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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

[8] Knowledge is Power

[2350 words]

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Damien shook his head with a sigh, though a shadow suddenly was cast upon him.

"I am Captain Raiden presiding over this Marine Branch, are you the one who came to turn in the Blazing Pirates' bounties?"

Damien gazed to the side and saw the 8-foot-tall man who had appeared.

He wore a black t-shirt and grey trousers with a marine coat draped over his shoulder, decorated with golden cuffs.

He had a buzzcut and a few scars on his face.

[Raiden Image (in discord)]

.

"That's right," Damien simply nodded.

The marine squinted his eyes and slowly nodded. He didn't seem to believe that Damien had taken down the two pirates but it didn't matter as long as the scum were dead.

Since Damien brought them in, he was within his rights to cash in the bounty.

But there was a little problem.

"Young man, I have a little advice I suggest you follow," Raiden said with his deep voice.

He then gestured his hands to the marines nearby as they immediately left the main lobby. Leaving the two alone.

Damien narrowed his eyes and hummed as if telling the marine to elaborate.

"Those two are aligned under the Gambino Mafia Family," Raiden informed with a hint of worry.

"If you cash in their bounty, the scum of the Mafia will be alerted right away and they will come to hunt you down."

Damien slowly nodded, appreciating the man's concern.

He beamed a smile, "Thank you for the warning, but I still want to cash it in."

Raiden closed his eyes with a slight sigh, "Very well, then what do you think of being a marine? With this, I can protect you from their claws."

Damien eyed the rather kind marine and stood up in recognition of it, "I appreciate your words, Captain Raiden. But being a marine is not for me."

Raiden eyed the young man who was a little taller than him and gave a dull sigh once more.

"I see, well, think it through, you're still young. Don't think of yourself as immortal."

The marine took one last look at the corpses and said, "I'll have some men ready the cash immediately."

Damien nodded with a slight smile.

[A Little While Later]

*Slam*

A large chest was soon placed before Damien by the hard work of two marines.

"'Green Fox' Pabulum – 12.9 million berries."

"'Blazing Axe' Ignis – 39 million berries."

"For a total bounty of 51.9 million berries, including an 8% income tax, that comes down to a grand total of 47.748 million berries."

Damien blinked.

"Hey-hey, what with the income tax, you might as well put up a jolly roger and say you're robbing me!" he complained.

The marine scratched his head, "Sorry, lad, but all legal income under the World Government is taxed, including bounties. Any hints of tax evasion or fraud will get you hunted down by the relentless Revenue and Taxation Bureau."

The soldier shook his head in dismay.

"Those guys are like bloodhounds, worse than any pirate out there if you ask me!"

Damien's lips twitched, 'Seems like bloodthirsty Governments are a universal thing.'

He gave up and left with the chest of berries.

The exit door creaked as Damien walked out with an empty chest. Naturally, he moved the cash into his inventory right away as only an idiot would keep so much cash in hand.

Damien picked up a brochure and walked towards the main town of Greta Island through a stone road surrounded by trees.

He continued at a stable pace under the warm sunlight, the occasional breeze making his hair fly wildly.

Though his mind was elsewhere.

Captain Raiden was a fairly nice guy.

Though he looked rough, he did mean well for Damien. This also did wake the young teen up.

He had a prejudice against the World Government and the Navy from his memories, but the truth is far from that.

The Marines were, for the most part, the 'good' guys.

It was the top brass who were the mainly corrupt ones, not even considering the Celestial Dragons at the very top.

Outside of corruption, the Navy could be seen as 'evil' by some simply because of one main point: their purpose.

They were the sword of the World Government; their duty was to maintain the authority of the Five Elders and the Celestial Dragons.

They may wear "JUSTICE" on their backs but that justice comes in many forms.

.

Becoming a marine wasn't a bad idea. With Damien's strength, he could surely reach a high rank, even an Admiral. After all, you didn't need a 'just' heart to reach the top.

"Unfortunately, though I could probably grow fast through the Marines, it would be risky," he said as he shook his head. "With this hellish Rocks Era, marines dying and recruits being pushed to the front are simply innumerable. I'd probably die by showing too much potential."

"And showing too little strength would restrict my growth."

.

Damien suddenly stopped in his path.

The grass and trees had just alerted him of some rats crawling about.

*Thwonk*

The empty chest fell to the ground.

"You might as well come out now, you work for the Gambino Family, no?"

And soon twenty men walked out from all directions.

"LuLu-lala-la! That's right kid, you annoyed the wrong people! Ready to die? I'll take that cash as some extra commission too!"

*Crack*

Damien cracked his knuckles with a small smile, "I didn't think I'd have such a graceful welcome to my first outing ever. I hope you can answer a few of my questions once we're done."

The raiders simply laughed at the words as they grinned in a manner they probably thought was considered frightening.

'The news leaked faster than I thought, nice,' Damien thought.

.

The men then began a not-so-teamwork approach to attack him, thinking the death of Ignis was simply luck.

Damien had no intention of acting weak, or like some certain genres of fiction would say, 'A tiger pretending to be a pig.'

He simply exhaled a heavy breath as a certain burst of power spread in all directions.

.

"Obliteration Pulse."

.

It was an omnidirectional attack that rippled its way through the entire clearing and into the bushes around him.

*Crack*

The ground was riddled with tears as the trees shattered into fragments.

"Wha-"

The crimson burst of energy tore right through the masses as they exploded into 3-cm cubes, blood following in their wake.

The air continued to screech and howl as the attack neared its end, deliberately leaving all but one survivor.

.

"Are you ready to speak?" Damien asked the shocked and frightened man.

*Drip*

Damien then scowled as he saw some unsightly liquid drop from the man's trousers.

"M-Monste-!" 

The man attempted to run for his life and yet he slipped in his urine and fell into the yellow pool that only seemed to grow in volume.

Damien slowly walked forward and in front of the shivering man.

"Alright, tell me about who sent you here," he said.

*Gulp*

The raider furiously nodded; his desire to live made him rather cooperative.

"T-The Gambino Family got news on their dogs being cashed in and wanted you dead," he said in a quivering tone. "L-Let me go now!"

Damien hummed at the info and questioned further, "I know that little. Where is their main base located?"

"T-They kill me if I tell you!"

The red-eyed youth simply raised his hand.

*Grrr*

A dazzling red energy appeared in the boy's palm as the air cried out in return. 

The bright sun seemed to fade away as the raider's eyes saw the volatile energy swarm his attacker's hand.

"I-It's at El Pavor Island!" 

Seeing that Damien's power had not retreated, the man continued, "T-That place is swamped with their mobsters and even pirates-for-hire, you're safer anywhere else!"

Damien nodded at the last bit of information but felt no threat from it.

"W-Wait, don-!"

The man was directed into innumerable pieces as Damien returned to his journey to Greta Island, now looking for a more detailed map of El Pavor Island.

"Captain Raiden, w-what happened here?" a younger marine asked, obviously a new recruit.

The 8-foot tall man he spoke with was also surprised.

"Looks like that young man wasn't lying about Ignis," the marine muttered. "I hope you won't butt heads with the Mafia, it would be a waste for such a young lad to die in this small sea."

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[Two Hours Later]

The red-eyed youth walked through the stone roads within the main town of Greta Island. There was a faint smell of seawater lingering about as it was located near the ocean.

It was a fairly clean place with colourful banners decorating the houses and buildings. Kids running about, adults busy with their work.

Damien spent a while just soaking in the atmosphere of civilization.

He had spent the past seven years on his own. Seeing, hearing and even conversing with humans was refreshing.

Though he had resolved himself to reach the greatest of heights, he didn't want to become some emotionless robot.

.

"It's been fourteen years since I ate ice cream," he smiled while devouring some vanilla-like ice cream.

He then unfurled a large piece of paper that was filled with pictures of islands and points of interest in the West Blue—a map.

Damien continued to lick his ice cream as he located El Pavor Island.

It was further south from Greta Island, a minimal journey of around two weeks by ship.

Naturally, this was the route for normal people, adjusted to travel within marine jurisdictions to avoid any pesky pirates.

The shortest distance was more of an eight-day trip.

Damien was fairly confident in taking down the Gambino Family.

He recalled that Capone 'Gang' Bege was able to dominate the Mafia Families before raising his flag and becoming a pirate. 

If a Bege of that level could reach the top of West Blue then naturally Damien could take down a single family alone.

He also wanted to get some actual combat experience, solo-practise could only go so far. Only by putting your life on the line can you truly blossom in strength.

Damien suddenly woke up from his thoughts as he saw some letter in the newspaper held up by a middle-aged man sitting not so far away, enjoying a cup of tea.

The bolded subheading read:

"ROCKS STRIKES AGAIN!"

Damien read the description without difficulty, suffice to say his vision was quite impeccable.

'That's it?'

The problem was that the entire story wasn't even on the cover.

Not only that, it barely spanned a half page. Simply stating that the Rocks Pirates had attacked a kingdom in the New World and left it ablaze.

No names were given, it was simply a hollow report that focused on showcasing the Rocks as a group of devils without giving much information to any single individual.

'I thought the news of the Rocks was erased only after his death, but it seems even now the general public only see them as some reckless fools in the New World,' Damien surmised.

His eyes then glanced at the news distributor.

"WORLD NEWS AGENCY."

Damien scoffed in return, "No wonder, the entire news is under World Government control!"

Unlike in Luffy's time when Morgans controlled the news, it seemed that the 'World News Economy Journal' simply did not yet exist and everything was under the Five Elders' thumbs.

"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind," Damien muttered as he shook his head and got up.

*Splash*

The water burst apart as the anchor was pulled up.

It was a rather pristine yet small ship that Damien had purchased for 10 million berries.

The sail was unfurled as Damien set off towards the south.

*Bam*

The table groaned as it was put under great pressure.

Damien gazed at the tower of books before him, courtesy of Greta Island Public Library.

He had 'borrowed' some tens of books for his own knowledge.

It was a simple thought. Damien wanted to soak in as much information and data about this world as he could.

Though the academic side of things of the One Piece world was rather primitive from Earth, he focused more on the history and geography of the seas.

Whether it was about the weather and its random changes, the types of Sea Kings in the oceans, the types of poisons found in what animals, or the countless animals and plants that were known. Even the diseases of the world were important to know of.

The history aspect includes the kingdoms under the World Government, previous wars and battles, the big names of the seas and finally and most importantly, the history behind the World Government itself.

Though the information available was surely heavily censored and even altered, only a fool would sail the endless seas without having basic knowledge of what to expect.

Damien had always been studious and used the free time available during his longer voyage to soak in the needed information.

"Boons of having a strong memory, otherwise I'd be slamming my head on the wall trying to memorize all this stuff," he thought before setting sail.

[Nine Days Later]

A lonely ship docked at the eastern side of El Pavor Island.

A large garrison of mobsters naturally surrounded the area beyond the lonesome ship.

There were a few hundred men dressed in rather well-fitted black suits.

A small cloud of smoke covered the island and 95% of the mobsters were perpetually smoking!

*Click*

Hundreds of guns were loaded as they pointed at the rather empty ship. 

"Be careful, the attacker was able to ward off all cannon fire, most likely an ability user!" an aged gangster said as he sucked his cigar.

The armed personnel then saw a single person stand at the bow of the ship, the morning sun masking their appearance.

A few men gulped as they were enveloped in the shadow cast onto them.

"Open fire!"

To Be Continued…

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Author's Corner.

Slowly building Damien's character, seeing the world more critically as time ticks on forth.

Images: https://discord.gg/aJHHHPvb6q