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One Piece: Emperor of the Seas

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters depicted in this story nor the images used as cover arts. All rights reserved to their respective creators. ---------- Ace D. Goldstein was an avid fan of One Piece before dying because of an unnamed disease. Given another chance at life, he was transported into the body of a character he knew and loved. How would the son of the King of the Pirates change and develop if he suddenly woke up with memories of a different future? Would he do things differently? Would he become even stronger before setting out on his life changing journey? What will his goal be? Follow the story of Gol D. Ace in his journey to become someone that surpasses them all! A pirate whose name is widely known and feared! To become the most notorious man in the world! Follow the rise of the Emperor of the Seas!

Ehnvy · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
118 Chs

Chapter 90

A/N: I forgot to set the Publish Timer. I am sorry...

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"Luckily, we're on this part of the Grand Line," Hepha said with a sigh of relief.

"Your Eternal Poses are still in the compass room," Doppol said.

"Yeah, they would come in handy."

"What place are you thinking of, Hepha?" Ace asked.

"Well… 'places' is more proper. We'd have to be separated for a bit," Hepha said.

"Sounds exciting!" Terzo said. "I can't wait to see you all when we reunite!"

"For Tanya and Eri, we can go to a friend of mine," Hepha said, blushing a bit in embarrassment at what seemed to be a memory. "You guys probably know her. Her name is Boa Hancock. One of the Seven Warlords of the Seas… well, it's just six of them right now, but still-"

"You're friends with a Warlord? The Pirate Empress?" Ace asked, utterly flabbergasted. He frequently forgot that Hepha wasn't a nobody. She had a whopping bounty of more than two billion, after all. "How'd you know her?"

"It was a long time ago," Hepha said. "She just turned 18, newly crowned as Empress of the Kuja. She and her people taught me how to use Armament and Observation Haki in their basic forms."

"The Kuja?" Doppol asked. "Aren't they usually… closed off?"

"Well, I came with a gift," Hepha said. "One I brought with me accidentally: a Celestial Dragon."

"What?" The Royal Aces were shocked at the history Hepha revealed. "You kidnapped a Celestial Dragon?"

"The fat little shit wanted to marry me!" Hepha said, disgusted at the memory. "He's lucky I didn't smash him to bits right then and there!"

"How'd you escape being captured?" Ace asked, wanting to know how Hepha got out of her predicament.

"It was a lucky break," Hepha said. "I took the Celestial Dragon hostage so the Navy wouldn't fire on my sailboat. That was… eight years ago? Back then, not every Navy ship could sail the Calm Belt. So, that's what I did. They were forced to stop and contact Navy ships that could sail the Calm Belt."

"You weren't attacked by Sea Kings?" Terzo asked, already scribbling on the journal he always carried with him.

"Surprisingly, no," Hepha said. "Thinking back on it now, I think that was the first instance of me unconsciously using Conqueror's Haki."

"What happened next?" Terzo asked, his writing speed getting faster by the second.

"After a few hours, I saw an island. I sailed there thinking it was empty. I was proven wrong and got captured with the Celestial Dragon," Hepha said. "Luckily, I was a woman. They were more… lenient."

"And the Celestial Dragon?"

"That's when I met Hancock. She received news of us and went to see us herself. She immediately called for a public execution when she realized that the little shit was a Celestial Dragon. She was so… happy," Hepha said. "Her good mood helped. She listened to me and let me go. I said I wanted to stay for a bit to hide, we became friends after a few days, and the rest is history."

"Wow… I can't believe you haven't told us this story yet!" Ace said.

"You didn't ask," Hepha said with a cheeky grin.

"Who else are you friends with, huh?"

"Relax, Hancock is the only one of them I can call a friend," Hepha said before pausing to think. "Well, not really-"

"Who else?" Ace asked, very much curious. "C'mon, tell us!"

"Fine!" Hepha said with a sigh. "That's where I thought of sending Terzo, anyway."

"Now this, I have to take notes!" Terzo said.

"Two years ago, I was chasing Dracule Mihawk. I found him at Kuraigana Island," Hepha said, revealing the other Warlord she knew personally.

"Mihawk?" Terzo, as a swordsman, recognized the name. "The one called 'Strongest Swordsman in the World,' Mihawk?"

"Same one," Hepha said.

"Why were you chasing him?" Doppol asked. "I heard he's a merciless monster cutting down anyone in his path."

"I'm a forgemaster, remember?" Hepha asked. "I wanted to take a look at his sword."

At her words, Hepha strangely blushed. It quickly disappeared, however.

"I'm guessing he didn't let you take a look at it willingly?" Ace asked, pouring himself a drink.

"No. Of course not. Swordsmen and their swords, and all that." Hepha sighed. "I fought him for it."

Hepha remembered her battle with the strongest swordsman in the world.

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(TWO YEARS AGO, KURAIGANA ISLAND)

"I finally found you," a slightly younger, but much more arrogant Hepha said to Dracule Mihawk. "You're a difficult one to find, you know that? You playing hard to get or something?"

"That tends to happen when one is relentlessly chased down by fools like you," Mihawk replied, his voice smooth, even, and calm. "So? Are you another challenger of mine?"

"Do I look like a swordsman to you?" Hepha asked. "No. I'm a forgemaster."

"...I fail to see how that would make sense."

Hepha pointed at the sword on Mihawk's back with a greedy flint in her eyes.

"That sword on your back is a special one," Hepha said. "I'm sure you know that. I just want to take a look at it."

Upon hearing Hepha's words, Mihawk showed emotion for the first time. His eyebrows furrowed, his face muscles twitched, and his jaw tightened. He was incredibly annoyed and insulted.

"You expect a swordsman to just hand over his life to a woman he's never met before?" Mihawk asked. "Your arrogance astounds me, weak one."

Hepha took out Clear Sky from her leg holster and raised it at Mihawk.

"It's a no, then?" Hepha asked before smirking. "I guess I'll just have to take it from you."

"You're welcome to try."

Hepha charged forward, rushing head-on against a world renowned swordsman. Clear Sky enlarged in her hands and she swung it fiercely in a downward strike, aiming to smash Mihawk's head.

As calm as his countenance was, Mihawk stepped back and easily avoided Hepha's strike. A cloud of dust surged up after Hepha's strike smashed apart the ground Mihawk was just standing on.

Hepha focused and used her Observation Haki to sense where Mihawk was in the dust cloud she created. She hoped that the decrease in visibility would help her somewhat, but she was disappointed to see that it changed nothing.

Swing after swing, Mihawk deftly avoided Hepha's attacks. As if trying to make her feel the gap between them, Mihawk didn't even try to attack Hepha. It was a sign of arrogance, and Hepha knew it. So, she used it to her advantage.

Hepha's attacks so far didn't have a single sliver of Haki in it. Now that she felt that Mihawk's guard was down because he was so busy gloating over his 'superiority' to her, she used it to go for a surprise attack.

In the middle of her swing, Hepha applied the techniques she learned in her journey. She let her Haki flow to her weapon, and emitted it outwards for a devastating attack that would surely be more damaging than it seemed.

But, she was disappointed again. All of a sudden, Mihawk moved away from the area just before Hepha's strike landed. It was as if he saw what would happen. 

Hepha's attack smashed apart the ground around them. Mihawk reappeared at a distant tree. He was close enough for Hepha to see him, but far enough to avoid the immediate effect of her sudden vicious attack.

Once the dust settled, the two of them took a few moments to just have a staredown. Hepha glared at Mihawk who was still as calm as he ever was.

"What ferocity you have," Mihawk said, his tone containing a tinge of respect. "The rage behind your swing… your subconscious desire to flaunt your strength… you must be carrying a considerable weight on your shoulders, strong one."

"Shut up and fight," Hepha said, spitting her words. "You always talk like that?"

"Only on rare instances," Mihawk said before finally drawing Yoru, the sword on his back. "I deem you worthy of dying to this blade."

"You're welcome to try," Hepha said, smirking at Mihawk. It was an expression her opponent reflected.

Their battle continued, sword meeting hammer. Hepha and Mihawk let their Haki flow outwards from their weapon, resulting in an exchange that usually devastated their surroundings. Red and black lightning surged out at every clash they had with their weapons.

"I see. You have it too," Mihawk said. "Another Supreme King has surfaced."

"I knew it," Hepha said. "No way a man like you doesn't have Conqueror's Haki!"

The only audience of this battle were the baboons watching far away from the side. Those who were too close to the battle were already unconscious. 

Their eyes were glued on Hepha and Mihawk as if they were studying their every movement. But, that was all they could copy.

As their battle continued, Hepha realized the gap between her and Mihawk. He was meeting her blow for blow, matching the strength of her every swing. At first, she thought that their strength was equal. But, that wasn't the case at all.

Hepha felt it. Mihawk was still holding back. Her hunch was proven when Mihawk suddenly made a move that pushed her back a short distance away.

"Why are young people these days so hasty?" Mihawk said, mostly to himself, as he shook his head. "Brimming with potential… but so eager to die."

"Wh-What did you do?" Hepha asked. She felt Mihawk's last attack. It didn't hit her since she blocked it using Clear Sky, but her arms shook as if she received a blow from a blunt object directly with them.

"As I said, you're too hasty." Mihawk pointed the end of his sword at Hepha. "But, is this not what you wanted? Burn it into your mind. My blade will be the last thing you'll see."

"Fuck off."

Hepha jumped up and swung her hammer. Her whole body turned with it. She spun vertically in midair. Clear Sky enlarged into a giant hammer as it fell towards Mihawk.

"Babylon's Impact!"

Without a single word, Mihawk slashed with Yoru. His movement looked so simple, but it was enough. Hepha's momentum was negated and she was tossed away.

Hepha stood up on rather shaky legs. But, her eyes still had the same glint in them. She sent a challenging glare at Mihawk. In reality, Hepha also had her eye on the blade.

It was a beautifully crafted weapon. Hepha was excited to try and recreate the sword in Mihawk's hand.

But, she had to survive first. And that won't happen if she didn't fight with all she got.

So, that's what Hepha did. And again, Mihawk met her blow for blow. His piercing yellow eyes that seemed to stare directly into someone's soul was locked on Hepha's eye.

"You should focus on your right side more," Mihawk said as they clashed. "It is your blind spot, after all."

Seemingly proving his words, Mihawk initiated an attack on Hepha's right side. It was the attack that ended the battle. Hepha was disarmed. Her arms shook as if they were subjected to blocking a direct blow as Clear Sky was tossed away and landed on the ground away from her.

"I didn't feel you," Hepha said. "Observation Killing…?"

"Ahh. You recognized it," Mihawk said, seemingly impressed, as he pressed the edge of Yoru on Hepha's throat. "So, you aren't as stupid as I thought. You should have used it more."

"...I had a good run, I guess," Hepha said, before closing her eye to accept death…

But, it didn't come. Hepha felt the cold metal of Mihawk's blade pressed against her throat disappear. She opened her eye and looked at Mihawk. He was walking away.

"Follow me," he said. And Hepha followed. She picked up Clear Sky on the way.

Mihawk led Hepha to a castle near the center of the island. Unlike everything else on the dark and gloomy island, the castle wasn't dilapidated. By the looks of it, someone could live there. Hepha guessed this island really was Mihawk's home.