Zero Sum War is an article presented and written by Njalm2

Zero Sum War is an article presented and written by AbysmalShadows

War is MadnessEdit

Mayor Kamehameha XII was a simple man who liked simple things. He liked his women big, he liked his food bountiful and enjoyed the occasional outing with his family every Tuesday afternoon for what they called, 'kill that bastard pirate'. Mind you, this was probably karma coming to collect its due, but his hired security manager U.N. Known assured him that this was most certainly not the case. Afterall, a fleet of pirate ships bearing the infamous flag of Daddy L. Legs was, if anything, overkill for a small bit of justice. He stared around his office mournfully taking in what very well may be the last sight of his beloved abode. The door opened revealing the form of Mister U.N. Known who limped over and gave him a piercing glare. 

Now U.N. Known was a bit of a strange case. Retired marine, wounded in battle, tall, lithe old bastard. Grey hairs and a fierce mustache that always got the harlots feisty. He wore a trench coat, and brilliant green eyes peered beneath a fedora. He had a firearm holstered to his side, a massive hand cannon that'd have taken the head of the poor bastard, along with the next ten guys behind him. All in all, very impressive. He came highly recommended. Said so himself. 

"You need to make a decision mayor." The voice was cold and raspy, like the man had just crawled out of a grave, back from the dead. It gave him shivers every time he heard it. The good kind of course. He was always fond of a deep baritone voice in his music. 

"Y-Yes, w-well," He stammered unsure of how to respond. He wasn't the best when he was under pressure, always fumbling for his words, frozen between one decision and the next. He liked a good bombardment as anyone, but the problem was is that they can shoot back! Something was terribly wrong in the world if pirates could retaliate. Its just not done! Not on his island anyway.

"Look, I'll take operation control, and any fallout will be my responsibility. I'll even let you give the first command to fire. Don't you want to watch them burn?" U.N. Known asked grinning savagely. 

"Oh," Well that certainly helped. Well, maybe he could squeeze in a chance to order a second round too. "Of course, of course, I'll address the people and you get right on that. Now lets talk about those cannons of yours, I hear they have such lovely designs, if you would be so kind... ?"

And the two walked out of the office, the drums of war on the horizon as the pirate fleet made its way towards the infamous Kamehameha Isle.

Some distance from the island of Kamehameha Island the residents could make out three large warships in the horizon. Each bearing the mark of the Wolves of War, the main invasion force lead by Wolfgang of the Black Widow Pirates. The Jolly Roger of the Yonko Daddy L. Legs was raised high in the mask, although the usual skull was replaced with that of a wolf's cranium instead. Signifiying that this was one of the ships belonging to one of her three millitary commanders.

Aboard the central vessel, Wolfgang was enjoying the luxury and untold privilegies that came with being a Yonko Commander. Ever since he encountered his Empress life had been good to him, he wanted for nothing, had plenty of people to boss around and there were other perks too.

Like the twelve prostitutes he'd liberated from brothel in the last island he conquered for his mistress. Numbering eight men and four women, who were presently massaging the mink's sore muscles as he lay amidst a cushion of pillows taken from all over the world. He liked pillows, they were nice and soft and didn't creak. Neither Wolfgang nor his present company wore much in the way of clothing, mainly simple loincloths and bikinis. He ordered two of the women to cool him down with large paper fans, truly, he'd met kings who had less luxury than this. It was therefore unsurprising that he found it mildly annoying when the ships financer, Tomoka-san, burst into his chambers. The thin bespectacled man was clutching some paperwork as he entered, muttering to himself.

"Wolfgang-sama, I just made a couple hundred calculations about what this little campaign might cost. And I'm telling you in the nicest possible way that I ca- SWEET MOTHER OF ALL PENCILS!!" Yes, clearly a virgin. It was a tad amusing watching him squirm, more amusing still that he'd apparently forgotten what to say. "FLASHER!" Came the accusation, Tomoka-san even pointed a finger at him as if he'd just sullied his virtue in a most despicable manner.

The Secretary of War simply stood up and walked past him to gaze at the island of Kamehameha in the distance. Before he grabbed ahold Tomoka-san and hurled the squeeling man into the room, turning briefly towards the prostitutes before he left. "Make sure to do something about this guy, would you? He's driving me crazy." As he turned to walk onto the main deck his extremely acute sense of hearing caught Tomoka-san's protests: "It's not me, it's you!", or "No! I am saving for marriage", and perhaps most interesting of all: "Don't you dare touch my pencils!"

Flexing his muscles, Wolfgang prepared for the glorious albeit likely short-lived battle ahead.

U.N. Known palmed his face in exasperation. Didn't the mayor realize he was being invaded within the hour? Still, he was rather impressed by how quickly Mayor Kamehameha XII had organized such a massive party. It had only been fifteen minutes! He nursed the beer in his hand while his supposed "generals" and he used the term lightly, hand picked by the Mayor himself to help defend the island roared in laughter after yet another round of drinks. The command center was previously a tavern of some renown on the island, the Dirty Wench and within its hallowed grounds preparations were underway to save this island from the clutches of Daddy L. Legs.

He glanced down at the map on the table, which showcased the island and its defensible positions and boy was it a nightmare. Kamehameha Island was an economic hub for trade and traffic, and as such was a very accessible island. It had several dedicated sea lines, many of which had been designed to allow ships access to different points of the island. Thankfully this also meant that it was of strategic importance to Daddy L. Legs as it was uniquely situated given the expansion of her territory. It would also provide a crucial staging ground for resupplying her fleets and further expanding her territory.

He cast a weary glance at the occupants of the room, their raucous laughter echoing through the room and then slammed his fist onto the table with a resounding crack. The table buckled and splintered, along with the ground beneath it. All sounds stopped, the silence deafening as the weight of his presence filled the space.

"Gentleman." He adjusted the rim of his hat, meeting the eyes of everyone in the room. "We are about to be invaded by three battleships, probably around a company of pirates. Which means you can expect them to all be exceptionally strong." Picking up the map he holds it up gesturing to the eastern port side.

"I've had my men place anti-pirate cannons here," he points to the northern side of island. "As well as here. Once they come within range of our cannons, the Mayor will give the order and we'll commence bombardment."

"Yeah lets send those fuckers to hell!" One general shouts. The others join in, spewing expletives that even he had to begrudgingly respect.

"Indeed. They'll be forced to divert to the south of the island if they want to avoid more causalities, hopefully we can soften them up for our guys down there. Now, if their commander makes an appearance. Do. Not. Engage. He will screw you six ways to Sunday and back again. We want to send a message, long enough to get the damn Marines over here to bolster your defenses. We send them running with their tails between their legs, its a win. Ill be coordinating from the east, just in case I'm needed on either shore. Men, you have your orders, now move out." They all shouted, "Yes, Sir!" as one and marched out. Once they all left, he pulled out a Den Den Mushi. "Petra, how long till my reinforcements arrive?"

The voice that responded was like ice and fire, her tone all business. "We're two hours out sir, you'll have to hold them off until then. Will that be a problem?" His face lit up in a feral grin. "No, that's just perfect. When you get within range, scorch everything. Nothing leaves this place alive."

He could hear the smile tugging at her lips on the other end. "Understood sir. Petra out." Exiting the tavern, he made the trek to his post on the eastern shore, laughing all the while.

Wolfgang's eyes flashed with blue for the slightest moment as he used Haki to allow him to greatly increase his range of sight. Their attempts at mustering a defense was valiant but ultimately futile, still they had managed to accompiish something, for their actions had earned them some respect from the Yonko Commander. Behind him some of his men and women were rallying, sharpening their sabers and grinning at the thought of battle. Sensing their intetions, Wolfgang spoke up.

"Oi. Don't kill those who don't resist, these people belong to the Empress; besides, they've got balls to attempt to fight back."

Naturally, he had no intention of leaving any fun for his crewmates under these circumstances. He fetched his personal weapon, a mighty spear known as the Ulfgarn; which weighed roughly a dozen tons or more, and needed a special stand in order to prevent it's mere presence from damaging the ship. The stand in question most resembled a large tree, with branches connecting to the mast and the deck at various points in order to evenly distribute the weapons enormous weight. At the center of this curious construct stood the spear itself, elevated above the main floor by a few inches.

One of his favorite punishents was to force prisoners of war that he particularly despised to lift it. Grotesque dismemberment of extremities was usually the result. Yet when Wolfgang gripped it and freed it from the stand, it could be handled with such ease and grace that many failed to realize it's true nature. Such was the case today as well, as he grabbed the mighty weapon in hand and walked all the way up to the forecastle of his ship, before he leapt into the air and off the vessel.

Shortly before he impacted the water, he used Geppo to keep himself aloft, bouncing up and down just above the water surface even as he heard the sound of multiple cannons firing in the distance. Another futile endeavour, and he would show them just why, because everything was meaningless in the face of overwhelming power.

With the Ulfgarn in hand he performed the simplest of gestures possible, he swung the spear upwards. What culminated from this trivial gesture was a massive barrier of seawater whose sheer size dwarfed even his own craft; and against this wall of water the cannons lost all sense of movement and momentum. Sinking thus to the bottom of the sea as saltwater fell like rain all around the local area.

The Yonko Commander then chuckled darkly as he spun his weapon in his hand and made a single powerful thrust with the Ulfgarn in the direction of the islands northern defenses. There was a roar akin to thunder as a large blast of rippling air pressure momentarily split the sea surface in two symmetrical walls and then wiped out a group of defenders in one fell swoop. Such was the force of the blow that there was no pain, nothing but wonderment from the brave militiamen as they vanished tracelessly into thin air. The cannons fared similarly, and where the blast had struck was a large gaping hole in the islands ramparts, a warning demanding their immediate surrender.

Alarms blared in the distance, but were a mere shadow in comparison to the terrified screams of the militia as they scrambled in a mad panic. U.N. Known pulled himself up, shrugging of a collapsed building that had fallen on him during the attack. All around him was just . . . devastation. The anti-pirate cannons? Demolished. The entire northern side was flattened, and the eastern shore looked like a war zone. Ruined buildings and debris everywhere, men howling in pain, as they desperately tried to pull their wounded brothers from the wreckage.

"Well, that happened." This was a tactical blunder, but he'd be damned if he couldn't make this work out in the end. Emerald eyes lit up as Haki reinforced his sight, vastly expanding the distance and magnification of his sight far beyond human limit. Lo and behold it was the infamous Secretary of War, Wolfgang the Maneater! As if his luck couldn't get any worse. But then, Legs must be more desperate than he originally thought. Now that he could work with. Pulling out the Den Den Mushi he spoke.

"Petra, it's me. Begin contingency Autumn Rain of Operation Manifold. After that rendezvous with the asset, and tell them we'll deal. The Maneater has made an appearance. I'm accelerating contingency Summer Sprint, see to it that you get here in time." The communication line was silent for a moment before the ember tone of Petra filtered into the air. "Then you had better not die. Petra out."

He hurriedly stuffed the Den Den Mushi back into his pocket and with a huff made his way to the ruined defense post. It was not the first time that he regretted adding a limp as part of this disguise, he thought sourly while treading through the wreckage of their DFP (defense post perimeter). He hopped on his good foot, ascending to the roof of a ruined building. There he saw the remains of the anti-pirate cannons. He took a kneeling position, as his hand pulled out the long barreled hand cannon from within his coat. With this much power and in this form his techniques were fairly limited but he could do this much.

Breath slowed, and in that instant his mind and body became one. A single blazing emerald eye gazed down the iron sights aimed squarely at the battleship furthest back. The Rokuogan Ogi were akin to his trump card within the Nanashiki. But the strain they put on his body requires more than just the ten percent he was capable of wielding at this point. Still, while not anywhere near at full power, this technique in particular was well suited for these persona's.

Focusing inward on his minds eye, ignoring the winds, drowning out the screams, until his thoughts entered the familiar trance. He exhaled, and his body relaxed, instinct refined into pure technique guiding his movements. Subtle and nearly imperceptible, a thin translucent ring formed at the head of his firearm. The ring rippled before expanding down the length of the barrel through his steady hand and along the entirety of his arm.

He pulled the trigger. What occurred next happened only between moments it was so fast as the ship trailing behind Wolfgang's vessel caved in from some kind of impact, the hull bowing from the sheer force before the friction acting against it ignited, detonating the ship. He breathed once more, and stared mournfully at the slagged hand cannon. The barrel had warped, and was still glowing a bright red from the heat. Tossing it aside, he crawled over to the remains of the anti-pirate cannons, taking one in each hand. They were missing their support, and could probably only fire once before they were done, but that's all he really needed.

The panic stopped to gape in utter at the devastation wrought upon their enemy. Leaping down from his snipers nest, twin cannon's held in his grasp U.N. Known regarded the crowd before him. In a single attack, all of their hope had been blown away, the majority of command, given the lack of their presence was likely dead. He took a moment to briefly flip through his "Heroic Speeches" notebook to get the one he needed, with a nod he slipped the note back in his coat pocket, none the wiser.

"The hell y'all doing? We have pirates to kill, wenches to plow, and alcohol to drink once we've sent these bastards to hell! I've got this shoreline, the rest of ya'll fall back to the south and start setting up the reserve cannons. I need a sea damned bombardment ten minutes ago! So by the hair on my salty balls, I will not allow those pirate scum to set foot on this island! Now get a move on!"

"Yes, Sir!" The militia chanted, before moving like death was hot on their heels. He strode forward to the edge of the beach shore, and looked directly at the Maneater himself. Hefting both cannons he aimed them squarely on the Mink, and mouthed, "Just try and fuckin stop me." An open challenge. Can he stop these next attacks from sinking his other two battleships? Without even waiting for a reply, he settled once more into that familiar trance and let the technique echo in his mind.

"Rokuogan Ogi: Chō-Denjihō (Six King Gun Mystery: Railgun)." Even at such a far distance, Wolfgang could hear the technique's name as easily if it were shouted in his face. To his inhuman senses he could see arcs of electricity race up the length of the cannons and see the buildup of heat as the canons prepared to unleash their payload.

There was a resounding boom and twin cannons roared.

The Maneater in question turned his head around to watch the sinking wreckage of one of his warships, as he could hear the howl of anguish from Tomoka-san behind him. The financier was looking at the destroyed vessel with eyes of the purest horror, they were practically bulging out of his eyes at this point. Wolfgang's senses could almost hear how the gears moved in his brain trying to figure out how they were gonna cover the costs of a pristine warship. Well, that was his problem, he just conquered stuff, still he couldn't resist one last little jab before going.

"You sure didn't spend long in there, that quick, huh?"

Tomoka-san turned beef-red, then he raised his fist at Wolfgang while gritting his teeth in frustration: "B-because of you I can never be married. I am tainted goods, defiled by pirates and prostitutes, no woman shall ever get the chance to listen to me recount my mathemathical exploits!"

He never got the chance to properly reply as he heard the booming sound of two cannons being fired in the distance. Wolfgang's haki quickly allowed him to witness the attacks for what they were, and in response he raised an eyebrow in surprise but also relief. It looked like he might get to have some fun here after all, and here he'd expected another pointless conquest over merchants and shipwrights.

With purpose he swung the Ulfgarn in front of him, mustering great force in order to further increase the strength of an already titanic swing. A mighty sonic boom shot forth towards the lone man on the beach, surging past the cannonballs and slowing them down noticeably. When it reached U. N. Known it would have increased to the point where it'd be as if a veritable hurricane beared down upon his form, seeking to hurl him off his feet and crush him against the buildings behind him, even as all kinds of loose debris were hurled up into the air and sought to bury him afterwards, following in the wake of the mighty air cannon. Even as Wolfgang prepared the next step of his attack.

Electrical currents rushed into his spear as he prepared to deflect the cannon shots. Using his own bodies generated static electricity to turn the Ulfgarn momentarily magnetic, so that when he then swung around to gently steer the cannon balls off course with surprising finesse, the cannon balls ended up adhering to the weapon. As Wolfgang surged forwards, spun around and hurled both of the two empowered cannon balls back at the hopefully preoccupied "marine" with tremendous force, utilizing his spear as a makeshift tennis racket.

He had a bark of laughter upon seeing the Maneater heft his massive weapon and with all the ease of wielding a knife, practically throw a hurricane in retaliation. Even with the increased strength and speed afforded to his shots by Rokuogan, they couldn't penetrate his defenses. Not at this level of power at least. Gale forces winds were fast on the approach, and he didn't have many defensive options available to him. Shaking his head he gave a wiry grin as he steeled himself for the attack. Holding his arms in front of him in a cross he whispered into the encroaching maelstrom.

"Tekkai." Sand was blown up from beneath as his body flexed and hardened, the sheer force displacing nearby debris. A moment later the titanic hurricane unleashed by Wolfgang's casual display of overwhelming power was on him. The shockwave didn't barrel into him so much as it enveloped the entire area, a roiling mass of kinetic force that just pulverized everything in the vicinity kicking up a sandstorm in the process.

When the dust settled, and the devastation became visible, the beach which had been previously turned into a wasteland was ironically pristine and new. All the bodies, the blood, the crushed and ruined architecture had been blown away, swept to the side and forgotten. Yet standing there, arms crossed, his muscled arms visible beneath the tattered sleeves of his trench-coat was U.N. Known. And he was laughing, a giddy sort of laughter, like a child coming home to find their room filled with their favorite candy.

"Hehehe, what big teeth you have-," his quip was interrupted by the simultaneous impact of two cannons slamming into him with enough force that the ground shuddered as his body impacted with the sand. He didn't immediately get up, but the groaning emanating from the crater indicated that he was still very much alive. A moment later he pulled himself up, looking decidedly more sandy than before.

"Playing it safe eh? Too bad though, you just lost the initiative." His form momentarily blurring as he took off in a dead sprint before disappearing entirely with a shout of, "Soru".

Water exploded as he dived into the sea, speeding towards the two remaining ships. Wolfgang may have had the overwhelming power, but this wasn't a brute force battle. It's one thing to conquer an island, but to hold it requires manpower and Wolfgang was already down one ship. U.N. Known grinned while speeding towards the two remaining ships whilst submerged. If he could breach the hulls, then it doesn't matter who wins the fight, Wolfgang will have no forces, no ships and unless he can fly or swim back to Legs, then he'll be marooned without any backup.

Wolfgang blinkd in bafflement as his adversary dove into the waters and rushed towards him at tremendous speeds. It was then that he realized that he might not be after he himself, but his ships, and that was something he simply couldn't allow to happen. Raising his spear once more, and relying upon his Haki to sense his rapidly approaching enemy, Wolfgang prepared to go onto the offensive in earnest. His foe had been correct, Wolfgang had intended to force a surrender, since he'd learned that doing so reflected well on his Empress.

Black ichor began to seep into the core of the Ulfgarn's form in that moment, turning the mighty spear pitch black and empowering its great power even further. Then he poured his strength into a single decisive swing, not towards the charging marine, but towards the very sea itself. As he swung his mighty weapon, trails of blackened lightning flickered after the blade as Haki mixed with Electro. Even while Wolfgang was in the process of swinging his weapon, the sheer kinetic energy generated sent the two warships behind him far away as they rode upon powerful waves and out of immediate danger. 

"Did it ever occur to you to wonder why exactly us three primary commanders are named after deities, Human?" 

And as the tip of Ulfgarn touched the water surface, it divided the local area of the sea in two.. like an enormous fissure with two cresting walls of water. Held back through kinetic forces beyond the comprehension of most they created the illusion of two steep cliffs. Leading all the way down to the seafloor below, a drop of a thousand feet. Rendering passage impossible through the sea, and if he was unable to spot himself in time he'd meet an absurd fate indeed.

Death by gravity in the ocean. Meanwhile, currents of electro coursed through the entire surrounding area at great speeds, like greyish-black flashes of light. Killing any wildlife it stumbled across instantly and seeking to the same with U. N. Known. Its presence caused the sea to momentarily look like raging thunderclouds from above; as flashes of black and white emerged under the surface. Soon he expected to find the charred corpse of his adversary float to the surface. 

Then you had better not die. Petra's words echoed through his thoughts as he sped beneath the ocean depths. The Maneater was more powerful, far more than what the reports suggested. With his phenomenal brute strength and that sea-damned electrokinesis all Mink's seem to possess he was a formidable opponent. In this old body, and at barely ten percent of his full power he could feel the pressure. It looked like U.N. Known would have to "retire" in this battle. A shame, he was fond of the old persona.

A moment later he felt the initial shockwave hammer into him. Tekkai! His body hardened as the wave passed through him, battering him from the inside out. He felt his body give a little as the transformation struggled to maintain cohesion. Then the oceans began to part, like a fissure in the earth, a chasm was rapidly speeding towards him. He barely had time adjust his trajectory when sheer kinetic forces crashed into him, and he was consumed by the surging waves. He felt himself thrown about his sense of direction momentarily in chaos before he found himself in empty air.

Slamming his foot into the air, he propelled himself upward with Geppo to avoid the fall. Yet even that was but a brief reprieve as the waters previously held back by the Maneater's previous attack surged inward with black lightning dancing across their surface. Everything was happening so fast, and his body was so sluggish, and unresponsive. The technique 72 Transformations was a powerful tool for espionage; one can perfectly adjust the output and limit of their physical abilities but, this was also a double edged sword. Had he been stronger he would have been able to react, but as it was, his current body would not respond as it needed to.

The first tidal wave hit him before he could muster a defense. It was like being smashed by a small island (it wasn't the first time, won't be the last). He felt the air vacate his lungs and felt his body pummeled from all sides. Then the electricity surged across him and he felt pain. It was like a thousand swords being plunged into his body at once, before being savagely twisted, while hot magma poured over the open wounds. He was in his own personal hell. But pain was a familiar ally and so he latched onto that feeling, embracing it. When pain was the only thing he could feel, his mind began to clear, and with it control.

He shifted his hand, despite the currents, but it was just enough. A modified variant of Geppo, but using the hands instead, to throw his body into a tumbling spin through the currents. More electricity washed over him and he felt his insides numb from the black lightning arcing across his body. A thought sent his senses stretching across his body, guiding it like a marionette and with it he forced his body to compress into a smaller, more nimble form. Each rotation he pushed himself further with a silent mantra of Geppo, until he had achieved sufficient speed. With another burst of concentration, his will overcame the threshold of pain and he lashed out with a somersaulting kick.

Rankyaku: Kachuu! Even with only a single good leg in this form, the speed and rotation was enough despite the heaviness of the waters he was trapped in. What was released was not a single blade that parted waves before him, but a veritable storm that whipped the surrounding sea around him, saving him from abysmal depths. Now free he launched himself upward through the chasm. He hopped in the air on his good leg with Geppo taking in the devastation wrought by the Maneaters display of power. He tore his eyes away from the parted sea and unfathomable depths were not even the light tread and looked upon the thing that called itself a god. He laughed.

"To answer yer question, I think its because ya'll fancy yerselves bunch of pretentious sons of bitches. Now if you'll excuse me for a moment here I've got a call to make." He then promptly reached inside his coat and pulled out a Den Den Mushi.

"Hey! HEY! I'm talkin to you maggots! Them cannons better be squared away or so help me," he shouted into the line. A terrified yelp was the response before some crashing and fumbling. "Sir, we've got the cannons in place. We're just awaiting your command." U.N. Known snapped back, "Then FIRE!" he looked pleading at the Maneater and whispered, "What a bunch of cock nosed idiots. I hope yer men don't give you no trouble like this."

"Right, well this is it boys. It was an honor to serve with ya. Imma take this son bitch down with me, so ya'll get that signal out ya hear! This is Commander U.N. Known, goin for one last ride!" The confused and startled cries of his men on the other line was abruptly cut as he ended the communique.

"So thank ya for that. Now, lets get back to business. Oh and I'm sure ya heard but we're about to be bombarded by explosive ordinance, so be a nice pup and take care of that would ya? I need a moment to pretty myself up for our big showdown." With that, U.N. Known dropped down into the abyss, his form contorting and shifting unnaturally, before he faded into darkness.

Shortly after the sky darkened as cannon fire, enough to level several ships in a single bombardment began to descend. A blanket of lead and fire that would envelope the Maneater and everything within a three-hundred meter area into a fiery apocalypse.

Artisan of WarfareEdit

More cannonfire, he couldn't be bothered with this kind of distraction. He supposed his foe was after his warships once again, but this time he would not help them, it was about time that they proved themselves worthy of serving a Yonko. They'd just have to save themselves. And true enough, as the rain of cannonfire descended down upon them he could see tiny figures in the distance leap up into the air and slice, crush or deflect the cannonballs away from the vessels in question. He watched his subordinates move like demons, neutralizing the assault in tandem with or sometimes competing with one another.

Then came the time for Wolfgang to deal with the cannons heading for him. Jumping up and down in the air, he once more raised his spear with intent, and performed a single powerful swing in the direction of the incoming cannon balls. Once more a rippling wave of compressed force swept across the area, tearing apart at the very foundation of the explosive weaponry, causing them all to preemptively explode in a series of intimidating if harmless fireworks.

Hrmph. Marines, they'd come to spoil his fun, but they would themselves become sport. They were but fodder before the main course, but at this point he'd grown bored from simply eradicating them with simple attacks from the Ulfgarn. He supposed the time had come to try something different, perhaps one of the techniques exhibited by his opponent? Truthfully, learning the Rokushiki talents was a simple matter for him, for he already possessed the requisite levels of raw ability and physical supremacy. All he required was a demonstration by a skilled user, and his adversary had provided him with just that.

By observing him Kenbunshoku Haki, Wolfgang had deduced the apparent simplicity of the technique as being something as simple as moving ones limb with sufficient strength and speed. Far beyond the capabiliities of the vast majority of humans, but he supposed most Minks could easily learn the ability if they so desired. As someone who had been praised as a rare breed of fighter among an entire race of natural-born warriors, Wolfgang wouldn't simply perform the technique, he would expand upon it here and now.

A single use of Geppo caused the wolf man to surge a hundred meters into the air, leaving the sea to quake in the wake of his sudden movement. As a large hole quickly filled in the water surface. Without hesitating he spun around in a perfect circle, leg fully outstretched and simultaneously imbued with a combination of Electro and Haki. Even as it sliced through the air the appendage began to shimmer with greyish-black specks of electro that soon merged with the foundational technique to become something quite different.

"Shinrai Rankyaku!" Wolfgang yelled out to noone in particular as the built up kinetic energy was discharged from his leg in a large horizontal grey-black blade of crackling energy that swooped through the bombarding volley of cannons at immense speeds. As tongues of gray haki-imbued electricity arced out to sizzle and scorch the air as it passed, it vaporized the oncoming onslaught, and those it did not immediately destroy were prematurely detonated. The sky was lit with black lightning and a cascade of explosions that burned crimson-black across the heavens.

This was the last sight for U.N. Known, who smiled for the last time before his wrinkled old body, twisting and contorting until that aged visage vanished forever. In its place rippling muscle replaced feeble flesh, youth reinvigorated the frailty of an old body, grayed hair darkened until it was pitch black, bones cracked, and the body grew taller, fuller until the form had become its original self. Langrisser Reinhardt opened his eyes, his vision sharper and clearer than before, and his power no longer resting at a comfortable ten percent, but now capable of accessing so much more. He let the wind whip by him as he continued his free fall, content to bask in the radiance of a plan that more or less worked out as intended. He smiled, feral and savage, one that promised only blood and death, and roared with raucous laughter as he pulsed, releasing the restraints on his power with a mental command.

Pulse: Sixty Percent! It was like the locks and chains that kept his power in check unraveled as he felt a massive surge of energy buildup within him, flooding his body with renewed strength. And of course, with the technique he felt his actual output push itself well beyond the sixty percent he released granting him a temporary boon that pushed his power to just over full strength. That should be enough until the next stage of his plan comes to fruition. Even so, he was going to be at a handicap. That last attack he took did a real number on him. As if to prove his point black lightning cracked sporadically around his body, a faint sense of numbness and shock shooting through his system. Shaking his head he blew out breath.

"Time to make the donuts." He said aloud.

He then reached within himself, pulling at his Haki before wrapping it around him. Visually it did little, but this particular application of Kenbunshoku Haki was useful in stealth. It would briefly obscure his presence, like a veil, allowing him to momentarily move unseen whilst the Maneater was distracted with the bombardment. While his could not block sight, it would smother out scent and sound as well as masking him from those sensing his Haki. With the blazing lights and the cacophony of explosions near him, and given the Maneaters advanced senses as a Mink, his susceptibility to loud and dazzling displays was going to be to his advantage. Re-orienting himself he quickly kicked at the air, uttering a soft Geppo before his form blurred out of sight entirely.

A moment later the cresting walls of water collapsed and along with any trace of U.N. Known, now Reinhardt. When he reappeared it was not behind or anywhere near the Maneater, but upon the Secretary of War's very own command ship. Standing before the Maneaters cabin, he dropped his veil and flared his Haki to catch the Minks attention.

"So Maneater," he yelled out, his voice commanding, and deep. It was a voice suited for the depths beneath the seas, it pushed and pulled like the tide, enthralling all who listened. The nearby pirates simply stopped and gawked at the unknown man, though several tried to sound the alarm or rouse the others to combat this potential threat. Only, their bodies failed to heed their command. His voice carried with it a weight that filled the space of the ship with authority. For now they were an unwilling audience, caught between the ego's of two very powerful beings.

"How about you stop fooling around with the militia and their toys. Come down here and we can play fetch all you want. Just a man and a dog having a grand ole time eh?" Reinhardt said, taunting the Mink.

Wolfgang turned back to look at the new arrival, curious, everything about him seemed different but his Haki informed him that this was the same person. Ever since he'd been a puppy, Wolfgang had always been the one who set the bar for others to follow; many had sung him praise and called him a prodigy. Yet the word held little meaning to the Secretary of War, excellence had always been the world he lived in and it was extremely rare for anyone to pique his interest, or even rarer, impress him. This stranger had managed to achieve both feats at once, and this was something that had only happened thrice in the span of Wolfgang's entire life.

So for a moment he buried his instincts to tear this man apart at the expense of his own ship and instead utilized Geppo to appear on the deck, facing Langrisser directly. Sitting down cross-legged, with the Ulfgarn resting in his lap, he spoke deeply and with a distinctive growl that rarely found its way into his voice. "So. You have understood my great strength and prowess as a male, and now you stand before my personal chambers like a bitch in heat. Very well, I'm game.."

The mink rose to his full height, put down his spear and moved with powerful steps towards Langrisser. Even dressed in merely a loincloth the Secretary of War was an imposing figure, muscles rippling as he walked and he seemed to dominate the very space around him. His hand reached out to the wall for support as he leaned down over Reinhardt, caging him in with his large body. 

"So. Ready to play on the wild side, lesser mink? I hope so, for you have no idea what you'll be getting into; let me show you how we do it up on Zou!" 

All around them, the crew members looked upon in mock surprise. This had happened before, minks were earnest and honest creatures that rarely minced words or were indirect with anything. Wolfgang happened to be an extreme case there as well, as with anything else and had taken his metaphors literally.

Reinhardt stared long and hard at the Mink, his face twisted in a mix between amusement and confusion. Unable to stop the train of his own curiosity he reached out and grabbed the nearest pirate, who coincidentally just happened to be one Tomoka. He spun the accountant around, grabbed him by the shoulder and leaned in.

"Did... did the Maneater just offer to do the beast-with-two-backs?" He asked pointing towards the Mink in question. There was a moment of stunned silence as Tomoka blinked rapidly, trying and failing to comprehend his current situation.

"W-w-what?" He stammered out. It was all he could do, without screaming for his life.

"Docking his cannon in my port?" Reinhardt pressed. Tomoka looked aghast. "The midnight rodeo?" Tomoka now just looked confused. "Pressure-washing the quiver bone in the bitch wrinkle?" He continued, though even the audience behind him looked perplexed.

"Y-You made that last one up!" Tomoka retorts. "Did not." He responded while shoving the accounting back. He made his way with purpose towards the Maneater only to suddenly stop and turn his attention to the pirate crew.

"How is that none of you are concerned that I just transformed from an old man into this prime real estate here?" The involuntary audience of pirates had the decency to look ashamed at the perceived lack of reaction but given who their commander is, and the Yonko they serve it really was nothing too extraordinary. Legs was the Yonko of Miracles after-all. Though none had the courage to say so.

He swept his head from side to looking at the assembled pirates, his posture demanding an answer he knows they damn well won't give. He sighed, "Why do I even bother?" he said in an exhausted tone. Turning to face the Maneater once more he was suddenly reminded of why he went on this mental tangent, and then he was struck by a very curious thought.

"You have absolutely no idea what a metaphor is do you?" He scratched his chin pondering that question for a moment. "Right. Mink. No human sensibilities at all. Just had to ruin my moment didn't you? On top of all that, you think me a 'bitch in heat'." He laughs, cold and dark like the depths of the deep, its chilling tones ripple through the pirate crew who shiver in primal fear.

"You fought me before at barely a tenth of my power Maneater. Don't get too full of yourself. If anyone's bending over panting like a bitch its going to be you. If you're lucky I might just finish all over your face and mark you as my own." Reinhardt was more than willing to engage in pre-fight banter, though he had to wonder if this was some strange version of Mink foreplay?'

Tilting his head in wonderment at the string of curious metaphors, allegories and wordplays, Wolfgang twitched his ears as he tried to make sense of what was being said. Something about docking a cannon in his port, so this man had a port, that meant he probably had an island too. Very well, his next destination would be this man's port, he was gonna conquer it with his mighty spear. Wolfgang grinned at the thought about how that port would look ravaged by his pirates and set aflame as he claimed it for his mistress.

As he continued to listen in to the conversation between Tomoka and Langrisser, his ears slumped a bit as he joined in on the perplexed blinking of the entire crew. His metaphors where so whimsical that they were impossible to follow for most of the pirates, and for Wolfgang it was very impressive. I see, so he wishes to disguise the exact location of his port by talking in code. He made a mental note to have Tomoka decipher the code later, he was certain this hidden island would be located at the heart of this alleged bitch-wrinkle, which he assumed to be a peculiar island formation somewhere. He could already tell that his adversary was a master strategist, who so boldly disclosed the location of his port with the enemy, mocking him and his crew with codespeak that none could understand. He still had much to learn about the subtler forms of war.

He was freed from this train of thought by Reinhardt facing him. It was a curious sight to see a lesser mink attempt to be terrifying, akin to witnessing a naked monkey raise its fists in anger. Even so the other humans were easily startled by this sorry sight, the wolfman however simply stood and observed Langrisser with a sense of ardent fascination, his tail wagging furiously behind him as he got more and more excited. And this would be the only warning that Reinhardt got before the massive creature reached forwards, opened his maw wide and gave him several long licks across his face. 

"Sure. I'll be your bitch, and I'll hold you to your promise, cause that sounds fun. Provided of course that you prove yourself superior to me in combat." Wolfgang didn't appear offended or angry about Langrisser's words, amused and intrigued perhaps but it was evident that once again his candor had simply succeeded in egging the mink on. Childish jabs at his manhood or his strength appeared to have no effect whatsoever on Wolfgang. The rhythmic movement of his tail did stall a bit however as he thought about what he'd said earlier. '

"Now, I suppose there's a point to you being on my ship? Aside from simply wanting to get a piece of this of course. Hurry up and get to the point, I am behind schedule on the killing and pillaging."

The Wolves of WarEdit

Tomoka didn't think it possible to actually hear someone grinding their teeth, but it will forever haunt his nightmares. Reinhardt shrugged the towering Mink off of him, though given the jovial nature of the Mink, he probably considered it more foreplay. It took several calming breathes before he could speak without completely losing his shit, but decades of mental discipline won out.


"You're going to have your ships turn around and retreat. A fleet of Marines are already on their way and they will make landfall before any reinforcements arrive. You're going to do this because I have a plan to help your Yonko." He looked the Maneater dead in the eye.

"The Marines will fortify this island, work its people to the bone and make that trade port defensible. All of this will take approximately one month. Then Legs can send her people here once again, and conquer the island without a single shot being fired. By that point my agents will have turned the residents of Kamehameha Island against the Marines and the island will be yours." He paused to let the Mink digest this information.

"Now I originally wanted a wager, but now? I'm just going to hit you very, very hard and maybe, just maybe I'll beat some sense into that head of yours. Now send your ships back so they don't become collateral damage."

Wolfgang narrowed his eyes in obvious disgust at what Langrisser was suggesting? He, The Maneater tucking his tail between his legs and sailing away to avoid a fight with the marines and to prevent his losses. Ridiculous, and the other men and women on board, handpicked as they were for the occasion likewise voiced their distaste.

"You, helping the future Pirate King? Aogarararara" Wolfgang's laughter began with a howl and then went over into a series of sneers and growls, others among the crew laughed too. "Another little schemer, I see how it is, would it by any chance be you that notified the marines of our presence? If so, thank you, for a moment I thought this would be a boring day." he chuckled a bit before continuing.

"No, we won't turn back, we will remain here and wipe out in the incoming marines. Nothing like a naval battle for amusement, maybe there'll be important officials aboard to capture and interrogate. I can already smell the sweet scent of gunpowder in the air."

Sitting down cross-legged on the deck, Wolfgang snickered at the thought before looking back at Reinhardt. "Allow me to put it this way, we are warriors, we won't take part in your menial plans. Such matters are reserved for those who lack the strength to take what they want, we will capture and fortify the island ourselves. Tch, not only are you too much of a puppy to play on the wild side, but you want me to ignore the hearts of my men as they beat for the rhythm of battle? Get off my ship, only power matters in the New World; for only power will see our empress claim her rightful place."

Reinhardt was silent under the tirade. His gaze like that of the eyes of death stared down at the Mink and his crew, and he made no effort to intervene nor defend his actions. As the Maneater continued speaking he reached into his coat and pulled out a Den Den Mushi.

"Petra, come in. Contingency Summer Sprint is now Winter Fall." There was laughter on the other end, rich and melodious, the silky nature of it was like velvet across the skin. Whatever this "Winter Fall" was it had certainly made this woman Petra quite happy. "And the island?" She asked, with barely restrained mirth.

At this, Reinhardt looked right into the Maneaters eyes and said, "Scorch the skies and salt the sea with its ashes. Leave nothing alive. And inform the asset to give the Marines a warm welcome when they arrive." A delightful bout of laughter once again echoed from the Den Den Mushi, before it cut out. He stored the communication slug away, his features morphed into a psychotic grin, as his eyes were lit with an almost palpable joy.

"As for helping the future Pirate King?" He laughed, like it was funniest thing in the world. "Adorable. But mistaken." He admonished. "No matter, because today is your lucky day!" He clapped his hands together, eliciting a thunderous boom that cracked the wood beneath his feet.

"Your plans for conquering that little island have been put on hold. Unless you plan to conquer some floating bits and pieces of rubble, I think you and you're crew just got volunteered as the heroes of Kamehameha Island! So sit back, relax, unburden those shoulders and become the hero you never thought possible! " At this Reinhardt dropped into a low stance, his arms crossed over his chest.

"Or don't. Any action you take, has already been accounted for. Pawns are oh so predictable." He hopped several feet into the air, his form like a coiled snake before landing, and when his feet touched the deck, the resulting shockwave he released was visible to the naked eye.

It was not so much the power as it was the sheer control and precision. For the wave emanated up and outwards, leaving the vessel itself relatively unscathed, but the rippling mass of force shunted forward catapulting the pirate crew off the ship, sending them spiraling through the air and into the sea, save for the Maneater himself.

The mast buckled under the pressure and snapped in half, landing atop Reinhardt, who nimbly caught the enormous wooden pole twirling it about him expertly. An instant later black tendrils burst from Reinhardts grasped hands crawling up the length of the pole, encapsulating it in a gleaming black carapace. This was accompanied by an increase in pressure, as the bow buckled under the strain. Thick, dense and potent the haki infused within the weapon distorted the air around it, light bending erratically, strangled by the power of his spirit. Now armed with a spear he gave the Maneater a sardonic smile.

"First lesson of war: without victory, power is just another word for helplessness. Now lets housebreak that into you!"

He thrust the spear forward. It was such a simple maneuver that Wolfgang might have thought him foolish for attempting something so easily defendable. But at the last moment, his hand which gripped the blackened spear twisted sharply. The transformation was at first subtle but quickly obvious as it began its work. A spiraling force surged around the pole, the haki wrapped around the spear emitting hissing wisps of smoke that spun like a kaleidoscope.

Its purpose was clear the instant it formed as an immense back-draft suddenly pulled everything inwards into this vortex. Anything not nailed to the ground was sucked in. Wolfgang felt the bow beneath him collapse before it too was sucked in leaving him no ground to anchor himself. At its center lay the trap where the mass of spiraling kinetic energy surged forward in a drilling force, shredding and grinding anything unfortunate enough to be dragged into its maw.

The mink scratched himself behind the ears as he listened to his adversary making one outrageous claim after another. He'd not met anyone with this inflated an ego before, it sounded like he hadn't really paid attention to anything he said. Of course he intended to protect Kamehameha Island after he conquered it, that was more or less the point of this expedition. When Langrisser unleashed his sudden shockwave, the Secretary of War watched as his men were promptly hurled overboard, arching an eyebrow in acknowledgement at this feat. For although they were certainly weak in comparison to himself, they were still followers of a Yonko and strong in comparison to most regular pirates.

His respect for his foe increased significantly once he saw the raw power of Reinhardt's haki as it embalmed his improvised weapon and surged with power. It was rare to see someone with a Haki this potent, Wolfgang suspected that he might even possess Haoshoku Haki, but that was simple speculation. Despite this epiphany he stood his ground and made no attempt to assume any form of defensive stance, instead he almost lazily lifted his free hand to meet the incoming spear head on.

Black ichor pooled around his feet in response to the destructive prowess of Langrisser's attack, securing the bow beneath him and preventing it from breaking under the heavy strain. It was in that moment that Reinhardt's own spear made contact with the Maneaters palm, its presence writhing like inky black snakes in the air, and wisps of darkness licking the air as pitch black singularity sought to throw him off balance and penetrate his body and Haki. Yet no such thing happened, instead the spear met an impenetrable obstacle, as it's tip screeched against Wolfgang's palm as though it was made of tempered steel. Black sparks flew and arcs of black lightning were issued forth into extinence to tear through Langrisser's body and liquidize his insides by turning the excess energies of his Haki into overwhelming static discharges laced with Wolfgang's own spirit. Finally, the Secretary of War exerted his freakish strength to knock aside the incoming spear with a sudden gesture, possibly leaving Langrisser disadvantaged as the Yonko Commander raised the hand with his index and middle fingers up.

Coruscating motes of black electricity were the only warning Wolfgang provided before the immense static discharges merged with parts of his own bioelectric aura and haki-imbued electro to do something unthinkable. As a black bolt of lightning shot up from the floor underneath Langrisser and reached the clouds so far above them within miliseconds of the techniques execution. Seeking to cleave the other man in two halves and end the battle before he might even have a chance to properly react. The sound of thunder filled the area a time after the lightning bolt had already pierced the heavens, from ground-to-cloud. And now arcs of greyish-black suffused the boat, but strangely did no damage to its structure, although from now on merely being aboard this vessel would pose a dire threat to Langrisser Reinhardt; as the rampant surges of electricity would gradually work to disintegrate his muscles and impede his nervous system.