Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of The Logia Brothers! Showdown time! The Warlord of the Sea, 'Desert King' Sir Crocodile versus The Rookie with the highest Bounty to ever come from East Blue, 'Straw Hat' Monkey D. Luffy! Lightning vs Sand! The rumble in the desert! Who will come out on top?
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Chapter 33 – Warlord vs Rookie
"Crocodile!" Luffy roared as he reformed from lightning not too far from the oasis of Rainbase. His Haki-coated fist slammed into the sand cloud that was his enemy. Crocodile reformed against his will as he rocketed into the sand and kicked up a large plume of grit and dust.
"Gah!" Crocodile hacked as he felt the pain radiate from his back. "I'm really going to enjoy this, brat." He stood up and turned to face the Rookie.
"I doubt it." Luffy's glare was piercing and his body sparked with electricity.
"In the desert my Devil Fruit can unleash more power than anywhere else." Crocodile smirked as the sand began to whip around him. "I've gained the terrain advantage now." Without a word a large blade of sand raced towards Luffy at speed. Everything in its path was split cleanly, sand, rocks, cacti, none of it even slowed the blade down. Luffy was split in half and Crocodile smiled before noticing the telltale signs of a Logia Fruit.
"Is that all?" Luffy questioned as bolts of lightning connected his two halves and pulled him back together without harm.
"So, you're a Logia too?" Crocodile internally cursed the disappearance of the Unluckies. Had they still been doing their jobs then he'd have already known this!
"Yep," Luffy responded before his hand shot up. His fingers were in the 'gun' position and a thin beam of lightning shot toward Crocodile.
"Too predictable." Crocodile had already dissolved away into the swirling sands when the beam of blue-white lightning past through where he'd been. The sands whipped up more and more as the Warlord started a sandstorm. "So many of you foolish Rookies that have Devil Fruits never think about how to really use them."
"Shut up!" Luffy disappeared in a spark only for his foot to crash into Crocodile's right side. The Warlord hacked at the injury and glared harshly at the Rookie. He dissolved into sand again before he slammed into the ground.
'That's getting annoying.' Crocodile grimaced as he rejoined the sandstorm he'd created. 'How is he hitting me? How can he even find me among all of the sand?'
"Get out here!" Luffy demanded as his entire body glowed with an intense blue-white light. A TITANIC blast of lightning erupted from the straw-hatted pirate and sent the sandstorm scattering. Crocodile reformed a good distance away only to grind his teeth at what he saw. The entire area around Luffy was molten glass that was rapidly cooling into fulgurite. "There you are!" Luffy blitzed towards Crocodile again.
"Fool!" Crocodile raised a literal dune of sand between them with barely a thought. Luffy's fist crashed into the sand dune and blasted part of it away from the sheer force of the blow. "Die!" Crocodile demanded as the huge sand dune rapidly spiraled into a cyclone of sand. The speed at which the grains were moving would reduce even stone to dust in seconds!
"Grargh!" Luffy's body turned into lightning as the cyclone of sand blasted him backwards. "Raiken!" The storm of lightning blasted forward into the spinning sand and stalemated against the force of nature. Both attacks dispersed after a short clash.
"Desert Cimitero!" Crocodile declared and below Luffy's airborne body the desert shifted. Large, sharp blades of compressed sand formed in a large area, all of them pointed towards the sky and ready to skewer the falling Luffy.
"Shockwave!" Luffy turned into a bolt of lightning and struck the ground like the smiting of an enraged God. A blast of electricity radiated outwards shattering every sand blade back into dust.
"Sables!" Crocodile whipped up a sandstorm and threw up a gale of howling wind and sand. Visibility was quickly reduced to zero and the fast moving sand tore into anything it touched. With every second that passed the sandstorm only grew in strength and size.
"Is Crocodile planning to bury the oasis?!" Pell demanded as the wind from the sandstorm began to blow through the city. The cloud just kept getting bigger out in the desert and the Royal Guard was very tempted to grab Vivi and fly out of the area.
"Luffy!" Vivi exclaimed as she saw the flashes of lightning within the sandstorm.
"The Marines are still coming!" Zoro warned as the soldiers that could still fight were gathering behind Smoker. The Marine Captain was storming towards the damaged casino with a thunderous look on his face.
"What the hell is going on, pirates?!" Smoker demanded as he pulled his jitte off his back and pointed it at the group. "Why is Straw Hat fighting Crocodile? What is your connection? Answer me!"
"You dare point your weapon at the princess?!" Pell grabbed his sword as he glared at the Marine. "A Marine should know better than to threaten royalty of a World Government Nation! Especially Alabastan Royalty! Have you lost your mind?!" The Falcon Devil Fruit user demanded of Smoker with a fierce rage.
"What is your princess doing in the company of wanted pirates?" Smoker stared hard at Pell, his gaze demanded answers.
"Peruperuperu…" Was heard and everyone blinked at the noise. "Peruperuperu…"
"Are you going to answer that?" Mikita questioned Pell. If the situation wasn't so tense, she might have laughed about it.
"Peruperuperu…" Was heard again as Pell reached into his robe and pulled out a Baby Transponder Snail. "Kerchak." The Snail connected as Pell flicked the receiver on its shell.
"Pell!" Chaka's voice called out from the Transponder Snail. "Return to Alubarna immediately! The Palace is under attack! The rebels have managed to infiltrate the capital! It must have been the work of that Baroque Works organization!"
"What?!" Pell cried out in shock. "Where is the king?! Is he safe?!"
"Father!" Vivi was at Pell's side the instant she'd heard Chaka's voice. "Chaka, what's going on?!"
"Princess Vivi?!" Chaka's shock was palpable in his voice alone. "Are you alright?! Please stay with Pell! He'll protect you!"
"What's going on?" Vivi demanded with all the authority she could muster.
"Yesterday, someone was in Katorea disguised as the king. He had an escort of what appeared to be Royal Soldiers. Whoever it was admitted to using the Dance Powder. The citizens are in full revolt and the rebels have stormed the capital. The Royal Army wasn't able to leave and is currently holding the line at the palace." Chaka informed everyone in hearing range of the situation. "They refuse to listen that King Cobra was at the palace all day yesterday. Now we can't find the King. He's disappeared and we fear he's been taken by the enemy."
"No…" Vivi's hands covered her mouth as tears stung her eyes.
"That Mr. 2 bastard!" Sanji snapped at seeing Vivi in tears. "He must've transformed into the king and lied to all those people!"
"Shit…" Nami bit her lip trying to think of some way to help Vivi in this situation.
"What can we do?" Usopp questioned while his left hand ran over the cloth hat covering his head. "The capital is on the other side of that giant river, right?"
"Unless we have a way to cross the desert and then the river, and then the desert on the other side of the river, we aren't going to be able to get to the capital." Zoro shook his head. His gaze never left Smoker the whole time. His hand was on Yubashiri's hilt, just waiting to draw the blade.
"Hold the line Chaka, I shall return as fast as possible!" Pell informed his fellow Royal Guard before the Transponder Snail was disconnected. "You heard all of that, Marine." Pell stared into Smoker's eyes. "Either move aside and let us save our kingdom, or else." He unsheathed the first bit of his blade as an open threat.
"Sir…" One of the Marines behind Smoker spoke up. "We can't fight them in our condition. It is against regulation to fight with the Royal Families at all. We could all be Court Martialed if you do this." The fact that the man was clearly injured didn't escape anyone's notice.
"Damn it." Smoker exhaled as he placed his jitte on his back again.
"Let's go." Pell returned his sword to its sheath properly. "At the edge of Rainbase is the Super Sonic Duck Squadron. They came with me to set up a base camp with supplies for the occupation of the Royal Army, but we can use them to cross the desert and get to the Sandora River."
"Carue is here?" Vivi looked at Pell in shock.
"He wouldn't let us leave him behind, now I know why." Pell nodded as the group followed him. "He must've known you'd be here, princess."
"How will we cross the river though?" Chopper questioned as he ran along with them in his reindeer form.
"There is a pier we can head to. I'll use my authority to get you and the Super Sonic Duck Squadron a boat across the river. After that the rest of the desert shouldn't pose an issue to the ducks." Pell filled them in on his hastily thrown together plan.
Unbeknownst to the group, Smoker was gathering his men together to head for Alubarna as well. The Marine Captain couldn't, wouldn't allow pirates to roam freely. He'd be there, he'd witness whatever happened to this country and in the end he would capture the Straw Hats. Smoker would make a call to send reinforcements from every neighboring island. A Warlord had gone rogue and the higher-ups needed to know.
"Once a Pirate, always a Pirate." Smoker grumbled out as he lit two cigars for himself. He needed the Transponder Snail as soon as possible.
The streets were full of yelling and the sounds of violence. The citizens that didn't wish to be caught up in the violence hid within their homes. Doors and windows barricaded with whatever they could use. The rebel forces were sieging the Royal Palace and the Royal Army was holding them back. The smell of gunpowder, smoke, and blood was in the air.
A man sat above all of the fighting; on top of one of the tallest towers in the capital. He was a rather plain-looking man in dark-blue clothes, yet he watched all of the rage and battle with a smile. "Hahahahaha! Now this is entertainment!" The man laughed, his dark-brown hair swaying in the dry, desert breeze. "Deception, suspicion, misplaced anger, broken trust, rage, violence…what a great show!" His sea-blue eyes flashed an unsettling yellow for an instant. He briefly looked over in the direction of Rainbase and his grin got even wider. "That's it, keep entertaining me! Hahahahaha!"
-Desert Outside of Rainbase-
"Crocodile!" Luffy thundered as his lightning tore through a section of the ever-growing sandstorm. He blitzed forward as a bolt of electricity and punched the Warlord across the face.
"Desert La Spada!" Crocodile retaliated as four massive blades formed from his arm. Luffy punched one back into sand with a Haki-infused fist while the other three made a large chasm in the desert below.
The two pirates continued to trade blows as the sandstorm howled. Fulgurite was being whipped through the air from all of the super-heated sand that came in contact with Luffy's lightning. Crocodile was looking worse for wear, his face bruised and his lip bleeding. Luffy's clothing hadn't managed to survive as the raging sands tore the fabric to shreds. The brief moments that Luffy remained solid were the only times anything changed about his appearance.
"Barján!" Crocodile dispersed into sand only to reappear behind Luffy with his right arm raised. Trailing from his arm was a long, curved sand blade that he swung at Luffy. If he could land a blow with this attack the damned Rookie would be mummified as his Suna Suna no Mi desiccated the brat!
"Electric Fence!" Luffy countered as bolts of lightning leapt from his body and formed a spherical cage around him.
"Yaaahh!" Crocodile bit out as his blade and part of his arm were struck by the lightning. He dispersed again and continued to strengthen the sandstorm. It wouldn't be much longer before the sandstorm would grow so powerful that even he couldn't stop it anymore. "Sables: Pesado!" Another swirling cyclone of sand was dragged from the desert and blasted at Luffy.
Luffy flashed out of the way of the towering column of swirling sand. His electric form bounced around the sandstorm sparking rapidly as any sand that touched him turned into fulgurite glass from the heat. Crocodile moved as quickly as his sand could push him along to dodge the blasts of lightning sent his way by the Lightning Man. As he flew across the desert, the massive sandstorm followed him. The people of Rainbase could only gape in shock as a massive sandstorm filled with lightning began to tear apart the desert outside of their oasis.
Chasms opened up in the desert as the massive sandstorm passed through. The sand seemingly split apart or melted into glass. All the while the sandstorm continued to grow larger and stronger. It was as if the very desert was at war with itself as the two Devil Fruit users fought. Flashes of lightning were seen and the crash of thunder followed over the howling winds. It was no small wonder that many of the citizens of Rainbase wondered if they weren't witnessing the wrath of the Desert Gods as the sandstorm moved further and further north.
"Desert Ondas!" Crocodile was sick of this back and forth! He'd bury the upstart Rookie and be done with him! The desert rumbled and shook and all the sand in sight seemed to rise upwards like tsunami waves. Towering waves of sand closed in on the raging sandstorm and attempted to smother it. "Goodbye, Straw Hat…this is the end!" The Warlord brought both of his arms down, as if he was slamming them onto a table, and the immense sand waves collapsed onto the sandstorm. Crocodile turned into sand with one last smug smirk and Luffy looked up at what appeared to be most of the desert falling down on him.
"Crocodile!" Luffy thundered in rage. He briefly lamented that there weren't any clouds around in the desert. His fruit was somewhat limited by the desert climate. If he'd had access to a sky full of clouds, then he'd have been able to bring the full force of his Devil Fruit to bear. "Armament: Strengthening" He intoned as his body became lightning fully and the bolts between his hands turned from white-blue to a dark-purple color. As the towering waves of sand fell down upon him, Luffy raised both hands up above his head. "Goro Goro no Howitzer!"
Almost a kilometer away from his own attack, Crocodile lit up a cigar as he watched the massive waves of sand collapse on top of the Rookie. He hadn't expected to have to get so serious on some upstart from the East Blue, but the brat's Devil Fruit had necessitated it. Still, the fight had gone in his favor, just as he expected it to from the beginning. Logia that thought they were invincible didn't last long in the New World. His eye twitched as he brought up a bad memory from his past. 'Damn Whitebeard…' He growled in his mind. His focus was quickly shifted as the top of the massive sand dune that was falling on Straw Hat Luffy suddenly exploded upwards.
"That's not possible!" Crocodile's cigar fell to the sand at his feet forgotten.
A bolt of lightning flashed from the top of the scattering sands and in the morning sunlight Crocodile lost track of where Luffy had gone. The Warlord looked around himself carefully. He was a kilometer away from the attack he'd tried to kill the brat with, there was very little chance that he'd be found. He could slip away and head for Alubarna long before the Rookie pirate would ever have a chance of finding him.
Unfortunately for Crocodile, Luffy knew exactly where he was. His Observation could cover entire islands when paired with his Devil Fruit. At the moment he was high in the air, his body still lightning, while maintaining his human shape. He clapped his hands together and when he spread them apart a dark-purple lightning bolt was formed. Luffy had imbued his Devil Fruit power with his Armament Haki to such a degree that the electricity had changed color and darkened. The crackling of this particular bolt was like miniature thunder bursts as Luffy forced it into cohesion and almost solidity.
"Goro Goro no…Gungnir." Luffy intoned as he grabbed the dark-purple bolt and hefted it over his shoulder like a spear or javelin. His Observation Haki locked on to Crocodile's location to insure he wouldn't miss his target. With all his strength and the power of his Devil Fruit, Luffy threw the lightning bolt at the Warlord from a kilometer away.
Crocodile heard a loud crack of thunder that nearly ruptured his ear drums and felt the ground below his feet shake. Behind him a spot in the sand was blackened glass. Even under the light of the sun, glowing lines could be seen spread out through the sand in a thirty meter radius from the point of impact. Fulgurite lines that were normally no more than seven or eight centimeters in length from natural lightning strikes were now dozens of meters long. He couldn't see this phenomenon however. He'd lost feeling in his entire body. The Warlord fell backwards onto the hot sand with a hole through his chest. The wound was blackened and cauterized. Lichtenberg scars were forming across his entire body beneath his clothes. His lungs were fried and nonfunctioning. His heart had nearly been cooked. The worst part was the loss of part of his spine where the attack had passed through him. His nervous system had been so overloaded by the electricity that his brain had completely shut down.
'Desert King' Sir Crocodile, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, was dead.
Luffy zapped down to where he'd heard Crocodile's 'Voice' disappear. He stared dispassionately at his enemy's body before grabbing the scruff of the dead man's shirt and dragging him behind. Searching with his Observation Haki, Luffy quickly found Nami and Mikita's 'Voices' and smiled when he sensed they were with the rest of his nakama.
"They're so far away though…" Luffy blinked at how much ground they'd already covered and they were still getting further away. "Moving fast too." He pondered how he'd catch up to his nakama while hauling Crocodile's body with him. Showing the dead Warlord to the Baroque Works people might help stop the war, or at least Luffy thought so. If not, at least it would give Vivi peace of mind for her country's safety.
Luffy expanded the range of his Observation again, looking for any non-human 'Voices' this time. A particularly large voice got his attention since it wasn't too far away. From the impression he got of the creature via his Haki, Luffy determined that it was friendly and he might be able to persuade it to give him a ride. Dragging Crocodile's body behind him, Luffy trekked through the desert in his ripped and torn clothing. When he got to the area where the 'Voice' was he stomped on the sand a few times.
"Gyeeh?" A large amount of sand was pushed aside as a huge, red crab unburied itself. The massive crustacean moved its eyes around before focusing on Luffy. It turned to face the pirate, revealing that one of its claws was much larger than the other one.
"Hi!" Luffy smiled at the massive crab. "Would you mind helping me out?"
"Gyeeh?" The large crab looked curiously at the human.
"I need to get to the big river fast; could you give me a ride?" Luffy asked with a polite bow.
"Gyeeh." The large crab gave what seemed to be its equivalent of a shrug and held out its larger claw to Luffy.
"Thanks, you're awesome big crab!" Luffy chuckled as he climbed up onto the outstretched claw and let the crab lift him up onto it back. The shell on the back of the crab seemed to be covered in a type of moss-like fur. Luffy laughed at the feeling of the fur as he laid out Crocodile's body next to him. "To the big river!" Luffy declared and the crab raised itself up onto its many legs and began scuttling along at considerable speed, sideways of course!
Luffy would only learn later that he had befriended a Moving Crab, a rare species of Alabasta that was hardly ever seen by humans. The large crustacean would have Luffy to the Sandora River in just about two hours.
"We made it here so fast!" Usopp gaped as the colossal river came into view.
"Super Spot-Billed Ducks are one of the fastest animals in Alabasta!" Vivi informed the group as they rapidly approached the river. "Only an Accellegator is faster and it can't maintain its speed as long."
"I'll get us a boat immediately!" Pell dismounted the large duck he'd been riding and raced over to the pier. In short order a larger merchant vessel was prepared and the group boarded. Nami made quick work of setting a course that would take them across the almost forty kilometer wide river. The Super Sonic Duck Squadron took this time to rest and drink water to prepare for the next leg of the journey.
"I wish I had the insane range Luffy does with his Observation." Mikita sighed as she looked back in the direction they'd come from. "At least then we could know if he was alright."
"Luffy will be fine," Nami reassured her nakama and lover. "It's Crocodile that should be worried."
"I hope so…" Vivi looked worried and she was clenching her fists tightly.
"Luffy will catch up to us in Alubarna." Zoro stated with certainty. "But we need to focus on getting Vivi there safely."
"How are we going to stop the fighting though?" Chopper questioned. The reindeer Doctor worried about the fighting that was already happening.
"Vivi's loveliness will stop the fighting!" Sanji declared with heart-shaped eyes. Pell moved between Vivi and Sanji with an unamused look on his face. "And anyone that wants to keep fighting after she tells them to stop can eat a kick to the head!"
"It'll be fine…" Usopp said, though he looked like he was halfway between reassuring Chopper and reassuring himself.
"In the confusion and haste, I haven't learned who all of you are." Pell spoke as his eyes took in all of the Straw Hats. "Princess Vivi seems to count you among her friends, but as a Royal Guard I can't lower my guard until I know the situation."
"Pell…" Vivi gave the Devil Fruit user a look.
"I'm sorry, Princess, but you know I put your safety above all else." Pell would not be swayed in this matter and Vivi nodded after a moment.
"These are my friends, Pell, the Straw Hat Pirates." Vivi motioned to all of them with a smile.
"How on earth did you make friends with pirates?!" Pell questioned disbelievingly.
"It's kind of a long story…" Vivi exhaled softly as she began to tell Pell why she and Igaram had left three years ago and how it led to her becoming friends with the Straw Hats.
-Alubarna ~ Cliff Outside the East Gate-
King Cobra Nefeltari sat in silence. He was bound, gagged and secured to the stone cliff wall behind him. He watched as the two Baroque Works Agents that had snatched him from the palace commented on the capital city's plight. The large, rotund man and the fast-talking, squat woman with the Devil Fruit powers. He was nearly biting through the rope gagging him as he saw his people fighting against each other. The Royal Army defending the palace and the inner center of the city. The rebel forces were fighting against them to break the line and get into the palace to overthrow him.
"Look at them go, go go!" Miss Merry Christmas cackled as she watched the fighting.
"Huh, huh, huh," Mr. 4's slow laughter seemed to get on his partner's nerves.
"You always respond to slow!" Miss Merry Christmas chastised the large man. "Ugh, I'm sick of babysitting this king! I'm bored to tears! My back is getting all stiff!"
"Sorry…" Mr. 4 finally replied to her chastisement.
"If that's the case, Miss Merry Christmas, I'll take over this post for you and Mr. 4." Miss All-Sunday offered as she approached the duo.
"Miss All-Sunday?!" Miss Merry Christmas exclaimed in shock at seeing Crocodile's partner. "What're you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be with the Boss? Well? Aren't you? Huh?!"
"Hello Miss All-Sunday…" Mr. 4 greeted the woman in his delayed manner.
"My skills won't be necessary for the next several hours," Miss All-Sunday waved off with a slight smile. "But you two could certainly be useful at the southwest gate into the city."
"Why the southwest gate? Aren't the pirates coming from the west? Why would we be stationed at the southwest?" Miss Merry Christmas rapid-fired her questions as usual.
"Because both the west gate and the southwest gate are the most likely gates for the pirates to try and enter the city. Your particular skills are very suitable for stopping the pirates before they can enter. The terrain favors your pair more than any other." Miss All-Sunday explained with a hint of praise for the duo.
"Right you are! Yep, yep yep! Couldn't have said it better myself!" Miss Merry Christmas declared with a laugh. "Let's go Mr. 4! We have pirates to take out before they can get into the city!"
"Okay…" Mr. 4 took off after the already leaving Miss Merry Christmas.
A few minutes passed before Miss All-Sunday turned to face Cobra. She walked over to him before looking the king in the eyes. Her face was blank and her body language betrayed nothing with the help of her long, white coat. Seeing the hard stare from Cobra, Miss All-Sunday smiled slightly.
"Let's get you on your feet," Hands emerged from the stone and worked as one to pull out the stakes keeping him pinned. "More hands formed and practically forced the man to his feet. "Now…take me to the Poneglyph."
Cobra's eyes widened at her demand and Miss All-Sunday grinned. The king was forced forward as Miss All-Sunday walked behind him. The two were headed back the way that he'd been kidnapped from the palace. He realized this woman was planning to use the tunnel to bypass all of the fighting going on in the capital. With everyone distracted, she was going to seek out the Poneglyph as part of Crocodile's plans.
"I see you know about it, that's good." Miss All-Sunday chuckled lowly. "Take me to it, your Majesty."
'Why does Crocodile want the Poneglyph?' Cobra tried to figure out the Warlord's plans as he was forced to keep walking. 'No one can read them, so what does he hope to gain from finding it?' The king was no fool. He knew that the Poneglyph that his family had kept hidden held the secret to the Ancient Weapon Pluton's location. But even the Royal Family couldn't read the cube. What was the point of…? He suddenly felt his blood run cold. He glanced back at the woman behind him. Could she possibly read them?! The writings on the Poneglyph were from a lost language. But if this woman could somehow decipher them, then Crocodile might be able to get his hands on one of the Ancient Weapons said to be able to wipe entire islands off the map with a single shot!
'I'll not let it happen!' Cobra steeled himself as he walked along under the woman's guidance. 'I'd sooner die than let that man get his hands on such a weapon! Forgive me, my ancestors, but I may need to destroy your resting place to continue protecting the secret we've kept for so long.'
Crocodile lost…he put up a fight, moved a desert's worth of sand and fought better than he did in Canon. But he has no Haki. He got slapped outta the New World by Whitebeard and never returned.
The Fruit matchup also didn't favor him.
On the plus side we got to see Luffy pull out the stops a bit more. Haki-imbued Devil Fruit powers! Because why not crank the Goro Goro no Mi up to fucking 11, right?
Also, someone we haven't seen in a very long time is watching the events in Alabasta! He's quite entertained by such things after all.
How will the rest of the Arc go?
Keep reading to find out!
Until I get your reviews, later!