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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

[39] Encephala Island (IV)

[2200 words]

Had 2 midterms today; taking a 5-course load is painful in so many ways.

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The ambience and surroundings felt very homely.

The smell of the wood under the warm sun, the sound of whistling wind and even the distant sounds of children playing in the distance.

The sensation of returning home; every nostalgic memory came together to overwhelm Damien's senses.

"Come and give your mother a hug."

The words caused Damien to tremble. The warmth was uncannily real. Such an influx of familiarity was overwhelming, forcing Damien to take a few steps toward the waiting woman. 

Deep in his mind was a dull buzzing sensation. He felt bits of his sanity start to decay from every step he took.

The more he reached out, the more his mind corroded. 

.

He now stood a meter away from his mother's embrace, his eyes staring at the woman's face, hair and clothing.

"You feel so real," Damien muttered. 

"What a silly thing to say," Nadia smiled. "And you've grown up so much."

The words sent a chill down the boy's neck as he subconsciously gulped. The longing feeling hidden deep in his heart was about to burst out.

Damien heaved a low sigh, closing his shaky eyes.

"..."

Nadia tilted her head in slight confusion, unsure of what her treasured son was doing.

Suddenly, Damien's eyes shot open, locking onto the woman lacking the previous tremors. His hand slowly reached out toward her. The hand went out and felt the warmth off Nadia's face. 

"But the more real you seem, the more I know that this is not reality."

Under her warm yet slightly confused eyes, the hand reached further and grabbed her throat. 

The words came with a sharp increase in strength on the hold of Nadia's throat, locking on like an iron vice. 

Damien's fingers dug into her trachea, suffocating the woman. He couldn't help but remain locked onto the blank eyes of the woman as she was lifted off her feet. 

Nadia was held a meter off the ground, staring at her son with a sorrowful and pained look. 

A broken wheeze echoed out from her mouth due to the oxygen deprivation. The crushing grip left her writhing to the point where her eyes grew bloodshot.

"Please… die for me."

The young mother helplessly shook in her own son's grip as her life slowly drained away. Tears fell from her eyes, a look of betrayal evident. 

"..."

A few silent moments that felt to last an eternity.

Damien gnashed his teeth to the point that blood began leaking down his lips. He ignored the buzzing in his mind and increased the strength of his grip.

His mind shivered in anger as he watched the final ounces of life withdraw from Nadia's eyes; her breathing came to a stop and the beating heart halted, all under Damien's broken gaze.

"…"

Two minutes passed. Nadia's corpse remained lifted in Damien's hand. Her empty eyes stared at her son. 

Damien's eyes were lost. A steel spirit emerged from deep within, bursting out with seething rage that began to melt away the wooden home.

[Outside the Mindscape]

"Ma-Ma-Mam-Ma! Perhaps Rocks' gamble won't play out after all," Linlin cackled from the side. 

Her enormous frame, both vertically and horizontally, dwarfed all others nearby. 

Kaido, who barely rivalled her scale, had a different opinion: "WORORO! Though I want to do nothing more than pummel Damien," he said with a grin. "He isn't the kind of guy to lose to someone like Enigma!"

The words were followed by a deafening explosion. 

Boom!

An ear-rattling sound exploded from the full body of the Sin Incarnate. Waves of dense Haki in the form of Conqueror's burst out, forming a wide sphere of absolute dominion. 

The air shrieked while the ground began to tremble. 

The warm sun's ambience dulled away as the dark red zone of Haki left behind a broken atmosphere. 

Oven, Perospero, Daifuku and Katakuri also fell victim to the surging Haki. "Ugh!" their hands were glued to their temples in a desperate attempt to remain sane.

Their yells and groans were masked by the display of the furious aura emanating from Damien. 

"WORORO! My skin feels tingly, looks like Enigma really pissed him off!"

Charlotte Linlin grimaced at the sight of her lovely children being overwhelmed, quickly spanning her own Haki to shield them. Though it didn't hide the surprised look on her face. 

"Such rage," she murmured. 

The woman then peered at the shaken Overlord and questioned, "Just what did you show him?"

The surprise was ubiquitous—mirrored on Enigma's face. 

"How could this happen!? That ability materializes its victim's deepest desires, something they would overturn the world to grasp!"

Though his cloudy thoughts soon cleared up, "…The only way to break out of such a reality is to lose that which you hold dearest! But how can someone so easily cut off their deepest desire!?"

Damien slowly opened his eyes. 

"That's the difference between you and the true monsters of this world," came a bland voice of the young pirate.

"They can cast away their greatest weaknesses to become stronger, while you, an Overlord of the Seas, remain hidden in your little cave with hundreds of thousands of toys to accompany you to your craze for control."

Damien began to take steps forward, each summoning craters as they approached Enigma. 

"Originally, I was only here as Captain Rocks' executioner…" His hands balled into fists; the anger evident in his boiling eyes. "It's been a while since I've wanted to kill someone this bad!"

Damien's angry words soon came into reality as his body began to swell. 

The towering body of the pirate surged and burst with crimson energy; Damien's fury was unleashed with the uncontrolled force of his Devil Fruit. Every pore in his body was leaking Pulverizing energy at copious volumes to the point where it created a black and red coat of energy around him.

It flickered and crackled every so often, showcasing the volatile nature of the form, alongside its untamed spirit. The face warped into a skull, showcasing bony teeth and wide open eye sockets that glowed red.

[Image (in Discord)]

 .

The threatening words reached the ears of Enigma.

"Kill me?" 

The man's eyes grew angry as a powerful burst of orange Haki exploded out. 

BOOM!

The clash of two Conqueror's Haki users only worsened the island's condition, unleashing torrents of whirling winds in its wake.

Indra, who was still fighting off an army of Mindless Ones who were seeking to disrupt the main clash, was left frozen.

Thud!

Bang!

Bam!

The thousands of zombie-like enemies began dropping like flies, collapsing to the ground under the concentration of Haki. 

Enigma's control of their mental faculties had been entirely overwhelmed by the Haki clash!

.

"You are but an outlier! One that shall be expelled by me!" Enigma roared.

At that moment, Damien shot forth, the air along his body groaned in agony as the surrounding ground was crushed to bits.

*Purrup* Enigma released his Mind powers as it generated a thick and stable orange barrier infused with his Haki.

*Fwwm!*

The red glow around Damien's hand darkened from Armament Haki.

BAM!

A dark-red punch collided with endless force upon the orange barrier made by the Overlord.

*Creak*

Sounds of glass being crunched resonated as the punch pushed forth, creating cracks in the barrier, though not enough for it to be destroyed.

*Rumble*

Black lightning sparks were also thundering in the air as the clash of Supreme Kings ensued.

.

"Your mind is powerful but that doesn't mean your strength has grown as well; your limits will always shackle you down!" Enigma spat out.

*Purrup*

Damien's eyes grew more stable, his body releasing more and more pulverizing energy to fuel the charge, disregarding the Overlord's words.

*Crack*

The shield creaked once more. 

*Shatter*

The orange shards of mind energy gave way and clattered onto the ground. Enigma was thrown back a few dozen meters, slowly coming to a stop. He soon sent out his favourite attack in opposition:

.

"Fury of Atlas!"

.

The heavy pressure soon befell Damien in an attempt to obliterate his mind but it didn't work!

Damien just swatted it off, his mind had already taken so much stress that it no longer cared; the pirate was simply fuelled by his rage, though a strong power, it could only last so long. 

The dark red humanoid opened his maw, uttering a few words.

"Tell me Enigma, as a man of computation and deep schemes, have you ever calculated your own demise?"

The words were a green light for both men to release further bursts of Haki, exploding the islands once again with the brutal collision of opposing forces. 

Enigma breathed out an annoyed huff. To see a young pirate first use him to sharpen his Haki, then to beat him in his own game, and then to go beyond his calculations, had ignited a certain denial within him.

.

"Lost Words: Descent of Athena!"

.

Upon the declaration of the technique, a huge silhouette of a Greek Goddess dawned from the cloudy skies.

She wore golden armour, a gorgon shield affixed on one arm while wielding a spear in the other. There was also an owl resting upon the woman's shoulder.

The goddess spanned 50 meters in height, dwarfing the rest of the nearby region. A golden flame-like aura coated around her as it lit the dim battlefield with its holy grace.

The Goddess of Wisdom had descended.

[A/N: Attack Image (in Discord). 50 meters = AoT wall height.]

.

Damien, who was nothing but a figure made of volatile red energy, brought both hands together as a final stretch of his powers.

*Grrrrr!*

His body once again exploded with red energy that scratched at the atmosphere, releasing shrieks from the air.

The energy grew larger and larger. It was so incredibly dense that it started to morph into the shape of a giant creature.

It had large, dark-red wings that spanned over 45 meters in wingspan and height. Blackish-red body with sharp scales pointing out of the back, and a glowing yet frightening red underbelly.

[Attack Image (in Discord)]

"Rawr!" the creature let out a grievous roar as if declaring its presence. The sound waves sent out were mixed with Pulverizing energy, shattering all hills nearby to pieces.

.

"Advent of Chaos!"

.

The dreadful dragon roared as Damien called its name, every second it existed was another second that the island was subjected to its sheer pulverizing effect, causing the very roots of the landmass to quiver.

Damien bolted forth, the dragon followed him as it flapped its mighty wings and clashed against the spear of the Goddess of Wisdom!

BOOM!

Endless energy torrents whirled all over the land as the colours of red and gold collided. 

The clouds above were blown apart, clearing the depressing weather. 

*Rumble*

Sparks of black lightning rained down as the Clash of Kings went on. 

Giant tides were spawned at the coast of Encephala Island, spanning dozens of meters in height. 

It took a good three minutes for the rumbling to end. 

Big Mom and Kaido both looked at the outcome with deep curiosity. The woman's children, aside from the kneeling Katakuri, had been knocked out. 

Alas, the dust began to settle. 

"..."

A deafening silence pervaded as the two Rocks Pirate members perceived the result.

They saw Damien's bloodied body still standing, heaving with heavy breaths. 

His back was trembling from the greatly stimulated nerves along his spinal cord that sent frequent buzzes through his ringing mind.

Though Damien's eyes looked droopy, almost about to faint, he gazed resolutely at the other side of the broken island. 

The result was satisfactory. 

Enigma's body was a few hundred meters away.

His arms and legs were twisted and broken apart. His neck had exploded while the mushy face seemed to have gone through a lawn mower. 

Linlin broke out with a smile, "To think a feared Overlord of the Sea would fall here, what a sight!"

.

'I feel hollow,' Damien thought while trying to move his broken body. In his anger, Damien's Devil Fruit burst out with great zeal, though leaving him empty of stamina.

The nerves had also been fried from Enigma's attack. An incessant ringing blared in his ears, but it wasn't enough to make him fall. 

Yet even under the haze of stabbing pain was deep satisfaction in the state the Sin Incarnate had left the Overlord—crushed and crippled.

*Thump* *Thump* *Thump* 

He took a few steps forward, stretching his stiff body. 

*Grumble*

His hands darted to his stomach, "I'm hungry."

Just a duel lasting two hours left Damien drained. 

'The future Aokiji and Akainu fought for ten days? Just how the hell does that even work?'

While Damien could continue getting stronger, it seemed that the energy to fight for days on end would develop as his body matured and not simply as his strength increased.

In other words, it was a glaring weakness.

*Fwoo!*

The pirate swung his arm, storing a treasure in his inventory, though at that very moment came a cackling laugh.

"Ma-Ma-Mam-Ma!"

To Be Continued…

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Author's Corner.

Damien fought someone stronger than him and that would naturally drain his stamina much quicker. Much like how Luffy had pretty much shut down after his 11-hour duel with Katakuri. 

But now he has another mountain in the shape of Big Mom to surmount.

Which Overlord Arc was better: Borealis or Enigma? Who had the better Fruit?

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