I don't own Naruto or One Piece. You know this by now and who told you otherwise is...well either a great admirer or crazy. Eh, so long as they aren't stalker crazy I'll be fine.
I fought Hachi next, he was pissed that I killed Chu and Kuroobi. I can understand why, but they fought me first. Chu fired the first bullet...metaphorically speaking of course. Kuroobi practiced the same type of fighting style that I do, he knew what that meant if he fought against me.
In a fight sometimes people die, that's how it goes. I wouldn't expect anything less from anyone else if they came after me with the intent to kill.
Though I will admit I have never fought a person with six swords before. That was honestly terrifying, I'm not a swordsman, or an "axeman". I fight with every part of my body, weapon fighting is only second nature, and firearms are non-existent, I only know that you do not point the barrel at yourself and that is it.
The fight was touch and go, he nearly blinded me with ink, and would have cleaved me to pieces with his Six-Sword Style Ultimate Technique: Six-Sword Waltz but Saibannin Kayiouumi's blade was sharp and its weight shattered the swords. That is what I believe, otherwise I used up so much luck for the year. I then gave him a wicked uppercut that sent him flying into the ocean. I honestly have no idea if he lived from that or not, I hope he did though, he seemed to cut from a different cloth than the rest.
That just left Arlong and me. He was furious, I killed his entire crew after all. He used his Shark on Darts attack, attempting to drill me with his indestructible nose. I barely managed to get out of the way in time, he was faster than I thought he was. The second time he gave me a small cut on the side, I kept pissing him off with my trash talk.
I pissed him enough for him to pull an actual gun on me. And remembering Nojiko's story how her mother was shot in the head right in front of her, I punched him with all my might right in his face. His teeth shattered and he went flying into his building. I crushed that gun with my own hand in disgust and told him he was lower than scum. To the Tenryubito's level, that was just a punch to the gut towards him.
He attacked me with Kiribachi (Saw Shark), I defended with Saibannin Kayiouumi. It held up against the weapon, Arlong cut into the side of it a little bit. I had to let go of the weapon and shoulder tackled him into the building. We traded blows, and I bit off the sun tattoo on his chest. Ugh the things I do to win, his blood tasted nasty.
Arlong pulled out his teeth twice for his Gum Tooth attack. He attacked me with them, taking out furniture and walls, I flew over the bar and began throwing bottles of alcohol at him. I missed many times, but as he got closer I hit him in the stomach, right leg, his left arm and on his nose once. But he grabbed me with his left hand (after losing his weapon via bottle) he clamped my right side with his teeth.
That hurt. That hurt a lot. I honestly do not know how to describe the pain I felt. It was like getting stabbed with the same weapon multiple times in one second. I nearly blacked out. Unlucky for Arlong I had a bottle in my hand. I smashed the wine bottle into the right side of his head, I took out his eye, then I stabbed the long neck of the bottle into his neck. It went through his gills and pierced where his internal cartoid artery was.
That weakened him. He lost much more blood than I did, and when his grip slackened I pried myself free and then punched him right in the belly with my Thousand Tile Shatter Fist technique. If Kuroobi's One-thousand Tile Punch was an instant kill technique, then mine was the improved version of it. I felt his organs turning to mush, his entire ribcage shattering like glass, and I felt a great amount of satisfaction when he flew out of the building.
I'll say one thing though. Us fishmen are a tough bunch and Arlong is no exception. After all that punishment he was still alive. I tried to give some sort of awesome, yet solemn closing speech, but he called me a no-name bastard child...I will admit I overreacted a bit by...tapping into Sea King Mode, pulling the entire building from its foundations and dropping it right on Arlong.
Don't you judge me. That was quite possibly the best finisher to date.
But then I guess you can say I worked my way to infamy after waking up. I heard some human named Nezumi, a Marine Captain of Unit Sixteen declaring to take every bit of treasure. I also heard the cocking of guns. And by now you all know I hate firearms, I burst from the rubble and latched my right hand onto his entire head.
I tapped into Sea King Mode out of reflex, the water came to my bidding and my Water Fang Bullet technique formed. I pierced thirty Marines right through their chests (Though apparently their Cabin Boy fainted, didn't know this until later). Nezumi pissed himself, he pleaded for his life claiming he had a family. I crushed his skull with my hand and spat on his corpse.
Then after some denial to get some medical treatment I learned that my way home was broken. Arlong destroyed my Eternal Log Pose with his attack that pierced my side. I was super pissed off, defiled his corpse with a dozen vicious kicks, swore my head off to the point every woman in the vicinity blushed scarlet, then took his head off with Saibannin Kayiouumi for proof of death along with Kiribachi because...I wanted it. Hey I was not going to leave such a giant sword where it would not be admired. I was going to mount it on my wall in my room as a trophy dammit!
After that...well I got a roll of gauze from the local doctor, painkillers, some disinfectant, antibiotics after denying that I really needed em. More or less told Luffy to screw off when he asked me to join his crew and departed.
Two days later I met the first person who would join me in this adventure of mine...and what a hell of a first meeting it was.
"So what's the plan Naruto?" Gin asked.
The four of them were settled in Naruto's guest room for the time being, no one really slept well that night with the impending war looming over their heads. Not even the cool posh rooms or the baths to rid them of the sand could calm their nerves.
"The plan is that everything is completely screwed. Cobra has no choice but to fight for his life, the Rebel Army is going to come for blood. We are going to have to fight to save lives, not take them." Naruto replied with a frown on his face.
"How is that going to happen? I mean there is two million people against four-hundred thousand?" Shizune said.
"It is not going to be easy." Naruto admitted. "Actually it might get all of us killed, but I want you all to fight to incapacitate. Kill if necessary, and I mean only if you have no choice in the matter."
"What if we find any Baroque Works members?" Bashura asked.
"Kill the fuck out of them. I do not care how you do it, but try to make sure that no one else sees it." The blonde replied before pulling out his lighter showing the Baroque Works Jolly Roger. "If they have this mark on them, do not hesitate."
"What about Kotetsu and everyone else?" Gin asked. Pulling out his flintlock .44 six shot revolver, clicking it open he blew into the cylinder and clicked it back shut. He would have to wait to use it for another time, unless he was lucky enough to encounter some unfortunate bastard that deserved a good shooting.
"I don't know where they are, but if you see them, tell them what I told you." Naruto said before getting to his feet. Lightly cracking his neck he reached behind his back and made sure Saibannin Kayiouumi was secured on his vest. "Look I know I haven't been...well the best person regarding all of you and...well."
"You're not really good at his are you Cap'n?" Bashura teasingly asked.
Ignoring Gin's chuckling and Shizune covering her mouth, Naruto continued what he hoped would be some sort of inspiring speech. "Yea, I suck at this. And truth be told I really don't deserve to be the one to say anything. I've had bad experiences with humans, I thought the lot of you were nothing more than a bunch of pricks. But after traveling with you guys for two months...well as much as I hate to admit it, you all have grown on me. And I want you guys to make it through this. I honestly mean that."
"Hpmh, I feel all warm and tingly inside." Gin said before standing up. Pulling out his tonfas he twirled them three times before cracking his neck. "Thanks Naruto, you've given me a second chance. Krieg woulda just thrown me overboard. You got my loyalty until the end."
Bashura stood up next and cracked his knuckles. "So am I Cap'n. You're more honorable than Kuro, more angry yes, but you know right from wrong. I'll be here until my body breaks."
Shizune stood last, this felt silly to her like she was with a bunch of jackasses standing in a circle. But Naruto had that effect on people. "I will also take care of you all until I run out of medical supplies, and even then none of you will die under my watch. This I swear on my oath as a doctor."
"All right then." Forming his hands into fists Naruto turned towards the door of his bedroom. "Lets go to work."
(Alubarna – 10am)
The first shots of the war started at ten am. Cannon fire erupted from the Rebel Army and impacted the walls. The Royal Army returned fire with equal force. For thirty minutes both sides fired at each other until a lucky strike crumbled the walls surrounding the eastern side of the city.
Then all hell broke loose. A swarm of enraged men and women entered through the breach, and like Cobra feared, someone on the inside opened the gates to the southern side, allowing more people to plow through and fill the streets of Alubarna.
That was where Naruto and everyone else was waiting for them. They split into pairs in order to combat the invading force.
A group of rebels made their way through an alleyway, each and everyone holding either bludgeoning or hacking weapons. They were chasing some hapless soldiers until they reached a dead end, the three men had by now given up hope that they would make it out alive and just fell to their knees and prayed their deaths would be swift.
Two ceramic balls fell from the roof and impacted on the heads of the rebels. They broke easily, and the entire alleyway was filled with blue gas. Everyone breathed in the fumes and began hacking and many collapsing. They feared that they would never awaken from their slumber.
Shizune stood one one of the roofs watching rebel and royal soldier alike fall to her poison. She had a small smile on her face though, her newest poison was a great success. The knockout gas would last for roughly six to seven hours, and they would wake up well rested and hopefully clearheaded.
"Rest well boys, I got a lot of poison ready for all of you." She said, lightly rolling the ceramic balls in her dainty right hand.
"And here I thought you couldn't create a bunch of non-lethal poison." Gin remarked.
"Not to knock out an entire army Gin, I managed to mix up a batch last night but they are limited in number. And not my best work either." Shizune replied with a light huff.
"You think that was a little too cruel? I mean they'll have a hell of a cramp if they sleep like that." Gin said, looking at the odd positions everyone was tangled in.
"A cramp is the least of their worries." Shizune replied before spotting another large group of rebels. Taking aim she threw two ceramic balls that struck the wall around the group and they too were enveloped in a cloud of blue smoke and many fell unconscious, those who took a small whiff would meet the same fate in five minutes or so. "Shouldn't you be out there cracking skulls?"
"I will be down there in a minute. Non-lethal, that is not my area of expertise." He admitted before grasping both his tonfas. "A lot of these guys will have a lot of broken bones by the end of the day."
"Bones can heal Gin. Being dead is something you cannot heal from."
"Fair point. Keep to the rooftops, yell if you need anything." He said before jumping off the roof and began sprinting towards the south.
"I just hope I have enough knock out bombs." Shizune said, running her hands through her hair. "This is going to be a long day."
Back with Gin he sprinted through the various alleys. He had not sighted anyone just yet but he could feel it in his gut. The smell of gunpowder in the air got his adrenaline pumping, and a a feral smile came to his face in anticipation.
He finally found it when he saw a group of rebels fighting against a group of soldiers. "Heads up boys!" He cried out before jumping through the air and kicking one of the rebels right in the face. Using his body as a surfboard he used to slide past the men and women, smacking each of them with his tonfa's, leaving each of them squealing in pain as they fell to the ground clutching their arms or legs.
"Thank you friend. It was touch and go for a minute." The lead soldier thanked Gin before upholstering his flintlock pistol and pointed it at the first downed rebel. "We'll take it from here."
"You're going to shoot a helpless person?" Gin demanded.
Cocking the hammer back, the lead soldier nodded. "Can't be helped, they're traitors to the country and must be dealt with extreme force."
"Sorry pal, not going to happen." Spinning the tonfa in his right hand, Gin let it loose and struck the lead soldier in the chest. As the man flew back, shock clearly written on his face, the First Mate quickly pulled out his flintlock .44 six shot revolver, cocked the hammer back with his thumb and fired five bullets, each impacting the opposing soldiers with in the legs, sending them screaming to the ground.
"Traitor!" One of the soldiers screamed out as he clutched this wounded thigh.
"I was never on your side asshole." Gin said before knocking him on the head with the butt of his pistol. "I'm on my own side, and Uzumaki said to spare you all as much as possible." He continued before knocking a second soldier out with a boot to the head.
A clicking sound was his only warning before Gin barely managed to duck as a bullet missed his head by an inch. He then unloaded his last bullet into the forehead of a rebel popped from the corner of a building.
"Shit...shit!" He cursed out before checking on the downed guy. He was dead, his brains were plastered on the wall behind him. Gin patted him down for any set of identification, but instead he found a tattoo that Naruto showed him hours earlier on his right arm. Suddenly his panicking faded. "Asshole."
"You...you killed him!" A feminine voice broke him out of his thoughts. She was a skinny woman with red makeup on her cheeks and short black hair. She wore a long pink dress, that had purple stripes around the waist, and the kanji for sand on her stomach area. She also wore a white hat, and carried a large sword on her back.
Next to her was Farafra wielding a large bazooka on his shoulder, and the both of them were surrounded by fifteen other rebels. All of them weren't happy with what he just saw, the murder and looting of their comrade.
"Umm I can explain everything..." Gin lightly raised his hands as if to surrender. He had a blank look on his face, there was no way they were going to believe him. "He was not a rebel, he was an asshole who infiltrated your group."
He only got a volley of guns aimed at him.
"Yea, I would never believe that either." The First Mate deadpanned. He was fully prepared to either get hit by a bunch of bullets, or run to the side to get some cover, reload and fight. What he did not expect was was for a ceramic ball to hit Farafra in the face. All within the group inhaled the gas, Gin wisely covered his nose and mouth and backed twenty-five feet away.
"Warn me next time you're throwing something in my direction!" Gin shouted towards the rooftops where he saw the smirking woman.
"I would have, but I wouldn't have hit them!" Shizune cheekily replied.
Remembering he said the same thing days ago in the desert, Gin only chuckled at how the tables had turned. When the cloud of knock out gas dispersed he made his way towards the unconscious group of rebels and liberated Farafra's bazooka from him.
"Oh baby you and I were meant to be." He said to the giant explosive weapon. He would have taken the one he had earlier in the desert when he blew those Baroque Works millions agents sky high, but he couldn't due to them traveling in the desert. It would have weighed him down, and became useless if he tried to use it due to all the sand.
Not now though, Gin got himself a new toy to play with.
Shizune thought it was weird he was going gaga over a gun. It must have been a guy thing.
(Alubarna, 12:00pm – With Naruto and Bashura)
"What a major shit show." Naruto said, looking down at the chaos in the streets. Like both Shizune and Gin both him and Bashura were standing upon one of the many roofs of Alubarna. The blonde tiger shark fishman looked on in disgust seeing everyone fighting to the death over Crocodile's scheme.
"It will all end today, won't it Cap'n?" Bashura asked.
"If we win it will, if we don't then Crocodile will do much more damage than good. All we gotta do is try to save as many as we can. Then when Crocodile shows himself we finish him off for good."
"What if we aren't the ones to do him in?"
"Then that is fine by me. So long as this ends." Naruto said before looking towards the palace. "Where do you want to go?"
"I'll take the east, no one will get by me." Bashura resolutely said before picking up his harpoon. "You can count on me Cap'n." He then leaped off the roof and hurled himself into the street.
The Cat man of the Ocean Sword Pirates abrupt entrance stopped the fighting. Who could blame them? It was not everyday someone saw an eight foot tall man with tattoos covering his entire body and a top hat.
Stabbing the head of his harpoon into the ground, Bashura held open his arms and held his head up high. "I am Bashura of Rai Island, Navigator of the Ocean Sword Pirates. On the order of my Captain no one shall pass this point!"
"Says who?" One of the rebels demanded.
"Says me! Buffalo Horns!" Throwing his arms out and bending them at a ninety degree angle, making his arms resemble a pair of buffalo horns, and to the surprise of many he transformed into his half panther form. He exploded forwards with alarming speed, lowered his body until he was level with his opponents and smashed biceps into the chests of his opponents.
His opponents lurched backwards, air exhaled from their lungs from the amount of force that was slammed into them. The bodies soon piled up until there were twenty-five people on each arm that he then flung to the sides like rag dolls.
Howling like a panther he then flipped backwards several times before jumping high into the air. Extending his arms outwards and clutching his hands together he began rotating in the air before slamming his fists into the ground, creating a tremor that made dozens lose their balance. "Liger Smash!"
Slowly getting to his feet, Bashura cracked his knuckles, his yellow eyes flashing dangerously. "Come on now, don't keep me waiting."
(With Naruto – 3:00 pm)
"How boring." Naruto groused out.
Not too long after Bashura leaped away to cause some chaos and confusion, the blonde tiger shark fishman joined the fray by being the guard for the northern sector. Already three-hundred rebels armed to the teeth with guns, bombs, swords, clubs and knives lay defeated on the streets with massive bruises or broken bones. Among the unconscious bodies of the rebels were thirty members of the Royal Army as well, all who tried killing the so-called traitors of the country.
Naruto dealt with them with the same brutal efficiency that rendered them unconscious as well. Many of then would be pissed off when they woke up, and a good few would require months of healing, but they would live to see another day. If they were still pissy about it, well Naruto really didn't care, he was going to be far away from the country as possible.
Hearing the clicking of guns once again, the blonde bordly turned towards another group of rebels. There were over fifty of them that he could see, many of them were dirty, tired, and some bloody. Pulling Saibannin Kayiouumi from the back of his vest he tightly gripped the handle with his right, and gripped the ball and chain with his left. "I'm going to give you all once chance to put down you weapons and walk away. If you fail to do this, you will wind up like everyone here."
"Sorry pal, we got our orders. Cobra needs to pay for what he's done." Erik said, clutching his sword with tight unease.
Holding a double-barreled shotgun in his hands, Kebi narrowed his eyes at Naruto. "Let us through man. We don't want to hurt you."
"Yea..." Dully Naruto gestured towards the three-hundred unconscious rebel bodes. "That's what they said. Some just shot first and asked questions later."
"You're going to regret this." Kebi warned the fishman.
"I'm sorry, but I cannot let you do that." A familiar voice alerted Naruto's senses. "Mirage Sword Style: Moon's Gentle Touch!" Before anyone knew what hit them, the fifty odd rebel soldiers were struck from behind by an attack that floored each and every one of them. And in front of the line stood Kotetsu with both his swords drawn. "Uzumaki." He greeted his Captain.
"Now what are you doing here?" Naruto plainly asked the swordsman of his crew.
"Shit happened in Nanohana and everyone got caught up in the Rebel Army. So here we are now." Kotetsu replied.
"Kotetsu...you traitor!" Erik coughed out. He tried to move his body but the cuts on his arms opened, causing him to fall back on his face. "I trusted you...Kohza trusted you!"
"Sorry but...I was not loyal to you guys. I'm actually with him." He thumbed towards his Captain. "As for Kohza, I honestly hate to say you chose poorly. Also please don't move, you'll bleed out."
"Bastard!" Kebi spat, he tried to move, but like with Erik his own wounds opened up and he collapsed.
Kotetsu only glared at them. "Shut up, if you move again I will kick each of you in the head to prevent you from dying."
"Easy there Kotetsu, there is no need to kick them while they are already down." Naruto said before turning his head to view the entire area. "Hey where's Carmen and Goldenweek?"
(With Carmen and Miss Goldenweek)
Sitting on one of the buildings on the southern end of the city, Carmen was smiling as she looked down at the chaos. Sipping from her glass of red wine that was "found" in one of the restaurants, she honestly couldn't help but find an odd enjoyment to what Miss Goldenweek was doing to Rebel Army and Royal Army alike.
"What in the world is going on?! Stop attacking me!" Cried out one of the rebel fighters. He was parrying sword strike after sword strike from his friend of twenty years.
"I'm sorry! I can't!" Cried the other man as he struck his swords friend with his own. He wasn't the only one who was doing this, one-hundred plus others had also fallen prey to what was forcing them to attack their friends.
It happened when they all crossed a thick wet black paint line. It stained the bottom of their footwear but thought nothing of it, and now they were attacking their friends like they were the enemies.
Off to the left side a pair of royal soldiers were faring no better, they were curled on the ground with yellow paint on various parts of their bodies. Instead of attacking they were laughing uncontrollably to the point they urinated themselves.
Further away men and women with grey paint were slouched over with what looked like storm clouds hanging over their heads, muttering odd and strange things in a very depressive manner.
"Pink of Joy!" That voice, that horrid voice! Rebels and royal soldiers alike had by now forgotten to fight each other in order to combat this newest threat. Many of them screamed like little girls when the sight of a girl no bigger than five feet in height with manic-looking black eyes and a very creepy smile appeared in front of them like a flash of light. In her hands was a paintbrush and pallet with pink blobbed on the end of the brush.
One of the royal soldiers looked down to see that his dragon-pattern armor had an odd pink symbol on his chest area. It caused him overwhelming fear knowing that he could have easily been stabbed and never knew about it until his soul left his body.
But then he felt joy, overwhelming joy. Dropping his weapons he looked to the sky and sighed. "It sure is a lovely day."
"I agree." A rebel dropped his own weapon and peered at the sky as well. "Not a cloud in the sky, it's hot and dusty but I am happy to be alive."
"Same here!" Exclaimed another rebel as she too dropped her weapons. "Everyone lets not waste this day, today we go off and enjoy life!"
"Lady I like the way you think!" Said another royal soldier.
Then to the astonishment of many, every man and woman, rebel and royal soldier alike held hands and began skipping to the west side of the city singing about how much of a lovely day it was.
Not even Carmen saw that one coming. She couldn't help but hold her sides laughing as sixty people literally skipped away from the battle.
Miss Goldenweek's fun however came to an end when a giant tornado erupted in the middle of the fight knocking aside rebel and soldier alike like rag dolls. Those that were fighting each other were knocked unconscious when they hit the stone walls, the same went for those who were laughing.
The person who caused it was a woman with teal eyes and sandy blonde hair, which she gathered into four consecutive pigtails. Her attire was rather unusual, consisting of a black kimono that reached down to her legs, with slits along the side and a rather revealing neckline. She wore a red sash tied around her waist, and fingerless black gloves on her hands along with black sandals. However on her forearms and shins were dragon-pattern armor, and in her outstretched hands was a giant metal war fan with three purple circles along its metal body.
"Geeze Temari, overkill much." Kankuro dryly said to his older sister as he, and a squad of two-hundred guards appeared at her back.
"Shut it Kankuro, we're at war here. And If our men are attacking each other then they are useless to us." Temari said before folding her fan closed to make it look like a gigantic staff. She then turned to see the jittery Miss Goldenweek practically vibrating through the ground in front of them. "So this is the cause of all this mischief?"
"Looks like it. What do you want to do?" Kankuro asked.
"We deal with her, that's what I want to do."
"Oh no, there goes my tanning session." Carmen lightly sighed before downing the last of her wine. Producing her own fans and snapping them open she moved to join what she knew would be a terrible battle that would not only mess up her hair, but probably battered and bloody as well. How joyous.
"I'm sure they're fine." Kotetsu lamely said.
"I do have full confidence in their abilities." Well more or less, Miss Goldenweek was scary in her own right if she ever got motivated to do...well anything. And Carmen was not weak in her own right, she was a fiery little lady. "So I assume you know what to do?"
"Actually I don't, I've been riding by the seat of my pants since Nanohana. What am I supposed to do?"
"Something you've been trying to do since we met. Fight anyone who tries to storm the castle and try to not kill them. Baroque Works agents however are fair game."
"All right, I can do that." Twirling his blades in his hands Kotetsu steeling his eyes towards the southern east side. "And what are you going to do?"
"Cause some chaos, injure some people, you know the usual." Naruto lightly replied before turning tail and running toward the northern part of the city.
"Yep, just the usual day for you."
Unfortunately for the two of them, neither saw a very suspicious hand and arm sticking out of a wall, nor did they see an eyeball sticking out of the palm, and an ear sticking out of of another wall across from them. Miss All-Sunday frowned from her position and decided that it was time to put her own plan into action.
It looked like a meeting between the Captain of the Ocean Sword Pirates, and the leader of the Rebel Army was needed to put an end to Crocodile's plans.
With Naruto he was halfway towards the palace. During his so-called fight with the rebels and royal soldiers something was nagging at him the entire time, something was going on in the palace. He couldn't explain how he knew this, he couldn't explain why either, but something was egging him, screaming at him to get to the palace.
So that's what he did, he ran with all his might towards the palace with alarm bells ringing in his head. It was those same alarm bells that warned him to jump backwards just as several bullets struck the wall opposite of him. "All right who's the dead man who did that!?"
"We got you surrounded Uzumaki, come around the corner with your hands up!" A voice that he did not recognize shouted at him.
"Are you fucking serious right now?" Naruto demanded. "You're telling me of all people to surrender? Well I got news for you buddy Uzumaki Naruto does not surrender, especially to a bitch with a gun!"
"You son of a-"
"Enough, you don't antagonize a man with a forty-five million beli bounty." This time it was a voice that was more diplomatic, a voice of a leader if the blonde would dare say. "Uzumaki Naruto, we are coming around the corner. We're armed, but if you don't attack us, we won't attack you."
"Depends, who the hell are you?"
"My name is Kohza. And I am the leader of the Rebel Army."
The leader of the Rebel Army? Well it looked like fortune was smiling down upon him. "Fine, but if there is any funny business I'm gonna crack your skulls."
He really didn't receive an answer, just the sound of foot steps until Naruto was greeted by twenty-five armed men and women pointing flintlock pistols and rifles at him. At the center of the group was who he assumed was Kohza, blonde-haired, scar over his left eye, purple-tinted glasses, what looked like leaderish apparel. Oh and he had a flintlock pistol and a sword, how wonderful.
"So you're the leader...thought you would be taller." Naruto deadpanned, unimpressed.
"And you're the one who saved Vivi's life during the Reverie...I am not impressed." Kohza said, equally unimpressed. "In fact I am disappointed."
"What was that?" Naruto said with a small tick mark forming on his forehead.
Pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, Kohza openly glared at the fishman. "When we were kids, Vivi told me and everyone else about this blonde-haired, tiger shark fishman who save her from getting shot. She expressed how heroic he was, even though she never learned his name."
She thought that highly of him? Well that that gave Naruto a good ego boost.
"But all I see is some lowlife pirate." And like that he was brought back down to earth. "Don't get me wrong, I am glad you saved my friend. But I've heard about your reputation. You're a murderer Uzumaki, and now a mercenary for hire whoring yourself off to the highest bidder."
"Fucking what?" Naruto demanded, he even dug his pinkie finger into his ear to make sure he heard him right.
"You heard me, how could you align yourself with Cobra!? He stole the countries rain, he destroyed Nanohana, and yet you are guarding him!" Kohza roared out. "You're no hero Uzumaki Naruto, you have no stake in this country. So step aside, and leave this country forever. This does not concern you."
"Yea...I have no idea where you got that harebrained idea. But lets get something straight." The sound of cocking guns just aggravated him further. "You're right about one thing, I do have no stake in this country. But I am doing this for Vivi, the person you claim to be a friend. So as her friend that you claim to be I am telling you this. Stand down, or I will hurt every. Last. One. Of. You."
"Seems we're at an impasse." Kohza said.
"Seems we are." Naruto replied.
For the longest while the two men glared at each other, well Naruto glared at Kohza and the twenty-five rebels he had backing him, and they glared at him in return. One move and Naruto would be riddled with bullets, or he would cut all twenty-six of them down with one swing of Saibannin Kayiouumi.
Naruto did not want to do that, unless they were all Baroque Works. But he honestly doubted Kohza was working for Crocodile, the people with him...well who the hell knew? He slowly breathed through his nose, exhaled, and calmed himself. "Well nothing ventured, nothing gained."
"What are you talking about?" Kohza demanded.
"Oh nothing, just this!" Without warning Naruto's right arm sprang to the handle of Saibannin Kayiouumi, pulled it off the back of his vest, surprising the rebels who thought it was attached by straps. Instead of the sharp blades cutting through them, the blonde smashed the flat end of his anchor onto the ground. The loud banging noise pierced their eardrums, tiled stone cracked and broke. An immense cloud of dust and sand obscured their vision.
That was when Naruto struck. Leaving his weapon where it was he burst forward with his eyes closes and shoulder tackled himself into the crowd of people. The first three who were hit went flying down the street. Naruto then began pummeling anything and everything he could get his hands on.
His fists crashed into a face, his foot attacked an exposed back, his teeth tore through the long barrel of a rifle before he headbutted its user into submission. He then grabbed two more by the scruff of their shirts and hurled them against the wall, watching with immense satisfaction when they broke through it. He then grabbed another by her ankles, and spun three-hundred and sixty degrees, using her as a human weapon to knock her friends and comrades senseless.
When the dust settled only Naruto was left standing on the bodies of what used to be Kohza's guard. Letting the unfortunate woman in his hands go, then surveyed the area. There was no sign of Kohza.
The click of a gun was the only thing that saved him from getting a bullet in the back of the head. With a simple move to the right he avoided the shot with ease. How did he know to move to the right? Honestly that was something Naruto did not know. Turning on his heel, the blonde dully looked at the leader of the Rebel Army holding the gun with the smoking barrel. "Shooting with my back turned? How pitiful."
"This is war Uzumaki." Kohza threw the useless pistol to the side and unsheathed his sword. "In war no one plays fair."
Cracking his knuckles, Naruto only grinned. "Depends on who's fighting."
"The right and just against a tyrannical ruler. That is who's fighting!" Kohza rushed Naruto in a surprising burst of speed.
But compared to Kotetsu he was as fast as a sea slug, Naruto weaved out of the way and practically began skipping away from the strikes. Seeing an opening he delivered a powerful blow to his fellow blonde's solar plexus, causing the rebel leader to exhale as the wind was driven from his lungs and sent flying ten feet away. "We can stop at any time you know."
"Don't look down on me!" Kohza managed to wheeze out after getting his breath back. Gripping his sword tightly he slashed at his right, missing by a mile as his opponent weaved around it. "You have no right to mock me and what I am trying to achieve!"
Casually ducking under another sword swing, Naruto gave a quick jab to his shoulder and that a mean kick to his stomach, once again sending him skidding away. "And what the hell are you trying to achieve? All I've been hearing is 'Overthrow Cobra', 'He took our rain', blah blah blah. I'm getting really sick of you being blinder than a bat."
"You're the one that's blind Uzumaki, Alabasta was once a proud country and Cobra took that away with his Dance Powder!" Kohza was dealt a vicious punch to his face that sent him tumbling to the ground.
"Open your eyes you idiot!" Naruto screamed at him, he stomped at him, but he rolled away in the nick of time, just allowing a small crater to form under the fishmans sandaled foot. "How long have you lived in Alabasta!?"
"All my life!" Kohza angrily replied, taking a wild swing with his blade. It missed Naruto's nose by an inch, and the tiger shark fishman began backpedaling with a bored look on his face as he began taking powerful jabs with his blade before he got kicked on the inside of his thigh, causing him to fall to one knee.
"And how long have you known the King?" He bordly asked.
"Since I was a kid!" In his anger Kohza sprang at an angle Naruto did not, could not predict him doing. Then again he was trained by Chaka as a kid. He watched with satisfaction as the sharp blade cut that odd device on his neck, causing water to fly out of it.
Naruto leapt back this time in surprise, placing his hand to his neck and pulling it away he only saw that it was water that was leaking out. And that pissed him off, already he could feel something going wrong with his rebreather and his gills were getting less water than he was comfortable with.
Without any hint of mercy, his eyes flashed red for only a second. That same second later he was in front of Kohza, he then punched the side of his sword and sent a wave a kinetic energy through his fist in the proper style of Fishman Karate. The blade shattered like glass, showing Kohza that he was actually holding back on him before backhanding him in the side of his face, sending his purple-tinted glasses flying away as his body hit the stone wall.
"Exactly my point." Cracking his knuckles Naruto strolled over to the downed man and picked him up by the scruff of his shirt. He then forced him to look at the black smoke rising over the city. "Listen to me, I may have been on the Grand Line of over a month now. And I have seen many people, more than I ever saw on my island. You either have the capacity for great good, or great evil. And I know for a fact Cobra is not in the latter category. Look at all the destruction being wrought by all this fighting and tell me this, knowing King Cobra for most of your life, have you ever truly believed, for even an instant, that someone like him would even consider allowing or encouraging all this destruction to take place!?"
He made Kohza stare at the once beautiful city burning thanks to him for the longest time, he was not being gentle about it either. Naruto wanted Kohza to realize that his foolishness caused so much destruction, and so many deaths for nothing. "You were duped by Crocodile, he was the one who took your rain, and I bet my gills he was behind Nanohana's destruction."
With one eye closed, and bleeding from the side of his head, Kohza winced before talking. "And how do you know this?"
"Because your Princess spent two years risking her life to get this information. Two years she could have been safe, two years she could have been with her father, but instead of doing that she risked her life every day by joining the organization Crocodile runs to expose the truth." Pulling Kohza until they were face to face, Naruto flashed his sharp teeth. "And the apple does not fall far from the tree, Cobra is a benevolent ruler who did not want a war between his people. People do not change that much, if you weren't so blinded by your anger you would have seen that."
Throwing the leader of the Rebel Army to the ground Naruto went to pick up his giant anchor axe. "You can follow me to the palace if you wish and see for yourself. If I'm lying I'll call my people off and you can do whatever you want with this country." Shouldering his giant weapon the tiger shark fishman turned towards his fellow blonde. "But if I am right, then stop this madness for the sake of your home."
His eyes widening, Kohza honestly felt that he could actually see for the first time. His eyes were no longer clouded by anger, or was he driven by emotions. Slowly he forced himself to get to his feet and looked at the unconscious men and women. Naruto could have killed them easily, he could have killed him easily, and yet he chose not to. Bending down he retrieved his classes, the right lens being cracked in half but still wearable, he placed them on his face once again and tossed his broken sword away. "All right...for Vivi I will do this."
"About damn time, I thought I was going to have to smack you around some more." Naruto smirked in reply to the mans scowling face. "How did you find me anyways?"
"A woman in a cowgirl outfit pointed the way." Kohza dully replied.
"Miss All-Sunday...what the hell are you doing?" Naruto questioned himself before taking off towards the palace. Despite his battered condition Kohza managed to keep up with him, huh who knew? "What are you doing?"
"I know a faster way to the palace, follow me Uzumaki." He said before taking a sharp right.
"Well lead the way then." The blonde fishman said before following after him, a trail of water was by now falling from the device on his neck drying up in the hot desert sun before it even splashed on his skin.
(With Carmen and Miss Goldenweek – 3:15pm)
"Wind Scythe!" Temari shouted out for the tenth time. Swinging her giant fan, sharp blades of wind flew from it and struck the pillars Carmen was hiding behind, carving deep scars into the stone.
The pink-haired chef of the crew considered herself fortunate that she only had a few minor cuts and bruises from the fight so far, not to mention her hair was all messed up as she predicted. Her initial attack when she went to back up Miss Goldenweek surprised the two siblings, and soldiers but after that it went downhill from there.
Kankuro split both her and Miss Goldenweek apart, leaving him and his men to fight the by now former Frontier Agent, and her against the pesky fan-wielder. A pesky fan-wielder who could cut into stone like it was nothing and blow her away with a flap of her arms. Seriously how could she do that? There wasn't a devil fruit that she knew of that could do something like that, so it had to be the fan.
"You're a tricky one, I cannot recall meeting such a pesky opponent." Temari said with a slight huff as she folded her giant war fan closed and slammed it into the ground. "Quick and agile, but you lack power. That's why you flee before me."
And aggravating, Carmen never considered herself a killer. Sure she had to do it several times in the past, and much more recently in the past few days, but she never ever wished to do harm upon another human being unless she had no other choice.
That was no longer the case now. She really wanted to hurt Temari. She did not want to kill her, maim her, or torture her, just hurt her for all the abuse she dealt to her so far.
Quickly removing herself from the stone column, Carmen attacked the younger woman in a zing-zag formation, hoping that her quick movements would throw her off as she snapped her fans open.
Temari's sharp eyes did not lose track of her opponent. She waited, feigning confusion before her fellow fan-wielder got within her range. A smirk adorning her face Temari snapped her giant fan open and swung it with all her might. "Hurricane Blow!" She screamed, a great wall of air erupting from her fan that hit Carmen dead center causing her to scream out as she was blasted through the large window of a building.
Carmen struggled to regain her breath after she came to. She didn't feel any glass in her back so that was something she considered fortunate. But she was hurting that much was obvious. Blinking the stars away she looked around the area to find herself in a spice shop of all places. Normally she would be in culinary heaven, instead she was fighting for her life.
Slowly getting to her feet, the woman coughed several times and got her breath back. In front of her were various hot spices ranging from Aleppo Pepper to Vulcan's Fire Salt. Hot spices that would have tasted good in any of her dishes, but useless to her now.
Or were they? Carmen smirked with an evil idea in mind for her opponent.
Smashing through the door instead of going through the window to leave herself exposed, Temari's fan was folded into its giant staff once again. This would be where she subdued her opponent, or destroyed her, one or the other Temari did not really care, she wasted too much time already playing with her food, and Kankuro was taking his sweet time as well. A war was happening and she was needed in the front lines.
"All right, come on out so I can make this quick. No offense, but I really do not have time to play with you anymore." She said, her sharp eyes scanning the shop.
"Agreed!" The sound of something whistling caught her attention. She brought her fan up to hear the sound of glass shattering, immediately her nose began to clog up and her eyes began to water. She blocked another projectile only for it to also shatter, and her throat began to burn as she inhaled. Blinking her watering eyes Temari was unable to block a third object from smacking her in the forehead, the glass shattered, causing the powder to get on her face and into her eyes.
"Sweet fucking God what the unholy hell is this stuff!?" Temari let out a wailing screech when the powder forced her to close her eyes, tears sprung from her tear ducts to wash the substance away; along with the blood running down her forehead, her nose began to run uncontrollably, and she began hacking like a smoker who smoked five packs of cigarettes a day for over thirty years.
Carmen took this opportunity to to unfold her fans and shoulder tackled Temari out the same window she was blasted through. From there she straddled the younger woman and began to pummel her face like her life depended on it. Her folded fans struck her with a resounding smack as she hit her with all her might.
Temari wasn't just going to lie there and take it though, with a howl filled with a mixture of pain and rage she slugged Carmen across her own face, sending her off her body and rolled away until she hit the familiar metal of her fan. Snapping one blood-shot eye open, the blonde glared at the pinkette. "You are going to pay for that!"
"Bring it, I can do this all day!"
"Sickle Wiesel!" Snapping open her giant fan Temari swung with all her might, sending a wall of sharp wind at the pinkette. She made the entire thing thirty feet wide and thirty feet tall, it was a wall of death, and with Carmen in her condition there was absolutely no way she would avoid it.
And with reluctance Carmen knew that she couldn't. Her body was too damaged, she couldn't jump that high, or make it in time to the edge. "Sorry Naruto, I tried. Leo...Jose...please be safe." (1)
The wall of death that tore the ground asunder stopped when a wall of sand formed a shield around her. Her pink eyes were wide with surprise when everything around her except for a small strip was utterly annihilated. "Sand...how in the world?"
"Uzumaki would be rather upset if his chef died "Five-Alarm Carmen." A monotonous voice said behind her. She saw a person around her Captain's age wearing an odd attire with short spiky red hair, tanuki-like black rings around his green eyes, and carrying a giant calabash-shaped gourd on his back. He looked bored, and a tad bit irritated. "You did hold out well until the end, better than the runt."
"Runt?" Carmen then saw an unconscious Miss Goldenweek floating on what looked like a levitating sand platform, and a cocoon that held an equally unconscious Kankuro next to him. "What happened to her? Tell me!?"
"She had a sugar crash." Gaara dully said. Her fight was not much to look at either, she just kept splattering Kankuro with paint and nothing happened, he found it curious that it worked on the soldiers and rebels but not Kankuro himself. It also worked on the soldiers he had, all of them collapsing when she hit them with white paint that formed into a symbol that he did not recgonize. How strange. "He knocked her around, I knocked him unconscious. Neither are dead."
"Why are you doing this?" She asked.
"Uzumaki owes me a favor, I cannot have him complete it if anyone of his crew are dead." It was simple as that, plus he really did not want to see anyone hurting his siblings any longer. They didn't know that, but that was none of their business either.
"Another? You're worse than cockroaches!" Temari screamed in anger. Damn these rebels for wasting her time. "No matter, I'll hit you with-"
"Sand Coffin." Gaara calmly raised his right hand and willed his sand to surround Temari and stop her from swinging her fan. He then tightened his hold on her, cutting off her air for fifteen seconds by putting pressure on her carotid artery until she passed out. Usually what came next was his Sand Burial technique to crush his opponents to pulp, but that was not going to happen today.
Lowering the sand platform that held Miss Goldenweek, he turned towards Carmen. "I will look after these two. You take her and go to Uzumaki, he should be in the northern end by the palace." The sand told him everything he needed to know, nothing else needed to be said.
"Thank you...um, I'm sorry you seem to have me at a disadvantage." Carmen thanked him as she scooped the younger girl into her arms.
"My name is of no concern, just know that I do not want this country to fall to Crocodile." Gaara plainly said before dismissing her. "Now go."
Biting her lower lip Carmen retreated from her area. Bloodied, battered and humiliated, Carmen now knew the bitter taste of defeat. Forfeiting to Sanji was one thing, she did it with grace because she knew she was outmatched. Getting the hell beaten out of her and coming close to death was another.
Carmen would not allow it to happen again, she would get stronger not matter what it took so she did not have to be rescued ever again.
When Carmen and Miss Goldenweek were out of his sight, heading towards the palace it looked like, Gaara looked at his two siblings, one of the few people that he had longed to see in his seventeen years of his life. "So this is what they look like...Hack was right, this is bittersweet."
It was too bad both Temari and Kankuro would never know that they just met their little brother for the first time. Not until he was ready to come home. (2)
(With Gin and Shizune – 4:00pm)
"Gah! Dammit is this never going to end?" Gin growled out as Shizune tightened a gauze bandage around his right arm. Some rebel got a lucky swing on him, he got a cracked skull in retaliation, it wasn't going to happen again.
For well over six hours he had been fighting with little to no rest. His neck was burning from the lack of water, his joints and muscles were screaming at him from constant movement, he was almost out of ammo for all his guns; six bullets for his flintlock .44 six shot revolver, four for his regular flintlock pistols, and he was honestly wishing he brought his damn shotgun. As for his newly acquired bazooka? Well he could not fire it without killing anyone much to his disappointment, so he used it as a battering weapon.
"Stay still Gin or you'll pop your stitches." Shizune admonished the First Mate before tightening the bandage.
"I'm being serious doc, I honestly don't think I have much more in me." He said before slowly getting to his feet, "How many people have we defeated so far? Two-hundred? Three-hundred? Out of two million?"
"I honestly don't know." She sighed out, putting her medical supplies away she patted her pouch to feel if she had anymore knockout bombs. She had nothing left, all her lethal poisons were back in her room, and the only thing she had left to protect herself was her tanto and some poisoned senbon needles she had hidden up her kimono sleeve. "I'm all out of knockout bombs."
"I still got all my grenados, does that count?" Seeing Shizune glaring at him Gin lightly chuckled. "I know bad joke."
"You think?" She dully asked.
A crashing sound alerted them of a body crashing through a building. A body flopped in front of them revealing to be an average-sized man with shaggy blonde hair. He was wearing a blueish-black coat with a hood, with "Baroque, I love Miss Valentine" on the back of it. Gin dully looked at the obvious Baroque Works member and pulled out one of his regular flintlock pistols. "Shall I shoot him?"
"No Gin, he's unconscious. What we should figure out is where he came from." Shizune pulled Gin away from the unconscious man and followed the line of destruction. Apparently this Mr. Love as she was going to call him was blasted through four buildings before landing at their feet.
And they came along to a curious, if not frightening sight. Bashura in his half-panther form had what looked like five-hundred unconscious bodies surrounding him. Many of the bodies had deep claw marks on their bodes, broken bones, and were twisted in odd positions. But they were alive...at least Shizune thought they were.
"Bashura what on earth did you do?" Gin dully asked.
"Held the line." The Cat man replied before pulling his harpoon from the ground. "Where did you two come from?"
"From several streets over, you punched some poor Baroque Works member through four buildings." Gin deadpanned. "Where's Uzumaki? I thought he was with you."
"He was, but he went back towards the palace last I saw him. What are you thinking?"
"Perhaps we should follow?" Shizune suggested.
"Don't got anywhere left to go. The rebels are still coming in by the hundreds, we should fall back to where Uzumaki is." Gin plainly said. Everyone was exhausted, or hurt in some way, Bashura himself looked like he took a few shots to his face and torso. Yes his fur covered everything but the way he moved showed that he was smarting.
The three vacated the area not too long after that, it was all they could do to not look at the streets where broken bodies were strewn about, some were rebels, others were royal soldiers. They were either shot, bludgeoned or hacked to death paving the streets red with blood.
It was sickening to think about. Gin was no stranger to such things, he ran with Don Krieg and saw exactly what he could do to those who could not defend themselves, and he himself killed people in cold-blood. But this was on an unimaginable scale, he wondered how many thousands were dead?
Bashura was not too much of a stranger either, his island was tribal in nature, there were skirmishes between various clans that resulted in death, but no more than five died at most within six months. It was never like this, and the smell of piss, and shit, and death, and blood was making his senses go haywire. How could anyone not go mad during this war?
Not even Shizune was unaffected by this madness. She was a doctor. She was trained to save lives. She never wanted to take them, but the Grand Line left her no choice but to end lives in order to live on to save more. If she lived through this no one would die under her care, that was a promise she made to herself that day.
"Come on you shitty moss head we need to find it!" Gin heard a very familiar voice snap his head towards the right. It couldn't be.
"Shut up you worthless chef!" Snapped the second voice as a crashing sound followed it seconds later. "You try moving after nearly getting cut to ribbons!"
Yea it was them all right.
Gesturing with his left hand, Gin ushered both Bashura and Shizune to follow him. They heard the voices as well, hell Bashura heard them long before the two of them with his cat-like hearing. Sprinting down an alleyway they came upon the sight of both a bloody and battered Zoro and Sanji kicking down doors to various houses.
"What in the hell is going on here?" Gin demanded. They weren't looting, those goody-two shoes weren't the type to do so. They were more frantic than anything.
"Gin? What are you doing here?" Sanji demanded with a lightly raised eyebrow.
"Picking fucking coconuts, what does it look like?" The First Mate snapped at them. "What are you guys doing?"
"And your wounds! Stop it right now you two." Shizune ordered them.
"We can't there is-" Zoro was cowed when the doctor glared at him. It wasn't a murderous glare, but a 'you-will-do-what-I-will-say-right-now-young-man' glare that had him stop in place. The first thing she did was tear away his bloodstained white shirt to expose how cut up the front of his torso was, what did he do get in a fight with a buzz saw? "And don't you go anywhere either Sanji. How you two idiots haven't died from blood loss is beyond me."
Harsh, but honest. Both Gin and Bahsura sweat-dropped as they watched their doctor apply some disinfectant to Zoro's wounds and began to tightly bandage them. Did the sight of the Straw Hats finally break this woman?
Turning towards Sanji who was gripping his right shoulder to hold in the blood from what looked like a stab wound, Gin asked the million beli question. "So...what are you doing?"
"There is a bomb hidden somewhere in the city, this guy I fought said that Crocodile put it where we would never find it. In thirty minutes this entire place will be blown sky high." The blonde-haired chef replied.
That was absolutely no good. For once Gin actually paled at the thought, there was an explosive that could wipe out an entire city? Who the hell would make such a thing? And why did he not know of this before!? His bombs were insect stings compared to that!
"Where are the other members of your crew?" Bashura asked.
"Usopp and Chopper are also frantically searching for it. I know Nami struck out on her own to find it as well." Zoro said, wincing when Shizune tightened the gauze wrappings around his torso. That hurt a bit.
"All right, listen we're heading towards the palace. Our Captain went there earlier, or at least Bashura saw him going towards it." Gin gestured at their resident Catman and navigator. "We'll search for anything bomb-like and inform the King and everyone. Hopefully someone will find it."
"Thanks Gin, I'll catch you later-" An iron grip nearly broke Sanji's wrist, he turned to look in the glaring eyes of Shizune.
"You're not going anywhere until I plug that hole in your shoulder." She did not so much say, as ordered.
It took three minutes to patch Sanji up before the members of the Ocean Sword Pirates sprinted towards the the northern area like their lives depended on it. It was clear of enemies, not a soul was in sight. That was until they came to a small area where Kotetsu just cut down a royal soldier by bonking him on the head with the pummel of his cutlass.
"Kotetsu, what the hell are you doing here?" Gin demanded the swordsman.
"Long story short, shit happened in Nanohana. Carmen and Goldenweek were with me, they are fine the last I saw them." Kotetsu replied before sheathing his blades. "What's the plan Gin?"
"Rendezvous at the palace, Bashura said Uzumaki was going there. We also have a giant bomb problem."
"Perfect." Kotetsu dryly said at the mention of a 'giant bomb problem'. He was informed of this as they all sprinted towards the palace. Ignoring the rumbling in his stomach, Kotetsu followed them to what he painfully suspected was their last stand. Oh well if he was going out he was going out as himself and not Magara.
(With Naruto and Kohza – 4:15pm)
"Are you sure you know your way around this place?" Naruto demanded, honestly to him it seemed like they were going in circles.
"I spent a lot of time here Uzumaki, my plan was to use these secret passages to sneak up on Cobra with a small squad to capture and force his surrender." Feeling like the fishman was glaring holes in the back of his head, Kohza lowly sighed out. "That isn't happening now, so stop glaring at me."
"I'll stop glaring when you stop being an asshole."
"I'll stop being one when you stop being one!"
The two turned their heads and glared at each other to the point lightning flew between their eyes. It was obvious they did not like each other, and if the situation wasn't so dire the both of them would more than likely try and fight each other once again.
Turning his his head away Kohza remained silent. The two of them traveled for several more minutes in tense silence before Kohza reached a false entrance that lead out to a area that allowed a fantastic view of the city. It was there they saw Vivi standing next to a tall, imposing dark skinned man with medium length black hair and a long broad nose resembling that of a jackal. He was wearing a long, light-green tunic, revealing his muscular chest, and two belts around his waist: a striped, pale-red and crimson large one, and over it was a purple, thinner one. Around his thick neck he wore a necklace consisting of big golden beads, and he also wore a dark-green coat draped on his shoulders like a cape. On his waist he carried a massive exotic-looking sword, with a blue hilt and sheath, on his right hip.
"Chaka?" Kohza whispered.
"You know him?" Naruto whispered in return.
"He is one of the two guardians of Alabasta, he trained me as a kid. What is going on here?"
"You're finished Cobra." Crocodile's voice rang in Naruto's ears, he couldn't see the man, but he would bet his giant anchor axe the man had an arrogant smirk on his face.
The King of Alabasta only glared at his captor. Blocking out the pain in his arms from being pinned against the pillar, he defiantly said. "Even if you kill me, my people will learn the truth. My daughter will take over and lead this nation into prosperity once again!"
"A foolish endeavor once mighty King." Crocodile said before taking his cigar from his mouth and dusting off the excess ash before gesturing at his devastated courtyard and the bodies lying within it. "Your soldiers are no match for me. Your citizens adore me. And the power I will gain will dwarf the entire World Governments!"
"You're insane!" Cobra exclaimed.
"I fear that he isn't." Miss All-Sunday's voice rang in both Naruto's and Kohza's ears. "He is willing to go through with all of this."
"Kohza stay out of sight. I need to handle this." Naruto ordered the rebel leader before he pulled the man backwards and stepped into the light. "No, he's insane." His voice alerted them. Turning towards the source they saw a very disheveled, and angry-looking Naruto strolling towards them. "So we meet again Crocodile." He growled at the leader of the Baroque Works organization.
"Uzumaki...you're more stubborn than I gave you credit for." Crocodile said with a pronounced frown on his face.
"Naruto?" Vivi looked in surprise seeing the tiger shark fishman.
Naruto only glared at the Logia-user. The man who tried to take over Alabasta, kill him and his crew, and an overall pain in his ass. The man had already slaughtered a good portion of the Royal Guard with King Cobra pinned to the castle wall, and the fighting outside was intensifying to an alarming degree. Rasa, his Royal Adviser was laid out in front of him with a deep gash in his right side, along with the right side of his head.
And all the while Miss All-Sunday was standing several feet away with her right hand bleeding. She looked at him impassively, but there was a small shine in her eyes.
"Stand back children." Chaka commanded as he brought his hand to his massive sword. "You have done enough for this country, it's time for the adults to take over."
"Hell no. I owe this asshole a beating, he nearly dried me and my crew out like mummies." Naruto growled in response before grabbing Saibannin Kayiouumi's handle. "No one tries to kill Uzumaki Naruto and gets away with i-" The fishman's eyes widened before he began hacking hard enough to fall to his knees, dropping his weapon of choice with a loud clatter. "No...not now..." He rasped out. "It was working...fucking hell it was working!"
"Naruto!" Vivi exclaimed before kneeling beside him. "It's your lungs again, haven't you been drinking any water?"
"That device on my neck was pumping water through my gills." The blonde gritted out. "Dammit, what's going on here?"
"There's a cut in it, I think whatever was holding the water in cause it to dry out in the desert heat." Vivi informed him.
'God damn you Kohza!' Naruto mentally raged. (3)
"Stand aside boy, I will handle this." Chaka commanded again.
"Please wait Lord Chaka!" Four voices called out.
Turning towards the disturbance, the fishman, Royal Family, loyal guard, and invading criminals looked to see four men kicking open the gate. They were tall and brawny, armored and carrying their weapons of choice.
"The Tsumegeri Guards." Vivi whispered in awe.
"King Cobra, it is our duty to protect you. We have no choice to draw our swords." Said Arrow, a tall and thin man, with a pointed chin. He wore purple face paint around his eyes, down his nose and around his jawline. He held a double-edged sword with a golden hilt in his right hand. "If this man is one of the Shichibukai..."
"We will use any means to defeat him." Continued Hyota, a very muscular man, with a very large stubble-covered chin, a bulbous nose with a purple line going down it, and armor that did not have any shoulder straps. Clutched in his hands was an extra large sword that resembled a butcher-knife.
"We four will deal with him..." Said Barrel, a bulky and rotund man, with a prominent nose, wearing thick white ropes around his shoulders, and had purple face paint around and under his eyes along down his nose. Clutched in his large hands was a large axe with a handle that resembled a flute.
"Personally." The fourth member, Brahm finished. He like his companions was also tall, but with a hunchbacked appearance, and a purple line running down his nose. He wore a turban and had light brown hair, which was parted as a 1:1 ratio, covering his eyes. Clutched in both hands were a pair of pole-arms.
"How annoying." Crocodile scoffed, looking at the four in disdain. "Go away."
"That's impossible, it's too late for us to turn back!" Hyota said.
"Impossible?" Naruto mouthed out.
"If you are the mastermind behind this rebellion, then we must destroy you!" Arrow exclaimed before he, and his fellow's muscles grew in size enough to snap the metal bracelets that adorned their arms off, but also revealing black veil-like marking along the entire length of their arms, and thick veins popping out on their faces.
"Those marks...you didn't!" Chaka exclaimed.
"Shall I?" Miss All-Sunday asked in a bored manner.
"Don't bother, they're vermin." Crocodile scoffed in response.
"C-chaka what's wrong with them?" Vivi asked.
"In order to achieve temporary super powers, those four drank a lethal potion called the Hero's Water. With this they become unstoppable for five minutes...but then they die." Chaka said, his voice still trembling in disbelief.
"I suspected as much." Crocodile laughed when all four let out a loud war cry and charged at him with great speed. "You would sacrifice your lives to face me, how foolish!"
"Lord Chaka, please forgive us for taking matters into our own hands, but this villain must be made to feel the pain our kingdom has suffered! This man must feel Alabasta's wrath!" Hyota, with tears falling from his eyes screamed at the top of his lungs.
All four members of the Tsumegeri Guards struck Crocodile at the same time, only for him to turn into sand and float away, reappearing on the archway of the palace. "You four are not too smart. Don't take life for granted...though it's too late now I suppose." Taking his cigar from his mouth the Logia-user laughed as the guards began coughing up blood. "Why should I bother to fight you if you're going to die anyways!? Kuhahahaha!"
Crocodile continued to laugh as the four men, forever loyal to Alabasta continue to cough up blood, falling to the ground in despair. "This is the height of stupidity. What fools!"
"You fiend!" Chaka howled, transforming into a jackal to the surprise of only but a few. "Howling fangs!" The Zoan-user screamed as he bit through Crocodile as he turned into sand yet again.
"So you would die for your King too, eh? Foolish!" Crocodile laughed as he cut across Chaka's chest with his hook, watching as blood flew from him in delight.
Naruto heard Vivi cry out, but it might as well have been from the moon. He honestly couldn't believe what he saw. The deaths of those guards brought back terrible, awful memories of Queen Otohime dying. He remembered her lessons that humans would sacrifice their lives to protect those they believed in. And Crocodile laughed at their sacrifice.
He didn't hear what happened next, didn't notice Vivi leaving his side to stop Kohza; who frigging came out of hiding, from warning everyone there was a bomb in the square because it would cause complete chaos. All he saw were the bodies of the Tsumegeri Guards, looking pained in the throes of death because they failed.
But what he did see at the last moment was a bloodied Chaka blocking what would have been a fatal strike to both Vivi and Kohza, and the inspiring words that followed after. "The Guardian Diety of Alabasta...the Jackal! All enemies of the Royal Family must be destroyed! As long as there's a spark of life in me...I will continue to fight on. Kohza...Princess do what you must...I will hold him off for a few minutes."
"Magnificent fool." Crocodile scoffed.
"Yea...he is...but he's a good one." Naruto said to himself, his body racking in pain, his lungs feeling like they were on fire. But damn it he was not going to let this stand, he was not the weak little boy who couldn't save anyone. All these years of training, all the blood, sweat and tears were to give him to power to protect Shirahoshi. Well he wasn't in Fishman Island anymore, his darling little sister wasn't here. So now he focused on the bastard that made his blood boil with fury and rage.
Crocodile acted like a Tenryubito, the same people who took his mom and dad away from him, who enslaved his people because they could. The muscles in his body expanded, the adrenaline pumping through his veins and entire eyes turning blood red. "I only have one shot at this..." He said to himself, pulling the sweat that was pouring off his body, the fountain, the trees themselves, his broken device until it was dry as a bone and swirling the water around his right fist.
Without a word he dashed towards Crocodile, his right arm tightening to the point his training tape ripped asunder exposing his scarred knuckles and tattoo. "Hey Crocodile, eat this! Whirlpool Breakthrough Fist!"
Crocodile turned his head just in time to get a face full of fist, everyone watched as his body bent awkwardly and was sent flying into the iron doors of the palace, massively denting them.
"Ahh I have been wanting to do that for days! Seriously, he has the most punchable face!" Naruto exclaimed in joy for the first time since his journey started. He then turned towards Kohza, barking at his fellow blonde. "Well don't just sit there, move you asshole!"
"Right!" Kohza said before bolting towards the entrance.
"You hit me...you actually managed to lay a finger on me." Crocodile lowly said as he rose to his feet with a thin trail of blood falling from the right corner of his mouth. He then looked over towards his partner with a glare. "And you let him do it."
"You told me not to interfere." Miss All-Sunday simply said.
"Hmph, so I did."
"Oh this is bullshit! That should have snapped your fucking neck!" Naruto angrily barked out.
"I am a Shichibukai kid, I have been one longer than you have been alive. I have been to the New World, I fought against Whitebeard himself, it will take much more a punch from a baby pirate like yourself to defeat me!" Raising his right hand Crocodile gathered a swirling mass of extremely dense sand in it, then faster than hurled it at an exhausted Naruto, causing a massive shockwave when it impacted his chest.
For Naruto himself, everything went black for several seconds. When he awoke he barely knew where he was, or what was happening. All he heard was screaming, loud screaming, gunshots, hateful cries. He felt sand hitting his skin, his vision was obstructed. Apparently Crocodile was conjuring up a sandstorm. Just frigging perfect.
Naruto turned his head to see Hyota straining to breathe. The large man turned towards him and weakly pointed towards the ledge where Crocodile held Vivi by the throat. "Please...save the Princess..." He begged with tears running down his eyes.
"Yea...I will. Count on it." Naruto grunted in reply as the life faded from his eyes, a grateful smile permanently etching on his face. Forcing himself to get on his feet, the blonde fishman harshly breathed through his nose before forcing himself to run at the both of them.
"Your naive belief that you could save everyone will only result in the annihilation of your people. You spied on my organization for two years, well done, but in the end, all your efforts were in vain!" Crocodile chided the Princess. "Your wishful attempts to pacify the Rebel Army and save the kingdom has only multiplied the death toll."
Taking his cigar out and blowing the smoke into her face he laughed at her one last time. "This kingdom is doomed. You can't save it!" His lower arm then turned into particles of sand, laughing as he watched Vivi fall to her death.
Or she would have if it wasn't for the sheer stubbornness of one Uzumaki Naruto flying past him, diving straight down like a swordfish and catching the falling blue-haired maiden in his arms. He landed squarely on his feet, causing a crater in the ground.
"Naruto?" Vivi quietly asked.
"Yea, I'm here." Among the sandstorm raging he saw several familiar figures making their way towards them. "And about damn time you all showed up."
"Sorry Uzumaki, the weather is hell." Gin lightly said with a smirk on his face.
"You also did order us to fight any entire army." Shizune seconded.
"Without actively killing them." Bashura cut in with a wide smile on his face.
"It's a pretty tall order Uzumaki." Kotetsu finished with a slight grin on his face.
"Yea, yea, I'm just relieved you're all okay. At least I think you are." Naruto said looking at Carmen and Miss Goldenweek. Huh, they must have ran into the others before finding him. "What happened to you two?"
"Sugar crash." Miss Goldenweek dully replied, well duller than usual.
"I got beat up." Carmen lowly replied said flicking her messy hair. "Don't worry about it now, what's the plan? Or are you going to continue carrying the Princess in your arms?"
"Gah! Sorry Vivi." Naruto exclaimed with a good twinge of pink coming to his face. He noticed the looks of his crew, many of them barely holding in their laughter. Dammit this was a serious situation!
"It's...it's okay." Vivi said, brushing a strand of her blue hair out of her face before turning towards them all. "Listen, Crocodile has placed a bomb somewhere in Alubarna. I need you to help me-"
"Say no more Princess, we saw Sanji and Zoro busting through houses to find it." Gin said before sprinting away with Kotetsu in tow.
"We'll find it." Bashura grinned before shrinking down into his full panther form. "Goldenweek hop on!"
"Yes." The smaller girl said before hopping onto the Cat man's back and they bolted away.
"You can count on us." Even through both of them were tired, physically as well as mentally, both Carmen and Shizune took off after Gin and Bashura.
"Was that Miss Goldenweek?" Vivi dumbly asked.
"Yep." Naruto dully replied.
"She fought the Straw Hats and I on Little Garden along with Mr. 3!"
"We met them too. I punched Mr. 3 into the ocean, Miss Goldenweek just sorta...hung around." He lamely said, there was no possible way he could explain it better. "Minus one halfassed escape attempt she has been a model prisoner. That going to be a problem?"
"It won't be unless we can find the bomb at 4:15!" Vivi exclaimed. "It could be anywhere!"
"Hey, hey, hey! Vivi calm down." Naruto placed his hands squarely on her shoulders and stared into her eyes. Blue met brown, and even through he was feeling a good deal of agony in his gills again, he kept his calm. "Take a deep breath and think. Try to recall anything Crocodile said."
She was on the verge of hysterics, two years almost amounting to nothing could really do that to a person. But feeling Naruto's hands on her shoulders, and his eyes looking into hers, Vivi nearly drowned in him. It was just like she remembered back then during the Reverie six years ago, and on Cactus Island barely three weeks back. Right now she did not see the anger held back by strict discipline, or the sadness, or even the bitterness. He was completely calm, and in an odd way it began to have an effect on her as well.
Taking several deep breaths, Vivi closed her eyes and recalled anything that Crocodile could give away. While he was perched on the arch of the entrance to her home, she remembered seeing his eyes glancing towards the plaza. That's it!
"The plaza! He put the bomb in the plaza! That's where the rebels and the royal soldiers are heading right now." She said.
"He'll get all of them at once." As much as he hated to admit it, Naruto had to admire Crocodile's plan to wipe out all opposition at once. It was a tacticians wet dream if they were some sort of evil warlord. "All paths go towards it. So lets go, we got a country to save." Being the faster out of the two, the blonde knelt down. "Come on, get on my back."
"Naruto I can't, your lungs and-"
"The more we argue the less time we have Vivi. Come on I barely know my way around here, I arrived yesterday and had to be escorted here by guards. I even had to use one to find a damn bathroom in the palace. So please get on my back and point me in a general direction." He said, practically begging her to do him a solid and get on his back.
Running her hands through her hair one more time Vivi did not even debate the pros or cons of doing it. She climbed onto his back, he hooked his arms under her knees, she leaned into his back as much as his dorsal fin would allow, and thrusted her right hand past his ear. "Go that way!"
Grunting like a bull, Naruto kicked up a dust storm as he followed her directions.
(Alubarna Plaza – 4:27pm)
"Now if I were a bomb where would I be?" Gin said out loud after both he and Kotetsu arrived.
"Under the ground maybe?" The sandy-haired swordsman asked.
"No that would cause a loud boom, but it would lessen the bodies." Gin really didn't have much time to think about it when a loud bang interrupted his thought process. It was thanks to Kotetsu's timely intervention that a cannonball didn't rip his head clean of his shoulders. Unfortunately it crashed them both into a building.
"Thanks kid, but you really gotta work on your stopping power." Gin thanked his crew mate before he slowly stood to his feet and brushed the brick dust off him jacket. He ignored the blood dripping down the side of his head, that wasn't important right now.
"Sorry." Kotetsu apologized before he unsheathed his blades. In front of them were what looked like a thousand very pissed off rebels, and one of them had a smoking bazooka on her shoulder, even more pissed off that she missed. "So...dumb question. I get five-hundred, you get five-hundred?"
"First to die loses?"
"Who said I plan on dying? I got a score to settle with two of the evilest Vice-Admirals in the Marines. No way I'm dying until I do that."
"Hmph, well I'm not dying until I get to see all I want to see." Bringing out a tonfa and a flintlock pistol, Gin began spinning the former. "Good luck kid."
"Same to you Gin."
Both let out a loud yell before they burst from their positions and collided with the rebels in what could only be described as an orgy of violence. The two members of the Ocean Sword Pirates plowed through them, sending many flying skywards before they began to fight for their lives.
"Mirage Sword Style: Moon's Gentle Touch!" Using his non-lethal technique, in fact by now it was his only non-lethal sword technique in his arsenal, Kotetsu disappeared in a mirage, his blades striking home against every rebel he encountered. The sharp blades tore through weapons and flesh alike, sending men and women flopping down onto the ground unable to move without opening their wounds.
Finishing his technique he raised both blades to block multiple sword strikes before he kicked his opponent in the groin, sending him to the ground with a high-pitched squeal before a boot to the head courtesy of Gin sent him unconscious. Kotetsu was then forced to block a mace strike that would have shattered his knee, giving Gin room to shoot him in the face with one of his flintlock pistols. Receiving a look, the First Mate only gestured before flipping the gun and pistol whipping a large rebel in his brutish face.
Kotetsu then saw a Baroque Works logo on his hat and got a strike to his face for his troubles. Letting out an angry yell he headbutted the rebel in return then smacked him hard with the flat side of Nidai Kitetsu. Ten more attackers tried to dogpile him, but they hit nothing more than a mirage. Kotetsu was then blindsided by a royal soldier mistaking him as a rebel, only for a large clawed hand to grab his face and smash it into the ground.
"Bashura?" He asked in relief seeing their giant navigator.
"Haha, you think I would miss this!?" Bashura's laugh roared over the fighting, the shooting and the howling sandstorm. "Buffalo Horns!" The Catman cried out. Throwing his arms out and bending them at a ninety degree angle, making his arms resemble a pair of buffalo horns, he flowed into both soldier and rebel alike.
"Red of Bullfighting!" Kotetsu heard Miss Goldenweek cry out, he then viewed to his amusement before he had to strike a guard with the pommel of his sword as rebels and guards alike began attacking people at random with splotches of red on them. He couldn't see the smaller girl, but he was glad was on his side and not tagging him. Ugh he did not want to go through that a third time.
"You hit me and I hit you back! Harder!" Gin cried out, bludgeoning a royal soldier with a shield into unconsciousness with his empty pistol. Forcing to let go of it after a solid third strike, he pulled out his second and shot a rebel in the arm, he had to let go of it when a sword struck it.
"I see you, you son of a bitch!" He growled at the offender before pulling out his third and shot him in the thigh, and then whacked him upside the head with such force that the grip broke away. Irritation creeping into his voice Gin pulled out his fourth and final flint lock pistol before he had to go back to duel-wielding his tonfas when a lucky shot struck it on the side.
"Okay now I'm mad." Randomly chucking his damaged firearm into the crowd, knowing it would hit someone he unclasped his second tonfa and began twirling in his grip. "Bring it on you bastards!"
Meanwhile everyone one was fighting, Naruto and Vivi arrived in the plaza where Carmen and Shizune could only look over the fight, or what they could see of it. Shizune was out of her knockout bombs, Carmen had nothing left in her. They all saw more rebels flowing into the plaza, they just kept on coming, and the fighting just got more vicious by the second.
"We looked everywhere Naruto. We can't find a thing." Shizune said when Naruto stopped on one of the rooftops. She never felt this low in her life. "I don't get it, where could Crocodile hide it?"
"It's supposed to be big, isn't it?" Carmen asked. "What could be big enough to hold something like that?"
Vivi smacked her head after hearing that. Of course why did she not think of that before!? "The clock tower! That is the only place I know that is big enough to hold something like that."
"Yea I can see it." Naruto said, and how could he not? It wasn't hard to find. "Shizune, ready your medical bags. This war is going to be over in no time." He then looked to see that not only were his people fighting, but some members of the Straw Hat crew showed up...and wow they looked like hammered shit. What did Usopp do to wind up looking like a mummy? Wait were the freaking Marines here too? This was getting more screwed up by the second.
"How can you see anything in this sandstorm? I can barely see in front of my face!?" Carmen demanded.
"Can we not ask something stupid right now? Naruto please take me to the clock tower we only got a few minutes left!" Vivi frantically exclaimed.
"All right Princess, hold on tight." Squeezing her thighs against his hips, Naruto Took off towards the clock tower, ignoring the sand hitting his skin and stinging his eyes he kept himself on target.
"It's the Princess!"
"An easy target lets get her!"
"Stay out of my way! Thousand Tile Shatter Fist!" Naruto jumped into the the air before smashing his right fist into the ground, sending ripples of kinetic energy through the stones, shattering them, and making sharp projectiles that raced towards the Baroque Works members that tried to get in their way. If they lived, good for them. If not too bad.
"There it is, come on we gotta get up there." Vivi said with relief seeing the clock tower so close to them. The face of the giant clock then opened up to reveal a gigantic cannon and two figures that were too high up to see.
"How the hell are we supposed to do that?" Naruto asked, that clock seemed to be at least five stories high, he couldn't jump that far even in Sea King Mode.
"I...I don't know. And they have people up there too." She said, watching as the giant handle of the clock crank down to 4:30pm. They were literally out of time.
"Not if I can help it, Naruto, Vivi hold on tight! Cyclone Tempo!" A quarter of Nami's staff barely passed underneath Naruto's groin, causing the blonde fishman to turn to yell at her before a high explosion of wind erupted from underneath him.
With a yell of surprise the both of them literally flew upwards, passing two stories quite easily.
"Get on my leg!" Came Sanji's cry as he jumped from his position on the clock tower, how he got there Naruto didn't know. But he did not hesitate to place his sandaled feet on his right leg, and let the chef kick both him and Vivi further upwards with a somersault kick that sent him downwards.
"To me!" Chopper cried out in his Heavy Point transformation. Naruto landed on his outstretched palms, and was given a powerful push right to where Zoro was.
"Hop on the back of my blade, you're almost there!" The swordsman of the Straw Hat Pirates bellowed out, offering the back of his swords as leverage. "Careful you two, there are a couple of weirdos up there!"
"I'll handle them! Push with all your might!" Naruto growled out.
Vivi's eyes then widened when the two figures looked over the edge, apparently they had been counting and looked them square in the eyes. "Mr. 7 and Miss Father's Day?"
"Well looks it's Miss Wednesday." Mr. 7 said before pulling out a yellow colored, highly customized flintlock pistol that was shaped like the number seven, with a large square base, even the muzzle was squared. Gin would have shot him on general principal for making such a monstrosity. "Yellow Gun at the ready."
"Ribbit, So I see. The Boss said to not let anyone near the cannon. Lets take them out!" Miss Father's Day exclaimed as she too pulled out an odd gun. It was frog-themed like her entire outfit with a frog-head for a muzzle, and the body portion was like that a frog's, and it was rather round all over. Again Gin would have shot her on general principal. "Gero Gero Gun at the ready."
"Naruto they're snipers!" Vivi warned the tiger shark fishman.
"Dammit it, it's one thing after another! Zoro launch us!" Naruto commanded the green-haired swordsman.
With all his strength, Zoro launched both Naruto and Vivi further in the sky, taking one for the team as he was shot twice by the dual snipers. His eyes turning crimson red once again Naruto let go of Vivi and then chucked her towards the open entrance of the clock tower. He took two bullets in return for his efforts, but he grinned savagely. "Got you now...Water Shot!" Forcing the blood to flow from his open chest wounds Naruto created two small droplets of blood in the palms of his hands and flung them at the Frontier Agents.
The two water, or in this case blood bullets struck the agents in their foreheads. The both of them looked at him in shock before their hands limply dropped their guns, and they toppled off the ledge and limply fell towards the ground below.
"Peacock Slasher!" Vivi cried out. Throwing her arms forward, a longer range version of her signature weapons. They were about six feet in length, had sharp discs running up the wires with a sapphire that resembled a peacock's tail feather at the end of it. Her keen eyes spotted the burning fuse and cut it away just before it fizzled into the cannons ignition chamber.
When it was over she collapsed to her knees, mentally and physically exhausted from the past few days. Naruto landed on, and fell through the roof before coming to rest a few feet away from her. "Naruto, your chest!" She gasped frantically.
"Nothing more than a flesh wound." He grunted out before he pushed himself to his feet and pressed his left hand on his right pectoral muscle where two fresh bullet wounds were present. That was a lie, he was really smarting from it, they weren't a through and through, but they weren't too deep either. Hell the bleeding had already died down to a trickle...for the most part.
It still hurt though. That was why he never went out of his way to get shot.
"That was some pretty impressive moves, but now you have to deal with us." Both Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine appeared from behind the cannon. The woman of the duo was smiling as per usual, but the male...well neither Naruto nor Vivi could see behind his thick bandages.
"Oh hell not you guys again." Naruto exclaimed in anger. "Who did I piss off in a past life to deal with this bullshit!?"
"Kyahahaha! I honestly don't know sweetie, but now that we know the full extent of your abilities you won't beat us a second time." Miss Valentine airily laughed.
"Full extent? Lady what I did to your partner does not even come close to what I can do when I'm enraged beyond all rational thinking." Naruto sand before punching his bloody left hand into his open right fist. "This time I am going to do more than just turn your face into a bloody mess. I'll put an end to the both of you here and now."
"I'd like to see you try." Mr 5 pulled out his own .44 caliber six shot revolver, tore the bandages away from his mouth and blew into the empty chambers. He couldn't move very fast with his right leg in its cast, but he could still shoot his destructive bullets. "I'll kill you where you stand."
"Bring it on meat!" Naruto clenched his fists until his knuckles popped.
"Batter up!" Miss Valentine said, clutching her umbrella.
"Die Uzumaki!" Mr. 5 bellowed at the fishman.
"Will you three please shut up, I can barely hear anything!" Vivi unexpectedly screamed at them, causing the tension to drop and the three would-be combatants to look at her with dumb expressions.
"Uh...what you say?" Mr. 5 asked.
"Can't you hear it?" The Princess asked. Once everyone stopped yelling at each other, all four then heard a ticking noise, her heart dropping into the pit of her stomach Vivi moved to the entrance of the cannon and saw, to her absolute horror to see a bomb the size of and engorged Luffy after he ate too much ticking away. "It's...it's on a timer."
"What!" Dropping her fighting pose Miss Valentine quickly ran over and saw the giant bomb ticking down to the twelve o' clock position. "It's true...even if we fired it we would have been caught in the blast."
"But I'm immune to explosions!" Mr. 5 protested.
"I'm not! Neither was Mr. 7 or Miss Father's Day. Don't you see he was going to kill us all!" Miss Valentine screamed, losing the strength in her legs she slowly fell to her knees and wept. "I knew it was to good to be true...he was going to dispose of us for our failure on Cactus Island."
Mr. 5 was silent, his fingers going so numb that he dropped his gun with a clatter on the floor. He may have been immune to explosions, he might have been the only one to survive the blast. But Crocodile would finish him off, it would be him alone in a barren wasteland with nothing but rubble and sand. He slowly leaned his back against the stone walls and slid downwards into a sitting position, resigning himself to his fate.
"Who cares. I'll just throw it away." Cracking his knuckles Naruto made his way to the cannon before he collapsed to his knee, his eyes that were blood red faded and it felt like his body was nothing more than lead sinking into the ocean. He then began to hack to the point it felt he was going to cough up his lungs. "Shit...not now...why?" He only had ever been in Sea King mode for a full minute, tops, he never pushed past it and now he was feeling the adrenaline dump that nearly knocked him out from the pain of his injury, exhaustion, and dehydration.
"There is no need for that young one." Said a calm, soothing voice that had Vivi look up to see its owner. It belonged to a tall, extremely pale man with slicked back brown hair and purple lines under each eye that ran down the sides of his face. He wore a long white robe with brown star-like motifs on it and a matching hat that was covered in blood from dual gunshot wounds to his chest. He also wore a big orange necklace around his neck, and also oddly sported striped socks under a pair of normal shoes. His weapon of choice was was an exotic-looking sword with a hilt that resembled a plane on his right hip.
"Pell!" Vivi exclaimed with surprise at seeing the strongest man in Alabasta hurt to such a degree. "Your chest..."
"This place sure brings back memories of that little gang of yours, huh Vivi?" Pell said, ignoring her concern for his well being. Instead he smiled in remembrance towards the past when she was just a little girl. "Vivi...it is so good that I get to see you, even if it is for the final time."
Turning towards Naruto, a small smile came to Pell's purple lips as blood trickled from them. "And you're the one who saved the Princess when I could not. Uzumaki Naruto, you have my eternal gratitude. But now it is time for you to rest, it's now time I did my duty."
To the astonishment of those who had not met the man, Pell morphed into a full falcon before their very eyes. His talons then reached into the barrel of the giant cannon and hooking them around the handle of the bomb, he flapped his mighty wings and pulled it out and began to fly towards the sky.
"Pell wait, don't go! There has to be another way!" Vivi desperately cried out.
"Get back here Bird man! I can throw it farther, come on!" Naruto screamed out at the Zoan-user.
Their cries fell of deaf ears. Pell's eyes were glued to the sky that was covered by the raging sandstorm. A smile graced his beak. 'Princess Vivi, serving the Nefeltari Family has been the greatest honor of my life. You've grown into a beautiful and strong woman, one day you will rule this country just like your father. Uzumaki Naruto...what an interesting person. Please look after her in my stead.'
He continued to fly further upwards, his wings releasing mighty burst of wind. 'I am the Guardian Deity of Alabasta...the Falcon. The enemies of Alabasta shall be destroyed.' Pell closed his eyes, the clock hit the number twelve...
And the sky was engulfed in a fiery inferno that destroyed the tops of buildings, sent towers crumbling to the ground. It dispersed the sandstorm, and knocked rebel, royal soldier, pirate, Baroque Works member, and Marine alike to the ground. For thirty seconds nothing happened, all was still, and it was a bittersweet moment for the Princess of Alabasta. Tears freely fell down her eyes from the loss of one of the most important figures in her life.
Naruto could honestly relate to what she was feeling right now. He wept like a baby after his parents disappeared, and later when he found out they were dead. He also just felt dead inside after Queen Otohime died, he didn't snap out of it for weeks even after he began training with Jinbe.
Slowly getting to one knee he placed his right hand on her quivering shoulder. "I'm sorry Vivi. I'm so, so sorry."
Before she could even answer, to both their dismay the rebels and royal soldiers rose like zombies. The Marines and members of Naruto's crew did as well, but the people of Alabasta...their eyes burned with intense hatred, and with that hatred they began to attack each other with reckless abandon.
Naruto's blue eyes widened seeing such senseless violence. Tashigi, the Marine swordswoman he tossed off his ship a month or so prior had to be held back by a fellow Marine least she be cut down by the royal soldier that held the weapon. Men and women attacked each other with the intent to kill.
'How can they do this? How can they keep on butchering each other after a bomb exploded?' He thought to himself. Did they hate each other that much that not even a near life ending event could stop them? 'What the hell did I fight so hard for when it was all for naught?'
"Stop fighting!" Vivi desperately screamed. Her heart nearly shattered when she witnessed her countrymen go back to fighting, it honestly brought even more tears to her eyes. "Pell...he gave everything to save us. Everyone please stop fighting!"
"God dammit, listen to your Princess you ungrateful bastards! Look what you're doing, you're tearing this country apart! How much blood must be shed...how many more people must die before you snap out of it!?" Naruto rose to his feet and screamed at the top of his lungs, it hurt like a son of a bitch, but he did not care. After nearly suffocating to death from desert sand, getting damn near blown up, dried up like a mummy, shot, and watching as two years of painstaking spy work both Vivi and Igaram risked their lives for go up in smoke he had completely run out of patience. "I SAID...STOOOOP!"
His voice echoed for what felt like miles, it boomed like a cannon, and roared like an enraged sea king. One-hundred men and women who were near the clock tower lost consciousness and fell to the ground with foam falling from their open mouths.
That caused the fighting to stop dead in its tracks. The people who were fighting each other to the death couldn't help but stare wide-eyed at the open clock tower seeing their weeping Princess kneeling next to a very pissed off fishman. The hot blood of rebel and royal soldier alike began to cool down from the overwhelming presence.
The only ones who weren't awed were the Baroque Works members. Those who were closest to the clock tower on the rebel side sneered and pointed their rifles towards the clock tower. "Don't tell us what to do!" One of them cried out.
"You're not a native!" Cried another one.
"You don't know what it was like slowly dying of thirst for over two years! Fuck you and fuck the Royal Family!"
A volley of rifle fire erupted in the square. A dozen in all discharged their weapons, all aiming for Naruto and Vivi. They did not expect to hit them due to the distance and sandstorm, it was mainly to cause the royal soldiers to start attacking again. They had the numbers, they could wipe them out, Mr. 0's plan would become a reality to them!
Many of the shots did fall short, striking the stone of the tower, a few coming near both Naruto and Vivi. But one bullet hit its mark, it clipped Vivi right in her shoulder. It wasn't a fatal wound, it wasn't even a crippling wound. But it was enough to tear through the fabric, make her cry out and clutch her appendage to try and stop the blood flow.
Naruto saw her blood escaping between her fingers and immediately his mind went back to the day Queen Otohime was assassinated. His heartbeat quickened, his pulse rose, his breathing came out in ragged gasps. "No more..."
Seeing that both Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine were unconscious with foam spilling from their mouths for some odd reason, Naruto sprang from the tower before the situation could escalate any further, his body rotated forward, building up extreme speed and momentum, and from five stories he was building up a lot of that. Some shots rang out, flying past him, but he honestly did not care. "Double Spiral Axe Kick!"
His sandals were obliterated, and the bottom of his white pants; which were slowly becoming red on the right side from his bullet wounds, were torn asunder above his knees as both his feet slammed into the offending Baroque Works member, and the ground underneath him. The remaining men did not fare well either as the shockwave tore through them. The stones literally disintegrated as a fifty foot deep and fifty wide crater formed around him, the dry fountain and any statues that remained upright did not stand a chance. Men and women from both sides flew from the ground and crashed into their enemies. Giant amounts of dust rose from the air, obscuring the sight of everyone.
At the same time a body burst through the ground and landed in the middle of the plaza revealing a battered, and very bloody "Sir" Crocodile of the Shichibukai. His hook hand had a dagger instead of a hook on the end of it, and it honestly looked like somebody dropped a mountain on his face.
And then to the astonishment of everyone there it began to rain. The dust began to settle revealing the ravished battlefield and all the wounded and dead spanning it.
"Stop fighting!" This time it was Vivi's voice that echoed over the plaza. No one fell unconscious, but all eyes were on her now. "The nightmare is finally over. Stop this senseless violence, enough blood has been shed!"
"This nightmare isn't over just yet!" Came the cry of an enraged rebel.
"Nanohana was destroyed by your father and the Royal Army, I lost my brother in that fire!" Cried another.
"Kohza was even shot by your soldiers, you really think we're just going to stop! The souls of our comrades scream for revenge!" One of the Baroque Works members added in, trying to reignite the fighting once again.
It almost worked. The soldiers nearly took up their arms again if Chaka's voice didn't alert them. His chest was torn wide open, back in his human from, and looking like he was on his last legs. But he was still alive and kicking. "Throw down your weapons soldiers of the King!"
"You too rebels!" Igaram bellowed, to the surprise of many; he was alive and well holding a small child in his arms and flanked by both Fujin and Raijin, both who no longer had the white paint on their foreheads. After days of hiding his face under bandages and in the medical tent he finally found someone to prove Cobra did not destroy Nanohana. "Can you speak Kappa?"
"Yea...I can." The men and women of the Rebel Army recognized him, he was brutalized by Cobra and his soldiers when Nanohana was destroyed. "I saw everything, King Cobra and his soldiers did not hurt me. They were imposters! Nanohana was destroyed by this weirdo who wore the Kings face like it was his own! We were all tricked!"
"He's right." Kohza said. With the help of a few people he slowly sat up from his position where he was shot at, even with three fresh new holes in his torso he spoke loud and clear. "We were all manipulated from the start."
"Citizens of Alabasta, please hear me. I can explain everything that has happened to his kingdom. Throw down your weapons." Igaram pleaded from the bottom of his heart.
One by one, the men and women of the Rebel Army dropped their weapons. Guns, knives, swords, clubs, and even spears fell from their grasp. The Royal Army too dropped their weapons and shields. All of them listened to Igaram explain that it was Crocodile under the alias of Mr. 0 the leader of the Baroque Works organization who framed the King with Dance Powder, it was due to his Logia powers that he deprived the country of rain, that it was under his orders that Nanohana was destroyed along with Yuba that he personally wiped out with his powers, and all so he could take over the country for himself.
Ensign Tashigi along with twenty other Marines then surrounded the unconscious Shichibukai. Taking a deep breath the swordswoman observed the surrounding people, and took note of Gin, Bashura and Kotetsu who were among the crowd. Her eyes narrowed at Kotetsu, making him know that she had not forgotten him. She even placed her hand on the hilt of sword with a golden hilt and handles with a round tsuba with a plain black scabbard with a white stripe going down the middle of it. It was Kashu, one of the Wazamono Grade Swords. It used to belong to Mr. 11 before he was murdered, and was her temporary replacement for Shigure. (4)
"We have recovered a rainmaking ship registered to the Baroque Works corporation loaded with Dance Powder. "Sir Crocodile" as the leader of the criminal organization Baroque Works and one of the seven Shichibukai." Tashigi was handed a pair of seastone cuffs by one of the Marines and kneeling down she positioned his arms in front of his groin and slapped them on his wrists, not only nullifying his devil fruit powers, but officially placing him under arrest. "Marine Headquarters, under the direct authorization of the World Government revokes your license to seize enemy ships, and strips you of of all your rank and authority with all benefits that come with it forever."
Naruto pulled himself out of the deep crater he created, slowly limping his way over to the unconscious former Shichibukai with a severed arm hanging loosely in his right hand, he tossed the bloody appendage towards the nearest rebel and royal soldier revealing the Baroque Works Jolly Roger tattooed on the inner forearm. "Look for the people who bare this symbol on their clothing, or body." He coldly said before turning his back on all of them. "I'm tired, don't bother me for a while."
By now everyone who had been knocked out by Shizune's knockout gas had awoken, confused, disoriented, sore and wet. Nearly all of them made it to the plaza by then to learn what had happened. They were ashamed, Kohza who was the cause of the rebellion blamed himself more than all of them combined. "How can we ever make up for what we've done?"
Vivi, who was by her fathers side after the Straw Hats met up and collapsed into an alley somewhere did not know what to say. After everything that happened, she could not find the words to push the people forward from this tragedy.
King Cobra however, he knew what to do. After placing a comforting hand on his only child's shoulder he slowly moved towards the crowd. "We all have regrets. That's only natural. It's also natural for us to feel sorrowful." The people parted, making way for their King. "We have suffered terrible losses and gained nothing in return. But now we must move forward! We must strive the best we can to put this tragedy behind us. No one can undo the past! Now we must overcome this wars tragedies...and live united as one!"
The citizens of Alabasta, divided for two whole painful years openly wept at the Kings speech. Many fell to their knees feeling like they weren't worthy. Others fell to their hands and knees bowing to their wise ruler.
"Long live Alabasta!" Cobra cried out, and that cry was echoed by a united people.
The battles of Alabasta's devastating Civil War, along with those battles that would never be mentioned in the pages of history finally came to an end. It would always be a dark chapter on the proud nation, two cities utterly destroyed, many damaged from the drought. It would take years for the nation to rebuild itself, and to those who lived through it were forever changed by it.
That would remain true for the members of the Ocean Swords Pirates. They were ignored by the Marines who took priority in arresting the remaining Officer Agents that were unconscious around Alubarna along with the Millions and Billions agents that infiltrated both sides.
Naruto was alone for thirty minutes that entire time, his dull gaze watching as men and women were hauled away by the Marines, the people of Alabasta crying and looking after the dead and wounded before someone settled next to him. Tiredly he turned his head to see that it was Gin with Mr. 5's flintlock .44 caliber six shot revolver in his grasp, he only knew this because his had his other similar firearm in his other hand. So now he had two, great. Good for him.
"Hell of a day, eh?" Gin tiredly asked.
"Yea...it has." Naruto tiredly replied before a larger body settled next to him. It was Bashura in his human form covered in many cuts, bruises and a busted lip.
"You going to be okay, Cap'n?" The navigator asked.
"I don't think so. After everything that happened...I dunno, I thought I knew everything about humans. Turns out I really don't know a thing."
"You know..." Shizune settled next to Gin, so far she was the only one that was uninjured. "If you ever want to talk, I will listen. I'm not only responsible for your physical health." She said eyeing her Captains bloody chest, she would patch him up in a bit. "But your mental health as well."
Kotetsu settled next to Bashura, blood was staining his somewhat tattered clothing along with Gins, but it was not his. "Good to know doc...I think we will all need some counseling after this...and somebody to carry me. I think my body just locked up."
"You just need something to eat." Carmen settled next to Kotetsu, battered and beaten, with one hell of a reality check. But alive. "I'll make a grand feast for everyone, meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables and breads as far as the eye can see."
"What about sweets and tea? Is there going to be sweets and tea?" Miss Goldenweek asked after plopping down next to Shizune. She was scuffed up and out of paint, but no worse for wear.
"Aren't you getting arrested?" Naruto questioned.
"Are you going to tell the Marines I was part of the Baroque Works?" She dully asked.
"Nope." Came Naruto's response.
"No." Gin tiredly sighed out.
"Nu-ah." Bashura grinned.
"Not my job anymore." Kotetsu lightly chuckled.
"No way." Carmen giggled.
"I guess you're stuck with us." Shizune said. Glancing over at the younger girl she asked. "So are you going to tell us your real name?"
"Nope." Miss Goldenweek replied with a laugh.
Naruto joined her in the laugh, and it was soon followed by the others. It was stupid, it did not make a lock of sense at all. But their newest member not telling them her real name was just funny to them. They needed to laugh, they all needed to laugh after the horrible day they all had. It just felt right to them resting against a wall, soaked to the bone from the rain with ruined clothing, battle injuries, and laughing over absolutely nothing.
Further away while clutching her shoulder, Vivi watched the seven of them with a small, tired smile. Like the members of the Straw Hat Pirates those seven seemed perfect for each other, like they belonged together on a ship sailing the seas and getting in all sorts of trouble.
So why after two years of returning home, saving her country and finally being able to put this horrible event behind her that she felt like she was missing something in her life?
Armageddon: Over twenty-one thousand words...in three or so weeks I put over twenty-one thousand words for this chapter. I has quite possibly been the biggest I've made by far. Man, I am almost sad to see it go.
Pvt. Gold: *Sniff* This was beautiful General, a perfect chapter.
Lt. RasenganFin: Bwahaha! I can't stop myself, weeping is so unmanly!
Lt. Doom: Don't be a pussy, manly tears are fine.
Pvt. Leaf Ranger: Agreed, I honestly cannot find anything else to add.
Armageddon: Well I got some more news for you.
Pvt. Runox: What is it, a puppy?
Pvt. Liquor: Now why the hell would he of all people give us puppies? I prefer the sauce anyways. *drinks from an entire bottle of Jack and belches* Aww I miss getting shit-faced.
Armageddon:...Right, well I can not feel good just leaving this story with a wrap up chapter months from now. So next chapter I'll finish things In Alabasta.
Armageddon: But...after that I'll be focusing on my other two. They have their own arcs waiting to be finished, and I cannot neglect the fans of both Naruto: Heir of the Juppongatana or Hell Sharingan V2 any further, it ain't fair to them.
Everyone:...Well we understand that, I mean we get featured no matter what.
Armageddon: Right...so have a good day, night, afternoon or wherever the heak you all are. Now onto the number things, I haven't done those in a while.
(1) Now regarding Carmen losing, everyone is liable to lose a fight every once and a while. Yes I know she beat Izo, but getting kicked in the loins until you run out of breath to scream from the enormous amounts of pain from being kicked in said area is so much more different than fighting a woman...I really cannot stress that enough. This was a reality check, and it will get her to become stronger, trust me I actually had this planned for months now.
(2) More is to come regarding Gaara, regarding Naruto's favor for him, his past, and everything else. Just be patient folks I don't do anything for no reason in these stories.
(3) You didn't think I would make it easy four our hero when everything was coming near its end did you?
(4) All right I am going to admit Kashu was kinda made up by me regarding the hilt and scabbard. But only because it was shown once after Tashigi took it from Mr. 11. It only showed its blade and the tsuba, from what I remember and looked up Tashigi took two of the Meito class swords so far, Kashu and Yamaoroshi from Billy the Orca Killer. I might introduce the latter sword at a later date, but if I do it'll be made up appearance-wise since it has not been seen in the series yet.