This is a story about Marlene's life. This story takes place 22 years ago in Zou on her thirteenth birthday.
Marlene was in her room getting ready for her birthday party she was excited that her family was coming, but she was also nervous because there was a test today. This test was to determine if she can move forward in her fighting class she had already mastered Eleclaw, but her father forced her into advanced fighting classes that she couldn't master. But for now, Marlene couldn't worry about the test her family had just arrived with gifts and food, so she let out a sigh then smiled as she exited her room to greet her family members. As Marlene came downstairs, she smiled as she smelled all the deserts her family brought over, "Oh, I can not wait to get to the deserts."
She thought to herself, licking her lips.
As Marlene got passed, her family members wishing her a happy birthday, she finally made it into the dining room and grabbed herself a plate. Just as Marlene was about to grab a big handful of the mochi she heard and voice from behind her, "Be sure to save some for me, Marlene."
Marlene turned her head quickly then she let out a squeal of joy when she realized it was her big brother. Marlene put her plate down and jumped into his arms to give him a big hug "Toby oh my gosh when did you get back?"
she said with a tear rolling down her face. Toby had been with the Musketeers on a rescue mission for weeks when a hunter had captured one of there own soldiers. Toby smiled "We just got back this morning. I wouldn't miss your birthday for the world, Marlene."
He said, returning the hug. Toby then put her down and grabbed a small gift box and held it out, "Happy birthday, Marlene."
He said with a chuckle. Marlene happily thanked him then ripped the box open inside the box was an exotic fruit it was blue and shaped like a grapefruit it also had strange swirls all over it. Marlene carefully examined the fruit then looked at Toby perplexed "I have never seen a fruit like this Toby what kind of fruit is this?"
Toby looked at her "It's a special fruit that will make you stronger."
He said, filling her plate with mochi. Marlene giggled when he mentioned that an exotic fruit would make her stronger nevertheless she grabbed the fruit and took a big bite out of it. As Marlene swallowed it, she coughed then looked at her brother "It is bitter brother."
she croaked "How will this help me get stronger?"
Toby just smiled, "You'll see."
He said, giving her plate back. Toby looked around then whispered in Marlene's ear "I heard dad talking about you taking the advanced fighting test tonight. Do you think you are ready?"
He asked, concerned. As Marlene started to eat the mochi, he swallowed hard as her brother brought up the test, Marlene looked her brother in the eyes then sighed "No. I have been training with dad and the elders, and I have failed each time."
Marlene then looked away angerly "I don't understand why he's making me do this when he knows I can't master the other fighting styles."
Toby was quiet for a few minutes he knew she wasn't ready to take the test even when he was home in his spare time he tried to help her, but she couldn't quite get the fighting style down. Toby finally spoke up "Marlene."
he started "Dad is only doing this because he loves you, you know that right?"
he asked. Marlene just rolled her eyes and scoffed "You know he doesn't like me. Every time I fail, he screams at me and tells me I am a disappointment."
Toby looked at her a bit annoyed "I think you are a little over dramatic Marlene. Dad is just trying to help you; besides it isn't like he beats you every time you fail."
He then got up and walked to the door "I have to go, Marlene, I'll be back later tonight for your test."
Toby turned around then left Marlene alone in the kitchen "You have no idea, brother."
She said quietly to herself as she felt her scared back. Just as Marlene finished her plate of mochi, she heard her father call for her to come out back. Marlene sighed and slowly walked out back; she could see that most of her family was in the backyard. She noticed her father was talking to her mom. Marlene slowly walked over to them, listening to their conversation. "Do you honestly this she will pass this test, Malachi? She has failed it multiple times I don't know if they will let her retake it if she fails."
She asked worriedly"Don't worry about this, Martha; she will pass her test. We have been practicing day and night for the past two months; she won't fail me again."
He said looking around his wife's head noticing Marlene strolling towards them Malachi walked over to Marlene stopping her in her tracks. Malachi looked at her then took his sword out "You are going to need this for the test tonight."
he said handing her the sword. Marlene looked at the sword then looked away for a few moments then reluctantly took it out of his hands. Malachi noticed she didn't want to take the sword from him "Marlene."
as he said her name, her ears were now pinned to the back of her head "You will pass this test. Unlike the other times you have disappointed me we have trained day and night for this test for the past two months so you will pass this test."
he said smiling. Marlene just stood there quietly then put the sword in her holster and sighed "Yeah dad I know I just want to get this over with."
she grumbled as she turned around and walked away. The rest of the day Marlene enjoyed her party with her family she got some new clothes and weapons, but it all came to an end when the sunsets.
Marlene sighed as she watched the sunset. It was almost time for the test, and Marlene was getting anxious. Marlene went back inside to change for the test just before she headed out the door her mother stopped her "Good luck on your test sweety."
Martha said, patting her back. Marlene just looked at her not looking too happy "Thank you, mom, I'm going to need all the luck I can get to pass this."
She muttered then walked off to the training field. When Marlene arrived, she saw her father and brother standing across from the fighting circle talking to one of the elders. On the other side were two other male minks who looked like they where from her fighting class, Marlene felt sick to her stomach when she got closer "Maybe it's from all the food I ate earlier."
She thought to herself. As Marlene made it to the fighting circle, she noticed something a bit different about the other two minks from her class one was tall, and the other was shorter, but they were also more muscular than those in her fighting class, so she walked over to her father, "Dad who are those minks? Are they even in my fighting class?"
She asked concerned those two minks looked like they were from the higher fighting class and they were much bigger than her. Her father just stood there without saying a word for a while before scowling at her, "Don't worry about it, Marlene."
He said growling.
Just as Marlene was about to argue with him, she heard the warning horn the test was about to begin Marlene sighed then walked into the circle with her sword. She clenched it as she saw the two minks stand before her making her sword spark with electricity the two minks looked at her then chuckled. Toby noticed that the two younger minks didn't look at all like they were from her class he walked over to Malachi "Who are those boys dad?" he said, pointing at them. Malachi smiled "They are from my class that I teach. The oldest is Andreas" he said, pointing to the tall mink "And his younger brother Emanual" he said pointing to the smaller one. Toby stared at his father, confused, "Let me get this straight you expect her to win against two students that are an entire class higher than her?" he said, sounding extremely concerned. Malachi only smiled "If she doesn't pass this, it will be her fault for not practicing hard enough." he said grinning.
The elder mink walked in the center of the circle "You guys know the rules you can use your swords or any of your fighting styles, and if anyone outside of the circle is disqualified. Last one standing in the circle wins knock your opponent out of the circle. Do we understand each other." He said, looking at them both. As they nodded their head in agreement, Marlene heard her brother yell, "YOU GOT THIS MARLENE I BELIEVE IN YOU!" As Marlene hears this, she smiles then positions herself to be ready for battle. The elder walked out of the circle and grabbed his gun an point it to the sky then says, "Ready...Fight." As he says this he fires the weapon, Andreas lunged at Marlene with his sword.
Marlene was a bit startled from the gun firing, so when she noticed her opponent coming towards her, she quickly swung her sword, deflecting it. Marlene regains her balance then lunges back at him their swords meet with a loud clash Marlene tries to push him to the back of the circle, but she couldn't get him to budge. Both Marlene and Andreas are now faced to face snarling at each other as both try to move their swords closer to each other then suddenly Andreas twist his sword nearly nicking Marlene's face. As this happens, it causes Marlene to stumble a bit, making it easier for him to push her closer the Emanual. The shorter mink watches from a short distance away he noticed that she was being pushed back towards him he quirked his eyebrow then smiled "I see what you are doing brother." he thought to himself he suddenly drops his sword then flexes his fingers making them glow with electricity he then runs behind Marlene's back ready to sink his claws into her back. Marlene hears him running behind her an just as he was about to strike her she suddenly drops her sword an falls to the ground making Andreas fall forward and making Emanual hit his older brother. Andreas screamed in pain and dropped his sword as he was shocked by his younger brother Marlene flexes her hands, making them spark she jumps at Emanual then shouts "ELECLAW STRIKE!" Hits hit him hard enough to knock him out of the ring. Toby's eyes were wide open with amazement as he watched his sister take down the youngest brother he smiled big and started cheering again "GREAT JOB MARLENE NOW KICK HIS ASS!" He shouted Malachi was not impressed with Tobys behavior and grabbed his arm "Toby stop that at once! It is very annoying." he whispered angerly scowling at him. Toby yanked his arm out of his fathers grasp, "There is nothing wrong with showing a little bit of support."
Marlene couldn't help but smile at her brother encouraging words then she looked over at Andreas. Andreas was panting hard from the shock that his brother gave him then picked up his sword and started to growl at Marlene. Marlene also grabs her sword, but as she grabs it, she shouts in pain both her brother and father look a bit concerned as they hear her shouting even Andreas looked a bit worried. "Marlene, what's wrong?" Toby shouts trying to find the cause of her pain. Marlene doesn't answer him she faces Andreas again then gets in her fighting stance "Ready when you are." She says to Andreas. Andreas looks at her "Ok Marlene but.." then he throws his sword out of the circle "I will not be using my sword," he says, showing no emotion in his face. Marlene then looks at her sword that her father gave her she clenches the sword then throws it out of the circle. Marlene flexes her fingers making her hands poof up and spark with electricity "I won't be using mine either." she says smiling then she winces in pain again one of her hands rub her back rubbing the sore area. Toby notices her rubbing her back "I wonder what's causing her so much pain?" he thought to himself then e remembered something "Oh shit the fruit I gave her earlier." he says quietly. Malachi overheard him, "What fruit did you give her Toby? You didn't give her the devil fruit did you?" He asked, angerly. Before Toby answered him Marlene let out another cry of pain then suddenly big black wings unfurl from her back.