Disclaimer: Godzilla and One Piece are the sole properties of Toho Co. LTD and Eiichiro Oda respectively. KP360 claims no ownership of anything save for any OCs, abilities, and locations.
Strong World Opening: Blue Bird by Ikimono-Gakari (Naruto Shippuden Opening 3. Yes, that one)
Habataitara modoranai to itte
Mezashita no wa aoi aoi ano sora
(With a backdrop of what appears to be golden dew drops, it shows Gian and Luffy standing back to back to each other. The two look at each other, then to behind them which showed the rest of the Straw Hats smiling at them, standing in unison alongside the Thousand Sunny as the instrumental begins.)
Kanashimi wa mada oboerarezu
Setsunasa wa ima tsukami hajimeta
(Gian is seen walking over a glass-like lake, with everything being reflected. Except his reflection didn't show him, rather it was the form of Gojira. With every step he took, the monster imitated.)
Anata e to idaku kono kanjou mo
Ima kotoba ni kawatteku
(A flashback scene, one that shows an ornate pirate ship staring down a much larger fleet as lightning cracks behind them. The captain of the pirate ship stared up with a confident grin, which was replaced with Luffy's more serious face as he looked out at his surroundings atop a high tree.)
Michi naru sekai no yume kara mezamete
Kono hane wo hiroge tobitatsu
(A shot of a man and a little girl, the former looking in concern and worry while the latter huddles in a corner, her eyes full of sorrow. It then switches to a shot of Shiki sitting atop his throne with his subordinates around him. The scene then shifts to Nami, standing together with some large yellow bird with a forlorn look on her face before it became determined, all the while strange mutated animals rummaged below her.)
Habataitara modoranai to itte
Mezashita no wa aoi aoi ano sora
(A giant cuttlefish monster could be seen swinging down a tentacle, followed by a monstrous crab creature spitting out a foam stream from its mandibles, then lastly a large turtle like monster that extended its neck in a snapping bite. The scene then cuts to the same little girl running, her fearful expression anxious as a tear rolled down her eye, before a mass of vines burst from her body to reveal a massive roaring crocodile shaped head seemingly mixed in with the plant life.)
Tsukinuketara mitsukaru to shiite
Aoi aoi ano sora
(Luffy leaps at Shiki, punching his way through multiple flying boulders sent his way as the veteran pirate slashed at him with blades. The final shot shows the remaining Straw Hats looking with uncertainty as the giant plant monster from before loomed over them, its vines stretching out, before Gian's body once again begun its Transformation as it became wreathed in blue flames.)
Aoi aoi ano sora
Aoi aoi ano sora
(A flash cut to a fleet of Marines, led by the Gotengo with Gideon standing at the helm. As the song ends, the scene closes on a particular straw hat as it flutters in the wind along with the images of Luffy, Shanks and one last particular pirate, their backs all turned to it.)
Now let's start.
Zoro gritted his teeth as he skidded back, digging his heels into the sand as he tried to regain traction. He steadied his gaze as he felt the ground trembling as his foe drew closer. Gripping Shusui and Wado Ichimonji tightly in his hands, his gaze was sharp as the massive form approached. The good news is, his opponent was rather straight forward in his approach.
Then again, a full frontal assault had always been Gian's forte. Even more so now that he's Partially Transformed. Zoro reared his arms back, attempting to put some range between him and the First Mate.
"Santoryu: Hyakuhachi Pound Ho!"
The Partially Transformed Kaiju-Zoan user merely raked a claw down, dissipating the wind blade. Zoro's eyes widened as he saw that his attack didn't hinder the advances of the First Mate at all, and had to dive to the side as the Kaiju-Zoan user's fist crunched into the ground where he stood. Leaping back up the swordsman dashed forwards again, only to find Gian's tail whipping in his direction, forcing the man to cross his swords to block the incoming last. The impact was enough to cause the pirate hunter to be knocked back, forced to do an emergency roll in order to stop the momentum and land back on his feet.
"Damn… if I didn't know better I'd say you were actually trying to kill me." Zoro panted with a slight grin. Gian glanced at his crew mate.
"We already established that I tap into Aura easier in the heat of battle, and you did give me the go ahead to go all out and fight as if you were my enemy. Don't tell me Roronoa Zoro thinks he's bitten off more than he could chew?"
"Tch, I didn't initially think I'd have the honor for you to use your Kaiju-Zoan powers right from the get go either."
A few days ago Zoro had been approached by the First Mate with a simple request: his recent discoveries over some of the more innate abilities of his mysterious fruit has been the cause of various concerns. Gian's been attempting with no avail to replicate the rush of Aura he's experienced during the events of Enies Lobby and Thriller Bark, but for all of Triton's meditation practices being useful in getting him to focus his power, they don't seem to be getting him closer to replicate the flow of power he underwent during those life-changing events. That led him to the next hypothesis: recreating the conditions that led to him opening the floodgates of his inner Beast. The choice of Zoro as his partner for this exercise was quite an easy decision as well
"So essentially you're asking me to be a Guinea pig, under the guise of a spar?"
"When you put it that way it sounds unethical… but yes, seeing how you rarely hold back in battle, and how seriously you take your training, I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone."
"Well, I'm just as in the dark about this whole Kaiju business; more so even. Still, if you getting a better hang of that monster of yours can help us out in the long run, then I think it's a good deal." The swordsman grinned as he flicked Wado Ichimonji out of its sheath "That, and if I'm being completely honest I've been dying to see how well I'd stack up to that creature. If you want to truly feel the rush, then come at me with the intent to kill."
So, during an incursion on a relaxing island as the rest of the crew enjoyed a break, the two secluded themselves to the nearby shore and have been there since morning. Zoro had to admit he was getting into this, and that meant Gian was getting too into this.
"This isn't still about that whole mess where you lost your lid at me regarding Luffy, is it?" Zoro scoffed after avoiding a particularly savage stomp.
"No, I've kinda realized at this point that it's better to just let you do what you think is right. Though now that you reminded me, I'll use that bit of motivation to pound your face harder with the next punch."
"Always happy to help…" Zoro shook his head with a grin, finally drawing all 3 swords in unison. He immediately vaulted over Gian as the latter ran down towards him again, raking his blades into the monster's hide. Gian's accelerated healing in this situation meant that the swordsman could afford to pull out some more dangerous maneuvers that he can't use on some of his other sparring partners, though he still made sure not to hit anything vital, and the swordsman grimaced as he saw the cuts close as if nothing had struck. He was immediately on the defensive yet again as Gian's dorsal fins blazed up and an Atom Ray seared his way.
"Oi, that's a bit overkill dontcha think?" the swordsman snapped as he jumped over the beam, wincing at the resulting explosion.
"I just thought it'd be a great way to further flare up our adrenaline." The Kaiju-Zoan user shrugged.
"…That wasn't even good…"
"Oh can it, besides I made sure I wasn't aiming directly at you."
"In any case," Zoro grunted before charging towards Gian with his blades flashing "allow me to return the favor!"
Zoro rushed towards Gian, sidestepping more Atom Rays being fired in his direction. The Kaiju-Zoan user twisted his body around once the pirate-hunter reached him, intent on striking him with his tail once more. This time Zoro flipped over his attack, before rearing back and delivering a spiraling slash with all three swords at once. Gian had to duck to avoid getting a bit too much taken off of his top, and the swords struck the maple shaped edges of one of his dorsal fins, causing a shower of sparks to form as the Swordsman landed.
"I'm able to cut through steel at this point…" Zoro panted incredulously "And yet I barely even made a scratch on those things. Just what the hell are those made of?"
"Even the sharpest blades are humbled by an iron soul." Gian stated as sagely as he could; Zoro only sweatdropped at that.
"Right… figured you didn't expect that either." The swordsman sighed "I feel like It's better if I just end this now."
"Then make it count." Gian growled before bounding towards Zoro once more. The Pirate Hunter got into a stance, Shusui in his left hand and Wado in his left. Subtly aware that streams of radioactive fire was now streaming from Gian's hide, Zoro shifted one leg back. The next moment the Kaiju-Zoan user made a footfall Zoro instantly kicked off the ground, launching himself forwards with blades crossed. The impact came soon afterwards as one of Gian's claws enclosed around his neck, knocking the wind out of the swordsman as he was pinned hard into the sand. Gian gave a bestial growl, his other fist raised and ignited with atomic energy. Zoro struggled for a bit before shooting the Kaiju-Zoan user a challenging grin; only then did Gian noticed that Zoro's twin blades were crossed around his own throat.
The two held the position for another 2 seconds before Gian smirked back, transforming back as he held out a claw and helping his fellow crewmate up.
"Not gonna lie to you, this was actually quite a workout." Gian remarked "We could make this a regular thing."
"You think so? Though if we do maybe turn the fire breathing lizard off next time. Fight like regular men." Zoro chuckled before asking about the reason of them being there "So any reaction?"
Gian gave an annoyed hiss "Not even a spark. It's like all the overflow of energy I felt back then, the raw outpouring of waves of emotion, it just wasn't there. I couldn't even get my Aura to take the shape of anything."
"Maybe this wasn't the right catalyst after all," Zoro suggested "maybe it takes more than simply being pumped to fight."
"In those instances I did remember feeling really pissed off." Gian noted "Perhaps the Kaiju flows more freely when my emotions aren't in check. Though how to get to that level of emotional imbalance is another issue altogether."
"Well it's hard to get you angry with what we have at our disposal." The swordsman shrugged "If anger really is what leads up to a surge of your powers, we'll have to actually see what sets you off, and with people like us that's not something we can achieve easily."
"It's like I'm so close…!" Gian let out a frustrated sigh "There's so much of this power that even now I think I've barely scratched the surface to it! And yet I'm saddled with it and can't even utilize it to what it can potentially do! Just a few days ago I realized I can somehow overcharge my Aura until my body becomes a living furnace, and I'm sure that's still not all there is to it."
"I mean, with what Chopper theorized after you used it last time, doing that too much may not be a good idea. "
"Ok, true. But with enough practice I bet I can find a way to make it less hazardous to my health." Gian sighed "If only I knew how to recreate it."
Zoro placed a reassuring hand on the Kaiju-Zoan's shoulder "You only started to realize there may be more to these Kaiju-Zoans since a couple of weeks ago, if we never found that out you'd still probably think it's just a regular Devil Fruit. The path to strength isn't achieved through an instance, if it really were that easy that fruit wouldn't have existed to begin with."
"It's like I said, you and Luffy will one day shake this world. If it's taking you time to fully understand of the extent of your fruit, then maybe it's good that the world has a bit of breathing room at least for now." Gian smiled when he heard that.
"Starting to think you'd make a better counselor than a swordsman. In that case then it looks like we'll have to cut our session short and wait for a better opportunity." Gian nodded "Let's get back to the others, we've been here all morning where are they now anyway?"
The bushes behind them rustled before some of their other nakama crept out behind them, a mixture of awe and cautiousness in their eyes.
"Is it safe to come out now?" Usopp stammered.
"I could feel the whole island shaking even from the other side!" Chopper gasped.
"Yeah, a whole lot of nothing that did though, still I feel like we both learned a lot." Gian nodded.
"Looks like you've been working hard." Robin came up to her partner with a smile "Even if you hadn't come to the result you wanted, it still would be a case of better understanding."
"We'll have to approach this another way, but if what Zoro claims is true, maybe simply duking it out with someone isn't the best way to better harness the Aura." Gian sighed "I just wish I had something to go off of."
"If only the rest of us could be of more help." Brook noted "There seems to be much that we could learn of it ourselves."
"You'll get there Gian." Luffy smiled "You've already managed to do enough cool stuff with it." Gian gave a smile at his captain.
The captain stretched before bolting off "Now let's go eat! Its lunch time and I want meat!" Sanji only sighed as he saw the hungry captain race off in search of food.
"Come on, if you're still not satisfied with the result then at least pack in a full stomach. Better hurry too, or Luffy will consume everything in sight." That managed to convince the rest of the group.
As the rest the group slowly made their way to their picnic area, Gian trailed on behind them. Looking down at his palm as a dim blue fire flickered within it, he once again reminded himself of what his goal is.
"If there really is more to the Kaiju, I'll have to work even harder to understand it. I need to, in order to protect them all."
"Guys, take a look at this!"
A couple of days after the impromptu training session, the crew had resumed their journey towards Fishman Island. Today has been a particularly sunny day, so everyone was out on the deck soaking up the rays before the weather inevitably takes a turn for the worst. The Grand Line's unpredictably aside, they'd had grown used to its erratic weather patterns at this point any storm was little more than a minor inconvenience to them at worst.
The news piece that Nami showed the group drew various reactions, some reacted more strongly than others.
"Villages in East Blue have just been disappearing?" Sanji murmured "How is this happening?"
"Not just villages, entire islands too." Nami replied "And according to the newspaper this has been going on for some time now!"
"This is very concerning." Gian rumbled "Islands don't just disappear off the map without a big disaster, but it doesn't seem like anything's happened aside from that."
"Oh yeah, you guys are all from East Blue." Chopper tried to comfort them as Zoro, Luffy, Usopp and Nami nodded. The rest of the crew looked at them with concern.
"Well I was technically born in North Blue, but East Blue was more of a home to me than that place." Sanji revealed.
"I'm in a similar boat, I basically grew up there." Gian sighed "And East Blue has traditionally been a peaceful region, something like this is not something people regularly deal with."
"Kaya…" Usopp whispered.
"There is one silver lining though, none of our home villages are among the ones missing." Zoro assured them "At least, not yet."
"Losing a home is painful experience," Robin murmured "No matter how the circumstance."
Luffy pursed his lips at the news, conflicting thoughts swirled in his head. The idea of entire island towns disappearing into thin air, and any chance of that potentially happening to Foosha Village, it didn't sit right with him.
"…We have to go back." The captain decided as the rest of the crew "I'm actually worried about our friends there."
"It's gonna be a long way," Franky noted "We're pretty close to the Red Line that separates the New World from here."
"We'll put our adventure on pause for now." Luffy smiled "Right now, the people important to us are facing a danger they've never seen before. I can't just stay here knowing that." the crew slowly smiled at that.
"To be fair, I didn't think you'd make this decision so casually. Though I was thinking somewhat along the same thing." Gian nodded "My home island is rather secluded, but this doesn't seem like something that would have trouble finding it if it needed to. I'm really concerned about Goro and the others."
"I'm worried about Syrup Village too!" Usopp chimed in "Kaya… the boys, if something happens to them…!"
"The old fart spends most of his time in a floating restaurant, so I guess he's safe." Sanji mused "Still, you can't be too sure."
"I won't let anything happen to Nojiko and the rest of Cocoyasi again." Nami said firmly.
"Then I think it's decided." Zoro nodded "We should at least head back to check on things. What do you all think?" The rest of the crew all nodded.
"If we were to continue on while some of our friends are worried about their homes, we'd be rather selfish won't we?" Brook agreed.
"I actually haven't been to East Blue yet," Chopper beamed "I really do want to see it."
"I have no objections to anything you all decide." Robin smiled.
"And we'll get there real quick like too!" Franky grinned "Sunny sails as fast as the wind, and with a few Coup De Bursts and maybe one or two stops to refuel I'd say we'd get there in… 2 or 3 days?"
"Let's go help our homes then!" Luffy smiled, before the navigator chimed in.
"Before we leave, we'll have to move off course a bit!" Nami reasoned "There's a storm about 300 yards out, if we keep going in this direction we'll sail right into it."
Everyone quickly sprang into action; being at sea for as long as they have, Nami's intuition about the weather proved correct every time. They knew better than to doubt their own navigator.
"Alright, move the sail left a bit and-!" Gian pointed before a dark shadow fell over them "Oi, don't tell me the storm's already upon us!"
"…That's not a storm cloud." Usopp squeaked when he glanced up. The rest of the crew followed his gaze and each of them let out a soft gasp of surprise.
"It's a sky island!" Chopper pointed.
"Not quite." Robin corrected him "Look at the exterior, it's someone's vessel." Indeed, even though the floating mass is high above them, the Straw Hats could make out a large sail, multiple oars, and the gleam of a golden lion figurehead.
"It's a ship!" Gian realized "It's a ship that's floating in the air!" unlike a certain advanced Marine battlecruiser, this particular vessel has no signs of any engines keeping it afloat; it simply seems to be suspended in the air and keeping with the updrafts of the wind.
"How is it doing that?" Luffy asked.
"Don't know, and that's not important. Look!" Nami pointed ahead of them. Not far, the telltale signs of dark clouds gathering signaled the coming of an ocean tempest. Even at this distance the crew could feel the wind beginning to pick up. They were fortunate enough to be separated enough so that they could avoid the worst of the gales. The floating ship, on the other hand-
"It'll be hit head on!" Franky gasped.
"We have to warn them! They don't even have a clue!" Nami realized in horror.
"Hold on, we don't even know who they are." Zoro interrupted "What if they purposely going in the direction of that storm? We don't even know if they're hostile or not."
"If that storm hits it'll rip their ship apart!" Nami chided "We can't just sit by and do nothing!"
"But we're so far down though, how are we going to get their attention?" Gian asked.
"OIIIII!" Luffy had climbed to the top of the crow's nest and shouted at the top of his lungs "DON'T GO FORWARD ANYMORE! NAMI SAYS THERE'S A STORM COMING!"
"Luffy, I don't think they can hear you! You need to make yourself more noticeable!" Nami suggested. Usopp, Brook and Franky soon joined in waving their arms, trying to get the attention of the mysterious flying ship.
For a while, it seemed that their alerts went unheeded as the lion-figured ship continued onward, but then from the skies something descended towards the Thousand Sunny, a golden spiral shell that's-
"It's a Tone Dial!" Usopp realized "They want us to send something up!"
"Please, you need to turn back! There's a storm rapidly approaching and you'll be caught right in the middle of it!" Nami called into the shell, and upon letting go the golden sea shell floated back towards the sky ship, just a peculiar as it was when it came down.
"Are they going to take it seriously?" Gian raised an eye.
"Whatever, we have bigger things to worry about! We're about to be caught in this rain too!" Zoro called back.
Indeed, as the swordsman spoke the crew could feel the downpour begin to pelt the Thousand Sunny. Waves rose taller than the ship itself, threatening to overturn them. Quickly hustling to get everything in order, the group braced themselves as best they can, and their efforts seemingly paid off as they soon managed to sail away from the worst of the weather. By this point, the floating island ship seemed to have caught on to the potential dangers, and began to follow the Straw Hat's lead and away from the horrendous conditions.
Not long after, the storm began to subside. Soon it was once again clear in the sky as if nothing had happened.
"Is everyone ok?" Nami panted.
"I'm wet" Gian grumbled "But aside from that nothing too bad."
"We're all good over here." Usopp reported.
"It seems we managed to escape the worst of it, thanks to you." Robin smiled.
"That's was fun! We should do that again!" Luffy laughed
The crew groaned at their captain's positivity, before all chuckling at their good fortune. Soon another shade passed over them, and they saw that the Island ship had moved straight above them.
What came down was even stranger.
"Which one of you was the one that sent that warning?" a deep voice boomed as the figure descended, seemingly floating down from below.
"How is he doing that?" Usopp whispered nervously.
The person, an imposing man growing in years, cast his gaze across the crew that watched him warily. Long yellow robes adorned his body, yet such casual wear belied hidden strength. The man's bearded face was scarred, but he seemed to have put on a friendly face for the crew even if that did not placate their caution.
"Ah, Nami knew it was coming from miles away!" Luffy beamed "She's good at that!"
"Guilty as charged," the navigator smiled sheepishly.
"Is that so? Well then you have my gratitude" the man nodded with a grin "Had it not been for you, I wouldn't have even been aware until it would've been too late."
"Who are you?" Gian asked "How did you get your ship to float in the air like that?"
"Ah, where are my manners?" The man took a bow "The name is Shiki, 'Golden Lion' Shiki. You all look like a capable pirate crew, I happen to be a pirate myself."
"Look at him!" Chopper gasped "His body is all-!"
"Ah this? Nothing to it, just a few scraps I've gotten into over the years." Except it was anything but; the injuries on Shiki's body were unlike anything they've ever seen before. Lodged in the back of his head was the remains of a ship's steering wheel, somehow missing his brain. Even more astounding were his legs, or lack thereof. Instead, twin sharp swords acted as them as they tapped into the wood of the Sunny. Despite all these battle wounds, Shiki seemed to unbothered by it.
"Really? You don't find that awkward at all?" Gian perked a brow, specifically referring to the elder pirate's razor sharp prosthetics "That looks hard as hell to walk on."
"Jirararara, once upon a time maybe, but when you've lasted this many years it's become a part of you." Shiki responded jovially "As for your earlier question, the reason my ship's able to be airborne like that is due to the powers of the Fuwa Fuwa no Mi, it allows me to make anything float with a simple touch." The crippled pirate grinned "Observe!"
The crew looked on in awe as Shiki placed his hand briefly on a pair of weights, and with a point of his fingers, the item lifted itself off of the deck as if it were weightless!
"WHOOOOAAAAA!" Luffy's eyes lit up "Can you do me next? I wanna float too!"
"Ah, unfortunately there are some limits to this power." Shiki admitted "For all it can do, I cannot make anything living matter float. Plants, animals, people, the fruit doesn't work on them, with myself as the exception." Luffy pouted at that.
"You just said anything moments ago…" Zoro accused.
"So I did, must've slipped my mind." Shiki chuckled "When I do make something float however, it will stay that way until I dispel the effect or I lose consciousness. I am able to make your ship float as well, which is part of why I came here. As thanks for saving me and my crew, I wish to invite you to my ship to truly show my gratitude."
"Oh! That means there has to be food!" Luffy grinned with excitement, before deflating slightly "Except we're kind of in a rush, we have to get back to East Blue."
Shiki paused at that "East Blue eh…? Now why would a bunch of pirates in the thick of their adventures want to go back to that droll place?"
"Surely you've seen the news by this point, the disappeared islands and all." Sanji said.
"Now that does seem to ring a bell." Shiki nodded "Still, sailing there will take some time. Since I still owe you a debt of gratitude, how about we go together on my ship? I was actually heading in that direction myself!"
"You'll really take us?" Luffy smiled "Wow, you're the best!"
"But of course!" Shiki grinned "It warms my heart to see a group of youths care so much for their homes. Besides, I really do wish to repay your generosity." Placing a hand onto the deck of the Sunny, Shiki concentrated before the ship rose out of the water as if gravity had been turned off.
"Whoa! Sunny is flying!" Franky gasped.
"Yohohoho! This phenomenon is making my heart race… Ah, I no longer have a heart!" Brook chortled.
The Thousand Sunny soon floated up alongside the much larger island ship. Twin leonine figureheads gleamed gold in the sunlight as they travelled through the air. Shiki floated alongside them, guiding them closer to the ship.
Had the crew not been thinking about how much quicker they'd be able to reach East Blue, they'd have seen the Golden Lion's toothy grin take a sinister turn.
"This is great, now we can get to East Blue within a few hours!" Usopp grinned.
"It's all thanks to Nami and her knowledge on weather!" Luffy laughed.
Zoro was not so certain "Aren't you guys just a bit suspicious about this? Why would a stranger just help us without any reservation, even if we did technically help him out?"
"Marimo has a good point, we still don't know much about this Shiki." Sanji nodded.
The crew was brought back to reality slightly. It was always good to be cautious.
"In that case, keep an eye out." Gian nodded "If he does anything, we pull out all the stops."
"Think we can beat him?" Franky whispered.
"There's a whole bunch of us, and only one of him!" Chopper nodded firmly "We should be able to win, right?"
Their musings were disrupted when Shiki's commanding voice suddenly boomed out.
"And on your left, you'll see the crown jewel of my domain: Merveille!" the yellow haired pirate grinned "I've spent 20 years creating such a place, it's integral to all I've done!"
"Those are sky islands!" Nami gasped.
"Not quite," Robin frowned "Unlike Skypiea, the islands here don't look like they were launched into the sky. There's also no sea of clouds to support them, they're just suspended in the air by themselves."
"So it's as if those islands were lifted straight from the ocean by their roots." Gian narrowed his eyes "…And who do we know here that could levitate objects simply by touch?"
All eyes fell on Shiki, who now turned back to them, his smile never leaving his face.
"Is this you're doing?" Luffy asked.
"Jirararara… I'm a man with lofty goals, boy." Shiki chuckled "I've been alive for a long time to see that through, and I have a lot of plans for the world that once bore down on me. To do that, I needed a base of operations."
Gian, Zoro and Brook reached for their weapons slowly as the crippled pirate continued his speech of grandeur "It was a lot to gain, but the effort paid off if I do say so myself. But the thing about power is that there's never a limit. No matter where you go, there's always something lacking. Like today for example, it showed me that I can have a flying fortress and a powerful army, but something as primal as Mother Nature could destroy all that with a simple thought."
Shiki's grin widened "And that, as of now, can now be defeated by the accurate predictions of a skilled navigator, one which you've graciously provided me with!"
And quick as a flash, the pirate dove towards the Thousand Sunny, hand outstretched and reaching out for-
The moment was over in a second, which in that short frame of time Shiki had already swooped down and swiped the navigator away from under their noses. Laughing triumphantly, the golden haired man's gaze was cast upon the slight of a stretching punch zooming towards him.
"Gomu Gomu no Pistol!"
The elder pirate merely tilted his head away from the speeding punch, Luffy's irate eyes locked with his; in his eyes, the young man was hardly something worth noting. Shiki's condescending grin remained on his face as he flicked his finger upwards, and Luffy's attack was interrupted when the Sunny lurched in the sky.
"WHOA!" Usopp cried out "What's happening?!"
"Shiki's powers are still affixiated on our ship!" Robin realized "He's making us float, so he could do anything to us while we're still airborne!"
"Then we need to change that!" Sanji snarled before leaping into the air "Let Nami-san go you bastard!"
"Tch, know your place!" the older pirate simply caught the cook's diving kick with one hand. Sanji cried out in anger as he was tossed through the air, right into a charging Luffy as the captain launched an attack once again.
"Luffy! Sanji!" Nami cried out.
"You need not worry sweetheart," Shiki sneered "I don't plan on killing them unless they keep this up."
"Santoryu: Hyakuhachi Pound Ho!" Zoro growled as he sliced an air blade towards the Golden Lion. Shiki responded in kind, slicing down with his own sword prosthetics as the pair of wind blades collided with each other. Right as the smoke cleared from that, Zoro hardly had a chance to react as Shiki appeared before him; moving at high speeds. A single punch caused the swordsman to tumble roughly back onto the deck.
"I think it's time to end this." The Golden Lion leered "Let's see you get in my way when you're all scattered amongst these islands!"
"Whoa!" Franky cried out "The Sunny is spinning in midair!"
"Let our friend go!" Gian roared, but the rapid spinning ship soon knocked him off balance. He staggered back up just to see Luffy and Zoro attempt another attack, only to be battered away by more blades of wind from the older pirate. Wisps of atomic fire coalesced in his hands as he too decided to join the fray.
Shiki had just turned away from knocking away the two other nuisances when an atomic fireball smashed into the stone base of one of the floating islands. He snapped his head back with a grimace, right as the second fireball zeroed in towards his face. Flipping backwards through the air, Shiki brandished his swords, his legs parting the infernal orb as it exploded into a wave of heat.
It was when he glared down that he saw a much more familiar sight.
"Hey now… what is this…?"
"Gian… you're doing that thing again…!" Luffy sat up with a gasp. The Kaiju-Zoan user paid his captain little attention however, as the waves of Aura cascaded around him like a living mass. His eyes now a dim cerulean, the rest of the crew shielded themselves as another burst of power radiated off of their first mate.
Locking eyes on the sight of their navigator still trying to escape, Gian bounded forwards, the fiery mass of Aura swirling to once again form the visage of his Full Transformation. Shiki flew backwards right as the flaming claw swiped down at him, his mouth slowly began to curl into a smile.
"So that's where it's been all this time… For so long I thought this power had all but disappeared!" a part of Gian's brain made him pause briefly upon hearing that; whatever hesitation was gone in another fiery roar as he resumed his charge against the veteran pirate. Shiki's smile never left his face, even as a dense ball of blue flames gathered between the makeshift jaws of Gian's Aura construct.
A jagged rock dislodged from one of the floating islands with a cracking sound, before Shiki used his powers to fling the object towards the Kaiju-Zoan user, right as Gian fired his infused Atom Ray. The boulder dissipated into a cloud of dirt and debris, and right as Gian charged out of the cloud, Shiki pointed his finger upwards again. The entire Thousand Sunny lurched causing all aboard to stumble and trip. Another flick of the wrist caused the pirate ship to spin erratically.
"Guys!" Nami cried out in concern.
"Hang on!" Franky shouted, gripping as hard as he could. His other hand had grasped Robin's collar, who in turn has sprouted multiple hands and held onto Chopper, Brook and Usopp. Meanwhile, the Monster Quartet made one last attempt to rush down Shiki, charging in unison as the older pirate.
"I tire of your persistence." Shiki growled "Soon, there will be an event that shakes the world back to its core, and I will be at the center of it. You will not distract me from that!"
The Sunny began to spin faster and faster, and even with his iron grip, Franky could only hold on for so long. Eventually, his fingers began to slip one by one until-
"FRANKY!" Luffy cried out as the unthinkable happened. The spinning ship proved too much to bear, and the shipwright was sent hurtling down towards one of the floating landmasses below, the rest of the crew that was with them all scattered towards different areas of the island. This leaves only Zoro, Gian and Sanji still with him, now all glaring at Shiki with the
"Don't mind him, I think they'll find their stay quite a wild experience down there!" Shiki cackled "Soon, you'll join them down there! I'll make sure to put your navigator's skills to good use!"
"As if I'll let you take her!" Luffy shouted angrily as he readied another punch, but Shiki had already long expected this. Thrusting his hand upwards sharply, the Golden Lion caused the Sunny to thrust upwards, throwing the captain off of the deck. Zoro and Sanji, caught in the motion as well, were also flung off of the Sunny, shouting profanities all the while.
"NO!" Nami cried out, watching helplessly as she saw Luffy Zoro and Sanji grow smaller and smaller as they were flung towards one of the floating landmasses.
"Jihahaha, they were passionate young pirates, that's for sure. Reminds me of back in the day." Shiki chuckled as the navigator glared hatefully at him "But out here, you'll need more than ambition. Your ambitions needs to grow into power for it to work. And that's something-"
A fiery hot beam narrowly missed his head, rupturing the rocky island near where they stood. Nami gasped in recognition as she saw Gian, clinging with one hand to the ship and still enveloped in his Aura like a flaming blanket, trying one last ditch attempt to reach her captor.
"Of course, how could I forget the one who bears the power of the King of Monsters?" Shiki grunted "If you can survive the landscape below, I may have use for you yet!" The ship lurched again, even as Gian tried desperately to hang on. The ship was spinning at a rate that was even faster at this point.
Gian used the last of his grip to get 5 more inches towards the pirate and his captive, but even the Kaiju's grip will loosen, and as his claws began to dislodge one by one, he only had the opportunity to utter one last howl before he too was at the mercy of the winds.
"Jihahahaha!" Shiki laughed in triumph as he and a horrified Nami saw the shapes of the Straw Hats grow smaller as they fell "Now let's fulfill our destiny." Right now, at that moment, there wasn't anything that could challenge him.
2 days later:
"By this point I've had to have marked every inch of this island." Gian muttered to himself "I swear I've seen that tree like 8 times at this point!"
It had not been a pleasant time; the fall from the Sunny, a long one at that, had deposited him in the densest forest he has ever seen. Perhaps due to the overabundance of Aura he emitted prior, he hadn't come out with as many injuries as he originally expected and the ones that were inflicted healed in a matter of time. Still, the sting of defeat was a sore one, and it was with irony that he remembered that, while trying to rescue their navigator, he'd achieved the state that had avoided him in every attempt before.
"All that power and I just had to drop the ball at the last moment."
Now he was alone, just him in a jungle with nothing but Atom Splitter and the clothes on his back. This wasn't to say he hasn't tried to locate the other Straw Hats, but after multiple smoke signals and much shouting later, he realized that wherever they are, they were too far to make any use of them.
Not to mention the Sunny herself is currently marooned at who-knows-where.
The undergrowth beside him rustled and shook, and Gian instantly got into an alert stance. No sooner upon doing so did a strange beast leap out from the shadows, its eyes blazing and bellowing all the while. It was a peculiar creature, with the body of a red horse but the face and muzzle of a lion. Gian stood his ground, the lion-horse galloped closer before leaping with jaws outstretched. What it received instead of its next meal was a heavy smack with the butt of a polearm. Yowling in fury, the beast prepared to pounce again, but then caught on to the ominous Aura now coursing around its human target's body as it coiled and formed into a bestial shape itself. The lion-horse yowled, sensing as if yet another presence was in the area, and an ancient one at that. It took a step back as what appears to be the shade of a gigantic reptile appeared behind the human for a split second. A hard glare from cobalt blue eyes were enough to send the creature packing with a yelp. Gian watched it go before letting out a sigh.
That was the other thing about his current situation. For all he's seen, the island was home to a myriad of strange creatures, some whose physicality should not allow them to exist, yet here they were. Having sailed along the Grand Line may have cushioned much of his disbelief regarding strange animals, yet there was without a doubt something unnatural about these abominations. Fortunately, once again perhaps due to the presence of an even greater alpha predator within him, the animals don't seem to be bothering him all that much.
"Though if we're all in the same place, no doubt the others have had to deal with these creatures as well. Better find them soon."
With that thought in mind, he continued his trek, and after some time found himself at the banks of a lake. The crystal blue waters seemingly reflected the sunlight like glass as Gian peered across it; with nothing to help him cross the body of water his only recourse was to walk along the banks.
He hardly took 5 steps before the surface of the lake broke and a large organism emerged, causing him to once again take a precautionary stance.
"What in the world?"
It was a cuttlefish. A very, very big cuttlefish. In fact, judging by how much is above the water, Gian estimates that the creature could even be around the size of his Full Transformation. The cephalopod's grey, rubbery skin glistened in the sun, two of its tentacles raised in a threatening motion as a low bubbling noise emitted from the creature, seemingly ready to attack. Gian braced himself as the creature surged forwards, but it was when the trees behind him began to break apart did he realize that the true target of the creature's wrath was not him.
If Gian didn't dive out of the way at the last second, he was certain he would've been trampled by the giant stone crab lurching towards the cuttlefish. The crustacean's was a deep brown color, its bulky claws reached out right as the giant cuttlefish monster lashed out with its own tentacles. One wrapped around a claw and the soft-bodied beast gurgled as it did the unthinkable. Gian had to do a double take as the large squid-like creature clambered out of the water, its remaining tentacles supporting the large rubber body. The crab likewise responded in kind, screeching as it tries to bludgeon its foe with its remaining claw. Another swipe from a tentacle further enraged the beast, its mouth foaming as it spat out bullets of caustic seawater, the droplets splattering all over.
A few of the foamy water bullets landed near Gian, forming small sizzling craters in the ground and causing the Kaiju-Zoan user to run for cover. Tuning out the groaning screeches of the cuttlefish monster in the background, Gian quickly vaulted over a large, rugged boulder, the remaining foam attacks splashing onto the temporary defense, shielding him from the crossfire.
Unfortunately, Gian would soon find that he could hardly catch a breath before something new entered the fray.
"Oh come on what is it now?!" he groaned as the rock began to shake, soon it became apparent that, as it dislodged itself from the soil, it wasn't so much of a rock at all. Rather, the beady eyes of yet another large monstrous creature emerged from a jagged shell as the rest of its neck followed. It was gigantic turtle-like creature, a curved beak lined with sharp teeth snapped as it hissed in irritation, turning its head towards the source of the commotion.
Upon setting its sights on the dueling crab and cuttlefish, the ornery reptile wasted no time in charging forwards, it's neck folded into its shell before springing out like a spring-loaded trap as it fastened its jaws around one of the crab's claws. The crustacean chirped in shock, swinging its massive limbs in an attempt to dislodge the attacker, and their struggle ended as the crab used all of its strength to toss the creature through the air and into the cuttlefish monster, the two monstrous beasts landing in the lake with a big splash. Hissing in authority, the crab also charged into the water, the three titanic creatures now involved in a tangled mess as they continued to fight for whatever reason.
Gian observed them for a while longer, noting that the creatures seemingly have paid him no mind. He also noted that their apparent size, which actually is roughly the size of his Full Transformation. How these 3 organisms in particular dwarf the other denizens of the island he does not know, but it did give him a rather interesting discovery.
"Whatever these strange animals are, someone's creating them." He mused with a frown "Their genes have been tampered and caused them to essentially mutate."
However as he walked off, leaving the cacophony of shrills and shrieks of the 3 battling beasts behind, he didn't know he was walking into a forest of even greater danger.
"How are the experiments adjusting to the new mutations?" within his base of operations, Shiki addressed the two other people accompanying him. Beside him, a large gorilla wearing the clothes of an old lady observed the interactions. As his hideout for over 20 years, much of Shiki's planning have come to fruition here, and if all goes well he will have gained more in these short days.
One of scientists, an abnormally tall man with a frizzly hair and a pale face, turned to him with a grin before making multiple gestures, seemingly mute. Shiki raised an eyebrow at the charades.
"What are you trying to tell me Dr. Indigo?"
"The new creatures developed have advanced far quicker than we anticipated. It boons well for us, though it also raises some concerns."
"WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST SAY THAT OUTRIGHT THEN?!"
"Gezora, Ganimes and Kamoebas are different than our previous creations." Dr. Indigo responded, responding to the image stills of the trio of beasts "We subjected them to 6 times the amount of SIQ compared to the other animals on this island, more than what we expected them to take. The changes subjected them with increased size, strength and power. But also heightened their aggression to the point where the slightest disturbance can set them off. If they don't kill each other first, then they would easily be the most powerful creatures in our army."
"As long as we can still control them, this shouldn't be a problem." The pirate turned to other person in the room "I assume we can do so, Dr. Shiragami?"
Shiragami, a man close to his twilight years but otherwise considerably more plain compared to the company around him, turned to the screen displayed before them "They are still animals, captain Shiki." The scientist's soft-spoken voice replied "and our containment measures have worked thus far. The advancements I've made to Dr. Indigo's formula should further stabilize them, as violent as the creatures become under the influence of SIQ, those 3 may have greater violent tendencies, but their increased instincts should counterbalance that."
Shiki's grin began to grow as he continued to observe the 3 creatures displayed on the monitor. Gezora, Ganimes, and Kamoebas have now halted their conflict, with the cuttlefish sinking back beneath the lake while the other two disappeared somewhere into the forest. Testing on those 3 were to progress the next level of Dr. Indigo's IQ plant development, and they have already shown their ferocity to match. Shiki remembered the report of how just the enlarged cuttlefish alone managed to raze an entire village in less than an hour. If all 3 behemoths were to be unleashed, he's confident that he could destroy all of East Blue in less than a week.
Shiki sighed contently; 20 years ago the world sought to forget him by throwing him into the depths of Impel Down, but he reminded them of just how powerful his generation is. In the 2 decades that followed, multiple new powers have risen across the seas, yet Shiki chose to remain behind the scenes while the world entered a new age of pirates as he consolidated his power. Now, with his plans at the cusp of fruition, everything was falling into place.
"An army of beasts at my disposal, and now a navigator that can sense atmospheric pressure!" The Golden Lion grinned "Soon it will be about high time to put our plan into motion. That pathetic weakness of a sea will fall as I will it."
A few steps away, Nami stared hatefully at her new captor. For the past few days she had witnessed the different steps of Shiki's plans. She's witnessed the multiple experiments brought in by the peculiar doctor; she could recognize his unique footsteps in her sleep at this point. Each one more horrific than the last, and upon seeing the gargantuan beasts shown just then, she only just realized how far the pirate was willing to go.
Something nudged her from behind, and she turned to see a large yellow bird looking up at her with concern. She gave it a smile; at least not all of the experiments were vicious predators, some of them have simply mutated yet retained their senses. The strange bird was one of those cases, as while it could produce enough electricity to stun hundreds of people, Billy was a docile and simple creature. Perhaps it was due to that that he was deemed a failure by Shiki's group.
"It's Ok Billy, he won't turn you into something like that." the navigator tried to soothe her companion as the Golden Lion turned to her.
"This is the life for you from now on, darling! With you at my side, now even the storms of the Grand Line are at my mercy!"
"You're a monster…!" Nami hissed "I will never be your navigator, not when Luffy and the others are still alive!"
"Tch, you really have that much faith in that crew of yours?" Shiki scowled "What makes you think they haven't perished to the island's beasts yet?"
"Luffy won't fall to something like this!" Nami stated firmly "He's going to be the Pirate King one day, this
"That boy with the Straw Hat? Pirate King?" Shiki strode up to her "I know the Pirate King, girl. Years ago he actively challenged me for supremacy over the seas. The one you call captain couldn't even hold a candle to him." The elder pirate paused before smiling once more
"Although, if we are to talk worthiness, the one who now holds the Kaiju-Zoan has piqued my interest. What is his name?"
"You think I'll give him up that easily? What do you want with him?" Nami accused.
"Jihahaha, if you've travelled with him for as long as you have, you'd have begun to suspect the powers he keeps within him are not what you thought they were. That boy with the Straw Hat managed to get his hand on one of them, yet he clearly has not seen the true extent of the beast within. Such power would be used much better in my hands."
"Some of our Den Den Mushi have some footage of him." Dr. Indigo reported as he entered the information onto the display. Nami gasped upon seeing footage of Gian and a few encounters with the mutant animals on the island, only for those creatures to flee soon after "The animals seem to fear him, they turn tail soon after being in his presence."
"So, they can sense it, the Aura of that beast is strong as I remember." Shiki nodded in approval "A simple beast is nothing before the might of a Kaiju, and regardless of how much he's familiar with it, that man could sense it too."
Nami tensed at that; Shiki is knowledgeable regarding the Kaiju-Zoans? Gian has said that the amount of evidence regarding the Kaiju-Zoan's very existence is something that is doubted by much of the world. If Shiki truly knows more than he lets on, then Gian may be in trouble as well.
"Captain, if I may," her musings were cut off when Dr. Shiragami, one of the scientists that accompanied the Golden Lion, interjected ", is acquiring a supposed Kaiju-Zoan really necessary for us? We don't even know if he truly has one, and we've had major breakthroughs in our SIQ development to create beasts that can approach the Kaiju's supposed potential. Gezora, Ganimes and Kameobas are proof of that!"
"Yet they cannot reach that power." Shiki shook his head "Our monstrous army may be able to overcome most standard armies, but the powers of a Kaiju can break entire countries apart. I've seen it happen with my own eyes." Shiragami shrank back when the elder pirate turned his piercing gaze towards him "Then again, there is already someone like that on this very island, right doctor? If you want to offer her a choice then-."
"T-That's not what I mean-!"
"Jihahaha! I merely jest," the scientist flinched when Shiki clapped a heavy hand onto his back "Of course I have not forgotten our deal. Now, you two must have more to show me, correct? Sorry to have put you through all this baby doll but I must depart for now." Shiki bowed to Nami "Do give my offer some more thoughts!"
"Right away captain! Come along now Shiragami, our army does not wait!" Dr. Indigo grinned before dragging his hapless researcher along with him as Shiki and the gorilla departed first. Nami looked on, she could've sworn that Shiragami gave her a sympathetic look, but her thoughts were elsewhere.
"I managed to pick up enough of what he said, but from the looks of it Gian may not be the only Kaiju-Zoan on this island. And if there really is someone with the same powers as him, who knows if they're working for Shiki or not? Luffy and the others might be in danger."
"Billy," the duck turned her head towards her curiously as she made her choice "I need to find a way out of this place."
She could only hope that whoever this other Kaiju-Zoan user is, they've not struck first.
Reaching out with his hand, Gian could just barely reach the handle of Atom Splitter. The moment his fingers touched the pole he was once again yanked backwards. Hours after encountering the 3 gigantic mutations, Gian had decided to set up camp for the night and resume his trek to find the others tomorrow. He ran into a few more mutant animals, though thankfully none as large as the 3 he saw before, and like before they tried to attack him before the presence of the Kaiju exerted itself. For just a while, he thought at least on that front nothing would bother him.
Then he sensed it, a presence not unlike his own.
And the twisting vines that came out from the underbrush soon showed him that he was not invincible.
"Grrk…!" Gian choked out as he tried to dislodge one of the tendrils currently wrapped around his neck, but the vine held tight, as if it was squeezing down on its own. They had come without warning, he remembered, he hardly had time to turn around before he was already being dragged into the underbrush. The vines writhed as they were sentient, targeting areas that would inhibit his movement. His arms and legs were all bound by their wrists and ankles, and more of the stuff joined in as they constricted around his waist.
Feeling that he was being pulled back, Gian desperate dug his heels into the ground to slow himself down. Channeling his energy, a wave of blue washed over him before exploding outwards in a miniature Atom Pulse. The load on his body lightened, and Gian looked down to see hid bindings now blown off their stalks, the now dismembered tips now seeping green sap that sizzled when they hit the ground. Throwing off any remaining vines, he made a beeline towards his fallen weapon, Atom Splitter still laying forlorn in the ground where he was before. The sound of rustling not far behind him, he finally reached the polearm and tumbled down before swinging the blade in a wide arc, the sound of more splattering shown that multiple vines were cut apart from that swing.
A snapping sound alerted him, prompting Gian to look down at his feet. Even with the rest of it severed, the vine seemed to still be moving. But what was especially notable was that it seemingly had a pair of working jaws where the tip of the plant was, sharp snaggleteeth still gnashing towards Gian's legs. The Kaiju-Zoan user took a step back; just what kind of creature was this?
More snapping sounds were heard, this time the snapping of twigs as more jawed vines launched from the growing darkness. Gian leapt into action, Atom Splitter flourished and diced up any incoming threat. For good measure he even added in a miniature Atom Ray to the mix. Yet, for all he was doing, he was on the defensive, and the mysterious assailant had no intention of letting up.
Then Gian reached a part of the forest, where the treetops separated just enough to see more of the sky. It was then that the identity of his attacker was known, at least partially. By now the sun had began to set, the forest was getting darker and much of the mysterious creature was still obscured by the canopy, but Gian could make out just enough details to see that it was huge. A large bulbous head swaying back and forth and what appears to be leaves and vines around a thick stalk.
Further confirming the status of the creature being alive was when Gian heard the bone chilling wail, before more vines snaked towards him. This time Gian was not fast enough, and soon his body was being constricted once again.
"Damn… it doesn't look like I have a choice anymore…" Shiki was still out there, and using that much energy would pinpoint his location right to him, but whatever gigantic creature that's currently hunting him, it was big. Too big for him to just outrun.
And Gian's spent enough time on the Grand Line to know that if running doesn't work, then make sure whatever is chasing you has to work for it.
A bright flash of light, and the next time he opened his eyes, he had towered over the treetops ready to fight. His eyes flaming, Gian's eyes locked onto the full-figure of his assailant-
-Only to find nothing.
Something that big could not have just disappeared, he could still feel the texture of the fleshy vines wrapping around his body. But now that he is that size, there was miraculously an absence of any large creature. Nothing in the area save of some strange golden specks of light all around him, floating and suspended in the air. Gian blinked as the golden droplets passed around his head; they reminded him of the spores that some plants and fungi released into the air. The glowing objects remained suspended for a few more minutes before falling towards the forest floor, leaving Gian once again perplexed by the now disappeared creature.
He waited in silence, in case the mysterious assailant would burst from the ground when he wasn't prepared. Soon 20 minutes have passed, and nothing else drew his attention over the other sounds of the rainforest as the sun dipped below the horizon.
"Just what the hell is this island?!" he groaned in frustration. An eruption of steam, and his Full Transformation gave way; the past few days have left him exhausted and doing a Full Transformation of all things have depleted his strength even more. He was hardly able to take 2 steps before he fell to his knees, the stunt he pulled leaving him weak.
"I can't stop… Luffy… Robin… everyone is still out there. I have to make sure they're…safe…"
He could do nothing as he collapsed, and his eyes began to flutter shut. Instinctively, Gian reached out with one hand, grasping at the air just as his vision faded to black, right as someone stepped out of the undergrowth…
He woke up with a start, looking around frantically as everything came back to him. Forest floor, growing darkness, earlier events regarding a storm and a pirate who kidnapped their navigator.
Ravenous vines that nearly strangled him and a large mystery beast that they may belong to.
"Am I dead…?" He muttered to himself. He looked down to see his body free of injuries, maybe he really was in whatever afterlife planned for him. As his senses refocused, he could hear the forest as night began to rise. It was dark now, and the nocturnal creatures were out and about.
He was still in the forest on that floating island. Which meant he was still alive. Gian let out a sigh of relief.
"Well I guess that means that Namui getting kidnapped wasn't a dream either." He cursed.
The next thing he noted was that he wasn't lying face down on the forest floor, rather he had woken up on a spread-out sheet, with another one covering his body keeping him warm. Gian frowned at that, he remembered passing out, which meant that he couldn't have done this on his own. Which meant someone brought him here.
Which meant there was another person on the island, aside from him and his crew. He guessed Shiki counted too, but that bastard was off doing who knows what.
The crackling of burning wood made him turn his head towards the campfire laid out before him, all but confirming that fact. Then the smell hit his nostrils, and his eyes lit up when he saw the large roast being cooked above it.
Gian knew better than to let his guard down, but it had been almost 4 days since the incident, and with Sanji still MIA he hadn't had a decent meal in a while. Scrambling up he quickly ripped a drumstick from the roasted bird, biting into it with relish.
The brushes behind him rustled and parted, interrupting his meal and causing him to spring up. Expecting another hungry beast, Gian was instead greeted to a feminine gasp and the sound of someone falling to the ground.
Looking down, Gian realized the intruder was a girl who could not have been older than 15. The girl's black hair clung to her shoulders as she looked up at him with uncertainty. Despite being in the middle of a forest, she doesn't look like someone lost, if the clean state of her yellow sundress is anything to say. Multiple long wooden branches, some as thick as her arm laid around her; despite her small size Gian saw that the girl was stronger than she looked.
"Oh… I didn't realize you were awake." The girl called out meekly "It looks like whatever you been through, it wasn't as serious as I thought."
"Yeah, I guess…" Gian mumbled before realization hit him "Wait, was this your food? I am so sorry, I just woke up and-"
"No no, those were for you to begin with. I found you lying in in the forest unconscious, it gets very dangerous at night because some of the animals like the go hunting during that time. I couldn't just leave you without any attention."
"Well, I guess it was lucky that you found me then." Gian chuckled warmly "Didn't take you for a hunter though."
"Hehe, I usually don't eat meat that often. I figured since if you were to wake up it'll be good to have some protein in your body so you'll get your strength back quicker." The girl smiled sheepishly.
"And to think earlier I was having the third worst day of my life so far." Gian smiled warmly "Thank you, young lady. I'm glad to have run into you."
The girl smiled back "It's the right thing to do. If you don't mind me asking, how did you end up here?"
Gian's face darkened at that "It's a long story, but regardless now I'm looking for a few other friends of mine who also ended up here against their will. Have you seen any other people nearby? They're pretty unique individuals, there's a boy with a straw hat, a big cyborg with blue hair, a talking reindeer and a living skeleton?"
The girl shook her head "this place is very big, much of it is filled with vicious animals. I usually don't go out very often, and it partially due to good luck that I found you the way you were. Though those people seem like they'd be hard to miss."
"Yeah, we're a pretty weird bunch of people if I have to say so myself." Gian chuckled.
The girl looked down at the ground "By the way, the way you all ended up here, you ran into someone named Shiki, didn't you?"
"How'd you guess?" Gian scoffed "Let me guess, he somehow kidnapped someone close to you as well and tossed you on here?"
"…something like that." The girl mumbled quietly. The topic of Shiki was not something she seemed comfortable talking about, something Gian picked up "Hey… if you don't want to talk about it, its ok." This awarded him another small smile.
"Well, whatever the case, we'll have to settle that score later. My friends are all strong, they've handled worse than a few ravenous animals. If there only there was an easier way to find them." He let out a sigh before turning back to the girl.
"By the way, I hadn't properly introduced myself yet. My name is Gian, may I know the name of my timely savior as well?"
The girl smiled up at him "It's Erika." She revealed "Erika Shiragami."
A/N: Well, I haven't been here for over 3 months. As it turns out, being an adult for once means you have less time for your hobbies. The last 3 months I got a full-time job that takes up much of my time, I finished the rest of my classes for my university degree, and I got a new computer. And who would've guessed that when you're working there'd be less time to do other things?
G: He also played games. Lots of games.
There were like 2…
But here we are again! Just 5 days after the anniversary of this story and I really wanted to get somethings out before the end of the year. This is the start of Strong World, which as you can see, I added a few easter eggs for people familiar with some of the Godzilla movies here, see if you can recognize some of them. Since this is a movie we're dealing with most of the changes will likely be towards Shiki as a character since he's more or less canon at this point. I hope to get one more chapter out by the end of the year, I basically have an idea of how this arc will go at this point and we'll go from there.
With that, please enjoy at your leisure and we'll see you next time!