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Doji
Doji
[tracker=/t2417-asakura-doji#14975]
Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Grave Danger
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : The Yokai Pirates
Ship : Gashadokuro, the Walking Castle
Crew Role : Captain | Blind Navigator
Bounty : [bel=r] 177,777,001
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Shop Discount : 10%
Balance : [bel] 196,745,669
[[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]][[punchoutguru]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 258

[Episode] The Insect Pirates Strike Back! Empty [Episode] The Insect Pirates Strike Back!

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:33 pm
Quest Request:

On the Beach of Greenstone, a Group of Defeated Pirates Sit Around a Campfire…


“MAN! I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT GOOD FOR NOTHIN’ JERK GOT ME!” The massive insectoid man clutched at the burn that had been plastered all across his carapace-armored pectorals.

“Byegh! You’re tii-elling me!” I tii-ried to find an opening in his defenses and he knocked me out cold before I could even do anything! At least you got a solid hit on him!” The pink mantis girl ranted in a huff, crossing her arms and speaking in a bitter, morose tone toward her captain.

“SOLID HIT MY AZZ! AZZ SOON AS I GOT ‘IM DOWN HIZZ EYEZZ JUZZT STARTED GLOWING AND THEN HE HIT ME WITH SOMETHIN’ THAT MADE IT FEEL LIKE I WAZZ BURNING FROM THE INZZIDE,” Aki spoke contemptuously of whatever power had allowed his opponent to stand up from death’s door.

“I’VE ONLY HEARD OF THEM IN LEGENDZZ. BUT I THINK THAT HE’S ONE OF THEM: A MYTHIC TYPE.”

A quiet grew over the bugs sitting around the campfire.

“So that’s why he swept through us without effort. Aki, are the powers of a mythical fruit user really that much stronger than those of your own? Can you contend with a beast of that level of power?” Yorick spoke up, breaking his attention briefly from his 1000-yard stare into the fire.

“Myth-iiic or not! We’ll show him that he can’t just push us around! We made it this far! We made it to the Grand Line! Who is this Myth-iiic little jerk? I haven’t even seen his wanted poster!” The surrogate captain (navigator), Calliope, kicked her insectoid legs up and leaned her head back as she spoke.

“MY POWER IS THAT OF THE GREATEZZT INZZECT THAT EVER LIVED! WHATEVER FAIRYTALE CREATURE THAT HE’ZZ MODELED AFTER, I’M SURE THAT I CAN TAKE HIM DOWN!” The bug stood up and flexed his muscles as he spoke, cringing in pain with the burn his opponent had left him with.

“Byegh. You saw how that went last tiii-me. Plus, the guy seemed pretty keen on taking us one on one; that’s probably where he excels,” the huntress began thinking of a way to take the giant down using the powers of herself and all of her crewmates.

“Does that not strike you as a bit uncouth Callie? He fought each of us in a duel and won squarely, we ought to each challenge him and battle him again with the knowledge we’ve gained on his fighting style!”

“I AGREE! I WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER CRACK AT THE BAZZTARD!” The captain swung his fist into the palm of his hand as he spoke, Aki’s pride was still massively wounded in the wake of his crew’s defeat. They had been relying on the strength that he’d sheltered them all throughout their travels in the Grand Line, and he’d let them all down.

“You two are talking like this was ever a fair fight to begin with. What I’m saying is that whatever power he’s using, we don’t even know what it is or how it works; Aki, you said that he just stood up like nothing had happened after you’d landed a finishing blow, that doesn’t sound very honorable to me.”

The massive dragonfly glowered down at the fire, he remembered it: the feeling of a heartbeat shot through the ground beneath him, and as soon as he knew it, his opponent was standing unharmed and exponentially stronger than before. Aki clenched his fists with rage.

“ALRIGHT CALLIE! WE’LL TRY IT YOUR WAY. WHAT’ZZ THE PLAN?”

With this, the Insect Pirates began scheming and plotting a way to defeat Asakura Doji, and the other members of the Yokai Pirates.

Meanwhile, the Yokai Frolic in their Underwear Over by the Ramen River…


“AH, DAIGO GANMO!” Doji hopped on one foot down toward the river, Nietzche nervously strummed the strings of a shamisen in compliance with the two onis’ vehement pestering.

“CHIKUWA NI TAMAGO!” Juri licked her lips, eyeing the noodles as she hopped along after her brother.

“II OY, OY, NO YOY TE TO TE SORO!” Doji clapped his hands up above his head as the song drew near its end.

“NI E TE NAMBANO RAMEN NI SORO!” The blue-haired oni finished off the song’s finale, striking a kneeling pose with one hand pushed forcefully out in front of her. Nietzche struck the final chord on his instrument and with that the performance concluded with laughter and celebration amongst all of the Yokai.

The history of the verse that they’d plundered was entirely alien to them, though the joyous spirit of the words seemed to carry forth in their festivities. In truth, Doji was only familiar with the tune because of his mother, and she was only familiar with it because of her mentor Mishima Nobunaga. It was an obscure old melody, handed down in the dark corners of Wano Kuni amongst old swordsmen and gamblers.

Once they’d finished celebrating, the monsters started fishing and eating noodles straight out of the river. Though all three were devil fruit users, they were content to deal with the weak-tingling sensation that ran along their legs as they splashed each other in the shallows. Doji, Nietzche, and Juri were having the time of their lives.

Eight Eyes Spying


Because of the stealth, speed, and perceptive abilities granted to her by her power, Gwen was chosen for the mission into the jungle. Swinging through the treetops using her vines, and skittering along their branches using her Zoan transformation, the gorgeous young lady made her way into a line of bushes not too far away from the now-occupied ramen river.

Peering toward the enemy through the highly-specialized lenses of her eight predatory eyes, Gwen saw them gallivanting around the ramen river, the delicious territory that rightfully belonged to her crew.

Though she loathed all of the monsters that had evicted the Insects, Gwen’s loathing was focused centrally upon the young woman who had stolen her title: The Spider-Woman Juri. She saw the blue-haired power user splashing her feet in the river, dirtying the ramen like a filthy savage; that was when a sinister idea came to the girl.

The spider Zoan took note of all of the surrounding terrain, particularly the giant castle that had seemingly been erected in an instant. Once she’d gotten a good look at all of the Yokai, and eyed up the castle for signs of activity, Gwen retreated back into the forest and headed back to meet with her crew.

Juri and Nietzche were none the wiser.

Though the blind boy didn’t see anything; he seemed to feel a tingling sensation on the back of his neck that he couldn’t shake until his unseen opponent left. Eventually, Doji reassured himself that nothing was amiss and continued his leisure with the rest of his friends.

Planning the Hunt


Emerging from the woods, Gwen’s comrades were happy to see her back in one piece, quickly welcoming her back to her seat around the fire; Calliope brought a cup of tea and a large kebab of spicy steak to her returned ally. The newest member looked up to her friends and smiled a wide, goofy, grin.

“Everything went perfectly!”

The group had been expecting worse news when the girl first returned, and they all laughed, and let out a sigh of relief when their ally spoke these reassuring words.

“So what’d you see back at the river, they must’ve set up some k-iiind of camp r-iiight?” Calliope sat down and kneeled alongside her companion, the huntress seemed eager to get her plans into motion; but first she needed to hear the word of her scout.

“Orb-be-be-be-be-be-be-be-be – they were all playing around down by the river in their underwear…” The girl couldn’t help but laugh now that she wasn’t under any imminent danger, in truth it had been a rather ridiculous scene; but there was one detail that she knew her ally would take interest in, “... they didn’t have a camp. They had a castle.”

“Byegh? What do you mean they had a castle? That doesn’t make any sense, they’ve only been there for a day now, how would they have a castle?”

“I don’t know Callie, I’m just telling you what I saw. It wasn’t a particularly good looking castle, the thing kinda looked like it was falling apart, but it was huge; big enough for that horned jerk to get in and out comfortably, I don’t know if they made it with a devil fruit power or something? But there’s a weird looking castle over there,” Gwen chomped down on the food that the mantis had given her, savoring the fiery tingling sensation that washed over her tongue.

For a moment, the spider Zoan couldn’t really speak much as she scarfed down her food and held back tears from the intense heat of her food. While Gwen was choked, Calliope murmured and thought out loud, beginning to devise a scheme with her allies’ unique strengths in mind.

“As far as we know none of those guys can fly, and most of us can; plus unless you saw any more of them we have them outnumbered five to two…”

Though she was still choked from the peppers capsaicin burning her throat, Gwen threw up three fingers, and waved them aggressively toward the pink mantis girl.

“... five to three; and Aki, you were just able to knock out the girl with no problem when you fought them r-iiight?”

“YEAH. SHE WENT DOWN LIKE A SACK OF BRICKZZ.”

“If we’re smart about this, we might just be able to ambush them; knock out the underlings and gang up on the mythic boy all in one swoop. Gwen, what was the last of them like?”

The spider Zoan almost seemed to be breathing fire out of her mouth at this point. Callie pointed to the tea that she’d given the girl, “Hey I know you like spicy stuff girl, but we need you to be able to talk right now, please have some tea.”

Gwen had completely forgotten about the tea as soon as she saw the spicy food. The girl had crammed the kebab into her face and hadn’t given anything else much thought, least of all the tea that her friend had given her to soothe her mouth. Snapping the cup up in an instant, the pretty-faced spider sipped up all the tea into her mouth as quickly as she could.

“Ahh-rach…” Gwen sighed out a breath of relief, “... thanks Callie. The last guy looked like a wimp. Way smaller than the others. I think he’s a power user too, but he just turns into an umbrella.”

“HU-ZA-ZA-ZA-ZA!” The loud man’s laughter echoed all across Greenstone, sending large insects flying across the trees, and causing the entire forest to chitter with the agitated calls of its various inhabitants. Meanwhile, all of the Insect Pirates laughed and jeered amongst themselves at Nietzche’s lame devil fruit power.

“Alr-iiight, well now I’m less worr-iiied. I say we knock out the girl and the umbrella and then take the big guy down all at once. If they’re all playing around in the river like id-iiiots I bet we can catch them while they’re sw-iiiming and they’ll all still be weakened, heh– if we’re lucky we might be able to push them in~” Calliope was growing more excited by the moment, even though she and her crew were going up against an opponent with legendary powers, she was sure that she and her friends could bring him down.

Excerpt From The Book of Five Elements


In many ways, the practice of a strategist is the same as that of an architect, you must build a foundation to work upon; this could be a number of things, be it strength, skill, or camaraderie.

But in the art of war we are the architects, we must see the master plan of the strategy, of the building as it were. How our foundation can be strengthened and built upon, which sections of our structure must be reinforced; the pursuit of strategy is the pursuit of something greater than the sum of its parts, something that can stand the test of time, and outlive even the warrior himself.

In the way that a well-built castle is the craft of an architect, strategy is the craft of the warrior.

As the Sun Sets the Yokai Begin their Evening Festivities


The Yokai had continued partying and eating all day and all night, they’d finally reached the Grand Line, and it was Paradise. Even though their red-haired captain was still set on dragging them out into the new world, it was tempting to just –  give up on his quest, spend more time with his friends; forget about the plan that his mother had set out for him and live a life of hedonistic bliss.

The three Yokais were both red in the face and completely drunk, and as a group of youngsters (and one middle-aged gentleman) out in the woods they were having plenty of fun, dancing, fighting, and playing silly games in their stupor.

“THREEE!~” Juri drawled out obnoxiously, a bit of drool hanging from the bottom of her unwashed, food-covered, chin.

“TWOOO!” Doji shouted with the cadence of a theater performer.

[npc=pirt]“OOONE!! GO!”[/npc] Nietzche finished off the crew’s countdown, and lifted the box that the Yokai had imprisoned their contestants in.

Juri’s bug was an obvious choice, she chose her legendary Kabuto to fight for her honor and claim the prize at the end of the race. She was certain that her crewmates were eyeing her luxurious horned beetle with envious eyes as its massive size was far greater than either of their puny entries.

Doji had some difficulty catching a bug on his own, especially while he was drunk, but eventually he’d managed to get his hands on one. In spite of the numerous stinger-wounds that had been left all across his left hand and arm, he’d managed to catch a large red-carapaced forest scorpion to race in his name.

Nietzche was the eldest, and the best at handling his liquor. Though his entrant didn’t look very impressive aside from its iridescent-colored shell, he was quite confident in her. Rather than following the brutish logic of his oni compatriots, Nietzche opted for a more science-minded approach: if the objective was to race, then he would catch the fastest insect he could. Though it required skill and patience, eventually he was able to catch a little beetle who hopped along the ground extremely quickly. He’d even named the little creature, Pearl, for her glimmering shell.

The Yokai had set up a small racetrack, with a stack of all kinds of food that they hoped would incentivize the insects to race for them.

“GOO! KABUTO!” Juri cheered, throwing one of her fists into the air, and sipping booze out of a flask with her free hand.

“GET ‘EM SCORPION!” Doji clapped as he felt his large insect skitter quickly along the track toward some of the meat in the food pile.

[npc=pirt]“I believe in you little Pearl. You got this,”[/npc] the tiny insect almost seemed to look directly back at Nietzche, a glimmer of hope filled her tiny eyes as she watched her massive competition begin racing toward the finish line. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking, but Nietzche felt in his heart that the cute little bug wouldn’t let him down.

The large and aggressive bugs that Pearl was going up quickly showed their true colors; Doji’s scorpion jammed its stinger down toward Juri’s precious Kabuto, the thrusting point of the weapon bounced off of the beetle’s thick armor, but the attack irritated the insect nonetheless. The beetle quickly turned its horn back toward its sparring opponent, and began trying to flip the scorpion over; before long, an all out invertebrate wrestling match had broken out.

As their bugs began fighting, the red and blue oni literally butted hands, slamming their thick skulls into each other and yelling, slurring their speech and spraying spit into each other's faces all the while.

“DOJI, YOU PIECE A’ SHIT! YOU JUST HAD TO GO OUT N’ PICK THE MOST AGGRESSIVE FUCKIN’ BUG YOU COULD DIDN’JA?”

“SHUT UP SIS! YOU ALREADY HAD A GOOD BUG! I’M FUCKIN’ BLIND! I PICKED THIS ONE BECAUSE IT WAS AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH THAT EVEN I COULD CATCH IT!” The red-haired oni waved his wounded hand back and forth in front of Juri.

Juri’s kabuto lifted the scorpion high into the air using its horn, dangling the arachnid precariously on the tip of its lance. Still, the scorpion fought back; its nature was to sting, and so it stung the kabuto over and over again. The two arthropods were at an impasse, the beetle couldn’t put an end to the scorpion’s onslaught, and the scorpion’s stinger could not penetrate the kabuto’s thick shell.

As Doji and Juri fought, Nietzche paid them no mind; the middle-aged man looked over to the larger bugs fighting, and then back to his own pretty little contestant. The cutest of the bugs, Pearl, looked back up to the man who had chosen her…

… to the man that believed in her. Though there was no true way to know what was going on in the tiny mind of the insect; in practice, she did not disappoint her surrogate father, as soon as Pearl started moving the contest was over. She finished the race in a matter of three long-jumping hops, beginning to nibble at some of the noodles to celebrate her victory.

Nietzche beamed with pride, and clapped for his contestant’s finish-line crossing. As soon as Doji and Juri stopped fighting for long enough to realize what had just happened their jaws dropped to the ground and their forked tongues began waggling in horror. The two oni quickly settled on a new object of mutual ire: Nietzche; but even as his nakama shook him, threw him, grappled, kicked, and noogied him, the man still smiled at his bug.

Bringing Down the Brobdingnagian


“Wow…” Calliope glowered at the scene unfolding before her with utter contempt, how had she and her crew managed to lose to these idiots?

“... Gwen, you’re seein’ this right? I think now’s the time. Wrap them all up in webs,” the soft spoken mantis girl spoke to her spider compatriot.

“Makes sense to me,” the Zoan girl began weaving up a large web of silk to hurl at the Yokai. Once she had finished creating her capture net, the woman sprung gracefully from the underbrush; she hurled her netting down as she flew through the air, landing gracefully on the shore of the ramen river.

Everybody present was a haki user, it was only a matter of whose color of observation was the strongest; and for the most part, as a trained user of the art, Gwen won this battle. Nietzche and Juri were completely restrained, pinned to the ground beneath an insurmountable deluge of strong, sticky, web, before they could even react.

The only one whose senses were acute enough to allow him to evade the attack was Doji. Though he was not a trained practitioner of haki the boy had relied on his intuitive senses for all of his life, and as soon as his will had grown strong enough to awaken his most basic level of observation haki, he had quickly come to start using the ability without even realizing it.

Red in the face from guzzling Sake all night, already a bit worn out from fighting with Juri, and unarmed with the exception of his sorcerous abilities, the captain of the Yokai struggled to steady himself for the incoming ambush.

He hadn’t been ready for one enemy, let alone five at once; the rest of the Insect pirates quickly jumped out of the brush and began enacting their plan.

Amongst the fastest of nature’s predators proportionate to their size are the dragonfly, and the ancient strength of Aki’s Zoan didn’t do him any disservices in this regard; the buzzing sound of incredibly rapid wing beats filled the area for a moment, and before Doji could place where the thunderous sound was coming from, the dragonfly man was upon him.

“TAKE THIZZ BAZZTARD!”

Swinging both of his haki-coated fists together down at the oni’s head like a mace, Aki’s attack would have shattered the skull of any ordinary human in an instant. It was only for the sake of Doji’s own latent armament, and his natural hard-headedness that the oni was able to survive the blow. Still, he was sent reeling, his head was spinning and the senses that the blind-man generally used to orient himself were sent into disarray; curiously he was still able to sense his enemies…

… Doji couldn’t tell what was happening but he could tell the fight wasn’t over yet.

And more of them were emerging from the woodworks to take potshots at him by the moment. The bricklike fist of Kafka, the beetle man crunched some of the oni’s ribs as it sent the man tumbling toward another of the insect’s attacks.

The moth man Yorick slashed time after time at the Oni’s thick armament-coated hide; Doji could only stand against this onslaught for so long. His armament was wearing thin, and the rapid volley of slashes at his vitals were beginning to leave long, red, slash marks across his flesh.

The three insect men struck Doji time after time, and the only moment that Doji found to strike back at one of the men, he found his limb entangled in webbing. Each of his arms and feet was tethered to the ground one by one; at this point the prodigal son of the Behemoth was little more than a punching bag.

Aki grappled the oni behind the shoulders, Kafka threw an uppercut into his chin, and Yorick cut away the last of the latent armament that was protecting the oni’s vitals.

“Now! Callie!” The moth man called to his ally, this was her moment to strike.

Though Aki was the most physically powerful of the insects, Calliope was the most prodigious user of haki; and now that the oni’s defenses had been shredded to ribbons, she was free to unleash the full combined power of her devil fruit and armament against him.

“Tankōshoku Tegetana!” The pink Mantis woman raked each of her claws across her foe’s chest, though for the most part, her claws still shone bright pink; the very tips of her bladed hands almost seemed to shimmer dark black.

A large, X-shaped spray of blood geysered out of Doji’s chest. Deep, gouging, serrated wounds had been carved into him, stretching down from his shoulders to his waist. The oni slumped over, unconscious, and mortally wounded. As his body went limp, Gwen spun the webs that were holding the boy up back into her hands, and he was sent toppeling heavily to the ground below; a small cloud of dust sprung up from the site of the oni’s impact.

The Insect Pirates had defeated their prey.

“Alright, Aki, throw h-iiim in the river before he can do whatever he did in your f-iiight.”

The muscular dragonfly smiled, he was excited to show off his awesome strength and dispose of the mythical scumbag at the same time. Flexing his muscles as he did it, the massive insect picked up the nearly 1,800 pound man and hoisted him high in the air; showing the defeated body of the oni off like it was an oversized trophy.

“No! Don’t throw him in the water! He’ll die!” Juri screeched from beneath the suffocating mass of webbing, though she thrashed to break free, she was powerless to stop the insects from throwing her little brother to his doom.

“YUP, THAT’ZZ THE POINT,” Aki spoke bluntly before heaving his muscles into a throw.

SPLOOSH

The crewmates of the Yokai pirates heard the sound of their captain’s oversized body falling into the river of ramen. They wouldn’t even be able to see him in his final moments, as the thick web that had captured them completely obscured their vision.

“Byegh-he-he-he! Without a hitch! Good work everybody!” Calliope cackled and celebrated amongst her allies as Juri and Nietzche thrashed against the webbing, trying desperately to break free and save their captain.

Floating, Bleeding, Dying…


Mmm, yummy… flavorful broth filled the boy’s mouth, even as it began flowing into his lungs, and completely immobilized his body, the warmth of the water as well as the taste of the soup was admittedly quite pleasant, … yugh, am I gonna die like this?

The oni’s red hair floated gently upward, striving toward the surface of the soup, his blood flowed upward and intermingled with the broth in swirling uzumaki patterns; though his body yearned to surface, it was powerless against the flowing ramen, whose salty water was sourced from the surrounding seas.

Eventually, the monster came to a small fork in the river; and through some “good fortune,” the oni found himself carried down along that small fork, down to its end: a massive drop, where a small waterfall of ramen flowed down to the forest below.

He was swept up in the flow of the waterfall, and began his calamitous downfall, … am I falling? Where is this river taking me?

Unbeknownst to him, the situation was even worse than he could have imagined, he wasn’t falling into any ordinary section of forest…

… the earth beneath trembled, the section of plant life seemed to “open up” revealing a dark, hungering, pit. Doji was falling directly into the mouth of an enormous carnivorous plant.

The pleasant taste and sensation of the broth was quickly replaced by the burning sensation of some unknown enzyme eating away at his skin; he was fortunate that he was not exposed to the substance for long.

Several vines sprouted from some unknown source on the “shore” of the carnivorous plant’s digestive pit, and wrapped the oni up before he had sunken too deep, pulling him above the surface of the acid and reeling him in.

The girl eyed the massive man curiously, the power of her vines was barely sufficient to hold him aloft, he was completely unconscious so she figured it safe enough to let him go. As she did, he tumbled down to the membrane beneath him and coughed up a large mouthful of ramen.

Retracting her vines into her back, the wild woman wondered if she should just kill the man and save herself the trouble of discerning whether or not he was a danger to her. Perhaps against her better judgment, she decided not to.

Bringing her tattooed foot down on the man’s chest the exiled Kuja kicked some of the remaining liquid out of the oni’s lungs, “what you doing here?”

Ramosa hadn’t spoken to anybody in a long, long, time. Her verbiage left much to be desired, not that the red-haired monster was lucid enough to understand her in the first place.

Perhaps Doji wasn’t exactly lucid, but something within him: a new part of him that had grown stronger in the face of death, that spirit was still alive. A heartbeat pulsed through the area, and though in truth, she was in certain danger, Ramosa felt a certain sense of serenity wash over her.

The girl took a few steps back as she saw the strange boy’s sorcery working its magic, flesh was knit back together, bones were regrown, blood was rapidly generated from within the oni’s bones. As he stood back to two feet, a strange, golden glow emanated from the rims of Doji’s eyes.

The monster looked down at the girl who had saved him; Doji’s full hybrid form had endowed him with a great blessing: that of sight. He could see her in full, a shaggy green-haired woman wearing the carved carapaces of the local insects as a form of primitive armor, tendril-like vines grew from her back and postured aggressively toward him.

“I’m not going to hurt you…” the beast spoke gently to the woman beneath him, “... my dearest thanks for saving me, young lady. I can tell that you are confused, I can see that it would have been easiest to simply let this plant dispose of me. Though I know there are those that have told you the contrary: you have a good heart.”

“You not know me! Why you talk big?”

“Fair question! I find myself speaking in such lofty terms lately! I can’t tell why!” Though it was still Doji who was speaking, something was obviously influencing him. A wide, hopeful smile washed across the oni’s face, and from beneath his dragon-like brows his eyes glimmered with dazzling white light.

A concussive gust of wind knocked Ramosa on her ass as the monstrous man leapt up from the “shore,” prancing like a deer, the devil seemed to jump up along the air.

Unfortunately for the carnivorous plant that had swallowed him, it had closed its jaws. Doji was going to have to make his own exit. He refrained from drawing his sword, and instead threw his fist toward the inside of the plant’s mouth with a flaming uppercut.

“That not gonna work, dummy!”

“Oh yeah?!” Doji’s fist was wreathed in a white-hot flame with flickering wisps of black smoke and flame swirling around it. A golden glow filled the monster’s eyes, as the fire gathered around his hand.

“Wait, wait, wait!” Ramosa waved her hands nervously and tried to use her vines to grab the monster’s arm. However her paramecia-generated flora was burned away by the boy’s flames.

“Oh, no. No, no, no,” Ramosa looked all about the flower, looking for any way that she could force it to open its jaws before the monster threw its flames into its lips. There was only one option: in the depths of the plant’s digestive pool, she’d have to punch it in one of its most vulnerable spots. Steeling herself, the girl took a deep breath, coating her skin fully in pitch-black haki before diving into the acid.

Just before the oni could destroy the carnivorous flower, she did it. Ramosa forced the plant to open its mouth…

Meanwhile, the Insect Pirates Celebrate their Victory…


“Oh sweet ramen river, how I’ve m-iiissed you~” Calliope happily gorged as many noodles as she could fit into her mouth from the flow of food below; her companions all did much the same, Kafka slurping up soup and leaning against Gwen, the spider herself snagging anything spicy she could get her hands on, Yorick eating in a dignified manner, and Aki swooping down and grabbing any large chunks of meat that he could get his hands on.

“Let us out! We need to find Doji!” Juri cried desperately from beneath her blanket of web.

“You’re friend’s dead string-girl! And look who lost her right to call herself the true Spider-Woman again~” Gwen lilted cheerfully back at her prisoners.

The members of the Insect crew felt the trembling in the earth before they saw what had caused it…

“WHAT’ZZ THAT? DO YOU THINK IT’ZZ JUST AN EARTHQUAKE?”

Aki was confused, he turned and looked around to the members of his crew for assurance. Certainly it had nothing to do with the oni, that they had just disposed of right? If it was a result of that monster’s power then the only vibrations would be those of heartbeats, and he and his allies likely would have been out of range of the mythical power’s influence anyway.

Suddenly, the buzzing of thousands, if not millions of insects could be heard flying above; everything in the forest seemed to be fleeing from some unknown danger. It was then that Yorick saw it.

“Oh dear. Look at that flame.”

… rising high into the sky like a pillar, a column of swirling black and white flame pierced the heavens. Standing atop it, was a looming, dark, horned, shadow who had leapt to the very clouds above, leaving a trail of magical flame in his wake.

“Byegh-iii!! Aki! What is that? Is that anything like what you saw him doing before?” Even when she had been the captain of the crew, Calliope had never seen such an overwhelming display of power.

“I-I-I…” even the macho dragonfly was stunned by what he was laying eyes on, “... I DON’T KNOW! HE DIDN’T MAKE SUCH AN ENORMOUZZ FIRE WHEN WE FOUGHT! IZZ THIS WHAT HE’ZZ TRULY CAPABLE OF?”

“Okay! New plan! We have to get out of here!...” Callie looked sadly down to the flowing noodles, “... I’m going to m-iiiss you ramen river, but I th-iiink that it’s ramen or death. I w-iiish I was an honorable enough warr-iiior to die for you noodles! But I can’t! I’m not strong enough!”

The insect Zoan reverted back to her pink-haired human form (a rare sight), and slammed her fist down against the ground, “It’s not fair! Just because he’s a myth-iiic type he gets the ramen?! THIS WORLD IS HELL!”

“Funny you mention it…” the monster spoke from above the Insect Pirates, “... I’ve been thinking of what to call this sorcerous ability.”

It seemed as though the golden-eyed man was floating right above the river, hopping in place in the air.

“Taste Hellfire!” With a stroke of his leg, Doji stomped a searing brand into Calliope’s back.

Even as they watched their ally get stomped, the Insects felt almost eerily calm. It was as though they were in no danger at all. This feeling immediately gave way to the burning sensation that almost seemed to eat away at each of them from the inside, their carapaces began to crack; it was as though they were burning from the inside like firewood.

In an act of bravery, Aki defied the will of the mythical beast, and swept up to rescue Calliope; even as his insides seemed as though they were boiling away.

They were lucky to survive. Lucky that the merciful beast did not pursue them, as they fled, they heard its harrowing and disheartening words echo through the forest toward them, “you are guilty, insects. Otherwise my flame would not eat away at you so mercilessly. You’re cowards, weaklings who forsake their honor and fight a war where a duel would suffice. You are greedy, gluttonous, and worst of all, you are too weak to make yourself worthy of such privileges. Leave here and never return, this place is too deliciously noble to stain with your presence, and there is already an overabundance of overgrown insects. Who would wish to rule over such creatures? They are skilless, ignoble, almost mindless things; they’ve little will of their own, what would it mean to be the King of the insects? Nothing.”

Doji kept up the intimidating front until he was certain that the Insect Pirates were gone. As soon as he felt that he and his crewmates were safe, he fell unconscious; the sheer sorcerous power that he had just exerted was too great even for the body of the giant.

It seemed that the spider Zoan’s powers had a limited range, as eventually the webbing that covered Nietzche and Juri dissipated strand by strand into thin air.

“Asakura-sama! Are you okay!” Any of Juri’s drunkenness had completely faded due to adrenaline at this point, and thus she addressed her captain formally. Though even though she was trying to maintain her composure, tears were still welling in the girl’s eyes as she shook her brother’s limp body.

[npc=pirt]“Here, let me help, I used to be a doctor,”[/npc] Nietzche ran up alongside the girl and began checking his captain’s vitals, putting his ear up to Doji’s chest, he listened for a heartbeat. For a moment he heard nothing, but after another, he heard it: a faint beat, and the sound of the oni filling his lungs with air.

[npc=pirt]“He’s alive, I need to go fetch my supplies. Keep an eye on him, Juri,”[/npc] Nietzche sprang up from his place and ran in to Gashadokuro with a sense of great urgency.

“Thank you Freddy! Please hurry!” The girl cried back to her crewmate.

“It’s gonna be okay…” The blue oni hugged her surrogate brother as tears streamed down her face, “... everything is gonna be okay,” she rocked back and forth in place, cradling the man’s chest as she did so.

In a matter of minutes, Nietzche was back on the scene holding his medical kit in one hand, [npc=pirt]“Alright, what’s the matter Doji?”[/npc]

Conducting a more thorough examination of the red oni’s body, Nietzche found…

… nothing. It was as though Doji hadn’t fought at all. The only sign of injury was a thin set of scars extending diagonally across either side of the oni’s chest down to his waist; but even those scars appeared as though they had been fully healed, as though years of natural healing had occurred in a matter of minutes.

[npc=pirt]“I can’t tell what’s wrong with him, I wonder…”[/npc] Nietzche trailed off, procuring a handful of smelling salts from his bag and holding them beneath the oni’s nose.

“YO!” the red-haired devil quickly roused to consciousness, he backed away from Nietzche’s hand and took a deep breath.

“YO! YO! YOKA-KA-KA-III!” Doji began laughing and crying uncontrollably, and his crewmates quickly joined him, Juri quickly threw herself onto her brother and hugged him around the neck.

He couldn’t believe that he had survived, but he and his found family were all grateful for it.

Word Count:
Gray
Gray
The Conqueror / Black Fist
[tracker=/t131-tracker-gray-starks#504]
Name : Gray
Epithet : "The Conqueror" / "Black Fist"
Age : 49
Height : 10'2" (310 cm)
Weight : 1043 lbs (473 kg)
Species : Cyborg Human
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Lurking Legend (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Sangria's Vane (Destroyed)
Crew Role : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Bounty : [ber=r] 5,000,000,000
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.20
Shop Discount : -30%
Balance : [bel] 25,000,000,000
[[strollingdeath]][[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[childofdestiny]][[freakofnature]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 3840

[Episode] The Insect Pirates Strike Back! Empty Re: [Episode] The Insect Pirates Strike Back!

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Dec 07, 2023 9:36 pm

GRADING


Quality Score (Re)assessment: No



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