A/N: Surprised! An update~~ I'm not that confident about this chapter because of a certain cast, hope there's not much OOC, you can freely criticized me if there is, I accept any advices or corrections for the characters. And with that, I present the chapter :D
Players of Destiny
~ The Hoaxed Wedding ~
Introduction of an Ally or a Foe
A figure stepped out of the hall, her stiletto coming in contact with dried grass. The person climbed on top of a shallow cliff with measured steps, checking for a stable footing now and then.
She breathed in the night air, trying to relax her body and mind as she gazed on the dark-blue ocean ahead, which reflected the starry sapphire sky.
Her tactless groom, after some time, managed to free himself from his earlier predicament. When he came near her, he looked slightly puzzled of the reason for her –aggressive– action earlier that night, and she also noticed he seemed a tiny bit frightened of her. However, none of those things stop him from sitting down beside her at their table and continuously devoured the food that was served.
Afterwards, people constantly came to their table to extend their greetings and congratulations to the couple.
Her musing broke when a multitude of wind blew in her direction.
She took a deep breath, taking in the smell of the ocean.
She knew that during this time, leaving that guy alone could be crucial to someone in her position, he might accidentally slip and reveal that she was an imposter, and that could jeopardize everything.
Still, she needed to get away even for just a few minutes, talking and laughing with strangers together with her husband, who, by the way, also happened to be one, while pretending to be the happy bride was taking a toll on her mental state.
The lies would come out of her mouth and knowing the person whom was sitting beside you knows perfectly well that you are a liar, made it hard for her constantly to endure the pricking sensation of shame and guilt. The people that mostly took a hit on her conscience were meeting Luffy's caretakers named Dandan, Makino and a small village mayor called Woop Slap. After exchanging greetings and some conversation with them, she excused herself and went outside.
"You know Nami-san, a bride shouldn't be alone in a deserted place like this on her wedding day." A silken voice spoke from behind her.
Her muscles tensed but instantaneously loosen when she recognized the voice.
"It hasn't even been a day, and that person is already sending a spy to watch over me?" Nami turned around to look at the woman behind her.
The female with rose-colored hair wore a gentle smile on her face, although the sentiment didn't reach her grim cobalt eyes.
"The master is simply worried about you." The female continued, her black high-heeled boots crushing the grass beneath her when she walked up to stand beside Nami. Her midnight blue tube dress clung to her slim figure and swayed with the wind. She tucked her hair, which only reached past her shoulders, behind her ear.
"You meant worried that I'll fail together with his plan." Nami retorted in a low voice, her tone sounding bitter and her eyes stared fiercely at the ocean.
The woman remained quiet. She seemed contented with watching the waves.
Nami voiced her question when the person beside her continued her silence.
"I'm sure you're not simply sent here to check on my well being so stop delaying and tell me the real reason. Why are you here?"
The woman slid her gaze from the ocean, fixing her eyes on the bride,
"He… the master ordered to deliver this item to you."
Nami felt something hard and cold slipped into her hand and within seconds, her companion was gone.
A faint feminine voice whispered through the darkness, and she almost failed to hear it, if not for the quietness of the night.
…we are the same, so I do not wish to lose you my friend… be careful, may it be your husband or him. He has eyes everywhere, and he is wary… that someday you will betray him even if it means at the cost of the one you love…
Her breath hitched at the warning,
She chewed her lower lip.
'Sorry… I can't back out now. Things already began so I need to do this until the end.'
She squeezed her hand together with her mounting determination. The action made her remember the item in her hand that was given to her.
She lifted her fingers from her palm revealing a silver elegant pin in the form of a black rose. A small paper was attached to it with a handwritten message.
~A wedding present for you my dear.
Keep it always with you. ~
She stared at the object in puzzlement.
She examined it carefully and realized what it was.
'So they gave me a tracker, and I was hoping they forgot when they sent me here with nothing but a luggage full of my clothes.'
Her memory flash to the time she arrived at the island, before that event, she was in a room with a tall built man she saw for the first time. She was surprised when that person made a door appeared in thin air, and they made her go inside it. As soon as she stepped on the other side of the door, she was stunned to see a forest before her, a place that's only a few minutes' walk from the manor.
'But why? Why now? Why not give it to me before I arrived here? Unless... there's another purposed to this thing.'
She once again examined it carefully and no matter how many times she scrutinized the object only a tracker came to her mind.
She frowned, her confusion growing.
Sanji was once more with Bonney when one of the apprentice cooks came to him in panic,
"Che-chef!! Th-there's a skeleton rampaging through the food in our kitchen!"
At the mention of 'skeleton', he instantly knew who it was. His mood darkened with each passing second.
"Excuse me for a minute my princess~~, your knight shall be back."
He then proceeded to stomp towards the tent. Once he stood at the entrance, he grabbed the cloth and pulled it aside to reveal the kitchen.
His breath stopped at the site that greeted him. Spices and sauces were scattered everywhere, starting from the high cabinets and wood containers then down to the tables and finally to the wooden floor.
The delicacies he just finished preparing and had left laid on top of the table for it to cool off, now, each had a hand print revealing that the assailant tasted every piece.
By now, Sanji had become frantic and his breath was wheezing. He clutched his chest to ease the pain he was feeling in his heart. He slowly took a step forward. His eyes began to water, and yet, he refused to let the tears fall.
'My… my viand… each of them… ruined!!!' He thought in despair.
Subsequently, he heard noises that halted his mourning. He forced himself to look away from the dreadful sight and gazed at the source of the sound.
His eye sight landed on a very tall and slim figure that was approaching him. The pastry with icing that the thing was merrily stuffing in its mouth made him want to faint... BUT not before ripping out each bone of the skeleton apart and incinerate it in one of his ovens!
'My God!! Is that a piece of the wedding cake??!'
His irises followed the motion of the skeletal hand when the musician licked off the icing one by one off his bone fingers.
"Oohh~~ Chef-san! I must say, your food is simply to die for. Oh wait, I'm… already…" Brook halted his speech when he felt his afro hair sizzled from the heat.
The cook, who was burning with rage, leapt up in the air and proceeded to bend his right knee to the side,
And with all his strength, he kicked the skeleton's head towards the exit of the tent, which made the musician jetted out of the kitchen and landed on the marbled floor of the reception area.
"Oh my! Are you alright sir?"
Kaya promptly knelt and helped Brook up to stand on his feet.
"Ah~ Mademoiselle, we meet again~~ Your beauty truly is outstanding, which I'm sure the same goes for your underwear. Now that I have properly praised you, may I please see your panty?"
"Erm… I beg your pardon?" Kaya's pale feature possibly got paler. She was quite sure she misheard the gentleman in front of her because she just heard him asked such an inappropriate question.
However, Brook wasn't given a chance to speak again because Usopp, the childhood friend of the Maid of Honor happened to hear him and immediately appeared before him,
"Like hell you will!" the young man yelled, multiple veins popping up on his forehead.
As soon as the sniper finished his threat(?) he smacked his skull or was it kicked? He couldn't really tell because the force caused him to flip three hundred sixty degrees in the air—
'I really need to eat more and fill my stomach. I'm light as a feather.'
—which shook his brain and managed to stop it from working for a few seconds.
'…although, I don't have a stomach. I'm a skeleton. Yohohoho!'
A joke the musician thought up as he flew through the hall while his body spun around and round. He only halted when his body came crashing to one of the stone pillars, leaving an imprint of his face and body shape on the surfaced as he slowly slid down.
'Ah… this reminds me of a song that was popular a long time ago. I wonder, is this what the composer actually meant when he composed 'Love Hurts' because it always hurts every time I act upon my love for panties…' the panty maniac's melancholic thoughts just before he passed out.
The Bride & Groom's Table
Luffy sat on the newlywed's table and was currently trying to fit as much food as possible in his mouth.
"I'm in heaven. The food is so delicious, especially the meat!" He was beaming, a blissful expression on his face.
'No wonder so many people like getting married, not only do you have the unlimited amount of food given to you, but special meat and dessert are served only to the bride and groom! I can't believe Nami's missing this.'
He merrily grabbed several pork steaks covered in brown sauce and shoved it in his mouth.
The groom was having a great time.
He started chocking.
A bone from a fish or a chicken or a meat, he didn't know, but he knew that it got stuck down his throat, and he was now having trouble breathing and if the problem didn't get resolved soon he was alarmed that he might pass out.
'NO! There's still so much to eat, and I'm just warming up!' these were the young man's troubled thoughts.
He tried to swallow it, and that's when he felt that the bone had a sharp edge on it, and by forcefully swallowing the bone, it could cut and wound the inside of his throat.
'This is not good, if I cut my throat, how the heck would I eat?' With this problem weighing on his mind, Luffy didn't notice that his body was turning blue from lack of oxygen.
A hand grabbed hold of his throat and yanked the bone, which was a bone from a meat, out of his neck,
'Eh?? It felt like the bone just went through my throat or was it my neck that was split? I'm confused…'
His puzzlement was forgotten when he realized he could breathe again and turned to his savior,
"Hey, thanks a lot! I almost passed out, which would have been bad. I could have missed all the yummy stuff!"
His savior –a man who wore a furry white hat underneath it was a mass of dark hair– stared at him with unfathomable expression,
"I believe a person dying in this type of occasion for the reason his pharynx was clogged by a piece of a cow's lumbar vertebrae would have been bad."
Luffy pursed his lips to indicate he was thinking about what the man had said,
"Hmm… I don't think that's right. I'll be honest. You lost me with the rest of pharins stuff, but if a person died right now, it would not be bad, it would be horrible. The celebration would have been ruined."
He made hand gestures and explained it in a tone like he was talking to a child.
"... ... ..."
When the person remained silent, Luffy continued speaking,
"Hey, since you helped me. Why don't you sit down, there's a lot of food I'll give you some." He grinned, looking up at the man.
The raven haired offered a red cushioned chair decorated with ruffles, laces and roses designed specifically for the brides sit.
The stranger languidly settled his gaze on the chair,
"Your generosity is touching. I'm sure the wife will love that trait of yours, but I prefer to stand."
To prove his statement, he leaned his weight on one foot and casually crossed his arms on his chest. He indeed looked comfortable in his position.
"Besides, I'm only here to deliver a gift."
"Oh then you should ask Bon-can. He knows where the gifts are placed. I was told that rather than receiving the gifts at random times during the night and a chance of losing it, they set aside a spot where the gifts are placed, and it will be delivered to my home when the celebration is over."
Luffy surveyed the hall, looking for the okama.
"No, this needs to be delivered in person, which is why I'm here." He then tucked two of his finger inside the pocket of his navy blue coat and revealed a small rectangular box covered in a glossy black wrapping paper, and a simple gold ribbon was tied on it.
The man impassively presented the gift in front of the groom.
"Here you go. Don't lose it."
Luffy heard his tone to be casual, but he could pick up the underlying warning in the man's words.
Don't lose it.
His hand reached out and took the gift. He turned it over and under and even shook it near his ear to get a clue in what might be inside the wrapped package.
His curiosity of discovering what kind of item lay inside the small flat box heightened, and he started to tear the wrapping paper. However, a hand swiftly seized his wrist and pulled his hand away.
"I strongly suggest that you keep it for now and open it later."
The stranger had a composed grin on his face that contradicted the stern glint he saw in those gray eyes that made him heed the guy's advice.
'I don't feel any malice from him so the gift shouldn't be dangerous.' The groom stared at the black package on his left hand while the man let go of his right hand.
'I guess he's just really shy about his gift, even wanting to deliver it personally.'
"So can I get a hint on what this is?" Luffy spoke, placing the gift on top of his head and covering it with his straw hat.
"I believe it's a key."
"A key?" He asked, blinking in confusion.
"For what?" He questioned further, he showed signs of interest and mild excitement on his face.
'Could it be? It's a key to treasure box full of rare meat!'
The man grinned in a devious manner, and amusement could be heard from his voice.
"I will let you find the answer to that."
His reply seemed to satisfy Luffy because his eyes glowed with enthusiasm. The groom appeared to be having a blissful dream and drops of saliva came from his mouth.
"Oh and one more thing..."
The stranger nonchalantly reached behind the opening of his front coat and instantaneously stabbed Luffy's hand with a thick needle of a syringed that caused the young man to yelp, and thus, ending his daydream.
Luffy stared with absolute disbelief on his face. His tongue hissed like a snake out of his mouth when he yelled his question,
"Why did you do that??" He complained. His other hand cradled his injured one.
His savior merely gave a canny smile in response and simply stated,
"Because you only have value to me when you're alive and that's my present."
"What??? Your gift was to stab me with a needle? And I thought the box hidden on top of my head was your gift."
"No, it's not."
He waited, but the man offered no further explanation beyond the fact that the black box sitting on Luffy's head wasn't a gift from him.
Luffy's eyes slowly slanted towards the man and dawned on a lazy look,
'Why do I feel like I'm attracting crazy people today?'
His mind conjured up an image of Nami, what woman in her right mind would crash a wedding and marries a stranger if she's not crazy? And then there's this guy, who was standing in front of him, only an insane person would randomly stab someone in order to keep that person alive as a given reason.
"Well I don't know where you got the idea that I'm dying..."
"But I plan to stay alive." He paused, looking straight to the stranger's eyes.
"For a long time." He emphasized. He wanted his point to get across.
He recalled that the first topic of conversation he had with the guy was about someone dying and now their topic was again brought back to death.
'I hope that's good enough for an insane person obsessed with deaths to understand that I'm not dying.'
His dreams of meat and dealing with crazy people made him craved for food, he picked up multiple steak on a plate laid before him and resumed eating.
"That's nice." The stranger replied while he slipped his hand inside his coat and hanged the syringed back on its hiding spot.
"Nevertheless, I always like to take secondary precaution." He continued, his full attention going back to the groom once the syringed was safely secured.
"... ... ..."
Feeling his senses tingling, Luffy glanced away from his food and saw his saviors penetrating gazed settled on him.
"Huh? Oh! Sorry, did you say something? I wasn't listening to you anymore. I was eating." He bluntly stated like his reason was enough to excuse his rudeness.
"... ... ..."
The man's face remained stoic, although, his eyes appeared to have narrowed a bit and some beads of sweat could be seen on his forehead.
"And since you helped me earlier I'm not mad." Luffy explained while he tried to keep the large amount of food he swallowed from spilling out by using both his hands to cover his mouth.
"Just don't do it again. Okay." He managed to give him a full grin despite his mouth filled of food.
"I don't plan to." The guy readily answered, not at all affected by Luffy's lacked of manners.
'Unless something else comes up.' The man thought, and he swiftly let his gaze traveled to the person approaching them.
"Luffy, who are you talking to?"
The groom turned and saw the bride approaching their table.
"This is... oh yeah, what's your name?" Luffy turned his curious gazed upon the stranger.
"Just call me Trafalgar." The stranger's eyesight never left the bride when he spotted her.
"Okay, this is Truffle Guy."
Nami visibly smirked at his introduction while Trafalgar as usual appeared unaffected.
"By the way, I'm…"
"Mr. Monkey D. Luffy & Miss Nami."
"Oh. How do you know?"
He broke his eye contact with the bride and faced the groom.
"A good guess. The bride and groom's name were sprawled on posters, pastries and cards scattered all over the place. And I guess that you must be the bride and groom."
"Right." Nami muttered, her tone laced with sarcasm.
"Yeah... Gramps overdid it with those stuff..." He appeared disheartened for a second and then recovered immediately by turning back his full attention to the feast on the table and gladly continued eating.
Nami narrowed her eyes on the man and heatedly whispered to him,
"Traf, why are you here?"
Trafalgar gave a devious smile to her,
"Since I'm considered a guest, obviously I'm here to join the celebration of the bond of two people becoming one."
His smile widening into a smirk,
"And from the commotion earlier, I heard the bride can't wait to practice in literal the becoming one part." He finished in a smug tone.
Nami gasped, the shocked and embarrassment prevented her from forming a proper retort to the…
'Goateed jerk ass!' she thought in dislike.
"Well, it was a pleasure." He casually bowed his head to the two, then straightened up and turned away from the table.
"Best of luck to both of you." He waved his two fingers in the air like a saluting gesture as he walked away.
Nami glared at his back the whole time.
Luffy smiled and waved a good-bye to his new... acquaintance?... Friend? or... ?
"So you finally got it out huh?" The raven haired stated when Trafalgar was out of their sight.
"What do you mean?" The girl's ire diminished when she heard Luffy's inquiry.
"Well you were gone a long time, so I thought you were having trouble pooping out your poop."
And in a matter of milliseconds her ire was back again, only this time it was doubled and was quickly escalating to rage.
She hurriedly checked her surrounding and noted that none of the guests were near enough to hear what was said.
Base on experience she knew if she didn't shut the guy up this could lead to another embarrassing event of her life. And with that decision in mind, she took the course of action that would prevent it.
She picked up one of the small pieces of meat delicacies and with flat out no effort of gentleness, she stuffed it in his mouth.
"Honey~~ just stop talking and eat, or I swear I'll nail you back into that pillar!" She spoke in a sweet voice, and a charming smile adorned her face, but the dangerously wicked light in her eyes clearly implied that she intended to carry out her threat.
Luffy gulped down the meat she just gave him and cautiously nodded his head. He slowly turned back to his meal and grabbed a handful of food that he speedily put inside his mouth.
His wary eyes did glance towards her every now and then.
Trafalgar Law traversed the forest beyond the reception hall. He was satisfied that the first phased of the plan had gone smoothly,
"Well Ms. Cat Thief, I underestimated you. I thought you were only interested in stealing gold and jewelries, but it seems you expanded your horizon by your latest conquest, stealing the identity of the bride." A smirk played on his lips.
Your feedbacks are appreciated~~
Disclaimer Notice: Aria Yakushi does not belong to me and was created by Oxenstierna D. Yuki-Rin's imaginative mind. She generously volunteered her OC from One Piece: Parallel Works. Remember Yuki-Rin-san, you've volunteered this beauty for me to use, she's in my story now and I can do whatever I want with her. kekekeke!
A/N: Thank you so much for reading my story :D