I don't remember when it started, but for as long as I can remember, I've been a slave.
I'm just a normal slave. Like every other person born into slavery.
I follow my orders and silently obey, without questioning a thing. I never had a doubt in mind whilst obeying, save 2 incidents.
The first was 8 years ago.
My master, a celestial dragon, Saint Charloss, had given me to a new master as a 'gift'.
At first, I had been relieved, I'd finally be relinquished from my endless torture, but one look at my new master had me filling with worry.
He was vile and enjoyed torturing different subjects and prisoners, and I was forced to watch. He controlled a deadly troupe called C9, their existence wasn't even supposed to be known.
My new master's name was Spandam.
He eventually became bored with his 'toys' and turned his torture over to me.
It was horrible. The drills, scissors, knives, swords, spears. Even the little things like pencils and staplers were used to assault me in uniquely painful ways.
It didn't end there though, no, not at all.
He subjected me to verbal abuse. He'd visit nearby towns and cities and would leave me, watching my every move with hidden shadows and transponder snails. One wrong move and I'd be killed.
He'd laugh at the villagers mocking me.
"Look at that slave!" A kid would shout loudly whilst passing in a plaza, and the child's mother would laugh along with other adults, giggling like no tomorrow.
"I'm glad that isn't me."
Things took a turn for the worst 3 years from then.
Out of pure boredom and curiosity, Spandam had given me a strange fruit.
It resembled cherries (a small red fruit I've seen my previous master eat), one side curled black, the other white. The stems were matching colors too and ended in a large curl.
The fruit was strange, it smelled weird, and the texture was foreign under the rough calluses of my labor worn fingers.
He had forced my mouth open, using his sword, Funkfreed, to keep it that way, shoving the disgusting thing down my throat.
The flavor was too strong, and I recall blacking out from the sheer taste.
When I awoke once more, my insides were burning, it felt like there was a little devil running around, stabbing my guts with a pitchfork.
I found that I had gained powers.
A skinny black halo formed around my head, the edges having pointed upwards like horns. Near my lower back large white feathery wings sprouted that fell to my ankles, as well as a long skinny tail with a spade-shaped tip.
When I returned to my usual routine of heading to nearby cities and towns, the whispers changed.
"It's the demon! The terrifying demon!"
"Mom, why does he have horns?"
"Look at that tail!"
"He must be the child of the devil, no doubt!"
This continued for years. Which leads me to my current doubt.
Recently, a group of people called the 'Strawhat Pirates' had broken in (What's a pirate?) and had begun to destroy the entire island.
I simply followed my master quietly has he led a woman away by force, but every time he beat her, I felt my heart flip.
'Nico Robin' he called her. She'd respond with gritted teeth and hate-filled eyes.
But something about her desperate filled expression called out to me, and I felt a longing I hadn't felt before, an urge to help her pitiful self.
She kept calling for her 'friends' (Another new term), saying they'd come for her. It was shocking how much she believed they'd save her.
It was surprising to watch, an enormous fist bursting through the wall of the main building, sending a large yellow and black creature (What is that?) hurtling through, crashing into the navy ships, which arrived from the accidental press of a buster call from the golden transponder snail.
I watched in awe as he fought with every essence of his being as if he was determined to follow through and win, no matter the cost.
The rest of the unknown members of their 'crew' arrived, soldiers flying left and right, the floor splattered with the rusty color of blood, a color I was familiar with.
At one point, an oversized man released missiles from his arms (How did he do that?) and had struck Funkfreed out of Spandam's grasp, the keys to the captured woman's seastone cuffs sliding across the stone pavement of the bridge, slowing down to a stop and bumping into my bare feet.
At first, a crazed look sweeps over Spandam's eyes, but after seeing the keys position beneath me, his face smoothens to one of arrogance.
"Slave!" He shouts from across the bridge.
All eyes are on me, the shackles around my neck feel as if they're tightening under the pressure I'm feeling.
"Bring it here!" He says, his tone of voice as though he already knew I was going to bring it over.
The shackles locked shut around my wrists and ankles jingle and clank as I bend down, tentatively picking up the keys.
"Don't do it!" Shouts one of the members.
"You don't have to listen to him!" I feel a surge of energy rush through me.
Spandam quickly attempts to dilute their exclamations.
"Ignore them! Just give me the keys!"
Why do I listen to him anyway? I look down at the keys clenched between my fingers, running my worn fingers through the different shapes.
One key has a tag, on it is marked letters that I've memorized. I can't read, I'm an idiot, I know, but I've memorized these words for as long as I could remember.
That's my name. That's what they call me. It translates directly to 'terrifying demon'.
I single out the key with my name tag on it, holding that key alone, bringing it closer to my wrists.
"What are you doing!? I said to give me the keys!" I grit my teeth through closed lips and an emotionless face, softly clicking the key into place, delicately turning the lock.
I hear a faded shouting of "NO!" in the distance, and everything seems to play by me in slow motion.
I watch as the constraints fall off my wrists, the chain connecting them to my wings loosening and falling off.
I slowly unfold my wings, stretching them out for the first time ever.
They're sore, and it feels weird, but it's nice. I can feel every little vein, I can feel minuscule droplets of sweat and seawater falling onto them, a breeze billowing bye, ruffling my messy hair.
My tail winds around the keys, carrying them to my ankles and unlocking them. I take a step out of my chains.
The keys drop into my hands once more, and I take a couple of paces forward, stopping in front of Nico Robin, dropping the keys on the ground in front of her. She stares up at me with teary eyes and a shocked expression.
I look straight ahead at my mas- Spandam. I look straight ahead at Spandam. He visibly grits his teeth eyebrows furrowing.
Beside me, I hear a clank as her shackles are unlocked.
"Do you realize what you've done!? You fucking idiot! How dare you go against your master you bitch!" His eyes glance to the side, spotting Funkfreed.
"Bad slaves deserve to be punished!" He lunges for the sword, I feel the feathers on my wings raise in defiance.
My tail whips to the side, quickly hitting the weapon into the water, most likely killing it.
I take slow heavy steps towards my former owner, and with raw strength, I've gained from working all these years, I pick Spandam up by the collar, holding him above me.
I lower him so my lips can reach his ear as I quietly whisper, "Not anymore."
I lift him up once more, and with as much energy as I can afford, I brutally slam him down into the bridge, the same way he had done to me in the past, the same way he had when dragging Nico Robin to impel down.
He stays in the ground, not getting up. I see blood in the crevices of the broken stone blocks, but I don't clean it. Not this time, no, I turn and face the intruders, feeling unsure about what to do next.
I watch as the man from before, the one with the weird hat, completes his fight with the creature, ending up victorious, but at the price of being unable to move.
Everyone's shouting at him to move, but he doesn't.
Hands bloom from the ground, rolling him to the edge of the broken piece of building, and just as he's about to fall, he tells the others to join him.
I turn, flapping my wings unsurely a couple times, about to leave on my own expedition, but before my feet even leave the ground, I feel myself being dragged backward until I'm suddenly falling, the rush makes my stomach churn. I feel uneasy, but it's a new feeling. It's a nice feeling.
I land on the top of a rundown ship (I heard others say deck, is that what it's called?) and stumble a few times from the unfamiliar swaying motion. I was usually kept in cages when on boats.
I bump into a man with tanned skin, and light colored green hair. He's wearing an unzipped, bright yellow jacket with a closed pocket flap on each side, a green stomach warmer, and black pants tucked into black boots. A large scar runs down the middle of his chest.
He holds me still by the shoulders, giving a tilted smirk.
I back up from him, only to bump into another person.
A blonde with his hair covering half his face. His eyebrows are notably curled, and he's smoking a cigarette in his black outfit. He grins at me, picking up my small hand in his and kissing the bumps (I think they're called knuckles?) near the beginning of my fingers.
I stumble backward again, bumping into two women, Nico Robin and an unfamiliar face, one with orange hair and brown eyes.
Not knowing where to go, I spin around frantically in confusion, backing all the way up against a wall.
"Look at her, she's scared."
"Her face is so stiff, how can you tell? Wow! you must be very talented!"
My back feels rigid, and I press myself flat against the wall, my feathers feeling some splinters, I give them all a wary look.
Who are these people? My vision blurs for a second and I hunch over clutching my head with one hand, attempting to keep my self-balanced with the other hand.
I feel my halo tighten painfully against my head and I let out a quiet groan in pain before everything fades from basic colors to simple shades.
As the quiet dark takes over me, I can't help but wish to myself.
I wish it was always this peaceful.
Chapter 2: . . . .
I hear nothing.
I feel myself softly rocking, and I feel a light breeze blow by me, a tingling shiver running through my bones.
Where am I? The quiet slur of voices catches my attention, and I feel worry begin to bubble up in my dim thoughts.
I already know I'm not that smart. I've lived as a slave my whole life with no proper education. This is popular among slaves who were, unluckily, born into this lifestyle.
I slowly sit up, rubbing my head where a dull ache throbs, and take a slow look around.
I was wearing the same torn outfit from before, but I noticed that most, if not all my physical wounds were treated and dressed.
The boat I'm on rocks softly on the broad horizon. I notice that I'm not on the same boat as before. This ship is larger, the front has a weird object, a yellow with curved orange spikes sticking out.
I slowly stand up, my body aching and shaking with built-up fatigue and soreness. Taking slow steps around, I find myself naive to half the things on the ship.
Whenever transported in the past, as mentioned before, I'd be locked in a small cage, like an animal, and would be taken to my destined location and returned that way. I've never seen half the things on this ship, and I found myself with an incurable curiosity.
A soft thump is heard after each step and I find myself in front of the large pole in the middle. Above it, large cloth blankets are softly billowing in the wind, above that is a half bucket shaped perch, slightly wider than about 6 barrels.
Feeling satisfied with my speculations, I head to the front of the ship.
The entire Strawhat crew was excited about their new ship, settling on the name Thousand Sunny.
A while ago, a slave had been brought along with them to their ship. They had argued over whether or not they should keep him on Water 7 or not, but after hearing Chopper's assessment of the poor slave's mental and physical condition, they all silently agreed that they wouldn't mind having an extra pair of hands on board.
Not that they were planning to make him work, but that seemed like a suitable excuse for everyone to bring him on board (other than Luffy who was immensely preoccupied with examining the weird appendages and floating halo of the slave.)
They hadn't known his name, Spandam had merely called him 'slave' giving no hints as to what his name actually was (Zoro thought his actual name was Slave and was quickly kicked in the head by Sanji, accompanied with a 'Stupid ass Marimo, how dare you insult a lady!')
Truth is that the crew didn't actually know that the slave was, in fact, male (other than Chopper of course, who was the one who had to examine him to treat his wounds). His skinny frame (from lack of malnutrition) and soft features (he was still pretty young) made them assume this was a young lady, who either had a stunted growth in her chest area or still wasn't of that age yet (he was actually stunted in height).
The crew each were doing their own thing, the healing slave had been resting against a lounge chair. Apparently, he was lacking vitamin D.
The first who noticed him awake was (surprisingly) Luffy, who proceeded to notify the other members quietly, telling them to remain silent as well.
From different places (some Strawhats were with each other), the crew watched the small boy groggily stand up, wandering around the ship. They wanted to see if he had any secret intentions.
It was funny watching him stare at everything as if he's never seen any of it before.
He goes to the front of the ship, peeking over the edge on his toes, leaning dangerously forward until-
"Uh-!" The crew watches with wide eyes as he slips over the railing, they each silently make a move to grab him, but return to their spots when they sim him softly flying back up with his wings.
His eyes were wide with surprise and he seemed unsure about his flying, reaching for the edge of the railing but not being close enough. He bit the side of his lip, leaning forward, suddenly dropping beneath the view of the crew, making them internally panic once more.
He slowly floats up back into perspective, and after a couple seconds, grabs the edge of the railing with the tip of his pointer finger, digging the uneven nails into the railing and using force to pull himself forward.
He was seemingly strong, it was too much, a second later he's sent hurting through the air, crashing into the mast and several other places of the ship. Sort of like a pinball machine.
Usopp had to contain his giggles, silently snorting through his fingers, Luffy beside him, face fully bloated in an attempt not to laugh.
The boy eventually managed to land, albeit unsteadily and continued his expedition of the ship.
They all quietly followed him as he explored the ship. He enters each small grove of plants on the deck.
They watch him stop in front of some unripe tangerines, picking off one of the yellow-green fruits (much to the displeasure of Nami) and sniffing it.
They watch his face brighten at the delicious scent and all of them (exception of Robin as usual, with her emotionless countenance) cringe as he bites into the sour fruit, and begin quietly laughing at his reaction.
He's obviously displeased with the taste. His face remains very stoic most the time, but the little things are what gives away how he feels, such as a slight widening of his eyes, a small quirk at the corners of lips, or little twitches of his eyebrows.
He sticks out the very tip of his tongue at the fruit, and throws it behind him, back into the orchard.
Next, the former slave goes to Robin's flower garden. Having never seen flowers before, he plucks one out, sniffing it, before throwing it into his mouth (Robin had already reassured the crew that the plants were not harmful in any way).
He scrunches up his nose, spitting out the flower back into the flowerbed, which would eventually decompose into fertilizer for the other plants, so Robin wasn't complaining.
Next is Sanji's kitchen.
He stops in front of a cutting board, sniffing it (the crew is slowly beginning to understand the boy's thought process), catching the whiff of past foods that Sanji had cut up on there.
Without a second thought, the boy bit into the wooden board. Sanji cringes. The board was brand new, he could have just made this kid some food.
The crew, though, was incredibly surprised when his teeth broken through it like an apple, and he surprisingly didn't spit out the board. Some past flavors must have remained, which was enough to keep the little slave from spitting it out.
Approaching the fridge, he opens it with much ease, and Sanji feels a small flare of anger when he sees the boy's reaction.
Rather than stealing some, or taking something, anything, the boy gets a guilty expression on his face, backing up and closing the fridge, mumbling something about 'beating for stealing any more'.
He turns, leaving the room and heading down the halls. In each room, he'd be looking for something to eat, but at one point, he ended up back out on the deck, and walked around the side, finding the trap door for the aquarium.
Not knowing what it leads to, he opens it and slowly leans over to peer inside, quickly slipping and falling into the water.
The crew rushes to the rescue.
It feels weird being underwater. It felt like there was something heavy on each limb, and it was preventing me from moving. My body sinks until I feel something grab me.
Is it the owners of this boat? Oh, I didn't mean to steal anything, I just thought I was alone, I was hungry. I won't do it again. I'm so sorry. Forgive me.
I open my eyes, finding a strange creature above me. It's brown with a red hat, white cross mark, and horns.
"Hi! I'm Chopper, I was treating you earlier, do you happen to feel alright?"
I nod my head, not knowing what this weird thing was, or how to react. Behind it was eight people, each staring at me curiously.
Chopper holds out a weirdly shaped hand, to which I hesitate at, leaning forward and looking at it.
"O-Oh yeah! I'm a reindeer," He gestures to his hands, "These are called hooves, I have four of them."
My eyes widen, a sparkle of amazement lighting up in me. He begins pointing out his different body parts, such as antlers, nose, fur, coat, tail, ear, and that weird small grey thing attached to his left antler, explaining what they are. Telling me about devil fruits, which is what I ate those many years ago.
The crew had left us alone at one point, and we were walking around the ship, me pointing things out, him naming and describing them.
I quickly decided that I liked this reindeer the most out of everyone. We've stopped at an island along the way to our next destination.
Chopper and I had stopped at several stores together, him explaining currency whilst quietly sneaking around the room of the two girls, pulling me out the window with him when we heard the voice of the orange haired girl, which he introduced to me as Nami.
As we got off the ship and headed into stores, he told me of everyone in the crew and their adventures. It was nice, other than the fact that he had to explain what every other word meant.
We end up buying me some clothes, much to my displease. Several of the same sweater and shorts since those were the only pair I allowed (they were pretty cheap, and I didn't want to waste their money). We also got me very thick socks, probably about 3-4 inches thick, because I absolutely refused to wear shoes (they felt like glorified shackles), and Chopper didn't want me to hurt my already scarred and barely healing feet.
I change into the outfit, a very much oversized pale green sweater, it reached almost down to the middle of my 'thigh', or so, that's what Chopper called the upper part of the leg.
Light blue overall shorts were strapped on as well, the shorts stopping barely above my knees, which were very big, and very loose as well. The socks went halfway up my 'calf', the lower part of the leg and ended there.
They were white with one peach and green stripe on each sock, but not identical, the colors were swapped.
He also stopped to take the time and fix up my hair. The edges were all cut around my face, especially the front, barely above my eyes, and the sides of my head were shaved (They used a knife to do that and I swear they almost cut my ear off).
Chopper decided that a nice way to cover up the two holes in my ears were to make them look like 'earrings' (he mumbled something about getting the idea from Zoro). I was given two small black circles with a small piece of metal sticking out, which he carefully put onto both my ears and at the side of my left ear, was a small curved clasp that was fitted through another hole in my ear.
A small thread string connected that piece and the one near the bottom of my ear.
He takes me to a semi-large pane of glass, which shows a strange person looking back at me. I quickly discover it's me after Chopper explains it. It's called a 'mirror'. I had seen them before, I just didn't know what they were called.
I press up against the mirror and look at myself. I notice that I have really long hairs at the bottom of my eyes. Chopper calls them 'eyelashes'. They remind me of Franky, the big person with blue hair that shot rockets out of his arms back at Enies Lobby.
There is also a large chunk of pale yellow hair above my right eye. Chopper said I probably spilled a chemical on myself (what's a chemical? Chopper couldn't really explain it).
As we reach the port once more, I assume that we're all parting, based on how Chopper makes me hold my own store-bought items, and he seems a bit reluctant to go back on board.
I watch him silently as he fights an internal conflict, pacing in circles before he suddenly comes to an abrupt halt.
He turns to me.
"Wait here really quick, okay?" Off he scurries, onto the ship, and out of my sight.
I sit there patiently, waiting for Chopper on the piling, the large wooden pole that held up the pier.
As I sat there, three larger men, much larger than I've seen before, walk near me, stopping just short of my arms reach.
"Yo, punk." I look to the sides of me. Who was this guy talking to?
I feel him grab me by the front of my sweater pulling me closer. Oh, he's talking to me.
I didn't know how to respond and I think back to how he addressed me. 'Yo, punk' I like that. I like how it slides off the tongue, and how smoothly it sounds. Being my still pretty naive and easily influenced self, I decided that I would start greeting people like this. Thus the beginning of my problems.
My eyes flicker to the men.
"Yo, punk." I echo. His face twitches with surprise before anger overcomes his features. He pulls me closer to him.
"You makin' fun of me ya brat?" Who is making fun of who? Me? I'm getting made fun of?
I let out an 'oh' slip past my lips, and now he looks confused. The other two men from the sides come closer, grabbing my bags that were perched nicely against the floor.
"Those are mine." I state oh so matter of factly. And the man grins at me.
"Well then, thanks." He drops me to the ground and walks away with his goon friends, chuckling and bumping shoulders.
The impact with the ground made me grunt, and the halo on my head tilted slightly over my right eye, I slowly stand up, dusting off my sweater and overalls.
I narrow my eyes at the three men walking away.
Chopper, who had taken an enormous liking to this new person, decided that he wanted to ask Luffy if he could join the crew. He was worried though, that since the boy wasn't able to work as much due to his already overworked body, the crew would deem him useless, having him kicked out and left here on this island.
Although, his crew wasn't that cruel.
His mind drifts back to the times Nami has abused them, Zoro has offered to cut off limbs, Luffy has carelessly put them in danger, Robin bluntly stating harsh realities, Franky being ignored by everyone...
Scratch that, maybe they were.
Chopper stops on the deck, looking for the rest of the crew, most had returned and were restocking everything.
"Uh, guys there is something important I want to ask..." Chopper mumbles out.
Luffy walks over to chopper, chewing on a piece of meat, seating himself. Robin looks over from her reclined sunbathing seat. Zoro peeks open his eye from his nap.
"What is it, Chopper?" Robin asks in that general kind voice she always uses.
"I was wondering, are we going to let the slave join us?" Luffy makes a face as if he were contemplating the idea.
"Why, do you like her or something raccoon?" Chopper, missing the 'her', thinking Zoro said 'he', responds quickly.
"W-what!? Of course not! Well, I do, but not like that, I just want him to join the crew!" Robin smiles her sly smile. Zoro smirks smugly. Luffy grins with a 'shishishishishi'.
"If we didn't want her to join, why would keep her on board instead of leaving her at Water 7? She saved Robin after all. Shishishishi, you're such an idiot Chopper." Chopper's eyes widen and grins, wiggling his arms in joy, quickly coming to a stop so he can go out and grab the boy.
Chopper leaves the deck, waving to see them in a bit, and heads toward the pier.
He finds the former slave boy exactly where he left him, the bags from their shopping spree hung through his elbows.
Chopper motions for the boy to follow him back to the ship, they begin to slowly walk back together.
"By the way, I never asked, what's your name?" The boy looks down at Chopper, taking the bags from him (Chopper figured it was a habit but didn't push it, the boy would need time to heal anyway).
"Osoroshi Akuma." Chopper feels his eyes widen in shock. How cruel could those people be? They named him 'terrifying demon'? Are they serious? Chopper in his right mind would have headed all the way back to Enies Lobby just to pummel them into the ground.
"W-well Osoroshi, don't you wanna change your name?" The boy shakes his head, mumbling something about finally memorizing the spelling.
As he boards the ship once more, Chopper notices smears of red at the corner of his lip and that parts of his sweater have red splats, the edges dotting out like a liquid splashed against him.
"Osoroshi, what is that?" Chopper comes a bit closer before he notices the horrible smell that takes over his nose.
"I-is that blood?" The boy looks down, before returning his gaze to Chopper, nodding.
"H-how? Who? WHAT!?" Osoroshi looks on with mild interest.
"They tried to take the stuff, and wouldn't give it back, so I used force." Chopper, although excited that this new member will be joining their crew soon (usually made official by a toast and party), can't help but feel as if rough times are ahead of him.
Somewhere in an alleyway, Marines come across a gruesome sight and quickly head back to warn their captain. Based on the injuries, they knew this wasn't from any of the pirates around.
As they leave the scene, three grown men are seen lying face first in the ground, each of their bodies heavily coated with blood, a thick puddle of the substance pooling around them.
A new threat has appeared.