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 had been sent on an expedition to find help. 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 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 groaned 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 Lady Sera D. Phim, Knight-Errant of the Flower Kingdom 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?"
"You awe cowwect! Sewa! I will now sewew you Sewa! You made the mistake of not being mine! Even now, youw beauty buwns my eyes!"
Longdagger was getting really worked up over this woman, any random passerby could tell that much. There were many things that he didn't enjoy, rejection was among the worst of that list and so was being challenged in earnest. While he was a potent fighter, Daggerman was at his core someone who enjoyed tormenting those weaker than him, Sera had managed to push pretty much every button there was to press at this point.
With movements fast enough to have him resemble a black streak through the air, Longdagger had covered the distance between them and giving himself into a whirling piroutte, with his elbows and knees sprouting rows and rows upon daggers. The despicable man then shouted with dramatic vigor the name of this technique.
"Supew Bwutal Muwdewous Piwouette... OF DEATH!"
Heedless of his own safety he would surge in towards Sera's position, now a living whirlwind of blades that sought to grind deeply into her flesh and tear apart as many extremities as he possibly could. A direct hit would see more or less anyone shredded apart and met a very grotesque end. Thus far no one had managed to survive this specific technique, Longdagger was practically sure to win! He knew it!
"I have no clue what this guy is saying..." Sera mumbled under her breath as Longdagger rambled off about something, her wings draped around her body like a cloak. Her guard was relatively light for the moment, for her wings were more than sufficient to protect her from any projectiles. She had expected the man to stay away, but he obviously wasn't going to agree with that plan.
She blinked right as Longdagger moved, flashing through the air towards her like a man possessed, rows upon rows of daggers sprouting from him at all angles.
It was all she could do to put her hands on the back of her wings as the buzz-saw of man and steel collided with them with a soul-chilling shriek of steel on feather. The blow was heavy, as the larger man had put all of his weight and strength into it. She could feel her feet sliding, her muscles straining to hold back the man in front of her, especially with the burn of her accumulated injuries nipping at her side. It was all she could do to prevent him from connecting, even as his rotation started to slow.
Longdagger cackled maniacally as he grinded against Sera's defenses in a screeching storm of blades, a sound so intense that it might strain eardrums and impede hearing. Yet the womans defenses held fast, and he found himself unable to penetrate her fortress, which should've sent him into a furious fit, but instead simply made him laugh even louder, perhaps his fragile psyche had finally snapped, or perhaps his view of reality was distorted by the fact that Sera had just done the impossible.
The screeching sound began to dim as Daggerman's rotation began to slow down, the great pressure placed on her defenses begin to easen up bit by bit his revolutions became less and less of a whirling blur. Yet upon the very last spin before he stopped, Longdagger screamed once again.
"Haha. Thought you got me, did you? Now face my true ultimate technique! Supew Bwutal Muwdewous Piwouette... OF DEATH - Dawk Mawk Thiwtheen! Shooting Staw Massacwe!"
It was in that moment, at the very apex of his built up momentum that Longdagger ejected every dagger produced from his body all at once, ordinarily they would simply fall to the ground, but in this case the great momentum served to launch them off of him as a murderous volley with great velocity!
The light of the evening sun caught onto every piece of hurled dagger as it was unleashed, reflecting the metal in such a way that the flying tools of murder did infact closely resemble a miniature flurry of shooting stars. Although the movement had been conducted in such a way that the vast majority of the hail of daggers were centered on Sera, innumerable given the circumstances. Some of them inevitably pierced clean through the thin walls of the surrounding homes and killed a number of innocent civilians and bystanders in the process. As screams of agony resounded throughout the street even Longdagger shambled around and fell on his bum, overwhelmed with dizziness and nausea.
The street grew quiet for a moment, but for the sounds of pain and suffering. The angel clad in steel stood motionless, several new injuries having appeared across her body, though none severe enough to explain her silence.
Sera slowly reached up with her right hand, grasping at a spike that was embedded through her shoulder. She slowly pulled on it, sliding it out of the wound with an audible plop. She stared at the bloody dagger for a moment, as if contemplating it's existence. She then started squeezing, crushing the dagger within her hand with several loud snaps.
At this point, if Daggerman looked her in the eyes, he'd no longer see a gentle soul in front of him. He'd witness the burning fury of a knight who just watched the man in front of her commit mass murder.
She then spoke, "why..." Before making a short pause, " why did you kill them. WHY?!" She finished in a yell. There was no kindness or compassion left in her voice, only anger.
With wings spreading out on silent air, Sera shot up into the sky with a red gleam in her eyes and a resplendent halo of golden flames shrouding her feet. She had resolved to end this man's wretched existence, one way or another. Sera was no longer an angel of mercy, but now an angel of death.
The Gentleman ThugEdit
"Youw eyes buwn with resolve. Beautiful!"
Daggerman looked up at the airborne angel, his pathetic form sitting still on the streetstones as he sighed in delight at the sight presented to him. But then he realized that the lovely angel was looking to absolutely murder his ass, and he squeeled like a piglet for assistance.
"Help! She's gonna kill me, oh god, oh god, oh nooo-oooo-oooo!" Longdagger began to crawl away desperately, overwhelmed with dizziness as he was. No one had ever survived his best techniques, even if they really just consisted of spinning around pointlessly and hurling daggers, which meant that truth be told, they really weren't that different from what he usually did.
All of a sudden an unusually well-polished black boot manifested above his hand, before slamming down on it in a manner that revealed an intent for it to hurt. And hurt it did, Longdagger yelped and then he got angry and screamed at the person in question.
"I'm gonna kill you! I'll wip out youw heawt and sewve it to my goldfish!" Then he saw who that boot belonged and closed his mouth in terror. "Sowwy! Captain! So sowwy!"
Looming above the wounded villain was another man, significantly easier on the eyes and dressed in refined finery, silk shirt and purple velvet vest. Gold gleamed on his fingers, catching the light of the evening sun. The man's comely features held no warmth as he calmy adjusted his glasses before speaking.
"Is this the calibre of opponent that gives you trouble, Samson? I will make note of this, I wouldn't want you to overwork yourself. Now then, leave this to me and round up the captives, the slavers are in need of new stock and will pay us handsomely. I'm sure some of the parents are desperate enough to agree to our terms in exchange for their children's lives."
The sharply dressed gentleman reached out with a hand at Sera, who in that movement surged through the air down towards him. In the span of a single moment, her flames died, and the air refused to abide the flapping of her wings, aiming to send the woman careening out of control and crash into a nearby building while the two men sidestepped her attack as best they could.
"I am Tom Glynn, Captain of the Ghost Pirates and the leader of this little establishment. You seem to have come here at a bad time, woman, I was in the middle of preparing a very important business transaction. Alas, due to my henchmen's blundering incompetence, I must rectify this issue myself."
Sera almost lost consciousness when she hit the side of a house on the street they had been fighting one, crashing through the perforated wood. Her wings had failed her, only being able to protect her from the worst of the impact by wrapping herself in them shortly before she hit the ground. As she opened her eyes, all she could see was the lifeless bodies that lay in front of her, torn through by the daggers of the greasy man she just attempted to kill.
Sera's body protested as she stood up, blood dripping from numerous open wounds along her left side. She slowly turned to face the two men, looking upon the ground as she did so. Her bodysuit was ripped in multiple locations, each spot stained crimson from the numerous cuts that had been inflicted on her.
Then she moved, dashing forward with a low growl. she held herself low towards the ground, only held up from face-planting by the force of her legs propelling her forward. These were the movements of a madwoman, not a knight. "I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE!" She screamed in her rage before taking a leap between her opponents, easily topping the full height of the two men in front of her. Her wings reached out, feathers whistling with an eerie sound as she sought to impale both opponents straight through the heart with wings of white, now seeking to be stained crimson.
His Captain's timely intervention had allowed Longdagger to recover from his dizziness and exhaustion, and just in time it would appear as Sera lunged forth in a bid to end their lives for the injustices they had committed. Given the circumstances, one might expect Longdagger to run, and run he did, but not away from her, no, he dashed straight towards her. Suicidal, some might say, given how she'd proven herself a great threat thus far, a foe not easily brought down by his acrobatics and sleights of hand.
Yet an enemy enraged, was an enemy who was bound to make many mistakes. After all, Longdagger had originally been born into a family of specialized assassins in the West Blue, a loveless collective where he'd been trained to kill. He might've been a failure in their eyes, but if there was one thing that Daggerman truly understood, it was the need to strike when your enemy was weakened. Lapses in judgement or mental fortitude were the most decisive of all, and he would be a fool not to capitalize on it!
Instinctively noticing the building force in her legs as she was about to jump, and how her wings began to expand to assist in her momentum. Longdagger mirrored and strove to counter her movements as best he could, when she went high, he went low, bending his legs as he hunkered down and slid underneath her in one elegant motion. The evening light glinting in six daggers procured from empty air and sent upwards at her exposed stomach and abdomen in a fluid and lethal motion. As Longdagger sought to end this battle then and there, making use of the brutal opportunity presented to him.
"I will deal with hew, Captain! It is my destiny to do so, ouw paths have cwossed and we must see it twough! Also, she's so pwetty!"
With more style and panache than the disgusting man rightly deserved, Longdagger ended his movement by using his hand to hurl himself up into a standing positio, somersaulting gracefully into the air as he twisted around aerodynamically and landed upright and proudly, facing her back. Tom Glynn vanished from sight in the confusion, and it was revealed that he was now standing atop of a nearby building, his form distorted and wispy, with tongues of greyish smoke licking the air around him as he turned around to leave.
"Ensure that you make it back to the ship alive, Longdagger. Replacing you requires time and resources I would sooner spend elsewhere.."
Sera was angry, furious even, but she wasn't stupid. She realized what Longdagger was up to when slid beneath her. It was time to reveal even more of the few tricks she had left. Sera drew her arms and legs up to her chest before reaching out towards the man beneath her. Just beneath her outstretched fingers an orb of golden light formed, similar in sheen to the flames that had appeared before. The light shimmered for a moment as it spread out in front of her, forming a protective bubble beneath her as the daggers rose to skewer her. But she had formed it barely in time as the daggers attempted to punch through the barrier, before being deflected harmlessly off to the side. "Holy Ward." she finished as the bubble faded, it's job finished for the moment.
She landed upon her feet, sliding a bit from the speed of her leap before she spun around. As she was turning her wings lashed out again, though not to attack her opponents with their length, as both were much too far away. From each one a brace of feathers came loose, soaring through the night air. The first was aimed at the man in front of her, while the second was aimed at the arrogant man in the distance, though she still wasn't sure how he had gotten there.
But she wasn't done. As the last of her momentum backwards ceased, she surged forward once more. She charged back towards Longdagger, bounding with far more grace than last time. Sprinting right at him as the feathers were near their target, she stepped down hard on the ground with her right foot. Then starting with a bow, she leaped forwards, flipping forwards as her legs went into a splits, left leg bent behind her. Her wings wrapped around her right leg as she rotated back uprights, intending to unleash a brutal axe kick to the bigger man's head right after the feathers had reached their target. "Downy Great Maul!," Sera yelled as her kick came down.
Tom reacted quickly, he spun around with surprising speed and agility, cleverly evading the incoming projectiles by dancing around the feathers. His face revealed that it wasn't done without effort however, and he was visibly annoyed by the attack regardless. Before becoming a pirate, Glynn had ensured to receive ample training from all manner of combat instructors that money could buy, and since then his skills had blossomed with continued instruction from more experienced members of his crew, including Longdagger. The fact that she even bothered to waste time attacking him mean that she wasn't aware of his ability to turn intangible, and he would keep it that way until he had no other choice.
Longdagger's movements weren't quite so refined, as he'd never thought of the possibility that she could actually launch her feathers like daggers. He attempted to evade as well as he could and he made a good showing of it, but despite his intentions, his lowered guard ensured that at least one of the feather-daggers found their mark, sinking deep into his tigh and causing the thin man to howl in agony. Unaccustomed to suffering injuries, and his pride wounded by the fact that he, the Longdagger had just suffered a nasty wound due to what was essentially just a long dagger itself. It might've been a delightfully ironic moment, if Sera wasn't currently screaming bloody murder.
"It huwts, it huwts! My god it huwts, make it stop huwting. I don't wanna huwt anymore, I am huwt, damnit!"
Ripping out the dagger, which resulted in yet another unflattering yelp of pain. Longdagger shambled forwards as he began his next attack. "So Sewa wants to see my dawwers.. I will show you my dawwers, Sewa! DIE!"
Ignoring the pain as best he could, the Ghast began hurling a stream of daggers at her, in a series of fast and strenuous movements that saw the entire airspace between him and her filled with what seemed like a shimmering beam of metal, each one hurled with force, and each one seeking her heart!
Longdagger hadn't given her a chance to finish him off, attacking madly in the face of her own. His combat sense was impeccable, she had to admit that. Bringing her outstretched leg in, she rotated even faster, slamming her leg into the ground an instant before her body was riddled with daggers. The first several daggers were smashed out of the air by the impact of the foot. Her wing unfurled from across her leg, joined by the other as they sought to shield her from the remaining daggers.
She leaped back, giving herself more distance to react to the stream of weapons as her wings reached out again and again to remove the offending blades from flight. Even so, some made it through, nearly running through her asunder before she twisted out of the way.
Sera's hands came together, almost as if in prayer. After a brief moment, she drew them apart, a glowing ball of energy forming as before. This ball expanded, churning about as it was stretch in front of her, forming another barrier of golden light between her and the stream of weapons aiming for her bosom. She could feel the slight drain on her stamina as each of the weapons bounced off the shimmering shield.
But it was time to end this. Bringing her two wings up, trusting in the golden shield in front of her to ward off the storm of steel, she brought her wings up above her, golden sparks arcing off of them as a golden ball of resplendent flame started forming, ready to strike the finishing blow upon the gangly man in front of her.
A Sea of FlamesEdit
The sphere of golden flames surged onwards towards Longdagger, who desperately tried to get away from the incoming projectile. But his injuries and mounting levels of exhaustion prevented the loathsome individual from moving as quickly as he needed to.
"No! Let me live! I wanna live, fowgive me, Sewa!"
Shielding his eyes to flee from his impending death, the pirate didn't notice it when his Captain stepped in front of him, hand outstretched.
"My patience is now officially at an end, fall to dust, angel, and know your place. Avoid my attack and everyone in the buildings behind you will perish, let us witness the full extent of your compassion."
A sudden wave of tremendous heat was the sole warning given as Tom employed the powers of his Devil Fruit. Punctuated immediately by the sound of Longdagger howling in agony, as he received first degree burns simply by proximity alone!
Before her eyes, she would witness that her fireball was overwhelmed by an unusually powerful attack, splitting apart to reveal a large greenish-blue fireball that radiated such enormous heat that the surrounding buildings caught fire simply by its passing. Like a macabre symphony a number of agonizing screams filled the evening air, driven by pain and utter terror.
Tom was a man who understood how women like Sera lived their lives, would she risk certain death in order save total strangers when given the chance? Or would she flee and leave them to their fate, eitherway, he won in the end.
Sera's mind was racing as the man appeared, questioning how he had gotten in front of her without her seeing him. She even more questioned how he had overwhelmed her fireball so easily. The flames washed over the ground, scorching the earth in their wake. She could feel the sweat beading upon her brow even from this distance, hear the voices of those she could not save, and see the devastation that this thug was attempting to impose on her.
Her head lowered for a moment, almost as if she bowing in prayer. The golden light guarding her dissipated, useless against an attack of that magnitude. The amount of stamina necessary to create a shield of that size would probably kill her as well as the flames rushing towards her.
Sera focused her sight forwards again, staring into the fire, right before it consumed her.
Light engulfed her, as blast shook the town around where she had been standing. A pillar of flame swirled about, dancing about the street, scorching the edges of the buildings that she had just saved. The people inside wouldn't die tonight, unlike those she had failed before, their bloody corpses evaporating from the intense heat.
Eventually the flames faded, leaving naught to any witnesses but a smoking crater upon the ground. But through the smoke, dust, and debris a figure could be seen. Stirring within the depths, numerous shapes could be seen, both large and small.
Sera whipped her wings out, the ones that had shielded her while containing the blast. The smoke dissipated from the pressure, blowing out away from the crater as wings of white snow filled the streets. They dwarfed her previous ones in both size and number, easily capable of surrounding the nearby buildings if measured from end to end. They had wrapped around her like a blanket, all while acting as an impassible wall that the flames could not have crossed.
A small woman stood in the center, not much more than five feet tall in height. From her back the wings stretched, thirteen in total. An Angel, a Seraph, standing as a wall in front of the flames, her halo shining in the dark.
The wings stretched out, coming at Tom and Daggerman in a wall of feathers, attempting to run both of them through.
They wouldn't last. As they approached the two men, the tips started fading into a golden light. Each wing she added required progressively more energy to maintain, energy Sera simply couldn't supply. Even just manifesting the wings, Sera burned through hours of stamina in mere seconds. The fading quickly started moving faster than the wings could outstretch, taking but moments to reach her back. Her halo flickered on and off, before flickering out entirely.
Sera could feel the exhaustion hit her, washing over her like a wave. She staggered a moment, catching herself before she fell over backwards. In the process though she leaned too far forward. Her legs gave out, leaving her sprawled out on the ground, almost entirely spent from her exertions.
"Damn..." was all she said, as she willed her body to regain its strength as fast as possible.
Glynn didn't bother to avoid her attacks, he'd observed the woman long enough to realize that the powers of her Devil Fruits took a heavy toll on her stamina, a drawback for her powers he assumed. She was a Mythical Zoan, he surmised, few men in Paradise were as knowledgeable about Devil Fruits as Tom, it was a byproduct of his wealth in many ways, and he could identify their powers easily enough.
She'd pushed herself against Longdagger, and now she'd spent all of her stamina to simply survive a base expression of his power, it would do her little good in the end. Nevertheless he assumed he could at least enlighten her before killing her, Tom could always spare a moment or two to lecture his lessers.
"You simple commoner, you've never even encountered a Logia-user before have you?" Adjusting his glasses, Tom lowered his gaze at the woman, and was about to speak when Longdagger suddenly appeared at his side.
"Captain! I want hew, can I have hew to myself, she's so pwetty.. she has gweat bweasts. I like those bweasts.. Captain."
Glynn's backhand was swift and sent the former assassin flat on his rump, rubbing his cheek as his Captain spoke coldly. "To the victor go the spoils, and you would never have won against this woman. She is beyond your ability, your death would've been assured if not for my interference."
With a harsh gesture Tom commanded Longdagger to leave, and leave he did, albeit not without an unseemly screech. Tom resumed his speech slowly.
"You are most likely already aware of Paramecia and Zoan-types. However, there exists a third type, much rarer than the others and by far the most powerful. One that permits its user to generate, manipulate and transform into a specific element, with no upper restrictions on stamina or volume."
Tom ambled over to where Sera was sprawled out, the light of the surrounding flames reflecting in the glass of his spectacles. "My last attack was basic and cost me nothing, I could do destroy this entire town if I desired to do so. Any last words, little insect?"
"You play dirty don't you..." Sera said from her position on the ground, pain and exhaustion apparent in her voice. She needed to buy time for some of her stamina to come back. "Why do this, any of this. with that much power you could probably have helped these people, not sell them a cure at such a ridiculous rate. "Why go through all this effort to harm these people?"
Glynn's eyes bored into the woman's own as he towered above her, his sharply-dressed silhouette casting long shadows on the walls behind them as nearby villagers desperately attempted to put out his flames. His gaze was cold and without warmth as he spoke chillingly.
"Help them? Don't be absurd, it is due to my abilities that they're sick in the first place.. you see, my Logia allows me to manipulate all kinds of gases, which include lethal poisons.." With a delicate gesture of his fingers Glynn readjusted his glasses once more as he turned around and walked a few steps away from her in order to minimize the chance of a sneak attack.
"My powers are yet young and underdeveloped, so I thought it prudent to test them out on towns I encounter on my journeys. It would be quicker to weed them all out at once, of course, but I am a merciful man. If they pay my price, I save them from certain death.. if not, well, that simply means they were too poor to live.."
Sera's eye twitched in anger as she heard Tom explain exactly what he had done. "I may not know much about Logias, and hell, I'm not even sure what a paramecia is... But having power means you should use it to raise up those weaker than you, not lord over them." She said as she choked back her rising anger. She attempted to pull herself up a bit, before falling back down as she was still too exhausted to effectively move, although her strength was beginning to return. "You don't have any right to play a god to them!" she finished with a growl. She was doing her best to stare the man dead in the eyes, her's still full of defiance. Her position face first on the ground though made that rather difficult at best.
"You are nothing but a thug and a monster. Just like that sniveling retch behind you." The growl continued as Sera began internally cursing her own weakness. "You don't deserve power like that, NEITHER OF YOU DO!"
The White FiendEdit
"I was born a noble, a son of fine standing and excellent lineage, who in this world but me is more worthy of such powers?
Even as he spoke these words that so well exemplified his tainted worldview, Glynn raised a single hand, finger pointing almost accussatory at Sera. Perhaps because of her inability to save the villagers of Yennytown in spite of her bravado?
"My powers are a crucible, separating the pure from the impure riffraff that litters the streets of otherwise decent cities. Don't you dare raise your head to look at me, insect, wallow in your inborn mediocrity and meet your maker with the greatest regret!"
Pyrophoric gases were created and spontaneously ignited with other gases of Glynn's make in that moment, as he prepared to incinerate the entire upper body of the lady knight. Fortunately for Sera, his action was interrupted in that moment by a sudden gunshot.
A blue streak of condensed flames shot out from Tom's hand, flying overhead of Sera and splitting several houses in two along its trajectory. Whomever were caught in the crossfire collapsed as their upper body was left a blackened and partially incinerated husk.
The bullet had entered the side of Tom's head and gone straight through the opposite side. For a moment it seemed as though the terrible man had been slain by an unexpected attack. But then his eyes turned to face his attackers, and soon his body followed.
Before him stood a large group of marines, weapons raised and all pointed at Tom Glynn. Fifty in total, he counted, a single captain and some lesser officers as well. Terrified murmuring could be heard as they began to fire desperately at the Logia-user, but no matter how many rounds unleashed upon him his body remained an intangible mass of writhing gases and wispy substance that reformed immediately after each bullet.
Sera heard the shots, even from her position face down on the ground. She felt the heat of the flame, ones that had been intended for her. She was just glad she didn't end up having to use what little stamina she had regained in order to protect herself from them.
However, it appeared that for the moment the older man in front of her's attention was no longer on her alone. She had to get some distance, rest for a moment to regain her strength enough to get back into the fight. She couldn't let this monster rampage around this town, kill any more of these people. But as she was right now, Sera could barely stand, let alone fight.
As Tom's attention fully fell off from her, she surged into action. She gathered herself up off the ground, getting onto her hands and knees, bullets flying all around her. She leaped to the side, getting out of the line of fire. She made her way to the nearest alley, intent on putting a couple buildings between her and the fighting. She eventually collapsed up against a wall two blocks over, resting as the sound of gunshots could still be heard.
Tom's figure was torn apart piece by piece, vanishing into motes of white smoke even as the marines unloaded magazine after magazine into what they perceived to be his body. Eventually only his legs remained, with the rest of his mass being scattered into various clouds of poisonous gas.
As the last of his body discorporated, the marines shouted in triumph and the Captain smiled at his men, confident that they'd just dispatched a dangerous pirate. But their fleeting illusion of victory was swiftly dispelled as the gas coalesced back around Tom's form, restoring his body to pristine condition with nary the slightest blemish upon his person.
"Hm. Considering your numbers, I shall suffer five of you to live.. spread the word of the man who is certain to become Pirate King."
Once the shock had worn off they opened fire once again, but this time it took merely a single swipe of Tom's hand to generate a wide arc of blue-green flames that washed over the men and women and devoured their lives amidst torturous screams. The men raised their weapons feebly to attack him, but another wave of his hand annihilated their useless attempts at mustering an offence.
As Tom promised, he let five of them live, but not without brutally marking them with his flames, deforming their facial features and leaving them sobbing on the ground for the sheer agony. "Worry not, you will live to be my harbingers.. "
Glynn then turned his back on the smoldering corpses behind him and the crippled marines, as he walked calmly towards his ship, and on that path he once more crossed paths with Sera, hiding behind a building.
"Remember this lesson well, not all powers are born equal, mine are those of a god. While yours are but make-believe and fairy tales, and like all fantasies your ideals are unsubstantial and independable." Glynn gestured towards the corpses behind him. "Those marines saved your life, but you abandoned them to their fate by running away.. for all your noble aspirations you are naught but a frightened canary, playing at being an angel."
Leaving her no moment for retorts, Tom Glynn vanished in a cloud of spreading white particles, as he soared up into the sky and out of view.