In a small dusty town in the middle of nowhere, a group of children gather in the town center. They have all come with various fruits, vegetables, even eggs in their hands, though they all seem to be rotten, certainly no longer in eating condition. They all came to stop in front of the Mayor's office, looking up eagerly at the small cage hanging from the town clock. Inside the cage, actually a gibbet, a tiny old man can be seen sleeping. The kids begin shouting and laughing as they start throwing tomatoes, eggs and numerous rotten food stuff at him. At the same time they shout out at him, calling him "Demon", and "Monster" and other such names. The old man, now awake, simply smiles down at them, ignoring the foodstuff splattering against he cage, spraying him with the rotten vegetables.
Finally, all out of food and tired of not getting any reaction from the man, the kids slowly drift away, leaving the old man alone once more. But not quiet all alone, as a tall young man, wearing a straw hat on his head, emerges from the shadow and walks idly towards the gibbet. He had been there all along, having walked into the town but recently, having arrived in the town center just in time to see the children having their cruel fun. Having waited patiently for them to leave before stepping forward. Standing below and a little ahead of the gibbet, he looked up at the old man as he picked up a rotten tomato from the side of his cage and after examining it began eating it. Suddenly a growling sound emerges from the young man's stomach, as seeing the old man eat reminds him how long it has been since he himself had a decent meal. The old man, noticing the sound, looks down to see the blue haired young man looking up at him.
"What are you looking at? Never seen a man eat?"
"No. I mean yes," the young man's stomach growled once more as he fumbled around with his word. The old man burst out laughing, and tossed a similarly rotten apple down to him.
"You must be really hungry if looking at this made your stomach cry out like that. And doesn't look like you have any money to buy food. You're new here, aren't you?"
"Thanks old man!" He begins gobbling the apple down, in his hunger the rotten apple tasting like the sweetest fruit he had ever had. "Yes," he spoke from behind a full mouth, "I just arrived. How did you know?"
"You don't look from around here. Besides, the folk of this town, their eyes are all the same. Your eyes are far too kind for you to be one of them. Tell me, what brings you to this little piece of heaven?"
The young man finished eating the apple and tossed the core back over his head. Wiping his face on the back of a palm, he began speaking, "I'm looking for something, and I have a feeling I'll find it here."
"Looking for something? What do you expect to find here?"
"A boat, I'm a pirate you know."
"A pirate? Bwahahaha!"" The old man burst out laughing once more. "Then you are an even bigger fool than me. Take my advice kid, get out of here as soon as you can, there's a Marine Captain in the town right now. And if he get's whiff of you then you'll be in trouble."
"A Captain huh? That's must be why there were so many marines patrolling the outskirts of the town. Say, old man, why're you in that cage?"
The old man leaned back in the gibbet, his small size allowing him some measure of comfort that most occupants of the cage were rarely afforded. "I used to be a pirate as well, but the term retired seems to mean nothing to these people. So they put me in here." Once more he would burst out laughing.
"A pirate?" His excitement is now apparent in his voice. "Wow! But, but you must be weak then, if they caught you so easily."
"Weak? Me? If I hadn't been in this cage I would have beaten the truth into you, you fool."
"So you're strong then? Why stay in the cage?"
"Of course I'm strong. But this cage is made of Kairoseki, there isn't much I can do against it."
Once more the young man's voice becomes excited, "Kairoseki? So you're a Devil Fruit user?"
"Oh, you know about Devil Fruits? I didn't think they were common in these backwaters."
"They aren't but I have been around. Say, old man, if you're strong, want to join my crew?"
"Your crew, you already have a crew?"
"Well not yet, but if you join then there'll be two of us. And that's a start." A wide smile is now plastered onto his face, as the old man looks down at the young man with amusement.
"Bwahahaha, you're a funny one. But tell you what, get me out of this cage and I'll join your crew."
"Alright, deal!" The young man would take off his hat, and holding it in a hand raise the other on to point its palm towards the gibbet. Suddenly a faint white glow would surround the cage, but then just as quickly vanish. "Ah, well was worth a try."
"You're a Devil Fruit user as well?"
"Mhm. Well on to plan B. Go and find the key." He begin moving away from the gibbet when the old man shouted at him. "Wait up, the key's with the Marines, how're you going to get it back?"
"Donno, will think up of something as I go." He starts running away, coming to a stop at the edge of the square, "By the way, what's your name?"
"Durin, my name is Durin."
"I'm Jim, Jim Hawkins. Nice to meet you."
With that he would vanish down a street, running towards the Marine camp. A little later a great deal of noise coming from the direction of the Marine camp would draw Durin's attention. Pretty soon he would spot Jim running back into the town square, a large number of marine soldiers running behind him.
"That idiot, what is he up to?"
Heading straight for Durin's cage, laughing as if enjoying himself, Jim would suddenly turn away him and head of on a tangent. But not before he would point his hand towards Durin for a second and something small would come flying towards him. Snatching it out of the air, he would find a key resting in his hand, the key to his cage.
On the other side of the square Jim had managed to get himself cornered, his back to two buildings and a ring of marines surrounding him from the other sides. Ready to fight his way out, he settled into a crouch, prepared for battle, when he would see spot something big flying in from behind the marines. Instinctively jumping into the air, he would look down in awe as a giant arm would crash through the gathered marines and reduce one of the buildings to rubble. Tracing the arm back to Durin, he would land on the ground, a wide grin on his face.
"That was amazing Old Man! How did you do that?"
"I told you, I ate a Devil Fruit. But we can talk later, right now we need to head out before more marines arrive."
As they would start running, Jim would turn back to take one last look at the damage done by the old man. "Say Old Man, if you are that strong then how did the Marines manage to catch you? Caught you napping, did they? Old people tend to sleep a lot."
"I am not old, and I was not sleeping! If you must know, I let them catch me." He would run in silence for a bit before continuing his story. "I made a deal with them to let my granddaughter go if I turned myself in. But those bastards still took her in. Which is why I will not be coming with you."
Already at the edge of the town, Jim would come to a skidding stop. Durin would stop as well, turning back to face the younger man. "Look, I'm sorry if I lead you on, but I needed to get out of that cage. I have a little girl waiting for me to come save her. I promised I would keep her safe, and I let them take her away. If not for her I would have joined you in a instant, but I have to go."
Jim would simply stand still with a hand resting on his hat, bending it forward to cover his eyes.
"I suppose this is it kid, thanks for your help." With that he would turn away from the direction of the small dock outside the town and begin running. Moments later he would sense and then see Jim suddenly appearing next to him and jogging along with him. "Wha..what are you doing?"
"You're going to save your granddaughter, and the way I see it you're a part of my crew. If I can't help my nakama save what is dear to them, then what kind of captain would I be? So I'm coming with you."
At this point he would smile widely at Durin, who in turn would almost feel his eyes watering. "Heh, you fool. Do what you want. But if you get killed, then don't blame me."
"You're sure this is the way you wanna do this?" Jim did not seem at all pleased as he knelt besides Durin. It had been two days since their meeting and they were now outside a small Marine base, small but well fortified.
"Yes," replied Durin, "this is the best way. Remember the words, she will only trust you if you repeat them to her exactly as I told you."
"Yes, yes, exactly as you told me." Taking one last look at the base entrance, he turned to look straight at Durin. "Alright, if we're going to do this then there's no point in wasting more time. Let's go."
Durin nodded in reply and the two of them got up and began walking towards the base entrance, Jim leading Durin, whose hands were cuffed in front of him. As they reached the entrance itself three Marines stepped up to block their way.
"Hey there guys, got a little present for you here." Jim would put his hands into one of his pockets and pull out a piece of folded paper, opening it to reveal a bounty with Durin's face on it. "Durin, The Behemoth, in the flesh."
A little later the two of them would be standing in the base commander's office, a burly old Captain who stood before Durin and looked him up and down. "You got a name boy?"
"Why don't you call me Bluebeard."
"Bluebeard? Sounds like a pirate's name. Where did you get your hands on these seastone cuffs? A rare thing for a bounty hunter to have on hand."
"Huh," the Captain would grunt disdainfully at hearing this. "Half you bounty hunters are criminals, if I had my way you would all be tossed behind bars as well. Well, regardless, the Marines are in your debt. Lieutenant Brox here will take you to our accounts department to sort out the details regarding the bounty, we will take over custody from here."
"Thank you captain," Jim would bow with a grin on his face, barely able to keep a straight face, "glad to get him off my hands."
With that he would follow the Lieutenant out of the office, turning towards the right as Durin was lead off to the left. The two of them would make eye contact once before they were lead away, Durin nodding to Jim once to reassure him.
As soon as Jim and the Lieutenant reached the lower floor, Jim sprang into action. Stepping up to the marine he would jab a hand onto his neck, knocking him unconscious. Catching his limp body, Jim would find a nearby closet to hide his body before hurrying on towards the detention block. While Durin would most probably be taken to the underground cells, their reconnoitering had revealed that his granddaughter was in the detention block.
Within minutes he was there, leaving a trail of unconscious marines in his wake. Holding a big ring with a large number of keys on it, he would come to a stop in front of the door she was supposed to be in, stepping over the body of the unconscious guard who lead him to the cell. Stepping into the room, he would find it empty, the young girl he had been hoping to find inside nowhere to be seen. Stepping back out he would shake the unconscious guard until he came to, holding his own gun to his head as he began questioning him.
"Where is she, the little girl who was in here?"
"I, I don't know." He would almost scream out as Jim pressed the gun's muzzle against his head. "Wait, wait. The recreation area for the prisoners, they are taken their in shifts. She must be there right now."
"Where is it?"
"Out that window, you can see it from there."
"Thank you." With that he would knock out the guard once more, stepping back into the cell and peering out from the window to see a wide open are right below, where a number of prisoners could be seen. He was about to turn around and head down when the alarms would suddenly go off.
Down in the field the prisoners would also hear the alarm and seeing Marines running off into the building, some would see this as a chance to try and fight their way out. Pretty soon an all out riot had broken out in the field, prisoners attacking marines right and left to get out. Within seconds the marines not caught up in the riot began replying with gunfire, systematically bringing the rioting prisoners down.
Jim would see all this from the window, knowing that their plan had just become completely useless. "Shit, we're out of time."
Down in the field, a young girl would be huddled into a corner, a weak old man standing over her, shielding her from the violence all around them. "Don't worry little on, everything will be alright. Everything will be alright really soon." Just then a blade would emerge from his stomach, splattering the little girl with blood.
"Mister, mister!" The words would barely have left the little girl's mouth as the blade would be withdrawn and a large hand would push the old man aside.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here. Word is a lot of people would pay a lot of money for you." Kneeling down in front of her, the huge man would start to reach out towards her when the old man would stretch out and grasp his arm. "Let her go."
"What, you're still alive old man?" Jerking his hand free, he would get up and raise the sword to stab the old man once more. "Die already"
The girl would scream out as the sword began its descent, but suddenly a hand would reach out and grip the man's arm and stop the blade's descent. "Picking on an old man and a little girl, why don't you try taking on someone your own size."
The man would turn around in surprise to see Jim standing behind him. Not giving the man any time to do much more, he would punch him with his free hand, knocking the air out of him and making him let go of the blade. Catching the falling blade, he would kick the man away and step up to the old man, kneeling down besides him as the little girl came running over as well.
"Saving old men seems to be all I do nowadays. You alright old man?"
Coughing out a little blood, the old man would be about to speak when his eyes would widen as he noticed something behind Jim. Turning around, Jim would notice the four prisoners that were approaching him, all with blades in their hands. They must have been the huge man's cronies, here to help their boss out. Rising, Jim would look at the little girl as he switched the blade from his left hand to his right. "Stay close to him, I'll take acre of this."
Slowly walking forward, he would suddenly start running as the four started moving towards him. As the first stepped in, he would effortlessly catch his blade on his own, disengaging and quickly executing a slash that cut his opponent across the torso and sent him to the ground. The second and third would come together, attacking at once. But Jim would deftly dodge their attacks and took them out as well with quick strikes. As the last one approached, Jim raised his sword up and executed a diagonal strike across his chest as he rushed past him, cutting him from shoulder to waist. "Ittoryu, Oni Giri."
Looking around to make sure that no one else was approaching them, he returned to where the old man lay on the ground. "How is he?" he would ask girl, kneeling down besides the old man. But before she could reply the old man himself would speak up, "I am dying, that's how I am. Tell me your name boy."
Jim would be about to blurt out Jim Hawkins when something would make him stop. "Hawkins D. James."
"Hmm, D. Then I have two favors to ask of you, Hawkins D. James. First, take care of this girl, get her out of here if you can."
"Don't worry, that's why I'm here, I came in to get her out of here."
"You did?" the little girl would ask.
"Yes, your grandfather is here as well. Which reminds me, I was supposed to tell you something." Leaning in, he would whisper a few words into her ears, which would for an instance bring a smile to her lips. "Grandpa is here as well?"
"Yes. We'll go meet up with him soon. But we have to figure out a way to get your friend out of here as well."
"Forget it, I know when my time is up. Get the girl out of here. Now, for my second request, you are a true swordsman, are you not?"
"I have some skill, yes."
"Then I ask this of you as one swordsman to another. In the armory here you will find my blade, take it and return it to my son. I cannot imagine it lying in the hands of these filthy marines."
Jim would be quiet for a while before speaking again, "How will I know which one is your blade, and how do I find your son?"
"Its has a dark blur scabbard, you will know when you look at it. As for my son, go to the Wano Country, ask for Ryusuke, son of Kyosuke."
"Very well, I promise on my honor that I will get your sword to your son."
The old man would smile at that, a calmness coming over his face as he turned to look at the little girl. "Jill, take care little one. You were a great comfort for this old man, thank you my dear." A faint smile would still be on his lips as the breath left him for the last time. Leaning forward, Jim would shut his eyes and fold his hands on his chest. "Rest in peace, Kyosuke."
Getting up, he would hold a hand out to Jill, "Come on, we have to get out of here."
A little later, the two of them would be within the main building once more, now heading towards the basement. "Your grandfather must be down in the basement, we have to free him before we get out."
"OK Mr. James."
"Call me Jim, you're making me sound like an old man."
As they would descend down the stair and emerge into the basement, a dozen or so marine guards would turn around to look at them. Jim would immediately raise his hand in front of him and send them flying backwards. "Repel!"
As they would begin running down the line of cells, Jill would look at Jim in wonder. "What was that?"
"Hehe, that was the power of my Devil Fruit. I just ate it so haven't really gotten the hang of it, but that much I can do. Ah, here we are." Stopping in front of a cell, he would begin trying out keys on the door as Jill would run forward to press her face against the bars, "Grandpa!"
"Jill, sweetheart. Are you alright, did they hurt you?"
"No, I am fine, but Kyosuke is dead." This would once more bring tears to her eyes.
"Kyosuke, who is that? And why are you crying?"
Just at that instant Jim would finally get the cell door to open. Stepping in, he would remove a key from his pocket and open the cuffs on Durin's hands. "Later, right now we need to get out of here." The three of them would then start running back the way Jill and Jim had just come. As they would emerge onto the ground floor, Jim would stop at a turning. "You two head on, I'll catch up with you, I have to do something."
While Jill would nod in understanding, Durin would begin shouting behind him what business he had in a marine base at a time like this. "Its ok grandpa. He made a promise to Kyosuke." With that she would begin dragging him away, on the way telling him about the old man who had looked after her.
Meanwhile, Jim had reached the armory, defeating a few more marines he ran into on the way. As he would step in, his eyes would immediately be drawn to a blade hanging on the wall directly opposite him. Even if Kysuke had not told him about the blue scabbard, he would have known this was the blade. As he took it off from the wall, he would get a feeling from the sword that he had felt before, while using his master's Sandai Kitetsu. This was a cursed blade, he could feel it, and if he was not much mistaken, it was a Kitetsu blade. And as his master had the other two, he knew which one this was. "Nidai Kitetsu, imagine finding you here."
A little later, he would step out of the building to find the base's main gate and the wall surrounding it in complete ruins. Jill and Durin could be see standing a little to the side as a horde of prisoners rushed out through the huge hole. It looked like most of the prisoners had managed to escape, and Jim and Durin were to blame. Smiling widely at the thought of how the marines would react to that, he would walk up to the duo. "Ready to get out of here?"
"Yes," Durin would reply, "if you are done wandering around."
Jim would just smile as they would begin moving away. A little later, when the marine base would finally be out of sight, Durin would come to a sudden stop. "So Jim, you still want me to join your crew?"
Jim would turn around with a laugh, "Yes, of course!"
"Well if I join then so does Jill, you alright with that?"
"The more, the merrier!"
"Very well then Captain, what do you want to do now?"
Looking from Durin to Jill, Jim would turn around and point to the sea, just visible in the distance, "We get ourselves a ship, and then we head out to sea!"