A/N: Well, here it is, the last update for this story. Not when I'd have liked it to be, but it's become apparent I'm not able to get myself to update as efficiently as I'd like to. The next story will probably follow the same pattern of M/F and if I can handle it I'll try out the OC character one on Wednesdays. Anyways, I'd like to thank everybody who has reviewed or placed this story/myself in their favorites, you have no idea how awesome and appreciated it is. I don't generally respond to reviews, and it isn't because I'm lazy or anything, it's just that I don't really know what to say or how to convey my appreciation. Trust me, I've probably read every review I've gotten a dozen times over, and half of my enjoyment of making these stories is the knowledge that other people are enjoying them as well. Look forward to more things in the future!
Zoro yawned. He didn't know how long he had been sleeping for but that didn't matter much. The ordeals inside the ancient tomb had tired him out greatly, and the green haired swordsman was happy to have finally gotten some well needed rest. Looking around him, Zoro saw that Robin still sat in her chair, book in hand as always. The book read "A History of Devil Fruit Powers and Their Abilities". Already knowing the answer to the question but interested to find out more, Zoro asked, "What are you reading, Robin?"
Looking up from her book to the swordsman, the raven haired archeologist smiled. "Oh, Kenshi-san, you're up. It's one of my older books that I brought from Arabasta on board the ship and something about what happened in the tomb piqued my curiosity. I recalled reading, some time ago, that there was a fruit whose power was supposed to give the user the ability to give life to inanimate objects. I'm looking for that particular fruit now." Robin returned her gaze to the book in her hand and flipped the page she was reading.
A thought occurred to Zoro as he sauntered up from his resting position, leaning against the railing with his arms resting behind him on it. He had remembered hearing other members of the crew briefly discussing devil fruit powers at dinner once, and even though he didn't pay much attention to it, one detail in particular stuck out to him. "Wait, does that mean that there was someone else on that island? I'd imagine the fruit has its limitations within boundaries and all, and the statues losing their power once they left the room would prove that. If that's the case, though, why would he be there in the first place and why didn't he try attacking us afterwards?"
Robin glanced up from her book to the swordsman, a look of amusement on her face. "Very astute observation, Kenshi-san, I came to the same conclusion myself. Though, if I may ask, what makes you think that somebody else had to be on the island other than us?"
The particular fact again nagged at the back of Zoro's mind. "There had to have been, otherwise the fruit's power wouldn't have worked. The only time a devil fruit can work is if its user is alive, and once they die the fruit is able to grow again. That's how they're able to catalogue them in that book you're reading, through experience."
Robin did not remove her gaze from the book this time; something on the page had caught her attention. "True and false, once a person dies, their devil fruit power eventually grows again, but there's a lesser known fact that some devil fruit powers can persist even after death, only growing once more when their effects wear off." His attention grabbed, the green haired swordsman raised one of his eyebrows and waited for the archeologist to continue. After reading the page of interest, Robin turned the book over and presented the page for Zoro to inspect. The swordsman walked over and leaned in to look at the page.
"It was more of a myth than anything else, but the rumored Jinsei Jinsei* no Mi was supposed to give the powers of animation. The last reported use of it was from the ruler of a civilization many thousands of years ago. According to the book, this fruit is one of the rare few that supposedly persist after death as long as the animated objects stay within a certain perimeter of the body."
Reading the pages but not making any sense of the words on the pages, Zoro stopped reading and stood up straight. "That's nice and all, but I think we would have seen a body if it was lying around somewhere in the tomb… wait!" Zoro's eyes widened as he mentioned the last word in his statement, tomb.
Robin wore the same amused expression as before. "That's right, Kenshi-san, that place was a tomb after all. It wasn't for any average person, either, most likely the leader of some long forgotten civilization."
Zoro began rubbing his chin in thought. "Where would he have been buried, then?" After a minute's silence, the answer appeared to the green haired swordsman and he snapped his fingers. "The altar! The ruler must have been buried at the altar, probably somewhere under the diamond. That would explain why the statues couldn't leave the room he was in."
Placing the book down and crossing her hands, the raven haired archeologist closed her eyes and interrupted the swordsman's train of thought. "All very good observations, but everything is merely conjecture. The only way to truly know is to go back there and see for ourselves. Still, I think it's safe to say we won't be seeing that power again anytime soon."
Opening her eyes and turning them to her companion, Robin smiled as he returned the gaze. "Well, if you'd excuse me, Kenshi-san, I think I'm going to follow your lead and get some much needed rest." Robin proceeded to close her book and carry it with her as she walked towards the women's quarters. Zoro found his gaze lingering on the raven haired archeologist longer than usual.
"Whatcha looking at, Zoro?" A mischievous voice rang out from behind the swordsman and he turned to see that it was none other than Nami. "You were looking at Robin, weren't you?"
As Zoro opened his mouth to defend himself, Nami interrupted him. "Don't lie; I've seen the way you two act around each other. What happened inside that tomb? Since you guys got out you two appear closer than ever."
His face starting to redden from irritation and embarrassment, Zoro swung his head to the side, avoiding Nami's accusing gaze. "Tch, nothing happened, really. All we did was get you that diamond and get out, nothing more. Speaking of the diamond, my debt is over with now, right?"
Placing her hands on her hips and leaning closer to the green haired swordsman, Nami decided she would let him get off the hook this time and let him change the subject. Not without a price, however. "Nothing happened, right. Anyways, I was going to let your debt slide, but since you caused incredible stress on my beautiful and delicate body with that little stunt of yours, I'm going to have to bring it back. I'd say the stress you exerted on me was worth, oh let's say, 100,000 Beli. That is, of course, unless you tell me right here and now you like Robin."
Zoro thought his head was going to explode from the ludicrous demand he had just heard from Nami. Shooting her a furious glare, Zoro spouted "What are you talking about?!? That was entirely that dumbass Luffy's fault! There's no way you can blame me for that!"
Not even flinching from Zoro's new assault, Nami brazenly smiled. "I can and I will, Zoro. All you have to do is admit what I already know and you can finally be debt free."
As their argument continued, Nami was amused at how Zoro continually avoided even acknowledging her request. His over reactive responses only furthered to confirm Nami's suspicions. Something was definitely up between the green haired swordsman and the raven haired archeologist.
*Jinsei = life in Japanese (I think, said it on google)
Ending note: I intended for this epilogue to be a little different and to tie in to my new story, but as I was writing it I realized what I had been writing would fit much better as the first chapter in the new story, so I wrote that one first, then this one. To burichifan, the request sounds interesting; I'll definitely take a shot at it. How long do you want it to be? The premise sounds like it would end in actual romance, so I can try to work with that kind of subject and we'll see where it takes us.