Haunt 16: Shadowing the Damned
Adam knew his father had earned a lot of respect and fear in the criminal elements of Wano, especially after the pacification of Kuri, but even at that point he hadn't expected such support from Yakuza Bosses of the Prisoner Mine.
Infiltrating the mine and locating his targets had been easy enough, with simply needing to wait for nightfall and the locking away of slaves before gathering the admittedly startled Yakuza Bosses into a down trodden Hyogoro's cell. And with only one quick explanation, the gift of true food and medicine, coupled with Adam's admittedly fair resemblance to his father alongside his tattooing of the Kozuki mark, he was welcomed by them. His subsequent explanation on the living Hyori and gathering of Three Red Scabbards shook and invigorated them something fierce. Hyogoro's flame like hair even grew livelier which each revelation.
In the end, they bowed to him.
"We await your command, Kozuki-sama!" Hyogoro devoutly cried in joy over his survival to see this day where hope would return to them, quickly followed by his fellow bosses.
Because no matter how defiant they were each had been resigned to a slow death as they broke down from malnutrition and forced labor. Having no hope for aid due to believing their true rulers all dead, alongside their strongest warriors. Knowing their homeland and people were undergoing the same through the systematic poisoning of Wano and breaking of its spirit by Orochi's absolute corruption and Kaidou's strength. Having kept aware of ongoings in the country through the new arrivals into the prison.
But now they had hope!
Hyogoro might be old and near broken after so long as a rebellious prisoner, but he was still clever and honorable. He could see Adam's honesty the hear the truth and emotions in his words. So he decided to trust him back for his frankness and the food given in good faith. The other bosses following his lead, although Cho, the only woman amongst them, decided to send a flirtatious wink his way as well, wanting to tease the teenage son of Oden considering he would be quite the looker.
Looking them over, Adam could see the clear effects of their sentences, none more so than Hyogoro who had already lost his bulky frame from his younger days, now being rather skinny but thankfully not shrunk into a tiny old man just yet. He would need much time to properly recover. The others though, they held up much better, clearly using the labor to maintain their strength as best as possible, accumulating enough food to support their bodies reasonably well, possibly even receiving added benefits from other inmates, only really requiring proper nutrition and rest at this point.
Adam always marveled at just how different human bodies could be in this world.
"Boss Hyogoro, you need to recover and aid Hiyori in training the generation of Samurai who will help free and then uphold Wano. Wasting away in this prison where even our enemies have forgotten about you would be a tremendous error." Adam spoke commandingly as the five bosses knelt and looked at him with absolute focus and near nostalgia. "Hiyori herself will need your teachings to master her own strength and Haki, whilst your experience would be a great boon in organizing our underground movements.
Because I know for a fact that the 20 year promise from Toki-san will come true and we will all need to be ready.
As for the rest of the Honorable Bosses, I believe we could establish a means of bringing supplies to build up additional forces made of those already against Orochi within his Very prison. You will be needed to oversee and guide these efforts as they would be the most risky the resistance movement would be undertaking once properly established."
"Oh don't you worry Adam-sama." Cho chucked huskily, smirking confidently at the same time. "We can more than handle fooling these fools."
"We can begin by gathering the remnants of our families and build from there." Tsunagoro cackled softly in excitement, his straw hat-like hair swaying with it.
"Gonna need to train up." The wide-mouthed Yatappe smiled viciously towards the larger Omasa who nodded, twirling his cat-like whiskers.
"At least you have plenty of weights." Adam chuckled at his slightly morbid jest. "We'll need to be careful though, hopefully organizing a means to fake the deaths of prisoners who need to leave the mine before they could truly die.
I would not wish to leave the defiant people of Wano to such fates without it being necessary. But such a thing will have to be done later. For now, I need to bring you, Boss Hyogoro, to our current camp. And to do so, your death must be faked.
But now that I know your appearance, I will simply need to prepare a corpse to take your place in an unfortunate mine collapse. Possibly modify a few reports here and there, then you will have your freedom."
"I shall await your return then." The older man seriously nodded, understanding the need for subterfuge.
"Good, then I'll be off. Everyone will be thrilled to hear you are alive, Boss Hyogoro." Adam smiled at his trust and earnestness, gesturing for the others to gather so he could return them to their cells and take his leave.
Something which was incredibly easy for the Ghost-Human.
But before returning to his crew and little sister, Adam had another person to meet.
A very valuable piece which had gone underutilized due to his enormous guilt. Hence his destination of Amigasa Village, one of the most peaceful villages of Wano due to its remoteness, and the refuge of Adam's very own blood related grandfather: Kozuki Sukiyaki.
Adam honestly felt the man had been a rather capable ruler and a masterful swordsmith, being someone of experience who could do much good for the resistance movement which Adam had been setting up. Either through his guidance or smithing capabilities really, although both would be ideal.
So in this quiet night, Adam landed before the shrine built within the great tree at the back of Amigasa Village. Knocking on its door firmly, imbuing just enough Haki to make certain it would be heard by the old shogun, knowing he was here with the confirmation from a few shades.
A few moments later, the sound of careful footsteps could be heard by those attentive enough. Certainly the steps of someone armed and ready with a blade as well.
"Who is it?" Came the tense question.
"Someone looking for his grandfather." Adam calmly answered.
"Well tough luck! My entire family's dead! Go look elsewhere!" The old man behind the door angrily responded as he raised his voice.
"The Kozuki are far from dead considering only my father and Toki-san actually died." Those words causing a 7ft (214cm) tall man with slicked back grey hair, wearing a black jinbei and red Tengu mask to slam his door open and point a beautiful blade in the teen's face.
"Careful..." The old tengu had been about to chastise the boy, but a good look at him stalled him in his track, blade unconsciously lowering slightly before readjusting itself. "Who are you?"
"My name is Kozuki Adam, bastard son of Kozuki Oden and Tami, a lion-fish mermaid he had a drunken one night stand with when partying on Fish-Man Island." Adam slightly bowed in greeting. "A pleasure to meet you, grandfather."
"I ain't your grandfather! That man's dead! I am Tenguyama Hitetsu!" The tengu masked man stated firmly.
"Was that really the best name you could come up with? Tenguyama for a man wearing a tengu mask." The teen chuckled instead, causing him to growl threateningly. "But I know my words are the true ones.
I've simply come to see if I couldn't reignite a proper samurai's spirit and sense of familial obligation in an old man. After all, losing without fighting back would be the shameful part, not being caught unaware by treachery."
A somewhat tense silence ensued, mainly on the old man's part as Adam grinned with little care at the man, which was both infuriating and nostalgic for Tenguyama. He couldn't help but take in his supposed grandson that his wild son had never mentioned to him, but their relationship had never been a good one. Certainly the young man had many resemblances to his father and the traits of a Kozuki, although he only knew what a fish-man and mermaid were due to the ancestral writings of his family.
Finally, the old man recognized the stubborn glint of certainty in this supposed grandson's eye being all too similar to his son's and sighed in defeat, lowering his blade.
"How could you, a boy from beyond Wano, have known of my survival and location?" Kozuki Sukiyaki inquired to ensure his continued secrecy. He did not want to risk the lives of his people, especially those of Amigasa Village with such a hefty secret after all.
"I hold a special yōjutsu allowing me to interact with shades of those who've passed. They can be quite informative." Adam revealed, to the shock and lament of his grandfather who misunderstood what such a thing meant. Sukiyaki believing that the souls of those he had failed were haunting him for his failures. "They were quite happy to aid me in my efforts to give the Kozuki Clan a proper chance at reclaiming what is rightful theirs. Even as shades, the spirit of Samurai burns strong."
"They...they did not curse me?" The old man's voice wavered slightly, tight with barely suppressed emotions over such a possibility.
"They don't." Adam gently shook his head, knowing just how hard being betrayed and fooled had impacted the former Shogun. No samurai heavily considers seppuku lightly after all. "Most are in fact shocked to know of your survival. Even the shades had mostly believed you to be haunting Orochi for his betrayal, only seeking you out on my request.
A few are even kneeling."
With his words, ethereal shades formed of gentle green flames, figures of loyal samurai around the former Shogun, recognizing many of them even without any sort of faces or details. Their shapes were enough. Forcing him to face them with his own face, not the shameful masked he wore, revealing the aged Sukiyaku with rather iconic arrow shaped nose, scruffy beard no longer in the prominent shape it had been, with grey hair pulled back and wrinkles aplenty, but he was still recognizably the former Shogun and a figure which caused many more shades to appear using Adam's benevolent lending of his ectoplasmic energy.
The scene causing the older man to shed tears of gratitude to his former men and subjects.
"This foolish old man does not deserve such loyalty." Sukiyaki cried out, only to turn around when he actually felt a hand on his shoulder from a figure surprising even Adam due to its truly iconic shape being obvious to any who would have seen that plateau-like hair and imposing size. "O-Oden."
Unable to speak, the figure did only one thing: smile.
Smiling with the confidence and certainty he had even during his death to let his father know that he was not to be blamed. Then turning towards his own son.
"I had not expected you to linger, father." Adam admitted, hence why he hadn't looked for the man's spirit.
Oden was a man of conviction and had firmly believed in the capabilities of his retainers and children to fulfill the 20 year promise, so he was rather certain he wouldn't have left behind anything, but it looks like he could be wrong. But judging on how the shade scratched its cheek in a sort of embarrassed way, one could tell he might be somewhat embarrassed about it. Regardless, he did step up and looked over his second son before bowing his head in gratitude, likely for his actions towards his sister and retainers before becoming a concentrated mass of ecto-energy and flowing into him as the rest of the shades vanished.
"Ah. So it's like that huh." Adam chuckled over the sudden influx of feelings, desires and the legacy Oden had imparted. The last of which would be very useful to himself and his half-siblings. "I'll make sure they get it."
"What was that?" Sukiyaki couldn't help but emotionally ask over essentially having seen his long dead son anew.
"A final will from a proud father." Adam softly smiled at the experience.
He had taken in many shades after fulfilling their grudges or obsessions, it being a key factor over how his powers as a Ghost-Human grew, but shades of the strength of someone like his own father were beyond rare, and one which was so willing to pass down its strength to him even more so. The fact that the man approved and felt proud of him was a nice bonus.
"*Sigh* Even in death he can't be like any other." The older man couldn't help but mutter, but the gentle smile on his face was is truth, and so was the heavy guilt burdening him lightening considerably. "Now what?"
"Honestly? I came here to see if I could convince you to help guide Hiyori as she grows into the leading figure for Wano Resistance alongside the remaining Red Scabbards and Boss Hyogoro, or if you could at least help provide proper weapons and seastone tools to help take down the Beast Pirates when the time comes." Adam answered with his offer to the man if he still wanted to conceal himself. "Both would be ideal."
"They're truly alive!?" The former Shogun couldn't help but feel much greater hope at the continued revelations he was receiving today. "Who else have you found?"
"Of the Red Scabbards, Denjiro, Kawamatsu and Ashura Doji, all Yakuza Bosses are currently in the Prisoner Mines with Hyogoro simply needing his death faked, and Shimotsuki Yasuie. Ashura holds a substantial force under his command with Denjiro having managed to position himself within Orochi's own central domain and the Mines about to be turned into a recruiting ground for an army." The teen smirked savagely over his achievements in such a short time. "We've already set basic plans in motion to build up our forces and aid the people, but I cannot stay here and Hiyori will need all the help she can get to train up with her own Yōjutsu and as a leader.
She will be flame of hope whilst I build up the necessary strength to defeat Kaidou. Because without being able to do such, we will never be free. Our goal being the 20 year promise."
"So that Hedgehog is still alive." The elder Kozuki sigh in wonder over just how many of those still loyal to his family had survived, including his granddaughter. "Looks like my meager efforts haven't been for naught."
Without another word, he went to the back of his home with determination filling his entire body after everything he had heard and seen tonight. Grateful that he had not ended his life in an attempt to regain a shred of honor. Returning with a single bundle of rough cloth he gently placed on the ground before this newly revealed grandson, bastard or no.
Unfurling the bundle, he displayed two magnificent and iconic blades: The White Ame No Habakiri and Lilac Enma. The blades of Kozuki Oden, forged by Kozuki Sukiyaki, and two of the 21 Great Grade Swords.
"You know them." The old man simply stated.
"Father showed me his swordsmanship with them back when I was younger and he passed back through Fish-Man Island with Captain Roger." Was the equally simple confirmation.
"Good. Now take one." Sukiyaki essentially commanded, earning a wide eyed look. "That blade on your hip might have been fine when you were a welp, but it cannot keep up with you anymore. We both know that.
Oden faced the same problem before I crafted these two.
Blades capable of slicing the heavens and hells. The only weapons to wound the dreaded Kaidou. And they will aid you in reaching the next level for your swordsmanship."
"Shouldn't they go to Hiyori and Momonosuke?" Adam couldn't help but ask at the deviation he was experiencing. Besides, he had his own idea for a suitable blade.
"That was my original intention." Sukiyaki nodded at the words. "And as you are obviously a one sword style user, the other will go to Hiyori, but without knowing my other grandson's location or status, it would be foolish to stop you from using a blade suitable for your strength and status."
This was an...unexpected turn, but not an unwelcome one.
Moonlit had been a faithful partner as my strength grew under Whitebeard, but it was never going to be able to compete at the highest levels, something both knew regardless of whether or not it would become a black blade. Something which was unlikely because of their mutual understanding not permitting their spirits to truly meld together. Apparent with how Adam constantly had carefully protect it during his spars against Whitebeard to avoid damaging it, regardless of his Haki.
Thus, looking at both blades, Adam knew what he would choose.
Grasping Enma, knowing of its nature and feeling it being barely restrained within its sheath, he prepared himself.
"I'll take the wild one. Hiyori does not have the right personality to reign it in." Adam smirked confidently before heading outside with the blade which was almost screaming of its desire to test him. To be used. To receive Haki anew and split everything in its path.
Both men knowing he would need to prove himself and tame the wild and demanding blade before being able to use it. Hence why they silently made their way deeper into the forest concealing Amigasa Village.
Grasping its hilt, Adam decided to not hold anything back, Infusing his crackling Conquerors' Haki into his Flowing Armament as best he could, pouring it into the glutinous blade, the drain still surprising him regardless of his foreknowledge, but he would not lose to a mere sword. Adam was strong. Near the level of his father at his peak when only a teenager.
So his will would not lose to a sword!
Lightning crackling as the skies darkened even further from clouds gathering. Sukiyaki feeling pressured from the clashing of spirit between man and blade. The earth itself cracking beneath Adam's feet.
"You." Adam ground his teeth at the stubborn sword embodying the wild nature of his father. "Are. Mine!"
Drawing the blade in an upward swing, and doing exactly what its twin was named for: Splitting the Heavens with an almighty slash reminiscent of Gol Rogers Divine Departure with its crackling black energy flying into the sky. The sight filling Sukiyaki with awe over his grandson's showing as he blew away the gathering clouds and the tension in one magnificent attack, his eyes landing on the teen who was now sternly holding the blade in his hands in silence.
"And until the time comes for you to meet your true destined wielder, I shall have some fun in the world with you." Adam spoke to it commandingly, the blade having significantly calmed after the powerful attack. So after a few practice swings, Adam sheathed Enma and returned to its creator with a wide smile. "I think we'll get along."
"Although you apparently have more going on in your head, you still have a lot of that idiot son of mine in you." Sukiyaki couldn't help but sign fondly at the different but familiar seen, nostalgia wafting over him with memories of Oden claiming his blades flashing in his mind, causing Adam to chuckle somewhat. "Let's hope my granddaughter took more after her mother."
"Does that mean you will come and help?" The teen asked hopefully.
"Bah! What do you think?" Came the exaggeratedly cranky response. "You should feel bad for forcing an old man like me out of retirement!"
"Hahaha! Thanks gramps! I'm sure this'll mean the world to Hiyori!" Adam laughed heartily over the grumbling senior who was looking forward to seeing his Granddaughter. The two Kozuki making their way to the tree home to quickly pack before Adam flew them over to their current hideout.
Which came with the customary amusing reaction Adam loved to get from people flying for the first time, earning him some grumpy grampa time, but it was still funny to see the overly serious man freak out for a few moments.
"Hey Boss. Who's the geezer?" Logan asked lazily from his guard position, yawning a bit as they landed.
"My actual grandpa on my dad's side. Found him living like a hermit." Adam summarized for the younger one who didn't really care for complicated stories and details. "He can make some real good swords."
"Huh. Cool." He simply nodded before changing his focus back to the rest of Wano as the Kozuki walked in.
"Who was that boy? He does not ressemble someone from Wano." Sukiyaki asked after a few moments.
"Logan. My freshest crew mate. Broke him out of a blood coliseum when I dismantled it." Adam answered as his experienced grandfather put together the rest of the who, why and how together.
"As you call him a crew mate, am I to assume you are a pirate?" Came the follow inquiry.
"No, although I did apprentice under the same pirates who my father used to escape Wano: The Whitebeard Pirates. Strongest crew in the world. But the World Government doesn't have any bounties of me and I have only really fought against other pirates and slavers up until this point." Came a proud and confident answer, Adam's voice clearly unashamed of his time with them. "Plus I've only got two other crew members at the moment."
"But I am certain it is only a matter of time for another Kozuki to be deemed a pirate." The old man sighed at the wide smile his grandson gave him as they continued to chat, mainly so he could learn more about the young man. Which filled him with warmth over the happy life he seemed to have lived, his mother, teacher, senpai and homeland were all things he clearly treasured, something which displayed much more of his personality that anything else.
Finally reaching the depths of their current hideout.
"Kawamatsu-san, could you fetch Hiyori? I think she'll like to see who I've brought back." Adam requested of the dutiful fishman who was automatically about to do so before noticing who exactly was being referenced. Because no matter how much time had passed and the strained relationship between his lord and the shogun, Kawamatsu could recognize Kozuki Sukiyaki with ease.
"S-S-Shogun-sama, is that you?" Kawamatsu asked in disbelief.
"Yes." The old man sighed heavily. "I am no Shogun. For I have failed Wano far too greatly to ever claim such a title again. But, I am still a Kozuki. And I've been informed that my granddaughter was alive and would need my help, so here I am as a grandfather and swordsmith.
I am also here to pass on her birthright, just as that little bastard received his."
Hearing his words, Kawamatsu finally noticed a blade he would never forget or mistake accompanying Adam's Moonlit.
"Enma." He whispered in awe, then realizing that the old Shogun meant he also had both of his masterpieces with him! "You wish to pass Ame No Habakiri to Hiyori-sama?"
"I do. At least so that my foolish son's spirit could be with her even should she chose not to wield it."Sukiyaki confirmed heavily, earning a nod of appreciation before turning to get the Wano Princess.
Not taking too long before returning with a running Hiyori with messy hair and kimono as her frantic eyes focused on her returned family member, tearing up emotionally.
"Grandfather!" She cried out, rushing into the old man and hugging him fiercely, leaving him frantic over not knowing what to do.
He never had a daughter, his wife died young after birthing Oden and he had been rather estranged from his son's family, so he didn't know how to handle a young girl crying! Looking desperately at his grandson, who took mercy on him as he mimed wrapping his arms around her, he hugged the girl back, causing her to cry even louder from many emotions.
"I...I am sorry for leaving you alone for so long." He remorsefully apologized as Adam slipped away to give them space.
"Thank you, Adam-sama." Kawamatsu emotionally whispered as he passed by the fishman, the two sharing a nod as he left.
No need to rush matters, and soon the resistance would have all the guidance it would need to flourish with Hyogoro being the final piece of the puzzle. Leaving him free to travel the world and grow until the fated time arrived to end Kaidou. And beyond the old Yakuza Boss, he would only have one last thing to do on Wano before taking his leave.
But for now, it was time for a well deserved rest.
The next morning, after Ashura Doji and his men got over the present and still living former Shogun somewhat awkwardly sitting (forcefully having been sat) beside a very happy if puffy eyed Hiyori, a proper meeting could be held. The comically over the top reactions were always the best, which had been followed by a round of apologies between ex-shogun and Kozuki Retainers.
After all that, Adam basically laid out the forming plans he had worked out with the Yakuza Bosses of the Prisoner Mines, with Ashura grinning widely at their survival and idea to secretly build an army right under Orochi and Kaidou's noses. Eager to prepare the needed body to fake the older boss' death and bring him over. Everyone knowing just how valuable he would be as a very high level combatant and master of Haki. Catching Sukiyaki on their ideas for the Underground Resistance, with the man even suggesting to take advantage of the submerged parts of Wano, especially the hidden caves to form secretive means of moving throughout the country and bring fresh water to its people. The possibility of even creating a secret means of leaving the country had been thrown around, but dismissed for now due to it simply not making sense without any ships or ways to navigate the waters of the New World.
Wano had long since isolated itself and lost the ability to sail the seas, having only truly needed to sail its fresh waters for so long. It was why Oden could never escape the country on his own. Their boats not being made for standard ocean traveling, much less the New World. Hence their ship making was lackluster as their navigational skills. It would require stealing a ship from the Beast Pirates and trying to brave the crazy seas beyond their borders unprepared, which they couldn't afford to do.
Throughout the discussions, Adam made sure to only really provide outside context to help everyone understand what would be needed and the situation in the world, also nudging Hiyori to ask questions and voice her opinion.
With away Kaidou due to needing to focus on stabilizing his established territories and clashing with Whitebeard and Big Mom to maintain a relatively equal playing field most of the time, currently he was clashing against Big Mom, it gave a wonderful opportunity to set things up whilst only facing Orochi, who was quite incompetent in general. The only reason they would not be able to use the opportunity to push out the Beast Pirates being that the man could fly in his dragon form and wreck havoc on Wano if angered without anyone strong enough to at least push him back, which they did not have yet. Adam being the strongest present by a decent margin stating clearly that they needed to not only recover, but grow stronger in body and spirit before thinking of fighting him directly.
His words being that if they couldn't even turn their blades into black ones, they could not even truly hurt Kaidou. Setting a goal in their passionate hearts that he was certain would help Ashura and Kawamatsu grow stronger. Having each other, with Denjiro at times and Hyogoro soon, would allow them to push themselves further. With some clashes against Kaidou's officers to make sure no one becomes suspicious with all opposing elements simply disappearing.
So he guided them whilst making sure they would not be reliant on his presence to keep them in line, which would essentially be Hiyori's role. Her being weaker and needing time to grow would serve as a strong anchor against the recklessness of the samurai, with Sukiyaki being a firm hand behind her. Adam was certain she would grow capable and strong in the years to come.
Meanwhile, his crew members were helping the men in setting up what was needed, unloading the extra supplies and even helping them train. They weren't really comfortable in high level planning and the nuances of forming an underground rebellion, even with Harribel and Morgiana at least having decent educations, but that was a lot different from what noble educations were, with Logan having nearly none at all.
In fact, they were somewhat surprised at just how smart Adam was and his awareness of the big picture as it were. Both girls knowing he was basically self taught. So knowing he was up there with so many important people from Wano, bastard Prince or no, completely in control of matters, was kind of weird and reassuring at the same time because it meant he had a good head on his shoulders and could be trusted to make smart decisions for the crew.
Obviously they would try to help in any way they could to lighten his burden, hence why Morgiana was acting as Quartermaster and nurse, Harribel could cook and steer, and Logan served as a guard, scout and hunter, but having a competent captain even in these kinds of situations was nice.
"Alright, I'll leave you all to do what is needed on your ends." Adam nodded with a satisfied smile over how those gathered were already pulling together, only needing Hiyori to mature and gain confidence. "Harribel will help be setting some training regiments for the troops. Morgiana and Logan will stay here to keep an eye on things, ensuring everyone is recovering properly.
Meanwhile, I will have a look in Onigashima for information on the Beast Pirates. Even Whitebeard, who is stronger than Kaidou, cannot see through my stealth, as such I am the ideal one to take on this mission. Possibly with a stop to the Capital in order to find information on those we should avoid and what we could use, passing a message on to Denjiro at the same time."
"Nii-sama, are you sure?" Hiyori worriedly asked.
"Don't you worry." Adam fondly chuckled. "I'll be fine. There shouldn't even be one of Kaidou's top officers there, much less the big lizard."
"Try not to make too big of a mess you brat." Sukiyaki harrumphed, but otherwise was the only one to really say anything. Most choosing to take his word and confidence as proof that he could achieve what he set out to do.
Plus he had infiltrated the Prisoner Mine and Capital with ease, on top committing multiple thefts without being caught, so his stealth capabilities were significant at the very least. And he could fly.
"I won't." Came the somewhat mischievous response as he left the room to talk to his crew members, passing on their jobs for now before making his way to the feared island.
It had a well deserved reputation with it's giant Oni skulls and blades, the foreboding storm clouds almost always hanging around it, the whirlpools and rock formations making it a natural fortress even before Kaidou had his castle and defenses built, it being the location of the most secure prison of Wano and all the Beast Pirates stationed on it. Even during the day, the thundering clouds made it dark and intimidating, flash of lighting cracking from time to time, with fires and lanterns being the only sources of light.
Dark it might be, but it is certainly well made and fairly luxurious when within the built castle proper. Which made sense considering this was Kaidou's main base and residence, meaning even the battle maniac wouldn't cheap out on it. It did mean that using simple logic was enough to find the majority of important areas such as offices, vaults and armories.
Not that Adam could take anything, but going through important reports and taking stock of what the Beast Pirates had on hand certainly had its worth.
But the true aim for today was beyond this. Because someone of immense potential was to be found on this island, and with Hiyori now holding her/his fruit, Adam was worried about the fate of Yamato.
Thankfully, he soon found her/him through his observation, repeatedly slamming her/his Kanabō into the side of a dented great metallic pillar, shaking the entire area it was located in.
Standing around 8'0 (243.84cm) with long, white hair that is bound between orange rods into a ponytail at the back, fading into aqua green and then blue the further down it goes, sporting a sleeveless white garment with red hakama pants and sandals, and, much like Oden, a large purple and white nio-dasuki behind her/his back. An iconic pair of red horns atop her/his head which took on a more flesh color near their roots to complete the ensemble.
"Those are some impressive strikes." Adam commented as he came out of stealth, startling Yamato as her (just gonna use this one for now) Kanabō swung around defensively, Observation Haki having failed to warn her of anyone's presence.
Her new position allowing Adam to identify the explosif bracelets and choker, but otherwise this seemed like the same Yamato as her orange eyes immediately locked onto his blades. Surprisingly though, she seemed more focused on Moonlit over Enma.
"Who are you and how did you sneak up on me?" She inquired with narrowed eyes, but it looked more like she wanted to confirm something.
Her eyes not holding hostility or confusion, but hope and a...yearning need?
"My name is Adam, and even Yonko could not detect me when in stealth, so don't beat yourself up on that front." Adam casually answered. "Now may I have the name of a fellow warrior?"
"I am Yamato!" She declared with an authoritative slamming of her weapon's head into the ground. "And I have one more question for you.
Where did you obtain those swords?"
"One from my father and the other from my grandfather only recently." Adam decided to honestly answer, wanting to see where this would be going as he could guess that Yamato likely still obtained Oden's logbook and that he mentioned his bastard son.
Now it only remained to see how the Oden fanatic would react.
Judging by the sparkling eyes, physical signs of excitement and...blush? It should be a positive reaction.
"It is an honor to meet the last son of Oden!" Yamato directly knelt before Adam with great enthusiasm before grasping at her top and pulling it apart, revealing her bindings. "Please let this concubine carry your seed to ensure the Kozuki line endures. I shall protect it against my father no matter the cost, I assure you."
By the time she finished her heartfelt request, her mighty peach topped Mount Fujis had been freed with powerful bounces as she proudly and eagerly knelt before Adam with great expectations.
First off, been a while since I wrote for this story, but I kept seeing more people following and favoriting this so I felt I should do something for it, hence this chapter.
Just haven't been feeling the One Piece Groove much and work and life makes it hard to really get into it. But enough about excuses.
This is me trying to really power through the Wano but so I can get moving to other things and have Adam get ready to start his journey proper. Gathering all the important people he can to set up a proper resistance instead of the hodgepodge rebellion in Canon. Taking advantage of the fact that most of them wouldn't have been completely crushed in spirit and body yet to build up better results. Meaning Hyogoro and Sukiyaki get properly involved after breaking their funks, which are both really important.
One can train people and the other makes them reliable weapons considering he created two Greats, at least one Skillful and likely a great number of Grade quality swords.
Having Adam take Enma was a spur of the moment decision, but no one would use it for quite a while anyway and I have other plans for his true weapon, so don't worry about Zoro not getting it. Ame No Habakiri fits Hyori better anyway. Just thought it would be a nice little upgrade. Oden's shade appearing kinda fell into the same category, but I think it went well, with a bit more info on Adam's devil fruit powers and capabilities coming through.
As for my ending here, well that was completely planned and I still very much enjoy this twist and minor cliff hanger.
Explanations for later, but it does have to do with the What Oden wrote about Adam in his Logbook, mainly about some guilt about him and a mix with the fact that most people think that the Kozuki line is dead, leaving Adam as the only one.
Make of that what you will.
But as a minor spoiler, if you couldn't tell, Yamato is going to be a crew member.
Hope you liked. Tried to have progress, some emotions and funny happening.