So here is a new chapter after a while, all I can do is apologise but I wanted to let the manga and anime continue a bit after Law's reintroduction to make sure my plans weren't completely scuppered and sure enough I had to make some small changes here and there. Here however is chapter 13, I should probably explain that I have also updated chapters 11 and 12 as it was very kindly pointed out to me that changing the point of view so suddenly can be somewhat confusing and offputting for the readers so it should flow a lot better now. I will be editting some other chapters but really not heavily, just on the basis of a couple of tweaks that could be made here and there.
Also beware that the story title has changed, I was trying not to do this but the previous title of Nothing Left doesn't properly convey the way this story is heading.
Unfortunately the last couple of chapters on Shabody while fun to write didn't really take the story anywhere although were somewhat necessary in order for the story to move along. The events in past chapters will be coming together for anyone wondering and in this chapter although no mysteries are solved yet the story moves forward a bit more.
The feast went on till past midnight, Law didn't dare look at the clock as he dragged himself wearily into bed. Their stocks that they had reloaded with at Shabody were plentiful and Ruby had outdone herself with the selection of rich and delicious foods she had provided. Accompanied by the flagons of ale, glasses of spirits and pints of beer they had afforded themselves; the crew were in excellent fortitude and Law hadn't the heart or indeed the will to tell them to calm down and get to bed.
Needless to say; it was an incredibly late night. So he thought he had a valid excuse for not making an appearance until early in the afternoon, wherein he forced himself into the kitchen for a much needed mug of coffee.
Most of the crew had returned to work, although he couldn't bring himself to discipline the ones who were almost falling asleep at their posts. Only Ruby seemed chirpy and that was because she was the only one to have left to return to bed at a reasonable time. "Good morning, Captain!" she exclaimed brightly as he entered the kitchen.
"Prove it," he answered casually before trying unsuccessfully to stifle a wide yawn.
Ruby slid a mug of steaming hot coffee in front of him and he inhaled it slowly, grasping it with both hands and enjoying the rustic smell before blowing on it slightly. There was always coffee available on the ship, but only Law and Ruby had access to his personal stash of caffeine, there was nothing more detestable than instant granules. "That smells so good."
Ruby rolled her eyes and continued her preparations for the rest of the day's meals as he nursed his steaming mug of coffee while trying to decide whether or not he had slept through the worst of his hangover, of which he was determined to hide from the rest of the crew.
"You look awful," a new voice interjected.
Well most of the crew anyway.
"You look like you're using your powers to hide the fact that you probably appear to have applied your make-up in the middle of a tropical storm," Law retorted dryly.
"That's because I am," Celeste replied not bothering to rise to the bait. "Interesting news for you though Captain..."
"She tried to knock your door down earlier," Ruby interrupted, "But I thought it would be best if she didn't raise you before noon."
Law said nothing but personally thanked Ruby; as the prospect of being woken up early when he was feeling rough wasn't an appealing thought. Never the less, he assumed since she had wanted to wake him up at an unruly hour it must have been somewhat important. "Go on," he instructed as he took another refreshing gulp; stopping himself from sighing contently.
The newspaper was pushed in front of him, and he moved his hands out of the way to peer at the front page.
His coffee mug clattered on the table. Ruby shrieked as the hot brown liquid splashed across the wooden surface and the mug rolled onto the hard floor smashing with a shrill clang. With a sigh she made a reach for a cloth and a dustpan. "What the hell is this?" he asked out loud as Ruby started ushering around him to clear up.
Luckily the drink hadn't spilt on either he or Celeste; the latter who had quickly moved out of the way to avoid it. "It happened yesterday," she said very quietly, not realising the effect it was going to have on the Captain, "while we were leaving."
"Defeated?" he found himself questioning as he skimmed the words carefully. "The Straw Hats were defeated!"
He stood up without another word and strode quickly from the room. Celeste gave Ruby a quick apologetic look before chasing after him, her shorter legs trying to keep up with his quick strides as he made his way to his office.
She was saying something to him but he wasn't really listening as he kept reading. He had not expected Straw Hat Luffy to have been beaten so easily, the paper was reporting that it was Bartholomew Kuma's doing and he wondered about that as he pushed his door open and kicked it closed.
Celeste caught the door just in time before it hit her in the face and entered the room behind him just as he was throwing himself into his chair. "Captain," she interrupted exasperatedly. "It's not what it seems."
"It says they've disappeared!" he answered unhappily as he frowned down at it and then uncharacteristically slammed it down on his desk.
Celeste had rarely seen the Captain get angry, and knowing the result it had on Law's enemies, chose intelligently not to test him as he sat seething at his desk. She had no idea why he was so angry; as far as she was concerned there was nothing to be annoyed about if their rivals had been defeated early on. Law however, clearly saw it differently.
He had not helped Straw Hat to escape the Auction House just for him to go and get himself defeated by the marines; Law had expected more of the rookie pirate who had declared war on the world government.
"I think they've met the real Kuma," Celeste interjected, bringing him out of his thoughts.
Not one to speak unless she had something of value to offer, Law's head lifted and he pressed the matter. "Go on..."
"Kuma's ability... I think he's probably sent them somewhere," she answered. Law didn't have to ask her to explain before she went off on a tangent. "He's eaten a fruit that gives him the ability to send people flying to wherever he chooses... I think that's what he's done; he's split them up. Because it says the Straw Hats have been defeated and disappeared thanks to Bartholomew Kuma... it doesn't elaborate any further."
Law took a moment to process this before, coming to a conclusion and announcing it to her, "We head back to Shabody and wait for Marineford," he decided.
"Pardon?" Celeste asked, she wasn't expecting that kind of decision from the Captain... he carefully planned everything and doing something on a whim was extremely unlike him.
Law on the other hand viewed it as the only decision; he hadn't helped Straw Hat just to let him die before even reaching the New World. "I think it's important we witness the war that could change the balance of powers." He leaned back and closed his eyes in thought as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"You think this war is that important?"
"Yes," Law answered "I think that the whole world could change as a result of this war, all those casualties... anyone could be defeated and killed; all of Whitebeard's allies will be there, it could change the course of history. We need to check it out."
"You're convinced there will be a war?"
"It's Whitebeard," was his only response as if that was the only answer that was needed.
He was close to sending them all into a ridiculous amount of danger again, and there was just no good arguing him now he had made his resolution on the matter. He heard her give a very audible sigh, and then moments later he heard the door close; no doubt now on her way to inform the crew of his choice.
He had already decided they were not ready to enter the New World and the idea that the government could be considerably weakened by one event had already made him make up his mind that they were going to witness it. There was only a certain amount that could be read in the news and he wanted a firsthand account of the events from his own point of view rather than trusting what the government were going to choose to report in the papers. Shabody would be able to report it live, of that he could be sure.
He wouldn't forgive himself if he left the first half of the Grand Line without seeing something so important for himself.
Opening his eyes and reaching for his glasses he went back to his research again although his mind was clouded. Something about Straw Hat was bugging him, and he was finding it difficult to identify what. He couldn't really care less about the rest of his crew; if they were lost then so be it but he wondered on how that would affect the black haired captain.
Law tried to think of how he would feel if anything like that happened to his crew... then gave up on the thought as he resigned himself to the fact that it just wouldn't. He would not allow it. As this thought occurred to him so did something else, the fact that he expected his crew to be stronger before entering the New World. He was confident in all of them, but if there were people in the first half of the grand line that were stronger than they were, there were certainly even stronger pirates in the New World and it would be no good at all to be unprepared.
Especially considering that there were certain people that he wanted to meet.
His latest order bounced from one member of the crew to the other; and he was not surprised to see that he didn't need to recommend that his crew trained themselves. All of them were anticipating the trouble they were going to experience as they became part of the New World and they had taken it upon themselves to make sure they were ready.
Ruby could be found sharpening all of her knives so carefully and meticulously it was as if she was preparing to assist Law in a dissection. Law was pleased that Jean Bart had integrated himself into the crew so easily, and on most days could be found sparring with Bepo, above deck when the weather was nice. It turned out the former pirate Captain was incredibly handy with a hammer and nails and had gladly taken it upon himself to keep the submarine sea worthy.
Penguin had begun teaching Celeste, Law was surprised at the unlikely pair but found himself paying close attention to what they were doing. Penguin, whose fighting involved a heavy amount of martial arts had decided that Celeste needed more than illusions and brawling, and given her apt for storing information had started to teach her more about body anatomy and how to use that to her advantage.
"If you want to kill then ignore the upper torso," he was saying showing her the diagram he'd drawn and pointing at it carefully. "There's too much resistance, with your powers you would be alright but the best place is the neck. They'll more likely drown in their own blood before they bleed to death;"
"Organs?" Law heard her ask.
"The usual," Penguin replied, "Kidneys are always a good one if you're behind them, Lungs and heart are too much of a risk because the rib cage is in the way. The chances of you getting a direct hit are low..."
When he wasn't taking an interest in what the crew were doing he went back to his experiments. No one had bothered to inform the prisoners they had downstairs about their great escape from Shabody and as a result they were more restless than usual. Law had called Penguin to assist him the day before in moving a couple of them into the quarantine bay so that he could test out the first sample he had been working on.
So far the results had yielded nothing but he was hoping to gain more information in the days that followed.
All the while the prospect of the upcoming war was looming over all of them. Despite this, Law was more concerned about having heard nothing more about any of the Straw Hat pirates and his irritation over the matter was evidently beginning to show. He never snapped or lost his patience with his crew, what he did find himself doing; when his mind was too distracted by other matters; was making simple and tiny maddening mistakes on his work.
No one else would have noticed it, but the high expectations he had of himself made it frustrating and more often than not gave way to sub satisfactory results that he would then be forced to do again.
He needed some type of action to engross himself in.
As if reading his mind, fate answered with a thunderous boom that threw the submarine sideways. His powers activated without a thought, catching the jars and instruments that were thrown from their ordered places and about to clatter and smash against the walls and floor of his office. As another boom sounded and the ship rocked again he gently orbed them back to their rightful positions. Now they had Jean Bart eager to keep the ship in working order, between the two of them they were going to have to find a solution to keeping his belongings safe on the shelves and in the cupboards for when they were under attack.
"Captain!" Bepo's voice, rung out urgently from above deck and Law grabbed a hold of his Nodachi as he sprinted from the room. He had only just sat down...
The scene that met him above deck was panicked and erratic; everyone's direction turned towards something on the starboard side with his researcher was staring at intently, peering through her telescope.
He jumped over the railings and down to the lower of the decks and landed lightly on his feet as another projectile sailed through the sky towards them.
Remembering his instruments and jars downstairs, Law's blue orb surrounded the ship and as the canon ball entered the area, Law's Nodachi was out of the hilt ready; clasped in his two hands, before he swung it hard, the canon ball separating in half and firing off to opposite directions; landing harmlessly in the waters surrounding them.
"We should dive!" Penguin expressed urgently, mostly addressing his Captain as he held onto the side of the ship.
Law scowled, he was sick of running, they'd done enough of that on Shabody and the crew had been training so hard he saw no reason to make haste in escaping when he could test everyone's strength. "Celeste what is it!?" he called, "Is it a Marine or a Pirate ship!?"
"It's a Pirate ship!" she called back immediately.
"Whose!?" was his next question as another cannon whizzed towards them. Before he managed to deal with it however, Jean Bart hit it with his clenched fist hard and it spiralled in another direction into the ocean.
"Looks like..." she trailed off adjusting the scope and then her mouth hung open slightly, "Ca- Captain, maybe we should dive!" she announced looking worried, "The flag!"
"Whose!?" he repeated urgently.
"It's Doflamingo's flag!" she yelled back at him.
Law froze and lowered his Nodachi, "Are you sure?" he asked scowling.
"Y- yes!" she answered taking another look and then lowering her hands, "definitely, a smiley face with a line through it..."
"Hoist the sails," Law commanded immediately.
"What!?" Penguin questioned frantically as he held his hands out in question, "B-But Captain! It'll slow us down! If we want to get away from them we need too-"
"I do not want to get away from them," Law sheathed his Nodachi and lifted his head slightly, "I'm sick of running and now there is no need, raise the sails so they can see it. I want them to know exactly who we are, especially if there's a Shichibukai on board," he looked grim as he said it and Sachi shook his head in despair.
"The Captain's gone mad," he commented lowly as he walked towards the mast and beckoned Jean Bart to follow in order to help, "Completely and utterly mad."
Law ignored him and continued to stare darkly across the otherwise serene waters towards the ship in the distance. The power and distance covered by the canons was immense but that didn't surprise Law. In fact it probably wasn't even canons that were firing at them, not if he knew Doflamingo.
As Sachi and Jean Bart pulled at the ropes to hoist the sail, yet another projectile fired towards them; and again Law dealt with it efficiently, cutting it into two as before and casting the parts into the sea.
He had not expected it to be so soon before coming face to face with the Donquioxte Pirates. This was no pirate crew flying under the Donquioxte family flag; it was definitely the Shichibukai himself, probably on his way to Marineford for the upcoming war. He gritted his teeth as Sachi announced the flag was at full sail and leant back against the mast as they drifted aimlessly and waited.
The crew had gone quiet, noticing his demeanour and were looking from him back to the other ship which had finally stopped firing at them. He figured that much would happen. "Captain..." it was his chef who finally broke the silence, looking from her cousin who was giving her an encouraging look to continue her question and then back to her Captain and then the offending vessel which was now making haste towards them, "is there something you know that we don't?" she asked.
"You'll find out in a moment," Law answered, his eyes not straying from the flamboyant looking craft he could now see clearly, "but we have nothing to worry about... not for now at least."
They looked from one to the other hesitantly, as if waiting for someone who might know what he was thinking to explain but no one did, there was just silence as the other ship got ominously closer and closer.
Finally, the figure Law had been waiting to see appeared at the bow, standing atop the deck and holding onto the gaudy; yet familiar figurehead.
The Shichibukai had a wide grin across his face, his gleaming eyes hidden behind expensive and extravagant looking sunglasses, making him look in Laws opinion; like a fly on acid. It seemed not much had changed, he was crouched down, the pink fluffy jacket he always wore trailing on the floor behind him, and standing just in his wake were some other faces Law recognised and hadn't been expecting to see.
Eventually the ship came to a stop beside them, an anchor dropping and within seconds the Warlord had jumped from his vessel onto Law's submarine, and instantly the Heart Pirates recoiled fearfully away from the powerful Warlord.
As he walked slowly towards him, Doflamingo's hands thrust into his pockets, the Surgeon of Death took the time to glance up at the other figures that remained on Doflamingo's ship; the Royal Flush. Familiar faces and some not so familiar faces bore down at him, Law noted Baby 5 leering at him, a small scowl on her face as she puffed away at a cigarette, always the chain smoker. It was her, Law figured, who had been taking aim and firing at them, for only she would be able to cover such a sizable distance.
Next to her was Machvise, his light curly hair poking out haphazardly beneath his hat, looking down at them all with a wide smile on his face and beside him Jora was stupidly wiggling her large body and looking ecstatic for whatever reason.
Law couldn't say he was as amused.
"Well, well, well..." Doflamingo's voice was thick with delight as he addressed the other Pirate Captain, coming to a stop in front of him and towering over Law by about 4 foot. He raised a hand up to his face and lifted his sunglasses so he could get a better look at the leader of the Heart Pirates, before starting to laugh.
Law, let the tiniest of smirks pull at the left side of his lips while Doflamingo held his arms out wide.
Sachi was still clutching the ropes of the sails and his black sunglasses had fallen loosely to the end of his nose, peering intently towards his leader between his shades and the brim of his hat. Bepo, who had moved to Law's side once the sails had been drawn up was the only one on guard, his paws clenched tightly at his chest.
"Your crew looks terrified!" he announced loudly, "Haven't you told them!?" he finished his question with another loud and hearty laugh.
"I didn't deem it important enough," Law answered simply.
"Important enough!?" The Warlord questioned before taking a glance around at the rest of the Heart Pirates. Bepo's fists were still clenched, ready to engage in martial arts with anyone threatening the Captain if he had too, Ruby's hands were still firmly clasping the kitchen knives in her belt with both hands; waiting for any sudden movement and Penguin was biting his lip apprehensively.
It would only take a word or a look from Law to have them fighting for their lives, Jean Bart crouching and leering at Doflamingo, showing nothing but loyalty towards his saviour from slavery and Celeste was... well Celeste had disappeared from view but that was expected.
"Stand down," Law ordered sharply.
It took a moment, but obediently his crew relented. Ruby and Bepo dropped their hands to their sides, Jean Bart stood up to his full height and Celeste reappeared albeit looking unimpressed.
Doflamingo started laughing again, "As a Shichibukai I should take you down and take you back to the Marines!"
"Then why don't you?" Law asked raising one eyebrow and remaining unmoved.
"C-Captain!" Penguin, finally unable to control himself, had to break the silence and interject, "Don't goad him! He's a Shichibukai!"
"I know," Law replied calmly. "I used to be a part of his crew."
"What!?" Several people cried astounded staring at him in bewilderment. Law hadn't mentioned his past to his crew for several reasons, and knew that if they found out they would be surprised. The reason for not elaborating how he started his own journey in North Blue was because he didn't want his crew to have certain expectations or opinions of him.
It was of course, mostly pride though; not wanting to be associated with the Warlord as he made his own name for himself. Riding on the merits of another was certainly not his style, and besides; it might make particular matters quite complicated.
Although his crew was shocked, none of them asked him to explain or questioned him further, "What are you doing here?" he addressed the Warlord in front of him, who had stopped looking at his crew in interest and turned back to him.
"Surely you've heard the news!?" Doflamingo chuckled. "We should sit down and discuss some matters; it's been a long time Law... I'm surprised to see you here of all places, I would have thought after Shabody you would have headed straight for the New World like some of the other Rookies!"
"I had other plans..." The Surgeon trailed off, choosing not to detail what those plans were.
Doflamingo's smile widened, "But not telling me I see, I should kick your ass and take you with me, I'd get a pretty hefty pay out if I handed you and your crew in to the Marines," his eyebrow raised and Law knew he was goading him and refused to rise to the bait.
"You're going to Marineford," he stated.
"Of course! The crew are going to Shabody to wait for me in the meanwhile, but I've been summoned with the other Shichibukai to fight alongside the Marines in the war against Whitebeard... Jora!" He turned towards the plump woman on his ship, still grinning as he addressed her, "Go and get some wine, Law and I need a drink while we talk."
Jora smiled sweetly at him in response. "Of course young Master," was her response before drifting off to an unseen part of the ship.
"Everyone back to work," Law barked at his crew as his former Captain plonked down on his deck in front of him cross legged and waited for his subordinate to come back with his request.
At his order, the Heart Pirates slowly and warily went back to their jobs, several returning to the inside of the ship and others doing what they had been doing above deck. Bepo however faithfully remained at Law's side unmoving despite his Captain's instructions, no one else would have gotten away with it, but Law trusted in Bepo's company.
Jora returned shortly with the wine and Doflamingo caught the bottles she threw towards him effortlessly before telling his crew to go back to what they were doing so he could talk further to his former subordinate.
"I was disappointed when you left the crew," Doflamingo explained instantly; his eyes twinkling, uncorking one bottle and holding it out to Law, "I still have your seat free; I've been saving it for you... I don't see why you don't consider sailing under my flag again."
Law shrugged, not bothered at all by the fact that Doflamingo expected him to return one day, he had no plans to do so at all and it was strange that the first thing he was telling him was that he still held him close. "I wanted to explore on my own for a bit, it was not intended to be insulting," his voice was dead-panned but of Doflamingo he was suspicious.
The flamboyant man laughed again, swigging from his own bottle pushed his sunglasses back down over his eyes, "You should consider it though," he urged. "I have friends in high places Law and the world is changing... Soon the reign of the Whitebeard pirates will shift and you want to be on the right side when it does." The Warlord was as direct as usual, not missing a beat when it came to holding people's interest; Law questioned privately what he was up to.
He took a moment, pausing as he sipped slowly from the bottle and eventually nodded, "I'll think about it... and what right side?" he asked carefully, knowing if he pressed for too much information even his old boss would not cave in and reveal it.
"Kaido's power is growing," Doflamingo answered nonchalantly, much to Law's surprise although he fought to keep his face stern. "But that is neither here nor there, the current issue is of the execution... although someone is fighting hard to stop it," he laughed again, "some idiot decided to break into Impel Down!"
This time, Law couldn't fight to hold his surprise as his eyes widened and in a second he had made his mind up as to who it was likely to be. "Broke in?"
Doflamingo grinned wickedly, "Silly fool is unlikely to make it out alive, who the hell would want to break in to Impel Down!?" His sinister chuckle reached Law's ears again but unlike Doflamingo who found the whole idea rather amusing, Law deduced quickly that the only reason for breaking in to such a place would be to save someone, and there was only one person he could think of both stupid and passionate enough to try it.
"Idiot," he huffed under his breath.
"You caused quite a storm at my auction house," the Warlord commented changing the subject after taking another deep swig from his bottle, "it's a good thing I don't need that place anymore, or I'd be pretty angry, even at you."
Law's attention was redirected and he pushed the matter of Impel Down from his mind momentarily. "It wasn't intentional," he answered as the taller man wiped his mouth and stood up.
"You didn't buy anyone then?" he joked.
"No," Law stated looking offended at the thought.
"You've grown Law... I never expected to see you all the way out here," Doflamingo admitted, "But I'm glad that I did, don't get destroyed before meeting me in the New World understand? I mean to have you sailing under my flag again, unless you want me to annihilate you!?" he began laughing again and Law knew this was no joke.
Before he could answer, the man whipped an arm towards Law, and protruding from the fluffy pink jacket, was a hand baring a small piece of paper. The Doctor accepted it, looking down at it carefully as the other man began walking bizarrely to the side of the submarine back towards his own ship and called over his shoulder with a wave. "Use it when you're ready to find me!"
The meeting had been short, and Law continued to hold both the wine bottle and the vivre card as the Shichibukai jumped smoothly from one ship to the other eying him emotionlessly as he finally the Warlord turned around to stare down at him, "I'll wait for your answer!"
As the other ship raised anchor, Law turned around and walked back inside of the submarine looking down at the vivre card thoughtfully.
There was no way he intended on rejoining Doflamingo's crew, but what the Warlord had said was of great interest to him. He had mentioned Kaido and Law speculated if and why Doflamingo was involved with him, he would have to figure this out... but the other part of what he had said... breaking in to Impel Down.
It had to be Straw Hat.
"Captain?" Penguin had appeared at the door to the brig, "What are our instructions?"
He considered the question, debating whether or not to change his plans and eventually decided against it for the moment and ordered Penguin to have the ship return to Shabody one more time to prepare.
The mood on the ship was tense as they arrived once more, with only a day or so to go until what was expected to be a turning point in the great pirate era no one on Shabody paid any attention to the fact that they were the same Pirates who'd allegedly taken the World Nobles hostage a week previous.
If they had thought there was a lack of marines before; now there was even less so, that said; there was also a distinctive lack of pirates as well, presumably a result of Kizaru and the Pacifista's appearance earlier.
It fast became obvious that everyone had their own shopping lists to attend too and Celeste was no different; following the others into the shopping district to try and retrieve some things she thought would be fairly useful. The first item she was after was extremely specific but she was aware that if she went to a certain shop she would have no problems acquiring it; what she was uncertain of was the cost of it.
She had successfully managed to persuade Penguin to accompany her; and hoped her idea would be of some benefit to him; although she hadn't told him yet what she was shopping for. Eventually they came to a small looking shop, the door was held open and it had only a narrow window beside it, sandwiched in-between two boutiques. There were a lot of strange looking instruments in the window and the navigator's face broke into a hearty grin as he peered out from under his hat.
"I thought it might be worth our while to see if we can barter for an Eternal Pose," Celeste commented to him as they paused momentarily outside.
"I had debated it," Penguin admitted, "I thought given that the Captain wants to explore before heading into the New World that having something to always help us find our way back here would be important," he looked down at the log pose on his wrist and frowned, "It's not that I don't trust this... but who knows where we may end up?"
They stepped inside and a bell clattered to inform the shop keepers of their arrival. A teenage girl was stood at the desk; looking bored as she flipped lazily through a magazine. She paid little attention to them as they traipsed around the shop.
There were plenty of things to keep Penguin distracted. Tiny little spinning instruments that could help you predict the weather, a whole wall covered with different maps for sale; there was a small cabinet with an assortment of map making equipment and then in one section several large looking machines that were whirring away and clicking continuously. Penguin found himself drawn to these although he knew full well that the Captain might turn to him for experiments if he spent the asking price on one of them..
Celeste nudged him lightly and nodded towards the counter where the girl was sprawled across it, holding her cheek in her left hand, her elbow resting on the desk as she used her other hand to continue flipping the pages she was barely reading. Behind her, was a beautiful glass cabinet, filled with exactly what they were looking for.
On one shelf was the standard Log Pose, balanced in little holders so you could see the tiny glass dome containing the little needle, all of which were pointing in the same direction. On the shelf below were what seemed to be a slightly better Log Pose, each of these wrist straps seemed to have three smaller domes on them, much like the standard log pose, and all of these were pointing in different directions.
Celeste hadn't seen anything like them before, then again; she hadn't ever travelled this far either. It was the shelf below that which was the most interesting however.
"Can I help you?" the girl asked bored; finally noticing that they were looming in front of her.
Penguin instinctively turned on his charm, and his female companion had to stop herself from rolling her eyes as he began flirting shamelessly with the young girl. "We've been looking all over the place for these," he began. "Nowhere had anything close to what we were after, especially not as desirable looking as your stock."
The girl didn't seem very impressed as she stopped leaning and stood up straight, ignoring the black haired girl who turned away to pretend to be interested in something else, Well it's my parents' shop," she explained. "I'm just looking after it for a couple of hours."
Penguin pulled his hat off to reveal his shaggy mop of black hair and feigned to look interested. "Oh that's a shame; surely you'd prefer to be out sunbathing or something?"
"Well it's not very safe right now, there are hardly any marines on the Island and bounty hunters are everywhere..." she trailed off and looked at him through her soft brown eyes distrustfully, "Surely you know why? Aren't you and your girlfriend pirates?"
Celeste was secretly pleased she was turned in another direction as she couldn't help the wry smile now playing at her lips; Penguin was completely unperturbed as he waved her comment off light heartedly and lied in reply, "My sister and I are travelling merchants. We're on our way to the marine headquarters to sell our wares."
"Oh," Penguin's comment had worked; the girl's interest had certainly piqued at this new information, sure enough she was battering her eyelashes innocently and her lips had become slightly pouted; even if Penguin's words were far from the truth. "So how long are you stopping here at Shabody for?"
"Possibly only tonight, maybe tomorrow..." Penguin trailed off; "So I wanted to have a look at your Log Poses..." he changed the topic abruptly and sure enough it threw her off of whatever train of thought she had been having.
"Of course," she gave him a predominant smile despite the fact his gaze was now locked on the cabinet behind her. "Did you want to look at these?" she asked, now all too eager to be of assistance. She turned to unlock the cabinet behind her before Penguin had even replied and was pulling out several different Log Poses for him to look at.
Penguin ignored her flirtatious smile and immediately picked up the wrist brand with three miniature glass domes on. Celeste inquisitively peered over his shoulder as Penguin asked pointedly, "So what kind of a Log Pose is this?"
"Ah, that's a special Log Pose that you can only buy in Shabody or the New World," she explained. "If you're travelling to the New World you need it as the standard Log Pose is not good enough... Some Islands change, or completely hide their magnetic fields at random. It would be very easy to get stranded if you only have a normal Log Pose," she paused and pointed down in turn to each tiny dome and furthered her explanation. "Each needle represents a different island, and the stability of the needle reflects the stability of the island's magnetic field... the less the needle moves, the better chance you have of making it to the next island."
"We'll take one," Penguin answered with no hesitation.
"Are you sure?" she asked eying him suspiciously, "They're quite expensive, as merchants can you really afford it?"
"It's something we couldn't do without," Penguin answered and lifted his eyes from the instrument that had struck him with awe, to gaze longingly into her eyes. "I'm sure you can work out a discount for us though right?"
His tactic had worked; Celeste could almost see the young girl buckle at the knees as Penguin gave her a look of utmost longing. It was a shame Celeste knew the longing was more for what was in the girl's hands rather than her hands themselves.
"Oh, well yes... I can certainly give you some type of discount..." she trailed off and turned back to the till to the side, after several moments she shifted from one foot to the other and said uncomfortably, "I could give you 15% off?"
She seemed uncertain and Penguin found the weakness, "not more? 25% would do me a huge favour..." he answered.
"Well that's quite a lot..." she trailed off uncertainly and tapped the desk in thought. Not missing his chance, Penguin reached out and took her hand in both of his leering at her with eyes full of want.
"Oh just this once, alright," she answered giving him a wide smile, ringing it up on the till before she could change her mind again. "Anything else?" She leaned into him and Penguin released her hand to look down at the collection in front of him.
By the time Penguin had finished flirting with her, he'd managed a good discount on what he had bought and left her in a flustered mess, Celeste noted she was fanning herself with her magazine as they left. "What did you tell her?" she asked.
"I said I'd be back tomorrow," Penguin answered strapping the New Log Pose to his wrist. "Looks like all the needles are pretty stable," he said looking down at it, "It does seem to be pointing to two other Islands as well."
"What else did you get?" She asked, peering over at the bag he was swinging light heartedly.
"They only had a few Eternal Poses." Penguin explained, "Not surprising though, most Log Poses can only be found on the Island they're made to draw you towards. However I specifically wanted one for Fishman Isle just in case we needed to return there even after we make it to the New World. It also means we can find this place easier if we stray too far."
"You'll be sent to hell for playing with a girl's heart though," Celeste sang jokingly as she held her hands above her head and stretched as they walked.
"I'm a pirate," Penguin answered grinning wolfishly, "Where else was I going to end up?"
There we have it, hope it was an enjoyable read. Please please feel free to notify me of any spelling errors or typos or grammatical mistakes. I did have my BETA read this through but sometimes even two pairs of eyes can miss some things.
Much Love, Wiggle x