Whitebeard was making his way to the fishman castle with the rest of his commanders for an important meeting that the king requested for him and his crew to be there for. For the last couple of years, everyone has wondered what happened during the void years. The only people who ever had a hint about anything about the past until now were Ohara's people before it was Destroyed. But recently, the king of fishman island sent a messenger that told them they had information about the void years and what happened so long ago.
That had gotten his attention, especially when they discovered that there are a type of fishmen out there that could live for millions of years, if not longer, that have lived threw wars and had better technology than even their most advanced stuff.
"What do you think they are like" Whitebeard heard his son Thatch ask the rest of the commanders. He, of course, agreed to come when the king offered him to be there when they decided to sign the treaty with the other fishmen.
"I don't know thatch, but I'm almost certain they will not care how puffed up your hair is when they get here," Izo snapped at his brother, pushing him away.
"Come on; this is the first time they have ever left their island. I want to make a good impression" Thatch laughed back as he fixed his hair.
"I think we have other things to worry about other than hair and looks, Thatch," Namur jumped in. Of course, he was excited about returning home and seeing his family again. Still, meeting another kind of fishman stressed him, considering how humans commonly treated Fishmen or other nonhuman beings.
"What do you mean," Izo asked, holding his fan closer to his face as they walked.
"Well, thinking about it as a fishman, I can say that it's not fun being around humans, especially when we aren't used to being around humans. I already got used to you guys, and I love calling you my family. Still, not everyone sees my relationship with you guys as OK, even friendship standards, much less as a family standard." Namur started
"And what does this have to do with the new fishmen," Thatch asked, confused.
"Well, it's obvious that most humans don't like us because we aren't like most humans. For that, fishmen get treated like shit whenever humans come down here or when we go up to the surface. I'm just going to be honest here; this is the first time both fishmen species will meet. We don't know how humans have been treated by humans, so seeing you guys might put the whole treaty in danger of not being signed." Namur said, concerned, as they finally made it in front of the king and his guards, who happened to overhear what he said/
"That is, in fact, true, Namur, but I have agreed with your captain that the treaty is not signed this week for our agreement with your crew. There is no shame in backing out. After all, we have no idea what they have gone threw." the king spoke to him kindly before turning to Whitebeard. "Old friend, it is good to see you in good health."
"Neptune, good to see you again" Whitebeard nodded at Him greeting him with a firm handshake Fukaboshi came around his father and greeted the captain before turning to his closest friend in the crew, Marco.
"Marco, it's good to see you again." Fukaboshi smiled at him as he greeted him as his father greeted theirs. Marco smiled and nodded/
"Yeah, haven't seen or heard from you in a while." Marco smiled at his friend.
"I'm sorry about that. Since we made contact with the new fishmen, I have been busy helping father with their arrival since last month," Fukaboshi stated with a sigh "my brothers are so exposed that they aren't here right now because they had to get some rest for tomorrow. I'm just here to greet you before I head off myself."
"Well, don't let us hold you. Get some rest. I'm sure you have a busy day tomorrow." Thatch said, "I'm pretty sure Marco won't die without his best fishmen friend for a day" Thatch smiled as he hugged Fukaboshi, who just smiled at him and the rest of the commanders. Nodded before heading back to the palace.
"I see all your sons are putting in all their effort in making the newcomers comfortable," Whitebeard said as he watched Fukaboshi leave and his sons return to talking.
"Yes, they insisted they wanted them to feel welcome and invited to make a treaty," the king spoke with a laugh "even Shirahoshi is excited and wants to meet them."
"Well, good to hear you all are doing well. I believe it would be best to talk about this at the palace. Before it gets later." Whitebeard spoke as he climbed on the back of the whale that would take them to the palace along with the rest of the commanders. As they traveled, the rest of his sons had their own conversations.
"They really fancied up the place for the new fishmen," Haruta spoke as he looked around at the decorations all over Fishman island. "Wow, look over there; they have a whole tent set up with rides and everything," he gasped as he pointed, making Thatch and Ace run over to see in glee.
"Wow, looks so cool, and look over there. They have the shops looking fancy with stands out for tomorrow," Ace pointed out. The three jumped in glee, wondering what they would try out later once all the important stuff was over.
"Calm down, you three" Marco shook his head at them. "Stay focused. We have important things to talk about before we start having fun."
"Come on, Marco, don't be such a killjoy," Ace said as he hugged his best friend. Marco rolled his eyes and pushed him off before going to pull Thatch away from the edge before he fell again.
They floated up to the palace and happily made themselves home in their own guest bedrooms they always used whenever they came over. Marco and Whitebeard stayed to listen to the king's plans as they left.
"So, how did you guys end up getting to hear about each other," Marco asked once they were in private.
"We met threw an Acquaintance. As you heard, the Turtle ducks like to travel far and wide following their food source, the small WishiWashi fish. The Bear turtles got caught up in one of their traps and couldn't escape. When the fishmen got to their location, they set them free."
"And how do you know they want any of your subjects," Marco asked
"According to the Bear Turtles, they looked different than us." the king spoke as he offered them a drink. They nodded even though Marco sent Whitebeard a dirty look for accepting it. "According to them, they had been meeting them for months before they ever passed the word to my guards, who later told us.
"That's interesting." Whitebeard spoke as he took a sip from his drink, "and how will they be getting here."
"The turtle ducks will be leading them here from their home island," Neptune said as he nodded at the guard that brought them a small snack." they have been traveling for a month. I'll be arriving tomorrow night my sons and I will greet them at the entrance of Fishman island and later lead them to the palace, where we will have the meeting, and they will meet you. From there, it depends on their reaction to you and our alliance with humans to determine if we move forward with the coming partnership with them."
"And what will their alliance be with you," Marco asked as he stared at the contract that the kings' guards brought forward
"For as long as I have known my I always thought I would be the ruler of all the seas. When the turtle ducks informed me about their king, he sent a letter willing to make a contract with us. They agreed to sprit down some areas of the sea that they would Control the cambelt, and the rest of the sea would be under our domain,"
"That seems odd. Wouldn't they want more land or, in this case, Sea" Whitebeard asked?
"I asked the same thing in a letter that I sent with the turtle ducks, but all they sent back was a request to meet to discuss Terms." the king said. Whitebeard gave a thoughtful look before nodding.
"Are they used to leaving at sea?" he asked.
"From what I know, possibly not, for the turtle ducks always tell us that they have to get on land before getting to their kingdom." the king spoke.
"And what will you be asking of them if they agree," Marco asked this time
"Just common resources if they have any on their island. We really want to know what information they have of the void years and why the government hasn't called a buster call on their island."
"And have they asked for anything in return."
"No, that I have read from their letters. They might bring it up when we start discussing treaties. "
"I see. We have to keep watch of the contract they come up with. Pay attention to the fine print and ensure that nothing can be twisted around to mean anything else. Marco, I leave you charge of this tomorrow or whenever we have the meeting," Whitebeard said as he nodded to his son. "Is there anything else you might need help with that my sons can do" he offered, only to have the kind shake his head
"My sons and daughter have everything handled."
"Your children seem very excited about the new arrivals," Whitebeard laughed along with the king.
"Yes, I have never seen them so excited for such an event; not even when we made our alliance were they this excited." the king laughed before calming himself. "I can see why though," Whitebeard and Marco gave him a confused glance telling him to continue "as you know, the race barrier that stops us from interacting with the rest of the world really bothers my children. Especially since they can never leave the island because of their rank as princes and princesses."
"I understand now." Whitebeard nodded, saying, "they want this alliance to work out so they can branch out from here."
Marco understood that. As one of the commanders of the whitebeards, he hardly had any time to go and enjoy being on an island without the threat of marines, bounty hunters, and suck-ups that want a good word with an emperor. But he was sure that being a prince was much more challenging than being a pirate, especially when fishmen and other nonhuman beings were sought after as slaves for nobles and dragons.
"I have a request if possible," Marco said as he got up, making both men look over at him.
"What is it, son."
"I want to be there when the guards and yourself, king Neptune, go and greet them." Marco brought up the idea, "if I'm there, we can see their reaction to regular humans, and we can plan ahead of time before they make it back to the palace."
"Hmm," the king thought before turning to Whitebeard to hear his option.
"I think it would Be a good idea considering," Whitebeard nodded "if it's alright with you, Neptune, I will allow him to go."
"Very well. If you would like, you can go rest. I'm sure your father and I need to catch up on some old times before we start talking about serious matters." Marco nodded before excusing himself to bed and sending his father and the king a smile.
The following day everyone got up and instantly started to help the fishmen guards get the palace ready. Thatch had decided that he and Ace would help the cooks prepare meals for when the guests got there. It only took Thatch, Izo, Marco, and every other commander, along with Whitebeard, to threaten Ace with no free time on the next island if he ate any food for the guests. Ace complained and cried as the food was carried out to the freezers and ovens.
Marco and Izo ensured that everyone looked presentable when the fishmen arrived. Currently, Marco was being yelled at by Izo for choosing the wrong outfit for this meeting.
"What in the world is wrong with you, Marco? Think about what impression you are trying to make. You're going to make us look like some hobos." Izo snapped as he threw the outfit Marco chose at his face "and thought you were the smart one, but nooo, here you are thinking of going in shorts and your regular shirt. Even Thatch has more style than you," izo snapped as he hit him over and over again with his shirt
"Calm down, izo, it's just a shirt," Marco laughed as his brother hit him.
"You stupid fool acting like this is a meeting with your left hand in the bathroom," Izo growled as he walked to Marco's closet. Marco gave him wide eyes look before laughing as Marco threw shirts, pants, and shoes at him. "I should strangle you with this sash," Izo snapped at him as he took out one of Marcos's favorite sash.
"Come on, izo, it's no big deal," Marco Laughed.
"What do you mean this isn't a big deal. You are about to meet royalty that most likely doesn't like Humans, and you plan to go dressed as a fool." Izo sighed. "Marco, take this more seriously. This meeting means everything to the fishmen people and to Namur."
" I guess your right." Marco sighed. "I guess I'm just too stressed out again. I mean a new breed of fishmen... This will bring more work for us if the treaty gets extended to them too. And not only is that more work for us, but imagine what it would be like knowing the truth about what happened in the void years. What we could find out or what we had hidden under our noses." Izo just looked at his brother from the corner of his eye before nodding in understanding.
"I get where you're coming from, Marco, but this is a new adventure we are going on..." Izo said as he finally found something that looked presentable in his eyes. "Is it just that, or is it something else." Marco didn't look at him. Instead, he looked at his ankle on the bed and read the name. "It's about your mate, isn't it."
Soulmates existed for the last couple of millions of years, even before the void years (not that anyone from recent times would know). People worldwide, excluding humanoid beings, have names written in their soulmate's native tongue. Humans can be soulmates with humanoid beings such as fishmen and Mink. Still, it is less common and much more challenging since they aren't usually required to be with their mate. For Marco, it had been hard to cope with the fact that he would never meet his soulmate after what happened in Ohara. You might be wondering why so here it is; Marco's soul mark was written in the old world tongue. He was planning on asking his old friend Olivia for help before the attack, but he never got the chance to do so.
"Marco, if anything, I'm sure they can help find your mate," Izo sighed before looking at him kindly.
"I'm about to be forty, Izo... I doubt anyone would want to be with me just because I'm a pirate, and don't even get me started on family ties."
"Are you not proud of us?" Izo asked, confused. He always thought Marco was proud to call them family, especially since he was the first to join.
"You know I wouldn't be anything but proud of you guys... But that's not wanted. I'm trying to say," Marco snorted, "will she or he even want to be with us, or would she or he force me to stay with her or..."
"If she doesn't want to be with me," he asked, concerned, turning away from his brother and to the mirror. He had those thoughts for many years after his mark appeared. What if it's been too long, and he was too old for his mate.
"I'm sure she will, Marco," Izo snapped at him. "I had the same worries as you when I met Ace... But look at how that turned out. If I know anything about mates, you were meant to be no matter what language she speaks or understands or if she has opposite beliefs, then you do."
They stayed in silence for a couple more minutes before Izo went back to chasing an outfit. They didn't talk or say anything, but Izo knew Marco felt a bit better, considering what he had thought.
"Alright, I'm done."Izo smiled as he pulled out the outfit that he wanted Marco to where "and don't you dare change anything about it," he snapped. "Change it this. I'm going to go get changed before they get here, and I want you to be ready by the time I'm done."
"What do you mean I thought you already had everything picked out for yourself," Marco asked, confused since he had helped Izo pick out his things.
"That was just for a formal meeting when they got to the palace. Now I have to pick an outfit good enough for when we meet them at the docks," Izo told him as he placed the clothes on the bed.
"But I told pops-"
"And Pop told me to join you in case anything went wrong. What do you prefer, Thatch or me, because that was his second person to ask," Izo said as he walked out to his room. Marco just stared at him as he slammed the door closed before shaking his head and placing his head in his hands. What a day this would be.
Line Break here
Hours had passed since Marco had talked with Izo, and Izo was starting to get nervous. Ace was trying to comfort him as he paced, trying to find the perfect fan that matched his outfit, but none did
"Babe, you're overthinking it," Ace laughed as he hugged Izo from behind
"Don't you dare mess up my make-up. It took me all afternoon to get it like this" Izo shrugged him off as he finally found the right one and nodded to himself in the mirror.
"You look fine even without it," Ace smiled as he went to sit on the bed, "and don't worry, everything will be OK. I talked with the other commanders and they all said everything was ready for their arrival. Rooms food, and even the meeting room and halls," Ace said as he leaned back "all we need is for us to go out and get this all started"
"At least after they get here, we can all rest on first impressions." Izo sighed before nodding his head and walking to the door. "Get ready because when Marco and I get back, we will have the guests in toe," he said as he pulled his soulmate to stand up.
"But Baby, I don't want to go. It's going to be boring," Ace mocked as he dramatically fell on the bed again. Izo snapped at him before he heard a knock at the door.
"Izo, you almost ready I'm going to leave soon," Marco called as he knocked. "Ace, you better be ready soon, or else I'm going to get pops."
Ace just laughed and let Izo go with his best friend beforE turning to his closet and throwing clothes out to see what he should Wear. Izo snapped at his telling him the room better not be a mess when he came back or else. Ace just continued to laugh as Izo walked out in his fancy kimono.
"I'm ready. No need to worry." Izo smiled as they made their way out of the ship and to where everyone was. They all smiled and nodded at them.
"Bet it was Izo who picked out Marco's outfit." they heard Haruta laugh with Thatch.
"Shut up, both of you," Marco snapped at them with pink cheeks. Both men laughed as they ran off. Marco rolled his eyes before turning to Izo, who did the same thing.
"I don't know why they are laughing since they both came to me crying for help" Izo shook his head, making Marco laugh.
After saying goodbye to their brothers and Whitebeard, they started to walk around to wait for the royal family to make an appearance so they could begin to. As they walked, they greeted the fishmen and women. They passed, some giving dirty looks, others just nodding or sending them a half smile in welcome. They explored and tried the many foods they had, loving each one. It was close to nightfall when the royal family finally came down from the palace to the docks, where it was now clear of any ships, including the Moby, which had been moved to the other port on the island That was much smaller. Fukaboshi swam closer to Marco and Izo, along with his brother, following after him.
"I'm glad you both are here" Fukaboshi smiled at them, shaking hands with Izo.
"It is always an honor to meet with you and your family, prince Fukaboshi" Izo smiled at him as he turned to the king "your honor is a pleaser to see you," he bowed. The king sent him a smile before nodding at him.
"They are almost here. The turtle ducks have arrived early to inform us." the king spoke as he sent his guard to their positions. They all complied as they started to follow the king to the dock. They only had to wait an hour before they saw a ship in the distance slowly floating toward them.
"Is that them?" Marco asked. The king just nodded as they watched the ship come closer. It was a large ship with blues and silvers all around it, with tiny specks of gold along the side with fish engraved into it. It wasn't as big as Moby, but it wasn't small like regular pirate ships were. It looked like the ships the nobles would use when they traveled. They couldn't see anyone in front of the boat or the darkened windows, but they knew they were watching them as they slowly crossed the fishman island bubble border. Fishmen around them started to gather to try and see the new fishmen.
Once the ship stopped at the dock, everyone gathered behind the king, Princes, and whitebeards waiting on the fishmen. They didn't have to wait long before a couple male fishmen appeared from inside, they had different coloring from each other, and they all stood tall as they started to dock the ship at the dock. From where everyone was standing, they could tell that the new fishmen evolved differently than they did. Not only were they taller than most of them, but they also looked much more similar than they were to one another. They varied in color but not anything else from what they could see.
Once they docked, one of the fishmen came closer, and as he did, they all noticed that he wasn't wearing any clothes, just a couple of metal around the waist and necks, but that was it.
"Greetings," the lead man said as he bowed. "I am Ledo, lead guard of the Zora Domain. It is an honor to meet you," he said as the fishmen behind him bowed.
"I am King Nipolian; you may rise," the king spoke.
"Our king is coming shortly. It was a long way of travel, and he needed rest before we arrived," the man spoke.
"We have arranged rooms for his highness and guard in the palace. I am Fukaboshi, the first son of the royal Neptune family."
"Your grace," the guard spoke, "we thank you for such kindness" the guard bowed at him. Fukaboshi blushed but shook his head, trying to shake his bashfulness off.
A horn was blown from the ship, making everyone turn to look at the deck doors. Then finally, the door was opened by two other guards, and out walked a whale shark Fishmen about the same size as Neptune himself and a red fishmen just like the other guards that followed them. Still, he was much taller than they were. They walked gracefully to the dock and climbed down the ship with such grace it looked like they floated down.
"King Neptune, it is an honor to finally meet you," the king of the new fishmen spoke. " I am King Dorephan of the Zora people," he said as he outstretched his hand. Neptune took a moment to process such friendliness before he stretched his hand and took his in greeting.
"The honor is all mine. Please feel at home here in fishman island." Neptune spoke as his subjects cheered in greeting.
"Of course, thank you for the invitation to your lovely island. If I may introduce my son Prince Sidon" The king spoke as his son stood proudly next to his father
"Your honor," the Prince bowed slightly before returning upright.
"A pleaser to meet you, prince Sidon. My three oldest children and Sons are Prince Fukaboshi, Prince Ryuboshi, and Prince Manboshi. Sadly, my only daughter can not join us for some complications, but she was glad to hear of your arrival."
"Hopefully, we'll meet soon." King Dorephan spoke with a smile.
"Oh yes, and here are the two representatives of our allays," Neptune spoke, making King Dorephan look at the two humans who stepped around the princes looking confident yet nervous about their reactions. "They are here on behalf of the strongest pirate, Whitebeard, to escort you to the palace."
"Oh, I see... I see they are humans..." King Dorephan spoke, looking at the men
"Hopefully, that won't be a problem," Neptune spoke with a sharp look trying to see how they acted toward the two humans.
"Oh, of course not. We have just never seen humans before. It is exciting to meet you, humans," Sidan spoke as he approached kindly, his father nodding behind him in agreement. Marco was about to introduce himself to them and stretched out his hand in greeting. Still, before he could do so, the Prince grabbed his hand and started to excessively shake his hand with his own overgrown hand. "I heard so many stories about humans; hopefully, we can be good friends."
Marco didn't get a chance to say anything as the Prince spoke and shook his hand and, in turn, his upper body with such force that he used. The fishmen around them looked at them with strange looks. They never thought they would react to the humans like that.
"Son," King Dorephan spoke, "we must get this all over with as soon as possible let us move this along before it gets even later."
"Oh, my apologies, I get overly excited," Prince Sidon said as he flashed them the flashiest smile they had ever seen. Marco and Izo looked at each other before looking back at the Prince, who had now moved on to talking with the other Princes.
"Well, he seemed friendly," Izo spoke as he watched the men interact. "He seems young."
"Yeah... At least we know there won't be any issue with the crew or anything," Marco spoke as King Neptune ordered everyone to clear the way so they could start heading to the palace. As they walked, fishmen guards, known as Zora, gathered around their king and Prince, leaving behind some guards on the ship. As they walked, they all noticed how talkative the Prince was, considering he went from talking to the princes to talking to the stern guards that were leading them to the palace, who tried to hold a grim expression and not respond to his questions and to his own guards who happily responded to him.
Marco watched as the guard looked almost too relaxed at being in such a new environment. It was throwing him off. Izo felt the same as he watched, but his mood lightened at how the Prince smiled and made everyone smile around him. He acted young, so he assumed he was in his early 20. Izo also liked how his father, the king wasn't strict in how his son portrayed himself to the other princes and king. It showed that he allowed his son to be himself, which most royals won't let, which made him happy to say that this meeting might turn out well.
"Your kingdom is so gigantic. And so lively. I love how friendly and bright everything is" Sidon smiled as he looked around like a puppy.
"Aww, cutie," Izo gushed as he watched the said Prince march himself next to his father, who talked with Neptune. They noticed how the fishmen looked at them with curiosity as they walked. The Zora had a strict but relaxed feel as they looked around, making the guards for the royal family standoffish, not knowing if they were planning anything or just really calm about everything.
"It's weird, though. They act like they have never met any human before, and you know that most humans take up at least 60% of the world." Marco started as he stared ahead.
"I mean, at least we don't have to worry abouT the racism taking place in the meeting," Izo stated as he looked threw the crowd of fish people. They all looked excited as they watched the new interesting fishmen or Zora.
They really hoped this meeting went by OK.
They had made it to the palace without any incidents or anyone falling off the whale's back. The Zora Prince was energetic at most, considering that he had the incredible urge to look over the whale's back and had to be held back by his guard from falling off, told them a lot. He was very childish and playful but not in a too-bad kind of way. He didn't seem like the kind that would throw tantrums over silly things like most would, but he was overly friendly, which could get him in a lot of trouble, considering how cruel the world could be.
From the looks of it, the Zora king looked used to his son's behavior, considering he ignored it to continue talking to king Neptune and the Princes, who just looked at the Zora prince with curious glances. The Prince himself just happily spoke to the guard with no issues about social standing or anything, which made the Fishmen very happy to have a conversation with him even though it was hard to keep up with his ever-changing discussions about the world and their daily lives. He even tried talking to Marco and Izo, but they were too far for him to get a good word from them. The Zora guard made good conversations with the Fishmen Guard and bonded over how kind their kings and rulers were.
When they made it to the palace, they were greeted by the rest of the Whitebeard commanders and Whitebeard himself. They were all dressed up usually, but they held themselves with pride as they watched the kings and princes walk or float to them. Marco could tell Thatch and Ace were fascinated by the new arrivals and wanted to come and ask questions. Still, he knew they knew better primarily because of the dirty look he sent them. They instantly calmed down after looking over at him and Izo, mostly because izo sent them that one smile that told them that if they did anything stupid, they would be paying for it later and that mainly included Ace then Thatch.
"Welcome; I would like to introduce you to the man we have an alliance with to protect our island Edward Newgate, known as Whitebeard, and the rest of his Pirate crew. "King Neptune spoke as he led then threw the entrance. King Dorephan nodded and stepped forward to Whitebeard with pride in his chest, with his son following his example.
"It is an honor to meet you, Sir Newgate." the king spoke as he bowed his head in greeting.
"The honor is mine, King Dorephan. I'm glad there were no problems with your arrival." Whitebeard nodded back at the king.
"Hardly any," the king spoke again. "I would like to introduce my son, Prince Sidon," he said as he gestured to the Prince, who happily bowed and greeted the Pirate.
"Greetings. It is truly an honor for us to be here, and we are glad to make your Acquaintance." he smiled a toothy smile. Ace, Thatch, and Haruta instantly gushed at how cute and innocent he looked. He must have heard them because he turned to them and flashed them another smile making them gasp and turn to each other.
"Stop," Izo said as he and Marco rejoined the rest of the commanders. The three turned to him, ready to complain about how cute and innocent the fishman looked and acted. "We are about to start a meeting about piece and territory. We don't need you three acting like fools and making us look like idiots who don't know what we are doing."
"He is right. Be on your best behavior or else," Marco snapped at them in a whisper as they watched as the royals and Pops, along with the rest of the guards, made their way to the meeting room that was making them follow after. The three goofballs looked at each other and nodded, understanding now what was on the line, and followed after them as the doors closed behind them.