The Dark Isles - Chapter 2 - A Momentos IntroductionFOREWORD: Some stuff I want to make absolutely clear:
1- This is not official, certainly not for One Piece, and not for This Bites!, Its more of a gift for and the Cross-Brain members. As much as I like writing, I recognize I do it more for fun, and that my writing style and resources for this story are completely different from what they have. However if they wanted to work on a revision of the story to use in their canon, I'm not against it, and I'd love to work with them on it in fact.
2- The unofficial-ness of this story aside, I will leave some aspects of the plot open for it, particularly regarding Jeremiah Cross, his reality and the Time Skip that concludes Seabody.
3- This will become very disturbing and violent in some cases, particularly with my more villainous characters. If there are complaints about how my characters don't feel like they are a part of One Piece, that's probably, again, due to my style, and also because, well - my characters are in fact not of their world, so its somewhat intended for them at least.
4- I suck at interpreting how a Donald Duck voice would sound, so I'm not confident in writing Carue dialog, but I'm not worried, since Lassoo isn't really written like Goofy, and Funkfreed isn't really written like Mickey Mouse in This Bites! much at all anyway.
5- I'll be posting pics of my characters and scenes from this story, so if you are confused about how they look even with my description, hopefully I will be able to show you what I intended them to look like.
6- This story will have my criticisms and predictions of both This Bites and One Piece as part of the humor. Its in no way an insult to the works, the creators, or the people who enjoy them (especially the last one, since I'm a fan of both as well). However, I CAN be blind in how crass or mean a joke can be, and if it does come across as too much, let me know and I will make an effort to fix it.
7- In terms of power, the monsters are an uneasy seating between pre and post time-skip, strong enough to really be a problem, but aside from one or two exception, not entirely above the Straw Hats
So, here we are again, I'm honestly surprised I have the drive to keep this up, if I'm being honest. So many of my projects have been on Hiatus or stopped, or just haven't worked out. I don't know what's different here exactly...Hm.
As you might have gleaned, this is also a semi-crossover with my own universe, the E-demention, co-created by best friend and fellow arteest . While important characters from the main story (Chasseur Judge) may or may not appear (how would they even be in, listening to the SBS somehow?) many - if not all - of the Dark Isles inhabitance are monsters and characters I had planned, including Djon, Orochi and Squeltch. The specific race of monster that appears in this chapter is another carry-over from an experiment that died called TAKEOVER (the idea was that my villains suddenly appeared and tried to hijack other accounts universes thought I was being serious and tried to steal her account, which is both hilarious and guilt ridding looking back on it...). And another character is the star of a recently uploaded idea called "Weirld West." an even older idea thats going to show up
I suppose the take-away here is that I love crossover stories, and I believe people always like the idea of it too. Isn't it surprising how many of them are exceptional?
Who framed Rodger Rabbit and Wreck-It Ralph make the crossover more like a background of their worlds rather than a crux of the narrative, TMNT: Turtles Forever, highly favored the new series and made EVERYTHING about the older series look incompetent by comparison (to the point that the older turtles just act, so stupid), Kingdom Hearts suffers from Disney Red Tape, in that hardly any of the different universe interact with each other outside of a few exceptions. The best crossovers are the ones where the personalities and vastly different ideas bounce off of each other.
things I want to make clear is what this falls into. If this were to fall anywhere it would be between Strong World and Seabody. the second is that, even if this isn't official, I'll still keep writing it anyway.
"OOOOoooohh...my head..." I groaned, upside down in a barrel hapazardly cusioned and strung up against the wall, something I'd rigged up, along with several others for the rest of the crew in case the ship was tossed into the air again...Shiki may have been a vile scumbag, but he had forced us all to try and prepare for the absolute worst we could face.
"Ughhh...Stupid Squid!" Sanji moaned "I'll turn it into Calamari the next time I see it!"
"For once, I'd want to help you prepare that for dinner." Zoro poked his head out of his barrel, dangerously close to the hole that Squeltch's tentacle had managed to tear through the Sunny.
"WAAAAAAAAAGH!!" Djon held a distraught Merry in a hug within her Barrel "SUUUUNNNYYYY!"
"Hey, hey, its okay...." The monster comforted her "its probably not as bad as it looks, we just gotta check, I wouldn't imagine a ship as tough as yours to be out of the game only a few islands into its life"
"THATS RIGHT!!!" Franky yelled from inside his giant Cola Barrel "SUNNYS GONNA SAIL FOR SO MANY SUPER YEARS, IT'LL MAKE DRAGONS LOOK LIKE MAYFLIES!!!!" His still burnt arms poked out in their usual pose, only sticking straight up out of the Barrel instead of at an angle, due to the lack of space.
"Promise?!" Merry looked at the both of them
Djon's glowing eye flashed a pleasant yellow "~Through Hell and back, the soldier ship, mar-ches on merr-il-ly~"
"~Though dark, are the Iiilllllses, its light shines on the sea!~"
Merry cleared her eyes and climbed out of the barrel with an unsure smile on her face, the rest of the crew followed suit as we walked out on to the beach we'd landed on.
"That was a nice rhyme Djon." Brook praised "is that a local tune?"
"If I'm being honest, I made that up on the spot..." Djon admitted, slightly embarrassed. "Where us monsters come from, music can be a real pick-me-up." He sighed, but perked himself up "Anyway, welcome to Remin, second largest island of The Isles, with the biggest city!"
We looked at The Sunny, the hole in the hull was concerning, but very relievingly, the Tentacle had struck next to the keel, instead of through it.
I looked up and really took in what I could see of the place. The middle of the island looked almost covered in the canopy from the trees, making everything aside from the mountains and the parts closer to the ocean (containing more open plains and white houses leading to a white kingdom) look like the top of a giant piece of broccoli. Not the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen, but still very pleasing to the eye for what is was. reminded me a little of pictures I'd seen of Greece.
Luffy ginned widely next to me, holding his hat to his head as he too surveyed the landscape. "Cool! A Dragon!"
I readied my fists, "I am not about to lower my guard again after the Viperfish and Squeltch each got one over on us, a challenge was one thing, but the monsters we've faced on the way here were abnormally tough and have given us major headaches!"
Luffy, Chopper and Ussop were far more intrigued by the green scaley monster crawling down the road than my warning. Mounted on its back was a human mother and her child, both red haired with braids, freckled skin and green dresses.
"Hello Mrs. Vennesse! and Jean, always a pleasure to see you too!" Djon called out.
"Djon, ya whistly sonnuva bitch! I haven't seen ya' in weeks! Finn'ly found the time tah come bach have yeh?" Her mode of speech was rough, but she spoke in the most affectionate, light way. "and hoo're yah friends? new castawheys from the Black Sea?"
Robin looked curious, placing a finger on her chin. "Black Sea?"
"No, much better than that, These are the Straw Hats we've been hearing over the radios and snails!" Djon responded
"OOOOH!" Jean leaned to get a better look at Usopp and Chopper "The Adventurers who help fight evil! SO COOL!" She turned to get off the dragon and run around " Is that their ship too!? SO COOL!"
"Actually," Nami began "speaking of our ship, we need to repair it soon, I don't suppose you could help us find some place in town that could help us would you?"
"Such a nice young lass! yea, we got a Shipwright centa' in town! I can take yeh there iffin' you don't mind the scaled hide of ol' Slitherwort here!"
Slitherwort puffed a little flame, but otherwise kept the cool look on his face. even as our member climbed atop him and Luffy sat atop the tip of his snout, the green dragon was very complacent and lowered his head so Venesse could see.
Boss the Dugongs and the animals aside from Su, Chopper and Soundbite stayed behind on the ship, if anything within the city also had that sleeping stuff on it, it was for the best that they not risk a run-in with something else that could invoke it until we could find a sure-fire way to counter the stuff.
the dragon galloped down the dirt road at a surprisingly smooth, brisk pace.
"You must be SUPER strong to tame a dragon like this into being transportation!" Franky yelled from his spot.
"Tamed? Nah robit mun," Venesse explained "Slitherwort's ah Farm Dragon, very lax creatchas that attach to kind 'earts like mine! He jus' sort of came an' stayed."
"Still, it pretty impressive to mount one of these guys." Usopp marveled, "Its not every day we ride on a dragon's back! Well, except for that one time I fought a giant ten times my size! had to ride a dragon for a few days then!"
"Oh? Really Mr. Usopp?" Jean exclaimed "SO COOL!"
Thus Usopp's tale of the time he found a small island with only a Giant and a Dragon on it began. I often forgot, due to it not being a focus, about how good a story-teller he was, Luffy, Chopper, and Jean listened attentively for the rest of the ride until we got to the gates of the Kingdom.
"-And that how I and the Dragon beat the Giant using nothing but a dandelion, a Pie, and a Chicken Leg!" Usopp concluded triumphantly to a mistified audience.
"And we're here!" Djon cut in "Caul, The Cobbled City!"
We marveled at the Marble, half of every permenant structure was made from the polished stuff, some of it was actually in the process of being polished as we passed, and the other half was randomness, cobblestone, wood, and other much more conventional housing material patching things up. The dragon stopped in front of a fountain plaza as we looked at the figures standing side by side, with yellow cloaked people(?) I could only assume were soldiers flanking them.
The figure in the middle wore a white cloak that hung off his fairly small form (3 and a half feet maybe?) beneath the cat-eared hood of which there was only deep blackness. to their right there was a large, barrel chested pirate captain wearing traditional pirate garb - bandanna, black and gold sailor coat, heavy leather boots, etc. - with two animals on his shoulders, an odd but keen-looking parrot and a small lizardish creature with star-like patterns in its eyes. To the cloaked figure's left was a much odder character. Looking like some kind of human snowman with orange hair and a snot drip hanging off his long pointed nose.
"Momentos! How are you my Lord?" Djon, Venesse and Jean got off the dragon and bowed.
ignoring the three, the cloaked creature - Momentos presumably - stepped forward. One of his eyes and his teeth illuminated his once pitch-black hood in an eerie way. "As you may have gleaned, I am Momentos Jack, the Lord of these hills," He raised his obscured hands in the air and waved them a little, before pointing both of them at us "And you must be the Straw Hat Pirates! I saw your Jolly Roger when you came into the bay and fought Squeltch from my castle."
His voice was soft and smooth, though it distorted in an odd way every so often.
"Actually sir, thats why we're here." Nami stepped forward to meet him. "You might have seen our ship thrown to the beach, luckily the damage isn't too bad but we need repairs. We heard that there's a place called a 'Shipwright Center' where we could go?"
"indeed, we have spots open over there, both for lodging and ship repair. I'll someone to collect your ship for proper transport."
"Ok... How much is this going to cost us?"Our navigator flatly asked, clearly dreading the price tag on this offer.
"No charge for people as world-shaking as you all, you're considered our town's heroes after all, just don't take advantage." Momentos stated firmly.
Nami blinked, processing what the short robed being in front of her had just said, and then a gleaming smile spread across her face "HAHA!! THIS PLACE IS GREAT! NO EXPENSES COSTING AN ARM AND A LEG!" she laughed, lifting Momentos off his feet and spinning him around. Man, he was deceptively light.
Ater much struggling and angry demands, the Lord of the Hills was set down, he cleared his throat. "you'll have to pay for everything else yourselves, my city has an economy to run after all."
"Shishishi! You're pretty cool, Robe Guy!" Luffy chuckled
Momentos seemed to freeze up for a split second. "W-well, I don't mean to brag..."
"Bud dyou will, sir..." the Snowman shaped guy stated, obviously stuffed up from his cold.
"Ceril, com'on!" The Pirate with the animals on his shoulders complained.
"RAWK, SWELLED HEAD, STUFFY HEAD, RAWK" the Parrot whistled
"WHERE HAS THAT MANGY BIRD BEEN LEARNING THOSE DESCRIPTIONS, EH, CAPTAIN ERICK?!?" Momentos shouted in annoyance.
"Not from me, sir!" Erick scrambled. The soldiers held Momentos and Ceril back from attacking as Erik's Lizard and Bird hid behind him.
"Uhh... excuse me?" Conis stepped forward, grabbing the attention of the three. "Where are your doctors? We have some friends who managed to catch something, and we were led here for a cure hopefully.""finaaalgghhhhh-h
-h..zzzz" Soundbite snored from my shoulder.
"Can we wake the snail up last?" Lassoo grumbled. "I've been enjoying talking without his quips for a while."
Erick sighed in relief for the distraction. "Dr. Love and Spark are at the castle going over some things with the leader of a different Isle, I'm sure we can get there in time before they leave, right sir?"
Momentos "I don't see why not, I've actually dreamed of giving a tour of my home to straw hatsa nd throwing a feast ever since the Alabasta broadcast." He figited "A-and m-m-mayhaps....you could Broadcast the SBS from there t-too once Soundbite is cured, Mr. Jeremiah?"
"Please, Mr. Jeremiah isn't even the name of my father!" I chuckled "Just call me Cross; and I'd be honored to broadcast from a place thats welcomed us in with such open arms, Lord Momentos."
"Well, I'll be looking around town with the ladies while we're here, the market here may have some unique ingredients for me to use." Sanji stated, obviously looking forward to it for the obvious reasons. his enthusiasm was curbed slightly by Carue "An' Iw'll Make suwe youwe behave!"
"Me and Merry'll make sure The Sunny is moved to the Center properly, Don't want Sunny taking on water or getting any more damage done 'cause of a mistake." Franky crossed his arms with a smile "I'd love to see what kind of a place this Shipwright Center is."
"We'll go help with that too" Boss gestured to the other Dugongs "Just tell us when we need to be there for dinner."
"Actually, Mr. Boss," Erick cut in "There is something I think you'd be interested in doing over at the docks, a Fiend has been keeping delivery crews from getting to their ships."
Boss rubbed his chin to think, then shrugged. "May as well, this might be fun." He turned toward his students "Mikey, Leo, you're with me."
"Gotcha, Boss man!" Mikey saluted, Leo sighed and did the same. "I suppose I could
use work on my teamwork with Mikey..."
"That's the spirit! Let's go team!" Boss paused, he looked around "Erick, you mind showing us there? I don't feel like imitating Zoro today..."
Zoro stayed silent, closing his eyes as a bead of sweat rolled down his forehead. "This all seems a bit too welcoming if you ask me... I'm gonna stick around Cross for a bit."
Robin chuckled "Me too, I'd love to see the records and archives of such an odd feeling place."
"As will I!" Brook tapped his cane, If D'jon's statements are true, there should be a library of music for my ears....if I had any....SKULL JOKE! ~YOHOHOHO!~"
It was hard to tell if Ceril's laugh was genuine or not...-o-
The tall imposing figure of Dr. Spark and the small, non-threatening figure of Dr. Lover rose from their sitting position, as did the humanoid Masked Kitsune across from them. The purple Axolotl butler stood at attention for anyone's needs.
"I heard that the Straw Hats are exploring the Island." Dr. Spark said, opening his lightbulb-shaped hat just a tad to literally pick at his own brain. "I wonder if Tony Tony Chopper is with them."
"No doubt." was the reply of the Kitsune. "Momentos was rushing about upstairs for a little while; he's a big fan of them in spite of himself after all...I also hope we meet them before we depart, I-"
"Wait..." the childish voice of Dr. Lover interrupted "Uh, Sorry Nine-Tails...but Spark, You don't think-"
"Ugh...In all probability, yeah, that's why they are here." Dr. Spark confirmed as he grabbed a juice box from under his cape. "What a nuisance that experiment was..."
he took a solemn sip from the straw, thinking, until - "BAH!" He snapped suddenly, "It's too much bother to just wait here and not get anything done! Come on Lover, if they want us that badly, they can stand to trek a bit longer up the mountain. its not that long a cable car ride."
Love looked torn "but I, think we owe them that mu-"
"Now. Or I'm leaving you behind." Spark inspected his nails as he casually rattled off his order.
"O-ok...But I'll at least leave a note..."
"I'll just stay and tell them, I have no hurry to be anywhere." The butler offered
"I'll do it all the same..." Lover smiled as he pulled out his writing material and began jotting words down, "I think it'd be the least we can do to leave the directions."
"Very well. Oh, and Spark; that box from Nine-Tails is being delivered to you as we speak, I think your inspection of it will be greatly appreciated if it was from the Editors."
"I'll get to it when I get to it." Spark waved to the Butler without looking as he walked out, Lover handing off the note and following suit.
They waited for the cable cars to come around on the roof of the castle when they arrived. "I still think we should have waited for them, there was no reason we couldn't have."
"The cure for that stuff is back home, it'd be a waste of everyone's time if we met them and didn't have what they were looking for. At least this way I can conduct my experiments and you can research and improve, however limited the time may be." Dr. Spark rationalized "After all don't you want your counterpart to see how his weaker variant is working and improving?"
"I'm not weak."
"Its comparatively obvious you are to him." Spark curtly replied "And its the same between you and me, which is why you need to be at least a little bit better than you are now once they come to our doorstep, alright? this may be our only chance to prove ourselves."
Lover poked at his grey matter a bit with one hand, and fiddled with a scalpel in the other. He continued on like this until his brother's cable car came to a stop in front of them.
Leo, Mikey and Boss all perched on Erick's shoulders and head (respectively) while he walked down the boardwalk.
"So what are we dealing with here?" Mikey asked "I'm having a bad feeling in my gut over all this."
"Same here," Leo agreed "after all, we believed we beat Squeltch in the bay, and look how that turned out."
"No use focusing on the past," Boss sighed. That had been a bit embarrassing, even after what he thought had been a finishing blow. For a monster to be able to play dead that convincingly was admittedly impressive, if not a little cowardly. "What's done is done. Lets focus on the our mission now, and plan our rematch later." He smiled as he pictured it.
"Alright, well, as I said this monster is loitering around the Docks. It's preventing a lot of citizens on other islands from getting their various deliveries, attacking anyone it notices walking around or trying to sail away where it's set up shop."
"Why did you want Boss to handle this?" Leo asked as he noticed the one empty spot among all the docked ships up ahead. The buildings a few blocks behind and ahead from the immediate area looked abandoned, and Leo saw a face or two from inside the windows on the ships looking out at them, The crews were apparently afraid to leave, lest they be attacked trying.
"You'll understand once you see the monster." Erick laughed a bit humorlessly.
Erick stopped in front of the vacant docking area, the little lizard creature crawled out of his sleeve. "Now we wait."
minutes passed like hours as they stared and stood in wait.
Until Mikey broke the silence. "So, Erick, What do you do exactly?"
Without taking his eyes off the vacant spot, Erick replied "Hard to put into one title, but after I came here....I'd say....Dock Overseer slash Royal Guard?"
"You're not a native?" Leo asked
"Nope, before I came here, I, was Captain of the Rocksalt Pirates. Well...I say 'Pirates' but we were more like...explorers. Found tons of uncharted islands." Erick smiled as he reminisced.
"Where's the rest of your crew then?" Boss asked
"Who knows, I got this job after I washed up on shore one day, the day-"
The water they were all staring at began to froth and bubble, inturrupting Erick. Boss, Leo and Mickey jumped off of his shoulders and head, preparing themselves.FWOOOOSH!
A wave of water splashed out from the vacant spot washing over and teetering the adjoining docks and boats. The figure that had jumped out to meet the heroes, surprised the Dugongs, mainly because of how much it
looked like a Dugong.
The monster loomed over them, only its eyes and teeth being visible from the darkness of its huge shell. It propped itself up with its flippers and tail. on the underside of those flippers were two tattoos of skulls.
Erick backed off "I'm keeping my distance, Good luck!"
The two sides stared each other down, though the Monster was more focused on Boss than his students, it took a breath, and spoke.
It pointed a flipper at him "So, you Boss?"
"Yep, thats me." Was Boss' short reply "Who're you then?"
"Man of the Sea." The monster said
Boss raised his head in slight surprise "Is that some kind of joke, using a man's title as your own?" he pounded one flipper into the other ", Because I'm not laughing!"
The monster laughed "Nope...but," he beat his chest with one flipper "might better suit me, than you."
He finally turned its attention to the other two. "Still teaching? Devoured mine. 'Cept one."
As if on cue, another, smaller, monster also jumped out from the spot, It looked liked Man of the Sea, except it's shell was blue and it's flippers each ended with one long sharp metal protrusion.
Leo pulled out his swords completely in response.
Boss froze, realizing what that meant, he grit his teeth furiously on his cigar as he began mulling it over in his head. "He looks like one of us, has my title, and...had
students like mine? This was going a bit beyond the pale!"
"I don't know who you think you are, being a sick twisted copy cat-," Mikey set up as he pulled out his revolvers.
"- But beating the shit out of monsters like you, -" continued Leo, the Blue shelled monster readying its weapons.
"-IS A MAN'S DUTY!!" Boss roared as he charged Man of the Sea, connecting a punch to his face and knocking him back into the water. He brought out his weapon as the monster jumped back up onto land with an annoyed growl.
The Blue Shell circled around, dodging and deflecting pistol shots from Mikey as it closed in, it jumped and brought down it's blades, which crossed against Leo's.
"If your Master is 'Man of the Sea'," asked the swordsman "I assume you're-"
"Half-Shell Blade, yes..." the monster confirmed "And in all honesty, I don't even want to be here, but Master's orders!" The two pushed off of each other and went back into their clash, Half-Shell focusing on Leo, but occassionally taking a shot at Mikey, who got in a hit with is pistols and caught it's attention.
Boss swung his Dart at his opponent who hopped out of the way as it smashed into the ground. The monster was scoping out Boss's skills. Tidal Swim was helping immensely as the monster retorted with his own - surprisingly fast - punches, pivoting with his tail to build up momentum.
And Boss had found his target.
Focusing more on his speed than his offense, Boss darted every which way he could manage to disorient his attacker. Man of the Sea, for all of his effort couldn't seem to keep up. The Dugong grabbed Man of the Sea's tail when he got the chance and darted higher and higher into the sky before throwing his adversary into the cobblestone and concrete.
Half-Shell wasn't doing much better, as light as the damage he'd recieved from Mikey was, it was adding up trying to combat both him and Leo. It crossed it blades above its shell."SHELLBLADE BARRIER!"
And Let loose a wall of wind blades around itself with a single move, they dissapated the further they went, but it was enough to blow Mikey through a window and shove Leo back a great distance, the Dugong sweating a bit.
"As I thought, your skills are really good!" Half-Shell leveled his weapon, his face within the shell showing off a respectful smirk.
"you could use more training, but you aren't bad for an imitator." Leo replied, returning the motions in kind, "By the way, aren't you concerned about your Master?"
"He's an asswipe, I couldn't care less how his fight goes unless he gives me an order."
"Why are we even fighting then?"
"He'll eat me."
"Oh, sorry....forgot about that." Leo apologized as Mikey unlocked and opened the door of the house he'd crashed into, a bit disoriented, but trying to ready himself-" FESTERING CROSS MARK!"
- when Leo tackled him, both avoiding an attack that made an X-shaped gash in the wall, however, it managed to smash Mikey's head into the wall behind him as well, to the point Leo had to pull to get him out. The monster didn't give them too much time to recuperate, it kept either jumping to their location, stabbing and swiping at the spots they'd once sat at, or fired off an air slash he wasn't bothering to name, before Leo made dodges and small bursts of speed while carrying Mikey, as well as fend off any attacks that would have been successful with his other flipper holding a sword. He's not letting me get anywhere!
Leo thought, his grip on Mikey and his grip on the sword tiring, but fighting against the awkward state he had found himself in. How is he keeping up like this? He's obviously tiring out a bit like we are, but he just keeps going! "SPIN ART: FOOT SLICER!"
the monster tucked its tail into its shell and hovered over the ground towards them, spinning like a bladed cathrine wheel in order to mince them instead of seperate individual strikes.
A Tidal Swim off the ground afforded Leo the opportunity to toss Mikey to a nearby rooftop, allowing him to draw his other sword. The Dugong looked down and observed the monster spinning in place below him as he readied his next attack. "SPIN ART: MONA LISA!"
The creature shifted its blades above its shell tip-to-tip, making the shape of its spinning form resemble a cone as it seemed to spin even faster than before. "Take this!!"
Leo roared as he fired off his projectile slashes and followed close behind to follow up on it. the projectile broke apart on the spinning barrier, but made the creature slide back, Leo continuing to hammer the creature's form with his blades."SPIN ART: DA VINCI STROKES!"
Half-Shell Blade jumped, flipping over in a top-shaped position and began to advance, the apex of his attack leaving a trail in the pavement as he pushed Leo back and making slight jumps when a changing in direction was needed.
Mikey, had gotten upright on the roof and was watching this unfold, braced on the ledge, he watched as the two pushed each other back in their contest. As he fought his concussion, he then seemed to realize something.
He silently put his pistols away, and grabbed one of his nunchucks, and waited for the two to hold each other in place. He gripped the weapon hard and spun as fast as he could, using what he'd noticed of Man of the Sea's style. Still spinning, he combined Tidal Swim and Riptide to throw his weapon as hard as he could. "LAST DITCH JUDGEMENT!"KERWAK</>
"GRAGH!" Mikey smiled and laid down in satisfaction, as tough as the monster's shell had been, there was no doubt that the underside of it was weaker. It didn't harm Half-Shell particularly badly, but it definitely knocked the wind out of him a bit and made his spinning attack stop. allowing Leo to get his bearings again. it would also probably stop using that attack altogether, thinking Mikey's attacks from above could distract it more.
"Festering Cross Mark!"
Mikey sighed, "I'm gonna rest up here for a sec, Leo's got him covered now...I wonder if I'll remember that move, this headache is killing me...."
"I'LL SPLIT YOU IN HALF THROUGH FORCE ALONE!" Man of The Sea growled as he grabbed Boss' Dart and pivoted, swinging him into the already-splintered docks. The monster slacked the weapon, and tied it to a nearby flagpole. He then turned toward the hole Boss had made and cautiously lumbered over. he looked down into the water below and frowned.
"I know you better than that, Dugong." He said as he flipped himself upside down.
Boss burst out of the planks underneath Man of The Sea, Luckily for M.o.t.S., the attack simply forced him into the air due to the harder shell on his back.
"SHELL SHOCK SHOTS!" the creature retorted, firing off some form of force from his fists, Boss's Rip Tide helping him avoid the cannonball-like attacks. He flew up to Man of the sea and hit him smack-dab in the middle of his face, forcing it to land ungracefully on the ground.
Man of the Sea's eyes gleamed bright in a predatory fashion, clicking his teeth all the while. "Having fun? I am."
Boss chewed his cigar as he grinned "A Little, but I think we both know I outclass you. You're meaner and way bigger, but the only one fit to have the epitaph 'Man of the Sea' is the one who earned it through strength."
he frowned and pointed a "thumb" at himself. Man of the Sea snorted deresively.
"If the world saw fit for you -a poor reflection of me- to try and take my title, its my duty as a man to prove that I should keep what I earned!"
"Talk is cheap," The monster growled "no more prolonging, no holds barred." his flippers clenched as he got into his stance.
Boss furrowed his brow as he got into his own stance. "Bring it, Murderer."
The monster's face then became completely obscured by the shadow of his shell....both stood at attention as the other battle between their students raged on among the buildings for a tense set of moments.
Boss made the first move, charging in with his fists ready to strike.
"Proof of Existance: SIX OCEAN SHELL SHOCK GATLING!"
"WHAT?!" Boss had barely enough time to say before being battered and bashed absolutely everywhere by his ultimate move in a rapid succession, the monster striking relentlessly.
Leo and Half-Shell Blade stopped fighting to watch this, both dumbstruck at the brutal display.
Man of the Sea then began to speak.
"FIENDS ARE ALL REFLECTIONS, IF NOT FOR MY BRUTALITY, IF NOT FOR THE LACK OF COMPASSION, I'D BE WHAT YOU SAY, BUT NOW I AM THE BETTER, AND ONCE YOU DIE I'LL BE THE ONLY!!!! THE EPITAPH MEANS NOTHING TO ME!!!! IDIOTIC SHELL OTTER!!!"
" PROOF OF EXISTANCE: SIX OCEAN SHELL COATING!!!!!!"
Tucked in its shell, it rammed Boss deep into the pavement with a final blow, blowing a large amount of dust out of the resulting hole. The now much more imposing silhouette of Man of the Sea visible, its eyes shining brightly despite the hazy cover.
"BOSS!" Leo was about to move to help his teacher, but Half-Shell stopped him with a readied blade. The Dugong looked at the monster with a new fury. Mikey had completely regained his wits and joined him, one of his pistols at the ready, and a nunchuck spinning in his flipper.
"We stay out of their way, and we stop fighting." The Fiend said shakily. Leo and Mikey stared in disbelief.
"It's their fight, and now I want you to win," he swallowed as he watched Boss's silhouette climb shakily out of the hole to meet the increasingly monstrous looking form of Man of the Sea "- because I no longer respect my master, but fear him and what he'll do to me now that he's got that bloodlust."
The three continued to watch the battle in uncomfortable silence.
"Come, Boss!" Man of the Sea demanded "Get up, I'll beat you down as needed!"
It picked up the cigar Boss had dropped in its assault, and ate it, as if it proved something to do so.
Boss stood up bruised in both body and pride, there were cracks and chips everywhere on his shell. "Sorry to say that, what you have isn't good enough to beat me, Murderer."
The creature laughed "~Bluffing.~"
"Am I?" Boss asked as he popped his arm into place. The creature stopped laughing, but its eyes seemed to gleam brighter. "That was very impressive, you showed me how to improve my technique, and you are a masterful opponent; but I'm sorry to tell ya' - all over again - That its a Man's Duty to punish a lowly -"
Man of The Seas teeth ground against each other audibly
"- Idiotic -"
It waved its arms in an outstreached stance, clearing the dust around them
"- Pathetic - "
It got into its stance.
"- Student-killing betrayal of everything I stand for!" Boss got into his own stance again more determined than ever and took a deep breath concentrate... You know what to do now...
"I'll mulch you this time! PROOF OF EXISTANCE: SIX OCEAN GAAAAAAAAAATLIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!"
The rapid hits were far more violent this time, smashing in at every possible angle upon boss, the damage severely lessened by Boss' technique. it continued for five minutes straight when-
" PROOF OF EXISTAAANCE!!! SIXXXXX OOOOCEAN SSSSHEEEEEELL COOOOOOAAAATIIIING!!!!!
"FULL-SHELL STYYYYLE!!!!: SIXXXXXXX OOOOOOCEAN GUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!" Boss put his absolute all into a single strike, there was no reason to pull a punch against this thing. He stopped the shell dead in font of him with a mighty shockwave.
Time seemed to freeze, until, inexplicably-
-the underside of the shell erupted in a bright blue explosion. both it and Boss landed with a thud on the ground.
"Boss!" both Leo, Mikey and the returning Erick rushed over to help their master up as Half-Shell Blade looked over the remains of the thing he'd once called Master. He said nothing as he bowed to his equals and better, picked up the shell and jumped into the empty spot in the Docking Area.
I wasn't sure what to say when we arrived at the castle, the large, somewhat overgrown, but complete buildings and gardens on the grounds were beautiful. I noticed movement and watched something covered in plant matter stumble into the woods past a fence.
"Blasted Pollen Hollows..." The stuffy voice of Ceril growled and sniffed, "As if my condition wasn't bad enough..."
The trip was surprisingly uneventful, no civilians in town showed any awe or fear as we passed by with their ruler and a group of soldiers, some walked alongside him and asked for some general advice and about who we are, and then in the latter case, gushed about and thanked us for how much we were shaking up the world outside the isles.
"This is to friendly, right?" Robin asked, clearly unsure of what the answer should've been.
"Honestly, out of a lot of the places we've been to, this one seems the most....low key normal." Zoro also seemed confused.
"Yeah, Monsters aside, There's no one overly hating or celebrating us..." I agreed "Still we should be weary, remember why we're here after all."
"True," Brook agreed, "still Its nice having no one panicking, some people even asked how I eat, knowing I'm a skeleton!"
"Does that mean they've seen still moving skeletons, I wonder?" Robin asked
"Maybe they pieced it together from the televised broadcast at Shiki's Palace." I rationalized. "Still, it's strange no one stared at you in shock, or hesitated in approaching you."
The realization dawned in everyone as I said this, and suddenly the lax atmosphere seemed more suspicious than ever.
Soldiers gradually broke off from our group to attend to various other duties around the castle, eventually leaving us with just a soldier carting the sleeping Chopper for us, Momentos and Ceril. "Not long now, but there is someone who wants to meet you before we get to the meeting room, if you don't mind it." the former stated, his warbling voice seemed lighter than when he'd introduced himself to us somehow.
We arrived at a large, ornate door in an otherwise long featureless hallway/balcony, overlooking the garden below. on it was a plaque reading "Jinn: Mystic, Records Keeper and Fruit Researcher"
Pushing on the large door, Momentos opened a smaller, much more managable door built into it. Robin couldn't help but laugh a little at the cartoonish reveal as she entered.
"Hello?" Came a high-pitched voice from a messy pile of papers "My lord, you brought the four I...FOUR-saw coming here first?"
"Seriously, you, Djon, and a whole mess of other have got to stop with the puns." Momentos said, his warbling stopping to cement a flat delivery.
"You should know it's in our nature to make these qips, its the Will of Our World, and its not like you are guiltless of lame puns either, my Lord." The speaker stepped out into view, and what I saw surprised me.
The being that stood before the four of us was definately inhuman, Momentos and Djon could have the excuse of having a...unique, shape. The other creatures - Squeltch, the Viperfish, Slitherwort - I suspected were just native animals (with Soundbite's abilities being limited to old or crudely made voices); This creature before me, was just giving me an otherworldly vibe I couldn't place.
Big curious insectoid eyes and antennae set in black peeked out from in between a some kind of a turban and a scarf; her colorful, patterned wings were leathery looking as opposed to covered in fluffy-looking scales; Four stocky legs under her cloak came to crab-like points that made audible echoing clicks as she calmly walked over to us. Despite the squat figure and having to angle her head to look at our faces, she matched my height at least, including the turban she had on her head.
"AH! A BUG MONSTER!" Brook shrieked like a teenage girl, busy looking at the section of the Records labeled with the sign "Music compositions, and Media" before turning his attention to the creature.
"Sorry to startle you, Brook. Let me introduce myself, I am Jinn, and if you read the Plaque outside, you know what I do for Our Lord of These Hills."
"It's nice to meet you Miss Jinn." Robin replied with a small polite bow.
"The pleasures all mine to be in the presence of such heroes, for what you've done, and what you will do." Jinn chuckled
"Why did you want to meet us? I'm guessing there's more to this requested visit than meeting us right?"
"Sharp, in many ways but one, as always Good Zoro." Jinn confirmed "If its not too much trouble, once you are able, me and my assisstant - Mayhue - would like to do fortunetelling on the SBS for you. It's so rare that I can have an audience, and Mayhue would love to demonstrate to his idols on his birthday."
I thought about it, and smiled "I think that can be arranged, but i can't help but feel there's more to this...not that I think you're suspicious."
"Very perceptive! And I understand. Where we're from, humans and monsters live side-by-side, and it's a struggle to tell the good eggs from the bad at many times." Jinn nodded in agreement.
"Well, if that's everything," Momentos cut in, "We should head up to the Meeting Room, Spark gets impatient easily and may leave soon."
Soundbite grumbled incoherently, but his tone made it clear he was getting slightly annoyed.
We went up a flight of stairs after exiting Jinn's room, Robin and Brook staying behind to look at the records for a bit longer.
We arrived in a large oval room with a long mat and many through pillows for seating. A strange purple salamander-like butler came to grreet us, giving a bow and explaining the situation.
"I apologize." It handed a letter to me "Dr. Lover said to give you this, it should explain."
Dr. Spark sat at his lab desk, curious about the box sitting there from Ninetails.
The tag read: I found this strange substance winding its way to our castle on Blade Island. It might have something to do with the outbreak of Hollows, and I thought you could analyze and tell me what it is. be careful with it.
Dr. Spark sighed "I may as well get on with this." He sat there for several minutes, figeting with an antler. Something about this box was...unnerving
His eyes widened as he lifted the lid.
NEXT CHAPTER - Cureiouser and Cureiouser
SOMETHING'S WRONG, HOLLOWS INFEST, FIENDISH DISCOVERY.