Ash and fire
That was all that surrounded and engulfed a village in the grand line as the villagers cried and screamed for their lost family or injured. Homes were getting torn down by the fast-acting flames, and because of the pirates that set the fire also didn't help that they dragged the people into the center of town where the smoke mainly was gathered because of the wind.
In the background of all the chaos, a little girl with brown hair cried as she held on to her mother, father, and older brother once they were thrown on the ground. Her mother had awoken her in a rush to get her out of the house and into the woods, but before they could make it, they got ambushed and dragged to the town where everyone was. From there, the pirates proceeded to grab the girl's father and grandfather and order them to kneel in front of the captain as he mocked them and ordered them to call the island's protector.
"Is that your goal then" the girl's grandfather yelled. "I would do no such thing for you cowards," he had shouted before he was punched and kicked. His son watched in anguish as his elderly father was beaten to the ground, as the other man laughed as he did so. time continued to pass before the man started to cry as his father was now Unconsuis and bleeding.
The fire raged, and it didn't seem to be slowing down or getting any smaller as the son finally caved in and cried to the pirates, "fine, I'll tell you, please stop hurting my father." the man shouted as he was then dragged by his hear to the transponder snail where he dialed the direct line to The Moby Dick.
P.O.V CHANGE TO MOBY DICK
Marco was finishing his paperwork and whatever else he had to fill out because of Ace's and Thatch's pranks over the last month. He had honestly had enough of the two. He would give them cleaning duty every chance he got when they got him in a bad mood. Still, they always got him back by pulling a prank on him or making him do more paperwork than he usually did. Not that they meant to do that, but it still annoyed him. Just as Marco was about to finish, the ringing of one of the many transponder snails in the meeting room went off. He rushed to it, knowing it was one of the snails for an emergency that islanders in their territories knew.
"Moby Dick, who is this" he picked up as he sent Juzo a look to get everyone and to hurry just in case it was something back.
"Pass the snail to someone of importance, or I'm going to start slaughtering people." a man's voice came from the line.
"This is the first division commander of the Whitebeard pirates. Who is this, and what do you want" Marco said angrily
"Good," the man laughed as Marco heard something in the background that sounded like a gunshot, then the yells and screams of women and children. "Now that I got your attention, I want to start getting what I want from you bastards."
"What are your demands, you ignorant brat," Whitebeard said once he got there and sat down in his seat. Everyone around Marco was in their seats, listening in anger; all of them had rushed to the meeting room after Juzo yelled through the hallways about a call from the emergency snail.
"Watch yourself, old man. I'm the one in charge here. I'm the one that can blow everyone's head off in the good-for-nothing village." the man snapped. "I want you here so I can cut off your head," the man started. Marco growled and rolled his eyes as he watched Haruta try and figure out what island it was through the Snail signal.
"Your head will be mine, and I will be the next Yanko of the sea, and I will be king, and you will watch as I make your crew submit to me, old fool." the man laughed. Everyone glared at the transponder snail before Haruta's hand shot up and waved, saying he got the island and needed to inform them. Marco nodded, telling him to hold on until they finished the call. "I give you one week to get here, old man, or I'm going to start killing." the man called, not even letting Whitebeard get a word in.
Haruta instantly shot up and shook his head, stating that they wouldn't make it in that time limit, and raised two fingers, indicating two weeks.
"Give us time," Whitebeard started.
"No, you might be all-powerful, so I'll give you a week... Don't be late, or else their blood will be on your hands, not mine," the man mocked before the line went dead.
"Damned brat," Whitebeard mumbled as he placed his head in his hand to think about what to do "what's the Island Son," he asked Haruta, not bothering to look up.
"It's Shells island in Paradice." Haruta said, "even in our top speed, we wouldn't even be close to getting there in a week. Maybe a week and a half, but..."
"Change course immediately and inform the rest of your siblings about this development." Whitebeard said as he glared at the wall across from him "this fool wants to declare war, then so be it," he growled before getting up from his seat. "Make sure everyone is ready by the time we arrive."
"Yes, Pops," they all said in unison.
Across the sea, back on that little island, the same little girl as before clung to her mother as she watched the evil man beat his father and grandfather again, along with his crew beating on the rest of the villagers. The woman and children cuddled together to keep each other safe as the men laughed and mocked them as they punched and kicked at them. None of them realized that a man had been watching from the tree line the entire time with a cigarette in his mouth and a glare in his eyes.
The man threw his cigarette to the ground before he looked into the woods and started to walk to the town with a smirk on his face as the flames rose higher.
TIME SKIP TO TWO WEEKS LATER
Whitebeard angrily sat in his thrown on the main deck. As they got closer to the island, all his sons stood next to him with their chests out, ready for battle and to avenge all of those who had died at the hands of the pirates who dared challenge Whitebeard and his crew.
"Pops, you want me to go ahead and scope out the enemy," Marco asked as he stared ahead.
"No, they see us," Whitebeard said confidently as he stared ahead with a glare. "They know we are here, and we know they are there, so there is no need to place you in unnecessary danger." Marco wanted to go anyway but knew that he had to place his trust in him.
From what they all could see, a fire had been put out days ago; it seemed to have destroyed all the houses and buildings along with the Whitebeard Pirate flag. That had pissed everyone off even more. Ace was fuming but kept himself together because he knew they were about to fight and because he didn't want to make his Pops look like an Idiot for not being able to control his Crew members.
Once they docked, the commanders were the only ones allowed to leave the ship, making Ace glad he got promoted last month.
"Where are you, Brat? You dare threaten me and harm an Island under my care, yet you can not face me once I am here," Whitebeard called from the figurehead of the Moby, sending out a wave of Haki. Everyone paused and waited for something to happen. Nothing happened other than some birds and other animals running away from the area. Whitebeard scanned the site before waiting a couple more minutes and nodding to his sons, telling them it was OK for them to go and investigate the village and the rest of the island.
Marco leading everyone to the town, quickly told everyone, "no one split up. This might be an ambush." before allowing them to go from home to home for any remains or anyone hiding out. Izo was next to him as they walked behind Ace and Thatch, who was rushing threw the village to find anyone. They could tell Ace was getting annoyed, but what could they do. They both could tell that Thatch was trying to calm down Ace, and it did seem to be working until something got Thatch's attention away from ace in the middle of town. Marco and Izo were paying Ace all their attention, and they lost sight of Thatch for a second. And in that quick second, Thatch walked to the thing he spotted. He paused for a second while trying to identify what he saw.
"MARCO" he yelled as he slowly walked. As he walked, he paid attention to the black lump on the ground, wondering what it was. The closer he got, the realization hit him as he started to run to the overly burned bodies that were nothing but ash and basically coal. He reached down just as Marco and the other commanders who were close by ran to his aid.
Thatch turned around to tell Marco something, but when his vision left, the body he saw around stacks of burnt human remains. He gulped as he backed away, getting up from the ground where he had fallen to check over the body. Marco helped him stand straight and helped him get himself together as he tried to gasp for air. He looked over t where the body was. He watched as Juzo went to move the body over to see if it was anyone they recognized. Still, it instantly fell into dust when he placed his hands on it. Just shook his head and let everyone know that it was no use. They all looked around at all the bodies, only to see they all looked the same. Just a touch away from blocking into the wind.
"Haruta, inform Pops of this while we head back," Marco said as he handed Haruta his snail to help Thatch.
"On it," Haruta gulped before calling the ship. They all returned to the boat and saw Whitebeard's angry expression. It only seemed to get worse when he saw Thatch being carried by the side by Marco, who was helping the amiable and outgoing one back to the ship. Just as they were closing in on the boat, Whitebeard released another wave of Haki. This time, it went for miles, even reaching the other side of the island and many miles into the sea, telling everyone that he was angry and ready to spill blood over the attack on his protected island.
Again it was silent, but this time they felt something different. A Wave of Haki seemed to respond to whitebeards. Everyone on the crew glared in the direction the Haki came from and got their weapons ready.
"They are still on the island," Marco stated with a snarl as he glared. He was about to leave Thatch with Haruta and fly up into the air, but Whitebeard stopped him.
"Let them come to us," he stated with a glare. "Let the cowards make them why to us."
It took a long while, and everyone was getting annoyed. Ace had set himself on fire multiple times only to be calmed down by Izo, who had his guns ready and drawn out. It felt like an eternity as they looked in the direction the Haki came from and just waited for any movement.
"You all look stupid as fuck just standing there," a voice came mockingly. They all jumped up and turned to the main path that led to the woods, and two figures walked closer and closer as slowly as they possibly could. They didn't look like much as everyone looked at them with their observation Haki, but they didn't let their guard down. The commanders knew that wasn't the man on the snail from before. His voice was different. This man's voice was more mocking than confident, like the other man's voice was. That alerted the crew that the two in front of them were the only ones there.
"Are you the Brats responsible for this bloodshed?" Whitebeard asked with a glare in their direction.
"And if I am an old man, what are you going to do about it" the man mocked
"Son of a bitch, they were innocent people," Ace yelled, only to be held back by Fossa and Juzo, who also had their swords out. "They were our friends, you bastards,"
As the two figures walked closer, they could now see them more clearly and watch their movements more Closely; almost everyone had a double take and took a step back at what they saw. The man was wearing all-black leather pants, a loose white t-shirt, and a light black knee-length jacket that seemed to be put together by strings. But that wasn't what made them take a step back; it was the fact that the man's arms, chest, and face were covered in burns so bad that it seemed like the only thing holding HIM together was the staples they saw all over his body. They all flinched at every step, wondering how he could move without being in pure agony.
The other person, however, was different. They were a woman that looked far better off than the man with smooth skin and an innocent look to her. She seemed to catch all the men's attention, especially Izo, who watched as her shoulder-length hair was blown by the wind; it contrasted with the man's pure black hair. But what got Izo's attention was the white and blue Kimono that she had on that matched her innocent look and her slim figure. It made him uneasy to think someone from Wano was with a man with such a sinister look that didn't seem to go with the innocent look the girl had.
They walked closer and closer until they were basically a couple meters away from the ship.
"Why, all the name-calling and cursing, you might end up hurting my feelings." the man said in his mocking tone as he was about to take another step with the girl just two steps behind him.
"Stop and explain why you killed them, you fucking monsters," Haruta yelled this time.
"Oh... Now, what did I say about name calling..." the man said as he stopped and turned his head like a confused puppy would and smiled a creepy confused smile. "Now you hurt my feelings," he mocked again as he placed his hands over his heart. "You should learn your place, little boy, or you might piss off the wrong person," he said with a little bit of anger was shown. That comment confused Marco for a second.
"Do you even know who we are," he asked as he sent him a peculiar look.
"Does it matter?" the man said as the woman turned her head, keeping a stoic expression on her face seeming to ask who they were. The man, however, just smirked before he raised his hands up. "You'll be dead like the rest of them."
Everyone flinched back, not expecting the man to shoot blue flames from his arms. Ace instantly jumped in front of everyone and lodged a firewall to block the attack.
The attack lasted a couple of seconds. Just enough time for everyone to break away from their shock and jump into action to go around the fire and surround the duo.
When they saw them, the man was so engulfed in his attack that he didn't seem to pay them any mind. The woman just stood there and seemed to be waiting for something as Ace lowered the firewall, and the man let the fire die out from his hands.
"Now that's how you start a party." the man laughed as he sent an attack in all directions.