This article, It's All in the Cards, is the co-property of both Yesdemia and KamiGuru.

Pippy L. Stockings sat in a rather shady establishment, sitting on a barstool as a group of drunken, burly men fought behind her. Despite the conditions, Stockings was nonchalant and seemed to be unaware of her surroundings as she skimmed the newest edition of the newspaper that she gripped in her hand, her other occupied by a tankard of beer. As she flipped the page, she nearly choked on her beverage mid-swallow as she read the big bold letters on the top of the page that read, "ST. POPLAR DESTROYED IN PIRATE BATTLE". Initially, Stockings was furious as she thought of her hometown lying in ruin from two reckless crews plowing through; it wasn't until she read further that she discovered one of the pirate crews was one she was particularly familiar with... the Redbeard Pirates. In a matter of seconds, the tankard and newspaper were left recklessly on the bar counter and the door to the establishment was sitting in ruin from a powerful kick.

After a five hour battle against the notorious Fire Rocker Pirates crew captain — Tiger D. Korag, Redbeard has found himself back on Daikame gulping down a massive gourd of ale. With St Poplar becoming the first nation under the flag of the Redbeard Pirates, it was a time of celebration. Unfortunately, Redbeard would be the only one celebrating at the moment as he had instructed the other members to retrieve supplies, information, and heal up before the depart. "I miss the days where victory in battle meant festivities and celebration. Now I can't even stay on an island for too long simply because I'm a wanted man." agonizing over the good old days as king. "Word will soon spread that I've made that crew my subordinates and my bounty will surely go up because of it. At this point my point it might get me into more trouble than help me." he thought to himself, thinking about how he sent the remaining Fire Rocker Pirates to Water 7 in order to construct another ship. "What I'd do to just share this victory with a single woman."

"Well Reddy, I suppose you're in luck..." a sultry voice called out from behind the man, causing him to jump at the suddenness of it. Stockings walked towards him, her heels clicking against the floor of the massive hall and she did so; she reached towards her and rested her chest on his shoulder, peering into his awestruck eyes with a nonchalant look to her. "Just what did you think you were doing when you fought those Fire Rockers? Trying to get my old hometown for your own use... now don't get me wrong, I didn't approve of the previous occupants either, but I've recently decided that lil' Poplar could be under a better management." Stockings teased, reaching her hand outwards and gently caressing Redbeard's face, which would normally be an impossible feat had it no been for the abilities of her Kenpon Kenpon no Mi. She then leaned in further to whisper in his ear, "How about a little wager?"

"Slow down...slow my country they say those who rush into things end up paying the price. Usually when I invite someone into my home I offer them something drink, but seeing how you've already made yourself at home, I suppose there is no need." Redbeard responded, taking the gourd and finishing the remaining gallons. "Now, I don't consider myself a betting man, but I will partake in such events if the rewards is as great as the risk." he spat, snickering a little bit as pleasant thoughts came to mind involving him and Stockings. "So do tell, what wager did you have in mind?"

Stockings walked slowly around the table and slid into the seat directly across the table from Redbeard. "Well, let's start with something simple... an easy coin toss. If I win..." Stocking's eyes scanned the room, until they locked onto a pearl necklace resting on a nearby display case. "I get that necklace over there... and if you win, you can get a kiss, I suppose." Stockings winked, knowing in her mind that she'd win. "Heads I win, tails you win." Stockings recited before pulling out a golden coin, before flipping it. The coin flew up into the air before hitting the table with a clang, before resting with the heads side upwards.

"Heads or tails, I wouldn't say that's much of a wager. How bout we..." before he could say anything else, the coin was in the air. Usually, the outcome would be fifty/fifty. Thus, there was an fifty percent chance that'd he would win but the opposite could be said as well. Though from the moment the coin rotated through the air, Redbeard could tell something was off. For some reason, he was almost positive he wasn't going to win. It seemed that the stage was already set up for his defeat. But rather than listening to his gut feeling, Redbeard went on with it. "Not like that necklace really means anything to me, was just something we stole from Outcast Island. " he thought as the coin flew down and landed on it's front. "Dear lord, it seems have I lost. What an unfortunate turn of events." he paused then continued, "How bout you claim your prize and we play another game that's a lil more interesting..."

"I was thinking the same thing," Stockings spoke as she returned from the table with her newly-gained prize in hand. She used her free hand to reach inside of her coat pocket and pull out a flintlock pistol, and two golden bullets which clinked as they were set on the table. "How 'bout a game of pistol roulette? That exciting enough for ya Red?" Stockings said, crossing one of her legs over the other as she loaded the gun and pressed it up to her temple. With a confident smirk, she pulled the trigger without a second thought and was met with nothing but an empty click. "Y'know Beard, you got an unfair advantage with your Logia... still, the gun'll yield results." Stocking said, sliding the pistol towards him.

That Stockings knew of his logia ability meant that documented reports of his power had spread throughout the grandline. This fact pleased and concern Redbeard. "You know, how hard it is to find weapons this size lying around? It's basically near impossible" Redbeard paused before getting to the point. "The fact that your holding one of these around kinda concerns me. But then again, you wouldn't be the first woman who wanted to kill me." Taking pistol from her hands, Redbeard studied the weapon closely. Upon analyzing the weapon, he then directed the gun at his own temple. "We have yet to place a wager on this little game...How bout if I win and I get a night alone with you and if you can claim any one thing we find of value while ransacking this island." he continued, before pulling the trigger shooting another blank, following the extension of his arm to return the gun back to Stockings.

"Interesting proposal, I suppose." Stockings said nonchalantly, spinning the cylinder of the gun once more before pressing it to her temple. Almost instantly, she pulled the trigger and fired another blank, met only with the sound of a click in the absence of a bullet. She twirled a strand of her hair and passed the gun back to Redbeard. "Don't get your hopes up though..." she spoke with a sly smile creeping across her face.

At that moment, Redbeard knew he had lost yet another bet. Placing weapon to his temple once more, he winked at the maiden before pulling the trigger. BANG, the loud noise indicated what was shot was no blank. A sudden silence filled the room as Redbeard did not utilize his devil fruit powers to phase through the attack. After remaining still for a couple seconds, Redbeard withdrew the gun from his head and dropped on the table. The moment he did, the bullet slid down his face to the ground. Not even scratch appeared on Redbeard's face as he snickered in pleasure. "I only compete on an even playing field, but the same can't said for I right Lady Luck." Redbeard spat, awaiting for Stockings to announce the next game.

"Alright Beardy, this one is the most simple of games, but the one with the biggest stakes... it's real simple... if I have the higher card, I get St. Poplar back... if you win... well, that's up to you." Stockings said as she reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a deck of cards, which she always carried for situations like this; she pulled out one card and offered the deck over to Redbeard so he could pick one as well.

It appeared as if the time for games was over. As Stocking withdrew the cards from her pocket, Redbeard remained silent for a moment in order to ponder over the situation. As the card was dealt to him, he gently slid it across the table, "Well on the slim chance that I win, I would like to have you Lady Luck as a subordinate of mine. A woman of your abilities and talents would definitely be a fabulous addition to my crew." Raising the card for only his sight to see, a blank expression emerged on his face. In his mind, Redbeard exclaimed, "A three of hearts, I swear, she is either cheating or she is truly that lucky." Unlike the other bets, losing was not an option. Tapping into the power of a king, Redbeard was ready to shift the odds into his favor. "Do you agree to these terms." he commented, ready to place his card down the moment she agreed.

Stockings was suspicious at the time, but she still agreed to the terms. The pair flipped their cards downwards, and much to Stockings shock she had laid down a three of hearts... that was impossible though, as she was positive that she saw an ace when she first drew the card. While she wanted to accuse Redbeard of cheating, she had no idea how he could've switched it, as she was oblivious to his Haoshouku Haki abilities at the time. "W-what? That's impossible!" she exclaimed with a clear look of shock on her face. She then took a deep breath out and returned to her normal state, a smirk rising on her face. "Listen Beardy... I don't know what you did, but I'll accept this defeat."

"You seem so surprise as if this were the first time you had lost. What can I say, I guess I got lucky." Redbeard snickered, pleased by the fact he had won against lady luck, even though he kinda cheated. But, tis the life of a pirate. "What a wonderful excursion this was. Not only did I acquire one but two subordinate captains. Tis is a time for celebration!" he yelled, grabbing another container of ale. "So, what shall you do now that you work under my flag" he said, gulping down the booze as if it were water.

Stockings crossed her arms against her chest and made a pouting face as though she were a child and not a wanted criminal. "Probably stage a mutiny, or something like that." she spoke, moving her gaze towards the floor in shame.

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