Marie looked at the doctor with hope as he examined her two five year old boys. Danny and Sammy had been out playing in the garden when both suddenly collapsed at once, and she and her husband had been desperate trying to find a cure. Since then, two days had passed, and the towns resident doctor, a kindly man by the name of Samurage had been unable to offer more than painkillers, as well as delaying the spread of this mystical ailment. She'd heard that most of the children in town had also fallen ill in this manner, yet for some reason none of the adults were in such critical conditions, a few had developed some symptoms, such as a foreboding-looking gashes and contaminated sores, but no further.
The doctor had been silent for a while, and Marie felt desperation grow within her. "Say something!" she yelled, but the doctor wouldn't answer, he simply looked down as tears fell to the floor. "I'm sorry, Marie, but there is nothing I can do." He left quietly, trying to ignore the sobs that came from behind him as he left the building.
Samurage knew the cause of this already, it could only have been the power of a Devil Fruit. And he had his doubts that ordinary medicine could fix it, from what he could tell the children and some of the adults had been poisoned by exposure to dangerous gases. But it was impossible for him to determine which, for the symptoms were interconnected and widespread.
His medicine could keep them alive a couple days more, at the very most. But what they truly required was a miracle, or more likely, a list of demands as ransom in exchange for the children's lives. Because the doctor knew this couldn't possibly be a coincidence. Truthfully, as recent as yesterday he'd met with a lanky man with greasy black hair and a very unflattering face which he believed even the man's own mother would have trouble loving had showed up and offered him a mystery medicine. But he'd demanded a simply outrageous price for each vial, far more than Samurage could hope to afford.
Defeated and distraught, he walked through the dark streets of Yennytown; he would return to his study and examine all of his books and records anew. Well-knowing that it would prove fruitless, but unable to live with himself if he simply gave up.
"Captain, Yenny Island is ahead, estimated land fall 30 minutes." Sam Champlain, the man in the crows nest yelled. The ship approached the island at night, so only the lights of the town were their guide. It was why they only saw it when they were a half hour out, versus the three to four that was normal.
"Thank you Sam." A raven hair woman responded from the deck of the ship below, The Fallen Rose, before adding to the rest of her crew. "All right, you all know the drill by this point. Until we ascertain marine presence on the island I want every single one of you to be ready to pull out at a moment's presence. From my map and the information we got back in Kaletown the Base should be on the other side of the island. If so we resupply and lie low until the log pose is set, raid the base, then on our merry way. Any questions?"
The men and women performing their tasks merely shook their head. They had been repeating this same pattern ever since the day they fled their homes. They were all veterans of the war, the pride of their families. Each now separated from their families, maybe permanently. They had recently entered the Grand Line from North Blue, and had reached the first island in their path, Yenny Island. It was a relatively small island, containing a couple small towns, some farm land, a mine, and a small marine base, maintaining a company at most. It only had importance as one of the entrance points to the new world, being one of seven. If they were lucky, their first foray into the grand line would be successful.
Phim D. Sera looked at her log pose, which was still pointing dead ahead at the island, and wondered how long it would be until they could move on. As much as she hated the marines, and by extension the world government, for what they had done to her home, she didn't want to bring her war to the homes of those who were never involved in her sorrows. "Huh, I wonder where Val went." She muttered to herself. Her first mate and best friend was no where to be seen on deck, which meant she was likely somewhere below. She was usually here for landfall, but Sera wasn't one to push it. There'd be plenty of time for her to question it later.
Almost exactly one half hour later, the ship slowed to a crawl next to a small cliff, slightly shorter than the ship itself. "Since we don't know what to expect from the Grand Line, I'll check the town out, it's not that late yet. There should still be people out and about. Val has the spare log pose if it's needed. If it's safe, well I suppose we can probably have shore leave." She gave a sigh as she jumped off the ship to the ground below. She had a cloak on over her armor, hopefully allowing her to move slightly more stealthily.
She circled a little ways around the town, coming from the direction of the primary port for the island, better to hide the location of her ship. It was an act she had done a dozen times since she became a wanted woman.
"Well I guess it's time to see what woes I'll come across on this island..." she said as she entered the town, noting the the quiet streets in the early evening.
The silence was quickly broken as the sound of pleas resounded from a dark back alley. Wherein a lanky and unattractive man with greasy black hair, disjointed teeth and carrying a basket of curious vials loomed threateningly over a woman. The women held in her hands a large amount of berries, but even as she looked at them she couldn't stop shaking and weeping.
"Please good sir, give me another one. My children won't survive the night if they don't get your medicine, I'll pay you back eventually. Doesn't the man who sent you have any empathy, my boys are just four!"
Wheezing out a chuckle, the lanky man began to laugh akwardly, a long drawn out sound that sounded like the demanding pleas of a hungry seagull. "Maha-maha-maha. You need to decide which of youw childwen you likes best then, maha-maha."
Ignoring the cries of the woman, Longdagger Daggerman took her money and pocketed it; an outrageous sum of 50,000 for a single vial of the mystery medicine. He really enjoyed it whenever the Captain saw fit to play doctor like this, it allowed him the rare joy of seeing others grovel before him. Which Longdagger rather enjoyed.
Leaving the woman behind, he walked out into the conspicuously empty street and made his way towards the closest residence, where he promptly knocked several times to get the attention of the residents, shouting aloud. "Save youw kids! Mystewy medicine delivewy, buy one, pay for two!"
"Shouldn't it be buy two for the price of one?" Sera responded as the man made his sales pitch. She had heard his exchange with the woman even though it was rude to eavesdrop. He was an ugly man, but that was life she guessed, not everyone won the lottery for looks. That being said, he appeared to be extorting the people of this town.
Granted that Sera was a pirate now, she should probably just walk on by without saying anything. But she wasn't a pirate by choice, forced into it via bad circumstances. This just felt wrong. "What is this medicine for, anyways, does this town have a rampant disease or something?"
Internally though, she was just thinking about how she had told her crew to be careful, yet here she was sticking her nose into business that wasn't her own. You never change, do you Sera.., she thought to herself while she waited for the bigger man to respond.
Spinning around with surprising agility and finesse, Longdagger blinked at the new arrival and stopped pestering the house's residents. He grinned at the woman in front of him, his lips parting to reveal crooked yellowed teeth. "That's wight, this hewe town be suffewing badly. But don't worry, if you'we sick then this hewe medicine be all you need, you should buy some wight away!"
Longdagger gave Sera a long glance, shamelessly letting his eyes trail downwards. He whistled to himself and began to chuckle out of nowhere. "Maha-maha-maha. It's contagious, I weckon you'll be dead in like a day. I'm not supposed to give discounts to anyone, but since I'm a gentleman, you can have a vial for only.. 40,000."
With that he raised his hand so that Sera could get a good look at the merchandise, he even had the audacity to smile next to it. As though his own flattering visage should make her more likely to buy it, he even went as far as fluttering his eyelashes at her in a coquettish manner.
"Say... you've got a weally nice wack, wanna be my giwlfwiend?"
"I have a really nice what?" Sara asked in confusion. She was unable to understand the man through his accent. "I don't really understand what you're saying..."
Longdagger looked speechless for a moment, couldn't she understand him, why not? Was it because of the evil "R" that he'd been lectured about in school? Could be, he'd need to make it more obvious, so he put both hands on his spindly chest and squeezed his own buds for emphasis. "Your bweasts, I'm talking about your fiwm full and bouncy bweasts, I weally like those bweasts!"
People were now watching the curious pairs in the windows surrounding the street. And many an incredulous eyebrow was raised when Longdagger grabbed ahold of his own nipples in order to prove a point. "So, wanna be mine.. I think I'm a nice catch.. I've got a bounty of 14,000,000 bewwies you know.. are you impwessed? Come on, be my bewy!"
"Oh god, it's Val all over again" Sera said to herself as she put a hand up to her forehead. "I'm sorry, but I'm currently not looking for a relationship right now. I'm sure you're a nice guy, so I hope you can understand." She continued while ignoring his displays before going back to the topic at hand. "I'm not sick at all currently, but what is the cause of this disease? Surely since you are selling medicine for it you know something about it."
She noticed all of the other people currently looking at them, and wondered just how many were sick considering no one was really in the street. "Surely you don't need to sell it for so much if this many people are sick. Lives are at stake here. That makes a difference."
The Man of Many KnivesEdit
Facing rejection, Longdagger's features sagged and he looked down to the ground. Anger boiling within him, she didn't appreciate him, she couldn't see his inner beauty, she didn't understand what he'd been through. She'd not yet learned that the letter R was pure evil, he'd faced rejection many times already, and it stung just as bad each time.
It was then that it occured to me, the woman was doing something no one in their right mind ever did. She was asking him questions, Captain Glynn loathed questions and he'd received strict orders that anyone who asked about the cause of disease would be made examples of, for while he found it amusing to extort these people through means that were technically legal, it was of little consequence to his Captain whether his bounty increased or not.
Playing up his own dejection, he moved slowly toward her, his legs practically being dragged after him on the ground. He looked like a man with nothing left to live for, but this veneer of pity was dropped the moment he stepped into range of Sera. Whereupon he somersaulted above her in an extraordinary feat of agility, body upside down and perpendicular to the ground.
At a glance, Longdagger was unarmed and neither firearms or bladed weapons were on his person under ordinary circumstances. But ever since he'd eaten the Dosu Dosu no Mi, his entire body could produce an infinite amount of weapons at will. And so it was that a thick blade emerged from the pirate's extended palm, shooting down to penetrate deep into Sera's shoulder. Once lodged, he'd spin around and use this dagger as a pivot while he brought his left down to strike the back of her head; even as a similar dagger came into view on his kneecap, transforming what was simply a dazing blow into a lethal threat.
On some level, Sera did feel a bit bad for turning the guy down, even though she'd done it a dozen times to various low lifes. But that pity quickly dropped when his assault upon her commenced. She had already started reacting to his jump by pulling back when she looked up and noticed the dagger coming out of his palm. She bent her left knee, shifting her body to the side and away from the weapon as the blade came down, though she wasn't quick fast enough to avoid it entirely. But without the solid hit to bring his last attack into range, the knee would miss entirely.
A line of blood streaked down her arm from the gash on the outside of her shoulder as she pivoted on her bent leg, opening the distance between them. "Some kind of devil fruit I guess..." Sera muttered as she dropped even lower. Sera switched which leg she was pivoting on to her right leg. Continuing her spin she went to sweep the larger man's feet out from underneath him right as he landed, with her steel greaves impacting his ankles right as he would touch the ground.
Sera's attack struck true, and Longdagger was thrown off balance, even as the sheer impact elicited a groan of agony from the pirate. Yet before he hit the ground, he moved around with great finesse and caught himself in a perfect handstand before he somersaulted several times backwards in order to get out of her reach. At the end of this acrobatic act he flung himself skywards as the moonlight glinted in the metal of more than a dozen daggers in his hands, produced during his earlier performance and kept concealed with sleights of hand.
With a flourish worthy of a circus artist he unleashed a flurry of throwing knives upon the woman. Each dagger appeared to be aimed at a major artery or a vulnerable area such as her stomach, legs, arms or throat, it was almost like he possessed a sixth sense that increased his ability to aim properly, allowed him to maximize damage efficiently and ruthlessly. Onlookers quickly closed their shutters and townspeople ran screaming from the hail of daggers that split the air and threatened to end the woman's pirating career in a most gruesome fashion.
Meanwhile, as Longdagger landed on the ground, he produced two very long daggers from his underarms, with no hilt or handle; but yet he gripped the metal tightly with no ill effects. "Do you wegwet tuwning me down now? It is too late, in the name of Captain Glynn I will pwevent you from sneaking around in ouw business! Wail if you must!"
Sera had had time to stand back up and face the man as he was clearing his distance. He had so far moved better than she'd expected, easily jumping about at least as fast as herself. It was obvious this wouldn't be easy, she was right to have checked it out herself instead of sending one of her men. With a flourish of her own as he started his barrage she removed her cloak as it flowed between them, granting her a moment during which he wouldn't be able to see her. She took this moment to dive to the side as the first couple of daggers shot through the air she had just occupied, riddling her now holy cloak before pinning it to the ground behind her.
But there were more daggers than the first few, Sera bent and twisted every which way to avoid them with grace of a world class acrobat, more than a few grazing her skin from her barely dodging them. She dropped to the ground before springing up to her hands, flipping back to her feet, and then continued her manic dance. She acquired several new cuts during this, though none were as deep as the first.
Sera reached the edge of the road, near the entrance to a tavern while the last three daggers were still soaring in their flight. She grabbed the lip of an empty barrel, though even then the muscles on her damaged shoulder screamed at her in pain. Spinning around in another flourish, she pulled the barrel from it's place before dragging it between her and the daggers. She heard three thunks and saw one. The last dagger had punched through both walls of the barrel, ending barely an inch from her left eye. But she couldn't afford to dwell on it, because in any fight staying on the defensive was just asking to die. Continuing her spin, she threw the barrel at the dagger-man in front of him with all of her strength. She changed her level again, dropping lower to the ground as she sprinted forward, keeping the barrel between her and her opponent, hopefully obscuring his sight again. Nearly dropping to the ground, she began spinning, going from hand to leg to hand to leg as she moved forward at full speed, like some sort of angry break-dancer.
At the last moment she broke to the right, pivoting off of her right leg as she cleared the barrel, building up as much rotation as she could into one swift kick with her greaves straight at the center of the man's back, timed to strike at roughly the same moment the barrel would reach his front. "Wail about this!" She spoke with a slightly angry air as she committed to her strike.
"Who awe you..." It was a statement moreso than a question, as Longdagger expressed his surprise at how she'd not only managed to survive his hail of daggers, but escape more or less unscathed save for a few superficial injuries. But it was only when she swung around a large barrel and used it to simultaneously block and attack that the pirate showed the telltale signs of anxiety. But his reflexes were excellent and he was already in the process of moving away from the barrel, but Sera's clever feint had managed to fool the simpleminded criminal and he found himself evading the barrel by elegantly sverwing to the side.
Unfortunately, the side he picked left him wide open to the follow-up attack of his foe; and although her hit wasn't a direct one, her leg impacted squarely in his side, eliciting a loud groan of intense agony and sending him hurtling through the air away from her. But even in this position, he managed to maneuver his hands in midair with enough force and precision to hurl three daggers in response towards her exposed stomach.
Daggerman impacted the ground a few meters away and shambled back onto his feet, unsteady at first until his adrenaline began pumping. Renewing his vigor and allowing him to temporarily push back against the pain despite his comparatively low endurance for it. With his greasy locks in disarray and a mad gleam in his eyes, his true nature was revealed even as he spat out some blood and spoke at her, his inability to pronounce a certain letter correctly unfortunately doing little to preserve his intimidating presence. Rather, it simply made it look comical.
"What is wwong with you, you'we just a woman! I should be stwongew than you!"
As if to emphasize his dubious point, he generated two unusually long double-sided daggers in hands, one for each and began to twirl the weapons with such speed and precision that their movements became a simple blurr to the naked eyes. Resembling two circular sawblades moving in a rapid motion, whatever Longdagger's origins, it seemed likely that he was not your everyday chauvinistic swine.
Part of Longdagger's attack struck true this time, as while Sera was pretty fast, she was still only in her base form. She was able to grab two of the daggers out of the air with her hands before they reached her, but not the third, which lodged itself through the left side of her stomach area, barely missing a kidney. Fuck... I wasn't fast enough there. She thought to herself as she winced in pain. Still though, despite being injured she stood up straight, as if the injury wasn't bothering her at all before pulling the dagger out.
"While you aren't bad at fighting, neither am I." She said. But it was no longer time to play games, that was clear. With a low rustle two wings of white flowed out of her back before settling across her form, shielding her body from the man in front of her. "My name is Captain Sera D. Phim of the Feather Pirates from North Blue. That being said, as the Grand Line doesn't hear much from the Four Blues, I doubt you have ever heard of me."
"If you still wish to fight," Sera continued as she settled back into a combat stance, "Then come, but don't expect me to be easy." Her wings were at the ready, already hardened as if they were made of steel, angled to strike the man if he dared come closer. "What say you?"