For a while now, both His Heir and Bones have been haunting me.
I wasn't, and still am not, happy with plot choices I have made in the past, especially the beginning of His Heir due to…rushing and having a vague idea of what I wanted the story to be. I have learned that if I'm not happy with something, then why not just…redo it. Therefore, I made a list of things that I wanted to change and months doing just that.
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, but plot and OCs are mine.
Chapter 1: A White Knight
The night sky twinkled with colorful paper lanterns that swayed in a breeze that tasted of greasy chicken and deep-fried cakes. The decorations were strung above the bustling streets, hovering like spotlights while the villagers enjoyed the festivities.
Laughter was the night's music as the masses wandered from booth to booth to either fill their bellies or win a prize. Drunk men stumbled together in unstable lines, arms linked with their mates as they flirted with pretty young girls before flustered wives dragged them away by their ears. Children scurried along the cobblestone roads, their bare feet a harmonic pitter-patter as they threw firecrackers on the smooth bricks to startle their elders. The old men and women would shake wrinkled fists and worn canes at the little ones, shouting curses as the children merely retreated with snickers.
She stepped to the side and allowed a small group of young boys to sprint by. The children were taunting an old man that blistered like an angry cat, steam hissing from his crimson ears. The boys threw more firecrackers to fuel the flames of rage, causing a billow of smoke to rise from the ashen spots on the cobblestone. The sparks fizzled on the brown leather of her boots, and her golden eyes flickered behind the shadow of her cowl as the boys disappeared into the crowds before the old man could catch up.
Winded, the old man's body withered. His back hunched over, and he was forced to use his timeworn cane for support as he rubbed the fresh sores blooming on his spine. "Watch out for 'em hooligans, outsider!" He snapped at her, his cane gently tapping the black soot on her boot. "They're too wild tonight with 'em dang crackers!"
She frowned, her eyes following the old man that shuffled away. She knew fully well that she didn't blend in with the locals. The chains stitched to the shoulders of her ebony robe were a testament to that. The links glistening brightly in the light of the lanterns along the decorative one draped across her back, and the chain clashed together with the metal of her sheathed sword, making it ring. She stood out like a sore thumb, yet she still had hope that her short height could be used to her advantage.
Then her ears twitched when she heard a panic yelp in the background, and not too far away from where she stood. Ducking behind a man in front of a food stall, she stayed out of sight to observe.
It had been the three tall men that chased her from the docks. They towered over the masses. The long white trench coats trailing behind them with each large stride they took. Surgical masks covered their mouths, but the fabric was pulled by the corner of their lips, exposing the frowns beneath. Black shades hid the emotions in their eyes, but the deep creases in their furrowed brows showcased the men's dark scowls. Each giant's forehead pulsed with annoyance as they scanned the crowds, shoving the drunks out of their way.
She grimaced at the sight.
The incident had been unintentional, yet they were still on the hunt, and she was afraid that it wasn't about to end.
The three men drew closer and she quickly rounded the corner into an alleyway. The shadows welcomed her, bathing her in darkness as she pressed her back to the wall until the light of the street could no longer reach her. She held her breath, staring as the group of three men stalked out of sight.
She tapped her gloved fingers to the bricks, mentally counting to ten. Then slowly, she leaned away from the wall and stuck her head out into the light cast from the street. The movement caused a single lock of ginger hair to slip past her hood, the vivid shade of red gleaming radiantly in the light.
The chains on her shoulders jingled when they jolted upward in shock. Whipping around, her golden eyes went wide when she saw the silhouettes of a small group of men on the other side of the alley. Though the light of the street behind the men obscured the details, she recognized the image of white coats.
She bit her lip to stop from cursing as the group of men charged forward, whipping out their weapons. The daggers glared dangerously in what little light the alleyway held, the blades thin but razor sharp.
She scoffed and then held out an arm before her, a sharp gold aura engulfing her gloved hand. With her fingertips, she gently pushed away a cluster of tiny orbs, the glowing spheres increasing in size as they zoomed towards the men. The flurry of orbs morphed, the images of golden imps taking form. The devils cackled mischievously as their wings beat rapidly against the wind, and the imps ambushed the group chargers.
The men stumbled when the imps dashed underneath their feet to trip them, and the little devils pulled at clothing and hair, making the men swat them away in a desperate attempt to escape.
Then abruptly the imps stopped, flying high above their heads, and they giggled roguishly before vanishing into thin air.
When the men regained their composure, they looked back to where she was standing at the other end of the alleyway.
Though, she was nowhere in sight.
He stretched his back in the fresh air of night, twisting his torso around until he heard the satisfying crack of his spine pop. Then he tilted his masked head side to side, his long blonde hair swaying with the motion. With another gratifying crack, he moved to his knuckles, popping each and every one.
He still performed the action even though the pockets of oxygen had been popped, his mind beginning to wander as his gaze behind his mask scanned over docks. It was surprisingly vacant, yet there was a vibrant glow from inside the tiny port town. A hum of noise filtered from the area, polluting the quiet docks that only had a few ships anchored for the night.
It would prove difficult to get any supplies, despite the time of night. They needed to restock after that rather long sea battle with Basil Hawkins. Another supernova wasn't going to go down like the others they had crossed. Though, the battle ended with a standstill due to a massive sea king that seemed to part the waters between their galleons. His captain would never admit it, but that sea king was probably a good thing.
When he heard his name, the masked blonde looked over his shoulder to see the navigator appear from the passing members of the crew unloading empty crates and barrels from their ship.
The tall man ran his hand through his shaggy ebony locks, a slightly annoyed expression on his features as he jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "Brought sleeping beauty," and as soon as the navigator said the words, he lunged forward, but he caught himself by taking a large step with the momentum of the push. Yet, a dull look remained on his pale features as he slowly turned around and shoved his hands into the pockets of his brown overcoat.
"Fuck you, Chamberlain," a venomous hiss followed as heavy footsteps pounded against the wooden dock.
Their captain stood before them, dark bags under his eyes as he ran his pale fingers through his wild crimson hair, and the absent jingle of gold bangles was noticeable. It looked like the redhead had just rolled out of bed. The sash across his waist was crudely tied and bandolier that held his weapons was nowhere in sight, leaving his bare chest more exposed to the elements than usual. His maroon fur coat was carelessly thrown onto his shoulders, and the goggles usually perched on his brow were hanging around his neck.
"Who the fuck wakes someone up at 3 A.M. in the damn morning." The redhead continued to drone as he massaged his temple.
"Someone that shouldn't be shrinking on their duty as captain," Chamberlain was blunt.
The redhead growled, grabbing a fist full of the navigator's collar. Red rage burned in his amber eyes, his body trembling as he held up a threatening fist to beat the man. Yet, Chamberlain just looked away with a bored expression and sighed.
Killer shook his head and stepped forward, placing a hand on his captain's extended arm and the masked blonde could feel the growing tension in the redhead's muscles. "Kidd, seriously, calm the fuck down."
The strain in the redhead's arm remained, but then gradually he relaxed and released the navigator from his hold. Kidd then sighed, running his hand through his crimson locks once more. "I'm not a morning person."
"Trust me," Chamberlain scoffed, readjusting his collar. "We are all well aware of that."
Kidd sent the navigator a dark scowl, but didn't bother with a retort. Instead he turned his attention to the masked blonde. "Well, what's the word?" The redhead moved on. "This place looks as barren as between a nun's thighs."
Killer held out a hand to the side, preparing to explain the situation on the island, but his voice was drowned out a piercing screech.
"What do you mean, can't catch her!? Get that teleporting whore to me now!"
Their gaze traveled to the pier beside them and they spied on the commotion. A group of men dawned in white overcoats cowered before another that loomed over them viciously. The crimson fabric of the furious man's trench coat stood out in the moonlight just as much as the white brace around his neck. The cowardly group was blabbering frightened nonsense that couldn't be understood, but that only made the man dawned in red even more enraged. He stormed away and carelessly pushed away the yellow-bellies, a few of them tumbling into the grimy waters of the bay.
The masked blonde crossed his arms, curiously watching as the familiar face disappeared into the shadows of the town's alleyways. He didn't expect to see the rising pirate captain known as The Pin so soon in the New World.
Kidd groaned and closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Another annoying captain-doctor hybrid."
"Just ignore them," Killer stated flatly. "We need to scout the town for a weapon's dealer and hope that someone is open this late. Doesn't help that the locals are all probably out and probably not in shop," and he jerked a thumb over his shoulders to the illumination further inland.
Kidd cast it aside. "We'll find something, even if I have to break down a few doors," then he started to walk forward, waving a hand over his shoulder. "Heat, Wire. We're movin' ou—"
The redhead barely got the last word out before an unnatural sound echoed in his ears. It was the odd noise of a large zipper being opened right beside his head. With his brows furrowed in confusion, he slowly turned to the side and his eyes widened in shock when he saw that it looked like the atmosphere was rapidly tearing a black hole beside him. It was like he was staring into the darkness of the universe. Then from the murkiness of the vortex appeared a figure robed in black and the person collided with the redhead's chest full force. The clatter of metal was the only sound as the dock went eerily silent.
The redhead grunted in pain when his back rammed into the docks and the smaller person landed upon his chest, the unknown presence producing a feminine squeak. Kidd peeled away from the wooden boards, his hand grasping onto slender shoulders and he pushed away the assailant that straddled his hips. He glowered, but he couldn't hide the surprise clouding his amber eyes when he saw the soft facial features of a woman partially hidden by the shadow of the cowl. Her skin looked smooth, the hue a light caramel color, yet the apples of her cheeks were tinted bright pink.
She mustered up a glare, her eyes piercing like two gold coins on fire. "C—ceh…" she scoffed, her tiny hands locking onto his wrists. With one swift move, she gracefully ripped away from his grip and jumped from the awkward perch. Her eyes flickered across the crew as she adjusted her hood, pulling it so her eyes were engulfed into darkness. Then she pivoted on the heel of her boot and scurried off, dashing away without another word.
The redhead felt the masked blonde's presence behind him and there was a hand held out to him. Kidd accepted the support and got back onto his feet. "Hmm." he hummed, and looked towards the alleyway where she had disappeared, a hand on his chin. "I think we found the doc's teleporting whore."
She bit her lip, her brow twitching in annoyance. The cold brick pierced the fabric of her cloak as she pressed her back to the wall, and the metal of her sheath scraped against the red stone. Her golden eyes scanned the group of four men that had surrounded her, sweaty grimaces on their faces.
Their coats were a muddied shade of white due to trudging through the filth in the alleyways of the town, and the exposed skin of their faces and hands were riddled with scraps from her golden imps. The men held firmly onto razor sharp blades, the vane so thin it looked like it could only cut through butter, but she saw what that steel could do. She knew distance was key when it came to those blades, and it didn't help that she had nowhere left to run.
She could only keep up the charade of portals for so long. She knew her limits, despite how little energy it took to make portals in close range. No, she had other things to worry about: the residue it would leave behind. It would build up with layers, easy for others to sense, which wasn't good when she wanted to remain hidden. She was reaching that point, she could feel it in her gut. It was better to cease it than risk it.
She took a deep breath in and out, cautiously stepping from the wall and her gloved fingers flexed anxiously as her hand slowly reached for the hilt of the sword on her back. The group of men tensed as she whipped out the blade, holding it out before her. The dark steel was carved with markings from the base to the tip, the humming runes glowing with a light orange aura. Her grip tightening on the hilt, she spread her stance and steadied herself into a defensive position.
The breeze tumbled between the five, clothing fluttering with the movement. It created a small window of silence before three of the men charged, lunging for her with murderous intent beaming in their dark eyes.
The first man jumped into the air, blade high over his head as a battle cry erupted from his throat. Swiftly, she sidestepped the incoming attack. The blade impaled the ground where she once stood, a vein of cracks scarring the ground from the force. Then her ears twitched, the sound of hurried footsteps at her back almost drowned out by the grunting of the first man that struggled to remove his blade.
She whipped around with her blade up to block the powerful swing from the second man. Sparks flew as the tough steel ground together, but she mustered her strength to push the second man back. The collided fusion of metal broke, and the second man stumbled backwards. He attempted to regain his balance, but ultimately failed when she rammed the thick heel of her boot to his gut and sent him to the ground. Then she was alerted to approaching danger, her eyes opening wide. Her attention whirled around to the third man at her heels, his blade gleaming in the moonlight as he pursued her.
Her grip tightened on the hilt of her sword, a low growl rumbling from the pits of her throat as she swung her blade in a wide arc to ward off the third man. He barely avoided the sharp edge of her steel, his eyes wide when strands of his blonde fluttered down to the ground.
A small chuckle then escaped her lips as the orange aura of her blade's rune intensified. The narrow distance that she had missed was replaced by flames that burst from the steel's edge and the fire engulfed the third man's form. The blaze clung to his clothing and he wildly thrashed his limbs to dim the inferno that ate away at his flesh.
She didn't squander the distraction caused by the fire and she held firmly onto her sword's hilt as she brought the steel back to the first man. He had froze when he saw his companion withering in flames on the ground, it was the last sight he saw as her blade sliced his neck clean in two. She followed with the momentum of the strike, her movements graceful despite the blood splattering upon her robes.
She rammed the heel of her boot to the second man's stomach, keeping him pinned to the mud. She adjusted the hold on her sword, the blade pointing downward and she thrust it into the man's heart. Blood spilled from the man's open lips and his eyes rolled into the back of his head.
Applying more pressure to the weight of her foot against the fresh corpse, she removed her blade with a grunt. Then her golden eyes turned to the fourth man that had yet to move. He cowered where he stood, the trembling grip he had on his blade breaking and he dropped it with a clatter. Slowly, he backed away before pivoting sharply on his heel, sprinting away at top speed.
She sighed, watching the coward round the corner and disappear from sight. She wiped the splash of red from her cheek, a grimace on her features as the dark hue stained her glove. She scanned the scene in the large alleyway, the stench of blood and burnt skin choking her senses and she shook her head in a pitiful attempt to ward if off.
Then she sighed again, closing her eyes as she twirled her blade and sheathed it. "I'll worry about cleaning it la—"
She couldn't finish her thought when her feet were swept away from the ground by a powerful force that broke through the wall in front of her. The dust clouded the thing that sent her into the opposing wall, a breathless gasp escaping her parted lips when she felt the stone crack. She slumped against the wall, her body screaming with agony as she struggled to remain on her feet.
Suddenly, the bricks behind her produced even more cracks, and before she could even register what was happening, slick pieces of iron shackles clasped around her wrists and ankles so her back was flush against wall. A burst of adrenaline rushed through her veins as she felt her hands collide with the stone above her head, and her feet were rooted due to the harsh clutch of the shackles around her ankles.
A bead of nervous sweat trickled down her brow: she was pinned.
The cloud of grime dispersed to reveal the three tall men she had been extra cautious of, the trio finally catching up to her. The men in pristine white trench coats stood at attention behind the gaping hole in the wall with arms folded over their chest. Then the three parted to clear a path for the familiar man she had really didn't want to see again.
The crimson fabric of his overcoat swayed with every step he took, and the balled up fists as his sides were white from lack of blood flow. He stood before her, an obvious note of pain in his expression despite how he tried to uphold a dark glower in his olive eyes. "T—Teleporting whore…" His voice was sore, the agony building up in his words due to the brace around his neck. "You'll pay for what y—you did…"
She frowned, her head turning slightly to the side as she eyed him warily. "It…it was an accident." She told him calmly. "I didn't mean to land on you."
"I don't care—ugh!" The furious man winced, the rise in pitch putting a toll on his injuries. Sweat dripped from his pulsing brow as he grabbed her cowl. "You…" he trembled, his grip tight on the fabric and he pulled it away, and the sight left him momentarily stunned him.
The waves of ginger hair cascaded down her shoulders, the locks framing the sharp glare in her eyes, the golden irises quivering with rage when her hood was removed. She jerked her head way from the wandering fingers that touched her ear, the pointed cartilage out of the man's reach.
"A…elf?" the man paused, his lips pursed in thought. Then she shook his head, his pained scowl returning. "Like I care," he spat and dug a hand into the pocket of his overcoat, pulling out a shiny scalpel. "You made a mistake landing on me, elf. Having an injury like this in the New World is s—suicide!" There was a small strain in his tone as his pitch got louder once more. He shuddered, pausing mid-thought before continuing in a low voice. "You will pay for making The Pin wait for One Piece."
The Pin raised his hand high over his head, the scalpel gleaming in the light of the moon. She closed her eyes, anticipating the blade to pierce her flesh, but the only thing she felt was a dull pain upon impact. Slowly, she cracked open an eye to peek at the sight.
The Pin blinked rapidly in confusion as he stared at the side of his fist, not an ounce of blood dripping from her chest. He pulled back his hand, flexing his fingers to reveal an empty palm over and over again. His brows furrowed, a puzzled look on his features. Then that expression instantly warped to pain. He grabbed his shoulder, his pale hand dripping with fresh blood as he removed his once missing scalpel. Growling, the Pin looked down the alleyway, his cheeks smoldering with a red hue that matched the color of his overcoat.
She let out a sigh of relief, thinking that a kindred soul had taken pity on her; a white knight to save her in her hour of need. She turned to face the hero of the day, a small smile gracing her lips.
It instantly dropped to a dark frown when she saw the unforgettable silhouette draw closer, the shadows scurrying off so that a devilish grin was exposed in the moonlight.
White knight her ass. This was the apocalyptic horseman of war.