A/N: Warning, long note ahead, read if you'd like. Not involved in any particular story, but for the sake of it let's put it at right after Enels Lobby (changed the timing to fit the story a little better, also I meant to have this change around chapter two, but forgot to replace the old chapter with the edited one, hence why I'm using Yubashiri, thanks hullo for the point out). This will be my first attempt at a multi-chapter story and I'm going to try to involve a good amount of fighting sequences. This is somewhat experimental for me with writing since I'm still getting the ins and outs of perspective and I don't have too much experience in writing these kinds of stories. With that said, I can't begin to say how much I would love to be criticized! Does something come across as OOC? Am I not descriptive enough in certain areas, if so, where and how? Is my grammar/diction good? I'll be reading every single review and they will without a doubt cause me to try to update faster, so if you like the story definitely review it! That's not to say you HAVE to critique it in any way, just that everything is incredibly appreciated. Also, the Anubis stuff may not be completely correct, but I'm bending it a little if it's wrong to fit the story. Thanks for reading!
Looks like everybody got themselves lost again… Zoro thought to himself. Damn, why is it that whenever we go into some ruins to find some stupid treasure that everybody somehow manages to get separated?
Granted, they weren't really in ruins, per se, more like deep inside of a tomb of some sort. Whether or not his companion seemed to notice or care for that matter didn't seem to distract her from her awe.
She always gets like this whenever we find some sort of ancient relic or ruins of an older civilization. Well, it's to be expected since she is trying to locate that poneglyph or whatever it was to learn about this 'lost history'. Only one thing is starting to bother me…
Turning back to Robin, the Straw Hats' archeologist, Zoro barked out "Oi, why do you keep following every step I take? There's plenty of room here and you're usually much more explorative when it comes to these things. Geeze, I don't even know why I came into this stupid place."
"Oh? I don't recall anybody forcing you to come with us. You could have easily stayed back on the ship with the others." Robin replied rather snidely.
Zoro raised his eyebrow and took a tone that matched Robin's, "And have to deal with that damn cook obsessing over Nami? No thanks, I think I'll pass on that one, it's nearly impossible to concentrate long enough to exercise with the racket he makes."
Robin raised her arms up slightly to the side while half-heartedly shaking her head, "Very well, do as you please. Just don't refer to these magnificent records of history as 'stupid'; they are priceless keepsakes of an untellable history, especially if no previous records exist."
Looking back to his companion somewhat confusedly, Zoro asked "An untellable history? How exactly would you learn anything from these kinds of places?"
Her interest piqued again, Robin stopped and began to examine a peculiar painting on the wall she had just noticed. It portrayed Anubis-like creatures with blood covering their hands striking down crude adaptations of what she assumed to be thieves. Some of them held prolonged scepters and blades while the others only used their claws. Behind them was a staircase leading up to an eye over viewing the carnage.
Having noticed her stop, Zoro turned around to hear Robin call him over. "Here, look at this. Anubis creatures are commonly used as a symbol of death and the after-life in certain cultures. The Anubis is supposed to guide the leader of the civilization into the afterlife and to protect the burial grounds. From this depiction, we can see that there is indeed something being guarded and hidden in here, represented by this shining eye. If the navigator is to be believed from before, there is supposed to be some manner of large diamond ornament inside of this tomb and I would guess that it's this eye."
Looking at the picture she was describing, Zoro found himself fixed more so on something other than the glowing eye in question. "While I'm very impressed that you can deduce all of that from a single picture, I happen to notice something of a 'stay out or die' vibe coming from this picture."
Responding very plainly, Robin kept examining the wall to see if there were any more indications or clues to the eye's location. "Yes, it would seem that way." Having become satisfied that there were no more clues to be found, she straightened up.
Robin changed her view to the swordsman and thought that he seemed to be extremely interested at the conversation at hand, something she never thought would occur with him. After all, she thought that he only concerned himself with getting stronger towards his ambition of becoming the world's strongest swordsman. These things never used to linger on his mind.
Turning his attention back to the archeologist, Zoro could make out exactly what was on her mind. "Look, I can guess what you're thinking about. Just because I have a goal doesn't mean that's the only thing I care about. In the time all of us have travelled together we've become more than crewmates, we've become family. It's only natural that parts of the ambitions and interests that are particular to each of us become imprinted on the others. Just the other day Sanji and Chopper were collaborating on making much healthier and tasty foods and medicines, something that I doubt would have happened when they first met."
Robin began to wonder in what ways she had changed but more specifically she wondered what kind of bond the green haired swordsman and her shared. "What about me then? How have I changed?" She asked, turning to face Zoro.
The question, catching him off guard, and the stare that followed caused Zoro to grunt a little. Zoro had to resist an imminent urge to angrily turn around without answering the question. "It's hard to tell, to be honest…" he began as he glanced around occasionally to avoid a prolonged stare, "I don't really know much about your life before you came onto the ship, but if I can say anything that you've changed with it would be the books you read. When you first joined the crew, all you read about appeared to be old historical writings about specific events or places. Now you read more recent books about things that reflect the rest of the crew's desires."
Somewhat surprised and even more pleased than she thought she would be to learn that the swordsman watched her, Robin decided to tease him. "Oh? Does that mean you watch me, Kenshi-san?"
Grunting again, this time in embarrassment, Zoro quickly responded while his cheeks began to darken slightly. "Geh. A swordsman must always be aware of his surroundings and what is going on. Otherwise his senses become dulled and that is unacceptable."
"Is that so? I see." Robin audaciously said.
Quickly changing the subject, Zoro interrupted Robin. "Regardless, what's important here is that there are traps and possibly more in this tomb. That's easy to determine since that dumbass Luffy set off the trap that separated us to begin with. Leave it to him to run into something with no regard for thought or safety. Anyways, I think we should get out of here since the traps are only going to get more deadly. No tangible treasure is worth dying for."
Distracted by the last statement, Robin confusedly said, "Isn't becoming the world's greatest swordsman the treasure you seek? What makes that different from any other treasure if there's a tremendous value to be put on it?"
Becoming slightly disappointed with his companion's question, Zoro rested his right arm on his katana and waved the other one slightly at her. "The difference is that I'm not planning on dying for my dream, nor is Luffy or anyone else on the crew, for that matter. What pirate worth their mettle is going to die to achieve some treasure when they have no way to celebrate it? Becoming the world's greatest swordsman may be the treasure I desire, but I'll only die if it's a result of that pursuit, not as an aid for it. And if I do die, that just shows what kind of a man I was. I hope you don't plan on dying for your dream, Robin."
Taken aback by his insightful response, Robin felt herself embarrassed for one of the rare few moments it occurred. Refusing to accept the swordsman's take on a person's dream when she herself committed to the idea of dying for hers if needed, Robin angrily responded "So what! What if I do have to die for my dream, what then? Are you telling me to give it up!?"
"Of course not, what kind of hypocrite would I be if I told you to give up your dream?" Zoro began to almost yell back at the raven haired archeologist, "All I'm saying is that you shouldn't commit yourself to believing that it's worth dying for. Dying is a possibility, yes, but you shouldn't accept it as inevitability!"
Still trying to soak in everything that was said, Robin regained her composure and took her turn in changing the subject. "You asked me earlier why I kept following every step you took. It's as you said before, there are most likely still traps in wait to be sprung, so I figured the path you would take would be so inordinate it would help us avoid most of them. So far it seems to have worked. If you really want to leave here, I shall follow you." Having no interest in leaving the tomb since they were so far in, Robin figured that if the swordsman tried to find a path outside the tomb, they would eventually reach the center with the eye presumably there.
"Ah, yosh." Zoro simply responded as he took the lead again and began walking. After a couple of seconds, the extent of what Robin had said began to sink in. "Wait!" Zoro angrily turned his head back to the archeologist as he kept walking, "What are you trying to say, that I have a bad sense of direction?"
"No, I was just saying that you have an uncanny ability to end up in areas other than your intended destination through unthought-of paths." Robin wryly responded.
"Ah, yosh." Zoro answered again continued walking. After a couple of seconds, "Wait… you!" This time almost red in the face in a mix of embarrassment and annoyance, Zoro stopped and yelled back "That's the same exact thing as telling me I have a bad sense of direction. You know what? That's it, I'm proving once and for all I can get to any place I want through NORMAL means."
As he began to pick their route, Zoro noticed the path to their left opened up in a fashion similar to a T. Resisting the urge to go left and veer off their current path, Zoro instead continued to keep walking on straight.
Hearing a clicking noise when he passed the left corridor, Zoro felt the sickening sensation of missing a step as he began to fall frontwards into a pit. He couldn't see the bottom but he knew it would be his death.
Yet another note: Sorry for the lack of the proclaimed action sequences, I'll definitely be getting to those. I wanted to have some dialogue leading up to it as I am a huge fan of this pairing and their interaction. I hope you enjoyed and expect more in the future. Also, I know it kind of ends suddenly but it was getting way too long and I needed a place to stop so I can write a decent amount of mid-sized chapters instead of a few insanely long ones. From now on they'll be better timed.