Chapter 1: La Entrada
His eyes shot wide open. This was particularly unusual since the man had already died. Jinbe had lived a full life. He'd served under King Neptune. He'd committed to piracy in the name of freeing slaves. He'd become a Warlord for the corrupt World Government to protect his people. He had even joined the Straw Hat crew, seeing Monkey D. Luffy become King of the Pirates. All in all, Jinbe was perfectly happy with how he lived and died. Which begs the question: how is he still alive?
After standing up, Jinbe felt his face. His thoughts went along the lines of "Okay, I'm still a Fishman". Looking over more of his body, Jinbe noticed that some of his scars were actually gone. He then decided to test his abilities.
Jinbe gave a roar of "Arabesque Brick Fist", shooting his fist forward. Feeling the water around him burst into shockwaves, the Pirate was satisfied.
With a few more moves of Fishman Karate, Jinbe had confirmed that his strength was that of his prime.
"I need answers," Jinbe thought to himself. Trying to find people, Jinbe flexed his Observation Haki, hoping to hear any 'voices'. After a minute, he found it. There were enough 'voices' to indicate a small town's worth of people.
"Perfect", said Jinbe. With that, he set off at a leisurely stroll towards the presumed town.
Now with a destination in mind, Jinbe took in his surroundings. He was by a coastline. Judging from the distance of the 'voices', he still had a mile or two before reaching the town. Jinbe turned to the water, sensing just the usual presences of typical marine life. He turned forward as he climbed a hill, thinking he might get a glimpse of the town.
Once at the little peak, Jinbe found that he was on a mostly forested island, and not a very big one at that. He could see the town at the edge, which doubled as a port. While not particularly busy, it still had around half-a-dozen ships on the move. Jinbe was too far to make out anyone down there. Still, he noticed that the town had the standard hustle and bustle that comes with a healthy living.
Just as Jinbe was about to make his way down, he stopped when he sensed something unusual. He focused his Observation Haki, and 'heard' two presences heading to the town. Jinbe found himself a bit unnerved by the power emanating from them. For one, this power was completely unfamiliar. Still, Jinbe was more concerned by the barely restrained bloodlust coming from one of the figures.
Making a decision, Jinbe starts heading towards the figures, hoping to intercept them before they reached the town. It was at this point that Jinbe finally noticed what should have been obvious. The two were walking on the water.
Even though he was a Fishman who could bend any water to his will, Jinbe had never seen anyone who could just walk on water. Unnerved, the pirate picked up his pace.
(10 Minutes Earlier)
Halibel woke up floating on the water. While someone with her abilities should be used to that situation, the sensation was new. She had lived in the desert of Hueco Mundo after all, where the only water around would be whatever she made and held together. Soaking it in as it were, Halibel was in no hurry to get up. She took a moment to get her thoughts together, recalling her time as Queen of Hueco Mundo.
The first thing Halibel decided she wanted was to see her three friends again. Still, given that she could sense absolutely nothing resembling their Reishi, no luck there. She was so grateful that Apacci, Mila Rose, and Sung-Sun had stayed with her until the end. Age had caught up with all of them, even though they were technically already dead as Arrancar. Still, she guessed millennia were bound to affect them, as Baraggan had so frequently pointed out when he was still around.
One second, she was falling asleep in Hueco Mundo. The next, she woke up in this strange ocean. Despite all the strange people and events she'd experienced, she was still at a loss as to what to do.
Her musings were cut off when she sensed a massive power above her. Getting up, Halibel drew the sword from her back, feeling its weight in her hand reassure her. Her senses on high alert, Halibel heard something come from the source of that power.
At that point, this someone had crashed right in front of Halibel. The impact momentarily left a crater in the water. Before Halibel could get closer, a twitching blue hand somehow grabbed the surface of the water. She found herself pausing at this incredibly strange figure.
For one thing, he was blue. Needless to say, that wasn't something Halibel saw everyday. He also had sharp teeth and small, beady eyes. She then noticed something big and white on his back.
The man got to his feet and rubbed his neck. Looking down at his feet standing on the water, he commented, "Well, at least my Chakra is working fine". He then saw Halibel, and gave a vicious smirk.
"You're strong…I can feel it". He grabbed the handle of what Halibel could only assume was some type of sword.
"Yeah, what of it"? Halibel couldn't help but be reminded of some of the less savory of her fellow Arrancar while serving Aizen.
At that, the man chuckled, even though his hand didn't move an inch.
"Name's Kisame Hoshigaki, pleased to make your acquaintance…and you are?"
"Ya know…while I want nothing more than a good fight, I think I'll settle for some answers".
Halibel mulled it over, and decided to be honest.
"If you're going to ask where we are…I get the feeling I know just as much as you".
Kisame narrowed his eyes, retorting, "Well since I woke up in the middle of the sky, forgive me for assuming someone on the ground knew more".
Halibel didn't really appreciate the sarcasm, adding a half-hearted "sorry".
Deciding to take initiative, Halibel gave a suggestion.
"Mind if you take your hand off your sword? I promise I'll do it too".
Kisame still had a suspicious look in his eye. Nevertheless, he slowly released his blade.
Once Halibel did the same, Kisame actually had a more genuine smile.
"Well, quite refreshing to meet someone who's actually honest".
Halibel couldn't help but notice a hint of bitterness.
"So, if I may ask, did you die as well?"
Kisame couldn't hide his surprise at that question, but decided to answer regardless.
"Yeah, chose to feed myself to my sharks instead of being a prisoner".
Halibel shuddered at that, thinking of all the Hollows she'd seen devoured, and wondering what could push a man to voluntarily choose such a fate. Still, there were more important matters.
Halibel turned around and asked, "Can you sense anyone else?"
Kisame closed his eyes for a bit, while the 'sword' on his back twitched, much to Halibel's unease.
He opened his eyes.
"Yeah…I sense a bunch of people that way…must be an island nearby. Samehada says there isn't anyone too strong there."
Halibel eyed the white 'blade', assuming that it was this 'Samehada'. She nodded, wanting to see if he had similar sensing abilities to her, despite his unfamiliar energy. "How about we find some answers from someone in the town…and then we'll each be on our way".
Kisame chuckled, "Aww…so eager to get rid of me already"?
Halibel simply scoffed at that.
The moment the two had reached land, something slammed down in front of them. Both turned, and looked up, and up, and up. Keep in mind that Jinbe is over 9 feet tall. He was also wider than both Kisame and Halibel combined. The two instantly drew their weapons, both swinging at the newcomer's midsection.
With a cry of "Double Water Shot", Jinbe shot out two water drops that momentarily halted the coming blades. This prompted both Kisame and Halibel to jump back for some distance.
The Fishman glared down at the two. "State your intentions"!
Kisame growled, almost tempted to let loose just for the lack of manners. Or because he could feel how strong this giant of a man was. Or just because. Still, he couldn't help but wonder why Samehada was unable to sense such a strong being.
Halibel kept a cooler head. "We're looking for answers, unless you've got them".
While Jinbe's eyes softened, which both Halibel and Kisame noticed, his stance still remained firm. "I assume that the both of you just woke up after dying".
Halibel nodded. Kisame shivered at the thought of waking up mid-fall.
As all three warriors marginally relaxed, Jinbe still gave a wary eye to Kisame, having figured out where that bloodlust came from.
"After you have your answers, what will you two do next?", Jinbe cautiously asked.
"I'll find those precious to me", Halibel instantly responded. This prompted Jinbe to recall his own crews, especially the Straw Hats, wondering if they were anywhere nearby.
Kisame took a bit more time to answer that, still feeling a bit on-guard around these two. "I guess I'm looking for people too", he said in an almost casual manner. Jinbe could still sense that bloodlust, getting the distinct impression that whoever this man was looking for would not have a good day once found.
So, intrigued by Halibel yet cautious of Kisame, Jinbe came to a decision. These two were people he wanted to keep an eye on. "Follow me, we'll get to the bottom of this".
Still a little away from the town, Jinbe turned to the two. "By the way, what is that I'm sensing from you two"?
Kisame gave a semi-puzzled look, and asked "You don't know what Chakra is?". This prompted Jinbe to shake his head.
Halibel also seemed a bit confused. "Chakra... I just thought you used some kind of Reishi".
At that point, remembering a 'co-worker' with their own personal dimension, Kisame had a crazy idea spring in his head, and he was compelled to ask. "By any chance, have you two heard of the Elemental Nations or the Hidden Ninja Villages?"
"No, can't say I have", came Jinbe's measured response.
Halibel just narrowed her eyes at Kisame. "You're making those up, aren't you?"
Hoping he was wrong for the sake of his fractured sanity, Kisame asked the million-dollar question. "Where are you both from?"
Jinbe went first. "I was born on Fishman Island, beneath the Red Line where Paradise and The New World meet".
Kisame and Halibel just stared at Jinbe, since what he said didn't make a lick of sense to either.
"Paradise, are you saying that you lived right next to some sort of Heaven", Halibel asked with a visibly skeptical face.
Jinbe had to stop himself from chuckling at anyone comparing the Grand Line with the Great Beyond. At this point, it was starting to sink into the others where Kisame was getting at with these questions.
"Well, I don't know if this will clear things up for us, but I'm from Hueco Mundo, where the restless spirits called Hollows gather after departing the World of the Living. I was Queen of the Hollows", Halibel said in reminiscence.
Kisame laughed at that. "Well, why didn't you say we were in the presence of royalty", he said as he gave an exaggerated bow.
Halibel glowered at him. "Would you cut that out"?
Kisame's face immediately went back to serious. "I'm sorry, I'm just trying to deal with the fact that I'm seeing and talking to people from entirely different worlds. Let me have my jokes, your highness".
Halibel was visibly annoyed, more at Kisame than the general situation.
"Enough", Jinbe commanded. Pinching the bridge of his nose, the Fishman got them back on course. "Let's just get to the town, I'm sure we're not the only ones from our worlds…can't believe I just said that".
That prompted Halibel to remember who she was searching for, so she turned away from Kisame, earning a smirk from him.
Before they knew it, they had reached the town. They turned to a sign saying "La Entrada". Halibel narrowed her eyes at the sign, personally thinking it was a little on the nose. The biggest part of the settlement was the docks, though even those were only capable of harboring a dozen or so sailing ships at best. Right next to the docks were the shops and restaurants. Before the trio got a good look at the rest of 'La Entrada', they caught a whiff of something strong. It wasn't necessarily bad, but it was still potent and unfamiliar.
They turned to see one ship, a sloop to be precise, unloading its haul. A cast of crabs had been caught. Most of it had already been carted off to the various restaurants. That strong scent wasn't coming from the restaurants, but from the boat itself.
Jinbe turned to the others and asked, "Did crabs ever smell like that where you're from"?
Both Halibel and Kisame shook their heads, admittedly curious.
On top of that, all three of them suddenly realized how hungry they were.
Once they came to the ship, an older man came to greet them. He was grizzled and balding, with a slightly disheveled gray beard. The trio also noticed that the fronts of his four right fingers were cut off.
"Ah, new arrivals…and very interestin' ones at that", the old man said with a jovial smile.
Kisame immediately raised an eyebrow at the friendly greeting, not exactly used to people acting as such around him, unless they were trying to pull something. The same could be said of Jinbe and Halibel, to a lesser extent.
"New arrivals?" Jinbe questioned.
"Aye…far as I know, everyone in this island, an' every other island around for that matter, has died".
"Oh…where are my manners? Call me Davos", the old man said as he extended his left hand.
"Jinbe, a pleasure to meet you", the Fishman said as he shook the man's hand.
"Halibel", the woman stoically said as she crossed her arms.
Kisame gave a fearsome grin as he introduced himself. "Kisame Hoshigaki, pleased to make your acquaintance", he said as he took the old man's hand in a tight grip.
Davos gave a slightly nervous laugh at that. "You remind me of some of my old Wildling friends…always eager for a fight that lot. Anyways, I'm sure you all have questions".
Kisame said what was on all their minds. "Yeah. First, what is that smell"?
Davos smirked at that. "Ah, that's me specialty", he said as he moved back on the ship. He pulled off a cover, revealing a couple of barrels. The second the tarp was removed, that scent washed over the trio's strong noses.
"…What?" said all three of them.
"It's fermented crab. Always keep some of it for me. My own personal share of the catch for everyone to enjoy. Why don't you folks try it?", Davos said as he offered a bite to each of the trio.
Still hesitant, the three accepted. Jinbe came to the conclusion that it was simply okay, just something to fill him up if need be. On the other hand, Kisame and Halibel had utterly scarfed their bits down, apparently unable to get enough. Jinbe and Davos just wondered how Halibel managed to eat with her collar still covering her mouth.
The old captain chuckled. "Why don't we take a seat inside", gesturing towards the cabin. "We can talk over those barrels of crab".
Without being asked, Jinbe hoisted the barrels up as he followed Davos in. Kisame and Halibel both quickly followed. Though whether it was for answers or crab was unclear.
Once the four had gotten comfortable, Kisame and Halibel started digging in with gusto, while still listening intently. After taking a few bites, Jinbe turned to Davos, eager for answers.
Understanding, Davos took a deep breath. "Folks around here call this place the Sea of Second Chances. Title explains itself". Jinbe nodded at that. "Didn't take long for me to figure out just how different everyone was. Only took a few conversations to realize we were all from different worlds…as fantastic as that sounds. Just take me for example, I'm sure none of ya have heard of Westeros".
Kisame and Halibel barely slowed down as they shook their heads. "Recently, more and more powerful people have been dropping in". Kisame glowered at that statement before resuming his feast. "After looking evil in its cold, dead eyes…I thought I'd seen everything. Still, this place keeps provin' me wrong".
Jinbe stroked his chin, "Any suggestions on where to go next, or how to find our friends"?
Davos continued, setting his hands down. "If ya go east, there's absolutely nothing except open ocean. North and south will get ya to the other "entry points" as it were. West is where things get interesting. The further you go, the more monsters there are. It's gotten to the point where no one without…'abilities' can go further than a few islands".
Kisame smirked at that, eager to rip something apart that would be worth his time. Halibel rolled her eyes at her compatriot. Jinbe just thought of how eager Captain Luffy would be if he heard that.
Davos gave them all a steely look. "On the other hand, treasures are said to scattered throughout the west. There's even a rumor amongst the sailors that a place called Fiddler's Green is the last island. Damn near everyone has at least tried to get there. Most think it's some kind of paradise. A safe haven from every foul thing in this Sea".
While Jinbe couldn't help but wonder where he had heard something like that before, Halibel narrowed her eyes at Davos. "If there's a paradise that way, why aren't you trying to get there"?
Davos sighed, "I've had enough adventurin' and battlin' in my first lifetime. I'll be happy just sticking around here, helping good folk where I can. Though I wouldn't object if I saw an old friend or two".
Jinbe nodded at that. "So, what are our options?" he asked.
The old captain stroked his graying beard. "That depends on what you three are after. You could always just settle down here…I can tell all of you have been to hell and back, and I hope that isn't literal in any of your cases".
While Kisame instantly knew that offer wasn't for him, Halibel and Jinbe seemed more considerate. Still, the two already knew their answer.
"We're looking for people, so we can't stay", Halibel succinctly said.
Davos got up at that, which put a pause in Kisame and Halibel's eating. There was only one plate worth's of crab left, with both of them eyeing it.
"Well, how about I give you three an offer? There's an island two days south of here that has plenty of ships. Quite a few shipwrights there too who could make somethin' to yer liking. I already have a job to do there, so you're welcome to tag along".
Kisame smirked, "and what do you get for generously taking us?"
Davos gave a sly smile, "why, three fine deckhands for the journey there. I'll even save that last plate of crab for when we make it". The old captain then grabbed the plate. "Come on, I'll show you the ropes…unless all three of you have worked a sailing ship before".
Jinbe nodded, "I've sailed for years, what about you two"? Judging by Kisame and Halibel's silence and averted eyes, the answer was no.
"Fine", Kisame said as he got up. "But that last bit of crab is mine when we get there".
Halibel glared at him. "Excuse me?" she asked in a fairly icy tone.
Davos gave a nervous laugh, "How about this, whoever is the biggest help to me will get it".
Kisame smirked at Halibel, "You're on".
Halibel just stared back. She didn't agree, but she never said no.
Jinbe sweat-dropped at the others, wondering how childish they could get.
The captain clapped his hands, "Excellent. Give me a few minutes to get some supplies, and we can leave whenever you want."
After a brief crash course in nautical need-to-knows by Davos and Jinbe, the four were ready to set out on their humble sloop. Immediately, Kisame started the competition for that crab.
Standing on the ocean, Kisame gave a shout of "Water Style: Water Clone Jutsu" while completing the necessary Hand Signs. As 6 clones took shape, Davos's mouth dropped open in shock. Jinbe's eyes went wide, while Halibel just gave a cold stare to the Ninja.
Without any prompting from the original, the clones started preparing for departure. 1 hoisted the anchor, a couple started undoing the tethers, and the others started climbing up to unfurl the sails (using Chakra to just walk up the masts). All the while, Kisame gave a mock salute to the others.
Not one to be outdone, Halibel started moving through the air with Sonido. Combine that with her walking on air, and the sails were all unfurled before the Kisame clones got halfway there. The original Kisame laughed and laughed, enjoying getting under someone's skin. The clones simply shrugged, climbed back down, and set about other tasks.
Davos just stood there in amazement at the near-flight. "You got anything to add to that?" the old captain asked Jinbe. The Fishman shrugged, "I could ask any of the fish nearby for directions if you want, though I get the feeling you know the way." That got some chuckles from Davos.
"Still, most of my time at sea was as a helmsman, so I'll take the wheel with your permission." Jinbe said as he gave a little bow.
"By all means" Davos muttered as he indicated said wheel with his left hand. "As long as you keep the ship heading due south, we'll be fine. All the 'entry points' sit on a line, with a couple days' worth of ocean in between."
"Got it" Jinbe said as he stepped up. "It seems the wind is with us," he observed.
As Kisame, his clones, and Halibel finished adjusting the lines and rigging, the ship was comfortably cruising away from the port.
Once the town became a speck on the horizon, Davos spoke up. "Now that we're well on our way and have a chance to relax, I'd be happy to answer any more questions."
Kisame took a quick look around. "Yeah, why don't you have your own crew?" he asked in a suspicious tone.
"Oh, crews usually come with the jobs in my case. La Entrada hires me every so often to drive their crabbers out to sea. Always did have a soft spot for crabbers. I just bring the ship, and they brought the manual labor. Anyway, I'll probably assemble another crew at our destination." Davos explained.
"And what exactly is this destination of ours?" Halibel wondered.
"How do I put this," Davos mused. "The people who live there have a certain sense of humor. Since it's getting a reputation for building ships, some royal prick decided that it should be named 'Shipwreck Cove'."
Jinbe and Halibel narrowed their eyes at that 'inviting' name, while Kisame snickered at it.
Davos gave the Ninja a deadpan stare. "Glad to see someone appreciates that kind of joke. Anyway, I'll be dropping you off right next to Burns'. A good word from me should convince him to make a ship for you three."
Halibel raised an eyebrow at that. "Who said the three of us would stick together?" she asked with a hint of disdain.
Kisame turned to her with a taunting grin. "Oh, you wound me, your highness" he retorted.
Jinbe tried to keep an impassive face. "I'd much rather have your help in watching him, Halibel."
"What? Afraid I'll cut up an asshole who's got it coming?" the Ninja skeptically asked.
The others just stared, and immediately responded with a chorus of "yes".
Kisame just rolled his eyes, muttering about them being wimps.
An uncomfortable Davos resumed his explanation. "Once you've got a ship, the quicker way to find your friends would be heading west. It'd take years to search every 'entry point'. The sea narrows the further west you go, so that means fewer islands to spread everyone out."
Jinbe chose this point to join in. "Which would put all the best of the best as the ones closest to this 'Fiddler's Green'. Reminds me of what happened in the Grand Line."
"My advice, be on your guard whenever you hit those western islands. There are more than just sea monsters that way. No guarantee that all your friends are still around" The old captain told the others.
"Trust me, I think they'll be just fine." Kisame said with a fierce grin, thinking of Itachi. Halibel and Jinbe were admittedly surprised at the man expressing such faith in anyone.
Halibel got up. "Regardless, my path is still clear to me."
Davos gazed at her. "Well, I do hope you all find who you're looking for. Anyway, feel free to make yourselves comfortable."
Suddenly, the ship violently lurched, with the wood groaning as if in pain, knocking all four of them off balance. Halibel caught the tumbling Davos, earning a "Thanks" from the old captain.
Kisame slammed Samehada into the floor to steady himself. "What the hell?"
Jinbe started running to the deck. "That wasn't just a wave, something hit us!" He yelled.
The others quickly followed, looking over the starboard side. A mass of translucent tentacles were pushing against the ship. Some were even snaking their way past the surface. Electric energy was pulsing out of the appendages, even to the point that everyone's hair was standing on edge. The four's eyes traced the tentacles back to their origin.
It was an absolutely massive jellyfish. Its head alone was easily twice the size of the mightiest of whales. The tentacles had to have been a quarter-mile.
"Seven Hells!" Davos exclaimed. "Why is something like that this far east?!"
Jinbe rushed to the wheel. "We're being knocked off course," he said as he frantically set about corrections.
Halibel turned to Kisame, only to notice that he and his clones were gone.
"Water Style: Exploding Water Shockwave!"
A gigantic tidal wave formed beside the ship, and Kisame was right on top. It then started careening towards the jellyfish's head.
Halibel growled as she set off after the overeager Ninja, wanting to know what he was capable of. Using Sonido, she managed to get within earshot of him. She was not impressed by what she heard.
"Hahahaha…finally, something I can tear apart!" Kisame proclaimed as he and the clones leapt off his personal tsunami. The wave crashed into the jellyfish with enough force to wrench its tentacles off the ship.
Davos and Jinbe barely kept their balance as the sloop was violently freed. "Did you know he could do that?!" the old captain asked. Jinbe simply shook his head. "I'm just as surprised as you are," the Fishman admitted.
As the jellyfish started to respond, Kisame and his clones quickly formed a circle around the beast's head. They all gave a shout of "Water Style: Water Shark Bomb Jutsu" as they slammed their palms down on the ocean's surface. In an instant, the Chakra had shaped seven sharks the size of great whites. And they were all charging at that gelatinous head.
The seven sharks slammed into the jellyfish. Still, the creature only got some nasty bruises, probably due to being naturally water-resistant. Clearly unhappy, the behemoth jellyfish raised half of its tentacles out of the water. For some reason, Kisame gave a small smile as he watched the tentacles move, not even moving to avoid what was surely coming.
Right as the tentacles touched the water again, an immense blast of electricity surged out from the creature.
"Gah!" The electricity managed to destroy all the clones, while the original shouted as scorch marks blotched his skin.
Halibel stood a few inches above the surface. "Have you learned your lesson yet?" she asked in an exasperated tone.
Kisame glowered at his new companion. "Yes," he said with as much sarcasm as possible. "In fact, I learned something that you might like to hear, but I'll only tell if you promise to show what you can do."
The former Espada was taken aback by that, having assumed the brute would want the fight all to himself. She belatedly realized that she wasn't the only one trying to get everyone's measure. "Very well," she thought. "I just won't show my Resurreción."
"Fine, now what is it?" Halibel sighed.
Kisame pointed at the creature with Samehada. "Its tentacles on the far right side are slower than the others. I think it might've fought something else and not fully recovered, kind of like a limp. How about this? I'll have some fun and get my licks in, distracting the bastard, while you wait and hit the far right with everything ya got?"
Halibel turned to the jellyfish, noticing that the far right tentacles were indeed slower than the others. "Okay, I'll wait."
Kisame let out a boisterous laugh. "Ya know, I've got the perfect distraction for such a big guy." He said this as he quickly went through Hand Signs and slammed his palm down. "Water Style: Thousand Hungry Sharks!"
Halibel's eyes widened as the water around the Ninja rose up, forming a tidal wave with literally a thousand sharks. Jinbe and Davos were in a state of near-shock at the sight. As soon as the shark wave crashed into the head, all the constructs separated. The jellyfish was swarmed by millions of gnashing teeth.
It tried to defend itself by thrashing at the sharks with its massive tentacles. Unfortunately for it, all the damage to the sharks was instantly repaired as water was fed into them by Kisame's Chakra.
Said Ninja was still crouching down. His hand hadn't moved from his position, so as to better maintain a connection with all the sharks. He was honestly lucky that the jellyfish lacked the brain capacity to aim at him to end the Jutsu. Then again, jellyfish don't have brains.
Still, the jellyfish was starting to instinctively use its electric attacks along with the thrashing. This time, any shark struck by the flailing appendages was unable to get back together. Regardless, the sharks were still tearing out chunks from the jellyfish's head. Desperate, the beast resorted to using all its tentacles at once, unleashing the greatest surge of electricity it possibly could. This managed to destroy every remaining shark. On top of that, Kisame cried out as millions of volts surged through him.
Hearing that, Davos turned to Jinbe. "If you want to help them, I'll gladly take the wheel," he offered. The Fishman briefly closed his eyes. "No, I can 'hear' how confident they are," he claimed as he exercised his Observation Haki. "They won't be needing my help against that creature."
Indeed, the jellyfish had left itself wide open. Halibel was standing in the air, dead center above where the Ninja had pointed to earlier. She unsheathed and pulled back her hollow blade. Pure yellow energy started gathering within her sword.
"Ola Azul!" she yelled as she thrust her blade forward, shooting the energy down.
The attack tore right through the already-injured creature, ending its life instantly. Despite being in pain, Kisame laughed when he felt Halibel's power, knowing without a doubt that she'd be a match for him. Still, he sensed something odd in that 'Reishi'.
The jellyfish's corpse slammed back into ocean, sending a massive wave out. Seeing this, Jinbe turned to Davos. "Maybe you should take the wheel after all," the Fishman muttered. After Davos quickly nodded and took over, Jinbe leaped into the water. Half-submerged, the Fishman assumed his stance. Once the wave was nearly on top of him, he moved.
"5,000 Brick Fist!" The force from the punch tore a hole right through the wave. A hole large enough for the sloop to pass through untouched. Kisame and Halibel were staring in absolute shock, realizing that not a drop of Chakra, Reishi, or anything magical was involved with that. Only sheer physical force.
Davos just took turns staring at each of his passengers, wondering who he should be most afraid of. That question was soon answered when Halibel landed back at the ship, giving her usual glare. "Has the ship been damaged?" she asked. Davos found himself giving a salute. "No ma'am, though that was mostly Jinbe's doing if ya hadn't noticed."
She surprised the grizzled captain by smiling. Don't ask how he could tell through that zipped-up collar. "Good," she mused. "We'd have been poor guests if we let our host's livelihood get wrecked in our presence. Speaking of poor guests, where's Kisame?"
Jinbe had gotten up and started drying himself off. He paused in this endeavor as he pointed back to the jellyfish. Halibel and Davos turned. It appeared that Kisame was poking the corpse with his white 'sword'. "Why in the world is he still there?" Halibel wondered.
After a minute of quiet, Kisame used the Body Flicker Technique to head back to the others. The first thing everyone noticed was that he was no longer injured, despite being burned by the jellyfish. Out of the corner of her eye, Halibel swore that she saw Samehada twitch. If her eyes weren't deceiving her, the thing had gotten bigger.
"Well, forget what I said earlier," Davos broke in. "I feel sorry for whatever even thinks about attacking ya all. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to rethink all my life choices with a bottle of rum." The old captain slowly walked into the cabin, closing the door behind him.
Kisame chuckled at that. "His world must be real pathetic if that's enough to shock him," he mused. Halibel scoffed at that. "I highly doubt just anyone can bend the elements to their will in your world," she countered. That got a laugh out of the Ninja. "Well, channeling Chakra into an element is a must for promotion amongst Ninja. That or a really unique Clan ability," he explained.
Kisame turned to Jinbe. "I'm more interested in how the hell you parted that wave," the Ninja muttered.
The Fishman raised an eyebrow at that, and noticed that Halibel suddenly seemed very interested. "I trained."
"Bullshit!" Kisame exclaimed.
"Please use your indoor voice," Halibel said as a hand started massaging her forehead.
"Oh, but we aren't indoors, your highness," Kisame couldn't help but retort.
Jinbe decided to nip that argument in the bud. "I use a fighting style called Fishman Karate. The physical force of my punches creates shockwaves through any nearby water."
Kisame raised a brow at that. "Just physical force, no Chakra…Holy Crap."
"It helps that my species, the Fishmen, are naturally ten times stronger than humans," Jinbe elaborated.
"That looked like a lot more than ten times a human's strength," Halibel pointed out.
Jinbe sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. "Like I said, I trained," he mumbled.
Kisame just rolled his eyes at that. "I'm sure that every little Fishman could dream of being as strong as you one day."
"Not exactly," Jinbe admitted. Not wanting to elaborate, he moved back to the helm, keeping the course due south.
"One more thing," Kisame said as he turned to Halibel. "When I sensed your power, why did it feel so old?"
Deciding that he wasn't just having a laugh at her age, Halibel decided to humor him. "I'm a Hollow, we can live a thousand years if we're strong enough."
"Wow…you really are an old lady. You must teach me how to keep my good looks," Kisame laughed.
"To hit or not to hit," Halibel pondered. While the former would give immense satisfaction, she had the distinct impression that Kisame would enjoy it. And the idea of doing what he wanted left a bad taste in her mouth. "Oh, no advice I could give can fix that face of yours," she retorted.
Kisame just laughed at that. "Heh, I did kinda set myself up for that one," he admitted. "Not really original though."
Jinbe looked at the both of them. "Can you two please keep an eye out? I'd rather not have to swim the rest of the way," he claimed.
"Sure," Kisame offhandedly said. "Although, I'm going to be training while doing that." Without further comment, the Ninja leaped back onto the ocean's surface. Before getting started, he did some Hand Signs and bit his thumb. "Summoning Jutsu," he exclaimed as he slammed a palm down.
A hefty Great White appeared next to the Ninja. "Hello Shiro, could you please go under and keep an eye out?" Kisame asked in a polite tone. "Also find out if there's any worthy prey nearby," he quickly added. The shark nodded and instantly submerged. Content, Kisame then started slashing the air and water with Samehada, keeping pace with the sloop.
Halibel decided on her own little stroll on the air, pulsing out Reishi to make sure that nothing was coming. She was constantly pushing herself to extend her senses, hoping for something familiar on whatever landmass came within range.
Jinbe looked at both of them, muttering about "Showoffs". Still, his Observation Haki was on standby, making sure no 'hostile voices' were inbound. Part of it was the Fishman feeling a little ashamed at not catching the jellyfish before the damn thing was right on them. So, he was hoping that all three warriors with eyes open would be on top of things. With that, everyone settled in for the long haul.
(Two days later)
Surprisingly enough, the rest of the journey passed without incident. Probably because everyone was smart enough to never say it would be "smooth sailing". The conversations never went very far, unless Davos was doing the talking. Once he got used to the idea of the 'abilities' he witnessed, he went back to his usual, amiable self, with the help of some rum.
Eventually, the sloop was close enough to Shipwreck Cove for the trio to sense it. Jinbe duly informed Davos that their destination would be in sight within the hour. "Forgive me for saying this," the old captain stated, "but I'm looking forward to some trips without such excitement, and I get the feeling that won't happen with you three around." The Fishman laughed at that, "you're not the only one with that feeling. Count yourself lucky you weren't stuck on a ship with my whole crew, they attract danger like flies to old meat." Davos couldn't help but grimace at that lovely mental image.
To the starboard, Shiro had returned from his two day task. "Greetings Mister Hoshigaki," the shark growled. "I take it you found sufficient payment," Kisame inquired. Shiro gave a big grin. "Oh yes, I greatly appreciate the chance to feast on so many new species of prey. One of them even gave a good fight," the summon recalled. "Well, thanks for keeping an eye out when you could," said Kisame. "I'll be sure to let the others know you're back, we've been so bored without a proper summoner," Shiro promised before it returned home in a puff of smoke.
With that, Kisame hopped back onto the ship. Halibel turned to him. "I thought cats were the only animals that could talk," she admitted. Kisame gave her a deadpan look. "I'm starting to think the less I know about your world, the better," he joked. "Anyway, it's only animals that have Summoning Contracts who can talk in my world, and only like half of them at that."
Moving on, Kisame turned towards the town. "I take it you sensed them too," he asked of Halibel. She nodded. "Although, it doesn't seem like anyone particularly powerful is there," she admitted.
The Ninja looked disappointed at that. "Too bad. Guess everyone who can entertain me is west. Well, at least most of them," he said as he leered at the Hollow. "Wanna spar before we reach town?"
Halibel rolled her eyes at that. "To be frank, I will only ever spar with people I trust. You're not one of those people. For all I know, you'll make it to the death, which doesn't interest me when I have people to find."
Kisame laughed at that. "Smart. Still, you're honest enough not to stab me in the back, and that's good enough for me."
Halibel raised a brow. "What makes you think that?" she wondered.
"If you did want to backstab me, you'd lie about trusting me," the Ninja pointed out.
"Can't argue with that," Halibel admitted.
"Ya know something else? You and Jinbe are far too interesting to just ignore. Seeing both of you go all out would make a trip worth it," Kisame decided.
Halibel was quiet for a whole minute. "Are you saying you want to stick around with both of us just for the sake of a good show?" she said somewhat incredulously.
"Hell, maybe I'll leave if I get a better offer," Kisame teased.
"That would be such a tragedy," Halibel said in that usual deadpan of hers, prompting snickering from the Ninja.
"Land Ho!" Davos interrupted.
In Kisame's humble opinion, that wasn't quite accurate. The four were actually seeing towers of ships in various states piled on top of each other. Still, he could see a break in the formations big enough for the vast majority of ships to sail through. So, he assumed that the ships had been placed as such for defensive and intimidation purposes. Whatever land was there couldn't be seen until they entered the cove itself. He was honestly impressed that a stiff breeze hadn't taken out the structures.
Halibel was pulsing out her Reishi, trying and failing to find one of her friends. Jinbe had this odd little smile on his face. Davos had a face that was clearly relieved.
"Alrighty, could you kindly provide some more clones Mr. Kisame? We'll probably need them for docking. Plus it should give the good folks there a nice shock."
The Ninja gave an evil chuckle at that. "I like the way you think, it's always nice to see people's faces after I show off."
While Kisame created half a dozen Water Clones, Davos turned to the others. "I hope the town is ready for you lot." Jinbe and Halibel smiled at that. "I promise there won't be any significant property damage," the Fishman jokingly swore.
With that, the trio had completed their first cruise without killing each other, setting their eyes on Shipwreck Cove.
A.N. I've had this crossover idea for a long time. Let's see where this crazy train takes us. Let me know what y'all think.