Thank you all for the constant support, here's a new chapter.
But first, a quick guest review.
Guest (Ch.17 Oct 26, 2022): Yeah, I'm slowly coming back.
DISCLAIMER: I don't know if I should do this or not but whatever, I don't own anything here apart from my OC's.
May have grammar errors
Commercial Area - Mel Island
After having caught the runaway criminals the two young marines went back to the jewelry store where things had started through the same path they took to get there.
Going back on the same path however involved having to go inside the same houses and jump over the same wall, which was kinda embarrassing for them, but again what could they do? That was the only way back they knew.
Luckily none of the people they passed had any word of complain about that, in fact everyone they passed did nothing other than sing praises of their act, which made the two marines feel quite happy.
Arriving back at the jewelry the two saw that their friend Torlo was already there waiting for them, to his side the robber he went after was cuffed alongside the other three robbers.
"Damn Torlo, you sure act fast!" Lucas approached his friend with a smile "Here I thinking we would be the first to come back, but no, someone had other plans"
"What you expected? I'm Him after all"
Torlo said that with a fake sigh and a smug expression that made his two friends laugh.
"But I see you two had a bountiful hunt too"
"You could say that" On the side Lucas was putting the two runaway burglars on the ground alongside the others "I wished you had been there to see it, Tashigi did a clean sword move that allowed me to land the finishing blow on these two"
Torlo's eyes glinted "Do tell!"
Their talk made Tashigi's face turn red. Looking to the side she saw Lucas's wide grin and instantly knew what he was going to say next, so she stepped forward and interrupted him.
"W-Well, shouldn't we leave the chatting for later? We still need to deal with these six"
The two young men snorted in amusement, clearly seeing what she was trying to do, but they didn't said anything and went with what she proposed.
Lucas looked around at the store before addressing his friends.
"Someone should go inside and check on the workers and possible clients"
"I can do that"
Tashigi then went inside the store to check on the people there.
Lucas then turned to his Rambo-looking friend and asked "You arrived here first, have you called backup?"
"What do you think?" Torlo stretched his arms up and yawned "When I got back a fellow Petty Officer was here, probably called over by the people watching the commotion. I briefed him about what was going on, he then went back to get more people while I stayed here to guard the scene and wait for you guys to come back"
Turning around Lucas beckoned with his hand and using his powers made the still lightning covered bags come to them.
"In that case help me sort through these bags to see if everything inside still okay, then we'll go and inspect those six to see if they have anything suspicious on them"
"Roger that" He paused for a moment as recalled something "Now that you mentioned that, I actually found something in the guy I took down"
Rummaging through his pocket Torlo took out a white card.
Picking the card up Lucas saw that it had a jar with a sneering black skull drawn on it, beneath it the letters 'M.I.C.L'.
"I think I've seen this one before…"
Reaching to his pocket Lucas took out another white card that, apart from some wrinkles, looked exactly like the card Torlo just took out.
Torlo looked confused at the white card on his friend's hand.
"Where did you get this?"
"Remember what I did last night?" seeing his friend nodding Lucas continued "Well, one of the guys I took down had this card with him"
"Huh, that's weird…" Torlo picked the two cards from Lucas and inspected them for a good minute "Do you think there's some connection between the two?"
"Almost certainly there's a connection, they even have the same faint sweet scent on them. Now if there's anything more to them I can't tell…" Picking the cards again Lucas too inspected them one more time "Anyway, we should check this more in depth later"
"Yeah, you right"
Seeing they wouldn't be getting anything off these cards the two decided to leave this matter for later, putting the cards away they turned their attention back to the matter at hand.
Squatting down Lucas and Torlo began rummaging through the bags to see if anything had been broken or something, to their relief they found that nothing of the sort happened. After that they also inspected the robbers to see if they could find anything suspicious on them, but even after Lucas held them upside down and shook them nothing of strange was found, so they left that matter aside.
It didn't took long for the reinforcement to arrive, the crowd still looking at the scene parted In the middle for a group of marines led by an Marine Officer, a middle-aged woman, to pass. The PO that Torlo saw earlier was with the group.
"Petty Officer Torlo reporting…"
While the group went to work in the scene the Officer came straight to the three marines from Marineford and asked them to report what had transpired, so they did.
From how they had been just doing a normal patrol when they saw a commotion coming from the store, to them arriving at said store just for them to bump at the robbers on their way out, to the 'fight' they had with the robbers, ending with the chase all across the commercial area.
They told her everything they could recall, and after they finished the older woman couldn't help but nod in approval.
"You three did a really nice job, acting quickly you not only prevented a big monetary loss for the owners of the store but also caught these criminals and effectively saved anyone from being their future victims"
"Thank You Officer!"
The words from the older marine made big smiles appear on the trio's faces, which only became even more radiant when the people from the store came out and began thanking them for what they have done.
"It was nothing, really…"
They stayed there helping for a while longer, but with the matters regarding the robbery taken care of they didn't had anything more to do there.
So they went back to their 'normal' patrol.
After the jewelry store incident nothing of strange happened anymore, their patrol around the commercial area proceeded as intended.
That was what they did for basically the rest of their day, and now on their way back to the base they couldn't help but let out tired yanws.
"'Yawn' What a day!"
"You could say that again"
Torlo stretched himself a bit, to his side Tashigi was covering her mouth as she too yawned a little tired.
"But it was a fun day!"
Lucas twirled his shoulder in a counter-clock manner, enlisting a few relaxing cracks from it.
Thinking back at what happened in that day made him smile, in all due honesty he almost couldn't believe he was a marine for barely a week with all the crazy things that happened around him already.
"Oh yeah!" recalling something he turned to his two friends and said "Do you guys mind following me to the 'WB Department' to get my reward for that pirate?"
His two friends nodded almost immediately to the idea.
Back on the base they only needed to ask a fellow marine for some directions and soon enough they found themselves in a new area of the base.
When entering in the so called 'WB Department' they saw that it looked like the reception where they used to pick their assignments back on Marineford, the big difference was that on the walls of the place there was some bulletin boards with many wanted poster pinned on them, a few marines of varying ranks were there looking at the posters and discussing about the many criminals on them.
"Hello kids, can I help you?"
Arriving at the counter the trio saw a strong looking older woman, her long ginger hair already turning a little grey. She greeted the trio with a warm smile on her face.
"Good evening Madam" putting his hands on the counter Lucas returned the woman's smile with one of his own "I was told to came here to see the bounty for pirate I defeated the other day, could you please help with that?"
"What a polite young man" the corners of her mouth curved up in an amused smile "Tell me your name Dear? Your rank too"
"Monkey D. Lucas, Seaman First Class"
After he said his name the eyes of the woman before him shined in recognition.
"Oh, so it's you!"
Lucas was a little surprised with that "Do you know me?"
"Dear, who doesn't know you at this point? The white-haired young man who defeated many pirates on the raid the other day, grandson of the Great Garp and user of one the fabled devil fruits"
To the side Tashigi adjusted her glasses and said "Well, you certainly are a attention grabbing figure Lucas"
"These two must be Tashigi and Torlo" the older woman glanced at the two marines and addressed them "You two aren't much better either, walking with Lucas means that you too are grabbing many people's attention"
Faced with those words the two could only smile sheepishly as their cheek gained a light rose tone.
Seeing their reaction the woman chuckled.
Turning to her counter she typed in a keyboard plugged to a machine with a den den mushi attached to it, she glanced at some sort of monitor then after confirming something she went through a drawer and picked a file with Lucas's name on it.
"You defeated Prictus, huh? Good riddance! Now I can finally take his stupid mug off my walls" she sneered at the thought of that pirate "Let's see… Seventeen million berries, not bad for a first bounty. Say, do you want to withdraw the money now or just leave it on your account?"
The woman was surprised at first by his question, seeing the genuine confusion in Lucas's eyes she asked "You don't know?"
Shaking his head Lucas turned to his friends and sheepishly asked "I should know, right?"
The blank stares they gave him told everything.
The woman shook her head helplessly before proceeding to clarify his confusion.
"When you join the Marine amidst the info you need to provide there's also a bank account of your preference, if you don't have any one will be provided to you. You monthly salary and any other monetary remuneration will be deposited there"
"Oh" it was like a dark fog was finally parted in his mind "My Grandpa was the one that handled everything regarding my ingression into the Marine, all I really did was showing up in time for work"
His answer stunned everyone listening, but recalling everything about him they realized it was probably something normal coming from him.
"Well, there's an account here in your name. So what will be?"
Resting his head against his knuckles Lucas silently pondered about the matter for a few moments.
"Hmmn… I was thinking in leaving everything in there, but it's probably best to have some money on me. In that case give me three million, the rest you can just leave at the account"
As much as the thought of sleeping on top of a mound of money appeals to some of his more primal side, he decided it that since he wasn't going to need much money now it was best to leave most of it quiet.
"Alright, when you want to withdraw more you just need to come to any of our bases. Any bank with ties to the Government also does the job, though most marines don't do that" She made Lucas sign some papers, then after typing some things in the machine she said "There's some items also filled under your name here, do you want to withdraw them too?"
Already knowing what these items are Lucas promptly answered.
After that the woman went away to get his things.
"I liked her" Said Tashigi some moments after the woman went away "She seems like a kind woman"
"You all are lucky of meeting her now, if this was before you wouldn't see Valentina as kind"
Turning to the source of the voice the trio saw an older marine, one that seem to be around the woman's age, approaching them with a curious look in his eyes and a chuckle on his lips.
"You know her?"
The man nodded.
"We two joined the Marine around the same time. At the start she was quite rough around the edges. Now she's way kinder, especially with kids like you. Guess age does that with you, though don't tell her I said that" the older marine extended his hands for a handshake "The name is Luiz"
The white haired young marine gladly accepted the man's handshake "Lucas"
"I guessed as much" he then proceeded to also shake Tashigi's and Torlo's hand "How's the marine life going for you three?"
"Not bad at all if I do say myself" Lucas answered with a smile.
"That's good, that's good"
They chatted a bit more with the older marine named Luiz, the man was good with words and pleasant to talk to. He was way older than them, but even so the chat flowed quite well.
"So, did you come here to cash-in some reward too?"
Now that they knew each other a little better Torlo decided to voice one of his questions.
"Me? Nah... for now at least. I came here to check if there was any update on the board"
Noticing the curious look in their eyes the man turned around and pointed at one of the bulletin boards on the side "That one is all about regional bounties, meaning here from our island or the nearby ones. There you can find small time criminals and the like, they are easier to deal with it but also don't give much money"
Looking at the board they saw many wanted posters that like the man said had low bounties on them, though another thing also caught Lucas's attention.
"Some of these are the 'Only Alive' type"
"The crimes of those don't really amount to death, besides it would be counterproductive if the person we want to interrogate came back as a pack"
Pointing at a board beside the regional one he continued "Here you can see blue wide bounties, as any would expect they're worth a lot more. That pirate crew you guys took down had been a nuisance all over the South Blue as such their bounties had previously been here"
In fact they could still see their wanted posters in the board. Valentina clearly would still take those two down.
The young marines could also see that these wanted posters all had the normal 'Dead or Alive' on them, giving credit to what Luiz said about them being way more notorious than the ones posted on the regional board.
When the older marine looked at the trio from Marineford he could see the three looking at the second board with way more attention than the first one, Lucas specifically had a very intense look on his eyes.
As the young man gazed at the stronger and more notorious criminals Luiz could swear he saw a primal look flash in the depths of his eyes, the same look a predator would have in his eyes as he nonchalantly gazed at his prey from afar.
'I almost feel pity for any criminal that ended up crossing his path…'
From that moment on Luiz couldn't help but see the young marine in a very different light.
Basically a minute after Luiz bid them farewell the older woman, that now they knew it's called Valentina, came back from the backroom with the items she went to get.
"Sorry for the wait" calling them over she presented Lucas with a brown envelope "Here you go dear, exactly three million berries"
Picking the envelope he waved the thing a bit, feeling the weight of the money honestly earned by him made a giddy feeling bubble on his stomach, he smiled happily.
Seeing his friends looking at him curiously he tossed them the envelope so they could get a feel of it too.
Valentina eyed him a bit before asking with a difficult to gauge smile on her face.
"Aren't you going to count the money?"
To which Lucas without a hint of hesitation answered.
"Why tough? You said its three million, so it must be three million" His voice calm and his eyes clear of any doubt or deceitful feeling
That answer made Valentina pause for a moment, but then she chuckled in amusement.
"You're really fun kid, you know that?"
"I take that's a compliment"
Still with that amused look on her eyes she picked two cases alongside a transparent plastic package and put it on top the counter.
"Here, these three items had also been put under your name"
Nodding Lucas picked the plastic package, inside it as he expected was a black flag with the skull silhouette of some type of canine creature.
"That's the jolly roger you talked about earlier right?" asked a curious Tashigi.
"Exactly" he smiled "One of the first of many that will be joining my draconic hoard!"
Putting the pirate flag aside Lucas opened one of the cases, inside it was the sword used by Prictus in their fight. If he wasn't wrong the sword was a bastard sword, albeit a tad bigger than your average one.
Picking the sword up Lucas drew it from its scabbard.
"Ohh…" "Very cool"
His friends beside him looked at the sword in wonder.
He couldn't blame them for that, previously when fighting Prictus he didn't paid much attention to this sword, but now that he looked at the weapon up close he too couldn't help but be amazed by it.
The blade was sharp and shining, and the bigger than average size was impressive up close.
'I almost want to reconsider my stance in not using a weapon… almost'
Sure, he always had Tashigi by his side carrying a sword of very remarkable quality. Still, that didn't detract the cool factor of holding the bastard sword in his hand and feeling it's weight.
After doing a few mock swings Lucas passed the sword to a giddy Tashigi to his side, which then proceeded to inspect the thing in scrutinizing detail.
"I already knew about these" he gave the second case on the counter a confused look "But what about this one? I don't recall asking anything more from the Commander"
"Consider that a bonus" said Valentina making him look at her in surprise "Commander Triscratches said it's a gift to you for having helped him with that pirate captain. He left a memo saying: 'Your part on his bounty will be withhold as a light punishment, but what you did still deserves something as reward'"
Still quite taken aback Lucas quickly opened the second case.
"It's the captain's sword!"
Inside the case was another sword, this time it was a dark-gold handle longsword with a black scabbard. Drawing it he could see the light blood-red edge of the blade.
Smiling at the kind act of the Commander Triscratches he sheeted the sword back and then looked at Valentine "Please send my most sincere thanks to the Commander. Tell him I will never forget this gift of his"
"I sure will dear"
His friends became happy for him, to the side a smiling Torlo said "Quite the nice addition to your hoard right?"
"Yeah" he then smirked "If I was planning in putting it in my hoard"
Under the looks of utter confusion of his friends and Valentina he picked the two swords he just won and shoved them into Tashigi's hands.
"You said your dream was to collect the swords from the hands of bad people, right? So here Tashigi, let me contribute to that dream"
Tashigi looked at her smiling friend in utter astonishment, she could barely believe what she just heard.
"W-What are you saying?"
"Exactly what you heard, these swords are now yours"
"Don't even try to refuse, I will not take then back!" cutting her with a firm tone he again smiled warmly at her "Just take it"
In face of those words Tashigi didn't knew how to proceed.
The swords in her hands suddenly felt heavier than before, her breath became a little rough and in her chest a strange unusual feeling began to surface.
Her dream of rescuing great swords from the hands of people who may misuse them had been long know by her friends, they always supported her and with their words of encouragement she felt confident in soon being able to go after this goal of her.
But not even in her dreams at night Tashigi thought she would be taking the first steps towards that goal so soon and so suddenly.
Her first instinctual action was to return the swords to Lucas, after all this gift was just too great for her to accept like that. Lucas however firmly shot that idea down before she could even fully voice it, hence she did the only thing she could do at that moment.
With her cheeks warming up she wiped the tears that had been falling from her eyes, turning to the smiling young man she gazed at his blue eyes before firmly saying:
Two words, just two very simple words, but who carried very strong emotions in them.
To the side both Torlo and Valentine, and even some other marines that had been there and witnessed everything, had big smiles on their faces as they watched the two youngsters exchanging glances.
The perpetuator of all, Lucas, returned Tashigi's gaze with a smile.
"Don't mention it"
Three Days Later
It's has been some days since our first patrol and the event that happened in it.
I honestly must've underestimated a little the value my actions that day had, because since then Tashigi's way of looking at me changed a bit, in what direction I couldn't tell, but certainly was in some profound way.
Furthermore Torlo would from time to time throw some strange looks my way, and even Valentina and the other marines that had been there that day when passing by me would look at me smiling with this funny look in their eyes.
Strange... but anyway.
The following days went by normally, with nothing even remotely similar to the jewelry store incident happening again.
All we did in the following patrols was walk around the commercial area, occasionally help a few citizen in some simple task like helping a group of men carry some heavy material, aid someone lost by pointing directions, or just even occasionally helping a kitten stuck in a high place.
Only a few times they saw a crime they needed to stop, and even then all consisted of small things like a kid pickpocketing some candies from a store.
So it caught us a little by surprise when we got called by a fellow young marine to help with something in a nearby area.
Following him we came to some sort of rundown four-story high apartment building, there another marine wearing his cap backwards was waiting and when he saw us he smiled and greeted us.
Returning his greeting I turned to the building and gave the place a good look up and down, to my side Torlo turned to our fellow marine than asked.
"So… what's the deal with this place?"
"We received this mandate from the superiors to get the man that lives in the third floor" the young marine that called us took an official paper from his pocket and showed to us "But the guy proved to be… less that cooperative, to say the least"
"Oh, that's easy" twirling his shoulders Torlo smirked confidently "Just wait a minute"
Than without a second thought he marched forward into the building, seeing that the marine with the backward cap asked a honestly reasonable question.
"It's okay to let him go in there alone?"
"He's already set on that idea so let him try" came my calm reply "if anything happens I will step in, besides, he got his rifle with him"
From the look on his eyes he still had some doubts, however still decided to wait and see what would happen.
To my side Tashigi asked something that was also on my mind.
"What this 'man' did exactly?"
"He refused a courtly summon, apparently this guy is under the accusation of domestic violence from his wife. She left some weeks ago and filed for divorce but he didn't complied to any of the court summons"
I nodded in understanding "So the higher-ups got fed up with him and sent you two to get him by force, I'm right?"
"Yeah" the marines that called us sighed helplessly "Though as you see we hadn't been a able to get him to cooperate. If the way he talked to us is anything to go by, I would say all the accusations on him are one hundred percent true"
"What a piece of work"
"Now I wish I had been the one that went up instead of Torlo" Beside me Tashigi had quite the nasty look in her eyes, if I had to guess she really didn't liked the man "Would've give him a piece of mind"
"No stress Tashigi, let's just wait for Torlo to come back"
My words must had contained some sort of magic in them, because not even a second after I said that a strong commotion was heard coming from the third floor.
We heard the sound of glass breaking, then someone crying. Looking up a very familiar figure could be seen falling from the window of the third floor.
Kicking the ground I practically blinked away in the eyes of those watching, appearing a few meters back from where I was I caught my dear friend Torlo in my arms before he could have a head to head encounter with the ground.
"I guess things didn't went as planned"
"You could say that again" with a groan my Rambo looking friend jumped off my arms, he then began rubbing his shoulder to soothe some of the pain "That man is crazy, he caught me off guard and threw me out the window"
That was all I needed to hear.
Cracking my knuckles I said to those around me "You guys wait here, let me go up and… have a nice chat with this guy"
Without giving anyone any time to react I jumped and basically flew upwards to the third floor.
"There he goes"
Seeing her white haired friend landing in the third floor of the building Tashigi clicked her tongue in annoyance, she too wanted to go up and have a 'chat' with the man in the apartment.
"Relax Tashigi" her friend Torlo approached her with a light smile on his lips "With Lucas now up there that guy will not be able to escape what is coming for him"
"Sigh I guess you're right"
"Of course I'm"
The other two marines exchanged confused looks. That was their first time experiencing the antics of the now famous trio from Marineford, so they didn't knew exactly how to react.
Suddenly an even bigger commotion than the first one came from the third floor.
The two marines looked up with concern for the white haired marine clear in their eyes, however to their side Tashigi and Torlo didn't shared any of their worries.
In fact the corner of their mouth curved up as they began to envision the scene happening right at that moment in the third floor.
"That was too easy"
Looking down Lucas gazed at the bearded man sprawled in the ground before him.
Having jumped to the third floor and entering fom the window he obviously caught the man in the apartment by surprise, after all in this part of the world not many would expect someone to come through the window, especially if said window was many meters from the ground.
The bearded man having tasted a bit of Lucas strength couldn't help but be completely terrified, he weakly raised his head and looked at the white haired marine before him in horror.
"Look who's talking, a coward who beat his own wife"
Stepping forward Lucas was ready to holster the man over his shoulder and take him out, but then by chance he turned his head to the side and saw something that caught his attention in a nearby table.
"Is this… another white card?"
There in the table beside some bottles of mead was a very familiar white card, the sneering skull on it almost looking at him in a challenging way.
"I was just going to take you to the base, but now I have changed my mind…"
Picking up the card from the table Lucas approached the man and squatted down beside his head, the man in turn couldn't help but shudder in fear as he saw Lucas's blue eyes shining with power as they bored down at his skull.
"Now… would you be kind enough to tell me where did you get this card?"
There you go, another chapter.
Happening right after the previous chapter, in this one I tried to do some more development along with setting some things up for what will be coming next. Initially I also thought in putting a 'fight' in the end segement, but in the end I decided to just skip the beating and go straight to the point.
So, what you guys think of the chapter? Are the character interactions good or not? I welcome your thoughts with open arms.
A little trivia here for you guys, if you go to my profile the picture in my perfil is a picrew I did. The MC Lucas is more or less like that, though his skin is of a pardo tone. Which, to those who don't know, in the most simple explanation is someone too white to be black, but also too black to be white, more or less something around the middle of the spectrum.
If you want to know more just search about 'pardo skin tone' on google.
Anyways, I don't have much else to say.
Thank you all for the support.
Constructive critics are always welcomed.