|Seven Isn't Lucky|
|Date Started: August 10th, 2020|
Date Finished: August 17th, 2020
Setting: Mary Geoise
Synopsis: Four of the Shichibukai make their way to the Hold Land of Mary Geoise in order to engage in deliberations with the Fleet Admiral and her platoon of Vice-Admirals. Unfortunately, discussions were interrupted by Wukong's declaration of War against the World Government. With the balance of power put into question, the Warlords receive their orders and prepare for the looming threat.
|KamiGuru • ZeoSpark • Scardra246 • Phoenix Red|
Surrounded by white, son of the Hero of the Marines and newly appointed Marine Commodore Sora Kami, has made his way to the White Sea with the task of expanding Marine and World Government Influence in the white waters. Welcomed by fellow Commodore and freshly scarred Gozen Tomoe the two prepare to venture to the many sky kingdoms in order to spark resistance against the Wukong Pirates.
"So you're really the son of the Warrior of the Sea...kinda was expecting a little more." Tomoe commented as the two began to get get acquainted. "You just don't look all that.....inspiring."
Visibly upset, Kami quickly retorted. "Well ya know, he's not really..." Biting his tongue, he almost forgot what his father symbolized and what it'd mean if he unveiled his real identity. "Well, that's why I'm here! To become a hero! This is my origin story!"
Blushing as Kami's words somewhat moved her, Tomoe turned her back to her partner in order to prevent him from catching wind of it. "So mighty hero, where do you think we should start?"
Biting his lip, Kami gazed upon a clearly dated map of the white and white-white seas. "We should probably start off around the coast where Wukong's influence is probably the least, right?" He quickly pulled out a marker and circled several islands of noteworthy. "Here, here and here would probably be a solid start, don't ya think?"
As Tomoe came over to glance at the map, her large breasts grazed Kami arm. "No, this map won't work. Wukong has assembled dozen of new islands through his devil fruit. We'll need to first find a new map." she exclaimed swaying side to side to continue her flirtatious act.
"Alright!" Kami yelled sporadically, moving away before certain appendages become active. "Let's go pirate hunting then! I'm sure some of them must have a map, right?"
Summit of the Royal Seven
Towering above the seven seas lies the world's capital, the Holy Land Mary Geoise, piercing the clouds as it looks down on the nations within its sphere of influence. Like a beacon representing power, authority, and sanctity, it does not belong to the waters that welcome piracy and corruption. But instead, it houses the most influential figures across the globe, the World Nobles, the aristocratic descendants of nineteen of the Twenty Kings who established the World Government. Thus, the land, and its inhabitants, are considered to be divine.
But today, the pillar of divinity welcomes sin as the effort to balance the world's power hinges on it. Dating back decades, the Five Elders made a deal with the devil to inaugurate a new system, privateers. Seven illustrious pirates who rule the seven seas through infamy and notoriety; they are not allies of each other nor enemies but all share a title, the Shichibukai. As the new generation of piracy brings new challenges, the World Government invites these contracted friends to discuss, deliberate, and scheme in an effort to put Roger's legacy to rest.
The cries of seagulls echoed as dozens of Marines lined up in preparation for the Royal Seven's welcome. "Hey, so are they really that bad?" One of the marines, his first time being station in the Holy Land, whispered to another as he maintained.
"You just got this job right? This is like a sure-fire way to get promoted quickly. So why don't you just shut up before we both lose our jobs." he responded, clearly fearful of returning back to sea.
Standing to the left of the novice, another chimed in. "Don't mind him, he's just too much of a wuss to have any fun." She smirked as she briefly made eye contact with the young marine. "But to answer your question, yes, they are that bad. Each of them is notorious for different reasons. Some of them aren't even human."
"Wow, I got chills running down my back. I guess I'm glad they're on our side, huh." the novice responded with a sound of relief in his voice.
"Don't get it twisted newbie. Despite the position they hold, they're still pirates. In a moment's notice, they can flip on you and go right back to being your enemy." the mute offered his input though quickly shut his lips.
But before the conversation could go any further, the announcer that notifies those awaiting the Warlords abruptly interrupted. "Holy Land Mary Geoise announcing the arrival of Warlord Himawari."
"The Pirate Empress, she's not known for coming to these meetings. Wonder what's special about this one." The female marine once again offering her thoughts.
"P-p-pirate...e-empress..." the rookie started to shrivel up before regaining his composure. "She's gotta be the most vulgar woman ever, right?"
The sound of heels clanking against the metal dock caressed the ears of those awaiting her. The Undead Queen slowly made her way to Pangaea Castle. Sporting a figure-hugging red dress with her magnificent blade resting along her hip, she strolled to the entrance paying those who welcomed her little mind. "None of you are worthy. How dare you lay your eyes on me. I should kill each of you." she thought, though her facial didn't correlate as she maintained her look as the paragon of beauty and femininity.
"She's beautiful..." the novice muttered, almost unable to keep his mouth shut and eyes off her.
"Stare too long and she'll take your head." the female marine whispered.
As she made her way into the hall, the air suddenly grew warmer. "Woah, did you guys feel that? Her beauty totally just radiated warmness and serenity." The rookie commented. Though unbeknownst to him, Himawari carried a distinct coldness around her, an attribute of her undead physiology. The return of warmth was caused by her leaving their immediate vicinity.
Some of the marines were still in silence and before they could speak again, another announcement is made. "Holy Land Mary Geoise announcing the arrival of Warlord Tatsuya Ryushiki."
Suddenly, a large figure descends from the sky and it soon shifts into a more humanoid form as the smoke dissipates from her landing. Ryushiki herself then appears with a very intense aura around her. This aura is a violent red in color and is full of hatred and malice. This malice can be clearly felt by even the toughest of Marines as Ryushiki makes her way down.
"I-Is that her? R-Ryushiki?" said one of the Marines who was struggling to get his words out. "The current ruler of Dressrosa, indeed... I heard she violently killed the last king and claimed the throne easily," said another Marine who was doing his best to keep his composure.
"Y-You saw that? That large being in the skies before Ryushiki appeared? W-What was that?!" said a different rookie marine.
"I heard only rumors that end up being true. It is said that Ryushiki is actually a dragon that can turn into a more humanoid form." said a more seasoned Marine. "A-A DRAGON!? LIKE A FIRE BREATHING ONE?!" shouted the Marine though he quickly covered his mouth to avoid Ryushiki hearing him. Naturally, Ryushiki heard that marine but choose to ignore him having more important things on her mind.
"I-I heard that she is also a demon and that she is one of the most ruthless and savage pirates in all the world!" said a frightened Marine.
Ryushiki shot them all evil looks before continuing to walk down. "Stupid summons. I'd rather be at my castle doing my own damn business!" she thought to herself but she knew that refusing to show up could jeopardize her chances in ruling Dressrosa being a country being affiliated with the World Government. Ryushiki's intense aura continues to radiate until she is out of sight; however, such intensity still has most of the marines still shook up.
A half-hour later, a new announcement echoed through the ranks, "Holy Land Mary Geoise announcing the arrival of Warlord Sol Neal."
"This is the new Warlord, right?" the newbie Marine whispered to his left. The female Marine nodded in reply.
"I heard that he caused a huge uproar on Sabaody Archipelago and single-handedly took down over a thousand Marines before escaping. They say he even took down a Marine Captain without getting a scratch," she added. The Marines stood in anticipation for another intimidating figure to approach. Instead, they were greeted with the sight of a totally normal teenager strolling down the center of the aisle. A few soldiers wiped their eyes or pinched themselves to make sure they weren't imagining things. This kid was a Warlord?
Neal wasn't happy to be here. He hadn't expected to get summoned only a few months after he'd accepted the position of Shichibukai. He scowled as he walked between the stiff Marines. Their orderly lines really bothered him, and the way they all looked down at him in disbelief. Anyone who said anything was going to receive a fist in their face. Fortunately for the Marines, they were too shocked to say anything as they silently watched Neal walk past them and disappear into the hall.
As Neal made his way to the meeting's location, he'd be greeted by the two Empress Warlord's staring intently at each other. On one opposing end of the round table, Himawari's golden daggers coldly gazed at the filthy demon sitting across from her. "Your death would bring me and so many others so much happiness. So why don't you do us all favor and just kill yourself, okay?" she playfully told, though her voice did hold a bit of seriousness in her statement.
Ryushiki, who was sitting in the opposite chair had her eyes closed for most of Himawari's taunting. She then opened her demonic eyes looking straight into Himawari's eyes and smirks. "Well, it's a good thing I don't plan on dying because bringing others happiness is the last thing I want to do. So why don't you leave the taunting to the adults you filthy vampire. I heard your species suck anyway." Ryushiki fiercely said.
Himawari grew a malicious smile upon hearing the skank across from her mutter such insolence. "At least I know what I am." a bad bitch... "You claim to hate humans but you serve at their beck and call. Imagine saying bringing happiness to humans would be your last objective yet here you are serving them like a filthy mongrel." Himawari rolled her hand through hair and flipped it. "Your just a poser, even now, you pretend to be something you're not by holding that form."
Ryushiki was visibly annoyed at what Himawari said but decided to hide it behind a malicious smile of her own. "I am a ruler! I deserve to rule over all! After I claimed Dressrosa, the government wasn't too fancy about one of their affiliated kingdoms being run by a pirate like me so I had no choice to side with those creatures. And besides, at least my real form can destroy you and this entire summons without effort! Without your devil fruit powers, you're just a weak- as-hell human like the rest of them! Nothing more, nothing less!"
Himawari scuffed at such a ludicrous statement. "Himmamamamamama, you can't actually be serious. I guess you're about as dumb as you look." She adjusted her seating, allowing her legs to switch and overlap. "Firstly, you reptilian shit. I'm far from a mere human. Your eyes are limited to that simpleton brain you have in there. And secondly, even if I was a mere human, those same despicable creatures slaughtered your entire race. Your nearly extinct and humans rule the world and you, so much for being a mighty dragon..".
Ryushiki could only snicker at the response knowing full well how true the statement is to an extent. "Heh, you say that to get to me but I know my people were weak enough to be beaten by them. But not me. I'm stronger than all of my kind and I've proved that by being able to rule over an entire kingdom! You, yourself, are just a mere intimation. Undead? Hah! Pitiful! If you're really are undead, then just go back into the gravesite where you belong! I heard it was custom that women look "prettier" when covered with mud so just do us all a favor and do just that by digging yourself 50 feet under. You've already gotten halfway speaking to me that way."
The vein along her temple began to distinctly extend outward as this filthy creature just couldn't seem to understand its place. Himawari rose from her seat, still maintaining her sinister smile. "How could I have been so foolish. Using reason and logic with a barbarian. I forget that animals need to be shown through force and beaten into submission." Placing her hand along the grip of her blade, her eyes narrowed their focus; all of the filthy mongrel's weak points became apparent. "Come then, you made a bullshit statement saying I was half-way to the grave, back it up!"
Ryushiki has an even more twisted smile on her face as she grips the part of her own blade. She is satisfied that she finally managed to get through Himawari. "Look at that, looks like you can lose your composure as well. It wasn't difficult I'll admit, such a shame. But..." said Ryushiki as she also rose from her seat and her demonic aura is radiating intensely. "I always make do with my promises! You'll regret even speaking in my direction with that filthy breath of yours!"
"This is dangerous," Neal thought as his eyes bounced back and forth between the arguing Warlords in front of him. The meeting hadn't even started and yet the tension in the room was palpable. He decided to avoid the situation for the moment. Completely muffling his movements, Neal snuck towards the table and silently sat in his chair in the hopes that he wouldn't be caught in the crossfire. He hated useless drama and these two were absolutely full of it.
Widening her stance, Himawari bloodlust suddenly engulfed the room. Entirely different from the king's will very few exude, the intent to kill was ever-present, it far exceeded simple intimidation. The winds from the underworld caused the room to drop several degrees. "Sssssing, culebra." Himawari whispered. With blasphemous speed, mimicking that of the Marine's Soru, she dashed towards her opponent with full intent to take her head. Once within the radius, she was planning to fully make the most of her devil fruit powers to end it swiftly. "Die, bitch!"
Ryushiki smirks as she can easily see Himawari dashing toward her thanks to her experience. Ryushiki's entire body is engulfed in her demonic aura as she transfers it into her sword and hardens it that gives up a dark, purple aura. "You think you're so fast? Even the Dwarfs from my kingdom put your shitty speed to shame! Your lifeless body upon my feet will be a glorious sight indeed! "Akuma no nayami!" shouted Ryushiki as she swung her hardened sword at Himawari preparing to intercept her.
Neal just sank in his seat to make himself a bit smaller. This was out of hand. It was the government's place though so what did he care if it was destroyed? Neal did not want these two monsters angry with him. He just didn't want to get involved, but he was ready to jump in if things put him in danger.
Just as the two blades were about to connect, a figure spontaneously appeared between them. Fully aware neither were going to withdraw, she extended her arms outwards in preparation to catch the swords. Utilizing two haki in unison, she caught the blade with her respective thumbs, index, and middle fingers. "It appears neither of you guys has developed a semblance of honor in your time here, truly disgraceful!" Fleet Admiral Heiwa chanted. "If either of you still needs a challenger..." Having stopped the momentum of both attacks, she released the two blades and relocated her fingers to her hilt and scabbard respectively. "..I'll be your opponent!"
Himawari maintained a malignant look yet internally she was puzzled. "How'd she get there?! I had this entire area in my range, I should've seen where she came from!" Returning her katana to its sheathe, she turned away from the two and regressed to her seat. "Indeed Fleet Admiral, I wouldn't want to sully my beautiful blade with such disgusting blood..." Placing her bum along the chair, she crossed her legs. "And wearing my pretty heels so wouldn't be the best day to challenge the World's Greatest Swordsman...or rather, swordswoman?"
"M'lady prefers Swordsman as it lets men know she's better than them too.." Heiwa's Knights of the Round table arrived from the halls, answering the Shichibukai's question. Each of them holding the rank of Vice-Admiral, they were considered the Fleet Admiral's inner circle that help with her every decision. Gathering in the room, the each took a seat, leaving the center seat available for the obvious chairman of the meeting.
With introduction coming to an end, it was about time the last make his appearance. To not keep the council waiting further, Shinzui made his way to the Pangaea Castle, but not before the announcer quickly noticed his entry and announced the following to the attendees.
"ARRIVING TO HOLY LAND MARIE GEOISE, SHICHIBUKAI SHINZUI"
"Wait there are more?" a Marine Officer sighed, he was getting tired of standing in the hot sun and already nerved up by the arrival of the three Shichibukai previously. "Yes, dumbass, there are seven of em? Shichi is seven, did you forget your math?" his neighbor replied, hitting his back to knock him into the standard pose. "However, he does have a point," another Marine intercepted, "It is rare for all seven of them to appear. Hell, I have never heard of more than two Shichibukai appearing at one spot."
"That means we get to see one more crazy guy, or is he another young brat like before? Whoever it is, I am not scared of him." A marine interrupted the earlier marine's interjection.
The Marines waited for the privateer's arrival, but nobody came out of the ship that he was in, the ship rocking the seas like a ghost ship lost in the middle of the storm. The Marines were confused as a strong wind appeared in the Holy Land. The Marines whispered among themselves. One of them eventually tried to clear up the confusion with the announcer. "Are you sure he as arrived? Did you pass the Marines Optic Examination last week?"
As soon as the Marine questioned the Announcer, the breeze stopped and a man appeared on the doorway to the Hall of Pangaea Castle, several meters away from where the boat swayed. A dark-haired person with a dark black outfit from shoulder to toe walked straight inside the hall. Each of his footprints leaving behind massive cracks and dents on the hall's floor and the adjoining walls. "I apologize, there were more Marines here than I expected. I had to be on my guard." He politely apologized to the Marine who was nearby, which freaked him out.
"What how did he do that?", I didn't even notice him move", "What isn't that guy a Wano Country Samurai?", "Wait I have seen him a couple of times in the Marine Headquarters?" were some of the comments that erupted the platform, from the Marines as Shinzui appeared.
Indeed, unlike the other Shichibukai present in Hall currently, he had a better relationship with the Marines and also served for a longer time, having been a Shichibukai uncontested for nearly fifteen years now.
Heading to the Hall, where the other people lay, Shinzui spoke, "That was a spectacular display of force you two," He complimented his female companions then looking at Heiwa, "The paperwork keeping you busy, you seem rusty than usual." He laughed, "But indeed like your name, you live up to be a peace-keeper." he said before sitting down on his seat which is even he noticed Neal. "Ah!, you must be the young little chick the Marines put in their soup last week."
Neal bristled at the mocking undertone in Shinzui's words. Another person to underestimate him. This one was dangerous too, but he just didn't show it on his sleeve like the other two. He nodded to affirm the older Shichibukai's statement before he replied.
"I may look like a 'young little chick' to you, but you'd better believe that I'll push all the rest of you out of the nest if you underestimate me," he stated with a slight hiss as he sat back up in his seat.
Ryushiki realizes that the fighting is pointless now and puts away her own sword as well and her demonic aura dissipates. "This woman even outpaced my eyes...I didn't even see or sense her coming. This human...is like those ones from my past..." was Ryushiki's thoughts to herself. She then shakes it off before speaking again. "Fine but we will settle this someday you damned vampire," said Ryushiki as she returns to her seat.
With the two bickering bitches settled and four of the royal seven currently present, it was time to commence the meeting. Choosing to ignore Shinzui's comments about her depleted strength, Heiwa slowly approached her seat at the head of the round table. Upon reaching her destination, she turned and addressed all those in the room. "I must say, the fact that four of you decided to show up is truly surprising. In all honesty, I was only expecting the newcomer." Her tone seemed playful but there was a degree a sincerity to it. "Would anyone like to offer their thoughts or get something off their chest before we begin." Despite clearly being the arbiter and head of this meeting, her chivalrous nature prevents her from continuing without going through basic formalities.
"No m'lady!" The Vice-Admirals responded in harmony, as they hoped the pirates would do the same; interested in hitting all points along the agenda before losing their attention.
"Since you asked, I do have something to say..." Himawari immediately voiced her opinion. "Beyond the ugly reptilian swine sitting across from me, I must say some of those who hold this rank aren't worthy of sharing the same status as me." Himawari's dagger's glanced over at Neal, the new Warlord from the West Blue. "I'm not sure what would possess those geezers to ally with this child but I find it disrespectful that you'd even put him on the same level as me." She paused briefly before bluntly staying, "Fire him or I'll do it for you."
Ryushiki simply swipes at her hair disregarding Himawari's comment. "That human looks like a giant toothpick. I can snap him with ease. Even that pathetic bloodsucker over there looks more capable them him. Hell, even one of my disposable mooks could probably take him in a fight! If anything, he'll serve as a meatshield I guess." said Ryushiki with an evil snicker in her voice.
A vein began pulsing in Neal's forehead as he listened to his fellow Warlords insult him so casually as if he were simply an insect. He tried not to get angry, but it was becoming increasingly difficult. He just needed to do something to shut them up or he would snap and level the venue. He didn't have Conquerer's Haki but he did have something that was almost just as intimidating. Without moving his body, he utilized the highly advanced form of Busoshoku Haki: emission. A wave of force projected from his arms and filled the room with a strong wind that almost pushed over a few of the vice-admirals.
"I told you not to underestimate me," Neal uttered, his red eyes glowing slightly to show his malice. After a few seconds, he stopped his emission, point proven.
Although tempted to intervene and reprimand Neal for his show of force in a federal building, she knew the young privateer needed to establish himself among his peers if he was going to last. Surprising to say, she didn't expect him to hold such masterful usage over his will at such a young age, impressive. "Like I said before, if you need to challenge someone then you can raise your sword against me, I'm sure I'll be more than enough of a challenge for you." Heiwa declared, eyeing down her fellow ladies. "Now, let's try this again. Does anyone else have anything legitimate and substantial to provide before I commence our meeting."
Himawari sucked her teeth at Heiwa continual interference, that's not how these things are supposed to go. Crossing her arms Himawari sat there visibly upset with the current situation. "Why do we even have these dumb meeting anyways, all they do is take up my time when I can be hunting," she commented, before realizing she made the conscious decision to come today. "And in case you were wondering Lizard girl that was a rhetorical question, meaning you don't have to respond!"
"After this meeting, I'll be going after your head, you shitty vampire. Then, you kid," said Ryushiki who looked visually annoyed at her two fellow Warlords. Not wanting to agree with Himawari, Ryushiki was equally as annoyed to be attending a sudden meeting. Of course, she knows that it had to be important but felt like her presence wasn't required. "I only came because I was pretty much convinced that this wouldn't be a waste of my time. So, I hope it really doesn't or I may have to take my rage out on something or someone..." said Ryushiki in a threatening manner.
With all the members accounted for and the likelihood of any other members of the royal seven spontaneously emerging being slim to none, Heiwa took the liberty to officially start the meeting. "So given the fact that none of you would like to share details encompassing your respective interests and followings, I suppose we'll have to carry that burden." Direct her attention the blade knight beside her. "Han'ei, what's the first topic on our agenda?"
Rising from his seat, Han'ei cleared his throat as he addressed the room. "Thank you for calling M'lady, I'll first topic of interest will be the events of Glasteria. The report states that we currently have the person of interest, Skilled Navigator and Former Marine ally Hermes, in custody. However, the event has brought several rookie pirates into the spotlight, causing the World Economic Times to begin highlighting the birth of a new generation of piracy. Some of these rookie pirates include, "Sun Wukong" Akira, "Walking Inferno" Elio Leonardo, and "The Silent Dragon" Zero D. Rukia. They are each noted to have several followers or crew-mates and possess unique abilities."
Lost in thought for a moment, Heiwa ran through certain situations in her head. "Quickdraw, you're a bounty hunter correct?" Everyone in the room could clearly see where the leader of the Marines was taking this. "You think you could handle these rookies? I'll personally guarantee that you'll be paid double the amount assigned to their bounty if you succeed." Although she abides by chivalrous justice, Fleet Admiral Heiwa enjoyed the luxury of having the Warlord system, the ability to call upon those who don't abide by her own code of operations is an invaluable asset. Furthermore, she was intentionally raising the stakes, trying to see if the others would show any interest and take her on the offer.
"Double hmmm? That's a very interesting offer. I was planning on hunting them anyways," Neal answered calmly now that the situation had been settled, "Also, I guess I'm technically not a bounty hunter anymore. Seeing as I'm a pirate Warlord." He shifted in his seat a little. "I was kinda thinking that a summons would be more important than just hunting down some basic pirate rookies. They aren't even Supernova level yet."
"Fortunately we don't hire you pirates to think." One of Heiwa's knights abruptly responded to Neal's comment.
Quickly intervening before either party could take this farther than it needed to be, Heiwa addressed the table. "I believe my subordinate is trying to convey that while your disinterest is noted, it isn't relevant, thus let's carry on then." Although she had hoped a couple of other Shichibukai would prance at the opportunity to make an easy 100,000,000-plus, given their reputed abilities, she couldn't afford to allow the meeting to dissemble before the more pressing matters were discussed.
Shinzui who was listening to the meeting proceedings calmly remained unfazed throughout the exchanges. As the matters of the rookie was brought up before the round table, Shinzui's eyes widened with rage. Slamming the desk hard, causing it to get a few cracks, Shinzui got up and began to walk out of the room. Stopping midway, turning back his head. "We have got serious work here. I didn't come here to play with rookies. If you are gonna just waste my time. I am leaving. You can leave the rookie hunting to the kid here."
Ryushiki scoffs and rolls her eyes at the thought about going after mere rookies. "That's it? Just some stupid pups that will easily get killed in the New World at their current status? Your joking right? They aren't even worth fighting my own mooks let alone me! You might as well send your own damn troops if you want them killed so badly. And I have berries to spare being the ruler of Dressrosa after all. My type of business brings in way more than how much those rookies are worth combined! This ended up being a waste after all..." said Ryushihi as she angrily crosses her arm and her demonic aura starts to spike again.
Himawari scoffed at the ignorance sprouted from the veteran, newbie, and retard but they were gonna make negotiations much easier. "Make it triple and I'll kill them within the month." It wasn't tough to see. There must be a reason why the Marines wanted these rookies specifically addressed, something more long-term that wasn't easy to see from a warlord's perspective. But she could see it, Himawari knew she could inflate her earnings based on the Fleet Admirals initiative. "Unlike my inferior counterparts, I can see this is something important to you guys. So why settle for some kid who'll probably struggle when you can have me to handle things quickly." She glanced over at Shinzui who had just excused himself from the table. "For someone with such cognizant eyes, I'm disappointed you lack the foresight to see what's going on here."
Shinzui smirked at Himawari, as he turned back to his seat, taking his time to get seated while eyeing at Himawari. "You have no rights to call me or that young chicken out there inferior, while you are sitting in the same table as us, Hima *short breath* chan. Looks like you sucked up too much Marine blood, that you are sucking up to them ?" Shinzui giggled, as he pointed his index finger, "What I see is none of your concern, for it is I who make decisions and insight on what I see. But if what you say as a thread of truth in it, then ...."
Shifting his gaze towards Heiwa, "I would like to hear more about these rookies, I wanna know the World Government's full agenda over the matter and I won't take no for an answer nor will a Knight run away from answering a question."
With discussions taking quite the interesting turn, Heiwa once again went silent for thought. As she pondered over what she'd share with the military dogs, her knights attempted to intervene. However, she raised her hand in order to prevent her subordinates from doing so. "I think all of you need to be refreshed on how this contractual relationship works." Her tone grew heavy and steady as she addressed the privateers. "You don't hold any authority in this room. You don't get to make demands nor do you get to determine what pressing or what's irrelevant." She cleared her throat before continuing. "We consider you a worthwhile expense, the lesser of two evils. However, once the cost to maintain you exceeds your inherent value, we'll consider that a sunken cost and drop you like the vermin you are."
It seems the formalities of the event and the illusion of civility has gotten to the heads of these criminals. They were in the presence of the Fleet Admiral, the single most highest-ranking officer in the Marines. She wasn't going to succumb to the demands of her subordinates. "The fact remains, these rookies are a nuisance that needs to be addressed. I've provided all that I'm willing to share thus you take that as you will."
Sensing the need for a change of topic, one of the Vice-Admirals rose from her seat. "M'lady I believe the next topic on the agenda are the Yonk-..." But as she made eye contact with her superior, the knight realized she has spoken out of turn, undermining her leader's authority. "Please excuse my interruption." She quickly returned to her seat.
Himawari couldn't help but laugh at Heiwa's show of dominance. "Himamamama! I like how feisty you are Fleet Admiral." she began as she surveyed the room, subtly. "I won't do the work unless I'm appropriately compensated so if two times is all you're willing to offer then, you've lost my interest." Wanting to see how these contrasting personalities contrast and blend, she continued to poke at Shinzui. "Sunshower, don't concern yourself with my interests. Why don't you stop acting like a child and not throw a tantrum when you don't get what ya want." Obviously referring to his attempt to leave the room before the meeting conclusion.
Shinzui sunk back to his chair and gave a smile at Heiwa asserting her dominance, clearly, Heiwa knew how the Balance of Power worked and she had to get his vote of confidence, but he let her continue with her tantrums for the sake of the Shichibukai-Marine Alliance. However, Himawari's taunt hit his nerve. Staring dead in her eyes, he said, "Don't call me Sunshower you dried Sunflower, whoever came up with that epithet for me needs to get showered by my sword." These words made a nearby marine on duty gulp with nervousness. "I will pay these young brats a visit later....probably, after all, you went out of your way to call me here. How can I refuse that ?" He playfully responded to Heiwa's tantrums.
"Hold on," Neal interrupted, turning towards the Marine who had spoken out of turn, "Were you going to say Yonko? That's more like the level of seriousness I'd expect from a meeting like this." A smile broke out over Neal's face as he contemplated the ramifications of fighting a Yonko. He hoped it was Rumlar Zelgius. He'd heard that his mortal enemies, the Wild Boar Pirates had become subordinates of the Yonko. A fight between him and the Marines would give Neal his chance for revenge. Things were getting interesting.
Himawari couldn't contain herself. "That's cute. Seems you're about as ignorant as the rookies we're talking about." Himawari herself has had little experience with Yonko beyond a business capacity but that's probably the reason why she's not either under their thumbs or dead. "Why don't you let the adults handle the talking and you listen. Maybe you'll learn something!" Himawari rolled her eyes as the boy's voice slightly annoyed her. Neal sat back in his seat with a huff. No need to start any unnecessary fights.
Ryushiki scoffs at the idea of hearing about fighting a Yonko. She has fought many foes in the past and doesn't view Yonkos any different from regular pirates. "Yonkos are just dogs that have matured from the pups. All of them have been mere babies when I was dominating this world! I don't see why you creatins are so afraid of." said Ryushiki showing such much confidence.
"And yet here you are talking about them and there they are ruling empires. I think they're winning." Himawari couldn't stand Ryushiki's misguided superiority. "Imagine living centuries longer and achieving less than a couple...what did you call them creatins?" Himawari continued on with her rant. "Instead of ruling over a nation of weaklings why don't you challenge the Strongest Creature. Prove to the world that you're more than an inflated ego."
Ryushiki looks even more annoyed and she grits her teeth before speaking. "Someone get me a steak or a shit ton of garlic because I have a vampire bitch over here to kill! No wait, I can do so with my own powers!" said Ryushiki who's demonic aura spikes up yet again glaring fiercely at Himawari.
Feeling like a grown up at the kids table, Heiwa sighed as the Shichibukai bickered amongst each other. "This is more than half of one of the Three World Powers and yet it feels like I'm at a five year olds birthday party." she groaned, before leaving her thoughts. "Enough!." her tone noticeably louder than before. "Given the interest in the Emperors we'll pivot our focus to that subject." She fixed her gaze towards the Vice-Admiral who tried to intervene earlier. "Dame Mayuri, would you please carry on with briefing on the Four Emperors."
Visibly happy that the Fleet Admiral was not upset with her, Mayuri rose to the occasion. "Happily m'lady." Pulling out her notes, she started with the Wukong Pirates. "I'll start off with a breakdown of the Wukong Pirates...Lead by the proclaimed "Strongest Creature" Donk E. Kong or Wukong, the crew is based in the white and white-white sea above the New World; specifically on a sky island called Tian which is directly above the island of Elbaf, one of their only territories in the blue sea, as confirmed by Vice-Admiral Kiwashi." Waiting a moment to see if anyone had any questions, she then carried on. "Beyond the captain, ranks are broken down as follows: directly below Wukong are Yin and Yang, below them are the Si Xiang, then the Bagua, Zodiacs and finally, the Constellations." Pausing once more she looked around to see if anyone cared to comment.
With a little left to go, Mayuri concluded with the following: "Inquiries made by both Cipher Pol and Marines stationed in the White and White-White Seas have summarized that among the Yonko, the Wukong Pirate hold the greatest threat to breaking the balance of power due to their alliance with the Giants of Elbaf and their near unchallenged control over the skies, turning the region into a sea of pirates with no World Government presence."
Although Heiwa had her own thoughts on the crew she wanted to voice, she was more interested in seeing what the Warlords had to say about the Monkey King and his followers.
"When you say unchallenged you mean unsuccessfully challenged, correct?" Being well connected in the Underworld, Himawari was quite well versed in the situation above the blue-sea. She had heard the World Government has attempted to slow the spread of Wukong's sphere of influence, however, they've had little success. "At least tell me the mighty Marines and Cipher pol managed to come up with what Kong is trying to do in the sky or were you unsuccessful in that too?" Knowledge and info were just as valuable as berries in the Underworld. She needed to gain as much as possible in order to further her own agenda.
Gazing over at the Fleet Admiral to attain permission to respond, upon receiving it, Mayuri answered the Warlord's question. "The report states that as of now, they've simply been expanding their influence in the White Sea. For what purpose remains unclear."
Ryushiki rolls here eyes upon hearing this not really thinking much of Kong. "That oversized primate was too afraid to conquer the seas and decided to take to the skies like a wimp. The bastard literally has his head in the clouds all of the damn time. Though it pains me to admit that it is difficult for normal cretins to reach up there so he at least was smart enough to give himself an advantage there... He's still a filthy monkey though." said Ryushiki who snickered at her comment there.
"So, what exactly are you asking for here?" Neal asked the Fleet Admiral, almost politely. "As much as it pains me to agree with her," Neal pointed at Ryushiki, "Wukong has a huge advantage up there. It seems to me that the Marines have no power in the sky and Wukong has full control. He would kill anyone who opposes him there and I'm not stupid enough to go up and try." He propped his feet up on the table as he leaned back his chair. "So, what's the strategy? You looking for a war over some clouds?"
"War would not be the preferable course of action." Mayuri responded as she could see Heiwa was currently in a state of analysis. "However, to state that we have no influence over the skies would not only be a hyperbole but blatantly incorrect." However going into the missions in the sky were not just above her pay grade but their's as well; secrecy is a must for the operation to be a success "It should be noted that there are initiatives underway however I do not have the intel nor the ability to share them with you all today."
"So you tell us that he's a threat but you don't share how you plan on assessing it. So what are we doing here, enjoying each-other's company?" Himawari was quick to complain as she had hoped to get more out of it.
"I was thinking the exact same thing..." Heiwa rose from her seat and placed both hands along the table. "This isn't a debriefing but a deliberation; an exchange of information. If you want something valuable..." she gazed over at Himawari who she knew was eager for more intel, "Then you gotta provide something of equal value. Since commencing all you guys have given your opinions on things that mean nothing to me." The lion does not care for the opinions of sheep. "From here on, this is a bartering table. In order to gain, you must relinquish."
The table was silent for a moment. Himawari was hoping she could leave this meeting without sharing any secrets but at this moment it was more prevalent to attain new knowledge rather than mascaraing the old. "Wukong and The Godmother had a meeting...." Himawari broke the silence with heavy news. Inevitably Cipher Pol would acquire this intel anyways so it was better served coming out of her mouth. "...and it didn't go well supposedly."
"Who's the Godmother?" Neal asked. He didn't want to reveal his lack of information, but he would rather endure their ridicule than be left in the dark. This was finally getting interesting. He didn't know any information that he could barter with so he was forced to be at the others' mercy, probably by design, he decided.
Shinzui watched as the deliberation went on and on, both sides were only waiting for information and no one was willing to part away with whatever information they had, well of course the Sunflower blurted out Godmother. "You don't have to concern yourself with the Godmother, young brat, at least not now. She is a Pirate who as enormous dealings with the Underworld, you could even say, she is the Underworld. A haven not touched by the Marines here. " this hopefully, according to Shinzui, answered Neal's doubt.
He then looked at the Marines, "You claim the Balance of Power is in a threat over a single Yonko but you are not ready for War yet you refuse to tell us why? If you have called a Shichibukai Summit, I assume you need our might, because you claim we are not supposed to think. What is the Marine fearing? their Military Strength? It is common for Yonko's to have a structured military rank similar to your Admiral system."
Addressing everyone he spoke, "You all are just playing the game he wants you to play, rambling about his strengths and how he as dominance in the sky. Just try to twist your narrow-minded thinking for the duration of this meet. Yes, Wukong is strong, I admit it, yes his crew as dominance over all of the Skies, yes we know that already. If so, then why do you think we would have any business with the Godmother? Exactly, he fears his weakness and lack of control over the land surface. An Alliance even if it is with the Warrior Giants comes at a risk. We have to strike first, get him out of his comfort zone, land him into the Blue Seas, and surround him, in a place where he would lack supremacy. Your special forces, the Cipher Pols can easily do that right? Isn't "Whatever it takes" their motto? Kidnapping, coaxing, blackmailing, threatening, luring, tempting, assassination to name a few." Taking a short breath, he spoke the line "At this rate, War is inevitable", these words echoed through the hall, ringing the ears of everyone around.
The Fleet Admiral listened to Shinzui's every word. Although Himawari was bound to have some information, Shinzui was most likely the one to have ties to the Monkey King; given their equal status as Horsemen on the Redbeard Pirates. However, as she listened to the Sunflower's monologue, she grew a bit worrisome over the implications of asking pirates for information. Even though they are currently contractually obligated to serve the World Government, they are criminals and likely bound to serve themselves. "War..." Aoshi broke the silence with that one word. "That word has been swung around like 100 whore." Were these pirates trying to insight a war between Wukong and the World Government? For what purpose? What they serve to gain from doing so. She lacked the information to truly break down each of them.
Gazing over at Shinzui, Heiwa finally responded to his statement. "For a pirate, you're quite skilled at spinning words. Took me a moment to realize that you didn't provide us with anything substantial." Is his opinion worth something though; he was a former ally to the beast; he would likely understand his psychology. "Shinzui, what your angle? Why are you trying to insight a war between the World Government and the Wukong Pirates?" The nature of this meeting was slowly starting to shift. The reality that these privateers aren't really allies was regaining its relevance. "Or do you know something but just haven't shared...?"
"I am happy that you find my way on words entertaining Knight of the Blue Sea. "Shinzui responded to Heiwa's compliment, "Same goes for you and your troops here, being the host, aren't you the ones who lead the information. Or is it that your famed network of spies failed you ?" Shinzui spoke mockingly. "I have no interest in shedding blood, I gave up being a Fighter decades ago, now I just graze the farms and tend my kids. I only came here because my youngest child wanted me out of the house and was throwing tantrums the other night Uchihahahaha", Shinzui began laughing loudly as he narrated his family issues. "That being said..", he continued, but now in a serious tone, adjusting his spectacles.
"I am not sure what Wukong is after either, don't get me wrong, Information doesn't travel at the speed of light you see. But I do know it is something world breaking and if you aren't strong with your feet, you are just gonna get swept away. What I am going to throw right now is just possible explanations or theories, It all began when someone was in a playful mood. A certain encounter by yours truly, the Marines, led to the beginning of the First Marine Base in the Sky, a wonderful feat indeed. But do you know what this actually resulted in? The Monkey is in a foul mood now, his pride of being the sole authority in the sky shattered and his never-ending greed for power overflowed. The best part, he as recently learned that his former boss may be alive. Uchihahahaha..."
Heiwa took a moment to ponder over the words just shared with her. She didn't expect much but something a little more substantial than this, whatever this is. Lies encased in theories and opinions. Nothing really actionable. Hell, speaking lies about a beast she knew is dead. This had become a game of telephone and the truth has become so convoluted that there was no point in playing anymore. "Funny indeed..." Heiwa simply responded, before motioning her hand to instruct her subordinates to continue with the debriefing.
"Yes, m'lady!" Mayuri rose from her seat once again, hoping to bring new life into the meeting. "I'll continue with the Libertà Pirates. Lead by Esposito Dante also known as "Alighieri" or the "Kind King", they only just recently attained the title a couple of years ago. However, despite the recency of their appointment, they attained great influence throughout the New World. The crew is structured in a manner not dissimilar to the Wukong Pirates. Starting with Dante, he possesses a second in command, then the Tre Regni, after that the Angeli e Demoni, the Sfere Celesti, the Livelli Purgatorio and finally the Peccati." She halted briefly to gauge the room. "Reports and trends indicate that they are a non-volatile threat at the moment. However, the conjugation of the many races under his legion has lead to some questions about his motive."
"Right. That kid already has those puny Dwarfs from Green Bit nearby my kingdom as part of his puny alliance. I guess he is one of those cretins that wants every damn race to himself. It's bad enough we got a primate with an army of Giants even though they're nothing to me. Diversity is a powerful weapon I'll admit which is why my crew is so diverse with their powers!" said Ryushiki who was, once again, unimpressed by the Yonko's achievements.
Unwilling to be outdone by her inferior, Himawari decided to contribute even if it meant helping the Marines. "It's funny your bring up the Plant boy because I heard something that might be concerning...for you guys at least." Himawari paused to build up suspense, such a drama queen. "The Godmother may not be the only person of interest that Sky Ape had a meeting with...I've heard a couple whispers saying Wukong went down memory lane and stopped by his home town, Zou."
"Zou is one of Dante's territories..." one of the Vice-Admiral realized aloud.
"Those arrogant bastards butt heads all the time, it isn't much cause for concern," Heiwa commented, though she had a strange feeling Himawari wasn't done yet.
"True, however, rumor has it they didn't end on bad terms. Sure there may be one less island in the New World but bread was shared." Himawari adjusted her seating almost as if she was showing off a little bit. "But hey you're probably right, just two Emperors getting into a dick-measuring competition."
"Bloodbeard's next right? What about him?" Neal asked. As much as he liked the information, he wasn't as interested in the other Yonko. His eyes were locked on his target. Maybe the Marines or his senior Shichibukai would have something that could help him.
"I might have to agree with the Knight here, whatever happened a Zou is nothing but another scuffle among pirates in the seas. " Shinzui spoke asserting his agreement to Heiwa, after his inner thought regarding how people are accepting Redbeard's death so easily. "calm down there young chicken, we will take it one at a time, Wukong is dangerous, Dante he can roam around for now. Bloodbeard, yes he is another interesting figure isnt he ? What the Marine have on him ?" Shinzui quizzed Heiwa and her bucketful of officers.
War is Inevitable
Heiwa didn't ignore Himawari's comments. The prospect of two Yonko allying, especially two with the military might Dante and Wukong share would be the end of days; even if the chances are lower than five percent they were still worthy exploring. But alas, this isn't the place to makes plans specifically for the Marines, so she bit her tongue and simply allowed the conversation to move on to the next topic. "Fine fine, move on to Bloodbeard." the Fleet Admiral muttered, indicating the Vice-Admirals take the helm again and debrief those on the info currently held on Rumlar Zelgius. But before her subordinate could debrief her audience a faint echoed in the distance.
The cries of Den Den Mushi grew louder as more and more began to ring. Rising from her seat, Heiwa wondered what the commotion was. But before she could go off and explore, her own Den Den Mushi rest along her wrist began to ring. Although hesitant to answer the call in front an audience who might not be allowed to hear the contents of the call, a strange feeling came over her, instinct almost, told her the it'd be prevalent to everyone in the room. Thus, she answered the line, allowing everyone to listen in. Gacha.
"Hello! Hello! Fleet Admiral Heiwa....you there!?!" the concerned tone of the clearly young marine trivialized matters just a bit.
"Yes this is she. I hope you have a good reason for interrupting my meeting officer!" Heiwa exclaimed, still not sold that something serious was happening.
"This Marine Captain Hideyoshi with the Marine Science Unit..." his audio grew muffled and unclear as background noises. "I.... report....weather....islands....ment!" he tried to convey but his message was butchered.
"Captain Hideyoshi, please find a suitable place to communicate the message. I am unable to discern its meaning with all that background noise!" Heiwa responded, her tone somewhat less calm as she began to speculate what the words she did hear meant. "Weather, islands, government." She began go down a rabbit hole and she wouldn't like what she'd find. Instinctually, her hand slowly made its way to the hilt of her sword.
But before Hideyoshi could stabilize his audio, another Marine rushed from the hall, panting, chanting with all his heart. "The Wukong Pirates have declared war! The Wukong Pirates have declared war!" he yelled, alerting everyone in Pangea of the news. Cries of Den Den Mushi echoed within the room now, the Vice-Admirals and Shichibukai receiving their own calls.
But before anyone could answer the call, an uneasy feeling of undeniable magnitude extended throughout the room. Different from Himawari's killing intent, Ryushiki's demonic aura or Neal advanced usage of Armament haki, the Fleet Admiral's gifted powers of subjugation spread like fire in a forest. Although she had no intention of subduing anyone in the room, the glass of the windows shattered and the round table in which all those present surrounded began to crack. All transmission into the room ceased. With her hand fully gripped along her blade, her eyes, now cold and alert like an apex predator locked on to its prey, locked onto Shinzui, she called upon the Marine who shared the troubling news. "Details, officer!" Heiwa voiced.
Spared by Heiwa's indomitable will, the Marine shivered as he struggled to find the words. But suddenly the fear that the Fleet Admiral would do something heinous to him if wasn't able to relay the message overcame his immediate intimation. "The Nineteen original kingdoms, dozens of Marine bases, and other World Government facilities like Enies Lobby, have had reports of constant, unmoving heavy rain fall!" he swallowed the spit foaming along the crest of his lips. "Only one crew...no monster can orchestrate such an attack, m'lady...the Wukong Pirates have declared war."
Before she could allow the news to settle, Heiwa immediately addressed the heathen who muttered the words War is Inevitable minutes ago. "You have less than ten seconds to explain yourself or your head kissed the ground." Now in a crotched position she continued, "Don't go overestimating your abilities now, you're in range..." As the illustrious Greatest Swordman in the World, Heiwa has earned the reputation of unquestioned precision; once a target is within the range of her sword, X-Caliber, it's a matter of life or death. "Ten, nine..." A layer of armament haki coated around her for offensive and defensive purposes.
"It's just raining how is this a declaration of wa-" Himawari attempted to make sense of the situation aloud, but before she could rationalize her statement, she could feel blood dripping down below her left eye. Heiwa cut her, a warning shot. Once again, unable to see any movement from the Fleet Admiral, she knew now was not the time to get creative. "She'll kill me...this bitch can kill me.." Himawari bit her tongue as she decided to watch to see how the events would unfold.
Oh shit. This was way too intense. He shouldn't have come. Neal was almost overwhelmed by the Fleet Admiral's power. War? Rain? He was so confused.
Shinzui laughed maniacally, as the Hallways resounded with the songs of the Den Den Mushi. His hands going with the okay gesture, reading the minds of every Marine in the room. His hands were soon scratched hard by Heiwa's swing of the blade. His hands down now, he felt like a prisoner just about to be executed. Well tbf, Heiwa wouldn't listen to much of anything, yet he was sitting there, He was the one "eye"-ing everything, but right now, all the eyes were on him. Normally he would just sweet-talk out of this, but not now. He wanted to go out and verify the Marine's message himself. But Heiwa wasn't in the mood. Why is Wukong doing whatever it is he is doing? How? He wasn't clear about one thing in particular. How did a Marine of such a low rank have access to Fleet Admirals personal and top-secret Den Den Mushi? Shinzui had a lot of questions to investigate, but now was not the time. He stared intently at Heiwa, He didn't want a blade touch his face.
"One..." Time had expired as Shinzui was caught assessing the situation. Of course he was right, no words would've stopped her. In her eyes, Shinzui was not only a spy but a war criminal; Absolute Justice needed to be upheld.
But right before the guillotine came down on Shinzui's head, Heiwa would feel a light press of a hand on her shoulder. "Another day, another life saved!" His face filled with glee and joy, Vice-Admiral Kiwashi spontaneously emerged next to his superior officer. Lowering his head to her ear, he whispered so no one could overhear. "Those old geezers shouldn't be kept waiting, let me take it over here." Returning back to peak form, he addressed the room entirely with his loud booming yet somewhat inspiring voice. "Excuse my interruption but Fleet Admiral Heiwa needs to be excused. I'll be taking over the meeting from here on out."
Heiwa released a heavy sigh as she liberated her hold on the hilt of her blade. Without uttering a single world, she vacated the premises. But right as she was nearly out of sight, she stopped and shared her thoughts. "Pray we never cross paths on the battlefield Sunflower. A flower with no petals isn't as charming." Walking into the distance, the petty officer rushed off leaving the Vice-Admiral and Shichibukai to discuss.
"Phew, that was a lot of tension." Kiwashi smiled, hoping to alleviate some of it. "Unfortunately the news is correct however. Unnatural clouds have metastasized over dozens of islands all across the GrandLine. I've seen it myself." He began to patrol around the room walking around the table and those who sit along it. "Now I imagine some of of you might be confused, what does rain have to do with war?" he didn't look at anyone in particular but he could sense the confusion. In an instant, he disappeared and appeared right behind the seat of the Demon Dragon. "You're the Queen of Dressrosa...the pleasures all mine. Now, could you share with the class what happens when it rain non-stop for days, maybe even weeks at a time?" He didn't ask Ryushiki to patronize her in anyway but rather because he was confident she'd be able to answer his question.
Ryushiki angrily pounds her fist on the table after hearing all that was happening. She knew good and well what Wukong was planning to do and was extremely annoyed to hear that he was restoring to that. "So that is what that stupid primate is planning! Unforgivable!" Ryushiki shouted as she looks up to Kiwashi after hearing him asked him that question. "Isn't it obvious cretin?! That bastard is planning to raise the sea levels to cause massive floodings throughout the Grand Line and then some! This could eventually impact other nations as well like my kingdom of Dressrosa! That fifthly monkey is always in the clouds and thinks he can just flood out the entire seas as well! He pisses me off!" said Ryushiki who was now radiating with her demonic aura again starts to spike.
"Couldn't have said better myself, 10 points to House Targaryen!" Kiwashi continued on his stroll around the table. "So it seems Curious George likes to read; The Great Flood is a well-known story in the South Blue." He paused, for second before letting off a playful smirk. "Roleplay time! What would you do if you were the Fleet Admiral." Similar to before, Daisuke disappeared and re-emerged behind the lucky Shichibukai, this time the new kid on the block. "And don't worry there are no wrong answers kiddo, so why don't you take a swing!" He awaited Neal's response.
"Hmmm. If I were the Fleet Admiral, I would leave the Shichibukai meeting and do something else," Neal said a bit playfully. He wasn't wrong, that was what had happened. "But in all seriousness, I would probably try to dispel the clouds before things escalate. The source is always the best place to start."
"I like this kid, he's much more playful than the rest of you grumpy old geezers." Daisuke laughed at the newbie's joke, further helping alleviate the looming threat of war. "Agreed, getting rid of the clouds would be the most effective way to solve our problem." And once again, Daisuke continued to patrol the room. "But what if I told you they simply kept spawning. No matter what you do to get rid of them, new clouds would emerge and continue to cry us a river. What should we do then."
"Attack the real source, Wukong." Himawari finally spoke up, having been silent since Heiwa's show of force. The cut along her cheek has since faded however, the scar to her honor still remains. "As I'm sure you're aware, he's the only one with the power to control the weather like this. So despite a frontal assault being less than ideal situation, it might be your only option."
"Fair analysis but can't say I agree with ya." Daisuke responded, appearing behind Himawari's chair this time. "As you mentioned, he's the only one with such control over the skies. If we take the battle up there we'll surely meet our end." Daisuke looked around the room, waiting to see if any eager soul could solve this challenging riddle. "Come now, is this all you guys got? Knights of the Round Table, surely you're not here just to sit there and look pretty, what are your thoughts?"
Han'ei rose from his seat, ready to carry the burden of the rest of the Knights and prove his worth. "I believe both Quickdraw and the Pirate Empress had the right idea, attacking the source would be the optimal move. However, blindly walking into an unfamiliar region would only lead to our defeat. So a more covert operation is necessary." Han'ei cleared his throat before continuing. "Reports have noted that Wukong is an avid gambler. Thus, he's willing to gamble on himself and fight any one in individual combat." With preparations complete, Han'ei is ready to unveil his plan. "Thus we send our top combatant or someone we know can counter him. They'll use whatever means necessary to win and once they do, the war will be over before it even starts." Proud of his proposition, he kept his head held high as he awaited Kiwashi's response.
"Not a terrible idea, I admit." Daisuke quickly responded to Han'ei's plan with a look somewhere between disappointment and approval. "But who will be this hypothetical combatant. Surely his title should be indication enough that most wouldn't stand a chance against him." Daisuke suddenly emerged before Han'ei, standing right by his ear. "So are you volunteering yourself as tribute? Hm? You think you got what it takes to challenge the Strongest Creature in the World."
Paralyzed with fear, Han'ei's mind went blank for a second. "Me defeat Kong..." he thought. He wasn't imaginative enough to see himself ever garnering victory of the Sky Ape. "N-n-n-no sir. I was hoping someone like you could take him down, you're the Hero f the Marines after all."
Daisuke whispered into his fellow Vice-Admiral's ear. "You should never advocate for a plan you yourself aren't willing to see through." Re-emerging on the opposing end, Daisuke footsteps cracked as he walked over the shattered glass from Heiwa's indomitable will. "Maybe in my prime I could've taken that beast on. So unless any one has a way for me to return to peak form, I'd consider assassination to be off the table." Finally stopping his ceaseless rotation around his peers, Daisuke addressed the table from Heiwa's seat. "So is that it? Four of the Warlords and several Vice-Admirals can't come up with one way to win this war?"
Ryushiki smirks before leaning back in her chair. "Even if that stupid primate can't be beat, all we simply have to do is take down all of his stupid forces. Then it's just as simple as mounting a full frontal assault on the primate himself. He may be strong but not one person or creature could take on an entire army. Of course, aside from me of course, but definitely not him!" said Ryushiki where the area is not only being overwhelmed by her demonic aura but her arrogance as well.
"And thus we have returned to where we've started." Daisuke finally took a seat as he responded to Ryushiki's proposal. "Did you guys brief them on Wukong's forces?" he gazed over at the Vice-Admirals. Rather than taking the time to explain why minimizing his forces would be just as trivial as a frontal assault, Kiwashi simply proposed the following. "Demon Mistress, will you be our savior?" Confusion spread throughout the room as no one would have ever expected those words to come out the mouth of the Warrior of the Sea. "Unless I'm mistaken, you're claiming to be superior to that vermin of an ape. So if I get you in front of him and make sure there's no interruptions. You'd take him down?!?" Puppy dog eyes emerged on Daisuke's face. "I mean you have all to gain and nothing to lose. Billions of berri, the rightful title as the Strongest Creature, the entire skies, hell you'd even protect your nation. So let's make it happen!" Daisuke stared deeply into the eyes of Ryushiki.
Ryushiki knows what Daisuke is trying to do and she scoffs at him annoyingly at his taunting. Deep down, she knows that Wukong is leagues above her in power but her proud heritage makes her unable to accept that out in the front. "I know your game cretin. You wanted a suggestion and you got it. I know I can take down that ape when the conditions are right. It's too bad that bastard can always make the conditions right for him... Ugh how annoying!" said Ryushiki as she angrily shifts her head over to the side.
"Unfortunate, another day I suppose." Daisuke wasn't in the business of putting down people, even warlords. He was hoping he'd somehow underestimated her strength and she'd actually be the key to victory they were looking for. Unfortunately, story book endings don't happen as often as they do in his comic. "I guess it was naive of me to presume any of us would be capable of handling a job tailored for a once and a generation talent." Daisuke offered his respects to the recently departed Heiwa, who shoulders the burden of carrying the safety of the world every day. "So let's go more micro then."
"How do we buy more time for our beloved islands?" With everyone in the room having loved ones, ownership or affiliation to a country, this was a much more prevalent matter that he hoped the warlords would be more invested.
Ryushiki then takes a quick moment to think over ideas after her experiences in living. She then leans back in her chair ready to suggest something but not sure how it'll work for others. In her way, it'll work for her in her eyes. "Anything can be crafted in this damn world. That's one thing the cretins are good for. I've seen a case where one island experienced heavy rain all year round and the sea level around there was rising forcing the island to slowly drown. Their solution? Build a whole damn mast around the undersides of the island converting it to a boat. Boats always float so of course it can be done in this case. Only problem is the amount of time that it could take but I'm assuming quick if you have a good supply of gifted shipwrights. I'm not sure if you cretins will agree with this but I plan on doing so to Dressrosa as soon as possible thanks to hearing this news. I don't care if you all don't agree with this but I rather not have the kingdom I rule over go over into the sea." said Ryushiki giving her suggestion.
Himawari scoffed at idea. "I'm no architect, but even if you take all the gifted shipwrights in Water 7. I doubt they'd be able to build anything sustainable in the time period we're working with." Despite shitting on her fellow warlord's idea, she couldn't come up with anything better. Hell, first thought she had was going to Water 7 as well.
"No no, Demon Mistress has her mind in the right place." Han'ei chimed in as he pandered over the possibilities. "Don't some of you pirates use water for power for your boats? Yeah, I'm sure the Marine Science Unit can draw something up, then we hire enough shipwrights to build it!"
Shinzui was just sitting there gazed at Daisuke, still recovering from shock shuddered by the Fleet Admiral's Conquerors Haki. When he recovered he saw Daisuke and the others working on War Plans and Heiwa was not present. He immediately brought everyones attention to him, unknowingly with a large cough from the aftershock. "I assume, all the Royal Families are being escorted to Marie Geoise as we speak like the cowards they are." he remarked at Daisuke, "Didn't I tell you brat that you need to start finding a successor soon?" he remarked on the Hero's declining condition, but Shinzui knew what the Hero was talking about, after all, he was inadvertently the main reason for Wukongs sudden war attacks. "What are you doing monkey ? what banana's are you peeling ?" he thought in his head, as his face turned towards to the direction of Tian, the sacred place of the Monkey Yonko.
"For a creature, you sure have proved you do have a working brain, Dragon Demon," he complimented his fellow Warlord Ryushiki. His speech now implying, he was back on working condition for the rest of the meet. "Kiwashi, I have something to ask, What is the amount of average rainfall across islands ? is the intensity in a island varying from time to time, or is it a constant flow ? How long do you think it will take for the first island to be inhabitable ? If things no dire, I could help provide materials, especially Seastone for undertaking such large-scale construction." He proposed his concerns to Daisuke. "I believe this matter comes first, we will have to hold back situations regarding the other yonko for later, unless they are relevant in this matter."
"Hmph! I don't need praise from something I already knew about! And another few hours?! Ugh... I guess I better round up all those stupid gladiators from the Corrida Colosseum alongside my own crew to help. Of course I'd be damned if my country falls beneath the sea. I can't even be a ruler of a drenched kingdom on the account of the whole stupid no-swimming condition... I'd say just at least gain assistance from the other islands that can actually help us out." said Ryushiki in a blunt tone obviously wanting to hurry in preventing her own kingdom from sinking.
"Brat?" Daisuke wondered if Shinzui was aware that he had well over a decade on the warlord. Be that as it may, he return to the conversation was much needed. "Unfortunately I don't have all the specifics. I'm told the down pour is reminiscent to a hurricane but there are no winds carrying the clouds away." Daisuke paused as he attempted to recall the rest of his debriefing of the situation. "Furthermore, I can't give you an estimation on when islands will likely meet their demise. Each island had pre-existing situations that might deter or help the flooding process. It's a case by case scenario." Before concluding he wondered if he left anything out. "In regards to the Royals, I'm not authorized to disclose any information of their whereabouts or directives."
"In regards to Royals yes, I am pretty sure, half of your Military expenses go to protecting this Nobles from farm anyway...." Shinzui countered, bring up his point on why Nobles would be escorted first. "I see, It might take a while for the Military to get all the stats, amid this sudden response. I was hoping if we could find islands that would take time to be flooded completely, other than the Central Mountain Range. If there was the Marines should immediately transfer the citizens to these islands from the higher risk ones. create camps and such. Focus on trying to improve drain systems of the islands with low risk while also improve the security. " Shinzui spoke to these words to the only level headed Marine in the room.
Continuing with the strategy, Shinzui spoke, "If the 20 Kingdoms are attacked, what is the status of the the other affiliated countries ? We could have them help too, but I dont think, we should risk any immediate effect on them by bringing them into the mix. I personally would want to go out into the field and experience this phenomena first hand and get some clues, but I think I will be stuck in this meet for another couple of hours."
"A couple of minutes would be more accurate." Heiwa responded, returning to the room with a clear objective in mind. Like her original entrance, she appeared stoic and controlled, prepared to answer any threat. She seemed completely different form when she left. "Our meeting is nearing its conclusion. I have more pressing matters to attend to." she addressed the room.
As the Fleet Admiral returned, Daisuke gave up his seat, pulling it out and pushing it back in as her bottom returned to it. "She must've gotten no question orders from them Geezers; wonder how that went." he thought as he turned around and made his way to the exit. "Welp, my jobs here is done. I'll leave you guys to finish up." he exclaimed before disappearing as quick as he appeared.
Heiwa crossed her fingers and rested her elbows along the table." These orders are not be questioned nor are they up for debate. Your failure to abide to them will serve as a direct violation of your agreement with the World Government and will result in an immediate dismissal." She didn't take the time to verify if her words resonated with the crowd. If the Shichibukai thought she didn't care for their opinion before they'd be welcomed to a new form of disrespect. This was no longer a knight upholding Chivalrous Justice, but a king upholding her duty to the nation or in this case, the world, she serves, Kingly Justice.
"You will not pursue matters into your own hands. Unless specifically challenged, you will not seek combat against Wukong. All attempts to do so will be considered insubordination and treason." She paused to let her words resonate with the Warlords. But she did not give them a chance to respond as she continued. "Furthermore, your instructions are to remain in the blue sea. Surely those of you who have subjects should care for them and your nation. However, you will carry out your duties regardless. During this time of conflict, you will capitalize and expand you sphere of influence, by any means necessary. I take it you understand what I mean so there's no need to further go into detail." Heiwa rose from her seat and inconsequentially all the knights did as well. "We are officially at war. If you are not with us then you are against us." And with that, Heiwa turned and left, with the hoard of knights following her.
"Himamama...Seems like those Five Elders gang-banged her in those five minutes she was gone." Himawari laughed at this sudden and unexpected conclusion. Although her joke wasn't out of character, she wanted to break the ice without giving up her thoughts on the situation, gauge the room.
Ryushiki leans back in her chair and crosses her arms at the thought of war is no surprise to her having been alive for much longer than the others in attendance. "Bah. I've seen so many wars in my life, they usually doesn't mean shit to me. However, this one is actually a problem especially with all of this damn rain! I don't like being told what to do especially those who are certainly below me in age but risking losing control over Dressrosa and having the entire Navy against me is something I do not need right now. I have no choice but to go along with this for now. At least until that stupid primate is dead and I can get back to doing my own damn business." said Ryushiki as she lets out a big deep sigh.
"And what if he doesn't lose?" With the Marines no longer present, it was time to discuss the equally likely scenario that the World Government would not come out victorious. "Himamama, they said it themselves, the World Government is at a disadvantage. That annoying ape whose name we've been spitting around does seem to be holding all the cards. You gonna fall with the empire if it starts to crumble?" Himawari questioned curious what the other warlords think.
Shinzui got up from his seat, walking towards one of the open windows, looking at the distance. "I don't know what we can discuss, there would probably be a lot of difference in opinion among us yea." Shinzui said glaring to the horizon. "We have to go into this knowing World Government is gonna lose, which is why, we Shichibukai cannot leave their side. Not now." Shinzui pledged, hoping to receive the same kind of attitude from the rest of his peers.
"Still recovering from the Fleet Admiral's haki earlier, I see." Though she couldn't laugh, she is still quite shaken up from the two instances where Heiwa flexed on her. "Pessimistic yet loyal. I can't say I share your opinion on the matter, ninja boy." Himawari gave off a playful tone a peered over at the standing Shinzui. "I will not go with it if this ship sinks, however, I'll be damned if it does..." Himawari had too much riding on this position for it to all go up in flames, not until her plan is completed. "So then, how about we stay in contact!" she exclaimed before murmuring under her breath. "Excluding that lizard of course...". She continued with her original tone. "We've been working individually till now but we'd be quite the power if we worked together..."
Ryushiki, naturally, heard what Himawari said but tried not to pay too much attention toward it. "Heh, you idiots always think about losing instead of victory. I'd be dammed if I lose Dressrosa so of course I'll be fighting. Will the World Government lose? Probably, this stupid rainfall is a major hindrance right bow but I'm sure the proud Navy could find a way through this! They are Justice after all!" said Ryushiki in a mocking tone. Though she knows she will have to work beside them, she couldn't help but take any shots at them when the chance arises. Though she finishes her statement by saying "With me helping out, our chances of victory just rose immensely so they shouldn't worry."
"Well,...I would be lying if I told that Haki isnt still effecting,..." Shinzui spoke, as he walked towards Himawari, "On hayabaishiramantaya sowaka." He chanted, while simultaneously bringing his hands together, his ring fingers crossing each other to touch opposite index fingers, middle fingers crossing over them. Index finger, pinky and thumb straight up. He flickered immediately, now sitting in the table right besides the Vampire lady. Quickly he brushed his fingers across her left eye, causing the wound caused by Heiwa's earlier sword strike to heal up. "You got that because of me. I don't like owing anybody." He spoke, "Ryushi, can I stop at Dressrosa on my way to Wano ?" he asked, seemingly worried about his journey back home.
Being a spectator in this meeting had been the right idea. Neal wondered what he was expected to do in this situation. He had no island to protect and no specific instructions. "If you all are heading to your kingdoms, then I guess I might as well track down those rookies the Fleet Admiral mentioned way back," he addressed the other Warlords, "I also agree with staying in touch. Mr. Shinzui, want my Den Den Mushi frequency?" He extended a palm with a small snail with similar characteristics to himself.
Himawari batted her eyes as Shinzui attempted to heal a wound that had already recovered. "Seems you mongrels still need time to process what's going on." Rising form her seat, it was time to make her exit. "My offer still remains." she muttered slowly staring at the newbie and veteran while intentionally leaving Ryu-whatever-her-name-is out of her proposal. Making her way to the door, her voice echoed throughout the halls. "Victory welcomes the courageous. Act slowly and defeat will catch you." her last words seemed fitting given the situation.
Ryushiki scoffs knowing Himawari is intentionally trying to avoid her. She then gets off from her seat and prepares to walk out. She then decides to answer Shinzui's answer about stopping by her kingdom of Dressrosa. "Fine, just don't get in our way of our planning. This war is going to be a pain, I can tell from experience. We need all the focus we can get so do your best to make your visit as quick as possible." said Ryushiki as she walked out.
Getting up from his seat on the table, Shinzui jumped down, "Yes Neal, make sure you don't go rough on the rookies, we don't want to involve them in our affairs, at-least not now. If you find any stranded civilian ship making it rough on the ocean, just make sure they reach their destination safely. " Shinzui gave a word of advice to the young Shichibukai as they exchanged numbers (not phone numbers but den den frequency numbers, duh !).
"I wish I could go meet them myself, but I don't think I can." he ran a monologue inside his head.
Shinzui gave a parting wave as Himawari left the building, "If you ever need a catapult to push you forward, just hit me up. We have a giant ass catapult in Wano." he replied to her quick as possible comment.
Making his way out from the building into a chaos of Marine on-duty, Shinzui looked towards Ryushiki. "Oh I didnt expect a visit of a mere human, would make the almighty Dragon loose focus."
With the World Government's meeting with the Shichibukai officially over, the Warlords prepared to face the deadly war that was upon them.