Hey everyone. I'm going to be straight with you all. There's a reason I haven't updated in eight months, and it's not one any of you are going to want to hear. In the past few years my life has steadily been getting busier, whether it be from school or the process of writing original fiction. Now though, I've actually started working full time, and that unfortunately means that I have far less time to write than I did even before.

This is especially draining when combined with the fact that Second Wind is a project that takes a lot of dedication and inspiration to keep up with. It's not the type of story where I can just sit down and start writing, mainly because there is a lot of planning that needs to go into it, on the level of each chapter and arc, as well as the story as a whole. I have had a lot planned out from the beginning, but I've been starting to realize for a while now that putting it all into story form at this stage of my life has become an unrealistic endeavor. This is not a new realization, as I have gone several months without updating before and not said anything because I didn't want to worry my readers.

As you can tell from the chapter title, Second Wind is now on hiatus until further notice. This decision weighs heavily on me because this story has been a major undertaking of mine for over six years now, and especially now that I've reached 10,000 favorites and follows, a major landmark for any writer on this site, it feels that much harder. But with the better part of a year and barely anything to show, the lack of results speaks for itself. Keeping your hopes up for a chapter that isn't coming while making myself worry about it when I don't have the time isn't fair to me or you.

I have included what I had written of chapter 69 below, which isn't much. If there ever comes a time when I can continue writing this story, I will. But if there ever comes a time when I realize that day isn't coming, I'll post a timeline of future events in the story and perhaps place it up for adoption.

Chapter LXIX: A Sad Reminiscence

The Straw Hat alliance and their guests stood on the deck of the Sunny. Sanji was inside the kitchen, cooking everyone meals to keep their strength up before the battle. Law and Bonney were seated by the rail, looking bored, and Crocodile and his group were sitting to the side, waiting for their arrival. Everyone else was discussing the upcoming battle when their chef walked outside, the food noticeably absent.

"Luffy? You're going to want to see this," he said.

Luffy turned Sanji, and blinked at the sight of the fruit in the chef's hand.

"I found this in the pantry," Sanji said.

Ace's eyes widened, and he looked momentarily pained. "That's…"

Thousands of Marines prayed for their lives as the island of Marineford tilted on its axis. The ground caved in as the tectonic plates beneath the land shook and trembled along to Whitebeard's will. Fissures in the earth swallowed entire battalions of soldiers whole, and massive ocean waves filled them. Screams filled the air as the tremors continued, and the island began to crumble, piece by piece, like a puzzle that was always meant to be broken.

Sengoku thought fast. "Issho!" he shouted, and the Vice Admiral seemed to understand what was expected of him. His sightless eyes narrowed in concentration as he reached out with his gravity powers, attempting to keep Marineford from collapsing in on itself.

To a degree, it worked. The island's descent into the ocean slowed dramatically as the forces of gravity began holding the island in place. But anyone could tell it was a temporary solution at best. Although Issho had taken to his Devil Fruit quickly, he was still fairly new with it, and keeping an island from crumbling as a more experienced Devil Fruit user continued to send tremor after tremor through the earth was no simple test of his powers. Sweat dripped down his face as he did everything he could to save the Marines under him.

Sengoku was already thinking about the next steps of his hastily revised battle plan. "Whitebeard won't stop. If we stay here he'll drown us all. We have to take the fight to him."

He turned toward Garp, who nodded. "Garp! Akainu! Aokiji! You're with me! Issho will hold the fort while we're gone!"

The four used Soru to descend to the plaza below, where the Warlords were gathered. "There's been a change of plans. Follow us." He pretended not to notice the amusement in the pirates' eyes as they voiced their agreement.

Aokiji led the way, freezing the ocean so they could make their way over by foot. Sengoku, Garp, Akainu, and Aokiji all used Soru to traverse the frozen sea, while Mihawk kept pace behind them and Doflamingo flew using his strings. Sengoku sighed in frustration as Moria fell behind, unable to keep up with their pace. Why do we even keep him around?

Author's Note: I may get a lot of hate for this, but I honestly can't keep this up. Above all, I need to prioritize my life right now. Thank you to The Patient One for beta reading and co-authoring this story with me. Thank you to all my readers, reviewers, and followers who have made writing this story such a memorable experience. You have all been my muse, and that's one of the highest compliments a writer can give.

So for the last time in the foreseeable future…

Lost out.