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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

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Dec 08, 2023 11:40 pm
Part I:

Some Time Ago, in the Year 1777


Drifting atop the roil of Wano Kuni’s whirlpools, a ship was thrown to and fro, being sent flying across the magnificent ocean spray toward the spire-like rock formations surrounding the island. The ship was vibrant and regal in its design, its hull was painted a deep jade-green and its railing a bright red. The fittings of the ship were all made from a treated gold alloy that shone as brightly under the sun as it held up against the brutality of the ocean waves.

“KI-RIRIRIRIRIRI!” Jumping in the air above his ship and cackling all the while, the fearless captain of the ship: the Hisui Atakemaru, seemed to dance madly amongst the winds. Ozymandiaz Z. Zangetsu, the Kingslayer, wielder of the sorcerous power of the Ushi Ushi no Mi Model- Kirin; this was the man who sought to lead the Kingdom Pirates to the end of the New World.

Born to a royal bloodline of a small, unknown kingdom in the West Blue, Ozymandiaz gained his fearsome moniker when he killed his own father and departed for the high seas. He quickly built his crew, the Kingdom Pirates, from some of the most exceptional pirates in the Blue Seas of his era. Wherever he could, he would liberate small kingdoms (though their rulership often sprung back up), and steal from them their most elite royal guard; converting them to serve his own “kingdom.”

As he tore through kingdom after kingdom, Ozymandiaz grew tired of his exploits. He knew that the only Kings who would be able to stand in his way, the only opponents who would pose a true challenge to him, were those in the New World. What’s more, as he and his crew traveled from island to island, he began to feel something at the bottom of his heart nagging at him…

… it was as though something at the very end of the Grand Line was calling to him. As though he knew that if he wished to meet a King who was truly worthy of his title, he would have to meet him there.

His rush into the new world would prove to be an unimaginably destructive act of folly. As he sat in the air in his transformed state, he saw the great and mighty hull of his crew’s ship diving headfirst toward the center of a whirlpool.

Leaping down to save his crew upon flame-propelled gusts of air, the kirin man raced beneath his crew’s ship. Though he did not care for rulers, or laws, or even nobler things such as peace, he cared greatly for his crew. They were his kingdom.

The Kingslayer held the enormous weight of his ship, of his crew, upon his shoulders; gnashing beneath him, the swirling teeth of the whirlpool knew nothing but indifferent hunger. He summoned all of the strength within him, he thought to the voyages that he and his crew had shared together, he conjured all of the chimerical strength offered to him by his Devil Fruit: the limitless destructive power of a giraffe, the titanic power of a leviathan, the behemoth strength of the mammoth, the stubbornness of an ox, the nobility of the mighty stag. The weight of the boat seemed to strain against the force of the man’s will to rescue his crew, to reach the end of the grand line and meet a true King.

But in spite of it all, Ozymandiaz was nothing more than a mortal man. Though he fought with all of his might, he and his ambitions were devoured by the whirlpool. As soon as he was submerged beneath the water's surface, all of the will to fight was drained from the devil, and he sank to his untimely demise…

… as did nearly all of his crew. Swirling down to their inevitable demise, a great number of promising pirates were swallowed by the sea that day. All in all, though every single one of the massive vessel’s lifeboats were deployed amongst the whorling chaos, there was only one survivor of the Kingslayer’s crew. In an ironic twist of fate, it was the Kingslayer’s pride that would lead to the death of the Kingdom Pirates.

The only man who escaped the waves of Wano Kuni was the man who was born there: the crew’s faithful swordsman Kitano Takeshi, an expatriate of the land of Wano who had joined the crew in their endeavors in the New World. He drifted back through the seas, he eventually drifted broken and defeated to the first half of the Grand Line where he would retire to quiet life in a village on Drum Island. Spending years in solitude, the hermit mourned the failure of his crew

Years later, when Ozymandiaz returned to Takshi in his fruitful form, the rōnin erected a small headstone for his fallen friend. Engraved in stone it read: “Here lies Ozymandiaz, Slayer of Kings. He who etched his name on history, enemy to the mighty.”

Back in the Present, the Snot-Nosed Tyrant Saint Stares in Awe…


A long booger drooled down from the brat’s nose as he tried to comprehend what had just happened, the overgrown seed of a Yonkou had just made a direct threat on his life; and before he’d even had time to have his servants properly punish the red-haired renegade, all of his playthings had been swept up in lengths of green fabric and stolen from him.

[npc=wgov]“Wh-what?! Jaeger! After them!”[/npc]

Though the servant of the Dragon turned and began to pursue Devil for a moment, the cyborg’s speed was beyond anything the oversized elk could keep up with. After a dire effort to catch the absconding pirates, the Ancient Zoan returned to his Celestial overlord with a defeated look in his eyes.

“I’m so sorry Saint Otto, I couldn’t catch them. The one who carried them away is far too fast.”

Snorting the booger back into his nose, and wrinkling his nose into a bratty expression, the Dragon turned his gaze away from his bodyguard; the failure of a servant was not even worthy of his holy gaze, it took everything in the young manlet’s heart not to pull his gun and shoot the failure in the head to alleviate his frustration. Ultimately, even in light of his failure to capture the oni, Jaeger was too good of a servant to dispose of just yet.

[npc=wgov]“Gi-rumph…”[/npc] the orange-haired boy crossed his arms and sat heavily down upon Febeldson’s head, [npc=wgov]“... fine then! Let’s get to the girl's house and get me my devil fruit! I demand the power of a giraffe, Jaeger! Nay, I require it! Let us away!”[/npc]

With this, the Celestial Dragon and his minions all proceeded down the street. Arriving at the doorstep of the Kerrigan residence in short order.

Using little discretion, Jaeger destroyed the door of the house in his effort to “knock” upon the door. The impact of his massive hoof against the wood of the door sent a spray of splinters shooting through the living room; it was fortunate that Lissandra’s mother was still busy in the kitchen.

Though she was deaf, the older woman was not utterly oblivious to the calamitous sound that had just shot through her peaceful household. However, before she could even emerge from the kitchen her humble abode was already swarming with freakish looking monsters dressed in striped prisoner’s outfits: a man who looked like a smelt-whiting fish, a man with three-jointed arms that hung down to the ground, a borderline giant with swarthy skin and a barrel chest; it was as though her house had been invaded by a traveling freak show.

Amidst the chaos, an orb-covered head stood as a sole symbol of authority. A Celestial Dragon stood there in the shattered doorway of the Kerrigan home.

[npc=wgov]“This place is a real dump lady, and to think you raise a child here…”[/npc] it was rare that Otto spoke to commoners himself, but in the matter of attaining his sought-after fruit, he figured it best to minimize miscommunication; thus he would handle the matter himself, [npc=wgov]“... where is she, your daughter?”[/npc]

[npc=misc]“Y-you’re a w-world noble…”[/npc] the woman stammered and groaned, [npc=misc]“... Lissandra, honey, where are you? Are you okay?”[/npc] The woman called nervously for her daughter.

[npc=wgov]“I hope that you realize it’s in your best interest to work with me, woman. Where is the girl?”[/npc] Otto sneered at Lissandra’s mother. He didn’t know that the woman was utterly oblivious to her daughter’s location, and even had he known, it likely wouldn’t have changed his bad attitude. He was already furious with his bodyguard’s failure to capture his desired slave, and the old woman was the perfect, powerless, subject to inflict his rage on.

[npc=misc]“I-I don’t know! Please! You have to believe me!”[/npc]

The Celestial Dragon withdrew his gold-muzzled pistol from his belt and fired it into the living room’s floorboards,[npc=wgov] “where are you hiding the girl, woman?!”[/npc]

[npc=misc]“I’m not hiding anything! I don’t know where she is, maybe she went to meet with the old man in Gyasta! She must not be here! Please!”[/npc] Tears welled in the Kerrigan matriarch’s eyes as she seemed to plead with the young man for her life.

[npc=wgov]“Liar…”[/npc] Otto stated plainly, before shooting the woman through the forehead; as the woman slumped over dead, the Celestial Dragon muttered indifferently to his slaves, [npc=wgov]“... tear the house apart. I want every last inch of this house searched down to its very foundation. Jaeger?! What is the town she spoke of, with the old man?!”[/npc]

“Gyasta sir! The slaves can handle things here, let’s start heading that way to see if the girl is there!”

Meanwhile, the Girls Have Trekked to Gyasta to Darken Old Man Takeshi’s Doorstep…


Having brewed a pleasant green tea for himself, Takeshi sat at a short table with his legs neatly folded. He’d now lived the better part of his life as a hermit, and he had come to enjoy certain aspects of his life of solitude; most of all, he had come to appreciate the quietness of his life. His life as a pirate had been one of raucous partying and boisterous adventure, but those days were now bittersweet and long since passed.

He enjoyed the mellow taste of his tea. He enjoyed the utter silence of his abode. For a moment, Takeshi’s turbulent spirit was put at ease, that was until…

… some caterwauling sound echoed up from the outskirts of his property near the frozen lake. As though a gaggle of children was set to invade his orchard and pluck his friend-turned-fruit. However, before he could even grab his sword and put his shoes on to threaten the interlopers, there was a knocking at his door, followed by the clear sound of several little girls shouting at his door.

What on earth has that brat brought my way, Takeshi already knew that it was the Kerrigan girl who had brought the unwelcome visitors;in spite of his constant reminders to her to not do so.

The instant that the man opened his door, he was met with a gaggle of over a dozen young girls shouting his name.

[npc=misc]“Old man Takeshi! Old man Takeshi! Please help us!”[/npc]
They all seemed to shout in unison, with the exception of Lissandra who looked down to the ground apologetically.

The swordsman ignored most of the girls, and turned his attention instead to the one young lady who he had trusted not to bring anybody in to disturb his peace.

“What is all of this Lissandra?”

“I’m really sorry. They said that there was somebody in the village who was looking for me to ask about your fruit, so we had to leave. Can we please stay with you, just this once?” The girl grimaced as she spoke this request, she was certain that the old man would turn down her ridiculous imposition.

“All of you, get in,” unexpectedly, the old man ushered all of the girls in one by one.

Bringing Lissandra in last, Takeshi looked down to the girl and brought her to the kitchen, “help me prepare some food. You girls must be cold…” he looked to the rest of the girls who had invaded his peaceful home, none except Lissandra had taken their shoes off before entering the house (a custom lost on most of the residents of Drum), and they had already started helping themselves to his tea, “... and you need to explain what’s going on. Who is coming for my fruit?”

Takeshi lit a fire, and put a pot of water above it, pouring rice into another empty pot and procuring some vegetables for the girl to begin preparing.

As the girl chopped through the stems of some green onions, she spoke nervously back to her elderly companion, “I don’t really know what this means, but the girls said he’s a Celestial Dragon?”

The rōnin’s eyes widened as heard the girl’s words. The worst had finally come.

Wrapped Up in Fabric…


Though Doji and Juri struggled against the lengths of fabric that had entangled them, neither of the oni were successful in their efforts to break free; their wiser companion Nietzche thanked his lucky stars that the seamstress and the cyborg had spirited him and his idiotic allies away from certain death.

As Devil hauled them away to their destination, Doji and Juri protested all the while, both hurling childish insults out from inside the fabric; however by the end of the journey, both of the oni seemed emotionally defeated, and repeated only one phrase to the cyborg carrying them:

“Are we there yet?”

“Are we there yet?”

They repeated, over and over again, until finally, the lengths of fabric were unfurled, and each of the Yokai pirates was sent tumbling to the ground ass over teakettle; their surroundings were utterly familiar, and it took a moment for the trio to regain their bearings…

Word Count:
Castor O. Nox
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel | Saint Nox
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : -
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 620,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.42 (Turf); +0.10 (Blockbuster); +0.20 (To all allies)
Shop Discount : -20%
Crew Pool : [bel=u] 96,000,000
Balance : [bel] 2,470,815,020
[[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]

Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf] [turf="/t309-turf-details-st-poplar#1124"]St. Poplar[/turf]
Posts : 793

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty Re: [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Dec 09, 2023 6:19 am
[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Animesher.com_mountain-scenery-winter-810119

Sanpaku (산빠쿠)



Outskirts of Cocoa Village | Nearby Gyasta


Red Devil’s explanation of the Celestial Dragons didn’t seem to interest Doji or his Oni assistant much, but the sharply dressed umbrella aide seemed to grasp the gravity of the situation. At Devil’s request, Jazzy holstered her guns, agreeing to a temporary truce.

Reverting the garb back to smoke, the annoying duo collapsed onto the floor. “I really don’t have time to babysit you lot. We need to get off this island now. Devil, try to get in contact with Newport. Explain the situation. Let’s link back up on the ship,” Jazzy stated.

“Aye aye, Boss Lady,” Red Devil announced, removing his Den Den Mushi from within his garb.

Meanwhile at Drum Castle


“Tch. Stein’s late with his status report. I wonder what that fool has gotten himself into,” Sinclair snarled out of boredom.

“That’s what you get when you place your hopes in these monkeys; they're only good at simple orders. You put too much faith in that piece of trash,” Cristine scolded.

Swirling the wine glass, “I’ve been able to learn an incredible amount about the outside world thanks to him. As primitive as his methods may be, they have provided me with much amusement,” Sinclair explained.

A knock on the door interrupted the couple's conversation. It was one of the head knights left in trust to guard the Castle in their King’s absence, falling to his knees at the room’s entrance. The knight maintained eye contact towards the floor while relaying the news.

“Saint Sinclair! I’ve been told to deliver this message to you from Sir Stein!” The glorified messenger alluded. “He apologized for his absence, but it seems there’s been a new development. He says, 'The Three-Eyed Brat has been spotted on Drum and informs you he’s currently handling the situation, so please wait patiently!”

A thrill ran down Sinclair’s spine; he’d been following Nox’s escapades in the Coo. However, it wasn’t fear that overcame the Saint; it was excitement to finally have a new plaything. After all, pirates had always made the perfect dolls for rough play.

Three-Eyed Slave in Saint Cristine’s flock of slaves eyes burned with a passion that had been long lost. She’d fight her best to remain calm, as she’d been currently washing the woman’s feet in a basin, but the woman was determined to be reunited with her son. At any means necessary.

Cocoa Village Outskirts | Exiting the Mountain Range


After saving the chief rabbit’s life, Lucky, Minerva, Newport, and Nox descended the mountain on the backs of a few Giant Rabbits. Nox had been entrusted with a pack of eight to protect him on his journeys on Drum, after Lucky explained his situation to the fellow Minks.

Atop Jessica’s back, Lucky would inspect Castor’s condition. “Your condition is stable. Blood pressure is a bit high, but with the current situation, it’s understandable.”

“Thank you once again, Lucky. It’s been interesting being handled with such care. Gashi Gashi… I’ll try my best to not let your efforts go to waste.”

Puru Puru Puru - Clank!

Turning on the mini transponder, “Whaddayah want Akuma?” Newport rudely inquired. Catching up Newport on the situation on his end, the two parties agreed on changing the route and returning to the ship, which was docked off the coast of Gyasta.

“We still have a few hours before sundown. Nox, it’s your call ultimately. You’re always the man with a plan. What do you want to do?” Minerva inquired.

Suddenly, Newport burst out into laughter. “Oi! Nox! You must be one lucky fucker. The heavens have just delivered us our scapegoats on a platter.” Newport declared. Puzzled, the trio tilted their heads to the side in confusion. Nonetheless, the Rabbits change course to the East in attempts to rendezvous with the remainder of the crew.



Word Count: 638 | 6, 557


Castor'sTracker

________________________________________________________
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

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty Re: [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sun Dec 10, 2023 2:18 am
Picking themselves up off of the ground, the two oni of the Yokai pirates mean mugged Jazzy as she aimed her pistol at them; though Juri was already quite injured from the prior altercation with Jaeger, her blood-red eyes were still filled with a furious defiance that was far greater than a wretch like her had any right to conjure up in the face of near certain death.

Doji stood with his hand on his sword, he hoped that there would be no need for his blood-hungering sword to be set loose to feast; but he was ready to back up his cook the moment things got ugly.

Nietzche, in his umbrella form, hopped on the snowy ground nervously and eyed both of his allies. He was terrified at the prospect of their capture devolving into a fight with the mysterious pirates, even from a glance, he could tell that they weren’t to be taken lightly; and that if his crewmates decided to fight, they’d be lucky to survive the altercation.

Luckily, Devil diffused the situation, and the pirate crews were talked down; attending separately to their personal business. As Doji and Juri stuck their tongues out at Jazzy, Nietzche spoke apologetically on his crew’s behalf, [npc=pirt]“Thank you for the help Ms. Jazz! I’m terribly sorry for these two, I greatly appreciate you and your crewmate helping us escape before my friends could get us into too much trouble! I’ll try to keep them from making things any worse!”[/npc]

As the two taller figures began trodding through the snow, their bickering between each other echoed all through the surrounding clearing:

“Juri, I’m going back there and I’m killing every last one of them. This is a matter of principle, they hurt you; so I’m going to hurt them back ten-thousand times more severely.”

“Asakura-sama. I am literally begging you. Please do not do that!”

The two continued arguing until their crewmate caught back up with them, shooting one last apologetic glance back toward the helpful strangers, Nietzche hopped a couple of times through the snow before transforming back into his human form and scrambling to catch up with his crew.

Once the Yokai had made their way a fair bit aways from the Nox pirates the squabbling between the two oni died down, and the crew began discussing their plans to move forward on Drum in earnest.

“So Nietzche, why is this fake ass Dragon even here?” Doji scratched his chin as he and his crew ambled aimlessly into the wintry landscape.

[npc=pirt]t“Ugh, why are you asking, Doji? It seemed like he was looking for some little girl to interrogate.”[/npc]

“Hyuh…” though Doji was hardly the brightest knife in the toolshed, the pieces were beginning to click together for him, “... if that’s the case then I bet he’s chasing after those girls who are headed to Gyasta. Let’s head that way, meet him there, and see what he wants with those girls.”

[npc=pirt]“Hmm…”[/npc] the pirate considered his captain’s proposition, all in all, it was far more reasonable than he was expecting, [npc=pirt]“... that actually makes incredibly good sense to me. If you insist on fighting nobility, you should at least be looking to see what you’re getting yourself into first.”[/npc]

“Yahoo! Perfect, let’s start making our way towards Gyasta then!” As Doji pointed in a direction and began marching through the snow, none of his crewmates even bothered to question whether or not he was walking in the right direction.

In reality, the red-haired rōnin had begun marching back toward the center of Cocoa Weed. As he and his companions traveled, the icy winds began to shake them to their cores. Though they were (seemingly) more appropriately dressed for the snow now that Jazzy had clothed them in her finer winter fashion, they were all beginning to grow cold, wet, and weak beneath the falling snow.

As they traveled further into the snow, the trio heard the sound of somebody shoveling nearby; a glimmer of hope filled the Yokai’s hearts as they awaited the assistance of the unknown shoveler. Juri cupped her hands and blew warm air into them to stave off the cold before calling and waving to the stranger, “Hey! Help us! You’re coming from Gyasta right?! We need help getting there!”

Meanwhile, about ten meters away, obscured by the fog and snowfall; the procession of the Celestial Dragon marches onwards to Gyasta. Hearing the familiar voice of the oni girl who had defied him and escaped, Otto spoke down to Jaeger from atop his faithful perch.

[npc=wgov]“Jaeger, is that the girl you’d almost finished beating into submission before we were most rudely interrupted?”[/npc]

Heaving a shovelful of snow over his shoulder, the bodyguard spoke plainly back to his liege, “Yes, Saint Otto, I do believe that it is.”

Wiping a bit of snow off of the bubble that surrounded his head, and curling his lips into a devious smile, Otto clapped his hands together before gesturing forward and speaking to his servant.

[npc=wgov]“Splendid! Then I believe you have a chance to redeem yourself, Jaeger. Kill the girl, if you see the red-haired oni then you must incapacitate him and bring him to me.”[/npc]

“As you wish,” bringing his hand to his heart, the bodyguard transformed back into his monstrous form and began rapidly shoveling a path towards the Yokai.

“Woo! He’s coming to help us! You were right Asakura-sama, heading to Gyasta was a good idea, the humans here are helpful for once!” The blue oni beamed a wide grin, and clapped her hand on her surrogate brother’s back.

Acting on some unknown impulse, before he’d even realized it, Doji had drawn his sword and thrown it in the way of an incoming strike aimed for Juri’s neck. The shovel knight had attempted to “scoop” the blue-haired oni’s head off of her body, had her brother not intervened, the Ancient Zoan type would have been successful.

Sparks flew at the edge of the Muramasa as it ground against Jaeger’s shovel. Juri and Nietzche leapt back, fleeing from the wrath of the Elk monster’s shovel.

“You’ve got a lot of nerve coming for my crewmate again. Aren’t I the one that your shitty little brat wants to get his hands on?” Doji pressed the full force of his body into his blade in an effort to cut his opponent’s weapon in twain.

Jaeger leapt backwards, flinging a spray of powder snow toward his enemy as he took up a defensive posture. He quickly found himself having to block an onslaught of katana strikes; the red-haired oni had chased him as quickly as he’d been able to escape, it was as though the demon was intent on his death as it swung time after time for his neck or his heart.

Fortunately, the bodyguard wasn’t alone, he called back to the rest of the Celestial servants, “Slaves! The oni that Saint Otto has been seeking is right here! Help me bring him down and our holiness will be most pleased!”

Before he knew it, Doji was surrounded by the small menagerie of slaves that had joined along on the expedition to Gyasta; these specimens were some of Otto’s most prized and valuable servants, and so he hadn’t risked allowing them to stay back and assist in the search of the Kerrigan residence.

Even Febeldson (much to Otto’s chagrin), began moving toward Jaeger’s call to arms.

Surrounding the red-haired oni, a long-neck, a buccaneer, a birkan, a kuja, a number of rare fishmen, and the giant-riding boy himself all drew their weapons and drew near. Otto smirked, he was certain that he and his minions would have the oni wrapped up like a present in no time.

“Yo…” Doji spoke disrespectfully up to the Celestial Dragon, “... I think I get it now, you honorless little shitstain. It was never a fight with you, or any one of your weak-willed little servants here; you’re just playing a game with the lives of everybody you see as beneath you, is that what makes you a Dragon?”

[npc=wgov]“Gi-gi-gi-girararara!”[/npc] The Celestial Dragon couldn’t help but laugh at the nerve of the oni.

Jaeger swung his shovel for Doji’s neck, “you scum, how dare you!”

Blocked with the single stroke of the blood-hungering sword, Jaeger’s shovel was sent spinning and flying through the air, landing head side down in a nearby snow bank.

“Stay out of this before I cut you in half, Elk. Mind your tongue when those of higher stature are speaking,” though he was blind, it was as though the oni’s cloudy eyes were staring deep into Jaeger’s soul at this moment. For some reason or another (perhaps the fact that he was presently disarmed), in spite of his wounded pride and indignation at the monster’s comment, the bodyguard backed down.

[npc=wgov]“Jaeger! What are you doing? You dare heed orders from this mere commoner? Fetch your weapon!...”[/npc] upon hearing the command of his Saint, the man quickly went to retrieve his weapon, but this moment was more than enough time for the oni and the noble to get on each other’s nerves, [npc=wgov]“... and you. How dare you think yourself my equal! You think somebody like you can stand in my way? You’re just the half-breed son of a man who actually made a difference in this world! You’re not even the original product! Just a watered-down copy of something greater! You’ll never get in my way, demon! I will have the Devil Fruit in Gyasta, and I will gain the mythical power of the Kirin! You will not stop me! I will attain the limitless destructive power of the giraffe for myself!”[/npc]

“Eh? Ji-ra-fu?...” Doji was aware of the weird looking long-necked animal, but he was sure that he must have been mishearing the brat, he was referring to a fruit that would grant its wielder the powers of mythical sorcery; surely he couldn’t be set on attaining this power so that he could turn into a giraffe, that would be ridiculous, “... you think I can’t stand in your way Dragon? Watch me! I’ll get to Gyasta first and eat that fruit before you can even look at it! And once I’ve attained the sorcerous power of the Kirin for myself, I’ll use whatever sorcery it grants me to kill you!”

“You’ll do no such thing!” Jaeger hurled a flurry of snow towards Doji’s head before charging back in toward the monster with his shovel drawn. Febeldson brought his giant fist down toward the oni’s head, Otto shot at him, the Kuja, long-neck, and buccaneer all swung their weapons in towards the rōnin; the fishmen flung icicle-like shuriken of water toward the red-haired monster’s chest.

A series of nine explosions rang out across the clearing in rapid succession, a black cloud of smoke could be seen rising from the site of the oni and the Dragon’s battle.

Were it not for Jaeger throwing himself selflessly in front of his Saint, Otto would have likely come to harm. But for now, no harm had come to the boy; the presence of a Navy Admiral had not yet been necessitated. However, a couple of Otto’s most precious slaves had been wounded by the foul creature’s attack.

The beautiful Kuja who he had used as a courtesan had been badly burned across her face, some of his fishmens’ scale patterns had been damaged, and his buccaneer had lost a finger! Otto was practically boiling with rage, he was furious to see his pristine collectibles damaged.

[npc=wgov]“How dare you oni! What did the girl say your name was? Asakura?! I will see you tortured for years before I take you as a slave for this transgression!”[/npc]

“My name is Asakura Doji, remember the name brat. I’m gonna be the guy who proves that there’s no such thing as a Dragon. I’m a grave danger to any man who claims himself to be invincible, because personally? Whenever I hear that, I take it as a challenge.”

Though he proudly spoke these defiant words, he was uncertain of whether or not he could continue battling against all of the Celestial’s minions at once. In truth, any illusion of a fair fight had been broken the moment Jaeger had called in the rest of the Celestial’s slaves to assist him. The creed of a swordsman was not to turn one’s back on an opponent, and not to flee from a duel; Doji believed he had a solution that would allow him to maintain his code.

Dashing backwards and deflecting all attacks that were hurled toward him as he escaped, Doji grabbed up Nietzche and Juri before taking leap after leap backwards; bounding higher and higher above the banks of snow below. Whenever he would land, a plume of snow erupted from the spot like the splash of a cannonball landing in water.

By the end of his jumping, Doji had managed to carry his cremates all the way to the border of Gyasta, landing heavily at the shore of the town’s frozen lake.

[npc=pirt]“Doji, Doji, Doji! Wait! Don’t jump again!”[/npc] Nietzche screamed as he saw his captain planning to take another leap that would cause the blind man to land his enormous weight on the surface of the frozen lake, and very likely plummet through its surface into the icy water below.

“Oy? Hm?” It didn’t seem that they were still being followed, so the red-haired oni sat his crewmates back down on the frozen beach, before taking a seat and slumping over, a bit exhausted.

“There’s a lake dummy,” Juri spoke plainly, sick and disoriented from the ride over.

Meanwhile, on the Other Side of the Lake…


“You’re serious…” Takeshi stared at Lissandra with his mouth agape, he could hardly believe it; of all of the people who could have come to steal Ozzy’s dream for themselves, it had to be a world noble. It could have been pirates, it could have been gangsters, on several occasions it had been local teenagers; but finally somebody had come who could take whatever they wanted, his premonitions of doom had come true.

For a moment, the former samurai weighed his options. Once, long ago in the land of Wano Kuni, he had fled from his duty and lost his honor becoming a rōnin; but when he had joined the Kingdom Pirates, he had gained a new sense of purpose in life, his captain Ozymandiaz had been like a new lord to him.

He would not lose the last shreds of honor he had left.

“... I guess that’s how it’s going to have to be. Lissandra, finish making rice for the girls, add whatever you’d like and help yourself to anything in the kitchen,” with a distant but resolved look in his eyes, the swordsman headed back to his private room.

All of the little girls were a bit confused as they heard the sounds of clanking and fastening coming from the nearby room; it was as though somebody was building something mechanical within. Still, none of them dared interrupt Old man Takeshi, the man had a fearsome reputation for his crankiness, and they were surprised with the hospitality that he had already shown them.

In fact, in the other room, it very much was like Takeshi was building something…

… he was building himself back up into the man that he used to be before he retired. The man who fought for what he’d believed in, the man who had stood for something, the powerful young man still infused with the vigor and romance of youth! And in a very literal sense, as he donned his yoroi, it was as though he was building himself into something more than a man: something covered head to toe in cold uncaring steel, like a robot.

As he finally placed his kabuto on his head, and tied his sheathed katana to his hilt and readied himself for battle. He stood for a moment and looked at his visage in the mirror, head to toe, covered in black armor with the scowling face of an oni; you could hardly tell that the man beneath was scared.

Word Count:
Castor O. Nox
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel | Saint Nox
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : -
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 620,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.42 (Turf); +0.10 (Blockbuster); +0.20 (To all allies)
Shop Discount : -20%
Crew Pool : [bel=u] 96,000,000
Balance : [bel] 2,470,815,020
[[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]

Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf] [turf="/t309-turf-details-st-poplar#1124"]St. Poplar[/turf]
Posts : 793

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty Re: [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:28 pm
[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Animesher.com_mountain-scenery-winter-810119

Sanpaku (산빠쿠)



Outskirts of Gyasta Village | Wailing Calamity


After breaking away from the rowdy posse, Jazzy and Red Devil arrived at the vessel minutes after Castor and his parties arrived. The grunts ran around preparing tea, and the Sins sat on the deck of the snowing ship, comparing notes.

“What’s with all the rabbits?” Jazzy inquired, puzzled at the way they’d snuggle at the foot of Nox’s feet.

“Long story. Essentially, the Captain was practicing using his Haoshoku Haki and subjugated their flock,” Lucky chimed in.

“Superb. That sounds like a very Nox-like thing to do, my liege,” Red Devil praised.

“Look. As long as he knows we just can’t take them with us off this island. Any other climate than a winter island, they won’t last two seconds,” Newport added. “Anyways, that's beside the point. It’s about three hours until midnight, Nox. According to Jazzy, do you remember that brat who tried to grave rob on Lvneel?”

Sipping his tea gingerly, “Gashi Gashi… To be honest, no. Vaguely. There’s been a lot going on since we departed from home. Besides, I know where this is going, Victor. You want me to pin Stein’s and the Dragon’s murder on the kid?” Nox posed the rhetorical question.

A brief silence erupted before the next member spoke.

“I mean… it’s not a bad idea. It’s just reckless,” Jazzy chimed in. “And even if that was the plan, the half-Oni is pretty daft it seems, but his other members appear to be competent enough. No one's going to sit back and just be framed for a crime they didn’t commit. Though, that idiot insists on tangling with the Dragon’s child. The rhetoric is already there.”

“Ohoho… I vote we just leave now. Drum was just meant to be a stock stop before we head to Water 7. Let those clowns do what clowns do. We have no obligation to save them,” Red Devil stated.

“You’re just mad they ignored your lecture earlier, Monsieur,” Jazzy teased with a slight chuckle.

Blushing beneath the tin suit, the Red Kabuki-wearing scientist would sip his tea quietly in response to the woman’s claims.

“Look. I say we take this in stages,” Minerva suggested. “Instead of trying to kill anyone, shouldn’t the objective just be to retrieve Nox’s mother? If we have to kill Stein, so be it. Taking away one of his playthings will hurt him more psychologically anyway. We can kill him. It’s just not the right time,” Minerva concluded.

“Besides, I’ve gotten a read off Stein. With Nox not at 100 percent, it’d take Jazzy and Newport to take him down,” Minerva also added. “He isn’t some walk in the park either. His Devil Fruit abilities are weird, and he himself seems to be a pain in the ass to deal with,” Minerva stated.

“Aye. He is. We almost had him on Lvneel, but that slimy bastard murdered the King’s heir and slipped away like the fucking snake he is,” Newport stated, knocking back the tea and asking his servants to bring him something stronger.

“If it’s Devil Fruit abilities that worry you, I might have something I recently acquired that with Jazzy’s help, could certainly deal with that.”‘Duke said with glowing red eyes.

“Ultimately. The choice is yours Nox. Like I said earlier, what’s your plan?” Minerva concluded.

Cocoa Village | Marching Towards Gyasta


The new pairing of Red Devil and Minerva marched into the village with about fifty of Nox’s finest knights. A few of them were carrying the coal that Doji had requested earlier, some of them were armed with firearms and mostly with swords. Promptly dressed for the snow with Jazzy’s magic touch, the mini army stormed the village heading toward the direction Doji had diverged from earlier.

Within moments, the pack would’ve run into the fleeing Oni, and Jaeger with the Celestial brat in the wings. One by one, from a distance, Red Devil commanded the squadron to open fire on the slaves who’d been pursuing the Yokai towards the frozen lake.

“I have the perfect experiment for this occasion!” The Red Devil shouted. Transforming his arm into that of a middle launcher, the man would fire off a perfectly symmetrical orb into the fray, upon impact a purple smog would sweep the area, causing anything it touches to fall asleep.

Gas masks in place, the army of Nox’s men watched as the smoke spread through the snow, and within moments, one by one, the bodies started to drop like flies into a deep sleep.

Cocoa Village | Meeting Spot - 11:59 PM


Nox arrived accompanied by Newport, Jazzy and Lucky. It didn’t take long to find out where the rendezvous point was, as soon as Nox entered into the city, he was met by a deformed servant with stitches across his face, and slave collar firmly attached.

They’d guide Nox to a small cottage that Stein had commandeered, the couple who’d own the house tied up in the corner with rope and gag. Stein had simple orders, the only ones allowed in the house were himself and Nox. His attendants and Nox’s attendants would wait on the outside. Around the house was swarming with experiments of all shapes and sizes, about ten in number, each of them as ominous as the next.

Sitting at a small wooden table, the experiments would come in momentarily to remove the hostages from the room.

“Now. Let’s cut straight to the point Nox. What’s your answer? Will you commit the gravest sin in this world and kill the Celestial Dragon for me?” Stein inquired, leaning back in his chair.

“You know. I never thought we’d ever have a chance to speak like this. My vision of this conversation always ended with us on the battlefield and my Zweihänder in your chest cage,” Nox declared with a murderous grin.

“Honestly. Same. I always thought you’d come in the night and cut that pretentious cunt's neck. He’s petrified of you know? That’s why he’s so insistent on having you be his slave now. He wants to break you so you have no will to resist him. It’s what these rich fucks do, crush the things they fear like insects,” Stein stated.

“Gashi Gashi… I’m not as subtle as that. I’ve had a long time to think about revenge after killing my father. Interestingly enough, I do regret it. I was fixated on the wrong people, who I should’ve been trying to kill was you and the Dragon. But I was ignorant. I didn’t know how the world worked or even who the Celestial Dragons were, so for the safety of my crew, I’ll have to give up on my ambitions for now,” Nox stated.

“No need for that my boy! I’m serving him to you on a plate! If you’re worried about the Government's response if you dig a deep enough hole, it’ll be awhile before they find out,” Stein barked hysterically.

“You think I’d trust that? You even? As you said, eventually I have to take the fall. Leaving that decision in your hands when you want to turn me in, fat chance,”

“So that’s your conclusion? You’ll reject my offer and let your mother die?” Stein inquired with a sinister, wide-tooth smile.

“Oh no. I have a much more intricate plan,” Nox declared, smirking. “Jazzy now!” Nox shouted. In an instant, purple smoke filled the outside of the cottage and the village. Gas masks in place on the outside, Stein’s experiments and, to some extent, some of the villagers fell into a deep sleep.

“Wrong move!” Stein shouted, conjuring shadows to escape.

“Soru!” Jazzy whispered. Within an instant, she’d broken through the window and appeared at Stein’s side. Without hesitation, she’d fire a single shot into Stein’s leg, and suddenly, his Devil Fruit abilities would become mute.

“Fuck! You had a Rokushiki user in your ranks?! I never got any reports on that. You bitch! Your former Cipher Pol?! Huh?! Answer me. Do you know who I am?!” Stein shouted hysterically.

Tossing a gas mask to Nox, “One thing about powerful fruit users, they always overestimate their position. I learned that lesson scuffling with Hornigold. You see, Stein. Controlling two turfs and having a dealer in the Black Market lets you come into the possession of a few interesting items. It cost me a pretty fortune, but that bullet in your leg is tipped with Sea Stone.”

“What do you think you're going to accomplish here, Nox? You think that piece of shit cares about me as a hostage? If he wanted, he could wipe this whole island off the map! That’s the kind of people they are; they don’t operate within the realm of reason!” Stein barked as Jazzy secured the ropes around his person.

“Gashi Gashi Gashi Gashi… It’s funny. You had the exact same reaction I thought you would. Lucky!” Nox shouted. As the Mink ushered into the room nervously, he’d place his doctor bag on the table.

“I’m not going to kill you. I’ve changed too much. See, I’m going to use you as one of my pawns in a much longer game,” Nox concluded.

Reaching into his medic tools, Lucky would remove a syringe and a small bottle of translucent liquid. Drawing it full, Lucky would inject the needle into the man’s arm. Entering the room next was Newport, who’d wear a giant grin on his face. Cranking his neck, the man would enter into his half Dinosaur, half-human form. Orange scales covered his body from head to toe, and spikes shot out of his back.

“I’m going to enjoy this,” Newport said, licking his lips. With a single right hook to the face, Stein screamed out in excruciating pain, Lucky couldn’t deal with this kind of violence, so he’d promptly exit the room. “Who in the world did I really set out to sea with?” Lucky thought, sighing internally.

”That serum, you should be familiar with what it is, if you claim to be Cipher Pol. It’s a stimulant. It makes everything you feel ten times as intense. Wind blowing on your face feels like a storm blowing violently, and a stub toe feels like a broken leg. So imagine, what would punches from a trained Zoan User feel like? Oh wait. You could tell us.” Jazzy started smiling.

The sensation rocked Stein's body like a violent spasm, falling onto the ground he’d thrown up his innards in a matter of seconds. Panting for air, “Fuck! Enough of this cat and mouse bullshit! What do you want, Nox?! Congratulations on your pack of fucking degenerates! You deserve each other.” Stein barked, spitting up blood.

“I want information. I realized, I don't know anything about him, but he knows everything about me. Names. Locations. Places. People. Everything about Saint whoever’s dealings on Lvneel. Everything he’s done afterward. What does he eat? Where is he? We’re going to have a long date tonight! It’s my first time too, so I’m kind of nervous.” Nox started grinning menacingly.

“You want me to divulge highly classified information to a fucking three-eyed hunchback scummy little runt of a pirate like yourself! The information I possess even Yonkou would pay top dollar to obtain!” Stein shouted.

“That’s great! Then start squealing piggy!” Newport shouted as he pummeled on the man’s midsection with a series of violent kicks. After about three hours of torture into the early morning.

“Alright! Enough. His name is Sinclair. That’s the alias he’s given in the normal world. I’m not privy to his actual name. He’s staying at Drum Castle - the current rulers aren’t here at the moment. No matter how much you beat me, that's about all I can tell you at this point. Anything more and it won’t even make sense letting me go. I’d already be a dead man. If that bitch is truly an ex-cipher pol, she’d understand.” Stein confessed.



Word Count: 1,951 | 8,508


Castor'sTracker

________________________________________________________
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

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty Re: [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Mon Dec 11, 2023 6:02 am
As the purple haze washed over the crowd, there were only two members amongst the Celestial Dragons’ party who didn’t immediately succumb to the gas: the giant elk, whose Ancient constitution was sufficient to withstand the toxin, and Otto himself whose bubble-covered head was completely sealed off from the unclean air of the outside world.

Though Otto himself was safe, the brobdingnagian that he rode upon began slumping down to its knees and collapsing as soon as it had gotten a whiff of the stuff, [npc=wgov]“Febeldson! Febeldson! Return to your feet this instant, this is a direct order!”[/npc] The manlet pounded his fists against the head of his riding giant to no avail, before he knew it, he was back down near the ground; an undignified position, hardly befitting his giraffe-like nobility.

At this point Jaeger knew that they were outmatched, somebody had come to back the insolent monster and his crew up and almost their entire traveling party had been wiped out in one attack. It was his duty to protect the Celestial Dragon in times like this; and so, exhaling out sharply and sending a section of the purple-smoke flying away from him, Jaeger scooped up his Saint and headed for the hills. Circling down back towards the actual township of Gyasta rather than its ice-skating lake and surrounding outskirts.

As the Dragon made his exit, his hoard of slaves were left strewn about the snowy clearing like abandoned, damaged, dolls. Between the damage that the oni had done to them with his explosive attack and the poison that they’d all just been exposed to, Otto considered them as good as ruined; he could always replace the Kuja by taking another beautiful captive from Amazon Lily, and he would accumulate the rest of the races he’d lost from his collection in good time.

Sitting nearby the lake, Doji was happy to catch up with Devil and company. When the minions of the mysterious pirates arrived bearing crates full of coal, Juri and Nietzche clapped with excitement, both were eager to refuel Gashadokuro and get on with their voyage.

“Here! I hope that this will cover everything!” Untying the sack from his waist, the oni’s jewelry fell unceremoniously into a heap at Devil’s feet. Inside, relics stolen from all across Doji’s journeys in the Blues, nearly every treasure he’d robbed from the graves of common people and nobility alike was there in that sack. Precious metals shone with dull light, valuable stones glimmered beneath the pale cloud-obscured sunlight, the craftsmanship of many of the pieces was superb; it was a wonder that the loot had survived for as long as it did in the oni’s care, and it was a good thing too, considering a number of the pieces’ historical significance.

The excitement in the Yokai crewmates’ eyes quickly turned to horror as they saw how much Doji was paying for the fuel. As he handed over the large sack of treasures, it was as though the red-haired oni was burning his crew’s entire stash away in a single instant.

[npc=pirt]“D-d-d-d-doji…”[/npc] Nietzche stammered out hoping that somehow his eyes were deceiving him, [npc=pirt]“... was that all of the ship’s treasure?”[/npc]

“Yahoo! Just about! That’s exciting right? We managed to get rid of all that worthless old stuff and now we can get off of this island once we steal that little bastard’s magic fruit from him!” With an idiotic Grin, Doji picked up a piece of coal and tossed it up and down in one hand.

Nietzche and Juri simultaneously let out an exasperated exhale, collapsing to their knees and sulking at their captain’s lack of financial savvy.

However this wouldn’t be the end of the oni’s idiocy…

As Soon as the Oni Finished Making his Deal with the Devil…


“Alright! Let’s get out there!” Doji was eager to get on with his mission, once he’d attained the sorcerous power for himself he would be able to savor the sweet taste of the Celestial Dragon’s defeat before slaughtering him and his most faithful servants for daring to defy him and his crew.

Doji took a moment to gain a sense of his surroundings; the snow obscured the senses that he depended on to interpret his surroundings, the falling ice-crystals dampened the flow of air and sound alike, causing everything to seem muddied and distant. Finally, the red-haired oni nodded to himself; while his movements were often swift, jagged, and inhuman in nature, Doji’s walk was uncharacteristically delicate as he began walking along the ice of the frozen lake.

As he took his first step onto the ice, the edge of the clear, crystalline surface fractured like a strike of lightning; but it did not break. After adjusting to the giant’s massive weight, the nearly foot-thick, perfectly clear, ice was able to support the monster with no great effort.

Juri and Nietzche looked to each other nervously before following a couple of meters behind their captain. As the Yokai made their way towards the center of the frozen lake, Those amongst the crew who could see looked down nervously through the perfectly clear ice below. The water was as transparent as the ice that encased it, both of the apprehensive crewmates were free to look all the way to the bottom of the lake.

[npc=pirt]“Some of those fish are kinda big…”[/npc] Nietzche inched closer to the blue-haired oni girl before hopping up into her hand and springing his canvas open to offer her shelter from the falling snow, [npc=pirt]“... you keep me away from those oversized groupers, and I’ll keep you from getting covered in snow, sound fair to you Juri-san?”[/npc]

The girl was content enough to help her scaredy-cat crewmate; even though he had a power that made him a bizarre monster in the eyes of most, he was just a pitiful human, he needed all the protection he could get, “Sure, Freddy. I don’t see what you’re so worried about though! Some of those fish look really cool! And that seaweed is so vibrant! I bet I could cook with it…”

Suddenly, a large, snake-like creature darted along the bottom of the lake, on its lustrous white back it bore seven scale patterns in the shape of dark-black uzumaki.

“... woah! Did you see that man?! That thing was enormous, it looked like a snake!” The oni girl squatted down to take a closer look at the lake monster as it swam.

[npc=pirt]“No! And I’m not going to look!...”[/npc]

Doji sneered and kept his jealous thoughts to himself; though often, he could make decent sense of his surroundings and understand what people with sight were talking about, he had absolutely no way to appreciate what his crewmate was looking at beyond the veil of glass for himself even if he would have wanted to.

[npc=pirt]“... can we please just catch up with Doji? It seems like the ice will hold the both of you fine!”[/npc] Nietzche clenched his eye shut as he begged Juri to drop her fixation with the creatures swimming at the bottom of the frozen lake.

“I wish it wasn’t so cold…” Juri flicked the surface of the ice a couple of times with her finger, catching the attention of a school of fish and causing the silvery-scaled creatures to dart away from the monstrous creature above, “... otherwise, I’d love to go swimming in there~”

Juri clasped her hands together and envisioned a bright and sunny vista that would be impossible on the winter island: she did the backstroke along the top of the water’s surface, absorbing the sun’s rays before diving down into the water and waving at the water-snake with a wide and goofy grin.

“That’d be the life~”

[npc=pirt]“Don’t even think about it young lady!”[/npc] Nietzche shouted at the oni, as he could tell that she was thinking of just cracking a hole into the lake and taking a swim at that moment.

Near the Lake’s Center, a Rōnin in Ice Skates Sees the Intruders Coming for his Fruit…


A pair of large shadows loomed amongst the foggy snow, one taller than the other, but both greater in size than most any normal human. Even from a distance Takeshi could tell that the pair were both oni; the pointed horns emerging from the sides of their heads gave that much away.

He wondered where the Celestial Dragon had gotten ahold of a pair of the monsters, even amongst non-human tribes, oni were hard to come by; largely native to a few islands in the new world, and strong enough that capturing one was a difficult endeavor in itself. It mattered not, if there was anybody who could enlist such a monster into their service, it was the world nobles; and it didn’t matter how strong his opponents were, this fight was a matter of honor.

As he skated towards his enemies, Kitano Takeshi didn’t care whether or not he died.

The monsters were shocked by the bellowing warcry he let out as he charged into battle; two of them were caught entirely off guard, only one of them, the largest of the bunch, was ready for his impending assault. Practicing his iaijutsu, the rōnin drew his blade and sliced for his opponent’s chest all in one swift, contiguous motion.

His opponent did much the same, though the red-haired monster was blind in its eyes, it had seemed to sense his attack coming. To be expected from the bodyguards of a Celestial Dragon, though curiously, Takeshi didn’t see the bubbled-head of a world noble anywhere in the immediate vicinity.

“Yo, you’re not one of that brat’s slaves. You’re a real swordsman, and if I had to guess…” as Doji clashed blades with his enemy, he could tell that he was fighting an enemy armored in a traditional Wano Kuni armor style even from the sound of Takeshi’s movements, “... you’re a samurai aren’t you?”

With this question, the monster pressed a monstrous amount of force into the blade of his sword, and the smaller swordsman was sent gliding backwards along his ice skates. It was fortunate that in his training with the young Kerrigan girl, the old man had become rather graceful on the ice. Seeming to walk forwards to maintain his momentum while still traveling backwards, Takeshi answered the monster’s query with sadness and nostalgia in his heart, “I was once called by that title! But that was a long, long, time ago. For some time they called me a rōnin, but in truth; I feel that I still have a lord, even if it has been some time since he passed on.”

Drawing in on his ice skates for a salvo of attacks against the oni, the warrior thinks back to his prime…

The Year 1777, Before the Kingdom Pirates Sailed to their Doom…


On the inside of a ridiculously shaped castle with a roof carved in the shape of a muscular fighter, topped with a crown, a rowdy group of pirates have infested the home of royalty like rats.

[npc=pirt]“KANPAI!!”[/npc] The pirate crew all clinked their wooden steins together before downing their drinks; though the royalty of Prodence Kingdom was uncharacteristically tough, Ozymandiaz and his crew had proved their superiority in combat, and had been a thorn in the side of the royalty ever since. Though they’d only settled on the island for a week, and planned on leaving in another week, they had already stormed the royal castle and cut off all outgoing communications from the island.

Ozymandiaz had a certain degree of respect for the fighting spirit of the local nobility, but he knew that even their monarch was not the powerful and worthy King who he sought. Sitting on the throne that rightfully belonged to the royals, the captain of the Kingdom Pirates swirled his drink in his glass. Though his crewmates celebrated their victory, it brought him no satisfaction.

After a moment, one of his men left from the longtable to join him at the side of the throne. The crew’s swordsman spoke quietly to his captain, “heavy is the head, eh?”

“Aye. I thought that this might have been the one, you know Takeshi? I thought that I’d finally met a king worthy of his crown, but my power was still stronger than his. I even let him charge up that stupid punch…” The red-haired man slumped the side of his head into his palm and sighed, “... it was the strongest punch I’d ever taken; and even though it knocked me out, this thing, this power– it just let me stand up and keep fighting like it was nothing.”

“Sounds frustrating, not being able to lose a fight; why not just pick a fight with the Navy and see who they throw at you?” The rōnin took a swig of his drink, in all honesty– he found his captain’s strength enviable; the strength to take whatever he wanted, the strength to protect whatever he wanted.

“Hah! Those guys…” Ozymandiaz smiled thinking back to his run ins with the navy, time after time they’d come to put a stop to his antics, but he’d never truly considered them a worthy adversary; the Marines were simply an indicator that it was time to move on to the next island, “... I don’t know. I feel like it would be for nothing. Sure, there’s plenty of strong Marines, and they all protect the World Nobles; but those kids are just snot nosed brats, even though every one of them thinks that they’re king of the world they’re not worth giving the time of day. Whoever the true king of this world is, I’m sure that they’ll be able to take down the World Government themselves; that’s the guy I want to meet.”

Meanwhile, Back in the Present…


Doji struggled to maintain his footing as the ice skating rōnin’s slashes seemed to come from all angles; his shoes were hardly well suited to walking along the ice, but his skills in swordsmanship combined with his sheer strength were sufficient to allow him to contend in spite of this handicap.

Takeshi skidded to a stop at the edge of the oni’s striking radius, speaking smugly back up to the whippersnapper, “I’m surprised you’re still in one piece big fella! Your skills aren’t too rusty, what’s got a lad like you working for a Celestial Dragon?”

Doji spoke through clenched teeth with a furious tone in his voice; while he was generally calm in battle, he found the slippery sensation of the ice beneath him incredibly irritating, compensating for it in his fighting was the difference between a routine sparring match and a life-or-death battle for survival, “what the hell are you talking about old man? I don’t work for that worthless little brat, I’m going to fucking kill him.”

Though he had planned to skate in for another attack, the armor-clad swordsman took pause at this, “wait, so if you’re not slaves of the Dragon, then what is a pair of oni doing all the way out here in the Grand Line?”

“Where else are we supposed to be, Jackass?” Juri screamed from the sidelines.

“Don’t mind her…” Doji grimaced down to the man, “... I’m looking for the swordmaster Nobunaga Mishima. I suspect that he’s still alive, and that he’s living in Wano Kuni. I needed to refuel my ship here, and got into a bit of trouble with the visiting Celestial Dragon; now I’m looking to get back at him.”

Both of the rōnin lowered their swords, for the moment, the two came to a tenuous truce. A light of recognition sparked in Takeshi’s mind at the mention of Nobunaga, but he didn’t have time to recall the young upstart, let alone to discuss his old days of swordsmanship with the monster.

“How were you planning on getting back at this Celestial Dragon, boy?” The swordsman grimaced as he spoke, it was as though he already knew the answer to his question before he’d even asked it.

“Yaha! Funny you ask! I was actually hoping to find someone to ask for help finding it; so you see, this Celestial Dragon kid is obsessed with gaining the power of a sorcerous fruit, the mythological Kirin. I want his last moments to be absolutely horrible, and I’ve started to realize…”

Doji had fought a number of powerful magic users on his journeys across the Blue Seas, though it had not been the only factor in his enemies’ victory; in all of his worst matches, these power users had been able to use the sorcery offered to them by their fruit to devastating effect. The red-haired oni had come to crave the taste of a sorcerous power of his own.

“... it’s hard to keep up as a swordsman in this world without some sorcery to back your skills up.”

“Ugh, unfortunate…” Takeshi readied his sword once again, and prepared to continue fighting the oni, “... I understand your reasons kid. But that fruit you want to eat, it belongs to me, and it used to belong to somebody who meant a great deal to me. I’ll give you a chance to leave, but if you want to take Ozzy’s memory you’re going to have to get through me first!”

“Fine. So be it,” the oni held his oversized blade pointed down at the man who stood in his way of his path to power; he was sad that his blade would demand the blood of the old warrior. However, in Doji’s heart he knew that this would be one of many conflicts of wills that would constitute his pursuit of power in the grand line; great ambitions were like wildfires, devouring all that stood in their path, demanding endless kindling as sacrifice.

Dragon’s Desire


After encircling Gyasta for long enough to escape the Nox pirates’ pursuit, Jaeger and Otto eventually made their way into the township proper. As the noble and his bodyguard made their way down the street, they were met with reverent treatment, all present bowed in the face of their Saintly noble.

[npc=wgov]“Jaeger, where do you suppose we should begin looking for the fruit here? I’ve no idea where the little girl would be, do you think any of the locals would know its location?”[/npc] Otto spoke inquisitively, and expectantly, to his muscle. Though he was one of the highest and most privileged rulers of the world, the short man still felt embarrassed walking down the streets; he was at least happy that the commoners were required to bow in his presence, if it hadn’t been exceptionally impractical, he would have asked Jaeger to do the same.

“Brilliant idea to check with the locals, Saint Otto!” A cruel smile washed over Jaeger’s face as he saw an opportunity to impress his frustrated young lord.

Picking up one of the nearby commoners by the neck of his shirt, Jaeger held the man aloft and stared him deep in the eyes, rage-filled steam leaked from the staglike nose of the Zoan-hybrid, “where is the Devil Fruit? Where are you people hiding it? Either you hand over the fruit, or we’ll tear this whole village apart!”

[npc=misc]“H-huh? What are you talking about? You’re looking for the old man’s fruit?”[/npc] The man stammered back nervously; he could barely comprehend what was happening in front of his own eyes, but he knew that if he didn’t answer the monster's questions that the servant of the world noble would kill him. It wasn’t long before the commoner had fessed up everything that he knew about old man Takeshi and the cursed fruit that he had been chasing teenagers away from, and had defended with his life for the past several months on end.

[npc=wgov]“Wonderful! Jaeger, let the lad go! Thank you young peasant, you’ve been tremendously helpful!”[/npc] Otto clapped his hands together with glee at the information that his servant was able to extract from the young man.

Armed with all of the information they needed, Otto and Jaeger began heading straight for the old man’s cottage; according to the man they’d interrogated, the old structure was straight across the frozen lake from the edge of town. Coming to the point where the street met the embankment surrounding the lake, the man’s testimony was seemingly confirmed.

There, fighting in the center of the lake, was the red-haired oni and some unknown warrior under a third his size. However, pulling a pair of binoculars up to his eyes, the fight wasn’t what truly caught Otto’s eye. Even through the obscuring haze and the falling flakes of snow, he could see it there, the object of his search: the Ushi Ushi no Mi Model- Kirin. Dangling precariously from a pomegranate tree, his treasure drifted in the wind, glimmering white with tufts of golden fur, hung upon a 7-pointed stem– it was beautiful.

He could already taste it, he was sure that the fruit that would grant him his wish would be delicious, and his tongue began salivating thinking of its sweet juices filling his mouth. Once he’d eaten the tasty treat, he would take on the shape of the legendary giraffe; everybody on the island would be dazzled by the majesty of his form, and he would use his magical powers to force the oni who had dared to defy him into submission. He was ready, the moment that he had been waiting his entire life for was finally upon him; finally he would be able to truly appreciate the beauty, power, and inner workings of the giraffe. He would become one with the giraffe, and as the user of a prestigious Mythical Zoan type he would certainly make his father Sinclair proud.

Otto shook himself from his idle daydreaming, it was time to stop dilly-dallying and claim the fruit of his dreams.

[npc=wgov]“Jaeger, while those two are distracted fighting each other, charge straight to the fruit and bring it back to me. Once you’ve delivered it, I give you permission to try to wrangle up the oni while I’m still adjusting to my new powers as a legendary giraffe. Head straight to the fruit, if anybody gets in your way, destroy them. Do you understand?”[/npc] The orange-haired boy was practically drooling as he stared at the fruit and commanded his minion to fetch it for him.

“Of course, Saint Otto. Your wish is my command.”

With this, the Ancient Zoan leapt into action, morphing into his full elk transformation and running toward Takeshi’s orchard. The four legged ungulate charged headfirst, its impressive rack barreling steadily toward the orchard like a plow ready to uproot all of its harvest.

Were it not for the dire circumstances, the old man would have simply found the oversized wildlife to be a curiosity. However, he knew the invasion of the Celestial Dragon was imminent, and the enormous elk that he saw galloping across the surface of the frozen lake was too large to chalk up to mere coincidence.

“Boy, let us forestall this battle for a moment, there’s an oversized stag headed straight for the orchard!”

“Yugh wait, a stag? Like an elk? That fucker beat up my sister, I’ll kill him!” Though he began scrambling at full speed, Doji couldn’t keep up with either the elk, or the rōnin; he couldn’t get any traction on the ground beneath him, and it took all of his balance to avoid falling face first down onto the surface of the ice.

It was fortunate, then, that Takeshi was quite capable of keeping up with the elk Zoan using his ice skates. Diving head first toward the heart of the monster, the swordsman attempted to cut through the monster’s midsection. However his blade was quickly met with another piece of metal; he had been intending to cut flesh, and so his attack was rendered completely moot.

“You’d best get out of the way before you get yourself in any more trouble, old man! I’ve been permitted to kill anybody who gets in the way of the young Saint’s desire!” Jaeger, now morphed back into his hybrid form, called down and tried to intimidate the swordsman into backing off of his prized possession; to intimidate him into abandoning his old friend.

“I knew it was this asshole! I’m gonna turn you into venison deer-boy!” Skidding uncontrollably across the ice, Doji careened into Takeshi, and dragged his fellow rōnin right into Jaeger’s attack.

The wavering echo sound of a massive shovel colliding with a target echoed out all across Gyasta. The concussive force of the giant elk man’s attack sent a shockwave through the air.

Doji and Takeshi were sent flying across the surface of the ice from the impact of the shovel strike, skidding, sliding, and eventually toppling through the snow and shrubbery of the old man’s pomegranate orchard. Takeshi landed in a heap at the edge of his property, his armor now entirely filled with snow leaving him near immobilized, this was notwithstanding the bones that the elk’s attack had broken in his brittle, elderly, body.

However the oni’s body was still young and strong, even as his back collided with one of the orchard’s trees, it was the tree that gave way– not the young man’s spine. He was more annoyed by the feeling of the fruit that had landed on the top of his head and toppled down into his lap, it was heavy, bumpy, and its surface felt rough and bristly.

A belabored groan leaked out of the broken black suit of armor, “boy…”

Doji traced the swirling patterns on the fruit’s rough surface curiously, coughing up a mouthful of snow.

“... please don’t eat that fruit.”

Word Count:
Castor O. Nox
Castor O. Nox
[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum G7UGK6I
[tracker=/t980-castor-o-nox#4771]
Name : Castor O. Nox
Epithet : Sanpaku | The Azure Pheasant | Duke Of Lvneel | Saint Nox
Age : 25
Height : 5'9"
Weight : 175lbs
Species : Three-Eye Tribesman
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Blockbuster
Alliance : -
Crew : Nox Pirates
Ship : The Wailing Calamity
Crew Role : Captain | Navigator | Book Collector | Pride Sin
Devil Fruit : Goro Goro no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 620,000,000
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (To all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.42 (Turf); +0.10 (Blockbuster); +0.20 (To all allies)
Shop Discount : -20%
Crew Pool : [bel=u] 96,000,000
Balance : [bel] 2,470,815,020
[[baneoftheweak]][[riseandshine]][[dreamsneverdie]]
[[bookworm]][[untouchable]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[berryprinter]]

Turf : [turf="/t296-turf-details-lvneel#1110"]Lvneel[/turf] [turf="/t309-turf-details-st-poplar#1124"]St. Poplar[/turf]
Posts : 793

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty Re: [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Mon Dec 11, 2023 9:26 am
[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Animesher.com_mountain-scenery-winter-810119

Sanpaku (산빠쿠)



After a few more hours of punches from Newport, Stein began to squeal out information again.

Ten Years Ago…


Cipher Pol Headquarters | Undisclosed Location, Paradise


“Agent Siegfried. The big boss is looking for you,” one of the Cipher Pol operatives reported.

Yawning beneath the daily coo, his feet cocked up atop the agency's desk, the lanky, dandy-dressed man hopped up from the table and slowly dragged himself towards the director's office.

“You’ve done excellent work, Siegfried. Congratulations on completing your mission in the North Blue. With your help in Flevance, we’ve been able to install several spies amongst the King and Queen’s court,” the Director of Cipher Pol 8 announced at the time.

“Thank you.” The dapper agent bowed. “It wasn’t easy gaining their trust, but I did stumble upon quite a bit of information that’d be good for the agency. I think our next move-“

“Wait a minute, Sieg. I have a new mission for you. Something top secret that I can only trust you with. You’re moving up the ranks. The Zero Agency is looking for personal aid for one of the Saints. The pay is incredible, and it comes with benefits out of this world. Of course, I recommend you.”

Bowing once again, “W-Well, thank you, sir!” Siegfried shouted.

Stein Narration: “Little did I know, that was the beginning of the end. Siegfried Cross, of the Cipher Pol, was about to die that day. After all the paperwork and debriefing, I was introduced to my assignment. The young Saint simply known as Sinclair to me.”

“Siegfried! That’s too noble of a name for any man in my care to have.” The Young Saint chuckled. “Stain. No, Stein. Like Frankenstein. I’ve heard of your work as a doctor. I’d like to use your expertise for a little project I put together. From this day forth, your name is Stein - the right-hand man to Sinclair of the Celestial Dragons. Understood?” The holy man commanded.

“That night, I was summoned to his private chambers. Sitting on the floor was my wife and six-year-old daughter. Explosive collars attached to their necks. ‘Loyal Dogs aren’t allowed to have weaknesses,’ he said. Then, I watched as my loved ones were shot in the head by his golden pistol. Ah. How fragile humans are; I think that’s when my mind first broke.”

After this incident, Stein would be enlisted to commit a series of crimes on behalf of Saint Sinclair. Even his devil fruit, a mythical Zoan that turned him into a Shade - or shadow man, gave him the abilities to turn others just like him. Combining science and magic, the duo created several monsters, an army of undead warriors who did Sinclair's dirty work at Stein’s command.

“The reason we took your mother was because of a lore. They say members of the Three Eyed Clan can read Poneglyphs if they are ‘awakened.’ In his mind, awakening meant experiencing great loss. We searched the Black Market for Three Eyes Members far and wide, but nothing. We couldn’t even find where, according to myths, they had a special island protected by barriers that they’d live on. Then, we stumbled upon Lvneeel. And well, you know what happened there,” Stein explained.

Watching the abused prisoner’s story didn’t really move anything inside Castor, but it opened his eyes to the reality of the World Nobles' power. The ability to ruin a whole nation, oppress a people, just on a whim or some sick personal mission.

“Eventually, we did manage to awaken your mother's ability to read Poneglyphs. After years of experiments, unfortunately, in the process, we broke her mind, and she ended up a plaything for his wife Cristine,” Stein confessed.

“Fucking disgusting,” Newport explained, spitting on the floor in annoyance.

“If you saw some of the missions the Cipher Pol had us complete, tales like these are common,” Jazzy chimed in. “Still, absolutely heartbreaking.”

“I’m done with this piece of shit Nox. Let me end this for you. I’ll ship his head back to his loving ‘Saint’ in fucking gift wrap,” Newport snarled in a Zoan Form.

Biting on his bottom lip, “Trust me. I’d want nothing more than to end his life. However, without Stein, my mother’s life…”

Puru Puru Puru Puru

The sound of Nox’s Den Den started ringing.

Clank!

“My liege! I have eyes on the Oni and his crew. They are currently having quite the show on the lake! How did Phase 1 go?” The Den Mushi transmitted, its face turning into a themed face of the Kabuki Scientist.

“We have him. I don’t think Stein will be enough. After interrogating him, I’m pretty sure, without a doubt, Sinclair would replace him in a heartbeat. Change of plans, Duke. Kidnap the Celestial Brat and meet me at Drum Castle. Duke. Minerva. I need him alive and unscathed,” Nox commanded.

Breaking into laughter, “Even touching the hair on the head of a Dragon is akin to the ultimate sin. You’d kidnap a God to save a three-eyed slave?” Stein shouted. “You’ll get us all killed!” Stein shouted.

“I don’t plan to harm his kid at all. Besides, I’m a wanted pirate. The threat of being hunted doesn’t change anything for me. I’ve given up on killing him or any of his kind. But what do you think he’ll do to his subordinate who's disclosed information to a mere normie like me. Huh? Siegfried?” Nox started smirking.

Gyasta Lake | Doji & The Oni Pirates Conflict


Hanging up the Den Den Mushi, “You’re up Minerva. I’ll cover your rear,” Red Devil stated.

“Since when did you start giving me orders, Duke?” Minerva inquired, opening her parasol and floating in mid-air. Gliding in between the conflict, Minerva would wait for the elk to be distracted by Doji and the old samurai, and within an instant, she’d descend.

Swooping the fishbowl-headed Saint by his collar, Minerva would nab the Dragon, gliding away to safety.

“Hey. Oni! Nox said, "When you finish up here, meet us at the Castle atop the mountain!” Minerva shouted. “Well, if you’re up for a little trouble, that is, if you're scared, you should leave this island now!” Minerva added, punching at what seemed to be Doji’s fragile ego. “Ahhhh I wonder if he’s really an Oni or more of a weakling man!” Minerva shouted in self-dialogue.

“That’s a bit excessive. What kind of idiot would fall for that?” Duke thought to himself internally.



Word Count: 1,078 | 9,586


Castor'sTracker

________________________________________________________
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

[Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum Empty Re: [Arc] Beating Destiny- II Beating Like a Drum

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Dec 12, 2023 1:43 am
Nox?... Doji stood back up to his feet, dusting the snow off of his kimono with his left hand and holding the fallen devil fruit in the palm of his right, … that name sounds familiar. And some woman is challenging me on his behalf?

The sudden realization hit the oni like a strike of lightning, he grit his teeth; in his anger he almost crushed the legendary fruit in his hand, but his wounded pride, his little remaining judgment, and his overwhelming desire to win prevented him from doing so.

“DUKE NOX OF LVNEEL?! YOU TELL HIM I’LL BE RIGHT UP THERE AS SOON AS I SEND THIS OVERGROWN BUCK TO AN EARLY GRAVE! YAAR-AGH!” Doji screamed up to Minerva as she fled the scene, he almost seemed to foam at the mouth with rage as he called to her; and the monster was evidently chomping at the bit to follow her carefully orchestrated taunt.

“Young man, please. That fruit is all I have left of my crew; it’s all I have left of my captain’s dream, of his ambition…” the old man trailed off as he began to succumb to the cold and drift into unconsciousness.

“And you’d let his dream just stagnate here? Sorry ji-san…”

The red-haired rōnin remembered the lightning that had coursed through his body from the power of Nox’s sorcery. It had almost been enough to put his ambitions to an end in an instant. The sword alone was not enough; it was only a certain combination of sword, sorcery, and sheer ambition that could allow one to stand up against the forces of history and etch a mark on them rather than being crushed beneath their weight.

“... I’m taking everything that’s left of your captain; and I’m going to pursue an ambition greater than any that this world has seen! I’ll carve the name of the Asakura clan into history, and in the New World, I’m going to create a land of myths and monsters! A place where to call yourself a King, you have to be strong enough to back up your title!”

With the monstrous pirate’s brash proclamation, a smile furled across Takeshi’s lips; somehow he could tell, that even though the fruit was about to be eaten, that the dream of his captain wouldn’t truly die out.

予言を食べた少年 (The Boy who Ate the Prophecy)



Doji scarfed the fruit down in an instant, its taste was everything that he hated in food: sweet, mellow, inoffensive to the pallet; the fruit hardly even put up a fight as the red-haired monster devoured it. The rōnin had swallowed down the cursed fruit before anybody could stop him, and before he knew it, he began to feel the sorcerous power coursing through his body…

Jaeger’s eyes bulged out of his head as he saw the lowblood consume his Saint’s treasure. Between the battle against the two swordsmen, and the horror of seeing the fruit eaten, the bodyguard hadn’t even noticed that the Celestial Dragon he was supposed to be looking after had gone missing.

… the echo and vibrations of a single, powerful, heartbeat shot across the lake bordering Takeshi’s orchard. Gleaming across the falling snow, diffused by the moist and foggy air, the eyes of the monster’s shadow glowed with a golden-white light. Another horn began to spiral out from the top of the creature’s head, no, not a horn: an antlers. It grew taller as it walked toward the Ancient Zoan, ambulating from its human legs into the long, powerful, cloven-hooved ungulate limbs that characterized the hybrid’s bottom half. Flickering amongst the snow, flames seemed to emanate from the enormous monster’s wrists and ankles; but even the flames were alien, rather than flickering in any of the warm and familiar colors that Jaeger had seen in his life, these flames were stark black and white and crackled with unnatural intensity.

Though he cast an imposing shadow, Doji was completely and totally overwhelmed; not with the animalistic transformations of his physical body, not with the magical flames that had sprung from the ends of his limbs, but with the entirely new sensation that had come alongside them.

It was as though his own hubris was devouring him from within, a burning in his chest that he couldn't escape that surged brighter and hotter alongside the monster's dark ambitions.

Jaeger's eyes widened in silent astonishment as he took in the strange majesty of the beast standing before him, the beauty of the falling snow, the gentle light of the cloud-obscured sun, the coniferous trees that dotted the nearby landscape, his crewmates…

… the creature that stood before him, though clearly unnatural, somehow seemed perfectly in place amongst the landscape.

Looking up at Doji from the crystal-clear depths of the frozen lake, the massive serpent that Juri had spoken of seemed to be curious as to the true nature of the monster, as to why such a hellish devil emanated with the wrath of a judgmental savior. In fact, all of the creatures in the lake seemed to be fixated on the oni; it was almost eerie. The spiral snake swam up to the bottom of the ice, and pressed its head up against the ice, getting a closer look at the mythical beast walking toward the water.

As Doji walked back to the surface of the lake, his cloven-hooves left no trace, no footprints in the snow of the “beach,” and no cracks upon the surface of the ice itself. The moment the monster’s hooves touched the ice, the uzumaki snake spiraled back down and settled itself at the bottom of the lake, though it lay dormant the serpent still fixed its eyes intently upon the strange scene unfurling above the ice.

The Kirin-boy paid little mind to the creatures that surrounded him, he was still busy adapting himself to the sensory overload his newfound powers had inflicted upon him. Tracing his fingers along the razor-sharp edge of the Muramasa no Kusanagi, he allowed his sword to drink of his now cursed blood, allowing the sanguine droplets run from his fingertip and infuse themselves with his blade; he hoped that his offering might allow him to steady his fiery nerves and concentrate his pain solely on his finger.

Disgusting, you taste like a priest! If the Muramasa could have spit the oni’s blood back up, it would have. The taste of justice and divinity had mixed in with the normally delicious taste of Doji’s ambition and relentlessness.

An utterly gleeful smile washed across the red-haired monster’s face as the words of his sword echoed in his skull, he was pleased that he could finally punish his blade for all of the ways that it had tormented him. However, his mind was no longer fixed upon his sword; rather, the burning will of the Kirin had finally settled upon his true opponent.

Though in his heart, he knew that he should be terrified; if nothing else for the fact that he had failed his Celestial Dragon, and had allowed the fruit to be eaten. But Jaeger was filled with a sense of unerring calm as the monstrous rōnin looked over its blade at him. He felt as though he should run; but between his seeming inability to feel fear, and the knowledge that he would have to impress Otto to prove himself worthy of survival, Jaeger found himself walking toward the swordsman without a second thought. The Ancient Zoan readied his shovel, holding it out like a sword at his side.

“Shini– shini-hi-hi-hi-hi…” with his nodachi in one hand, Doji held his forehead in his free hand and laughed condescendingly at the giant elk.

“What’s so funny?!” Jaeger called to his enemy, putting on a tough front despite his reservations.

“... oh nothing. It’s just that people like you always seem so certain that what they’re doing is right, that the ruler you serve is a righteous one. That the laws you observe are worth following, that the regimes you uphold are worthy of their position in the hierarchy, that your way of life is the one that should be imposed upon everybody,” a wicked grin washed across the Kirin-hybrid’s face as he felt the sorcerous power welling within him. He could feel the flames of judgment at his wrists and ankles guiding him toward the wicked man, even as they ate away at his own body; it seemed that the sorcerous power loathed the servants of the World Nobles all the more fiercely.

Jaeger felt a burning sensation in his chest, it was as though he was being eaten away from the inside out. Only at this point did the elk Zoan notice the black and white flames that had wreathed his entire body; it was strange, the fire didn’t eat at his skin, but he still felt as though he was slowly being consumed by it. What’s more, he felt all of the transgressions he had perpetrated against common people in the name of his Saint weighing on his heart; it was as though all the misery and anguish he had inflicted on others was being turned back upon him one-hundred times over.

He had nothing left except for what had taken him this far, Jaeger charged toward Doji with an empty look in his eyes, he didn’t care if the flames of judgment damned him guilty and burned him away to ash; he wouldn’t allow some low class thug to stain the pride of everything he’d stood for, of prosperity that the World Government had afforded its people, of the unquestionable divine authority of the Celestial Dragons.

A clamorous warbling sound echoed all across the Lake, a ripple shot through the sealed water below, the sound rang for almost three full seconds before it was abruptly broken…

… C-C-C-CRACK

It wasn’t the ice that gave way, though a fracture had been formed from the shockwave of the two Zoan types’ weapons clashing; it was the shovel that had broken, snapped down its center the mastercrafted tool-turned-weapon wasn’t strong enough to shovel away the oni’s ambitions.

Jaeger grit his teeth, he still couldn’t feel any anger– even after having his weapon shattered– but he still knew that the situation had grown far more dire. With stubborn determination in his heart, the elk turned to the last weapon he had left: his antlers.

While his opponent’s will was subjugated beneath the serenity of the Kirin’s aura, Doji allowed his emotions to run wild; the exhilaration of experiencing the thrill of battle in a form not his own, his glee at having taken the brat’s sorcerous power for himself, the remorse of knowing he had taken everything from the old rōnin, most importantly…

… the sheer, overflowing, unmitigated anger toward the man who had hurt his crewmate. Doji headbutted his own horns against the Ancient Zoan’s.

The two staglike monsters clashed against one another, pushing the full weight of their bodies into their conflict of wills. The flames at the mythical hybrid’s wrists and ankles seemed to drive him forwards to victory, as it was Doji who won..

Jaeger was thrown skywards, the strength of the Kirin was immense, and in an instant– enough force was applied to the clash of antlers that the Ancient Zoan was sent hurtling into the stratosphere.

Instinctively, Doji knew that he was capable of following his quarry. Like a gazelle prancing across the savannah, the cloven-hoofed devil jumped upwards through the air, propelled by blasts of sorcerous fire. It wasn’t long before the kirin-hybrid had caught up with his airbound opposition.

Standing high above Drum Island, Doji felt his heart beating strongly in his chest; he was excited, he was amazed, even in his wildest dreams he never could have imagined the freedom that the sorcery of the Kirin had endowed him with. As he looked down to the island below him, the pirate couldn’t help but laugh, “YOKA-KA-KA-KA-III! BWA-HAHAHAHAHA!”

The giant monster’s boisterous cackling could be heard all across the island, and all of the people of both Gyasta and Cocoa Weed were free to witness what followed next: the antlered monster that had terrorized their villages was burning in the sky like a meteor.

Doji flicked his nodachi to one side using his newfound strength, a toothy grin stretched across his face as he marveled at his own power, “Yahoo! This is gonna be fun…”

With a sudden strike, Doji cut a deep wound into the elk Zoan’s chest.

“... you hurt one of my crewmates, you tried to extinguish one of the few lives– one of the few dreams–- in this world that I’ve come to hold dear. I’m going to enjoy watching you die.”

Even as the oni spoke these words, even as Jaeger came to terms with death, he was still at peace; this was the cruel mercy of the Ushi Ushi no Mi Model- Kirin’s power.

All of the village people below bore witness as the oni struck the elk monster time after time, the monster in the sky was moving with inhuman speed as it struck the Celestial Dragon’s minion, seeming to disappear after one attack and instantly reappearing having sliced the elk again.

It was like a legendary scene out of a woodblock painting, the servant of the Dragon was cut one-hundred times in mid-air before finally, the oni drew a great breath of air into his lungs before breathing a cascading geyser of black and white swirling flame. The combined force of the Kirin’s breath and his final sword strike sent the monster careening down into the center of the frozen lake…

“Liang Chi, death by a thousand cuts.”

… the surface of the ice held against the impact for a moment, but after a moment, the sound of the crystalline substance fracturing into a thousand pieces and shattering entirely filled the valley: C-C-C-CRACK, C-C-CRACK, C-CRACK. As soon as the ice began to gave way, the wounds that Doji had left all over his enemy’s body exploded jets of blood outwards.

Juri and Nietzche narrowly managed to scramble off of the ice before it had collapsed entirely, retreating back to the snowy shores nearby. Jaeger, however, sank straight down into the middle of the lake; in his final moments, all the bodyguard saw was the slit eye of a reptile staring back into his own, and all that he felt was the icy-cold of the water and the feeling of a snake’s body coiling itself around his neck.

Gracefully falling from the sky before prancing down to the shore, Doji met up with his companions; both of them could hardly recognize their captain, but they were certain that it was him from the long flowing red hair that topped the monster’s head and the warm smile that he beamed towards them.

“Juri! Nietzche!” The boy called down to his friends, kneeling down and hugging his companions with tears in his eyes.

“Asakura-sama!” Doji’s surrogate sister hugged him around the neck and threw herself onto him in a tackle.

[npc=pirt]“Ha, good job getting us into trouble captain,”[/npc] Nietzche grimaced nervously as he apprehensively celebrated his crew’s victory.

“Ha! Yup! That’s one of the slaves down! Now we just gotta hunt down the brat himself and execute the little shit! That and…”

Doji turned to Devil with a slightly betrayed look plastered across his face,

“... I have personal matters to settle with Duke Nox. Devil, we’ll be back for the coal.”

With this, Doji picked up his crewmates and began prancing up through the air toward the island’s Castle. He was all too eager to slaughter the Celestial and demonstrate to Nox the might of his sorcery.

END OF PART II

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Part III:
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