I do not own 'One Piece' or 'The Gamer'


The smoldering fist of fury rained down on the pirate ship, barely giving them any time to scream before their entire existence had been eviscerated. Absolute Justice will prevail, as it always has.


Paradise, Grandline

I gradually peel my eyelids apart, and I'm met with the gentle rocking sensation of the surrounding space. The rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the sides fills my ears, blending harmoniously with the faded sounds of seagulls in the distance. The warm rays of sunlight trickle through my blurry vision, casting a soft, golden glow over a diluted area.

My view is murky, but as I blink away the sleep and grogginess, the scene before me slowly comes into focus. I find myself surrounded by the vast expanse of the ocean, stretching out as far as the eye can see. The boat wobbles with the ebb and flow of the waves, creating a sense of serenity and tranquility.

The air carries with it the unmistakable scent of saltwater, mingling with the freshness of the ocean breeze that caresses my face. It invigorates my senses, revitalizing me from within. The peaceful sounds and aromas evoke a feeling of escape, allowing me to momentarily forget the pain and worries that I'm currently harboring.

The throbbing pain in my body is a harsh reminder of recent events on Mariejois. Blinking away the haze, I find myself aboard a familiar small boat, the gentle rocking motion beneath me soothing yet still slightly disorienting. I take a moment to center myself and survey the damage I've been given.

My gaze travels down to the patched-up injuries, each bandage and wraps a testament to the ordeals I have endured. The sting of the wounds remains, but it's a stark reminder of my conviction. I can't help but marvel at the intricate tapestry of bandages that now crisscross my body, a patchwork of protection and healing.

I reach out, gingerly touching the edges of the dressings. The fabric was strange against my fingertips. It's a bittersweet feeling, knowing that beneath these layers lie injuries that once caused me immense pain. But here, in the sanctuary of this boat, I can sense the start of something new, a renewed hope for recovery.

"Looks like someone is finally awake," A familiar voice stated from behind me. "I thought it'd take longer."

My gaze shifted, and I saw someone stepping out of the room, their long, black hair flowing behind them in the gentle breeze. Their eyes, deep sea blue eyes, are watching mine as they walk, each step sluggish and deliberate.

"Hancock..." I yawned.

"Sorry," She murmured, her voice soft and tender. "I didn't mean to startle you."

"That's alright," I replied, a raspy cough heeded after my voice.

She frowns, moving to open a crate at the edge of the boat, and walks over to hand me a water bottle.

"Here, I'm sure you're thirsty."

"Thanks," I accepted the offering.

My eyes glanced out towards the sea, noticing the sun shining brightly above. A nagging feeling scratched the back of my head.

"If I might ask, how long was I out for?"

The Amazonian crosses her arms in thought, that wasn't a very good sign.

"Almost two days. You passed out on the deck, falling on your stomach about a few minutes after your little shout." She frowned deeply, unquestionably agitated about the event. "You're insane, ya know that? What kind of person just screams 'Freedom' and then passes out right after?"

My lips twitched upwards.

"I'm a one-of-a-kind specimen." Technically, it's not a lie, considering the gamer powers.

"Of course you are," She huffs sarcastically. The black-haired teen then deviated into a varied expression between amused and troubled. "It's a good thing this boat has more than enough materials to patch you up much better."

Hancock then watches me curiously, though I'm not sure why.

"Henry," Her voice suddenly went low but kept its usual firmness. "Have you ever heard of something called a 'Devil Fruit Power'?"

"The first time I've seen one in front of me was someone who could turn themselves into clay," I scratched my chin. "Why do you ask?"

"You seriously don't know?" A trace of bewilderment on her face. "I would've thought you were like them because they heal fast too, but they've never seen you transform or do anything bizarre until..."

She visibly winced and I understood what moment she meant.

My lips tugged downwards.

"I'm not one of those people," I've got extra-dimensional power while still being able to swim. The seastone cuffs had confirmed such a fact. "What about you, though? Your sisters said you were taken because of some Devil Fruit shenanigans."

Hancock winced, probably at being ousted by her siblings.

"Well...I can kick things and they turn to stone," She explained, unsure of herself. "The Cipher Pol Agent didn't see that one coming when he raised his arm to block it."

Ah…that's right, Who's-Who.

Poor guy frankly wasn't prepared to battle a Devil Fruit that's extremely broken like hers. At least he's not going to join Kaido's crew.

Now that I gathered myself, a quick look around the area revealed that we were the only two people about.

"Where are they anyways?"

"My sisters and the little one 'Koala' are out getting clothes for us. They can handle themselves." She replied, sitting down on one of the empty chairs on the boat. "We're taught to be self-sufficient at our home island, after all."

They've stolen clothes from the locals because we don't have money.

Well, we've got to survive out here somehow or people would simply attempt to snatch and sell us, especially if we were currently on Sabaody.

Hancock didn't seem to mention a certain someone, though.

"The old man… how's he doing?" I leaned back into the makeshift bed. "I'm sure he'll wake up soon enough and start looking at me like I'm a nuisance as usual."

It's worrying that this is the first time I've not woken up to his nagging. There's a strange sense of missing that consistency in my life.

Like hell, I'd ever admit to it.

For several long seconds, she looked at me with a face that was a blend of dread and indecision. I wasn't sure if I had caught her at a bad time or if there was something about my question that was making her hesitant.

The pressure in the atmosphere was noticeable, and I couldn't shake the feeling that I shouldn't have said a word.

After what felt like an eternity, there was a response.

"Henry…" She paused and bit her lip, immediately gazing at the ocean with dismay. "He won't be able to."

My eyebrows furrowed.

"What do ya mean?"

Hancock visibly looked distraught. I could tell that she was struggling to speak.

"I...I honestly have no idea how to say this," The hesitancy in her voice is palpable. I could tell that she was anxious, and it made me worry even more. "But...It's about Regi."

Hancock paused for a moment, looking down at the ground. I felt my heart beating faster, and my stomach twisted into knots.

"What? What happened?" I asked, both keen and fearing the explanation.

"He won't ever see a thing again because..."

Hancock took a deep breath and glanced back up at me.

"...Because he's blind."

...

There it was and...I felt my heart sinking further and further into my chest.

I couldn't believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. Regi, my oldest and dearest friend, was permanently blind.

It's difficult to process what Hancock informed me about the old man's condition. Even though I could see the sadness and regret in her eyes, I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing.

It's impossible.

"This can't be true...Regi isn't blind!" I hissed, clenching my teeth together. "He's the strongest person I know! He can handle anything!"

Hancock looked at me with pity, and I knew that she could see through my denial. I was embarrassed, but I couldn't help the way I felt. I was scared and confused, and I didn't know how to handle the news.

"No, you're a liar! You're lying!" I stirred up from the makeshift bed, quickly sitting upright. "You have to be!"

This is all merely a bad dream and I'm still sleeping. Maybe resting a bit more will wake me up from this nightmare.

"I'm sorry, Henry," She said, unable to look me in the face. "I know it's hard to accept, but it's the truth."

I could feel my anger rising again, but I pushed it down. I didn't want to lash out at Hancock after everything that happened.

"If you want to hate someone...hate me, I wasn't strong enough." Hancock anguished, putting her hand on my arm, trying to comfort me. "But Regi will need your support more than ever. You need to be there for him, to help him adjust and—."

"No! No...this is all wrong…"

It was as if there's still a part of me wishing to refuse everything, and I clung to that denial.

"Nothing is real. This is all fake! Fake!"

I slumped into a loose posture.

"That's the only way this could be happening, right...?" My knees pushed themselves inwards. "We were supposed to see it together…"

I tried to imagine what it would be like to never see the sun again. It was a thought that sent shivers down my spine. To know what had been robbed from him was heartbreaking, and the anger that I'd driven down resurfaced.

"Why didn't you wake me up before?! Maybe I could've done something or...or—!"

"And do what?! You couldn't have done anything!" She snapped, causing me to flinch at the sudden interjection and being under her stern gaze. "There are questions I want to ask you…things I want to understand, about what happened up there..."

The future empress massaged her temple.

"This is obviously not the time for it with him being like this, and I get that, but..." Hancock sighed. "But… There will be an explanation, Henry. My sisters and I deserve that much…"

I felt a lump forming in my throat.

Hancock's words stung me, but the fact that I likely had to continue keeping something from them was like a knife through my heart.

Some sacrifices must be endured.

"Come on, he's been sleeping inside for a while now." She gently helped me get up, holding my hand every step of the way.

I'm guided into the room where the old man was resting, his eyes covered by a bandage and his body still and unresponsive.

It was like something gnawing at my heart as I thought of the things he would never again see, the faces he'd no longer recognize. Yet, despite the weight of his circumstances, there is a resilience within me that shines through. I know him well enough that this won't stop the man. The gentle touch of his weathered hands, and the strength in his voice when he spoke, all serve as a testament to his unwavering spirit.

He'd survive, there's no doubt in my mind.

I found myself drawn to his bedside, wanting to offer comfort and support, even though the words fail to materialize for a moment. Instead, I'm sitting there quietly, hoping that my presence alone can convey the compassion that fills my soul.

"I'm sorry, old man," I mumbled, my voice shaking as I looked down at his still form. "I failed, and now...you're paying the price."

I'll keep fighting, no matter what it takes. And even if we never get to see the sun together, I'll always remember the promise we made and the dreams we have for the future.

I'd never give up.

I swear it.

"I'll do whatever I can to help Regi in any way possible. It's just hard for me to wrap my head around this." My watchful regard was still locked onto him, though an appreciative smile gradually made its way onto my face. "Hancock...thank you."

While I'm still reeling from the reveal, it would've been a lot worse had she not been there. I need to show my gratitude towards the other two when they return.

"I do recall you saying that we were friends," She returned the gesture. "And don't worry about him needing to see a doctor, we already handled that while you were out."

My features twisted into something akin to amusement.

"Let me guess…your people are prepared for anything?"

"Who would've guessed?" A flicker of a smirk graced Hancock's face.

She's so damned cheeky.

I would've never thought Hancock had been acting something like this before, but perhaps my actions have adjusted how she'd be. Though maybe that's merely wishful consideration on my part.

"Now that I think about...where are we anyways?" I turned back to glance at her. "I don't remember you saying or mentioning it."

I had an idea, but I'd much rather confirm them now than later.

"We're at Sabaody Archipelago. It's a group of islands in the Grand Line that is infamous for being the entryway into the second portion, 'The New World', and their slavery markets." She explained, leaning against the room's wall. "Luckily this is 'Grove 77', it belongs to the hotel district."

I knew the place, but the 'Grove' itself didn't ring any bells. Fortunately, Hancock was perceptive enough to notice my confusion.

"The rest of the slaves are on the other side, where the shipyard is."

"Is there a difference between here and there?" I queried.

"It's much safer to be here, especially if the Marines begin hunting down escaped slaves." She snarled and clenched her right hand. "Those scum will definitely do anything to please those…gods, however little it may be."

I silently agreed.

Despite the existence of people like Smoker or Garp, the vast majority of problems in this world can be traced back to the so-called 'gods'.

Kaido, Big Mom, Whitebeard...they've all been affected somehow. Nevertheless, I had a suspicion that she wasn't quite finished yet.

"I hate them," Hancock stated with so much venom that it almost felt like I was the target of her wrath. "I hate the Celestial Dragons and everything they stand for! They think they're better than us, that they can control the world and do whatever they want!"

I nodded, feeling a sense of admiration for the Amazonian's passion. I'd never seen her so angry before, and it was both awe-inspiring and unnerving.

"But they're not," She continued, her voice growing louder. "They're just ordinary people, with too much power and too little compassion. And it's those like us, the slaves and the downtrodden, who have to suffer as a result."

Hancock paused, taking a deep breath while trying to compose herself, failing in her endeavor.

"I hate that they did this to me and my sisters," She growled. "I hate that they had the power to just take my life away like that! Treating me like I was nothing more than a commodity! A damn tool!"

The winds blowing against the intense rage gradually stalled, letting her take a few seconds of indecisiveness.

"Sorry about my little rant...after everything...I — I just couldn't show it to Sonia and Mari."

"Oh no, not at all, I completely approve of what you've said." Anyone who has some sort of decency would agree with her. Unfortunately, there's a distinct lack of it in this dog-eat-dog world.

I distinguished a sense of dismay while looking at Hancock, witnessing the despair etched into her features. I understood that the trauma she had experienced through future knowledge would torment her, undeterred by my present actions or idleness. Despite that, I've felt more inclined to support her, even just a minuscule amount.

"As a slave, I've had it a lot easier compared to you and your sisters." Especially if those theorists were right about Hancock getting the love-love fruit for a certain reason. "I won't tell anyone or anything for that matter. If you're comfortable talking to me about something, I'll be here to listen."

I couldn't help but laugh sardonically at the switcheroo.

"Gosh, now I'm the one doing the consoling."

"You did that the first time we met…as strangers." She reminded me jokingly. "It shouldn't be surprising."

I blinked.

"I did that? Huh…maybe I should work as a psychiatrist." The old man would laugh at me if he heard it.

"You'd be the worst."

"And how do you know that?" I huffed, appearing displeased.

"You got your life lessons from Regi."

My mouth for a retort, but I just held it there, unable to conjure up a valid response.

"Told you." She put a hand to her chin and laughed. "I'm in a different league, Henry."

Damn her for making a joke out of me!

"Oh really?" I raised an eyebrow, trying my best to not snort. "What's next, Hancock? Are you going to announce yourself as the world's best comedian?"

"No, I was thinking of the most beautiful woman." She said sarcastically.

I spat out my drink.

"What?" Hancock furrowed her eyebrows. "Did I say something wrong?"

You've unintentionally predicted the future. I'm not going to say that though.

"I just have a feeling that all the men are going to be crying out your name in their slumber."

And that, I had no doubt over.

"Yes…" She smirked deviously. "That does sound like a good idea."

Do Devil Fruits affect people's mentalities? Because that's definitely happening right now.

"I'm sure you'll get there eventually," I answered absentmindedly, putting a hand against my chin while gazing out the open window of the room.

There's a noticeable pause, with no retort on her end.

My gaze shifted to see the issue, only encountering Hancock looking at me in a stunned expression. Her face veered away after noticing the stare I was giving.

"Now I feel like you're just trying to flatter me." She pursed her lips together.

I rolled my eyes at the self-deprecation.

"It's only the truth, Hancock." I proclaimed, compassion filling me to the brim. "Why would a strong, brave, and courageous person who's faced so many obstacles in her life think of herself like that? You're a survivor, don't put yourself so short."

I knew she'd become strong and resilient — if that hadn't been the case already — but I also understood deep down she struggled with self-esteem issues, wanting to hide everything from her people at all costs.

Either way, I wouldn't be a good friend if I wasn't hyping them up.

As I was pondering about it for a few moments, my stomach let out a loud growl, causing me to blush in embarrassment. That's when her snickering echoed throughout the room and I grumbled in mild annoyance, attempting to backtrack.

"We…uh…should probably eat, I don't know about you, but I'm starving. This boat has plenty of canned food from what I saw, probably put there for emergency reasons," I suggested, recalling there being a large crate on the deck. "Once your sisters come back and I can change these clothes, we'll head out for 'Rip-Off Bar' at Grove 13 while they protect the boat."

"That's fine by me," She nodded, but I could just feel her giggling on the inside.

Maybe I'll unintentionally become a psychiatric comedian — is that profession a thing?

"I'll go get it right now," I said, not wishing to be turned into a laughing stock anymore.

The last thing I glimpsed before closing the door was Hancock clutching her mouth with a hand. The corners of her lips turned upwards, stretching wider than I'd ever seen them before.

Those thoughts only caused a smile of my own to form.


Grove 77, Sabaody Archipelago

I chowed down on some canned beans while gazing at the sleeping old man.

'Sanji, I understand how you felt with Zeff on that abandoned island.' Tears in my eyes as I savored every single detail on my tongue.

Food must never be wasted again.

Not on my watch.

Hancock had left me alone in the room with Regi and was currently fishing out on the deck. She's planning on catching some before the others return and storing it in the little freezer thing the boat contained.

Her sisters hadn't returned yet, so we had to wait for now.

In the meantime, I took the opportunity to finally settle down, and get a handle on all the notifications I've accumulated.

First were the perks.

oooo
Vitality Perks (10)

Doomsday I
Bulk Up I
Blood Boil I

oooo

'These choices are getting weirder.' Not that I was complaining about the lack of options, but the names were just strange. 'I wonder when the next perk choices will be?'

Probably not anytime soon.

Doomsday is quite scary in the DC universe, especially on the comics side. The monster just couldn't be killed.

I'll go with that one.

oooo
You've Selected The Perk: [Doomsday I]!

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
With this perk, you'll be on your way to being exactly that!

[Resistance skills have been expanded upon!]
[Improves the rate at which all your resistance skills grow by 10%!]
oooo

oooo
Current Resistance List

[Resistance: Physical - Lv. (13/90)]
[Resistance: Cold - Lv. (1/100)]
oooo

Damn.

If this perk was pushed to the absolute maximum, can I outright resist things like Magellan's poison or Aokiji's ice ball technique? How far would this realistically go?

It seems I've taken a good perk this time.

I'm uncertain when I received the other resistance skill. Perhaps when I was unconscious?

Although, I feel like the higher levels are going to be a pain to increase...literally.

oooo
Dexterity Perks (10)

Quickster I
Athlete I
Unnatural Flexibility I

oooo

This one seems a lot more straightforward. They say speed is strength in itself. Force equals mass multiplied by acceleration after all.

[Quickster I] is the obvious choice as I'm more akin to believing in speed rather than malleability.

oooo
You've Selected The Perk: [Quickster I]!

Speed is the name, running is your game!
With this perk, you'll be moving just a bit faster!

[Once every two weeks, you can double your [Running] skill at no cost of stamina for 1 minute!]
oooo

Oh?

The higher my base stats get, the more this Perks usefulness can be utilized. I'm perfectly fine with this, especially if there are potential upgrades to it in the future.

Now for the last one, then it's onto those 'perk points' and 'Titles'.

oooo
Willpower Perks (10)

Prodigious I
Steel Mind I
Iron Will I

oooo

oooo
You've Selected The Perk: [Prodigious I]!

Prodigies are a rare breed, especially those that utilize it to their fullest.
With this perk, you'll be on the shallow end of this spectrum!

[Improves the rate at which all skills and stat gains are 10% faster!]
oooo

A relatively straightforward choice on my part as I decided on [Prodigious I]. I felt that this would give me the most valuable increase in my future capabilities.

With this boost, I'll be able to learn new things at a faster pace, which will give me an advantage when it comes to the long run.

It wasn't a tough decision, each of the other perks also had its own unique benefits, but I trust that I made the right choice. With this newfound ability, I'll be able to fight back against the [Malnourishment] perk, even if just a little bit.

oooo
Perk Points

Outside of natural progression, perk points can be used to upgrade the perks that you have.
However, be warned, they're extremely difficult to obtain.
Only through significant acts will they be given.

[Perk Points In Your Possession: 2]
oooo

'I reckoned it'd turn out something like this.' I mused, considering my next action very carefully.

I should preserve them as I'm not convinced when the subsequent time I'll be able to encounter some more.

Better be safe than sorry.

"Henry!" A shout that I recognized as Hancock called out. "Are you finished eating yet?! Sonia and Mari are back!"

Oh, that was good.

It means my things are finally here.

"Not yet, just let me savor this food for a bit longer." Being stuck eating scraps to this is a sensation I'm incapable of describing. "I'm almost finished."

"Fair enough, I guess." Then the door quickly opened and she tossed a bag inside. "Those are your stuff that they've brought."

A chuckle escaped my lips.

"I really appreciate you all," I moved the load closer to myself. "You're some damned good friends."

"Don't worry, we know we are," Sonia replied while I'm certain the other two were giggling.

'Maybe cheekiness runs in the family.' I snorted, but that got me thinking about something else.

How did they get my measurements? I don't even know what they are myself.

"Nope, not even going to think about that," I mumbled. Regi would probably tease me at this point, but I'd just shrug it off. "They've probably made an educated guess."

That's not outside the domain of possibility, specifically knowing how resourceful they can be.

So after a minute of more chowing, I began to dig through what had been given to me before I was struck with an epiphany. Getting the clothes out and trying them on while simultaneously completing the last messages sounded like killing two birds with one stone.

And I did precisely that.

oooo
Titles
[God Slayer]
When fighting a Celestial Dragon or one with their blood, no negative side-effects can be applied to you.

[Survivor]
Once a month, when the user's HP drops to 0, they can choose to gain 25% of their health back(rounded to the closest whole number).

[Note: For the user to gain a title's ability, they must be equipped with it and are only allowed to use one at a time.]
oooo

Oh, that's just rich.

The [God Slayer] title made me grin, forcing myself to hold back the [Bloodlust] skill lest the others sense it. What amounted to 'side-effects'? Poisons and things of that nature? Were there any rules to abide by?

This was far too vague and it could harbor outliers, but I love the potential abuse this will provide. After all that time in slavery, maybe things are finally looking better slightly — in terms of gamer ability, to say the least.

Having the '[Survivor]' being the name of the next one was both fitting with the description and what I'd gone through.

For now, I'll place it on my title spot.

"Henry, are you ready? I think it's about time we left for the 'Rip-Off Bar'." She asked.

"In a second, Hancock." I quickly cleaned up the small mess I'd created, vacating the room with a farewell to the old man.

"Sonia, Mari, make sure nobody comes onto the boat except for us."

"And take care of Koala and Regi if anything happens," I reminded, getting a confident stare from the pair.

"Don't worry, we'll do our best," Marigold expressed.

Ah yes, so reliable and efficient that it gives one the impression of being as certain as death and taxes.

"Off we go?" The eldest of the siblings asked and I answered by jumping off of the boat.

Landing on the ground, I noticed that the soil of the Sabaody Archipelago was a unique mixture of sand and mud, resulting in a sticky and unstable terrain. The ground stuck to your shoes and feet, making each step an adventure in balance.

I grinned, beckoning the future empress to follow along while I was striding along.

"Here we go! Go! Go! Go! On an adventure, the thingamajigger...is up and aawaayyy~!"

Hancock merely shook her head at my childishness, but I just knew she was having fun as well.

It's all smooth sailing from here.


Grove 13, Sabaody Archipelago

I completely underestimated the climate and geography of this island. Perhaps I should've remembered that we're on the Grand Line, Paradise part or not.

We — more like me — struggled to make our way through the dense, labyrinthine forest that seemed to stretch on endlessly. The tall trees that towered above created a canopy that blocked out a good portion of the sunlight, leaving the undergrowth shadowy and dim. The air was hot and humid, causing me to sweat profusely despite only having been walking in mostly the shaded areas.

oooo
New Skill Gained!
Resistance: Heat Lv. (1/100)
Decrease all heat damage by 1%.
oooo

'Very funny, game.'

I wasn't used to such rough terrain and was visibly laboring myself to keep up with the Kuja, who seemed to be in her element, downright unphased by anything. Hancock definitely saw me stumbling around and offered her hand to help until we arrived at the destination. I accepted the assistance following some thoughtful words of encouragement — "Henry, I will turn you to stone and drag your body if it makes the trip easier." — yes…encouragement.

Her fingers had laced themselves around my own in both a soft and close-knit grip.

I blushed deeply.

'This is so embarrassing.' You could say it's the story of my life.

"The Vivre Card is pointing right up ahead," Hancock stated, moving onwards and I closely followed her lead.

After a few more minutes of walking, we arrived at a broad clearing surrounded by more trees towering on its edges.

At the north end, there appeared to be a set of stairs that seemed to stretch up onto a small hillside. They were made of a sleek, metallic material, and shone brightly in the sun.

We've made it.

Shakky's Rip-Off Bar.

The bar itself was a modest wooden structure, with a colorful sign hanging above the door. The paint was weathered from years of exposure to the elements, but the signs and symbols on the sign were still clear, indicating that this was the right place.

As we drew closer, the area appeared more like a rundown and dilapidated building, tucked away in a muted section of the archipelago. Upon more inspection, the coloring was chipped and peeling in places, and there were several holes in the walls where it looked like someone had tried to break in.

We cautiously pushed onward toward the small structure, examining around for any sign of activity. To my amazement though, there was none. The place was quiet, almost too quiet for where it was stationed.

It's in the 'Lawless Zone' while still being eerie, like sitting in a library after hours of silence.

I could hear my own feet lifting themselves off of the moist ground with a squelch after each and every step. As our approach halted momentarily, I could hear a faint murmur of voices coming from inside, before they slowly faded.

Odd.

You would think it'd grow louder within close quarters.

"They know we're coming. They're looking at us while there are walls in the way." Hancock's voice hitched, and I knew fear was creeping into her. "Haki users…"

I hummed at the assessment.

Someone like Shakky could know Haki. No, everything points to her knowing how to wield it, considering she's a former Kuja empress and all.

Unfortunately, my compatriot doesn't know that.

"What if the Fishman led us into a trap? What if this whole thing was to sell us at a higher price? Maybe these people were here the whole time…" She contemplated, her lips shivering. "I don't want to...I...I...I just..."

My hand that was entwined with hers gently squeezed.

"We'll be fine, Hancock. That Octopus guy helped free us, did he not?" I was reminded, trying my best to speak softly. "Worse comes to worst, I'll fend them off while you run."

It's not going to happen, but at least then she'll have some sense of—

"No, I'm not leaving you." She snarled, bearing teeth and dragging me up the stairs. "I would rather die standing on my feet than run away."

Careful Missy, your [Conqueror's Haki] might peek out. Even so, if were in her position, I'd likely be quite annoyed too.

"If you say so," I shrugged, seeing no point in arguing. "Let's just go then."

Frankly, the place just might honestly be closed with how desolate the—

"The door is open, you fools." The voice of an elderly woman claimed in an amused and inquisitive manner.

Without any intrusions, Hancock pushed open the heavy wooden doorway. One after the other, we each stepped into the dimly lit interior of Shakky's Rip-Off Bar.

The air is thick with smoke and the smell of dribbled alcohol. The walls are covered in graffiti art and the floor is scarred with wear and tear from years of abuse. I discerned a slight sense of trepidation washing over me, but I shoved it aside, determined to see this through.

"Oh? It's children." An older man remarked, side-eyeing us from his stool chair.

He was a tall, imposing figure who retained long blonde hair with strands of white littered about. His face is stern and striking, but there's a certain warmth to his smile that puts me at ease. I could feel the weight of the man's gaze as if he were looking straight into my soul.

I took a deep breath and moved into the building more, trying to not let the nervousness exhibit itself.

"I would've thought it were robbers, considering how hectic everything on this island is starting to get." The woman stated, regarding us with a hint of suspicion.

My gaze shifted, now taking into account the other individual in the room.

The person has a remarkably small stature, and her height appears diminutive in comparison to the man. She has full, thick lips, and the wrinkles on her face reflect her advanced age. The spotted-print short skirt that she wears is held up by the sea-green bubble belt that is wrapped around her waist. The same belt also serves to hold up the short-sleeved pink top that she wears, the fabric hugging her figure tightly. Her hair is a striking white color, a contrast to the pink flower that she wears on the left side of her head.

The woman's eyes darted between us, her sights scanning our every move.

"Care to explain why exactly both of you are here?"

"My name is Boa Hancock, and I am a member of the Kuja tribe." The Amazonian glanced over at me, and I took that as my cue to introduce myself. "I apologize for our entrance, but we were sent by a Fishman named Hatchan."

"Oh...And I'm Henry, she's my friend." Nice first impressions, me.

The woman's face lit up, spinning her head towards Hancock.

"Hancock?! Boa Hancock?!" She clamored, standing up to her feet. "One of the girls that went missing all those years ago?!"

My companion gave a slight nod, compelling them to be even more alarmed.

"I don't want to talk about where I went."

I'm fairly certain everybody knows what happened after that statement.

"So Hatchan led you here, huh? I haven't heard from him in months. He was a good friend of mine who saved my life a little more than half a decade back."

The individual looked deep in thought as he scratched his beard.

"It's quite rude that we haven't introduced ourselves, don't you think? Gloriosa?" The man who I already knew in my heart had adjusted his glasses. "My name is Silver Rayleigh, it's a pleasure to meet some bold young people."

Hancock's jaw dropped and I was staring flabbergasted.

This was the Dark King...in the flesh.

Nobody in their right mind would feel at least a little frivolous about meeting him. Although, there was a sense of fear knowing how powerful the man was. The fact that someone who lived on a remote island like Hancock could instantly acknowledge the name is merely a testament to this legend's accomplishments.

He chose to dress in a streamlined way, merely sporting a basic t-shirt and pants that did not have any exquisite or elaborate patterns.

A wolf wearing sheep's clothing.

This was no Rayleigh who'd struggle against Kizaru...oh no.

He was closer to his Roger days...

Silvers 'Dark King' Rayleigh, [Coating Mechanic]
(4,990/4,990)

...and it showed.

"Now then…" His smile grew slightly, but even in the manga or series, I've never witnessed him not do that. "I'd like to hear the full story this time, if you can?"


Prime Rayleigh - - - - This Rayleigh - - - - - - - - - Old Rayleigh.

So apparently Gloriosa was a member of the Rocks Pirates and quarreled with Stussy.

My man Regi just can't catch a break hahaha.

Random Question: Outside of the 5 elders and Imu, who is your Top 5 strongest in One Piece that's currently alive?

Here's mine:
1. Dragon
2. Mihawk/Shanks
3. Shanks/Mihawk
4. Akainu
5. Blackbeard