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Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
[[atkt5]][[atkt2]][[deft1]][[wpt1]]
Posts : 184
View user profile

[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Aug 02, 2022 4:43 pm
Part 2:

Pestilence


The mighty walls of Rose loomed above the city like petals protecting its precious stamen: the capital’s populace. In every garden, there is a time when its gardener must drive out pestilence. Had this horned and red-haired aphid not gorged itself well enough on the fruits of Castor’s labor? The time had come to zap this insect and finally allow Lvneel to bloom.

Driven to the doorstep of the capital city in a rain of clouds and lances, it was fitting that the light gray clouds poured an ominously fine rain down on those gathered on the stretch of Rose’s border. The sunlight of the dawn filtered down on and refracted from the brilliant armor of the knights gathered.

Fields of Roses flourished beneath the gentle rain, swaying in the breeze and quavering as the monstrous trespasser trode further along their road. The white roses nearest the rose seemed to stand at attention as if begging to be stained red.

Doji’s arrogance had served him well in the past, but today it could not. An unearthly presence emanated from the road’s end, a foreboding but serene aura that would serve as the court for the coming judgment. At the nexus of the storm sat the gallant leader of these knights, a presence he was wary in his approach of.

“Greetings ser, my name is Asakura Doji,” The giant kneeled into a bow.  “ I appreciate your knights guiding me here to the Capital. The hospitality, resiliency, and… ” he paused, trying to phrase his compliment politely, “... stubbornness of your populace is rather impressive.”

An awkward hush fell amongst the knights, each confused as to why the giant thought himself here on good terms.

“Though I must say they’ve been a bit rough in their welcome ever since my arrival,” Doji spoke calmly despite his intuition, hoping that his good manners might serve him well amongst the chevaliers,“Don’t worry about that though, may I know your name ser knight? What have you called me here for?”

The extension of a peaceful branch, like a foreign and unwelcome sakura attempting to root and flourish beneath a lightning storm. What a laughable bastard, any budding tree could be unrooted and scrapped for wood; why put yourself where you don’t belong?

The falling of the rain intensified, and the ruffling roses seemed to shiver with anticipation.

Post Word Count: 392
Total Word Count: 17,398


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Proofreading)
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
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[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
Posts : 746
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:52 pm







blur_on




Cinder and Smoke


"Hey. Brat. Wake up. Your drooling on my armor." Jules called out to the slumbering childhood version of Nox. Forever alive in his memories, a warm fuzzy hue surrounded the vivid memories of the Three-Eyed Man and his mentor.

Awakening dazed in the lap of Knight, a young Castor peered up at his giant mentor with a puzzled gaze. "Where are we Mistress Jules?" Nox inquired. Shaking the munchkin from her lap, awkward in social settings, Jules arose, staring up at the night sky.

"We are on the training grounds. You passed out again during our sessions. I decided to let you get a bit of rest and you ended up in my lap. So I waited for your slumber to end." Jules explained.

"Ah. You watched me as I slept? That's kind of weird Auntie." Castor declared with a slight chuckle rubbing his three eyes, as they hadn't yet quite opened fully. Smacking her hand against the back of Nox's head, "Ungrateful brat." Jules responded, her face slightly flustered from the child's honest remark.

As the two continued to star gaze, the eager Nox swung around Jules's legs, asking her questions about ideas he'd picked up in books. The more technical questions about navigating she would circumvent but anything about the lands abroad, from her many travels, Jules was a wealth of experience.

"Hey, kid. One day... I won't be here to pick you up when you are down. You need to find your kind of strength." Jules declared out of the blue.

"Where would you be going, Auntie?" Nox inquired innocently.

"Stop calling me that! Makes me sound old. I told you. Jules is fine." The Knight exclaimed annoyed. Sighing, "When I die obviously." Jules stated bluntly.

Staring at the woman with a blank expression, pausing slightly before replying, "Impossible. You're the strongest Knight in Lvneel History according to the records. I've never seen you sick and you don't plan to have kids so- unless a monster appears, the chances of you dying are super slim.

Which means. Statistically, you're invincible. Kind of like a predator in the wild! Like a Gorilla."
Nox exclaimed, nodding his head in approval of his deduction.

Shortly after, Nox was 'tucked in' and put to sleep. This was the second time in Nox's life that Jules nearly killed him.

Border Gates of Rose


Appearing out of thin air between the colossal Oni and his Knights, the Duke's arrival in the pouring rain was heralded with hymns from the stormy obsidian skies.

These praises bellowed across the land in the form of thunder, and lightning swarming around the Duke's supernatural arrival. The size difference between Doji and Castor was uncanny but the Knights who stood behind Nox could feel the pressure coming from the Duke.

His conqueror's Haki caused the metallic joints on the gate's borders to rattle, rendering the inexperienced Knights amongst the fold almost unconscious. However, Castor had not wish to make anyone present lose consciousness, the best torture was done when the mind was active and fully alert.

"Paku Paku Pauku... You are in no position to be making any demands. You had a hell of a tour around my turf, Oni." Castor declared grinning. "Or is it Doji? Let's have a heart-to-heart. I could've cut your head off where you stand but I've learned from experience, that random acts of violence only satisfy me temporarily.

I'll ask this once. If you lie to me, your life ends here.

What's your connection to Stein and why did you defile my master's final resting place on Flevance?"
Castor asked enraged and sternly specific.


Word Count: 7,459/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A





Last edited by Castor O. Nox on Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total

________________________________________________________
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
[[atkt5]][[atkt2]][[deft1]][[wpt1]]
Posts : 184
View user profile

[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:09 pm
Doji was all but blind to the majesty of Castor's arrival, but still, he could not help but take note of the being that had appeared amongst the resounding chorus of lightning and thunder. The gentle rain grew harsher by the moment, downpours falling from the sky to herald the lightning's arrival. The presence of a conqueror shot chills through the boy, this man’s mere existence was all but enough to knock the proud oni out. As Castor made a conscious effort not to render those around him unconscious, Doji's psyche seemed to roar like a dragon, not yet wishing to be vanquished by this gallant knight.

The giant recovered from this splitting headache before, cupping his head in his hand before smiling mischievously to Castor, replying first to his comment on the traveler's demands, “I'm aware that I've done nothing to entitle myself to your hospitality. But can you blame me for trying? I ask only the niceties that any vagabond might.”

It occurred to the oni that running his mouth much further without answering the knight's question may be a death sentence.

"Right and about…" Doji gritted his teeth, the muscles in his face furrowing into a furious cantor, "... Stein." He growled, thoughts of the dandy’s betrayal coursing through his mind like poison.

"I have nothing to do with him," the oni abruptly broke from his scary demeanor and answered in a clueless matter-of-fact tone.

The awkwardness of the knights sitting in stunned silence inclined Doji to elaborate.

"I was visiting Flevance in search of the swordmaster Mishima Nobunaga," the boy spoke softly, wondering if this would be his death, the end of his pursuits. "That rat bastard…" the oni's furious expression returned to him, “...he tricked me! He slaughtered that warrior in cold blood.” the boy spoke these words regretfully.

The giant clutched his face in one hand, speaking ashamedly, “I assure you, whatever depths of inhumanity you think me guilty of, I’m no assassin.”

Doji thought back to the last words that Leonidas had sputtered out before succumbing to the poison. Could this be him?... The giant pondered on the identity of the leader of the knights.

“As for what you call ransacking...” the boy felt it wise to finish answering the man’s question before retorting with his own, “...I must apologize, I know nothing was taken aside from that sword and the corpse that leech was after. I was furious upon learning that he had poisoned the guard,” the giant groaned before further explaining himself, knowing that his excuse was unlikely to carry much sway. “I find it difficult to calm myself once I’ve angered, I assume that the aftermath of this is what you’re referring to when you say defile?”

Doji contemplated his next words carefully.

“If it’s worth anything my intentions had nothing to do with defilement. Had I known that Stein intended to make away with the corpse of a masterful warrior I would have had no part in it?” he explained himself further, taking a moment to don a friendlier composure. “I rob the dead only to search for my master and to sustain myself; I have no ill will towards them, and take efforts to respect them,” the man seemed somber as he spoke of the dead, “They provide for me, they guide me, they are the forebearers of our history, and…” the giant paused his rambling for a moment, “... they don’t judge me quite as harshly as the living.”

A somber pause passed between those present. Leonidas’ last words echoed in Doji’s mind.

“I wonder. Is it you he was referring to?” The giant bore a saddened expression as the rain continued to pour, “Is your name Castor? That man told me of you, Leonidas. He said you were a man to be proud of.”

7 years ago in Kano Country…


The cottage of the elder Hanako rested peacefully upon the mountaintop. Within its sturdy confines, the swordswoman and her son had continued their training well into the night. Before retiring for the evening the two practiced breathing exercises, and each evening Hanako would tell the young Doji her grim excuses for bedtime stories.

“We’ve spoken of sorcerers before, yes Doji?” The red-haired boy nodded his head. “I’m glad you remember. In many lands these sorcerers have used their abilities to come to power, however, not all are so noble as to conquer these territories outrigh,.” Hanako thought back to the assassins who almost killed her as a youth, one of them a sorcerer with an inexplicable ability for silence. “Some are as underhanded as a common thief. Do not mistake their power for merit in itself.”

Hanako went on to tell her boy the story of an assassination in Wano that allowed a wicked official to come to power. The official had acquired the assistance of a sorcerer, whose meek power was perfectly suited to facilitate the scheme. In the end, the official’s corruption was exposed by the son of the assassinated official. The story is historically based, but also meant to illustrate the great difference that a seemingly small factor can make, deciding even life and death.

“Ha! What a weak sorcerer!” The point of Hanako’s stories often flew right over her boy’s head.

“And yet he brought a great man to his knees,” Hanako spoke with a condescending tone, a good bet to get the boy to think further.

“Well yeah. But it wasn’t fair, he didn’t even have a chance to fight back,” the boy pouted stubbornly.

“Wherever you can find fairness in this world boy…” Hanako stood abruptly, frustrated with her son’s flippant ignorance, “... remind yourself that it is a gift.”

With this, the Swordswoman retired to her room for the evening. Doji was left in the open expanse of the family’s empty living room, kneeled upon a tatami, and wondering why his words irritated his mother so much.

The 11-year-old boy wasn’t prone to dwelling on negative feelings, flights of fancy much moreso. Before the dense crimson-headed boy headed to bed he wore himself out pretending to be a sorcerer.

What kind of crazy powers can these people have? They can't all be as boring as that guy’s.

Excerpts from The Book of Five Elements by Mishima Nobunaga


“Victory over oneself is the making of strength. There is no blade, no power, no tutor, and no single opponent, that can offer mastery on its own. If you are facing an opponent who has mastered themselves more than you have yourself then you are destined for defeat.” - Book of Fire

Hanako remembered when he had said this to her, just before she departed from Wano Kuni. They were emboldening words for her at the time, with his help she had become a nearly peerless swordswoman; and for years she proved herself a terror amongst the hardened pirates of the New World.

All until he humbled her. Until she was given another human to master; an imperfect, unruly, undisciplined, and dastardly child that she would have to shape into the true successor for her wise master’s teachings?

What an impossible undertaking.

“There is no one path to greatness nor enlightenment, regardless of what path one might walk. All that entitles a man to pursue perfection is granted to us by the world itself. Whether found in music and peace, or war and history books, whatever side of a duality that a man walks, he is equal in his motion forwards. Whatever way you choose, feel no need to follow that of another.” - Book of Void

What would Doji’s path be? Simply the one laid out by his mother?

Post Word Count: 1,273
Total Word Count: 18,671


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Proofreading)
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]
[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
Posts : 746
View user profile

[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:53 pm







blur_on




Cinder and Smoke


The man's eloquent explanation revealed to Castor quite a bit. First off, Doji wasn't a monster in the traditional storybook sense, his words were sharp, precise, and well-spoken. Which, initially made Castor even more suspicious.

"Not too long ago I invaded these lands as well. To sit here and babble on about hospitalities and pleasantries... A murderer like me has no such right... Gashi Gashi." Castor responded to the Oni with a slight chuckle.

Castor's expression soured once again at the mentioning of the dapper enemy's name. Judging by the Oni's heart rate and manner of speech, the colossal beastman's words seemed to be truthful.

As he continued to allude to Leonidas' final moments, Nox's eyes began to wane slightly in confusion. It seemed the report passed onto him from the Queen of Flevance had a bit of misinformation to it. Recapping Sir Bearington's report, the inconsistencies began to show.

What remained true however was two factors, as the Oni inferred himself, Seiryu and Jules's remains were indeed missing. The body language of Doji also pointed to an annoyance with how Stein handled things, which was one point they could've related on.

Stein was a man who would use anything in his power to crush an enemy much stronger than himself. Poison was just the tip of the iceberg of his deceptive tactics. Castor's runnings with the man's revealed that to him firsthand.

The man's philosophies on grave robbing came into the fold and the Three-Eyed Man couldn't help but chuckle to himself a bit. "That's a pretty warped worldview. In pursuit of this master, you'd disrupt the resting places of those who have already passed. What is there to gain from a soulless corpse but the remains of their worldly possessions?

Seems like a justification that you will yourself into believing."
Castor theorized.

"Which is fine. I concur with your point about living. These humans see us as walking nightmares to be conquered. They'll send their knights, shoot their arrows, and harbor their ill-wills all because of the way we look.

That's life on the seas I suppose.

After you made it past all my underlings, I had to come to see this 'Oni' for myself."
Castor stated, resting his legendary blade Zaigo on his shoulder.

"Aha. How rude of myself. My name is Castor O. Nox. I'm a Duke of this island and first foremost, Captain of the Nox Pirates." Castor declared smirking proudly.

"Doji, is it?" Nox inquired, picking up the man's name from the information siphon through his Goro Goro No Mi abilities. With one compact swing of his blade, Castor severed the cord that connected Doji's Soju Gourd from his waist.

"Rainy days are the perfect time for a drink, don't ya think? Gash Gashi Gashi." Nox declared, as the thunder seemingly roared in cue to the chuckle of the famed pirate Captain.


Word Count: 7,942/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A




________________________________________________________
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
[[atkt5]][[atkt2]][[deft1]][[wpt1]]
Posts : 184
View user profile

[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:32 pm
Doji dutifully caught his Sake, uncorking his gourd before letting out a grim laugh himself. "Shini-hi-hi-hi. I always preferred the wind," a meek and wispy breeze blustered through the roses in the area, shaking loose a mist of droplets towards the squaring swordsmen.

One last drink eh? He thought to himself as he chugged heartily from his container. The teenager finished the strong spirits off in just under 7 seconds; whatever sake this monstrous adolescent had gotten his hands on was pungent and acrid, smelling more like formaldehyde than a beverage fit for human consumption.

Knowing that a blade was drawn, Doji slowly readied his swords, steadying his nerves and preparing for a fight with his greatest opponent yet. The giant unwound his shoulders, and gradually geared away from talking towards combat readiness; however, his itch for conversation hadn’t been scratched.

With a redness in his cheeks, the giant spoke down to Castor, "Pardon, based on your stature I took you for a human. So..." the oni recalled back to the insults of his hometown, "... what kind of freak are you?" Doji seemed apprehensive to insult Castor, but figured that the old insult might amuse him.

A justification I will myself into believing? What is any justification but just that? The giant pondered; in his blinded eyes there could be no true beliefs aside from those that a believer could forcibly assert on the world, why would it matter if a belief was self-sourced? If a person was strong enough to bring their vision forth then what did it matter where it came from?

"As for the dead..." the boy’s expression turned to a peaceful smile, "...they certainly don't seem to mind my borrowing what I need," the yōkai spoke casually of his robbery. "And who amongst the dead requires such lavish exaltations? Most people in this world come and go without a trace, a tombstone is enough of a memorial for those ordinary men who lived without purpose.”

Doji thought back to the swamps of Aube, and the city’s absence of a graveyard, “Even amongst the throws of war, not every warrior is given proper rest. Why should I show deference for those who left this world without a fight?”

The giant saw the frightening look in Castor’s eyes before taking a more respectful tone, "It doesn’t seem that Jules was amongst these ordinary people, she was a woman who did something with her life! Who fought and died with her title. How wretchedly distasteful of me to abett her abduction, as though she was some common noble lying upon a hoard of unearned treasure.”

"So what is your justification, Castor? Every man needs his purpose, I seek the master of the school of swordsmanship passed down to me by my mother. What is it that you seek?"

The hooks of Doji’s swords hung gently towards the ground, calling to mind the image of an oversized farmer tilling the earth. The giant oni seemed almost like an ordinary man as he stood before the god of lightning.

Post Word Count: 508
Total Word Count: 19,179


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Proofreading)
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]
[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
Posts : 746
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:49 am







blur_on




Cinder and Smoke


As the rain's intensity soothed, Castor plopped onto the muddy ground, folding his legs as he peered up at the massive Oni. Watching the monster chug the putrid-smelling Sake down like a bottle of water was impressive.

If he'd live to pass these initial interrogations, Castor would invest time in seeing how long it'd take for the menace to go down. The irony of a monster calling another monster a freak caused Castor to break out into laughter once more.

"Gashi Gashi Gashi" Nox cried out with a chuckle. "A three-eyed one. Isn't that obvious?" Castor continued. Calling to his men for Sake of his own, the Duke poured himself a glass as he awaited the man's rationale behind graverobbing.

The monster's response was pleasantly intriguing to Nox. The Oni was right. Those who bury the dead with rare heirlooms only do so out of worldly desires such as ego and appearance, surely Jules herself didn't even want to be buried in a cathedral, she'd often talk about spreading her ashes across the field in attempts to become one with Lvneel.

However, by the time he'd come to power, the rights to her burial had long been handled and that dream of hers was never fulfilled. Then, the man went on to speak about the causalities of war, once again, he was correct.

During the civil war, many a warrior passed and many of them will never see an honorable burial. It'd be an expense the Crown would never agree to, and if they did, it'd be to their detriment due to their current financial issues.

Sipping his Sake which was mixing in with the pouring rain, the man mentioned Jules's accolades in life must be correlated with her burial. However, in ignorance, the Oni had made a few assumptions that Castor hoped to clear up.

"She was indeed extraordinary. As for titles or honor, she didn't fight for any of that." Castor exclaimed with a broad warm smile on his face as remembered his mentor. "She was crude, unladylike, and a drunkard loud mouth. She even renounced her nobility in life and dedicated her sword to protecting these lands because she genuinely enjoyed fighting. She was probably the worst princess in Lvneel history!" Castor exclaimed jovially.

"Gashi Gashi Gashi... but when it came to combat, she was unrivaled. Unfortunately, strength isn't enough at times." Castor declared, laughing before his chipper mood turned sour recollecting her untimely demise. "She was a knucklehead but my mentor nonetheless," Castor concluded.

Finishing the small gourd of Sake his men delivered, Castor attempted to answer the man's next question about what he desired in life.

"I do understand you a bit more now Doji. As for my goals, I don't have any at the moment. My dream was to kill my father for his weakness in my mother's abduction. Yet. The more I research, the more time reveals I was but an infant throwing a tantrum." Nox stated. His words caused the Knights in his care to open their eyes widely at the level of maturity such a realization would've required.

"My dreams are fulfilling my sins own. My Nakama's goals are my goals. Hopefully. One day, I'll be able to sail with a purpose. For now. I just eliminate anything that proves a hassle to me. That's why piracy suits me so well. It's the freedom to one day have a goal... On these seas, time seems to almost freeze." Nox declared.

Rising to his feet once again, wedging Zaigo into the ground.

"Now. Unfortunately, as much as I've grown to understand you... This is the end of your journey through these lands. Out of respect for your advancement... I shall let you choose the way this ends. A wound to the chest or a wound to your back? You decide." Nox concluded with an inquiry.


Word Count: 8,585/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A




________________________________________________________
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
[[atkt5]][[atkt2]][[deft1]][[wpt1]]
Posts : 184
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Aug 10, 2022 4:10 am
Doji chuckled to himself as he whirled his blades. “Three eyes?! How bizarre!” The looming creature fixed its empty gaze down on Castor. A cheshire grin spread across the effeminate swordsman’s face as he savored the irony of his opponent’s assumption that he could see.

“I suppose you and I were never going to see eye to eye!... ” the monster sputtered as he attempted to hold in his laughter, “...to eye! Yo-ka-ka-ka-iii!” He howled uproariously at his joke.

Doji's amusement quickly subsided as his opposition took a more serious tone. The giant listened to the Duke reminisce on his fallen master patiently. Conflicted feelings washed over the red-haired monster's face as Castor spoke of the life and death of Jules. It seems that those two had a much better relationship than the oni had with his instructor, utterly unjustly the monster was green with envy.

At least you had somebody you could trust. I bet she even loved you, and what about your parents? The monster thought spitefully to himself. His fists clenched around the grips of his swords, You’ve had every advantage, a kind mentor, a family, you live as a royal now; what could you possibly need from me?

The irony of the oni’s assumptions were lost on him, though indeed his opponent was not fatherless, sometimes it was best not to have a dad; the cruelty of some men’s hearts are multiplied through parenthood. For some boys the presence of a father is that of the adversary, the unfillable shoes of a man “greater” than one’s self; to confront this inadequacy can spell both the death of the father, and the death of the self.

As Castor finished his sake the oni’s resentful visage loomed from above. The giant spoke with an aggrieved tone to his voice. “You would call the dreams of another your own?” The tall creature spoke down to Castor as he opened his frame and locked his swords into position, “Is it they who bear your pride?”

The giant oni truly envied Castor, sullenly wondering why the three-eyed duke could be accepted and find friendship on these seas where he found only hatred and rejection. It’s not fair. Doji thought to himself, jealousy and anger whirling into a maelstrom within the monster’s heart.

A single teardrop fell from the corner of the lonely demon’s glaring eye, “I have only my own ambition! I bear my chest with pride!” There was no use moping now, in a battle between warriors there was only one reality: that of blades and fighting spirit. The oni spread his arms out like the unfurling wings of a giant hawk, his hooks extended like the vicious talons of a raptor.

Live for someone else’s dream? I’d rather get torn to shreds! The prideful beast thought to himself before testing its wingspan down towards Castor; Doji threw the full weight of his body into his attack, striking viciously for Castor's footing in a vicious twister of slashes.

Unfortunately throwing one’s weight around meant nothing when met with astronomically superior skill and ability. It was due time that someone strike this fledgling down, and in mere moments lightning would clip this red hawk’s wings.

Excerpt from the Book of Five Elements by Mishima Nobunaga


“Never accept an inferior position to anyone, it is the character of one’s spirit that colors victory, not the price of one’s sword.” - Book of Water

What is the making of ambition? Is it so that any one person can carve a path on their own?

Of course not. A man is made in the ebb and flow of their relationship with others, even those who seem alone. This truth is incontrovertible, any man who lives as an island is doomed to sink beneath the tides of despair.

As for their ambition? Perhaps it is true that a man’s dream is his own, but in being sourced from man these dreams too are bound to the endless complexity; they are expressions not only of one’s self, but of one’s surroundings, and of the world itself.

Post Word Count: 678
Total Word Count: 19,857


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
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[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]
[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
Posts : 746
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Aug 10, 2022 9:34 am







blur_on




Cinder and Smoke


As Doji resorted to violence, sadness overcame Castor. He'd wish the Oni had another sly angle or joke to prolong this conversation a bit longer, however, based on the giant's rebuttal, he'd never experienced 'love' or 'duty' before.

He was a tortured soul lashing out at the world, using his slick jokes and satire to cover up a deeper emptiness not many ever got to experience. Discarding his famed blade, Castor assessed that Doji was not yet worthy to handle a strike from Zaigo.

Before the man's weapons could've even come into range of the Duke, Castor fired off a blast of lightning to the man's chest cage that would electrocute him violently. Nox didn't have time to pull punches with the Oni, it was about time the man knew the difference between where he and the monster stood.

"You see. I prided myself on being alone... Until I learned that to truly survive in this world... It takes a village. You have potential Doji.

One day, you could even be one of my 'sins' but you until you stop chasing after the dead... You're nothing more than a boy in a giant's body."
Castor declared.

If the first strike was enough to render the Oni motionless, Castor would lean towards more drastic measures, regardless, Nox had no intentions of turning over this man to the Queen of Flevance. Even if it meant the beginning of a war between the two nations, though faint, Nox sensed within this man the same spirit that Jules once carried.

A loner. Someone who carried the world of responsibility on her back, a purpose that only she truly understood even until her death. In a way, Nox was her legacy. The fact that the little Three-Eye Tribe boy that used to follow her around still lived in this corrupt world was her statement of - 'My will has been passed on.'

As Doji would fade out of consciousness Castor would whisper something in his ear that would be a gift to him until the two met again. Subduing the Oni, Castor men moved quickly to wrap the man in chains, without any delay, Asakura Doji had been captured by the government of Lvneel.

A few days later...


Via Snail Transponder, the Queen of Flevance and the Duke of Lvneel Castor exchanged words for the first time.

"You're a lot less... rough than I originally imagined." The Queen of Flevance commented as the video snail conveyed the image of Nox sitting comfortably on the Throne. "I take it your Queen is absent for this meeting?" The Queen inquired.

"Queen Annabelle is busy dealing with the unrest caused by the Oni and the Civil War. Political spats like this are handled by either myself or Sir Bearington once I'm not on the island." Castor declared grinning. "You urgently requested this meeting though. How may I be of service my Queen?" Nox inquired.

"Don't play dumb with me, boy. Your report declared the Oni Asakura Doji dead. How am I supposed to believe that with no proof of his body? Do you understand the ramifications of what transpired here on Flevance? He killed one of my most trusted knights. Harboring him or his remains is seen as treason in my eyes-"


"Yes. In your eyes. On Flevance. On Lvneel. I owe no one... Especially dogs of the World Government. Maybe an occasional courtesy. My wife is kind-hearted. Frankly. What would I gain by hiding a grave robbing Oni? Even more so, what would I gain about lying about his death? I simply buried him in the Capital's Cemetery. You are free to visit and see his tombstone for yourself." Nox responded.

"Maybe I shall. I will take your word this time Nox. I hope that regardless of our political structures, Flevance and Lvneel can remain on good terms." The Queen concluded.

"Gashi Gashi Gashi... I hope so too. After all. I would hate to have to put another pompous monarchy in their place." Nox commented with a hearty chuckle.

"What was that you little-" the Queen exalted, only to be interrupted by an image of Sir Bearington offering his apologies. The transmission ended shortly after.

Sighing, "Was that truly necessary Lord Duke? They just lost a great man to one of our former Lords. Surely you could be a bit more accommodating." Sir Bearington stated, shaking his head in frustration.

"Whatever do you mean Sir Bearington? Annabelle offered to handle his funeral proceedings and she even sent one of my most promising young knights to their service. A trade. The past for the future." Nox declared, yawning shortly after.

"Yes. That was a great move by the Queen. You on the other hand are still harbor-" Sir Bearington shouted, only to be interrupted by the Shadow King's gesture to keep it down.

"Asakura Doji is dead. That's what I need the world to believe for now." Nox stated grinning.


Word Count: 9,406/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A




________________________________________________________
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
[[atkt5]][[atkt2]][[deft1]][[wpt1]]
Posts : 184
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Aug 10, 2022 7:06 pm
Like the beating of Raijin’s drums, electricity exploded throughout Doji’s body; his heart struggled to beat, his lungs to breathe, and his mind to remain lucid. After mere moments of violent convulsion the giant fell over dead-eyed and burned across his chest, a fractal fulgurbloom spread branches of electrical scarring over the coarse hide of the devil’s torso. A crisp static filled the air, causing some of the knight’s hairs to stand on end.

Had the surrounding roses not been so gentle and hardily-grown the giant’s fall could have been his undoing; fortunately, like a cradle of thorns, flowers, and leaves, the foliage caught Doji’s fall. The boy coughed a single mouthful of blood into the air with his toppling impact, raining down upon the white roses that surrounded him and speckling them crimson.The oni lay defeated in a bed of roses; a gentle rain trickled from the sky as he was chained up and dragged to the donjon of Lvneel’s Capital.

Is this the power that the people of Lvneel were invoking when they called upon their god? The answer to their prayers had been more resounding than any the devil had faced before.

After great effort, the Queen’s men were able to shove the giant prisoner into their largest cell, an oversized room commissioned by one of the former Queens to house a monster that menaced Lvneel generations prior. As the large creature seized in its slumber an apprehensive guard affixed a small plaque to the top of the cell.

Alongside the plaque for the cell’s prior inhabitant: “Tarar Blunderbore, The Insatiable Showman” now sat one for its current occupant: “Asakura Doji, Cemetery Terror.” With the jailer’s work finished, he departed for his quarters above, slamming the donjon’s iron-banded mahogany door shut. The other prisoners chattered amongst one another nervously, worrying what would happen when the devil awoke from its slumber.

Their fears were not unfounded, for when the giant oni roused from his nightmarish slumber he let forth a booming wail of agony; the monster’s screams echoed throughout the castle that evening, disturbing the night’s rest for many of the castle’s denizens. The creature’s cacophonous howling was hellish, as though the devil himself had been vanquished, over, and over, and over again. Echoes of pain rang throughout Doji’s nerves, jolting him to the precipice of madness as the night wore on.

Death?


None amongst the denizens of Rose’s castle seemed well rested on the day of the creature’s execution. The morning was a dreary one, though thick gray clouds obscured the sun, at least the rain had finally subsided. Those who had gathered at the crack of dawn to witness the monster’s killing were likely tired but certainly awestruck by the spectacular gallows that stood before them.

Amongst the killing tools that had become commonplace during Lvneel’s civil war, few struck greater fear into the hearts of men, commoners, and nobility alike than that of the guillotine. Now standing before the gathered nobles was a guillotine fit for a giant, a symbol of dominance erected by the crown, looming high above them like a threat from god. Standing atop the gallows’ raised platform was a tall, slender, and elegant woman, dressed in the epauletted attire of a military-man, and wearing a tricorne cap atop her platinum blonde hair.

Henrietta Sanson, daughter of a long line of Lvneel executioners, heiress to one of the most despised names in the country’s history. She was the woman set to perform this task assigned to her by the crown, scare these wimpy little nobles into submission before the authority of the new Queen. The curly and voluminously-haired woman smiled menacingly down on the murmuring crowd.

“Madames et Monsieurs…” the woman spoke authoritatively as Doji was ushered up to the gallows and into the apparatus, “... it is my great honor to show you one of the many wonders of your majesty’s reign.” The domineering lady made her way up the platform’s steps, the heels of her boots clicking ominously against each one.

Shi, disguised as a lesser noblewoman, noticed a strange sheen to the guillotine’s blade, Unlikely it's steel. How peculiar, She observed, astutely noticing a detail that was lost on the coddled nobles present. Was this foul woman, the one who had killed her father, plotting something?

Doji’s visage appeared wrathful to those amongst the crowd, though still, a toothy grin cast across the monster’s face. The last laugh would belong to the devil as the guillotine’s blade was cut loose, and barreled down towards its neck. The crowd watched excitedly but weren’t able to get a clear look at the executioner's yield. Henrietta looked down at the crowd with a cruel smile on her lips.

“Behold…” the woman spent a moment releasing the boy’s restraints, before triumphantly pulling up its arm, “...your monster is dead!” The executioner raised her fist alongside her victim’s limp arm, thrusting them into the air, before opening her hand and allowing the creature’s limb to fall lifelessly to the stage.

Shi didn’t have a clear shot against her quarry. Henrietta was in her natural element amongst the gallows, and the scaffolding and stage of the platform obscured the assassin’s target perfectly. She would have to find another opportunity, the woman tented her lace-gloved hand against her temple in thought.

“Show us its head!” The Duchess of Jewel cried out from amongst the onlookers, flicking her fan open and fluttering a dramatic breeze through her elaborately braided brown hair.

The executioner grimaced with frustration, she was hoping that her performance would eschew the need for the crowd’s prodding. The man's demand could not be met, for the guillotine’s dull and lightweight aluminum blade had barely penetrated the giant’s neck at all.

“Its neck is not fully severed…” the executioner contemplated her lie, “...only its spine! Needless to say, the giant is dead!”

Disgruntled murmuring was heard amongst the crowd, the nobles gathered had suffered substantial damages at the hands of this monster, and at least wanted the satisfaction of seeing its horned head dropped from the gallows. Henrietta fretted to herself as the crowd grew raucous, and began chanting:

[npc=misc]“If the bastard’s truly dead, show us all its severed head!”[/npc] Over and over again the nobles continued their lyrical shouting, a few men amongst the crowd were even improper enough to draw and hoist up their swords.

“All of you…” Annabelle strode along the gallows platform to stand in plain view of the crowd, “...quiet!” The piercing shriek of the young Queen had a severe and authoritative tone that shocked the mob into submission; quite a departure from the girl’s typical demeanor.

“Did you all lose yourselves to this war?! What kind of self-respecting noble would sink to this bloodthirsty depravity?! You’re no better than a horde of ravenous plebeians, salivating over the persecution of their neighbor! Monster or not, he was a person! And it is the guillotine that we choose to preserve dignity and equity for those we must punish in this manner!”

The teenage girl spoke with a stern and dispassionate tone, reprimanding the vassals of her dominion like a proper Queen whose authority, and sensibilities had been offended. The nobility amongst the crowd calmed themselves, and many present kneeled before her. Many of the chivalrous knights present felt great remorse for bringing shame to their Queen.

Nursing Wounds


The girls were pleased to hear word of the troublesome boy’s execution, the Duchess of Jewel was kind enough to forward the news onto Luccia along with a bill for the supplies that she had provided. Their fearless leader was not present, but the Kuja woman had sent exorbitant “get well” baskets to her employees in lieu of her presence, each stuffed to the brim with fine liquor, chocolates, flowers, and each packaged with one of Luccia’s signature “back rub coupon booklets.”

Bridgitte threw the door to the hospital ward open with reckless abandon, she had brough gifts of her own for the teammates she’d abandoned. “Hey guys…” She spoke shyly, her angular cheeks flush with embarrassment.

Lucrezia looked over dead-eyed, her chest-wound was serious and had left her quiet-voiced and inattentive. Marcy sat fuming, a red-lump had swollen from the top of her head that just refused to stay down since the incident. “Well? Whaddya want B?” Marcy spat her venom like a cobra.

“...I…” the fumbling woman stumbled over her words at her friend’s cruel tone, “... I wanted to apologize. If I’d known what was going to happen then I would have been there for you…”

“I’ll be fine!” The petit woman interrupted, “You should be apologizing to her!” Marcy shouted, gesturing over towards Lucrezia. Bridgitte looked over towards her colleague apologetically.

The blonde haired trapstress laboredly moved her eyes to meet her abandoner, she faintly smiled a forgiving and accepting grimace. Marcy looked down to the blonde, “Yeah? Hey I wouldn’t forgive ‘er if I was you, but it’s up to you,” she crossed her arms and pouted towards the wall in a huff.

Bridgette smiled and bowed down towards her comrades before producing the gifts she had brought for them, rummaging through her coinpurse she produced the fine handiwork that her father had produced, “You’re all precious to me. I need to remember that, I’m sorry that I left you; it had been so long since I’d been home to see my father, he just looked so lonely…” tears welled in the large woman’s eyes as she gave each woman their ring, “...here Marcy, this is silver and sapphire, and Lucy for you he made a band of emerald and gold. When we get to see them next I have these two for Shi and the boss too!” Bridgitte excitedly showed off another pair of rings, both silver bands, one studded with diamond, and the other jet.

“Wait do you not know?” Marcy raised her eyebrow, abruptly breaking from admiring her beautiful new jewelry, “Do you know what happened to Lucy?”

“I heard she got injured when you chased the big guy out to Emerald,” Bridgitte responded with an inquisitive tone to her voice.

“Oh shit. Well Shi shot Lucy, that’s a good start. The girls have been poking around, and it turns out that Shi was, uh…” to speak the name of “the agency” was to invoke and invite the world’s most elite assassins to one’s doorstep, “...above our paygrade.”

“Oh wow…” Bridgitte was shocked at the news, but knew better than to inquire further into matters involving forces beyond her control, “...well I guess we’ll have to hold onto this ring then. Maybe we can save it for the next girl who manages to prove herself.”

Marcy and Lucrezia nodded in agreement, the trio spent the remainder of the day enjoying the treats that Luccia had rationed for them and nursing Lucy back to health.

Later that Night…


By late afternoon the “corpse” of the red-haired giant was transported to a graveyard outside of Rose. A burial was staged for those who insisted on witnessing it where a plot of land was chosen for the lengthy monster, several knights participated in the gravedigging, and by midnight the men fully buried the slain beast.

Slowly, beneath the pressure of the earth, Doji brought the mouthpiece of a hookah to his lips. Fortunately, none had noticed his shallow breathing when he was transported here. Why did I agree to this? The enshrouded troll thought to himself, swallowing his pride and keeping up the facade until the ceremony was completed.

The knights gathered dutifully and sat through the burial’s formalities before the headstone was placed and a clergyman spoke his words:

[npc=misc]“I cannot lay this wicked devil to rest. I only ask that our god and the crown continue to drive these horrid monsters from our lands. May this vile demon, Asakura Doji, rot and burn beneath the earth for all eternity,”[/npc] the man clasped his hands, and so too did a number of the gathered knights.

After a short time, most of the men dispersed, heading to their homes after a long day’s work. Only one man remained at the gravesite.

“Asakura Doji, A devil vanquished by the crown.” The boy’s headstone read, his newly dug grave fitting him snugly, like a comforting blanket. Uncomforting, however, was the oni’s waning supply of oxygen, even though the gourds he was buried with had served him well, they could only last so long.

As the last of his air was depleted the monster began thrashing from his grave, but a mere 6 feet of the earth divided him from his next breath. And how could such a pitiful sum of soil help but give way to the troll’s assault? In under a minute the creature freed himself from his burial, taking an enormous gasp of air as he emerged.

“Pyuh!” Doji spat a mouthful of dirt out before exhaustedly muttering, “Certainly took them long enough.”

Post Word Count: 2,154
Total Word Count: 22,011


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Proofreading)
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]
[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
Posts : 746
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:26 pm







blur_on




The Walking Dead


Skipping the formalities of the execution, Castor worked in the shadows to repossess all of Doji's belongings, even the stolen treasure from his marathon across the lands.

Putting Bearington to work, he'd find the biggest vessel available in Lvneel, and transport all of the Oni's belongings to the ship. Nox had to be discrete, as the only ones who knew about this fiasco would be himself, Bearington, and the Knights who opted to join his pirate crew.

Many of them questioned Nox's sanity but they knew outright that if he set his mind out to do something, they'd be no one who could convince him otherwise. Within the prison cell, on the day of the burial, Nox visited another essential piece to the new game he was setting up.

Tapping on the metallic bars, the chained Kuja glared at Nox from the shadows. "Luccia is it?" Nox inquired smirking. "I heard you're the one who failed to capture the famous Asakura Doji." Castor declared.

Spitting onto the prison floor, "As long as my girls have been pardoned, you can spend your days tormenting me as you like, My Lord. However. Could you not mention that wretched brutes name in my presence?" Luccia spat out in disdain.

"Gashi Gashi... Well about that. I've got a brand new mission for you. I heard you're an expert navigator. There's a special package I need to be transported out of this island. At the dock, you'll see a ship with an 'Oni' head at the ship's front." Nox explained.

As the woman's chains were being removed, Castor tossed the woman a special Den Den Mushi that could only connect to his private line. "Only use that when your dire trouble. Once you get to the ship... You'll understand your job all too well." Nox declared, walking away from the prison cell.

"My Lord! What is this all about?!" Luccia shouted confused.

"My amusement. That's all. Call it a bet on the future." Castor declared grinning.

Queen's Chambers | Balcony - The Night Before the Burial


Standing on the balcony, staring at the moonlight, the Queen recapped today's events, truthfully lost at Castor's decision to harbor the gigantic grave raider. Appearing from the shadows to sit on the balcony's railings, Nox sat with his wife who acknowledged his presence but didn't say anything for a while.

"I just don't get it," Annabelle stated, finally breaking the silence. "Why do you put on such charades to save the life of a man who robbed your nation and disrupted your mentor's resting place?" Annabelle inquired.

Reaching into his kimono to reveal a Sake glass, the man poured himself a drink as he'd listen to his wife's concerns. "Gashi Gashi Gashi... I guess... for a few reasons. I see a lot of myself in that kid. I didn't even know he was blind until we transported his body. I'm astonished at his potential." Nox responded, his answer still not addressing his wife's query.

"I guess the simple answer is because I can. If everyone who was supposed to kill me got a fair shot, I'd be dead already. See it as an act of mercy. Besides, I like putting on spectacles. The execution today, your speech was superb." Nox complimented.

Face flushed in embarrassment, the Queen tilted her face away from her spouse, "T-Thank You." Annabelle murmured, twiddling her index fingers. Snapping out of the giddy-headedness caused by Nox's compliments, "What of Flevance's Queen? She's sure to push the issue." Annabelle declared.

"Well," Castor responded, emptying his Sake cup. "She's more than welcome to visit his gravesite. Gashi Gashi Gashi." Castor concluded before breaking out into laughter.

Graveyard | Minutes after the final grave digger left.


As Doji emerged from his earthly slumber, Nox appeared at the man's gravesite. Paying respects to his gravestone, Nox turned towards the massive Oni, "Have you calmed down now, Doji? How does it feel to be a dead man walking?" Castor inquired with the driest humor possible.

He'd been waiting all day, sitting through long boring meetings just to crack this one joke with the Oni.

"I don't have much else to say to you grave robber. Follow the path North of here. You'll see a ship docked with all your spoils. Be sure to never return Lvneel until you've become strong enough to give me a sweat. Though. I'll be setting sail soon myself." Nox declared grinning.

"I've placed a companion you're all too familiar with to guide you to the next island. Just do me a favor... Stay away from Flevance. I went through all this drama to avoid war... The Queen of Flevance has it out for you.

It seems Stein has sent his spies to spin lies about his final moments. Rumors have been pretty much cemented that you are the one who poisoned Leonidas."
Nox explained.

"I know better than anyone. That's what Stein does. Twists situations to his favor. If he ever reaches out to you, I've passed on a way to contact me." Nox concluded, sitting down at the gravesite to oversee the Oni's farewell.


Word Count: 10,245/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A




________________________________________________________
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
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Posts : 184
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Aug 23, 2022 3:59 am
The oni hadn’t expected to find anybody “mourning” him, much less the familiar voice that greeted him. Doji’s eyes bulged from his head as his face contorted into an exaggeratedly shocked expression. “Yaaaiii! Castor?!” The Cemetery Ghoul recoiled in pain at the man’s presence, It was as though the giant had been electrocuted all over again.

The boy frightened backward like a stray cat, standing perched on one foot for a moment before regaining his composure. Castor’s gag had startled the monster, but it seemed the acclaimed pirate had come on amicable terms. Any honorable samurai would have responded to the man’s grace by dropping to their knees and submitting themselves before their new lord; perhaps this is what separates the rōnin, the unwillingness to submit one’s pride before another.

“That executioner…” Doji remembered when he was briefed on his role in the mock beheading, “... was this your plan the whole time?!” The sly imp had made the giant devil jump through an extensive series of hoops for his survival, the oni fumed at this realization.

The Imp had come bearing mostly good news it seems, a prideful smile stretched across Doji’s face as Castor instructed him. Beneath the evening starlight, the giant’s ambitions gleamed and flared into the beginnings of a grand constellation. I’m an enemy to these kingdoms?

“Shini-hi-hi,” the monster hunched over and sat upon a large mound of displaced dirt, “If I ever run into that shitbag he’s all yours. If I can get my hands on him for ya maybe I can pay you back for the uh…” he struggled to put this odd arrangement into words, “... deferred execution.”

The oni sat at his resting place saying nothing for a moment, simply enjoying the evening’s mistral February breeze. The clouds above formed faint wispy visages of the  departed Jules and Leonidas, the pair seemed to smile down on Castor, and did not take offense to the demon sitting beside him.

“You think we’ll meet back here when I can face you again?” The fractal scar on the giant’s chest ached; the idea of facing off against the lightning god again seemed nigh impossible.

“If Nobunaga isn’t dead I’ll have a long journey ahead of me. Though I guess if I can make it to Wano Kuni I should be able to get back into the blues,” the boy spoke with a subtly morose tone to his voice, as though questioning his own capabilities.

“It's not impossible is it...” The giant spoke to Castor earnestly. “...traveling the Grand Line? Have you been there?” The question sat stagnant in the air like the words of a dead man. The grand line, an impossible expanse of sea where the ambitions of countless pirates had gone to die, and the place where those strong enough to prove themselves could assert their dreams. A fitting place for gods and demons to stake their claim on the world.

Meanwhile on the road from Rose to Jewel


Wherever the executioner traveled the specter of death hung above her, although the morning’s main event had been nothing but a grand ruse Henrietta had tended to her actual duties diligently; between the hours of noon and midnight she had put nine men to death for their misconduct during the country’s civil war. Even in times of war, some acts were unforgivable.

The silver stallion galloped dutifully towards its rider’s quarry, a black and iron banded carriage pulled by a pair of white-maned black horses. This was the perfect opportunity, her father’s killer was all but defenseless. Shi kicked into her steed’s sides, she was quickly gaining on the executioner’s stagecoach.

Henrietta’s coach was a night black hearse of a carriage, seeming more well-suited to carrying coffins than passengers; nonetheless the executioner found the vehicle’s plush velvet seats rather comfortable. Within the wagon the woman solemnly thrummed the pages of her journal arriving on the day’s entry:

“Comical what this crown deems innocent and what it does guilty. A rampaging fiend is let off scot-free? With just a slap on the wrist? A little chop on the back of the neck and a bit of play fighting with the young lord? Meanwhile, men who fought viciously for what they believe? Well off to the gallows with ye for yer monstrous behavior.

Not to complain. Dead stack all the same. Just like the old coot woulda wanted. If only he’d lived to see this war; what a splendid little revolution. I wonder if they’ve lost it or if these people have truly had the fight beaten out of them. Either way, it can’t last for long, no just like starving hounds, without their meat they’ll start nipping again.

And that girl in the crowd. Just like ‘er father, thinks I ‘ent know any better but to keep an eye on these pigs’ little bastards. The vicious little boar had ‘is tusks bared until the very last chop, thought I was some stuck-up little princess turned queen who needs some lightnin’ rod to take care of ‘er.

I don’t need anybody. Do these little twits want to spout their nihilist nonsense? Then let them drown in it and sink into this vast ocean of corpses.”

Henrietta stared out towards the countryside, nameless mounds and makeshift tombstones dotted the landscape. Suddenly a horse overtook her viewport; at the same moment, the sound of a gunshot blasted from just in front of her. Her cabbie slumped dead to the side of his driver’s seat, and the window dividing the passenger’s car was splattered red.

As the horses startled and broke free from their reins the carriage’s right wheel sunk into a dip in the road, throwing the vehicle off balance and causing it to careen to its side. Within the cabin’s confines, the executioner was thrown to the bottom window and narrowly avoided serious injury.

The sounds of a horse halting were heard from outside the coach, Sanson had to act quickly to save her hide; the vicious woman drew her rapier and hid crouched within her vehicle. The assailant outside dismounted their ride, before dead silence, filled the air.

This silence was shortly punctuated by a gunshot, piercing the side of the carriage, like a magician stabbing through his assistant's coffin. A narrow miss, what a fitting end this would make for the young executioner.

Were it not for the unshakable and unrelenting human will to live; this impulse she had brought to an end in countless victims, it still burned in Henrietta’s heart none the same. As several more shots rang across Jewel & Rose’s lush borders the executioner hauled herself atop the vehicle before looking down at her assailant.

“I knew you’d come!” The grim woman snarled, her forehead bleeding, and her offhand clutching her wounded sword arm. For the most part, Shi’s shots had merely grazed her target, but at least one had found its mark.

“The daughter of a dead man, come to get ‘er revenge. How typical! You think killin’ me’ll bring ‘im back? You think he was a good man?”

“I don’t care. Your reign of terror ends here, Reaper's daughter,” Shi spoke softly, leveling her gun at Henrietta’s forehead.

But at the moment the assassin pulled her trigger the executioner leaped down towards her attacker like a wildcat, slashing her rapier downwards like the claw of a wounded beast. It is unfortunate then, that the behavior of wounded prey is the expertise of the hunter.

Clean through her wrist, the executioner dropped her weapon agonizing in the pain of the assassin’s precise shot.

“You bitch!” The gothic woman cried towards her puritan pursuer, blood leaking from her arm, and staining the lady’s immaculate black formal, I’ll have your head on a platter after I get you on the on a chopping block, you wont catch me today white rabbit. She thought to herself as she scrambled through the brush.

“Seeing the end of you will be so freeing Sanson. Have you not thought yourself susceptible to the punishment you’ve so liberally doled onto others?” Shi spoke, reloading her pistol as her target darted her eyes, looking for an escape route.  

A wicked smile sprawled across Henrietta’s face “Moru-gui-gui-gui! Au contraire your majesty…” Shi’s dress was reminiscent of a royal wedding gown, its billowing white folds fluttering softly in the wind, “... someday I will know their bliss. The greatest joy of all,” Sanson’s eyes bulged, her face a contorting visage of a madwoman. “But to filth like you? Who thinks of yourself as so much purer than the blood we traffic in?”

Henrietta spat a mouthful of blood and sweat to the ground, “I’d rather do it myself! No matter what you do, my death will be my own!”

Shi looked on in shock for a moment before regaining her composure, but in her momentary lapse of focus her crafty prey had already carried out her plan of escape, darting behind her carriage. A nearby brush rustled, her victim was attempting to escape into the wilderness.

The real hunt had finally begun. Shi knew that putting down her father’s killer wouldn’t be so easy. I’ll chase you to the ends of the earth, Sanson.

Post Word Count: 1,531
Total Word Count: 23,542


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Proofreading)
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]
[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Aug 26, 2022 3:34 pm







blur_on




A Pirate's Oath


Flevance | Court Room


Surrounded by her subjects, the Queen sat contemplating the events of the last few days. Something about the young Duke's banter didn't quite sit well with the White City's Queen.

"Summon the Three Holy Knights." The Queen ordered, her command leaving her subjects stunned. After a few days, the Flevance's strongest fighters assembled before the Queen's throne.

On bended knees, the three warriors paid respect to the elegant heiress, anticipating the woman's every word.

"I have received word that The World Government is sending Rear Admiral Clevis and his students here to set up a marine stronghold in Flevance. It was something we'd discuss in the initial stages of our treaty but now it has finally come to fruition." The Queen announced.

The jester-dressed warrior spoke up, "Rear Admiral Clevis... They call him the Rookie Crusher. He swims around the blues stomping out upstart pirate groups. Scary." The Eldest of the Holy Trinity declared.

"My sources say he's training a group of seven marine heroes. They call themselves the Seven Virtues. Sounds like a pretentious bunch." The amazon built woman of the Three Knights added.

"Barakakaakaka.... Marines in Flevance. Maybe I can take my long-awaited vacation. Unfortunately with the unrest in Lvneel, that probably won't be anytime soon." The youngest of the bunch commented.

"With a marine base being established here... It gives me the liberty to execute this foolish wish. I do not trust the 'Queen' or Duke of the Lvneel on their promise. As you know, your Conrad Sir Leonidas was murdered by that wretched Oni and his master, Stein.

Stein has been a problem for both of our kingdoms, I'll admit that but I do believe the young Duke is covering up something. I want you to investigate the Oni's execution and bring back evidence of his demise to me."
The Queen instructed.

"And should we find out the demon grave robber lives?" The jester inquired with one eye opened.

"Hunt down that monster to the ends of the world. Feel free to use this Kingdom's full resources to do so." The Queen snarled.

"Bararakakaka... I see. The little pup does have a mean streak in her. If he is indeed alive, that means Lvneel lied to us." The youngster knight added.

"The conclusion to that is simple. We go to war with Lvneel for their disrespect and potential conspiracy against one of the former Holy Four." The burly woman spat venomously.

"Indeed. Let's not jump to conclusions. Both our islands are experiencing times of peace. Also, it'd be hasty to become an enemy of a pirate captain known for such villainous crimes. Duke in title only, Castor O. Nox is a scary man." The Queen concluded.




"Gashi Gashi Gashi... How did you enjoy my little magic trick? My executioner wasn't exactly happy about my plot but she acted like a true theater student to the end." Castor declared grinning.

Removing a wooden pipe from beneath his kimono, the tobacco-stuffed paraphernalia was lit and puffed on as the duo gazed up at the starlight sky. "We will meet again. Probably not on these lands but across this vast sea. My helmsman has instructed me our goal is this 'New World' but we must travel to the Grand Line first." Nox declared.

The Oni's inquiry about traveling to the strange sea beyond the North was met with a grin. "Of course. Anything is possible on these seas with the right resources. I'm not sure about the location of this Wano Kuni place but... If you sail long enough, I'm sure you'll reach your destination." Castor declared, taking another pull on his pipe's mouthpiece.

"Doji. I have one last question for you you. Tell me. What exactly do you believe being a pirate entails? If you plan to raise those weapons of yours on these seas, you better have an answer that hardens your resolve.

Most of the other people you'll encounter might not find you as entertaining as I do. You'll need to become stronger before you ever decide to show yourself in my presence again."
Castor declared, discarding the pipe onto the graveyard's ground.




At the Royal Castle, Newport finally returns from his tour around the city's brothels. Updated on all of the activities that occurred in his absence, the acting Vice Captain scratched his head in confusion at Nox's odd resolution to the manner.

"I see that brat's making it hard for your rule to transition smoothly my highness." Newport declared in a tone of jest.

Sighing, "I can never read that man's mind. However. If this is how he chooses to resolve it then so be it. I already have my time consumed with a plethora of domestic issues." Annabelle declared.

"As long as Castor's stock keeps rising in the pirate world... The world government won't interfere here. If only I could get us some link into the underworld... We'd be invincible." Newport declared sipping a bottle of rum directly from the vessel.

"I meant to ask you this Sir Newport-" Bearington began to inquire only to be interrupted by a grunting noise.

"I don't need any titles like that. I'm a piece of shit. Save your sir for your lords and lasses. We've shared a whore house brother. Call me Victor." Newport interjected.

Clearing his throat and averting the gaze of the young Queen, "What are Lord Nox's goals as a pirate? He's already royalty. Why not retire here to a life of leisure?" Bearington inquired.

Downing the contents of the bottle, Newport discarded the empty glass flag onto the royal court's marble floor and wiped his mouth clean of any excess liquids. "Bwahahaha... Goals? He's the worst kind of pirate... He doesn't have any. Castor's ego to test himself against the world has forced him into a life of piracy.

Whether it be pride to accomplish his crew mates goals to nurse his God Complex or his undying will to have a purpose bigger than himself... A man with no goals is truly a scary one.

I will say this much, I want to see how far his freestyling gets him."
Newport concluded.

"For better or for worst. In sickness or health. He's the man I've chosen to bet accomplishing my revenge on. Since that day on Swallow Island, about a week after he'd shipwrecked there... A giant animal attacked him." Newport explained. "He was just a brat then but the dormant conqueror in him screeched out and rendered that giant jungle cat motionless. Frozen in fear. I saw my meal ticket in that petrified jungle tiger's eyes." Newport concluded.


Word Count: 11,348/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A




________________________________________________________
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 80
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 60
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : [ber] 34,050,000
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Posts : 184
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Sep 02, 2022 4:00 pm
“A pirate?...” Doji rested his chin upon his palm and knee as he contemplated his answer to this question. Though he had behaved as a “warrior of the sea”, the oni only ever thought of himself as a rōnin, lost to the tides by circumstance alone, “... I suppose a pirate is somebody who can’t be ignored, we live scattered across a vast ocean, yet only those who are strong enough to assert themselves on the sea itself can impose their will on the world. Is that it?.”

The giant oni judged his ambitions like the weight of his soul; if they were heavier than his capabilities then he would be off to the underworld. Nonetheless, this boy was the living will of the Asakura clan, and his purpose was hardened as such.

“I’ll take the techniques of the swordmasters of these seas and perfect them, with their essence as my steel I’ll forge my own technique,” Doji paused a moment, taking in the gravity of his purpose before continuing, “By my hand, I will restore honor to my clan... and I’ll carve a place in this world for people like us! A place where ignorant little people can’t push us around, where monsters and myths are free to run rampant!” He threw his hands to the sky as he spoke, as though to showcase some imaginary island.

“That’s it!” It finally made sense to him. “That’s what the Grand Line is for! What being a pirate is for!” A sprawling smile crossed the giant’s face as one of his eyes was cast in shadow beneath his dirtied red locks. “Out there you can have whatever you want! Whether it’s hoards of treasure, vast kingdoms, fame, notoriety, even freedom itself!” Doji sat up, clenching his hand into a fist before standing to his towering height, “It’s all still there for anybody who can take it!”

“I’ll raise my swords against the sea and cut a path to the New World!” As the rōnin spoke he kicked his foot into the dirt, as though to announce his departure. With a mischievous expression, Doji turned to face Castor again. “Next time we meet I won’t go down so easily, mark my words I’ll force you to draw your sword…” the boy thought back to the glorious Seiryu, the blade of Jules, stolen by a mongrel unfit to call himself a swordsman “... and if you ever track down Stein, please allow me the honor of  facing that sword of hers.”

As Doji and Castor shared the last of their exchange the oni began walking the path down towards his ship, down the path of a pirate. However, despite his newfound resolve, navigating a path was always a preposterous proposition for a blind man; like usual, he got lost along his way to the boat.

Excerpts from The Book of Five Elements by Mishima Nobunaga


“The man who governs his fate is like Fuji-san, with such a solid foundation that even the strongest earthquake cannot move him, and with such ascendancy that the greatest enterprises of man seem insignificant from the heights of his lofty peak. With your perspective atop Mt. Fuji, you can see all things. From high above you may see all the forces that shape the events themselves; with your head in the clouds all the insignificant details that surround you may pass like errant breezes.”- Book of Void

To sit above all things? How laughable, you men always wish to flee to the heights of your vainglory. Do you ever stop to think about the true nature of your ambitions? Sit atop Mr. Fuji’s shoulders all you’d like, so long as you never wonder what lies beneath his feet. Ascend to whatever so-called greatness you’d like boys, and distract yourselves from what you could’ve unearthed if you’d only dug a little deeper…

The mysterious woman drank fine wine from her chalice, thumbing the pages of Mishima’s volume, scoffing at each of the crude man’s attempts at philosophy.

“Why would you wish to appear as something you are not? If you think of yourself as a warrior, then should you not also be a warrior? The Way of the warrior is solely his own. To follow the way is to live one’s life in dedication to this practice. Do not be false to yourself.” - Book of Water

“Why call yourself samurai when all you are is a common thug? Do you need so desperately to cling to this idea of yourself? Is that all that constituted that big ego of yours? You can’t hold on to what’s lost! You can’t undo your mistakes! Whatever stains you’ve borne upon your honor are yours to live with Saburō!”

Nobunaga smiled as he finished recounting the story of his exile from the Mishima clan. After a moment his wide grin cracked into cackling, “Ken-do-do-do-do-do! What a geezer! Ask yourself this Hanako: what’s better, winning a battle with a tactic that small-minded warriors snub their nose at, or losing that fight and dying?”

“That’s easy for you to answer. There’s still plenty of Mishima running around aren’t there?” Hanako spoke coldly to her jovial and slovenly master, “Things change when you’re the last who bears your name. If your family name dies with you and you’ve carried it to a dishonorable grave, then there can be no redemption.”

White rabbit, Wounded Vixen


The thrill of the hunt was not one that the executioner was well acquainted with, though her father and brother oft sported their trophies as symbols of their aptitude, Henrietta never saw the value of the hunt. The joy of killing was that of restraint and release, the capture of a subject ought to be left to the hands of those less civilized. The spectacle of death itself was the delight of the executioner.

Now, scrambling like an animal, the dignified lady death was reduced to the role of prey by some vicious commoner. Henrietta thought herself disgusting, though in her heart a strange feeling was beginning to boil up. Another bullet flew through the underbrush, flying just over its target’s capped head.

This kiss of death… Shi fired another shot, this one finding its mark on the executioner’s shoulder. ...c’est magnifique, an exuberant expression washed over the young woman’s face, as though deep in her heart she had always longed to die. Her blood would stain these forest leaves like a drip painting, what a splendid and artful death, and to experience it first hand? Indeed, it was to die for.

What kind of perverse devil could take pleasure in this ordeal? To Shi death was a matter of quiet dignity, and wherever she was able to the assassin had ended her target’s lives efficiently and mercifully. Revenge was another thing, in this matter she could not be so dispassionate; somebody had wronged her, and she would make them experience pain greater than her own.

This prey was resilient despite her seeming enjoyment, even if this woman’s warped mind thirsted for death, nothing could override the primal desire for a creature to live. Shi darted through the forest after her target, striding effortlessly across fallen logs, branches, stone, and trunks, taking shots as she kept pace with her target.

“You’re not getting out of this one now executioner! Embrace the reaper that you love so!” Shi cried, raising her pistol again, as the pair barreled towards the treeline.

The Docks of Lvneel


Luccia fumed and pouted, glaring impetuously out to the night sky’s horizon; blowing large bubbles of gum that popped loudly as she overinflated them, as though exploding with her anger. How could she be reduced to playing the role of ferryman for this boy she had sworn revenge on? But if she disobeyed? She’d have another storm coming.

It wasn’t long before the lumbering oaf arrived to spoil her evening, as Doji approached the boat the heels of Luccia’s boots clicked sharply against the ship’s deck as she made her way to the railing of the ship’s stern. The oblivious monster seemed to be waiting expectantly.

“Hey Jackass!” The assassin turned helmswoman called down to her passenger. “Remember me? Duke Nox is makin’ me give you a little ride over to your ship, but don’t think we’re buddies!”

Doji struggled to remember the voice speaking to him. She didn’t sound all that familiar and she hadn’t properly introduced herself to him.

“Who are you?” He called up with an aloof demeanor.

“You’re kidding! You little brat!” Luccia shrieked, grabbing a handful of fresh gum and shoving it into her mouth, “How can you not remember me, it’s only been a couple of days!”

“Oh, right, the bubblegum bitch. I was out of my mind for that whole time. You made one of your girls inject me with drugs and now you want me to remember everything? What kind of interrogator are you?”

“I didn’t expect anything except for you to die when you were supposed to giant! I figured you’d at least have the common sense to remember the face of somebody who’s tried to kill you!"

“Yeah, your pretty face means a lot to me, lady.” Doji waved his hand in front of his eyes, illustrating his blindness.

The Kuja woman did place value on her beautiful appearance and thus took great insult to the oni’s undermining, “At least I’m not a freak like you! Just get in already!” Luccia angrily threw the ship’s gangway down to the object of her hatred.

Just this instant a pair of figures crossed through the tree line, a tall raven-haired woman dressed in white barreled after a blood-spattered little lady dressed in a charcoal officer’s uniform. As the shorter woman stumbled across the rough sands of Lvneel’s rocky shores her pursuer loaded her pistol.

“Shi! What are you doing here? How dare you show your face!” Luccia shouted down from the ship’s railing. All of her favorite people had come to visit her.

Shi lapsed concentration for a moment as the familiar voice of her former employer cut across the beach. With a graceful slowdown, the defected assassin stopped, planting her feet in the sand before shooting an irritated look up to the Kuja.

“This doesn’t concern you Luccia!” She shouted through grit teeth.

“Doesn’t concern me? How can you be so cold Shi?! You were one of my best and you decided to turn that on me all because of some petty grievance!” Luccia snarled, grabbing her bludgeon from its resting place and throwing herself from the ship’s deck down to the ground, “This isn’t your business, don’t get involved oni!” The Kuja woman called over her shoulder as she raised her morningstar and rested it upon her shoulder.

“Morguiii!” Henrietta screamed as a final pair of shots flew past her, throughout her chase the executioner had lost quite a bit of blood, and thus ran in a straggling and bowlegged fashion, “Not yet! Not yet! Help meee!” The lady-reaper collapsed to Doji’s feet, clambering herself just behind the giant’s legs. Adrenaline had replaced bliss in the bleeding woman's mind, and her frantic breathing illustrated that even the most deviant minds could not help but cling to life.

“Out of the way!” Shi frantically gestured her gun towards Doji.

“Don’t you have bigger problems to worry about?” Luccia asked Shi, swinging her Morningstar towards the traitor’s skull with the force of a wildwoman.

The elegant turncoat narrowly avoided the crushing blow, contorting her body beneath the shot before dashing a couple of meters away, “Consider this your final warning Luccia…” Shi pointer her gun towards Luccia’s head, heart, and kidney, before eventually settling her aim on the woman’s hand, “... Stop getting in my way!”

The shot hit its mark, and in an instant, the Kuja woman’s right hand was sundered by the high-caliber pistol. “Bisayaaaa! How dare you!” Luccia screamed in pain as she clutched her arm and fell to her knees.

“Now you, out of my way!” Shi gestured again towards the blind monster.

“Please giant, I spared your life. Return me this favor,” Henrietta spoke faintly as she began fading into unconsciousness.

“You didn’t decide to do that. You were following orders, just like any other noblewoman, you follow whatever rules come down from on high without question,” Doji furrowed his brow as he stepped away from Henrietta, leaving her to continue bleeding out. “Your life is your own. I don’t like this assassin pushing me around, so I’m gonna fight her, but I don’t care if you live or die.”

Shi’s shot rang out, grazing through Doji’s coarse red hair, “You’re going to put your life on the line for her sake? She’s a monster who trafficks in death and persecution, whatever qualms you have with my line of work, you should take tenfold with hers! I will reclaim my father’s dignity, I will grant him peace.”

“Tch, we can sit around calling kettles black all you want, but you and I both know that everybody here has killed people, even innocents; we killed the people that were unlucky enough to be swallowed in our wake. I don’t take issue with you because you kill people, my qualm with you is that you sneak around the art of war, you deny your opponents the honor of facing them head on!”

Shi thought for a moment, this strange man, what a warped worldview, before speaking, “You wouldn’t understand. I did what I had to. Somebody has to put an end to her madness.”

“Then let it be you,” the rōnin drew his swords before leaping forwards and striking down at her.

The impact of the oni’s slice thudded through the coarse grains, sending Shi flying amongst a heap of clumped sand. The woman landed effortlessly upon a tall boulder, “Have you never lost a loved one? Never faced dishonor?! What would you do to stay the hands of your father’s killer?!”

“You can’t stay her hands now. Your father is already gone, you’re lucky to have had him in the first place,” Doji spoke solemnly, “As for dishonor, I suppose I can understand you…” The giant oni looked up to Shi with a vicious expression tensing the face around his vacant eyes, “... what I wouldn’t give for a chance at those ninjas’ heads!” With this, the monster lept in for another attack.

“I don’t have to prove myself to you whelp,” Shi spoke down towards the charging bull, like a matador the woman swiftly disappeared behind the flowing white sleeve of her dress, “You can't beat me oni,” with this Shi unleashed a series of kicks and pistol whips into her opponent’s neck and head that swiftly incapacitated the monster, bringing him to his knees and leaving him crumpled against the sands.

Shi primed her pistol, pointing it down towards her incapacitated opponent, “You see troll. If you were the one I’d come here for you would be dead,” with reality illustrated to the oni Shi turned and began walking towards her real target.

As Henrietta looked up towards the sky and wheezed for air she heard it, the falling of that giant, her last chance at survival ripped from her. To her blurred vision, the twinkling starlight seemed to fall like teardrops, as though her universe was imploding around her. The lady in white stood above her, pointing the barrel of a pistol down towards her head.

“Sayonara little miss reaper,” a gentle silence hung in the air, as though begging to be broken by the sound of Shi’s victory.

“Forgetting something?” Luccia loomed behind Shi, her ten-foot frame towering like a bugbear.

In an instant Shi was thrown across the beach, her chest punctured by the spikes on Luccia’s bludgeon, the young woman coughed up spurt after spurt of blood onto the beach’s gray sands. A decisive blow was struck, if Shi continued to fight she would die from internal bleeding, and so the woman in white abandoned her chance at revenge. Better to live another day and plot her next attempt, her Kuja opponent scowled at her escape but did not pursue it.

“I told you not to get involved you snot-nosed brat,” Luccia spoke down condescendingly to the paralyzed oni.

“She picked a fight with me!” Doji cried, an exasperated and exhausted tone hung on his voice. “Shouldn’t you be more worried about that girl bleeding out?” The giant pulled himself to his feet before arching his back and shivering like a stretching cat; it was like every nerve in his body had clinched all at once.

“Hmm. I suppose I’ll be rewarded if I do,” she spoke matter-of-factly, having just finished tending to her own wounded hand by wrapping the injury in cloth torn from her shirt, “Somewhere up on the ship, there should be a first-aid kit in the captain’s quarters. Get yourself ready for the ride and throw that down would ya?”

“I could almost mistake that for camaraderie, your name is Luccia right?”

“Bite me,” she responded curtly.

And so, after Luccia finished tending to the royal executioner’s wounds she took the woman aboard her vessel and piloted her loathsome passenger back to his scenic destination of Hibiscus Town.  

As Doji unloaded the last of his luggage and Luccia raised the anchor to set sail the oni waved up to the Kuja woman with a toothy grin.

“Thanks for the ride Luccia! I’ll think of you as a warrior now, not just an honorless assassin!” He threw a peace sign up towards her with his large fingers.

The woman popped her bubblegum before shooting down a facetious smile towards the blind man and speaking her chilling parting words, “You’re welcome Doji. I hope next we meet I hope I can hunt you down and assassinate you.”

“Yaha me too…” The boy realized he had glazed over what Luccia had said, “...wait what was that?”

End: The Grave Robber (Doji)


With the passing of “The Cemetery Terror” Asakura Doji this tumultuous chapter in Lvneel’s history finally came to an end; between their civil war, a change in leadership, and the monster that scourged their countrysides the people of the kingdom had endured great hardship but survived nonetheless.

Though in times of old the legends of a man made of lightning and a red-haired oni might seem like the exaggerations of a liar to the people of Lvneel, now the impacts of these larger-than-life figures were undeniable. The people who emerged from these times would prove a hard-working and resilient lot, revitalizing their country’s traditional trades, and recovering heartily from the losses of their war.

In the following months, a kind-hearted nun would pen a children’s picture book depicting the wisdom of Queen Annabelle, and the gallant slaying of the “red-haired giant.” The elaborate drawings within were compelling enough that in short order the storybook went into print. How unfortunate that one of these volumes would find itself slapped upon the desk of the studious young Nicolas, the boy whose father had been slain by the book’s very subject.

One of the other schoolchildren whispered over, [npc=misc]“Have you read this one?”[/npc] Before Nicolas could answer the boy opened the book to a page depicting the gallant Duke facing off against the red-haired giant. [npc=misc]“The Duke is super freaking cool! He just zaps the bad guy away!”[/npc] Excitedly, the boy flipped to the next page: a depiction of the giant making a funny face behind his prison bars, [npc=misc]”The monster is so weird! I can’t believe that this all happened, it all seems like a lie!”[/npc]

Nicolas’ face contorted at the object of his terror rendered skillfully upon the parchment, the monster that had visited him that night, pranked him, and then killed his father. Why couldn’t people have just forgotten about him?

[npc=misc]“Gaaah! Get that away! I don’t care about some dumb fairytale.”[/npc] A tear rolled from the boy’s face as he turned away from his enthusiastic classmate. [npc=misc]“Just forget about nonsense like that. Focus on something productive.”[/npc] After subtly wiping his tears Nicolas turned back down to his schoolwork.

With this, the book was set gently down upon the boy’s desk, as he thumbed its pages a final time the tale that teemed within seemed to settle like dust. That book “The Tale of Duke Nox and the Red Giant’s Rampage” sat stoically, and for the moment, its worn spine and fraying pages could rest.

Yet somewhere along the distant waves, amongst the emboldening sunlight and tides of ambition the Red Giant’s adventure was only just beginning. In the seas of freaks and fiction, of liars and legends, this was a fitting stage for the embarkment of gods and monsters.

That guy was terrifying! But he kinda pissed me off with his smug voice, and three eyes…the oni’s temper began to simmer, “...lucky jerk.” He grumbled aloud, envious of most people’s ability to see, but particularly of the lightning god’s third eye.

“To be born enlightened…” Doji mused, downing sake as he tensed the old sutured sail, “...better than being born cursed. But regardless, a person’s destiny is always their own…” the whipping of the winds and the crashing upheaval of the cerulean waves below brought brief cessation to the large boy’s vocal musings, “...that and the providence of fate.”

With the wind in his sails the boy was whisked by the ocean waves on towards a bright and hopeful horizon, plunging into the shining rays of the setting sun like the sheathing of a sword.

Post Word Count: 3,583
Total Word Count: 27,125


Last edited by Doji on Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Proofreading)
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : Nox Prime
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Haki Level : 9
[[busospec]]
Hitpoints (HP) : 525
Attack (ATK) : 495
Defense (DEF) : 450
Reflex (RX) : 560
Willpower (WP) : 500
Level : 80
Experience Points : 8000
Bounty : [ber=r] 500,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.17 (Turf) +0.10 (Blockbuster)
Shop Discount : -20%
Berries : [ber] 290,000,000
[[thechosenone]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]
[[atkt6_sp]][[deft6]][[deft6]][[rxt6]]
[[ancientzoan]]
Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf]
Posts : 746
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[Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom Empty Re: [Arc] [Part 3] The Grave Robber- Fated Maelstrom

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:28 pm







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A Pirate's Oath


As Doji escaped, Castor wondered if he’d made the right decision cutting loose such a wild card into the world, but his philosophy in letting natural disasters occur cleared any thought in his mind of such. Each of them had roles to play in the future ahead, and he’d be truly hypocritical to stop the budding pirate from blooming to his full potential.

After seeing the menace off, Nox returned to a puzzled court, Newport included after he’d been updated on the situation with the rampaging Oni.

“It seems victory has made you soft, kid.” Newport declared, guzzling away his life in a barrel of booze.

“He interests me, that's all. I won’t be young forever. You gotta look for the next generation when you’re in the prime of your life. Else, I’d end up scrambling and being a bitter old coot like you.” Castor teased.

“You little-” Newport huffed and puffed before being silenced by Castor’s next statement, “Seeing him finally made me come to a decision on what we talked about after we claimed here. It’s time for Newport. Prepare the ship. We leave at sunrise.” Nox concluded.

A smile plastered the drunkard’s face ear to ear, “Where to next, Captain?” Newport responded, delighted at the news. “First. Flevance. I have some business to attend to there. Then, we continue to chase this crazy dream of yours. You want me to become a great pirate right? Let’s see how far you're willing to go for your dream, old man.” Castor declared, with an immense intensity in his eyes.

Aboard a ship, A Dapper man gossips.


“Seiryu. I’ll be able to catch a mighty peny for this. Of course, Sinclair won’t mind. He has everything a man in the world would desire for. Me. I’m just a bottom feeder who learned to dress and talk in a way that entertains the masses.” Stein stated to his veiled guest.

“You people are still as sick as I remember… I left the agency ages ago. Don’t you have someone else to blackmail into doing your dirty world.” the mysterious guest inquired.

“Blackmail?! A man of my stature would never do anything of the sorts. I got your information from an old friend of a friend of mine. I heard assassinations are your specilaity. Besides, The agency owes me a favor for sticking with this nutjob.” Stein announced, grinning beneath his ridiculously long top hat.

Sighing, “Fine. I could use the money for future investments. Afterall, the fabrics for my pieces do cost quite a penny. Especially Alabasta Silk, it’s the rarest of em’ all.” the stranger commented.

“Parfaite. Is that how you say it?” Stein inquired, tipping his hat.

“Non Non… Yes but that’s terrible pronunciation. Sounds like you swallowed a dead cat.” the stranger commented on the man’s attempt at French.

“Really? I thought I was fairly close to how you sounded, it’s a pity.” Stein declared pouting in a playful manner.

“Where’s his next stop?” the woman inquired.

“It seems my little birdies in the court are chirping Flevance.” Stein declared.

Raising an eyebrow, “You truly are a scary man. Fair enough. Bringing him to the base of my operations is either incredibly clever or really sick.” the woman concluded.

“Insurance. Just insurance.” Stein concluded.

Lvneel’s officials rejoiced in the news of Castor’s departure. The North Blue’s most dangerous pirate was finally leaving his nest and venturing onto the high seas once again. Lvneel in the next coming weeks would begin their initiatives towards the future, with the vineyard project being pushed in all the major provinces.

Aboard the Wailing Calamity, A Day After Leaving Lvneel


“Newport. Meet Minerva. Minerva. Newport.” Castor introduced.

“You look so familiar…” Minerva uttered, staring at the strange man suspiciously.

“Aww shucks. Have you ever worked in any of the brothels I visited in my youth? I’d love to rekindle our flame-” Newport’s harassment was interrupted with a shower of rubber bullets from the woman’s umbrella.

“I wouldn’t go swinging your machismo around this one Vic. She’s a Three Star Hunter. Even I struggled against her.” Castor commented, recalling the incident on Toroa.

“Speaking of which… I got a bone to pick with that rat! All of that Dance Powder ended up being a dud!” Castor declared, immensely annoyed at the revelation when his people in the port declined to purchase the illegal merchandise due to its validity.

“Rat?” Newport inquired.

After Castor finally explained the events on Toroa, “Bwahahaha… That Richard guy really fucked ya’ there didn’t he Nox? Guess they don’t call him the Plague Rat for nothing.” Newport exclaimed, wiping the tears from his eyes. “Guess that’s two rats we need to hunt now. Dax. Richard. You have a habit of collecting annoying enemies.” Newport announced.

Cleaning the wax from his ear, “Trust me. It’s not on purpose. I should’ve killed them both when I had a chance. Did you hear? That bastard is still sailing around waving our flag on his escapades. Let him have his fun though. I’ll handle it when I see him next.” Nox concluded.

“You’ve got bigger fish to fry Nox. If we’re going to Paradise, you’ll need a Log Pose.” Newport explained.

“Well. The closest island to here is Flevance. It has way more shops in its port than Lvneel.” Minerva announced.

“Well. That was the next stop regardless. Men! Man the sails! Starboard. It’s time for a new adventure!” Castor shouted, putting on his greatest captain impersonation. The men on the boat clamored to follow Nox’s orders, most of the old Vana guard, young and elderly decided to give up their ranks to follow the War Captain and former leader of Vana to sea.

Meanwhile in Lvneel, Queen Isabella, who had yet to be informed of her husband's departure, had now found out the news… and wasn’t the least bit happy.


“How could you let him go without informing me, Sir Bearington?!” the Queen barked furiously. “No wonder he was being so nice to me last night.” Annabelle stewed over internally.

“It was a King’s Command. I couldn’t ignore his order, my lady. Also, it might be for the best that you don't meet. You’re terrible with goodbyes. We also have our own daily duties to fulfill and also, there’s an issue we must discuss.” Bearington responded.

“Huh? What’s that?” Annabelle inquired, pissed off, spitting against the floor.

“I’ve never seen this side of her… I guess love does bring out the worst in us. She has that same look on her face her father used to before he went psycho on the battlefield.” Bearington thought to himself.

“The Queen of Flevance is requesting a conference. She’ll be arriving with her procession within a week’s time or so. We must put together a proper story about the Oni boy that Duke Nox allowed to roam free.” Bearington announced.

Slamming her hand against the table, and regaining composure. “Men. I just wanted to see him off. Yet. He leaves me here to deal with his mess. Fine. Grant the Queen her conference. I shall speak with her only one on one though.” Annabelle explained.

“As you wish, your majesty.” Bearington declared. “Yup. Definitely a hothead like her papa.” Bearington thought to himself before scuttling away to do the young Queen’s bidding.


Undisclosed Location in Rose
The Lords of the lands meet in secrecy
Two Days Earlier


“We’re here to discuss the assassation attempt planned for both Queens of Lvneel and Flevance. Our goal is to kill them both and frame the pirate Castor O. Nox for the incident. Then, we may be able to unite Flevance and Lvneel.” One of the lords of Rose declared.

In attendance were the current Mayors, Duke’s and Duchesses of the various provinces.

Sneaking into the room unnoticed, Victor Von Newport met the group of astonished lords, catching them off guard in the middle of their plotting.

“W-W-What are you doing here Lord Newport?! Weren’t you supposed to be out celebrating with the whores?!” One of the Dukes announced.

“Bwahaha… I was. I caught wind of this meeting and decided to crash. Don’t stop on my account. I’m just here to keep the King and Queen’s best interest in mind. After all, why would all of the star players of this newly rebuilt council be here talking without a representative of the Lord Duke present. One would think that’s actually treason.” Newport theorized, as he began to empty canisters of gasoline across the hotel inn’s floors.

“Cease him! Don’t let him leave here alive!” The Duchess shouted. Within minutes, Newport had shattered the skulls of everyone in the room with his Haki blackened knuckles, setting the room afire. As the explosion covered the surrounding area, Newport walked away, lighting a cigar in his top pocket on the fiery grave of the turned nobles.

Taking a few puffs to fully lit the cigar, “See. That’s why I gotta watch these kids back. Power isn’t enough to make schmucks like these fall in line. I’ll continue playing the drunken fool and guarding your throne kid. Whatever assets you may obtain in the future… I’ll make sure your reign as King is a long one. Then, I’ll send my trained purebred right for your neck, Loha.” Newport murmured to himself as he walked away from the burning resort.

Transition wrote:After the news of various Dukes and Duchess murder, speculations and rumors began to spread. Annabelle was forced to now appoint even younger members to her council, each of which who were further removed from the affluence of their families names and creeds. Castor eradicated the power and wealth that came with the titles of a Royal in Lvneel, and soon, it’d be the merchants who ran the economy, and had more favor in council meetings than even the old lords of yesteryear.

However, none could’ve prepared the conspiring court members for Annabelle’s next move. The woman she was about to appoint as head knight at Castor’s recommendation was of Montblanc and Viking Blood, she would go down in history as the strongest asset to the Lvneel people, the warrior princess, the woman who’d follow in her idols footsteps and renounce her name and creed, Cassy Vox.




Scolding the Queen in her chambers about her weakness in today’s court, the massive ten foot woman combed the queen’s curly ginger locs furiously as she’d hoped to one day toughen up the Queen.

“Lord Duke put me here to make sure you become a fine woman. It’s about time you shed those childish ways, Anna.” Cassy declared with a mean scowl.

“I only promised the children more food in the coming months! Is that so wrong? They are starving! As their Queen, how can I let them-” Anna’s words were cut short by one violent stroke from Cassy brush.

“Ouch!” Annabelle declared, eyes welled up with tears.

“What of the knights in your army who depend on that food to be strong enough to guard this unstable state of the veil? You cannot correct one wrong by creating another. My father Ragnar taught us that lesson very well. I have renounced both my Viking Name and my noble name for you, My Queen. Please. Please give me something to believe in.” Cassy barked with a frown and then a sigh.

Annabelle simply bursted into tears and ran away. Entering the room afterwards, Sir Bearington hoped to console the tough lecturer.

“I see you and the Queen are getting along swimmingly." Bearington declared, chuckling heartily at the Queen's scaredy cat antics.

Sighing, "That man could've had any woman in the land. Such a strange taste. A minor whose wet behind the ears and displays no heart." Cassy declared.

Resting his hand on Cassy's shoulder, Sir Bearington issued the warrior a few words of caution.

"Annabelle's young indeed. However, she has the tools desired to lead this land to prosperity. Even more so than Flevance's 'genius' Queen. I think Castor bet on that as well. As someone who admires the Lord Duke… You'd do well to remember that."

The man's chilling declaration made the hairs on the back of the woman's neck stiffen. It was the surety in his eyes and words for the budding noble that reassured Cassy to hold on just a bit longer as a mentor.

Chasing after the Queen, Cassy entered into the woman's chambers almost as if she was tip-toeing on eggshells. The Queen had secluded herself beneath the elaborate silk sheets her chambermaid's had to set for the day.

"My Queen." Cassy announced, declaring her abrupt entry.

Sniffling beneath the covers, Annabelle curled into a ball, contemplating the shortcomings of the day. Reaching onto the luxurious fabrics, Cassy crudely ripped away the royals cocoon and took a seat at the edge of the King size bed.

"I wasn't always strong. In fact, compared to my brothers and sisters… I am in fact the weakest. Despite that, I continue to stand on battlefields to test myself." Cassy explained.

Holding back her tears, "Test? Why must all battles be decided by strength and bloodshed? Is the merit of a good ruler someone who can slaughter an army or foster a safe space for the masses to live in harmony?" Annabelle argued, frustrated at her own weakness.

"Yet. That's why we fight. Some of us are out of the sick pleasures of war. Others for fame and fortune. Bloodshed is simply a by-product of glory. Neither is wrong. The strong leader who rules with force or  who governs in grace. The truth is, it's up to the individuals to decide how to make the best of both dynamics." Cassy deduced.

Wiping away the residue from her tears, "I will find a way to utilize both. Whether it be yours or my husband's strength or sharpening my own witts. I shall make Lvneel a place that can stand on it's own. Against all odds.

After the incident with the Oni, it made us realize that our armies are indeed weak. After Castor left with the bulk of the veteran Vana Knights, the flock that remains are either injured or babe.

We need something to bolster our forces if war ever comes into the picture. However, Training armies will take time and resources. Of which. I truly don't have much of."
Annabelle stated.

"Clever deduction. What do you suggest as a solution?" Cassy inquired, nodding her head in approval.

"I'm going to pass a law similar to the World Governments own. I'll allow Pirates to join our army as honorary officers. Since we're not a part of the World Governments umbrella, their bounties are of no concern to us. Though, we shall use it to weigh how much power they are given." Annabelle declared boldly.

Cassy was absolutely stunned by the Queen's suggestion.

"You're going to turn our island into a haven for pirates?! That's crazy. Who's going to keep them in check? Granted. Your husband's status as a pirate has kept the low level scrubs away but to pass a law that invites them here… That's absolute madness!" Cassy shouted in disagreement.

"Indeed. It is madness. But it's exactly that kind of thinking we need if we're meant to protect ourselves in these harsh seas.

I believe in Castor. His name and status will be enough to unite the roughians in the North Blue under one banner!"
Annabelle retorted.

Both women entered into a passionate argument about ethics and morals, but regardless, Annabelle had truly thought up a system to reform Pirates into a Navy.

"Okay. Fine. Let's say we do this. What's your security if it falls through? What of the lives of your innocent people who have just been through a tumultuous period?" Cassy inquired calmly.

"The people will be given the same opportunity for status as the outlaws will. Besides joining us, it'll come at a cost. Between yourself and Sir Bearington, and one other man… We'll be a force to reckon with." Annabelle nodded.

"One other man? Whoever may that be? Who is it that instills so much confidence in such an outrageous plan? Weren't you just balling your eyes out a minute ago?!" Cassy shouted in confusion and annoyance.

"Just a wandering ronin I've been writing letters to. The retainer of the last Montblac King, Lord Yasuke." Annabelle concluded.

Fin.


Word Count: 14,065/13,500


| Tagged: @Doji


Notes: N/A




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