AN: It's so great to be back! Finals are over (finally). I haven't slept for 30 hours trying to study FA, and I've just woke up from a nine hour nap right after the exam. I've recovered from COVID with all 5 of my senses. My lungs aren't harmed. All of the damn snow outside is finally beginning to melt and I have a reservation for a special meal in a couple of days!
AN: Life's going great. Will continue to be so until the semester starts again in a little less than 3 weeks. Also, Happy Lunar New Year!
AN: Something about writing when drunk is nice. So much more productive. Hail vodka.
POV Vinsmoke Judge, King of the Germa Kingdom. Leader of Germa 66
The rightful yet exiled king of the North Blue was not having a good day. No…that was an understatement. The chills, the shivers which were on his spine, the ocean winds whispering down his neck, his dry mouth…what would be a more accurate description would be 'fear'. He was scared…terrified…fearful of how things had turned out.
On his mighty throne in from which he ruled a sixth of the world, he saw his kingdom being desecrated to the ground. The massive biological warships in which he raised to cross over the Red Line itself…pierced to death by spears of lightning and death.
The castle walls torn down by nothing but hands. Creatures of flesh and blood with not a single bit of genetic augmentation breaking down his kingdom to dust broken stone. Everything he was given, handed down, from 300 years of Royal blood…tumbled away like stone.
The endless soldiers of the Germa Kingdom in which once fought ferociously now seemed dwindling in number as the endless horde of the New World poured into his mobile Kingdom continuously.
He looked down slightly to see the massive tip of the spear on his neck, digging in slightly. Ignoring the augmentations he had made on himself, the spear in its slight movement began to draw blood. Grimacing slightly, he ignored the sting as he looked up to see the ruler of the New World.
"This may be too late but as one sovereign to another…" He drawled out, his voice on the verge of tears. "Do you mind if I take that offer now?"
2 years ago
The Germa Kingdom, often called the Kingdom of Science, is a rather sad excuse of a Kingdom. As powerful it may as be militaristically speaking, it has little else to offer than their science and power. No permanent land to call their own and a small population less than a hundred of citizens mostly composed of the bare necessities to run the Kingdom with jobs unable to be done by clones.
The Seafaring Kingdom, as little as it is now, was once a global superpower. 300 years ago the Vinsmoke King and his family had begun their crusade against the Kingdoms of North Blue…and for a glorious 66 days they had the entirety of the Blue under their rule.
With the simultaneous rebellion of the various regions as well as the support of the 'World Government' supporting these new rebellions, the Germa lost their grip over the Blue little by little until…at the very end…they were exiled from even their own homeland. But that was not the end of the exiled King…no he dreamed big.
With only twelve wooden sloops, a hundred knights, and his flag to his name he set off to reclaim what was rightfully his. The Vinsmoke king handed down his duty, destiny, to his firstborn son and through the line the Seafaring Kingdom was born. The sloops were turned into galleons, the number grew, and even exiled from any land of soil…they grew stronger.
Father to son, the dynasty continued until the destiny of the Germa was passed down to a young Vinsmoke Judge. The prodigy of the Kingdom, the destined one, chosen one…and more. It was through the child's genius that the Vinsmokes dared to dream once more. To bring about an age when the exiled King returns to the North with vengeance.
The child was scientifically unmatched as the Kingdom began to undergo drastic changes. Technology only dreamed about or perhaps only in the hands of Vegapunk made themselves known to the Germa. Laser weaponry, tamed biological beasts, cloning powerful soldiers, genetical augmentation, power suits.
POV Vinsmoke Judge
He needed more power to bring about the promised time of the Germa Kingdom. It wasn't enough to merely conquer the lands once more…that was something he could already do now. What was desperately needed was immense power to keep all those conquered in line. To have a weapon so fearsome to keep the peace, to keep the lands.
He had heard the mistakes of his ancestor countless times…he would not make the same mistake as the first King.
What he needed was rather simple.
The Germa Kingdom already had all the soldiers they needed (as long as there were enough resources), and he knew it from experience that some beings just could not be defeated with numbers alone. He couldn't also try and recruit someone immensely powerful out of nowhere as loyalty was always a problem.
There was a reason why he chose to augment his own children after all. His third son may have been a disappointment due to unknown reasons but his other children accepted the genetical augmentations nicely. Superhuman in a way…enough to easily combat the capabilities of an average New World captain.
Thus he needed a weapon, and what could be better than an ancient weapon rumored to have the firepower to bring down the Red Line itself? Pluton, the mythical Warship. For years he poured his resources into locating the ancient weapon…and all that came up was the 'Ancient Language'.
On the indestructible stone Poneglyphs, written in the same ancient language, would lead the reader to the ancient weapon. The Germa had come across a number of these 'Poneglyphs' and had recorded them down. There was no real reason to dedicate the resources into translating them until now. Yet, it all proved futile.
The language was different…it did not function in repeating patterns or sound. The recorded languages in the database simply did not match any of the symbols on the stone structure. This was a language in which would only be understood and read by those who were taught by others.
*Slam!* "This can't be it! There has to be a way!" Judge angrily slammed down his data-as at the result. The next batch of languages and systems had failed to analyze the language once again.
"My Lord." The Head scientist of the Germa Kingdom gently interrupted. "It seems as though we can no longer make headways on this language, then we must use the research on the Island of Ohara."
The elderly man pointed out. The island of Ohara was mainly dedicated to the research of the ancient history of this world and beyond. If anyone was still capable of reading the ancient language, it would be the scholars of Ohara.
"Ohara?" Judge grunted. "Fat chance."
The small island located in West Blue may not seem like much but it was under heavy 'implied' protection from one of the most feared powers in the world. So clear was the threat that the Island or Ohara was free from the influence of the Underworld crime families and even the World Government interference.
"You know the Germa cannot make deals with an Emperor." Judge grumbled. "Do you want us to lose our membership in the World Government?"
"I understand milord…but there is simply no other way. The language is dead and Ohara may be the only place in which keeps the relic alive." The scientist argued as Judge narrowed his eyes.
"And should the 'Biggest of Mothers' refuse, then we are at a lost. No way to learn this language and our membership and influence revoked." Judge pulled at his beard. All of this ancient weapon business was beginning to take its toll.
"Then you must offer something to the Pirate Emperor instead. They are pirates milord, they understand trade."
It was risk…was he willing to take it?
Surprisingly, the diplomatic trading went smoothly.
After a short meeting between himself, the Emperor herself, and her ambassador, the deals were ironed out and a contract was signed.
The Germa Kingdom got the permission to enter Ohara and use their research to search for the ancient weapon Pluton. Should the Germa Kingdom require, the Union Pirates would also aid in searching for the legendary ship.
The Germa would then use the ship to conquer the North Blue…however the catch was that once the North Blue was under Germa control, Pluton would be transferred over to the Union Pirates.
Judge, however, saw no problem with this deal. After all, he was Judge. There was no technological feat that he and his Kingdom could not reproduce. If he had the ship in his grasps, he was confident in a short amount of time he would be able to reverse engineer Pluton down to its blueprints and rebuild it.
He merely needed the ship for a while…The Union can have their share by taking the original.
Germa was also officially invited to join the 'Union' by sacrificing their sovereignty but that was quickly denied in the politest way possible.
Thus began the months of grueling research once more. The Germa fleet, with proper permission, was granted access to cross the Calm Belts of the New World and head down into the West Blue. To the island of Ohara.
The scholars of Ohara certainly carried their weight with their studies. Hundreds of rubbings of Poneglyphs and the ancient texts were saved in the great tree as they were decoded one by one. Texts regarding the ancient weapon Pluton were documented, translated, and analyzed down to the smallest scratch.
…and it was here where the truth was revealed. They had discovered much more than they had asked for…perhaps too much.
"Only those with the right to see the world can captain the vessel of destruction." The professor read out loud to a near stumbling Vinsmoke Judge.
"What does that mean?! Right to see the world?" Judge grabbed the professor by his shoulders as he implored the man to explain more. He was so close…so close to achieving his dreams, his destiny.
They had even found out the general location and method of locating the ship…no, it wasn't a ship. They had learned that Pluton was a way to harness the world itself. A way to change the boundaries of the Blue, the waves of the New World, and even restructure the Red Line itself.
It was not a ship, but rather a steed for a single soul to harness and control. If Judge could just hold it in his hands…
"I am afraid I cannot help you anymore." The professor sighed. "We are at a lost as well. It could mean anything…but what is clear is that none of us possess whatever this 'right' is."
Judge's thoughts sped through the possibilities. All of his years and wisdom going through all that he had learned during his years at sea.
Could it be the Color of Armament? An innate talent? Or perhaps even the One Piece itself? Despite his great pool of knowledge and power, he had no evidence to back up any of his theories.
The table in front his him seemed to wobble as he found it harder to remain standing. He shuffled, stumbled, his way to the edge of the gigantic library as he tumbled over. His hand barely catching his on the shelf as he sat himself down.
"Ahh…" All of that effort…for nothing. He had discovered the greatest weapon in existence only to learn that he could not, would not, be able to control it. What irony, what a coincidence.
His vision clouded over as he thought of all he had sacrificed to be here. The Germa was officially revoked of their right as a 'Kingdom' of the World Government. Essentially being marked as no different from a 'Pirate' in their eyes, or rather a rogue Kingdom.
He had traversed through the dangers of the Calm belts and the New World just to be here only to learn that it was an impossibility.
In his rage slammed his hand behind him, breaking the numerous wooden shelves which housed hundreds of scrolls. Dozens of ancient scrolls fell down upon him. Rolling down his shoulders, arms, and a couple getting stuck in his hair as the scholars rushed to salvage the ancient texts…ignoring him completely.
Only the oldest and wisest of the scholars, Professor Clover, showed any sign of pity as his old eyes washed over the self proclaimed true-king of North Blue. The old director of the Ohara Library merely let out a breathe…was it regret? Relief? He couldn't tell.
A scroll landed in Judge's hand. In instinct, he looked over the old paper…as his eyes widened. He rubbed his hands over his eyes to clear the excess moisture as he saw the 'symbol' on the head of the scroll again.
It was an obvious depiction of the world…with three eyes.
"Hey! Hey! What is this scroll?!" He yelled, hoping to get the attention of any of the scholars. Professor Clover slowly walked over as he took the scroll and unraveled it.
"Just a myth." He murmured. "A myth regarding the eyes of the Three Eyed Tribe."
"Well? What does it say?! Tell me!" Judge's heart beat once more as he dared to hope. He came this far in the hopes of finding a myth…he had done so. What was one more?
"No." The professor's flat answer was the only thing that returned.
Judge saw red. His breathing grew heavy as his head began to feel hotter. He was so close…each step drew him closer to his goal…and an old man dares to stop him?
The giant man grabbed the elderly man by the neck before he turned and crashed him into the wooden wall. The elderly man only grunted in response, though he was obviously in quite a bit of pain.
"TELL.ME!" Judge spit out through gritted teeth. He was sure of it…this was the truth he was looking for. This was the truth that these scholars had dared to keep hidden from him all this time.
They knew. They knew this entire time. Of course they knew…they read everything in this damn library already.
"WHAT ARE YOU HIDING FROM ME?!!" His hand contracted around the neck of the old man as he began to raise it higher and higher. In just a few moment which felt like an eternity, the old man's feet was no longer touching the ground.
In panic, the director began to claw at his throat to breathe.
"Stop! Stop! I'll tell you!" A voice stopped him from committed the heinous act he was seriously considering. He dropped the old man down, although he kept a hand on the director's shoulder in case it was nothing but a distraction.
"Who are you?" He eyed the new voice.
It was a youthful looking female scholar although the way her 'colleagues' treated her betrayed her true age. A fair looking lady with white hair, tanned skin, well dressed in a tough brown pants and a fur jacket.
"Nico Olivia. I am…was…a scholar. Now I am an active archeologist." Despite the situation they were in, there was no shaking in her eyes. Not a single shred of fear of her being crushed under his hands in rage.
"Well?" He pushed on. His hand on the director's shoulder tightening ever slightly.
"It's the old legend of the Three Eyed Tribe." She began "They say that they have the potential to awaken their third eye…to see the truth of the world."
" … I see." Judge's hand fell from the professor completely. "Then isn't it clear what I must do then? Tell me, where are the three eyed tribe located?"
"*cough* *cough* Gone! Gone because of people like you!" The old professor croaked out. His voice laced with venom. "A precious people hunted by the greedy for their eyes…over a childhood story! The tribes are gone now and the few individuals who remain are in hiding!"
"Gone? No. That isn't possible!" The King of the Germa Kingdom thought hard…desperate to find a trace of the 'three eyed tribe'. Surely, it would be somewhere in the database. Throughout the 300 years of their exile, the Germa Fleet has been to every sea in the world. Surely…they must have found the remaining three eyed tribe somewhere.
Wouldn't he have known? Wouldn't he have heard of them before? Why did they seem so familiar…
The first meeting with the Emperor.
Her ambassador… Charlotte…Pudding…?
POV Vinsmoke Reiju (Poison Pink), the 1st child of the Vinsmoke
The Union was weak. Totta Land was weak.
In the traditional sense it was, in no way, weak. Yet, the Charlottes had just come out of an all out war between them and the Beast Pirates not even a week ago. They had emerged victorious with all members of their family 'alive'…but many were critically injured. The prized admirals of the Union were, according to the rumors, hospitalized. Some rumors stated that even Linlin herself had been hurt in her fight against Kaido.
Their fleet which had once numbered in the thousands were broken down to barely over three hundred with many in repair.
This was their weakest moment…and father said that this was the moment to act. Logically speaking, this was the right move to make. After all, the Vinsmokes were no saints and nor are the Charlottes. They formed this pact out of greed and it was to be broken for the same reason.
"Father, I must object to this." The first daughter tried reasoning to her father. "Even in a state like this, we are no match for an Emperor. Should the Queen herself come then we are doomed."
"She will not. She has other more important things to take care of. She has 30 offspring. Do you really think she'll come running out of the hospital for one of the talentless ones?" Judge scoffed. He too was looking back at his failure of a son.
Reiju grimaced as she knew exactly who he was referring to. Sanji… , Germa's failure…that was what they had called him. But in truth, wasn't it they who failed them?
Linlin, the Biggest of Mothers, may be a pragmatic and cruel woman on the battlefield and yet she was known to care for her own. Was this truly wise…? Would she be cold enough to weigh the pros and cons of losing one child? Like her father?
She didn't know. She didn't know enough about the Emperor to come to a judgement. All she knew was that this was a risk far, far, more dangerous than even forming the pact with the Emperor.
"Father. If this goes south, then we will be annihila-" *BANG!* Reiju stopped her words at the sight of her raging father. His spear in hand and his other hand balled into a fist.
"GERMA IS STRONG!" He roared. "WE CAN HOLD BACK A BLOODIED PIRATE!" He bellowed as his voice carried out throughout the throne room. " *huff* *huff* Set course to Totta Land. We go to Cacao Island."
Reiju could not say anything else. What was she to do? She was the first child of a royal bloodline…she could only drop her head and accept what her father had to say.
"…as you say father."
Even without their main fleet, their admirals, the leviathan, and the Emperor herself the remaining forces of the Union deserved recognition. Of course…they were blasted apart to pieces but they stalled the entire Germa fleet for far longer than Judge had thought possible.
It was as if every soldier was devoted to protecting the lands, even going as far as to throw their own bodies onto the oncoming vessels to try and distract it. It was a level of devotion only seen before in their own clones…but that was because they were created in such a way. What could have made the soldiers of Totta Land fight so hard?
The armed forces on Cacao Island was decimated in an instant with artillery shells raining from above. Without the Naval forces to stop them, the defenders could not do anything but call for non-existent reinforcements.
The Vinsmokes had done their research after all. Most of their forces were currently in Fishman Island for medical attention and recovery while their remaining ships were sent all over the New World for repairs and commissions. They may have become even more incredibly wealthy after looting the Beast Pirates for all they are worth, but they sure had nothing to protect it with at the moment.
Reiju, the first child, stood on the deck of one of the tower ships as she witnessed the carnage they were bringing about to an innocent island. There was no true grudge between the Charlottes and the Vinsmokes. Nor did anyone pay them to ransack this island. No…this was done out of their father's own will. They truly had no excuse on this one.
During their exile of 300 years from their homeland, they had become - for lack of a better word - pirates. They were the definition of how a pirate would act…but even pirates had standards. For those who did, they were lower lifeforms…scum. But then again, wasn't she the same?
She was there when they laughed at her little brother and cast him out. She was on every battlefield; actively participating in taking the lives of the unknown soldiers for the glory and gold of Germa. Pirates. Mercenaries. Germa. The line was beginning to blur.
"Oi~! We're back!" Ichiji, the firstborn son of the Germa greeted her as he landed on the back of the Tower snail.
Still fully armored in his red raid suit, he gently shifted something on his shoulder. On closer inspection, an unconscious girl was slung over his shoulder.
"Got her. Let's report to father." The fearless prince smiled back towards his sister as he nudged his thumb at the said girl.
The girl fit the descriptions they were looking for. Slightly on the shorter side, shoulder length brown hair…and most importantly three eyes (currently closed).
"… got it."
They had to get out of here fast. As weak as the current forces of the Union may be, they did not want to put that to the test.
"Full speed onwards! To North Blue!" Her father repeated his order throughout the fleet using the central transponder snail. His voice echoed throughout the various hallways and rooms as the clones got into action.
The snails received their orders to go full speed onwards as they began to flee from the Emperor's realm.
"We've earned the ire of the 'Mother' now, father. What do we do when she brings her fleet into North Blue?" On the deck of the connected Germa Kingdom, she asked her father.
"Then we must climb over the Red Line and into East Blue. They cannot chase us there." He nodded, assured of his plan. "We can then begin our search for Pluton. Once we have the ancient weapon in our hands…"
He gripped the air in front of him with both of his hands.
"Then even the Emperors of the sea will not be able to stop us."
Reiju could only nod at her father's words.
"It's unusually foggy today father." Vinsmoke Niji, the second son, addressed his father. Dressed in his usual electric blue color, he smiled arrogantly at the calm yet foggy ocean. "Perhaps it's hiding us from the chasing forces of the Emperor? They are bound to try and chase use after all! Hahaha!!"
"Uhm" Judge only grunted in reply.
Silence reigned for a moment when a small shadow appeared at the edge of their sights. A single blurry, foggy, shadow.
"Huh, what is that?" Yonji, the fourth son, pointed out the small approaching shadow. Somehow the shadow was getting bigger and bigger, implying that it was approaching them.
"It doesn't matter what it is. It's approaching us. Judging from its size it's most likely just a passing pirate crew or a Marine vessel." Judge observed as well. "If it gets too close, blow it out of the water."
"Wait." Ichiji motioned with his hands. His lips going down to form a frown…something was wrong.
In the deep fog, more dark spots began to appear. A second ship…then a third…ten, twenty…
"What's happening?!" Niji questioned.
The first ships began to take clear form as the fog thinned, only to reveal more ships approaching them from all directions.
Dark spots in the fog grew until it covered the entire horizon. Coming ever closer, ever faster.
"I thought their fleet was gone! It was supposed to be destroyed in the conflict!" Father roared in rage. A shiver going down his spine as he realized the implications. They were still too far from the Calm Belt…this was too soon!
"Father. Those aren't Union ships." Reiju pointed out at the horde of approaching ships numbering in the multiple of hundreds and still growing. The Union fleet was uniform in their ships' designs. These were too diverse, in all shapes and sizes.
"Hand me a binocular. I need to see this for myself." Judge said hurriedly. One of the clone soldiers passed it to him as he immediately put it to his eye and looked far out. Searching for the flags of the various ships.
"The Salvation Pirates, Pestilence Crew, Fiend Brothers, Freedom Searchers…*crunch* These are her allies." The binoculars shattered in his hands as he realized what had happened. "That damn bitch called in her debts!"
*bubble* *bubble* *bubble*
The air underneath began to bubble as if it was boiling. The ocean currents shifted widely as even the massive connected Germa Kingdom began to sway wildly in the ocean currents.
*bubble* *bubble* *bubble*
The Vinsmokes looked over the edge and saw a incredibly dark shadow becoming larger and larger…closer and closer as it rose faster and faster towards the surface.
"No…no way. Not so soon!"
*bubble* *bubble* *bubble* … *CRASSHHH!!!* *Splaassshhh* *splashhh!*
A bow of a towering ship broke through the water, followed by the main mast and kneel. It burst out of the water in such a force that it seemed to hover in the air, it's bottom still visible…about to land on the end of the Germa snails.
The size was such that it seemed to rival the entire Germa Kingdom. Such a large ship…there was only one in existence. The flagship of the Union Fleet.
"The Queen Mama Chanter…no way…she's here??!" Judge fell onto his knees in despair.
"Father! Run!" Reiju yelled as the gigantic ship began to fall back down towards the water; however it was so close that it was most likely to crash into the Kingdom on its way down.
Ichiji and Niji grabbed their father each by the arm as they activated their Raid Suits. Their soles instantly powering up as they dashed away to safety.
*CRRASSHHH!!!!!* *SHATTER* *SHATTER*
The bow of the Queen Chanter shattered the entirety of the front of the Germa Kingdom. Dozens of snails squashed underneath sinking to the depths never to be seen again.
"Disconnect the ships! Scatter them! You three, to where our prisoner is. Reiju! You come with me to the Castle ship!" Judge all but yelled the order.
Even from all the way back at the castle, they could already see the countless ships crashing into the kingdom's soil. Pirates of the New World spilling out onto their land as they engaged the clone soldiers in combat. Cannon fire roaring in the air as they shot down the prized Germa turrets.
The Germa turrets themselves sinking dozens of ships but there were simply too many coming too fast.
"VINSMOKE" A voice echoed clearly, loudly, ringing the bones themselves. "Return my daughter now and I will overlook this transgression."
Even without the speaker in sight, it was clear who it was. That voice…the power she put behind her words. It could only be her.
"Father! We must!" Reiju turned towards her father once more. Her words, her hands on his arms, tugging…imploring. Begging him to listen just this once. She may harbor no great love for this family…but they were still family.
"We can't!" Judge yelled back at her. "They're lying! They're Pirates!" Judge deluded himself. He had come too far to give up…they were just an ocean away. Just two hours and they would be in an ocean too dangerous to fight.
"Those pirates helped us father!" Reiju refused to let go of her father's arms. Too long had she quietly accepted his words, his decisions. She held him in great respect as much as the slight hatred and regret she had…but in the end he was still her father. If he let this chance go, then there truly was no hope for their family.
"Pirates are all the same!" Judge roared at her. His hands trying to pry her hands off his arms. "Scum of the sea! Liars! Pillagers!"
"WE! ARE THE PIRATES!" She was on her last legs now. "WE'VE LIED TO THEM! WE'VE PILLAGED FROM THEIR LANDS!"
She ignored the pain in her hands as her father twisted them off.
"WE ARE THE SCUM, FATHER! COME TO YOUR SENSES!" She choked back something coming up. "YOU ARE NOT AS STRONG AS YOU BELIEVE!"
As soon as those words left her lips, she knew she had made a mistake. Her father's eyes…those uncaring eyes changed. No longer was it cold, no longer was it uncaring…there was a blaze of hatred, anger, and disbelief in them.
She saw a fist be raised…coming towards her slowly. With all her enhancements and Raid Suit, she was stronger than her father. She could have dodged…perhaps she should have dodged. In her mental numbness, she chose to stay.
She felt the fist connect directly to her face. The fist of her father…it was not light either. Following the fist, she found her head on the floor…groaning. Something sharp kicked in her ribs.
Her pain, unsurprisingly, was manageable. With all of the genetic tinkering and chemicals pumped into her blood system, she was incapable of feeling pain strong enough to hinder her ability. The hatred, the resentment, the burning inside her was extinguished in an instant only to be replaced with the calming numbness.
She felt nothing…she wanted to feel nothing. Was it a sin to be like her brothers just this once? To just let the chemicals mess with her brains? To be heartless just this once?
She looked up at the towering form of her father. The father who, despite her hatred, she had served for so long. The figure who claimed to be their savior…their hope. The prodigy who would claim the destiny of the Germa.
"You…are no longer my child." Judge sputtered towards her. "Get off my Kingdom!"
A part of her screaming from within commanded her to raise her fists against her creator. To infect him with the poison in which her bloodstream were infected with. Another part of her screamed at her to beg for forgiveness…to stay with the only one who would call her 'family' despite how dysfunctional it may be.
But she did neither. Enough was enough…She took one last look at the man she used to call her father before turning to the seas.
She flew off. She didn't want to be here anymore…she couldn't stand being in this place a moment longer.
POV Vinsmoke Ichiji, the Sparking Red, the Prince of Germa.
"What a mess." He let out a smirk as he watched his Kingdom be desecrated by the Pirates. Well, the to fair, it seemed as if the waves of Pirates were endless even compared to their own massive cloned forces.
His father had said if there were only two ways to conquer North Blue, it would either be through overwhelming firepower or manpower. While neither had the firepower to blow the world to bits, it seemed the New World Pirates were certainly more numerous than they had thought.
And this is without the main fleet of the Union Pirates. How frightening.
He chucked at his own joke. He should feel frightened but he didn't. Due to his father's acts, he and his brothers and sisters were quite incapable of such weak emotions.
Except for that failure of course.
His father had really messed up this time. They had underestimated the Union Pirates by too far…and they would be set back by decades for this mistake. If, that was, they made it out alive at all.
From atop one of the central towers of the floating Germa Kingdom, he watched the happenings below. Despite each clone soldiers being slightly superior to that of a New World Pirate, they were being massacred down there.
"Arrghhh!!!!" With his superhuman ears he could hear the agonizing sounds of a burning soldier. In some sort of organized effort, the pyromancers of each pirate groups have begun burning through the Kingdom. Setting ablaze the walls, the grass, and the soldiers themselves.
"So what's the plan?" His younger sibling, Niji, asked him. The blue suited prince laid lazily against the tower's inner walls as he too looked out at the carnage taking place. "We've already secured the three-eyed freak. You sure we can't be out there?"
"No." He replied. "The hostage takes value over all except for father." As unlikely as it sounded, his father had made it clear to convey the importance of the hostage. While he could not see how such a weak girl could do anything, his father had stated that she was the key to Germa's victory.
"Fine." Niji smiled at his looked far out, into the air. Approaching them was a figure seemingly running on the air towards them in a terrifying fast speed. In fact, it was more akin to teleporting through the air than the standard flying. "It looks as if we'll have some action anyway."
Ichiji and Yonji dodged out of the way to safety as the small figure clad in black charged directly through the stones of the tower, shattering them in the process, as it burst into the open area within.
With the dust clearing, they could finally see the figure in clarity. It was a girl. A girl dressed rather scantily with only her black pants and a bra. Not that it seemed that it was her clothing of choice, however, if the fact that her entire body seemed to be covered in bandages was any indicator.
The bandages were obviously new seeing that there was a lack of dust or age on them but the blood already seemed to be seeping through. Her wrapping on the lower stomach was already drenched in a sickly dark crimson as drops of the water of life dripped drop by drop.
There was not a single exposed part of her except for her upper face. Her lower face including her nose and mouth was covered in some sort of black mobile life support system. A mask which breathed automatically if the blinking lights was anything to go by. Her light pink hair was tied back to prevent it from interfering with the straps and intricacies of the mask.
Despite her critically injured state, her broken body, her eyes were anything but dead. On th contrary they seemed to overshadow her entire being as her eyes burned…oh they burned…as her orange pupils seemed to dance wildly like a flame in the wind. Feeding on the oxygen, the hatred, the passion.
"Where…is….my…SISTER??!!" The melodic voice sounded twisted and in anguish as it was distorted by the mask.
"You're one of the admirals." He recognized her immediately. She looked very different from her usual appearance and attire but the hair and eyes were unmistakeable. "Charlotte Syrup, the Devil."
He couldn't help but let out a small snicker from the so called Devil of the Seas. It seemed as if the Beast Pirates truly had done a number on her. Seeing her state, it was a wonder that she was even standing at all.
Was the Emperor deaf? Blind? To send out her admiral in such a state? She was practically a walking corpse at this point.
"Does your mother know that you're here?" Niji taunted. "Or do you need one of us to walk you back to your 'Mama'?"
"Hahahaha!" The three brothers laughed as the Devil in front of them simply closed her eyes as she focused on something. On something that wasn't here.
"I sense her. She's here…in this tower. Nobody else is around her, good." She opened her eyes again. The sharp orange eyes seemingly darker than before.
"Little broken miss. What makes you think you can take us on while you're like that, huh?" Yonji laughed at her as the brothers prepared to fight. They already had their Raid Suits on them.
"God, forgive me for what I am about to do." The girl muttered. "Also give me strength."
She rushed forward in an instant with her fist raised towards him. He managed to barely sidestep her as she turned towards him to release a barrage of fists.
"What the…!" Despite how light it seemed from how she was throwing the punches, each one was incredibly powerful. Pushing against his crossed arms as he was forced to take a step back. He could feel even the skin of his augmented self straining as the punches only increased in magnitude.
His brothers came to his rescue as they tried to jump kick her. The enemy admiral bent herself backwards in an impossible angle as the kick missed her by an inch. Using the rocket boosts, the brothers were on her in no time as they spilled their attacks onto her.
An ominous unblinking red pupil greeted them as the girl moved through their attacks. Under and over their legs, deflecting their punches, and redirecting ranged attacks. They jumped back away from her to recollect themselves.
"What the hell. How fast is she?" Niji complained.
"Not as fast as she could be obviously. She's barely moving. She's in pain." Yonji pointed out.
"We just need to keep it up until she's exhausted herself." His smile turned sinister. "It's her fault for carrying herself to a fight in that state."
The girl suddenly collapsed onto her knees. Using her right hand to stabilize herself and stopping her from falling completely onto the floor.
"We might just have some fun after all this is over." He said, licking his lips in anticipation. There were never enough maids in the Germa Kingdom. Another one to entertain them during the night would not be so bad.
The Devil began to shake…as in shake intensely, demonically, uncontrollably as she screamed in anguish. The wires holding the mask to her face fell away revealing a bloodied mouth.
A mix of guck, saliva, and blood dripped onto the floor as the girl kept her mouth open in pure agony. She was enduring something.
"Ahhh!!! Ughh!!" A moan of pain as she closed her mouth to grit it once again.
*Rippp* *crack* *crack* *teeaarrrr*
Her visible back contorted painfully as something wiggled under her shoulder blade. Struggling as a black limb broke its way through the surface in a show of blood and gore with another anguished sound from the broken admiral.
"What the hell?" Niji was repeating that phrase too much now.
The black limb exploded out of her to her left side. A black feathered wing, drenched in black blood…a wing which seemed to tower over her small figure. It was obviously made for someone much larger than her. A single wingspan at least five times her height.
The gore show did not stop there as the same happened to her right side as the place underneath her right shoulder blade burst open revealing yet another wing. As if that was not enough, a small fire seemed to form on her back between the two wings before it began to burn like an inferno. Crackling and burning on seemingly nothing as, despite the pain, the admiral seemed unburnt and unaffected by the fire.
"What is this." Yonji said as he witnessed the incredibly disturbing transformation…if it could be counted as one at all. "Hey, she has wings and a fire now."
Thanks for pointing out the obvious.
The admiral, still on her knees, spat out one more guck of blood and chunks of unknown meat as she unsteadily rose to her feet. She shook her head slightly, as if to get the last of the pain out of her mind, before she looked up once more to face them.
"It's always painful the first time." She groaned slightly as she recovered from the intense pain.
"Did you know?" She began. Her voice softer, slower, yet still somehow just as disturbing even without the mask. "Every battle I grow stronger."
She raised a still shaking fist. An unsteady fist…and yet even with her exhaustion the fist turned pitch black, then with a slight pinkish aura around it. The air vibrating with her will as it permeated through the air.
"My armament compacted, my observation sharper, and my will stronger." She looked at him with the smallest of grins. Her lips rising the slightest bit. "But I do more, you know?"
"My body is changed with every victory." She flexed her massive wings as they flapped once, twice, before they settled down again. The movement alone causing a huge wind blowing away everything which wasn't bolted down.
"Every worthy foe I slay, I take a trophy of their strength and add it to my own." She seemed to recover with every passing moment. Her body standing straighter and movement with less strain.
"Heart, lungs, stomach, bones, muscles, blood." She listed off before looking behind her. "I had a lot to harvest from 'King'. I took from him what it meant to be 'Lunarian'."
She cracked her fists before a two-tipped spear, a bident, appeared out of nowhere and into her hands. "Summon soul weapon: Varatha"
"If King hadn't used that suicide maneuver I wouldn't have had to change." She cracked her neck side to side. "It's different now. You'll see. I'll go lightly. I would say…2 minutes? Starting now."
He watched her disappear entirely before she materialized, quite literally, in front of him. Her fist was already closing on his face. He could only close his eyes as he felt his face be crushed.
He felt his body flying and the shards of his broken sunglasses flying around him as he crashed into the outer wall of the Kingdom. He had broken through the tower's stone walls.
He picked himself up but he felt something wobbling inside his mouth. As he spit it out, he realized it was a number of his teeth.
"det bhech." Although he should have been furious, raging, fuming…once again he couldn't help but feel a mild annoyance. He sounded wrong…that girl would pay.
He activated his jet propelled boots as he was lifted into the air before rushing back through the gap in the stone walls only to see a sight of devastation.
Niji was pinned against the floor with the two massive black wings. Unable to move at all and the bident speared through his stomach. His blood was pouring out of his cut sides as it spread on the cold stone floor. Yonji, on the other hand, had his head grabbed by the admiral from behind. The smell of burning meat filling the air as she realized that the admiral's hands were ablaze like an inferno. He met his brother's eye for just a moment before…
She twisted his head as suddenly his brother's head was facing the other direction. The brutality did not end there as she took the corpse of his neck-broken brother before she began tugging on his head upwards.
Her hands strengthened and blackened with the might of her armament, it overcame the augmented body of his brother.
*ripp* *ripp* *teearr!!*
The iron skin of Yonji's neck began to tear apart until his brother was brutally decapitated. His eyes still open in shock and his mouth dangling open with no muscle to keep it closed. The girl, in response, only held it up to meet her eye level as she inspected it.
Not an inspection of pity, or even pride…it was a cold check to absolutely make sure her foe was dead. As dead as they could be.
"No!" In a fit of (mild) irritation, he rushed towards her only to get blasted back into the stones again. He tried to rise but something…some force was keeping him down. Unable to move.
Just what was her power? What sort of magic is she wielding? From that horrific transformation from countless surgeries and now just seemingly having control over his own body.
She released her palm which was facing him but the force did not relent. Even as he struggled with all he can with his superhuman body, his prized raid suit, and all the propulsion the jet boosters could give…he was still unable to move an inch.
The Devil ignored him completely as she slowly walked over to his remaining brother, Niji, who was also pinned on the ground. She stood over him with a face completely blind of emotion as she put her hand out to her side.
"Summon soul weapon: Enma" He watched in disbelief as another weapon materialized in her hands. This time, a curved blade in a beautifully gold-yellow sheath. She carefully unsheathed it silently as she put the sharp end to the neck of his brother.
"*heheh* Unfortunately for you, I don't feel fear." Niji smiled at his executioner.
"I only require your death." As if it was the most natural thing in the world, she slid the sharp end across the hardened neck like a hot knife through butter.
Blood spurted out from his brother's slit neck as he choked on his own water of life. He stilled soon after…but the Devil wasn't finished. She lifted the blade once more before plunging it directly where the heart was. It slipped through, Raid Suit and all, and straight through his heart.
His brother, already dead, did not react to this.
With both of his brothers dead, the devil finally turned to him.
It was the strangest sensation. Having absolute faith in one's demise, his death, and having no idea what to feel about it. On one hand, his father's order of keeping the hostage away from any intruders attempted to make him resist his fate. On the other, he knew it was meaningless. Even if he escaped, then what? Meet up with his father to face death together?
He had done his best here while following orders. The dream of Germa would fall…but that was his father's dream, not his. He smiled widely knowing that at least his end would be peaceful.
Perhaps he could have fun with her one last time? Just to see her reaction? There was nothing left, nothing at risk, after all.
"If you kill me, then my soldiers will kill your sister." A complete lie and bluff. He was confident the girl already knew of his lies. With that strange ability the New Worlders called 'observation haki' or whatnot.
"All of us Charlottes leave a small portion of our souls with Mama. Consider it something as an insurance." She continued to approach him as more questions began to form in his head. "Technically, we just need to recover her body."
"They'll torture her as well." He cackled once more. The girl was standing right on top of him now, looking down at him.
"She's my sister. She can handle anything."
She grabbed him by his hair before throwing him against the the wall. He had a moment of freedom from that force before it crashed on him once again, but this time horizontally as it held him against the wall like a lab-rat ready for experiments.
She silently walked up to him again before…she undressed.
The pure audacity and mind-boggling situation stopped his words from coming out.
"What the hell?" He took the words directly from his newly deceased brother.
She ignored him as she took off her bra and undid the bandages on her torso and stomach. Sadly she kept her pants on.
"Out of courtesy, I will advise you to close your eyes." She said blankly. "During the fight, 'King' ruptured one of my hearts. Yours will replace it."
"Oi, oi. This sight isn't too bad." He smirked as he took in probably the last (half) naked women into his lustful eyes. "You can replace your calf muscles as well if you want." He had to admit she was beautiful. Not as large but firm and perfectly shaped. Slightly tanned in some region but that just added the spice in his opinion. Even compared to the maids that he had brought onto his beds for just their looks, she was a beauty. What a shame he was about to be killed.
"Eyes of a soon-to-be dead man are no eyes at all." She ignored him completely as she coated her hands in some sort of thing. He had no ideas what it was but suddenly the space around her right hand seemed distorted…as if he was looking through a kaleidoscope.
She put her hand directly through his chest, going through it with no resistance at all. He felt a sudden pain in his chest as he felt her hand grip something very important inside of him.
"Ugh." It felt wrong…it felt so wrong as he felt the organ slid out of its place and yet the emptiness and the vacancy of the organ did not kill him immediately as it was supposed to. Instead, he watched in both disgust and fascination as her hand retracted with a thumping heart in her hand. Still beating, still alive, still believing that it was connected to him and not some space fuckery.
He watched as she traced with her finger from her chest down to her stomach. As soon as she took her index finger off, her skin split open revealing what was below. While he had seen his share of gore and human anatomy, this was…could she even be called human at this point?
Layer after layer her body opened. Compacted layers of hardened fat to provide natural armor…until she reached her bones. Or rather, what was supposed to be her ribcage. What was there was no human bone structure.
It was dozens of a pitch black bone fused together, twisted together, to form a complete protection to whatever was within it. As she ran her hand on it, even the bones began to unravel revealing her only human side; her vital organs.
A pair of blue lungs, a pair of pure white kidneys, a purple liver, and a spleen. He counted three hearts, each different from another. One was pitch black, another perfectly normal, and the final was a bleeding green heart from which gushed black blood in its un-beating state.
With her free hand, she put it over the green heat as it disconnected from her vessels with a *pop* *pop* before it fell out of her body like a pinball. Dropping onto the stone floor as it gushed out one more beat of black blood before it stilled in peace. She put in his heart where it reconnected to all the vessels in an instant.
Then as if nothing had happened, the bones fused back together, the layers of fat, muscle, and skin wrapping back up and not leaving a single trace of the horrific surgery in which had just taken place.
She looked back up at him with her bright orange eyes.
"Thank you for the donation." She said quietly.
A sudden pain rocked his body as if it had just realized that it had a heart no more. He could feel his internal body filling with blood as the vessels poured the water of life into a place in which no longer existed.
He continued to breathe for dear life but he was getting weaker…weaker…his body was losing strength. It was getting harder and harder for him to think…what…?
He saw one last time the beautiful breasts of his killer before he closed his eyes to oblivion.
POV Vinsmoke Judge, King of the Germa Kingdom.
It was over as soon as she had shown up. Perhaps if she didn't come personally then there may have been a chance. If he were to risk everything once again, then he would have been content to disconnect just one snail-ship and make a run for it with the hostage in tow.
In fact, that was his last ditch plan… but he watched from afar as his firstborn son broke through the tower in which the three-eyed girl was held. His strongest weapon, his firstborn son, flung across his entire Kingdom like a rag doll.
It was obvious one of the stronger members of the Union had gone over there him/herself to rescue their own. From the throne room, he could only hope for the best and pray for his sons' safety.
Even the dreadful silence did not last long as the members of his Kingdom, the scientists, began to rush into the throne room in fear of their own lives. It took just a moment to realize that they didn't run here on their own free will but rather they were herded like sheep.
The entrance to the throne room which was boarded shut with steel bars didn't stand a chance as with a single dull *thud*, the gates to the royal throne shattered like glass.
Standing at the broken entrance of the throne room of the Germa Kingdom was the Queen herself. Standing tall at her 9 meter stature, practically towering over everything and everyone in the great hall.
If anyone had told him that the age of this woman was in her seventies, he would have told the man to shut up.
The Emperor looked, if anything, youthful. Her skin perfectly smooth and clear of blemishes despite her numerous days at sea. Her hourglass figure well maintained far beyond what her actual age suggested. Her hair was free of the grey and white of old timers and instead glowed with her long, flowing, and well groomed dark pink hair.
So youthful she looked, in fact, that he would have bet that she wasn't a day over 25.
The Germa scientists, numbering in the dozens, shuddered in the corner of the throne room as they huddled together. Inhumane beings who created artificial super-human and yet unable to stand in the presence of a legitimate one.
"Charlotte Linlin." He acknowledged as he called her by her full name. As much as he wished to deny it, he was not a dim-witted man. He knew exactly how this would go. "I should never have signed that contract."
The queen walked on the smooth red carpet, staining them with her blood-stained boots. The only saving grace would be that the crimson liquid was nearly identical to the color of the dyed fabric beneath.
"It's a nice place you have here, Judge." The Emperor stated nonchalantly as she looked around the place. She walked over to the walls before stooping down to see all the artworks hung on the walls. "Quite narcissistic of you, don't you think? A painting of your own victory? Or should I call it unprovoked, mindless, genocide?"
She tipped over a painting of the 'War of the Four Kings' as the priceless drawing fell onto the floor. Its wooden frame cracking in two as the fabric ripped apart.
"Your mistake is messing with my family." Her voice deepened as her eyes narrowed. "You don't have to worry so much. It'd be your last, after all."
Each step she took brought her closer to the throne.
*step* *step* *step*
In just a few steps, the Queen of the New World was towering over the King of North Blue. Looking down with a look of pure disgust as her lips pressed tight.
"I heard you were injured." He said. He had hoped that the rumor was true…and he had thought there would have been some truth to it. It was generally accepted that the Emperors (the Yonko) were similar in strength to each other.
For them both to fight to the death and for her to emerge practically unharmed with not even a scratch was inconceivable to him. Just how much did he not know about this crazy woman?
In reply, the queen scoffed. "And I thought you were someone with honor. So I guess we're both disappointed."
She squatted down until she was seeing him eye to eye. A giant hand grabbed his head before it began exerting pressure…a steady pressure in which began to give him a headache in no time.
"Just do it! Get it over with." Judge gritted out.
"I will." Her reply came immediately. "But only after I take everything from you."
"Mama. We're here." Through the demolished gates, two figures stepped through. One he recognized in an instant as the hostage.
My sons…what happened to them?
The other one must be the rescuer then. Did she defeat his sons? How ridiculously strong are these New-Worlders?
"Pudding. Syrup." She released her grip on his as she happily turned around and got onto her knees. Stooping herself even lower, she spread her arms to welcome her daughters in a warm, motherly, hug.
"Pudding dear, I was so worried for you." She raised them up as she gently shook them side to side like how one would do for a coddling a baby.
"Mama, I'm fine. Moody sis here got me out just fine." The former hostage chuckled in glee in her mother's embrace as she, with her small stature, tried to hug her mother back. With such a difference in size, she could only manage to reach across her mother's neck span.
"Syrup, I'm proud of you as well." At her words, the blank faced girl only nodded in response. "But I would rather you take better care of yourself. You haven't even healed from your fight yet!"
"Mama, I've merely lost one heart from King. I've had it replaced.." The pink haired girl sounded melodic but her words sounded forced, as if she was hiding something. "I am fine now Mama. There is nothing to worry about."
"The same heart which belonged to the user of the Heal-Heal no mi. You've lost your superhuman regeneration." The Emperor sighed in motherly concern as she gently caressed the head of the said girl who, apparently, had survived a lost heart.
"There are many such fruits out in the New World. I've heard rumors of a Regen-Regen fruit user. There is nothing to worry about Mama." The black clad girl practically repeated her former words as her mother gently lowered the siblings back on the ground.
"Alright, I'll take your words for now. But we're having a long chat once we return. Understand?"
"Yes Mama" The girl, still void of any emotion, nodded her head. It disturbed him to see how much this…girl…was like Reiju.
"Alrighty then." The Biggest of Mothers turned to face him once again as she called out to her three eyed daughter. "Pudding dear, don't you think we can make much better use of his intellectual property than a dead man?"
A rhetorical question of sarcasm. It was clear as day that its only purpose was to taunt him…unfortunately it worked too well. Everything he had built by sacrificing decades…his life, his family, to make…was being taken away?
"YOU CAN'T!" He found himself screaming. Jumping right into the shark's open and waiting mouth. "THIS IS KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY BUILT UPON THE FUTURE ITSELF! IT IS NOT SOME TOY YOU CAN JUST REVERSE ENGINEER."
"I know." She nodded slowly. "Your fancy suits looked pretty advanced. But I'm sure we'll have no problem once I know everything you know. Pudding dear?"
"Wait…what do you mean…?!!" He was so sure the girl was powerless. According to Ichiji, this girl barely even resisted when they came in to kidnap her! She wasn't some sort of super genius…probably.
"Of course Mama." The three eyed girl walked to one of the scientists in the corner with the other girl following close behind.
As they nodded to one another, the other girl dragged one of the scientists before forcing him unto his knees before forcefully locking his limbs in place. Pudding then put her two hands on the side of his head before…
*slide…* *splish, splash*
His eyes widened in horror as he saw the girl's hand go right through the skin of the scientist and into his head.
"How much Mama?"
"Wipe it all."
"Ahhh…Aghhh!!!" The scientist under the horrific incident mumbled incomprehensible words.
"Of course." With a cruel, sadistic, smile the three eyed girl yanked her hands back out. In her right hand, however, was seemingly a rolled up film paper. As her hands left the head the scientist crumpled to the ground before suddenly crying, bawling, like a newborn child.
"Wahhh!!!! Wahhhh!!!" The old man cried and wailed as the other girl, Syrup, watched with mild distaste before…
She stomped on the old man's neck. Silencing him forever.
Completely ignoring her sister's murder, Pudding threw the rolled up film to her mother. Linlin caught the small bunch with her free hand before she casually put it up to the side of her head…as if to absorb whatever memories the old scientist had in his entire lifetime.
"Fascinating." With her eyes closed, she smiled as she saw everything. Understanding the intricacies of the impossible, futuristic, technology. Centuries worth of knowledge suddenly welcomed into her mind never to be forgotten.
The girls, on the other hand, pulled yet another scientist from the corner as they repeated the process.
"Good job girls. Let us continue until this room is empty." The Emperor opened her eyes once more. Her bright orange eyes almost glowing with interest, knowledge, and wisdom. "Let us save the mighty king for last." Her voice drenched in acid. Her words cut deep but for some reason…for some mysterious force was keeping him trapped on his throne. Unable to life a finger.
The dream of the Germa…ended this night.
POV Vinsmoke Reiju, former princess of the Germa Kingdom.
She hid right underneath their noses. Taking the opportunity of the invading Union forces, she had flew directly to the nearest island before taking a ship to Totta Land. In truth, she had few choices and each one sounded worse than the last.
She could have gone rogue but how long would she have lasted on these seas alone? The New World ate up rookies like her on a daily basis. With nothing to support on, she knew she would eventually fall into piracy which was not a life she wished to live.
She could have escaped the sea itself into safer waters. Perhaps the East Blue, the weakest sea, for a life of peace? Maybe there she could suffer in silence as she pleaded in silence to all those she had wronged. From her brother Sanji, her siblings whom she had failed to save, and the countless faceless she had killed under the influence of her father's orders. But she knew deep down that once word got out, the World Government would come for her…and there was no escaping that.
As a former member of the World Government who had crossed them, there was no way they were letting her off easy. Endless Marines would pour on her no matter where she hid in the blues or Paradise.
It was only here in the New World where she was truly safe from the Marines. The New World where the World Government had no influence…as it was the sea dominated completely by the 3 rulers, the Emperors, of the Sea.
So she hid in the one spot that was safe from the normal horrors of the New World; the territory of Charlotte Linlin. The very figure who had decimated her family to the ground…although they did wrong her first.
For over a year she lived in peace and endless vigilance. Working simple jobs and living a simple life. She had left behind her past as she dropped her family name completely…hoping there was never a time when she had to use that name once again. Some of her neighbors had questions regarding her but Totta Land was also a land in which accepted and welcomed all folks without differentiation. The questions soon ceased and she, to the people in her town, another normal citizen.
She kept her head low as she was well versed in how this 'observation haki' worked. Never a speck of bloodlust…never a shred of bad will towards any of the Charlottes. Never intend to harm any of the citizens…and feel herself becoming normal. Just like anyone else, blend in.
Yet no matter how hard she tried, living in the land of her family's murderers were not as easy as it seemed. She did not hate the Charlottes nor did she even blame them…but it was uncomfortable. It wasn't easy.
A deep part within her knowing something was wrong. The guilt knowing she had it within her to let her family stay and die.
Surely, Sanji would have been different. He was such a kind boy.
Day after day, she searched for the numbness to silence her voices.
It was first through a rumor she heard of the attack on Cacao Island. She scoffed at the thought of anyone suicidal enough to stage an attack on the Emperor. Especially there of all places. Sure enough, news spread like wildfire across the territory as the details were written out and the story was shared.
A portal to a whole new world.
A world free of Marines, pirates, and the Germa. A free world…a blank slate.
Initially she had ignored what she had heard…just trying to get on with her life as she rested her thoughts…but she couldn't. As the days went by the voices just kept getting louder and louder as her heart beat painfully in protest.
She could be free. From the Charlottes…from the Vinsmokes, just across that gate.
She found herself staring at two old canisters she swore to never use. One was a battered pink can…her raid suit. In her other hand was a black, brand new, raid suit. One which was created but never used due to the loss of their 'beloved general's unfortunate death.'
She grimaced at the lie her father had told their people…but the past was in the past now. She could not do much about it.
She gripped the black canister tightly as she made up her decision.
Sorry Sanji…but I need this right now.
Invisibility would come in handy.
Under the dead of night, she activated her invisibility ability on her new raid suit as she quietly…silently…tiptoed past the vigilant guards. She saw a couple of them raise their snouts in the air as they sniffed vigorously, suspicious of her.
She went past them quickly in fear that they would catch onto her. Each checkpoint she slipped under, hid, or was carried through by a moving vehicle. Seven of these later she reached the massive otherworldly structure.
A gate of ginormous size welcomed her. A gate in which was pitch dark within as if the entrance was covered with a thin layer which obstructed all light. Possibly large enough to even fit the former Germa tower ship if it was strained enough.
"Group Designation: ZA3! You may go through the Gate!" A loudspeaker announced loudly as a massive snail began to lurch forward.
She quickly dodged to the side to avoid being crushed under the live vehicle as she watched its slimy form slither towards the gate. With a deep breathe, she jumped up and grabbed onto the emergency ladder located behind the snail.
One of the designs (and few) in which the Union seemingly did not change from the original Germa model. Whatever the case, she was thankful for it now as she hung onto the snail as its head entered the darkness, followed by its body, cabin and all, before she too was engulfed by the darkness.
She silently hung onto the ladder in absolute silence for hours as they made it through the gate onto the other side. She hung on as the snail went past all the checkpoints on the 'special region' or so they called…
And once it was all over she dropped from her ladder under the dead of night once again as her feet touched the soil of this different new world.
The air…it felt smoother, softer. Untouched and ravaged by the bloodshed of their conflict infested world. The soil itself felt softer.
Here she was free. As she was just about to finally uncloak herself she realized a rather large figure moving under the shadows. The said figure crawled right up to her before laying back.
"Ughh! Finally here. Oden's ass, that was tough!" The figure said in a tomboyish manner. "How many damn checks do they have to have! Damn Big Mom."
With her darkness-adjusted eyes, Reiju carefully studied this curious, ridiculous figure.
A rather tall figure standing well over 2.5 meters with long white hair. Pale beige skin and wearing a sleeveless white…traditional clothing? The same could be said for her red, kilted, dress covering her lower parts. It was something very Wano-ish looking in origin.
What was most prominent, however, were her two curved horns sprouting from the sides of her forehead. Crimson, orangish, thick horns which curved upwards.
The figure was just about to relax when…
Even with her invisibility still active, they made clear eye contact. Reiju, in doubt, moved slightly but watched as the eyes follow her.
"Who the fuck are you?"
End of Chapter 6