Hidden 10 mos ago Post by yoshua171
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yoshua171 The Loremaster

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Lilliana Merrycure

Her eyes on the unconsncious form of her poor, strong boy, Lilli missed much of the fight. However, when the doctor was repeatedly hit against the wall her eyes snapped up, suddenly alert. With each strike she felt the sleeping anger she'd felt seeing Bonesword hurt grow. No one deserved this kind of battering. Biting her lip she forced herself to take a few calming deep breaths only to gasp as the drunken doctor managed to turn things around.

Eyes suddenly wide, she watched, the tension building, as the two faced off. Then, suddenly, the grotesque doctor was unseated from his rope in a most undignified manner. She let out a huff, but still watched as the drunk man pulled himself up...and up...and up...and then...fell. She let out her breath and rummaged in her medical pouch.

“Feya,” she said, turning to the other doctor of their crew, “...would you mind administering the medicine to him and tending his wounds?” In her hand were bandages, salve, and of course one of her signature syringes. She had no desire to leave her seat until either Bonesword regained consciousness or she could lay low a member of this horrid pirate crew.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by ProPro
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ProPro Pierce the Heavens with your spoon!

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Most of the enemy crew hadn't yet seen the results, as they were still hiding like cowards from their own doctor. It took a few seconds after hearing the referees' decrees for the first of the pirates to even risk taking a peak from out under the seats. "I don't believe it," he muttered, inspiring others to follow suit and take their own look. Whispers took over the hall, growing rapidly into a worried chattering. Clearly that had begun to lose faith in their ability to keep control over this competition.

"They beat Mr. Sledge! It may have been a tie, but they beat him!"

"I'm not feeling so great about this whole thing. Our officers have faced off against five different pirate crews in these contests before and never lost!"

"Maybe we should just go back to the mar-" That pirate had been suddenly punched across the face by Bullet Bill, and sent flying into the wall.

"We don' go back, ye'hear?! None'f us." In that instant the man had regained control of his men, who nodded and gulped. "We chose these contests over a big fight fer a reason, remember? Now quit yer moanin'! If we win, we win! If we lose, we lose! Dere's no shame init!"

"Ever since you took over these men, they've all gotten soft!" bellowed a voice from behind the door. It kicked open, revealing the cigar-chomping man with the tiger striped coat, carrying Greave over his shoulder. Greave was still unconscious from his boxing match with Hachirou, while his savior was visibly angry. Veins bulged throughout his face, and his skin was darkening to be almost as orange as the tiger skin he wore.

Bill shifted his attention. "If'n ye think yer still top sea dog here, ye can prove it. Finish the rest o'the challengers, an' I'll step down for ye." The top-heavy man merely shrugged, like this sort of thing was perfectly normal.

The other man's eye twitched, then narrowed. "Fine," he growled. "Catch!" He rolled Greave off his shoulder and down his arm, catching the unconscious man by the top of his pants. Then he wound up his arm, and hurled Greave across the hall up to Bill, who caught Greave in both arms and set him down gently. A few of the pirates crept up closer to get a better look.

"Look at that! Yeah, that lion man is seriously scary!"

"No kidding, Greave is the best swimmer here but he looks like he almost drowned!"

"Hey! Focus! Setup my arena!" The cigar man barked, and the underlings jumped to attention.

"Right away, capta-errr, first mate!" A dozen pirates ran around the hall, clearing the climbing ropes and debris from previous matches, setting up chalk lines, and getting out two nets which were placed on opposite ends. Once everything was said and done, the hall had been made up to look like a field for...

"Football is my game! And the name is Lance. Lance Pike. Who's up to kick a ball around?"

One of the pirates rolled a cannonball across the floor, here Pike stopped it by placing his foot on top. He shed his tiger striped coat, which was grabbed out of the air by one of the Buccaneers before it hit the ground, and crossed his arms. "Rules are simple, and similar to the dodgeball game. One on one, this cannonball is our game ball. First to kick it into the opponent's goal three times wins, and of course absolutely no use of hands whatsoever."

"State your name, soldier! State your na-" And that's as much as Dirk could hear before the den den mushi was, very cruelly, tossed out the window. Oh well, it would be fine, wouldn't it? Snails can survive in water just fine, right? Right.

Just as Dirk turned to talk to Smith, the ninja seemed to already be standing right behind him. The pirates he had been fighting? All on the ground, unconscious. Except for one guy. He was hanging from the bookcase by his underwear, but the pain was so excruciating that he couldn't talk. His face had gone deep purple, so that was pretty hilarious.

"The marines are coming? Crap. Well hopefully they'll take longer to get here than it'll take to register this island on your captain's log pose." Smith wandered over to where the tattered and vandalized marine flag hung up on the wall. He began taking it down and folding it up. "I guess if not, we'll just have to fight them off, right? Maybe these assholes will even help to save their own skins, heheheheheh."

Once he finished folding up the flag, he slipped it into his pockets and gestured for the door. "They've got more men leftover and patrolling than I thought. If we don't get moving fast, someone else is going to discover we've been here. Maybe someone who isn't a total moron who will raise the alarm before fighting us. We should move."
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Demon Shinobi
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Demon Shinobi

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Wafer D. Kite - Preparations complete. Kite's renewed resolve!

Kite had spent much of his time trying to follow the events of each contest. He'd been so caught up in the eccentricities of each participant and the amazing abilities he'd witnessed that he could barely bring himself to engage with others. Watching, he couldn't help but wonder if he was even worthy of being in the presence of such amazing people. Caesar, Slick, Bonesword, even the members of Runch's crew were beyond amazing in there own right. Seeing the skill of the drunken master of a doctor and the power of the lion man left him in awe. How would he fair if he were to have to fight them. He had strength for sure from all the time he'd spent working on ships. He had skills, of course, from his time as a ship captain and all he'd studied in preparation for his time on the open seas. But even so, could he truly measure up.

Kite glanced back and around at the members of his crew, his new family. Lilliana, Feya, Captain Boone and himself were all that were left for the remaining competitions. He took a deep breath. It was probably best that they save the best for last. He would take up the next challenge. He had to show that he could step up should the need arrive. He wanted to prove his worth as more than a tag along into the wild world that was the Grand Line.

"Football, huh?" He asked as he stood up from the seat he'd taken at some point throughout the matches. "I'll give it a shot." He'd played when he was young, and a bit with his old crew here and there for fun, though using a cannon ball would be difficult. Still, he was a strong and nothing if not prepared to put his body on the line for the crew he'd joined. Was he nervous? Why wouldn't he be? He shook the nerves from his body and began to walk to the established arena. The worst that could happen was he would lose. But he wasn't planning on that, so there was no reason to worry over such things. He would win. No matter what, he would win.

"I can already tell you're a tough guy." He grinned as he came to a stop face to face with Pike. "Anything else I should know before we get this game underway?" He asked as he cracked his knuckles.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by BCTheEntity
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BCTheEntity 2smol4u

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Dirk Messir - Okay, Cool.

Oh wow, he was really strong, too. Just like the other men crew mans in there my crew. They are real strong, even strangthlier than you yourself. Somehow it happened. But really, he has to have the had got strong power, so if Max is this great, he'll also be the second next have the power to be there in a fight with strong people, and if that is that there that so, he may have power allies too. Oh dang.

'Well, you said we needed to move, but not to there is a location where it is,' Dirk said, with noise, but not some noise as the Divine Purpose told his exit to exit. Luckily, snails are smaller than mice, so if you drop it, it survived. Probably. Yes, that is how snails work. One of the people who was there says so one time. They have saying it.

You're making things up Lame-o! You have no idea what you're talking about Bastard! You suck Sucker!

'Okay thanks though,' he said to himself, saidly. He said it in a saying fashion is what that means. 'We should tell everyone first. And say to them. "There's bad guys." See, I can use a way better stratego too.' Shut up Smush, who said he can't so there anything to anyman who dares abuse my trust? He had bringth, or brain strength. There were As to remove.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Spiffy
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Spiffy Prince of Peace

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Captain Cedric D. Boone - Cannon Castle VI
replying to Kite

Boone looked on after the latest bout and nodded his head approvingly. This latest challenger looked to be of great strength. He also commanded an air of respect from his crew to the point where they even mistakingly called him "captain." Who would step up to the plate?

He didn't have to ponder long, Kite turned towards his crew and Cedric gave him a thumbs up in approval. Afterward, Kite walked up and accepted the challege. Cedric had not seen Kite in action except when he was dehydrated and hungry with the Krabbe hunters. Surely with good food and drink in his belly he would prove a worthy opponent in this game of football. "Go get em Kite!"
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Leaves
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Leaves The Friendly Bulbasaur

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"Is that okay with you?"

Interacting with:@ProPro@yoshua171@Spiffy

Feya's eyes moved to the right and her mouth stayed agape. A confused sound came out of her when she heard the cereal captain's response. She stuck her index finger and dug into her right ear, picking off some wax and flicking it to the side. "I apologize, did you say he has 'never been sober?' I'm more than sure that's a health hazard and throws a lot of red flags." Shaking her head to the side, she sucked air through her teeth.

"I have charts and graphs if you want to see the dangers of alcoholism does on a person. I even have a fun fact book. He's literally just one of seventeen million people that suffer from -- did you say drunken fist?" Feya stopped her rambling and stepped back. She was a bit hesitant to continue the conversation. The combat based on the user's inebriation, Feya never considered this method of fighting to be genuine; she always assumed it was a myth.

Shrugging her shoulders, she gave up on the conversation. "Alright then," the fitness woman believed it would best to spectate the battle with her own eyes. Seeing the battle begin, she kept glancing at the cereal captain. The cries of the enemy pirates didn't really help her judgment. From the start, the drunken martial artist managed to get himself locked within the rope. This was becoming a bit uneasy to witness until something strange had occurred.

Feya watched the tides turn when Ken released himself from the bindings and instead utilized the rope to temporarily keep the doctor in dark clothing in check. She stuck her lower lip out and nodded. "Okay," she muttered, slowly understanding the method of drunken combat. Feya studied the battle more and more. Lucky for the fitness woman, most of these battles utilized hand-to-hand combat and did not rely on devil fruit powers.

She then saw a gleam of light shine on the opponent's hand. A self-injection via syringe was utilized that suddenly transformed the enemy into "Mr.Sledge." The person's muscle mass and bodyweight increased ten-fold. Feya's eyes opened wide at the spectacle. "No way! Are those muscles enhancers?! Is that artificial?!" She bellowed out; the woman was clearly interested and forgotten the stress of the battle.

Once snapping out of her interest, she noticed the battle's end. Ken was inches away from victory and collapsed from overexertion. Feya kept her eyes on the falling doctor as he descended in the air. Fortunately, his captain caught him in the nick of time. Feya stared off at the pirate's reactions and how they spoke to each other. It seemed they were fighting amongst each other and in total disbelief of their losses.

Her body shook when she saw Bullet Bill give one of his subordinates a sucker punch. The poor soul was sent into one of the walls. She massaged her right bicep and rotated her neck. "Some arm you got," she whispered. Her train of thought was interrupted by her crewmate, Lilly. Glancing at her, she listened to her request. Rubbing the backside of her neck, she nodded and accepted. "Yeah, I got it." The fitness woman spoke without giving Lilianna eye contact, glancing at Bullet Bill again.

She took the medical supplies and kneeled down to the unconscious doctor. She snickered, "Can't say I'm truly impressed. Only slightly. I figure your technique is more efficient with both legs on the ground, huh?" She was speaking to a knocked out person so there was no guaranteed response. Looking at the outcome of Dr. Sledge, she began talking to herself again. "Though you did take down someone with a muscle enhancer. That's worth a pat on the back." The fitness woman examined to see if there was no blockage in the breathing or circulation. Continuing on, she checked further for any bruising or swelling -- common indicators of broken bones. using what was given, she massaged the healing gel into the most severely damaged areas then bandaging the treated areas. Looking at the syringe in her hand, she stuck the needle in the shoulder of the doctor. Putting her eyes on Liliana, she said bluntly. "I have no idea where you inject your needles into people. I chose the shoulder."

Taking a stand, she called to her captain. "Hey, Cedric. I want the big one." She threw her head and directed it over to Bullet Bill.

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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Demon Shinobi
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Demon Shinobi

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Wafer D. Kite - Challenge accepted? Kite's unyielding spirit!

Collab with Pro!

Pike grinned wide like a maniac as Kite approached him, accepting the challenge. ”Yeah, there is something else you should know,” he answered. The large man took hold of the cigar from his mouth, dumped the ashes in front of him toward Kite’s feet, then blew smoke in the young shipwright’s face. ”I don’t go easy on pirate scum. Don’t go crying if I break a few of your bones, or you die! YARHARHARHARHARHAR!”

The man’s laughter was deep, and guttural. He projected it from the belly. Once his fun at Kite’s expense was done, he placed the cigar back in his mouth, and kicked the cannonball up using his foot like a scoop, and sent it toward one of the refs, who struggled to catch the thing.

“Take your places!” The second ref ordered. Pike took to his side of the center field, waiting for Kite and waiting for the ball to get put in play.

Kite stared down the man as he laughed. He wasn’t much bothered by the smoke from the man’s cigar as someone else might have been. He was a smoker himself after all. He simply shrugged it off chuckle of his own as he pulled his bandana out from his pocket and tied it into place around his head. ”I’ll keep that in mind.” He said as he moved to take his place on his own side of the center field. ”But don’t whine if things don’t turn out the way you want them too.” He remarked, taking a moment to stretch.

This’ll be tough. He’s confident in playing with a cannonball, which means this is a regular occurrence. He thought as he stared down the arena. He was no slacker himself, and he was sure his own training regimen would provide a surprise or two for the larger man. He’d always felt he would need strength to properly work on a ship. His muscles and bones could more than hold up to a little pain. After all he’d managed against Krabbe. But that was a problem in and of itself. I haven’t had a proper rest since I bordered that bastards ship.

The shipwright sighed. Between nightmares revolving around his own crew, his capture, the ongoings with the Red Rums, etc., he was far from tip top shape. Can’t let that stop me.

The two referees joined the players near the center, setting the cannonball dead center between them. The other pulled out a coin and addressed Kite. “As the challenger, you get to call the toss.” He flipped the coin in the air and caught it, out of sight, waiting for Kite to call heads or tails.

Kite took a breath and watched as the coin flipped through the air for a brief moment. “I call heads.” He said, hoping he was correct.

Slowly, deliberately, so as to show that there was no sleight of hand or other form of cheating, the referee lifted his hand up to reveal the coin: tails. “Challenger Kite has lost the coin toss! Capt-er, sorry, first mate Pike, do you want to start on offense or defense?”

Pike blew his cigar smoke into the mook’s face and casually placed the roll of tobacco back in his mouth. ”The hell do you think I want?! You’ve been in my service for what, three years now? OFFENSE IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS! CRUSH YOUR OPPONENT BEFORE THEY CAN MAKE A MOVE WITH LIGHTNING FURY!”

Pike left the ref to stand in the middle of his side of the field, the ref standing back at a 45 degree angle on his heels, his hair frozen behind him from the sheer force of Pike’s yelling. The second referee had to step in. “Uh, ok. Well then challenger Kite kicks off to Pike!” He left the cannonball in the center of the field, by Kite, then picked up his peer to run off the side. A few seconds later and a whistle was blown. “BEGIN!”

Kite winced at the news of the coin toss and then again at the scream from the larger man. “Fuck, this is gonna be tougher than I thought.” He mumbled to himself with a slight chuckle as he took a step back and geared himself up to begin. Thus, when the call was made he charged forward. He couldn’t necessarily kick it straight. It wasn’t the best moved. It’d be a better called to kick it a little out of Pike’s way so he could work to get to it. Otherwise, his offensive moves would be that much easier.

Luckily, Kite was strong. Working on ships. Lifting and molding the wood, moving beams. He might not have matched up to Feya, but he could hold his own. Still, the smarter move would be to try and preserve my legs if possible. He thought as he slipped the top of his foot into the curvature of the ball and lifted it slightly. He used that movement to launch the ball forward, but aimed towards the left of the field. Pike would have to run for it if he wanted it, but it wasn’t so far out of the way that it’d be better to let it fly out of bounds. Let’s see how he handles this.

Pike scrunched up his face at the kickoff serve he had just received, rolling off to his side. ”Pathetic,” he grumbled, darting off to the cannonball with surprising speed for someone his size. ”Using your foot to scoop it is smart to avoid damaging your legs, but!”

He reached the iron ball in under a second, kicking it up into the air, then began juggling it in place by alternating his knees. ”If you want to defeat me! You’ll need to go! On! The attack!” He juggled it up much higher, then spun in place like a windmill. The side of his foot slammed into the cannonball with tremendous force, sending it rocketing forward… Straight for Kite’s torso.

It was coming right at him. For Kite, it seemed almost like slow motion. He had to make a choice, move out of the way, try to redirect it, or perhaps try to kick it back. At the cannonball hurdled towards him he took a deep breath. The decision he’d made would surely hurt a bit, but he could take it. Especially since this ball didn’t seem to be more as fast or with as much force as the cannonballs Caesar had been dealing with. And so, he lifted his leg, bent at the knee, with the sole of his foot set to stopped the ball’s momentum.

Kite grit his teeth, feeling the impact of the ball, but managed to stand his ground. He used his own strength to push it down and into the ground, grinning at Pike before beginning to run. Sure, he slid back a few feet, but that was better than possibly losing a point. Kite was now making his way down the field, dribbling the ball as he’d done so many times. It wasn’t that different. Just required a little more force. “Understood, sir.” He laughed confidently. Hopefully, that display had showed that he was a little more than Pike probably thought at a first glance. He didn’t take kindly to being underestimated afterall.

Pike scrunched his eyebrows up at the sight of Kite resisting one of his standard kicks. The kid had more grit in him than he originally thought, he had to admit. Still, it wouldn’t be enough. He charged straight for Kite at blinding speed, propelled by his massive leg muscles which left cracks in the floor. Of course, Kite was slowed by the burden of an iron ball. ”Better than the average man,” Pike called out, kicking the ball straight up from in front of the Red Rum. ”BUT NOT NEARLY GOOD ENOUGH!”

Pulling more or less the same maneuver he had to shoot the cannonball toward Kite, he flipped around like a fan and struck the ball in a slapshot with the side of his foot. The cannonball was sent flying over Kite’s head with greater speed than the initial kick, and slammed into the goal unobstructed. A referee’s whistle blew out, signalling the score.

“GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! One point for capt-er, I mean, for first mate Pike! Pike now serves to Kite!”

The tall, imposing man grinned with sheer malice and superiority down at his opponent, taking the time to blow more cigar smoke in Kite’s face before heading over to retrieve the ball for the game’s second kickoff.

Kite was completely and utterly caught off guard. And just like that Pike had scored himself a point. “Shit…” He grumbled as he ran back to take a possession of the ball. He had to do better. Be more on guard. He took his mark. I won’t be able to beat him in a game of shear strength. I’m gonna have to play smarter. He thought to himself as he awaited the large man’s kickoff. Problem was, he was already started to get a little annoyed. He hated being looked down on, but more than that he hated when he couldn’t prove his opponent wrong. He had to be better than that.

”Are you ready, pipsqueak?” Pike chided, juggling the ball with his knees. ”Because now that I’ve seen you can take a kick, the kid gloves come off! TIIIIIGERRRR! STRIIIIIIKE!” As the cannonball fell down, Pike gave the thing a standing kick, his leg perpendicular to the ground. Interestingly enough, he kicked with his toes pointed straight forward, as though his leg were a spear. The air distorted around his leg thrust, and the impact sent the cannonball hurtling straight for Kite’s torso as before, only with much greater force and speed! ”You should know my policy by now! TEAR APART THE OPPOSITION! YARHARHARHARHAR!”

Kite’s eyes widened. The speed and power behind the ball was far greater than before and he wasn’t entirely sure he could stop it this time. ”Well I’m not backing down old man!” But that was easier said than done. What could he do?

Kite turned, and braced himself. With the wrenches on his back he could take less of the brunt of the damage, though it’d still hurt like hell. “This is gonna hurt.” He spoke quietly to himself. If it hit, he was hoping it’d stop in place. If it did there was a chance it would lodge between his wrenches. Then, he could charge to the net. If it didn’t play out like that, he’d have to turn around and charge the net with the ball properly. But then, he’d have to throw in a few feints in his next attempt at dribbling. Either way he wouldn’t be using his hands and would still be abiding by the rules.

The cannonball struck his back, driving into his muscle between the wrenches. It didn’t get caught between the tools, but he wasn’t as injured as he would have been taking the shot head on from the front. There was little doubt the bruise would be absolutely massive, and black. Pike didn’t lie when he said he wasn’t playing around.

“Goddammit…” Kite growled as he felt the ball’s impact followed by the its descent to the ground. ”Plan b then.” He said as he turned and began his charge down the field with the ball. He was kicking harder and running faster, pushing the ball at an incredible pace given the circumstances. This time though, he paid attention. Pike could appear in front of him in the blink of an eye and he had to be ready for that. Whether it be a sudden stop and turn, or a kick in retaliation to defend his control over the ball this round. He wasn’t gonna let him score again so easily. He couldn’t let him score again so easily.

Right on cue Pike appeared from Kite’s right flank, almost in a flicker. ”Tiger stalks its prey!” he chanted with fervor. Then he lifted his right leg, and swung it straight for Kite’s neck! ”Ambush Strike!”

Kite glared at Pike. He’d actually been ready this time. He ducked his head, only narrowly avoiding the quick and powerful kick. ”It’s not gonna be that easy!” he yelled as he maneuvered the ball to the side away from Pike. He was banking on Pike’s attention being fixed on the ball, the target of the game, and launched a kick of his own aimed at Pike’s chest with his left leg. If Pike went for the ball, he’d be walking right into an attack. If he avoided the attack, Kite could take the chance to deliver another kick to the ball and actually score a goal. Of course, there was a chance that things didn’t go his way at all, but he was hoping his on the fly planning was better than that.

As it happened, his way is exactly where things didn’t go. Pike hadn’t focused on the ball at all, but on Kite himself. Yet dodging was not on the pirate’s list of priorities either. As soon as Pike’s right leg went over his target’s head, he spun around in the air and met Kite’s kick his his own left leg, striking the shipwright along the side of the knee. Running and dribbling would be painful from now on.

”YARHARHARHAR! You’ve learned to try crushing your enemy! That’s good!” Off he went in the opposite direction, and a somewhat leisurely pace kicking the ball for the goal. ”But not good enough for a veteran like me, kid!”

Kite bit his lip to avoid crying out in pain at the impact of the larger man’s kick. He turned and chased after him. Dammit… Dammit dammit dammit! He mentally cursed himself as he forced his body to catch up to the man. He needed another plan. Tripping him was out of the question. And the man was clearly not taking him seriously given his lackadaisical attitude. It was possible it would be in vain but he dove feet first, sliding across the ground in an attempt to kick the ball, and Pike’s feet, out from under him. ”I’m not gonna make it that easy for you!”

It was then that something miraculous happened. Through the pain, Kite slid across the floor and knocked the iron ball away from Pike, despite the man being far more healthy and physically able at the time. The former captain turned first mate jumped upward to avoid getting tripped up himself, but it was quite clear from the expression on his face that Pike had utterly failed to expect that Kite might actually make a bold offensive move like that after getting his knee wrecked. If there was a time to turn the tables, that time was now!

Kite grit his teeth, forcing himself back up to his feet. It wasn’t just his knee. His leg was in incredible pain. Still, with adrenaline coursing through him, and determination to get a point of his own, he began dribbling again. Still, this was likely a once in a lifetime moment for this match if he’d learned anything at all. He put all his weight on his injured leg and wound up. Go in! He screamed mentally, as he sucked in a deep breath and swung his leg, the impact with the ball reverberating through his entire body as it sent it hurtling toward the goal. Please! Go in! He thought as he brought his leg back down and began to move forward after it, just in case. He wanted to stop moving, but he couldn’t. It wasn’t an option as of yet.

Kite could plainly see Pike zoom right past him in an effort to catch up to the ball, but it was to no avail. Kite put everything he could into that kick, and the man’s surprise had delayed him just barely long enough. Pike swung his leg up in an effort to knock the ball back, and successfully made contact, scooping it from the air and back into the field… But not before it had clearly past the goal line into his net.

“GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” cried both of the refs, blowing into their whistles. Atop the stands, Bill narrowed his eyes at Pike smugly.

”Yer doin’ a fantastic job o’demolishin’ everyone,” he commented with a smile. ”Maybe it’s tha smoke in’yer lungs slowin’ ya down? Boomboomboomboomboom!”

Down below Pike growled. ”He’s not worth dropping my cigar. I just underestimated his will.” He turned to look back at Kite, then strolled up the field to take his position. ”But that won’t happen again. Two more goals. I will crush you beneath my heel, kid. Now kick off to me.”

“Greahahaha…” Kite laughed under his breath at the display as he took his time walking back over to his starting position. His blood was pumping, his body was still moving, so that was something. The pain hadn’t dulled, but it’d been overwritten by what could only be described as an adrenaline fueled numb. He stared down at Pike, now finally in position and ran forward, each step on his bad knee sending what felt like jolts of electricity coursing through his body. ”Off to you, mate. He called as he kicked off as was the rule of the game.

”Time to see if your head is as hard as mine!” Pike decreed, intercepting the ball before it even touched the ground. Rather than kick it, he used one of the more flashy, and difficult, maneuvers in football… And considering the ball in questions was made of solid iron, in this case one of the most dangerous. He slammed his forehead directly into it without remotely hesitating, sending the cannonball careening straight back at its source. Well, a few feet higher than where it was originally, straight for Kite’s face.

Kite’s eyes widened. He had taken many blows to the head in his time, but was he up for this. If I move I don’t know how I’ll stop it. He’s likely to get the goal. He thought as the ball came at him. But it was about more than that wasn’t it? The man was still questioning, underestimating, Kite’s resolve. He growled as planted his feet. Fuck off if you think I’m not willing to put everything on the line for my new home. Especially when he’d watched them do the same. Kite tried to steel himself as he move his head forward and forced the ball to collide with his forehead.

Immediately, he felt how powerful Pike must have been to use this ball as if it were a simple plaything. He couldn’t do anything, but stand there until finally it dropped to the ground before him. Blood trickled down from his nose, but he managed to stay standing. ”I told you. I’m not making it easy for you.” He barked. ANy sign of fear that might have been in Kite’s eyes, any nervousness, anything negative was gone as he glared at the larger man. He understood that he might not win this match, but more was on the line for him now than a simple victory. More than the ship. It was about his pride, his worth, and everything that he knew would only get in the way of the crew he’d joined should he continue following them deeper into the Grand Line.

Without another word, despite the now added pain to his growing collection, Kite stepped forward. Part of him wanted to collapse right then and there. But he pushed the ball forward as he took another step, and another, and another, until he was now charging down the field again with the ball, still weary of a possible attack from Pike, watching him like a hawk, though he true focus was as it should have been the goal. The second Pike tried to come at him, he’d kick the ball with as much force as he could muster and send it rocketing towards the goal. Then he’d throw another kick at Pike to try and distract him. It would seem like the same plan as early. Attempt to land an attack to keep the ball, but this time he’d be trying to score a goal and keep Pike from stopping it. But could his body hold up?

Sadly Kite’s plan was never placed into action, as Pike never approached him, which isn’t to say that the large man did not engage in some way. Tiger stripe’s course of action was utterly unpredictable, and borderline impossible to avoid coming from Kite’s blind spot. ”Ground Pounce!” he called out, but Pike did not pounce forward, nor pounce at all. The attack name could only be described as painfully literal. Angling himself and tilting his toes to form a spear shape with his leg once more, Pike stabbed into the floor with great force, piercing the stone. A fissure trailed all along the floor in two separate directions, and the man lifted his foot upward to complete the attack. He had accomplished flipping an entire section of solid stone floor, including where Kite was dribbling the ball forward! It was indeed a “ground pounce” in the most absurd of ways.

The floor tilted up, tossing Kite and the iron ball backward, where he inevitably lost control. Pike flipped backward, slamming his foot hard into the ball and sending it rocketing back into his target goal for his second point of the match.

“GOOOOOOOOAL! The score is now 2-1 in favor of first mate Pike!”

Pike blew more smoke down at Kite, then turned to retrieve the ball from his net. ”You’ve had a good run, kid, but you’re not at your best. Even if you were, this match wouldn’t go any different. Hell, it might have gone worse for you. I wouldn’t have held back and crushed you that much faster. Yarharhar.”

Dammit! This guy’s barely even been trying and I’m like breaking apart here. He thought as he mentally kicked himself. He wanted to be of use to the team, but he just wasn’t strong enough. It was clear to him, and if his state of being was clear to Pike, it was likely clear to others as well. Maybe he should have sat this one out, but when else would he have competed? Even so, he moved back into position. He wasn’t about to give up. Even if he didn’t have a shot in hell, he was giving it his all to try and win. ”Just kick off. I can still move. So, I can still compete.” He said simply, though he was clearly he was just barely holding it together.

”Hm. Impressive will. I respect that, even if you are pirate scum. So take this! My Striped Drill Kick!” The large man gave the cannonball one last kickoff, but it was clear this was no normal kick. Pike spun in the air as he extended his foot out, slamming into the thing like a drill. The impact sent it shooting forward with force equal to his last great kick, but the added piercing ability of a spinning shot. Thankfully it wasn’t heading straight for Kite’s face this time. He still had a chance to be useful, to take this man down a peg!

Kite watched on as the ball came flying down the field at him. It was like staring down the barrel of a gun. Everything felt slow. He could feel the air against his skin, particles from the sea air traveling to surround them. He narrowed his eyes. He didn’t have a vast amount of experience, but he still had things to draw on. He thought about it all. The biggest threat in the cannonball right now, was it’s spin. How could he stop it? No, he couldn’t. He could maybe slow it. Or redirect it. He grinned. He didn’t want to go down without a fight.

Kite took another deep breath. He could feel his lungs expanding and deflating. He could feel the blood move through his veins. He waited until the ball was close enough. He moved himself in front of it. It was lined up with his chest. He turned as he felt it make impact. It took everything he had not to scream in pain. At the very least he’d have fractured a rib, or a few. Maybe even broken. He turned his body to direct the ball and lessen the blow. He lifted his leg as it passed his body and brought up his knee. It was already injured, but he knew it was a risk going in. The ball struck and he could feel that he wouldn’t be walking on this leg for a bit. It rolled along. It had lost momentum, but it was still moving. And now, he was redirecting it. As it rolled down towards his foot he kicked forward, sending it flying back at Pike. He wasn’t sure where it would hit, or if it would hit at all, but if this worked, the big man wouldn’t walk away unscathed, even if that meant Kite wouldn’t be able to compete anymore.

Meanwhile, Pike had already considered his victory a done deal; the tiger striped, cigar chopper had already turned round and was strutting off of the field. So when the cannonball struck him in the back of his left knee, to say the injury was unexpected would be an understatement. ”GAH!” Of course, it was nowhere near as bad as the injuries Kite had already taken. Pike’s leg muscles tensed up by reflex, gripping the ball right where it had struck him. He gave pause for a moment, breathing harshly to vent his fury. ”That. Is. THE LAST TIME I UNDERESTIMATE YOU STINKIN’, DIRTY, PIRATES! I’LL SEND YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL! REVERSE CLAW SHOOOOOOOOT!”

Pike swung around backwards, flinging the iron ball from his leg like a catapult. He didn’t aim at Kite, there was no time to do so: he had merely flung it right back in the direction of the net. ”Tell the devil that Captain Pikes says, ‘I’m comin’ for ya too!’”

“GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! With three points, first-mate Pike wins!”

Pike rolled his cigar from one side of his mouth to the other, then aggressively shrugged. ”Get my next challenger down here. I’ll send you all to Hell.”

Kite chuckled under his breath at the reaction from the larger man. That’s all I’ve got. He thought to himself, believing he’d said it outloud for a second, before realized that his lips hadn’t moved. The ball flew passed him. He watched it from the ground. It was over. He couldn’t really walk himself off the field though. He looked back up at Captain Boone, then at the other members of the crew. He really wasn’t going anywhere without a little help. He attempt to ask for it, but it seemed that given the possible mess up ribs, and the other injuries he’d sustained it was taking a lot to even stay awake. Still, he hadn’t given up. And Pike hadn’t crushed him completely. That was enough for him. At least at that moment.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by ProPro
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ProPro Pierce the Heavens with your spoon!

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The crowd cheered on in the wake of Pike's victory, a raucous celebration heard throughout, inescapable. "Yeah! Go Pike!"

"That's the old captain for ya!"

"Take us all the way to victory!"

"Boomboomboomboom!" The laughter of Bill drowned out all others with its impressive baritone. The man's belly jiggled as he expressed his joy and enthusiasm. "Are ya cert'n ye can earn back yer old position based on tha' performance? Yeh've got a long way ta go an' they can still wear ya down!"

Pike scowled back, choosing to ignore Bill's question in favor of simply repeating himself. "Bring me my next challenger!"

Bill craned his head back toward the Red Rums and Krunch Krew, picking out Feya from the gathering. "We'll be seein' if'n yer crews can even get ta my contest, lass! Boomboomboom! But if'n ya do, I'll be glad ta take on someone wit as much... Spirit."

Meanwhile, Runch produced a bowl of cherry-red cereal and handed it to Boone. "This is my special bloodberry recipe. I designed it specifically to stimulate the healing process and provide extra nutrients to the body. It looks like our beaten men, those are are still conscious anyway, could really use it." He beamed with a great smile, just happy to be able to assist.

"I shall go retrieve your carpenter," commented Hachirou, standing tall. Without waiting for a reply, he lumbered down the steps and approached Kite, taking great care to lift the man up without exacerbating his injuries. "You have great strength of will." Without another word, he carried the shipwright back to the stands and set Kite down, gently, near Feya so the doctor could perform her duties.

"Hurry your dirty pirate asses along!" impatiently cried out Pike. "I could've stomped out another one of you in the time you're making me wait!"

"If you, uh... Say so." It was clear that Smith had absolutely no idea what Dirk was saying, and just didn't feel like getting any clarification or arguing about it. Instead he followed behind the helmsman as Dirk exited the communications tower. If they stuck along the wall as they had, then there were two directions they could go. If they followed along the right the would come across a row of ten cannons positioned so they would be shooting out to sea, and another tower on the far end beyond those. If they took the fork to the left, they would be heading back to where they originally scaled the wall, and further still the main hall of the fortress. In that direction Dirk could make out a familiar green flash in the windows: something he only saw whenever his bestest friend skullkid used that honor strike technique.

"Since you wanted to lead the way, by all means. Lead the way."
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Old Amsterdam The Drunken Creator

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Caesar shook his head at the game. Challenge. Whatever it was. It was almost as ridiculous as that dodgeball thing from Launcher. He felt bad that he wasn't able to participate any, these physical things were really up towards himself and Feya.

Their victories were costly, for both sides. So far Slick was the only one who had been a winner and came out from it fairly unhurt. But now this guy....

Caesar watched Kite be taken to Feya with a frown. Whoever was going to go next was going to need to be careful.

"Don't underestimate him," he said to the two pirate crews. "He's dangerous. That temper, though..." He trailed off, thinking to himself.

This man was strong and fast, and intelligent too. You couldn't just beat him by playing by his rules and games. That was where Kite had messed up. No... You needed something more to take care of this guy.
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Gardevoiran Reading or remembering, not both.

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September Ended
[Hyping up @yoshua171]

"Mom can do it." Bonekid woke back up a few seconds before the match concluded, but he stayed down in the laying position. He was absolutely exhausted at that moment, despite all the milk that he had been given. Taking his sword up from the ground beside him, the kid hugged it close to him as he looked up at Lilliana's face. "You can do it!"

Bonekid pulled himself up to a sitting position, causing his sword to reach the bottom of the bleacher seat he was on, poking into the ground. In response, the kid leaned forward onto the hilt of his sword and rested on it. He wasn't going to miss his mom fighting, not for the dang world! Neither was the Shroomblade.

He looked back at his mom one more time with a "smile" on his face, raising a hand to give a thumbs-up to her. "Someone needs to teach that guy some discipline, anyway. He's not even respecting his captain!"
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by BCTheEntity
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BCTheEntity 2smol4u

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Dirk Messir - BA DE YA, SAY- No. We're Not.

Oh the gah, there it is! There is the best boye's best attack boye! He's doing a cool time today, for sure. Then he's fine for now, so he can go there. Divine Purpose? Yes, it agrees. That is the true truth.

'Okay, we're going right, because right is the right way to go,' Joke dirked, and then laughed with hearty dignetiy.

I said, he laughed wiuth heatryrt tdiengeierjg.

No you didn't. You only thought that. What you actually said was 'I am a worthless coward, and I deserve nothing more than to kill myself.'

'...so it is, Derek,' Dirk realised, realising that he'd realised what he'd really said, which was that. But the Divine Purpose didn't actually say to do that so he didn't, and instead he decided to decide to go to the right, and go to the return of Cannon. The big real deal, for real.

'Okay, you enter the gun, by which I mean break the guns, and by guns I mean guns,' Dirk extrapolated, jabbing verdantly in the correct direction of the gun cannons, 'meanwhile I will snake to the tower.' And he did start to do this, for real deals. There could be true real deal meals in that place. He'd see them, and remain where the Divine Purpose said he had to to to to hide.

Like a coward Weakling! You're such a little wimp Loser!

1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 9 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Leaves
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Leaves The Friendly Bulbasaur

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"Don't lose."

Interacting with:@yoshua171@Demon Shinobi

Feya was definitely having trouble watching the fights. She did not have trouble before, but the continued beatdowns on her comrades were hard to view now. She has seen her friends take down on opponents and lose blood though those were times when she herself was fighting someone. Currently, she's standing patiently for her turn. It's almost embarrassing.

Not only did the bruising and injuries upset her, but also the losses that the members had to carry on their shoulders. Their faces entering the match are much different compared to coming back with a loss. The feeling of having that win stripped from your fingers is a hard one. Feya hoped Caesar's and Kite's feelings of pride were not broken due to this slip-up.

Feya cracked her neck and kneeled down to the beaten Kite. She thanked Hachirou and attended to Kite's injuries. "You gave it your all." She spoke to the valiant carpenter. Picking her head up, she asked for Lily's attention. "Hey, Lily. You got this. Don't lose." Very simple words were spoken, but the fitness woman hoped that would be enough to motivate Lily.

Feya glanced at the enemy captain. "Spirit? My spirit is so jacked it has freaking biceps," She grumbled while bandaging Kite's injuries a bit too aggressively.

Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Demon Shinobi
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Demon Shinobi

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Wafer D. Kite - After the battle! Mending wounds?

Interacting with: @Leaves

It would have been a grievous understatement to say that Kite was a little upset about the fact that he'd been unable to help secure a win for the crew. Even so, he'd managed something on the old geezer hadn't he. And the larger man, for all his boasts and power, had failed to crush the one thing that mattered, Kite's resolve. Even so, he did feel a certain amount of embarrassment having to be carried off the field. And so as he was placed down, he sighed. "Thank you," he spoke softly as Hachirou left him with his crew in the stands. He could do little more than sit there and watch the rest of the games. He could barely move his arms too, but barely was better than not at all at least.

"Captain," Kite began softly as he winced in pain when Feya began to tend to his wounds. Her words were kind, and he knew it, but it was still something he'd needed to here. "Permission to have a bowl of the food that Runch provided?" He asked as Feya called out to Lily who'd be competing next. It was amusing really, until she got a little more rough. He groaned and winced, sucking his teeth. "F-Feya..." He said weakly, but he felt a sharp pain.

"Spirit? My spirit is so jacked it has freaking biceps."

He gasped. "Trust me, Feya..." He laughed a bit, though it was broken up and clearly painful. "Nobody that actually matters here could even imply that your spirit is weak." He said choosing to joke a bit to get her to lighten up on his wounds.
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by yoshua171
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yoshua171 The Loremaster

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!The Tiger and The Rose!
Collab between @ProPro and @yoshua171

Already itching to give these fools the fight of their lives, Lilliana watched the contest, her body tense, though her touch remained gentle as she absently stroke Bonesword’s sleeping skull. Despite Kite’s numerous injuries, she never winced or looked away. She’d seen some grisly injuries and wasn’t going to look away and shame herself or her nakama. However, watching each injury occur pained her in a way that few might understand. As things concluded, she found that, once her son had sat up, she was already on her feet. She left her medical and tinkering bags with Bonesword, but something was odd. Her tinker bag was totally empty.

Hachirou took Kite from the field and carried him back. Lilli absently injected one of her syringes into him before striding past and down to meet the towering man. Despite her small frame there was something about her that made it hard to laugh or jeer at her for challenging him. “Set up the ball, I’m restless and I don’t like you,” her body was tense, but not in the way that someone who hadn’t been moving would be. Her strides were almost unnaturally graceful, something that usually wasn’t terribly apparent.

She could feel B-MO pumping through her blood, through her body, strengthening her more than normal, mostly her muscles and blood vessels. Her bones were already far more durable than they ought to have been...not that the rest of her wasn’t uncannily durable to begin with.

Stepping to the center of the drawn up field, across from Pike, she met his eyes, and while she looked up at him...he couldn’t look down on her. It would be like trying to look down on a queen. You could try, but it was pointless. “Well, how about we skip the coin toss and you start,” she smiled prettily, but there was an icy edge to her words. “Shall I serve?”

Unseen in her shoes and beneath her flowing dress, metal encased her feet and shins.

Pike met Lilliana’s eyes by returning her own steely, determined glare. When he spoke, his tone remained even. ”I underestimated your mate because he was injured. His willpower and strength, despite his situation, surprised me. You are fully healthy, and despite your pixie stature, I will not allow myself to make the same mistake.” The large man took the cigar, which had sat inside his mouth the entire previous match, and tossed it aside.

”Go ahead and serve, if that’s what you’d like.” He sauntered over to take position, something in his body language had changed. He was less relaxed, more tense.

Stepping to the ball, Lilliana briefly stretched to limber up, before she tapped the ball with her toe, then each side with one foot. She then took a step back, met Pike’s eyes, then kicked the ball at him hard. The strength behind it wasn’t however anywhere comparable to his prior kicks, nor was it the full extent of her own. Nonetheless the ball flew at him, knee level.

The large man wasted no time in his response, meeting the ball with his knee directly to completely stop its forward motion, knocking it up in the air where it spun for a moment of hover. ”Pathetic. I know that you have to be capable of more!Striped Drill Kick!” It was only the first kick of the game and Pike was already pulling out his bigger moves from the last match. Into the air he went, perpendicular to the iron cannonball. Spinning around, his leg shot out and struck the ball with his twirling tip-toes which sent the ball shooting straight back at Lilliana at tremendous force and speed, with added piercing spin. What’s more, it came at her even harder than the one he sent at Kite!

Lilli gave him nothing, no response, no reaction, and certainly no ground. The ball struck forwards, she bent her knees, lept forwards and up, the increased the metal in one arm, throwing it back to offset her balance. The sole and bottom of her foot hardened, as did her shoe as she began to fall. The ‘ball’ struck that out stretched foot and her weight, actually greater than it, began to drive it down even as it pushed her knee up. Her body took the shock, not easily, but not even half as badly as Kite’s had. When she felt the last of its momentum about to stop, she pushed back from the ball, flipped, landing on the ground and then erupted forwards in a dash. The side of her foot came in contact with the ball, pushing it to her other foot.

She caught the ball with the edge of that foot, then turned it, letting the ball of cast iron slip to the top of that same foot, before she flicked it up with strength that belied her small frame. The cannonball flew up, level with her head. Her skull hardened, reinforced beneath flesh and vein with biometal. It gained a silver glint, and then she headbutted the ball. It slammed forwards with tremendous force and she didn’t even seem dazed.

She increased her speed, catching up with the ball. It wasn’t aimed at Pike, but at the ground roughly eight feet in front of him. Before it hit the ground, she would already be near him.

Pike grit his teeth in annoyance. Not so much with Lilliana’s ability to cope well with one of his stronger kick shots, but at how utterly detached she was making herself. ”What’s the matter, girl? Aren’t ya mad at how I crushed your friend before? Ground Pounce!” Chasing after Lilli, and the ball, was hardly Pike’s intention at the time. Instead he fell back on one of the more ludicrous, and terrifying, maneuvers in his arsenal. Once again his foot stabbed into the floor like a spear and cracks spread all around. Straining his muscles with a mighty heave, the floor tilted up a full ninety degrees, and then tilted backward! His strategy for winning the game at this point seemed to be on point with crushing the scientist completely and utterly!

Lilli ground her teeth, jaw tight and then Pike made his move. She kept running, though now with clawed feet, even as the floor became a hill and then neared a sheer cliff wall, but as it tilted closer to 90 degrees, she acted. She kicked the ball up, metallic claws spreading from her hands allowing her to latch into the wall the floor had become, catching the cannonball on a knee before swinging herself and kicking it hard with metal guarded toes. It flew up with tremendous speed, but before it got too far, Lilliana slammed her other claw into the wall and launched herself up and past it before it passed the 90 degree threshold. Moving faster than the cannonball, she still managed to spin so her feet struck--no longer clawed--and cratered the ceiling.

While Lilliana had managed to avoid getting crushed by the overturned floor, the rest of her plan did not go as intended, for Pike was quick to act while hidden behind the wall; he was not one to remain idle in this match. The large man vaulted up over the upturned wall, right past Lilliana, weaving between her strands of metal. He took possession of the ball with a hard headbutt, sending the orb flying down the court. Pike was just behind, his powerful legs giving him more speed than one would expect for such an imposing body build.

The cannonball hit the net behind Lilli, just as Pike landed safely upon the ground in a crouched position, the overturned flooring crashing with a mighty rumble mere inches behind his heels. “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” cried out the first of the referees.

“First score of the match goes to Pike!” declared the second, blowing his whistle.

Pike spun round to face his opponent with a cold glare. ”I know who you are,” he started, reaching into his jacket and unrolling a wanted poster. Lilli’s wanted poster. ”Rumors say you’ve got some sort of metal devil fruit. I don’t know how accurate that is, but the results don’t lie. You’ll need to work harder’n that to catch this predator off guard. My serve.”

Dropping down from the ceiling, Lilli hit the ground with a sharp crack, the ground buckling slightly from the weight of her form. She met his gaze and tilted her head, a brow raising as a faint smile touched her lips. “Huh, well, I never expected to have a reputation,” she mused, finding the idea rather funny.

Shrugging, she took up a spot across from Pike again, “Then I’ll just have to take off the training wheels,” she said, hopping in place a moment. B-MO’s biometal flooded through her body, reinforcing everything. He thought it was a devil fruit, which was silly, but he didn’t know better.

Pike licked the inside of his cheek, readying himself for a massive kick. He took stance as he gauged his opponent’s own stance, reading Lilliana’s movements. Something was off about her, he could tell. She was certainly heavier than she ought to be, telling him that she likely was stronger than she looked, and more resilient. But that also meant that most of the time, speed was sacrificed. He grinned. ”Perfectly normal kick… TEN THOUSAND PERCENT POWER!”

True to his declaration, the mighty man launched the ball with a completely normal stance, using a completely normal kick off technique, with but only one caveat. The ball had been launched at stupefying velocity, putting even Launcher’s devil fruit speed to shame! Rather than kicking it directly at his opponent to debilitate her with a strike as he had done so for nearly every previous kick, this one was shot straight for the middle of her legs. The intent? To shoot it right past her and score a goal of his own on the kick off.

She watched as he considered her, and as he started moving, and speaking, she pushed one foot back, bracing herself against the ground. She bent her other knee as well and then the kick came her way. Her eyes widened slightly, but rather than move to catch it with her feet, Lilli lifted one foot and slammed it down on the ground. The floor cracked and tipped up before the ball could pass between her legs. Instead the ball hit the ground and due to its momentum and the angle, flew up into the air.

It wasn’t so much that there was other way for her to block or redirect the ball, just that this required the least effort. On a level Pike’s theory was right, she was heavier than her frame implied, but she was stronger too. She’d been like this almost her entire life...her body had long since compensated for the weight or every movement would be a struggle.

This time, rather than act immediately she kept her eyes on Pike, the ball hitting the zenith of its rise into the air, before it began to fall again.

To his credit, Pike obeyed the rules of football. Though he was ready to go the second Lilliana took control of the ball, he did not move from his kickoff position as it hung in the air. After all, it only went up from environmental factors, meaning technically his opponent hadn’t controlled it yet. To rush in and intercept at this point would still be an illegal maneuver…

Raising an eyebrow, Lilli let the ball hit the ground in front of her, rather than leave the ground to retrieve it. Then she ran forwards with the ball, dribbling it between her feet as she did so, advancing swiftly towards Pike, her every sense focused. What was she planning?

Thus signalled Pike to begin his interception. Rather than going straight in for the assault, the devious and powerful man took advantage of the state the floor had been put in. Cracks and destruction littered the flooring everywhere. With one solid kick, not only did Pike dash straight for Lilliana, but he knocked up large amounts of stone debris, flying straight for the young woman just ahead of him.

He acted, and she took it all in and responded in kind, bleeding metal from her pores, to reinforce her skin as she had the rest of her body. The debris began to strike her and she half lidded her eyes, retaining some of her sight, while protecting them all at once. She kept her other senses sharp.

The debris pelted Lilliana hard, but her endurance was greater. The smaller bits could be ignored entirely, though the larger ones would still leave some bruises despite her preparations. Two particularly sharp ones cut into her skin, causing some minor bleeding. Through it all, Pike took advantage of the cover provided from his attack like a smokescreen, sliding along the floor right by his opponent in an attempt to swipe the ball right out from under her.

Gritting her teeth at the pain, she almost missed the sound of debris and hard leather against the ruined floor. Eyes still closed, she grinned, and kicked the ball up and to the side, away from Pike. She followed it, ready to receive her own short pass before continuing forwards.

Managing to evade him, she caught the ball with her foot, kicked it forwards as she ran and then brought her leg back for a powerful kick, nailing the cannonball hard enough to send it hurtling straight at the undefended goal.

And into the goal it went! Pike, too caught up in his slide, was unable to muster a defense. Soon as the net arched back catching the iron ball, a loud whistle rang out the hall with another long declaration of “Gooooooooooooal!” The score was now tied at 1-1, and Pike gave his opponent a nasty glare. Silently, the first mate took his position, ready for Lilliana’s kickoff.

She cast him a grin before taking up her place. Once more she tapped the cannonball with her foot, once on each side, and then the side facing her. Taking a deep breath she met his eyes and then glanced down at the ball. Preparing herself she stepped away from it and then as she kicked, let a small amount of biometal attach itself to the cannonball. As it flew at Pike, faster than the first serve, an exceptionally thin strand of metal extended between it and her foot.

She waited and watched closely, widening her stance.

Soon as the iron ball flew away from Lilliana, Pike rushed toward it, powered by his mighty legs. In less than a second he had intercepted the ball’s course, and began dribbling down the field, keeping his eyes on his opponent as he did so. The astute man knew she was up to something, but not what.

As his foot touched the ball, she moved, heading in his direction as he began dribbling the ball across the ‘field’. She focused intently on his every move, feeding a small amount of biometal through the thread, making it denser, but still virtually invisible.

As the two closed into one another, Pike took the opportunity to get an advantage. Hooking the ball with his foot, he tossed it up and over the approaching Lilli, then made a mad dash to get past her himself. It was clear that in a contest of speed, Pike was the obvious winner, but she didn’t intend to win with speed, did she?

Lilliana certainly didn’t. With the ball flying over her head and Pike past her, she smirked and moved her foot, making the ‘thread’ go rigid as she accelerated, running away from Pike and towards the goal. The ball, before it even landed behind her, would change course, being pulled through the air as she reeled in the string.

She’d then spin on one foot and initiate a kick like that, catching the ball with her foot and ankle before spinning further and kicking it right at the undefended goal.

Ah, so that was the wench’s game plan. Without missing a beat, Pike spun round to keep his eyes on the ball as it changed direction. He kicked another bit of rubble, not at his opponent this time, but at the cannonball as she flung it toward his goal. The rock struck metal, knocking the ball off course. Rather than striking the center of the goal as planned, it bounced harmlessly off of the guard rail and landed on the floor. Though it failed to score Lilli a point, the ball was still very much in play… But Pike was now already halfway to retrieving it.

Eyes widening somewhat, Lilli grounded herself, wincing slightly as she missed. ’Frustrating,’ she thought. None of the kids back home had ever played like this, it was strange...and less fun. Granted, this was far more engaging, if only because Pike was actually a challenge.

Despite herself, she smiled a bit and slammed her metal toe into the ground. It pierced like a blade, and then biometal spread from her foot into the ground. Swiftly she pulled her foot up and flung what appeared to be one huge boulder of stone directly at Pike. Briefly it would obscure his sight of her.

Regaining her balance she kicked some rubble into the air and infused it with biometal, before kicking it even harder at the boulder. Right before it got within striking distance of Pike the huge rock would shatter into a field of debris.

She’d dash forth, lighter than she had been before, a symptom of having gotten rid of some of her biometal. She was faster now.

Pike’s ears twitched, detecting the danger coming from behind. Rather than dodging to the side or facing it head on, the larger man opted for an approach that seemed unusual for his demeanor: he jumped straight up, arms and legs extended outward. Grin spreading across his face turned to bizarre confusion as more rubble followed just beneath him, which turned to scowl as Lilliana moved past him in her new speedier form. ”No. I’m still faster, he growled as he landed, pouncing toward her on all fours like a tiger on the attack.

Hearing him approach by the nearness of his voice and the sound of his landing, Lilli was just a few feet from the ball when she kicked the ground, scooping stone from the floor and sending it hard at an angle. The stone struck the cannonball with incredible velocity and some of that transferred, hitting the cannonball against the metal guard hard enough for it to bounce back in her direction. She spun on her heel, using a foot like shovel to the ground to scrap more debris from the floor and fling it directly into Pike’s face as she reinforced her back with a layer of metal.

The cannonball hit her, its momentum carrying it up her back and over her shoulder. She hit it down with her reinforced collarbone and then kicked it up even as she ran, jumped and then pushed off of a piece of debris from the shattered boulder she’d made only moments before.

The former captain took Lilliana’s attack in stride, facing it head on and with great fury. The man slammed his head into the debris coming toward his face, headbutting the majority of it aside like a giant swatting a fly. All but one piece, that is, which he had caught in his mouth. That piece was spat out to the side, showing his anger at the situation: though it had been solid rock, the man had left teeth marks. Such was his ire at being behind in the scoring.

While he chewed on stone, Lilliana lunged flipped midair and kicked the cannonball as hard as she could in a downwards strike. As planned (lol), it flew diagonally downwards and into the goal like a falling star.

Righting herself, she landed behind Pike, her back to him.

She brushed off a shoulder then glanced back at the man. “You should really watch your temper,” she commented, “...it’s unseemly.” She turned her back on him and walked back to center field.

The iris of his eyes suddenly widened vertically, pointed off like a cat’s, expressing a form of rage he could never have done before. Actual steam blew out from his nose, punctuated by the whistle blowing of the referees. “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! The score is now 2-1, advantage: Lilliana! The Red Rum now serves!”

Pike shook his head, pulling out a cigar, and lighting it. He took two deep drags, then breathed out the smoke to make the shape of a rabbit, followed by the shape of a pouncing tiger. The tiger smoke enveloped the rabbit, and both dissipated into the air. ”You forgot this,” he commented, his voice now even. Pike kicked up the cannonball, then kicked it to Lilli in mid-air.

“Could Pike actually lose?” murmured a Buccaneer.

“No way! He’s unstoppable!” another answered.

“Yeah, but we thought that Dr. Maul’s alter ego, Mr. Sledge, was unstoppable, and he lost.”

“He didn’t lose, he tied, and besides that the capta-Er, I mean, the first mate is still on a whole other level! He’s his own league! The captain wouldn’t last a second against him in football!”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. He’s got to be making this last longer for dramatic effect!”

Pike glared up at the peanut gallery, his stare alone silencing the hushed voices. Once the cigar had been completely smoked away, he took his place in center field, ready to intercept the kickoff.

Rather than catch the strike with another kick, or get in its way, she let the cannonball hit the ground, where she then stopped it with a foot. “Why thank you,” she said, flashing him a smile. She dipped into a slight curtsy, perhaps mockingly, or perhaps to be polite. After all, he technically outranked her--though he was no a different crew.

Taking to her kick off ritual, she tapped the cannonball once on each side and then on the side facing her. Then she regarded him, tilted her head, took a step back and then kicked the ball so it would angle far to his left side. The side with his injured knee. He’d most likely have to run to get at the ball.

Like a rocket, Pike was off heading for the ball just as he had done so many times before. In two seconds he intercepted it, then began dribbling down the way, heading straight for Lilliana. It seemed that he had intended to bowl right over her on his way to the goal, but something was different this time. As soon as he took off, did he wince?

Naturally, Lilliana had no intention to be run down. She dug her heels in and pressed biometal through the heels of her feet and into the ground, expanding them outwards like roots. Two seconds and then she wrenched upwards sending huge amounts of debris, large and small, into the air. The biometal retracted and she lunged forwards at Pike, ready to intercept.

Pike grinned. ”Perfect.” With his stronger leg, Pike kicked the ball up into the cloud of debris. It struck the first piece, then changed course to another piece, and another and another, each one sending the heavy iron ball on a separate trajectory. Meanwhile, Pike plowed through the debris with his body, tanking rock shrapnel small and large with his arms, until he was right up on Lilliana, the two colliding in the air, lunge met by lunge.

“GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” cried out a referee, the second blowing his whistle. While Pike had deliberately taken them both down to the ground, the ball was sent on a complicated ricochet, straight into the goal. “The score is now tied, 2-2! Pike kicks off, possession goes to Lilliana!”

The large man glowered down at the smaller woman as he stood up tall. ”You’ve been better than I anticipated, but it’s time to end this. I have many more of your crew to crush. Filthy pirates.” With that, he took up position, ready to kick the ball out.

Taking her place across from him, Lilliana brushed herself off and locked her gaze with his, determined to prove him wrong. She took one deep breath, in and out, and then nodded her head. She was ready to end this.

Pike stood silent for a moment, watching, waiting, observing. He tested the ball a few more times kicking it with the side of his foot like a hacky sack. The man had so clearly been accustomed to playing in this manner, it was a wonder that he hadn’t broken his body yet. Lord knows Lilliana would be hurting after this whole ordeal.

”I wanted to save this for my final match, preferably against your captain, but you’ve gone and pissed me off more than enough. I’ll frighten away the rest of your crew by the sheer radiance of my ultimate serve!” As he spoke, it was not only Pike’s words that bolstered and rose up, but his muscles as well. The already mighty man grew at least another two feet in height, and another three in width. Veins inflated, looking ready to burst out violently like little snake bombs. ”Take this! Tiger Strike Ultimate! Dragooooon’s…. DEEEEEEATH!”

As the cannonball fell downward, he struck it hard with his right knee, sending it high up in the air. He took his own jump up, spinning in the air like a drill. Faster and faster and faster he spun, gaining more and more torque until the man could only be described as a colorful mid air blur. Then he thrust out both arms, palms exposed, fingers widened like claws. This created air currents like pathways, guiding the cannonball in time with his movements, sending it round and round and round until, finally… He kicked it.

Pike fell to the ground, hard, buckling under his bad knee. But that didn’t matter right now. What mattered was the cannonball flying straight for Lilliana. It shot faster than Launcher had ever sent it flying with her devil fruit. The air crackled around it as the friction set the very oxygen around it on fire! This was do or die. Dodge, and it would likely destroy most of the arena. Stand her ground, and she’d have to deal with enough force to kill hundreds of men in one strike. Less than a hundredth of a second to react.

As he began his serve, Lilliana sensed a change in him. Extracting the only Syringe(r) she’d left on her person, Lilli stabbed her arm, wincing. Taking deep breaths, B-M.O flowed through her body faster and faster--her heart’s BPM skyrocketing. She shifted into a stance, as if about to lunge to the side. Then he struck.

She held her breath, ceasing what had been what sounded like hyperventilation. She lunged to the side, or appeared to, turning the momentum and her own weight--focused perfectly to fling her sideways--into a spinkick on one foot. Mid-kick she dropped down, to her knee. The weight of the biometal flung itself into the tip of her foot, accelerating the spin in less than 1/4th a second. On the second spin the cannonball serve met her shin, just as the biometal had distributed itself properly.

Her jaw clenched, teeth grinding as her entire body strained. She felt highly reinforced muscles beginning to tear, she felt the dense biometal infused bones straining. Then the pressure began to reverse, everything almost in slow motion as she turned the momentum of the serve into a powerful shot to Pike’s goal. As the cannonball flew Lilliana collapsed to her hands and knees. Her entire right leg was shifting between numb and useless...and paralyzed by waves of pain. She felt light headed, but still she hung onto consciousness, nails clawing into the floor and leaving marks.

The ball tore through the air, a shockwave pulsing out from it. The air burned around it as it hurtled at Pike. It was moving so fast that if you blinked you’d miss it. As it passed over his shoulder, half an inch from its neck, it’d leave behind an intense heat and a destructive wake of force. In the next moment it struck Pike’s goal, flying into the net and then through it, into the wall behind.

The wall, like the net, couldn’t stop it either, and blasted outwards as the cannon drilled a hole through it to fly out over the bay.

Not having the strength to move much, Lilli barely managed to hold one fist above her head in a gesture of victory. She met Pike eyes, fire, determination and pain in her own, and managed a pained smile. “That was for Kite,” she then spat blood onto the ground. Her breathing had slowed, but each inhale was sharp and strained.

Blood trickled down from Pike’s ear, the sudden change in air pressure, combined with the heat, having caused his ear to pop in a rather violent way. Still, despite the pain, he said nothing. Not so much as a grunt of discomfort. The pirates in the stands looked on in total awe, completely taken aback by the events that had unfolded before them. Even the referees had forgotten to blow their whistles and declare the victory point.

”So that’s tha power’o the ‘Iron Rose’ Lilli,” Bill muttered under his breath. A few moments past and he looked around at his crew still gawking. ”Well, what’re ya waitin’ fer? Call it, refs!”

“Oh, uh… Yeah, yeah. Uh… Final goal to Lilliana, and match!” The smaller of the referees had managed to follow captain’s orders, but the larger of the duo still couldn’t quite grasp what he had seen.

”... Like hell it’s over!” Pike half-growled half-roared. He stood up, ready to fight, a menacing aura bleeding out from his eyes. He had lost, but he was still in plenty good condition to go toe to toe if the situation fell that way.

”Ya declared a 3 goal game an’ lost! Git back t’yer seat like a man, an’ admit defeat wit’honor!” Bullet Bill rose to challenge Pike’s own disobedience, but the first mate did not back down.

”You are your fuckin’ sports rules. Taking over this base, taking MY men, turning MY marines into pirate trash! You aren’t even a person, you’re a weapon! You’re a god damn tool! He pointed menacingly up at the stands, ignoring the blood that continued to trickle out his ear. The pirates gasped in horror, as though these words were sheer blasphemy. All eyes locked onto Bill, who remained calm, arms crossed. But it wasn’t a usual calm. It was an unnerving calm, the sort of calm you feel moments before something terrible was about to happen.

”I’m taking back my post as captain of this marine base. Anybody that refuses to follow isn’t worthy of livin’ life!” With a mighty leap, Pike pounced in an arc, straight toward Bill, flying high through the air. Runch and the rest of his still able crew scrambled into a fighting position to intercept, but it was proven to be unnecessary.

”Spinning Claw Kick!” Pike extended a single leg and began spinning at tremendous speeds. Yet Bill only smiled.

”Lance Stance.” Before everyone’s eyes the captain of the Buccaneers transformed in a most unusual and bizarre manner. His skin turned to a dark pewter in an instant, his legs became wheels, and his large rotund body elongated into a tube, while all human features utterly vanished. He had become a cannon. A cannon with human eyes, and his distinctive mustache positioned just beneath the end of his cannon-mouth.

His positioning was such that Pike could do nothing but fall straight into the open waiting maw of the cannon leg first. But of course such a large man could not fit inside completely: his leg plugged into the hole, while his groin slammed hard into the edge. Pike had not complained of injury thus far, and with this moment he was no longer able to. His mouth hung open, his eyes rolled into the back of his head, his entire body limp and paralyzed in the pain that dominated his family jewels.

”Thirty-two Pound Assault!” BOOM! The cannon that was Bullet Bill fired off, blasting Pike straight into the side wall, then right through it, and finally into one of the towers along the outer walls of the fortress. If he flew back any further, nobody would have been able to see it thanks to the fortress blocking the view.
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Gardevoiran Reading or remembering, not both.

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Victory Hug!
[Hugging @yoshua171]

As soon as the victory was declared, Bonekid leapt up from his seat and ran to Lilliana with a... 'smile' on his face. He was giddy as hell from seeing such a great victory, and being on the edge of the bleachers the entire time really helped fill him with adrenaline and energy. It almost kept him from being surprised by the sudden Thirty-Two Pound Assault. The keyword was almost.

As soon as the shots went off, Bonekid held his bony hands up to his head before realizing something. He was a skeleton! He didn't have soft flesh to cover where his ears would be! In a fit of blind panic, Bonekid's hands surged with leafy greens as he muffled the noises to his head. It was still deafening, but far less so.

After everything was done, Bonekid stumbled towards Lilliana and caught her (and himself) in a hug waist, his height keeping it from being a real hug. "You were absolutely fantastic! That was amazing!" He nuzzled his cold and bony head against her. "They should've known my mom kicks ass! Cha-cha!"
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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Spiffy
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Spiffy Prince of Peace

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Captain Cedric D. Boone - Cannon Castle VII

Cedric ran toward Lili as Bonekid congratulated her. He scooped her up so that she would not have to move another step on her own. She was bleeding and had already coughed up blood. She had put on quite a show. Enough to defeat the first mate of their opponents. Cedric spoke quietly to her as he carried her toward their other doctor, "Are you alright?" She would be in the capable hands of Feya. Lili would be back to full health in no time!

Boone glanced toward Bullet Bill for a moment and thought to himself, "He must be a devil fruit user, but what kind gives you the ability to turn into a cannon?" It perplexed Cedric, but it was better to find out now then in the middle of a battle with him. This new information would prove invaluable to their victory. Boone was sure of it.

Now, who was next up?
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Old Amsterdam The Drunken Creator

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Caesar watched the matches critically, noting where he could take things into consideration for his own capabilities. Using the momentum of spinning was an interesting concept that could work for attacks from the air, with some practice. Between the shrimp and Launcher it was blatantly obvious that he needed to dedicate more to training and practicing.

He bristled as the angry man continued to belittle his friends and he even took several steps forward as the match ended and he became irate. But before he could do anything things had devolved and the man was blasting into the sky.

Fucking magical aliens. The enemy Captain could turn into a bloody cannon.

Caesar shook his head, mildly worried about whoever was going to face that shorty.

At least he seemed jolly enough, considering someone had just tried to mutiny.

Then again... He had to have led a mutiny of his own by all the talk that had been going on ...
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by ProPro
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ProPro Pierce the Heavens with your spoon!

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"Boomboomboomboomboom!" bellowed the deep, hearty laughter of "Bullet" Bill as his body transformed back into a recognizable human form, no longer resembling a cannon. Previously it seemed to be his crew's favoritism toward cannons that inspired the man's epithet, but after seeing his strange and unique power, it was clear the nickname had separate origin.

"I was prepared fer a mutiny, but I didn' think it'd come so soon. 'Spose tha's what I git fer lettin' 'im stay on as me first mate, ay?" The captain smiled broad, hands placed on his hips, but the rest were not so quick to join in his jubilence. The shock that their former captain, the man many had thought be be borderline undefeatable, had been so easily dispatched through the wall, it left them catatonic. Then there were the rest, who still hadn't yet recovered from the idea that Pike had lost in football! Boy, were they in for a surprise as soon as they registered everything else that had just happened...

Bill swept his arm out across the hall, presenting it. A couple of the previous matches had left their mark, dinged up the place, scuffed up the stone here and there, but the last match? The room had been left is a state of complete disarray. Total disrepair. Why, anybody would be hard pressed to take a single step without sinking into a hole or stubbing a toe on some rubble. "As ya c'n see, tha place's a little banged up, na much good fer another round'a competition, aye?" The large, rotund man clapped his hands together. "So looks like we're headin' ou'side fer our next match! Boomboomboomboom! We'll all escor' one another out ta tha courtyard hedge maze! Which means... Chaka Ram, yer up!"

The Buccaneer officer wearing the gas mask, full body armor, and dusty coat stood up, holding a rifle in their arms. "Yessir," they responded in a curt, calm, and confident tone. The kind of tone used by trained soldiers, those fully thrust into the lifestyle. At least that's what could be made out from the heavy distortion, as the mask had some sort of modulator disguising their voice. Chaka Ram began to lead the entirety of the Buccaneer Pirates, or at least those still uninjured and not attending to the injured, straight out the front gate of the large hall. Warily, Runch's crew also stood up and followed out, save for Runch. He did nothing warily, but threw himself cheerfully into the march, having a grand old time with it all.

Of course, each of the Red Rums were encouraged to move as well. Together everyone marched forward, out the door, then down a pathway they had seen on the way up to the castle, but hadn't had the luxury to explore. The walk took about five minutes, and they all arrived to an incredibly large hedge maze. Two entrances, side by side, clearly led off in entirely different directions. Just outside the maze stood another set of bleacher stands high enough to see over the entirety of the maze, where everyone was guided to take their seat. Only one remained standing: the owner of this contest, Chaka Ram.

"My contest is simple. Paintball. We each get a gun and enter from one of two different entrances you see behind me. The contest lasts thirty minutes, or until we both run out of ammo. Limb shots score five points. Body shots score fifteen. Head shots are worth fifty points. Once the match is over, our bodies are inspected and points tallied. Obviously, the winner is whoever has the higher score. Who will be my first kill?"

Amidst the Krunch Krew, one member shook in anticipation, and annoyance. She stood up tall as she could, and while that was not very tall at all, it certainly was enough to draw attention, for she had such a commanding presence. "Ain't nobody gonna beat me in shootin'! 'Specially not some honky-ass creeper in a freaky mask!"

"We cannot see if they're white," Hachirou commented. "We cannot even tell if they are a man or a woman."

"Man, you focus on all the wrong details, bitch!" The honey badger tilted her hat back and hopped down the bleachers until she came face to knee with Chaka. "I'll put so many caps in yo ass that people'll be drinkin' cola from it!"

Smith cocked his head as Dirk rambled about, first about directions, then calling himself a worthless coward, finally providing a course of action for the duo to follow, heading that way with the conviction of a zealot. This gave the ninja pause for only a brief moment as he reconsidered following the directions of this clear lunatic. Regret was instant, but Smith had to admit that Dirk's thought process, destroying the cannons along the wall, was a good one. They would eventually be leaving this island, and in the case they were being chased away, it would benefit them to take out the enemy artillery.

Dirk could hear Smith grunting and heaving, shoving the cannons from their placements and over the wall, as the helmsman made his way to the next tower of the fortress. His steps punctuated with the crashing of large metal monsters against the stone wall, and rocky outcroppings beneath. He had finally reached the tower and opened up the door when another crash occurred, far louder and drowning out the cannon-destruction of Smith. That was because this crash had happened right before Dirk's very eyes.

The tower, which appeared to be a lookout point complete with spyglass, and a small den den mushi (likely only with enough range to cover the island to report to other sentries), had suddenly and irrevocably become wrecked as a large man wearing a tiger print coat blasted straight through the wall! He crashed onto the far end of the room, leaving huge cracks in the stone. His clothing and skin was blackened from some sort of gunpowder based explosion, and one of his legs had been completely shredded, clearing the epicenter of said explosion. It was bleeding out--badly. The man fell from the wall to the floor face first, unresponsive and with white eyes.
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by BCTheEntity
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BCTheEntity 2smol4u

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Dirk Messir - Dead Man Flying, of the Jungle

YES, HE DID IT. BOTH THEY DID IT, it was done, cannons were smashed, and walls are meleeed. Meleed, no. The word will be "melee-ed", with three eees. And he should, melee this man, but he was there already meleeed. Or you could say smashed. Which was what his leg is.

Kill him Moron! Before he wakes up Murderer!

Uh, he is already dead. Maybe. He might be, yes. He should get medicae attention, Dirk. Go give him medicae attention, the court agrees to my demans TOO LATE! The bloodotope already his quarter life, and so he must observe with hasty.

'Smath. Help,' he said to Smath, before he hit another cannon off, and was in at to tigerland coat boye. He also will check to see what happenes in the happened tower room placeland. He'll make there sure to be sure how to what is happeneing in the room, but with where he'll follow the Divine Purpose to be in the right place at the right time. And the GOAL.

Then he took off the unconscious man's tiger-print coat, and put it on over the other coats he had on already. Perfect yes. Except not quite, hius flesh did hadn't weren't melted yet.

It won't melt. You aren't Bonesword, you utter disgrace.

Okay, but IMAGIEN shutting up because I have the best money coats can buy. Or wait, the other way around. The best buy coats and money. But yes, no, maybe. There was no help for that deadness deadant legs dead. He ded. Maybe. Maybe he'd lived though. Who caould say the truth? Not Dirk. Smarnth maybe.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by ProPro
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”Trickshot” Jo’ Vs. Chaka Ram “The Silencer”: Paintball Begin!

Chaka stood tall above the honey badger that would be their opponent, rifle draped over their chest. The red lenses of their gas mask gleamed as the sunlight struck off them in just the right angle. ”I have no time for boasting and insults,” they said rather matter of factly. As they spoke, two men approached the duo carrying cartridges and bullet boxes, presenting them to the contestants.

”No live ammunition, paintballs only. We can provide shots for your revolvers if you want, or you can borrow one of my rifles.” Chaka opened up their trenchcoat, revealing a veritable armory hidden just out of sight! Multiple rifles, shotguns, pistols, grenades, and other assorted tools of death and maiming! Joanne Schrodinger could not help but admire the collection, her eyes growing big and wide. Still, a moment of admiration could not alter her stubborn nature.

”Bitch, shut yo punk ass up, I ain’t need no handouts, foo’. I gots everythin’ I need right here.” Jo’ pulled out her revolvers and gave each one a kiss, then grabbed a box of ammo from one of the grunts. ”Soon as I load’em up, I can knock you down, honky!”

To their credit, Chaka was not the least bit agitated by the badger’s constant baiting insults. Or at least if they were bothered, their choice of attire prevented any signs from showing. Once both competitors had loaded up their weapons, Chaka looked down at Jo’ once again. ”Two fully loaded six shot revolvers. Only twelve shots to beat me with. You sure you don’t want to carry a reload?”

The offer seemed genuine, or at least neutral enough to be non-threatening. Joanne shrugged her opponent off. ”Only gonna need half as much to take out yo pansy ass.”

”Very well.” And without another word Chaka marched into the left opening of the hedge maze, rifle slung up by their shoulder. Joanne scurried on as well, through the right opening.

From their seats on the elevated bleachers, all three pirate crews could easily make out the action… For Chaka, at least. Truthfully even standing on her hind legs Joanne was too short to be seen anywhere in the maze, making it quite the show for surprises.

After a minute of walking, Joanne stopped in her tracks. Carefully she peered around the only corner in view, but nobody was on the other side. A grin began to spread across her animalistic face as she took a step back and began to sniff the air. Sniff sniff sniff sniff. Twenty-two meters to the left. If that jerk thought that a maze was going to confuse her animal instincts, then he had another thing coming! Joanne took off in a charge, both pistols drawn. She didn’t bother navigating the maze like some stupid human, she was an animal! A walking, talking, rootin’ shootin’ animal, but then that just made her all the better! Honey badger don’t care about no maze rules! She wormed through the brush, dodged between branches, and chewed anything in her path too troubling to charge around!

Finally, she saw her opponent. He was standing in the middle of a pathway, looking like a total moron, not moving. Without thinking she burst from the brush in a surprised attack! ”SKREEEEE!” she cried out, letting loose two bullets, one from each pistol, and each struck true to her target: straight into the back of the head. Chaka was more pathetic than she could have hoped for, falling to the ground instantly! Ha! And from two little paintballs!

Wait, the head shouldn’t be rolling away like that… Click.

Joanne’s fur stood on end. The bastard was behind her. A decoy! Thanks to her well-trained instincts, Joanne twisted around and rolled to the side just in time to hear a gunshot. Blue paint splattered right next to where she happened to be standing a mere second ago. Chaka stood but four feet away, no longer wearing that large overcoat. Surprise morphed back into confidence as she let loose two shots. Just as before, they struck true: red and green splatter appeared on Chaka’s forehead, scoring a total of 100 points.

”I underestimated you,” Chaka commented, diving into the bush wall. ”It won’t happen again.” Unlike Pike, who sounded indignant when he spoke those words, Chaka Ram sounded factual, as though they were simply reading from a school lecture.

”Come back here!” Jo’ shouted, taking off through the same hedge. She immediately regretted it. Her left leg caught on a trip wire of some sort, yanking loose a pin. A quick glance at the source of the pin revealed something terrible: a grenade. The trap immediately began spewing forth a thick black smog-like gas, enveloping the honey badger. Joanne coughed, tripping through the brush.

Cough cough! Bitch you said no live ammunition!” Joanne fought to regain her sense of direction, to see where she was, but the smoke was blinding and stinging. Her eyes swelled up, red, puffy, and then shut entirely. She was blind. Immediately she switched up to rely on her smell, but all that she could smell was a tar-like scent. The smoke grenade had robbed her of both vision and smell.

”Smoke doesn’t count,” echoed her opponent’s voice from within the maze. Well, at least she could still hear. ”It doesn’t target. It doesn’t kill. You can’t shoot with it.”

”Yeah, it don’t target, but ain’t it just convenient as shit that you ain’t affected, what with that stupid ass Halloween mask?” Normally Joanne hurled insults because it was simply in her nature as a crass badger, but this time there was reason to it. Keep them talking. Have to listen.

”Preparation is key. Every battle is decided before the first shot is ever fired. Like so.” BANG! Joanne suddenly felt a soft impact against the left side of her head, followed by a splatter. So the asshole was already halfway caught up in points… But now she knew where he was at.

She fired a shot from her left pistol, not caring whether or not she actually hit Chaka. It only needed to act as a deterrent. Distract Chaka, let them hide or dodge long enough for Joanne to get her bearings back. She fired two more shots, interchanging pistols, charging out and away from the black smog. A second later and she charged headfirst into a hedge bush, the rustling throwing off all sense of her surroundings once more.

”Mother FU-” But the badger never finished her curse, silenced by a sudden epiphany. She grinned. There was one more animal sense this bastard hadn’t taken away from her, and she’d use it to win.

Meanwhile, Chaka patrolled a nearby path with vigilance. They had dodged out of the way as soon as Joanne began to return fire, taking cover behind a separate path. The first shot she fired off, miraculously, hit Chaka square in the left chest. Had that little pistol wielding animal really that good hearing? It was a possibility, one that the sniper of the Buccaneers couldn’t so quickly write off. If it were just luck, then there wasn’t any action to take, just hope that luck had run dry. However, if true, then there was something Chaka could do about that…

Chaka returned to their original position, ready to engage the honey badger once more. The opponent had rushed directly into the brush in her blind stupor, so this was the perfect opportunity to strike back! Chaka examined the point of entry, then cocked their head in confusion. A hunter and tracker for nearly twenty years, they had the skills to determine that this was indeed where Joanne had jumped through the hedge, and yet… Zero signs pointed toward an exit. The badger hadn’t left the hedge from another side, nor did she come back from where she came, yet there was no badger here. How?

”SURPRISE, HONKY!” Chaka jumped back in shock as Joanne leaped straight up from… The ground?! Before the Buccaneer knew what had happened, Joanne latched onto their face and began firing shot after shot right into the side of Chaka’s head. ”KEKEKEKEKEKEKEKE! Badgers burrow, bitch!”

Oh. Oh. Of course. What a silly oversight. Well now that that was done, there could only be one thing Chaka was to do. They fell forward. ”UGH! Wha’chu doin’?!” But Joanne didn’t get another word out. As soon as Chaka’s face pressed Joanne into the hard ground like a piledriver, the sniper thwapped their opponent in the head with the butt of their rifle. The force wasn’t enough to knock Joanne unconscious, but it did a great job dazing her.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, Chaka unloaded every last shot they had in their rifle on Joanne’s head. With each concussive force, soft though they were individually, the built up pressure only worsened Joanne’s thought processes. Then, when all the ammunition was gone, Chaka dropped the rifle and wrested Joanne’s pistols from her paws. Those paint bullets found their way into Joanne’s skull as well, though only two shots remained. By the time the onslaught was over, there could be no question as to the winner. Chaka had a single paint splat on their chest, and seven around their head. By contrast Joanne had been splattered no less than fifteen times in the cranium, and could barely comprehend where she was or what she was doing.

A few minutes passed, allowing Chaka to carry Joanne out of the maze, holding onto both of their weapons. The badger was carefully placed down in the grass, where the referees took to counting both of their battle wounds, despite it being obvious who the victor was. Joanne was only just coming around when the announcement was made.

“At 750 points to 365, the winner is Chaka Ram!”
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