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One Piece: Path to Power

Choices. Crossroads. Opportunities. Plunged into a broken world ruled by the strong, Damien must decide how his newfound life will proceed. Navigating through conflicts and alliances, his journey intertwines with the fates of powerful figures and kingdoms, challenging the very fabric of the hellish world. Set against the backdrop of the legendary One Piece universe, this tale reimagines familiar characters and lore, weaving a narrative that explores themes of power, redemption, and the indomitable spirit of adventure.  Damien's quest is not just for treasure or glory but a deeper pursuit of a truth that could change the course of history. As the tides of the Grand Line shift and churn, Damien confronts the harsh realities of the pirate world, facing challenges that test his limits and forge his legacy.  In this saga of the high seas, only the bold dare to dream, and only the strong survive. Will Damien rise to become a legend among pirates, or will the unforgiving waters claim yet another soul?  The journey to discover 'One Piece' is as perilous as it is wondrous, and for Damien, every choice and battle is a step closer to his ultimate destiny. Join him as he goes against all odds in the world of Pirates, Marines, and Revolutionaries, sailing on the Path to Power! ---------------------------------------------- Further fanfic information, QnAs and a trove of images are found here: https://discord.gg/aJHHHPvb6q Average Chapter Word Count: ~2400 words This story will be posted on RoyalRoad, ScribbleHub, Fanfiction.net, and AO3.

Paradox_ · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
130 Chs

[33] No Rest for the Wicked

[2350 words]

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[Skull Rock]

"Shakky-nee, you're here as well," Damien greeted. 

The short-haired woman nodded in reply. 

It was a rather cheerful greeting compared to the sickly grim nature of the Captain's Quarters housed in the giant mountain that was Skull Rock.

The two pirates were already used to the stench of death and despair; Rocks was also present, boringly gulping alcohol in the dimly lit room.

.

"Damien-chan, I'm here to fill you in on the main target of the Captain," she said. "That is, the remaining top pirates. All of these have one thing in common: they can be found in the Government's World Threat Index."

She took a quick puff of her cigar and continued, "These are mainly Pryde D. Sol the 'Sin of Pride', Thaddeus 'Medulla' Enigma, 'Fallen Angel' Herja, 'Mad King' Gol D. Roger."

She paused for a second, "Though there are two others on that list they aren't a major threat to the Captain as they prefer to venture the seas alone."

Damien wrote the names down in his mind for future reference.

Rocks still looked bored—an indication for Shakky to resume her explanation. And she did: "Naturally, they all need to die."

These words brought a smile to Xebec's face.

"From these two, you've met Roger, the man who's already sailed much of the New World on his rather small crew—an impressive feat," she said. 

"The other two of the highest importance are the Overlords."

The woman then further elaborated.

"Overlord: Thaddeus 'Medulla' Enigma."

"Eater of the Mind-Mind Fruit, a Paramecia-type ability that allows Enigma to control others' minds entirely. He can also use mental-type attacks that can erode your sanity. There is no defense from this attack besides having an indomitable mind found in Supreme Kings."

She went on to say, "He is also known as the 'Pirate Professor'." 

"Using his astute mental faculties to master and comprehend the science of our world. His research is a priceless commodity in the Underworld, even the World Government wants to get their hands on it!"

She continued, "The biggest threat from this man is that he can control all his subordinates. As in there is no betrayal, no infiltration, no spying. Due to this, he can stay true to his name: an Enigma!"

Shakky then switched to the tog dog of the New World. "Overlord: Pryde D. Sol."

The woman narrowed her eyes as if recalling a hazy figure. "He ate an incredible fruit… a Paramecia which goes strikingly well with his arrogant personality as the 'Sin of Pride'."

The woman sighed, helplessly shrugging, "He rarely makes a move himself, allowing him to remain in a shroud of mystery, all I know is that with his ability, he can greatly superimpose his strength to reach absurd levels."

Rocks' face warped into one that was of slight interest, "Hmm, that fruit is indeed a little interesting; he can be left for last."

The Captain's words left Damien quite curious.

Shakky saw the look and smiled, "Many missions will be sent out to the higher-ups of our crew, each given a pirate group to take down."

These were an alarm to Damien, enough to make him both question his strength and also feel a tremor of excitement to duel stronger foes. 

'Though I probably won't be given a great threat, right? Maybe one of the weaker ones…'

Damien's thought process was interrupted by the grizzly voice of Rocks.

"Xahaha! I can see through your little thoughts, brat. You're right, your target won't be that impressive, just go and take down that Enigma guy."

"..."

The young pirate paused to think, he knew that though Rocks seemed to put on an air of recklessness, he was highly intelligent.

Rocks answered his thoughts as if reading his mind. 

"Hah, that brain guy is the weakest of them all, overly reliant on his Devil Fruit and letting his Haki dwindle; useless trash," he spat out in disgust.

Shakky nodded by the side. "Enigma's fruit has allowed him to gather a fully brainwashed army of around 50,000 soldiers across hundreds of ships, within his territory of the Mind Sea," she said.

Damien took in the info and aired his thoughts, "In other words… Enigma's greatest strength is also his greatest weakness."

Shakky beamed a smile while Rocks broke out in a crazed laugh.

"Xahahaha! That's right; just kill him first and all his little toys will fall apart."

Alas, Damien was left with a few thoughts and decided to convey them.

"I'll do it, but I need some time to train."

Rocks gazed at the young pirate before him. Damien's sharp eyes showed him everything he needed to know and it all boiled down to a reply of a manic laugh.

"Xahahaha! Looks like that fire inside of you still burns bright… very well, you have half a year to depart to sea," he said in his usual hoarse voice. "Take Kaido and your new division mate as well, it's best they don't fall behind."

The captain's tone quickly grew bored, waving his subordinates away.

Damien and Shakky took the cue and began their long walk down the long spiraling staircase.

.

"Shakky-nee, I need a favour," Damien asked.

"Whatever you need, Damien-chan. Well, maybe not the naughty-naughty~" she charmingly whispered.

Damien was already immune to her teasing and paid it no mind. "My Observation Haki… I feel like I'm very close to seeing something far beyond my senses."

Shakky hummed by the side as if telling him to go on.

"From what I can see, your strongest suit lies in Observation, I hope you can help me reach that next step."

Shakky smiled at the youthful pirate, "Oh, just that? No problemo~ I don't have much to do here anyway, plus I do have some ideas that can help you with that. Though it won't be painless…"

Damien nodded thankfully. He didn't like asking for handouts, if Shakky needed help in the future, he would surely aid her. 

"This is less complicated training than I thought," Damien muttered as he stood in the forest surrounded by tall trees.

He was blindfolded.

His ears were clogged with cotton.

His nose was stuffed the same.

His skin was doused with some special sap that numbed his nerves.

Even his taste was lost from the numbing sensations.

All his senses were forcefully shut down!

Damien stood in the center of a clearing, surrounded by lush forest. He even stopped exercising his Voice of All Living Things. It felt suffocating to be deprived of all your senses, enough to make even the most resolute go mad!

*Bang*

It wasn't a sound he could hear, rather he could feel.

A bullet came rushing down the side and towards his lower chest. It was an easy dodge as they skidded past his body.

*Bang* *Bang* *Bang* 

Dozens of bullets soon shot out from all directions, and the difficulty greatly increased.

Damien's eyebrows furrowed as he felt the changes in the air around him with his Haki. 'They aren't all traveling at the same speed?' he thought.

His rather tall body moved in quick steps, swishing through the air.

Damien moved incredibly fast, his body disappearing and reappearing in many different locations.

Yet the bullets still hit him in many places, displaying their magical nature.

'It stings…'

Damien groaned as he grabbed his bleeding arm.

'Piercing round?' he thought to himself.

Another alert went off in his head and he felt heat coming.

Boom!

Damien jumped up last second as the tree behind him exploded into innumerable pieces, leaving a mess behind.

Another flame quickly tingled his senses, not giving him a moment of rest.

Damien danced through the forest as a fire began to build up in his wake.

Tens of minutes passed as Damien jumped from tree to tree, fully spanning his Observation to see as much as possible.

The layout of the forest was already 'visible' in his mind. 

Yet the bullets that shot toward him only got faster. Whether they were explosive, piercing, or incendiary rounds, they all came. Some even mixed in as a single bullet!

.

'I got the hang of it–'

Damien's thought process was abruptly halted as he felt a small window open behind him.

Boom!

An explosion rattled his back as a magically appearing bullet made its debut. Damien couldn't even think as ten more such portals opened up around him.

Boom! *Bang!* Kaboom!

Explosions chained through the forest as the young pirate was overwhelmed with the hot projectiles.

'Too much chaos… I can't see anything!'

Damien's Observation couldn't keep up with the portals that opened up only a few odd inches from his body. Beyond that, the cover of fire and heat made it impossible to even grab a footing.

.

"Ufufu~ We're only just getting started," Shakky muttered from a small hill, overlooking the spectacle below.

One hand grasping a cigar, the other, a pistol.

The weapon was spit-firing rounds into the air, the bullets ranged from a variety of colours, though every one of them was covered in a purple bubble.

As the bullets left the gun, they were encircled with a purple portal, warping them from the hill and right onto Damien's core. It was quite the training.

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[The Following Day]

Damien woke up after an eight-hour snooze. 

*Crack* 

His joints cracked from the movements, a satisfying wake-up stretch. The young pirate threw on his usual attire and peered out his balcony. 

A dull smell of blood remained from the earlier debacle with him becoming a Division Commander. 

"Fourth Division Commander," he muttered. "Not much of a division…"

Damien let out a chuckle at the thought of the numbers at his disposal. Recalling the current overlay of the Rocks Pirates. 

Whitebeard's D-1 had 600 troops.

Shiki's D-2 had 5400 troops.

Charlotte Linlin's D-3 had 4700 troops.

Damien's D-4 had 2 personnel. 

Silver Axe's D-5 had 2000 troops.

D-6 had 4300 troops.

D-7 had 5000 troops.

Captain John's D-8 has 5000 troops. 

Shakky's D-9 had 50 personnel. 

.

Silver Axe had already assumed full control over his Division, much to Rocks' satisfaction. 

Even the non-commander-led divisions, the sixth and seventh, had a huge number of fresh meat sent in.

Rocks didn't have any outstanding pirates there as of now. Rather he threw some recruits into a single group, hoping a powerful pirate would appear, if not, then they could die for all he cared.

Kaido remained a plausible choice but required more training.

Speaking of hierarchy, there was one in terms of the entire crew as well. It wasn't created by any one person but rather circulated by the pirates of Hachinosu themselves.

ROCKS PIRATES GRAND FLEET:

1) The Supreme Leader of the Rocks Pirates – Rocks D. Xebec.

2) The Three Titans – Whitebeard, Shiki, Charlotte Linlin.

3) The Four Tragedies – Captain John, Shakuyaku, Damien, Silver Axe.

4) The Ruins – Kaido, Shiki's Commanders.

5) The Fiends – Elite Infantry.

6) The Forsaken – Mid-Level Foot-soldiers.

7) The Condemned – Low-Level Foot-soldiers.

OTHER:

i) The Ravens – Shakky's Informant Network.

ii) The Rogues – Shakky's Surveillance Force (Overlook the pirates in the crew, finding traitors or other nuisances).

.

The hierarchy was put together for a defined structure. And mostly because it was the basis used to provide homes at Hachinosu. 

The Condemned lived at the shore while the Fiends only lived at the very edge of the main pirate city. Mainly so that if the Navy or an opposing pirate fleet comes, these pirates would become literal cannon fodders. 

The amusing thing was Kaido's position. 

Damien had a good laugh every morning just thinking about the brooding giant who was determined to keep destroying things till he too became a Tragedy. 

.

"Yo, Indra," Damien casually greeted. "Looks like you're here bright and early."

The man in question was standing down below, his dark eyes peering at his now-Commander. He didn't reply, just nodded in return. 

The Sin Incarnate felt quite comfortable having a pirate near him at Hachinosu who wasn't constantly howling and fighting. However, there was a topic he wanted to visit.

"Show me your weapon."

Indra unsheathed his blade without hesitation and handed it to Damien, who had appeared only a few meters in front of him. 

The commanding pirate glanced at the blade. "Hmm, it's well-honed but awfully fragile…" Just by exercising a little strength on the blade, it was creaking. 

*Stab*

Damien stuck the blade into the red soil beneath him, much to Indra's confusion. 

He then reached into his regal coat and pulled out another sheathed blade. 

It was a mischievous blade, dark and stormy at first glance. The sword was held in Damien's hands gaining Indra's attention. 

"I won this weapon off of a loser in West Blue years ago," Damien enlightened him. 

Shing!

The blade sliced the air as it was unleashed from its cover. 

"One of the 21 Great Grade Swords: Kyōran."

The morning sun reflected off the blade, seemingly letting out a soft hum from its purple design. 

[Kyōran Image (in Discord)]

Indra was captivated by the weapon in his commander's hands, a certain part of him wanting to reach out. Damien didn't put on airs, casually throwing it away. 

"Take it," he said. "I don't need my only subordinate to walk around with such a brittle weapon."

Indra's hand tightly held the weapon and scabbard, feeling his new sword. The swordsman lowered his head, "I won't let you down."

Damien's eyes scanned the pirate with new interest. 

He saw it. A gleam of ambition passed through Indra's eyes as he held the new treasured blade. 

It was a thirst for strength and power. That's what Damien needed. A sharp sword at his disposal. 

Time began to run on without stopping. 

Damien continued his training day-in-and-day-out under the continuous hail of teleporting bullets. Slowly but surely, beginning to 'see' where they would appear next.

It would begin as a small window, expanding further and further. And like that, months went on by.

To Be Continued…

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Author's Corner.

Bit of a set-up chapter, not just for the coming arc but future arcs down the line.

Images are available on Discord alongside other niche details: https://discord.gg/aJHHHPvb6q