3 Goals and Plans #3

East Clover Town

Inside a shabby abandoned house

"There you go. Rest up, and you'll be as good as new..." Said a little girl with a short bob cut and freckles all over her face as she finished bandaging my shoulder.

Her name was Victoria Shiruton Doruyanaika, but everyone called her Vicky, much to her chagrin, as she liked the sound of her full name. She was a part of Kid and Killers group, or rather gang of orphans.

Surprisingly, she was high up in the group's pecking order since the two brats in charge had a thing for her, and she seemed to play them like a fiddle which was both amusing and appalling at the same time.

"We'll feed you for the next three days while you recover, but you'll have to carry your own weight after that," Vicky added as she double-checked the bandage. "No one likes a deadbeat," She concluded, and I could only nod as I watched her walk away, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

Instantly I began thinking about Newland's mangled head and felt the urge to throw up the oatmeal I just had. 'No use thinking about it... might as well bottle it up like any reasonable adult man...' I bitterly mused as I shook my head and the grotesque image off my mind with it.

'First things first... I need to take a look at that book...' I decided as I reached for the backpack, opened it, and retrieved the brown booklet inside, giving it an appraising look.

My expression instantly sank as I laid eyes on the cover, which had the booklet's title (The Hercules Method), a drawing of a muscular man in a tiny roman toga, asking me if I was tired of being puny, and bunch of random phrases like get buff today.

'A fucking bodybuilding course...?' I couldn't help but feel like a jackass for putting my hopes in the damned booklet and almost dying for it as soon as I laid eyes on the cover.

I felt like burning the booklet and pissing over its ashes then and there, but I still held a faint hope that it would have something useful, so I pushed down the intrusive thoughts and opened it.

My eyes instantly widened as I saw the first page, which displayed an anatomical illustration of a human body that was half skinless and half only bones, alongside a brief introduction of the booklet.

Millenniums ago, Cain killed his brother, Abel. In doing so, he discovered the mastery of flesh through murder. The new-found knowledge drastically changed Cain, and he began to see the world in a new light.

New perceptions opened up for Cain, and he embarked on a long journey of enlightenment. He began documenting (through drawings and diagrams on parchment) what would later be known as "The Method," which continued for many centuries.

Cain discovered an underlying and universal truth to life: we are all meat for the slaughter, meant to kill and destroy one another; that was the human nature broken down to its most fundamental elements.

Through his journey, Cain achieved an unmatched understanding of the human body (anatomy), the way of life (human behavioral patterns and psyche), and ultimately how to end an individual's life in every way possible (as physically and violently as possible) and translated it into absolute might.

Cain passed his understanding (through teachings) to others who would become his followers, gathering, documenting, writing down his work, and passing it down to future generations.

Those who could understand and duplicate Cain's teachings through learning and practice became talented in the art. As such, The Hercules Method was born, refined, and handed down from practitioner to practitioner over countless centuries dating back to the Roman Imperium.

'Holy shit... Hercules Method...? More like Gacy's Method...' I mused, my eyes twitching as I quickly browsed the booklet's contents, a good portion of which was rather disturbing.

However, the book promised strength, which my current self sorely lacked and needed. I was in a world where everything basically wanted to kill me, and the idea of having a nearly immortal body was rather tempting as I had no intention of dying.

I already had to kill someone ten minutes into waking up in this world. I was under no illusion that I wouldn't have to kill to survive again, and if I could use that to make myself more powerful, then why the fuck not?

I won't go out of my way and start killing people for no reason, but if someone comes after me, they'll only have themselves to blame and no one else.

Besides, killing was only a part of the process. I also needed a perfect understanding of human anatomy, psyche, and patterns. Supposedly, If I could achieve the Method's three prerequisites, my mind, body, and spirit would transcend what is humanly possible.

Of course, the booklet might be fake, but it had too much details for that to be the case. In any case, I didn't have any other options. I could only rely on The Mehtod and hope for the best.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before anything else, I needed to write down everything I remembered about the One-Piece world to ensure I wouldn't lose the most prominent advantage (future knowledge) I had, and I needed a plan of action.

I retrieved the notebook and the pen from the backpack and immediately went to work, writing down everything I remembered from the One Piece anime, manga, and specials.

I didn't care if it was irrelevant details like the color of Nico Robin's bikini from that one special, which I remembered for reasons I will keep to myself, or vital information such as the locations of Poneglyphs and Oden's diary, I wrote it all down.

I spent an entire hour squeezing my brain of every drop of information and only stopped when it ran dry. 'Good...' I mused, nodding in satisfaction at the valuable knowledge I scribbled in the notebook.

'Now I need to figure out the timeline and a plan of action...' I let out a drawn breath as I flipped the page and started writing again.

According to the memory of my body's former owner, the pirate king died twelve years ago, meaning I had ten years to prepare before Luffy would set sail, marking the start of the anime.

'But how the hell am I going to prepare? Besides the damned booklet, what other resources could I get that are nearby...?' I mused as I flipped the notebook, looking for the page where I wrote everything I remembered about South Blue.

'Ok... so there's Karate Island where I could learn martial arts...' I mused, instantly circling the island. 'Then there's Torino where Chopper met those primitives and learned medicine during the time skip...' I didn't hesitate as I marked Torini island.

Learning martial arts and Medicine would not only boost my chance to survive, but it would help me understand the Method as the former would give me a better understanding of how to kill, and the latter would give me a better understanding of human anatomy.

'Goal number one, learn martial arts in Karate island and medicine in Torino island...' I immediately wrote down, only to freeze as I realized I had no means to escape Four Clover Island.

'Make that goal number two...' I sighed as I scratched off what I wrote in a hurry. 'Goal number one, make enough money to get out of Four Clover Island...' I scribbled with a nod, only to scratch it off again.

'Now that I think about it, shouldn't my number one goal be to survive...? Ugh, this is going to take some time...' I mused as I ripped out the page and started over.


Two hours later

"Finally..." I muttered, heaving a sigh of relief as I put away the pen, having finished writing down my list of goals that was more of a plan of action, the ultimate purpose of which was to preserve my ass.

I divided the goals into segments, pre-survival and post-survival, as in what I needed to do to increase my chance of survival to an acceptable level and what I would do once I was there.

The first of my pre-survival goals was to gather enough money to leave Four Clover Island. Luckily, the place was crawling with low lives, and I could rob or hunt them down for their bounties.

Four Clover was a lawless island, unaffiliated with the world government. However, each of its five towns (East Clover, South Clover, North Clover, West Clover, Central Clover) had a semblance of a ruling body in the gangs lording over them.

Naturally, those gangs had enemies, and they were willing to pay money for anyone willing and capable of hunting them down.

In conclusion, I could make money and further my understanding of the Method through bounty hunting, but how would a punk in the body of a scrawny twelve-year-old like myself hunt down such hardened criminals, you might ask?

By training, of course. The booklet had a training technique that would allow me to reach a sufficient level of strength regardless of my understanding of the Method's three prerequisites.

Though the technique would take an entire year of my time and only make me above average in strength and speed, I had no choice but to grit my teeth and rely on it.

After all, beggars can't be choosers, and as of now, I am the ultimate boss of beggars.


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