"Finally!" Penguin cheered. He stretched his arms out in the warm sunlight as it beamed down over his boiler suit clad body. "It feels like we've been in that sub for weeks without setting foot on dry land!"
"It has been weeks, Pen ol' buddy." Shachi chuckled. He too felt freedom while he scanned his eyes out over the island that they were currently docked at. It was fairly small. One of the smallest villages they've ever been to in fact. The entire village was clustered together on the east side of the island. On the west side was a forest and a small mountain hovered in the far distance. He knew not much fun was going to be had here. The thought caused him to sigh heavily. He was really hoping to find some pretty women to spend time with for a while. This place didn't look like the type for that kind of fun. He hoped it at least had a tavern, even a small one would do.
"Fresh air," Bepo remarked, happily. He sniffed the salty air and the new scents of the island. It was a little passed noon when they had finally reached the docks of this little island. So the air was filled with everything that was cooking for lunch. The mixed smells of barbecue sauce, fresh fish, vegetables, salt, and a variety of other scents dancing on the low winds made the bear's stomach rumble. "Are we going to get something to eat, Captain?"
"We're not staying here long so first we should get supplies," Law ordered casually. He looked over his crew while propping up his sword on his shoulder. His free hand was shoved in his pocket in his typical fashion as he was casually leaned against the sub wall. "Then we'll get something to eat."
"Aye, Captain!" The crew cheered.
Law watched calmly as his crew then one by one they descended the ladder that stood between them and solid ground before following after them. He listened while they chatted happily about finally getting to spend some time on land, no matter how little the time was actually going to be. He knew they really didn't mind. With how small this island was they couldn't have much fun anyway. This was just a quick stop for them. Then it was back to the seas for the Heart Pirates.
Finally, it was his turn to descend. Law pushed off the sub wall and walked over to the railing. He reached for it but paused when his hand touched the sun warmed railing on the sub. A strange, cool breeze blew on his body. Bring with it was an indescribable feeling of dread and something else, something that he couldn't describe. It washed over his entire body and soul as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up straight.
Law pulled his eyes up and looked around his surroundings with a careful, cautious eye. He scanned his eyes carefully over the deck of his yellow sub, across the horizon of the sea, over the others ships docked at the island, over the people on the island, and then over the island itself. He kneaded his eyebrows with a deep frown, confused at what set him on edge. What the heck just caused me to feel like this? It feels like a dangerous storm is about to blow in, but the sky is completely clear. Maybe some other pirates or someone is going to cause trouble here?
"Captain, are you coming?" Bepo's voice broke into his concentrated thoughts, almost making the captain jump.
"Yeah, I'm coming," Law called back to his navigator. Feeling a bit silly, he quickly dismissed his feelings and descended down to join his awaiting crew. Bepo was giving him a small look of concern when he finally landed on the docks of the island. He waved it off and started to lead his crew into the town before them.
As they made their way inland, his crew chattered on like they always did, their voices mixing in with the noise from the island inhabitants. They talked about the supplies that they needed, what they wanted for lunch and some wanted to get some drinks before leaving while ignoring the cautious looks from some people as they passed by. It was normal for them to get a few looks like that here and there. They were pirates after all. It was natural for some to be cautious around them. And they were starting to get a name for themselves. Their captain already had a bounty of a hundred and twenty million.
Penguin then asked, "So what's the name of this island? I didn't see a sign anywhere."
"It's Renata Island," Bepo replied. "Since it's such a small island it's not known for anything."
"Renata," Shachi said, tasting the name on his tongue. "Hey, doesn't that name mean rebirth?"
Law felt an odd tick in his soul when Shachi said rebirth. It unnerved him.
"I believe it does," Bepo said. "Why?"
"No reason," Shachi said. "Just asking."
Despite his feeling of being unnerved, Law didn't say anything. He remained quiet as the strange feeling from before had returned. He gripped his sword tighter. The feeling continued to grow inside of him the farther they walked into the town. His eyes started to survey the surrounding area around them, carefully looking for what could have possibly caused him to feel like this. Yet again, nothing seemed out of place. It was a normal island like so many they have been to before. There were adults hanging around just chatting with each other, some were cleaning their stores or houses while others were busy running their business or taking care of their children. Kids were running around, chasing each other, playing with dogs, or playing some form of game. Birds were tweeting happily. The sky was still cloudless. The sun was as warm as it could be.
It was a normal day. A normal day that shouldn't put someone on their guard like this.
But Law was. He paused, his crew walking on past him. Something continued to nag at him. Something just wasn't right about this place. He just had no clue to why such an ordinary island, with ordinary people, on an ordinary day would bother him so much. It didn't make any sense. He paused to take a closer look at his surroundings. Still nothing popped out as unusual or out of place. It was a nice little town, with nice enough looking people. Everything was in its place as it should be. Even the houses and other buildings were all nicely taken care of like this place had never seen a storm or war or even knew such terrible events even existed.
He shifted his sword on his shoulder. Trying to force himself to forget about this odd feeling stirring around inside of him, he turned to catch up with his crew only to stop again when a small hint of iron, of blood, entered his sense of smell through a gentle breeze. He narrowed his eyebrows and carefully scanned the area once more. He looked for signs of a fight that might have broken out. He looked for other pirates causing trouble or possible bandits or even marines, but knew he wouldn't see any since he didn't see any pirate or marine ships in the docks. He saw nothing. No one looked hurt at all. Not even a child who possibly could have fell and scrapped his or her knee. Just nothing but normal.
"Captain!" Bepo's voice broke into the man's intense concentration once again. Law pulled his eyes from his surroundings and looked at his navigator. "Are you coming? We're ready to get supplies. This shop seems to have a lot of stuff that we need."
"Yeah." Law nodded. He turned and headed towards his only fuzzy crewmate and the building he was standing in front of.
"Are you all right, Captain?" Bepo blinked. "You seem a bit out of it today."
"I'm fine," Law replied. He then paused for a moment. Considering his words and his feelings while taking in his navigator, the only mink on the crew. The only one who had sharper instincts than his own or anyone else on the crew. He was a bear after all. "Bepo?"
"Huh?" Bepo tilted his head. "Yes, Captain?"
"Do you sense anything odd about this island?" Law asked as casually as he could.
"Odd? No. Why?" Bepo blinked again. "What's going on, Captain?"
"Nothing. I just have a weird feeling." Law shrugged. "It's probably nothing, but let's just keep on our guard anyway. The navy or a rival pirate crew could show up at any minute."
"Sure thing, Captain," Bepo said with determination, but showed clear signs of worry over his captain.
Law shrugged it off and stepped inside of the building Bepo had lured him to. While the crew set out to gather up their much needed supplies, Law kept a calm eye on them while he continued to scan their surroundings for anything that could possible make him feel so uneasy. Try as he might, he just couldn't push the strange feeling away. It nagged on him every second of every minute. He even tried to distract himself by putting more effort into gathering supplies and moving them into the sub, without the use of his Room for the most part. He only used his Room to warp the supplies onto the deck of the sub. The crew then moved the crates into the sub on their own with their dollies. But it didn't help.
"Finally! We're done!" Penguin said when the crates were all loaded into the storage rooms.
"How about some fun now, Captain?" Shachi asked while they all headed back to the deck.
"Sure," Law said, causing the crew to cheer. He paused for a second. Looking up at the position of the sun, he noticed that it was about eight thirty in the morning. "You can spend a few hours doing whatever you wish. Report back to the sub at five o'clock sharp. We'll set sail once everyone's returned."
"Aye aye, Captain!" the crew cheered before descending back down to the island.
"You coming, Captain?" Bepo asked when Law didn't move.
"Yeah. Come with us for some drinks," Shachi said. "You look like you could use one."
"No, thanks," Law said. "I think I'm going to just roam around for a while. I'll meet up with you later at the locate tavern for lunch."
"All right," Penguin said as he started to descend back down the ladder. "We'll see you later."
Law nodded. He waited for his men to be out of his sight before warping himself down to the dock. He headed off. Walking down the dock he turned to his left when he reached the end of it. He really didn't feel like being around people so he headed off towards the forest so he could get some quiet time alone. He hoped that would clear his head of these weird thoughts and feelings he was having.
The warm sunlight was soon replaced with cool shade from the tree leaves as he walked through the forest. The only companions he had were the birds that continued to chirp and fly around. He was enjoying his little hobby of roaming and had only been on his walk for about an hour and a half when he had an over whelming feeling that he should return to the village. Not questioning his feelings, he spun on his heels and headed right back. His heart thumped hard against his chest. He didn't know why. He knew nothing bad was happening to his crew. For one, they could take care of themselves. And, for two, it was clear that no battle had broken out in the small village when he got back to the edge of it. He walked into the boarders of the village. Once again noticing there was nothing out of place. It was just as happy and peaceful as the last time he walked through it.
Still he continued to look for any little thing out of place.
And then he saw something. A group of villagers was gathered together, surrounding someone or something. He kneaded his eyebrows. His body moved, seemingly under its own power towards the group. The closer he got to them the easier it was for him to notice that it was a person they were gathered around. But they only had the person in a half circle.
He moved closer.
His heart took a sharp beat against his chest when he saw who was being surrounded in this semicircle. It was a young girl, a child, with sky blue hair. The child was clearly homeless, probably even an orphan. She worn only a dingy, dirty grey shirt, or dress, he really couldn't tell which it was since she was so small or the shirt was just too big for her. It was ripped with several holes and stained with dark mud. But her size and the shirt size didn't, or couldn't, hide all of the scars all over her body.
"Hey, where did you get that shirt or dress from?!" one of the girls said. "It's completely hideous!"
Law forced his eyes off the blue haired girl and looked at the group around her.
"It really is a hideous shirt," the girl said again.
Law exhaled. The girl who spoke was a long blonde haired beauty teenager with clean pressed clothes and jewelry hanging off of her. He knew immediately this blonde girl never saw hardship in her life. And that was only why she was teasing this blue haired girl. The blonde thought she was better than the blue haired girl. In fact, it was very clear that all of these teens, and even adults, that were harassing this poor girl didn't know what hardship was like. It angered Law, but he said nothing.
Still their words and actions bugged him. And it bugged him that it bugged him.
Law frowned deeply as the villagers continued their ridiculous taunting of the girl they had surrounded in a half circle. His eyes wandered back over to the blue haired girl. He watched her. He wondered things about her. He had no idea why she didn't retaliate in any way, shape, or form. Why didn't she say anything? Why was it all she did was just stare down at the ground? And why did she suddenly somehow feel familiar to him?
Law took a step back, realizing she did, for whatever reason, feel familiar to him. Yet he knew he's never met her before. Her blue hair and dark skin was a combination that he would easily be able to remember. But he didn't. He ran his eyes over her again. Her sky blue bangs were hanging over her face, hiding her eyes, but unable to hide the tears that spilled down her sun kissed skin and that fact that she was a head shorter than himself. She was just unresponsive to everyone and everything. It was almost like she was dead, dead yet somehow still alive.
"What a weirdo!" the teenager girl with long blonde hair laughed. She tossed her blonde hair over her shoulders. Her eyes sparkling with enjoyment as they teased the poorly dressed blue hair girl. She waved her perfectly cut and pink painted nails towards the blue haired girl before brushing her hand over her short orange skirt. "Why don't you speak to us?"
"I doubt she can even speak at all," another teenager, a boy with short, spike dark brown hair said, his light green eyes shimmering with the same enjoyment as the girl beside him. Just like the girl, he was dressed in nice clothes and had an expensive hair cut. Law wondered if they were possibly related.
"You can't blame her for that." A male adult with black hair chuckled. The man smoothed out his wrinkleless white shirt then did the same to his pants.
Law's frown deepened. He expected teasing from kids and teenagers, but adults should know better. He shook his head with a silent sigh. He knew better than that. He knew from experience adults could be even more mean, more cruel, than kids and teenagers could be. Kids and teens often learned that kind of behavior from adults. And it was possible this small group of people picking on this poor, unresponsive girl were related in some way. Still, it was obvious this girl had a rough life. They didn't have to make that worse for her.
The black haired man continued, "She clearly doesn't have any parents. She's just a street rat."
The group laughed.
Law's eyes wandered over her thin body again. The man did have a point with that comment. She was a street rat, which he already assumed. Then his critical doctor's eyes caught something that he had somehow missed before. The mud that was on her clothes was mixed with blood. He narrowed his eyes. How had he missed that before? Pulling his steel color eyes away from her clothes, he looked over her scars again. Some were obviously years old, some were weeks old, while some were recently new. One of the cuts, on her left forearm, was bleeding. He narrowed his eyes and studied the angles of the cuts closer. Something about them was very odd. Still he could quite put his finger on what it was.
"That's enough!" Law's concentration was broken when a woman's voice shouted out. He looked up to see a dark brown haired woman, in her forties, whack the teens and adult on their heads multiple times with a broom.
Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack!
"Ouch! What was that for, you old hag?!" the teenager boy cried out, rubbing his now sore head. He glared at the woman, but she just smacked him again for the rude look.
"You should be a shamed of yourselves!" the woman shouted as she whacked them again. "That girl has obviously had a hard life! She doesn't need you spoiled, privileged brats, with far too much time on your hands, putting her down! You should be ashamed of yourselves! Instead of mocking her, you should be helping her!"
"Whatever, you ol' hag! She doesn't want help! She's a pathetic, unless, good for not-" the teenage boy shouted. He was cut off with another whack of the broom to his head.
Whack! The broom handle cracked upon making contact with the boy's skull.
"Get out of here before I sever your jaws from your heads! And I don't even want to see you picking on anyone ever again!" the woman shrieked, waving her broom wildly, causing the crack to grow a bit more from the force of her swings. The teens and the adults made a mad dash away from the mad woman without another word or look in the blue haired girl's direction. She dropped the broom onto her shoulder with an annoyed huff and placed her left hand on her hip. "Creeps! If I could have them arrested for being stupid I would!"
"Who is that girl?" Law found himself asking while taking a couple steps closer to the enraged woman and inquired about the odd girl. His eyes remained on the girl as she finally walked away from the scene. His body tensed and his eyebrow rose when he noted a small group of three rough looking men with dingy brown hair, standing by a corner of a building. They were watching the girl with leering gazes as she walked by them. It caused his body to tense up. He gripped his sword, ready to intervene if they tried to make any kind of move on her. His actions surprised himself, but he didn't stop watching them. When they turned their attention away from her, Law's eyebrow lowered back down as his body relaxed.
"No one knows," the woman replied. "She just showed up here three weeks ago. She hasn't said a single word to anyone since she's been here. All she does is aimlessly walks around or sits alone somewhere. Some of us have tried to help her, but it's been to no avail. She won't answer anyone's questions on who is she, where she came from, or where her parents are. She won't accept clothes, money, or even food. When someone gets too close, she completely freaks out, screams incoherently and either curls into herself while sobbing and shaking violently or runs away all together. Sometimes we can see her being surrounded by animals, even wild ones."
"Wild ones?" Law asked but the woman didn't elaborate on it.
"I don't know what happened to her, but whatever it was, it wasn't good," she said.
Law turned his attention to the woman when the girl turned a corner and was no longer in his sights. The woman continued, "As far as anyone can tell she hasn't eaten a thing since she got here, the poor dear. Or no one has noticed her eating anything. I'm not a doctor, but I have seen some cases of malnutrition. And she is malnourished. But there's nothing that can be done with those who don't want help."
With a heavy, defeated sigh, the woman turned and reentered the building she came out of. By the time Law pulled his eyes away from the older woman, the young girl was long gone. He wanted, for whatever reason, to go after her, but had no clue where she disappeared to or where she would possible go since she wasn't a resident of this island. He tapped his finger on his sword as he continued to stare in the direction the girl disappeared in.
His mind whirled rapidly over the information he did have about the girl. There was just something about her that drew his attention that would let him release her from his thoughts. If only he could pinpoint what that was exactly. He tried to make sense of everything that just happened. With what the woman had just told him, it was clear the girl didn't like people getting to close to her. So how did she travel to this island? If she didn't like people near her, traveling on a ship would be fairly difficult unless she had her own. But Law knew that was impossible. The girl was far too thin to work a ship, especially all on her own. She would have to sneak on someone else's ship to travel from island to island. But why would she do that? Why take the chance of getting herself cornered by people or touched?
Law shook his head. He had no clue why he was trying to figure this out. That girl was a stranger to him. He would most likely never see her again. He turned in the opposite direction the girl had gone, mumbling under his breath. "Why should I even care? It's not my problem to handle."
Law took a few steps away from his current location then stopped when a wave of dread washed over him. He looked back over his shoulder and narrowed his eyebrows. His eyes, for whatever reason went to the spot where the small group of men was watching the blue haired girl. The group of men were gone. His stomach flipped upside down in his body. He was turning back in the direction the girl went when Bepo's voice called out to him. "Hey, Captain! There you are! We were starting to get concerned!"
"Huh?" Law looked at his navigator as the bear ran up to him. "What for?"
"It's almost one o'clock," Bepo said, concern written all over his furry face. "You said you were going to meet up with us for lunch. We've been waiting for almost an hour. We were starting to think you had gotten taken by the navy or something."
"Oh, sorry," Law said, not realizing how much time he had spent with and thinking about the blue haired girl. "I just got a little distracted."
"You must have had a good walk then," Bepo said.
"Yeah, something like that," Law said.
"What do you mean?" Bepo asked.
"Nothing," Law said, taking off. "Let's just go."
"Okay," Bepo said. He gave his retreating captain a confused glance before following along after him.
The walk to the tavern was a quiet one. Their walks together usually were. Law wasn't much for constantly talking. He usually just sat back and listened to his crew. But when it was just him and Bepo, not many words passed between them unless it was necessary. Neither one cared. That's just how they were. It didn't take them long to get to the plain, wooden building of the locate tavern. And the closer they got the more they could hear their fellow crewmates partying. The two Heart Pirates walked up the three steps to the porch. Bepo walked inside instantly, but Law paused.
Before entering into the building, he felt like casting one last look down the street. For some reason the desire to go after the girl had returned. And like before, he had no clue where she would have gone. This island wasn't very big, but it could still take him hours to search it. And they were leaving in just four hours. He really didn't have time to chase down a stranger for unknown reasons. He forced himself to let it go and walked into the tavern.
The captain was instantly greeted with a mixed smell of booze, spices, and unwashed bodies from some of the tavern patriots. Ignoring the smells, he walked over to the table where some of his crew was at and sat down. He removed his hat from his head as he ran his eyes over the room, locating the rest of his crew. Shachi and Penguin, seemingly half drunk already, were dancing a weird version of the Can-Can with two women from the tavern. With a long, low sigh, Law leaned back in his chair. He watched as a light brown haired woman, probably seven years older than him, walked over to take his order. He ignored her flirtatious looks while halfheartedly mumbling his order to her. "Okay, the grilled fish with a baked potato and onigiri it is. Would you like something to drink with that? We have a fabulous homemade brew. Freshly made today."
"Just water," Law replied.
"That's no fun," she said with a flirtatious wink. "You seem a bit tense. How about something a little stronger? It'll relax you." She ran her lust filled eyes over his body. "Then maybe we could get to know each other a little better later?"
"No." Law glared icily at the woman. She flinched at the look, nodded rapidly then headed off to fulfill the order. The captain sighed again.
"You should have taken her up on her offer, Captain," Conner, one of the sub's engineers said. "She was totally hot."
"She was," Archer, a medic, said. "But you know the captain doesn't go off with women like that."
"Such a shame," Conner said, leaning back in his chair. "I wish she had looked at me like that." He gave his captain a smirk. "Or perhaps you've already met a woman on this island and spent time with her while you were absent from us?"
"Maybe." Law shrugged.
"Yeah, sure," Conner said, doubtfully. "You never tell us about any women you're with."
"Why would you even want to know?" Archer asked.
"Just curious," Conner said.
"Just perverted," Archer said.
"Hey! I am not!" Conner protested.
Law relaxed in his chair and listened to his two subordinates argue as they often did. It was normal for them. They were polar opposites. Conner was a pessimist while Archer was an optimist. Sometimes he had to wonder how they didn't kill each other at times. He really didn't mind their fighting. It was bound to happen in a group of fifteen pirates. As long as they pulled together when needed, he let them have their fights.
While listening to them, his mind wandered back to the blue haired girl. He scoffed to himself when realizing that Conner was right. He had met a girl on this island. A girl he wanted to forget about, but just couldn't. His mind just kept going over her odd behavior and everything the woman had told him about her. He was starting to wonder if maybe he should have ordered a stronger drink. He didn't like to drink very often since he was a doctor, he wanted his head clear if he had to preform surgery. But, perhaps this once, he should have ordered an alcoholic beverage. Maybe it would relax his mind and force him to stop thinking so much about that strange girl that somehow refused to leave his brain.
Some time after that, their food had arrived without Law's knowledge. Bepo had to once again shake the captain out of his thoughts. And once again the bear expressed his concern over the out of character captain. He said, "Captain, are you sure you're all right? You've been staring off into a daze ever since we arrived at this island."
The rest of his crew now turned to him in concern. Law sighed. "Really, Bepo, I'm just fine. I guess I'm just a little restless is all. Just eat so we can get out of here."
"Sure thing, Captain," Bepo said in an unconvinced tone. The crew exchanged concern looks before staring at their strangely acting captain.
Law brushed the crew off and dug into his meal. He really didn't want to deal with any of this anymore. And thanks to a couple tavern women, who had came over at that point with more drinks for the crew, the crew turned their attention from their captain and started getting cozy again in their surroundings. Law ate at a slower pace than his crew. His mind just refused to go anywhere except on the blue hair girl. He couldn't get the notion out of his head that she was familiar somehow. The scars on her body wouldn't leave his head either. He just didn't know why this was happening. Never has anyone ever drawn his attention this much. So what was it about her that drew his attention so much?
Then without warning, piercing screams and sounds of a battle interrupted the enjoyment of the small break. Jumping up from their chairs, the Heart Pirates ran outside to find chaos had erupted on the island. People were running around while bullets rang out, filling the air with smoke and burning lead. In the distance, black smoke was rising up from behind some buildings.
Someone shouted out amongst the chaos. "Two groups of bandits have gone mad! They're fighting like rabid dogs! Hurry! A building is on fire! Get some water to it! Now! Now, now, now! We need help in the north! Some villagers have been injured in the fight!"
"A navy ship has just docked at the harbor!" another islander announced. "They won't get away with tearing our village up!"
"Captain!" the Heart Pirate crew shouted.
"Let's get back to the sub," Law ordered.
"Aye aye, Captain!" the crew shouted again then took off back to the docks where their ship was anchored.
While rushing through the panic island inhabitants, Law's eyes wandered furiously over the people. Unexplainably, he was looking for the blue haired girl from before. He had to find her. He couldn't leave without knowing where she was.
Eventually, he finally spotted her. He caught a glimpse of her battered form and blue hair through all of the chaos. His lungs hitched in his chest, his blood crystallized with ice. She wasn't alone. He narrowed his eyebrows and split away from his crew without a word to them and without them noticing his departure. He dashed down an alley towards the girl and towards the men who were watching her earlier.
He gritted his teeth and his sword. She was on the ground, unconscious, and bleeding from her stomach. A bloody knife was lying by her as one of the men pinned her wrists to the ground by her head as he straddled over her with absolute perversion filling his eyes to the brim. The other two men were standing near by with malicious grins. Law's blood began to boil when the man, pinning the girl down, reached for his belt buckle. This man was going to rape an unconscious girl, a child. The very thought infuriated the captain.
Law's speed picked up. When he finally got close enough, he slammed his boot into the man's face, easily breaking his nose, and sending him flying several yards away. The man's body hit the ground, bounced a couple times before rolling to a stop with a cloud of dust rolling up in the air around him. One of the other men shouted, "Boss! Are you okay?!"
"Who the heck are you?!" the second guy demanded. The two standing men turned to face Law. "How dare you do that to our boss?!"
"I know I'm a pirate. We do terrible things. But this is just wrong on so many levels," Law sneered, his intense glare hidden by his hat. "It's bad enough when a man is low enough to try and take advantage of a woman when she's awake, but when she's unconscious? Did you knock her out as well? Three men against one, very unconscious little girl who's way smaller than you all, it's sickening."
"This is none of your business! And you're going to pay for interfering!" the boss hissed, picking himself up from the ground. He brushed the blood from his broken nose with his sleeve. The men charged forward, bringing out their daggers to slice the pirate. "Get him!"
"I'm making it my business." Law held his hand out. A little, light colored cloud circled around under his palm before spreading out around them. "Room."
"Huh?" The men stopped charging to take note of Law's circle when the blue film encased them.
Law pulled out his sword and sliced them up into several pieces before they could react. He smirked as their bodies floated in the air.
"What the heck?! I'm in pieces!" one man shrieked.
"What happened?! How are we still alive?!" the second man demanded.
"What did you do to us?!" the boss hissed.
Law only smirked and turned his back to them without a word. He dropped his eyes down to the girl. His brow furrowed while he studied her closer. He noted, for the first time since he first saw her that it was hard to tell how old she was. He has referred to her as a woman just a moment ago, but now looking at her, she really did look more like a child like when he saw her before. His chest and stomach twisted up with fury as to what those men were going to do to a kid when all of his emotions disappeared from his body. He narrowed his eyes in on her and noticed something about her felt so inhuman.
He shook his head. It wasn't possible. She was clearly human. She didn't have fur, scales, feathers, or anything else that would suggest she was anything but human. He really felt ridiculous now. He wanted to get away from her.
"Whatever. She's not my concern." Then, just as he began to turn away from her, a single dark gray feather floated down in front of his face. His eyes widened at the familiarity of the object. His body seemed to move on its own as his eyes followed the falling feather and found himself turning back to her.
His breath hitched in his throat, his heart seized up, his skin broke into a cold sweat, his throat instantly dried up. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. It wasn't possible. It couldn't be possible.
Yet there he was.
Kneeling beside her broken, beaten form, he had his hand placed on her head like he was comforting a frightened child.
Law's voice stuttered through the dryness now plaguing his throat. "C-Cora?"
Corazon raised his eyes to Law and smiled at him. A silent message passed between the two men. Take her with you, Law.
Law blinked. Corazon was gone.
More gunfire and screaming snapped Law out of his transfixion. He looked down the alleyway he ran into. Navy soldiers had finally arrived and were running around screaming and firing their weapons in attempted to get everything under control. He knew he had to get back to the sub. His crew was probably already there wondering where he had disappeared to.
Law pulled his eyes from the mess in town and back to the girl. Without hesitation or questions, he knelt down to her. Placing his sword on the ground, he slipped one arm underneath her knees while sliding the other under her back. He managed to withhold a gasp at how light she was when he lifted her up. He could feel her ribs rubbing against his body through both of their shirts when he pulled her into his arms. The woman from before was right. This girl was malnourished. It felt like she only weighed about fifty pounds or so. Way less than a girl of her height should weigh.
Law's eyes drifted to her face, her young child like face. He began to study her features once again. And, once again, he got the same feeling of her being inhuman. He growled at himself. There wasn't time for any of this. They had to get back to the sub before the navy noticed them there. When she was secure in his arms, he grabbed his sword off the ground then stood up.
"Hey! Don't leave us here like this!" one of the guys shouted as Law started to walk away from that area.
"There are navy soldiers near by! We'll be arrested! We're wanted men! Bandits!" the second one added.
"You should have thought of that before deciding that you wanted to take advantage of this girl." Law glared at them from over his shoulder. The three men froze at the intensity in his eyes. The young captain took off for his ship and crew without another look or thought about the guys he was leaving behind. He ignored the bandits' cries to be set free and their bodies put back together. That wasn't going to happen. Ever. If he had the time, he would personally inflict more damage to their bodies for what they had planned for this girl, but he couldn't do that. He'd have to leave it to the navy to take care of them.
His eyes helplessly kept wandering back down to the girl then. He was wondering if his running was jolting her around too much, if she was going to wake up because of that. He also wondered what he was going to do if she did wake up. She didn't like being close to people according to that woman in town said. Would this girl try and hurt him? No, he knew she might try, but there was no possible way she could inflict damage on him. She was way too weak for that. Plus, he had a devil fruit, doctor knowledge, and years of experience of being a pirate in his arsenal. Whatever happened when she did wake up, he would easily be able to handle it. So he forced his mind to focus on getting them safely back to the sub and ran. Soon he broke through the town and saw the docks.
The Heart Pirates continued to run through the town. None of them noticed that their captain had broken off from them and bolted down an alley. They're eyes were too busy scanning for navy soldiers. They saw a few. Their bodies tensed up. They readied themselves for a fight, but it never came. The navy soldiers just ran passed them. It was obvious that the soldiers had spotted them, but it was also obvious the soldiers were more concerned about getting the village back under control. So they were free to get to their ship and get off this island before the navy could come after them.
They reached their sub. One by one, they climbed up the ladder. Most rushed into the sub, yelling out at each other to get everything ready to set sail. That's when some of them finally noticed their missing captain.
"Ah! Where's the captain?!" Bepo shrieked. "He was with us just a minute ago!"
"He took off?!" Penguin asked. He ran over to the railing, grabbing onto it while desperately looking around for their missing captain. "Why?! Why would he take off like that when he knew the navy was here?!"
"What do we do?! What do we do?!" Bepo asked while dancing around in a panic. "If we stay here too long the navy will target us!"
"Where is he?" Shachi inquired, his eyes scanning over the island when he joined Penguin by the railing. The sub's engines were now humming in anticipation to leave this island. But they knew they couldn't leave, not without their captain. "When did he take off? And why did he take off? He knew the navy was here. It doesn't make sense."
"Do you seem him yet?" Penguin questioned as he and his friend continued to scan their hat and sunglasses hidden eyes over the island.
"No." Shachi shook his head. "I don't see anything yet." He then noticed the island was starting to settle down back into its formerly peaceful state. The screams were becoming fewer, so were the gunshots, and the smoke was starting to dissipate. "Great. It looks like the navy is starting to get everything under control now. If the captain doesn't get here soon we're going to be targeted."
"Should I go find him?" Bepo asked, coming out of his panic just enough to let the obvious settle back into his mind. "I should be able to track his scent."
"There he is!" Penguin pointed to the village. "And he's… got something with him." He squinted his eyes, trying to get a better look at what his captain was carrying. "What's he carrying? Did we forget some supplies or something?"
Law glanced back over his shoulder at the village behind him. The sounds of the chaos were starting to settle down. He knew he was cutting things very close. The navy would be on them any minute now if they didn't get going. Soon the screams of the villagers were replaced with his boots thundered across the wooden dock.
"Captain?! Where did you go?!" He heard Bepo's voice screeching out at him when he was close enough.
"Room! Shambles!" Law formed a Room and warped himself and the girl onto the deck of the sub without bothering to answer the bear's question.
"The navy's here! We could have be-" Bepo paused when he noticed the unconscious girl in his captain's arms. He blinked repeatedly, wondering if he really saw this girl. It wasn't normal for his captain to bring strangers onto the sub. "Who's the girl?"
"Never mind her," Law ordered. "Submerge! Now!"