You are not logged in.
In this world, there are four seas, divided by the Grand Line and the Red Line. Many pirate crews have started in these four seas. A number of them has chosen to head into the Grand Line, attempting to claim the treasure of the pirate king Gold Roger... One Piece!
In this era of pirates, the marines are doing their best to keep it in check.
This particular story starts in the West Blue, in a city close to where the Grand and Red Lines meet, forming the entrance to the Grand Line. Named Endport, it is where everyone intending to scale Reverse Mountain from West Blue makes their last stop. This has made the island into a busy place, kept controlled by the local Marine commander, Christopher Arrows...
---Chapter one - Assault on Endport! The attack of the horrible Death Stitch pirates!---
"Excuse me, sir?"
"Yes, David, what is it?" Christopher Arrows was a man in the prime of his life. 37 years old, well built, blonde hair down to his neck and a small goatee on his chin. He was wearing a grey shirt underneath his Justice coat, standard-issue Marine pants and boots. A sword on his left, a pistol on his right, a scutum tower shield with a seastone coating on his back, he was well equipped for battle. In addition to this, he also had the power of a devil fruit. Strict against lawbreakers, tough against pirates and friendly against citizens, he was well-liked by the majority of the islanders.
"Some papers to sign, sir..." David Elron was Christopher's second in command. A very skilled marksman with a thin build, he appeared to be far weaker than what he actually was. Short black hair, a cleanly shaved face, a tattoo of a cutlass on his forehead, made before he became a marine soldier. On his back, he had two modified rifles, one customized for long range and the other for close combat. In addition to this, a standard-issue gun on each side of the belt. Otherwise dressed in standard Marine clothes. He took care of the majority of the administrative duties in the marine base.
"Urgent?" Christopher flipped through the papers. They seemed to be filled with the sort of stuff he was glad David was usually taking care of.
"Oh, well..." Grabbing a pen, he started putting down his name. After having signed only two papers, the snailphone on his desk rang. He grabbed the reciever with his left hand, continuing to write his name on the next paper with his right. "Arrows."
"Commander, this is the eastern outpost. We have apprehended a group of pirates here who demand to see the person in charge..."
"Can you bring them in?"
"No, they are too many for that... they refuse to move before they have talked to our boss. In other words, you."
"Sigh..." Christopher put down his pen and turned to David. "I'll finish these later. I'm leaving things here to you." He turned back to the phone. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Damnit. This was shaping up to be a nice, calm day... I'll be back as soon as I can." Putting on his coat and hanging the shield on the back of it, he headed out the door and down to the eastern canal. The fastest way of reaching the edges of the island was via these eight canals, using a small high-speed one-man vessel. It didn't even take Christopher five minutes to reach the outpost. Stepping off the boat, he noticed there was no sign of any ship held there. He entered the outpost building, being met by the man who had called him.
"Sir! We're not sure what they were up to, but they left right after we had called you. We tried calling you back, but there was no reply."
"Strange... David should have answered it while I was away. But why would they..." Just then, an explosion could be heard, seemingly coming from the opposite end of the island. "What was that?" Christopher ran out, seeing smoke in the distance. Realizing he had been tricked, he prepared to return. But the vessel he had taken there was gone. "Damnit! I've been had! This was just a diversion!" He turned around towards the outpost. "You! Call all the outposts, we are on full alert! Tell David to send reinforcements to the western outpost and nearby areas!" Christopher started running towards the west, taking the northern route. With no way of fast traveling at the canals, going from one end of the island to the other could take up to twenty minutes. More explosions and screams of people were heard in the distance. Chaos spreading along the dock circle, heavy cannon fire was raining down, mainly coming from the west.
The assault had begun.
Last edited by KennyMan666 (2008-10-31 14:53:18)
“Gah! Sorry! I’m really sorry!”
“Don’t apologize, just leave! We don’t want your kind in here!” yelled the angered head waitress, shaking her fist at a surprised Theodore Duncan.
“I didn’t know! I just asked if you knew of someone who might want to help me start a pirate crew.”
“We don’t serve pirates, so get out before I throw you out!”
“What about the bill?”
“I don’t care!”
“Okay, okay! …Thank you for the meal,” Theo muttered as he briskly walked out of the restaurant, leaving his half-finished steak behind. He heard an onlooker say something about him looking more like a Marine than a pirate, which Theo ignored. Technically he still was a Marine, but he wasn’t supposed to be in Endport, or the West Blue at all. Theo had plans to start a pirate crew, with himself as the captain. “That’s what I get for asking in a restaurant, I should have tried a bar instead…” Theo said to no one in particular.
Theo went over the last few months of his life again; Commodore Locke’s assassination, Janiel’s treachery, and the whole government in general, Theo was sick of it. Starting a pirate crew in rebellion was his current course of action, but he had yet to find anyone interested. But then again, he had no idea what to do afterwards. Go after One Piece? Actively attempt to take revenge on Janeil? Or just travel? Theo didn’t even have an idea for a flag or crew name, or own a ship for that matter. Theo punched his forehead and whispered to himself, “I can’t become a pirate like this, and I’m still a Marine for the love of…”
Theo’s attention was suddenly drawn skyward, as he heard the telltale whistling of a flying cannonball. In the air, he saw it heading in his direction, about to hit the crowded street. Cries on surprise and panic erupted around him as everyone scattered for cover. Calmly, Theo drew a throwing axe from his coat, moved his arm back, and tossed it at the cannonball. The axe impacted the flying ball of metal and gunpowder, which detonated prematurely, too far above the street to do anything more than knock someone down.
Theo spied a group of lower ranking Marines looking over to him and talking amongst themselves. The oldest, and most likely highest ranking of them, approached Theo. “Excuse me, but that was amazing sir! You look like a Marine, and a higher-ranking one at that. Who are you?”
Theo hesitated, but answered, “I am Lieutenant Commander Theodore Duncan, recently reassigned from the Grand Line.”
The Marine replied in awe, “The Grand Line?” Before he could continue, a Marine with a baby snailphone appeared, saluted, and yelled, “Commander Arrows has put the island on full alert! A pirate attack is coming from the west!”
“Any knowledge of who we’re up against?” the higher ranked one replied.
“Well then,” Theo interrupted, “Whoever it is, they’ve got serious guts to attack this island. I’ll help, but after this crisis is over, I am quitting the Marines.”
After a moment of silence, a Marine asked, “B-but why?”
“Sorry, but I have my reasons, so never mind that,” Theo continued, “OK, duty calls and you guys know the island better than I do, so lead on!”
The sun was shining brightly as Jerome walked down the busy roads of Endport. The weather was nice for sure but Jerome wasn’t really in the mood to enjoy it. He came to Endport a couple of days ago and the last time he had eaten was on the ship and he had no money with him. Jerome had planned to leave the island earlier but most of the ships willing to take someone with them were looking for longtime crew members, not someone who is going to leave on the next island they stop. Many of them were some no-good pirates anyway. Jerome sighed and stopped to take a better look at his surroundings. Endport was a pretty big place and in places like that, people usually don’t give free food away to strangers. Not that Jerome wanted to beg for his food. Or steal, he wasn’t desperate enough to be a lowly thief yet.
“You’re lucky that you don’t have to eat as much as I do...” Jerome mumbled to his spear that was starpped on his back. The last thing he wanted to do was keep Meimei hungry. He needed some food himself though so Jerome decided to head back to the docks and hopefully find a crew willing to take him with them. And feed him of course. Jerome wasn’t still quite sure where everything was on this island but he was bound to find the docks by walking in some direction, right? He grinned and started to follow the road, being much more confident. This time he would find someone. He had to and he wouldn’t call it a day before he did. It was going to be a good day for sure.
After walking for a while, Jerome could already see the sea and couple of ships. He was rather proud of himself for finding the place where he wanted to go. Suddenly a loud explosion was heard, followed by screaming and people running away from the docks. Jerome was, to be honest, flabbergasted. Not because someone was shooting cannonballs at his direction but because someone decided to start blasting the place apart when he was having a good day and he was supposed to get out of this island and get some food, which he couldn’t do now. Jerome, now furious, started heading towards the docks, ignoring all the screaming and panicking people running in the opposite direction as well as the cannon fire. He was going to make them pay for ruining his plans.
In the trade circle, between the southern and southeastern canals, there were a restaurant.
Of course - it wasn't just a restaurant, there were a lot of restaurants, but this is about one of them in particular.
Above the door, a big wooden sign reading 画像尸 in large characters. It was Gazoushi, one of the more popular restaurants on the island, and everyone agreed that they had by far the best sushi in town.
Because of the location it had, the chaos had not yet reached it. It was a busy place, so very little was heard of the attack as it started. Pirates had reached the trade circle, demanding food and acting fairly rude in general - but with the town being located where it was, there were that kind of guests at least once a week. Nobody really paid any specific attention to it.
At Gazoushi, nothing had so far been seen of the attack, and the place was as busy as it always was at this time of day.
Gazou Hashi, the restaurant keeper, was tending to the guests, taking orders, bringing out the food, and keeping a smile on her face, no matter what. She was clad in a marine blue kimono with a white flowery pattern, her hair in a topknot with two chopsticks put through it, geisha-style getas on her feet.
In the kitchen, the usual hectic work was being done. Rice was being cooked, fish was being cut, nori was being wrapped, meat was fried, sake and water was poured, and so on and so forth.
Gazou Koi, the daughter of Hashi, was right in the middle of preparing a takeout order of a dozen rice balls with various fillings. That's when some commotion was heard from the restaurant. None of the people in the kitchen even raised an eyebrow at this - it didn't sound like anything out of the ordinary. Not in THIS town. Not in THIS restaurant.
Thus, Hashi was by herself welcoming a fairly identical trio of scruffy-looking men. Their clothes were all stitched up, and they were carrying swords. This was still not seen as anything out of the ordinary.
"Welcome, honoured guests. Table for three?" Hashi bowed in front of them.
"Food." The pirate in the middle growled at her, as did his stomach.
"Certainly. Would you like to look at our menu? I believe the table in the corner is free, let me just clean it up for you."
"Just give us the best you have here."
"Then, let me recommend our Golden Gazou combo. Please be seated in the meanwhile. Would you like anything to drink while you're waiting?"
"Coming right up. Now, if you would follow me." She somehow managed to lead the trio to the table and get it cleaned without much trouble, before sending their 'order' to the kitchen. Taking down a bottle of fine sake from a shelf, she brought three cups to the table and served it to them. Having emptied their cups in a single sweep, they started drinking directly from the bottle, tossing it to each other. Hashi kept her smile, knowing that her primary purpose was to make the customers happy. How they acted did, at this point, not matter. They did, at the very least, not cause trouble for the other patrons.
"Did ya see when I split that guy's skull right apart? Hah hah!"
"How about the last island then! How they screamed!"
"Don't forget how captain nailed that guy to the wall! Literally!"
Continuing the conversation in this manner, it was not long until Hashi returned with another bottle of sake and their meal. A Golden Gazou combo, various dishes with very fine ingredients. They went through three more bottles of sake before finishing their meal. As one of them stood up, Hashi approached them.
"I hope you have enjoyed your meal. Now, your total comes to-"
"You think we're going to pay for this?"
"Yes, I believe you are going to pay for this."
"Think again, missy." The pirate drew his sword, pointing it at Hashi.
"Dear customer. It is not good form to draw weapon on the one who has fed you." Hashi was still smiling.
"I can't stand your attitude!" As the pirate raised his sword to strike, Hashi pulled the chopsticks out of her topknot. As the sword came slashing down, a metallic sound was heard.
"A customer is always a customer. But if you intend to not pay for your food and attack the staff, you are nothing but thieves." The sword was stuck. Hashi had captured the end of the blade with the chopsticks, and the pirate seemed unable to move it. Her expression had changed into one of anger.
"Now... are you going to pay, or not?"
"No!" As he pulled on the sword, Hashi let go of it. He quickly made another slash, but Hashi dodged it, changed the grip on her chopsticks and pushed her hand towards the pirate. He fell motionless to the ground, the chopsticks lodged a fair bit into his chest.
"What? You bitch!" The other two pirates were standing up with swords drawn. As the situation had gone from 'ordinary' to 'not so ordinary', a few of the kitchen staff had come to see what was going on. Among them, Gazou Koi and Gazou Maki.
"Carp! Go and see if there's something going on outside. Me and Maki will handle things here." Carp was the nickname of Gazou Koi. It was used by everyone, at all times.
"Sure thing!" She grabbed a knife and ran outside, looking around to see if she could spot anything else out of the ordinary. Hearing growing noises from the western parts of the island, she set off down the street.
Christopher ran. He had passed the northeastern canal, catching up with the squad from the northeastern outpost. They were heading along the dock circle, as it had the most empty space and thus was the easiest to move in. Except for all the panicking people running in the opposite direction, of course. They had encountered a few pirates, none of which were any trouble to get rid of. He hoped David had taken care of the worst trouble.
"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon..." Reaching the northern canal, a group of pirates armed with rifles approached them. As they fired, Christopher grabbed his shield, deflecting the barrage. Pressing on, he rapidly approached them and gave them a shoulder tackle, shield first. They collapsed to the ground. "You stay and take care of these! I'll catch up with the next squad!" The marines stopped to take them into custody.
Christopher heard more explosions in front of him. The further he got, the more dead bodies there were. As he approached the northwestern canal, he saw an absolute mess in front of him. The outpost was completely destroyed, as were the battleships, some other buildings around and even parts of the ground. All the wreckage would make passing it take too long, so Christopher headed inwards, towards the craftman's circle. A few blocks down, next to the canal, he saw a group of dead marine soldiers. Getting closer, he saw they were filled with needles, bleeding from multiple small wounds. Another block down, he heard gunfire. Heading for it, he saw a black figure on the other side. Ducking behind a wall on the same side as Christopher was - David.
He turned to his commander. "Sir! I'm glad you're here..."
"Hmph." The man in black tossed something towards Christopher, who made a swinging motion with his arm in the direction it came from. A dozen needles fell away from him, landing on the ground.
"Don't think you can get me that easily."
"So this is the power of the reversal fruit...? Interesting."
"I'm not nicknamed 'The Barrier' for nothing, you know..." Walking up to where David was, Christopher and the black man did not take their eyes off each other. "David... is this..."
"Their captain... leader of the Death Stitch pirates, Aiguille... bounty 47 million beli. Considered highly dangerous."
"Those are some clothes you have there." Christopher noticed the skulls and parts of skulls all over the man's clothes.
"These are all the flags of crews I personally have crushed. And today, it seems like I will add a marine flag to them!" Holding out his hands, he was holding several needles. Making another throw towards Christopher, he deflected them with his shield. Christopher stepped up to the edge of the canal.
"David, cover me. I'll have to stop him here."
"...of course, sir... of course..." David smiled as he grabbed his short range rifle tight and took aim.
Hearing a click, Christopher immediately turned around with his shield, blocking a shot from David's rifle. "What the... what do you think you're-" The next moment, Christopher felt an intense pain in his back. He felt a few needles, but something was strange - he was rapidly losing power. Going to his knees, he saw David with a grin on his face. "Don't tell me..."
"You die while protecting the island, I recieve a serious wound while helping you, but survive... the pirates loot the town, and when they are gone the rebuilding starts... you are honoured as a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for the island, while I am next in line for your position."
"You son of a..." Supporting himself with his shield, Christopher saw David take aim with the short range rifle, pointing it at his face.
"Good work, Aiguille... those seastone needles are really something..."
That's when an axe came flying through the air.
Last edited by KennyMan666 (2008-11-02 14:22:41)
The axe impacted David’s rifle, knocking it to the ground. Both David and Aiguille looked toward their new threat; Theodore Duncan. Behind him stood a group of armed Marines, somewhat wounded from previous battles, though Theo didn’t have a scratch on him.
“This is why I am quitting!” Theo yelled, turning to the Marine from earlier. “Corruption like this is rampant in the Marines. I’m sick of it, damn it! …Oh, I apologize for my outburst.”
“Reinforcements?” Aiguille commented as David cursed. “Death Stitch Pirates, strike them down! No Marine must live!”
The pirates, wearing thier stitched up clothes charged. “You guys take them out, I just need to get through!” Theo yelled, drawing another throwing axe. With a flick of his wrists and a cry of “Reindeer Hunt!”, he sent both axes flying into the pirate group, knocking away the two who were struck and a couple men who were behind them. Drawing his great axe, he waited until the pirates were in range of the long handled axe, and with a cry of “Deer Hunt!” he swung, knocking a number of pirates out of the way. The remaining pirates stopped, recoiling in shock.
“This guy…who is he?” “No one can do that to us so easily!” “Captain Aiguille, I thought those two back there were the strongest Marines on this island…”
Aiguille frowned, “Just shut up you fools! He is no one! Kill him so we can move on!”
The pirates regained their bearing and charged again. “Deer Hunting!” Theo yelled as he stepped forward. He swung his axe, knocking aside more pirates.
“There! Strike before he gets his axe back in line to attack!” Aiguille commanded. The pirates rushed forward, intending to take advantage of Theo’s apparent weakness.
Theo couldn’t hold back his grin. Before the pirates could reach him, he redirected the momentum of his axe quicker than they could react, striking down the next group of pirates. Theo kept stepping forward, swiping away more pirates with every step. In moments, he was past the pirates, with only David and Arrows separating him from Aiguille.
Aiguille scowled and gave his orders, “Men, attack the rest of the Marines, leave this man to me. David, kill that damned Arrows! And you…speak your name, so they know what to put on your tombstone!” Aiguille moved his hands, withdrawing a number of throwing needes from his sleeve.
Theo stated, “I am Theodore Duncan, future ex-marine and...yeah, thats it.”
“Hmph, that’s not much of a boast, Duncan the Quitter. And I don’t think you have much of a future left!”
Theo drew two axes and said, “We’ll see who has a future ahead of them, Aiguille.”
Jerome ran down the road, his eyes fixed on the ship firing cannonballs. The ship seemed to be a pirate ship, which didn’t really surprise him. Most of the civilians had already escaped the docks around him, only the unluckiest ones staying behind. Many of them dead, some injured. Jerome shooked his head to the whole thing. Mindless killing wasn’t really something he enjoyed to watch. As he ran, a man dressed in odd-looking, stitched clothes was standing on his path, staring at him. Jerome stopped and stared back. The man looked like something a pirate could look like and probably was one, seeing as how calm he was in the middle of a chaos.
“That spear...” the pirate started. Jerome glanced at the man. What did he want with him?
“It probably is worth somethin’. Give it.” the pirate grinned and brandished a knife.
“Get lost.” Jerome hissed and started to walk toward the man, trying to get past him. The pirate pointed the knife toward Jerome’s face, making him stop in his tracks.
“I don’t think you understood.” the pirated muttered and grabbed the spear, making Jerome furious.
“Don’t touch her!” he yelled, yanked his spear back and stabbed the pirate. The pirate fell to the ground, bleeding and gasping for air. Jerome looked at the bloody tip of his spear, shocked. He didn’t mean to go that far, even though the man was a pirate and deserved that for touching his Meimei but...
“....Don’t die...” he muttered and looked at the pirate. The pirate probably wouldn’t, as long as he doesn’t move around too much. Jerome took one last glance at the man and turned around so he could continue. Behind him however, was another man. Jerome squeezed his spear in his hand and took one step backwards, surprised. The man carried a huge scalpel around and had a white coat that was covered in stitch marks, kind of like the pirate he just fought. Actually, the man itself seemed to be covered in stitch marks as well, like a doll that was badly sewn together.
“My~ What do we have here?” the man exclaimed smiling, with a slight hint of joy in his voice. Jerome took another step backwards. The man was probably in the same crew as the pirate judging by their clothes and he probably wasn’t happy about what Jerome did to his friend. Jerome looked at the man, getting ready to defend himself from his attack.
“I could use those hands of yours. I want them.” the man in the white coat said with an insane smile on his face.
“Huuuh..?” Jerome looked at the man, confused. Did he say what he think he said? Or did he even mean what he think he did?
“Wait, what did you-“
“Oh I just want your hands. They are beautiful.” the man smiled. Jerome stared. The man seemed to be completely out of his mind.
“Now then...” the man said and pointed his oversized scalpel at Jerome. “I’ll be taking them. I hope you don’t mind.”
Jerome stepped back few steps. This guy was a complete nutcase if he was going to do what the said he was going to do. It quickly came to Jerome’s mind why the man was so stiched up. If he could stole body parts then maybe he would.... use them as parts of other people?
“Just what the heck are you?!” Jerome yelled.
“They call me Suture of the Death Stitch pirates. Nice to meet you~” the man smiled.
“I asked what are you, not-“ Jerome couldn’t even finish what he was saying when the man, Suture, lunged at him. Jerome quickly blocked the man’s scalpel with his spear. Suture just looked at Jerome with a crooked smile.
“It won’t hurt, I’ll put you to sleep. Unfortunately you won’t wake up.”
The two looked at each other quietly for some time. Jerome was getting nervous. His hands were shaking. Suture seemed to be more experienced in fighting than he was. He probably didn’t have any chance against the man. And the man was crazy. Jerome just wanted to get out of there, maybe Suture would let him leave if he ran fast enough. That might work. Jerome decided to put his plan into action and pushed Suture with his spear, forcing the man take few steps backwards. Jerome used this to his advantage and escaped. He ran as fast as he could, not even bothering to look back to see if Suture was following him. He ran as far as he thought was necessary and stopped to catch his breath. Suture was nowhere to be seen. Jerome left out a sigh of relief, he was safe now.
Suddenly he felt the pain of someone cutting the flesh of his back. Jerome gasped and turned around, only to see the same stitched crazy man smiling at him, the blade of his scalpel having some blood on it. Suture tried to slash Jerome with his scalpel but Jerome blocked the blow with his spear. Suture followed this by series of different slashing attacks, most of which jerome could block but some got through his defense, leaving small wounds all over his body. Suture lifted his scalpel and lunged at Jerome, trying to finish him. Jerome however saw this and reacted by pointing his spear at Suture. Suture didn’t realize it fast enough and got impaled by the spear. The man shrieked in pain and stepped backwards, holding his stomach. Jerome pulled his spear back, making Suture scream again.
“Y-you...” Suture hissed and looked at Jerome. He wasn’t smiling anymore, his eyes were filled with anger.
“I tried to not harm your body any more than I needed to... I could’ve used the other parts too... But now, now I don’t care anymore. I’ll just take what I want, you can just bleed to death! Kyaahaahahahahaaa!” the man laughed with a crazy look in his eyes.
Carp moved towards the western end of the city. Having not been off the island even once in her eighteen years and seven months long life, she knew the streets like the back of her own hand. All the shortcuts. Most of the people, as well - as she swiftly passed through the chaos, avoiding any pirates to the best of her ability, she saw a few dead bodies of people she had personally known for her entire life. She knew there was no time to be sad, and it was not the first time someone she knew had died - her best friend had drowned when she was only seven.
There was chaos to be passed, but the chaos was mainly moving in the opposite direction. Gripping her knife tightly in her hand, she made it down a few alleys, knowing exactly how she'd get where she wanted the fastest on routes which were unlikely to be taken by attacking pirates. She was correct - she made it to the docks with no trouble, reaching the scene between the western and southwestern canals. Glancing out from around a corner, she saw a few pirates and a ship with cannons firing over the town. She also saw two men with long bladed weapons fighting - one of them was clearly with the pirates, and the other... Carp didn't recognize him as being from the local marines, but he didn't appear to be a bad guy. He seemed to be on the recieving end, though.
"Let's see." Figuring she'd better do something, Carp tried to come up with some sort of plan. Eventually deciding she'd want to get on the ship, and that the easiest way to do so would be via the sea, she discarded her kitchen clothes and sandals. With only shirt, underwear and knife left, she dashed along the southwestern canal. She didn't draw much attention - most attention was on the men fighting and other chaos. Diving down into the water next to what was left of the marine outpost, she started swimming outwards, past the wrecked battleships. Turning towards the pirate ship, she tried to stay underwater for as long as she could to avoid being noticed.
Reaching the ship, she surfaced close to the hull. Swimming around to the side facing the sea, she noticed an open window she could probably get through. With the help of her knife, she started climbing up. The hull was slippery, and her wet clothes weighed her down, but she managed to hold on and reach the window. Looking inside, it was empty - seemed to be sleeping quarters.
"Perfect." Squeezing inside, she tossed her dripping shirt. "Need something to wear..." Looking around, the room was a complete mess. Stuff thrown everywhere, empty sake bottles rolling around... no clothes anywhere, though. She rifled through a few boxes, but found nothing. "Oh well." Drying herself off with one of the plain grey blankets, she figured anything would do. Wrapping one blanket around her chest and another around her hips, she contemplated her next move. Ideally, she wanted to stop the cannon fire, but she wouldn't be able to take on a group of pirates by herself. While most of the crew was likely off plundering the town, there had to be some left, including the cannoneers. No, this required a different approach. She opened the door slightly, taking a look outside. A corridor with a bunch of doors likely leading to similar sleeping quarters, she spotted two - clearly drunk - pirates going inside one of them. She slipped out, and as sneakily as she could, made her way towards the end of the corridor. She turned to the right, seeing more doors. Hearing a door open in the corridor behind her, she quickly moved ahead, hoped for the best and slipped inside another door. It was fairly dark inside, but she could see enough to determine it was a storage room. Looking around for something she could use, there seemed to be nothing in the ways of weapons here - some barrels of gunpowder, sure, but that wouldn't help her if she didn't have anything to use it in. She went through the shelves, but it seemed to be mostly ship-related stuff. Some tar, some ropes, planks, nails, plating. A few flasks. She opened one to determine what they contained, took a smell, and quickly identified it as lamp oil.
"Now we're talking." She grabbed a few flasks and put them in a small bag. She also emptied one of the flasks, filling it with gumpowder instead. "This should make for a nice cocktail. Just need some fire." Preparing to go outside, she noticed a paper nailed to the wall - it was a crude layout of the ship. Not enough to use as a map, but she grabbed it anyway, trying to determine her position and where she wanted to go. "Kitchen's there, cannon deck's right below me... kitchen sounds like the best place to seek out..." Putting an ear towards the door, it was silent outside. She made it through the ship with relative ease - she avoided a few pirates, but they all seemed to be too drunk to do anything worthwhile anyway. Getting to the kitchen, she took a deep breath and opened the door a little.
Loud snoring was heard from inside. The kitchen was unspeakably dirty, a complete travesty to the restaurant owner's daughter. In the corner, on a sack of flour, a large man with a thick moustache was sleeping, an empty sake bottle in his hand. He had a stitched apron, a large belly and almost no hair on his head. Carp sneaked inside, figuring that his snoring would overpower any sound she could make. She looked around, disgusted by the sorry state of the place. Next to the stove, she spotted what she was looking for - a box of matches. As she was about to grab them, the man woke up.
"Whazza... who'r you... what are you doing in my..." He started to stand up, looking fairly intimidating.
Carp thought quickly about what to do. Seeing a cup and another bottle of sake, she acted fast. She grabbed both, handing him the cup and making him sit down again.
"Don't worry, sir, here is your drink!" She filled up the cup, keeping a smile on her face.
"You... I don't think..."
"Now, sir, I assure you, this is of the finest quality. Is there anything else you'd like?" She treated him like a guest, hoping that he'd fall asleep again. He emptied the cup, Carp pouring him a new one. After a few more, he started to get drowsy again. "I believe your main course is ready, sir. Please hold on." She handed him the flask and stood up. He poured himself a cup as Carp grabbed a frying pan, turned to him again - and concussed him with it. He was knocked out cold in a second. "Phew! Good thing I have training for that sort of thing..." She grabbed the matches, tossed them in the bag and went out in the corridor again. Knowing exactly what to do now, she headed towards the cannon deck. Finding an alcove, she started putting her plan together. Taking out her flasks, she cut off a few parts of the blankets she were wearing, drenching them in lamp oil. Emptying two more bottles, she poured some gunpowder into them, plus some oil. Putting the drenched cloths down the bottle openings, she now had three makeshift explosives. Hoping they would work, she made her way to the cannon deck. Luckily without any encounters.
The door to the cannons was just in front of her. She knew there'd be a lot of pirates inside - seemingly all the sober pirates left on the ship - and so hoped things would go as planned. Striking a match on fire, she pulled the door open. All the pirates inside, about a dozen, turned to her.
"Hey, guys!" She lit one of the cloths on fire and tossed the bottle inside. She closed the door as she heard it shatter inside, followed by a small bang. It wasn't much of an explosion - it had turned out to be more of a fire bomb, with a few small explosions provided by the gunpowder. Carp ran towards the stairs, knowing she'd be followed any minute now. She was correct - the door slammed open behind her, seven pirates following her. As she saw the stairs, she lit another one. Making it up a few steps, she threw it at the bottom of the stairs, the wood catching fire fast. The pirates were stopped for a moment, but kept up the chase. Exiting to the main deck, Carp saw there were more pirates up here. Half-surrounded, she made a run for it. Lighting and tossing her final explosive behind her, she set off towards the sea side of the ship. Unwrapping the blanket on her chest and throwing it in the face of a pirate about to assault her, she jumped off the side and dived into the water. The pirates that had chased her from the cannon deck came running, screaming.
"Watch out! The gunpowder is gonna..."
Swimming away from it, she heard an explosion. The cannon deck had apparently caught fire, and it had reached the gunpowder there, the pirates unable to stop it. Wooden shrapnel flew in several directions as Carp removed the blanket around her hips and started swimming back towards the docks, knife in hand and smile on her face.
”Die!” Suture screamed as he lunged at Jerome. Suture’s attacks forced Jerome to back away as he did his best to try to avoid getting hit. Suture seemed to put more strength in his attacks, making him a bit slower which was only a good thing for Jerome. His attacks were easier to block or avoid altogether. If Suture would hit him however... It would hurt.
Jerome was so focused in the battle that he didn’t notice that he was actually backing himself against a wall until he hit it. Surprised, he looked back and luckily he only saw a wall, not another enemy. Somewhat relieved, he looked at Suture, only to find that a scalpel was heading straight at his face. He managed to duck and the scalpel went right above his head, scraping the wall and leaving a mark. Jerome looked at the mark. That could’ve been his face. He swallowed nervously as he straightened himself.
Suture looked at Jerome, displeased.
“You’ll run out of luck sooner or later.” he muttered. Jerome knew that the man was right, he couldn’t do much right now and hurting the man would just make him crazier. It was a miracle he was still alive. And if he wanted to survive, he would need another miracle... Suture smirked as he prepared to get rid of Jerome. Jerome looked around nervously, there must be something that would help him out of this mess...!
Suddenly he heard a loud explosion. It was different from the cannonfire. Jerome looked at the sea and saw that the pirate ship was on fire. Jerome wasn’t sure what happened and he didn’t have time to think about that. Suture was staring at the ship too. Jerome grabbed his spear. This was his chance. By swinging his spear he managed to hit the back of Suture’s head with the blunt end of the spear. The pirate fell to the ground.
Jerome walked next to the unconscious Suture and ripped a piece of his white coat. He started to clean the bloody tip of his spear with it, he didn’t want Meimei to be dirty. As he was cleaning her, Suture started to move.
“Stop moving already!” Jerome shouted and hit Suture’s head which made him fall to the ground again, not moving.
Jerome poked the man to check if he was going to stay there or not. Suture seemed to be unconscious now. Jerome strapped his spear on his back and looked at Suture. The man had a nasty wound on his stomach where Jerome had pierced him. He didn’t have time to do much at the man so he just wrapped some bandages around the wound, to put some pressure on it so Suture wouldn’t bleed to death while he was laying there. It wasn’t much but he couldn’t do any better with the equipment he had now.
Jerome’s stomach was grumbling. He was so nervous that he had almost forgotten how hungry he was. He sighed and took out a cigarette, placing it on his lips. Jerome lit the cigarette and looked at the burning ship. Whatever happened on the ship saved him even though he really didn’t want to admit it.
David went over and picked up his short-range rifle. "Damned wrench in my plans... Aiguille better take care of..."
"David, you son of a bitch..." Christopher was trying to stand up, but the seastone needles in his back stung really bad. He was supporting himself with his shield.
"You don't get it, do you? You don't have any sense of using your position to make some money!"
"I'm a marine soldier... I protect the peace of the island. I won't let you do this..."
"Hmph. You could try." David pointed the rifle at Christopher again and pulled the trigger.
He tried again.
"Oh, damnit, it's jammed! The impact damaged it!" He tossed it aside and drew his two standard pistols. "These work too."
Christopher managed to stand up with help of his shield. The seastone weakened him, but that didn't mean he wouldn't fight. He could still use his fruit, even if it was weaker. As David fired his two pistols, Christopher waved his arm. The bullets stopped dead right in front of him and fell to the ground.
"Seems as if I can at least... cancel..." He took a deep breath and pulled his own pistol. With a shudder, he took aim and shot, but David didn't even have to dodge.
"What's wrong, commander? Can't hold steady?" David fired off another round, which Christopher managed to block with the shield. He was now standing on his own two legs, however noticeably struggling to keep balance, shield in left hand and pistol in right.
"Look at you! You're going to die here, while I rake in the big cash! Not that I'm not already doing so."
"What are you..."
David laughed. "I can allow ships into port without any checks if I want to. I've been smuggling goods for years, right in front of your eyes."
"...YOU were the one!"
"You're a good soldier, Christopher, but you're a bit slow..." He fired again, but Christopher was able to block. He was slowly sidestepping, holding his pistol tight. In this state, he wouldn't be able to hit David... and wasn't sure he'd be able to defend against him forever.
"David, think of what you're doing... is this why you became a marine? Marines exist... to protect peace..."
"Of course. It's the perfect alibi!"
"You've gone mad... as your commander... it's my duty to..."
"As if you could do anything in that state!" David fired off a few shots from both pistols. Christopher made a sweep with his arm, stopping most of the shots, but one reached his left shoulder.
"Just give up."
"The marine... never gives up. You need to be brought to justice... this town can't be protected by someone corrupted such as you!"
"Oh, I will protect it indeed... as long as the town plays by my rules." David started reloading his pistols.
"Now!" Christopher made a dash. Behind him, the clinking of something dropping to the ground was heard. David did not have much time to react before he got a shield smacked into his face, being knocked to the ground.
"Hmph." Putting his foot on David's arm, Christopher towered over him.
"How did you-" David's nose was heavily bleeding.
"Isn't it obvious? My fruit..."
"I felt... I felt that the needles were still moving into my body, albeit at a very slow pace... and as such, I could subject them to a barrier, making them move the other way.
"No... this can't be!"
"Liutenant David Elron... I, marine commander Christopher Arrows, place you under arrest!" Stripping David of his remaining weaponry, Christopher put back his own pistol and grabbed David in a choke hold.
Just then, an explosion was heard from the docks.
Carp climbed out of the water. Despite being dripping wet and not very clothed, noone really noticed her - all attention was directed towards the burning wreck. Not that she would have cared. She made her way back to where she had dropped off her clothes, figured the apron would make for a passable towel, dried herself off and started to get dressed. Pants, sandals... shirt. Right.
She put on her chef's cap and flung the apron over her shoulder before taking another look outside. She saw a person coming in her direction - slightly wounded, carrying a spear... she recognized him as one of the fighting men from before.
"Psst." She gestured for him to come closer.
"Come over here."
Jerome turned around the corner, coming face to face with Carp. Taken aback a little over the fact that she didn't wear much on the upper half of her body, he tried to not stare at her. "Y-yes?"
"So you managed to take that guy out, huh? He seemed to have the upper hand."
"He did. if it hadn't been for that explosion..."
"I didn't really mean to blow the whole thing up, but hey, whatever works."
"That was you?"
"So it seems. By the way, lend me your coat or shirt. I doubt there's much left of mine."
"Uh, sure, I guess." Jerome took off his coat and handed it to Carp. As she put it on, she heard his stomach growling.
"C'mon, then." Carp grabbed her knife in one hand and Jerome's hand in her other. She started leading the way, Jerome not having much time to react.
Carp pointed to her cap and smiled. "The restaurant. Lunch's on me."
Jerome followed in some slight confusion. This girl didn't seem like a bad person, even if her tattoos made her look a little weird... and that knife looked sharp. But it didn't seem like she was leading him into any pirates, she were taking several dark back streets with lots of turns, so it appeared she was actively avoiding the main streets. After ten minutes of nonstop walking, they reached a door in an alley - the back entrance to Gazoushi. Carp stepped in with Jerome in tow and went out to the restaurant part. She let go of his hand and motioned for him to follow.
"Hey, mom, I'm back."
Only two people were in the restaurant - Maki and Hashi. Hashi was sweeping the floor. Her kimono had some blood splatter on it, and the chopsticks in her topknot were also bloody. "Oh, hey Carp. So?"
"Town's attacked. I somehow blew up a ship. You all right here?"
"Yeah, they were pansies. We've had far worse guests."
Going out to the serving area, Jerome stared at the mess. In front of him, Maki came dragging a body, with a knife stuck far into the forehead. "What the..."
"Who's the guy? Your boyfriend?"
"Nah, just someone I picked up on the way. Promised him lunch." Carp removed Jerome's coat and tossed it back to him. "I'm going up to change. Are we shutting down for today?" Carp opened another door, leading to a set of stairs.
"Yeah, I sent out the others. I need to get the blood off the wall."
"Alright, be down in a few." Carp went up the stairs as Jerome still stood there, holding his coat.
"Don't just stand there! Get rid of that guy, would you?" Hashi pointed towards the main entrance. Turning around, Jerome noticed there was another corpse there. This one had large slash wounds on the entire torso. Seems like he had bled to death. "Just drag him outside."
Jerome couldn't really make sense of all this, but decided to obey. He had been promised food, after all, and he had seen dead bodies before. Just... this was a restaurant. A man in chef's clothes passed him as Jerome was dragging the corpse out the doors. Maki put down the body she had been carrying and pulled the knife out of the skull. She wiped it off with a paper as she returned inside. As he put down the corpse, Jerome saw another body lying just outside - this one had some sort of hole in his chest. Seemed like something had pierced it with much force and punctured the heart. As he pondered leaving, his stomach made itself known again. Sighing to himself, he went back inside. Carp returned from the door, now dressed in more casual clothes. A t-shirt, a jeans jacket without sleeves, a pair of cutoff jeans which seemes to be too large...
"Alright, sorry for the delay. Gonna fix up something for you now. Have a seat." Jerome sat down as Carp disappeared into the kitchen.
Hashi looked up from her cleaning. "So what do you do for a living?"
"I'm a doctor. What happened here?"
"Those three idiots ate expensive food, drank expensive sake and tried to get away without paying. At least we turned a profit from it." Hashi reached into her kimono and pulled out a wad of bills. "Plus a nice tip."
"You killed them?"
"Two of them. Maki got the third. That's my sister." She stretched her hand out towards Jerome. "Gazou Hashi. In charge here."
Jerome shook her hand. "Jerome Tou."
Hashi returned to her cleaning as Jerome sat and pondered what was going on. This woman, killed two pirates and doesn't even seem to raise an eyebrow at it? Nothing good will ever come from this, he thought to himself. He sat there pondering the absurdity of the entire situation for a few minutes before Carp came back from the kitchen. In front of him, she placed a plate of sushi and a cup of tea.
"So, I never really introduced myself, did I. I'm Gazou Koi, everybody calls me Carp. That's my mother behind you, and one day this whole restaurant will be mine - but first I'm going out to sea." She put on a smile, looking a bit creepy with the tattoo on her face. "Nice to meet you!"
Theodore and Aiguille stared each other down, waiting for the first move. Theo banged his axes against each other, impatiently. Thinking Theo was going to throw the axes, Aiguille tossed his needles with a flick of his fingers.
Before Theo registered Aiguille’s action, he dodged to the side and threw both axes toward their target. “Moose Hunt!” The axes both grazed Aiguille’s sides, sending flecks of blood out. Theo winced as he felt a pain in his shoulder; four needles were embedded right to the bone. Droplets of blood fell to the ground.
In the blink of an eye, Aiguille sent another stream of needles at Theo, who jumped aside in reaction. Another axe flew at the robed pirate captain, but Aiguille pivoted back, keeping his right foot in the same position, and watched the axe fly past.
The captain smiled as he commented, “A duel between two who throw their weapons? This will end in my favor, Duncan!”
Duncan glared, drawing an axe and twirling it. “Heh, not with those needl-gah!” Theo began, but hopped backwards to dodge a low thrown needle barrage. The Marine hurled his axe in retaliation, which sailed at his foe with surprising accuracy. Aiguille sidestepped, but the axe split his robe and stuck, right down the middle of a Jolly Roger.
Aiguille scowled as Theo mocked, “Don’t worry, your crew can fix that. Knowing how to sew is a requirement to join your crew, right?”
Aiguille gritted his teeth at the taunt and sent a volley of needles at Theo’s head, which were easily dodged. Theo drew two axes as Aiguille withdrew a handful of needles.
“I grow tired of this, Quitter!” Aiguille roared as he threw the massive handful. Theo raised one axe, paused, and brought it down. The axe scattered the needles, nearly halting the attack, though several needles found their way into Theo’s skin.
However, Theo kept with his momentum, lifting up one of his feet. The other foot pivoted, turning around in place. He brought his other hand up over his back and threw the axe, catching Aiguille off guard. Aiguille could only gasp in shock as the axe hit home, slamming butt first into Aiguille’s stomach, knocking the air from his lungs and lifting him of his feet. Theo regained his footing as Aiguille hit the ground, gasping for air.
The flag-wearing pirate stood up, clutching his chest. “You’ve given me much trouble, Duncan, but I am not willing to pull out my trump card quiet yet!” Aiguille reached into his robes, and retrieved to large needles, which looked like they would be better used to hold down a tent. With a grunt, Aiguille sent the stakes flying toward Theo. Theo sent his axe toward a stake, and the two collided, both falling to the ground. The remaining stake pierced Theo’s pant leg and dove a few inches into the ground, pinning him down.
Before Theo could move to remove it, Aiguille already had a volley of needles in hand. “Now DIE, Theodore Duncan!” Theo dropped his axe, and reached to remove the stake and dodge the needles.
The needles slammed into Theo’s chest. Warm blood splashed to the ground. Theo fell to his knees and hands, gritting his teeth against the pain. He put out one hand to support himself.
“Ha ha, you overestimated yourself. But now it is time to resume our pillaging!”
Theo noticed he could probably move his pant leg out of the stake. When he tried, he realized his coat was covering his foot, so he might be able do it without being noticed.
“You think I will die here? You could hit me with a hundred of those needles, and I wouldn’t die,” Theo said to buy some time.
“Then more fun for me! I will enjoy your screams for mercy…”
But Theo gained all the time he needed when an explosion was heard offshore. Aiguille moved his attention toward his partially destroyed ship. Theo freed himself and moved his hands to grab his dropped axe, but abandoned the action as Aiguille quickly turned back toward him, enraged at his ship’s condition, and threw the needles. Theo rolled out of the way as the needles came toward him. Aiguille blanched in shock as Theo quickly drew another axe and threw it. Aiguille couldn’t move in time, and it grazed his face, drawing a deep gash.
The pirate move a shaking hand to his face, wiped some blood off, and looked at his hand, surprised at the amount of blood. With a cry of rage, he pulled out a pair of thick leather gloves and began putting them on. His trump? Damn… Theo realized as soon as he stood up.
Aiguille pulled out a small bottle from his pocket, uncorked it, and sniffed it. “Ah, still potent!” He said pleased.
Crap! A poison! Theo drew an axe as Aiguille dipped a single needle into the bottle.
“You’re lucky this gloves limit the number of needles I can throw, but it is a necessary precaution,” Aiguille commented as he dipped the needle. Aiguille moved to throw the needle at his foe and Theo jumped aside. But Aiguille anticipated the dodge, and moved his throw accordingly.
The coated needle grazed Theo’s neck, scraping away several layers of skin and drawing blood. Shit, I have to finish this before it spre- Theo began to think, but his train of thought was interrupted by a burning pain on his neck. Theo wiped the wound with his finger, but his finger was now burning instead. He wiped it on his coat, subsiding most of the pain. “Not poison then, acid,” Theo said, assured he was correct.
“You thought this was poison? Why would I need gloves for poison?” Aiguille mocked after sending another needle in the air, not expecting Theo to be able to dodge it. But Theo surprised him yet again as the acidic needle flew by Theo.
If he’s going all out, then I must too! Theo contemplated. Theo drew a second axe and threw them both. Before waiting, he drew two more and kept a stream going. “Stag Hunting!”
Aiguille was hard pressed to defend the vicious onslaught. One particular dodge he made ended up with half of his acid splashing onto the ground, hissing and spitting as it scorched the rock. But Aiguille kept up his needle throws, one finding it’s way into Theo’s leg.
But Theo didn’t halt the stream of axes.
Aiguille’s eyes widened in disbelief, the only thing that showed Theo was hit was his sudden cry of rage. An axe slammed into him, knocking the bottle out of his hands.
A cloud of smoke rose into the air. Aiguille took off his robe and held it in front of him. “NO! You ruined my work! The evidence of my pirating career!” He held out his robe, stitched of Jolly Rogers. The acid had melted roughly half the flags making up the garb.
Aiguille’s complaining didn’t stop Theo’s axes. One after another, the axes impacted Aiguille, drawing blood or causing a bruise. Aiguille yelled, “Who are you!? To come out of nowhere and defea-“ but was silenced by the butt of an axe slamming into his forehead. He fell back landing on the ground lacking consciousness.
Theo stopped his attack, look at his fallen foe, and let out a cry of victory. Theo sat down to get a better look at his leg. He pulled out the formerly acid covered needle, and noticed all of the acid had dissipated. He looked at where the needle was stuck and saw most of the flesh around the needle was scorched or melted away. Theo let out a quite scream of pain; just looking at it hurt him.
He leaned backwards and lied down, catching his breath. He looked up and saw the needles in his chest. “It’s going to be fun taking these out, “ Theo sighed sarcastically, too exhausted to try now.
Last edited by Gyojin (2008-11-25 10:56:26)
”Jerome. Jerome Tou.” Jerome introduced himself to the girl as he looked at the plate of sushi. The food looked beautiful. Carp seemed to be a better cook than Jerome first thought she was.
“You didn’t have to go through all this trouble for someone like me. I’m the one who owes you.” he said and started eating.
“Oh no, you don’t owe me anything.” Carp smiled. Jerome glanced at her as he kept eating. Somehow he couldn’t believe her.
Jerome was so hungry that it didn’t take long for him to finish his meal. He took a sip of his tea.
“The food was good. Thanks, I guess.” he muttered, not very used to thanking other people.
“You’re welcome!” Carp said, smiling. The constant smiling of the girl was starting to look very creepy. Jerome drank the tea and put the cup down on the table.
“I think that I should be going now.” Jerome said as he stood up.
“Why? Are you busy?”
“Actually... Maybe. I should go look for the pirate I fought with earlier. He’s hurt and might even have a bounty... Money is never a bad thing.” he smiled.
Jerome took his coat and put it on. Next, he took his spear that was leaning against a chair and strapped it on his back. He nodded at Carp and started making his way to the entrance, leaving the girl behind.
“Wait!” she shouted. Jerome turned around and saw the girl coming toward him, holding a knife in her hand. Shocked, Jerome backed away. He just saw what her family did to people who didn’t pay and he actually didn’t pay either...
“W-what... I already thanked you, I can’t give you anything else.” he muttered with a slight hint of fear in his voice.
“That’s not it! I’m coming with you.”
“But... Why? ...It’s the pirate, right? How I said he might have a bounty? You’re after the money, huh...”
“No, not at all. There’s nothing to do here and I don’t want to miss anything that happens outisde!” Carp said, clearly having made her mind. Jerome sighed. He would lose this battle.
“Fine... Just... Don’t bother me, okay?” he muttered as he left the restaurant, Carp following him.
Jerome walked down the streets of Endport, glancing at Carp every now and then. He wasn’t very happy with her tagging along. He just wanted to check on the pirate and then try to leave the island as soon as he can. However... It would help if he remembered where he left Suture. Everything looked the same. Jerome didn’t want to ask Carp for help, she had already done enough and he was way too proud to ask for direction. He shrugged and kept going. This town couldn’t be that big after all.
After a while of walking Jerome saw a man.. No, two men lying on the ground. The other one was probably a pirate but the other one had a coat that resembled that of a Marine... Was the man a Marine? Jerome walked to them and took a quick glance at both of them. It seemed like they had a fight and were injured. He kneeled next to the man with lots of needles in his chest, the Marine looking guy.
“Hey, are you okay?” Jerome asked.
“If you don’t count all my injuries then yes.” the man answered. Jerome examined the man quickly.
“Look, I’ll fix you. Koi! Help him stand and get him to the Gazoushi! I’ll take care of the other guy.” Jerome shouted and went to check the pirate. Carp helped the man to stand and started leading him. The pirate was in far worse condition than the other man and, as Jerome thought, unconscious. Jerome looked at the man and lifted him. He wasn’t very light and Jerome wasn’t very strong but there was no other way to get the man where he wanted to. He started to carry the man and followed Carp all the way back to the restaurant.
Jerome slammed the door open as he stepped inside, carrying the unconscious pirate with him. Hashi turned her head to look at him. She seemed to be cleaning the blood off the walls.
“..Koi, is there a place where these two can rest..?” Jerome asked.
“We live upstairs-” she started but not being able to finish as Jerome was already rushing upstairs. Carp started to make her way upstairs and helping the man to climb up the stairs. Jerome entered one of the bedrooms and placed the man he carried on a bed.
“Get some towels, water and a first aid kit. Go!” Jerome said as he rolled open another futon. Carp left to get the things she was told to get.
“You. Stay here.” he said, forcing the man to lay down on the bed. Jerome then went back to the pirate and started to take off his clothes so he could get a better look at his wounds.
“Seriously.. Didn’t you go a bit too far here?” Jerome muttered but before he could whine any longer, Carp came with the things he requested. He snatched the first aid kit from her, took out a pair of gloves and put them on.
“Get yourself gloves and start washing those burn marks Koi. Rinse, not scrub.” he said, starting to treat and bandage the wounds on the pirate. Carp nodded and started to wash the acid burns like Jerome told her to.
“There...” Jerome smiled, proud of his work as he had finished treating the pirate. He moved next to Carp and pushed her gently aside.
“That’s enough. Now go downstairs, I don’t need you here anymore.” Jerome said bluntly and not giving her another choice so she left the room, closing the door behind her.
“Now... What was on your mind, doing something like this? Look at yourself. You’re hurt...” he muttered, starting to pull the needles out of the man’s flesh. The man winced in pain.
“You could’ve thought about that earlier. You’re luckier than the other guy though. These will heal fatser than his wounds.. And that nasty gash on his face will leave a scar for sure.” Jerome took off the man’s shirt and started treating his injuries.
“Idiot... You’re going to die if you keep doing this. Think about me, having to do this all...” he kept whining as he wrapped bandages around the man.
“Thank you.” the man said, smiling. Jerome looked at the man, surprised.
“Yeah, sure, whatever..” Jerome muttered, not used to receiving thanks.“You’re fixed now so you can leave. Change the bandages daily and don’t do anything stupid like that again. And ask Koi if she’d make some tea for me.”
Last edited by Sunshines (2008-11-20 09:36:03)
Theo began to stand up, and was glad to see his burned leg could support him now. He noticed that the doctor was beginning to clean up the room, and then he looked at Aiguille.
And then he was hit with an idea.
“Excuse me, but what’s your name? Oh wait, let me introduce myself first; I’m Theo, Theodore Duncan.”
The doctor hesitated, and then said, “Jerome. Jerome Tou.”
“Ah, nice to meet you Jerome. Now, before I go, see that guy you brought in?”
“Sorry to trouble you, but could you find a coil of rope?”
“He’s a pirate, the captain of the crew that just attacked this island. He’s too dangerous to just leave there, even if he is unconscious.”
Jerome sighed, “Can’t you get the rope?”
“I could, but if he woke up, he wouldn’t hesitate to kill you. I’m sorry, but-”
“Fine, fine, I’ll get rope...” Jerome mumbled as he began to leave.
A few minutes later, Jerome returned, disgruntled, but with a coil of rope. “Are you happy? I had to go all the way to the docks to get th-where did those come from?!” Jerome said. He noticed a large pile of needles next to Theo, including a few metal stakes.
“Oh, sorry for the trouble, really sorry. And this guy had all these needles hidden on him. I think I got most of them…” Theo said as he took the rope.
Jerome began to return everything to the first aid kit when he asked, “Did you go ask Koi about that tea?”
“Gah! Why didn’t you ask her when…never mind, sorry, I’ll do it.”
Theo headed downstairs as Jerome continued cleaning up. When Theo got to the ground floor, he saw the girl who helped bring him in, who Jerome called Koi, helping two older women clean the restaurant. Theo suddenly remembered she had a knife when Theo saw her and Jerome, and she looked like she was no weakling with it either.
“Excuse me, uh, Koi, right? Are you a chef here?”
Koi stopped cleaning and asked, “Yeah, and everyone calls me Carp, by the way. Nice to meet you…” she trailed off, hoping to receive an answer.
“Oh, Theo Duncan,” Theo finished for her. He grinned widely and said, “Jerome wants a cup of tea. Come to think of it, I’ll have some too, if it is no trouble at all. And when you come up, bring some for yourself; I want to talk with you two.” Carp gave him a curious look, shrugged, and went to prepare tea as Theo went back upstairs. A few minutes later, Aiguille was bound and the three sat in the room each with a cup of tea.
Jerome blew on his tea to cool it, and then asked, “We’re all here and listening, so what did you want?”
Theo looked back at Aiguille and began, “About a month ago, when I was Marine, I was betrayed by a corrupt Marine I thought was my friend. Just today, I saved the life of another Marine who was fighting his corrupt subordinate. I’m sick of the corruption that is rampant in the Marines, so I’m quitting. The reason I am telling you this is because, in rebellion of the World Government, I am starting a pirate crew.”
He turned his head at Jerome and said, “You seem to be an excellent doctor, and with that spear, I doubt you’re a pushover.”
Theo looked at Carp and continued, “And when I saw you coming to help me, I could tell you are no novice with that knife you had. So, what do you say? A cook, a doctor, and me as the captain…Will you join me?”
Carp opened her mouth to speak, a smile on her face, but Jerome interrupted, “Wait, wait, hold on. We can’t start a crew! We need a ship, supplies, someone who can navigate… Where are you going to get that stuff?”
Jerome mumbled something else, but Theo pointed at Aiguille and explained, “That guy has a 47 million beli bounty on his head. We can claim it and use the funds to buy that stuff.”
Carp’s smile grew wider, “That’s perfect! I need to go out to sea so that I can get this restaurant anyway! Hold on, I have to tell my family! I need their permission anyway.” She took another gulp of tea, set the cup down and ran out of the room.
Theo looked at Jerome expectantly. The doctor sighed and said, “Well, I guess I’ll go with you to the next islan- wait, you aren’t thinking about going to the Grand Line with only a few people, are you?”
Theo chuckled, “Of course not, we’re missing a ship and a good navigator. I can navigate fine on these Blues with a compass, but on the Grand Line you need some kind of special compass, and I don’t know how they work. We’re going the other way; the three of us aren’t ready for the Grand Line yet.”
“Hey, I haven’t agreed to join! But…how about you take me to the next island. Oh, in payment for your treatment!” Jerome offered.
Theo sighed, disappointed, “Ah, suit yourself. Who knows, you might find reason to stick around!”
Jerome mumbled, “Don’t count on it,” but Theo didn’t hear him. He remembered he still didn’t have ideas for a crew name or flag emblem and was trying to think quickly.
"What?" Hashi paused her cleaning and looked at Carp, who just had come rushing down the stairs. "Time for what?"
"Me. I mean, it's time for me to do my journey!"
"Finally found something, huh? Let me guess... those two?"
"Pretty much." Carp grinned. "Seems like I'm gonna be a pirate!"
Maki turned to her. "A pirate, you say?"
"Your great-grandfather would be proud of you."
"Yeah... even if I can't do what he did." Carp glanced at the old wanted poster that was among the wall decorations in the restaurant. The picture and text had faded to the point where they were almost impossible to see, but Carp knew all too well what it said. Gazou Genmai, bounty of 150 million beli. Captained a pirate crew for a few years before returning to Endport and getting to spend some time in jail, where he worked his way to kitchen duty. He was let out before his sentence would really expire due to good behaviour and showing immense regret for whatever crimes he had done during his pirate career. From the day he returned until his death he was a lawful and kind-hearted person, very much a contrast to some of the actions he took as a pirate.
"So who's idea was this? That pretty boy doctor?"
"Nah, the other one. Theo, I believe it was. Said something about becoming a pirate in protest."
"Looks like you've found yourself some interesting mates, there... wasn't there another injured man you brought in?"
"A pirate, apparently. Probably some big shot of the crew that attacked. They said his bounty was 47 million, so we're going to cash him in and use that money to get started."
Maki wiped the last blood stain from the wall and tossed her towel down in a bucket of water. "Be sure to stress what the kitchen needs."
"Oh, I will, I will."
"Anyway, I'm going to call it a day now. If you're going out on your trip, I have a few things I need to get done first." Maki put away the bucket and removed her apron and chef's cap. "Opening as usual tomorrow, sis?"
"Yeah. We're all done here."
"Alright then." She went over to Carp and gave her a hug. "See you tomorrow."
Maki went out the main entrance and headed towards the residential area.
"By the way, where's dad?" Carp turned to her mom, who was putting the cleaning supplies back where they belonged.
"Disposing of the bodies. Can't have them lying there when we open tomorrow."
"Good point. So, let's see, if I'm going to work as the chef on a ship, I'll need..." Carp started making a mental list of the requirements. Just then, Theo and Jerome came down into the restaurant, the bound pirate in tow.
"Alright, we're heading to the marine base to get the bounty for this guy..." Theo motioned in Aiguille's direction. "You coming with us, Carp?"
"No, I'm staying. I have some other things to do."
"Alright... do you know if there's some good hotel around these parts, by the way?"
"You can crash here. We've got extra futons. Right, mom?"
"Sure thing. Since you're going to spend a lot of time with my daughter, I need to know what kind of folks you are."
"You can take my room, I'll sleep together with my parents. We have to wake up early to get things started here, but if you're in my room we won't have to disturb you."
"You... you've already given us enough, we..."
"Normally I'd charge you, since I hear you're getting quite the sum for that one, or make you help out... but use the time and money to prepare for the journey instead. You'll get food as well."
"Then... we'll accept your kindness. We're going out, then... we'll maybe swing by the docks to see what kind of ship we can get."
"Alright, see you later."
Theo, Jerome and the not very conscious Aiguille headed out the doors.
"They're interesting people." Hashi went into the kitchen, Carp following her.
"We got any traditions for this journey?"
"Oh, you bet we do." Hashi opened up a cupboard, filled with mostly empty bottles. A few still had liquids in them, and one had not been opened. Hashi took it down, handing it to Carp.
"This is?" She inspected the label. Writings in some language she couldn't read and a picture of something green and spiky she didn't recognize.
"Royal cactus wine. You bring home a bottle of fine alcohol from the farthest you get, and hand it to your child when they are going on their journey... to be used for some very special situation."
"So... this one's from... where?"
"Some desert kingdom a bit into the Grand Line. Alaba... something."
"A very special situation... I get it. Anything else?"
"Yeah, one more thing..." Hashi went out to the restaurant again, taking down a scroll that was hanging on the wall. On the outside, the characters 画像 were written. She headed back to Carp, handing her the scroll. "This."
Carp looked at it. "Doesn't this usually hang on the wall in the restaurant?"
"It does. Open it."
Carp untied the rope that kept it together and started rolling it out. She recognized the contents within. "These are recipes."
"The Gazou family recipe scroll. Take it with you."
"But... we already have all of these recipes on our menu, but with local ingredients. I know all of them by heart and know what can be substituted for what."
"Look at the names of the dishes... and roll it further."
Carp did as she was told, and started to understand. "These are..." She reached a blank spot, coming right after the recipe describing how to make Hashi's Elemental Stir-fry. Carp recognized most of the ingredients, the dish being on Gazoushi's menu as Four-flavoured Stir-fry.
"That's your place. You bring this scroll, and when you create a new dish... a new dish that you feel is YOUR dish, you add it to the scroll. And when you come back, your recipe is adapted and added to our regular offerings..."
"I have another thing for you, but I'm saving it for later. That's all for now."
"Alright, thanks. I'll make sure to be worthy of this place when I come back!" Cactus wine in one hand and recipe scroll in the other, Carp went and placed them in a bag in her room. She put out two extra futons for Theo and Jerome before descending. "Alright, mom, I'm heading out for a bit. I have a few errands to run myself before I leave. If those two return, tell them I've prepared their room."
"Alright. Take care."
"I will." With those words, Carp headed out the main entrance. Hashi changed from her kimono to standard clothes and started tidying up the room Jerome had used earlier to treat the wounded. A few minutes later she heard the back door open and slam shut. Descending the stairs, she was greeted by Rensuke.
"Welcome back, dear." Hashi smiled as she hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "It'll only be you and me soon, you know..."
He raised an eyebrow. "Carp is going out to sea?"
"She is. Our little girl... she's going to become a pirate!"
Last edited by KennyMan666 (2008-11-20 15:06:25)
Theo and Jerome walked out of the Gazoushi into the city, Theo dragging Aiguille along.
“Hey, do you know where the base is?” Theo asked.
“Uh…lets try the center of town, I guess.”
A few minutes later, the pair arrived at the island’s Marine Base, not without the help of a passing Marine however. The two entered the base, which was alive with activity, Marines dealing with the post-battle prisoners mostly.
“Hey, you two, what do you need? We’re kind of busy, you see?” A Marine snapped at them. “Is that one of the Death Stitch Pirates? Give him here, I’ll take him to the jail cells.”
“Uh, sorry. This guy is the Captain actually, Aiguille. I-“
“Wait, are you the one who defeated him?”
“Uh, yeah, I beat him. Sorry to ask, but why?”
“Commander Arrows’ direct order. Now if you’ll excuse me…” The Marine explained as he ran off. Theo and Jerome looked at each other a shrugged.
A few minutes later, a high-ranking marine with blonde hair and a goatee entered the base holding a baby snailphone; the still wounded Christopher Arrows. Christopher looked over Theo, Jerome, and Aiguille. He nodded and asked, “You're, uh, Theodore Duncan, right?” When Theo nodded, the Commander pointed to a random Marine and ordered, “You there! Take Aiguille to the highest security cell that’s open! Mr. Duncan, would you mind coming with me to my office?”
“Uh, yeah. Jerome, you go to the docks. Oh wait; the whole edge of the island is a bunch of docks, huh? In that case, head straight north from here, I’ll meet you there.”
Jerome left shrugging as Theo and Christopher left the entrance room.
When the two reached the office, Christopher sat behind the desk and Theo took the chair opposite him.
“So, to introduce myself, I am Christopher Arrows. Now, Mr. Duncan, I wish to thank you, you saved my life and the lives of many others who would have perished in the attack by stopping Aiguille. I have heard whispers from my men that you are a Marine. Is this true?”
“Yeah, I’m a Marine.”
“Now that I think about it…I may have heard about you before. Weren’t you recently demoted?”
Theo twitched involuntarily and said, “Yes.”
“In that case, once I tell the Marine HQ about this, you have a good chance of being promoted.”
“No thanks, I just want the bounty,” Theo explained. When Arrows didn’t say anything, Theo continued, “I’m quitting the Marines.”
“…Ah, that was the other rumor I heard. A shame, really, and the one that I hoped wasn’t true.”
Theo began to feel a bit guilty, knowing that he was about to become a pirate, but the image of Christopher’s second in command betraying him and Janeil made him remember why he was becoming a pirate in the first place. “So, if you’ll send that message to Marine HQ and give me my 47 million I’ll be on my way.”
Christopher Arrows sighed, “So be it. If you wait in the entrance room, someone will come with your money. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.” The Commander turned to a small stack of papers and got to work.
A few minutes later, Theo was outside and heading north, a briefcase filled with money in hand and a grin on his face.
Last edited by Gyojin (2008-11-22 11:20:21)
Jerome stepped out of the Marine base and started heading toward the docks in north, just like Theo had told him to. It looked like the Marines were taking care of everything, finally. The whole pirate attack sure was interesting while it lasted but fighting was never something Jerome enjoyed. He was glad that it was over.
Jerome finally reached his destination and looked around. Endport seemed to be a rather busy place judging by all the ships at the docks. Now he would just need a place where to wait for the soon-to-be pirate captain, Theodore Duncan. Jerome noticed a bench next to some building. He walked next to it, took his spear and made it lean against the bench and then sat down himself. Jerome sighed and looked at the sea.
“Don’t worry Meimei, we’ll get out of here soon...” Jerome said with a smile on his face and kept staring at the sea. He had never bought a ship before so he was curious how it happens or what kind of a ship he was going to be boarding on. Maybe he was a bit too curious, he was only going to join the crew for a while so the ship didn’t matter. As long as it doesn’t sink while he’s on it. Jerome chuckled to himself. He was definitely thinking way too much about this.
All Jerome could do now was wait. He didn’t really mind as he was used to waiting, he’s not the one who decides when the ship leaves. He was kind of fed up with this town though and was happy to leave soon. Hopefully the next island would be a bit more peaceful... Jerome looked around and saw Theodore. Jerome’s eyes followed Theo who didn’t seem to notice him yet so Jerome took his spear and walked up to the man. He greeted Theo and glanced at the briefcase Theo was holding.
“So, Duncan... You got the money?” Jerome asked.
“Oh, yes. It’s here.” Theo grinned and pointed at the briefcase. He looked pretty happy.
“I see...” Jerome muttered and turned around, looking out into the horizon. Theodore seemed to be so confident about being a pirate which was odd to Jerome. He looked back at the man.
“...You know, you’re quitting Marines because you don’t like corruption... But aren’t pirates even more corrupted than Marines could ever be? They kill and steal for fun, I don’t see why one would want to become something like that...”
Theo’s grin faded for a second, but Theo quickly replaced it. “Being a pirate isn’t about killing and stealing, it’s about being free to do whatever you want without regarding the law. And yeah, most pirates are evil, but they’re not corrupt. Evil and corrupt are two different things. From what rumors say, even the strongest crew in the world refuses to tolerate its members turning on each other. I just don’t want to be betrayed again. That bastard, Janeil…it was just a stupid rivalry!” Theo raged. Noting Jerome’s confused expression, Theo quickly exclaimed quickly, “Sorry, I just had to let that out-oh look, a ship!” Theo ran off in the direction of the docks, leaving an exasperated Jerome to follow.
“Hey! Yeah, you two! What’s your business?” Yelled a middle aged balding man with a bandage on his head.
“Oh, uh, were looking for a ship,” Theo said, adding a quiet ‘sorry?’ at the end.
“Oh, how convenient. Follow me, if you please, I am the owner of this dock and the small shipbuilding company here,” he said, waving for the pair to follow him. He led them to a section of the docks where there were about 10 ships of varied sizes with prices written on the sails. “So, what’re you looking for, exactly?”
“Well…I need a ship with enough room for about…5, I guess. But it needs to be small enough that it only needs 3 or less to sail it. And as cheap as possible,” Theo said, hoping to get his point across.
“Bargain hunters eh? Try somewhere else! We just survived a pirate attack here. We lost some good carpenters.”
Theo put his hand on his chin quizzically and asked, “Sorry but, shouldn’t that mean you need more business?”
“I know! Of course I’ll sell you a ship! The best one for you would probably be…” the man began rambling about something, hardly paying attention to Theo and Jerome.
“Huh? Wait-sorry, never mind,” Theo sighed.
“This guy is insane. We should go,” Jerome hissed quietly.
“He may be crazy, but I just want to get a ship and get this over with,” Theo pointed out. “Oh sorry!” He quickly said to the balding man.
“Huh? …Anyway, I recommend this model,” the dock owner gestured to the ship in question, “It has two living quarters, a kitchen and dining room, and a small hold for supplies. It should set you back about-“
“Is it less than 47, wait, no, 20 million beli? Sorry for interrupting.”
“Hm? Uh, yes. Look at the sail, it’s only-“
“I’ll take it! Thank you!”
Theo and Jerome boarded and began examining the ship, checking to see if it was adequate.
“Hey, Duncan. Why this tub? I won't be with you by then, but this thing won't make it far in the Grand Line. Well, if you want to die faster, then this is the perfect ship.”
“Eh, I’m not much for planning ahead. Right now we need a ship, but not a necessarily a good one. Lets just get what we need right now and we'll worry about the rest later.”
"I can tell you don't plan ahead," Jerome mumbled. Theo didn't hear him. He never seemed to.
After buying the vessel, the pair moved the ship as close to the Gazoushi as possible. Theo could feel that they were about to leave this island soon…
Carp returned to the restaurant, carrying a bag. She had stocked up on some supplies for the journey - mostly personal ones, but also a few things for the kitchen. As she entered through the back door, she saw Theo, Jerome and her parents sitting around a table, drinking tea and talking. They didn't notice her coming in.
"We promise, we WON'T touch your daughter..."
"That's what they all say."
"Look, we wanted her to be our cook and nothing else."
Carp dropped her bag, silently closed the door and started walking towards them.
"Now, now, I'm old enough to handle myself." Their attention shifted towards the direction of the back door, seeing Carp approaching. She looked at her father, her new companions and finally her mother, putting on a smile. "You have to admit, though, they ARE pretty handsome."
Seeing the look of fear in Theo's face, Carp sat down between him and her father. She grabbed his cup, filled it with tea and took a sip. "So, any news?"
"...oh, yeah, we got a ship. We just need to prepare it for the journey. Want to see it?"
"All I really care about is the kitchen, but yes, I definitely want to see it." She finished the tea in one gulp and stood up. "Come on, then." Theo and Jerome stood up as well, followed by Carp's parents.
"We want to see it too. Show the way."
The five of them left the restaurant and headed towards the docks, boarding the newly-bought ship.
"Kitchen and dining room are there." Theo motioned towards two doors on the righthand side of the ship. Carp entered the first one, finding herself inside the dining room. It was mostly empty. Her parents followed.
"Dining room, huh?" Hashi was looking around. "Needs some decorating."
Carp only glanced at it before going through the other door instead, finding her workplace - the ship's kitchen. It was fairly small, but seemed to have all the essentials. "Hmm..." Calculating the length of it, she went back into the dining room, starting to walk alongside the wall towards the kitchen. Reaching the far end of the room, she did some calculations in her head. "Perfect." She exited, Theo standing outside.
"Good to hear... now, over there are the two living quarters, so I guess that's one for us and one for-"
"They're too far away from the kitchen. I'm thinking we can convert a part of the dining hall to a small room for me, connected directly to the kitchen... I just need two or three mats, to fit a futon and some personal possessions." Carp turned to her father. "Hey, dad, could you grab a carpenter or two?" He nodded at her and went back to the docks. She turned back to Theo. "Besides, the captain should have his own quarters, shouldn't he?"
"Then that's decided." Carp returned to the dining room, leaving Theo in a state of disbelief.
"Changing your mind yet?" Jerome was sitting by the mast.
"No... she knows what she's doing... hopefully. And we can't really say she can't come with us now."
"Go ahead and take one of the rooms for yourself if you want... she does have a point."
"I don't think I could do that... but until we get any more members, it's not like it would matter."
Carp and Hashi were standing at the far end of the dining room. "Should just need one wall from there and one from there, and then an opening right here."
"You sure you're not just going to take one of the large rooms?"
"I don't need a large room, but I need to be in the kitchen first thing when I wake up, and last thing before I go to sleep. Besides, I don't sleep well on anything else."
Just then, Rensuke entered with two carpenters following. "There." After they had entered, he went outside.
Carp motioned for them to come over. "So, I'm thinking an opening here, then walls going like..." She explained her idea to them, Theo also listening in, having slipped in after the carpenters. He figured it was just fair to let her do this, since she hadn't seen the ship before they bought it. It wasn't like they needed the entire dining room for eating, and she only wanted a corner of it. Probably wouldn't cost them too much anyway.
"Alright, should be a breeze to whip up." One of the carpenters started taking some measurements, drawing some lines on the walls and floor with a pencil. The other one started writing a list of the materials they'd need.
"So, who do we talk to about-"
Carp pointed at Theo. "He'll be paying."
The carpenter turned to Theo. "Alright..." He noted down some numbers on the paper and handed it to him. "Materials plus work cost... shouldn't take much more than a day to get it done."
The other carpenter stood up and turned to Carp. "We're going to get the mats down first and then build the room around them, so bring them over here. You want the long end that way, right?" He motioned with his hand towards the corner.
"Yep, the one mat in the corner like that, and the other two outwards from it, and the door as far up in this direction as possible."
"No problems. We'll start tomorrow." The carpenters started walking away, Theo standing with the reciept in his hand.
"See that cost as the payment for that we're letting you stay with us."
"Right. It's fine... I can tell you're doing this for us as well, since you want to have immediate access to the kitchen..."
"I AM your cook, after all. It's my duty."
"You're really taking this seriously."
"If I didn't, I wouldn't be a worthy inheritor of the restaurant." Carp exited the dining room, Hashi and Theo following. Rensuke was looking out towards the sea, and Jerome was still sitting at the mast. "Alright, I'm done here for now. I'm going to pick up some mats, then start preparing the kitchen. Is that alright with you... captain?" She turned to Theo.
"Perfectly so. It will be nice to have you on board."
Carp and Hashi left the ship, making their way back into town. Theo went down to the other two men. He walked up to Rensuke. "So, is this enough for you to let your daughter off with us?"
Rensuke chuckled. "She's inherited her mother's personality, that girl... I hope you know how to stand up to a woman, else you'll never be able to handle her. She seems to be in command already."
"It's gonna be a long trip, it seems..."
Two weeks passed. The trio made all the preparations they deemed neccessary - to the boat, to themselves, to their equipment. The kitchen had been touched up, the storages had been filled with food under Carp's supervision, Theo had gotten his axes sufficiently sharpened and Jerome had stocked up on medical supplies, among many other things. And so, the day for casting off came. The only ones that actually knew that it was a budding pirate crew about to leave was Carp's parents and aunt. They had kept that fact hidden to the rest of the involved people, especially as they had recieved some help from the marines as thanks for the help with the Death Stitch pirates.
"Well, Carp... make us proud, now." Carp was taking her farewells. Her left hand was bandaged for unkown reasons, she wouldn't even tell Jerome. "This is for you." Hashi handed her a small, long box. Carp opened the lid. Inside was a pair of metal chopsticks, with Carp's name engraved. They were the same kind her mother used to wear in her topknot. "Remember... those are, for all intents and purposes, weapons."
"When you are tending to your guests, you cannot properly carry a knife, or any other bladed weapon or firearm. So the Gazou family came up with those - heavy, sharpened chopsticks, that can be worn as a hair ornament and quickly drawn if danger should arise in such a situation."
"I see..." Carp put the box in her pocket. "I'll make good use of them." She gave her mother a hug before turning to Maki. She was carrying two folded pieces of fabric - one pink and one black.
"I had to sit up all night to get this one done, but it was worth it. Your new kimono." She handed Carp the pink one, who unfolded it a little to inspect it. It was a pink kimono with the black silhouette of a cherry tree as a decoration, and some faint cherry blossom-shaped stitchings. "I'm sure you'll look lovely in it."
"It looks great. Thanks!" She hugged Maki as well.
"And this one's for your captain, if you could call him over here..."
Carp realized what it was. She gave her father a hug as well before taking a step backwards. "Goodbye, dad, mom, auntie... I'm going to miss you, but I will make sure to return as a worthy inheritor!" Carp smiled and turned towards the ship, where a group mainly consisting of Gazoushi employees were standing.
"Have a good trip!" They cheered on her as she passed.
"When I return... I'll be your boss. Don't forget that!" She smiled at them before reaching the ship. Jerome was already on board, but Theo was talking to Christopher at the bridge.
"It's a shame you have left the force, but please accept this as a token of my gratitude for your help with the pirate attacks. Without you, I wouldn't have been alive today. I had it specifically made for you." Christopher nodded at a marine standing beside him, who approached Theo with something wrapped in fabric, handing it over. Theo unwrapped it to find two hand axes, a bit larger than his normal throwing axes. The handles were connected by a chain, approximately two meters in length. He noticed the edges of the blades had a curious colour.
"There's... something special about these."
"Indeed. The blades are made of seastone."
"It's very hard, and it makes devil fruit users such as me weak. You may encounter pirates with devil fruit powers, and seastone is an ideal weapon if you find yourself in such a situation. As for the chain, it's so you can throw one and retrieve it easily."
"I understand. My thanks..." Theo felt like he was betraying Christopher, as he was on his way to becoming a real pirate himself, and could possibly end up using the axes against marines with fruit powers. Nevertheless, he decided to keep a straight face. "I hope you will maintain peace on the island."
"I will, and I will choose my second in command with more care next time..."
Theo understood exactly what he was talking about. Just then he felt a tap on his shoulder.
"Hey, Theo." He turned around, seeing Carp standing behind him. "Maki said she had something for you. I'll get on board in the meantime."
"Alright, thanks..." Theo turned back to the marine commander, and decided to do something for one last time in his life. He saluted. "Goodbye, commander. Had I served under you, things may have been different, but it's too late now. I cannot promise we will see each other again." Christopher answered the salute as Theo took his hand down.
"Have a safe trip, and if we do not meet again in this life... let us do so in the next." With that, Christopher turned around and started to leave. Theo also turned around. Carp was already gone, having boarded the ship. He spotted her family and went over to them.
"Took you long enough." Hashi smiled.
"Here is... what you ordered. Just like you wanted it." Maki handed Theo the black piece of fabric.
"I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us. I promise to ensure your daughter's safe return!"
"You better." Maki snickered. "I guess that is everything."
The four of them started walking towards the ship. Theo boarded it, him and Jerome pulling in the bridge once he was on deck. Carp's father undid the mooring rope from the dock, the ship starting to take its first steps towards the adventure. With lots of cheering from the onlookers, the trio watched as Endport became ever more distant. After quite a while, it had disappeared beyond the horizon. It was a calm day - no other ships were nearby. Carp had poured a cup of sake for each one of them as they gathered on the main deck, just below the mast. Theo spoke up, holding the cup in one hand and the black cloth in the other.
"Friends, today is the day we cast off our shackles. Today is the day we set off for the grand adventure, the day we start going where the wind take us! The day..." He unfolded the cloth. On a black background was a white skull, behind it two hands holding axes. "...of the Wild Edge pirates!" Theo held his cup in front of him, his arm stretched out.
Jerome put his cup out as well. "Until I find a better place."
Carp joined them. "To the Wild Edge pirates! Cheers!" Following a clink, they all finished their drinks. "And so..." Carp held up her left hand with the bandage. She grabbed one end of it with her right hand and pulled it off in one go. "I can never deny I have been a part of it." On her hand was a new tattoo - superimposed over crossbones were, vertically oriented, the characters 荒刃 - 'wild edge'.
Theo smiled. "Alright, men - time to get things running! Next stop... wherever the wind takes us!"
---End of chapter one---
---Chapter two - Let my hand guide you! The pilot deserter!---
“Hmm, I don’t like the reach, and they’re a lot slower, but the power and balance is acceptable…” Theo mumbled to himself. Three days after the Wild Edge Pirates disembarked from Endport, the crew remained at sea. The trip so far has been uneventful, though Theo estimates that they are close to the charted island by now, and as long as they didn’t go off course, should be arriving any day now. At the moment, Jerome is watching the compass, making be sure the ship doesn’t drift off course; Carp is organizing and reorganizing the kitchen, while Theo practices with the seastone axes he received from commander Christopher Arrows.
“Now that I think about it…hey, Jerome!” Theo called.
“What?” a disgruntled Jerome answered from the other side of the deck.
“What do you think about ‘Predator and Prey’?”
“Yeah, my axes.”
“Am I missing something?”
“I’m naming my axes! I can’t go around calling them ‘the seastone axes’ or ‘the gift from Commander Arrows from Endport’, can I? So I’m thinking of calling them ‘Predator and Prey’. What do you think?”
“Yeah, whatever. It’s fine, I guess.”
Theo glanced at his newly named axes with a grin. Predator and Prey…I won’t be able to tell which is which, but I like it! Theo commented to himself. His expression suddenly turned to one of shock as he yelled, “Carp! Crew emergency! Get out here now!”
Jerome jumped to his feet startled and yelled, “Why do you have to be so loud all the time?!”
Carp ran out to the deck, brandishing a large knife, “What? What’s going on? Are there pirates?”
“Ah no, I just realized. This ship doesn’t have a name, so…” Theo explained.
“…That’s it!?” Carp yelled angrily. She threw the knife at Theo, which hit the floor and sank in a few inches.
“Only get me when it’s something important! I was busy!” Carp raged as she left.
Theo watched as she left, and said, “Damn, I was hoping she would have a good name for the ship.”
“Eh, I don’t know why you want to bother naming it, it isn’t a very good ship. And I’ve been on more than a few ships,” Jerome remarked as he sat back down. “Besides, it’s too late. It has to be named on the first voyage.”
“It is the first voyage. If we still haven’t arrived at the destination, its still the first voyage,” Theo pointed out.
“Fine, I guess so. Got any ideas?”
“Uh…no. Why do you think it was a crew emergency?”
Jerome and sighed, “Fine, I’ll bite. How about…The Old Maid?”
“Hmm, well, it sounds kind of…not the name you’d give a good ship.”
“Ah, I see. Well, I don’t expect to have this ship forever, and I can’t think of anything else; so the Old Maid it is!”
Jerome checks the compass again, then looks in the direction it’s pointing, staring past Theo. His eyes widen in surprise as he says, “Hey, Duncan! Turn around.”
Theo looks behind him and sees, across the watery expanse, an island! “Hey Carp! Get out here!”
Carp rushes out, brandishing another knife. “If this is something stupid I’m-”
“Oh, an island! Is it-“
“Lets go find out! To the island!”
The crew maneuvers the ship to the distant island, and gets close enough to see it within the hour. The curious pirates could see a long dock, seemingly connecting two parts of land on the edges. As they approached the center, they noticed a gap in the dock.
“I guess it leads to the harbor. Okay, we’ll just sail the Maid that way.” Theo said to himself.
“Huh, the Maid?” Carp asked.
“Oh, sorry. We named the ship ‘The Old Maid’.”
Carp merely shrugged her shoulders, but pointed toward the docks and said, “Hey! A rowboat is coming out. It looks like it’s heading this way!”
Theo turned and saw the rowboat, and what looked like two large figures with a smaller one in between them. “Alright, brace for trouble, we can probably handle them if they’re out for a fight,” Theo said as he watched the approaching ship, hoping to spot any violent intentions.
The little row boat bumped up against the side of the Maid. The oars shipped and as one the two larger men got up and raised up grappling hooks and sent them spinning up into the rigging. "We are Marines from Mullein Island, and we will be coming up." As if it was a signal the two heavy set rowers climbed up the ropes and sprang onto the deck. Both carried short swords on their waists and a cudgel stuck into their belts and stood in the centre of the deck eyeing up the three crew members. "Its all good up here you can come up" The first of the two shouted back down to the boat.
The young woman still sitting in the row boat sighed to herself and looked up at the side of the larger boat, 'The Old Maid' was painted on the side. Clara stopped cleaning her nails and put the knife back behind her, a second was already there in another holster and two knuckle dusters hung down most of the length of her thigh. She brushed off her trousers and climbed up the ladder looking up and seeing the flag hanging from the top of the mast. 'Hum two axes under a skull, more wannabe pirates trying to take a patch of the seas' she thought to herself and already settled on what was going to happen next. As she reached the deck she looked around and saw only the three crew.
"So just starting out are we? Which on of you three wanna be's is the captain of the Old Maid here." She just stood there and waited for the first one to speak up.
Theo stepped forward towering over Clara. "I am, and what gives you the right to come out to my ship here and demand to come aboard"
At his movement the two heavies put hands to sword hits and started to press forward, Clara just raised a hand and both of them stopped. Staring back into Theo's eyes she spoke softly "Dave, Steve stand down there won't be any trouble here. Looks like the captain here has decided to co-operate. What's the pot up to now by the way"
Relaxing Dave spoke up "It's around forty thousand now and this one should add a bit more to it."
"That's good then. Now then captain" She took a step back to both show she meant nothing and also so she no longer had to keep staring back at Theo "Lets get down to business here. We have quite a extensive warf and dock system here as you can see and it almost connects both of the tips together. Because of this we can't just let anyone sail around inside so you will need a Pilot which is me. Now you will show me to your helm or all three of us will go back down to our row boat there and you can turn around or have a few holes put into you its your choice." With her official bit said and a few touches added, Clara stood their tapping her foot waiting for the answer that nearly everyone gave.
Theo had stopped staring and now took in the young girl who stood before him. She looked a bit young to be in the Marines but then he had served with them now and left and knew they wouldn't take you on and give you 'front line' work if you couldn't handle it. "Fine take the maid in"
"Good" She now started to shout and expected people to jump and do as they were told. "Dave, Steve raise the main and lets take the Maid here in" Clara jogged up to the helm and gave it a few experimental turns and took the maid in straight through the gap and up to the Northern tip of the docks almost against the tip of Mullein Island itself.
Once they were dock the row boat was released from its hold on the maid and taken back out towards the middle of the small harbour section. "Now let me give you 'pirates' and quick lesson here. Main docks is on the northern side here and stretches all the way out to the tip, market is on the actual Island and there is another small dock out on the southern but that is more repairs. Make sure you pay and don't try and leave without another Pilot on board or you will be sunk in here." Clara quickly patted her knives and headed to be first of the Maid and onto the docks. "Mention Miss Miko to the harbour master up here and he may go easier on you. Bye" And with that Clara left the boat and disappeared into the crowds of sailors working on the docks.
"That was... different." Carp looked in the direction the girl had vanished. She didn't look much older than Carp herself, and Carp didn't really like the way she had acted. At the same time, she understood that she had just been doing her job.
"Mullein Island, is it?" Theo inspected the docks. It looked to be busier than Endport, despite the far more limited access. Granted, Endport had docks that spanned the entire island, so it was bound to be more spread out there. "Guess we'll pay, and see what we can do here... maybe we could find someone who..." Theo was talking to himself as Carp slipped back into the kitchen and her own room. Moments later, she returned outside, having changed to casual clothes. Knives in her belt, pockets filled with various items, bag in one hand and wallet in the other. She went up to the front of the Maid, standing above the dock. The bridge hadn't been lowered, but the boat had been moored down.
"Alright then." Carp took a jump down to the ground, Theo and Jerome looking on. "Going to check out the market. Want to see if there's any local tastes to try. I'll get back to the boat when I'm done, so I'll see you here later." With that, she disappeared in the crowd as well. Theo seemed to be telling her something, but she didn't hear much of it.
Carp made her way towards the center of the island, where she suspected she could find some kind of market. Picking up some local flavours from each new place visited during the journey was one of the things she was really looking forward to doing.
The further she got, the more crowded it became. Asking her way ahead, she eventually managed to find what she was looking for. A marketplace of respectable size, a lot of stands with many different wares. Looking around, Carp instantly spotted one that seemed to be selling fish.
"A good day to you, young lady! What can I help you with?" The man at the stand turned to her.
"Uh, hi. I'm not from around here, and I was looking for some local ingredients, if you have anything to recommend..."
"Why, certainly! We have a few specialities here, but the one we're the most proud of is this." From a box, he picked up what looked like a crab, with fairly large claws. "The Crescent crab. Only lives on this island." He handed it over to Carp. "The claws are the meaty and tasty part. The body doesn't taste much, but boiling it makes for a nice broth base. Then you can take the claws..." He gave Carp a few crab recipes, which she noted down. She bought a bunch of crabs, as well as some local fish. Scouring the market, she picked up a number of other interesting ingredients. Seafood, fruit, vegetables, spices... a little of everything. As her bag filled up, her wallet was doing the opposite, and she soon found herself with not much money left. Figuring she'd better get back and store her purchases, plus start preparing some dinner for her two comrades when they got back. She turned back towards the docks - or so she thought. As she left the market, she was heading in the slightly wrong direction, and so found herself lost in the crowd after a few minutes. Nevertheless, she managed to reach the docks, but the wrong end of them.
"That'd explain why it didn't look the same on the way back." She started strolling towards the Maid, spotting a newspaper stand on the way. Figuring it'd be fun to see what had been going on, she picked up today's issue of the West Blue paper. She eventually reached the ship without further ado, made her way on board and stored her newly purchased wares. She started boiling some rice, made herself a cup of tea, sat down just outside the kitchen and opened the paper.
Last edited by KennyMan666 (2009-03-05 16:26:31)
“I guess we should find someone who can navigate,” Theo said as Carp left. “Where should we look though?” Jerome shrugged in response.
In a few moments, the two heard, "Alright then," as Carp reappeared and jumped to the ground, "Going to check out the market. Want to see if there's any local tastes to try. I'll get back to the boat when I'm done, so I'll see you here later." She began to leave as Theo yelled after her “While your looking around, try to find a navigator! Damn, I don’t think she heard me…” Theo sighed.
“HEY! Have you idiots paid the docking toll yet!?” came a voice from below.
“Uh, NO!” Theo yelled back at the voice.
“Well, that’s a rare sight. 90% of the pirates I ask that try to swindle me. Anyway, get down here and pay! The fee is only 500 beli!”
Theo and Jerome jumped from the Old Maid, landing near the owner of the voice. Jerome asked, “What we don’t get a discount for being honest?”
“Oh, and our Pilot, ‘Miss Miko’ told us to tell you her name for…some reason. You are the harbormaster, right?” Theo questioned.
“Yup, that’s me. And the total discount you get for being honest and mentioning Clara drops the total down to…498 beli,” the harbormaster explained.
“That’s no discount!” Theo cried.
“Well, that comment brings the price back up to 500,” the harbormaster snapped.
“I get the feeling he planned that all along,” Jerome chuckled.
“Sorry, here’s the money…Bye,” Theo said, handing a few coins to the tricky man, who promptly left.
“Well Jerome, I guess this is it,” Theo said, turning to Jerome.
“We’re here. You’ve been paid for.” Theo looked at Jerome’s puzzled expression and sighed, “You said we would have to take you to the next island in payment for you treating my injuries.”
Theo’s expression brightened as he exclaimed, “What? Having second thoughts? Going to decide to change your mind and become a pirate?”
“Don’t go overboard!”
“The thing is, I recall saying that I wanted to o to a better island; a better place than Endport.”
Theo searched his thoughts and replied, “I yeah, I remember. I think.”
“Well, this island isn’t better than Endport, understand? I mean look at it!” Jerome gestured at the docks.
Theo looked around again and mentioned, “Well, this place doesn’t seem that bad.”
“Whatever you think, I’m just going to stick with you two until we go to the next island. Got it?”
“For some reason, I don’t think you’ll ever find an island better than Endport,” Theo accused with a grin.
“Oh shut it. We should be looking for a navigator or whatever, anyway.”
“Yeah, stay here for a sec,” Theo ordered as he ran toward a small crowd of people. “Excuse me, but were looking for someone who can navigate, predict weather and such. Know where we can find someone like that?” Theo asked a random couple.
One of them shrugged while the other said, “Have you talked to any of the Marine Pilots who bring the ships in and out?”
“Well, they’re all Marines right? That’s not quite what I’m looking for.”
“Hmm…try the Navigator’s Guild then. A few of the may be Pilots, but most are just mercenaries hoping to earn money by guiding those who can’t guide themselves…well, on ships anyway.”
“Thank you!” Theo said as he ran back to Jerome and explained the Guild.
“A Guild? Doesn’t that sound a bit…archaic?” Jerome said skeptically.
“Bah, it’ll be fine. Let’s get going!”
”And do you know where this guild is?” Jerome asked Theodore who stopped in his tracks and looked at Jerome. They both stood there quietly for a moment, looking at each other. Theo excused himself and ran next to some people. Jerome sighed and shooked his head, he was seriously starting to think if staying with Duncan was such a good idea after all. He’d much rather be with Koi if she was going to go look for food...
Theodore ran back to Jerome, holding a small piece of paper.
“Sorry about that.” he apologized.
“Hmh, whatever. What’s that note?”
“Oh this?” Theo started, showing the contents of the paper to Jerome, “It’s a map one of the townspeople drew me. Here’s the guild.” he pointed at the map. Jerome looked at the crude hand-drawn map and shrugged.
“I guess it’s better than nothing. Let’s go then, I’d like to get this thing out of the way as soon as possible.” he muttered. Theo nodded, looked at the map and started heading where the map told him to. Theodore tried to start a conversation couple of times but Jerome told him to just concentrate on the map as he didn’t want to get lost.
After a while of walking, Theo stopped. Jerome looked at him with a rather annoyed look on his face.
“Don’t tell me we got lost... If we got lost because you tried to talk all the time-“
“No, the guild should be here somewhere. If the map is right.”
“Well it was a pretty bad map and...” Jerome muttered but Theodore didn’t seem to listen to him and headed into the building next to them. Jerome, not having that many choices, followed him.
There were couple of people inside the lobby-like room. A woman was heading outside.
“Excuse me, is this the Navigator’s Guild?” Theo asked the woman. She stopped and raised her eyebrow.
“Yes, yes it is.”
“And I can find a navigator here?”
“It’s called the Navigator’s Guild for a reason you know...”
“Ah yes, I see.” Theodore smiled, “Are you maybe a navigator yourself?” The woman nodded.
“Then would you become our navigator?” Theo asked. The woman just laughed and shook her head.
“Your navigator? No. I was busy anyway.” she said and left. Jerome followed the woman with his eyes for a moment before looking back at Theodore, somewhat amused about what happened. He let out a chuckle.
“If we leave now then we could probably meet with Koi and see if she has found anything good to eat...”
Sitting in the back of the room waiting to get paid Clara saw the pirates she had just brought in come into the guild. Watching them she started paying attention when they asked for a navigator. 'Not off her they wouldn't but maybe..’, she thought and started to move over towards them.
“If we leave now then we could probably meet with Koi and see if she has found anything good to eat...”
"I've got a better idea for you two. I know most of the good bars around this little area and I'm sure your little fish will be grateful that you aren't going to be snacking on them."
Both men turned to her and Theo just started laughing loudly while Jerome was looking shocked. "You can't say that about her she wouldn't be happy, especially as you don't know her"
Clara almost started laughing when she worked out what he meant. "You mean the fish is that young lady you had on your ship earlier."
"Yeah, that she is and now we have to find her and let you meet so we can see what happens" Theo managed to say, holding a straight face before breaking down again.
"I've got a good idea then. You two go and find the Lady Fish and meet me at 'The Broken Cannon' and you can talk to me a bit more about the job you are offering and what you are going to be getting up to. I'm Miko Clara by the way" Quickly giving directions to the younger of the two men to the Cannon, which was just in the middle of the moon on solid ground she darted for the door and was about to vanish into the street when she turned "What's your names by the way??"
The younger man replied "I'm Jerome Tou and this is Theodore Duncan our......"
Hearing what she wanted she ran out into the streets. Dodging around the dock workers shifting cargo from ship to warehouse and back again she ran down the street until she found who she wanted. A runner by the name of Amber who was one of the few people Clara liked in this place. Giving rough descriptions of Theo and Jerome she sent Amber off to tell the Cannon to give them a decent table and one of the special rums and asked where the Captain of the Guild was.
Knowing where he was and getting there were two different problems. The first was always the easiest but getting there before he moved on was always the challenge. Luckily he was on a ship just the other side of these docks, it was busy unloading and would he would be there for a while. Borrowing one of the boats for hire Clara made her way over.
Once they hit the side of his ship Clara shouted up to get the Guild Masters attention. A man dressed in half a marine uniform but wearing a guild jacket instead of an officer’s coat leaned over the rail and stared down at her. Stopping herself from shaking Clara shouted at him "I QUIT" and pushed off the ship and started to pick her way around to the Cannon.
Last edited by Xioe (2009-01-10 13:34:22)
It hadn't even been ten minutes since she sat down. She hadn't really expected them to come back until in the evening - she wanted to have the food pretty much done for them when they returned. Oh well, they'd just have to wait. She put down the newspaper and went over to the front of the ship, finding Theo and Jerome on the ground.
"Actually, we just came to get you - we have an appointment with a certain someone..."
"...oh, come on, I just put the rice on... alright, hold on, give me a few minutes, I'll have to..." With those words, she disappeared into the kitchen, emerging five minutes later, picking up the paper on the way. "Alright, shall we go then? Who is it we're meeting with?"
"...what'd you do with the rice?" Jerome looked at her with doubt.
"Restaurant trick. Usually we just do it with leftover rice, but... you won't even know that I'll be serving you old rice when I use it."
"...is that a good thing?"
"Trade secret. I don't waste anything."
Jerome decided to drop the subject.
"Anyway, you know that girl who helped us get into port..."
Carp stopped. "Her? Why would I have any reason to meet with her?"
"From the sounds of it, it seems like she could be interested in becoming our navigator..."
"That's better than nothing, isn't it? None of us can do any advanced navigation."
"True... alright, whatever." She kept on walking, following the two. They appeared to be going the same direction she had been earlier. And indeed - soon enough they passed the very market Carp had visited before. They moved past it, into what seemed to be a shopping district. They were standing in what seemed to be a main square of sorts, with a statue in the middle. Walking to the front of the statue, several smaller streets could be seen.
"Let's see, what was the name of that place..."
"Broken Cannon, I think. Didn't she say third street to the right?"
"Wasn't that fourth to the left?"
"No, I'm sure it was to the right."
After arguing for a few minutes, they seemed to have come to the agreement that it was the fourth street to the right. However, after walking the full length of said street twice, there was no such thing as a place called The Broken Cannon to be found.
"Now what?" Theo and Jerome looked at each other. Carp sighed and turned to a man who was passing them.
"Excuse me, sir, would you happen to know where The Broken Cannon is situated?"
"Broken Cannon? Yeah, head to the main square if you stand in front of the statue, it's on the third street to the left."
"...thanks." Carp put her hand to her face and sighed before turning back to her companions, giving them the information. They immediately started arguing about it as Carp started going back the way they came.
The Broken Cannon was a busy place. Patrons seemed to be coming and going all the time. The trio entered, almost immediately being approached by a young girl.
"You're Theodore Duncan and Jerome Tou?"
"That's us. You would be?"
"Name's Amber, a runner from the docks. Miss Miko sent me. I expected you earlier..."
"That's, uh... more importantly, what did she say?"
"Not much. I was to meet you and get you a table."
Amber turned around, leading them into the restaurant where a table had been prepared for them, with a bottle of rum standing on it together with a jug of water. "Have a seat. She'll probably be here any minute."
The three of them sat down, Theo grabbing the bottle. "A drink, eh?" He popped it open, pouring himself a glass before handing the bottle to Carp.
"None for me. Rum, in my experience, doesn't go well with food." She poured herself a glass of water instead.
"Oh, really? I'll trust the cook. Guess we'll toast later, then."
"Pah..." Jerome grabbed Theo's glass and emptied it in one go. "I'd rather have a good drink, thank you very much."
Carp simply shook her head a little and started sipping her water.
"Fitting for you to prefer the water." Carp turned around, spotting a familiar face - Miko Clara. She pulled up a chair and sat down between Theo and Jerome. "So you found the little fish. Now, let's-"
Carp twitched. "What'd you call me?"
"Carp, calm down..."
"A fish. Isn't a carp a fish?"
Carp bit her lower lip. "...get to the point."
"Alright, here's the deal. You need a navigator. I want to get away from this island."
"So, what's the catch?"
"Let's just say that some people don't like quitters..."