. Still more than enough. She shot herself up from the water, interposing from a flock of light spears and her vessels.
“So that’s all what you got? It’s not even a fucking proper ace!” She hollered. “I’ll teach ya. Murasame”.
She hurled both spheres of water: due to the centripetal force, their form morphed, becoming that of many hungry white sharks. A veritable school which slammed against the constructs, their impact shattering both light and water in a rainbow-colored rain. Serena ogled again at the hen standing on the dock, who was at the Marines with a snobby and snotty air like she was the daughter of a freaking Duke or something similar. Serena would have loved to turn that stone-like stoicism into screams of pure agony. With those feelings in mind, she dove back in the deep, swimming to Sera’s vessel.
"A fishwoman, lovely..." Sera said dryly to herself as she watched the other woman destroy the spears of light. It was only a small setback though, her opponent probably spent far more energy there than she did. "Would explain their diver." Either way, she couldn't let the woman attack the ship directly.
Once Serena fell back into the water, Sera laid out her plans. "Everyone clear the foredeck, I am going to draw her right to me. Keep the ship moving towards the mountain. I will handle this!" She yelled as the ship's crew either went below deck or clustered by the helm.
Sera stood there as streams of golden energy radiated from her feet, flowing across the deck before snaking over the rail in all directions. She coated the hull of the ship in the light, reinforcing it to the extreme against attacks. Serena would find this ship to be one tough nut to crack. Sera herself was confident she could maintain this barrier until they reached the mountain if need be. All that would be left is to deal with the meddlesome Marines in the meantime.
Seeing Sera’s ship beaming with angelic light made Serena grinning with anger. That damn idiot of Leon owed him a big one, given that she gave up the element of surprise to save his ass and his crew of losers. The hull was probably unbreakable, at least for the viable time Serena had before the hen and her crew managed to slip through and give their middle fingers to the Marines. Well, like hell they would have gotten it so easily. If Serena couldn’t break the ship from below, she’d done it from above. Fishman Karate comes a lot in handy not only in underwater struggles, but also when a fishman want to exit from water. With a bang. She inhaled oxygen while bringing both her legs near her chest; a way to accumulate energy and momentum, before releasing all at once.
“Five Hundred Bricks Jump Kick”.
Serena propelled herself upwards, far above the waters. Higher and higher, until she placed herself right above the galleon's mast. Spinning midair, the half-fishman retook control of her movement. Her right hand gripped her weapon; with her left, she selected a bunch of tennis balls to throw against the ship below. She smashed a cascade of yellow spheres over the deck, all filled to the brim with her trademark urticant gas. It did not matter if Sera had destroyed the projectiles airbone or let them fall. Either way, the air was going to be poisoned by green mist. Among them, she had hidden a few nasty trick shots: Greek fire bombs, the all-time solution when it comes to turn wooden decks into fuming infernos.
She prepared for the imminent rise of fog and smoke by holding her breath and closing her unprotected eye; meanwhile, she had landed on the ship look out post with impressive grace. Her good eye’s focus came back and forth to Sera and rest of the ship, analyzing it in greater detail. Admiring a soon to be roasting, blazing ship and its fried crew.
The Marine was out of water, that much worked properly. However instead of going after Sera directly like was planned, she resorted to throwing more of those bombs around.
The flow of energy from Sera's feet reversed itself, drawing itself back from underneath the ship, rendering it vulnerable again. She didn't want to pull it, but she knew she couldn't handle encapsulating the entire ship in her light. It formed a layer of energy over the top of the ship and the lower portions of the mast, and in particular creating a bubble over the remaining crew on the deck. Sera herself merely wrapped her wings around her own body, shielding it from the wave of fire that splashed across the deck.
The fire found no purchase on the light, quickly trickling away under the rain. It flowed off the deck of the ship, leaving a line of fire burning on the ocean to either side of the ship.
Sera's wings opened as the fire trickled away, breathing in deeply as she walked through the gas. She had the ability to purify the poison around her, expending stamina to clean the air.
She pulled in the light one more time, moving it up and away from her. She used the barrier to clear the rapidly dissipating gas off the deck, before finally letting it fade away, it's purpose served.
She leapt into the air, carried on wings of white, climbing up to the mast of the ship, where one of the Marines was perched.
"I don't suppose I can convince you to just get the hell out of my way, now can I Marine?" Sera said to the larger woman with more than a hint of disdain in her voice. "Though I expect I will have to beat you into compliance with my request."
From a close distance, Sera looked so far tastier. Serena examined the former knight up and down, left and right, foretasting the moment her jaws would have crunched her flesh and bones. Youthful and puffy cheeks, easy and delicious to chomp down. An athletic and fit figure, yet not overtly skinny and muscular. An healthy fair skin, which indicated good constitution. The only thing that ruined such scrumptious picture were Sera's wings, but that was nothing that Serena couldn't have solved with an hour or two of plucking, if that was necessary.
"Beating me in compliance, sweety?" Despite the seductive choice of words, what emerged from Serena was an entirely different, and far less wholesome, kind of lust. "I am here to savor every moment of our confrontation. To draw every inch of sweat, blood and pain out of you. Just after I'll be sure you and your chicks won't be escaping from the dinner table, mother hen..."
Fast as lightning, she juggled above her head two balls, just a shy from her eyes, then drew her breath. She prepared another hit with the racquet, but done with an entirely different goal in mind: instead of serving a direct on her opponents, she sliced the two balls with the spiked trims of her weapons. Like with haphazardly cut fruits, the projectiles gushed a green mist, enveloping both fighters in a urticant haze.
The perfect distraction. Profiting of her protected eye, Serena flipped her way down to the helm, landing just between the wheel and two thugs she quickly pushed back with a kick. Just by punching it, she spun the steering wheel in a mad revolution, enough to divert the ship trajectory. Then she hammered down her racquet, a 1-ton tool of death, between the wooden spoke, to crack it down into two useless lumps of woods. Without its wheel, the ship would be left at the mercy of the tempestuous currents, crashing unto the myriad of jagged cliffs lurking just below the water.
A echoing clash of steel on steel could be heard across the deck of the ship, even through the rain of the storm.
Sera's body shook from the impact of that heavy racquet upon the steel greeves she wore upon her legs. Only the wings wrapping her thighs and calves kept her from collapsing under the strain.
She had intercepted the blow meant to ruin the ship's helm just in time, having taken a moment to clear the gas cloud in pursuit of the Marine. It wasn't hard to figure out her objective when she hadn't immediately attacked Sera in the smoke. She was either going for the helm, trying to get below decks, or was jumping off the ship. Either way, she was right to dive to the deck.
Sera stood on one foot, the deck slightly cracking beneath it. Her legs were wrapped in her wings for strength even as they were splayed wide open as her other leg held the racquet back as it pressed against her armored shin.
"The only way you'll manage to destroy my ship is over my cold, lifeless corpse you Marine wench." Sera spoke in a angered tone to Serena.
At the same time, a third wing started forming on her back, bolstering her strength. The wing snapped into motion. It snaked around her body even as it hardened into feathers of steel, aiming to run her opponent through.
The clash between Serena's racquet's and the mother's hen greaves ringed in the Marine's ears, sending a shivering recoil down her spine. Despite the knight being much shorten than the Lt. Commander and, likely, not benefiting of the natural strength of fishmen, she packed enough force in to stop down a 1-ton steel spade like woth her (un)bare legs .
Given how the wings were wrapped around the wench's legs, Serena concluded her Zoan Devil Fruit had given her an edge. Serena really thanked her daddy for having given her such knowledge, among many things. She still wished she knew more about that skank's particular power, aside of giving her chicken wings.
Well, she was discovering another one right now; one of those feathered appendages was spinning around like a mad saw, easily sharp enough to carve trough flesh. A split second of distraction meant a difference between life and death. The fishman jumped backwards, both her hand searching below for another of her special balls.
The iron clad wing managed to cut off her marine uniform while grazing her skin, spilling some drops of blood. She waited to evade the blade until the last second; while the wing was at its most close, she threw the ball against its sagged edges.
This time, it were Serena's own feathers which provided a good cutting surface to release a stream of nauseous gas. While she Sera was busy dealing with the haze, Serena made a step forward. Hoping that the gas had her loose and equilibrium and slowed down her reaction time, she drew a vertical just aimed at her bare face. "If she want to die before letting me sinking her worthless ship, the bitch is welcome!" She thought, just before savoring the fantasy of a fontain of blood sprouting from the two halves of the mother hen's head.
That weapon was truly troublesome, Sera thought to herself as the poison caught her unaware. She quickly purified it like the others, but it still removed any chance of her fully dodging that weapon, not that she really could afford to let it smack the ship unabated.
Sera shifted to the side as she turned into the weapon, both her feet firmly planted on the ground again. All three of her wings pulled up, protecting her back from the Racquet above, though they were unsuccessful in fully stopping it. As the racquet came down, the wings met it with a grinding sound. It pushed on through however, embedding a spike into Sera's right shoulder before she could fully get out of the way.
Her wings continued to push however, pulling the spike out of her shoulder, and pushing the weapon behind her entirely. As this happened, a fourth wing formed to wrap around sera's left arm. Sera stepped towards the larger woman, inside the reach of the weapon in an effort to unleash a solid punch right into the woman's gut.
"Downy Short Sword."
Serena's opponent attack was sharp and strong, probably more powerful than every punch the half-fishman could have delivered. However, technique and training helped her to fill an otherwise insurmountable gap. Serena had turned his torso and stepped on her side, a move done on instinct rather than calculation. The thrust scraped her wound on the torso, making it itch and bleed: troublesome, but not harmful, as she Serena had avoided the brunt of the blow.
Serena's gripped the knight arm with both of hers, seizing it an iron clasp; her feet were firm on the ground, like pivot. She lifted the caught knight above her air and threw her off the ship in swing. Sera's might be stronger than the fishman, but her weight class was still middling by comparison, with or without her dammed devil fruit. Serena could launch people like that like they were softballs.
Once freed from the deadlock, the marine turned seizing the ship. Her target was not the helm any more; rather the helmsman, yet one in charge of steering the galleon in the right direction after the little diversion.
Serena delivered a quick, but strong punch on the man's back, then slammed him down to the ground. The man was trying to defend himself by grabbing a knife held his belt, but her grip quickly overpowered his own. She stole the weapon, which pointed on his throat; small gushes of blood were painting the blade with a dark hue of red.
"All of you, you better stand your ground and not doing anything dangerous!" She shouted to the rest of the crew on the deck. But especially Sera's, who had surely recovered after her little trip overboard. "If you give a damn about the life of your pathetic maggot of a subordinate, it would be better to not make some hasty move, mother hen".
The Marine had caught her unawares again, which Sera was getting real tired of. She recovered almost the moment she got past the rails, manifesting her fifth wing as she did so. Her physical power was now five times her base form, and was as high as she could use for any significant period of time.
But it wasn't fast enough. By the time she had regained the deck, the Marine had already taken a hostage. Sera felt more than a hint of rage at this, smoldering inside her as she stepped foot on the ground again. She was tired of the Marines trying to take things for her.
"I'm getting real sick of you Marines thinking you can just take anything from everyone. First you back the false prince and take my home from me. Then you attempted to take my life, and now that I'm actually trying to do something with it, you are trying to take that too. But I'd ask you this. Do you think any of us weren't prepared to die?"
The moment Sera uttered the last part, a golden spark appeared beneath her feet and from the tips of her wings. Her golden barrier returned, shooting out with blinding speed. Her barrier moved faster with the increased number of wings she had manifested just as she did. She quickly expanded it out and around the marine and hostage to form a dome separating them from the rest of the ship and in particular Serena's weapon that she had dropped to throw Sera.
If Serena took the time in order to kill the man, she would be trapped within the barrier, isolated from her main weapon with only Sera for company. If she chose to flee, leaving her hostage behind, she'd lose the easiest way she had to hurt Sera's crew. Sera poured extra energy into the barrier to make sure that those would be the choice that Serena would be forced to make. The question ended up being which would she chose. To dance with the angel in front of her, or to flee in the hopes she could devil them more.
"Not again!" Frustration crossed Serena's mind, as mother hen's angelic light was bathing again the deck, the prey and even her own fucking bloody racquet with her infuriatingly durable veil of light. From wings, to strength boost to defense, that knight seemed to have means to counter every move the Marine, she could cheat her way even the most impervious predicament or well concocted strategies.
Honestly, there was only a department where the half-fishman could claim an advantage: stamina. Serena could feel the hints fatigue kicking it behind Sera's posture, she had sensed her breath becoming slightly tenser with each time she had used her powers to defend herself. Be dammed a man-a-mano: maybe the smartest move was always that of staying under the ship hull and beating and beating it until that protection of her had given in. Counting on the opponent weakness was a very risky gamble; but her hope of defeating the knight lied in how much she had manage to waster her energy beforehand.
Without giving attention to the defeated vermin below, Serena jumped right on the ship's helm, her feet balancing the spokes. From her position, she threw some smoke balls on the ground, perhaps the last of her numerous smokescreens, always frustrated by Sera's purification. The Marine made another jump, the recoil of her springing body making the wheel spin like crazy for the second time.
While the vessel stumbled its way in the stormy sea, Serena hurled everything she could find under her skirt against Sera, her crew and her ship. Smoke bombs, incendiary projectiles, spheres of titanium disguised as innocuous tennis balls: everything could go, if it could distract Sera or force her to extend her protection as much as she could, letting her energy waste away, if just for a bit. All while trying to reach the ocean, the one place Serena had the metaphorical high ground.
A flap of Sera's wings was enough to push the gas away from the crew as she started barking orders, her light screen shattering as Serena left its bounds.. "Get that wheel under control, Smother those flames, and for flower's sake stay behind me."
Sera moved, legs and wings pushing her as fast as she could towards the woman in front of her. Serena had the head start however, and like usual was determined to keep it. Projectiles poured towards her and the ship Serena emptying her undercarriage of all it's contents. If Sera had time to think about it, she'd question just how the woman managed to fit all of these under there, but now wasn't the time.
Sera raised her arms in front of her face to protect her head from damage. The rest of her wasn't so lucky. Several of her wings were set alight by the bombs, causing her pain even if they didn't receive damage themselves from it. More than a few projectiles ended up colliding with them.
A several steel spheres impacted her body, one slamming into her chest, another her shoulder, and another her thigh. It took all of her discipline to keep going even as she was fairly certain she cracked a rib. One of her wings ended up working overtime to protect the men behind her from the barrage.
Sera caught up with Serena, right as she was trying to hop the railing. Sera put on an additional burst of speed as she reaching out wards to tackle her off the ship before dragging her into mid air, where she could no longer run away.
Sera was ready to end this.
Serena felt cold creeping through her skin, icy sweat irking through. Despite having launched almost all of her ammo in mad tentative, that damned angel was still on her tail like nothing had happened, beaten and bruised as she were. Rather than a creature from heaven, that woman was a full blown hell-spawn, a some sort of super persistent predator vomited from the depth of Hades.
"Get away from me, you dumb ferocious bitch!" She hollered, almost growled.
Sera had all but reached her, the half-fishman could feel the cold touch of her gauntlet on her forearm. Serena searched for a last ball to use, the only mean she had left alongside the knife she had stole from the fool she had just knocked out.
She found it. It was a sphere filled with Greek fire.
Serena's feet had just left the deck. The knight and the guardian angel were both gliding in the air. Fear and adrenaline had almost frozen the world to Serena, she found herself estranged from the battle, miles away from the woman so close to herself. The storm was far, the wind was far; the rain had glistened the young visages of two with masks of pearls. If somebody had gotten a photo of the two, it would have immortalized an almost poetic instant; a fight between a marine and an ethereal creature at last over in a soaring embrace. And in blaze of hellish fire.
"God, I am feeling so fucking poetic today!" She thought. Mommy's books were great readings to be sure. She should have thanked her more for those.
Serena took the last ball, which juggled just between herself and the knight. She turned her face sideways, away as she could from the incoming explosion.
Then she stabbed it.
An acrid smoke filled with flames had burst open on the side of the ship, and two women had been caught in it.
It took a few moments before the haze cleared enough to see what was inside.
Sera's grip was like iron, tightly holding onto Serena's arm with her left hand. She had reached through the flames without a moment's hesitation.
She had paid a price for it. He left arm and shoulder were alight, covered by the contents of the ball. the only reason it hadn't reached any further was due to the wing that had covered her face. A face that was gritting its teeth from the pain.
"Did you really think I would flinch because something might hurt me?" Sera espoused as the golden light returned, creeping down her arm to smother the flames from causing further damage. "I have worked through more pain and suffering than you will ever understand." She continued with anger creeping into her voice, her grip strengthening further. "There's nothing you can do to me that will stop me. Nothing you can do to kill me. Nothing you can do to break me. And especially nothing you can do to beat me." She finished as her five wings spread outward, ready to engulf the other woman.
Serena didn't know whether crying, roaring or just screaming in pain. The flaring bitumen had splashed all over her left side of body. Her face had become a mask of fire and smoke; her soaked dress was stitching on her skin, searing it until almost fused on her body. Serena didn't want even think on the charred lump her arm was turning in.
Serena felt hot, an unbelievable hot, so much that she was shivering from it. Every part of her wanted to reach the water just below, to the slightest modicum of relief from her infernal shroud. Minus the Marine part of her. The one still bearing pride for her flag and her mission.
"If you have felt so much pain in your life", Serena retorted "then you surely must understand what I am doing now. For the sake of the Marines".
So trapped in the angel grip, she had almost no strength left. The only thing she could do was actually continuing what Sera herself begun. Serena moved her flaming arm behind the wings, behind the angel's head. She decided to embrace the angel, hoping that, if she were destined to hell, perhaps Sera would have joined in full devilish tradition: both falling in a deep lake of fire.
That was supremely ironic: Serena's greatest wish was to cook that bastard pirate. She would have done just that, without actually savoring everything. She was too tired for that... to tired to keep herself conscious even for another second...
The golden light spread further, outlining the pair as it smothered the flames threatening them to consume them. For a brief moment, there was nothing else in the world but Sera's erstwhile opponent as the light cut them off from anyone else. Sera returned the Marines embrace as she wrapped her good arm around the half-fishman's back.
Then the light broke as the flames died. Sera was hit with a wave of fatigue as she pulled the other woman back from the edge. She laid Serena down on an undamaged section of decking before surveying the damage.
The fires were mostly contained by now, wet cloth having been thrown over them to smother them out. The surface of the ship was damaged and beaten, looking as if had taken grapeshot from straight above, charred and cracked all over. The worst of the burning was around where Sera and Serena had finished their clash.
The smoke screens had been beaten down by the rain, and the poison was free to flow into the ocean.
Sera herself had suffered numerous injuries, though none life-threatening. A couple cracked ribs, a bleeding shoulder, and numerous burns. The worst ones were the scarred flesh upon her shoulder, which would mark her for the rest of her life, and the line of burns up her right side, Serena's going away present as she lost consciousness in the angel's embrace.
Most of her clothing was damaged by the fire, and her gauntlets were blacked from the heat. Her hair had burn marks on it, a product if Serena's burning embrace.
Serena was in even worse shape, though the same light that had protected Sera had stopped the flames before she had been permanently disfigured and crippled by them. There would likely be a while before she recovered.
Sera took a moment of pause as she finished surveying the damage, watching as the sheltered crew came back from below deck.
She stood up and started barking orders to get everything back on track. The ship was realigned, ready to pass by the Marine ships and towards their goal. A medic was fetched for her and the marine's injuries. Serena's ruined clothes were cut away before being replaced with fresh one's from the Captain's closet after her burns were bandaged. Sera had no intentions on stopping to the marine's level.
She made preparations for the marine to be sent off with her racquet after they passed the Marine ship. Sera had no plans to kill her prisoner, nor any means to keep her. She would simply be freed once the ship was past the danger.
Now all that was left was for Augus to return.
Zheng took a moment to take stock of the situation as one of her erstwhile companions charged off on her own. At the end of the day though she assumed that Serena could handle herself. To think any less would be making light of those who stood in the breech, fighting to stop the scourge from spreading further.
Zheng hopped off the bow of the ship, moving a bit before heading towards the city and turning around.
She started into a full speed sprint to the bow, flames licking her feet as she ran. The last step off the ship was explosive, the wood cracking underneath her as she made her jump. She leapt from the ship as a small series of explosions erupted from her feet, propelling her further into the air.
There were a number of ships between her and the galleon, though that just meant until she made it she'd have plenty of footholds. Not to mention having many pirates to kill.
As she reached the apex of her arc, she pointed her spear to face the nearest ship, the tip engulfing in flames as it came down. She pierced the ship shortly behind the bow, the entire ship rocking with the impact, flames licking across the bow. But the flames across the surface wasn't the true target of her leap. Zheng was familiar with most ships of this design, and unless this one was designed unusually, she flames would pierce straight into it's magazine.
An explosion shattered the fore of the ship, half of it disappearing in a ball of flame, smoke, and shrapnel, the gunpowder for the cannons having lit off under her flame's kiss. It was a ship aflame, it was a ship that would never sail again.
Rising from the fire and flames Zheng shot, flames engulfing her feet as she rode the shockwave back up into the sky, only to come down again on the next ship, and the next, and the next. Each crew tried to save their vessels, save themselves. All failed, their hail of bullets and cannon never reaching past the whirlwind of steel and flames preying down upon them.
One more, just one more left. A galleon, far larger than the rest of the ships. But die it would, just like the rest. Zheng's meteor smash came down even stronger, aiming to rend the ship of one Catarina Quinn in a single blow.
Having been sailing upon the seas for various years Quinn could say she had seen numerous things, spectacles that many would find strange but for veteran sailors was normal, as nothing could really be seen as out of place once you encounter a Devil Fruit user and being one herself she tends to not be affected by these occurrences however for all her years and wisdom at sea she had never witnessed anything remotely close to what she was currently looking at with a rather confused expression.
"Is that......a Meteor" Mumbled one of the assembled crew members aboard the Santa De laCruz as other began to mutter among themselves in panic at a possible early demise. Without even turning to face the rabble that broke out Quinn merely traced her eyes from the falling projectile in a arch until she spotted a vessel in the distance bearing the Marine symbol proudly upon it’d Sails.
"I should of expected this to be a attack perpetrated by the Marines". Quinn muttered to herself before calling out to the crew to gather their courage and prepare for battle before crouching down until she was situated upon all fours similar to a beast awaiting it’s opportunity to pounce on it’s prey. "Do not veer off course" she ordered without turning away from the fast approaching ball of flame.
As the meteor came within a close distance of the ship, Quinn quickly sprang forward into action pushing her body up off the ground in a flurry of movements propelling herself towards the meteorite in an astonishing speed. As she neared it she clenches her fist as a faint red glow emitted and coated her clenched hand, which as she glow settled down she arched back and swung at the meteor firing off a large red shockwave which created a wind tunnel that upon making contact with the meteor dispersed it into various scattered pieces fire than quickly rained down all around her ship and harmlessly fizzling our upon contact with the sea only to reveal that within the flames was a woman who continued to fall downwards and thanks to her dispersing the flames was making a direct approach towards herself with a spear pointed outward.
Gracefully and casually landing back upon her vessel Quinn was greeted with stunned and astonished looks from her crew mates something she ignored completely to split focus her attention of the Marine ship ahead of them. "We have a enemy ahead mates, why don’t we give them our own warm welcom as they just did with us" she questioned as the sound of various cannon were heard and a large "cloud" of cannonballs began arching their way across the sky towards the Marine Ship. "I was hoping for a more easy cruise, but a little exercise never hurts every now and then." She spoke Before quickly hopping backwards as the Spear of the as for mentioned woman pierced though the deck in the shit.
"Although I am rather supposed that there was someone hiding with the flames of the meteor" Quinn began as she stares down the woman. "Just exactly who are you suppose to be" ? She finished off with a raised brow as the rest of her crew began to surround the spear woman all with weapons drawn.
Zheng was surprised that someone could dispel her flames was here, let alone that this woman with no bounty was someone who could. To be fair, she honestly had no idea who Catarina Quinn was in the first place, only having a name because Serena said one.
"I am Zheng Siuh, Lieutenant Commander of the Marines Northern Defense force. I am here to accept your unconditional surrender, or not. Your newfound career of piracy ends today either way." Zheng said as she flourished her spear to hold it behind her back, ready to deal with all of those around her.
Arching an eyebrow at the marine Quinn turned to face her crewmates all who merely shrugged their shoulders equally confused at the Marines world all universally sharing a simple thought of wether or not this woman really believe anyone would simply just surrender because a single person ordered it.
Glancing bactowards Zheng still maintaining her confused expression Quinn took the opportunity to examine her opponent to judge her skill class. "Do you honestly believe that I would simply give up on Piracy because a single lost Marine ordered such". She questions after finishing her examination and roughly guessing her threat level.
"Calling me lost means I don't know where I am." Zheng stated with a slight smile. "I know exactly where I am, and exactly what I am doing. The reason you should be giving up on Piracy is not because I told you to, but because everyone on this ship will die if you do not. Those are your choices. Surrender. Or Die." she finished as she flexed her shoulders slightly. Those around her would notice the air was starting to become uncomfortably warm, and a slight hissing sound in the air. A product of her training, she was capable of vibrating herself and her weapon so quickly the friction would cause them to heat up so hotly even the air around her could become engulfed in flames. "What say you?"
Laughing aloud at the Marine within her sight Quinn tried to regain her composure however she just continued to laught seemly unable to hold herself together. "The arrogance of the marines always amused me" she managed to say in between her laughter before finally managing to settle down but the clear amusement still highly visible on her face as he draws her saber that hung on her waist.
"Surrender or Die, you say" Quinn questioned settled into a combat stance clearly showing Zheng her answer as the amusement drained from her face being replaced by a look of disgust and loath. "I’d rather die that allow a puppet of the Marines to compel me to do anything" she shouted as she dashed forwards towards Zheng.
Zheng had hoped she'd have her subordinates fire so she could dodge their friendly fire. But this worked too. Her spear ignited, outlining itself with blood red flames.
"Have it your way then," She smiled as the other woman came running at her. She twisted her body, spear still behind her back as she placed it's tail upon the ground. The tip came around right before the woman reached the end, as Zheng placed the spear so she could impale herself on it.
Having already planned out her next course of actions as she dashed towards the Marine that stood in front of her and her goal Quinn glanced over towards her crew all of whom was previously briefed on what they were to do, as she neared Zheng who had held her spear outwards patiently awaiting for Quinn to impail herself however just before making contact with the blade of the spear Quinn used her saber to deflect the spear which gave her enough time to quickly vault over Zheng and sprouting her wings.
"While it would be enjoyable to simply defeat you I have some personal business that I need to attend to elsewhere". Called out Quinn before she quickly darted away at a rather fast pace as her crew quickly surrounded Zheng and began engaging her in battle to keep her from attempting to chase after Quinn.
Zheng stood there for a moment in shock as Quinn bailed. After all that tough talk she ran away... But then she had more pressing matters. She twisted around on her feet, a wave of flame erupting off from her spear. The first few charging men were engulfed, breaking off their attack as they were burning alive.
Zheng took her brief respite to stab her spear several times towards the fleeing captain, spears of flame reaching out to impale her. But then she had to get back to work. The crew was tenacious in trying to bring her down so they could escape, as their captain had abandoned them. A group of them reached her in her distraction.
Using her spear as an extra leg, she flipped around it, parrying the first stroke as she brought her flaming heel up between the legs of her would be killer. He went white as his pants caught alight from her burning stroke to his weak spot.
The next sword she smashed aside with the back of her hand, before reaching out to the man and touching him. The man screamed as her hand covered his face, searing it as he went blind from the heat. A quick kick knocked him away as he stood there in pain.
There were still quite a few left, and some had even gotten smart. Two pirates had their guns leveled at her chest before opening fire. Zheng's legs spread, dropping her into the splits a split second before the bullets whizzed over her head, striking two more crew members behind her. At the same time, her feet kicked into the ankles of two more pirates around her, causing them to fall towards her.
She let go of her spear for a moment to grab the pair's heads on the way down. Slamming them into the ground as she ignited her hands further, flames searing their minds until they knew no more. She pulled the two corpses in front of her to take the next two bullets. She released her meat shields before grabbing her spear again from where it was planted into the ground. She pulled herself up with it, swinging around it with the grace of a pole dancer.
Finally planting her feet on the ground again, the spear's head had ignited fully as she pulled it in front of her for a slash. A wave of flame erupted from the spear, her flying slash taking on burning properties. The two intelligent pirates, and she used that term loosely, were run straight through, as was the mast and the raised deck behind them. This ship was finished, many of it's crew dead, and it burning from the beating it took. The helm was gone, and the mast too. Her job was finished, except for one part.
Zheng ran to the side of the ship, jumping over the side into the ocean before. She resurfaced before starting to swim at top speed, doing the butterfly to attempt to catch up with the bat. She had one more woman to kill before today was over.
Despite her earlier boast Quinn was well aware of her lack of proper control over her devil fruit abilities and could already feel the icy grasp of fatigue clawing upon, it didn’t help that she was well aware of the Marine steadily swimming behind her in a set pace which in a matter of minutes would become a problem for her if she should collapse with fatigue.
Silently cursing the useless lackeys she hired to sail with her before her sharp vision caught sight of another ship sailing a bit ahead of her one which she concluded belonged to another pirate crew. Quickly using her wits she pulls out a a few small hand bombs from between her breasts before using her pistol to ignite them and drops them behind her creating a explosive disruption in the waters thus creating a small wall of waster that morphs into a wave which spreads out in multiple directions including towards the Marine.
Using the chance she hoped she’d created with her tactic Quinn quickly used the last bit of energy she could muster to quickly fly towards the ship ahead of her in which she ended up slamming into the main deck as her fatigue finally manifested itself.
Zheng was not expecting explosives. While the water prevented any shrapnel from reaching her, it did cause her to slow down, buying Quinn some more time to reach her destination.
"Oh... now she is starting to piss me off..." Zheng muttered to herself as she started to swim forward again, dogged in her pursuit.
Having literally crashed into the main deck of the aforementioned pirate ship due to her exhaustion Quinn slowly began to gather her breath as her eyes scope around her for any sign of the current operators of the vessel.
Upon not intentionally seeing anyone she steadily rose to her feet quickly making her way to the side of the Portside of the ship where she proceeds to look back towards the area she last saw Zheng before growling in annoyance as she noticed the Marine still in pursuit, however her annoyance was short lived as she caught sight of the water current which became visibly strong pulling the ship forwards.
Rushing towards the ships figurehead Quinn quickly discovered the reason for the change in the currents as the entrance of the Reverse Mountain became visible showing that the ship was only a few feet from the upstream something that brought a smirk to her face. "I might actually pull this off." She mumbled to herself as she watch the mountain continuously get closer and closer.
Sera had just kind of sat there with confusion when another person randomly flopped onto her deck. Her shoulder was currently being bandaged by a medic, the burn marks apparent.
She raised her voice towards the other woman to make sure she was heard before stating, "Can I help you?"
Slightly startled as a voice called towards her Quinn turned around to face the young woman whom she had previously ignored in to attempt to see if the Marine was still following her. Blush in embarrassment as the implication of her actions finally catch up to her as she was out of immediate danger.
"Ah sorry about this, you see I was in a bit of a hurry to escape a the persuit of a marine that I sorta just hopped on the first ship I saw." Spike Quinn having decided to keep the fact that she is a Devil fruit user and her lack of control of said abilities to herself. "I’d be correct to assume your the one in charge of this ship" she questioned as she looks over the other woman.
"That would be correct," Sera said from her seated position. She nodded to the medic to keep bandaging her. She looked up and down the other woman briefly. She looked hard enough, probably a longtime sailor. "I am the captain of this ship, and who might you be?"
Straighten her posture Quinn raises a hands slight to show that she was unarmed and means no harm before slowly making her way towards the younger woman. "I mean no harm the name is Catarina Quinn and like you I’m A pirate attempting to break into the Grand Line". She replied as she stood slightli in front of her.
"But as you can see my plan itself didn’t necessarily work out as planned and now I’m sorta stranded with an annoying marine attempting to catch up." She finished as she slight glances over towards the end of the ship to attempt to catch a glimpse of Zheng.
Sera will offer her right hand in a handshake. "Sera Phim, a pleasure. Guess it was too much too hope for to only deal with the one marine." She said as she thought. "Any idea what this one does, the last one just kinda threw bombs literally everywhere," She continued while jerking her head to the unconscious one laying on the deck behind her.
"Should give me a better idea how to deal with this one."
After the other woman remained silent for a few moments, Sera just sighed as she thought things over. Considering the flashes she had seen earlier from that direction, it was a fair assumption she had another firebug on her hands. The marines seemed to be full of them today. She motioned for one of her crew members to come over, before asking them to get her a barrel of gunpowder. If the firebug wanted fire, fire she would get.
Zheng was closing quickly on the other ship, swimming as fast as she could to get back to her prey. As she approached the ship, she dived, swimming deep underwater. After a few seconds of swimming down, she flipped, before powering back up. She leapt from the water into the sky, flames engulfing her form during her ascent.
"YOU GET BACK HERE YOU BITCH!" Zheng yelled in anger as she prepared to slice the ship asunder in a wave of crimson flames..
Her flames burned ever brighter as she she noticed an object streaking towards her, some sort of barrel. Zheng didn't even pay it a second glance as she brought her spear down through it.
Her eyes widened as she saw black powder exploded from the barrel, an instant before it ignited.
Sera wiped her good arm on her trousers as the sky light up in an explosion. "Well that's another firebug down. Now to just get Augus back here and we can leave." She smiled.
That is until she noticed in the glimmer of an explosion a rather large body leave the marine ship. "Augus... you said you'd be careful..." Sera groaned as she leapt from the deck, taking to the skies once more to fetch her crew mate. They weren't going to leave a man behind, especially not to drown. The remaining marines and pirates would see her halo flash once more, lighting her presence as she raced towards the man plummeting into the ocean.
He hit the water before she could get there, but not too much earlier. A hand of golden light shot from her good arm, piercing through the sky into the water below, attempting to reach her friend and companion before he sunk too deep. If she lost track of where he was now, there wouldn't be anything she could do.
But luck was on her side once more, and the hand reached him, pulling him up from the deep mere moments after he lost consciousness. "Neither of us gets to die yet Brisei." She said softly to the body, held under her working arm. "We have far to much left to do."
Sera flew back to her ship, reaching it shortly before it reached the entrance of Reverse Mountain, carrying the Feather Pirates up to the grand line, and hopefully beyond. They had already released their prisoner, sending her off back to the Marines. Injured but intact.
South Blue Ops
A cruiser-class vessel with three masts, two with two sails and one with a lateen sail, six cannons on each side of its hull and four larger cannons situated on the bow. A large circular structure is located in the middle of the ship, and the Marine symbol and name was painted on the sides and sails can be seen steadily drifting along the clashing tides of the sea as the Will collides with the large sails pushing and guiding the vessel towards it’s destination.
Aboard the vessel situated among the blustering masses of the ships main deck, steadily standing facing the waters infront and observing the distant shadow of the looming continent that is know as the Red Line with naught but a single smile nor emotion within her eyes is Lieutenant Commander Fairisles Margaret who is one of several marines tasked with the mission of preventing pirates from breaking into the Grand Line during the chaos of the looming war between Yonko.
Turning away from the distance structure the Lieutenant Commander focused her visage upon a small ship toward the west of her current vessels's location, this small ship however was boasting a particular color scheme one which she never liked seeing, for this small vessel hoisted the black flag of piracy and that was something she couldn't idly by pass her as she was a proud member of the Marines and all who hung the colors of criminals will face justice.
Without a ounce of emotion nor mercy Margaret commanded the crew to open fire upon the smaller vessel and within minutes the much smaller vessel was nothing more than a burning pile of wood and metal as she commanded the crew to arrest any survivors and kill anyone violently resisting before returning her eyes back toward her destination. "I shall ensure naught a single Pirate enters the Grand Line on this day." were the thoughts of Margaret as the vessel once again began making its approach towards the large continent.
Snore. Within the confines of that same vessel that Margaret had been in, stood another "high" ranking officer of the Marines, the Captain Middwun, older brother to Lildwun and younger brother to Bigdwun. Snore. The waves hit against the sides of the ship, producing a variety of calm sounds, which Mid took advantage of to stay calm as possible.
Donning an intricate armor, Mid sat at a bed, forearms resting against his knees as his head inched forward. The armor had rough edges and high pauldrons. Snore. Indeed, having been quite calm, Middwun was sleeping as the Marine vessel headed for their destination, he paid no mind to his companion in the outside. Snore.
As the Marine vessel neared the passage which would eventually lead to the entrance of the Red Mountain while maintaining a steady pace, Margaret took the opportunity to make her way down towards the interior section of the ship down toward the cabin area where she knew her companion for this voyage was currently situated and by estimate has been slacking of for the last few hours, something she would rectify.
Upon making her way towards the exact cabin, her companion was currently located Margaret merly flung the door open not caring enough to knock, which resulted in the door hitting the wall creating a loud Bang which made the few scattered items along side it scatter towards to floor.
"Captain Middwun, We are nearing the entrance for the Reverse Mountain and I belive it’s time you awoken." Spoke Margaret in a emotionless tone as he uses her foot to literally kick Middwun off of his current resting location.
A bang, but, then, a snore. The cold weather of the outside filled the cabin, reaching Middwun's figure, the wind soared, it would give him a similar sensation to listening to the waves. Yet, Middwun's position shifted not any single bit at Margaret's own arrival. Snore.
As she began to speak, every other sound went unheard and Middwun's eyes shone a bit, as even if his head was inched forward, his face was still facing the door of the cabin. A kick- Snore, cold breath, Middwun didn't budge. Snore... not.
There was no sensation at all from the impact of Margaret's kick, yet, another cold breath came through, "Mmm." Mid seemingly agreed, face still inched downards.
Glancing towards Middwun with her continued blank stare as he continued to snore clearly ignorant of the world around him, realizing that regular methods would not awaken the slumbering Captain, Margaret instead decided to utilize a different method one which she knew would get the desired reaction she wanted.
Place her right palm near the head of Middwun, Margaret shifted her entire focus toward her limb while mentally calling upon the powers of her recently acquired Devil Fruit, watching in satisfaction as electricity began building around her hand before she light placed her palm upping his head sending a stream of electrify coursing through the body of the Captain in an attempt to awaken him, while the amount of electricity she used wasn't enough to leave severe damage it was strong enough to paralyze the victim even at its smallest amount as such was the power of the Rai Rai no Mi, however that wasn't something Margaret was to worried about.
A cough came through Middwun's throat, as the electricity zapped through his entire being. Mixture of smoke and small amounts of blood went out, along with the cough, as Middwun simply stood there, once again. After some seconds, Middwun stood up, glancing silently at Margaret's figure.
His hand rested on the sheath of his weapon, and with a simple gesture, it rose quite quickly and aimed for Margaret's figure- A thumbs-up formed from said hand, directed at Margaret, indeed, as Middwun silently nodded. Gesturing for her to go out of the cabin, he made sure to follow behind her to the outside.
Watching Middwun finally rise from his albit in a non-conventional manner, Margaret merely nodded her head in a silent celebration of this mini battle that was won something one would never suspect to have even been a thing in the first place.
Entirely lost in her thoughts she completely missed Middwun's thumbs up gesture aimed towards her developed figure but did manage to catch his gesture indicating her to leave the cabin something which she complied but only after making sure he would be following behind her.
As the Duo reaches the main deck of the ship, the looming figure that was the Reverse Mountain was well within sight casting a ominous shadow upon the vessel and its crew, as the water current became a bit faster and violent causing various men and woman aboard the ship to rock around.
"It would appear we will be reaching our destination within a manner of minutes, Captain". Margaret stated as she stares upon the giant crimson flesh of the enormous mountain with what is akin to wonder and awe slightly visible within the very depth of her eyes.
Despite the rumbling provoked by the Reverse's vicious waters, Middwun remained unshaken, arms crossed as he reached the deck alongside Margaret. Surprisingly, his armor made no sound, the same for his steps against the wooden floor.
Looking over at the large mountain before them, Middwun's eyes sparkled a tiny bit. It seemed they were the first to arrive at the destination. "Hmmm," Middwun responded at Margaret's statement, hand going back to the hilt of his weapon.
It hadn't been the first time he has fought alongside her, and it wouldn't be the last, Middwun gave no care at both his brothers fighting in the New World. As long as he could help the people, and the rest of the Marines, he would be content.
Snapping back into reality for the brief lapse in her own wonder and awe Margaret began ordering the troops on the ship to tighten the sails and strap down all loose equipment and items before grabbing hold of Middwun and dragging him up towards the ships helm.
Glancing over the side of the ship as watching as the rough sea current began pulling the ship forward in a ever increasing pace toward the narrow passageway that shit straight up towards the summit of the Reverse Mountain, Margaret nodded towards the twin burly marine officers holding the helm in place preventing it from moving off course and colliding with the walls of the passage.
Having worked with Middwun for quite a while on numerous occasions Margaret already knew that the Silent Captain would attempt to brave the ship in verticality which would result in more problem than what was necessary at the moment so she took it upon herself to chain him to the main mast of the ship before settling herself against the metal slab that she had purposely added to the ship befor partial transforming her feel into electricity and partially merging herself with it creating a makeshift shackle that would prevent her from flying off the ship as she ensures that the vessel makes it to their destination Margaret discretely flicked her arms towards the wall of the Red Line throwing something against it.
All the while that Margaret did so, Middwun kept himself quiet, not bothered one bit on her actions. They were necessary, he deemed, and he knew she was famous for only ever doing the necessary courses of action. Middwun had experienced it countless times, and not once, had Margaret failed him, he doubted the latest time would be the last.
In fact, Middwun only crossed his arms as it all happened. However, something clicked on his mind, as a breeze passed by, and his head turned sideways, glancing at the seas. Were those ships? Weren't the pirates going to be on the other side? Maybe, maybe it was just the immense amount of fogginess around.
Glancing towards Middwun and catching the confused look in his eye Margaret merely returned her eyes back forward full aware of exactly what she was attempting to accomplish. "There is no need for such confusion, Captain we will not be entering the Grand Line this is merely a single step in a grand orchestra of plans". Margaret called out towards Middwun as she watches as the sea begins to drift upwards the mountain.
As the ship reached a quarter of the way towards the mountain Margaret allowed a rare smile to grace her visage as she allows herself to become unmerged with the metal slab to be flung backwards towards the tied up sails of the ship, which she with flexibility not many knew she possessed grasped the ropes tying them up and severing them before repeating this action twice more with the other sails.
As the last sail became undone Margaret settled herself against her wrapping her arm within the loose bundle of chain that was attached to the last mass of the ship before glancing down towards Middwun who she knew was watching her while attempting to figure out the reasons for her actions before she turned her head towards another tow burly marine who began to angle the sails in a upward station which caused the ship to begin to submerge within the sea as it became covered by a large bubble like substance that expanded and enveloped the vessel within.
As the men continued to angle the sails, the ship eventually began to submerge itself into the water disappearing from sight beneath the roaring currents which granted them a great vantage point of any and all ships that sail above their location, this was a tactic she borrowed from one of the Yonkos of the past Whitebeard, who uses it to sneak within the fortified base of Marineford during the War.
"No one within the Four Blues would suspect anyone to utilize coating to submerge their ship beneath the sea, this is perfect strategy to ambush and eliminate those pirates before they realize it is a trap". Thought Margaret as her eyes were filled with pride and excitement as her plan began to come to fruition.
Enroute to the southern sea that led to Reverse Mountain a man, no a young boy, stood on the deck of a small ship. Despite the ship's small structure it managed to find space to have a set of cannons installed on its canvas. The boy jumped on top of the cannon at the front of the ship to let the winds of the world brush up against his face. A smile grew on his face as he continued to stare onto the sea.
He threw his hands into the air, "Allllllrriiiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhtttttttt!" He shouted, giving off a loud laugh after he did. This high-spirited boy was none other than Buster D. Zack. Today would be a milestone to remember for the boy, it would be the day he set out to become a pirate. Like many of the other pirates who planned to purge the Grand Line at the same time, he too was considered a rookie. For years he annoyed his mother and her crewmates about one day setting off to become a pirate and today that dream had finally come true.
The thoughts of his dreams filled his head and gave off a tingling sensation throughout his body. That somewhat sensation found itself short lived after the boy spotted a single Marines ship up ahead.
Turning around to look at the back of the ship a man stood seemingly guiding the ship along its path. "BIGBY, WE GOT MARINES UP THERE! GET US CLOSER WITH THAT SKIPPING THING YOU DO!" Unlike the other crews that would make their appearance, Zack's crew only consisted of two members including himself. Funny enough his crew had no name either, hence the lack of a Jolly Roger resting on the sail.
At the helm of the ship sat an imposing figure, Badwolf T. Bigby. Former Bounty Hunter turned Pirate, he once, and tangentially at that worked alongside the Marines to purge the Pirate menace in South Blue. But they were allies of convenience, nothing more. Having culled their numbers, Bigby soon found himself without worthy foes to face and so turned his blade against the World Government. Now he sits upon this tiny ship as First Mate to the adopted child of a Yonko. His gaze swept across the imposing sight of Reverse Mountain, and his sharp eyes penetrated through the thin mists, chaotic storm and brief flashes of lightning. His feral grin threatened to split his face, as he too shared in the excitement of his only crew-mate and Captain casting his gaze toward to the exuberant youth.
"Aye aye Captain," he shouted back. With that he went to work. Concentrating he allowed the powers of his Devil Fruit to flow freely, casting their ship in hazy red glow - the telltale sign of his Aida Aida no Mi. Space around the ship bent, and twisted upon itself, the visage of Reverse Mountain painted across strange field. A warble, followed by the sound of crashing waves and their ship flickered like a still-image, crossing the distance in the span of a few breathes. Above one of the two scouting Marine vessels, a massive shadow spread from the helm to the deck of the ship. The Marines stared up in shock and awe as the pirate ship appeared midair, falling. Amidst its descent, twin human comets fell like stars on their humble ship. That same red haze surrounded them, space itself folding into itself and then they were on the Marine ship, crouched and coiled like wild animals.
"Lovely ship you have here." Bigby said conversationally. He stood to his full height, a towering mass of rippling muscle, wreathed in crimson Wano-styled armor, he held a long blade in hand ready to draw. Stunned silence greeted him and his Captain. "Oh? What's that you say? You want to gift it to us? Well, we'd be poor guests if we refused such a kind offer, right Captain?" Behind him their pirate ship crashed into the waves, shattering on impact punctuating their arrival.
Middwun couldn't help himself, he stared deeply at his surrounds as Margaret made incredible work with their ship. He would really like to know why she caged him, however, as he would be capable of helping with the sails. Maybe the men present were enough, or maybe, that was because he ended up splitting the last warship in two. The breeze there... felt nice though, and it made his mind drift from the events at hand.
He had seen his brothers use this... sensation before, yes, use it. This nice sensation the breeze gave him, prompting his eyes to close and his head to slightly arch back, settling against the wooden mast. It changed, of course, as their ship sunk further and further within the water, yet, Middwun kept his eyes closed and his breathing steady.
As they all waited for the upcoming Pirates, which... suddenly appeared close to their armada, while they had been submerged. Middwun glanced up, looking at the internal waves provoked by the ship's arrival... almost as if space itself had been bent. He looked at Margaret this time around, waiting for what she would do... and if she would set him free.
Making her way over toward Middwun, Margaret began the process of unchaining him from the mast all the while maintaining her blank expression, not showing a single piece of the previous excitement that laid within her eyes not to long ago. "I Apologize Captain Middwun for imprisoning you the ships mast however I could not risk anything not going according to what I had planned out". stated Margaret as she finished unlocking the chains freeing Middwun.
Upon finally releasing the lock on the chain holding Middwun against the mast something she knew in reality wouldn't have did anything if he was serious about escaping, Margaret turned her visage upwards to Watch as all manner of aquatic life swim about around them without a shrewd of care. "Every movement I calculated has moved along without a single problem, from having us both occupy a single vessel instead of separate as the orders stated and utilizing the second vessel as a decoy to lure any pirates sailing along this path into a false sense of security to having the ship coated before departure for our underwater ambush." Finished Margaret as her mind continue to process her next movements.
Her eyes briefly drifted towards the far south of their location where she knew the decoy ship was currently located and began processing the route she advised them take to lure the Pirates into a trap before pulling up her Baby Den Den Mushi to attempt connection with the Decoy Vessel, The Den Den Mushi rant out for a few minutes before being answered. "Beta Team this is Lieutenant Commander Ginyo, are all movements proceeding as planned?" Questioned Margaret using the codename she came up with to hide her true identity and maintain secrecy on the open sea.
It was like a rodeo for Zack, who'd landed unharmed onto the vessel of the Marine's ship. While Bigby did the initial talking, Zack jumped into action, something that was usually never the case. At other times, Zack would be the one doing the talk and Bigby would use his blade to carry out his captain's orders.
The young pirate held his right arm out and bones began to grow from it like spikes. Bones on the outside of the body? Ah yes! This was the work of the Devil Fruit ability granted by the Hone Hone no Mi. With his left hand, he reached underneath his jacket and drew a flintlock revolver aiming it at the crowd of Marines that stood before him.
As mentioned, it usually wasn't Zack's memo to take action before he spoke. But in this case, where any man who bore the uniform of the Marines, deserved combat by his hand alone. Without accounting for much more, Zack lunged forward spinning while holding his arm out allowing his bones to cut his Marine foes down.
"What the hell?! Did he just grow his bones ou-" A Marine shouted just shortly before being cut down by the young pirate.
Zack lifted his gun and pointed it at the group of Marines before him, slightly pulling down on the trigger. "This ain't the main force is it? That's pathetic."
Having been freed by Margaret, Middwun quietly shook his head, not at her actions, but, at her apologies. He knew she wasn't too worried about it, yet, nevertheless, Margaret needn't to say that, it was all for the plan. Middwun would only wait as Margaret contacted their partners, if he acted too soon or too late, the plan would be sunk.
He took silent steps towards the front part of their ship, sparing no words at Margaret, it seemed as he had not been even there, and his calmness would just help hide his emanating aura. Just because they had a decoy, it didn't mean the plan would surely go as planned, it didn't mean they wouldn't be spotted.
Eyes shining a green, Middwun reached the corner-front of the ship, looking up to observe the ship of their enemy. The way these people on the outside... ressonated, Middwun could certainly feel what they had been talking about, what they had been doing. Only because they were so loud. Hand gripping his weapon, Middwun, without taking his eyes off his enemies, took it out of its sheath, revealing it to be a sword between a short and greatsword.
Then, with a rotation of his hand, the sword grew in size suddenly, appearing to be thrice as much than before, both in length and width. This was his true weapon, Wailing Dark.
"Doesn't matter. The Marines like to think their clever with their penchant for using recon units as bait. The main force should be nearby. Watching. Waiting to spring their trap." He said matter-of-factly to his Captain. He was intimately familiar with the strategies and tactics of the Marines, having worked alongside them before. Although this particular bunch . . . Lightning cackled around his form, writhing and arcing it danced down his body like a snake, coiling at his feet. He stomped on the deck eliciting a shattering and booming wave of roiling power that swept through the gathering of Marines. Their bodies were bathed in rush of electricity, bursting from forked tongues that emanated from his foot, sending them hurtling into the air and into the savage sea below.
Only a few remained. Their faces were frozen in a rictus of awe, the attack happening in the span of a moment, a single breath, a finite mote of time. They were nothing to him, their lives, their duty, all of their sacrifices meaningless before him. Those who were left alive fell to their knees, their mouths agape in silent terror as bloodlust rushed from the man-shaped-beast, his eyes cold and hungry, there was nothing human in them.
"You will give your commanding officer this message. You will tell them that you have found pirates and have captured them for interrogation. Several have revealed that an even larger fleet is due very soon. They must request reinforcements. Inform them that you will return. Do this your brothers in arms will be released unharmed. Do not, and you will watch as I provide for them the most creative of endings. Will you save your brothers and live to fight another day? Or die in obscurity. I will give you thirty seconds to make a decision."
He began the countdown. Halfway through the captured Marines cracked. Minutes later, those who were alive solemnly made their way to the bridge and contacted the remaining fleet.
Having finished her check up with her beta squad Margaret returned her focus back upon Middwun, in a slight captivated look, dispite having witnessed this very same chain of events on numerous occasions she would always find herself captivated even if she doesn’t show it. Making her way towards Middwun with her usuals emotionless facade, she ran her eyes across the blade with slight wonder before ultimately returning her eyes to the ocean above. "It seems an unknown group has made contact with the decoy crew, Beta squad has stated there is no known data on these individuals however considering their strength and the ease that the defeated the decoy crew it’s highely possible that they are either a veteran sailing in from within the Grandline or New World which seem unlikely considering if such a person was to return to these seas we would already be aware, it’s more likely they are a recently created band of Pirates of not worthy skill." Margaret spoke as she turns her eyes back towards Middwun.
"I have also received word that the other Marines stationed at the four corners of the Reverse Mountain have all began to make contact with various notable pirates" she finished as her eyes once again return to the blade that was within his grasp.
Middwun only glanced sideways at Margaret when she started to talk, staying silent in response. She had been right, these were simply pirates that they didn't get any clue about in the past... nor did he, their... their spirits weren't familiar to him. And the trail they had left, it definitely came from that sea, so, they couldn't have come from the Grand Line itself.
A head shake had been given at Margaret's mention of the Grand Line, while a nod came at her mention of a recent crew. If the others had begun fighting, they would have to hurry, so that they could find a way to help their comrades.
Despite her intense stare at his weapon, Middwun never budged, nor did he ever scold her at it. He appreciated it, and now, they ought to take action. With a twist of his wrist, several things clicked within the sword's large body, dust leaving it. Middwun stepped forward and jumped, drawing his sword back slightly, while his entire body glowed green.
Approaching the bubble's borders, Middwun suddenly swung his sword horizontally and upwards, making it glow green. Due to his location, the slash had been launched already from outside the bubble, not risking any damage to it, and rose through the water steadily. Middwun fell down, yet, it seemed as if his sword had extended itself, having been separated in many segments, like some sort of centipede. All of which had happened at the same time as the slash went up, leaving off a strange trail.
The slash quickly reached the fresh air above the water, located just in front of the enemy Crew's ship. It was supposed to be a normal slash, but, it didn't come from a regular sword. As it reached just above the crew's ship, the green energy divided itself into many smaller slashes, which had the same appearance of the sword's segments and rained down upon them.
This was the Graveyard Rain.
"Imma leave tha' strategizin' to you, Bigby!" Finally, Zack was back to himself. Evident by his previous sentence alone. He stood idle while his First Mate made the instruction to have the Marines contact their main force, instilling fear into them as he did. Just like back in the South Blue at Welch Island when he and Bigby first met. It was his menacing glare alone that made Zack choose to ally with him rather any make another enemy.
His thoughts interrupted by the screams of the Marine officers being thrown off of the ship thanks to Bigby's, still unknown to Zack, electric ability. Even then, now was no time for a trip down memory lane. It was time for him to truly put what he had learned from all those years on Leg's ship into action. To actually "test" it.
An unnatural sound caught the boy's ear. "What was...?" He thought to himself before leaning over the side of the ship to look into the water. At the very moment he did, a slash of green energy just barely missed his face. Almost clipping his nose had he been just a centimeter closer. The speed at which the beam travel was strong enough to create its own wind current, pushing Zack to his buttocks onto the ship's foundation.
His gaze was now on the atmosphere above, where his eyes locked onto the green energy slash that broke off into many different ones that rained down on the stolen Marine vessel.
Zack was forced to think quick and that he did. Smashing his hands together so that his fingers on one hand locked with the other, he slowly pulled them apart and bones began to grow from the tip of his fingers. Smashing them together allowed for his bones to lock up, continuously growing in size creating a net large enough to cover the entire ship. "Bone Net!" He shouted as all of the slashes cut up against the bone construct not even leaving a dent in them.
Simply put, this was the work of Zack's devil fruit powers, the Hone Hone no Mi. He could manipulate and generate bones to his liking, even strengthening them to the point of being unbreakable. Truly a fierce ability if used correctly.
Once he finished protecting the ship his bones disappeared and he looked back over the ship into the water once again. "Gotcha!" Holding his hand over the ship a thick bone grew out of his palm. In just a few seconds the bone had fully transformed into... well... another hand just without the cover of skin. With his command, the hand grew more than ten times larger. The palm alone was larger than the current ship they stood on and with a simple push, it dove into the sea. "Bone-Hand Grappling Hook!"
The hand-constructed of bones swiftly made its way underwater now trying to claw its way into grabbing the ship that had been hiding underneath them. Had he succeeded, he'd place all of his efforts into pulling the ship out of the water. A feat that wouldn't have been easy, but doable nonetheless.
Glancing upwards as Middwun finished his attack, Margaret eyes lingered upon the split within the ocean with interest. "No matter how mantimes I witness that I always find myself in awe" though Margaret before her sharp eyes caught sight of what appeared to be a group of bones quickly making its way towards the vessel.
Without turning to face the marines stationed upon the ship all whom noticed the bones as well, she raises her hand signalling them to do nothing as the bone latch upon the ship. "A Foolish attempt" she muttered grasping the bones and allowing electrify to cruise throughout her body and into the bones watching in satisfaction as the lightning begins to travel upwards in a blinding speed.
Turning towards the crew she ordered them to begin preparation for reemergence behind the vessel above them as she herself discards her white suit jacket and top to reveal a deep black tank top along with a belt with various knives lined along it before throwing off her hat and tying her hair into a ponytail. "Prepare for our counter strike". She called out as she watches as the ship came closer toward the surface before breaking through.
After grabbing ahold of the enemy ship, Zack leaned back and began to pull the ship upwards to the surface. This was no simple feat. A ship submerged into the water was one of the-, no scratch that, the heaviest things he tried lifting in his life. Even then he did not waiver one bit.
He began to reflect on his training with Old Man Indie. A crucial part of their training was conditioning and increasing his physical strength beyond what his feeble body was meant for. He decided not the dwaddle in the thought too much, and instead decided to put that enhanced strength to the test.
With the help of his free hand, he created another one of his gigantic bone arms leading to a bone hand. Throwing it to the other side of the sea, he grabbed ahold of the mountain and began to pull towards it. This provided Zack with the necessary support of pulling the ship from the sea so that Bigby could make short work of the exposed vessel.
A sensation on his ship-holding hand purged his body. "What the-" He thought to himself, "Oh fuck no!" Quickly jerking his hand back, he severed ties with the construct allowing it to sink into the ocean floor. Doing the same with his other hand he looked down at them both. "Hey, Bigby, skip ahead again!"
Middwun was sure that his figure could be seen even before they had emerged from the waters, but, he flinched not at it. As Middwun's head passed through the limit between water and air, it vanished, the rest of his body following the same as it surged off the water, due to the ship having erupted from it, courtesy of Margaret's plan.
A green, ominous energy danced around the air, faintly seen by everyone's eyes, as all of a sudden, Middwun had been above the pirates' ship. Both hands clutched the hilt of Wailing Dark, and quickly spun it around, generating a small twister around his body. Green energy, once again, built up around it and Middwun pressed down, sending a spiraling wave of energy through the mast of the enemy's ship.
This was his Graveyard Digger. Middwun stood mid-air, green shining eyes glancing at his opponents.
In the darkest holds of a Marine ship, a glass tank filled with water sat next to the iron bars of what seemed to be prison cells. Inside, there was a woman with the tail of a shark, who seemed to be attempt breaking the glass despite the metal shackles around her wrists and neck. The woman slapped her tail against the side of the glass, creating a loud thud but in the end producing not viable way for her escape.
The woman attempted to reflect back on her situation, and how exactly she became a prisoner to whoever was ordering this ship. Her memory was hazy and the last detail she could recall was that she was sailing her personal ship to the Red Line, in hopes of getting in on the action between the pirates and Marines and securing a one-way ticket to the New World. But alas, it appears that her plan went awry, and she could very well be on her way to any kind of Marine prison.
Zack watched as Middwun emerged from the water, in a way he did not know was possible. The man's body became shrouded in an energy that would appear faint to most, but easily seen by his eyes. Before he knew it, the green spiral of green energy sliced its way through the mast of their ship.
Despite having the mast of the ship they were on destroyed, Zack took it upon himself to keep himself focused on the man who flew in midair. "How're we gonna' sail without that damn thing!" Zack shouted, pulling his flintlock revolver from his waist and aiming it at Middwun.
Pulling the trigger back twice, the gunshot off two bullets that were refined and made of seastone, an anti-devil fruit user material that he'd looted from a Marine ship back when on the seas with Jack Frost At the moment of the bullets firing off, the mast fell to the rear of the ship, hanging over it halfway submerged into the water.
"Imma' have to settle for shots right now." He thought to himself, keeping his gun aimed at Middwun. "He's got long and short-range cover. I exhausted Hone Hone no Mi use for now. Anymore and it'll go all out of control like on Amazon Lily." Zack couldn't help but think about how he had to be cautious of how he'd use his devil fruit abilities, thinking about how uncontrolled of them he was. Even then, he still seemed to have some sort of plan.
As the smoke vanished, Zack's bullets were shown to hit head-on against Middwun's figure, but then, they had passed straight through him, their noises ressounding through the entire place while they hit nothing but air itself. Many Middwuns were seen, and, they were just after-images.
"Who was it, that you were aiming for?" A breath came on to Zack's neck, leaving wet lips and going muffled through a helmet, as Middwun's darkened figure stood behind Zack's own. He had shining green eyes, and mimicked Zack's position, almost as if he were his shadow. As Middwun did so, it seemed as if a green substance oozed off his eyes and body, filling some of the area with a transparent green fog.
Should Zack even turn back or use a reflexive bone attack, Middwun had already disappeared from behind him, leaving a trail of dust. For a second, he had appeared before Zack's front, gripping his pistol so that it would be dropped, but then, he had disappeared once again.
"What the-." Zack exclaimed trying to make way of the current situation. With his own two eyes he saw his bullets hit his target, then they didn't. Then Middwun disappeared only to multiple himself around the vicinity, yet the after images were the least of those that surprised him. He seemed to be caught up more as to how he could have missed his target.
While caught up in his thoughts, he lost focus of his opponent until he felt an ominous presence behind him. Opting to not turn around, he instead fired a shot right in front of him, signs of a warning shot. As soon as he fired, Middwun appeared in front of him for a split-second gripping the boy's gun then disappearing yet again.
Zack grew furious and frustrated, evident by the vein growing out of his forehead. "I AIN'T COME HERE TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK DAMMIT!" He shouted into the sky.
This time, then, two hands gripped Zack's pistol, trying to smash them. Middwun had appeared before him once, in front of him. "I am sorry, ghosts tend to play often." He mused, bloodshot eyes gazing into Zack's own. Zack now would have inhaled the fog that had been drifting off from Middwun's very body, as there was no sign of Zack protecting himself from it.
Middwun wasted no time, as Zack would possibly be a bit dizzy due to inhaling his fog, derived from some ectoplasm he had produced with his Eku Eku no Mi. Gripping the hilt of his sword, Middwun sliced the air in front of Zack horizontally, delivering a simple sword slash against his stomach.
He had to test if Zack could still use those large devil fruit powers of his, otherwise, Middwun would have just aimed for a more fatal point. Like, Zack's legs.
Zack could not move due to his dizziness and how nauseous he had gotten from taking in the unknown fog into his lungs. He leaned a bit, barely being able to stand to his feet, but soon being saved by his opponents attempt at grabbing his revolver. Jerking away from the man, Zack had nearly fallen to his back had he not been saved by the railing of the Marine vessel.
Now leaning up against the rail, Middwun had attacked him again. His dizziness and daze kept him from being able to properly see where Middwun and because of this, he could not actually see where the man would be attacking from. "Damn." Zack thought, trying to get a hold of his own conciousness, but failing to do so.
An attack was directed at his body but Zack was completely unaware of it. Yet, completely unaware of his surroundings, from his abdomen his rib cage ripped through his skin, extending out to protect him. Much like when he first ate the Hone Hone no Mi, back on Amazon Lily. He had lucky, the accidental probability that happened to work in his favor this time protect him from the blade of Middwun.
Zack flopped to the ship's deck, screaming in pain not from Middwun's attack, but from his own body's reaction.
For the first time that day, Middwun's eyes had widened at the sight before them. The sight of bones bursting off from his opponent's rib-cage, he clicked his teeth as they sprung and deflected the blow of his sword. His attack had not been a long range one, and that was why, Middwun's pupils went bloodshot, with the bones tearing through his armor and cutting some of his flesh open.
So, this had been the ability which defended them from his opening attack. Despite the blood pouring out, and the roughness of the bone against his skin still present, Middwun let out no sound, not any grunt, not any heavy breath... he simply stared at Zack's figure. His eyebrows cocked at how much blood was still going out, maybe, he had refilled and didn't remember.
"That was wise of you," Middwun started, voice quiet, as he went towards Zack's screaming body, "Wise to not deal lasting damage." One hand pointed at his own body, as he clenched his other hand around Wailing Dark's hilt. What an odd comment it would be on Zack's ears, why would this man dive into a fight and compliment his opponent for not dealing a fatal blow?
Zack had no control of his own self, he continued to squirm on the ground in pain as he went through flashbacks of the day he first ate the Hone Hone no Mi. He had no idea what was happening back then and the same thing had been happening right now. It was as though another force had been controlling his body.
His skin began to open in a circle pattern all over his body and from different portions, small pellets of bones shot out at Middwun in different directions. Like before, these actions were made completely against Zack's will and honestly with his current situation, he didn't have much of a choice.
Before he even let out a response, Middwun gasped, as blood poured out of his body, which had been struck with Zack's devastating bone bullets. His shoulders, forearms, stomach, and legs had holes drilled into them. Then, there had been no wind, no water, no birds... everything was out of focus for Middwun.
"You..." Middwun trailed off, indeed, no grunt, no breath... he only spoke, once again. His eyes lowered their gaze, hovering over the visage of his many wounds, "The limit has been reached... once again." Eyelids closed, Middwun let out a breath, despite Zack continuing to scream.
Muscles flexing, he rose both his hands, open into palms, and put them in front of his face. "HOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" The air itself got denser, and, all of a sudden, a rainbow burst from Middwun's mouth, as his head arched back. The rainbow flew off in all directions, Middwun's figure straight and close to Zack's own, "AWAKEN, MY MASTER!" He yelled, sparkles flying around.
The first Zack would have seen after the rainbow, was the same green mass from before materializing into a big pale hand, which erupoted from Middwun's mouth and instantly gripped his face. "Noisy," Cold fingers cupped around his skull, as more flesh came out of inside the Marine, liquid and gaseous rainbows flew off. An entire arm could be seen, and inside Middwun's mouth, shining green eyes and mouth... along with shining eyebrows?
A flash illuminated the entire area, as this figure came off, revealing its large and well-built body. He had ashen blonde hair, long enough to reach his shoulders and cover a good deal of his face, notably, however, one would notice his oval eyebrows first. He only had pants on, green energy oozing off from his entire being, as he stared at Zack and smiled.
Sadly for Zack, he could not enjoy the moment of seeing beautiful rainbows as he struggled to even gain control over his own body. As time passed, his screams and wails seemed to have been calming down as silence shrouded him, yet he continued to grip his sides obviously still in pain.
He laid there for the entirety of Middwun's little body switching act, yet had no intentions of keeping an eye on his foe. Foolish of someone on the battlefield but he couldn't bear the overwhelming pain. It was like having someone stab him with two knives on his sides constantly. Something society referred to as a serial killer.
He reached for the nearby rail while still laying on the ground, trying to gather his strength so that he could stand again, despite the pain he'd been going through. "You can change all ya' want..." Zack's words were slurred, yet it wasn't difficult to hear him at all. "I'm gettin' into the Grand Line!" He shouted, holding his palm out and sharp bone grew from it. With his raw speed, he closed the small gap between himself and Middwun instantly, slashing at him with everything he had.
Moved by anger he seemed unbothered by his pain. That very emotion, anger, made him sluggish terrible moves made on his end counterable by even a toddler.
Still smiling, Middwun cracked his neck and glanced at the hand which had gripped Zack's face, something which no longer rested there. In fact, his smile only widened, "You are really resistant, young sir." His pupils went back to Zack's figure, lips almost dry, Middwun hadn't eaten or drunk anything with his real body in a while.
He pushed his hips aside, hands over his head, effectively dodging the first of Zack's slashes. "Oh," Middwun cooed and pressed backwards with his butt, evading another slash, "You say even when..." His eyes glinted over Zack's shoulder and his feet rotated against the deck, another slash. "-Even when there are these Ghosts plaguing you." Indeed, Middwun could see the faint visage of a female lingering around Zack. "The ghost of a woman."
"Before you even ask," Middwun mused and closed his eyes, spinning as Zack screamed and slashed at him, "With the power of my Devil Fruit, the Eku Eku no Mi," He aimed a swift rounded-kick to Zack's ribs, all the while dodging his weakened attacks. "I don't produce Ectoplasm," Middwun swung his hips from left to right, "I am Ectoplasm itself." From right to left. "It is a Special Paramecia, after all."
"I ain't ask that!" Zack should, flailing his arm continuously trying to make contact with Middwun as best he could while using his other hand to aim his revolver for a good shot at him. Seems the opportunity for a good shot hadn't revealed itself, so he continued to rely on his bone knife to slice through him.
Among his aimless wailing, he could hear Middwun talking, but a work among his many words stood out; "ghost". Zack stopped in his tracks and stood still in shock. He began to have flashbacks of an island erupted in flames and people's body's bathed in their own blood. Marine officers ran destroyed everything on the island using all of the tools at their disposal. He could never forget the smug look on those two men's face as they order the Marine officers to do their bidding.
Zack began to pant heavily as if he were losing breath. Could it have been from his most recent assault or the painful memories of that day? "Huff... huuuffff.. huuuufffff." His breathing grew heavier with each passing moment.
"GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!" He shouted, taking a villainous stance as bones spikes began to sprout out all over his body. As they did blood spat from each one of the spikes that were made, now resting on the tips of them. As he rushed towards Middwun, he spun around in a circle hoping to impale the man with one of the various spikes all over his body, whether it be from his arms, chest, or legs, it made no difference so long as Middwun no long stood in his way.
Middwun smirked, with the power of the special fruit, he could mold his body, as if it were pure ectoplasm, and dodge Zack's pistol shots. As he did so, Middwun walked straight towards Zack, one feet coming in front of the other, as one hip went back and the other went forth. Though, he would agree, Zack hadn't asked about any information, there it was again, his constant talking.
Seeing the pirate breath heavily, Middwun arched one eyebrow, ready to do a strike in. But, Zack beat him to it, "Find another way!" He snarled back, teeth showing, as he stood still, was this pirate truly foolish enough to only fight his way through with violence?
Despite Zack's rotating attack, Middwun merely shapeshifted his entire torso, head whipping around and legs buckling under Zack's own. His strange form moved around Zack's spikes and merely reformed itself behind him. Middwun moved to press his hand against Zack's head, "Special Paramecias are as such, because they have power beyond those of normal Paramecia, just like my friend's Mythical Zoan~" He mused.
Should he succeed in pinning Zack down, an impact would travel through the entirety of the ship, its deck cracked. Middwun would continue on his rant, "And you, your power is clearly on its limits, yet, you continue to use it." Mouth twisted, his eyes hovered over the blood coming from Zack's bones. However, those same eyes suddenly darted to his sides, as the ghost from before pushed at him.
"You-" Middwun started, lips parting for a moment, "-you are Amaterasu, are you not?" Eyelids half-way open, that fact left his mouth. Middwun knew about her really well, if he had to be frank, how could he not? Then, he glanced at Zack, once again, "Then... who..." Even as his thoughts flew high, Middwun's grip would stand firm over Zack's head.
Run Like the Wind
Middwun succeeded in pinning Zack down, a feat easily achievable by a man of his caliber against a boy who couldn't even control his own power. Honestly speaking, it had been the first time one could see someone's devil fruit power so poorly utilized. But this kid, Zack, has minimal control. As his entire body smashed against the deck it began to crack, Zack laid flat on his stomach.
With Middwun's hand gripped onto the back his head he managed to pin the boy down easily. Zack faded in and out of consciousness and could only hear the words Middwun muttered. "Big talk..." Zack thought to himself, trying to move and wiggle, but his body just wouldn't respond. "I can't even get into the damn Grand Line."
Again, without his command, a bone spike emerged from his body but this time from his back looking to pierce Middwun, who with a simple sway was able to dodge it. Soon after, Zack passed out, his fatigue had caught up with him and he could no longer even maintain consciousness.
He slipped into a slumber and as he did, entered his own psyche and began to reflect back on how terribly he'd failed. Images of those he deemed his comrades flickered in his psyche; Bigby, Indie, Vincent, Legs, then finally his mother. The image of his mother lingered much longer as he remembered the day she met her demise and passed him the "Golden Flame".
Amaterasu.... He thought as he repeated the word multiple times. "Momma.... momma!" He shouted loudly throughout his psyche but he was all alone. "I AIN'T GIVIN' UP MA' I SWEAR!"
Middwun was mute to all of this, he had no ability to see the things going on in Zack's inner world, but had powers that still made him supernatural. Ghost, he continuously spoke about ghosts.
An aura shrouded Zack's body. The sensation of the aura felt ominous and demonic in a sense. The aura would leave his body and stand over Middwun, slowly trying to make itself form in a similar manner like the Marine's own Eku Eku no Mi. Behind Middwun's person, the flickering image of a skeletal being covered in a black hooded cloak breathed down the man's back.
Was the ghost Middwun spoke about all those times before? No, no. This was something much more sinister. It had the feeling of... death. The skeletal figure only showed its face, which as mentioned was nothing more than bare bones. It made no moves nor sounds. Just continued to breathe heavy releasing smoke from its mouth. This was the Grim Reaper; the personification of Death itself in all its glory right here over Middwun.
A slight breeze of wind passed, capable of slight pushing the ship along its way.
Arching one eyebrow, Middwun cooed at Zack still trying to hurt his form, did he just not explain about his powers? Nevertheless, no resistant seemed to come from the Pirate, so, Middwun loosened his hand slightly.
Just like he had been seeing Buster D. Amaka, a sensation crept through Middwun's figure, and it took a form. "Hooo," Middwun cooed once again, eyeing the figure behind him, as it stood alongside the other Ghost. "You have... much more than you gave yourself credit for."
A smile came into his expression, then, he turned back to Zack, "Have you come for him...?" Lips parted, pupils dilated, "Or, is this the sensation he is feeling, manifested?" Middwun moved a hand to grip the form of Death, even though he knew it was to no avail, ghosts couldn't be touched. And, they couldn't touch him.
In the end, Middwun just went back to looking at Amaka, giving the other ghost no thought and sitting atop Zack. He was ectoplasm itself, he knew what was and what wasn't. Amaka's ghost glared into his own soul, lips moving as words tried to come out, but, whatever would have even be said, was muffled by the wind. Some of his golden locks flipped to the side, this spirit... this spirit was the spirit of a living.
"It looks like something has headed our way," Middwun commented, eyelids half-open as they glanced around, "I wonder how our compatriots are doing." Indeed, as strong as Margaret was, he pondered just how much the other Pirate would do.
The power of the gust of wind began to increase and by doing so, the faint image of Death began to blow away and hid back into the body of an unconscious Zack.
Middwun was a bold man though. No one would ever dare to challenge Death, let alone try and grasp it with their hands alone. His smile only added to his sadistic actions and he began to stare at the side of Zack. To those Marines around him, it would look like he'd been looking at the air alone, but he had special abilities. Those that granted him the see those transparent beings that normal humans could not. Truly, devil fruits were abilities beyond comprehension.
Zack remained lying out on the deck. It was safe to say that he had been defeated by the hands of Middwun. The Marine Captain was well of this fact, going as far as to loosen the grip on Zack's head.
The young pirate still found himself trapped in his psyche. It was as if he'd been trapped in a loop of consistently seeing those mentioned being over and over again. He had no knowledge of what had been going on in the real world, but he was able to grasp he'd been defeated. "Damn.... damn.... DAMNIT!" He shouted into the endless void that only echoed own words. He knew he was defeated, but he refused to accept it.
Meanwhile, the wind's speeds continued to increase. Middwun's who'd been thinking about his partner would easily have been able to notice it. The speeds continued to increase beyond normal levels catching the attention of the few Marines soldiers that were left alongside Middwun.
FUU The wind had been moving so fast that it could be heard. The wind's force multiplied by at least three, pushing those surviving Marine soldiers to the rails or even falling to their rears. Fuu, again the wind cried out this time, much stronger than the last breeze, strong enough to obstruct their view even the might Middwun wouldn't be able to continue to look without trying to cover his eyes from its force. Well, unless he wanted his eyes to fill up with water.
Once they took whatever precautions necessary to protect their eyes and removed said cautions, they'd see the appearance of a newly introduced woman. She had a mane of orange hair that reached her mid back and dressed in an all black gown. On her shoulders, she wore a pink scarf that hung over her back in a "U" shape. Her lips shined from the lipgloss she had on them. Even her breast had their own shine to them.
The Marine soldiers resting on the deck were all drooling at the mouth. Their eyes filled with hearts literally popping out of their sockets. She stood in front of Middwun, held her hand up, and a gust of wind was released from it hoping to be enough to push Middwun off of Zack. "I'd been on my way to meet back up with Captain Lieselotte. The wind brought the words of a boy named Buster D. Zack." She turned her vision to the boy lying on the ground. "Is this true, Middwun, pirate turned Marine?"
"Hooo," Middwun noted, eyes glancing sideways at the increasing wind current, as one of his arms rose to shield his face. His hair tangled to the opposite side, while his body had been slightly pushed then, prompting his legs to stand firmer against the ground. Due to the strength of the ventany, Middwun had briefly blinked longer than he normally would, and that was when everything ceased and someone stood before him.
"Another one," He mused, lips wet and eyelids half-way open. Another famous figure, and this time it wasn't a Ghost, that much was preferrable. "The Sea Breeze, Gallon Margie," Middwun's lips curved up, "Is this a Royal Pirates' reunion?" Arms crossed, he glanced at the ghost and then at Margie.
Middwun tilted his head, "Oh, you knew the real me?" His hands went to his hips, "I did operate around the time your Captain was alive." He shrugged. Not that it really mattered in the end of things, that was the past, and they weren't delving in it. "Regardless," Middwun's attention went, once again, back to Marie, "I would rather try to capture you than this young pirate, but, we know that Logias are beyond me, at this moment. Even if I am akin to one myself," He smiled, ectoplasm oozing off his fists.
"Ayeyaya, Middwun-san." Her hand went up and she pointed fingers at the open sea behind her, as a small ship gently smashed against the Marine's main vessel. Pointing her finger at Zack, she seemingly mentally lifted him from the deck of the ship and guiding him to the smaller ship at the side.
Like Middwun, she placed her hand on her hip and sighed, releasing a soft breeze that would provide enough wind to cool off a sweating heathen. "Sea Breeze? That's a name I haven't heard in quite a while." She let out another sigh and the same thing happened. "I find it funny to be called that..." She left her sentence open, as she pushed her lips together and stuck her tongue between both to lick them. "Especially in front of the captain's son."
"I could hear him shouting in the wind, with the power the captain gave to me. He sounded just like a young version of Onee-sama. All I could do was run like the wind to his aid, Middwun-san. Only to find out, you were his opposing force. The former First Mate and one of our most acknowledge rivals on the sea during our era, the Ghast Pirates." She turned her attention to the sky for a moment then to Middwun's hand. "That's why..." Again, she left her sentence open as she lifted her hand up. The simple motion alone allowed her to create a supernatural force of wind, shaking the ship Middwun stood on and causing the ocean to create waves. Additionally, the strong force pushed the lone boat Zack's body laid in along the sea current, sending the boat straight up the mountain.
"...I can't let you catch or kill, Zack-kun. As one of his guardians, I'd be failing Onee-sama by letting you do so!" She stomped her foot on the deck of the ship. As she did, the air pressure around would begin to crush up against the ship causing it to be smashed by the forces of her wind power granted by the Fuu Fuu no Mi. "The Buster Pirates will pass."
"Ah, just as I had imagined..." Middwun licked his lips, that certainly explained why the ghost of that person had seemed so furious at him. Middwun could only smile, this woman certainly knew more than he ever suspected she would know. His eyes glinted, this was way more than the report told them to do, but, that was no trouble.
However, now as he stood firmer and more acknowledgeable of whom the wind had been, Middwun didn't even flinch at the power output. Wood flew around him, yet, none of it touched him, as he took a step forward, one foot in front of the other, his hips swaying, "Buster Pirates, huh..." A breath escaped his lips, Middwun would write the name down on his report, he pointed a finger at Margie, "You speak of let as if you have complete control of the situation," His eyes shone green, and his left leg rose in the air, "Then, let me tell you, you don't."
That same leg shot backwards, "I do, however," A surge of ectoplasm firing towards Zack's ship, violently fast due to its composition. It seemingly struck the target, seconds later, as water erupted from the spot. However, the ship had surged along with it, ascending further into the Reverse Mountain, "Oops," Middwun smiled, "Looks like he went further." He shrugged, his aim was accurate as always, even in that moment.
"Oh no, Middwun-san!" Margie exclaimed placing her hand over her mouth watching as the ship went up the mountain with haste. "Whatever will you tell your Headquarters?"
Margie waved her hand in the shooing motion at the Marine ship Middwun stood on, blowing it up the mountain's direction as well. Middwun, jumped from it floating in the air via his ectoplasmic abilities.
"I owe you, Middwun-san. I'll never let this day go past my memory." Still floating in the air herself, Margie's body slowly turned invisible and once fully transparent a powerful gust of wind blew. The gust cause the sea to roar with a few waves as she disappeared into thin air.
Friction in Fabric
As soon as the vessel resurfaced above the wailing sea Margaret wasted very little time in dashing towards one of two individuals upon the commandeered marine vessel, with her fist coated with a steady stream of electricity coursing and aimed towards the man dressed in red.