(From September) Welcome back, all, to another chapter of Coby's Choice! What did you all think of the Live-Action One Piece? I thought it was great! I even got my normie family members to watch and enjoy it, so I think they did amazing. They even got confirmed for another season already! I blame them being so good for why this chapter is coming out a little later than normal.

Anyway, thank you for putting up with my delay: Andrew Bohl, Animephilosopher1, Ankhseram123, anony, Ant Franklin, Cam Bliss, Clark Kent, Claude Walker, Cordell Sanders, Cory Johnston, Darko129, David, David Bowling, David Reynolds, Emi Stafford, Eugene Malone Jr., EvilJelly, Fenrir ragnarok, FlakeTrain, Garvin Lee Nelson-Mathlin, GLADIUS315, GODA98, Immagenius, Inucbus, Jacob McCarthy, JEP1010, Jkat, John Mekjian, Jonathan Moh, Joseph Baty, Joseph Cheung, Joseph Morrison, Joseph Vargas, Joshua, Joshua Groves, Karen Carrillo, Kcx1, kevin Calderon, Korakas, Lamont Hale, MAEGHT Maxime, Marielle Orff, Matt Walther, Matthew Burley, McBanjo, Mcgin28, Michael Enqvist, Milagros Peres Davila, Milla, Neridian, Rafael Cardenas, ReactedLyric, Richard Barkley, Riley Bolerjack, Ryuu, Sasha, TheWolfThatExist, Thomas Sanders, Tom Peissig, and ViewtifulSoul!

Chapter 62:

Planning and Conspiracies

Robin wasn't quite sure what had happened, a situation she did not experience often. Being out of the know in any way was a something the archeologist loathed to her very core. Too many times in her past had information been the difference between a tactical, proactive retreat and a panicked scramble for the closest hidey-hole or rinky-dink boat. She hated panicking. She hated confusion.

She hated being powerless.

And now her powers would not come at her call. She looked down at her fingerless, fabric stubs of hands, the appendages as useful as arms as a log for a comfortable couch. She looked up at her now-massive surroundings and would have swallowed if she were still able.

As it stood, the only useful part of this new, toy body she had been forced into was her stuffing-filled insides were seemingly immune —or at least resistant— to blunt damage. Sanji's kick —an act in itself a surprise on the same level as her transformation— had sent Robin flying away from the group until her fabric back met the wall, stranding her on a shelf. She'd then watched as another toy, a green gorilla, appeared before Sugar. At that point, the remaining pirates of her crew beat a hasty retreat, seemingly unaware of her plight. Sugar had made to go after them only for the gorilla to punch her in the face with its plush hands, the attack carrying more force than any plushie had any right to use. Monet had instantly frozen said toy with compacted snow before following Sugar's order of attempting to chase down the remaining pirates.

Powerless, Robin had watched Sugar —the girl with a freshly-forming black eye— drag the frozen toy into her room, but not all felt lost. Yes, Robin may have lost her powers, but she now had insight. Insight she could use to piece together how Sugar's powers worked.

"I must think this through," she muttered to herself in lieu of being able to write. Her voice sounded odd, something off compared to how she normally sounded, but she chalked that up to her new form. "Obviously, the toys are former humans, but what have we witnessed? Sugar forced the velociraptor to sign some form of contract, implying that those who do not must have some form of free will. Furthermore, Monet seemed to not know why they had changed the individual and needed to postulate using the contract itself. Between this and my crewmates' retreat…"

Realization slid down Robin's now-nonexistent spine like ice water.

"The gorilla is one of us," she hissed. No other explanation allowed for the sudden appearance of a toy hostile to Sugar. The fact that Robin could not for the life of her recall who had been transformed explained all too well the humans' and Chopper's ease in leaving them behind.

They had been quite literally forgotten. Whatever power Sugar possessed must include a antimnemonic component that blocked or erased others' memories of the transformed individual, resulting in the appearance of the toy manifesting out of nowhere.

Now confident in her understanding of the situation, a long-term plan already beginning to form in the back of her mind, Robin focused the rest of her brainpower on what to do next. She moved to the edge of the shelf and studied the distance to the floor, looking for any dangers or items that she may land on. With the exception of a couple rusted hooks on the selves below, there was nothing to damage the woman-turned-toy. Taking a deep breath as more a symbolic gesture since she no longer had lungs (is this how Brook thought?), Robin jumped.

Her landing was not graceful in the least, but there was no pain nor damage as her fabric body met the floor. Robin climbed to her feet and dusted the front of her ragged red dress, almost thankful for the immunity.

With no human or toy in the area, she hurried forward with a somewhat wobbly gait. The room seemed so much larger without her long legs, the red-haired doll having to jog to feel like she was getting anywhere at a decent pace. Too long did it take for her to reach the doorway of Sugar's room, said door lying on the ground where Monet's initial attack had broken it from the hinges. Careful, wary of what may happen if she were spotted, Robin peaked into the room.

She found Sugar sitting at the tea table, the toys from before stacked on top of each other with Rapaz the velociraptor on the bottom. The one on the top, a teddy bear, held an icepack to the girl's black eye. Sitting on the table was the frozen gorilla, the girl pouring steaming water on the top of the block in small amounts. The hot water had already eaten through a good chunk of the ice, the top of the gorilla's head open to the air.

With a sickening grin, the girl poured hot water directly on the toy. A muffled grunt forced itself out of the ice. Apparently unsatisfied with that, Sugar moved on to melt the ice around the rest of the head. Within a minute, the gorilla could blink. It struggled, its stuffing arms too weak to break free of its frozen prison.

"Who are you?" Sugar inquired. The gorilla snarled, staring her dead in the eye.

"Like you don't know," the toy spat in a deep baritone.

"No, I don't, but I feel unsatisfied for some reason." Sugar set the teapot aside before reaching for a pair of child's scissors. "I'd rather pull the answers out of you this way than make you sign the standard contract. Now then, here's how this will work. I will ask a question and you will answer me. If you don't, I'll start snipping your stitches. Then comes the stuffing. The toys say that's extra painful. Like having your guts pulled out without being able to die. I don't know what that's like, but that's what they tell me."

"Screw off, brat," the gorilla hissed.

"First question," Sugar said, undaunted. "Are you one of the pirates?"

The gorilla remained silent. Sugar took the silence as an answer.

"Question two, why did you enter the Toy House?"

Something moved behind Robin, the doll chancing a look back. She could hear hissing coming from the hallway, the familiar voice of Monet growing louder. Choosing to risk it rather than certainly be found, the archeologist padded into the room behind Sugar and her toy servants. The gorilla no doubt saw her but kept its eyes on the girl, making no indication of the guest. Robin silently thanked him —she assumed it was a him with a deep voice like that— and hurried to the left where she was less likely to be found. She found refuge behind a large plush shaped like a boat with a smiley face, the ship a large civilian cruse with two smokestacks.

"Sugar!" Monet called, all but crashing through the doorway. There was a burn cutting through her top over her stomach, the snow-skin there nearly bubbling as her Logia constitution tried to deal with the aftereffects of her elemental weakness. Her jaw was clenched, her words pained. "Sugar, are you ok?"

"I'm fine, sis," the girl said. "I'm more worried about you. What happened to the intruders?"

"They got away," the verdette scowled. "At least, the ones we remember did. Who is this one?"

"He won't talk."

"Yeah, that sounds normal. Maybe we—"

A transponder started ringing from beside the bed. Robin tensed as Monet turned, her eyes landing on the ringing snail. Before the harpy could take so much as a step, the pirate pressed her back against the boat plush and let herself go limp, slumping over like an inanimate doll, silently praying her ploy would keep her undetected.

It did, Monet passing her hiding spot without a second glance. The bird woman stopped by the bed, balancing on one leg as her other reached up with her talons to answer the call.

"Toy House," she said.

"Ms. Sugar's presence is requested in the factory," the voice on the other side said. "The injured from Block A are arriving and Block B is nearly over.."

"Already?" the little girl whined. "Aww. I wanted to play more."

"Sorry, sis," Monet shrugged, ending the call. "The Young Master did say you would be needed there at some point today."

"Yeah yeah. I know." Sugar pouted, setting aside the scissors.

"Come on. I'll fly you there. I bet Dressrosa looks amazing from the sky."

"Ok." Sugar picked up the still-mostly-frozen toy and opened a previously-unseen fridge. Needing space, she dumped out what was inside, reasoning that Doflamingo could just get her more later. With the fridge empty, she stuffed the gorilla inside, ignoring his indignant shouts of rage, and closed the door. "Alright, I'm ready, sis."

Monet bent down, allowing Sugar to climb onto her back. Ensuring she was secure, Monet carried her sister out the door, the toys under their command trailing behind.

"I thought they'd never leave," a deep voice grunted, Robin practically jumping out of her fabric. She spun to find that the boat had opened its eyes. "Are you with that gorilla?"

"I have reason to suspect so," Robin replied, sending the boat a side-eye. "Will you be telling Sugar I was here?"

"I am forced to stand guard over her room," the boat said. "I cannot move, however. When she remembers to ask, I am forced to answer her questions to the best of my knowledge."

"How long have you been here?"

"I don't know. I haven't seen the sun since Sugar got her hands on me. Please, go get your friend. I will tell you everything I know."

Robin nodded before hurrying to the fridge. Her stubby arms forced their way into the door handle, pulling the door free. The gorilla's eyes widened slightly as light illuminated him, the doll having to crawl into the cold contraption to push the frozen plush from the other side on account of her lack of strength.

"Oi!" the gorilla grunted. "Who are you‽"

"If my hypothesis is correct, a crewmate of yours," she answered, tipping the gorilla as it fell out of the confines. She left him facedown, pushing the ice by what had been the bottom, the woman needing to stop periodically so she didn't get struck to the trap. "What is your name?"

The toy hesitated for only a moment before answering,

"Roronoa Zoro, first mate of the Straw Hat Pirates."

"Odd," Robin commented with a grunt. "I remember Coby being the first mate."

"Bullshit. I taught that shrimp everything he knows. He was just a pathetic little crybaby when I met him and Luffy at Shells Town."

"And I believe you," Robin insisted. "I simply do not remember, as I am decently certain you do not remember me. Sugar's power seems to carry a dangerous antimnemonic ability."

"I don't know what that means. Who even are you?"

"My name is Nico Robin. I am the archeologist of the Straw Hat Pirates and I joined the crew after Luffy rescued me when I turned my back on Crocodile. Then you all raided Enies Lobby to rescue me when CP9 abducted me for my knowledge."

"That… makes sense," the gorilla blinked. "It didn't really make sense that we would attack the place just for Franky. We didn't know him that well." He paused. "…Devil Fruits are bullshit."

"I do not disagree." With a final push, Robin managed to place the frozen toy in the shadow of the table. Leaving him there, the doll jumped, wiggling her way first onto the Sugar-sized chair before getting onto the table itself. There, she took hold of the teapot's handle in her stubby arms and tipped it, aiming the boiling cascade toward the ice below.

Steaming water met ice with a HISS, the solid melting somewhat quickly. The gorilla —Zoro, Robin reminded herself— flexed his stuffing-filled arms, causing the weakened ice to crack and shatter as its constitution lost the battle to the hot waterfall.

"Damn, I wish I had my swords," Zoro grunted, trying to crack the bones in his neck but unable to do so considering they no longer existed. "How are we supposed to get out of this?"

"I do not yet know," Robin admitted, balancing herself at the table's edge. "Zoro, could you please catch me? I would much prefer not falling to the floor a second time."

The archeologist flung herself from the raised surface, landing in the plush arms of the green gorilla. Zoro huffed, setting her back on her feet.

"You are both members of the Straw Hat Pirates?" a voice asked, reminding Robin that the boat was listening. Zoro's hands went to his waist on reflex only for him to remember that his swords had disappeared with his transformation. "How lucky. I was planning on joining your crew."

"Yeah?" the gorilla grunted. "And who are you?"

"My name is Jinbei. I was a Warlord until the War of the Best where I fought alongside Luffy."

"Doesn't ring a bell."

"Did you forget already?" Robin inquired, having to turn her entire head to give Zoro a deadpan look. It didn't quite land, considering her face now lacked most nonverbal reactions. "Individuals turned into toys have all memory of their existence suppressed."

"Memory but not possessions," the boat —Jinbei— offered. "Items belonging to you or pictures of you remain. Should you need, such evidence can be used to convince others of your story."

"If that is so, how does it seem no one in Dressrosa is suspicious?" Robin questioned.

"Doflamingo and his crew have convinced the populous that any strange pictures and items are the results of the local Fairies playing pranks and should be turned in to the castle."

"Fairies?" Zoro muttered. His head tilting. "Didn't the Wit— I mean, Nami say something about Fairies on our call earlier?"

"She did," Robin nodded. "Something along the lines of Luffy wrestling it because it stole her purse."

"Ah, so the Tontatta are still at it," the Jinbei commented. "That's good." Robin opened her mouth, Jinbei moving to answer her question before should could ask it. "The Tontatta are the Dwarves living on the island of Green Bit. They and the Thunder Soldier have been working together in an attempt to undermine Doflamingo for years. I was using my status as a former Warlord to help them look for the SMILE factory when Sugar managed to get me during a meeting with Doflamingo."

"Dwarves?" Zoro blinked. "Ok, yeah, sure. Dwarves. Why not at this point?"

"Did you all get my message?" Jinbei asked.

"What message?"

"The one I left on Fishman Island." Jinbei frowned. "Of course. With all memory of me erased, the letter would still be there, but the royal family wouldn't remember that I left it. For all I know, it might still be sitting in their treasury vault."

"We never received anything," Robin confirmed. "What a dangerous power. If Sugar touched the wrong person, the entire world could be thrown into greater chaos than the Great Pirate Era."

"I wouldn't mind giving her a personal meeting with Kuma," Zoro muttered, remembering both Thriller Bark and Sabaody, even if the two years that followed made him so much stronger. "Ok, so we're toys and no one remembers us. We don't even remember each other. How the hell do we undo this?"

"Currently, the question remains unanswered," Jinbei said. "Logically, if her Devil Fruit acts with rules similar to other Paramecia types that affect others, then killing her, knocking her unconscious, or dunking her in seawater should do it."

"By what means could we achieve such?" Robin questioned. "Both Sugar and Monet have departed for the SMILE factory, a location that call they answered suggests is close toor within the Colosseum. More than likely, anyone who discovers said location will swiftly be forgotten to all. And, it is possible more of our crewmates have already met similar fates."

"We need to drag her back here before she gets any of our crewmates at the tournament," Zoro suggested, a bloodthirsty gleam appearing in his button eyes. "This place is her project, right? Where she keeps all the toy slaves? If we start wrecking shit, she'll be forced to come back. And since we're already toys, she can't do anything else to us."

"You can still die," Jinbei commented.

"But we won't," Zoro replied. "I still have to become the World's Greatest Swordsman. No little girl is going to stop me."

His energy was infectious, Robin feeling a smile of her own come to her fabric mouth.

"And I," she added, "still need to learn the true history of the Void Century."

"And I," Jinbei put in, "need to show the world that humans and Fishmen can live together in harmony."

"Then it sounds like we have a plan," Zoro nodded. "Boat—"

"My name is Jinbei."

"—where are the important parts of this place? We've got some irreplaceable stuff to break."

"What a fight, folks!" the announcer called, clearly unconcerned for the dead and dying in the ring below. The same could be said for the people in the stands, the citizens screaming for joy at the barbarism displayed. "We're coming down to the last competitors of Block B! Which one of them will take it all home‽"

"Well well," Kelly grinned. "Only the big names and a couple stragglers left. What do you say, Bobby? Time to bust out our big guns?"

"Yeah, sounds like a plan, Kelly."

The remaining fighters, wary of whatever these 'big guns' may be, stepped away from the pair. Kelly seemed to deflate, a zipper forming down his torso from his neck. As they watched, Bobby grabbed his brother and started shoving himself inside the skinsuit.

"Gonna be honest," Jean Ango commented, pointing one of his stolen swords at the brothers. "That's nasty."

"I guess it makes sense someone here would have a Devil Fruit," Gambia nodded. "Of course, the question was which one? Although, they can't compare to our future king and his acolytes."

Jean turned his sword on the Barto Club pirate. "Shut. Up. I'm sick of your cultist tontería."

"I can't!" the Missionary replied. "It's my sacred duty to spread the news of Luffy-Senpaism!"

"Uh, what?" one of the unnamed fighters dressed a full, green, hooded cloak blinked.

"You just had to ask," Jean snarled, throwing several stolen swords at the pirate. Gambia dodged each one, a goofy smile spreading over his face.

"Let me tell you of our God-King-to-be!" Gambia said, practically ignoring the sharp projectiles coming his way as he moved around them. "His name is Monkey D. Luffy-sama-senpai, and the boss and I's gonna win his brother's Fruit as a tribute! We's gonna get his blessings to fly his flag, spreading word of his great name and deeds! He and his acolytes are gonna be the ones to bring in a new era to this world!"

"What stupid drivel," the fighter known only as Ricky muttered.

"You don't believe me," the pirate observed, backflipping away from an ax that buried its blade in the arena floor. "I understand. Prophets like me have a hard time getting others to see the light when their eyes are blurry, but I have heard the words! I have listened to the future! Goda himself has spoken to me! He has chosen Luffy-senpai to act as his hands in the world! His chosen avatar and incarnation! Luffy-senpai is the man who will become a god among men and all shall bow as he changes the world!"

"…Oh," Jean Ango realized. "You're stupid and dilutional. Jodidamente maravilloso."

"I am not! The world spoke—!"

"Don't ignore us!" Kelly, now piloting his brother's body, yelled as his boxing-glove-covered hands cratered the ground where Gambia had been. Jean Ango threw another sword that Kelly batted to the side.

"Not cool to interrupt my sermon, dude!" Gambia called. "Luffy-senpai—"

"Like I should care what some weakling has to say," Kelly spat. "You're only worth a measly 67-million. You can talk to me again when you're on the same level as your captain!"

"My oh my oh my," the blond sighed, cracking his knuckles. "Looks like someone doesn't want to convert. I guess I'll have to put Granny's punishment advice to work. I'll start with—"

Gambia screamed as a blade cut across his back, the pirate falling to a knee as blood started to flow down his body. Mustering his strength, he dove forward onto his stomach to avoid the blade that nearly stabbed him.

"What a surprise!" the announcer called, checking his notes. "Drawing blood from Gambia the Missionary is one of our underdogs! An unknown going only by Wyrm!"

The so-named Wyrm huffed, eyes shaded by a hood turning on the other remaining competitors. His brunet muttonchops were clear to see, a scowl on his lips raised on his left side. He flicked his blade, Gambia's blood splattering over the flooring as the man cleaned his weapon.

"H-How…?" Gambia muttered through the pain. "I c-can hear everything, b-but you—"

"Arrogant pirates like you are the easiest to kill," Wyrm snarled. He dashed forward, practically blurring, before planting his shoe in Gambia's gut. The Barto Club pirate coughed red as he was punted like a sack of potatoes, the cut on his back leaving a trail of blood as he rolled to a stop and did not rise. "Lucky for you, elimination is not my priority at the moment."

"And just like that, Gambia is out of the running!" the announcer gasped. "And it looks like Kelly Funk is ready to brawl!"

"What was the funny guy saying about daddy?" Ace asked in the stands as Kelly, Jean, and Wyrm clashed. Ricky tried to keep up with them, but an errant, almost dismissive, swing from Kelly smashed half of his helmet and took him out of the fight.

"Sounded like he worships the captain," Merry answered with a tilt of her head. "Weird. I guess there are nutjobs for everything. He could be useful, though."

"Yeah! He says funny stuff like Uncle Uso!"

"Oh, that's gonna leave a shiner!" the announcer laughed as Kelly Funk decked Jean Argo, one-and-a-half bounty hunters taking the other out of the fight by getting inside the Shishanoan's personal space. With no room to throw any of his stolen weapons, Jean the Bandit suffered two uppercuts to the gut before a final strike to the face laid him flat, revealing that his cactus-shaped hat was actually a wide visor over cactus-shaped hair. "And then there were two! Who will move on to the next round: one of the Funk brothers or the dark horse Wyrm‽"

"There's something familiar about that guy," Merry muttered, her eyes watching Wyrm's every movement. She didn't believe for a moment that that was his actual name, but she could have sworn she'd at least seen him before, but she couldn't place it. Everything clicked, however, when he next dodged one of Kelly's punches by a hair's breadth. "That's Paper Art!"

"Paper art?" Ace blinked. "Like origami or crayon drawings?"

"No, Ace. Paper Art is one of the Six Powers. One of them is how your Uncle Pervy Cook, Kaku, and I can jump off the air, but they're almost exclusively used by marines. Meaning…"

"Hood Guy is a marine guy," Ace finished. Down below, Wyrm took a wide stance, his hands fisted at his sides.

"Finally decided to call it quits?" Kelly grinned. "Let's end this! ORA!"

Kelly swung, only his foe did not go flying upon contact. Rather, it was like punching steal, Wyrm only shifting backward an inch from the force. Kelly only had time for his eyes to widen before the smaller man grabbed his hand and brought around his other, snapping the brother's arm with a loud SNAP. Kelly screamed in pain, Bobby's voice mixed in, as Wyrm stepped in.

His final punch produced a shockwave, Wyrm jumping back as the combined brothers tipped forward. They split, Kelly and Bobby left unconscious on the floor.

"In a stunning upset, the unknown Wyrm has taken the victory of Block B! What more can we expect from this surprise victor‽"

Wyrm barely acknowledged his win, the man pulling his hooded cloak tighter around him as the bridges connected to the arena. Medics rushed out, gathering the merely wounded and salvageable from the deceased, uncaringly dumping the latter to the Fighting Fish.

(Merry covered Ace's eyes for that part. Sure, the world wasn't pretty, but there were some things that children just shouldn't see if the option to not was available.)

"That Wyrm guy was pretty strong," Angel commented, the one calling himself Rum at her side as they watched from one of the competitor windows. Custard had departed when it became clear the Funk brothers were outmatched, the first of the twins to fight making her way to the gate for the next round. The purple-haired woman licked her lips. "A little small, but there's nothing wrong with that. Mama says short guys try harder."

"Is it always like this with you two?" Gin demanded.

"Now, now," Angel admonished. "You know Custard and I came here specifically to look for husbands. Trying for the Flame-Flame Fruit is just a bonus."

"Oh yes," Gin said, rolling his eyes under his helmet. "How could I have forgotten?"

"So, what'd you think about that Missionary guy?" the woman asked, keeping the man in her peripherals. "I've seen religious nuts before, but never someone worshiping someone who's alive, much less a youngling pirate."

"Young—?" Gin began before cutting himself off. Angel hid a smirk; her suspicions all but confirmed. Now that she and Custard knew the Straw Hats were on the island, she just had to test the man whose anonymity did not fit with his strength. "I will admit, worshiping Straw Hat is an odd choice. I wonder if he has strong opinions about the Straw Hat's family."

"Who knows? The man's captain is a Super Rookie, though. He should be even stronger. I wonder, however, what he thinks of his crewmate's odd choice of religion."

"He could be of the same opinion," Gin muttered, his feelings mixed about the possibility. Yes, this was not the first time the crew had faced down a Warlord, but this one had lived constantly in the New World and was the one that gave the Don his X-shaped scar at the War of the Best two years ago. More allies wholly and completely on their side could be a boon, but he knew firsthand the dangers of blind devotion. "I suppose we will have to wait and see."

In another window, a pair of women watched them clearing the arena for the next match. Rebecca frowned as they tried to place Ricky on a stretcher only for the old gladiator to fight back, getting to his feet and limping out on his own feet. Ricky was something of a force of nature, his only one-on-one loss in the colosseum being against her in a battle where she could tell he was not giving it his all. Rumors swirled around the man like fruit flies to old grapes, everything from the man being Kyros himself to the former king to a government spy. Obviously, such things were ridiculous, but his hesitance in their match all those months ago had cemented her curiosity on the man.

"I wonder if every match is going to be so chaotic," the one calling herself Coco commented at the rosette's side, the blonde playing with a kanabo she'd managed to snag from the armory. She'd also opted to copy Rebecca's cloak while she was down there, grabbing one in a tan-yellow. "Course, it does seem like the big names will regularly reach the final few. My match will be another upset, though."

"I don't know about that," Rebecca admitted. "I managed to get a glimpse of the schedule while you were finding a weapon. That Missionary guy's captain is in your block, along with the king of the Prodence Kingdom. One's a Super Rookie and the other's said to be able to destroy a castle with a single punch."

"Is that so?" Amy questioned, the gears of her mind starting to turn. She covered her mouth with a hand, not wanting her companion to see her lips quirk into a smile. "Maybe I need to start scoping out the competition."

"Maybe I need to do the same," Rebecca agreed. "My own block didn't seem to have too many big names, which is a little concerning."

"Did I tell you about my companions?" Amy asked. "Lucy and Rum."

"I think I remember seeing Rum on the list," the pink-haired fighter muttered. "We'll be facing each other in the first round."

"Then one of you will be taking home that block." Amy turned, lifting her hood. "Well, time to go check out this captain and king."

"I'll go find one of your companions," Rebecca decided. "If you all are truly set on taking down Doflamingo, it would be best if we combined forces."

The women nodded to each other only for Amy to pause. She grabbed Rebecca by the arm before she could take more than a single step. The Dressrosa native went for her sword on reflex, but the blonde's other hand stopped her.

"If we're going to work together, then I have to be honest with you. My name isn't Coco. That's just the name I gave the staff to keep my identity hidden. My real name is Amy. I'm a member of the Straw Hat Pirates."

"The who?" Rebecca blinked, unfamiliar with greater news of the world since she was trapped within the colosseum years ago.

"It's my captain that Gambia apparently worships," Amy clarified. "If his captain is the same way, they'll help us take down Doflamingo. I just… wanted to let you know before you met my friends."

"I see." Rebecca turned away, contemplating this turn of events. "There are others like me here, remember? Those who were thrown in here for verbal rebellion? I'll let them know you all are allies so they don't try anything. Fighters sometimes mysteriously disappear before they can reach the arena when things go to plan, you know."

"I'm glad we're on the same side."

The pair split, Amy heading toward where the injured were being taken in the hopes of catching the Super Rookie as he greeted his injured crewmate. Rebecca, in contrast, went for the competitor area in the hopes of finding Lucy or Rum. As she walked, her footsteps silent as she'd been forced to learn early in her days in this prison, hushed voices sounded from around a corner.

"I'm telling you," William D. Chapston hissed, Rebecca instantly shoving her back against the closest wall. "I know what I saw in his memories. It's him."

"That's why you blew your shot?" another voice, one she hadn't heard before, replied.

"Obviously. I mean, I could have taken him, but the tongue lashing you would have given me for kicking your brother's ass would not have been worth it. You were a cute kid, by the way. I bet Koala—"

"William, I will punt you through the wall if you finish that sentence."

"Geeze, so touchy," William chuckled. "But yeah. Straw Hat is here, and so is the rest of his crew. They've teamed up with Trafalgar Law and a samurai and are planning on taking down Doflamingo. They didn't know a thing about the tournament until they got here."

"That's why the announcement was so sudden," the unnamed voice realized. "Doflamingo probably knew they were coming and set this whole thing up in the time it'd take them to arrive."

"Are you gonna go find him?"

There was a pause, Rebecca imagining the voice needed to think.

"I think I will," the voice decided after half a minute. "Now that he's here, I don't think I can wait any longer."

"Good luck, Chief," William said. "If his memories are any indication, I don't envy your drycleaner having to get the waterworks stains out."

"William," Chief —whoever that was— sighed. "Shut up. Go eat a salad or something."

"Will do, Chief."

Rebecca kept herself pressed against the wall as the pair apparently separated. One walked right past her, her eyes catching a dark cape and a top hat before the individual disappeared.

She didn't know what she'd just heard, but she knew whoever that was, they had to be important if an old legend like the Devil's Luck took orders from them. And whoever it was, he had plans for her new allies.

Doflamingo, Pirate Warlord, last true heir of the Donquixote name, and king of Dressrosa, was pissed.

He'd felt one of his officer's spirits scream in his unfocused Observation before vanishing, a feeling he'd long since learned was the sign of a person's unexpected death. His Conqueror's blasted forth before he could properly control it. Violet —the beautiful, dark-haired woman having been made to feed him grapes as he lounged on the throne— passed out almost instantly, her body crumpling on the stairs in a manner that was sure to leave a few nasty bruises. In that moment, Doflamingo couldn't care less about the woman he'd forced to join his crew for his own sick entertainment.

Someone had entered his castle and slain one of his men.

"Guards!" he barked, but there was no answer. Growling, the Warlord stomped toward the doors, his strings yanking them open with enough force that they nearly came off the hinges. The knights standing on either side of the doorway had fallen like puppets, his Spirit having knocked them unconscious like the woman. His frown turned into a sneer.

"Useless!" he barked, twin slashes of his hands causing razor strings to cut the men into pieces. Doflamingo panted with fury, ignoring the spreading pools of blood that would require a lot of time to clean off the tile. If these guards had been affected by his Spirit, then there was every possibility each servant between him and the intruders had been left in the same state. He growled. "Must I do everything myself? What else should I have expected from commoners?"

"Young Master!" a voice called, the king turning to see Baby 5 running to him. "Young Master, is everything ok?"

"No, it is not." He closed his eyes for a moment, feeling the spirits in the castle. "Gladius is dead."

"Dead‽" the maid gasped. "Who could have done such a thing?"

"Law. I felt him. He is here, along with the Straw Hat Pirates." He paused, turning to his subordinate. "Baby 5, I need you to do something for me."

"Anything, Young Master!"

"Gather whomever you can quickly and go after Law. I want him alive, but whomever he's with is of little concern unless you think they would be useful prisoners. I'd kill them all instantly if I found them at this moment, but I want to make Law's death slow and painful for what he's done. Can you do that for me?"

"Of course!" Baby 5 answered. "Anything for you, Your Majesty!" She dashed away, making her way to the courtyard where many of the other members of the Donquixote Familia spent their time on days with beautiful weather like this one.

"Well," the Warlord decided. "I suppose our game has officially begun. You might have drawn first blood, Law, but the war is far from over."

"Ah, I see," a voice commented, the tall man turning to see a pair of men coming toward him. The first, dressed in purple, tapped his walking stick on the floor twice as he approached. "It seems you have some rats in your castle, Warlord."

"Admiral Fujitora," Doflamingo replied, his eyes moving over the man's shoulder. "Vice-Admiral Jonathan. Now isn't a good time."

"When is it ever?" the Admiral replied. "I understand the inconvenience, but it seems you're already taking steps to deal with it. We, however, have business."

"And what business could the Marines have with me so important that they sent one of their illustrious Admirals?" the pirate questioned, doing little to cover the sneer in his voice.

"We have received worrying reports, Warlord. Reports that you have been pushing the boundaries afforded to you according to your status. We must either confirm or refute these rumors. If you have remained to our agreement, there should be nothing for you to worry about and monetary compensation for your wasted time."

Doflamingo grit his teeth, mentally preparing to dodge another surprise inspection that had become uncommon occurrences over the past two years. Damn those low-level East Blue marine morons. If those idiots hadn't gotten captured, he wouldn't have to deal with this at such in inopportune time.

"Very well," the Warlord sighed, pulling up a fake smile. "Right this way."

End of Chapter 62

Robin and Zoro figure out Sugar's powers and make an unexpected ally! Block B concludes with the mysterious Wyrm defeating the Funk brothers without a scratch! Rebecca overhears William reporting to someone, but what plans do they have for Luffy? Finally, Doffy sends a hit squad after Law only for the Marines to show up. What could they be looking for and why?

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