|Role-Play Name: Back to the Basics|
Date Started: July 14, 2018
A Different Return Edit
The sound of someone knuckles clapping against the other side of the door cause the man in the room to rise from his slumber. His entire torso, even his shoulders, and neck had been wrapped in bandages and the immediate expression on his face showed that he had truly been in pain. Despite the room being dark, his golden eyes managed to give off their own light as he looked around the room he'd been in.
Removing the suspense, this man was Ferrothorn Solomon. Recently, Solomon's life had been heavily active. Everything started ever since he had been assigned to Cape Island. He went from defending the island from the horrific Obese Pirates to facing off against a Yonko commander, then finally facing against the near full might of a Yonko crew. To put it simply the Marine soldier's agenda had been pretty heavy, but among all of that only one of those events managed to way heavy on his mind.
The ultimate betrayal he had to face from his younger brother, slightly crippled him mentally. He basically declared war against the entire world as a whole, but more specifically their father. In the midst of all of his thinking, the door swung open even without his own calling.
"Sooooollllloooommmooooonnnn-saaaaammmmmaaaaa~" The voice sang as the door opened. A pink-haired girl entered the room and good god almighty was her appearance one to behold. As mentioned she possessed pink-hair which went well with her dazzling pink eyeballs. Her shape itself was lovely, but it was her bust that completely overshadowed that.
"You've been in here for three days, Solomon-sama!" In her hand was a clipboard when she threw onto Solomon's lap all while plopping onto the bed herself. "I know you don't plan on sitting in bed and rotting away!" Her smile was large despite her lips being the complete opposite.
Solomon moved the clipboard to his side, as he slowly moved so he could get out of bed. "Paris, why didn't you wait for me to say come in?"
She chuckled, "Well, because if I had, you wouldn't have let me in. Pluuuuuuuus, I promised Miss Roselia, that I didn't need her help getting you out of bed and that I would do so before she would finish eating lunch!"
The ebony's eyes widened, he sprung out of bed as though nothing had been wrong with him to begin with. "WHAT BED?! Haha, I wasn't resting or slacking, I had been meditating. Yeah, Roselia knows that I don't know why she'd tell you to come to get me out of bed! It's my culture, we do it once a month!" Solomon truly had fear in his heart. "I'm up Paris! Make SURE you tell her," Solomon moved his hands as though he had been picking something up, "I am AWAKE!"
He took a quick pause, "Wait," he lifted his eyebrow. "You said she went to lunch. With who?" Curious the Marine was. This was particularly unusual for Roselia who usually had lunch with either Solomon or Doge. But Doge was away for the moment, so exactly who could she be with?
Paris shrugged her shoulders, "I dunno, she mentioned..." Her eyes went to the roof of her sockets as she placed her finger on her lip, "Um, some "Emer" or something like that."
"Emer?! You mean, Verde Emer?!" Solomon grabbed his chest as though he'd been stabbed in the heart. "Ain't that about a-.. My old man loves that lady! To this still, I don't quite get how someone with the attitude of Roselia could even be able to hang around a Supermodel of Emer's status." Throwing his hand on his chin, he entered a thinking state, but he just couldn't put his finger on it.
"Haha," Paris smile, "It's good to see you at least have some life in you Solomon-saaaaaama~. Also..." She lifted herself from the bed but slowly began to head towards the exit of the room. "Thank you for bringing her down, Onii-sama. I know it wasn't done by my hand, but it makes me... it makes me feel better to know that there is a chance of hope getting Autumn back soon."
Just before reaching the door to exit, she turned around to face Solomon who's back had been towards her. "Is.. what Miss Roselia reported true about Braxton?"
Before he could respond he instantly thought, "Damn." His eyes closed, "Roselia gave them the rundown already, even know it would completely destroy Pari-"
"You don't have to hide it from me, Onii-sama. I'm older now, Solomon. Just whatever you do, make the right choice." Pulling the door open, she exited in a much more rough fashion than she had entered slamming it behind her.
Two women sat at a table on an island seemingly isolated from the rest of the neighboring lands. It couldn't have been more than five hundred square meters just right in the middle of the ocean. The waves were violent, but due to the "lands" geographical make of how high up it was, it was nearly impossible for these waves to disturb these two.
The woman on the left had long red hair and she seemed to be a bit more curious than the woman who sat across from her. Her captain's jacket hung over the back of the seat, a simple signification that she was indeed a member of the Marines and she was Chartinger Roselia. She tapped her crossed arm obviously her curiosity could not be contained.
"What is it, sis?" Roselia asked, as her taps grew faster and faster.
The short cut green haired women lifted the small tea cup closer to her face and took a slow sip. She wore a very tight fitted dress and a fur coat over her shoulders in the same manner as Roselia. "Now now, sis. No need to be in so much of a rush." She used her hand to pull her bob behind her ear and then placed the cup on the table. "Before we get into why I called you here, girl, I think you have to tell me about a bit of a situation that happened with that Ferrothorn brothers."
Roselia smashed her hands on the table. Lava formed around both of her fist, instantly creating holes through them where he arms slipped right through. "You know what happened, Emer!" She shouted, her rage filling as she spouted each word. "The youngest one, Braxton, found it."
"Girl, you better calm down. I'm not the one who failed the mission big sis gave me." While Emer's words were sly, they were true. Roselia seemed to have failed her "mission" yet to be explained.
"Shit, it seems she gave me the hardest mission out of all us commanders. Why couldn't she have given it to that dyke, Anne?" The woman leaned back and returned to her folded arm position. "Then she goes on to die on all of us."
Emer locked eyes with Roselia, "She didn't 'go on and die on all of us'. You and I both know that situation was nearly inevitable. I won't let you talk ill-will towards, Big Sis." She took another sip from her cup, "Besides, we both know Bonney Anne would have blown the mission you were given ten years ago. I haven't heard from her since the split, for all we know she's dead. You were given the mission of joining the Marines and watching over the Yggdrasil Kingdom and you went beyond that mission by working under the prince, Ferrothorn Solomon. Don't regret your mission after over ten years just because you've partially failed it and let someone find and eat it. I was told to live my best life and Gallon Margie was tasked with getting him to safety and joining a new crew to still live on the seas and look over him."
She cleared her throat and took another sip. "So don't complain about something you've failed... especially since you took the mission reluctantly when she gave it to you."
Roselia rolled her eyes, "Times have changed, I now see how much trouble the Marines went through chasing Pirates and trying to get us was a whole different matter. Yet, like you said, I've partially failed." Leaning back up to the table, she held up one finger. "There's still a way to retrieve it and that's through Solomon himself."
"You're sick." Emer teased, lifting a bag from the ground and placing it on the table.
"Am I? Or are you, using your looks granted by Big Sis to keep us all looking as we were ten years ago. Did you brinf what I told you to bring?"
"Hey, it's all apart of the mission. Besides, no one believed her when she spoke about that fountain anyway." Reaching into the bag, Emer pulled out a light brown round fruit and held it in her hand. "And yes, the Hani Hani no Mi, as requested by the failure."
With a glare, Roselia responded, "Watch it, Emer." Extending her reach out further, she grabbed the devil fruit and surveyed each inch of its make.
"What is it you plan on doing with this?" Emer asked.
The red-haired woman leaned back yet again, "There's this lieutenant that works under Solomon, Jenkins Paris. I've watched her struggle to get stronger under Solomon all so that she could get her friend back. This here will do it, it'll give her that boost in power that she's missing."
"You better be making the right decision, failure."
"Oh trust me," she said, standing to her feet and a large smile on her face, "She has that same fire in her eye that Big Sis did when she first found me. This is far from a mistake."
"I hope so, it's a memento to sis Hannah. I don't want it in the hands of anyone, but if you said it's that same look, then I'll believe you."
Roselia nodded and placed the fruit inside of her jacket and began to turn as though she'd been readying herself to leave.
"Wait, Sis..." Emer stated, stopping Roselia in her tracks as she reached into her bag. "Since you didn't bring this up, that means you don't know anything about it."
Roselia's eyebrow lifted, "About what?"
Sliding a bounty paper across the table Emer tapped on the name. "Buster....D....." She said, dragging each word out, before Roselia stepped in and took over as though it were an open ended duet.
"Zack... That name.. is that, actually him?"
Emer nodded, "You see the pendant right?" Reaching into the neck portion of her dress she pulled out a pendant that was strikingly similar to the one Zack wore around his neck in that image. "That's Amaka's pendant."
Roselia burst into tears.
Big News Edit
Issa Party Edit
In one of the many large rooms at the Marine Head Quarters, there was sort of a grand event about to be held. As if the decorations and the many banners hanging wasn't enough to give away exactly what was about to go down, then the single large banner over the entrance reading "Solomon Promotion Party" would have easily given it away.
In the center of the room was a dance floor which underneath seemed to have its own flashing lights which fit the mood just right. Some soldiers stationed themselves there dancing with one another having a good time. All throughout the room food could be seen and offered. Pizza, burgers, nachos, salads, seafood, rice, candy, and Solomon's all-time favorite; a buffet of fried chicken. To say that had a little something to offer, would be an understatement of its own.
While the place seemed to have quite a few people already, even more, were to come evident by the people continuously entering with each passing second. Solomon, the host of this party, found himself not on the dance floor, but at the All You Can Eat fried chicken buffet, stuffing his face with as many chicken bones his mouth could hold.
"You are a filthy animal." Doge stated with his hand behind his own ear scratching it.
"Ssashy hee who scraches," Solomon's mouth was full of food so much that his words began to slur, "hisshh own ear like a littleeee puppeeeey."
Much to the side, sitting together were Naosaki Jun and Herculean Leo, the former wearing her marine uniform while the latter was there in casual clothing. "I don't even know why I'm here," Jun sighed, sustaining her face with her palm as her elbow leaned against the table to her side.
Leo, who was sipping his drink, laughed not too loudly, "Ah, well, it's... it's good to relax once in a while!" He rose it, glancing at her with a pleading look. "I don't see many f-familiar faces," Leo tried changing topics.
"Of course, nyan." Jun commented, taking a meat ball from a plate and gulping it down in one bite, "There are only the highest ranks in here, so, not too clean."
"Fancy seeing you two here." A voice spoke from above them, the two would glance up to see Vice Admiral Valentine standing beside their table. He was drinking wine straight from a red bottle. A black logo of a demon's face was plastered on the bottle, reading "Red Devil Wine Co." He grabbed a chair and sat down across from the two. "It has been long as hell since I've seen the two of you. How've you both been?" His tone was very casual but held an undertone of genuine interest. About a week after their mission on Cassiopeia, Jun had left his side in pursuit of other goals. The two had kept it polite and briefly seen each other in passing. However this was the first time in at least a month that they'd actually been in conversation. Leo on the other had was off on his own adventures, Valentine briefly checked in on him when he was training at the base, giving him pointers if he asked. Otherwise the two didn't usually cross paths.
Jun scratched her hair, "Sir Val! I could be better..." She doozed off, staring at him and then at the rest of the party, then her hand snatched another meat-ball. "It has been quite long, nyan~" In fact, Jun had indeed changed instructions, in other words, she switched her assigment under Carter to another Vice Admiral. She hoped they weren't drawing too much attention, after all, she got there without being noticed.
"I've been good! Just here in this party hosted by this Solomon person," Leo glanced at Carter with a thumbs-up, finishing his drink in the next second, "How about you, tho'?" He sent his hand to catch something at the table, mumching down on it by the next second, unlike Jun, he did not mind much of the party at all.
Gwilym had waddled into the grand room a while back, and had been pecking away at the all you can eat buffet. Everytime Gwilym ate a chicken wing, he wondered if it counted as cannibalism of some form. But he tossed away those thoughts for one reason alone; the fried chicken tasted great.
He waddled around for a while, some of the Marines ranking lower than him asking to take pictures with him. Gwilym accepted, as he knew that he was extremely photogenic, as were all penguins. Eventually, out of the corner of his eye he spotted a trio of Marines. A fellow Vice-Admiral, a Commodore, and if Gwilym’s memory served correctly, the blond male was a Commander.
The penguin made his way over there and stared up towards them. He proceeded to somehow climb up Valentine and plop himself onto the table, rolling around before shooting up to his feet. The penguin nodded a greeting to everyone. “A pleasure to meet all of you.” he said, looking at the trio intently.
Just then a blur of brown hair and flushed flesh moved past the groups' table at break neck speeds, heading directly for the drinks. Chardonnay stopped before the table so suddenly that she actually kicked up dust around her. Her chest heaved quickly, her eyes zipping around the shelves full of different selections trying to decide what to try first. She stood there for only a few seconds before shrugging and grabbing the attendee's attention with a frantic wave "Linus is it? I want a drink in both my hands at all times. Doesn't matter what kind, they just need to have alcohol. Preferably lots of it, but I'm not to picky. Got it? Good." She smiled a wide, manic grin and the bartender looked worried for a moment before setting about making her first two drinks.
Once she had her two glasses in hand, Chardonnay looked around for some people to socialize with. This was a party, after all. She couldn't spend the whole time drinking at the bar like some sad alcoholic. She was a fun drunk, not a pitiful drunk. As she scanned, her eyes landed on Gwilym and she let out a squeal, running over with such a sudden burst of speed that one would think she'd spill one of her drinks. However, this was Chardonnay, who would rather die than waste some good booze, and not a drop was lost.
"Gwil!! You little cutie!!!" She managed to pick the penguin up in an almost crushing bear hug, some how managing to do it without putting either of her drinks down. She nuzzled his cute little penguin cheek and set him down again, downing the brown drink in her right hand in a single gulp "Linus~!" She called sweetly once the glass had left her lips, the bartender seeming to appear at her side instantly, replacing the finished drink with a bright pink one "Thank you, dear." Linus nodded and moved away as quickly as he came, leaving Chardonnay to her socializing.
She sipped the drink in her left hand and turned to Gwilym and co "Oh hi Val! Is that a...oh sweet Holy Land that's a Red Devil! I've been wanting to buy a bottle...maybe I could play you for one sometime?" She gave a suggestive eyebrow wiggle before looking down at Jun and Leo "Excuse the ill manners of a drunk woman, I'm Vice Admiral Belvedere Chardonnay. And you two are?" Chardonnay strained her memory to try and figure out if she had met either of them before. She was usually good with faces and names...when she was sober. And she was hardly ever fully sober. She'd forgotten important people she met more than a few times because of her drinking. Not that she'd ever change, though. Life was really dull without the sweet sweet joy that is alcohol.
It seemed everyone else was here already. She smirked before shifting to a cheeky grin. Walking in, she would continue surveying the landscape, greeting a few passerby before finding her fellow Marines clustered together. Her ear twitched as she picked up their drifting conversation; well, Char's talking anyway. Reputation alone made the happy drunk easily discernible. Finishing her trek over Genshō clapped the Vice Admiral on the back heartily.
"Hey everyone! My name is Tamamo Genshō; I'm currently a Commodore in the Marines but who knows? One day I could be higher. How are you guys doing?!" she inquired while introducing herself. Her tone was filled to the brim with a restless, yet cheery energy.
"Oh well. It'll get better Jun, I know you and you'll make it work." He replied, leaving it there. Conversation with her was still a little awkward. He turn slightly to Leo, nodding at him. "It's a nice party indeed and I've been quite well. Been mostly business as usual on my end, still investigating that organization but they've become so withdrawn recently. It's rather annoying." It was then that their conversation was interrupted by presence as it climbed up Valentine before hopping on the table. However it not only stood there, it spoke. "You you're not one of Fuyuki's are you." He pondered the situation briefly before recalling some reports he had gone through a couple years back. "Oh right right, you're the penguin who's a genius. A Vice Admiral like myself, I don't believe we've met." He extended his hand to shake the small flipper. As he was about to make another comment on the newest arrival the Penguin was ripped from the table into the arms of the drunken one herself.
"Char!" He motioned to her before hoisting the bottle up. "It is indeed Red Devil and you're welcome to a bottle on me. I'll play you anyways though, it'll get hot as hell." He replied with a devilish grin, before downing the rest of the bottle. The room was certainly livening up as another marine entered the fray, slapping Char on the back as she greeted the table. "Ahh yes Tamamo, nice seeing you again." Val nodded as he reached into his coat, producing another bottle of wine.
"Solomon, you might like this." Doge called out.
Wiping ketchup from the side of his face, he lifted his head and what his eyes met with made him drop the lone chicken wings from his palm. His mouth opened wide and his eyes followed right behind. The two golden iris he possessed sparkled as they locked onto the target he set his sights on. The longer he stared at it the more dazzling his eyes became.
With his arms still in the position of holding the fallen chicken wing, he began to walk forward. As he took his steps people crossed in front of him trying to reach their own different destinations of the party, but he did not waver one bit. Instead, he pushed them over as though they were simple hazards in the middle of the road--or in his case as if they were a bunch of no-name pirate scallywags on the sea.
In that same hand that once held his chicken formed a piece of metal. With his opposing hand, he touched it and it instantly turned into a chunk of rich gold. Using mental command, the chunk of metal compressed down into a circular shape, a ring, and flopped into the palm of his hand.
Finally, he reached his destination, a location where both a woman and a young man stood, each of them obviously members of the Marines. Stepping in between the conversation the duo were having with Valentine, he dropped down to one of his knees and faced Jun. "Jun, my beloved, you didn't respond to my invite I thought you were busy with..." His eyes drifted to the corner of his sockets, cutting his view off at Valentine. "...him."
"So many cool people in here!" Leo beamed, eyes shining slightly as they hovered over the newly arrived Heroes. This was too much. His hands shot back and forth to the table, grabbing food and bevarage alike, Leo tried putting all of those into his mouth one after the other, so he wouldn't speak to any of them and make a mess out of himself. Although, he already was a mess.
"Yay..." Jun beamed to herself, not capable of reciprocating Leo's enthusiasm, she brought a cup to her lips and glanced sideways. Only then, what happened next had her choking on it, "NYAN-GAAAAH!" She coughed and turned around, noticing the presence of Ferrothorn Solomon.
It was him again.
Jun followed his gaze at Valentine, "I... don't work under Sir Val anymore, assuming things is not clean." She buffed at him, crossing her arms, "I knew that if I answered with yes or no, you wouldn't leave nyan alone." It was true, yes, one way or another, he would have had something to say. "Now, what is this? It looks clean..." Jun eyed the ring, only then, realization hit her and her eyes widened.
There he was, the very host of the party, Solomon. His new status had him throwing quite the shindig. "Oh well isn't this adorable." Valentine grinned, taking another sip of his wine as Solomon professed his love to Jun. "She's right you know Solomon, she's been out from under my wing for quite some time now." As Jun's surprise at the situation became more and more visible, another question came to mind. "So has there been anything going on between you two or is this just happening out of the blue?"
Gwilym looked around as a cluster of people surrounded the table, but he recognized them all. He had read through quite a number of reports, so names stuck with him easily, and matching them with faces wasn't much harder. Then he spotted the host approach them. The penguin was about to greet and congratulate him when the man got onto one knee, revealing a ring to the group.
Gwilym was taken by surprise, and felt a sense of happiness rush through him. Had Solomon brought him a gift? Some sort of snack? To test his theory, he squeezed out of Char's arms, and landed on the ground. He leaped upwards and snatched the ring with his beak, swallowing it. He gagged on the ring as it travelled down his throat, but he eventually swallowed it.
The penguin belched, before realizing something. "It would seem that the ring was not a snack for me. My apologies, everyone for having to hear me gag like a suffocating bison."
Completely ignoring Valentine's own question due to the idiodic actions of--which at the time Solomon confused for a midget--half pint, with the utilization of his Kaito cloak he extended the liquid substance out and grabbed Gwilym by the neck. From here he began to strangle him putting him back through the horrors of gagging before throwing him across the ballroom and sending him crashing through the wall leaving behind a flailing penguin hole in it.
Doge remained at a distance, he knew more than anyone in here that even being near Solomon while in the midst of Jun was a bad idea. Evidence showed by Gwilym being sent across the room. "I guess if they tried hard enough, Penguins can fly."
Remaining on his own knee and mentally ordering Kaito away, another piece of gold generated in the palm of Solomon's hand and shortly transformed itself into an exact copy of the ring. "It is a gift for my beloved of course." Solomon perched the ring between his index and thumb, "Quite the contrary, Jun-doll. This ballroom would have been decorated and fitted just for you had I know you'd been making an appearance here." He grabbed Jun's left hand and placed the ring on her pinky finger and held her palm in his while continuing to stare into her eyes.
"Each day and every time, Jun-Doll, you have denied me access the thought of becoming my wife and taking up the role as a World Noble and Princess of the Yggdrasil Kingdom." He paused and gripped her palm, "Those are two things I thought I'd never hear a human oppose, which indeed makes you a goddess."
"Freeing you of Vice-Admiral Valentine's grasp means you are on the market for a new "group". Not only as Solomon or as a World Noble, but as a Vice-Admiral I demand you work not under me, but with me as a member of Kannagara. I may be the strengths to your weaknesses and you may be the strengths to my strengths."
Solomon stood to his foot still holding Jun's hand up, lifting her up in the process. "Please, Jun-Doll, come along." Pulling her away from the group, the two headed towards the chicken buffet bar where Doge stood.
Genshō watched this scene unfold with a smirk. It was clear that Solomon was in love, if throwing a tiny penguin across the room for swallowing the first ring wasn't sign enough. She chuckled at Jun's choking cough while simply shaking her head at the Solo's antics. His lovey dovey aura was so thick that she was tempted to barf rainbows. Even if she thought about supporting his endeavor for Jun's hand; though it seemed he needed no encouragement.
She took a seat as he continued his attempts to whoo Jun, before leading the girl away. "I wonder if he realizes all of that isn't working... or maybe it's to feed his own ego," Gen said to no one in particular.
As Gwilym flew backwards, he used his Life Return to transform into his more muscular form, now becoming a fourteen feet tall penguin with rippling muscles. The penguin raised his flippers upwards, slapping them together to push him downwards. He collided onto the ground, creating a small crater. People looked at him in confusion, but he didn't mind. He waddled back towards the group and waved before transforming back into his normal state. "I never knew that I could fly."
Chardonnay followed the events with rapt attention, her eyebrows raised in obvious interest. She sipped leisurely at her drink until it was empty, the bartender appearing at her side and immediately replacing it with another "Thank you, Linus." The brunette said dismissively, but the man was already gone. She looked at Solomon pulling Jun away from the group, then to Leo and then Valentine, her eyes questioning "Does this happen...often? Do we need to help her or...?"
Jun blinked, uttering, "Y-You don't need to call me Doll or say I'm on the market, please nyan... it's... really not clean." She waved her hands around, making sure she didn't say it too aloud, lips curving down as she was pulled, however, she did not resist much and walked alongside him.
"Waaaaah!" Leo beamed yet again during that night, face darting left and right to glance at the many superiors, "I really wish Ernest-san was here! I am glad to meet all of you," He bowed down from the chair, head going up and down frantically. Quickly, however, Leo rose and went back to pick some food at the table, though his eyes never left the many people in there, which prompted him to fail to notice Jun.
"The attention is not cool..." It came out as a mutter, not that Jun would care much at that point. Even so, what had she done? Did she mistakingly purr at him once? Jun's mind was filled with many things at once, the battle she lost a few months ago, Carter's attitude, being denied to participate into an important mission, having been constantly asked out by Solomon who was her equal until a few days ago. She put those things together, she didn't feel strong at all, worthy, properly desired.
Yes, maybe it was because of her appearance, Jun was always told she looked beautiful, not that she disagreed, she just didn't want to hear it too often. It is not the only thing she is. Or was it? Was she just another pretty face? Jun didn't notice how her face twisted, lips bit, and her hand covered her expression, as both she and Solomon sat at a table.
"What did you want to talk about?" Jun managed, of course she knew, but, deep down, she hoped that he just didn't want to merely insist on asking that same question over and over again.
Genshō shrugged. "No clue, but if we need to go in guns blazing so be it. Though I'm pretty sure she could kick his ass unaided..hell, he probably won't mind cause he's probably a masochist for the one he loves," she responded. She then waved her hand in front of her face to remove the image that came to the forefront.
Regardless, her peripheral remained aware of the two as they sat at a table. "Nice to meet you too; Leo right?"
Just One Chance Edit
"Listen, Jun-doll, one." Solomon said, holding up one of his fingers and pointing it at the ceiling. "One chance is all I'm asking. I've been at this for four years, Jun and every time I got shot down for the same reason.. with a little of an additional reason: You wish to get stronger and can only do that under those stronger. Have I not proven that very feat to you?" Holding his arms out he continued to explain himself to Jun.
"I've climbed through the ranks in these years with my own strength and I've finally reached Vice Admiral. I don't plan on stopping there, Jun-doll." Solomon dropped his hand on the table and balled them into fists so tight that his veins began to pop out. "I'll keep going, training, and getting stronger until I've reached," he paused "Admiral-rank."
He let the silence sit for a moment and brought his eyes up to meet Jun. "A relationship is typically one about love and all the sorts. But, you and I possess the same trait that stands out from the rest of these Marine soldiers; that's the drive to strive and get stronger until we've reached a level noticed by those on different levels than us and even then that is not enough."
"They think I've betrayed the World Nobles, but it's quite the opposite. I chose to leave the Holy Land to protect my people, the World Nobles and I have a healthy relationship to this day. To think my "Saint" title was dropped is complete foolery. I need you, Jun, we can make each other stronger if not my action, in our will alone. Our dates, our love life, can be entirely devoted to our training regimes until we both have decided on a suitable level."
Solomon's face was taken over by a large smile, as he locked eyes with Jun after sharing said information. "What do you say?"
"Okay, I will listen-" Jun sighed and her arms crossed, "Just don't call me doll, please, no nickname, we may have met four years ago, but we don't know each other like that-nyan." She averted her gaze at the mention of her own reasons for turning him down, "You know why else I didn't go with you, as much as I recognize your clean strength."
Another sig, Jun took to sitting down in a nearby chair and opening her shirt, wherein a tanktop lied beneath. "...Do you think I don't see it? That you did it-nyan, I see how everyone is going up and up and up," Jun glanced down at her shoes, "I really don't think we should get together because of that... but, if you want to get to know me more or get to know each other, it'd be clean." She hadn't even looked at him when she said it.
"I, I don't care about your noble status, Ferrothorn, and you shouldn't either." Then again, if he could still use his privileges, he was more than a simple Vice Admiral. "Even as I say so... I think it'll be clean to work under you, another experience," She tugged a few of her red strands aside, finally looking at him.
Solomon stood to his feet, his smile even larger than it was before, following Jun's agreement to join Kannagara. "Then it's a date!" He shouted, hammer one of his hands into the palm of the other as though it were a gavel. "Let's be honest, Jun, if I truly cared about my noble status, I wouldn't have took a big risk leaving the Holy Land in the first place."
The Vice-Admiral couldn't help but think about the situation at El Dorado with his younger brother. The words that left his sibling's tongue weren't that of betrayal, but that of justification, disappointment, and resentment. He was an enemy of the World Government and Solomon knew that, but he knew there was much more to Braxton's actions and he'd find them all out sooner than later.
"A girl in my past once said I only chose her because of her physical appearance and that my status as a prince was deteriorating my view from seeing who she truly was. She was prejudice because she thought I only went after her due to her looks, but I had to teach her that I look for something beyond looks." Solomon brought his left index finger to the side of his head and began to tap on his temple, "It's the metal stability and," he brought his other hand down to his chest and balled it into a fist, then banged against it, "the willpower she possessed."
He cleared his throat, "Even though it's only been four years of "knowing" you, it's been even more since watching you and the rest of those in our age. I've always been feeling you, Jun. In one way or another."
"I... guess so," Jun sighed with slanted eyes as she shook her head, "Yeah, it's a wonder they are clean with letting you have it still." Then in the next second, Jun had to surpress her eyes widening, after all, they noticed the slight hint of trouble in Solomon's expression, that was new.
He was no man of insecurities, there could be no way that that pause related to this sort of feeling. "Hmph," Jun sighed and then proceeded to listen to him. "Sure, but, I don't need to hear any of your dirty stories, we have agreed to work together-" She stopped upon his cough and rolled her eyes, this person was going to be the bane of her existence. No, the decision would.
"Okay, okay," Jun waved at him and massaged her temples, "Can we just go back to the party then? It'd be neat if you think we suddenly can talk like we are the closest of partners." She got up, gesturing for the rest of the place.
Don't Stop The Funk Edit
Valentine drank as the events unfolded before him. Gwilym eating the ring, swig of wine. Punted across the room and transforming into a giant muscled penguin. Hilarious, another swig of wine. Solomon ignoring him, quite normal. Solomon was still on his own high refusing to let his old status go, even though it was gone. His talk of his "kingdom" was rather boring. As he dragged Jun off Valentine waved to the two, certain Jun would be fine. She was a capable woman after all, not to mention he could still hear the two even as they left.
He glanced at Char and waved his hand dismissively. "Jun will be fine, She worked under me for years and she's always got a "clean" state of mind. Not to mention she's quite strong, I wouldn't worry too much." He paused, finishing his second bottle. "Of course should she need it I think we would all intervene. If I were you I'd just glance over every now and then." It wasn't like Solomon was going to try anything funny at his own party, in front of hundreds of people.
"I don't know how acquainted you all are with Genshō here but she works under Wynn Godukera." He turned to her. "How is the old man by the way? He told me he wasn't coming tonight cause it was a waste of training time. Oh how I wish he'd relax once in a while." He glanced over at the others. "He's a hilarious drunk, let me tell you. He starts acting like he's someone's peppy grandpa, crashing through tables and messing up everyone's hair with his electro."
Char nodded slightly and sipped from each of her drinks in turn, letting the flavors mingle on her tongue before swallowing it down. She took up Jun's vacated seat and let her eyes flick between Leo and Genshō "Eh, watching them would distract too much from my drinking. If she screams, I'll help. I am interested in getting to know these two cuties, though!" She gave the two winks and giggled lightly "I'm pretty sure we haven't met but if we have I don't remember and you have my apologies. No matter how great alcohol is, and it is really really really great, it has done horrible things to my memory. So! Tell lil ole Char about yourselves!"
The entrance door made a discreet screech; billows of white plasma flew past it, like some kind of apparition. Vice Admiral Marishi Sol had made her entrance, quite awfully late in respect of the schedule. Trying to not to embarrass herself too much, she scouted the space with her Kenbunshoku Haki; she found within the guest room joy, laughter, and flying penguins. Most importantly of all, she saw romanticism between half-minks and humans. Sol smiled and cried at the same time: but cried a tad more, so much she had to use two bursts of plasma to turn her tender tears into vapor before they flooded the guest room.
Once she got a level of relief, she sat to the closest table that she could find, well the closest thing a phantasm made of ionized matter could do. Her chosen place was between her two peers, Valentine and Chardonnay, who were holding a pleasant conversation with two younger Marines. Sol greeted her old friends and made new acquaintances.
"I seriously apologize for being late..." Sol murmured, scratching the back of the head behind her beret. "My training got me to lose track of the passing of time, but it is still no good excuse for being so late". Her face grimaced in the most cheerful smile she could do, partly to hid dark circles so deep they made her look like a panda even while bathed in the soft light of her plasma form.
"Did I miss something important, outside of poor Gwylin unfortunate's ring accident and Solomon proposing Jun to become his subordinate?"
"E-E-Even more high ranks are coming!!" Leo's eyes went out of his skull, sweat rolling down his figure, this amount of auras was too much for his mind. Even that giant was there, "Now if only Ernest-san wasn't so focused on training," Leo thought, but, then again, Ernest said he would be training to surpass his limits and Plus Ultra or something, so, he wasn't too bothered. Maybe it was the alcohol getting to his head.
When spoken to by Chardonnay, Leo pointed at himself, "M-Me? Um," He scratched the back of his head and looked briefly at a cup, in a moment he drank it all down and set it back on the table, "I'm just a Commander, under Ernest-san's and a friend of Jun's!"
"He's the same as usual; workaholic, trainaholic, always on Trevor's case about everything and somehow not bursting a blood vessel about you know. If you ask me, he's secretly proud of the rebel," Gensho responded while sitting back. She ordered something to drink as well, choosing a light yet flavorful tequila as the initial glass.
She turned to Char. "Well, like Valley said, I serve under Godukera; you can say I'm an apprentice of his. I hail from a small island in South Blue; spent most of my adolescence there growing up on stories of my mom's exploits when she was a Marine. I then settled on becoming a Marine to continue the family tradition you know? Plus the idea of adventure and seeing the world appealed to me. A cousin of mine is also a Marine; she's a Commander I think," Gen continued.
The lass then rolled her eyes at Sol's emphatic entrance. "It's fine Sol, you haven't missed anything of value. Solomon's a love-sick puppy, Jun's giving him the cold shoulder, and penguins have the ability to fly if they try hard enough. Otherwise, we're making introductions all around."
As more and more people kept on coming and even higher rank marines were gathering, one of the newest Commander makes his way into the party. A white-haired young man in casual clothing makes his way into the bar getting something to drink. As he begun drinking from his glass, he looks around to analyze the various people in the room having his attention caught by a very active table.
Looking at the table his attention begun to be directed firstly at a penguin, looking to be reflecting on something. But he immediately gets his mind fixated on the various woman there as he begins to blush. Suddenly turning around in order to avoid looking at them he tries to go to another table but his mind just screamed. "STOP BEING A PUSSY!" With this, he tries to calm himself down and finally makes his way to the table.
"HHhi... mymmmy... Naammme is Bbbrrrrighaaam" Completely red Brigham said in front of the table. "Sorry I'm Commander on of the newest Brigham" Mixing up again he facepalms and lets out an internal scream. Taking a second and a long breath "Hello my name is Brigham, one of the newest commanders, nice too meet you all" finally able to say it he relaxes as he ways for any reply.
She turned at the stuttering voice before grinning. Standing, Gen claps him on the back with the same enthusiasm as earlier. "There you are! How have you been Brigham? Congrats on the promotion by the way," she responded before sitting back down, gesturing for Brig to pull up a seat to the table.
"So...what's everyone been up to as of late?"
"Hah of course he's still his old stubborn self. His son Erin is apparently an ally of the Black Widow Pirates now. What a world huh." Valentine laughed as his eyes wandered to the newest members of their increasingly growing table. Sol was still wrecked from her failure on Dorado and a newly crowned Commander named Brigham had come up. He decided to deal with the easiest one first. "Brigham huh, I think I taught one of your classes." He reached his hand out as a glass of golden brown liquor appeared within it. "Cassiopeian Whiskey, you'll love it. It might also calm those jitters of yours." He placed the drink in front of Brigham. "No need to be so tense, we're all just here to have a good time."
Now it was time to move onto the harder problem to solve. He could feel the frustration bubbling up from the girl to his left, Sol. He turned his head in her direction, placing a hand on her shoulder. Her eyes looked as if she hadn't slept in a couple days. "Hey Sol come with me." He spoke, leading her a little ways away from the table to a balcony that overlooked the ocean. He leaned on the railing, motioning for her to join him. He pulled out a cigarette, lighting it with his finger. "Sol you look absolutely dreadful, I'm no doctor but whatever your training regimen is, it isn't helping you." He stared at the panda eye girl, taking a drag from his cigarette. "What's going on with you?"
Sol's lips crept in a big, reassuring smile; too reassuring to be wholly sincere. The giant hated to lie, especially to those who were showing concern to her being such as her comrade right there. However, she also felt almost as uncomfortable as showing the extent of her trouble to her comrades, in fear of having them worry or just be upset by problems they shouldn't be burdened with.
"It's all ok, Valentine-san. I am just training myself more than usual: people call me a workaholic all the time, so a few days or even weeks without sleeping well isn't nothing to cry home about".
Her gaze turned darker, and her tone firmer: a far cry from her oversensitive and a bit saccharine persona.
"I've let a Yonko slip away from my grasp after she treacherously encroached El Dorado and tried to kill and destroy everything there, civilians included. I can't let this happen again".
Valentine glanced at the woman beside him, taking another drag from his cigarette. He was glad she could share with him, despite her very motherly attitude and age she was still young for a giant. "Sol Sol, you shouldn't worry so much about it. You fought against a Yonko, you shouldn't be so sad that she held you off. Legs went to a standstill with Kurama. You shouldn't punish yourself for losing. You should be thankful for the life you're still living. You came out of one of the most dangerous situations a Marine can be a part of and lived." He turned to look at her. "I'm not saying you're weak either but Yonko are on another level," he leaned on the balcony, looking to the stars. "This kind of training you're doing won't work either, if anything you're killing your body. Work without rest is harmful, not helpful. Trust me, I'm an Instructor after-all."
Another level...? Thinking one could match a Yonko was probably the epitome of folly. Yet Sol had been in the Marines for more than three decades; her frame was legendary among the organization, and so were her strength and endurance. She had eaten a fruit which commanded over Plasma, lymph and lifeblood of the very stars. Yet how come those accomplishments were nothing compared to an Emperor of the Sea? How much she had to train and fight to reach that level? Could even she?
"Valentine-san, Kurama-sama and Fuyuki-domo are on a Yonko level". Sol almost sneered. "They have touched the territory of gods through their immense mastery over their Fruit and countless hours of labors. If there one chance I can get to this level, I have to try, even if I have to risk my entire being in the endeavor".
The breeze on the balcony blew stronger; despite being made of pure fire, Sol felt the wind creeping and chilling her on the inside.
"Valentine-domo, I believe that we Marines have a duty of being stronger than the Yonko. It is because of our superior power that countless people can sleep in their beds safe from the evil of pirates. If we show any weakness, especially in front of those who try the most to subvert and violate the balance of the world, billions of people will find themselves at peril".
"I never said you couldn't reach them but as you are now you aren't there. You need to train more that's true but you need to train right. Your current regimen is not suitable for improvement, it's only making you weaker." He took his eyes from the stars and looked back to her. "If you want I coul.." He voice cut out very briefly it was minute but within his head the moment was much longer. "Come on now, offer her a deal. You know you want to. You know we want to." His right eye throbbed behind the half mask that covered it as he mental pushed away the voice. "Could help train you if you'd like. Or at least offer my support. It's the least I can do for you."
"I... I really thank you". Sol's eyes turned wet; another smile was etched on her face, one brimming with gratitude and care. To think that one of her allies was so kind to give her help made her all the more proud of having joined the Marines. Her white form becomes tinged with the black of her Haki, to give her ethereal form some semblance of solidity: she needed to that give Valentine some big arm. Her arms circled Valentine's torso, where she pressed her chest. Sol gave a cuddle full of warmth and affection, feeling Valentine's heartbeats coalescing into her own.
Valentine returned the hug, patting Sol on the back. "Come on lets head back inside, I hear someone trying to get a microphone to work.
The Grand Speech Edit
Solomon stood to his feet, smiling as he walked away from the table he and Jun sat at, yet kept his eyes locked on the woman. It didn't take long for him to reach his destination: the DJ booth where he snatched the microphone stand.
After taking his position behind the microphone, he looked across the ballroom and noticed each and every one of his comrades having the time of their lives. He smiled, nodded his head, and took a moment to just "breathe the situation in". Finally, he tapped onto the head of the microphone to grab everyone's attention.
"Hey, everybody!" He shouted, much louder than he should have, take it--the mic already amplified his voice enough. "I want to thank all of you for coming! It's been forever since we've been able to stretch our legs out and get loose!" Pausing, he pointed his finger at a woman on the dance floor busting moves even though he had been talking. "I see you girl, show me whatcha working with!"
Shortly after he cleared his throat and look back among the large group of people present. "But seriously though, it is nice to see all of you able to actually enjoy yourselves and not have to worry about work. The current state of the world has been calling all of our attention. Day in and day out we have more and more reports dealing with pirates, who's numbers have completely swallowed our own in the past, not even years but months."
"The ambition left behind by the second man to take the reigns of "Pirate King" has brought the age of piracy beyond what it was fifty years ago." Again, Solomon paused and cleared his throat, gathering his thoughts as he did.
Valentine entered the ever growing crowd around the DJ booth where Solomon stood. He turned to see Sol following him to their destination. As Solomon cleared his throat Valentine removed another bottle of wine from his person, beginning to drink it down. He listened to Solomon go on, giving a very basic speech opener. "Ugh again with the damn filler, just get to the point." Valentine muttered in-between sips.
Sol gently nudged Valentine's shoulder. "Please, Valentine-san, let Solomon-san speak at his pace. This is his own party, after all; he probably wants to make a good impression as his first day as our equal in rank, showcasing some brilliance in eloquence and dedication to our cause". Her mind flashed to the day when she got her promotion to Vice-Admiral, a long time before; she remembered fuzzy feelings in her chest and an ocean of tears flowing with each of her stuttering words. Solomon couldn't do really do much worse than her, which lead to an amused, nostalgic grin on Sol's part.
After some time on the table talking to Genshō about the news especially her new promotion, Brigham made his way into the crowd next to his fellow marines listen to Solomon while he was doing the initial preparations and clearing his throat. "I need to keep on improving to reach this people levels." he said while looking at various vice admirals and his beloved Rear Admiral.
"But all that means," Solomon lowered his head and clinched his fist so tight that his veins began to pop out for the rest of the crowd to see. "is that we, as Marines, have to grow stronger and stronger to maintain the peace and balance of this world."
The Vice-Admiral lifted his head to meet eyes with the rest of the crowd, "Regardless of my position, I want to just share with you all a few words." He cleared his throat, emptying it of any file residue that could have been lingering. He took a deep breath and with a firm stance, he stated...
"What we have chosen for the present is full of obstacles [pirates] that we, as a union must overcome. We are protectors of the people and their "freedom" but the cost of freedom is always high, though the Marines have always paid it. Despite having to pay the way for others who sit and do nothing, a path we shall never choose..." Solomon paused for a moment and nodded his head, truly falling in love with his own words. "The path of surrender or submission."
He cleared his throat once more and clinched the microphone in his grasp. He stood over the rest of the Marines, his head held high and his appearance unwavering. "There can be no failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self respect, or his self-confidence!" Solomon shouted, his voice as vibrant as a King of a prosperous kingdom. I mean, technically, he was heir to a throne. "This time, WE WILL NOT FAIL!"
Solomon threw his hand up into the air, shouting as though he had just defeated an enemy force and many of the Marines followed behind him. He receiving shouts of agreement and the entire ballroom grew rampant all cheering from the vice-admiral's words.
Valentine joined in on the clapping as he watched Solomon. He clearly seemed please with his own speech. "Well it wasn't very original but it got the job done I suppose." He shrugged, looking to Sol. He gestured to her with his wine. "He's dedicated sure but his speeches could use some work. Not that it took much to rile up this room. Just tell em you're killing pirates, that they're they are on the right path, and then assure them victory." He'd heard many variations of the same speech before in his time. "It's basic but effective on those who can only follow." He took another sip of his drink.
"Awesome!!!" Leo cheered, getting up in such a quick manner that it went unnoticed, "Very well said!" He clapped repeatedly, smile wider than ever while his head shook in excitement. So this is what an inspiring Marine said to his peers, Leo would take notes of this, his squadron certainly needed some cheering up.
Standing to Leo's side was Jun, who clapped calmly, nevertheless, a smile glistened her face. Though, it was more towards Leo's excitement, "You can really get rilled up with these." She uttered, snickering just a bit, though that was muffled by her knuckle. Then, Jun glanced in Solomon's direction, "Cleaner than before, I will give him that. At least," She sighed, looking down, "At least you're trying."
Training with Kannagara Edit
Solomon leaped from the stage and approached Jun, who'd found herself accompanied by another individual Solomon had not yet met--Leo. He looked at the youngster, not that Solomon was too much older, and tilted his head sideways. He knew of a lot of people and chose to ignore others, but one standing so close to Jun would not be one he'd know nothing about.
The man was curious, he was curious as to who this "kid"--six inches short and a lot less toner than himself--was and why he'd been standing next to his self-proclaimed love. He was surely willing to find that out. Extending his hand for a handshake with Leo, he smiled. "Hello and who might you be little guy?"
"S-Solomon-san!" Leo shook Solomon's hand at that same moment, "I'm just a Commander in the rankings, have worked a few times with Jun-nee." He babbled out, trembling at the sight of famous marines all the time.
With an eyebrow lift, Solomon went ahead with the handshake. Though, to Leo's own dismay, Solomon's handshake was one out of spite. The superior's hand found itself coated in the metal of his of devil fruit power. He squeezed the boy's hand and with such strength and reinforcements he could have easily snapped all of the boy's bones, but instead, he chose to just give him a strong clinch.
"Must be an honor to work with the great, Jun. I'm sure she's teaching you right." Solomon smiled even harder, continuing to shake Leo's hand and refusing to let it go. "So, that means you won't turn down my offer to join Kannagara alongside Jun and myself." The selfish side of wanting Jun to himself did not want Leo to join his group, but at the same time, Solomon could sense something lingering in Leo. It wasn't as obvious to the typical observer, but someone who'd been placed under severe training, this notice was child's play. It was recovered scars across Leo's body.
Again the Vice-Admiral went on, "This isn't an offer you can deny, any friend of Jun-chan, is a friend of mine."