Please be kind, this is my first OP fan-fic. All characters belong to Eiichiro Oda. Set after time-skip. Other stories will be on hold. Thank you!
Quite, the night air made no sound; it feared waking evil from sleep. The only sound that dared to be heard was the footfall of a tall man and his guide. He walked through the thick forest with a half empty bottle in his hand. Though the bartender claimed it was his strongest liquor the drink did little to ease the swordsman's mind. What he was about to do went against everything he believed in, but it would not be the first time he pushed his pride away for the sake of his captain. Taking a long swig of his drink he called out to his guide, asking if they were close.
The guide, a small mute old man, simply nodded. He then raised his lantern and an old finger to point ahead of them. The light from the lantern did little to show the structure that lay before them. It was as if on cue when the man pointed that a large cloud moved, allowing the moon to shine down and unveiling the stoned gate they were headed to.
Once at the gate the guide turned to the green haired swordsman and held out his hand. Placing the small bag in the guide's hand the swordsman promised more money for him if he waited for him to finish his business and lead him back to the village. The guide simply nodded stepping aside and sat down on a nearby rock.
Gripping the bottle in his hand he took one last drink and passed through the shrine's gates.
The grounds were nothing special, bushes and stone statues were over taken by weeds and thorns. Fog bellowed around his feet as he walked to a small and shabby looking building. The skeptical swordsman stopped at the doors and with a heavy sigh opened them. Light flooded into the room showing a small stone altar with a stone chalice that looked cemented where it sat. Next to it was a small basin, also made of the same stone. Behind the altar was a stone throne with engraving written all over the head broad. Despite the outward appearance of the building the inside, while plain, was neat and clean.
Not wanting to waste anymore time he walked towards the altar and took out a small ruby that he borrowed (took) from his crew's navigator's vault. He dropped it into the cup soberly, if what he was about to do didn't work the ruby would simply be return to its rightful owner. However, should it work and his wish did come true…
Well, he would have to figure that one out later. Drawing out Wado he carefully cut the palm of his hand, letting the blood drip in to the cup. He did not wince at the slight pain, but words of his crewmates echoed in his head.
"Do you think he's okay? Luffy never turns me down for a game of tag or fishing, but lately he looks so tried. Why is that?"
"This isn't normal, its happing way too fast! I don't know if it's something I can cure, I don't even know what this black spot is all about."
The sword man ripped the black bandana off of his arm to clean off his sword, then wrapped it tightly around his hand.
"Oi, Marimo, do you know something we don't. Luffy left leftovers and he has stopped stealing food. As much as I'm relieved that we won't run out anytime soon, but…"
"It hurts my heart to see that my music is no longer cheering up my captain. Though, I have no heart."
"Luffy is trying too hard to act like everything is super. But it's not."
*Sob* "Zoro! If this continues any further Luffy will, he will…"
"Why are you so interested in cures Zoro? I thought you didn't believe in any of that. But I do have this book…"
"Dammit Zoro! Will you shut it! I know which way we're going. Why do you even want to go to island anyway? Shouldn't we be more concern about Luffy's health than some island?"
Everyone knew that Luffy was putting on a brave face, or he just being Luffy and trying to ignore his sickness. A sickness, if it was only that easy. Zoro was just glad that he got to cut down the son of a bitch that did this to Luffy, but that didn't solve a damn thing. Only he, and more than likely Robin knew the true cause, and if everything worked out he will keep it that way. As first mate it was his job to protect his captain, but it was more than just a job. If it was any other man he would left a long time ago.
"A ruby for payment, my blood to seal our agreement, demon, fulfill my request." He recited as he drew a pentagram onto the stone altar with his blood.
For a moment nothing happen; then a strange wind blow into the shrine slamming the doors shut behind him. With his hand on his sword he felt out the place for an attacker, but shield his eye as flames burst from the two fire pits that stood on both sides of the throne. Power, he could feel its power washing over him in hard waves.
"Hello there stranger," a salutary voice called out, making his blood freeze.
As the flame calmed down, he lowered his hand, is eye wide in amazement as a strange women now stood in front on the once stone chair. She smiled wickedly at him, eyeing him as if he was something good to eat.
"My, aren't you a handsome one." She said smoothly as she continued eyeing him. Zoro glared at her as her power continued to pop along his skin like static.
It wasn't anything like he expected, hell, he didn't think it would even work. The fact that it came in the form of a woman was nothing special, his experience with their navigator taught him that demons were already walking among humans. But this thing made Nami look like an angle, long wavy sliver hair, dark tan skin, melted gold in her eyes, full blood red lips, and body that would put any women in the world to shame. The dress she wore did little to cover anything; if the love sick cook would have seen her no way would he live. He on the other hand would not be distracted by any of her tricks or wiles; he was here for one thing and one thing only.
He watched her carefully as she moved to her throne, which now was made of black ebony. Crossing her legs as she sat down, the dress moved showing all of her left leg. Resting her head in her hand she spoke to him in an almost bored tone. "State your name and the purpose of summoning me here."
"I am Roronoa Zoro, first mate of the straw hat pirates and the next greatest swordsman."
"Oh really?" The demon women chuckled darkly, "And I suppose you called me here to make that possible for you, pathetic." She spat. "And here I was hoping for more of a challenge."
Zoro clenched his fists, reminding himself that he needed this damn women's power. "No, I will achieve that goal on my own. I don't need a damn demon for that."
The women eyebrow arched at the lowly humans comment, but then grinned. It has been a long time since she met an interesting mortal. That fact that he didn't just tried to run out of there like most would do was impressive. Maybe this one would offer her some form of entertainment; or at least an interesting request.
"But you do need me, don't you." She laughed as Zoro gripped his swords at her words. "Now tell me what it is that you need me for."
"My Captain is sick."
"Ah, and why not pray for his health?" the demon interrupted.
"I don't pray."
"But you would pay respect to a demon, you are quite the hypocrite, continue." She said as she waved her hand for him to finish.
"It is not a sickness that just anyone or thing can cure, which is why I'm here."
"You believe it's was a demon's doing? But how can you be sure?"
Zoro pulled out a piece of paper, unfolding it as he stepped closer, laying it flat so that the she could see. The women's eyes widen at the page, there was no doubt that this page once a part of an ancient book that spilled some of the secrets of the dark realm. But how could he, a simple swordsman, get a hold of such a book? She stared at him for a moment, a smile playing at her lips. She then broke out into a laughing fit making the fire pits blaze hotter.
"It always fun to have a non believer come crawling here to me. It must have been painful for you, but I can defiantly get along with someone who doesn't believe in God."
Her laugh filled the shrine, making the sword man anger rise. This damned Witch was wasting his time, Luffy was short on time and she had yet to confirm if she could do anything to help or not! He spent many nights just looking up the curious mark with the gloomy women. Then another aggravating five days helping their navigator to find a island that had any kind of demon worship, without her and the rest of the crew finding out!
"I was told that you can do anything that is asked of you, is it true. Can you do something about this?!" He growled as he pointed to the picture, then snatching it back up, shoving the paper back into his pocket. "Cause if it's not then I can go right now. And you can keep that damn ruby"
Immediately she stopped laughing and glared at him, amusing or not he needed to learn his place. She raised her hand and from it a power threw Zoro off his feet and slamming him in to the closed doors. He cursed not believing he could let her catch him of guard. Quickly getting up he heard the sound of her heels clicking against the hard floor, heading right for him. His hand on his sword, he prepared to attack but was stopped as her hands gripped his shoulders. He then felt himself being thrown to other side the room, and before he could turn she was right there gripping his neck. Her long sharp nails digging into his skin.
Squeezing it she slowly forced his face close to hers. Her eyes were now glowing with a black fire that threatened to burn into him till he was no more.
"Yes, I have the power to grant anything you desire. Anything, from power to destruction can be yours for the right price. You will do well to remember that it is you who called me here, I own you nothing."
With that she dropped him and walked back to the altar, dipping her finger in the blood and dropping it into the sliver basin. The single drop began to spread its self thin, covering the bottom on the dish. She peered down into it, as Zoro stood up in silence.
"You were right; your captain has been cursed with an illness that is sure to take his life by the next full moon." Zoro looked up at her, but said nothing. "You found the one who place it, but this kind of cures can only be removed by a demon. Luckily, you found me in time. the next full moon is just three days away. "
"Can you do it?"
She glanced thoughtfully at him and nodded, but held up her hand to stop him from telling her to do it.
"Even though you were a pain I will do this, as it will give me a bit of a challenge. You see your captain was not only cursed but his soul was promised to another demon. You can understand that it would be unethical for me to take another demon claim away."
"Codes among demons, what's next?"
"Just like there are codes among pirates they are there and to break them is a crime, or rather a blow to one's honor. But I can work around this curse, even remove it for good. All I need is the right price."
"I thought the ruby was the price."
"It's the price for calling me to your world, it's in case the buyer gets cold feet and leaves. It's a pain to travel here to your world and to get nothing for it."
"What do you want? Name it."
"I would say your own soul, but as I said you are a pain and I doubt you would make a good servant. But..." the dark mistress mused for a moment as she looked over him once more. Despite the sacred eye, he was still something to look at. Though she was able to smack him around she could sense that he was holding back a stronger power, a smart thing to do if he wanted to help his friend. Yes, this could work to her advantage as well. She picked up the now golden chalice, plucking the gem from the cup and tossing it to Zoro.
"Keep it, because your payment will be a large one. I will not ask for your soul, but I will ask for your services as a swordsman."
The thought peeked Zoro interest but he couldn't help grinning as he crossed his arms. "You need me to cut someone down? I didn't think a demon would have problems getting their hands dirty."
"Hmpf, you really are a pain." She crossed her arms as she turned her head to the side. Sighing, she wondered if he was even worth the trouble. "I have a job for you to complete. If you do your debt with be repaid. However,"
She turn back at him with a smirk "If you should fail, I will not only gain your soul but your friend's as well." She stepped closer to Zoro, putting one hand on his chest and leaning in close. Zoro felt his body go rigged, but his face remain blank.
With her lips inches away ear she whispered, "Do we have a deal?"
Zoro jaw tightened, what choice did he have, how bad could this 'job' be? Than remembering what he was dealing with he spoke up "Fine, but leave the rest of my crew out of it. They have nothing to do with this deal."
She pulled back and stared into his eye, then chuckled. Her hand moved up his chest and neck then stopped. She waiting from some kind of response and when none came her fingers snaked their way into his hair.
"What makes you think that would want anything to with the rest of your crew?" She purred as she lightly scratched the back of his head.
Zoro fisted tighten with frustration, he would love nothing more than the throw her across the room and to tell her to go back to whatever hell hole she came from. Slowly he reached up and grabbed her wrist, making the demon eyes widened and firmly brought it down, pulling her closer.
"Enough of your games," he growled through gritted teeth, "If you are looking for some kind of easy satisfaction you have the wrong Straw Hat." The demon women's glared at him as her pride took a blow.
"Now swear that the rest of my crew will be safe from you and your kind and I will do whatever job you have as long as it does not hurt my pride as a swordsman. That's including sleeping with you."
Zoro felt a sharp pain in his left cheek; you would think being smacked by Nami all the time that he would get use to it by now. Nope, still hurts but if it got any funny ideas out of her head it was worth it. The hell queen breathed heavily, the cup was clutched so tightly in her hands it looked like it break.
"WHO THE HELL THESE HE THINK HE IS?!" Was all that her mind was thinking as she bit her bottom lip so hard that it started to bleed. "I will make him pay! I will…"
Zoro turned to look at her as she erupted in to a fit of hysterical laughter. He frowned as he wondered what the hell she was up to. Soon her laugher died down to giggles as she straightened her eyes on him, tossing her hair over her shoulders. Zoro knew he was in trouble the moment she looked at him with those mischievous eyes.
"Alright," She said slowly, "I agree to your terms. In fact I'll even sweeten it for you. Should any of your crewmate's get hurt in any way dealing with our agreement I'll forego any claim I have on you and your captain's soul. What do you say?"
Before Zoro could answer she cut him off, "Oh and I'll promise not to wound your precious 'swordsman pride', or what's left of it seeing as you will be bowing your head to me after this."
She laughed again when she saw him seethe with anger. "Oh, and don't worry about having to leave your crew, you should be able to handle this task just fine without me babysitting you. Well?"
This was it; as much as he hated it he had no other choice. Not wanting to lose face or go empty hand handed he nodded. The woman smile wide, showing her sharp canines and drank the blood from the cup as the doors behind Zoro flew open and the flames burst forward once more, throwing him out of the shrine. He cursed, looking back at the shrine. The demon was nothing but a dark figure with burning red eyes a voice called out saying "You request has been granted, I will return to claim my payment in three days. Be ready Roronoa Zoro."
Three days! Will Luffy be okay before then?
Before he had the chance to ask the doors slam shut and he sense that she was gone. All he could do now was wait and hope that she will keep up her end of the deal.
Please let me know what you think. - Cheers! :)