Remember that incomplete fan profile that I made for my version of Robin that I started sometime early last year and finally got around to show you guys back at January?
About almost a year ago, I decided to make a fanfic based on it (although it will be different from the profile to make it more accessible to readers, like Robin being slightly less powerful in the fanfic.
However, I ended up putting it on hold to focusing on other stuff, as well as due to the lack of interest of continuing it, but now I am planning on finally going back on continuing it after so long.
But the thing is that I am going to need a co-writer to help me out with this baby since my story telling skills are quite weak IMO. So if there is anyone out there who is a skilled writer and a fan of Nico Robin or/and One piece in general, hit me up so we can work something out!No need, a co-writer has already been found months ago. Her name is Misa-kike-chi who is a talented writer who has some great stuff over at fanfiction.net that are worth checking out!
Here are the chapters so far:
Chapter 1 and 2
OK, it's been awhile since I talked about my upcoming fanfic and the reason why it's been taking longer then I planned was due to my co-writer and I being too busy with other things so it has been quite difficult to get this done.
Anyway, to make up for all this, I decided to share with you all of what we got down so far. Be warned that this chapter is still far from complete as it's only over 70% done so far with a lot of stuff missing. This chapter takes place 3 years after the prologue chapter:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Quote:Time: Child Weapon Period, 1505 A.O.P
Location: Secret Faculty, ???
A short, young woman garbed in a loose, flowing purple dressed stared up at the stone behemoth in front of her. Three years have passed since her first day entering inside and beginning her training. Nico Robin was no longer the girl she had been back then; the weak, lonely, left over Oharan. Instead, now she'd become a dangerous assassin, already on the path to being one of the world's strongest living weapons. All thanks to the "Black Rose" project.
"You may enter." The black suited, as typical for government agents, motioned her inside the building to meet with her superiors. Today was a special day for the young 11-year-old Nico Robin. The day she would take on her first mission. Very likely it would be dangerous and life threatening, but Robin had long ago decided to laugh in the face of danger.
"Derishishi." She mused to herself entering into the dark building. Shadows cast from nowhere, hiding the location in an aura of mystery. Even the older gentleman sitting behind the desk was cast in his own darkness, blackness descending down his face so that only his glasses glittered ominously.
"Shadow Blossom..." He began, rearranging the various hidden papers on his desk. "For your very first assignment you'll be going into Loguetown. Your false identity will be that of an orphan sent by a supplier to be a new playmate for Hutzil, a wicked pirate captain known widely for molesting children on a daily basis." He paused, handing over Hutzil's wanted poster to Robin.
She grimaced looking at his face. Despite being only worth 8 million beri, the man even looked despicable through a picture. She could easily imagine being a defenseless child faced against a monster. After all, what was the world government but the biggest monster of them all?
Her handler continued on. "Once you have arrived inside his hideout you are to find a certain file of documents for us containing classified information. After you've obtained these documents you are to eliminate Hutzil and his entire pirate crew. Use whatever means are needed. Leave no traces behind. Can you handle that?"
"Yes, I can." Robin mumbled, fumbling with the bounty poster in her hands. She looked up blankly from the poster, staring into the shining glasses, the only visible thing on the man she could see. "What about the children?"
"Hmm? Oh, yes. You may rescue them if time permits, but the main objectives are more important than civilian casualties. Don't lose sight of your goal. Understood?" The mysterious handler asked, Robin, having been trained for such things, noticed an edge to his tone of voice.
"Yes, sir." She sighed. Just as she thought. The world government were monsters.
"Great. As per our parameters if you are compromised and put into danger, there will be no rescue. The mission begins in three days, use it wisely to prepare yourself. The success of the first mission is critical to determining your future." He stopped abruptly, beginning to shuffle his papers. Robin waited patiently.
"Why is it so dark in here? I can't read a thing... Lights! Can I get some li-" Equally as abrupt he looked up, jumping back as if shocked to discover Robin still there. "What're you waiting for? Go now."
"Ahh, yes. Sorry." Robin smiled, bowing with a sweep of her dress towards her superior officer as she slipped away into the abyssal darkness towards the exit. The bow might have been a bit much, but appearances were the easiest thing to deceive with. She had to become one of them, or at least make them think she was, in order to infiltrate and destroy.
"Oh, Shadow Blossom... how clever we think we are..."
Lougetown, 4 Days Later
Waves lapped gently against the wood of the docks, over powered by the yelling and bustling coming from the crowd gathered on it. Seamen, shop keeps, and normal citizens alike all streamed along the wooden outposts, barely paying any attention to which ships sailed in or out. So long as they didn't belong to them, or possess a Jolly Roger, there were much more important things to worry about in the day. Well, for some people at least.
"Alright, it looks like that fool came through after all." Decker grinned, wiping grimy hands of dirt and chicken grease across his brown, once white shirt. "All hands to the ship!" A group of men responded to his orders, quickly shuffling over towards the water as the ship inched in closer. Decker, being the man of power he often bragged about, chose to slowly mosey over.
As the ship set down it's anchor, tossing out a mooring line to be secured Decker grinned even wider. As one of the commanders of Hutzil's crew he was in charge of making sure that everything always went smoothly. Dealing with wimpy suppliers sometimes meant that things didn't always go smoothly. And when things didn't go smoothly... well, neither did his meetings with Captain Hutzil.
"You know what to do! Find our shipment..." The crew went dashing into the ship, all racing over each other to reach the cargo area first. They didn't like their meetings with Captain Hutzil too much either. Deciding this might take a while, and also deciding he had the power to do such things, Decker leaned against a straggling barrel lighting him a cigarette.
He slowly breathed out a steady stream of smog, occasionally shouting out random orders to continue the search. The crew pretended they were grateful to be reminded what would happen if they didn't. Fifteen minutes went by before they found a barrel echoing with the sounds of whimpering. Jackpot.
"Sir! We've found it!" Said one of the crewmembers who's name Decker had never, and didn't plan to, learned.
"Excellent, bring it here!" Decker barked, refusing to move as he continued puffing contentedly on his cigarette. A group of men hauled the barrel in front of him, forming a circle around the commander so that no wondering eyes would happen to glance over. Thinking of Captain Hutzil they weren't sure whether the secrecy was for his safety of the citizens.
Absentmindedly ashing his cigarette, Decker violently kicked open the bar and stared into the tear filled eyes of a jittery, blonde-haired young girl. "Oh hoho, the captain will definitely like this one! Alright men, time to head on back!" Without a second glance at the girl, Decker moseyed away as his crew recapped the barrel and hoisted it onto their shoulders.
As the whimpering began again, the two men carrying the barrel shared a chuckle. One of them took the initiative of calming her down, whispering into the hole of the barrel, "Don't worry yer pretty lil' head Missy. The captain will take very good care of you. Hehe!"
Nico Robin stared out of the little hole with a blank gaze, memorizing the man's face. As much as she wants to snap his neck with her powers right then and there, she has to bind her time and continue to play the weak and helpless girl.
Hutzil pirates hideout, 30 minutes later
After arriving inside the hideout, which is a very tall building that looks like it’s abandoned for years, Robin, who is still inside the barrel, sprouted an eye out of the side of the one of the henchmen’s bandanas (since it will just look like it’s part of the bandana’s design to the untrained eye) and took her time to scope the layout of the place as they all move along. She even used her Kenbushoku Haki to count how many people are in the hideout. “Hmm, there seem to be at least over 400 living presences here, 20 if them being very weak. I’m guessing those 20 must be the children.” She thought to herself.
They finally came before Hutzil himself who looks like a big fatso with a metal eye and a cape. “Ah so this is the one, bring her to me!”
“You heard him, take her out of the barrel and show him”, says Decker. The henchmen proceed to drag her out of the barrel and toss her right in front of Hutzil. He went to take a closer look at her.
“Ooh yes, I am gonna have some fun with you for sure” Says Hutzil as he sticks his tough out and licks her cheeks. What a disgusting human being indeed. “Take her to her cell!”
“Yes captain!” says Decker as he drags her to her cell that 2 floors above the main hall.
Once they arrived at a small room, Decker screams “In you go, bitch!” as he tosses her into her cage. “You two guards keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t escape!”
As he leaves, she looked up at both of the guards, analyzing them while still acting scared. She then sprouts an arm at the corner of the room and haves it throw a piece of rock or something. Both of the guards heard the noise and decided to check out what it was “You stay put, brat.” As soon as they leave put of her sight, she stops her fake crying and looks around to make sure the cost is clear.
“Good, I believe it’s time to go to work now” she thought to herself as an sprouted arm untied her. She was then able to escape the cage thanks to her abnormal flexibility which she gained from her Kami-e training. Sensing the two guards returning, she went and hid in the shadows.
When they’ve return after realizing that it must’ve been a rat or something, they notice that the cage is now empty. “What the—where did she go!?” said one of them. Suddenly, 12 arms appeared out of nowhere with six arms holding one guard and six arms holding the other. The upper two arms snaps the neck of the first guard, killing him, while the other one is kept on a stranglehold.
“Now that I got rid of your comrade, I’m going to ask you a couple of questions.” said Robin as she emerges from the shadows.
“Hey y-you’re that brat! Are you the one doing this? What the hell are y-*Gruglk*!!”
“Quiet!” shouted Robin as she has her sprouted hands enforce their grip on him. “Now tell me where are the other children are?” She asked nicely.
“Go to hell, you little bi-“
“BELLE FLEUR” She cuts him off with one of her hands piercing his body with a Shigan technique. “I’m sorry but that’s not the right answer, and every time you give me a wrong answer, the more pain you’ll be in. Understand?” She says coldly as she shigans him again just to be clear.
“O-o-o-OK OK! I’ll tell you *Cough* please don’t kill me!! They are on the 2nd floor in the third door!”
“Good” She said with a smile on her face “Now the next question, where do you keep all of your highly secret possessions?”
“In..In the captain’s vault at his quarters in the bottom floor, that’s all I know! NOW PLEASE LET ME GO!!” cried the guard.
“Thank you……..and goodbye” she said as she delivers an inhuman palm strike to his face while he was still in his strangled form, causing both his back and neck to snap, killing him. Robin looked down upon both dead bodies, with no emotion on her face.
*****Flashback to a year ago at the training facility****
Robin stood frightened at the sight of the now lifeless bodies of the two vicious animals that she just killed, one with her powers and one with her own hands. She couldn’t believe it at first but there was no denying it, she was the one who did it, which marks the first time she ever killed a living being, even though it was in self-defense.
“Excellent, my dear! Excellent job indeed!” said a shadowy figure who was watching the whole thing from the control room upstairs. “You are truly on your way to becoming our most beloved weapon!”
After hiding the bodies, she continued to immediately head to the bottom floor, silently killing guards on the way. It was then she heard a bunch of whimpering and crying from a door on 2nd floor. “Wait! Could this be?” she thought.
She first thought about saving them first but she decided against it and secure the documents first. She decides to take the rest of the way by vents so she could make it to Hutzil’s lair more quietly.
After arriving to the vent that shows his lair in top view, she sees him getting ready to “play” with another child. Right when he was about to, Robin drops down from the vent above him and lands behind him, surprising both him and the child.
“Hold it right there!” She said as she grabs him with both her real arms and sprouted arms, putting him in a submission hold.
“What the….hey you’re that little kid from earlier. Why you little-“
“You kid, stay in the corner and keep quiet ok. I promise I’ll make sure he won’t hurt you.” She said calmly, reassuring the kid that everything will be ok.
“O-ok. Th-thank you so much! I that he was going to-“ cried the kid.
“Don’t worry, he won’t. I’ll make sure of that.” She said, cutting off the kid mid-sentence.
Oh, and just how are you going to do that? All I have to do is call the gaurds and-”
“That won’t be nessesary.” She said cutting Hutzil off mid-sentence. Then a sprouted arm pulls a gun on him, a gun she herself stole from one of the guards she killed earlier. “I already disposed 50 of your guards easily if I counted correctly. Care for me to demonstrate how I did by using you as example?”
“Oh you are so full of shit, little girl.” Said Hutzil mockingly.
“Am I now?” She had two of her arms twist his back arm.
“*Gawgh* OK OK, I believe you!” cried Hutzil.
“See, wasn’t that so hard? Now tell me, can you please open the vault over there? There are some certain documents that you possess and I want you to tell me where they are in there. Understood?”
“Y-yes” said Hutzil nervously. They both went to the vault together with Robin’s sprouted hand still holding a gun to his head. After opening the vault, he showed her where he kept the documents. She looked over them and relises something odd about them, coming to the conclusion that they are actually fake!
“HA! Stupid girl!” Yelled Hutzil as he was already outside the vault “Meet my secret bodyguards!” He closes the door on her, locking it up.
“Grr, this is bad!” She thought. Suddenly, four shadowy figures came out of nowhere to ambush her.
“Hey little girl, should you not be here? “, said one of the men as they surround her. She looks around to analyze the situation. She realizes that judging from the look of them; her usual Devil fruit-powered submission techniques would not work on these types.
“Hmm, I guess I will have to get little dirty after all unfortunately” She thought. One of them comes at her with a punch.
“Soru” She disappears at the last minute then reappears behind him and delivers an inhumanly strong kick to his head, almost killing him.
“You BITCH” says another one of the guards as he and two more men come at her. Two of them were carrying swords. Using Kenbushoku Haki and Kami-e, Robin dodged all of their attacks (including there high speed ones) with the greatest of ease.
“Tekkai” Two of the men’s swords break after finally making contact on Robin’s body. This left all the guards shocked.
(The rest of the action scene has yet to be finished)
After disposing them, she decided to postpone the retrieval of the documents and decided to save the children for now. She immediately headed to where the children are. After arriving to the room, she began to since sadness and pain from their will and hearts, almost wanting to cry herself. “No, I must focus on getting them out of here and complete the mission!” She thought to herself. After letting them out of their cages so she can bring them to safety, three more guards come in the room. “There is that bitch, GET HER!!!”
“Kaika Rankyaku” She swing her leg that looks like a blur as if she is kicking very rapidly, sending out three air blades towards her opponents, although in actually she quickly sprouted two extra legs in instantanous speed before kicking just make it look like she kicking really fast with one leg. The three blades knock the guards out, leaving them with very bad sword-like wounds.
“Come, we don’t have much time” As she and the kids make their escape, they wind up in a pitch black room. Then a few seconds later they, they heard a loud voice.
“Haha! Sorry little missy, but we ain’t letting you and them kids leave outta here alive!” After the lights come on, she notices that she and the kids are completely surrounded by the remaining henchmen, which are over 300 of them. “Kill ‘em!!”
“Cein Fleur: Clutch” Before they know it, the first 100 were taken out quickly.
“WH-WHAT THE FUCK!!?” The remaining henchmen gasped in shock and horror “What just happened? Grr, SHOOT THEM ALL!” 20 of the men pulled out their guns to shoot them, but right before they even got a chance to fire, over 20 sprouted arms appeared out of their backs, with one or two arms per enemy, and knocked their guns out of their hands.
“How rude. Didn’t anyone teach you that you shouldn’t pull a gun on children?” she said teasingly with a smile on her face. “Veinte Belle Fleur” All 20 arms started piercing their respective targets’ bodies, causing all 20 men to fall on the ground dead with their bodies full of holes.
“Damnit! That’s it, BRING IN THE CANNONS!!” Decker commanded angrily. The remaining men went to uncover the cannons that they kept hidden in different areas of the room just in case of an emergency They took their positions as they’re getting ready to light them up. “Ready. Aim. FIRE!!!” Signals Decker as men fires the cannons on their targets afterwards.
“Oh god, w-we’re all gonna die!!” “MOMMY!” cried the children as they felt as if hope is now lost.
However, seconds before the balls made impact, Robin immediately crossed her arms in an “X” formation “TETSUHANA-“
After the smoke cleared from the blast, the men stood there in horror as there is now what appears to look like a dome in the middle of the room, a dome made of arms to be precise. The dome then slowly disperses into flower petals to reveal Robin and the children, completely unharmed!
“W-WHAT!!? What the hell is she!? A monster!?” said Decker frightenly as he along with the other men started to panic, that is until he relizes that she must be a devil fruit user. “What a minute…oh yes that has to be it. She’s a devil fruit user, of course! And here I am freaking out over this crap.” Said Decker as he calms down and regains his confadince. “Heh, if that’s the case-“ he suddenly jumps to the middle of the room, landing right in front Robin, “Stand back men, I’ll deal with this brat.”
(Insert Robin vs Decker fight here)
After guiding the children to safety outside, she returned to Hutzil’s lair to secure the real documents, only to find Hutzil waiting for her with a recently new type of cannons ready, which are far more powerful and faster firing speed rate. After taunting her for coming this far, he fires all 12 cannons at her. As these are far superior to typical modern cannons that she was trained to deal with, Robin knew that her Soru and Geppo techniques are not fast enough to completely avoid them, nor her defensive techniques that are a combination of Tekkai + CoA Haki + her DF powers are strong enough to defend her from them so she decided to use a more effective method, one that revolves around the use of a recently new ability from her DF that she discovered a couple of months ago.
After the smoke cleared from the explosion caused by the impact of the cannons, she was no longer there, leaving Hutzil to believe that he eliminated her. Then, just as he was about to feel relive to have finally gotten rid of her, an arm sprouts out of his left upper back to grab his neck, catching him by surprise. Then four more arms appear out of his mid back to grab both of his arms, with two more arms appearing out of the ground behind him to grab his legs. As he struggles to free himself from this virtually unbreakable hold, a figure grows out of the ground in front of him which is none other than Robin, who he though he totally obliterated with his cannons! “H-How-How did you..!?”
“That was quite rude you know.” She said as she has her arms enforce their grip on her target. “Now sir, can you kindly please tell me where the real documents are? Depending on your answer, I might spare your life and not give a well-deserving brutal and painful death” She said coldly.
“*Eulghk* *cough* *cough* ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT!!! I’ll tell you! They are behind my throne in a secret drawer on the wall!!” cries Hutzil as he’s suffers from still choking to death from the powerful submission hold. Robin looked over at the throne chair and wondered if this is another trap or not. She doesn’t want to take any chances but time is of the essence. She then notices a tiny hole on the wall behind the chair.
“Ah I see now. Do you have a key to it?” she asked, once again in a cold manner.
“Ulgk, n-no! I-I just use a nail or a pin to open it!!” said the frightened Hutzil as the hands strengthened their grip on him even more, holding and squeezing him tighter, causing him to cough up a little blood “Blegh*Gaaak *Cough*Cough*I-I’m not lying!!! I have a p-pin right here! J-Ju-Just check my p-p-p-pockets and you’ll see!!!” He screams.
“……..Uno Fleur” An arm appears around his waist, searching his pockets until it founded the pin. Guess he was telling the truth after all. “You stay put, scum” she said before having the arm tossing the pin to her and walking over to the hole all while keeping Hutzil held tightly by her arm replicas. After opening the drawer, she finds a bunch of nicely designed sheets of paper, all with in-depth writing, as well as the legitimate signature logo of the World Government on each one. No doubt about it, these are definitely the real deal. Even though it’s classified, she went on to read it out of curiosity. After reading it all, she had furious look on her face “So that’s what this is about I see”.
“Um, *cough*C-can I go now?” asked the still strangled Hutzil.
“Absolutely…….to the depths of Hell.” smiles Robin
WHAT!? W-wait! You said-“
“I lied. You’re too much of a despicable human being to be allowed to live” She said as she appeared right in front of him in lightning speed using Soru.
“Normally, I would just twist your body and neck to end you quickly, but for all the sins you’ve committed, especially to children, you must be punished….BRUTALLY.” She said with a demonic tone on the last word of the sentence. Suddenly, the arm that was grabbing his neck began to clench to his throat with a thumb and two fingers, as if an eagle’s claw was about to pierce his throat. The arm then broke his vocal cord, causing him to cough up a lot of blood and leaving him unable to speak. She then sprouts out 4 arms out of the left side of her body, then she rears back with both spouted arms and regular left arm together as she is about let him have it!
“Kaika Shigan Kenpo “Goshigan: HIIRO!!!!!” She pierces his fat body rapidly with all five arms at incredible speed like a Dillon minigun. As she continued to pierce him, his body becomes more mangled up as his blood splatters everywhere. She attacks on with rage burning inside from the cries within the hearts and wills of the children she met that he molested. Robin doesn’t just want him to die, she wants him to suffer as well. She then finally finishes off the attack with a powerful spinning side kick, sending him flying into the wall. Hutzil was no more.
Robin then took the documents and escaped the hideout which is now burned to the ground, leaving no trace of evidence behind.
And that's about it for now. Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think of it so far.
Ok guys, after a long time, I have finally decided to go back to working on this story. However, I'm currently redoing Chapter 1 a bit to make my story more different from this story and to avoid certain plotholes that I had come across while writing future chapters and to stay true to the main purpose of why I'm writing this story in the first place (In the Chapter 1 remake, Robin was brainwashed as a child into believing that pirates are the ones who destroyed her home instead of the WG). As for chapter 2, it's almost finished so don't worry.
To be honest, the biggest reason why I stopped for a while is because I thought this story was gonna fail due to how biased I can be, not to mention that my storytelling skills still suck. Hell, I would rather have this story done by an experienced fanfic writer who is unbiasd, has a bigger passion for OP than I do, and who is willing to treat this fanfic better then I ever could. But still, I have to at least try.
An update on Shadow Blossom:
And in case anyone is wondering, this is what I have wrote so far for Chapter 2, with the help of KeoMajor and a few other writers btw:
Chapter one has been revised!! Big thanks to my new co-writer Misa-kike-chi who help me with this!
---------- Post added February 06, 2014 at 09:43 AM ---------- Previous post was January 09, 2014 at 07:05 AM ----------Quote:The beginning, 1502 A.O.P
Her home, burnt to the ground.
That was the last thing 8-year-old Robin saw before she was escorted away in cuffs. Soon thereafter, she promptly passed out, officially in the custody of CP9 and the marines.
She was taken to Marine HQ for a...thorough...interrogation. Usually they saved such methods for Impel Down, but the higher-ups decided that the Last Oharan was a special case because of her age and the nature of her crime.
It went on and on for hours. Robin, already on the verge of mental breakdown due to post traumatic disorder, was beginning to wish she could simply die so that the torture could end. Choking on her own blood, Robin suddenly remembered the words of her dear friend Saul and her mother, Olvia. With a burst of adrenaline, something inside of Robin snapped. “I wanna live!”
An immense power deep within her erupted and hit the interrogators with an immense amount of fury, desperation, and will. When she came to her senses, she opened her eyes to a torture chamber littered with the bodies of unresponsive officers, each foaming at the mouth. The soldier monitoring the process in another room, only mildly affected by Robin’s scream, scrambled to report what appeared to be Haoshoku Haki to his superiors.
News of the incident spread throughout the World Government, all the way to the Gorousei. The five elders organized a vote: keep the Last Oharan alive and make use of her for World Justice, or eliminate her immediately. After some debate, the vote came out four to one: Robin lives.
Robin was drugged and sent away. She woke in a laboratory, two figures standing above her. She was lying on a bed, all sorts of devices and wires connecting her head to the numerous blinking and beeping machines around her. Voices faded in and out and she only understood a portion of what was said.
“Is the process complete?”
“Almost. It’s only 90% done. Soon her mind will be ready.”
The rest of the conversation slurred into a nonsensical blabber and Robin slowly fell back into unconsciousness.
A few days later, the Marines escorted Robin to Mariejois to meet the Gorousei. Upon arrival, she was brought to their meeting room.
“Young one, you are the last of your people. You were unconscious when we found you, so you probably don’t remember too much of what happened.”
Robin hesitantly nodded.
“To recover quickly, you should refrain from trying to remember because your health may be compromised.”
It was the same warning she had heard over the past few days. Robin understood the consequences and extremity of the relapse. She wasn’t going to try to remember even if she was paid to.
“I’ll explain the gist of what happened to you. You were on an island that housed a group of peaceful intellectuals. You learned a lot from your sensei, but life became difficult because of the major civil war going on between the other, more violent citizens. The status of the island was spiraling downwards at an increasingly alarming rate. We sent troops in an attempt to assess and calm the situation, but they unfortunately arrived too late. You were the only survivor we were able to find.”
The elder paused to be sure Robin was following his explanation and was pleased to see that she was. “You have also inherited a very special gift that only one in a million people possess.” At Robin’s puzzled expression, he explained that it had helped her survive the mass destruction. Even more astoundingly, it had simultaneously amplified the extent of her intelligence and granted her the ability to read the ancient language, a feat no one else in the world could perform. She accepted his explanation easily. It was reasonable after all.
“You can spend the rest of your life in a foster home, or you may join us in our pursuit of World Justice. The choice is yours, child, and it will be extremely difficult, but what will you choose? Will you help us fight against all evil in the world? It is a great honor given only to those deserving of it.”
Robin wasn’t sure what a foster home was, but it sounded very similar to staying at her Aunt's, the one home she remembered. One thing she was sure about though, was the fact that if she helped the elders, who needed her abilities to fight all evil in the world, then she could potentially prevent the same scenario that happened to her, for other people. With these things in mind, little, eight-year-old Robin lifted her head to look the elders straight in the eyes and said, “Yes.”
For reasons she couldn’t understand, a set of regretful tears fell from her eyes.
“Good. We will send for you again in the near future.”
Robin was again led to another room by her single, uniformed escort where she took in her surroundings, silently awed by her regal surroundings. Meanwhile, the elders discussed what to do with her now that she was theirs to control.
“He did well.”
“Who do you mean?”
“Ah, you mean the brainwashing technique. It helps that she is so young.”
“Indeed. In any case, we should enlist her into the COJ (Children of Justice) program. She is an orphan, and she possesses the potential to enter the CP9 or another special division in the Marines with her Devil Fruit and Haki capabilities. All in favor, say “Aye.”
“Nay.” Four heads turned in surprise to look at the youngest elder. “Because she is so gifted and possesses such great potential, I say we should enlist her into that program.”
“Y-You don’t mean- ”
“But we’ve sworn to abandon that program years ago after countless failures!” the balding elder interjected.
“Yes, we did. But something tells me that she might be the one, the one who will become our first successful subject. Don’t you agree, gentlemen?”
Silence reigned in the room. After mulling it over and then discussing outloud, the oldest said to the young elder, “Alright. We have talked it over and we have decided to enlist her into the project as you suggested, but only one of us will take her as his personal charge, and that will be you. The moment she shows signs of becoming just like our past failed subjects or regaining her memories, she must be eliminated. Immediately. Understood?”
“Understood. A very wise choice,” the youngest elder smirked.
The skinny elder reached for the Den-Den Mushi. “Vegapunk, did you send in your written report on how much memory Nico Robin retains? ...Good, good. Revive the ‘Super Weapon’ program and codename it: Project Black Rose.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NICO ROBIN!!
To celebrate this wonderful occasion, I present to you all the long-awaited COMPLETE version of Ch.2! A huge thanks to my new co-writer Misa-kike-chi for helping me out with this! Despite that, I still give thanks to KeoMajor for being the first person to help me with the chapter. Now to those of you who saw the w.i.p preview of the chapter a couple of years ago or so which was written during the time when KeoMajor was my co-writer, Misa and I have made a bunch of changes to some of the parts of the chapter that differ from the original draft in order to make it fit into the rebooted story which you'll notice as you read along.
Warning: Rated T for violence and blood. Might jump to M eventually.
Quote:Time: Child Weapon Period, 1505 A.O.P
Location: Secret Faculty, ?
A short, young woman wrapped in loose, flowing purple stared up at the stone behemoth and into the surrounding gloomy crevices. Three years had passed since day one of training and Nico Robin was no longer the girl she had been back then: the weak, lonely orphan. Now she was a dangerous assassin, already on the path to join the world's strongest living weapons.
Today was a special day for the first successful offspring of Project Black Rose. Nico Robin would take on her first mission. Most likely it would be dangerous and life-threatening, but Robin had decided long ago that she would only laugh in the face of danger. A noble and eccentric decision that, though it wasn't as effective since Robin had never been one to truly express herself. Her acting skills had initially received the lowest marks in her training regimen after all.
"You may enter," the black-suited stranger–as typical for government agents–motioned her inside the dark building. Shadows cast from nowhere, hiding the location in a mysterious aura. Even the older gentleman sitting behind the desk was cast in his own darkness, blackness descending so that only his glasses glittered ominously.
"Shadow Blossom…" he began rearranging the various confidential papers on his desk. "For your very first assignment you will be deployed at Loguetown. Your false identity will be that of an orphan sent by a supplier to be a new playmate for Hutzil, a wicked pirate captain known widely for molesting children on a daily basis." He paused, handing over Hutzil's wanted poster to Robin, before continuing to organize his files.
Her expression turned slightly sour. Despite a mere 8 million beri bounty, the man looked despicable enough. She could easily imagine being a defenseless child at the mercy of a monster, especially this one. In fact, she'd rather not.
"Once you have arrived inside his hideout, you are to find a certain file of documents for us containing classified information. After you obtain these documents, eliminate Hutzil and his entire pirate crew. Use whatever means are needed. Leave no traces behind. If you do your job right, then the papers will be in my files and I'll be reading about it in the news. Can you handle that?"
"Yes, I can." Robin mumbled, folding the bounty poster in her hands. She looked up blankly from the poster, staring into the shining glasses, the only visible thing on the man she could see. "What about the children?"
"Hmm? Oh, yes. You may rescue them if time permits, but the main objectives are more important than civilian casualties. Don't lose sight of your goal."
Robin, trained to notice such things, heard the slight edge in his tone. "Yes, sir."
"Good. As per our parameters, if you are compromised and put into danger, then there will be no rescue. The mission begins in three days, use the time wisely. The success of the first mission is critical to determining your future." He stopped abruptly, messing with his papers once more. Robin waited patiently.
"Why is it so dark in here? I can't read a thing… Lights! Can I get some li–" As abruptly as seconds before, he looked up and started as if shocked to discover Robin was still there. "What're you waiting for? Go now."
"Ahh, yes. Sorry." Robin smiled, bowing with a sweep of her dress towards her superior officer as she slipped away into the dark abyss. The impromptu curtsy may have been a bit much, but appearances were the easiest thing to deceive with. She had to become one of them, or at least make them think that she was. It would be a worthwhile card she could play in her future.
The anonymous gentleman stared stiffly at the empty spot in front of his desk. He muttered nonsensically before returning to his paper-shuffling and demanding for a light once more.
Lougetown, 4 Days Later
Waves lapped gently against the docks, it's soothing melody overpowered by the yelling and bustling coming from the crowd gathered on the damp, barnacle-encrusted platforms. Seamen, shop keeps, and normal citizens alike streamed along the wooden outposts, barely paying any attention to which ships sailed in or out. So long as they didn't belong to them or possess a Jolly Roger, there were much more important things to worry about in the day. Well, for most people at least.
"Looks like that fool came through after all." Decker grinned, smearing his grimy, dirt-cracked, and chicken-greasy hands across his brown-once-white shirt. "All hands to the ship!" A group of men responded to his orders, quickly shuffling over towards the water as the ship inched in closer. Decker, being the man of power he often bragged about, chose to slowly mosey over.
As the ship set down it's anchor, tossing out a mooring line to be secured, Decker showed off some more of his "pearly whites." As first mate of Hutzil's crew, he was in charge of making sure that everything always went down right. Dealing with wimpy suppliers sometimes meant that things didn't always go so smoothly. And when things didn't go smoothly...well, neither did his meetings with Captain Hutzil.
"You know what to do. Find our shipment!" The crew went dashing into the ship, swarming over each other to reach the cargo area first. They didn't like their meetings with Captain Hutzil too much either.
Deciding this could take a while, and also deciding he had the power to do so, Decker leaned against a straggling barrel and had himself a smoke. He slowly blew out a steady stream of smog, occasionally shouting out random orders to continue the search and to assert his power. The crew pretended they were grateful to be reminded of what could and would happen if they didn't.
Fifteen minutes went by before they found a barrel echoing with the sounds of whimpering. Jackpot.
"Sir! We've found it!" exclaimed one of the crewmembers, whose name Decker had never learned...and didn't plan to.
"Excellent. Bring it here!" Decker barked, refusing to move as he continued puffing contentedly on his cigarette. A group of men hauled the barrel in front of him, forming a circle around the commander so that no wandering eyes would happen to glance over. Thinking of Captain Hutzil, they weren't sure whether the secrecy was for his safety from the citizens or just for the sake of secrecy.
Absentmindedly ashing his cigarette, Decker violently kicked open the bar and stared into the tear-filled eyes of a jittery, blonde little girl. "Oh, hoho! The captain will definitely like this one. Alright men, time to head on back!" Without a second glance at the girl, Decker moseyed away as his crew recapped the barrel and hoisted it onto their shoulders.
As the whimpering began again, the two men carrying the barrel shared a chuckle. One of them took the initiative, whispering into the hole of the barrel, "Don't worry yer pretty lil' head, missy. The captain will take very good care of yeh. Hehe!"
Nico Robin stared out of the little hole with a blank gaze, memorizing the man's face. As much as she wanted to snap his neck with her powers right then and there, her objective required more setting and plot. The weak-and-helpless-girl was obviously a ruse. Too easy.
Hutzil pirates hideout, 30 minutes later
Following their arrival to the hideout, a peculiar and antiquated building that must have been abandoned for years, Robin, still inside the barrel, sprouted an eye on the side of the one of the henchmen's bandanas. To the untrained eye, it looked merely like a part of the bandana's design. She took her time observing the layout of the place as they moved along and even used Kenbushoku Haki to count how many people are in the hideout. At least three-hundred-plus living presences here, twenty of them notably weak. Those must be the children. Besides the victims, that made for four-hundred-some crew if she counted the ones left on the ship. Robin huffed. These ropes aren't tied very well but they're rather restrictive.
They wound their way through the halls before finally appearing before Hutzil himself. He looks even fatter in person. He needs to lose the cape, though. Wonder how he got his metal eye. Robin had quickly discovered that adopting snarky thoughts made for a more entertaining mission.
"Ah, so this is the one. Bring her to me!"
"You heard him, take her out of the barrel and show him," Decker snapped. The henchmen proceeded to drag her out of the barrel and toss her unceremoniously in front of Hutzil. He leaned in to take a closer look at her.
"Ooh yes, I am gonna have some fun with you for sure." Hutzil stuck his grubby tongue out and licked her cheek. Repulsive, disgusting human being. "Take her to her cell!"
"Yes, Captain!" Decker gripped Robin by the upper arm and dragged her to a cell two floors above the main hall. Robin winced. Despite her training, she may have bruises by the time he was through with treating her like a floppy ragdoll.
"In you go, bitch!" he cackled as he shoved her behind the bars. "You two guards keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't escape!"
Rubbing her arm and furiously wiping at the saliva on her cheek, Robin looked up at both guards, analyzing them with her frightened act plastered securely on her person. She settled for huddling in a corner of her prison and crossed her arms. Flower petals sprung and faded throughout the base, leaving eyes in their wake. According to the reports, Hutzil molests children whenever he chooses to, but regularly after dinner...as a sort of dessert or something. Robin wrinkled her nose slightly and created several noses for good measure. She found the kitchen soon thereafter and, by the look of things, dinner would be served within an hour or so. I can work with an hour.
Robin sprouted an arm in the corner of the room and threw a pebble. Both guards heard the noise and decided to check it out. "You stay put, brat." As soon as they walked out of sight, she stopped her fake crying and glanced around to make sure the coast was clear.
Another disconnected arm made short work of the knots binding her wrists. Robin wriggled out of the cage thanks to her abnormal flexibility, a handy technique she learned during her Kami-e training. Sensing the two guards returning, she darted into the shadows.
They trudged back, the tall one complaining about the filthy rats that ran around making random noises. The stouter grunt noticed their charge's absence first and hollered, "What the—where did she go!?" Twelve arms appeared out of nowhere, six for each guard. Robin made short work of the taller and kept the other in a stranglehold.
"Now that your comrade is safely out of the way, I'm going to ask a couple of questions," Robin emerged from the shadows.
"Hey y-you're that brat! Are you the one doing this? What the hell are y–*Gruglk*!"
"Quiet, scum." Robin snapped as she sprouted more hands to further enforce her authority and give her more handholds. She tilted her head and smiled, a stance reminiscent of an innocent, "First question. Where are the other children?"
"Go to hell, you little bi-"
"Belle Fleur," she quickly cut him off with a sprouted arm piercing his body with a Shigan technique. "I'm sorry, but that's not the right answer. Would you like to try again?" When he continued to show signs of resisting, Robin added, "Every time you give me a wrong answer, I'll help you remember the right one. Understand?" She poked another hole in him for good measure.
"O-o-o-okay Okay! I'll tell you -cough- please don't kill me! They're on the 2nd floor in the third door!"
"Are you sure?" Robin was fairly certain that was the correct location, but better to be safe than sorry.
"Ye-!" Robin tensed, slapped a hand over his mouth once more and made sure he could see her finger, ready to strike at the shrill pitch of his voice. "Yes!" the man squeaked. "Please don't do that finger thing again, please ple–"
"Next question, where do you keep all of your highly secret possessions?"
"In...in the captain's vault at his quarters in the bottom floor, that's all I know! NOW PLEASE LET ME GO!" cried the guard.
"Sure!" Robin smiled and complied willingly. The man sighed in relief, then heard her softer, lower voice whisper, "To hell." She dealt him an inhuman palm-strike to the face, causing both his back and neck to snap. Robin looked down upon both dead bodies blankly.
xXx Flashback to a year ago at the training facility xXx
To the outsider, Robin was calm, but on the inside, she was petrified at the sight of the now lifeless bodies of the two, vicious animals that she had murdered only moments before with her own hands. Nevermind that she had inhuman powers at her beck and call and that she had done it in an act of self-defense; she still couldn't believe she had done it. She had taken a life.
"Excellent, my dear! Excellent job, indeed!" the shadowy figure in the control room upstairs exclaimed. "You are truly on your way to becoming our most beloved weapon!"
Robin blinked. She had to dispose of these before anyone noticed.
After hiding the bodies, she immediately began working her way down to the bottom floor, silently killing guards on the way and tucking bombs away in various places. Sometime after the four-scores, Robin heard the whimpering and crying from a door on 2nd floor.
Robin stood outside on the threshold. She wasn't here on a rescue mission. The documents would come first. She sucked on the inside of her cheek briefly. She'd already killed too many guards for others not to notice, so she'd have to finish off the rest first… Robin glanced at the watch she'd taken from one of the men. Hutzil was likely halfway through dinner now if her estimations were correct. She'd better hurry. Her eyes caught sight of the ventilation system. So that's why the air isn't completely stale.
She crawled along inside the suspended, metallic network. Luckily, she hadn't encountered any unpleasant pests, other than the ones she dropped on in the hallways of course. She was mildly surprised that any part of the base was this clean. Eventually though, she began to hear the high-pitched cries of a child in the distance. Her blood boiled just–
Robin dropped out of the vent, and rushed behind the desk. The two on the other side were too occupied to notice. Robin clenched her teeth, trying to block out the god-awful sounds, and silently fiddled with the drawers. She sensed there was no other place to keep the documents within this room, so the next logical place would be the desk. She found the secret compartment, but it was bugged and required identification and a complex code.
Sighing in exasperation, Robin grabbed the dagger resting on the desktop. Good thing Hutzil's room was so dark. The cloak she'd plundered from another guard was also handy, but she didn't want to kill a child just because they'd caught a glimpse of her face. Disguise or no disguise, Robin was not going to risk compromising her mission. Of course, she could kill him now and shove his face in front of the scanner and probably crack the code on her own, but if these documents turned out to be fake, then there would probably be no easy way to access the legitimate ones without using him.
"Hold it right there!" she leapt over the desk in a blur and held the dagger at Hutzil's throat, her back to the victim. For good measure, she created more arms and wrestled him into a submission hold. The scrawny child yelped as Hutzil yelled obscenities, including vocabulary Robin had never heard before. She stored those words away for a different time.
"You, kid, stay in the corner and keep quiet. Turn your face to the wall and under no circumstances will you turn around until I give you the okay." As if the traumatized pixie had the gall to do anything else. Satisfied, Robin turned her attention back to the child-molester and narrowed her eyes, "He won't be hurting you anymore."
"Oh? And just how are you going to do that? All I have to do is call the guards and-"
"That won't be necessary," she cut Hutzil off mid-sentence. A sprouted arm trained a gun on his temple, one she'd slipped from yet another of the guards she'd killed earlier. "I've already easily disposed of a hundred of them, if I counted correctly. Would you like me to demonstrate how I managed by using you as an example?"
His good eye squinted at the form under the hood, "You don't seem very threatening to–Hey! You're that little blondie from earlier. Why you little-"
Robin held up a hand. "I'm surprised you're smart enough to tell," she tsked. "But I'm not here for your desserts or your money."
Predictably enough, Hutzil lost a bit of color in his face. "Oh, you are so full of shit," he managed to spit out.
"Am I now?" She had two of her arms twist his back arm.
"*Gawgh* Alright, alri–I get it!" Hutzil cried.
"See, that wasn't so bad. Open the vault in the compartment within your desk." Robin chose to ignore the look of surprise on his face, "There are certain documents that you possess and you will give them to me."
"Y-yes" said Hutzil nervously. They both shuffled over to the vault with Robin's sprouted hand still holding a gun to his head. After opening the secret hatch, he handed her the documents. Her response was to pluck them from his grubby hand and toss him against the wall.
Robin thumbed through the documents and noticed something odd about them. As I thought.
"HA! Stupid girl!" Yelled Hutzil, as he was already outside the vault. "Meet my secret bodyguards!" he closed the door on her, locking it.
Robin stared blankly at the door handle before discarding the papers behind her. It was incredibly bad foresight to not restrain him while I checked the papers. At least things will get more interesting now...
Four shadowy figures came out of nowhere to– well, attempt to ambush her.
"Hey little girl, shouldn't you be in your cage? " one of the men taunted as they surrounded her. Robin looked around to analyze the situation. From the look of them, her usual Devil fruit-powered submission techniques would not work.
Hmm. I guess I will have to get a little dirty after all, unfortunately. Robin glanced at the boy who was still in the corner. Had to keep an eye on him. Luckily, none of the supposed bodyguards seemed to have noticed him yet. One of the men in the corner of her eye came at her with a punch.
"Soru," she disappeared, reappearing last minute behind him and delivering an inhumanly strong kick to his head, almost killing him. Almost, but he would expire in minutes.
"You bitch!" growled another of the guards as he and two more men came at her. Two carried swords.
Robin dodged all of their attacks with the greatest of ease and was about to finish them all off when a shrill scream came from the corner. Oh great.
The bodyguard wearing a red armband had a knife pressed against the poor child's neck. "If you take one more step, he's dead."
Robin sucked on the inside of her cheek. If possible, she'd like to avoid younger casualties. This was no problem though; shock value was always effective. She put on a nice grimace and relaxed her stance.
"Good choice." The two swordsmen swung and–
"Tekkai." –the swords shattered upon contact with Robin's body. As expected, Robin smiled.
"Wh-what did you–"
She acted quickly and jabbed the red-armbanded man in the throat. Simple trick, really. He fell dead at her feet. Robin turned to face the swordsmen who were quaking in their boots. "That was not very polite," she murmured and tilted her head demurely. An extra hand covered the little boy's eyes and, before the men could get a word past their closed throats, they were dead.
Robin quit looking at the scene she had created. "Let's get you out of here." Word had probably spread throughout the base if the excitement throughout the building was anything to go by. She had taken too long. It would probably take a bit to catch up with Hutzil and weasel out the information she needed now that remaining guards were being alerted. Before exiting the room, Robin tipped and shattered the kerosene lamp. There would be no reason to return here.
"Who are you? Where are you taking me?"
"Away from here."
Still a bit shaken by the amount of blood she had shed, Robin led her newest charge back to the room on the second floor to release the rest of the children, but was sorely unprepared for the onslaught of emotions that hit her. Sadness, pain, anguish battered her mind and almost brought her to tears. No. The mission is most important. And yet, she just couldn't leave them here. The fire she had started was most likely consuming the entire office by now. If her calculations were correct, the old building would collapse if it wasn't dealt with properly– and by the time she was done with the kidnappers, Robin added.
Using her Hana Hana powers, she made quick work of whatever rope or lock was restraining the children. Just in time as well.
Six more guards fill the room. "There is that bitch. Get her!" one pulled out a gun and prepared to fire. Robin noticed this and immediately formed a twenty-arm shield and put her weight behind her left side.
"Tetsuhana: Kinsenjun!" she hardened her the muscles in her arms just before the bullets hit, causing them to ricochet back at the man. The other five stared in shock at their comrade lying still at their feet. There was no way Robin would risk deflecting a bullet into one of the cages.
Frightened, another gunman dropped his weapon and shakily unsheathed a sword. He barely lifted it before Robin was on him, landing a powerful punch into his stomach and knocking him into the only visible portion of wall in the room. "Ocho fleur: Twist and Snap," eight arms bloomed out of the next two guards and twisted their bodies, snapping their necks. Quick and efficient. "Kaika Rankyaku," Robin swung her leg out in a blur and sent three air blades towards her three remaining opponents, a handy allusion easily created by sprouting two extra legs before kicking. She turned back towards the kids, "Come, we don't have much time."
They trembled and remained frozen, afraid to even step out of their prisons. It suddenly occurred to her that they probably were not used to death despite the reputation of their captor and molestor… How would she–
Robin turned, surprised as the boy she'd rescued stepped out from behind her into the dim light. "Onee-san, will protect us. She saved me and she can save you too! Stop being scaredy cats and let's escape together!"
Robin briefly reflected that the little boy had seemed much smaller in Hutzil's clutches. He was no little boy. The trembling victim was nowhere to be found as she half-listened to his courageous words of encouragement.Little hypocrite, the corners of her mouth turned upward.
Many of the children flinched when, with a loud bang, a scrawny girl stumbled out of her cage and scooped up a younger one. Her sister? "Devil!" she screamed, her eyes wide and her arms clutching at the trembling little girl in her arms. "What kind of monster are you? Sprouting arms, deflecting bullets…"
Robin frowned. Her sensei's has often called her such and she'd been cursed thousands of times over. She'd been insulted by far filthier, degrading names than that, and yet her heart lunged painfully in her chest. Why...–
Robin's eyebrows lifted. Fast, that one, she thought as she observed the boy–exhaling hard–standing over the older girl. "Stop that. Stop that, right now, Erica."
Tears streamed silently down grubby cheeks and the younger sister whimpered.
"Stop crying and stand up," he ordered. He turned around, "All of you, we can escape this hell together! I don't care if she's the devil, I just…" he frowned, "I know that she won't hurt us. She'll help us. I can feel it."
One surprise after another. I truly underestimated him, Robin thought, a true leader. She watched him pull Erica up by the hand and pull her towards the exit. One by one, the rest of the children slunk out of their cages. A few of the older ones also ran towards younger siblings or friends and, in no time, Robin marched out of that hell hole with a stream of misfits behind her.
She followed the map she'd laid out in her mind. All was going well–almost too well–when Robin led the kids into a room that shouldn't have been pitch dark. A few seconds later, a loud voice boomed at them, "Haha! Sorry little missy, but we ain't lettin' you and them kids leave outta here alive!" The lights snapped on and the children covered their eyes, unused to the brightness. Robin eyed the remaining henchmen blocking the exits, about three hundred strong surrounding them. "Kill 'em!"
"Cien Fleur: Clutch." Before they knew it, the first 100 were taken out quickly.
"WH-WHAT THE FUCK!?" the remaining henchmen gaped in shock and horror. "What just happened?"
"Grr, SHOOT THEM ALL!" Twenty men pulled out guns, but over twenty arms appeared out of their backs, one or two per enemy, and knocked the weapons to the ground.
"How rude. Didn't anyone teach you that you shouldn't pull a gun on children?" Robin smirked, wagging a finger. "Veinte Belle Fleur," her extra arms began piercing their respective targets' bodies. Twenty went down, their bodies full of holes.
"Damnit! That's it, BRING IN THE CANNONS!" Decker commanded angrily. "You think you're so heroic, girl? Quake before me!" The remaining men scrambled to uncover the cannons that they kept hidden in different areas of the room. They took their positions and waited for their superior's signal. "Ready. Aim. FIRE!" he screamed, and his men quickly lit the fuse.
"Oh god, w-we're gonna die!" "MOMMY!" the children began to become hysterical.
Robin shook her head. To her, the cannonballs were moving in slow motion. Taking her time, she yelled, "TETSUHANA-"
The men roared out a collective cheer, as the heat from the explosions began to fade away. Decker smiled to himself and turned towards his men, raising his arms, and met with the panic. "Sencho! The cannons, they're–!"
Decker watched, speechless, as cannonfire was trained into the crowd of screaming men as if the cannons were possessed. "What the hell are those imbeciles are doing!" But the guards working the platforms were gone! More yells were heard on the opposite of the room, behind the smoke still centered in the middle of the room. "What's going on!"
The chaos on his side of the room was getting louder and louder. Decker whirled on his men and yelled at them to shut up when he saw their mortified expressions trained on something behind him. "What now!"
"S-sencho! Behind you!"
The smoke had cleared, revealing a huge, pale dome in the middle of the room. Were those...arms? The mass disappeared in a burst of flower petals, revealing Robin and the children who were completely unscathed! Piles of bodies were being shoved into existence behind the hooded blonde as she backed the children into a protected corner of the room.
"W-WHAT!? What the hell is she!? A monster?" Decker screeched as he, along with the other men, started to panic. He gave a start. What a minute– oh! yes, that has to be it. She's a devil fruit user, of course! And here I am freaking out over this crap. Decker flushed red, suddenly extremely embarrassed. Kuso onna– tricking me like that! "Stand back men, I'll deal with this devil-fruit brat!"
The remains of his–err, Hutzil's–minions cheered. The first mate made a big show, leaping in front of the circle of men with a "flourish." He had to take responsibility. Hutzil was a bloody fool, but at least Decker's captain took the bounty poster. Stupid government hadn't realized that the real danger was just one step behind the captain of the Hutzil pirates.
"Take a load of this!" Decker started off the fight by attacking Robin with his finger. Robin noted that it gleamed in the light and was unnaturally sharp. She dodged it with ease, Decker immediately following up with another finger spike from his other hand. Robin dodged his attacks and back-flipped away from him, luring him away from the children.
"Seis fleur," six arms bloomed out of his body, grabbing him. Spikes then protruded from his body, piercing the arms. Robin gasped softly and lightly touched the sores that appeared on her original arms. The others vanished.
Decker started growing more spikes out of his body as he laughed maniacally. "You see here, missy! I too am a Devil Fruit user. I ate the Toge Toge fruit, making me a spike man! Now it's time for you to die!" he yelled confidently. "Stinger Lariat!" He charged with a spiked whip in substitute of his arm, but missed as Robin dodged. "Take this, HEEYA!" He shoots out a bunch of spikes out of his body like projectiles, all heading towards Robin.
"Soru," Robin twisted and flipped but still received a small cut on her shoulder. I need to find another way to get around his spikes, she mused as she regained her composure.
"Try to dodge this, kid! St–"
"What!" Decker snapped. "Can't you see I'm kind of busy?"
"The building is on fire!"
"I don't have time for–What!"
Robin took the opportunity to take out the rest of the present Hutzil pirates. The man who had brought the message fell to his knees in a dead faint. She giggled at Decker, "Oh my, I do not believe you have enough men to put such an unfortunate fire out."
Decker growled and clenched his fists, "Stinger Hedgehog!" Spikes covered his entire body and he rolled into a ball, charging at her at full speed.
Using Kenbunshoku haki and Soru, Robin kept dodging his continuous spike ball attack, waiting for him to tire but he just wouldn't let up. Let's try…"Quinientos Fleur!" Hundreds of arms formed a huge shield. As the furious spike-ball approached it, she activated her technique: "Shin Tetsuhana: Shin Kinsenjun!" Using both Tekkai and Busoshoku Haki "Koka" as one powerful defense, Robin was able to stop his attack and earn only a couple of scratches. She then created two large arms, both empowered with Busoshoku Haki "Koka," out of the shield to hold him in place.
"What the? How!?"
Immediately, the hands tossed him high as another giant, black hand appeared and smacked him downwards diagonally towards Robin who was prepping for her next and final attack. She kicked at the ground rapidly with her right leg, along with a few extras, charging them up with power while they're hardened with Busoshoku Haki "Koka". NOW. Robin leapt up into the air, her leg sparking with heat. Unleashing a powerful kick, Robin launched Decker into a sidewall and through a series of partitions. The building rumbled dangerously and black flower petals were everywhere.
Robin landed on her feet daintily and stretched her leg out, as if examining it for any visible damage, "Slightly straining since I haven't perfected that technique yet, but it's better than nothing I suppose. Although a mere smash from another Busoshoku Haki-empowered Gigantesco Mano would have finished the job just as well, I always wanted to try the technique just to test it." Robin bowed deeply, smirking, "Thank you for being my test subject."
As she was walking away to get the kids, Decker, looking brutally wrecked, lunged one last time at her only to get smashed underneath Robin's heel, never to rise again.
"Hmph, persistent fiend." Robin looked up at the sound of voices and clattering boots.
"Decker-sencho! What's going…on… Wait!" a line of guards stampeded in, pushing at the front group that was trying to get back the way they'd come. There were a few moments of silence as the men stared at Robin and a motionless Decker in a bloody heap on the floor in front of her.
"Screw this, this ain't worth it! Let's get outta here!" cried one. They began shoving their way out.
"I'm sorry, but none of you are leaving." Robin said, cold cheer in her voice. "SORU!" At the speed of lightning, she reappeared in front of the escape exit that the men were heading to, stopping them in their tracks. The men shivered nervously as she walked slowly towards them, her barefeet making no sound.
"Fufufufu...so long," Robin smiled.
She needed to get the children out of the building. This end was beginning to collapse, and the fire had spread. If she didn't finish her mission quickly, the fire or collapsing rubble would find one of the bombs she planted and set it off, or kill Hutzil before she got to him.
The children were safely outside, hidden behind some brush. Robin had knocked them all out to avoid their questions and the off-chance that one of them would be able to describe her on a later occasion. She would deal with them later.
Robin re-entered Hutzil's lair and conveniently found him waiting for her with a more updated selection of cannons ready, which were far more powerful and had a faster firing speed rate. After taunting her for coming this far, he fired all twelve cannons at her. Unfortunately for him, Robin had trained with far superior explosives and knew that not only could she dodge with Soru and Geppo techniques, but she could also finish everything off with a few elementary Tekkai, CoA Haki, and Devil Fruit combinations. But–like she said–they were elementary, and Robin wanted a bit more excitement out of this.
After the smoke cleared from the explosion caused by the impact of the cannons, she was no longer there, leaving Hutzil to believe that he eliminated her. Then, just as he was about to feel relieved to have finally gotten rid of her, an arm sprouted from his back and grabbed his neck. Four more arms appeared to grab both of his arms, and two more arms came out of the ground behind him to grab his legs. As Hutzil struggled to free himself from this virtually unbreakable hold, a figure rose out of the ground in front of him.
"H-How-How did you..!?"
"That was quite rude you know," her arms re-enforced their grip on the target. "Now, sir, kindly tell me where the real documents are. Depending on your answer, I might spare your life and not give you the brutal and painful death you deserve," Robin offered, her tone cold and clipped.
"*Eulghk* *cough* *cough* ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! I'll tell you! They are behind my throne in a secret drawer on the wall!" Hutzil cried, almost choking to death from the powerful submission hold.
"Where?" she tightened her hold just in case. And "throne?" Lummox.
"Next room! Next–"
Robin shoved him so that his head bounced off the poorly painted walls and dragged him to the next room. There was indeed a large, cushioned chair although it looked like it had seen better days. Robin wondered if this was another trap or not. She didn't want to take any chances but, as they say, time is of the essence. She scanned the wall behind the throne and found a tiny hole.
"I see. Do you have a key to it?" she asked in the same, cold manner.
"Ulgk, n-no! I-I just use a nail or a pin to open it!" a frightened and desperate Hutzil squeazed out as the hands strengthened their grip on him even more. Blood splattered onto the ground, "Blegh*Gaaak *Cough*Cough*I-I'm not lying! I have a p-pin right here! J-Ju-Just just look into my p-p-p-pockets and you'll see!" he screamed.
"…Uno Fleur." A single arm appeared around Hutzil's waist, searching his pockets until it found the pin. Guess he was telling the truth after all. "You stay put, scum," she dropped him and had the arm toss the pin to her. She made sure she kept him held tightly with her arm replicas and padded over to the tiny hole. A chunk of wall swung open and, after opening the drawer, Robin discovered a bunch of ornately designed sheets of paper, all with in-depth writing as well as the legitimate signature logo of the World Government on each one. No doubt about it, these were definitely the real deal.
She paused. Yes, they were classified, but Robin had thought hard about these documents. Why would such a notorious criminal, even with a measly eight million bounty, have documents from the World Government? It didn't make any logical sense, Robin's eyes flitted over the code. The words were even concealed in a pattern. This had to be extremely important if–
Hutzil managed to turn his head so that he could watch Robin. He watched the hooded little girl flip rapidly through the documents and saw her hands begin to shake. If he hadn't been in so much pain, he would have had the capacity to be impressed. He wondered if she could truly read the papers without the code's alphabet.
"So that's what this is about."
"Um, *cough*C-can I go now?" asked an uncomfortable Hutzil.
"Absolutely….to the depths of Hell." Robin smiled darkly.
WHAT!? W-wait! You said-"
"I lied. You're too despicable to be allowed to live," Robin walked briskly over to the struggling man, focusing her anger at the world government on him. "Normally, I would just twist your body and neck to end you quickly, but for all the sins you've committed, especially to children, you must be punished…BRUTALLY," Robin spat. Suddenly, the arm that was grabbing his neck began to clench his throat with a thumb and two fingers, as if an eagle's claw was about to pierce his throat. A sickening crack signaled the end of his vocal cord and four more arms bloomed out of Robin's left side. All five of her arms reared back, "Kaika Shigan Kenpo: Goshigan...HIIRO!"
Fingers pierced his fat body rapidly at speeds rivaling a Dillon minigun. Hutzil's body became more mangled and less recognizable and blood was everywhere, but she purposefully avoided his vital organs. A furious rage burned in Robin's heart for the cries within the hearts and wills of the children that he molested and as suddenly as the barrage began, it stopped. Hutzil would either die of blood loss or lack of air in seconds, but Robin wasn't so merciful that she'd just kill him with a final kick. Pulling out a small vial she'd slipped from her traipse around the base, she waved it under his nose and forced him to come to his senses...and crossed her arms for one last act. Arms appeared throughout the base, then burst into torrents of petals. Seconds later the building shook and collapsed upon itself, crushing Hutzil underneath the rubble.
A black figure stood at the peak of a pile of broken, burning stone, disappearing in a flash. Footsteps unsettled the small pebbles on the ground and a tree branch parted, the only signals that somebody was there.
Twenty children, sleeping under the stars and finally free though they did not know it. Robin created feet underneath them, and she walked them all the way to the beach. The lights on Hutzil's ship, half a mile away, blinked dully. She sensed that they were well aware that the base had been destroyed. Perhaps the bombs had been a bit much.
"Cien Fleur: Wing."
When Robin returned to the shore, she was weary. So much bloodshed…
It was that boy again. He was standing near the water's edge. Robin was briefly surprised. The other children had transitioned from unconsciousness into peaceful sleep, but seemingly not this one.
"My name is Jenga."
Robin stared at him, wondering why he was telling her his name.
"What's your name?"
She raised an eyebrow, knowing fully well that he could not see her face. "Shouldn't you be asleep?"
Jenga ignored her question and murmured quietly, almost to himself, "What do I do now?" A cool breeze blew between them, ruffling his oily hair and puffing up Robin's cloak. "Where do I go? Where do I belong?"
Robin's expression hardened–not that he could see it–as she heard the tears in his cracking voice. Of course. He was still a child, tormented and abused unjustly– In so many ways, this boy reminded her of her past self. Deep in her heart, she knew she was still seeking the answers to those same questions. "Go and live a better life," she said simply, but it was never as simple as that. A sour taste was left in her mouth. What else could she say or do for him? Nothing.
"Do you work for the World Government?"
A sinking feeling in her gut, Robin tiredly tilted her head a bit.
"I'll become a marine. I'll defeat all evil in the world!"
Those words… "You should sleep." The conversation had suddenly turned to a dangerous subject and it was making her realize just how exhausted she truly was.
"What's your name? Who do I thank?"
Robin was suddenly nose to nose with the boy and, right before she knocked him out, she whispered in his ear, "The World Government's Angel of Death."
The wind blew gently and pushed a huge dust cloud out into the ocean. The stars were twinkling up in the sky to the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks. Down on the earth, an old fisherman yawned and pushed back the mending he was working on.
"Dear," his plump wife scolded, "don't you have to wake at dawn? Why do you all-aways procrastinate as late into the night?"
"Don't worry so," he smiled good-naturedly and stretched. "I'm happy with the way I live."
Shouting came from the wharf just on their doorstep.
"Those drunkards hollerin up a storm ought to consider that people are tryin to sleep at this hour!" the woman huffed.
"...-ire! A fire!"
"Fire?" the man looked at his wife. They hurried out the door and saw something floating towards the docks, all ablaze. It was a ship, a livid pirate flag flying at its mast and a black rose freshly painted on its hull.
On the other side of Loguetown, guards were blinded by a sudden wind of leaves or– flower petals? When they opened their eyes, almost two dozen sleeping, malnourished children were huddled on the marine base's doorstep.
An officer yanked on the door, "What the hell is all the commotion out– mmf!" He clawed at the paper the wind shoved in his face. It was a bounty poster of the pirate Hutzil, a black rose painted over his picture. The officer looked at the confused guards trying to shake the children awake and turned to go inside and call another superior when something in the corner of his eye caught his attention. Atop the clock tower a few blocks away, a cloaked shadow with pitch-black angel wings was perched and silhouetted by the full moon. The man rubbed his eyes, but when he opened them, the vision was gone.
And that's the end of Chapter 2! Stay tuned for the next chapter as we jump into the future where we get a glimpse of Robin on a mission during her CP9 years! And just so you all know, the first several chapters (which will all be in the "Child Robin" and "CP9 Robin" eras) won't be in chronological order until the "Shadow Admiral Robin" era. Anyways, until next time guys!
Belle Fleur (Flower Bullet in french) - A technique where Robin uses her DF arms instead of her original arms to execute Shigan techniques. However, this move can also be utilized in conjunction with shigan techniques that uses her real arms.
Tetsuhana: Kinsenjun (Iron Flower: Marigold Shield) - Robin will grow twenty arms out of one of her real arms and then have them form a round-like shield (Veinte: Calendula) and hardens them all with Tekkai right before her opponent(s) strikes, creating what seems to be like an iron shield.
Kaika Rankyaku (Blooming Storm Leg) - An attack where Robin uses either Rankyaku with only her DF legs or specific Rankyaku techniques that use both her DF legs and original legs, like she she did in this chapter.
Veinte Belle Fleur - Twenty Flower Bullets (Veinte is twenty in spanish and Belle Fleur is Flower Bullet in french)
Shin Tetsuhana: Shin Kinsenjun (True Iron Flower: True Marigold Shield) - A more powerful and tougher version of Tetsuhana: Kinsenjun that uses five hundred arms instead of twenty arms and is reinforced with the power of Busoshoku Haki "Koka!"
Kaika Shigan Kenpo "Goshigan: Hiiro" (Blooming Finger gun/bullet fighting style "Five finger bullets/guns: Scarlet") - A more powerful and deadlier variation of Shigan Ouren where Robin uses five arms (with four DF arms and one real arm) instead of one arm. The multiple blows of this technique are equal to that of a powerful Dillion Minigun!
As most of you have noticed, all these techniques here are from my Rokushiki Robin movelist project, which you can find here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JeiifH2b5lbwrHx9jDy7mDVJDRCwapEiKyDj_StQBG0/
New chapter is here!! Thanks for being patient, everyone!
After some thinking, Misa and I decided to split the third chapter in half. The story was getting long and we figured that it would be best to post in two parts. The second half will highlight all the action.
Now with that said, on to Part 1!
Warning: This chapter is Rated M!! If the mods want this chapter removed from the forum due to the content, just let me know and I'll comply.
Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7450442/3/Shadow-BlossomQuote:CP9 period, 1513 A.O.P
Midnight Star hotel, Talin island
*note: in this chapter, Robin is acting as a character she created for this mission: Deetje (pronounced "Day-tcha"). "Deetje" and "Robin" will be interchangeable but they are the same person. Robin is less experienced in this kind of mission, and is thus struggling to stay within her "Deetje" persona.
If ever you happened upon someone who visited Talin Island, he or she would most likely tell you that the island was at its best underneath the stars. However, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who left the city of their own volition or even see any stars from within the city's walls. You'd also most likely brush off their tales of Talin Island as the extrapolations of a half-sober drunkard. So impressive are the surroundings that you'd have to see it in person to believe it yourself. The city once had a name but, whatever it was, it has been long since forgotten. There are plenty of nicknames for it though, many of them lengthy, questionable, and absurd.
The City of Happiness, the Sun of the Night Sky. Interestingly enough, most of its inhabitants were not its citizens. It was a playground for the rich and powerful, the wealthy from other islands of less grandeur. The city was overflowing with drunkards, gamblers, dancers, prostitutes, and snobs and, suspiciously enough, no street rats. The largest hotel, the Midnight Star, was built on a man-made promontory in the center of the hubbub and excitement. It had the brightest lights, the grandest parties, the biggest games, the largest purse, and the darkest secrets. It was also the destination for a certain beauty with her own tinge of shadow. Tonight was a night for espionage.
A gilded contraption driven by a local driver pulled up in front of the Midnight Star. The feather perched atop the ride's hat bobbed up and down gracelessly as he opened the stage door with a flourish. Satin as illuminous as Talin's night sky spilled out the door and a woman daintily slipped out. She easily dwarfed her ride, especially with her heels and slim body, and he gazed up at her in awe before accepting the gold coin and scurrying back into his seat.
"Thank you much! Enjoy your evening, Ma'am! Hya!"
For all that his clothes speak of a decent amount of wealth, he's surely not getting enough to eat, Robin reflected. Her fingers smoothed her low-cut cocktail gown and airy shawl for show before she glided into the building. Ignoring the heated stares of the men and curious glares of the women around her, she pressed her fingertips around her small clutch, politely accepted a glass from a servant and scanned the room as she sipped the liquid gold. Hmm...not bad. Staircases, balconies, she noted her environment even as she admired the glamorous interior, plenty of rooms to hide secrets in... Unfortunate that most of this is here at the price of human life.
She took her time moving in on the main hall and was intercepted by a handful and a half of overly eager men before she finally singled out her target. Tuning out the latest dandy who was bragging about this or that, she covered her hand as if to stifle a polite giggle and murmured to the *Micro Mushi in her ear, "Target found."
xXx Flashback to a week ago xXx
Robin slipped into the briefing room and bowed to her superiors. She stood in a proper stance as they related the details of her newest assignment, "We have received new information about the target, Dablec Manrow. Evidence leads us to believe strongly that he is the one behind the smuggling ring and that he is in cahoots with one of the Yonkou. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, we cannot unleash an all-out assault on his organization. He will, however, be holding a party on Talin Island at the Midnight Star Hotel where we believe his base is located. This is where you come in, Agent Shadow Blossom."
"Yes, Sir." Robin whipped up a hand and caught the rolled-up paper one of the men tossed her. She enrolled it. It was a map with a list of suspects jotted down on a separate paper.
"You are to arrive at the party as an upcoming crime boss in need of connections. Get on his good side," tinted glasses glinted at Robin as the speaker paused. "Make him reveal the location of the base. Eliminate him and head inside it, wherever it is, and permanently sabotage their operations. When you are done, report back to us."
Robin nodded and quietly exited the room. As the door clicked softly behind her, a scornful voice echoed through the hall.
"Don't make me laugh. There's no way you could actually act like the woman you look like."
Robin looked into haughty, green eyes heavily outlined in kohl, "Did you need something, Khiara?"
The voluptuous woman leaned in closer than Robin was uncomfortable with. She must have seen the guarded look in Robin's eyes because Khiara giggled low in her throat before pecking Robin on the lips and sauntering away. "See, you're too stiff. Learn to live a little."
"I do not consider lying with my various superiors an admirable lifestyle."
Khiara shrugged and began fading into the gloomy hallway, "To each their own. I'll be watching your pitiful performance. Dablec Manrow likes any woman as long as they're feisty about getting into his pants. However, he especially likes the young ones. You may have matured early but you haven't yet learned how to use yourself properly."
"You wish this was your mission, then."
At this, Khiara paused and the air dropped several degrees. The air quivered when she threw her head back and laughed in the reverberating darkness. "I'll be watching, little bitch."
Robin snapped out of her reverie and saw that the man who'd been elaborating on his political standing earlier had turned his attentions to...Khiara?
"Deetje~" Khiara gathered Robin into a tight hug, to the delight of many onlookers. "I've been looking for you for hours. Ellie-chan missed you so-so~ much!"
"Ellie…" Robin thought quickly, "I was looking for you too, but I was distracted by the marketplace. It was incredibly fascinating and I–"
"Oh, be quiet!" Ellie huffed. "You—who is this?" she turned curious eyes onto the ogling dandy.
Robin supposed anyone would stare. Though most of the women at this party had rather large assets, they were no competition for Khiara. "Ah, this is–"
"Banks Todd," he bowed elegantly.
Robin—or Deetje—raised an eyebrow. He had recovered rather quickly though she did not care for the increasingly lustful aura he was emitting. As the two made small chat, Robin allowed her eyes to roam. She found her target heating up the dance floor and frowned inwardly. Unfortunately, Khiara was not completely inaccurate when she had degraded Robin before. Robin was truly not one for much dancing and she was unfamiliar with the one displayed now, though she would bet no small amount that this sequence was unfamiliar to Khiara as well. Nevertheless, she slipped away from the ditz and the dandy. It wasn't like she'd actually lose Khiara in this crowd, not as long as she kept that brilliant red string of a dress on. Robin had separate bets on how long it would stay on.
She mingled with the crowd of onlookers and gossips. Once or twice she caught wind of the underground scheme, but lost those persons as they wove through the crowd. Her Devil Fruit powers were too risky to use at the moment after all.
The trail wasn't so cold that she'd lost them completely though. She could just follow the tails of those grunts as long as she could. However, a light tap on the shoulder made her dismiss that option, "Would this young lady—woefully alone at that—be willing to dance?"
Robin eyed the man through her lashes, instantly wary. Tall, strong build, piercing green eyes. Trouble? She didn't know yet, but if he knew that she was indeed alone he must have been watching her. "I'm sorry, I–" she paused as if reluctant, "I'm not very good at dancing and I confess that I am unfamiliar with this particular tune."
He simply laughed. "Don't be ridiculous! None of the dancing here is difficult. This is a formal ball—you have to dance. And I can teach you..." He clicked his heels together and spun smartly before bowing and extending a hand, "Or do you doubt my teaching ability?"
Robin turned until she faced him head on. She had her bets on troublemaker. "Is that a challenge?" she smiled, mildly amused despite herself.
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. Now, would you take my hand? My arm is getting tired."
"Hm," Robin sipped from her champagne glass. "You can hold it there as long as you'd like." She had to play this carefully. If the whispers around her were anything to go by, he was a regular here. A heavily sought after one.
"You have dealt a heavy blow to my heart!" he whispered dramatically. Robin playfully ignored him and they stood in some silence, but, when the song changed, he seemed to be invigorated and he exclaimed that he would get her to dance. With that, he plucked the glass out of her hands and gave it to a waiter that was passing by before coaxing her into the center of the floor.
Robin knew this dance at least, but she slipped up on purpose every now and then. He moved with such poise and strength it was practically suspicious. She told him so.
"Oh, please. You're practically a natural!"
Robin frowned. "Hardly," she quipped lightly. "I'm simply good at imitating movements," she locked eyes with her target for the third time before turning her attentions back to the man in front of her. He didn't seem to notice.
"What is your name?"
"It is only polite to first introduce yourself."
He sighed. "Of course, where are my manners? Kiira Tapper. And yours is?"
"Deetje." It truly doesn't matter what name he knows me by. He'll likely suspect that I'm not telling my real name and, if he's involved, he'll be dead before he knows it.
"Deetje. Beautiful name. What is that?"
"Do you know this song?"
"Yes, I do."
"Good. I'll be seeing you shortly!"
The two were separated and they danced with other partners. At one point, they passed one another, but the crowd was big enough that, for the rest of the song, they didn't meet again. It was just as well because Robin found herself in the arms of her target.
"Lovely evening, is it not?"
"Certainly. You are Dablec Manrow, host of this extravagant party, are you not?"
"Yes, I am. Have we met before?"
Robin thought he looked a bit worn out from all the dancing. But he was still going and she had her suspicions as to why. "I'm a bit of a wallflower, but does it matter?" Deetje lowered her voice and whispered, her lips barely moving, "If you like what you feel, we can meet more of each other." She was very aware of his hand on her lower back as she subtly pressed herself closer. "I'm new and inexperienced. I need someone to show me the ropes," she twirled, the intense atmosphere suddenly dissipated. "But I'm not one to be indebted. After all, I was raised to give more than I receive."
He blinked, taken aback by her swift personality switch. "I'm not quite sure what–"
"Hiding it won't get you anywhere. I can see a Crimson Hourglass even with my eyes closed." Manrow's eyes widened a fraction and, to his surprise, she effortlessly slipped out of his restrictive hold on her and into the arms of another. "I'll be waiting." Better to keep him curious.
A few partner-exchanges later, the music had changed once more. Robin politely excused herself and exited the dance floor, making sure that Manrow's eyes were on her mostly-exposed back as she disappeared into the ring surrounding the dancing. In the corner of her eye, she caught a snatch of brilliant red disappearing behind a set of doors. Robin certainly didn't have her doubts about who that was.
She set herself up against one of the large pillars and amused herself by keeping her eyes on the target while seemingly observing the people around her. Presently, her original dance partner discovered her location and lamented that she had abandoned him rather cruelly. By and by, Kiira Tapper took his leave to get drinks and Robin took her opportunity to relocate. Not long after, she spotted the target making his way towards her and she slipped into a secluded hallway.
He found her admiring paintings in a gallery devoid of any human chatter. The loud chattering and music was reduced to the barest murmur behind the walls, a testament to the structural integrity of the Midnight Star. "Did you need something of me?"
"My, my, if it isn't Dablec Manrow, the most intriguing dance partner at this ball," Deetje turned and offered him a glass. "Something I picked up before I got here," she explained. He accepted and took a sip. Idiot.
"Could it be that you also appreciate the classics?"
"Let's cut to the chase, shall we? I didn't come here to waste time and I've already given you the code for negotiation—a toast! To our future?" she raised her glass. There was a tinkle that echoed throughout the room and they both downed their glasses.
"Alright, alright. You've caught me," he raised his hands in mock surrender.
"Are you sure you should be doing that?" Deetje challenged.
"Are you sure you should be warning me?" Robin saw the first glimpse of the dangerous man he was, "I have plenty of influence over your standing, wherever you–"
"Deetje. Upcoming significant and representative of an organization in North Blue: Trickster. I've traveled long and far to find you tonight."
"How can I be sure that I–…How do I know that I...can trust you?"
"Oh, you can trust me," Robin pulled back slightly, uncomfortable though she did not show it. It appeared that Dablec Manrow was as useful as putty in the hands of a woman. "But don't take my word for it, let me show you why you can trust me." And I'll show Khiara exactly what I'm capable of… But first, "Clothes are rather restrictive, so why don't I...help you out?" The sound of buttons springing from their connections and a heavy jacket hitting the floor joined the dark fabric pooling on the floor. Robin fought to keep her persona in check. As expected, she truly didn't appreciate being looked at. There was, after all, a reason she took to the shadows while Khiara strayed closer to the light. But she needed proof. She needed to work him up and knock him flat in one go. That, and timing was everything.
She tsk'ed in her head. Man, no matter how powerful, was still just a simpleminded creature in the end. Robin let his eyes take in the lace and ribbons and netting before pushing him down on the cold marble floor and
straddling him. "Now, why don't you tell me where the real Dablec Manrow is?"
His body stiffened and he protested, indignant, "Who do you–"
"You hesitated," Deetje rolled and narrowed her eyes. "Did you really think you could trick me into thinking that you were the infamous crime boss? You have no self control. You're not convincing. You don't exert power like you should and you drank what I gave you without second thought." She looked down her characteristic nose, "I refuse to believe that someone so gullible has millions placed on his head. Otherwise," she tossed her hair and stretched coyly, "I would have second-guessed **North Blue Crucifex's annihilation. A random nobody couldn't pull off something so elaborate."
She watched his struggling underneath her slow and his expression take on a hint of panic. Perfect timing. "The drugs should be taking effect by now if you're wondering what's happening to your body. Now, if you please, I'd like to know where your boss is."
Robin leaned her elbows back on the fake Manrow's knees, eyeing the newcomer. A part of her had almost expected Kiira Tapper to emerge from the corner of the room, but this was not him and probably, definitely the real deal. One never knew what to expect from criminals. She'd read up on stories of him, but she needed to choose her words carefully. He might pull a gun on her depending his mood—depending on her attitude with him—and she'd rather not reveal the fact that guns don't work on her from the get-go. She needed to convince him that she was the right amount of overbearing and submissive—or exactly what he wanted—as quickly as possible.
Robin hummed and smiled. "Should I be offended or amused with the circumstance?"
"You can be whatever you like, but don't think for a moment that I'll consent to your proposals just because you tricked a rat," he glared at his imposter who looked like he wanted to flinch.
Robin looked him up and down. Dablec Manrow was not the most attractive crime boss—which really didn't qualify as much of a statement—but he could probably hold his own against her at half power. There were definitely men with less brain and more brawn underneath him. She'd felt them moving underneath the building throughout the evening and had had a time masking her presence from them. Robin definitely hadn't anticipated potentially fighting seven haki and devil fruit users. She briefly questioned why her superiors had sent her, but squashed it down. This was probably another test of theirs, though she wondered why Khiara had followed her and if the elders hadn't told her to keep on eye on things. No matter...
"I don't know how much you heard, but I'll introduce myself once more. Deetje. Upcoming significant and representative of organization Trickster in North Blue. I hope to hash details out with you so our groups can work together in the future. But before that," she unsheathed a thin knife from the ornament in her updo, "is it your custom to kill those who've failed you, or should I do the honors?"
Dablec took his time walking closer. "Do you have a preference?"
Deetje hummed thoughtfully, a mischievous smile blooming on her face.
"You've given me quite a night," Manrow handed her a glass. "Replacing the host is no easily accomplished feat."
Deetje gazed out the window at the Midnight Star and gave a crooked half-grin, rolling her wrist. It truly was the brightest building on this island, and that was saying something. They had moved from the hotel to a smaller, more private venue hidden among the surrounding myriad of lit buildings. Strategic, but dangerous. At least for her. Maybe. "Oh, I couldn't imagine that too many had even recognized him as the 'host' of such a large party."
She watched the image reflected off of the glass. He stood by an ornate, Victorian-style desk covered in a surprisingly—and perhaps suspiciously—minimal amount of paperwork. A single platter brimming with grapes was set carefully in the center. "We have other fruits if you'd prefer something else," Dablec picked up the plate and brought them over to her.
"You serve yourself?" Robin was genuinely surprised. Usually, crime bosses had lackeys at their beck and call.
"I prefer general solitude or small company to large parties."
She wondered how truthful he was being. In a few minutes she'd know for sure, but that was not the problem currently on her hands. If she asked for something other than grapes, she could be perceived as too comfortable or pushy. If she said that the grapes were fine, he could misunderstand and think she could be taken advantage of. And then there was the question of whether or not she should even eat the grapes and if she should or shouldn't get straight into business. Robin hadn't taken a sip of the wine yet, but she had her suspicions. Even more questionable than all the above was the discrepancy between the intel and the man sitting in front of her. Of course, it would have been one thing if the bounty poster had been a drawing, but she had been given an actual photo. And while she had thought that the doppelganger was a lookalike, so was this man. There were plenty of rumors, but most rumors will be rumors. If this was the real criminal, then why did the man in the picture look different enough to be no more than a look-alike?
Instead of answering, Deetje picked up a grape and brought it to her lips...and flicked it back onto the plate. "I don't mind if you test me, but don't you think deadly poison is going a little too far?"
Manrow stared before hiding a smirk in his cup and setting the platter down, "You're quite bold."
"I'm not here to do just business, but I'm not here just for fun either. I don't suppose I could do what I came here for if I were–" she spat the wine back into her glass. Robin trembled, I knew he put something in there. Stupid. She hissed as her exposed back hit the cool window pane and she struggled to stay up on her feet.
A cool hand retrieved the glass that was slipping from her fingers before it could shatter on the pitch black marble. "That was almost too easy…" Manrow glanced sidelong at Robin. "What is it that you said? 'You drank what I gave you without second thought?'"
Too close…cold...losing control–
He chuckled, "I ought to punish such stupidity and kill you like you did my double," and laughed when Robin stiffened slightly. "Oh, don't look at me like that. You are much, much too interesting of a specimen to terminate," his hands pushed her hips against the window to stop her from crumbling into a heap on the floor. "I'll punish you in a different sort of way…"
No! This is Deetje. Just a character…just– She managed to bring up a hand and shove slightly on his chest, an indignant fire burning in her eyes even as her eyelids and shoulders began to droop.
"How surprising. Why don't you stop me if you have the energy to?" he teased. He frowned when she continued to try and resist, "It would seem as if you didn't have quite enough of this. Well then, I'll help you out," he lifted her half-empty goblet. When he saw the tiniest flicker of alarm in her eyes, Dablec smiled, "Don't worry. I won't let you fall. I am immune to this drug. As for you...we can talk business after I get paid my dues," he tipped back the glass and crashed his lips into hers, forcing the liquid down Robin's throat.
xXx Flashback to her training years xXx
***We've already toned it down, but the following flashback may be too much for some of you. Skipping over this part should not impact your understanding of the rest of the story, but a brief summary of this flashback will be posted in the notes at the conclusion of the chapter.
"As an agent for the World Government, you must learn to utilize your assets and charm to sway the outcome to your benefit, and thus the World Government's benefit. You will engage in activity that you would not willingly participate in otherwise, that may be against your views or perceived as immoral, but this is the price of serving and saving the world..."
Robin kept her face studiously blank as the instructor lectured them again. Khiara, on the other hand, yawned openly—and loudly—clearly displaying boredom. The man dressed in black sighed, "Do you understand what you're being asked to do?"
Khiara huffed, "Duh. We're not babies. Come on, Robin. Let's go."
"Hold it." The two flinched. "Did you finish those videos?" When they didn't answer, he continued, "You do realize that you will eventually be required to train in this. 'Practice makes perf–'"
"Oh, would you shut it?" Khiara growled, trying to distract herself from Robin's trembling fingers in her hand. "We'll finish watching those dirty tapes by tonight." She spat by the instructor's shoe and pulled her best and only friend down the hall. "We'll show them. We'll show them good," she muttered. "Neh, Robin?" Robin could only bite her lip and give the tiniest of nods as she followed Khiara away.
Robin sat at the edge of the cliff, her legs pulled up underneath her chin. There should be a contract for this, she shivered. This wasn't right. And yet she'd promised to save the world...which ultimately meant that she was sacrificing her everything, even her virginity. She wasn't religious. She didn't have any sense of an other morality to cling to, and yet Robin felt distinctly uncomfortable and aware of the guilt and disgust she felt. Some of them she had known, others she hadn't and wished she never had. Over and over again she felt the cold, metal door against her back—another chill crawled up and down her spine. She wished she could cry, but she couldn't. She would be booted out and all her hard work and years of training would be for naught. She–
"There you are! I thought it was weird that you weren't working yourself out into a fury in the weight… Why are you out here?"
"It's too cold in the dark."
Khiara's blank stare quickly morphed into one of anger. "Would you stop moping around! Isn't this what we signed up for, what our destiny is? Since we don't have a choice, we should just enjoy it instead of wallowing in a pool of self-pity, boo-hoo!"
"I'm not moping."
"You are too. It's written all over your face and I'm tired of being around such a gloomy person! And today we're even having our last test before we don't have to do this stuff anymore and–"
"Couldn't you try to understand how I feel? You expect me to be like you but I ca–"
"You know what? I'm done. I'm done with you. From now on, don't talk to me unless I talk to you first. I've tried to cheer you up and you refuse. Consider me your rival, your nemesis. Maybe then you'll regain your senses." She turned her head away, huffed, and they didn't see each other again until that evening, alone behind the locked, metal doors.
Both passed the "final exam." Afterwards, they went in their own directions of general solitude. Khiara moved on and seemingly wasn't affected, but Robin couldn't forget the all too familiar feeling of being shoved against a cold, flat panel.
Deetje was gone. Robin was the one in charge and she was on the brink of panic. She'd had missions entailing sexual activity, but this was too close to home. Stupid! Not moving away from the window—stupid, stupid— It was bringing up memories and emotions she'd spent years pushing down, deep into the darkest parts of her mind. Of course, no one except Khiara would notice how vulnerable Robin was in this moment because she'd trained her body to react on instinct, but, all the same, she had to think. Think damn-it, think!
She gasped for air when Manrow finally let her loose. His breath tickled her ear, "Does this scenario seem familiar at all?"
"I didn't expect someone so cunning to turn up from the middle of nowhere. Who are you really, Deetje?"
She was surprised by the sudden change in topic and she laughed under her breath, "You're undoing, sick bastard." Robin stood clear as she watched Dablec Manrow sink to the floor around her discarded dress.
"What the hell did you do to me?"
"Oops. I let you fall," Robin smiled, her facade of calm and omniscience slowly returning. Now that she was in control of the situation, she could actually begin getting somewhere in this mission. "I am immune to the drug you gave me, but I think it would be a safe guess to say that you haven't yet tried the drug that I tricked you into swallowing. Of course not. Not even those manipulating the black market can get their hands on this. Was my acting alright?" Deetje laughed as his face went through a range of different colors. "'As for you...we can talk business after I get paid my dues.' Now, who does that sound like?"
He growled at her, his jaw beginning to numb, "Who are you?"
Deejte smiled. "I already told you who I was– not that that meant anything." She rolled her eyes. "Oh, relax already. You'll get your fun. We're just going at my pace," she rummaged through his pockets and found a small remote.
She enjoyed the surprise on his face when she began manipulating the room to her liking. "How did you..."
"Reflective windows. Very nice. That way, no one can just look in and witness a murder. We wouldn't want that, now would we? Soundproofing in check—good. Ah, let me help you with these," she took the various weaponry away from his person. He gave a shout when eighteen arms restrained and pulled his limbs in various directions as if he were held up by and chained to a torture device. "Precaution," she winked. "I have no need for the chains you have, ready to drop from the ceiling." Manrow looked a bit uneasy even as he wriggled against her steel hold. "The drug doesn't last that long, but I'll be giving you something else shortly—to make you talk," Deetje explained. "I wouldn't want your pain to be numbed; it would be too forgiving of me!"
"Like I would tell you anything, foolish tramp! Do you honestly think I would crack that easily?"
"Last chance~ We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Answer my questions or I'll make you," she lowered her voice, "and I suggest you choose the easy way because...well," she smiled, "you'll find out soon enough. So, which shall it be?"
He glared at her and Deetje dodged a wad of spit.
She pouted at him, "That wasn't very kind." Her fingers snapped and an arm reached out. Dablec yelled as a bone in his finger was broken and Deetje tsked. "The human body supports an average of 206 bones and 108 vital points. Well—if you had 206, you now have—hmm. Regardless, a hit pressure point feels the same as fracturing a bone. Like this." Dablec struggled against his bonds and flinched when she hit a pressure point in his abdomen.
"How adorable. Your agony is quite amusing to me," she smiled. "Well then, since we got that little lecture out of the way—and you've already agreed to take the hard way, of course—" she eyed him for any sort of protest and continued when she received none, "—it's time for a game of three questions. Every wrong answer is deserving of another broken bone. Let us begin, shall we?" She tapped her cheek with a slender finger. "First question: Where is the underground base?"
When he remained silent, she clicked her tongue and an arm reached out and broke his left arm. "Bitc– arghh..."
"Humerus." Robin replied coolly. "It'll be your clavicle next, and—oh, one more thing—" she jabbed her finger deep into his chest. She brought her face close to his as he alternated between screaming and panting heavily. Blood leaked out around her finger and a crimson flower puddled on his white shirt. "A reward for every insult you hurl at me." She twisted her finger and pulled it out slowly as he gasped and red dribbled down his chin. "Just be glad that one didn't hit a vital point."
His eyes were beginning to roll and she put her forehead to his, "Let's try again. Where is the underground base?"
Deetje simply grabbed the back of his head and reached for her other hairpiece. A small compartment in the chopstick popped open and she waved it underneath his nose. Satisfied with his reaction to the aroma, she snapped the stick together and rapped it against her thigh. "You were saying?"
Robin sighed. Blood dripped from her fingers onto the cold, wooden floor, the stuff already pooling and networking through the cracks. She pursed her lips when a storm of flower petals fluttered to join the tangy substance, the surface of the pure, soft pastel quickly marred. Dablec had passed out as soon as his unrecognizable form hit the ground with a sickening thud. He will have expired by the time she was wrecking his underground operation.
The blood dyed the water a lighter shade of crimson, swirling down the drain but seemingly going nowhere. The bathroom reeked of lead and she thought she could taste the tangy liquid in her mouth. After toweling herself off with her shawl, Robin opened her clutch and fished out a small packet, the latest packaging technology from Vegapunk. It expanded and she set aside her CP9 gear: a body suit and high-heel knee boots, both in her trademark midnight-purple color; the white, painted mask; her midnight-black cape. She slipped into her guise and stared at herself in the mirror through the narrow eyeholes. The Micro Mushi in her ear murmured and—suddenly, she was gone, slipping through a secret passageway in and out of the night's slightest and deepest shadows, leading her towards the other darkness hidden underneath the Midnight Star.
A/N: And that's the end of Part I! Stay Tuned for Part II where things get REALLY intense! Brace yourselves because we've prepared some awesome stuff and created some badass characters (that Misa is already attached to. lol) for Robin to go up against. We'll include a list of Robin's attacks, as usual, and thorough character descriptions at the conclusion of Part II as well for anyone who's interested.
*The Micro Mushis are the spy ear pieces created by Vegapunk that are simply artificial mini mushi mushis. The size of these little things are equal to that of a flea.
**The annihilation of North Blue's Crucifix. Reference to the untold story of the defeat of a powerful and well-known criminal organization. The feat was orchestrated and executed by Dablec Manrow's group: Crimson Hourglass.
***The 2nd flashback briefly addresses the training (in seduction) Khiara and Robin—or any CP9 agent—had to go through. They were mid/older teenagers at the time and great friends. They were made to watch porn and then act out scenarios for experience and 'experience.' Khiara perceived the training as a game or something to enjoy while Robin was traumatized and retreated into herself. The difference in their reactions (defense mechanisms) towards the training caused Khiara to lose her already-short temper and distance herself from Robin (also a form of self-preservation). This rift in their relationship caused them to grow apart and their opposite experiences led them to develop into the characters they are now.
Chapter 4 is out!! Here's the FF.net link for now:
---------- Post added May 27, 2014 at 12:23 AM ---------- Previous post was May 21, 2014 at 05:50 PM ----------
Here's the full chapter itself. Sorry that it took so long. Miss and I have been working very hard on this chapter so I hope you like it.
But before we begin, here's a review and recap:
[/HR]Talin Island Part I review and recap!
Robin's Mission: terminate Dablec; permanently shut down Dablec's weapon smuggling ring-Crimson Hourglass; side mission: set free any slaves / workers kept against their will
Deetje: Robin's alias for her mission (Ellie: Khiara's alias)
Dablec Manrow: leader of criminal organization Crimson Hourglass; fooled and interrogated by Robin - death unconfirmed?
Gin Khiara: peer and formerly close childhood friend of Robin; also working in a classified, specialized program for the WG; currently stalking and confirming the success and progress of Robin's Talin Island mission (she won't appear in this chapter); currently canoodling with a random stranger...
Kiira Tapper: green-eyed, popular man who frequents Talin Island's Midnight Star (hotel); talented dancer & overly friendly to Robin (Deetje); suspicious character
A/N: Due to this and that, there are a lot of new characters in this chapter. Try to keep track of them as best you can and Misa and I willl do our best to help you out with character reviews and deliberately structuring the chapters so that they're easier to digest. You have been warned.
Now with that said, ENJOY PART 2 EVERYONE! ^_^
Quote:---------- Post added June 01, 2014 at 08:25 AM ---------- Previous post was May 27, 2014 at 12:23 AM ----------Quote:
As the bright hotel loomed higher and higher above her, Robin honed her senses and concentrated on using her Kenbunshoku Haki to get a feel of how easy her night would be. While she had been at Dablec's engagement, she had sensed barely half a dozen "challengers" and no more than one hundred insignificants, but the numbers could have grown or been muddled by the sheer number of people in the building. After all, Dablec's Crimson Hourglass was not the only shadow wandering the halls. And one could only hope that the 'innocents'—at least to this event—stayed uninvolved, she thought.
Robin leaned against the bolted iron door, opening her senses to a body check. "One, two, three...sixteen and more coming in—a motion sensor?" Well, if they know I'm here, then there's no need to be quiet about this. She reared back and hit the thick metal in rapid succession with a well-posed leg, and the battered door bulged and shot off its hinges, knocking men out of the way and creating a dust cloud. Those who had survived stood alert and confused, pointing their barrels at the gaping black hole. "Veinte Fleur: Clutch!" The grunts fell where they stood, hardly a noise coming from their foaming mouths. It would be no good if they alerted the rest of the base to her intrusion, but—"Uno Mano," she stayed hidden in the shadow of the tunnel before creating a hand that dashed a surprised Surveillance Den Den Mushi to the ground. "Maybe it's too late for that…" Robin rushed past and all that the panicking men in the surveillance wing saw was a body whisk through the room and slam down the door into the hallways. One by one, the screens went blank as one snail after another was taken out without ever catching a glimpse of more than a shadow.
The ornate door cracked open and a figure darted in and hid behind a potted plant before chuckling and stepping into view. "Well, well...what have we here?" He nudged the mangled body with a perfectly polished shoe, wrinkling his nose slightly at the amount of blood splattered everywhere. An amused huff broke past his slight smile and he crouched down and spoke while wiping his feet with a handkerchief, "How nauseating. I don't suppose you were expecting me after all. You could have tried to make yourself more presentable, you know."
Dablec mumbled incoherently, too close to death to bother with pronunciation.
"Too tired to use your Devil Fruit? You won't be able to trick me with your illusory tactics and—if I'm guessing correctly—they didn't seem to work so well on her either." He glanced down at the shuddering body, "After all, yours is reliant on your strength and intelligence. You lack strength, so you created the illusion of muscle and, while you had a brain, your level of thinking is incomparable to mine. And hers," he added.
"But I didn't come here to mock you for that. My humble plan was to take you out myself and tell you all about the ways I got around you." He was liking the sound of his voice. "Confused? Allow me to enlighten you! In a moment or so, my three most trusted subordinates will be infiltrating your base. And as for Greda and Trissahn Seandra—" Dablec's eyes widened "—they will be in very good hands." Kiira smirked. "You may be wondering how it is that I know the names of your subordinates. You see, old friend, they have been working for me for the past seven months. Right under your very nose! I wouldn't know if you knew it since you can't—you know—speak, but your business will be in my hands by dawn."
Dablec looked too weary to comment.
"Do you curse at me? Very well, but," Kiira shrugged and fiddled with his formal wear, "—rather uncomfortable, don't you think?—I didn't hire her, if that's what you suspect. In fact, I don't even know her, but I think I'll get to know her quite nicely. Unlike—"
"Purupurupuru." Kiira turned, cocked his head. "Purupurupuru." Dablec groaned in protest as his nemesis found the ringing snail and picked up the receiver—
"Manrow-sama! Thank goodness you picked up! There is an intruder at the entrance of the base—we think…?" Kiira rubbed his ear. "None of the Surveillance Den Den Mushi can give us an image or even a glimpse of the person responsible except for displaced arms, and one by one the Surveillance Team is losing our area of surveillance! Please give us your orders—wa–" the snail flinched as some amount of ruckus carried over the connection, "In the back of the base there are three other intruders—these are visible—two men and a woman—our men are split up and we do–"
"Displaced arms…what do you mean?"
"Arms! Like literal arms with hands and fingers—they appear out of nowhere and they've killed so many already—Who are you!?"
"Would you calm down? Those are my subordinates."
Silence reigned on the other end. "The—the who? This isn't Manrow-sama's–"
"Your beloved boss has been terminated. Prepare to escape if you can, or join me—if you dare."
"...Wait, what do you mean! I c—Ka-tcha."
Kiira stroked his chin, "Arms," he exclaimed, muttering to himself as he hopped gracefully over Dablec's lifeless form and slipped out the door. "Arms!"
Robin raced through the hallways, disabling the cameras and the men she happened upon. As she passed through another archway, she noticed three armed guards standing in the hallway scoping for intruders. Well, she hadn't expected to get too far without Dablec's men catching on to her. She stepped into view.
Despite their uncertainty regarding the cloaked, masked figure before them, they reacted immediately—but, of course, not quickly enough.
"Fufufu, Tres Fleur!" Arms quickly bloomed by the guards' waists and knocked their guns out of their hands with a strong strike. As they stared mutely at their useless, bruising hands, Robin charged towards them at incredible vanishing speed, "Pierna Fleur: San Ashigan!" A powerful triple-leg side kick crushed them into and beyond the wall. "Oh my. That was a bit…well," she observed the obvious gape, then moved on.
On her way towards the center of the base, her ears caught wind of a conversation between two henchmen in a room ahead of her. She pressed herself against the wall near the entrance and created an extra ear for good measure. Didn't he think that it had been rather noisy in the base lately? Of course not, it was just the machinery acting up again. Machinery for what? And so…but then… They'd have to wake up much too early again for another shipment. At least they had decent pay, but even so the—
The sound of quickly approaching footsteps reached Robin's original ears. "Soru," she moved to the ceiling. Luckily, the hallways were plenty tall and littered with pipe systems, leaving her many hiding places.
"Oi! We have an intruder, so stop talking and get your asses moving!" "Yes, sir!" all four guards left the room.
"That was rather close," Robin muttered before dropping down and landing soundlessly on her feet. "I'd better report that," she scribbled in cipher in the small notebook kept in the pocket
of her vest, pausing when she heard a shout from the hallway she'd come from. Time to move, she thought. The guards had found the hole in the wall.
"I need you to buy me some time."
A man jogged down the hall, gradually gaining on the center of the base with a crowd of armed men clattering behind him. He held a Den Den Mushi close to his average but muscular chest, a slight expression of stress and concern finding a permanent home between his normally cheery eyes.
"We're already in deep shit. We haven't e-even engaged the enemy but we already know that Seandra and I are already pushing our luck to defeat one u-unidentified powerhouse...and yo-u're asking for us to buy you more t-ime?"
"I know, I know! Just buy me as much time as you can! Three other intruders have breached security from the east and I found the rest of our officers dead in their rooms. There's a traitor in our midst and–…"
"Yeah. And we're fighting a losing battle."
The man opened his mouth to protest when a new, more feminine voice came over the speaker, "Shut your mouth. Don't act like you don't know it, Endrid. You're always going on and on about Fate—just give it up already!"
The voice on the other end sighed, "Thanks for being our l-leader. This will probably be the last time."
"You gonna go then, Greda?"
"If you have nothing else to report, then yes. I can hear the shouts up ahead."
"Alright." Endrid licked his lips, then turned back to the mouthpiece. "Just promise me one thing."
"Don't fight with Seandra. I'm counting on you two to take him out with numbers if not with strength since you both have Devil Fr–"
A scoff overrode the static that omitted from the annoyed Den Den Mushi's mouth. "Worry about your own damn self," Seandra snapped. —Katcha—
Endrid sighed. "Tesiga?Are you still there?"
"Don't apologize. I'm the one who's sorry. It would have been one thing if there had just been the one in the west, but now I'm asking you to take down another in the east by yourself."
"Don't be like that. Remember your whole 'Fate' trust...I mean, yeah...you, uh...you know… I'm not alone. I have a squad and one of the Junior Officers with me. The others are leading the bulk of our soldiers to the east. So—I'm not qualified to encourage you when I'm always so unsure of everything myself and I don't even know if it's helping—"
"No, you're right," a bit of Endrid's smile crept back into the corners of his mouth. "I'm surprised that you of all people is telling me to be sure of myself."
"Tesiga…—Do you want me to repeat the plan so you're absolutely certain that you understand it?"
"If you don't mind -gomen."
"The biggest threat is the single intruder who got in through the westward entrance, the one closest to Dablec's quarters. The surveillance team can't identify who it is. There seems to be only one, but all they can see is multiple arms."
"The Devil Fruit user?"
"Well, we only think that he is one based off of the information we have. But, anyway, Greda and Seandra are headed northwest towards that single intruder. They both have Devil Fruits of their own and, though they tend to get on each other's nerves," he ignored the stifled noise on the other end, "they work well together. You're going to turn towards the storage rooms directly east from where you are. The three intruders approaching from the east entrance have split into two groups of one and two and you'll be coming at the one-man unit. I've sent Boris with you as well as your own squad. Don't worry about the other officers and just focus on taking your opponent down while I head towards the machinery in the center and try to take the two-some down with traps and gunfire."
"What if the machines are destroyed? If production is disabled, we won't be able to meet the quotas and ship out the special cannonry ordered specially by that *Yonk–"
"Tesiga! Have you forgotten that we don't have a **White Den Den Mushi?"
"I–...gomen. Gomenesai! Gome–"
Endrid cut him off, "You remember everything I said, Tesiga?"
"...Hai–gomen. I'll make sure to win…gomen. Gomen. —Katcha—"
Endrid rubbed a hand through his dark hair and huffed quietly. "I don't know…" Then, he pumped his fist into the air, "We'll leave it to Fate! Everyone, let's go!" The men jogging behind him gave a triumphant yell and they continued thundering down the hallway towards the center.
In a northwest corridor, a masked, cloaked figure clipped the cap back over a ***Black Den Den Mushi and continued strolling through hallways, scribbling in a notebook as dismembered arms cleared a pathway through fallen bodies.
As Robin swept through the west wing of the base, she sensed the concentration of strong guards somewhere in the southern end of the base dispersing more distinctly. The three intruders in the east were approaching the center as well and she briefly thought of piercing green eyes before shaking her head and moving forward. There were people up ahead.
She had become used to the sounds and feelings of the suffering, but she wasn't entirely numb to them. It was a weakness she'd hidden from herself for a long time now, but it was harder to ignore now that she knew and recognized well the tug on her heartstrings. Sometimes she was too sentimental for her own good. Robin watched from the shadowed hallway as slaves crumpled and flinched under their driver's whips, a cool anger pooling in her gut.
"What's going on outside this room is none of your concern. Just hurry up, you sorry pieces of shit! If you want to eat, you better pick up the pace!"
This was not written in her orders or by any means a part of the mission, but somewhere along the various twists of life, Robin had fostered an unofficial promise to free as many of the hurt and abused as she could—without interfering with her original purpose, of course. Plus, she recognized a few of the slave drivers. They had been in the break room mouthing off valuable information nonchalantly earlier. She had some time…
The men turned as one of the abusers—whose neck had just snapped under her fingers—flopped gracelessly to the dirt floor with a thud.
"Hey! Where the hell did this bastard come from!" The sorry mess of bullies then attempted intimidate by surrounding her, five of whom struck at her with their whips.
"Tekkai," Robin uttered easily, completely unaffected. "Fufufu... Please, gentlemen, may I have some more?" They couldn't see her smile, but the honey-venom dripping from her tone caught their attention and a good handful took a few steps back..
"What the hell is up with this guy?"
"Hold a second, that's not a guy—it's a girl," said another as he caught the pitch of her voice. "Wait...don't tell me—the intruder!" One of the uninformed lashed out again experimentally though his peer cried out a warning. Unfortunately for him, Robin was no longer on the defensive. This time, she caught the bloodied instrument and pulled, yanking the holder towards her for a right hook executed just for his face. She discarded the whip behind her after snapping it in two.
"Treinta Fleur: Twist." Arms sprang out from the remaining, petrified henchmen and contorted their bodies into unnatural positions. For a moment, she stood in the center of a ring of fallen guards. When she turned her gaze onto the slaves, she found that they were cowering where they stood, frozen where they had last been and trembling from their exposure to an inhuman stranger with an even more impossible Devil Fruit and the insecurity of their future.
"What are you waiting for? Shouldn't you run while you can?" This seemed to startle them out of their daze, and they tentatively looked at one another before cautiously shuffling, then running towards the exit. Robin tossed a set of keys she'd confiscated from one of the guards at one of them before whisking herself back along the dark corridors. This continued for a few more blocks in the underground system, but, eventually, she reached and entered a large space and turned to see an iron barricade block her exit. Robin glanced over her shoulder and barely blinked when a hundred guns and a handful of cannon were pointed in her direction.
"We have you now! Surrender or be shot down!"
She sighed. It was never any fun when the same threats were yelled over and over at her face. A Doscientos Fleur Clutch alone would take them all down in a flash, but she might as well mess around before the two stronger opponents arrived.
"What can you do now—against this much fire power?"
As her fingernails grew longer and sharper, she heard the whispers from the crowd: A she, then? Must be a she... Could be a he? To humor them, she swept her arms wide, parting her cloak and revealing her form-fitting body suit—See? It was a she—and announced her move. "Your fire is nothing. Seimei Kikan: Finger Claws," she lunged and gracefully dodged all bullets fired, countering with a barrage of air bullets flicked from the sharp ends of her nails as she danced her way towards them, "Kaika Tobu Shigan Kenpo." The air filled with the blinding light and smog of arms and cannonry and, simultaneously, the screams of dying men.
In the next room, several men dove from the ceiling to ambush her. Without sparing them a glance, Robin calmly responded, "Kaika Geppo: Pachinko." The men collided with the space like pinballs and, if one looked closely, one might have caught the sight of legs propelling the airborne assailants around. The walls, the ceiling, the ground—no place was spared. Robin giggled, "Hmm, nice try." The legs kicked off the air and launched the men towards each other. They fell several feet to the floor in a lifeless heap. Robin tsk'ed and exited the room as the stone walls collapsed.
She frowned as she walked into another wave of henchmen. She couldn't use that move anymore. The Midnight Star—no, the entire promontory—might collapse if she did. About a quarter ways through the wall of grunts, she noticed something odd. There was a space up ahead. "That doesn't make any sense," Robin said under her breath and pushed forward. Her black cloak, specked and drenched in blood, dragged to a stop as she came face to face with the two extra-ordinary people she had been expecting. Ahh… The woman's wide-collared vest hid her nose and mouth from view and her sleeved and gloved hands were shoved around her belt in a rather aggressive and impatient stance. But what caught Robin's eye more than the purple hair, shaved away on the sides of her head, were the hostile eyes outlined in heavy kohl and ringed by tattoo after tattoo. The man at her side was less physically intimidating—especially when Robin's eyes honed in on the bundles of newspapers stuffed into his back pockets—but she had learned to be cautious of such eccentricities by habit. The bulk of his muscle was in the upper body, specifically his arms, but this was largely covered by bandages and an open vest.
There was a period of silence. They were sizing each other up and the grunts surrounding them were beginning to sweat and fidget uncomfortably. Even they could feel the tension in the air. At last, the woman spoke, "Friend or foe?"
Robin blinked at them though they couldn't see underneath her mask. "Fufufu! That depends. What exactly do you mean by that?" she shifted her weight, her heavy cloak swirling around her.
"What's your name?"
"How rude. You ought to give me yours before I give you mine."
The man sighed in annoyance, "Greda. She's Trissahn Seandra. And you are?"
"Hmm...I've changed my mind. I won't tell you my name after all."
Greda snapped his fingers and grunts rushed around towards their target. Robin smacked them all to the ground with well-placed punches and kicks with impressive ease.
Seandra made a face and went back to the original question. "Who is your enemy?"
"Everyone. Naturally," Robin's smirk seeped into her answer. The woman dropped her jaw and growled in frustration.
Greda took a step forward, wringing an issue into a tight roll with his hands, "Let's be more specific then. Do you have something against Dablec Manrow?"
Robin hummed, "I try not to hold grudges against the deceased."
Everyone stiffened. "What do you mean?" Greda said carefully, slowly.
A grunt regarded their leaders' taut backs with surprise and stammered, "You mean...the surveillance team didn't tell you?"
"Beats Endrid," Seandra growled. "Just when was our leader planning on telling us that?"
Greda lacked the makeup and tattoos of his partner, but the look he gave Robin was just as intense. His anger was not, however, directed towards her, a fact she found curious. Suddenly, he cut down the grunt directly in front of him with his rolled up newspapers. A weapon of that kind would not have been threatening in the least if this particular sheaf was not welded to several others and stiffened with Bushoshoku Koka. Similar cries of surprise and dismay filled the air as Seandra joined in on the massacre. When the dust settled down, Robin looked over the piles of bodies all around her, then back at her original opponents questioningly.
The woman flicked blood out of the ends of her purple hair, giddy from the fighting and the most recent revelation, "If you're wondering, we're just exercising our newfound freedom. Dablec Manrow ceased to be our superior long ago. I suppose now that we are to escort you to meet our current bo–" she lurched and fell to her knees, a grimace on her face.
Greda fell against the wall, breathing hard and struggling to stay on his feet. "Haoshoku haki!?"
Robin walked past them, seemingly oblivious to Seandra's glare and Greda's watchful squint. "I don't care for whoever you work for. Even if it is Kiira Tapper." By the hitch in their heartbeats, Robin deduced that her intuitive judgement was correct. "I'm not going to let you waste my time—I have my own job to do. You're welcome to tag along if you like."
With no other present option, the livid and humiliated officers reluctantly trudged behind her. They were, after all, going in the same direction.
"Why the bloody fuck do we have to do this? None of these fuckers are enough to satisfy my bloodlust."
"Gaius Mordix." A young women, her hands clasped demurely in front of her, shot him a warning glance, "Please attempt to hold your tongue or I shall place another Limit on you."
"To hell with you and your Genkai Genkai no mi (Limit Limit Devil Fruit)," Mordix spat, but complied no less. "I'm not your animal to frickin' tame, Lila-Shishou."
She blinked and turned her head away, "I refuse to argue your point. And don't call me 'Shishou.' It is disconcerting, especially coming from your brutish disposition. Kiira-sama knows you ought to control yourself or be controlled—"
"Yeah? Well bloody f—"
"We are here to, uhh, stop you!" a voice haltingly cut into their squabbling.
Lila examined her fingernails. Mordix stared at the newcomers before bursting into laughter. "Is that so?" he gave them a good sweeping with his eyes. The man who had spoken was rather lazy-looking what with his droopy eyelids and shaggy hair. Unlike that lumbering fool, the chopstick seemed to at least have more brains though he looked distinctly embarrassed and confused as if the katana by his side did not belong there. No more of a chopstick than Benzie is. That bastard is just too damn long. "I doubt you dumbasses'd be much of a challenge."
He grinned as the two bristled—he completely ignored the crowd of men behind them—but he yawned widely all the s–
Mordix's eyebrows angled downward as the larger man morphed into a rather large and slightly loud, intimidating bear. "Ho~h?" a feral grin spread across his face.
"You should slow down! We don't know anything about their powers or techniques—"
"You may be my superior, Tesiga, but I'll be damned if you let your indecisiveness keep me from a victory." The small army behind the two obvious leaders shifted uncomfortably.
"Wow," Mordix turned to Lila. "You must be pretty damn disgusted if you won't even laugh at their stupidity," he cackled.
The man named Tesiga tensed. The other seemed unaffected, "My name is Anduver Boris. I ate the Kuma Kuma (Bear) no mi: model Gurizurī (grizzly)."
"Well, we'll just see if you can hold a single tooth to my Logia type Kaze Kaze (Wind) no mi," Mordix flashed his own set of sharp teeth.
Boris gave an animalistic snort and cut Tesiga's protests off once again, "Just shut up and cover me!"
Lila looked at the huge bear dripping saliva all over the floor and then at the nervous, slightly pissed swordsman at his side. "Mordix, they're not–"
"GRAAAAAHHHHHHH," Mordix and the bear growled at each other and engaged in a staring contest.
"...worth our time." Lila noted that their primal snarls sort of blended. She frowned, "You're so easily distracted…"
"Mordix, the–" she sighed as he rocketed off, "Genkai no Kōkan (Limit Swap)." A box enveloped the hallway, hardly phasing the dueling duo but startling the swordsman, and the Den Den Mushi which had been tucked in Mordix's waistband appeared in her hand. —Purupurupuru— "I don't know why you insist on carrying it when you never want to answer it." Of course, Mordix was too preoccupied to hear. —Purupuru–Katcha— "Moshi moshi."
"Lila, I need you and Mordix to get over here."
"Where is here?" a nasally voice came over the speaker. Lila sighed, Bakume Benzie.
"Meeting point 'A'—as planned."
"Sure thing, Kiira-sama. Benzie…"
"Is the screaming coming from your end?"
"...Nevermind. I don't want to know," she hung up before Benzie's typical prolonged chuckle got to her head. She sniffed disdainfully and turned. "Mordix, we—" Lila adopted her usual blank look as blood splattered all over her person, then dripped onto the dirt floor. "We need to get moving."
"Screw him. Did he say we needed to be there right away?"
"No. But it shouldn't—"
"Then," Mordix made a rude noise, "we obviously don't have to rush. Just lemme finish. And why do you have to use your limit to wash off the blood? It comes right off my clothes."
Lila tapped a finger against her other hand clasped in front of her. "Who knows? That may be the point of Rimitto Sutetchi (Limit Stitch)," she replied dryly. She ignored his annoyance at her broken English. "We're technically supposed to be assassins. They won't be able to find a trace of blood on us as long as you don't smear yourself onto the walls and rub the layers off. Besides, you reek of it enough." A sigh left her lips as he ignored her once again. I suppose a few minutes wouldn't hurt.
Robin was in no rush. Even so, she kept at a steady pace. She was taller than both people trailing behind her, so they often had to jog to keep up with her. She smirked as resentment continued to roll off of Seandra in thick waves, but turned her attentions to the drama ahead. Her senses were honed to pick up on the spirit of battle and, at the moment, some act was unfolding in the machinery capital. And behind her as well.
"Sōkon (Scar)!" "Yamaneko no gōon (Wildcat's Roar)!"
The war surrounding the machines was put on pause as all participants fortunate enough to only be spectators turned to observe the large explosion. Greda and Seandra emerged from the dust cloud, then stiffened and whirled around. As the grit settled to the ground, a shadow stepped forward.
"Tsuki (Jab)!" "Yamaneko no Sōshō (Wildcat's Laceration)!"
"Naikō," Robin steeled herself. An impenetrable, hazy blue sheen disappeared as quickly as it appeared on her person.
How ca-n this be? Greda's eyes widened as he leapt backwards, his arm throbbing. Their opponent was not affected at all. "B-buso Haki?"
"Buso isn't blue. And I thought her Devil Fruit power was something to do with 'arms,'" Seandra muttered beside him, hissing as her form crumbled and she gripped her wrist.
"A cat, hmm? That suits you perfectly," Robin looked down at the morphed arm that was beginning to bruise. "I've never seen a purple cat before. That bruise will blend in quite nicely."
Greda lunged and tackled Seandra out of the way as Robin half-heartedly drop-kicked and split the ground where they once stood.
"Greda! Seandra!" Endrid watched on, his skin an unhealthy white.
"Correct. Different from Buso Haki," Robin supplied unhelpfully, then looked up at a man with thick goggles seemingly suspended in the air. His head, covered by a faded explorer's hat, was thrown back as he guffawed obnoxiously. The baggy khaki and worn leather only made his thin figure seem even more lanky. "You're strong," he gave Robin a grin that made her grimace inwardly. "What's this I hear about arms?" The way his fingers moved was also disconcerting, Robin observed, though he couldn't move his left arm. A huge briefcase was dangling from his bony hand.
"Get off of me," Seandra elbowed Greda to the side, but grimaced as she tried not to cradle her sprained wrist so obviously.
Greda frowned, then turned to watch a distraught Endrid. As much as it pained him to a-dmit it, he wished Endrid was dead already. What was coming was not g-going to be pleasant and it would be less complicated if their leader w-as not around to witness it. That had been the plan, but ap-apparently the plan had already changed. Currently, the unsuspecting Endrid was caught between making sure Seandra's wrist was alright and something entirely different. Greda understood when the goggled man opened the bursting briefcase. His eyes widened when Benzie pulled out a seemingly lifeless woman with teal hair. Benzie then sat down impossibly where he was—thirty feet in the air—and began examining another syringe from a different compartment in the suitcase, and then another and another... With a sinking heart, Greda realized that the entire briefcase was packed with syringes and containers filled with what looked like blood and other concoctions. He immediately began to question his confidence in his alliances.
"Benzie!" Endrid yelled, a hint of panic interlaced with the loathing in his voice. "What did you do!"
Robin's eyes flashed. Her fingers stiffened and her toes curled in her boots, but she forced her body to stay still. So this was Benzie.
"Oh, relax. I just took blood samples from all the interesting specimens in your ranks." As if that was reassuring at all. "This one girl...the one with the seafoam green hair?" He laughed as Endrid stiffened, "She's by far the most interesting. How in the world did she get such fantastic genetics, do you think?"
Even Seandra twitched when Benzie stuck another needle into the poor girl's neck. He ignored Endrid's attempt to shoot him. The bullet bounced off. Robin narrowed her eyes, and then he turned to her, "Are you a friend? If you are, you can call me Benzie. And if you're an enemy, you can call me Dokutoru Bakume—"
Greda tore his eyes away from helping Seandra properly wrap her wrist to stare at the disguised intruder. Waves of anger were rolling off of her as Benzie chatted away and they were—irritatingly enough—beginning to m-make his fingers tremble. There was no need to feel so strongly about a stranger. Had he missed so-mething? Just w-ho was this disguised woman and what kind of mess had he gotten himself into?
"You're going to break the building," Lila watched her partner throw the huge—and now severely disoriented—grizzly bear into the swordsman and up against the wall, the stone cracking in the process.
"Who the hell cares? It's not like you'll let me fucking die."
That was not—however unfortunate—the point, Lila closed her eyes slowly and huffed under her breath.
"You'll just use your shitty Devil Fruit to cheat death," Mordix grinned deviously.
"Language, Mordix," she warned. Lila's eyes narrowed into slits, "Don't be so full of yourself, you–" —Purupurupuru—
Mordix picked at his ear. —Purupurupuru—
"Are you going to answer?"
"What do you think?" he smirked as tossed another wind-full punch at the weakening animal in front of him. Lila sighed and stalked over—as much as that could be called stalking—Purupurupuru—and pulled the Den Den Mushi out of Mordix's waistband. "Hoh~ Getting feisty."
"Intolerable devil, be quiet. And would you stop splattering blood all over the place?" Lila inhaled sharply, trying to ignore Mordix's smirk and manipulation of the wind so that blood was carried every which way. —Katcha— "Moshi mosh–"
"Where the hell are you?"
"Aw, Ki-chan! I- was just- havin' some fun. Hah! Loosen up!"
"Well, if I told you that I want you over here because I've found someone who would spark your interest, would you hurry up?"
"The fuck do you mean?"
"Strong." Lila looked at him with disapproval, becoming increasingly wary of his change in mood.
"What! You sensed him, didn't you? Bitch!" Lila wrinkled her nose and opened her mouth to retort that Mordix could've sensed a strong opponent if he wasn't such a hyperactive sadist, but Mordix had already turned back to the snail, "How strong?"
"Impossibly strong. Be here. Unless you want Benzie to have all the fun."
"Oh, hell no," Mordix's face darkened in lustful glee. "Just lemme finish off this fucking bear and I'll be over."
"Wait. Did you say 'bear?'"
"Yeah. This wimpy-ass bear fucking attacked me. Anduv…" "Anduver Boris," Lila supplied. "Yeah, that."
"He's an ally."
"Oh." Mordix stared blankly at the motionless man slumped against the far wall.
"Bring him along."
"Dead," Mordix grinned.
"They were rather weak, Kiira-sama." "I shouldn't have expected less. 'They'? There were more people able to resist?" "A swordsman with a cursed blade." "Hmm...bring him instead." —Katcha.—
They looked around. The swordsman had disappeared. Lila sniffed and thought aloud that they would have followed the blood tracks if Mordix hadn't tracked the stuff everywhere already.
They had already succeeded in upsetting Kiira-sama enough as it was and—"AAHH!"
Lila shrieked as Mordix spun on his heel and ran.
"What are you—don't touch me there!" she fumed.
"You're too slow," Mordix explained easily, slightly miffed and impatient, but shifted his over-the-shoulder hold on her nevertheless. Lila sighed and attempted to calm herself. Her partner was in the zone and she probably would not be fortunate enough to escape such an undignified position; she resigned and stuffed the Den Den Mushi into the back of his waistband, "Turn left."
It happened in a flash. A blur barreled towards Benzie who dodged at the last second. A startled man with ruffled and short black hair and a sword strapped to his hip lunged and fumbled but caught the falling girl who was just beginning to come to.
"Tesiga?" Endrid exclaimed. "What are you…" he sighed in relief, "Fate may be on our side." It was then that Robin saw the large wound on his torso. If he hadn't had that, she didn't doubt that he'd have tried to rescue his subordinate himself. She scanned the fallen militia around the room, acting casual. The only evidence that she'd moved was the stirring of her cloak.
"And who are you?" Benzie frowned. "I would apologize for overlooking your vitality, but I've never seen you before." He wrinkled his nose and added, "But even if I had, I wouldn't have remembered you. Nothing about you is fascinating at all. Black hair, monolid..." he muttered to himself. The goggles flashed as Benzie glanced at Robin then pocketed a syringe, "I'd love to get some of your blood," he licked his lips. "You seemed quite disturbed when I brought her out. You ought to offer yourself as the sacrifice," he stood, wiping imaginary dust off of his knees, and gave that disgusting grin. "How about we play a little."
"That's not a question, is it?" Robin ignored Endrid's gaze. She'd have to worry about the machinery and the coup later. It was obvious that Greda and Seandra did not want their leader to know about their intentions just yet.
"Who is she?" a winded and confused Tesiga asked, then turned abruptly, "Endrid! That wound is–"
"It's fine," he cut him off. "She's the other intruder."
"Is she on our side?"
"I don't know that. Yet."
Tesiga looked between the two opponents who were currently ignoring everyone else besides each other. He looked back at Endrid's hand around his arm. His leader shook his head.
"I couldn't even get close to him, he's too fast. And when I did land a hit, it didn't do anything." Tesiga looked surprised and he hesitantly resheathed the inch of his ****Kadan Kitetsu that he'd thumbed out. He kept his hand on the hilt though. Greda and Seandra gave each other a glance. Was it perhaps the 'Tekkai' technique after all? Seandra ground her teeth and her partner nodded his head. Just how far behind in strength could they possibly be?
And then, suddenly, the two monsters were gone and there were flashes and yelled attack names and blood—
Dablec's main bodyguards looked on in shock. The only sign that anything had happened was the bruising and bleeding in various places on Benzie's person. There was a huge tear ripped in the mystery woman's cloak but she seemed otherwise fine.
"Heh. Don't act so high and mighty. I know that I landed at least one hit."
Robin just looked back at him, ignoring the slightest ache in her side before examining the tear in her cloak. She probably wouldn't be able to wear it again. And she'd had a pretty good streak too. Pity.
Benzie took running leaps until he was several more feet above them. This time, Robin noticed the thin blocks that he was stepping on, nearly invisible under the soles of his feet. "I know your jumps are powerful, but you can't possibly win in an aerial battle against me."
"I'll just have to prove you wrong then," Robin leapt into the air and let Benzie match her. As soon as she saw his eyes widen in surprise, she lashed out and feinted a slash. There! He dodged but lost his balance as Robin cut at seemingly nothing, but it broke a connection and the thin blocks under his feet disappeared as he began to fall. She swung around once more, kicking him to the floor. He coughed and waved away the dust as he sat up in the middle of a crater, surprised to find himself looking up at someone instead of the other way round. Robin frowned as she saw some sort of reflective layer repair itself until it coated his person. It had repaired itself too quickly for her to see it clearly back when Endrid had shot him. Just what kind of Devil Fruit does he have?
"You–" Benzie shook his head and adjusted his glasses before hopping to his feet. "Not many have figured out that my stepping stones are connected."
Robin flipped in the air before landing on her feet. She shrugged at his confusion and kept silent. So he was stepping on something and apparently the 'stepping stones' couldn't exist without the connection.
"I ate the Suteppo Suteppo (Step) no mi." Robin frowned. Was he just going to tell her everything about himself? He continued, "Fundamentally, I am both literally and figuratively a stepping stone. I do, however, have other tricks of my own-..." She braced herself for his next attack.
"Fudō tobiishi. Kaidan no–" Benzie suddenly darted in the opposite direction, his former grin falling to a thin line.
"Gufū Kiri!" a new voice cried out, barely audible over the blast that shook the room. Robin's eyes widened as a wild man with an arm that looked like a whirling tornado drill swung out from the hurtling rocks and made a beeline for her. She quickly swayed using Kami-e to dodge and used her Armament Haki to quickly kick the drill to the side, but was blown off course by the wind. Kicking off the wall, she kept up her defensive position between the two active opponents.
Mordix twisted his body easily, canceling out most of his projection before he rattled the wall even further, but still hit the boulders hard with a yell. As Robin observed the settling dust cloud, she heard Benzie call out behind her, "I can't get too close to that soloist and I wouldn't either if I were you." Never thought I'd be receiving advice from the enemy, Robin mused. But that still didn't explain where the other presence went. Could she have counted wrong?
"Hah! I'm fucking impressed," Mordix created a gale that blew the dust into the farthest corners of the room. Robin was glad she wore a mask. She did not prefer to shower in dirt travelling at high speeds. "Kaze Sōkon Kyūshū!" Mordix lashed out with a flurry of air blades comparable to a sort of variant Rankyaku.
"Kamisori," Robin fluidly avoided each threat while zigzagging through the air.
"Oh, you're pretty damn fast, I'll give you that! But let's see you dodge this: Dai Kaze Sōkon!"
Robin countered quickly, "Kaika Rankyaku: Daisā." Her grid of combined Rankyaku met Mordix's flurry of air blades and the collision of the two attacks compressed and exploded outwards, causing a huge blast of wind to throw everyone in various directions and hitting the two perpetrators of the blast the hardest. The motionless bodies of the lesser soldiers rolled into piles against the wall as the remnants of Dablec's officers flattened themselves and dug in their heels.
Robin pulled herself out of the rubble, casually brushing the grit off of herself and looking behind her. The machinery room must be important if the walls were actually enforced with an iron structure. That, at least, was reassuring. She could go all out. After all, a minor earthquake was not that big of a deal for an island in the middle of a *****Ring of Fire.
"Bitch! You're just lucky that I went easy on you!" Mordix jumped from his own pile of beat-up wall, but immediately turned on Benzie—as he had just taken notice of him—and launched into a new fit of foul language and insults. "And you! Bastard. Trying to take the fun away, were you? What a shit—"
"Would you just chill, you brainless lunatic?" Benzie drawled good-naturedly though anyone could easily tell that he was irked. "I'm smart enough to not get caught in the aftermath of your ridiculously, excessively windy—"
Robin quirked an eyebrow. The verbal brawl was about to become physical when a familiar voice cut the flow of her thoughts and the heated conversation between the two men.
"Oh, surely you weren't so offended? Mordix just gets excited whenever he meets someone who's able to keep up with him."
"Bossu!" Benzie hopped and ran in a sort of odd dance to stand by Mordix—but not too close—grinning and waving with his obnoxiously long arms.
Greda and Seandra gave each other the slightest of looks before staring up at the figure—their new boss—leaning on the bars of the suspended metal walkway. Tesiga glanced at his partners and Endrid before turning to face the newcomer, the girl with the seafoam hair leaning on his shoulder, while Robin's eyes narrowed. Kiira Tapper.
end of Part II.
*"...Yonk–": ooh, who is it? (to be revealed in a later Shadow Blossom arc)
**White Den Den Mushi: attached to regular Den Den Mushis to prevent calls from being intercepted; opposite of black Den Den Mushi
***Black Den Den Mushi: usually in a sort of special wristwatch; used to intercept calls and eavesdrop
****Kadan ["Decisive"] Kitetsu: a cursed sword belonging to the Kitetsu make of katana (cursed); a metaphorical jab at Erx Tesiga's indecisive personality.
*****Ring of Fire: ring of major active volcanoes; known for frequent earthquakes (irl: located in a ring around the Pacific Ocean)
A/N (3): Hey! So we hadn't anticipated the length of the mini arc and we've decided to extend the Talin Island chapters into 3 parts instead of 2. Sorry! You'll have to wait a bit longer until the conclusion. The Prologue and the Hutzil Pirate chapters had already been roughed out, but the only part of Talin Island that was roughed out was all in Part I, so Misa and I have been going back and forth on ideas this entire time. We hope you enjoyed! We also hope that our notes made it a little easier for you all to remember who is who and that none of you were confused… Below, Misa inserted an updated character review if you'd like a refresher. Directly under that, I've inserted an Attacks Key (or technique notes) for the chapter just like before. There'll also be a character review at the beginning of next chapter, so if you're fine with just that, you can just R&R
See you soon!
character review: (updated / in the order they appear)
[Deetje: Robin's alias for her mission (Ellie: Khiara's alias)]
[*Gin Khiara: peer and formerly close childhood friend of Robin; also working in a classified, specialized program for the WG; currently stalking and confirming the success and progress of Robin's Talin Island mission (she will appear next chapter and in later arcs); currently canoodling with a random stranger…]
Dablec Manrow: leader of criminal organization Crimson Hourglass; fooled and interrogated by Robin - terminated
*Kiira Tapper: green-eyed, popular man who frequents Talin Island's Midnight Star (hotel); talented dancer and overly friendly to Robin (Deetje); suspicious character - leader of an underground criminal organization separate from Dablec's...bought over Greda, Seandra, Boris, and has his eyes set on Tesiga.
Beats Endrid: qualified leader of Dablec's subordinates (comparable to a general); maintains an obsession with the concept of Fate; fights with firearms; for some reason, kept the fact that Dablec was dead from the subordinates closest to him (the other men found out through gossip)...
Greda: second-in-command of Dablec's subordinates though physically stronger than Endrid; has a slight stutter and usually doesn't get along too well with Seandra; uses Busoshoku Haki to weld newspaper issues into a lethal weapon; was bought over by Kiira (reason unknown)
Trissahn Seandra: second-strongest subordinate; short-tempered and usually doesn't get along well with Greda; ate a Zoan DF Neko Neko no mi (model unknown) - a purple cat; was bought over by Kiira (reason unknown)
*Erx Tesiga: indecisive swordsman; same rank as Seandra; habit of adding "-gomen" to everything he says / constantly apologizing; owner of Kadan Kitetsu (see above note); loyal to Endrid/Dablec and oblivious to Greda's and Seandra's plans
Gaius Mordix: Kiira's impulsive killing machine; ate a Logia DF Kaze Kaze no mi (Wind DF); always paired up with Lila; foul-mouthed and irritated by the English language and thus more irritated by Benzie whom he already dislikes; very graphic
Lila: Kiira's tactful subordinate; ate a Paramecia DF Genkai Genkai no mi (Limit Limit DF); always paired up with Mordix to keep him in check; dislikes foul language; very sophisticated; Kiira is her savior (she always does as he says);
Anduver Boris: junior officer who doesn't respect Tesiga; ate a Zoan DF Kuma Kuma no mi: model Grizzly (Bear Bear DF); loud and reckless fighter; was bought over by Kiira (reason unknown)- terminated?
Bakume Benzie: Kiira's overly optimistic, tactful subordinate; ate a Paramecia DF Kaidan Kaidan no mi (Step Step DF) extremely smart, acts obnoxious and idiotic by choice; tall and lanky; less of a fighter than a support; frequently switches from Japanese to English
'girl with the teal/seafoam-green hair:' irrelevant side character (used to be significant but was omitted because of the number of new characters)
Hopefully that helped. Sorry, we know it's confusing. There will not be any new characters for the Talin Island arc from this point on, but characters with '*'s by their name will appear again in later arcs... We'll review again before the next chapter!
Attacks Key: (in the order they appear)
*note: Kaika=Blooming→ refers specifically to Robin or techniques created specifically for or enhanced by the Hana Hana no mi (there are other moves w/out "Kaika" but still referring to Robin or the Hana Hana DF)
**note: moves with more generalized descriptions tend to be a part of the Universal Rokushiki move list (a list of created moves a Rokushiki-user could use...both canon and OC)
Pierna Fleur: San Ashigan (Leg Flower: Three Leg Bullets) - a three leg version of Ashigan (Leg Bullet/Gun); Robin unleashes a powerful side kick at the same power and speed as shigan similar to Fukoru's Jugon (stern beast) technique.
NICO ROBIN[Hana Hana (Flower) no mi]
Seimei Kikan: Finger Claws - using Seimei Kikan (Life Return), Robin makes her fingernails longer and sharper
Kaika Tobu Shigan Kenpo (Blooming Flying Finger Bullet Style) - after activation of Seimei Kikan: Finger Claws, Robin uses Tobu Shigan "Bendan" (flicking out a sharp, compressed air bullet using the sharp ends of her fingernails) with her Devil Fruit powers in a gun-fu/gunkata style
Kaika Geppo (Blooming Moonstep) - technique specifically for the Hana Hana no mi – the use of Geppo with multiple legs; enhances Geppo abilities in various ways:
*Kaika Geppo "Pinbooru" (Pinball) - Robin continuously sprouts a various number of legs out of an enemy and uses geppo (in intervals) to launch him into the air like a rocket, ramming him into a wall or ceiling in the process; this is repeated multiple times, picking up the pace along the way and resulting in the illusion that the enemy is crashing from place to place like a pinball.
*Kaika Geppo "Pachinko" - similar to Pinbooru, but used against a group of enemies simultaneously.
Naikō (内甲, Diamond shell) - an evolved form of Tekkai combining physical strength (Tekkai) and spiritual strength (Busōshoku Haki: Kōka (Color of Armaments: Hardening)) into one form; results in a dull blue sheen (instead of the usual Black of Buso Koka); while Tekkai is activated, the user concentrates his Busōshoku Haki into his/her body to harden it further to the level of diamond, making it tougher and more durable than ever before (the strength behind this technique depends on both the user's physical power and willpower)
Kamisori (Razor) - a Geppo-Soru combo technique allowing the user to move very quickly in a zigzag motion in three dimensions.
Kaika Rankyaku "Daisā" (Dicer) - Robin creates multiple vertical and horizontal air blades simultaneously to form a grid or net; named after a kitchen tool known as the food dicer which is used to cut foods (e.g. potatoes) into pieces; based on the Rankyaku that Kaku and Blueno used at Iceburg's mansion during the Water 7 arc and in the OP: Pirate Warriors/Kaizoku Musō series respectively.
(A/N (4): All these techniques above are from the Rokushiki Robin movelist project, although the first technique is under a different name from the one in the project.)
LILA[Genkai Genkai (Limit) no mi]:
Genkai no Kōkan (Limit Swap): within a certain area, objects may be moved around according to the user's wishes (used to retrieve the Den Den Mushi out of Mordix's sash without Lila moving)
"Rimitto Sutetchi" or Genkai no Nuime (Limit Stitch): a protective layer covers an object; this specific move allows any outside filth (in this case, blood) to stain clothes or stick all over the skin...it slips off like water on plastic (Lila spoke in broken English because she knows that Mordix hates it)
BAKUME BENZIE[Kaidan Kaidan ("Suteppo") no mi]
Fudō tobiishi (Floating Stepping Stones) - Benzie creates platforms that look like stepping stones but are connected by a thin rod (almost like the keys on a flute); it should be noted that gravity does not apply to this DF; [used to create the illusion that he is using Geppo]
"Kaidan no [Setto]" (Stairs-Set) - Benzie turns any part of his body (or his entirety-"Furubodi=Full Body") into a set of ladders; [execution was interrupted by Mordix]
GAIUS MORDIX[Kaze Kaze (Wind) no mi]
Gufū Kiri (Tornado Drill) - Mordix transforms his arm into a powerful wind drill that aims to strike the target up close and drill a hole into the center of the body. A very...messy way to kill an opponent.
Kaze Sōkon Kyūshū (Wind Slash Raid) - Mordix unleashes a wind blast full of slicing wind blades at his enemy.
Dai Kaze Sōkon (Grand Wind Slash) - a huge air blade comparable to a variant of Rankyaku.
Sōkon (Scar) - a quick shoulder-to-hip downward slash; Greda uses his Armament (Buso Haki) to wield rolled up newspapers as a staff
Tsuki (Jab) - a thrust (similar to a thrust in fencing) using the sharp end of Greda's weapon to attack the vitals of the enemy.
TRISSAHN SEANDRA[Neko Neko (Cat) no mi: model ?]
Yamaneko no gōon (Wildcat's Roar) - a highly explosive attack launched from the jaws; limited use; a high-pitched feline screech can be faintly heard under the explosive effects of the attack
Yamaneko no Sōshō (Wildcat's Laceration) - a one-armed powerful swipe utilizing the form of a Seandra's feline DF; sharp claws lash out in an attempt to cut deep and possibly gut the target
Updated the first post with the links to all the chapters in this thread, as well as to inform everyone that a co-writer was already found months ago which I must apologize for not mentioning sooner.