Finding One's Self
Disclaimer; I don't own Naruto or One Piece
Challenge; Thanathos's 'A New World' challenge
God has taken my eyes, to blind me from that which is hideous;
He has taken my ears, to drown out the screaming;
He has taken my legs, to stop my world from quaking;
He has taken my soul, to stop my heart from breaking.
I never wanted to be a hero.
All I wanted was too live in a world free from disappointment. With my powers, that could be possible. I could live, eternally, in a perfect world. But I was betrayed- those I trusted were planning on stabbing me in the back. So I killed them, and took their hearts.
People don't make the world go round- money does. It may not be the perfect philosophy, but I survived for over a hundred years following it. Like I said- I never wanted to be a hero. Anyone who got close to me would usually end up dead by my hand- I have next to no patience. Killing has become my forte, and so it shall always be, in this world and the next. Living as a bounty hunter does not earn the money to sustain an ideal world however. But working for a criminal organisation specialising in misdeeds? That can have some benefits.
In no time at all, I was scouted by a prestigious criminal organisation and granted the position of treasurer. But old habits die hard, and I ended up killing most of my partners. Until they gave me an immortal pagan who couldn't die no matter how much I cut him. My path was set. By doing wrong, I was doing myself right. Egoism is pure bliss.
I never wanted to be a hero.
"Salt…" murmured a deep, throaty voice. A man lay face down on the beach, half his face buried in sand. His hair was a dark brown, shoulder-length and unkempt, like a lion's mane. Stitches covered his body over every nook and cranny, like he was the reincarnation of Frankenstein's-Monster. If not for that, four masks were stitched onto his back, red sores encircling them showing the painful process it must have been to have them installed. He lay there, naked on the beach. With a loud grunt, he pushed himself up and surveyed his surroundings with cool sea-green eyes, turned malevolent by the crimson Scylla. Finally stretching to his full-height, he gave his body a test stretch before flexing each finger, testing out the nerves of his body. He was indeed on a beach, of a small island by the looks of it, unlike anything he'd seen before in the elemental nations. "Where… Am I?" he murmured, a fleeting moment of uncertainty in his usually stoic voice.
The salty water ebbed up to his feet, licking his heels. A sharp cold suddenly met his foot, causing him to look down. There, buried in the sand, was the Takigakaru head-band, a large slash courtesy of a kunai through its centre, marking him as a missing-nin. Growling; he bent down and picked it up, tying it around his neck before turning his attention to his lack of clothes. "Why am I still alive…?" he muttered. It was almost like he was still there- in that barren wasteland, left with no hearts, his chakra system decimated by that monstrous technique the Kyuubi-Jinchuriki used, squaring off with an elite Konoha jonin. The man had been merciful and ended his life with a swift lightning element technique- it was much more than he really deserved… And after all that, he thought he'd finally be able to rest in godforsaken oblivion… He grit his fists tightly, drawing blood, before roaring like a mountain lion, the echo carrying for miles around. "WHY DO I LIVE?" he cried, his mouth gaping unnaturally far, stretching the stitches which held its sides together to their fullest.
After a moment of screaming in frustration and confusion, he collapsed to his knees, blood leaking from his clawed palms. "I have my hearts. I have my strength. My life… was not a dream. I died!" Lifting a hand up to his temple, he massaged it, trying to recall anything else
"Why am I still alive?"
"We have returned you to the living."
"Take these hearts as sacrifice."
"You have served your purpose… Kamui!"
"Words are meaningless…" he croaked, voice parched and rasping. Silently, he began to shuffle across the sand, dragging his feet behind him. Though the rocks bit his skin and the air froze his body, and the legs fell into automatic – causing him to amble aimlessly forwards, heedless of where his footsteps would take him. And yet all the while his mind was calculating – trying to figure out what had happened and how he'd ended up in this mad situation; naked and stranded on the beach with all his hearts fully recovered. For a few moments, he began to doubt his own existence, only recovering when he tried to bring his own words into his mind, "Even hell runs on money," "Start training your mind, instead of your body, Hidan." "Keep talking and I will kill you." "Hidan, anyone with a brain would know the worldrevolves around money."
Stopping suddenly, he snaked a long tongue out his mouth before licking a small part of his lips, the rest blocked due to the threads. His tongue was dry. Blind to the world around him, his slow crawl continued. Voices- shouting. Silhouette's came into view, holding long, spear-like weapons, or small cylinder shaped objects. One voice seemed to address him directly. "You! Who are you?"
Pausing, he got to his full height and grunted in his usual stoic voice, "I am Kakuzu."
They continued to speak, only a few of their words meeting his ears. "Market…" "Slaves…" "Fetch a lot of Beli, this one…"
Green eyes widened in their sockets. Beli; that must have been the currency of this strange place. Judging by what he heard, they were slave traders, about to take him to the market to sell. For the first time in what seemed like a millennia, a small smile crept onto Kakuzu's stitched lips.
Like Kakuzu expected, he was bound in shackles and led, at spear point, towards a large dome shaped building where he was shoved violently against the wall. "Nice catch…" muttered the lead captor, a short fellow with grimy blonde hair and a stocky build, displaying more chins than Kakuzu could count. He glanced at the dark-skinned giantand snorted. "What's up with this one? He's naked!"
"We found him that way sir: he was just wandering down the road when we found him."
'Bulky' snorted. "Well, he looks big and strong. He'll fetch a fair few on the market. Did I tell you?" he grinned slyly. "We've got some special guests coming today. All the way from the holy land of Mariejois- a genuine Saintly Tenryubito!" chuckling smugly, he continued, "He's touring all of South Blue's dealers apparently – bored on the pirates that haunt the Grand Line I wager – and is on his way to buy up some real slaves!" A short, stumpy hand swept out to the few dozen people who crouched in the dungeon-like room. "These deadbeats are docile to boot – they won't run. South Blue's as cowardly as it gets. Heh, look: some are too scared to look at me right now-"
A dark, loud chuckle stopped his rant. Kakuzu was shaking with mirth, his stitched lips quaking with laughter. "W-what do you find so funny, you useless slave?" yelled 'Bulky'. "Why are you laughing?"
Kakuzu's laughter died down slowly, before he met the eyes of his 'captor'. "How much?"
The slave trader was taken aback, "E-Excuse me?" All the other slaves were staring at him in amazement.
"If I were to kill one of these 'Tenryuubito'… How much would its head be worth?" even spoken in that jovial tone, his dark and low-pitched voice made his statement quite grave. Like a rising storm, he got to his feet, staring down at the short man, his stitched grin sending chills down the man's spine. "…It's time to get started."
EDIT: Fixed some continuity errors I missed out when chapter 2 was published, and improved the layout and grammar a little. Changed some of the dialogue to hopefully make it a bit more natural.